Wednesday, July 05, 2006

On vacation

Whoah, I haven't posted in ages! Sorry about that. I've been on vacation in the States. Drove up to Oregon to see my little brother get married, and ever since we got back, I've been working on cleaning and organizing my parents' home -- it's become a ritual for me. (My parents aren't messy people, but things accumulate. Both of them work really hard and my mom works crazy-long hours so I'm happy to donate my time and energy to making living in their house a little more pleasant.) Last year, I did that complete overhaul which included giving away furniture, tossing out a lot of junk, and reinvigorating the living room with new furniture and a new TV. This time, I reorganized the kitchen and laundry room cabinets, gave life back to my brother's room (I hope the new bride appreciates it when they get back from their honeymoon), and am going through 5-6 years of bills and miscellaneous documents hidden in various places around the house. I think these papers will be happy to have a new home in a filing cabinet.

Maylin and I are swimming everyday. She's developing a love for the water, although she's not actually swimming yet. But she's very happy to hold on to me as we glide through the water and spin around to my newly-composed tune, "Bouncy baby, spinning baby." Most of the time, she plays on the pool steps with her little animal toys. She talks to them and play out several different scenarios, with her favorite setting being school.

She is so much like me. When I was a child, I loved playing school, too. In my grade school years, I even drafted homework assignments and tests on those carbon sheets for making dittos. Remember the smell and feel of those slightly damp dittos "hot off the press"? And what about those bright purple characters asking you what three times five is? Ah, some of you may be too young to remember. That's one sensual experience that, unfortunately, you will never have the opportunity to enjoy.

Maylin is finally getting over her fear of Grandpa. He's a pediatrician and was happy to give her all her early check-ups and shots when she was a baby and toddler, but I think it's taken Maylin a while to forgive him for all that pain and anxiety. She still freaks out when she sees a white coat approaching her, but at least, at home, she talks to him a little, and one time, played with Grandpa for hours, wearing him out and giving him a sore chest (she stepped on it repeatedly). Somehow he brought the wild side out of her. She's rarely wild with me. Maylin often plays rough with John because that's the way he does it and now she seems to associate all male figures with this aggressive play-style.

My daughter has an amazing musical memory. Here's an example. She watched a video of Disney's Sleeping Beauty for the first time last week. A few days later, as I'm washing the dishes, I start singing its hit song, "Once Upon a Dream." Maylin listens and asks, "Is that the Sleeping Beauty song?" Except the word "beauty" comes out more like "booty." I'm impressed and amused.

Hope you all had a nice Fourth of July!


Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline,
I was happy to "find" you - and fascinated and sad about events of your life. How are you? I am new to this blogging - need to learn it, but I do enjoy the possibility to talk to a friend like you. I was in France twice last year, and hope to go again soon. It would be lovely to see you!
Love, Katalin

Caroline Jou Armitage said...

Hi, Katalin,
I've been trying to find you, too! Thank goodness you found me! Are you still living in California? Please send me an e-mail! Go to my profile and click on the e-mail button. Hope to see you soon. Much love, Caroline