Thursday, September 06, 2012

Setting up home

So let's see- we've been to Ikea probably half a dozen times in the last 3 weeks, I have the nearby DIY store on speed dial, and I've probably bought enough 3M Command products (mostly hooks and hanging strips) to qualify for stock option...

Setting up a home from scratch has been more exhausting than I had expected and this isn't even taking into account the 32 boxes of stuff that are sitting at a warehouse somewhere in Singapore waiting to clear customs. The major things were out of the way fairly quickly-- our apartment comes furnished with the big items like beds, desks, and closets and our families have been so helpful with things like household products, pots, silverware, linens, etc. But it's one or some other little thing that needs constant attention almost everyday- organizer boxes for the bathroom (who knew they'd be so important?), foil and parchment paper (we used to buy these in bulk and never had to think about them), or basic medical supplies like band-aids or paracetamol.

Thankfully, I haven't started work yet and with Sophie at daycare for most of the day, I've been exploiting the fuel efficiency of zippy Honda and driving about town getting stuff done. And in the process, I've learned that I no longer derive any pleasure from shopping. Oh, I will shop if I have to get something, but if nothing in the store is on my list of things to buy for the day, then I'm not going in. I used to love just walking around malls- soaking in the atmosphere, browsing the racks just because I could. But I think a combination of having had Sophie (anyone with a kid will tell you that the first buzzkill of window-shopping is a clingy, whiny 3-year-old) and having lived in a city where we only went to the mall once every three or four of months (and only because there was something specific to get), I no longer have the patience nor fortitude to bustle at a crowded shopping center.

Which also explains why we keep going back to Ikea and to the same DIY store- I know where things are and who I spoke to last. And that's what's going to help me get things done in the shortest amount of time so I can get out of there and conquer that next bit of household minutiae.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually enjoying this whole process-- yes, it's been tiring, but I'm also appreciating the me-time to do my own thing once house stuff has been overcome. I'm reading a lot more than I have (just finished this and have this and this started), writing quite a fair bit too, and also setting aside time for Sophie.

When Jude and I were both working, our days were a harried blur of breakfast- daycare drop-off- work- daycare pickup- dinner- bathtime- books- sleep. And while I know we'll be replicating that once I start work, it's been nice these past couple of weeks not to have to do that. Sophie can see the expressway from her window and so we take some time to watch the cars together after I rouse her as she slowly wakes up on my lap; or I pick her up early from daycare whenever I can. Most of her toys and games are spread out in those 32 boxes so we read a lot, and do art, or just talk about our day. She's at that age where she can fully engage you in a conversation so we just lounge on the couch and chat. She tells me about not drinking chrysanthemum tea at school because it was too bitter and I tell her about having to return the water filter because it broke.

Speaking of which, our 32 boxes are scheduled to arrive on Monday. Just as we got comfortable and have the house as set up as it can be...

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