Movie night is a pretty rare, and therefore special, event in our house. We don't own a TV (on purpose) and so if we want to watch a movie we have to use our computer. That entails setting it up in a comfortable location, complete with extra speakers, and then snuggling in to watch something that we have seen before since we haven't bought any new movies for a long time. But our collection, small though it may be, includes many classics like The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man (noticing a theme here?), old black-and-whites like Bridge on the River Kwai, Citizen Kane, and Alfred Hitchcock favorites, and even a modern classic--the Lord of the Rings. We went all out and bought the marathon version with hours of special features and documentaries.
Now, always before on Movie Night it was John and I, munching popcorn and snuggling as we sang along to our favorite movies. But recently we decided that Clara Anne was old enough to include in the mix. She has only very occasionally seen bits of children's videos, and since she isn't accustomed to watching TV, this was a really special event for her. I popped the popcorn (in my wok!) while John set up the computer on our bed. Then we put Clara Anne in the middle, with the huge bowl of popcorn on her lap, and settled in to watch a really great movie--The Miracle Maker. It's a Claymation film telling the story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection somewhat from the viewpoint of Jairus' daughter, who is sick, then raised to life and follows Jesus after that. It was so sweet to see Clara Anne sit like a big girl between us, slowly munching popcorn and getting excited about the various events in the movie. She lasted about an hour and then said, "All done? All done!" and happily went to bed.
Though this was Clara Anne's very first experience watching a "real" movie with Mama and Daddy, it seems like it didn't take her long to get hooked. Almost every day since then, at some point during the day, she has looked up at me and said, "Moo-vie, Mama? Moo-vie?" Be patient, Clara Anne! Movie Night will come again sometime!
In other news, we finally had a day of fall-ish weather today. It has been unseasonably warm recently, and though tonight we are still running our A/C, I think the time is coming soon where we'll have to wear jackets, socks, and such like that. In fact, today I realized that my little Clara Anne has grown so fast this past summer, I have no shoes to put on her! The sandals she's been wearing all summer need to be replaced with some warmer shoes. We'll see what I can find!
I did a brave (or stupid, depending how you look at it) thing tonight. John had a supper meeting and so I decided to take the girls out by myself to McDonald's. "How hard can it be?" I thought. "I'll just get a taxi, get there and get Clara Anne in a seat, let Chloe stay in the Baby Bjorn...it'll be fine!" Well, in fact, it went very smoothly. I enjoyed my burger and fries, and Clara Anne enjoyed my ketchup. She truly loves the ketchup more than the fries, and has been known to dip a fry in ketchup, suck it off and double dip, then triple dip, then discard the now-soggy french fry in favor of a crisp one to help get the ketchup in her mouth faster. Tonight, lucky for her, she also had some chicken nuggets to eat which came with sweet and sour sauce, so she had a delightfully dipped meal. Our only snafoo came when it was time to go home. We headed outside, Clara Anne holding my hand and walking, and Chloe in the Baby Bjorn. The streets were super busy; everyone just getting off work and all the taxis were full. I mean, ALL the taxis were full. We waited by the side of the road about fifteen minutes, desperately waving to any white vehicle that came by, and finally snagged one that got us home quickly. It could have been only a five minute wait, but a guy carrying a bunch of newspapers saw me waiting and then stood almost right in front of me so as to get the best angle on any potential taxis that came by. It's kind of the equivalent of someone cutting in front of you in the grocery store. He apparently had no qualms about letting the woman with two children continue to wait by the side of the road. :( But, all's well that ends well, and we did make it home safely.
Today was a big day for Chloe! I had mentioned before how she had learned to almost giggle...but today we crossed the line into full-fledged laughter. It was at an unlikely time; she had been awake for a bit and then it was time to eat, and though I hadn't fed her yet when she saw me she smiled big and started to giggle a little. I encouraged her and she broke into true laughter! The best part was that John was right there, so he ran for the camera and we got it on film. Fun times with Chloe! What a joy it is to be a mother! Now I just have to remember that when she wakes up at 4:30am...
Update on my mom: She is still in the hospital and though she is making some improvements, she is still struggling with weakness in her limbs. Please keep thinking of her! No one likes to have to be in the hospital, and this has been a really long trial for her. She was hoping to come home several days ago, but cannot move around independantly yet and so needs to stay a bit longer. But if things go well, it is possible that she'll return home this weekend. Thanks for your prayers and support!
My tutor was here again this afternoon, and for the first time in a long long time, I honestly feel like my use of the local language has made some improvement! We were studying a particular grammar point today that was a bit challenging, but also quite useful so I am determined to use it in my daily conversations. Mimi, our house helper, and I had some great chats yesterday and she'll be here again tomorrow; she talks so fast and so is great for my language usage. She's also teaching me to cook some more local foods!
I'll leave you with a picture of the day. This was taken this morning--Chloe had just finished eating and was hanging out in the chair, so Clara Anne climbed up to sit with her and brought a Doll, too. It was the first time that we've seen Chloe "give" as good as she "got" to Clara Anne. In the past Chloe has patiently and cheerfully suffered Clara Anne's attentions (elbows to the face, vigorous pats on the head, overenthusiastic kisses, death-grip hugs) but today, in the chair, Chloe got a hold of Clara Anne's hair and wouldn't let go. If you look closely, you can see Chloe about to do that deed in the picture here. Clara Anne was a little confused; I could see the wheels of her mind turning, trying to understand that suddenly Chloe was a person in her own right to be reckoned with. An interesting lesson for Clara Anne! You can also see Clara Anne bestowing loving attention on her Doll, by giving her one of Chloe's pacifiers. I guess she figures that if Chloe needs a pacifier, then Doll does too!
Well, both of my children, and all of our dolls, are already tucked in for the night. I'm headed there too! Good night!