Sunday, January 31, 2010

Because They Didn't Already Have Enough Sugar in Their Systems (and Because Proceeds Went to Haiti Relief)

Yes, they chose to sit in that corner, under that sign. At Scoops.
  • His: 1 scoop Green Tea, 1 scoop Coke
  • Hers: 1 scoop Caramel Oreo

Because I Failed to Take a Single Picture at Ander's Class Picnic Back in December

There was a massive play structure a few yards away. Not one kid used it.

The Tree, and the Big Stick, and the Mud Hole and River (aka the broken run-off/sprinkler pipe) all had more pull.

And the Big News? The gossip that spread gleefully from picnic blanket to Tree to Mud Hole? Zaza has a wobbly tooth (bottom front, the right one), and a new tooth sneaking up behind it!

Yay for impending Tooth Fairy visits (it's been a long time)!

Yay for mud and sticks!

Yay for woodpeckers and neosporin!

Yay for portable and borrowable younger siblings!

Yay for older siblings reading in the sun and wrangling dam builders!

Yay for clementines and homemade horchata and flan and chewy chocolate cookies!

Yay! Yay! YAY for Kindergarten!

Snow Bear and Little Green Had Bento Lunches, Sunna and Sally Shared a Tea-Party-Picnic, and I Had Oatmeal with Jon Scieszka

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Before We Left for School This Morning

She has been nervous about going into her room alone lately.

So he went and fetched her shoes for her. He even chose brown ones to match her outfit.

She was so grateful, and wanted to give him something in return. So here they are, at her desk, going through her stickers.

And then he found the stack of Thingy Things books that we read at bedtime the night before last, and he began a very silly reading of this book.*

He is her brave, kind, funny hero. Most of the time. You know, when he's not ignoring her or teasing her.

* "Not his short pants! His long pants!" (I thought of you, Katie!!!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Darn That Little House in the Big Woods (Especially Ma Ingalls and Her People-Shaped Pancakes)

To counteract all this folksy domesticity, today also involved:
  • driving across town and back twice, just to get Ander and Mr. A together for three hours
  • Meat-Lovers' Pizza from Tomato Pie
  • Zaza watching "Mustard Pancakes" via Netflix on the office computer, whilst Ander and I watched Order of the Phoenix in the living room
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Saturday, January 23, 2010

As Tall as She Is

As resolved at New Year's, this was built 'on her own.'

(And then spectacularly demolished.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Here's the day that should have been."

I picked them up early.

It was raining hard, and we shrieked and sploshed to the car, and from the car to the mud room.

We made a fire.

I made two kinds of cocoa with mini marshmallows (four extra 'mallows on the side, too), and I put cocoa in my coffee.

We decided that it was just too rainy to slog across town to gymnastics.

We put more wood on the fire, and popped kettle corn.

Ander learned to applique.

I held them both, and looked them in the face.

I read aloud from Mandy (the bit where she first comes downstairs after her bout of pneumonia and eats with the family), and then from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, even though Zaza was listening, because we are sooo close to finishing, and something bad and sad happened, and Ander didn't see it coming, and at first didn't react at all because it was so impossible, but then it was true, and he was sort of limp with shock, which was wonderful in its way.

I was so glad to have a second chance at yesterday, and I told them so, and Ander reminded me of this, specifically The Island Light, and so the title for today's post was borrowed from the Bunny Queen, Janet.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Good Bits Version: Brainwashing 101, or Prettier Thoughts, Beautifully Aired

Despite the photo record, our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was a bit of a let-down.

Mostly because I was distracted by never-ending chores, and crabby about the very existence of said chores.

And because I forgot all about Dr. King.
Dubbadad was supposed to come home early, so I backed out of a cross-town playdate and thought we would have a cozy day in. I envisioned cocoa and books by the fire, maybe breaking out some paints, or baking some cookies.

Things started off well, with warm milk with honey, and mix-your-own-stuff-in oatmeal.

But then I started walking in endless scuffle-socked circles around the house, tidying, sorting laundry, cursing the never-used humidifier that kept toppling onto my toes in the bathroom, carrying bags of stuff to the car through the rain, unclamping Zaza's grasping arms from around my thighs, complaining out loud about the shoes piled by the door and the dried-up toothpaste on the sinks, barking orders, denying access to the computer and then schizophrenically and exasperatedly okaying access.

My downward spiral grew tighter as I realized there was no firewood and Dubbadad was not going to get home early after all and I was still in my pajamas and unshowered and the house still looked a mess.

I resented the laundry/sweeping/cooking/organizing/tidying/bed-making because they kept me from fully being with my children.

And -- badmommybadmommy -- I resented the children for interrupting my chore-a-thon.

But we were all saved in the end, by the Good Bits:
  • Play Dough
  • embroidered eyeballs
  • Sea Monkeys
  • spontaneous shame-free dancing to nerd rock
  • and a good batch of chili
When Ander was little-r, I would tell him "the story of (his) day" at bedtime, rewriting here and there, glossing over or leaving out the scraped knees or lost toys or stinky fits (his and mine), and leaving in the Good Bits to cushion his fall into dreams.
A little brainwash-y, I know.
At first it kind of worked better than I had intended -- the bad bits actually seemed to be scrubbed out of his memory by the next day.
As he got older, the memories of the bad stuff were still there the next day, but maybe, perhaps, hopefully, he learned to focus on and appreciate the best parts of his day's adventure.
After Aliza came along, I came across this passage in the first chapter of Peter Pan, and felt a bit better about my brainwashery:

Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day...When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
Dubbadad finally, finally escaped work and came home to us, bringing firewood and our favorite cocoa. (Which we will try to put to good use tomorrow.)