Toby: 10 Months Old

On August 3rd Toby tuned 10 months old.

IMG_7738He took his first steps sometime mid-July and after that spent weeks and weeks of practicing until he could do this:

IMG_8250He’s now walking around everywhere and a much happier little bunny.

IMG_7961Besides tons and tons of walking practice this month, we also saw his love of balls continue to grow. He loves to lay on top of our beach ball and roll over it. He is also crazy about fitting things inside of something so can sit for quite some time placing small balls in and out of containers.

IMG_7948He’s also still in love with anything Jude is. As soon as Jude starts playing with something Toby wants to too.

IMG_7896Toby’s love for food continues. He’d eat cookies all day long if I let him. This month he has been crazy about fruit, peas, corn, Honey Nut cheerios, french toast, pancakes, chicken nuggets, steak, yogurt, dumplings and tofu. Sadly, he does not like eggs unless they are all chopped up in fried rice. Eggs are such an easy food to make and have saved the day so many times when I didn’t know what to make with Jude. Hopefully he will come round!

IMG_7564Him being able to walk has made life easier in so many ways. Playrooms are so much more fun now that I don’t need to carry Toby around.

IMG_7821He loves hanging out with the big kids.

IMG_7940Our daily trips to the playground has also been more fun for him. Long gone are the days I would have to hold him while spotting Jude on the playground and then stick Toby in the Ergo for a feed. Thank goodness!

IMG_7990He loves to go up the stairs and down the slide over and over and over.

IMG_7758There was a period before he turned 10 months where he was alternating between crawling and walking and so I would put him in pants for the playground. I tend to just grab clothes in a hurry and not put much thought into how the separate pieces will come together. For this particular outfit, Toby, I apologize!

IMG_7695One day when we arrived at the playground there was a group of schoolkids there. When they saw Toby they all huddled around the stroller staring at him whispering ‘外國人寶寶’ (Western baby)。

IMG_7658Breastfeeding is still going strong. I am quite keen to end it but Toby is incredibly persistent.

IMG_7599After my Mom left in July, we had a few rough nights of cry-it-out, and then he was back to sleeping through the night. He goes to sleep around 7pm and I go fetch him for his first feed at 6am. He is usually up earlier, but will sit and play until I come.

IMG_8281Toby is a real snuggle bug. He loves to give kisses and hugs and will often just lay his head down on us. So sweet.

IMG_7964He gives me a lot of trouble throughout the day and really exhausts me but then just melts my heart with his adorable smile and a cuddle.

IMG_7666Toby is back to loving bath time again, thank goodness. He stands next to me as I fill up the bath lifting up his legs trying to hoist himself over. It’s nice to not have to rush through bath time again.

IMG_7708Toby is still happiest when Jude is around and playing with him. He joins right in on all the games – pretend sleeping, hide and seek, rocket blast-off and a recent favorite – scream-offs.

IMG_7604Luke and I feel so lucky to have these two.

IMG_7622Our days are so busy but we wouldn’t change a thing.

IMG_4694We are so happy to have been blessed with this 4th member of our family. He fits right in.

IMG_8040

Jude: 27 Months Old

Jude surprises me every day with everything he can say and do now.

IMG_7631He can do everything solo on the playground. It’s made my life easier as Toby is now the one I need to spot on the stairs and slide.

IMG_7675He is still digging his crib and this month we got him a new duvet and pillow. He loves the process of laying down and then get tucked in. Jude also always insists on going to sleep with a book. It’s nice as in the morning we will often find him awake and reading.

IMG_7805Jude is all about his BF Kate. These two spend almost everyday playing. We did some fun things during the month like going to the pool and to a giant indoor playground.

IMG_8008They love to hold hands as they walk together. It’s so sweet. I love how they talk to each other too – so funny to listen in on their toddler conversations.

IMG_7916Jude and Toby are still doing just about everything together. Toby follows along after Jude (sometimes vice versa).

IMG_7533Jude has been involving Toby in his pretend play and Toby tries to keep up. It’s nice to see this level of interaction.

IMG_7731Jude is also awesome at sharing snacks with Toby. It’s been such a big help to me as I can buy a bit of time while they share a bowl of raisins.

IMG_7973They can play pretty rough some time but Toby seems to hold his own just fine. He squeals and roars with laughter whenever Jude jumps on him.

IMG_7982Toby did a lot of crying during July and Jude would always rush over and try to calm him down. ‘It’s okay, Toby, you’re okay’. And when I change Toby’s diaper (which he hates) Jude helps me to distract him or hold his hands.

IMG_7880Jude’s patience with Toby has really made my life so much easier when taking care of them together on my own. Toby is still taking a morning nap so it’s nice for Jude and I to have a little break and play something together that is a little more advanced.

IMG_7996Jude’s language ability and listening has helped so much with his behavior when we do errands together. He understands going to the market and supermarket and is really actually helpful when we do so. He can walk a good distance now too and won’t run off.

IMG_8079I love taking him on bike rides as we have conversations as we ride. He loves to point out everything he sees, ‘Look Mommy, a digger!’ He is so exited about everything he sees.

IMG_8080We’ve been doing some yoga at home and the boys love it. Jude is actually pretty good and has such determination to get the poses right.

IMG_8064Hands down his favorite things to do at the moment are dancing, singing, and playing hide and seek. He is really starting to get the concept of hiding, although it’s usually very, very obvious where he is.

IMG_7874What a great month, such a fun age.

FullSizeRender

 

A Week with Grandma in Taipei

Our flight back to Taipei was long. We flew from Ohio to Houston and then were delayed in Houston for almost 3 hours (stuck in the plane on the tarmac due to a passenger being not fit to fly and then a storm coming through). It was awful and we were all happy to finally make it to LA and into the Star Alliance Lounge.

IMG_7493My Mom was a huge help. I still can’t believe I ever contemplated flying by myself with the boys – it would not have been possible.

IMG_7483The LAX Star Alliance lounge is amazing. They have an awesome outdoor area which was great for antsy kids.

IMG_7487Mom and I were able to enjoy a vodka tonic and some LA-‘fresh’ air while waiting for our flight.

IMG_7490Our 13-hour flight was tough but we all survived.

IMG_7496We arrived late Thursday night and Friday to recover. Saturday was the 4th of July and so we went to the American Club to celebrate with a BBQ by the pool.

IMG_7505

The rest of the week went by in a flash. We had playdates,

IMG_7555Beef noodle soup,

IMG_8378Walks around town,

IMG_8374A vegetarian feast for lunch,

IMG_7516Complete with giant veggie burger,

IMG_8375And of course there was lots and lots of playtime with the boys at home.

IMG_7569One evening my Mom shared her vision for reorganizing my kitchen and we made it happen.

IMG_8376What she did was amazing. I still can’t get over how she shifted around a few things and made our tiny kitchen feel bigger.

IMG_8377I couldn’t let Mom leave Taipei with out taking her to an awesome vegan hotpot restaurant. She loved it. I brought Natalie here when she visited over Christmas and she was also a huge fan.

IMG_7547On Mom’s second to last night we went out for Spanish Tapas and washed them down with New Zealand wine.

IMG_7568The last day we spent hanging outside on the patio (which Mom also helped re-design and jazz up while there).

IMG_7587I can’t even begin to describe how sad the goodbye was and just how much we all miss her.   Thanks again for everything, Grandma. We love you!

IMG_7579

 

Summer Holiday: Ohio

We were lucky enough to get to spend three weeks in Ohio this summer. Luke was participating in a conference in Minnesota, so we decided to tag along with him for the flight over. He was only there a week so my Mom helped us out in a big way by flying back to Taipei with me and the boys and staying with us for a week.

(Here we are waiting to depart for the airport in our matching shirts).

IMG_6625Luke and I have both flown enough to have lounge access. It’s so great with kids. We were able to stake out a corner in the lounge and set up camp for the few hours before our flight.

IMG_6627We choose a night flight on Eva Air to LAX. Jude stayed up for the first 4 hours of the flight watching shows.

IMG_6633_2It took a lot of work to get him to sleep and he was still up and down all night. In the morning, during breakfast, he remained passed out on Luke’s lap. The poor kid is not used to having his usual 12 hours of sleep cut short.

IMG_6638My Mom met us out in LA. It was the best feeling to see her standing at the exit waiting for us. Luke had to run and catch his next flight to Minnesota but we got to relax a little as we were staying the night there before our early morning flight to Cleveland.

IMG_6641_2Jude was in a exhausted but hyper state and when we reached the hotel room, he ran around exploring every corner of the room. He was nutty for the phone and kept ringing Fireman Sam on it! We went down to the lobby restaurant and had some dinner. We used the iPad to calm Jude down.

IMG_6644The poor kiddo had such a hard time getting to sleep. It was agonizing. Once he finally passed out from crying, he awoke at around 2 am screaming. So we all woke up (Toby too) and tried to get them back to sleep by trying out various sleeping arrangements. Nothing worked so after an hour we stuck Jude back in the crib and let him cry more. Poor thing.

IMG_6649Toby slept in bed with me and had no problem falling asleep as long as he was breastfeeding.

IMG_6648_2It was a rough night, followed by a rough day of flying (although, surprisingly, the kids were both very good on the flight). We were all happy to arrive in Ohio at my parent’s house.

IMG_6690Grandpa and Jude explored the entire yard many times over. Jude would ask Grandpa all the time to go outside with him.

IMG_6674It was so nice to get to spend so much time outside and be comfortable. Taiwan’s summers are rough with the high temps and humidity so I don’t get the kids outside as much as I’d like too. We made the most of it in Ohio by down at the pond, running in the grass, pulling weeds or just walking around the neighborhood.

IMG_6720One sunny afternoon we pitched a little tent and just hung out in there.

IMG_7267We ate out a few times, our favorite place being ‘Yours Truly’. They have a train for kids in the waiting area and great kids meals. Each time we went Jude and Toby would split chicken fingers and french toast.

IMG_6769We took a trip out to Geneva-on-the-Lake one day. It’s a historic street with a carnival-like atmosphere. We used to go there a lot as kids so it was fun to experience it again after so many years. We left before lunch, hoping Jude would nap in the car on the way there. He didn’t, of course.

IMG_7347We kept Jude distracted from his tiredness with game-playing, a playground, and donuts. We stopped in the gift-shop of ‘Firehouse Winery’ and Grandpa spotted a red fireman’s hat for Jude. He absolutely loved it (and still does)!

IMG_7361We also got to see the Lake (Toby doesn’t look very impressed).

IMG_7356Aunt Natalie took a break from studying and came to visit from Seattle for just under a week. We all had a great time with her.

IMG_7055Playdates with cousin Robby were always a treat. So cool that the cousin are all so close in age!

IMG_6669_2We had a few days of rain while in Ohio. These two usually always get into trouble when they’re stuck inside.

IMG_7087It was great having Grandma, Grandpa and the cats around to help keep them entertained.

IMG_6754One lovely evening, once the boys were both in bed, my parents and I had a delicious dinner on the deck. It’s such a treat to eat outside since its something we don’t get to do back in Taipei.

IMG_7391Another thing Jude loved doing was helping out with taking out the garbage. It was pretty fun wheeling everything down the long driveway and then getting to see it all get picked up by the big green garbage truck.

IMG_7225We had such a lovely 3 weeks in Ohio and it was certainly hard to leave and even harder to say goodbye to Grandpa.

IMG_7465