Thursday, February 25, 2010

Zaza is Looking Forward to Alice in Wonderland

On the dry-erase board, in the car (the billboards and buses are covered with Mad Hatters and Cheshire Cats).

Oh how we hope it isn't tooooo PG. (Or tooooooo Disney, for that matter.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice Cream (Gelato) WEDNESDAY in Silverlake

(Reading the script for Zaza's class play.)

First outside (too cold), because gelato-less dudes with laptops were hogging the inside tables.

Then inside (just right), once one of the aforementioned dudes took pity on us.

There was no room for me at the inside table, so I handed out napkins, and dreamed of sitting alone in a corner with a book and s-l-o-w-l-y sipping that gorgeous double latte (which I ended up drinking in the car).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Saturday, We Did 'Nothing,' and It Was (Mostly) Good

We waited for the rain all day.

We didn't go to this parade.

We didn't go on this hike.

We read to ourselves and to each other.

We ate Nilla Wafers.

Ander fell off the swing and scraped his face and hurt his back.

(Perhaps we should have gone on that hike.)

We listened to music.

Zaza fell asleep on the sofa with her earbuds in.

We soaked Ander in a tub full of salts, daubed him with Neosporin, rubbed him with Tiger Balm, and hugged him a bit too tightly. (so scary) (so lucky)

The rain came at last, plipping and plopping on the awnings and pinging on the overturned watering cans.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's All About the Purple

(for several days now, in fact)

A cooperative-if-pose-y moment before changing into her ballet togs...

We don't do these 'best dress' thingies as much any more. She seems to be sort of over it, which is fine -- even good, actually. And I think she's the one who will ask me to stop posting pictures of her altogether at some point. As it stands, she occasionally asks not to be photographed, and thus she disappears from posts for days on end.

So if it seems like there's a bit more Ander around here, it's not that Zaza isn't being loved and appreciated -- it's just that she's being loved and appreciated 'out of frame.'
  • Deep-purple-navy-blue dress with folkloric lavender and blue embroidery from H&M (last year)
  • Purple long-sleeved t-shirt from Target
  • Thrifted purple double-layered embroidered peasant skirt (under dress), originally from the Gap
  • Navy blue tights with the feet cut off & purple-edged navy knee socks
  • Purple felt butterfly clip (on headband -- I just love that she does this) from La La Ling.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Zaza Had a Play Date, and So...

...Ander got to choose what he would do with me while 'Za was away.

We really only had an hour to work with, as the rest of the time would be spent driving to and from the play date.

He considered a trip to The Farmer's Market for crepes, followed by a stroll to the bookstore.

But then everybody at school had had Valentine's Fun Dip in their lunches (really? in their lunches??? are other parents just trying to make me look like a health-crazed killjoy?).

So: he opted to go home, have his first-ever Fun Dip, and cuddle up with me on the sofa for a bit of Harry Potter (HBP).

Personally, I think he made a wise choice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day Felt Like Summer

I put up the mushroom playhouse on the front lawn for Zaza and Miss R., squished a big pillow through the wee front door, and then tossed a bunch of nasturtium leaf 'dishes' and fairy dolls through the roof window ("Aaaaaugh! It's raining fairies!").

Which meant I had to devise some sort of big-kid tent/fort/sibling-free-zone-of-solitude for Ander and Miss C. in the back yard.

Four old table cloths and about a zillion clothespins later, the big kids were "poofing" (their verb) through billowing fabric, giggling until they (well, he) had hiccups, while singing "I Love to Laugh" from Mary Poppins at the top of their (okay, his) lungs, substituting "POOF!" for "laugh."

(The doll previously known as Penelope is now Honeycomb Emmaline.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine's 'Tea' Party (or: An Excuse to Use All the Pink Things)

A Montessori preschool reunion of sorts, featuring 2+ hours of toy-kitchen-baby-doll-I'm-the-mom-no-I'm-the-mom pretend play in Zaza's room, sweet treats, raspberry lemonade and vanilla milk, baking, and various styles of swinging.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yeah, Yeah, I Know, I Know, But It Was Celebratory (When Was the Last Time YOU Read Your Writing in Front of Forty People?), and it WAS a Friday

Ander was there too, of course, and Mr. E. and his mama, and Miss Kitty's Daddy-O too.

The grown-ups had coffee.

And we all played Cafe Bingo.

I Don't Have the Words (But They Do, Oh Yes, They Do)

Ms. Son's third graders presented their essays today.

All work was completed in class, so the parents had no idea what they were in for.

Subjects ranged from Video Games, to Chocolate, to Sibling Rivalry, to Fire, to the Brain, to Best Friends, to the Earthquake in Haiti.

All twenty-four kids stood up, in front of all their classmates, in front of a good-sized group of parents, and read their own writing with confidence and humor and style.

Little Senor L. -- the boy who would burst into tears in kindergarten when he wrote a letter backwards -- was fearless, and funny!

One essay was ostensibly about Haitian orphans, but was really about the writer's loving family (which includes two dads and an adopted baby brother).

Miss A wrote an extended metaphor about secrets being like pieces of glass.

Mr. K rattled off the stats that prove that everyone -- even Major League Baseball Players -- makes mistakes.

Mr. A -- the son of an avid angler -- gave a wry talk about how to 'properly' kill your catch.

I could have covered my eyes and still told you whose essays were whose -- they each have such a distinct writing 'voice.'

And Ander went last.

His essay was called, "At Some Point, Everyone Needs Help."

He had taken the title from the cardboard sign held by a homeless woman we had seen standing at a busy intersection a couple of weeks ago. He had handed her a dollar as our car rolled past her spot, and she had told him to have "a blessed day." And Ander found a way to tie this tiny urban moment -- a moment I had forgotten all about -- into what's happening in Haiti.

He stood there, so tall, so at ease, making eye contact, ad-libbing a little intro, and reading something beautiful/emotional/personal that he had written on his own.

And I can't quite capture how I felt. I just don't have the right words.

I can, however, say that I worry about how every choice I make effects my children. (Is this the right school for them? Is it okay that they see what they see driving to and from school? Do they have enough freedom? Do they have too much freedom?) And I worry about the grittier realities of where we live, and about global warming, and about air pollution and health care.

But for a moment, while standing in the back of that classroom, all of that went away.

Beyond pride and love and heartache -- I felt un-worried.

I'm not sure if that's the right word or even a real word, but it's the only one I have.