Archive for August, 2014

Settling In

August 21, 2014

We’ve been at our new apartment for 3 weeks. The novelty of our environment has worn off and we’re settling into the new place comfortably. We’ve been exploring the surrounding areas and went to the playground almost everyday. We discovered that there was a stream right next to one of the playgrounds and we (or rather I) have caught fish, salamanders and even a crayfish. Sometimes, I think “deprived” city girl that I am, I enjoy these experiences much more than he does.

I’ve also been socializing with our new neighbors. I’ve chatted with quite a few of the parents around here – one Egyptian family (the mother is American), one American family and at least 5 chinese families. I am trying to model sociable behavior for Calvin and it was good to talk to other parents. Calvin being Calvin, did not seem so eager to make new friends with the children he met. When he went on one of his school playdates, the other children were building a fort (again). On his dad’d urgings, he helped one girl carry one heavy log and after marvelling at how strong he is, went off to build his own little fort. He was so happy with it that he would run back to give it a ‘loving’ face.  I guess if I can enjoy sitting at home reading the whole day, it is not surprising if he is happy just being by himself as well. In so many ways, he is just like me. It was hard when we first saw him as a toddler, standing at the sidelines of a playground watching the other children, like a forlorn caged animal looking longing for freedom. In fact, he still does that now. He is always very curious to see what other children are up to, especially if they are crying or getting in trouble…

He does have one good friend which we invited over last week. Sometimes, I worry that he won’t be able to play well with this one friend either but they seem to go fine because they both seem to have the same temperament.

Living in Family Housing

August 8, 2014

We finally moved all our stuff from our old 900 sq ft apartment to the smaller 700 sq ft family housing 2 bedroom apartment. We thought we could manage the move by ourselves since we didn’t have much heavy furniture. We rented a uhaul truck and ended with a grueling 6.5 hour moving marathon. Let’s just say, the next time we need to move, I’ll insist on hiring movers to do the heavy lifting.

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New place before the clutter arrives

It’s been one week since we moved and we still have quite a few boxes lying around.  We accumulated so much clutter over the past three years that I am somehow unable to part with – scraps of cloth, empty paper towel tubes, old electronics that we might take apart for his “robots”. I am determined to start cutting down on our belongings soon but maybe after I finish unpacking. We’ve started to get back into the groove of homemade bread, yogurt and home cooked meals.

We also took the opportunity to move Calvin into his own room. We put his playground with slide in it, the wall is decorated with a space themed decal and the room looks great and inviting. I am glad he loves it. He has been spending hours in there playing with his toys and most importantly, he sleeps by himself now.

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We had our misgivings about moving over here since there are a few inconveniences like the laundry machine is coin operated, outside and downstairs; there is no dishwasher and J will have to take a bus to get to his work space on campus; we no longer have a direct bus to get to the library but we haven’t been using the bus since we got the car anyway.  On the other hand, we have a lot of open spaces outside, the kitchen has more work space and storage, utilities and internet are paid for and most importantly, there are more children around for Calvin to interact with. We saw many Chinese kids around but Calvin didn’t seem very interested in joining them. Today, while I was collecting our laundry from the clothesline, we met a little boy who lived right by it. The family had moved in a few weeks ago too. The boy is 3 years old and didn’t speak very well but somehow they hit it off and were running around. We even visited their house and had a little playdate at the playground after that. They may not become best friends but it is still nice to have a playmate around to give him more social experiences.