Toby’s 1st Birthday Celebrations

We had two birthday celebrations for Toby’s birthday. The first was for his playground buddies. We kept it very low-key. The most time consuming thing was making the cupcakes. I spent some time thinking about what to theme Toby’s cupcakes as for Jude’s 1st birthday I made him an Elmo cake. Toby doesn’t like any particular character or animal so there was nothing that really stood out. Then it struck me that Toby doesn’t need an icon because Toby IS his own icon. Toby has such a big personality – everyone has something to say about Toby and his ways. So I went and printed out photos of Toby for his cupcakes.

IMG_4996Everyone loved the cupcakes and toppers. Although, I had some comments that perhaps it should have been a photo of Toby crying!

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IMG_9471We played and celebrated Toby for a few hours and even managed to get a few nice-ish group shots!

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IMG_5148Right before we were about to Toby decided to shove about 9 grapes in his mouth. Lucky I noticed his cheeks looking bigger than usual. I gave them a squeeze and all the grapes came out in a big splat. It was the perfect ‘oh, Toby’ moment to finish off the party.

IMG_5154On Toby’s actual birthday we kicked off the day with McDonald’s pancakes. Both boys are crazy for them.

IMG_9540Later in the afternoon we had some friends round to play.

IMG_9557The kids had dinner while the parents had drinks.

IMG_9569And after we had cake. Again, the theme being Toby.

IMG_9556Jude helped blow out Toby’s candle and we dug in.

IMG_9574And after attempted more photos.

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Toby and Mercy (who came up with his ‘Chang, Chang’ nickname).

IMG_9586Lastly, the four of us.

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Toby: 1 Years Old

On October 3rd Toby turned 1 years old.

IMG_9680At 1 year, Toby weighs 12.7kgs (28lbs) and is 76cm (30inches) tall.

IMG_9685The past year was a roller coaster ride. From day one we could see Toby had a big personality. He has the biggest, loudest cries but also the biggest, loudest smiles. And the cuddles! Oh, he gives us a lot of love and affection all day long.

IMG_9014Like Jude, he’s not shy. He likes to be around people and his favorite place is to be is outside.

IMG_8979The first seven months were rough. He was a horrible sleeper but after some tough love sleep came easily. Thankfully he has always been a great eater. Watching Toby eat is a joyful experience. He loves the whole process from seeing whats on his plate to spooning the food into his mouth.

IMG_9275He always saves his biggest smiles for Jude. He loves his brother to bits. It has been an absolute joy for us watching their relationship develop over the past year.

IMG_9668Toby blew our minds as he mastered crawling and then walking sooner than we expected. Walking has been one of the best milestones as Toby loves exploring outside. He’s also so much happier with his new independence.

IMG_9132Toby’s day at 1 year looks something like this:

5:30am: I hear him starting to make noise on the monitor.

6am: He starts to really cry so I go get him, bring him into bed and feed him.

6:30am: Jude is up and him and Toby play in our bed together until we find the energy to get up.

7am: Toby feeds himself 1.5 bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios.

IMG_89037:30am: Toby and Jude play while Dad scrambles to get ready for work and I empty the dishwasher.

IMG_94519am: Toby is getting really cranky so I set Jude up with Peppa Pig and put Toby down for a nap (I feed him for 5 minutes using the Fisher Price seahorse as a timer). He cuddles up with his blankies and falls right to sleep.

9:30am: Toby is up and I get them ready to go to the market and then playground after. Toby fetches his shoes and sits by the door in anticipation.

11am: After the market and playground we come back home and the boys play while I make lunch. Toby sometimes will get cranky and start whining to be fed. I usually have to cave and feed him now as he won’t let me do anything else until I do.

11:30am: Toby and Jude have lunch and then play after lunch until nap time.

IMG_926212:30pm: I round up the boys in Jude’s room and read them stories. Toby has gotten really into books this past month but prefers board books and lift-the-flap ones to the longer storybooks Jude likes. I try to distract Toby while reading to Jude. We say ‘see you later’ to Jude and I bring Toby into his room, feed him for 5 minutes and then he goes down.

2:30pm: Both boys are up and grumpy. It’s takes a good 10 minutes for them to shake off their sleep. I eventually convince them that we should move to the kitchen to get a snack.

IMG_95133pm: I start the 20 minute process of getting them ready to go out to the playground for the afternoon. I have to wrestle with Toby on the floor as I change his diaper. He still hates diaper changes and fights it every time .

3:30pm: We arrive at the playground and Toby hits the ground running. He goes straight for the stairs, climbs up them and runs over the bridge, across another bridge and down the slide.

IMG_89425pm: We return home and Toby is tired and hungry. Before I can start cooking dinner Toby whines to be fed again. After I feed him he will play until dinner.

5:30pm: The boys eat. Toby always feeds himself but makes a huge mess while doing so.

6pm: We hear the front door open, so I let Toby down and he goes running to Dad. It is for sure one of the best parts of his day. He doesn’t come near me when Dad is around.

IMG_95386:30pm: Toby and Jude bathe together and then PJs and brush teeth.

IMG_91147pm: I nurse Toby one last time for the day, kiss him goodnight, and put him in his crib.

IMG_9526Toby, you really turned our world upside-down when you were born. It’s been a hard but incredibly rewarding year to watch you as you grow. We are amazed at everything you have achieved in your first year of life and are excited for your future as we all know it’s gonna be bright.

IMG_9288We love you Toby, Toby, Chang, Chang!

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Jude: 29 Months Old

At 29 months, Jude weighs 31 lbs (14kgs) and is 36 inches (92 cm) tall.

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His second year has been all about language. He can talk so well now. I love having conversations with him and he can even read books to me now, too. Language has really helped him engage more in dramatic play. He will carry on conversations between plastic animals, cars, and miniature people.

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There are so many cool things he has started saying this month like:

“Oh! I have an idea, how about…”. (Puts his finger in the air)

“My really hungry.” (Pats his tummy)

“That’s not funny.” (When I am trying to make him laugh when he’s upset)

“How about a really big ice cream?” (I say “how big?) “This big!” (Puts his arms out wide).

“Look Mommy, rain! My wear rain boots outside.”

IMG_9133My heart melts every time he talks to Toby. “Look Toby, you see that bug there?”

IMG_8946Playtime between these two is pretty full-on. We have beautiful moments where both boys are playing really nicely together, or along-side each other but a lot of the time they will both want the same toy or provoke each other to do something naughty. Jude gets a lot of time-outs. I also put Toby in time-out but very, very briefly as its mostly important for Jude to see that Toby also gets punished for toy snatching or throwing dirt from the plants across the floor.

IMG_9146This next year is going to be very, very busy. I am hoping once Jude is 3 and Toby 2, things will settle down a bit. Here’s to hoping…

IMG_9022Jude has kept a perfect score throughout the month with potty training. Not one accident and has always been very clear in telling me when he needs to use the toilet. We have stopped using pull-ups at nap time and just use them at night as he is still in the crib. Our system is working pretty well right now but we might lose the pull-ups once we move him to a toddler bed (most likely closer to when he is 3).

IMG_8919Jude is such a physical kid. He is always running from room to room at home and on the playground he just runs laps around it over and over. He loves when we do tumbles or cartwheels at home and so I have decided to give gymnastics classes another go.

IMG_8961Jude’s bestie, Kate also does the classes so they can go together which they both will love.

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This month we had a visit from some old friends – Jude’s old friend that used to live in Taipei and was born just a week after him. The parents have since had #2, so it was fun to reunite and have the new babies meet for the first time.

IMG_9060They have both changed so much.

IMG_9041I’ve realized that Jude is at a really good age for baking with me. We made a few things together this month and it was a lot of fun. There is a lot more set-up and planning involved but it’s so worth it as he loves the whole process – from the mixing, to watching the cake rise, to getting to eat it at the end. And both boys really love licking the mixing spoons.

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The weather has finally started to cool down and so we are loving our afternoons at the playground. We can easily spend two hours playing there. We have such a great group of friends that are always there, too. They all play so well together.

IMG_9077So after the afternoon naps, both boys will go and grab their shoes as they know its time to go to the park.

IMG_9260Hands down one of the best decisions we’ve made is to move into an apartment right across from a playground!

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Everyday after we get back from the park Jude gets iPad time while I cook dinner. He is really into Disney Appisodes. We’ve bought him a bunch of different ones and he gets so absorbed in the different challenges. I really don’t mind him watching TV or playing iPad sometimes because he is such a busy boy. It’s nice to see him sit down and relax.

IMG_8899Mealtime has been a bit of a battle this month with Jude. He can get in and out of his chair on his own now and so he is not so keen to sit and eat. He is always asking to ‘get down’. I admit to letting him watch cartoons just to get him to sit still so I can shovel food into his mouth. I know this isn’t the way to go but at the end of the day when we are all tired and exhausted, I resort to it. I am stopping though as I know it’s not a good thing in the long-run. He needs to sit still and feed himself at mealtimes (like Toby!).

IMG_8910Jude spent a few nights in my bed this month  – one night at a hotel while our apartment was being sprayed for mosquitos and another night when he had a bad night cough. I didn’t sleep all that well either night but I must say, it was pretty sweet.

IMG_9168Jude never misses a beat. He has a great spirit and we love to watch him discover and be amazed by the world around him.

IMG_8970He makes all of us smile and laugh all day long.

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