Monday, February 14, 2011

A girl, a giraffe and Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day
Up until a few weeks ago, "giraffe" and "Valentine's Day" would not have appeared in the same sentence for me, but Emma changed that. She came home from school talking about their upcoming Valentine's Day party and how there was going to be a competition with the Valentine's containers that the kids brought to school. 
I started giving her ideas:  

Me:  "Hey, why don't we make a little blue mailbox? Wouldn't that be cute??"

Emma: "No, I want to make a Giraffe. I asked my teacher how big it could be and she said as long as it fits through the door, it's o.k."

Me:  "But, a little blue mailbox would be so much easier." (I should know by now that this type of reasoning does not work with Emma.)

Emma:  "I'm doing a giraffe."

I made the mistake of starting with my best idea first, so when she shot it down, I had no where to go. At this point, I officially retired as helper on this project and Brian stepped in. Apparently he was on the same page with Emma when it came to how big this giraffe was going to be. I just kept saying, "If it were up to  me (and it clearly wasn't), it would be a cute little table top giraffe, if it has to be a giraffe." But, I was no longer part of this project, so my opinion carried little weight...none at all. 
The box for the body and the 1 gallon milk jug for the head determined the size. When Brian showed me the neck, I laughed.  I told him that this was beginning to remind me of the 500 lb. stairs that Allen O'Reilly (a great actor, but questionable stair builder) made in Theater Workshop class up at NAU...but, it was their project now and my opinion didn't matter (but I still couldn't help sharing it!). 

The only thing I had anything to do with was the tubes to keep the ears from completely flopping over. After the legs joined the body and the head was attached to the neck...
It started to take on a personality and I must admit that it was growing on me, even in all of it's hugeness and I started to think about the love wrapped up in the making of that giraffe: A girl had a vision and a dad, who loves the girl, helped her make her little (big) giraffe dream a reality.
But there was more work to be done. A giraffe needs spots and if the giraffe is going to hold valentines, then the spots better be hearts.
I tried helping with this part, but could clearly see that I was NOT wanted, so I left them. It was the best thing I could have done. Emma's friend, Maddie, was the perfect helper. They really didn't need me. I'm such a control freak sometimes that I would have interfered, for sure. 
I love how it turned out without me!

 Friday, the 11th, was the big day. The giraffe and valentines are ready to go.
 The Dream Team.

Remember how back in December we sold our suburban, which would have been the perfect giraffe transporter, but now, we only had a car big enough for my little table top giraffe. I started to wonder if we were ever going to get him in the car. Trunk was a no go. Back seat......uh, no. Last resort...
front seat with the seat reclined. Emma was a little squished in the back seat, but we had a giraffe who needed to get to school!

As we park in front of the school, I can feel her excitement mounting. The first stares...
Around the corner to Mrs. Brown's class.

I forgot to mention that the giraffe had a name: Ervin Griswald. Ervin found a place next to the pyramid of gold bars brought in by one of Emma's classmates.
Taylor gives us a Carol Marrol. I could tell by the enthusiastic responses that Emma got from her classmates and the teachers in her building that she had been talking about her giraffe for the past 3 weeks.

Some of the other fun valentine boxes. The kids were all so creative.
When I saw the box below, my heart swelled. I loved it and the image it created of the little boy who brought it in sitting at home gluing and coloring to make his wonderful treasure chest. So cute.

It was a good day.

Hope your Valentine's Day is sweet, too.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside.

This was 8:30 this morning.

For anyone living where winter really means winter: thick parkas, snow boots, scrape the ice off the car windows, snow shovels, below freezing temperatures for weeks, months on end, this weather forecast probably looks heavenly. But for those of us who rarely see temperatures dip below 40, we're FREEZING here in Mesa! My feet are like blocks of ice dangling at the end of my legs. I use a heating pad and a blow dryer to warm up my bed at night before I climb in. In case this is beginning to sound like complaining, it's not. I'm just stating the facts. I reserve my weather complaints for summer.
We don't really own any winter clothes, because the window of opportunity to wear winter clothes is very small: A brief frigid dash to the car (heated) in the morning to drive to school (heated). By the time the afternoon rolls around, we're already done with the jacket. We don't even buy our kids jackets anymore. We have lost so many over the years, that it's not really worth it. But, every now and again, like this morning, it would be nice to own one. Emma pieced her winter wear together and left for school wearing a long sleeved shirt, my sweater, an over sized, old lady sweater lovingly made by Brian's talented Uncle Harold, two pairs of gloves (she was trying to squeeze on a 3rd pair when I finally said, "Enough!" and shooed her out the door), a scarf and hat. We'll see what she comes home with this afternoon. Adam wore long johns under his jeans. Might be time to head to the local Thrift store to try our luck at their selection. But... if we hold out for a few days, they'll be back to wearing t-shirts and shorts. Better wait. :-)

Emma and Hina (who was wearing more manageable layers), walking to the bus stop. 
Until warmer days...bundle up and make some hot chocolate. Stay warm!