So, I know I dropped off the face of the earth for a bit and while I was in limbo I composed several blog posts in my head, most of which center on my disgust with the ubiquitous patriarchal elements in the narratives of pretty much all children's entertainment. This is undoubtedly indicative of the fact that, deprived of both TV and internet access while sick with pink-eye and a cold and home with Clare all day, we've watched Disney movies and "Diego's Great Dinosaur Rescue" over and over. Why must the maiasaura be female and the T. rex male? Because. Thanks, guys. It's so scientific to read our gender expectations onto extinct creatures from the Cretaceous period.
Unpacking having been interrupted by our trip down to Emerald Isle for the big Thweatt fam reunion, we've been a little slow to get back into it. Clare's room is finally done, though; all it lacks is a nice bright kid's rug from Ikea or someplace. That will have to wait awhile, so for all practical purposes, it's done, done, done. And it looks great. It's light and airy and little-girl perfect, not frilly but very cheerful, with the pale sunny walls and all the windows, and Priscilla's blue and yellow flags from her baby shower up. It's one of the best rooms in the house, with a view of the backyard, the front and the church next door.
Other rooms are less complete; exceptions being the spare bedroom, and our bedroom, which is a little sparsely furnished but has everything it needs. Downstairs, the living room desperately needs a sofa. The futon gives us something to sit on in the meantime, but it really needs a new cover and to go in the sun room (which is itself hopefully a somewhat temporary measure, as it just shouldn't be downstairs at all. It was very secondhand when we got it five or so years ago, and it's seen some wear. I'd really like to put it somewhere in my office.) The entry hall is the least finished--it's basically full of boxes. I've also no real idea what I should even do with that space anyhow; Em's suggestion is a little round table for a vase of flowers. Other than that, we have a hatstand... We also haven't put anything up on the walls. Upstairs there's a nice bit of hallway space for my family pics, so at least that's not a hard thing to figure out. The living room wall colors were picked to correspond with our square "tapestry" piece and the Waterhouse Lady of Shalott print, so those items will go in there somewhere but they're not up yet. I can kindof see how things will shape up eventually, but the question is how long even-tu-al-ly really will be...
And there are other things that need to happen, like, I need a watering can so I can properly take care of the beautiful backyard and flowerboxes we inherited, and Clare needs a sandbox (there's a great spot for it, where Laurie had the hot tub. Too bad we didn't inherit that! ;) I'd also like to plant some stuff--kitchen herbs at least. It's criminal to pay $1.99 for a bunch of fresh basil when most will go bad before you can use it, and it's so easy to grow. And we need a vacuum cleaner, because even though most of the downstairs is hardwood, there's carpet upstairs and we inherited a couple of really great large rugs too, and I can't see cleaning those with my ancient dustbuster on my hands and knees.
Clare's started really picking up some Spanish from all her Dora watching, and yesterday we caught "Kai-Lan" for the first time and she learned "xie-xie." Must, must get on the ball with the foreign language stuff if it's going to happen. I could at least teach her the Chinese "frere Jacques." It did after all serve me well back in Wuhan--always good for a laugh when the classroom got dull though it did make me feel like a performing lao wai monkey. She's learned a lot in the past few weeks, like, she can now attempt to color actual objects with her crayons (not that she stays between the lines or anything, but it's more than just aimless scribbling) after watching her very accomplished five-year-old cousin Sol color. And she's definitely losing her little Buddha belly; it's still there but she's that leaner older toddler look is slowly replacing her baby rotundity.
Mostly though we're at the point where I need to start putting together a reliable routine, especially for the morning. I think Clare still doesn't realize that this is home now. She keeps telling me that she's going home to see Albert. Rarely does a day pass, in fact, without a mention of Albert. It's still amazing to me how strong that friendship is--before witnessing it, I would have thought that toddlers were an out-of-sight-out-of-mind bunch, but not these two. And she misses school. Every so often she'll inform me that today she is going to school, or she'll mention her teachers or Miss Polly. I'm sure that hanging out with me all day is a real letdown after being used to the Children's Garden, where they did awesome stuff all the time, and then going on the Trip to the Big Water, which she just couldn't get enough of, and besides, had Nana and Pop and cousins to make her day nonstop fun. These days, especially since this past week I've been feeling less than 100% due to pink-eye and an obnoxious cold, are a little TV-intensive. Which reminds me: I have got to track down my toddler art book, or we'll all go crazy, and that means utilizing naptime for searching through book boxes instead of blogging. But I figure if anyone's still reading at this point you are adequately caught up: my internet absence having been filled with the mundane activities of unpacking and parenting accompanied by sniffles, coughing fits and eye goo and much groaning.