Thursday, April 25, 2013

Between Homework and Dinner (Whilst I Feigned Disinterest, Laid Low, Postponed Dinner, and Let it Run Its Course)

This went on for at least an hour.  

I don't think she actually asked him to "play;" I think they just accidentally ventured through the same portal at the same time and shared an adventure.

It was completely organic and spontaneous and amazing, and I should have filmed it, except I was worried that I would ruin it and make them self-conscious if I let on that I was watching.

They took turns being the customer and being behind the counter.  

Based on how he paid, I suspect that at least one of the customers was a time traveler.

I didn't even know that she knew where I had tucked away the toy food and dishes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


at Meltdown on Sunset after school
(after bingeing at Mashti Malone's)

school fundraiser at Fritzi Dog at the Farmer's Market 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sometimes Monday Requires War Paint

She asked me to wake her up early so we could do this: five colors, two fingers in each color.

Now that it is finally blue and bright out in the morning, we have also been getting up early to try some of the fancier hair-dos in this book.

Squeezing this extra (sometimes ONLY) just-the-two-of-us time into our days has been...mood-enhancing?  attitude-adjusting?  maybe even life-altering? 

Yes, all of that, I think.  For us both.

Because it seems that as a result of Dubbadad and I and all of her loving grandparents trying so hard over the years to make everything as 'fair' and balanced as we can, and occasionally -- on the way to learning that this is an impossible and unrealistic endeavor -- making too big a deal about it when we 'fail,' this girl of ours is very, very aware of the divvying up of attention.  

She carries a clipboard and a tally-sheet and a very sharp pencil in her brain, Aliza does.  There are tick-marks and bar graphs and pie charts and Venn diagrams in there.  

There are days where I fret about disappointing her, about damaging her, and I beat myself about the head and shoulders with licorice whips of guilt.

And there are days where I just shrug, hope hard that chatting in the mirror while braiding her hair will satisfy, and quote Westley in "The Princess Bride":
"Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something."
And I remind myself that she would throw us all over for half an hour of inclusive activity with her Ander.  

(So, you know, it's all on him, heh, heh, heh.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A (Decaf) Chai Latte and Dutch Baby Sort of Morning

Ander received SIX boxes of the concentrate for his birthday
(their OUGHT to be enough to share with his sister, ahem)

From the Seventeen Magazine recipe I have used since I was twelve
(served with butter-and-sugar-and-cinnamoned apple slices, and powdered sugar)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

We Took the Party to Them (But They Take the Cake)

XII ?  XII !!!

She was so excited for him to open her present that I felt nervous for her...

...and then he was utterly delighted and surprised and touched, and he loved it SO MUCH that he turned and gave her a big hug (which I missed capturing, but oh it is shining brightly in my heart's eye) and promptly named him Sir Francis.

He received some other truly special gifts, like this one from dear Mr. L 
(delivered to our front porch this afternoon)

"I wear a lab coat now.  Lab coats are cool."
(personalized lab coat = warm-weather replacement for the Ubiquitous Green Hat???)

They love him so much and so well.

(Aliza too!)

Tutu's Chili Tastes Even Better With Ancient Egyptians Overlooking the Proceedings

Having Been Blasted Out of Bed with the Harlem Shake (Complete with Dancing Sister and Mother and Eye-Rolling Father) AND the Ting-Ting's "Happy Birthday," He Ought to Have Expected the Felt-Bannered Birthdaymobile and its Sparkly-Hat-Wearing Driver and Passenger at Pick-Up Time

All the windows were down, and the Ting-Tings were on repeat.
We stopped at the party store to fill the back of the van with 

(and one turquoise balloon for the Birthday Sister).

balloons are surprisingly temperamental 
and can be very very loud when angered or punctured.
(Only ten balloons made it into the car.)

We picked up Shanaynay, and made her wear a mask and a hat.
The Ting-Tings were still on repeat.
The car windows remained down.
(somewhere across town, Dubbadad was filled with a sudden and inexplicable sense of relief that he was NOT with his family)
On our way to Scoops, we noticed this, liked it,
and then two of us took its picture.
Two of them had TRIPLE scoops.

He added Raisin Bagel, Root Beer, and Nutella.

What She Made Him for His 12th Birthday

Designed entirely by Aliza, who also chose the thrifted, Eric Carle fabric from the fabric bin, sewed all the non-fiddly bits, and spent a very, very long time stuffing balls of fluff into the too-small opening in the bottom of his foot (using a looong 'tasting' spoon to reach the farthest and tightest corners).  She left him floppy at the neck on purpose.

We talked and talked about how to copy the face she had drawn on paper onto a big, puffy head: felt bits that she could glue on herself?  Embroidery?  Applique?  She decided that the gluing option wasn't as long-lasting, and so she care-ful-ly cut out that pink fleece nose before finally falling into bed.  

After she was asleep -- over and over into the wee hours of Ander's birthday eve -- I consulted Aliza's drawing while I appliqu├ęd the features.  I raided the scrap-bag for just-right bits: the moustache was snipped from scraps left over from cutting down Ander's black trousers into skater-length shorts.  I wasn't certain from the drawing if this mustachioed fellow was supposed to have a little mouth or a wee goatee peeking out from below his 'stache, so I cut a pink scrap and a black scrap, and let Aliza decide in the morning.  

She loved him just the way he is, and was SO PROUD to see her drawing come to 3-d life.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

A Slew of Bobby Pins and a Handful of Gummi Bears

She asked me to cut the loooong bow tie off the collar of her thrifted tunic, and I did, with the sharp-sharp tiny-tiny scissors on my mini Swiss Army knife.
In the car, between gymnastics and the fro-yo place,
she tied the strips of fabric together and made herself a cuff and a headband.

She is about half way through The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
She talked and talked about how she loves the story's extended metaphor 

about broken machines, and how we are all machines, 
and how we are all worth fixing because we all have a purpose.