One hour a day, for one more year. Making make-believe a priority.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Love a Parade

Today two of my favorite parents in the world gave their son, Diego, a parade. That's what he wanted for his fourth birthday, and that's what he got. We all met at a park in North Park here in San Diego. Some (including Kicky and Esmee) came in costume. Others were given hats. All were provided with tambourines and sliding whistles and other instruments. After a brief water balloon fight, we lined up on the parade route (the walkway that circled the small park), and Diego (dressed as Spiderman)led the way. It was crazy. It was ridiculous. And it was a blast. Other people at the park waved and cheered. And about half-way around, Diego seemed to realize that his dream had been realized. His birthday wish granted. At the end, he stood on the picnic table and thanked everyone as he clacked a pair of castanets.

And once again here is a new lesson learned. It's important to teach your children that no dream they have is silly; your job as a parent is to help them make their wishes come true.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whirling Dervishes

Too busy playing to post lately...but I swear, we're busy little bees here at the Stewart Playground. Since spring break ended, it's been harder (as expected), but we've still managed to do lots of projects here. Sun prints with Esmee's first grade class (which will ultimately, hopefully become a quilt for the school's silent auction in a few weeks), Easter eggs and a carrot shaped cake, Peter Pan at Junior Theatre, and some recycled art projects inspired by an exhibition at The Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff.

And we also discovered the dog likes to chase bubbles.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy Roller Coaster

I used to love rides. I distinctly remember one that was resurrected each year at the county fair that looked and felt like some sort of medieval torture device. I think it was called the Rolo-Jet or something like that...and I could not get enough of its whiplash-inducing, stomach-churning, goodness. I loved the Sizzler, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Himalaya. I find myself writing about the county fair in nearly every novel I write, drawn inexplicably back to the sawdust covered midways of my youth.

But something has happened to me in recent years. Where I once used to love flying, I now have to pop a couple of Xanax (and go through some pretty seriously involved OCD rituals) just to get on a plane. I get dizzy easily. And I don't do rides.

Yesterday, I was a chaperone for the third grade field trip to Legoland's Aquarium and Amusement Park. The aquarium was fabulous...I even touched a sea star. But when we headed to the amusement park, I started to get nervous. I kept thinking that I was, as a chaperone(and in the spirit of play), going to have to get on one of those godawful rides. But, guess what? I've got a kindred spirit in Kicky. She thought of about a thousand reasons why we shouldn't go on the roller coaster. She was eating her lunch, it was too hot, she had a bit of a stomachache, etc... And I was more than happy to keep her company as we watched the other crazy masochists from the sidelines.

We both enjoyed the boat ride very much though, thank you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Last Call

There are exactly ten minutes remaining of spring break, and the girls are playing "Alice in Wonderland" in their rooms. It seems very elaborate...there are fake tears and singing as well. I was outside vacuuming my car for tomorrow's field trip (Legoland and the aquarium) only to hear Kicky screaming, "Off with her head!!" Needless to say, this has been quite a playful week and I am exhausted (though it seems they are not).

Today the girls finished their eggs. Mine was the unfortunate casualty of a popped balloon. Kick made an awesome trompe l'oeil on hers, but Esmee got frustrated with hers and quit half-way through.

The dog got sick again which meant she wasn't allowed to play with her infected toys...I've never seen such a sad dog.

Anyway...we all survived. Back to work/play: field trip, making sun prints with the first graders Tuesday, Junior Theatre starts Wednesday, and then driving across the desert for the Northern Arizona Book Festival on Thursday.

And now I go to sleep.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Play Waylaid

Sometimes it's fun to cancel plans. Last night Esmee had a friend sleep over, and today we had plans to go to the zoo. But it's crappy out. Really gloomy. Chance of rain: 45%. Energy level: 0.

So we stayed home. And played.

I think we might venture out for cheeseburgers later, but maybe not. Maybe we'll just have PB & J.

Sometimes the best day are the days where you don't have to do anything you planned to do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dinosaurs and Dogs

Every first Tuesday of the month, San Diego residents get free admission to a number of the museums at Balboa Park. Today we decided to go to the Natural History Museum. Spoiled by the Smithsonian, my expectations were low. But I was really pleasantly surprised. It's a very hands-on museum, with lots for the kids to do. And on the upper levels were some beautiful aerial photographs as well as an exhibit of water photos. Something for all of us.

Afterward, we wandered around Balboa Park for a bit, through the artists little village, stopping into a shop where a man decorates real eggs. They were amazing...and a good inspiration for the girls' egg project.

We ended our visit with a spin on the carousel (well, Esmee anyway). Kick is not wild about rides.

Feeling happy and impulsive, I called Patrick and asked him if he'd like to join us (with Phoebe, who he'd brought to work this morning) at Shades in OB for lunch. Shades is on the beach and they have a special "Fido Menu." And so Phoebe had her first fine dining experience.

Really, really enjoying having these long free days with the girls. Tonight Esmee is having a sleepover, and tomorrow we're going to the zoo...and then maybe the Farmer's Market.

Monday, April 4, 2011

National Library Week

In honor of National Library Week (April 10-16), will you pledge to spend one hour of your time at the library with your kids?