Toby: 31 Months Old

This little cheeky monkey stopped napping way back in March. IMG_8670It just became too much work to get him to nap. In a way, it has been nice having the extra hours to go out with the boys and get things done. We could go out to lunch, have playdates at anytime and no longer had to worry about trying to fit a nap in.

IMG_4349However, it was a bit challenging during the weeks before the move as I had two busy toddlers to entertain at the same time as organising and packing. Jude is pretty good at entertaining himself and being helpful but Toby is still a bit young and would often just try to shift my attention to playing with him when I was busy.

IMG_4526The move hasn’t been as rough on Toby as I thought it would be. He had absolutely zero clue that we were moving despite asking me a million questions about what I was doing everyday and me telling him that we were moving. He was really pretty great about watching our stuff get boxed up and taken from our apartment, moving to the hotel, transiting through the airport, and finally arriving in Wellington. He has a very stubborn side which comes out when he doesn’t want to do something and thankfully we didn’t have any major moments of defiance/meltdowns.

The first day in Wellington he was so funny. He fell asleep at the dining table while waiting for his dinner.IMG_4597We’ve moved around quite a bit since we’ve been in New Zealand, especially at the start of our trip. Both boys have been so awesome at sleeping in different, unfamiliar places. I brought their bedding which I know helps with Toby as he loves his sunshine pillow so much.

IMG_5111Toby hasn’t asked about Taiwan at all since we left. Jude will often say how much he misses home, his friends and teachers in Taiwan. Not a peep from Toby.

IMG_4706Toby hasn’t been as shy as I expected around all the family we’ve been around. He’s been pretty  good with everyone, especially his Aunties. Here he is with Aunt Minnie at the beach. IMG_5272Most people who meet Toby comment on how hilariously comical he is with his facial expressions and mannerisms. He has this overly exaggerated and expressive way about him but is loaded with sweetness. IMG_5629Toby does like to set the record straight. If him and Jude have a game going and someone else swoops in and grabs a toy he will confront them by waving a finger ‘no, no, no, that’s not your toy. Give it back’. If he doesn’t get a response then he will go to grab it. Our wee sweet friend, Charlotte, got to experience this firsthand a few times. IMG_4630A highlight of the trip for both boys was getting to ride on Uncle Brad and Aunt Abby’s farm bikes. We thought Toby wouldn’t go for it but he loved it. IMG_5478We did a lot of driving up North and sometimes Toby would pass out. On occasion we would turn around and both boys would be asleep. It was wonderful!

IMG_5442Toby has grown up so much since his last trip to NZ. It’s been great to see him more independent of us and enjoying life as the awesome 2.5 year old that he is!

IMG_5638Big kisses to our Toby xx

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Toby: 30 Months Old

Toby changed a lot this month. IMG_3745His vocabulary is growing and he is speaking so clearly. Previously he used to stutter a bit as he tried to get a sentence out but now he just spits it out. This has especially helped when he wants something. No hesitation now, he just demands. I’ve also noticed that he is more confident when it comes to playing with Jude. He stands up for himself if thinks Jude is being unfair. They played so well together this month – they really are best buddies and hate being separated.

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IMG_4005This particular trip to Sun Yat-Sen Memorial was a funny one. The boys saw these little dogs running around and wanted to go pet them. One dog was quite hyper and kept jumping up on the boys and then when they would run away the dog would chase them. Toby screamed louder than I have heard before. The crazy thing was that he kept coming back for more. IMG_4010Toby said goodbye to his teachers and friends from school this month. Lucky we got this great photo as a keepsake. I will always remember the struggle we had to get Toby dressed on picture day. He was not in the mood and especially not keen to wear what we wanted him too. We managed to  reach a compromise with the outfit below.

IMG_3748Toby was also not keen on school sports day. No way was he going to march around a track singing some lame song about school spirit.IMG_3843So instead we sat on the sidelines eating snacks. IMG_3854I had Toby’s parent-teacher conference and his teacher confirmed that even at school he doesn’t like to follow the herd. Toby does what Toby wants.

But when he does he’s all in. I love to see this kid dance.IMG_4111Ms Kitty said she is really going to miss Toby’s quirky ways and the outrageous looks he gives her.IMG_4130Toby and Jude got some special 1-on-1 time with Dad this month. Luke took them to this super cool Lego exhibition. IMG_8640

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IMG_8650We also went to this  indoor play room with a huge ball bit. Toby went loopy for it. He loves ball pits.IMG_4023Toby, you are such a personality. We can’t get over the funny things you come up with.

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IMG_4093Toby, we love you just the way you are.

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Toby: 29 Months Old

Toby is fast catching up to Jude. He’s already the exact same weight (17kg/37.5lbs) and only a little bit shorter measuring 92cm/36inches.

IMG_2733Toby had an okay month. He doesn’t deal very well with life moving fast and so Grandma and Grandpa coming and then leaving as well as our trip to Cebu was all a bit overwhelming for him at times.

IMG_2694He had his moments where he was totally into Grandma and Grandpa but then other moments where he wanted nothing to do with them.

IMG_2753He loved giving them a hard time especially when it came to picking him up out of his crib. They weren’t offended though as this is one of Toby’s signature plays. If I go to pick Toby out of bed; he refuses and cries for Luke and vice versa.

IMG_3247Toby was pretty good on holiday.

IMG_2882It sometimes took a bit of effort to get him to get into things.

IMG_2986But once he was in the water or doing whatever activity, he wouldn’t want to get out or stop.

IMG_3082But man this kid has such a strong will. When he doesn’t want to do something there is no bribe that can tempt him.

IMG_2957I especially love these photos from one of his field trips this month. The photos capture Toby so well. This is Toby not in the mood.

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IMG_3314Toby is really into Batman at the moment. He loves parading around in this mask talking in a low, authoritative voice. He also loves the Lego Batman movie soundtrack, especially the heavy metal tracks.

IMG_3472Toby has started calling Jude ‘Judah’. This is what everyone at school calls Jude as in Chinese, using Pinyin, the ‘de’ is pronounced ‘dah’.

IMG_3259Toby always wants Jude with him. He doesn’t want to go anywhere without him.

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IMG_3457    The boys are so good at adding little rituals to our day. At night time they love things in a certain order: tucked in, story, kiss and hug, and then a song. Luke made up this cute little jingle for them that Toby just loves.

(To the tune of ‘Rock a Bye Baby’) Rock a bye baby, your cradle is green, Daddy’s a Nobleman, Mommy’s a Queen, Jude is a Captain who sails his own ship, and Toby’s a drummer who drums for the King.IMG_2695Toby, you are one tough (but very sweet) cookie. IMG_3430

Toby: 28 Months Old

I love seeing this face and his crazy hair every morning.

img_1912Some mornings he is not as happy to see us as we are him.

img_2465Toby is still so good about going to school. He seems to have a lot of friends as when I drop him off in the morning kids are always shouting out, “Toby, 來了!” (Toby’s here!)

img_1804He is always happiest on the days they bake something in class and on the days they go to the playground.

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img_1799Like Jude, Toby also got to visit the farm and harvest a turnip for the New Year.

img_1937And turn it into a cake.

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img_2102His class made these cute beanbag roosters.

img_2168And painted lucky signs.

img_2103Over the Chinese New Year we did a lot of scooter and bike riding.

img_2352They love riding to 7-11 for ice cream. I love when they eat ice cream too as it’s usually the only 5 minutes of quiet I get all day.

img_1840Toby is a very physical kid, he loves running, jumping and climbing. He has great balance and confidence so I no longer need to shadow the boys on the playground. We have entered a new phase.

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Toby’s skeleton/ghost/monster obsession continues. Every morning I ask him what he dreamt about. His answer almost always is, “bing, bang, wiggle, waggle, shake in the bones” and then sings, “all the skeletons keep marching on“. Funny kid.

img_2208Toby is so serious around other people. He does not suffer fools gladly. If someone if smiling and waving at him saying something like “cute boy”. He will simply lower his gaze and shoot them a scolding glare. He doesn’t run and hide behind us but instead will stand his ground until they back down.

img_2376Toby has big emotions and when he blows its like a volcano exploding. He is very difficult to calm down.

img_2299The boys are back on a Lego kick. This time with the smaller pieces. Aunty Faith bought the boys a couple of cool new sets and they are constantly tinkering. There was a great Lego Batman exhibitions at one of the malls near us and we went quite a few times to play.

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img_2514We also managed a trip to the zoo and gondola over the New Year break. Super cool.img_2399

img_2404Toby was totally relaxed on the gondola whereas Jude was gripping us pretty tight. After they both wanted to ride it again.

img_2415One of the funniest things about Toby is how he is always changing his voice. Sometimes he will speak in a deep, commanding tone and other times light and sweet. He will change his mannerisms too depending on which character he is. He also has this cute little thing where he is always placing his left hand curled up under his armpit. He will do it when he is pleased with himself or when he is saying something authoritative to someone. It’s just so Toby. img_2378Toby loves his friend Jessica but recently he has been blaming all of his injuries on her. None of which she has been involved in. If he falls down and later has a bruise and I ask him what happened he will respond, “Jessica did this to me”. Not sure where this came from!

img_2104Our Toby, what a character!

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Toby: 27 Months Old

Our poor Toby started the month with a high fever.img_1352He was quite sick for about 3 days and so for 3 nights we both slept poorly.

img_1367He was so lethargic and would just pass out on me during the day.

img_1382On his 4th day he started to recover and on his 5th day home he was well enough to go out again and we were able to make a quick trip to Costco. He finally had his appetite back too.

img_1392We were all happy when Toby was well enough to return to school again.

img_0930Thankfully kids bounce back pretty quickly from illnesses and getting sick just seems to be part of the package when kids start at school. The teachers have assured me the first year is usually the worst as they are exposed to so many new bugs and over time it will get better. I sure hope so.

img_0911Otherwise Toby had a great month. He continues to make us laugh all the time with his funny little mannerisms. He sometimes likes to talk in a really stern, deep voice and boss us around and will end his sentence with a big ‘Hmph!’. He is into telling stories and role play. He morphs into different characters and I can hear him making up conversations between the different characters in his crib before nap time.

img_0842Toby is obsessed with scary things. He loves all things Halloween – monsters, skeletons, witches and ghouls. It was actually hard to get Toby in the Christmas spirit because he just wasn’t interested -he wanted Halloween again. img_1431Toby is Mr. DIY. He loves to do things by himself or at least have a good go at it. There have been a few occasions when I have accidentally done something for him as we were in a hurry and he threw a huge tantrum. Toby is really good at pouting and humongous 1/2 hour long tantrums. There is not much in between.

img_0828Toby always has Jude’s back. If I put Jude in time-out, Toby will try to rescue Jude and then also end up in time-out.

IMG_1483They are great at making up games in which I am the ‘bad guy’. I will be in the kitchen and suddenly will get attacked with pillows or they will stand and roar at me.

img_1485School is still a delight for Toby. His classroom has a communal snack table and Ms Kitty told me she has had to remind Toby several times that the snacks are for sharing. That’s our Toby.

15724822_1838076383103996_2886203901175703741_o15724741_1838076723103962_2857512214566614000_o15732618_1837638416481126_7552490581449373212_oHere’s some of Toby’s most recent work from school.

img_0818Our littlest Leonard is sure growing up fast.

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Toby: 26 Months Old

Toby is all about seizing the day.

img_0512He gets up and is ready to go. He is excited to go to school, or on any outing we pose to him.

img_0269Toby seems to fit right in with his classmates and I have even caught him speaking a little Chinese at home this month.

img_0265When I come to pick Toby up at Noon, his friends all call out in Chinese, “Toby! Your Momma is here!”. It’s so cute.

img_0264Toby has a patient nature and loves trying new things. He doesn’t get upset easily.

img_0270And he is all about doing things on his own. He often has his shoes on the wrong feet but we don’t care as he put them on himself. Undies are a little different as he usually ends up with two legs in one hole!

img_0276Toby has lovely brown eyes, very piercing when he looks at you.

img_0272Toby loves routine and is usually so good about following it (unless Jude and him are up to something). For example, as soon as he will finish his breakfast he will put his plate in the sink and run to the lounge as he knows it’s playtime. Puzzles are still hot on their radars.

img_0610Toby got out a lot on his bike this month. He is getting really fast and good at coasting.

img_0218He flys past Jude (who is slightly more hesitant on the bike) but we always wait for him up ahead.

img_0763It’s been fun taking them out for rides around the city. Crosswalks are scary so I try to minimise the number on our route if possible. This is a great loop near our house that includes an underground tunnel.

img_0767Our nap time issues were resolved once we started putting Jude in a seperate bedroom for nap time. He was keeping Toby awake, talking or singing and so we had many days where neither napped. Jude now has the option to nap if he wants but most days he just stays awake and reads on the guest room bed while Toby snoozes.

img_0171Toby has been starting to try vegetables a bit more which has been awesome. If we really encourage him he will very slowly chew through a piece of cucumber or broccoli. We will persevere.

img_0577Another great month for this superstar kid!

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Toby: 25 Months Old

This little cutie had a great month.
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He continues to love going to school everyday. It’s been such an easy adjustment. Toby loves Wednesdays the most when him and his classmates get on a school bus and go somewhere for an outing.

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They go to different parks and even once to the grocery store where they had to find different fruits and vegetables.

img_9905The whole school plus the parents went to a ecological farm together. Luke and I both went and really enjoyed getting to meet the boys’ friends and their parents.

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img_9634Toby is always super proud of his work, he will carry it around the house until nap or bedtime.

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img_9423At home the big obsession is puzzles. Before and after school, they are puzzle crazy.

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We celebrated Halloween with a big party with friends. Jude was really sick then so Toby and I went along. He insisted on his PJ mask ‘Catboy’ costume. Jude would have gone as Gecko, and so I dressed up as Owlette.

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img_9773We brought some goodies back for Jude and did a little trick or treat in the house for him.

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Toby is really into moving his body. He loves music, singing and dancing. I love taking him down to the gym and letting him go wild in front of the big mirrors. So much cuteness.

img_9456He is still crazy about drawing and will happily (and very helpfully) sit at the table and draw while I prepare dinner.

img_9980The boys are getting bigger and stronger and can be quite rough with each other. They don’t stop, even after one gets hurt. They will be laughing so hard and shrieking chasing each other around until one tackles the other. I suggested pillow fighting as a potentially safer alternative. They loved it. I’ll have to reassess once one of them gets hurt.

 

img_9865Speaking of getting hurt, poor Toby had his face smashed up after my bike tipped over and fell into another bike. Poor Fella. Thankfully just a few scrapes but it was certainly a scary moment for the boys and I.

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Toby, you are such a big kid now. We love all your funny little sayings, your big smile and how incredibly patient and sweet you are.

img_9664So far Two has started off great!

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Toby: 2 Years Old (HBD!)

Toby turned 2 years old on 3 October.

img_9346He started school the same day.

img_9314Starting school has been a breeze thanks to having big brother there by his side.

img_6865Everyday Jude walks Toby up to his classroom. No tears or clinging to Mom. They hug and kiss me and are off. It’s a wonderful feeling to leave happy kids.

img_6866Toby’s teacher, Miss Kitty, says that the first thing Toby does everyday is paint.

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She sends us a weekly email with photos and info on what he’s been up to.

p1440235They go on field trips once a week, which she said Toby just loves.

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They also bake bread or some kind of of snack almost everyday.p1440850Toby tells me about all his friends. Miss Kitty said he is very chatty with them even though they are speaking different languages.

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It seems like the right thing for Toby at the right time. I pick them up at Noon everyday and they are excited to share all the things they did.

img_9328Apart from school, Toby is all about his bike and scooter. He has mastered the scooter and now is really mastering the balance bike. He’s going down hills and getting quite fast. When we run errands, he insists on riding his bike while Jude and I walk.

img_9091At 2 years old Toby is an awesome sleeper. He doesn’t always get to bed on time as him and Jude are so chatty. He loves his cloud pillow from Ikea (which he calls his ‘sunshine’). He loves lots of blankets and things to cuddle with.

img_9229He is a fantastic eater. We haven’t had any mealtime battles with him yet. The only issue is that he won’t eat a green veggie when it is out in the open on its own. So I dice them up and add them to rice or pasta and they go down just fine. img_8970He loves to draw and paint. He will happily sit for an hour working on a picture.

img_8925He loves water – bath time and swimming. I took the boys swimming earlier this month and Toby was a total independent little fish. He has his little wings on and was happily floating around and dunking under without a worry.

img_9020Toby is really into his things. He likes to have hats on this head or sunglasses and keep them on. He carries his sunshine pillow around all morning and then slowly piles more things into his arms. He inevitably starts dropping things and then cries because he get it back into his grip. So I have started giving him a little bag to put his things in. I know its normal at this age. He is not interested in sharing with Jude and feels comforted by his possessions.

img_9046Toby can still throw great fits. He is so much better than before but he can still really make it rain. We get a lot of crocodile tears from him and it’s usually something Jude has done to upset him.

img_8977But Toby has matured a lot, even things like haircuts (which used to be unbearable) are no problem now.

img_9365Toby  can be shy around people but he is outgoing when it comes to trying new things. He’s fearless on the playground. He loves climbing high and going down big slides.

img_8687Toby loves being helpful, and since school has started he has been refusing to let me help him do things for him, like put on or take off his shoes. It’s been awesome. He’s getting better and better at pulling his pants up after the potty.

img_8733At 2, Jude is still the center of Toby’s universe. He loves his brother so much. I hope this bond never changes between them. They are always looking out for one another. If I give Toby a snack he will immediately ask where Jude’s snack is. If Toby falls down Jude will cry out for him as he is so upset by Toby being in pain.

img_9072Toby’s actual birthday was a bit crazy this year as I was in hospital due to a burst ovarian cyst. Despite the drama, we still managed to celebrate his bday spread out over the week.  img_9277Once I was recovered, I baked this. Toby is our little dinosaur. He loves to ‘roarrrrr’.

img_9342We invited best buddy Jessica over to celebrate with us and we all had a great time.

img_9376Happy Birthday, Toby! We love you!

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Toby: 23 Months Old

At the start of September Toby turned 23 Months Old.

img_8173Toby took a bit longer to warm up to being in Ohio. He’s more cautious by nature and so his instinct is always to cling to me in new situations. It was pretty exhausting at times as Toby really can throw a good fit.

img_7255I think it took a good week or so until he really started to go to Grandma or Grandpa for something. It took even longer for him to let them pick him up (rather than constantly demanding me). My parents encouraged me to get a little tougher with Toby and to stop always giving into his demands. Once I stopped always picking him up, or giving into his cries, I felt more in control and over time Toby began to accept things. It can be very hard not to baby the baby of the family.

img_8251So it wasn’t the easiest trip with Toby but I think we made progress and it was still a lot easier than when he was a baby. Despite these bumps in the road, Toby still managed to have a great time. Like Jude he loved being outside.

img_7852I tried to teach him how to roll down a hill but he didn’t quite get how to maneuver the roll. It was really funny to watch his attempts.

img_8199Toby is always getting up to something funny. He makes people laugh all the time even if he is not trying to.

img_7989His mannerisms, the way he moves his body, how he talks are all so unique. As I’ve mentioned many times before, Toby has to be experienced for people to understand.

img_7534Toby also enjoyed all the great food we had in America, especially the ice cream.

He impressed everyone with his strength when he pulled Jude around in the wagon for quite long distances.

img_8362He was pretty good at getting back on routine sleepwise. He’s happy as long as he has a pillow to cuddle.

img_8018He is so inquisitive. He’s always asking, ‘whats that? what’s that?’ and then resonding with ‘oh’.

img_8554He gave me so much trouble on both the flights but especially on the one back. Our flight on the way back was made particularly bad because of the time it left (1:45am). We were all so happy to finally land and see Dad. Toby loved returning to the familiarity and comfort of home.

img_8687Him and Jude are so close to one another but have such different personalities. I am always reminding myself that I the things that work with Jude won’t necessarily work with Toby. img_8643Toby has a tough shell but underneath he is so kind and gentle.

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Toby: 22 Months Old

At the start of August Toby turned 22 Months old.

IMG_6702It was a big month for Toby as he became totally potty trained (even through the night).

IMG_6603And he moved into Jude’s room.

IMG_6599We had a few rough days of nap times at the start – mostly because they were excited but after while, they both adjusted and now we can’t imagine life with them in seperate rooms. It’s been a really nice.

IMG_6560Toby and I spent most of July trying to keep cool while Jude was at school in the morning.

IMG_6562We went to the usual playcenters.

IMG_6596And in between, ran errands.

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Going anywhere was a lot harder this month with Toby. He wants to walk everywhere which is great except for when he no longer wants to walk and instead wants to be carried. Which results in this:

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IMG_6713It’s too hot and he is too heavy. Thankfully on most of these occasions I brought the stroller along and so would have to wrestle or bribe him into it. I really hope this phase doesn’t last long.

IMG_7155Toby, you are challenge but a sweet one!

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