Monday, August 25, 2008


So, today is their first official day of preschool. After a long search, visits, interviews and such, the twins started today at their French immersion Montessori school. We've known from the beginning that we always wanted to do Montessori so it was just a matter of finding the right fit and the right waiting list. This particular school is extremely petite - only 20 children with 3 guides who only speak to them in French. So, this summer I've been busy translating Z's books into French and then we send them off to the Brailler - she should be doing French-Braille in no time flat. As we left them this morning to run off to our photo shoot (more on that later), Creed walked in and said "Bonjour" and got to 'work' and Zelda was busy mapping out the classroom and stopped just long enough to say "Au revoir." I hope this works because we've signed on for the 3-year long haul until Kindergarten.

"The Montessori environment contains specially designed, manipulative "materials for development" that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning."

I'll let you know tomorrow how the first day of Ecole went...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BFMV 2008...continued...

First off, thanks to all for your best wishes and for thinking of Zelda.
Second...things I absolutely love about southern California: Trader Joes, Rockin' Kid Shop in Eagle Rock, 6 kiwis for $1.69, the green, green grass, the beautifully appointed renovation of Huntington Hospital - so glamorous, so stucco, so well landscaped...there's more...

DAY 5 - BEACH, we headed out early to go down to Venice Beach, call friends, swim in the ocean, visit galleries, etc. A perfect day despite the fact that Zelda has now learned how to throw a perfect tantrum - kicking, screaming, uncontrollable agony for all involved. The water was lovely, the beach was sandy - it was everywhere: in their ears, in their hair, in their diapers, in their P-suits (the word that Creed has designated for bathing suits!) Creed loved the ocean, Zelda not so much. I love the ocean, Evan not so much, as witnessed below from his beach attire.
We love the galleries on Main: Urban Country and Obsolete. If Urban Country is well- edited, then Obsolete is sheer opera. So inspirational...we hit Abbott Kinney for a bit of shopping and ate french fries on the 'boardwalk' - such as it is.

Speaking of tantrums, that evening I discovered a huge hematoma looking bruise on my shin with an engorged, swollen vein popping out. Evan was afraid of a blood clot or at worst, an aneurism that would kill me and leave him alone to raise 2 hellacious toddlers. He made me walk across the street to the ER and when asked what had happened I could only recall Zelda perhaps kicking me with legs flying as I removed her from her beloved swing. Four hours spent in the ER was not very glamourous...

DAY 6 - DOWNTOWN to Robertson to do retail research, we visited Lisa Kline, Kitson and Zelda's preferred shopping destination of Chanel. As we strolled past The Ivy, coming up on the entrance of the Chanel boutique, Zelda made a deliberate turn to enter on her own. It was quiet (no one is shopping these days) and she was greeted by the sales associate who stated "This girl knows what she likes..." Oh, her tastes are expensive! She then proceded to enjoy the music while babbling and smiling with the sales girls and checking out the marble steps and black and white lacquer interior of the beautiful shop. The girls loved her and offered to babysit while I went next store for lunch. Needless to say, la petite Z had found her niche and I see double C's in our future!
We then checked out the Museum of Neon Art downtown and several galleries.
The evening turned out to be quite fabulous. Thanks to the good friend, Jacqueline, of my fabulous friend, Stephen Moser, we found childcare so we could attend a chic little cocktail party in Malibu. We dropped the twins off with the wonderful Jacqueline, her family and babysitter so we could make the drive to the sea. It was a very generous and gracious offer that gave Evan and me some alone time.
The occasion was a surprise 40th birthday party for Evan's cousin, Michael, thrown by his partner, Sean. The two are quite the jetsetters and although they live in Vegas, the party was in a fancy little Malibu home with a view to die for and a guest list to match. We met a head designer for Versace and her partner who's an editor for Italian Vogue, the creative director for Bally, Oprah's decorator and home makeover guru, a producer from Extreme Home Makeover, a wild LA psychic, and an actress who I adore who's been on the Gilmore Girls and Samantha Who. Oh, and there were others from Milan, Hong Kong, London, Dallas, LA, Vegas and of course, Austin...

DAY 7 - DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS and a checkup for Zelda filled the morning...we then headed off to Fullerton, near Anaheim to visit my cousin Charlotte and her 'water pool'. Creed was in heaven. Zelda enjoyed climbing her stairs and was introduced to the music of The Beach Boys. It was wonderful to have a home cooked meal and to catch up on family news.
That evening continued with a bit more fabulousness for Evan. He was able to attend the after-birthday party for Michael with a smaller cast of characters at the swanky Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. I stayed home in our little room at the RMH and the twins I watched the Olympics. Lots more 'water pool" excitement as Michael Phelps won more gold medals!

DAY 8 - ROSE BOWL FLEA MARKET was our early morning destination. The twins are antique show/flea market veterans at this point so we got them some snacks & bottles of water while Evan and I looked for that special 'orphan' (that item that everyone else neglects but you fall in love with and take home) among the vast acreage of treasures. It was hot, hot, hot and we headed back to RMH to nap. Our last afternoon was spent in downtown Pasadena. If only there was a way we could afford to live and work in this glorious little city, we would buy this building, live up in the loft/studio space and open a gallery below:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


AKA Our Big Fat Medical Vacation 2008.

We're baaack...and none too soon. We're exhausted. To begin at the beginning:

DAY 1 - TRAVEL, the plane ride from hell, with twins in car seats, I sat in the middle seat with Creed by the window. Evan sat behind me with Zelda near her window. Despite their espoused excitement over "Airplane, Caleefornah, and Beeech", the plane ride was not happenin' for them. Either they complained to be with the other parent or were just unhappy. Z-bomb lived up to her name by throwing a fit and kicking over the drink of the kind Korean man sitting next to me. I offered to pay for dry cleaning his Dockers but he declined by explaining he had small children of his own.
We happily arrived at our temporary home in Pasadena, the lovely Ronald MacDonald House, to find that our room was about 10x12ft complete with one double bed - for all 4 of us. We justified our accommodations by repeating over and over that there are people who raise entire families of 8 in places that small. The first night we slept all together in the bed - Evan and Z with their heads on the pillows and Creed and I with our heads at the foot of the bed. I kept urging him to go to sleep with "Let's nap near Daddy's feet". The next day we put a Pac-n-Play in the closet for Z and another in the room for Creed. Needless to say, we spent very little time in the room. Part of the beauty of the RMH in Pasadena is that they have an amazing yard with a play scape, a sandbox and real green grass - I add that for the benefit for those who live with the scratchiness of what they call a lawn in Texas.

DAY 2 - SURGERY, it started with a phone call. Thanks to a 2 hour time difference, the twins were awake at 4:30am. Yikes! But they had pushed up Zelda's time, so we rushed over to the hospital. The exam went well but half way through, Dr Tawansy came out to tell us that the scar tissue build up in Z's right eye was so great that it had continued to detach her retina. The right retina was only 1/3 attached. He went in and cleaned out the scar tissue and reattached the retina leaving her with stitches and oil to help it heal. Now, we'll do eye drops 4 times a day, gradually descending in quantity over the next 3 months.
Zelda did amazingly well. She woke up from the anesthesia all groggy and sweet - nothing like the fighting little animal from a year ago. We took it easy for the rest of the day.
So, what now? Oh, Tawansy wants us to come back once a year. Also, in a few months, he'd like Zelda to have an MRI of her skull and orbits to make sure that everything is growing symmetrically. We already know that she has micropthalmia - her eyes are tiny. But we need to make sure sure they are growing and to measure the difference in their size. And then what? If needed, we would take her to an ocular surgeon who would fit her for a prosthetic shell, a kind of clear lense that would keep her eye socket stretched so it would grow accordingly. So many things to learn...

DAY 3 - MUSEUM visit after an early morning follow up with Tawansy at his office. We went into LA to see the new building of contemporary art at the LAMOCA. Creed seemed to prefer the Ellsworth Kelly works but also enjoyed the giant blue balloon "puppy" by Jeff Koons. Zelda, on the other hand, liked Koons' sculpture of Jacko and Bubbles, the Chimp. I guess there's no accounting for the taste of your kids. They did have a grand ole' time in the Children's Gallery.
For dinner, Evan and I had the crazy notion that we could actually take the twins out for Mexican food. Ha! We quite desperately downed our margaritas as water spilled, chips went flying, Zelda jumped on the banquette and Creed ate under the table. And we really ARE attentive parents, I swear!

DAY 4 - GARDENS at the Huntington were in bloom - actually I think they always are...really, really lovely. There was an interesting exhibit of landscape/peoplescape photography of LA. And of course, there was a Children's Garden! Z and C enjoyed the water features and we enjoyed the balmy 85 degree sunny weather so different from the 100 degree hell of Texas.