Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dinner 'On the Road' After Late Gymnastics Class

dolphin-safe (and oh-so authentically 1950's)

Slow Down a Bit, Please (Having Made the Mistake of Scrolling Through 6 Years of Pictures Last Night)

Once I was an alphabet,
now I am a book.
Once I couldn't feed myself,
now I like to cook.

I used to be a penny,
now I am the sun.
Once I couldn't even walk,
now I always run.

I used to be a pine cone,
now I am a forest.
Once I sang alone,
now I am a chorus.

Once I was a trickle,
now I am a lake.
I used to be the recipe,
now I am the cake.

Once I was a ball of yarn
now I am a rug.
I used to be a handshake,
now I am a hug.

Once I was a whisper,
now I am the wind.

I used to play alone,
but now I have a friend.

-- excerpted from Once I Was by Niki Clark Leopold

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Never Too Old for a Paddle-Pool. NEVER.


We Fetched Ander from the Famille du Chicken Dude at the Halfway Point

The Jacarandas are in bloom
...as are the Magnolias
It's the sort of relentlessly optimistic day that makes me realize I love this city:
blustery-blue-and-72, excellent coffee and pastries with lovely people, trees bursting into bloom, my heart growing three sizes... 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

While Ander Had Adventures at Barnsdall, in Little Tokyo, and in the Wilds of Glassell Park, Aliza Got to Play Only Child

She made brownies with Dubbadad.

She walked to Starbucks with the Next Door Friends, and played with them in our yard afterwards.

She helped carry succulents from my car to the side yard for Dubbadad's window box project.

She rehearsed her lines for next week's First Grade Showcase, and very grudgingly practiced piano.

She went with me to the pet store to buy betta bowl decor (a castle and a plant), where she saw turtles and a chinchilla, and mini hamsters, and fell in love with two very sweet rescue dogs who were already adopted.

At the pharmacy, she picked out two new soaps, carried the shopping basket (for a while), and 'read' her thrifted Eloise collection while I waited in line.

She said it felt strange to be out running errands without Ander along.

Back home again, she ate apple slices smeared with peanut butter at the table, and a yogurt and blueberry parfait in a polka-dot mug on the front porch.

She read to Dubbadad.  I read to her.

She spoke, uninterrupted.  All eyes were on her.

We had an epic jam session with all the silly musical instruments in the suitcase in the living room: Dubbadad on castanets and harmonica, me on tambourine and kazoo, 'Za mostly conducting, critiquing, and awarding points.

At dinner she sat at the head of the table, between Dubbadad and myself, and she missed Ander, and got very anxious when we asked her to imagine what it would be like if she'd never had a brother.

She added M&Ms to the bowl of popcorn and chopped-up licorice, and then stirred up the whole concoction with a big spoon.

She watched "Robots" curled up with me on the sofa, one hand in the popcorn bowl, fingers scrabbling for the goodies that inevitably fall to the bottom.

She sang "Happy Birthday to Me" with her mouth full of toothpaste in a bathroom she had all to herself.

She stayed up late, and only gave in to sleep after speaking to Ander (who called from his sleepover to say good night and to tell us about the Korean restaurant he had gone to with the Chicken Dude's family).

*The 'Birthday Betta' (thank you, Auntie Lineo!) is called Mr. Bubbles, and he lives in a bowl on Aliza's dressing table.  I catch her chatting with him every now and then: "Mr. Bubbles? It's interesting that you breathe water because I breathe air and I can't breathe water. (chat, chat, chat, chat, chat...) I don't usually talk this much -- I'm just trying to keep you company."  We all hope Mr. Bubbles outlives his last three predecessors... 

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Very Good Friday: at the Old Zoo and Tere's

He ate up all our brownies and pan dulce when we were down in the creek bed

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The New Bird Feeder is Squirrel Proof (The Window Sill is Not)


{ yes }

Near misses
by Laura Kasischke

The truck that swerved to miss the stroller in which I slept. 

My mother turning from the laundry basket just in time to see me open the third-story window to call to the cat. 

In the car, on ice, something spinning and made of history snatched me back from the guardrail and set me down between two gentle trees. And that time I thought to look both ways on the one-way street. 

And when the doorbell rang, and I didn’t answer, and just before I slipped one night into a drunken dream, I remembered to blow out the candle burning on the table beside me.

It's a miracle, I tell you, this middle-aged woman scanning the cans on the grocery store shelf. Hidden in the works of a mysterious clock are her many deaths, and yet the whole world is piled up before her on a banquet table again today. The timer, broken. The sunset smeared across the horizon in the girlish cursive of the ocean, Forever, For You. 

And still she can offer only her body as proof:

The way it moves a little slower every day. And the cells, ticking away. A crow pecking at a sweater. The last hour waiting patiently on a tray for her somewhere in the future. The spoon slipping quietly into the beautiful soup.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This Evening (Letting Go of Aliza's Hand Long Enough to Applaud Ander and Friends): a Fourth Grade Theater Showcase Featuring Rumplestiltskin, the Emperor's New Clothes, and Rumplestiltskin AGAIN

(only one of them will likely -- someday -- grow one on purpose)
Yo: while this may appear somewhat 'street,' their hands loosely translate to 
'Loser,' 'righty scissors,' 'lefty scissors'
Rumplestiltskin and Sleeping Beauty stepping out
Yay for Goblin Ivy!!!
A frog, a gnome, and a gummi bear (as Narrators / Greek Chorus)
All gold-grubbing monarchs should have such cool guards
Red Riding Hood narrates Ander's class's take on Rumplestiltskin
Sleeping Beauty passes out at the baby shower
Snow White, Red, and the Princesses rock out to Britney Spears at the baby shower
The demise of Rumplestiltskin
The palace guards chase off the baby-grubbing goblins
Curtain call
Gummi bear dancing on the playground (mural by this guy)

This Morning (Holding Aliza's Hand): a First Grade Nature Walk