Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Is...

  • four crazy-haired people in our suddenly too-small bed watching Brian Selznick and automatons on Sunday Morning
  • lox, bagels, cream cheese, and bacon (???) on the back patio
  • pogo-sticking and kumquat-eating on the back patio (who knew kumquats were so...astounding???  [ander, apparently, as he has saved his money to buy a kumquat tree...])
  • slices of fresh-off-the-tree lemon in ice water (with a flexi straw and bright aqua-blue paper umbrella)
  • four shiny quarters added to her piggy/elephant bank (allowance day):
  • homework:
  • tetherball (thank you Auntie Nicole and Uncle Alan!) with Dubbadad:
  • putting away groceries that I didn't have to enter a store to purchase (thanks, Dubbadad!)
  • folding laundry
  • changing out of my PJs at 4 to play soccer in the front yard (final score: Aliza 5, Mommy 3)
  • getting a most-excellent 2-lotion hand massage from Aliza
  • watching the boys play Little Big Planet (is it any wonder that Ander's Sack Boy has a moustache?)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

5th Grade Milestone ACHIEVED: the 'Explorers Project'

Chest containing maize and blue glass beads (symbol of trade with native people); large bottle containing soil from Jamestown; smaller bottles containing a hair plucked from the head of Chief Powhatan and ashes from the burned site of the original colony; portrait of John Smith.

We didn't have to go out and buy any of this: 
bottles from Aliza's potion table, beads from Aliza's (utterly neglected) beading supplies, bone-inlaid chest from the garden fairies, gilt frame from the Goodwill (has been sitting empty in a desk drawer for over a year)

Ander said his overall impression of John Smith was that of a pompous windbag who never received as much attention and admiration as he believed he ought to have received in his lifetime.  Thus, Ander peppered Smith's diary with insults (mangled, elf-skinned dewberries!!!) pulled from this book.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Eyebombing Raid 4 (Near His School Again)


Reminding Me Why I Love Her School

...on the walls of the music room...

...where Aliza's class had come to watch this (as part of a discussion about mobiles, and the intersection of art and science):

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Eyebombing Raid 3 (Near Her School Again)

(mine, in the drive-up/pick-up line at Za's school)
(Zaza's, in the school parking lot)

Making its Way Across the Country

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eyebombing Raid 2 (Around Ander's School)

(mine, 'bombed' on the way to serving hot lunch)
(aliza's, bombed on the way to pick up Ander, using new Valentine's eyes)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eyebombing Near Zaza's School (Their First Raid)

(Ander's, on the shipping container at the end of the playground)
(Zaza's, on the pay-phone outside Ralph's)
(Zaza's, also outside Ralph's)

Thanks to jessica for tipping us off...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Immersed in Time-Tangled Photo Files

(in-mirror self portrait, by Aliza, the near-past)

I surface hours later, to find that the light has changed, I'm starving, the dryer has stopped, and it's time to go fetch those now-outrageously-overscale children.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Perspective (Whilst Reflecting on Strange Gifts)

I thought about this all day yesterday:

That I'm weirdly thankful for this little blight we've been experiencing.

Because, just as in the cases of so many other ever-evolving day-in-day-out non-events, I can't remember the Last Time.  In this case, I was wracking my brain trying to remember (re-see, re-feel) the last time I washed Aliza's hair for her.  And I couldn't remember.  Because those lasts go out not with a bang but a whimper.  

the Last of the sippy cups (most recently used as bedside water bottles) went to the Goodwill over the Winter Break...

At some point Aliza was able to dump a bucket of water over her own head.  A bit later she was able to swim, and understood not to stand in the tub, and was safe to play (with the door open) in the tub alone.  My quick trips out of the bathroom to fetch pajamas and turn down beds, became full-on dinner-dish-washing sessions while she played in the tub or Ander read to her.  At some point she switched to showers (when???), and was able to dry herself, get her pajamas on, and brush her own teeth.  Alexander of course had been doing all this on his own for a while (when did that start???).  I was able to finish the dishes before their bedtimes, and even put a load of wash in, or (more likely) check my e-mail before heading off to read stories.

Now and then, when she needs a little pampering (okay, babying) after a trying day, she will ask me to come in and wrap her in a towel, pat her dry, rub lotion into her arms and legs, comb her hair, put it in a towel-turban.

But for the most part I have oh-so-gradually been subtracted from the bathtime-to-bedtime equation.  

And I didn't even notice the Last Time when it whimpered into oblivion.

So this past week, despite all the ick and the sore scalps and the endless laundry and the upholstery-cleaning and the car-detailing, I have tried to appreciate the Gift of the Comb-Out.  

This past week I have been added back into the equation.*  

I get to massage their heads with organic-homeopathic-herbal concoctions.  I get to sculpt silly soapy hairdos: a giant Cindy Lou Who vertical spout for her, two owl-like horns for him.  I get to rinse and comb and rinse some more, running my hands over the once-visible topography of their scalps, and the whole time we're sitting in our happy-tiled bathroom with the space-heater blasting, and Aliza is asking me to tell her stories about each place I lived growing up.  

I am with them, so close, in a peppermint-scented, terry-cloth-wrapped, green-tiled time machine.  I have stolen time.  I have received a do-over, or at least a do-again.  

I tried to explain this to Alexander last night -- how grateful I am for this inconvenience.  And I told him about a time when Aliza was maybe a week or two old, and Dubbadad and I were riding in an elevator at the hospital, me carrying Aliza in my arms, the three of us on the way to her first check-up.  We were probably chatting about her belly button stump or cradle cap or something.  The elevator stopped at a floor below our destination, and another two parents and a child got in.  It was hard to tell if the child was a boy or girl, and he or she could have been five or could have been ten.  I felt that she was a girl.  I think she was bald, but I'm not certain now.  But I do remember that she was tiny, and wearing a yellow hospital gown, and that she was pushing her own I.V. stand, and that she walked like every step hurt, and that her parents looked so tired and maybe also a little furious with the world.  Dubbadad and I made room for them in the elevator, moving closer to each other and to Aliza, and we all stood in silence until we got off at our floor.  I'm pretty sure I was crying by the time we got to the door of our pediatrician's office. Cradle cap, really?  

Lice, really? I said to Alexander, and he held my hand, and understood.

* (For twelve-to-fourteen days anyway, depending on where we are in the life-cycle of the Cursed Louse.)

If There's One Thing I Have Learned from This Past Week's Mini-Ordeal...'s that we have too many pillows.

(this isn't even all of them)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bindis and Welding Goggles: All Ready for a Walk Down Melrose


Old projects (some unfinished), stored in a favorite vintage suitcase.
Introducing Dr. Gizmo's Book of Wonders!
Welcome to the World of Wonders,
where all magic was born.
Now prepare for all the magic and
Beasts you are about to encounter...

(it was empty!)
They don't make these anymore...
In 2009 I was looking for an alternative to Barbie, 

hoping to redirect what I thought would be an inevitable phase.
I found Jun, a 'Juku Couture' doll, at Target.  

She's only 9" tall, incredibly posable (ball jointed),
realistically-proportioned (ahem), and came with twelve pieces 

of mix-and-match harujuku-inspired clothing.
Aliza had ab-so-lute-ly no interest in her.
Until today.