Wow... is it really the wee hours of Tuesday morning already?
Yeah, sure looks like it... After the past couple of weeks of automotive chaos, unplanned doctor visits, holiday cooking & cleaning, and all the usual insanity of our crazy jobs, the time available this weekend was just too valuable to not be used. AJ spent some time engaging in very badly needed chillaxing with the Pipsqueak on Saturday, then ran a series of repeatedly-delayed errands that lasted into Sunday. (There was a little extra fun on Sunday when she & the Pipsqueak helped her neighbor pick & cut down a HUGE Christmas tree on Sunday evening, an annual tradition dating almost all the way back to AJ moving into her house.)
I slept as late as I possibly could on Saturday -- made necessary by not getting home from work until the day was already a couple of hours old -- and spent the rest of the day catching up on all the laundry & house cleaning I haven't been able to do. Sunday was spent doing much of the same, with a few hours spent running errands that would normally have taken only about 90 minutes if the holiday shopping madness wasn't underway.
We both made the last-minute decision to not join a group of friends for a potluck on Saturday, and the whole family put off going out to dinner either day, in order to be able to catch up on the massive backlog of "everyday stuff" that none of us could get to over the past few weeks (often despite lots of advance planning).
You may have noticed there's one thing I didn't mention: my niece! Since we were all so ridiculously busy, I had my first Pipsqueak-free weekend in a long time. While I feel pretty good about rediscovering several square feet of my living room and de-scenting a large pile of dirty laundry, I really missed spending some quality time with Miri, especially since she is now developing (and/or picking up) new vocabulary, habits, and ideas at speeds approximating warp 8 or higher.
I did manage to have a short phone conversation with the Pipsqueak... ("Do you want to talk to Uncle Brian?" "YEH!") Despite not understanding some of what she said -- she seems to make up words sometimes, other times her pronunciation's a bit off (Dude, cut the girl some slack -- she's still a bit shy of being 2-1/2 years old!) -- we had a nice little talk about her playing with Mommy, and how much she likes the new car, and how much Doggie (her go-everywhere-always stuffed toy) likes her new car... Interestingly, she also told me "the blue car was upside, I was on roof" and "blue car broken, I have new car!" After seeming to have very little reaction to the accident, lately she's been talking about the wreck frequently; we're all keeping an eye on her reaction, but it seems to be her way of processing her way through the memories.
One other thing we've noticed is that she seems to be a bit more unsure about having anyone in the family -- especially her Mommy! -- leave for a while. She's never really been thrilled when someone she likes leaves, but it seems (at least to me & her Grandma) much more pronounced & frequent in the past couple of weeks. I think it's especially telling that most of the situations are marked by the Pipsqueak talking about "blue car broke, I have new car" and such... The "blue car" is the first major item in her life that went away and didn't come back, so we're thinking this is less a reaction to the accident and more a reaction to losing something that was (apparently) a big part of her personal universe.
Meanwhile, we're all keeping an eye on it, and I enjoyed our little talk on the phone... but I missed having her stand on my lap and dance to the Wiggles' "Hot Potato", share my dinner with me, and (on those times when I get really lucky) doze off and take a nap while tucked in next to me on the couch.
My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅-- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!