Summer in Ohio: Week 3

Our last few days in Ohio flew by. We had a lot to do including, shopping,

IMG_6180Catching up with old friends,

IMG_6207(I used to babysit for this guy below and his brother when he was Jude’s age!)

IMG_6172Bugging Grandpa at work,

IMG_6224And watching Sesame Street,

IMG_6220Our last night we all went out to dinner at our favorite pizza spot.

IMG_6230Jude was more interested in the desserts than the pizza.

IMG_6226We took the opportunity to take a pregnant sisters pic.

IMG_6232And one with all three sisters plus Mom.

IMG_6244Natalie helped out with Jude’s last bath,

IMG_6246And very early in the morning we said goodbye to Natalie at the airport as she made her way back to Seattle.

IMG_6260Mom, Dad, Jude and I got on a plane headed to San Francisco. Mom and Dad kindly decided to help me fly there with Jude, and also stay the weekend in San Fran (since it happened to be there wedding anniversary anyhow).

IMG_6261At SFO we tried to keep Jude from straying too far away by strapping on his monkey backpack (complete with a monkey tail leash).

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IMG_6272He was a little out of control on the leash so we opted for the stroller instead.

IMG_6276Jude and I had several hours before our next flight and Mom and Dad stayed with us and kept us company. SFO is a blessing to parents traveling with children. There are several play spaces throughout the airport. The one below called ‘Spirogyate’ had these cool black and white disks that would spin around and light up in different colors. Kids were going crazy over these things!

IMG_6285Another one we found had a cool caterpillar tunnel and other fun weather-related exhibitions.

IMG_6291Lightning!

IMG_6294Jude also enjoyed watching the planes,

IMG_6301And just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.

IMG_6297Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. As always, time goes way too fast!

IMG_6263Jude and I boarded our 13 hour flight to Taipei. With our flight over fresh in my mind, I was very, very nervous about this one!

IMG_6262This one turned out to be way better! It still wasn’t great, Jude definitely had a lot of crazy toddler moments, but this time he actually got more than one hour of sleep  – in fact, he got close to 6 hours! The big difference this flight was having an empty seat next to us and sitting in a row, rather than in the bulkhead seats. Jude could not get out and race up and down the aisles so easily.

IMG_6303We were also extremely lucky to have a nice woman next to us who was happy to let Jude sit on her lap and look out the window.

IMG_6304I get tired just thinking about flying with a toddler – it’s not easy! We had a great time away, back in the States with family, but it is great to be home again with Dada.

Summer in Ohio: Week 2

Our second week in Ohio has flown by. Jude has again spent most of the week outside.

IMG_4231He spent a lot of time down at the pond throwing rocks, blowing bubbles,

IMG_4236Watering plants with Grandma,

IMG_5975And wagon rides.

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IMG_6009In between these adventures we chat with Dada.

IMG_6196Boy, we sure miss him.  (He still gets lots of hugs and kisses through the phone).

IMG_6197Of course, it’s not all fun, play, and Facetime, Jude’s also been going into work and helping Grandma out.

IMG_6017The weather has been great so we were able to cook out one night.

IMG_4315Steak fajitas and corn were a real treat.

IMG_4316On Wednesday we got another treat- Aunt Natalie arrived! (And came bearing Elmo-themed gifts).

IMG_4332Things got a little crazy her first night in.

IMG_4335The next day we were up early and Jude and Nat spent some time catching up and cooking.

IMG_6044And then cleaning up after.

IMG_6049It’s been great having more helping hands around. At 29 weeks pregnant (!) it’s been nice to have a break to put my feet up, or fit in a work-out.

IMG_5974We’ve attempted taking Jude out to eat a few times and it’s always a challenge. He’s not really into sitting in high chairs these days and would prefer to sit on Grandpa’s lap and make a mess.

IMG_6033We found a place way better than any restaurant to take him – a splash park.

IMG_6052It’s a free, outdoor, splash water park, located not too far away. It’s the most amazing thing! Jude loved it!

IMG_6060Next to the splash park is a playground so we went up and down the slide after to dry off.

IMG_6061On Saturday we threw a little baby shower for Jen. We left Jude with Grandpa and went out for a bit of pampering.

IMG_4396We had pedicures,

IMG_6068and then went out for a nice lunch.

IMG_4395Back home we met back up with Grandpa and Jude and soon after Rob arrived. We showered the parents-to-be with presents.

IMG_6084And then had cake (which Grandpa and Jude were in charge of picking up earlier in the day. Note that it is a little lopsided due to a little incident where Grandpa claimed he had to choose between dropping the cake or dropping the baby…).

IMG_4399Come August these two will have a little baby boy!

IMG_4398And Grandma and Grandpa will have their second Grandson!

IMG_4397On Sunday we had another family gathering this time at Jen and Rob’s. They cooked a beautiful Italian feast in honor of my Grandma, who passed away last October. She was born on July 19, 1921, so we thought it was a fitting time to celebrate her life.

IMG_4402After dinner Jude took a spin around the yard in the wagon.

IMG_6125It’s been a great second week,

IMG_6127And we still have a few more days left here to play outside.

IMG_6103To be continued…

 

Summer in Ohio: Week 1

Just over a week ago, Jude and I packed our bags,

IMG_5650And said bye bye to Dada.

IMG_5684We flew together 11 hours from Taipei to San Francisco.

IMG_5686It was a long, exhausting journey but I knew it was the last time before baby #2 that I could fly solo with Jude. Thankfully my Mom met us in San Fran and helped us fly the rest of the way to Ohio. I could dedicate a whole post to flying along, with a toddler, 27 weeks pregnant.  It wasn’t easy but we survived.

IMG_5687Touching down in Ohio and seeing Grandpa was a great feeling. We made it. No more flying (until we return to Taipei on the 25th).

IMG_5721We spent the first few days hanging out around the house,

IMG_5748Catching up on all the sleep we missed out on.

IMG_5767We hit a local playground,

IMG_5785And ate custard ice cream.

IMG_5801Jude loves helping Grandma in the kitchen.

IMG_5806And with the clean-up after.

IMG_5929And watching cartoons on Grandpa’s giant TV.

IMG_5822We made a trip to Target for diapers and ran into Scout there.

IMG_5807And then in Grandma’s office we ran into St. Jude.

IMG_5834Jude’s not a big fan of shopping so thankfully a lot of the malls also have a kids play area.

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IMG_5943And a frozen yogurt store is never far away.

IMG_5855Grandma and Grandpa have been helping with mealtimes, diaper changes, and his nightly routine – which has been a nice break for me.

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IMG_5960We headed over to Aunt Jen’s and Uncle Rob’s one hot afternoon for a pool party.

IMG_5892They have a perfect little area in the pool where Jude could stand up and play in the fountains.

IMG_5894He got to venture out into the deep end in his float.

IMG_5881We had to lure him out of the pool with snacks.

IMG_5883Breakfast with Grandpa has been one of Jude’s favorite times of the day. Grandpa shares his fruit and cheerios.

IMG_5859We took a ride with Grandma one afternoon out to Fairport Harbor beach and played in the sand.

IMG_5912And a little bit in the surf.

IMG_5916He’s had lots of treats like McDonald’s,

IMG_5901Donuts,

IMG_5922And pretzels.

IMG_5946One of the best things has just been being outside in comfortable weather, running around in the grass – something he doesn’t get to do in Taipei.

IMG_5951It’s been a real treat for both of us.

IMG_5958To be continued…

 

 

 

Two Special Visitors

Last weekend we has a collision of visitors. First, Dominica arrived on Saturday afternoon.

IMG_5407We spent the rest of the day showing her our neighborhood and later out for a bike ride to pick up our fav Vietnamese food court meal.

IMG_5400In the morning we took her to our local wet market and sampled some classic Taiwanese breakfast street food.

IMG_5414While Luke drove to the airport to pick-up our other visitor – his Uni friend Sebastian – we went with Minnie to get a glorious Taiwanese hair wash.

IMG_5419And then Sebastian was here! First stop: bubble tea.

IMG_5421It was completely random timing that these two came to visit us at the exact same time. Both coming from New Zealand, and both on their way to European holidays.

IMG_0878Their first day together they tried an American export to Taiwan, Krispy Kreme donuts, and then onto the famous Din Tai Fung for  xiao long bao.

IMG_5422With full bellies, we headed on the MRT to CKS Memorial.

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IMG_5432It was hot out so we made our way into the memorial museum to cool off.

IMG_5435We watched the changing of the guards, too.

IMG_5438Then after dropping Jude off back home with the babysitter, we headed out to Tianmu to watch a Taipei Brothers Elephants play ball.

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IMG_5451The Elephants won after one of the players hit a home run, it was pretty exciting.

IMG_0911The next day, after a Taiwanese breakfast, we made our way out to Longshan Temple.

IMG_5458Then onto Ice Monster for their famous Mango Ice. We also tried their Bubble Tea Ice and Hot Black Sesame.

IMG_5475For dinner we took Sebastian and Min to A Cai to try out some of our favorite Taiwanese dishes. The deep-fried fish eyeballs were surprisingly big hit.

After dinner, Ximending, to check out the bright lights and eat ice cream.

IMG_5509The next morning we were all up bright and early. Jude and I stayed home while the others walked up Elephant Mountain.

IMG_0920In the afternoon we headed to Maokong to our favorite tea house.

IMG_5492Jude happily went and sat with a Taiwanese family who fed him snacks while we waited for our tea.

IMG_5486That night we went to a Japanese Yakiniku place called Dawan for dinner. It was a delicious BBQed meat feast.

IMG_0935On their last day we took them to our favorite American breakfast place, ‘The Diner’.

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IMG_5554

IMG_5569

IMG_5574And then it was time to say goodbye to Aunt Dominica.

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IMG_5592Sebastian’s flight wasn’t until late at night so we spent the afternoon hanging out at a waterpark.

IMG_5607They had great big slides (which sadly, being pregnant, I couldn’t ride).

IMG_0982And a lazy river which we all floated around.

IMG_0968Jude loved it.

IMG_0990And then it was time to say ‘bye-bye’ to Sebastian.

IMG_5497It was such an awesome few days and hope to see them both again one day in Taipei.