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September 24, 2006

Afternoon Surprise

Today the caregivers were doing some fall cleaning in the baby house and they asked us to wait until the afternoon to come visit with the girls.  Dave and I both got excited to think we were going to get to sleep in and have a lazy morning, but no such luck!  It's freezing here today, so we both work up early, cold and mad!  Still, it's amazing how glad you can get after a hot bath and a hot cup of coffee.

Before we went to the baby house toady we had to make a trip to the Tsum store to pick up some things that we're donating to the baby house.  Because I had no idea what would really be useful to them, I decided to wait until we got here and purchase gifts locally to help them with whatever they needed.  What we noticed quickly when we got here was all the reconstruction going on now.  They're working very hard to get the baby house ready for a rough winter, and the director suggested mostly practical things that they needed for the construction projects.  We got big, pretty pots for the plants in the music room, light fixtures for all the hallways, and we're working on finding some kind of special drill that they need to keep around both for the current construction and for ongoing repairs and maintenance.  Yep -- glad we waited.  Never in a million years would I have thought to buy them a drill.  Or light fixtures and light bulbs for that matter.  Who knew?

I have no idea why, but while we were standing on the steps of the Tsum store, freezing our tails off and wondering about drills and nice planters, I suddenly thought of my cousin Tim.  Today's his birthday, but somehow thinking about him out of the blue while we're on the other side of the planet had a little bit of a surreal feel to it.  Still, Dave and I had a blast thinking of old Jerry and Tim stories and laughing.  It was the nicest feeling of home and family.  I sure hope the girls get to have those kind of funny, amazing memories with their cousins when they get older.

Ah, but I got off the subject.  Today was an afternoon visit, and the girls were different somehow.  Apparently they all have a long nap after lunch (not a bad habit, eh?) and when they get up around 3:30 they have afternoon tea -- which is actually not tea at all.  They have a snack of rolls filled with raisins, fruit of some type (apples today), and a cup of hot chocolate.  I learned today that both of my girls love raisins but neither one is crazy about hot chocolate.  What's with that?  How do you not love hot chocolate?  Of course, they may be part of that odd group of folks who don't like hot chocolate without the little marshmallows.  Me?  I'll take it either way!

Today was definitely a strange day all around, and probably the most interesting thing that happened at the baby house was just between Mommy and Ryn.  Before the other family got there I sat down at the piano with Ryn and played and sang a song that I wrote years and years ago.  She was fascinated!  She kept looking first at my hands and then at my mouth.  I've sung to them lots of times, but apparently singing AND playing the piano was just too much for her.  She finally wanted to help me play.  I can't believe how gentle she was.  She has these long, slender fingers and she plays each note individually rather than just beating the keys -- which is what I had expected.  I've got to tell you, watching her long, beautiful fingers on that piano gave me the biggest lump in my throat yet.  I kept thinking "look at that -- she might even be able to play Liszt!" -- something my short little fingers will never pull off!  As Luke used to like to say, "I'm so becited!!!"

This picture isn't anything special, but I liked ZhaZha Dae Dae's smile in this one.  (Also notice that the bird has landed on poor Ryn's head again!)

I think our days of good, posed family pictures are over!