Remember how Chloe was so eager to tell you all how she is sleeping through the night? Well . . . she spoke too soon. Yesterday morning about 4 am I was lying awake in bed, uncomfortable with a stuffy nose and sore throat, and I began to hear some small stirrings coming from the room where Chloe sleeps. [sidenote: that room is actually the living room! Our apartment just has two bedrooms, so previously Chloe was sleeping in her bassinet next to my side of the bed, but then because I was always so aware of her and wasn't sleeping well, even if she was fine, we moved her out to the living room. You know that whole "sleeping like a baby" idea? Well, it's a myth! Babies actually make lots of noise while they sleep. They fidget and fuss around, and make little snuffly and snorty noises with their small noses. So when Chloe moved out to the living room we were both happier--she slept longer and so did I!] As I listened more carefully to those noises, I began to realize that they were HAPPY noises! She then started putting on the full concert, squealing in her high voice and cooing in her low voice. This went on for quite some time. Finally about 4:45 the squeals turned to yelps so I went in to check on her . . . sure enough, she had turned over on to her back and was talking to the animals on her mobile. I turned her over again, gave her the pacifier again, and we all went back to sleep.
Though I mentioned it casually above, rolling over is a relatively new skill for Chloe, maybe in the last week or so. I have not yet witnessed this momentous event--I've just seen her after it's happened! However, I hope she understands that this is not the new excuse for waking up at 4 am the last few mornings. I guess it's understandable; since she usually sleeps on her tummy, if she rolls over she gets a little scared, like "what do I do now?" Now she just needs to learn how to roll back!
Clara Anne and I had a good day today. She woke up early, which for her means anytime before 8:30, and we did some fun things together today, including brushing Doll's teeth (a first for Doll, prior to now she has had very poor oral hygiene :)), reading many books and even playing the piano together for awhile this afternoon. Clara Anne loves to listen to music and lately has discovered how she can twirl in a circle. She holds Doll out in front of her so that they are dancing together! She is also putting lots of words together to form somewhat primitive sentences. "More du-du-du?" is her way to say "more music!" John has a knack for making up his own songs: fun, jazzy improvisations where the principle syllable is "Doo" so Clara Anne has equated this phrase with music.
I thought for sure that today was going to be another milestone in the potty-training saga. During supper tonight, Clara Anne started giving indications (verbally and otherwise!) that she was about to do some business in her diaper. We rushed to the bathroom, where she sat on the potty for at least 15 minutes . . . but to no avail. I even brought her some reading material to encourage her to relax (her current favorite: All by Myself by Mercer Mayer), but it didn't work. Maybe next time . . .
My tutor was here today, helping me to keep making progress in learning the local language. I have one thing to say: my grammar is awful! I can express what I mean if I use lots of the same words in whatever order they occur to me. But I'm afraid I often end up sounding like a 4-year-old. So far I can still speak more of the local language than Clara Anne, but I have a feeling it won't be long until she surpasses me.
In other news, our household is undergoing a change in house helpers. For various reasons, my old helper was not going to be able to work here anymore so we found a new one through an agency. What is a house helper? Well, she is someone who comes to your house on a regular basis to clean, cook, buy groceries, things like that. This is a common practice in this Asian culture (remember, labor is cheap!) and some people even have live-in helpers to take care of their kids, cook and clean full time. My old helper, whose English name was Penny, was truly a good help to me and had learned her way around my house pretty well. So now I am starting at square one with the new helper, whose name is Mimi. She started yesterday and all went well--I showed her around, she cleaned, cooked a yummy asian lunch, and even corrected my language usage on occasion. (She doesn't speak any English.) Mimi will be here a few days a week. I'm looking forward to having her trained in soon so that she can do that work and I can do other things, like take care of my girls and of course, study language!
Oh dear. The peaceful silence has been shattered by the crying of a certain three month old (not naming any names) which means that it's time for this post to come to an end. I'll leave you with some recent pictures. Enjoy!
The whole family--September 24 2006
Just this morning! September 27, 2006
Our happy social baby! September 23, 2006