Jude: 49 Months Old

Jude is loving being 4. In fact, he tells almost everyone he meets! He has to have 4 shots this month to come up to speed with the NZ vaccination schedule and it was a piece of cake. So much easier with a 4 year old.

IMG_5628Earlier in May we spent time a beach with Aunt Abby, Uncle Brad, and Cousin Harriet. Jude loved being at the beach but not as much as he loved being with Harriet! Here she is helping turn Jude into a beached mermaid.IMG_5648Jude loves to run and NZ is never short of wide, open spaces for him to just run. IMG_5597He has been working really hard on figuring out relationships. He wants to know all about Luke and I being married, who our parents and siblings are and how we all relate to one another. IMG_5713Jude is always so keen to make friends. He often talks about how much he misses his cousins and so it has been great to get to catch up with old friends with kids of a similar age.

IMG_5920It’s been awesome for Jude to have a new city to explore. Wellington is a fabulous city for kids. There is so much to do. IMG_6120Jude very bravely rode on a flying fox for the first time ever. IMG_6115The playgrounds here are so fun- much more challenging than the ones in Taipei.IMG_5831We’ve been taking the city bus to get around places and Jude just loves it. He will look out the window the whole time without saying a peep.

IMG_6458We spend a lot of time at Te Papa museum. Jude is crazy about the Giant Squid and loves watching the video about how the fishermen caught the squid and how the scientists examined it. There is a great cafe in the museum where we often meet up with friends or just hang out and build with the blocks there.IMG_6486Both boys love coming back in from the cold and having hot chocolates with marshmallows.IMG_6527We borrowed a bike and scooter from our friends for the boys to use. It was Jude’s first time on training wheels and he got it straight away. IMG_5700Jude had his face painted for the first time ever a few weeks back.IMG_6417Another favourite thing of Jude’s is looking at the fish at the supermarket. He’s been eating a lot of fish here so we talk a lot about how the fish ends up on his plate.IMG_5820Every day we take a ‘secret path’ down to the waterfront to feed the ducks and seagulls. Jude just loves when they walk over his feet to try to get a piece.

IMG_6478Both boys had a ball at the trampoline park. They give you green socks with grips on the bottom to wear and Jude wears them even when we don’t go. He calls them his frog socks.IMG_5842Just like in Taiwan the boys love hiding when Dad comes home and then surprising him. It so cute to watch them scramble when we hear the door open.

IMG_5853We get asked all the time if the boys are twins. I thought that maybe this would change when we left Taiwan.

IMG_6619Just like in Taiwan the boys love hiding when Dad comes home and then surprising him. It so cute to watch them scramble when we hear the door open. IMG_5853It’s been a super fun month for Jude in Wellington!IMG_6097

 

 

Jude: 4 Years Old

On April 28th Jude turned 4 years old.

IMG_5063At 4 Jude is an outgoing little chatterbox.

IMG_5119He loves make-believe, telling stories, and helping us out.

IMG_4225Jude is a total go-getter. He walks around on the tips of his toes looking for what’s next.

IMG_4273His curious and very persistent. Jude doesn’t stop until he gets an answer. (He does a great Pout, Pout Fish face).

IMG_8687Jude spends most of his day in a high gear and the only time he switches to low gear is when he is watching a show or is sick.

IMG_5205Poor Jude got really sick several days before we left Taiwan.

IMG_4470Thankfully it came after our last few playdates with friends. Here’s a photo of Jude and I teaching our friends the ‘Banana Song’ before he got sick.

IMG_4230And by the time we touched down in Wellington he was back to normal.

IMG_4648We stopped at a Farm show in Rotorua and when they asked for kid volunteers, Jude jumped right up and had no worries about being on stage in front of hundreds of strangers.

IMG_5155This year has been a great one for Jude and Toby’s relationship. Jude directs their imaginary play and Toby gets right into it.

IMG_5143Their personalities are pretty much exactly opposite but the bond they feel as brothers is so strong.

IMG_8640We were in Thames for Jude’s Birthday which meant we got to celebrate with family and friends. A day before the 28th we visited some old friends we knew in Taipei who have a son born one week after Jude. So we had cake with them to celebrate.

IMG_5494And then on Jude’s actual birthday after opening his present from us (mini transformers) we went over to Granddad and Val’s house for more cake.

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IMG_5541Then back in Thames that night for cupcakes.

And finally on Saturday we went over to Aunt Abby and Uncle Brad’s for a big party with the Aunties, Uncles, cousins, and Grandmama.

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IMG_5578Four years has flown by and we continue to feel so blessed to have this kid in our lives. Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!

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Jude: 47 Months Old

Jude had a fantastic month. IMG_3912It was his last month at school and he made a lot of great memories.IMG_3914He had school picture day which he was all about (Toby not so much).

IMG_3726His class photos turned out great.

IMG_3749Such a cute group of kids.

IMG_3750We had parent-teacher conferences this month and Jude’s teacher talked about all the new skills Jude has been working hard on.

Here’s some of his work from the month.

IMG_3909The boys had school sports day this month and Jude’s class did this great choreographed dance.IMG_3850Jude did a few of the activities with Dad.IMG_3873These two are a couple of clowns together.IMG_4107They come up with some pretty hilarious role play games together. Like below, where Jude is blow drying his pet dog.

IMG_3885Taipei summer is fast approaching so the boys and I did a lot of bike riding around town in the afternoons.

IMG_3950I took the boys to Florida Bakery and let them pick out one of these fancy cookies each. IMG_3952I was totally not expecting them to both pick out a bling ring.IMG_3953It depends on his mood but Jude is sometimes really into helping guide Toby in the right direction. If Toby isn’t doing what I have asked them to do; Jude will back me up. Other times they both gang up on me and neither one will listen to me.IMG_3543Here Jude was telling Toby not to touch the robot even though they could.

IMG_3540It’s been great to watch Jude grow into such a loving big brother.IMG_3784IMG_3537Jude is getting super good at his chores (again, only if he is in the mood). IMG_4114I introduced him to the cruel chore of cleaning the toilet this month and he loved it!IMG_4293A happy last month in Taipei for big boy Jude!

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Jude: 46 Months Old

Jude got measured and weighed at school recently. He is 101 cm (39.8 in) tall and weighs 17kgs (37.5lbs).

IMG_3244I love seeing Jude’s photos from school as he always has a smile ready for the camera.

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IMG_2778This was an extra special month for Jude thanks to having Grandma and Grandpa around. He didn’t let Grandpa out of his sight. Grandpa had to put him to bed and wake him up in the morning. He wouldn’t let anyone else.

IMG_8415Jude loved being on holiday. He was really well behaved for the most part. There were certainly meltdowns along the way – most of which occurred when Jude was overtired but wanted to keep playing when it was time to head back to the room.

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IMG_3144On the way over to Cebu as we had to wait in a long  immigration line and Jude and Toby were antsy so I gave Jude my phone to look through our photos and instead he started taking photos of other people in line. Most people were good sports about it like this lady who we now have 1/2 a dozen photos of!

IMG_2816Toby was not so keen on having his photo taken.

IMG_2830Jude is really into posing like a superhero or ninja. This is one of his signature moves:

IMG_8377I love when he starts these elaborate role-play games with Toby and they get so into it they forget I am there.

IMG_3428IMG_3427I love taking the boys out to play but the playground closest to us is quite close to a busy road and so I get really nervous as there are two sections and you can’t see the one section from the other. So if Toby is on the playground and Jude is on the other side, I wouldn’t be able to see him. It really sucks as its so close but I have decided not to take them there anymore as Jude naturally just wants to run when we go to the park and I am constantly having to yell at him to get back to wherever Toby and I are as I’m worried. It just means we have to travel a little further for a safer space to play in.

IMG_3432Our lovely friends (Sia and Sivi) gifted their old All Blacks jerseys to the boys. We love them and will certainly put them to good use.

336DD53C-C890-4E11-B8F1-BBA38276E45FWe had a few days off school during the month for a national holiday and so invited them  over to bake a cake and make pizza. They are obsessed with Moana too so we all sang the album together.

IMG_3379We have a mere 25 days left in Taiwan so I took the boys for our final Costco trip. They were so well behaved, even in the toy aisle, it was really great.

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IMG_3440The boys are always hungry. Jude especially asks me for something to eat what seems like every 5 minutes. He will scarf down a big meal and then want more and more and more. It’s incredible that this time last year we were struggling to get him to eat well. He is very adventurous too, he is open to trying pretty much anything. The exception so far being lentils.

IMG_3363Silly, sweet boy. It was a really fun month with you.

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Jude: 45 Months Old

Jude is getting closer and closer to 4 and he is as sassy as ever. We sometimes can’t believe the things that come out of his mouth. He knows how to tell fibs, he knows how to very eloquently give someone a compliment (knowing it will make them feel good) and he can remember lyrics of songs he’s only heard once. It’s all happening too fast.

img_7948January was an unusual month as we had Chinese New Year so the boys had two weeks of school and then two weeks off. At school they did a lot a lot of activities to prepare for the New Year.

They painted Chinese characters decorations for good luck.img_2275Made paper mache roosters (it’s the year of the rooster)

img_2268Went to a farm where they picked radishes to make turnip cake which is commonly eaten during Chinese New Year as in Chinese radish (萊菔) is a homophone for good fortune (好彩頭).

And the cake!

img_2274On the last day before the CNY break the whole school had a big celebration. They walked around the neighbourhood singing songs and were given treats.

img_2272Here is Jude’s school work from the past month. It was cool to see a monster/person drawing in there.

img_1871The boys had two weeks off from school. We kept busy by riding bikes, playing at playrooms and going out to eat.

img_2340One day we stopped in at Krispie Kreme to find these cool CNY-themed donuts.

img_2368We went to Leo’s Playland another day, which completely exhausted me as the boys had me climbing through tunnels,  up and down ladders and then would attack me with foam balls.

img_2250Jude made friends with this little girl at the Xinyi Parent-Child Center.

img_2291On one of Luke’s days off work he took Jude out to check out a new Lego exhibition.

img_8138Jude has completely stopped napping during the day. We now keep him in the playroom where he quietly plays while Toby naps. Somedays if I am doing something like baking, I will get him to come out and help me. We celebrated my 33rd birthday on the 19th, so Jude helped me make a cake and pizza during nap time.

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img_2119Jude got to go to the movies one morning with Luke to see ‘Moana’ with a bunch of our friends. Toby and I joined for the photo (he’s hidden in front of Luke’s legs). The movie was a big hit with Jude and he is loving listening to the soundtrack everyday on repeat since.

16299271_10154940266433245_4876660975678744689_nJude’s month wasn’t all smiles. He was quite difficult at times and I found myself totally exhausted from dealing with him. He has a very strong will and when he fights us on something it can quickly escalate into a big drama. Not to mention he is physically very strong so if he is flinging his body around he can be hard to pick up and move. Somedays at home with the boys felt like I was continually rotating them in and out of time-out. Jude by far gets the most from how he will pick-on Toby. He sometimes gets into a mood where his sole focus is upsetting Toby. But then we have brilliant times during the day where Jude is 100% into being best friends with Toby and they are happily playing some made up game. I suppose it’s just the way with siblings.

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img_2256img_2221A trying month at times for Mom and Dad but a good one for for Jude.

img_8155I must admit it felt pretty good to get Jude back at school after the two weeks. Even if it’s only 3.5 hours a day, it makes a big difference in my sanity and ability to cope them the rest of the day! My dear, sweet Jude, lets hope as you get older, you will begin to see things more from Mom’s point of view.

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Jude: 44 Months Old

We had a strange month. Jude’s class was cancelled for a whole week as 3 kids in the class were sick. That week he was fine but later caught the nasty bug and had more time off school. It was nice hanging out solo with Jude. We would go for coffee and cake, check out all the Christmas decorations, and hang out at playgrounds.

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img_0832He missed Toby a lot though as kept asking if it was time to pick him up from school. It was great when he was finally back at school again.

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img_0926Not long after Jude was back at school Toby got sick and then three days later Jude got it too. Fever and a bad cough.

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img_1400We had been gearing up for Christmas but Jude totally lost his enthusiasm for it. We had some friends over to bake cookies and he sat up and watched for a bit and then had to go lay down. Poor thing.

img_1434Thankfully Jude recovered in time to enjoy Christmas. A few days beforehand, Luke and Jude went on a tour of all the Christmas decorations around our neighbourhood. Taipei really does a great job with all the trees and lights.

 

Naps are still hit or miss with Jude. It takes a lot of work to get Jude calm so it usually means if I want to get him to nap I have to lay in bed with him and give up my lunch break. Even then he doesn’t always nap. Sometimes I snooze and he stays up reading. One day he must have been very tired as I left the room to get him milk and when I came back in I found him under a pillow. I thought he was hiding but he was fast asleep.

img_0957Jude has been getting really good at paying for things on his own. We will to 7-11 or the market and I let him grab whatever we agree on for his snack and then he will go up on his own and pay for it. I sometimes get sideways glances but people are mostly supportive of me encouraging his independence and understanding of how money works. We still have a lot to do on the earning it bit.

img_1762Jude also had his annual eye checkup for the condition he has called Browns Syndrome. Thankfully his vision is still perfect so no treatment is required at the moment. He won over all the nurses by using head nods to indicate left, right, up and down. He was doing it to make them laugh and sure enough he has a swarm of nurses around him.

img_1679Jude is certainly our little performer!

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Jude: 43 Months Old

Jude is officially a cover boy. He did this shoot last winter and I just received the catalog, very cute to see.

img_0398He was asked back to model their Summer 2017 line.

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img_0381It’s obvious he is very into taking pictures. In fact whenever he gets the chance he asks to borrow my phone and starts snapping away.

img_0634We’re continually amazed at just how outgoing he is. Jude managed to impress this poor kid’s parents and then they insisted 弟弟 let Jude ride with him.

img_0120Jude fights us most morning about going to school. It’s a long battle getting him dressed and out the door.

img_0277But when I pick him up he is all smiles and going about about all the fun he had. We put it down to three-year-old defiance.

img_0279The bad thing about school is how often kids are sick. I’m starting to lose track of all the days Jude has missed from being sick. Here he is after a trip to the Doctor’s for an ear infection.

img_0552Jude is just go,go,go until he crashes and when he crashes, he crashes hard.

img_0563And because these two are so good at sharing it means that when one gets something the other will usually get some version of it.

img_0044Every month gets better between these two. Jude has been getting really good at creating games and involving Toby in them.

img_0336Jude often instigates a situation. For example, in the photo below they raided the cooked pasta that was meant for their dinner on Jude’s suggestion.

img_0547Here’s another where Jude decided him and Toby should break into my folder of important documents and then wrestle on top of them.

img_0182We play with a lot of other kids at the playground and I’ve noticed that Jude will automatically gravitate to the oldest boy, leaving Toby behind. These boys are around 9 or so and can really kick a ball. Jude welcomes the challenge while Toby mopes around watching Jude until I engage him in our own soccer game.

img_0623Jude does seem to embrace being a big brother.img_0619

img_0158It’s been a hot summer here in Taipei and most days when we go out I find myself wishing I had a spare t-shirts to put on them. It was a hot, sweaty day at Jude’s friend’s 4th bday party last month. They’ve been friends since they were itty bitty babies so it has been cool to see them grow.

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img_0710Jude is all about Christmas. Taipei has an impressive array of trees and decorations so we have been enjoying going for afternoon strolls to see it all.

img_0639You are so much work dear Jude but always so much fun.

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Jude: 42 Months Old

Hey Jude, you are 3 and a half!

img_9567Jude is such a cool little guy.

img_9755He’s a big bright spot in everyone’s day (except sometimes Toby’s…)

img_9677Whenever someone asks him how he is, he enthusiastically responds, “just great!”.

img_9597He remembers so much of what we tell him now. Even quite specific details. One of the best parts of this age is how he can actually be quite helpful. He can fetch things for me, bring laundry inside, fill up water bottles, cut food up, water plants and dry dishes. Both the boys are awesome at setting the table and clearing it.

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img_9445At school he has been learning how to sew buttons onto things and has been busy making these little felt bracelets.

img_9900He is always so proud of whatever he makes.

img_9438His work at school is getting more sophisticated. I can see his lines are getting straighter, and circles rounder. He’s got the letter ‘J’ down pat and has been working on ‘u’.

img_9585He is always asking questions. How to do something, or what a word means.

img_9901He’s so great at following directions and Toby will take his lead. I can take them out pretty easily on my own now – to lunch or shopping. One day off school we went to the mall and out to lunch complete with ice cream after.

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img_9403They were so good, I was kind of shocked. I don’t think it’s quite the new norm for them to be this well behaved but hopefully it’s the direction we are heading in.

img_9669At home, it’s a different story. The boys are so physical. They are always rolling around on the floor wrestling, chasing one another, or climbing on one of us. At the end of the day I am exhausted.

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It’s been an extended summer here so one morning we packed up and drove to the beach.

img_9524The boys loved it.

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img_9537Jude got quite sick at the end of the month. The poor thing had several days of very high fever.

img_9720He stayed home from school for 9 days. There was lots of cartoon and movie watching.

img_9835It was so great when he finally recovered and was back at school with his friends.

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Jude: 41 Months Old

Jude was measured and weighed at school this month. He is 16kg (35lbs) and 97cm (38in).

img_9197He is changing a lot. He can relay such complex thoughts and sentence patterns now. He watches our mannerisms and copies them. And he is so hungry to understand how things work. I must get at least 500 questions a day from him. We are always talking.

img_9310At school he has been getting to do some awesome things, like cutting with knives and scissors, and so at home I have been letting him do the same.

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img_9298Here is his work from school this month:

img_9090Jude is so keen to help me out with everything I do. I’m having a lot of trouble getting him to nap at the moment because he knows I do housework while they nap. So quite a few days this month he stayed up with me and baked, did dishes or laundry. One day I was really tired and I told him I needed a nap but he said he didn’t and wanted to play instead. After I woke up I found him in the playroom like this:

img_9221Jude is so curious about where we live, and where our extended family lives. He understands now that we have family in America and New Zealand and that we live in Taiwan for Luke’s job. He loves to ask me questions like, ‘What is daddy’s work’, or ‘why doesn’t our house have stairs like Grandma and Grandpa’s?’. He also always asks me to what a word means if he hears one he doesn’t understand.

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img_9348Another thing Jude is getting the hang of is drawing. Here is his first drawing that resembled something! So proud!

img_9320Running is still one of Jude’s favourite things to do. He always wants to be the fastest.

img_8736We did a few swimming lessons this month and then Jude got sick so we had to take a break. But I was impressed how totally fearless he was sticking his head under water! Way too many mouthfuls of water!

img_8908Being sick was no fun but they both developed a deep love for the Minions.

img_9026These two are so thick. They fight a lot but are usually both to blame. I know its just a normal part of sibling hood. More and more I am leaving them to work out their own conflicts as a lot of it becomes about who can get Mom’s attention.

img_8694At the end of the day though, Jude can also make Toby laugh harder than anyone else. It’s pretty special.

img_8871We are so proud of our soon to be 3 and a half year old!

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Jude: 40 Months Old

I’m a month behind with updates for the boys. So way back at the end of August Jude turned 40 Months Old. He had an awesome month as he we were at Grandma and Grandpa’s for it.

He’s at the age where he can really connect with Grandpa and Grandma, which is really special.

img_7483He is Mr. Entertainer. He is always talking, making up games, or trying out new tricks. I love that his imagination is so big and is only going to keep getting bigger.

img_8601He loved being outside exploring my parent’s yard. We caught so many frogs.

img_7254It took him a good week to get over his jet-lag so he would end up in my bed quite a bit.

img_7292Jude always wanted to be doing whatever Grandpa was doing.

img_7451Jude ate so well in America. In fact, we haven’t had any issues with him being fussy about food for quite some time. He’s grown out of whatever it was he went through and now happily sits at the table and eats without a battle.

img_7466Jude loved watching Disney Junior on a big flat-screen. He also got to go to his very first movie at the theatres with Grandpa. They saw, “The Secret Lives of Pets”. Grandpa said Jude ate a lot of popcorn and was very good.

img_7225I love this age so much as he really understands things. He understands that we live in a different country from Grandma and Grandpa. He understands that if he waits 5 minutes, I will come play with him after. I can tell him when something is difficult for me (usually Toby) and he will empathise and try to help me out. On the airplane he was incredible. Toby was a big challenge (from being over tired and super needy). When Jude had to pee, he asked me to come with him but I couldn’t as I was knee-deep with Toby, so I told him to go ahead by himself and if needs help to ask a flight-attendant. Without a second thought, he hopped up from his seat and did  exactly that. He continued to do so though out the flight, even when he had to poop! I was really impressed by how grown-up this was!

img_7982He certainly still has his moments. We have this book called, ‘Clark the Shark’ that we love reading to Jude as it describes him so well. Clark the Shark has a big personality and sometimes he is just too much for other people and so he’s always getting reminded to ‘stay cool’. Jude gets overly excited and becomes a wrecking ball so we’ll tell him to remember Clark the Shark.

img_7988He’s a busy kid and when things slow down, or he gets bored, it’s usually prime time for him to act out.

img_7264Go Jude, go!

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