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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Princess(es) and the Pea

We have a tradition in our family that began back when Kicky was just a year and a half old. I think I originally got the idea from the now defunct Home Companion magazine. The idea was to throw a Princess and the Pea party, where little girls come dressed up like princesses and eat strawberry shortcake and give their mothers a zillion photo opportunities. The first year I made little tiny mattresses and my mother supplied homemade crowns. By the second year, we were reading the story aloud and then having a hunt for a glittery pea (the girl who found the pea was the "real princess" and got to wear the crown). We made princess art (wands, fireflies, murals) and ate shortcake (and the mommies drank daiquiris). I decided to make it an annual event after Esmee was born, and we now had two princesses in the family.

My idea was always that it was a good excuse for a party and a really nice way to foster a sense of tradition and continuity with their girlfriends. What I didn't know when I started the tradition was that we would criss-cross the country a couple of times. My heart broke the first year in DC when the girls had to start all over again with new friends at their annual bash. But by the time we left, their girlfriends there began to expect and anticipate the yearly party (which, by the time we left, had grown enormous). And my heart broke again when we had to leave them behind.

This year we decided to scale the party back for a variety of reasons. And I have always known that the Pea Party would have to evolve and change as the girls grew out of their respective "princess phases." But the heart of the party is the same: bringing best girlfriends together to celebrate their girliness and their friendship.

And this year it was such a joy to be back in San Diego where one of my very best girlfriends is also raising two daughters. Her eldest was at the first two Pea parties all those years ago.

I'm not sure what the future holds for the Pea party, but I'm game as long as the girls are.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Face Painting

Yesterday the girls got out the face paints. One thing I've realized during this whole experience is how inclined I am to reject a project because it's messy. In Maryland we had a table that was perfect for projects...covered in marker and glitter glue -- an entire history of the girls various arts and crafts embedded in the wood. But in our California house we only have our dining room table. And carpet. Glitter and paint make me nervous. the spirit of play...I decided to throw caution to the wind. And we had fun. Kick made a sign with her various "designs" -- a skull and cross bones, a rainbow, etc... We took turns painting each others' faces and hands and arms. I was sad to see them disappear in the bath water last night.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yoyo Mama

I bought the girls yoyos yesterday. I've never been very good at yoyoing, and it doesn't seem to be a skill that gets better with age.

So far nobody's lost an eye, but it's just a matter of time.

Tomorrow we're having a sleepover with the Anderson girls, and then the 8th Annual Princess and the Pea Party -- scaled down due to prevailing pre-vacation chaos. It should still be a lot of fun though.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hiring: One Fairy House Contractor

Today Kick and I had a rare day together alone...and so we decided to start really building the fairy house. It is a work-in-progress, but I would live there. Seriously.

Check out the rooftop garden.

And yes, those are glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I will pay for this play tomorrow.

When was the last time you did a cartwheel in your living room...then somersaulted onto your loveseat? Would you believe me if I said today??

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

Busy busy busy....

After Flagstaff, the girls and I went to Los Angeles where we MADE A MOVIE!! Thrill of all thrills. For a whole week we were surrounded by people who live in the land of make believe. It was a remarkable experience, and it was incredible to be behind the scenes for the first time. We were in LA for a whole week, spending three days on three different sets. The girls were amazing. They worked (played) so hard...and I truly believe that this experience will be unforgettable for all of us.

The most remarkable thing about the entire experience was how dedicated the entire crew and cast were to making the process a joy for the kids. Thanks to the lovely Kai (the director), the starlets felt as though they WERE the little girls in the movie...searching for fairies, unlocking the door to a fairy house, and swimming in a river. We are very, very lucky to know such tremendously talented and caring people. Thanks to Miranda, Kai, Elizabeth and everyone else involved.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Playless in San Diego

So the girls were gone for nine playing with grandparents and cousins and aunts. Patrick and I drove them out to Flagstaff and then returned to a very quiet and very clean house. It was quite a novelty -- for about three days. It was at that point that we were both pretty ready to have them back. This was the first time that sending the girls off was less of a vacation for us and more of a vacation for them. The stress and exhaustion of having babies and toddlers simply doesn't exist anymore. That is not to say we didn't enjoy having a whole week of grown-up time...the freedom to go out whenever and wherever we wanted to was, to say the least, GREAT. But we both found ourselves a bit restless, I think. Bored even, without the girls.

I went to pick them up two days ago. We went to a band concert at the park, and they played. And I hula-hooped with Esmee. I really, really missed playing with them.

Next week we'll be in LA all week making a movie...and the little starlets are soooo excited.