falcongrrl: (Default)
Though most of it's likely out of her reach...


Dear Santa:



Dubious translation:

I want for Christmas is a doll? and a toy pony and an ipod and a phone and a baby doll. I want a gumball machine and a soak-em? and a new Pokemon? and a robot. I want ten dogs and ten cats. And a new bottle of honey (?).


doll - She already has an American Girl doll that her grandparents just bought for her birthday, so no. But she might get a couple of generic outfits for it from Target or Michael's, because the AG prices are insane.

toy pony - No. She wants the FurReal version that's going for hundreds of dollars. Though she is getting a FurReal kitten that I found for $10 at Ross's. Hopefully that will be okay.

ipod - Probably a more generic and kid-friendly mp3 player - this might happen, not sure.

phone - My six-year-old wants a cell phone? Umm, no.

baby doll - She has a gazillion. No. But maybe outfits and/or bottles.

gumball machine - She already has a cheap $10 machine and Santa did purchase some gumballs for her stocking. Score!

soak-'em - No. Nonononono.

pokémon - Likely, though probably from other family members.

robot - probably not

ten cats - no

ten dogs - no

bottle of honey - we can do this, though I'm not entirely confident in my translation (imagines child thinking, 'santa gave me honey? wtf?')


Verdict: Ellie is likely to be disappointed this year. But with that list, how could she not be?


Edit: Our big family present to ourselves is a Wii, so we're not getting much more than that - just stocking stuffer sorts of things. I think Ellie will enjoy the Wii, though; she did the one time we all played together.
falcongrrl: (Default)
My friend Lizzy is teaching an art class and I signed up.

I was really intimidated by the whole idea of it. About six months ago I did some exercises from Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, and they did seem to help quite a bit. But I haven't been practicing drawing at all lately. The idea of a class of other people doing art along with me was hugely outside of my comfort zone. I knew we were going to be doing a type of drawing that I don't have experience with. I was tired and half-sick, and so very tempted just to beg exhaustion and go home and crawl into bed.

The other piece of this is that there is child care on-site (for $2 a child), the class itself is free, and Dave's doing it with me. That's all good news, but I also get intimidated by that a bit - Dave's been drawing a lot longer than I have.

Two things happened that I completely didn't expect. The first was that it was fun. I was somehow able to loosen up and do whatever felt right at the time, let go of wanting perfection. The bonus was that I ended up actually liking what I'd done and enjoying the process.

The second thing was that we were drawing a still life and Lizzy had given us a mirror, because she wanted us to put a part of ourselves into the still life she'd arranged, because we were a part of what she sees as holy. (It sounds a little cheesy, but it worked when she said it.)

When I first started to draw myself, I was thinking, "I look awful; look at this double chin, how round my face looks," and then I thought, "well, there's nothing to do but to draw it."

So I did, and in the process of drawing, I truly saw my face for the first time. I drew the curve of both chins, and the fullness of my lips, and the curve of my nose. As I drew it felt like everything was just how it was supposed to be. It was less about judging and more about recording shape and proportion. I saw how my face is made up of so many small curves and shades that are almost impossible to replicate. It just seemed beautiful.

By that I don't mean conventionally beautiful...and there aren't really words to describe it that don't sound hopelessly clichéd. It was more that it wasn't comparative in the sense of judgment, just in the sense of being different. My nose is this shape while the person's next to me is this shape. Not that one is good and the other bad, but just that the shape of my, of anyone's nose, is singularly amazing. Having two chins didn't seem something to be ashamed of, it seemed like something about my face to capture on paper, so that it would look like me. It wasn't about being flattering so much as being recognizably true.


Today something happened that I have to write down, though it's probably one of those 'you had to be there' moments.

I may have mentioned this before, but whenever Ellie gets really fed up with any of us, she pulls out the big guns, the worst possible thing she can think of to say.

"You are not invited to my birthday party anymore!"

It's happened to all of us at one time or another. Daniel annoys her (and me) further by pointing out that we have to be at the party because we're hosting it. I try to explain to him the idea that it's figurative, the worst insult she can think of to describe how she's feeling. He doesn't approve of the suspension of logic (at least, not for the subjective woes of other people).

Today, Daniel was discussing his possible career change. He's decided that biologist might make more sense than chemist, since he'd like to travel the world studying plants and animals in various exotic locales. His friend told him biologists do that. I said that some might, while others would work in zoos or labs. (My knowledge of such things is vague.) He seized upon the might and was deep in plans.

Ellie, listening to our conversation about various scientific disciplines, decided she wanted to be a geologist because she likes rocks. She said she was going to get together a team of scientists, and did Daniel want to be on her team? Daniel declined in a less-than-polite manner. I glared at him and told Ellie sweetly that I would love to be the biologist on her team.

Ellie, of course, couldn't resist a little gloating. "On my team there's going to be me and mama and the rest of the whole world."

Daniel couldn't resist correcting. "Ellie, you can't have the whole world on your team. You don't even know everyone in the whole world."

Ellie said, "Welll...I will tell them my name is Ellie. And then they will know me. And they will be on my team of scientists!"

Daniel said, "Well, you can't just know someone by telling them your name. You have to have a whole conversation with them for them to get to know you. And only a few people in the whole world speak English anyway. You'd have to learn all the languages of the world, and that's impossible."

I jump in, trying to turn the squabbling conversation in a positive direction. "But you know, if you and Ellie are both planning to be scientists that travel, you could certainly learn some languages. I bet learning a second or third language would be a great idea for both of you..."

But Daniel had to jump in with how that still would be a small part of the world's population that we could talk to, and how Ellie was just wrong.

And then Ellie said, "Wellll...adios to my fiesta, Daniel."

It took a couple of seconds for my brain to parse what she'd said, of course...and then I died laughing.

You probably did have to be there.


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July 2017

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