Saturday, February 28, 2015

First dance class

Joy attended (and kind of participated) in her first dance class. A teacher at ICS is teaching the class to 10 little people. What a great service and sacrifice of her Saturday morning. 
Joy stayed pretty close to me but by the last stretching time she was willing to participate and had a great time. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Good bye Fanling children's clinic!

I just have to report that Simon took his 18 month injection like a champ. Minimal crying once promised gummie  bear was delivered. It was my last time at the clinic here in Hong Kong. I did not shed a tear! Overall it has been a great experience at the clinic however there are  some funny (and frustrating) things. Here are just a couple. 
1) chinese babies: HK  children sit on their parents laps totally comatose... Simon ran around the clinic like a wild child. 
2) formula:  the nurse was a little confused by the fact that Simon drinks cow milk from a sippy cup not formula from a bottle. I must say tht the nurses were very supportive and encouraging when I hose to nurse both kids. 
3) food. They measure how much babies eat in rice bowls, which is hard for me because my kids eat off IKEA plates, and don't only eat rice. :) 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year break is over. We loved having brad home!  We had a fun time visiting with friends, hanging out as a family and trying to escape the craziness that happens in our village during this time of year. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Simon is 18 months

What Simon is doing
  • Simon is trying to relay events to us these days, which is a bit like an exaggerated game of charades (with hand signals and sounds) since he can't really talk. He is very excited when you finally understand what he is trying to tell us. 
  • Can identify banana trees and points out each one we pass. 
  • Is a very sensitive soul: He cries when Joy goes to time out (for hitting/biting him!) and if a character in a book is crying he starts to cry. 
  • Can navigate stairs (using the railings) really well on his own. Funny side note: I read Joy's 19 month blog post and I was stating how frustrated I was that Joy wouldn't walk up the stairs on her own, she only wanted to be carried (and I couldn't carry her because I had just had a c-section). Just yesterday I was feeling frustrated that Simon only wants to walk up the stairs. Oh us mothers we can never be happy can we? So I'm thankful that Simon WANTS to walk up the stairs. 
  • Is BUSY: Runs, climbs big and small chairs and moves the stool so he can reach things on the counter. 
  • Gives lots of hugs and kisses. He will blow raspberries on any exposed skin and can even give a back scratch if asked. 
  • Can identify many animals (although still only making one animal sound..ROAR) 
  • Has self- appointed chores: he daily reminds me to empty the dehumidifier water, empty bathroom garbage into the kitchen garbage and take out the garbage. By 2 years old just think of the chores I can have him doing! He even cleans up spills and put toys away. 
What Simon is saying 
Simon understand everything I tell him. He can follow one step directions. He still isn't much of a talker and has very limited words. I was a bit worried that his speech is so far behind Joy's at this age. So I have been counting every word. By 18 months he is suppose to be at 20 he is close.
1. No 

2. Yeah
3. ga ga: gross/garbage
4. baba: dog
5. dat: that
6. amm: food 
7. mm mm: milk 
8. Mama
9. da da
10. hi
11. bye
12. baabaa (and makes blowing motion): bubbles (which means he wants a straw)
13: nana: banana

Teeth: 10 teeth (working on a bottom tooth and still no "i" teeth)


Solid food: Simon is a good eater but his eating goes through phases like his sleeping. He will eat tons for a couple days (out eat Joy) and then eat like a bird. But he does eat a variety of food. Have I mentioned he has quite the sweet tooth! If there is even talk of candy he wants some (and then has one of his few tantrums because he can't have it). 
  • Loves: most all food. Especially bread, rice, veggies, fruit. Pizza (he is my son), yogurt, cheese, he adores keifer smoothies. 
  • Verdict is still out on:  beans, chicken
Night time:  6:30-6am. We have all finally found a schedule that is working. That only took 18 months. When he is working on a tooth or only has an hour nap it takes him a long time to wind down at bedtime and he will cry a lot.  

Naps: He is at one nap and will sleep for 1 hour on bad days and 2 hours on good days. One week he will only sleep an hour, then the next 1.5 hours and then the next 2 hours...then cycle back to the one hour phase. I think I have figured out that he is on a three week rotation or sorts. We are now in the 2 hour phase and everything is right with the world.

Weighs: 21.4 lbs

-  Being outside: although he would rather not be contained in a play ground. He wants to romp and roam while being wild and free. The roof is ideal! 

-Playing dress up with Joy's fancy shoes and jewelry! 

-Taking out the dog with daddy and feeding the dog

-Playing with kitchens: play food and pretend cooking is a favorite for this boy. If I let him play with the real hand mixer or any kitchen appliance he is in heaven. 

- Loves long showers and drinking the shower water out of cups. Joy and Simon play "coffee shop", at least they are not drinking soapy bath water. 

- Books: 'Good Night Gorilla", "Very Busy Spider", "How Does Baby Feel" (although that last one makes him cry on the page where the boy breaks his toy and feels sad). Simon's interest is growing in books. He always plays with is ears while we are reading to him. 

Dislikes: being far away from mommy especially if needing to be comforted, being told "no" (although listens better than his sister ever did) and when Joy has a time out.  
FLEECE * Since Christmas we have noticed that Simon has a weird bumpy red itchy rash on his legs. Finally last month I was able to narrow it down to a sensitivity to fleece, but only on his legs. With cream, sensitive soap and no fleece he is doing better (he still randomly breaks out, which I can't figure out why). When he is really itchy it definitely affects his sleep.

Favorite event this month: Daddy is on Chinese New Year break and we are loving having him around. We went on a super long hike on the first day of vacation. While Joy talked and sang the WHOLE time Simon loved observing nature and only made noise when he needed to point out every trash can we passed. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Joy is three today (Birthday interview)

Where have the years gone? It is hard to believe Joy is three. It assume it will be even harder to believe it the day she turns 6. What a spunky, feisty, imaginative, compassionate, dramatic, creative  and intelligent little blue eyed girl we have. We love you more each day Joy and are blessed to be your parents. It truly is a joy to watch you grow up. You ask mommy and daddy lots of hard questions and keep us on our toes. It is fun to see your relationship with Simon growing. We love to hear you talking to him and playing together ("come on Simon lets go play in my room"). 

 Joy's  birthday party was this weekend and she opened presents from us (a tea set and dress up jewelry). Then yesterday she got to open her present from Grammie and Grandpa Condie while on Skype with them (a baby doll set with a new baby she has named "Chrysanthemum") . Today (her actual birthday) she got to go out with daddy on a special date. She requested hash browns, orange juice, water  (so they went to "Old McDonalds as she calls it) and chocolate ice cream (from the store) for the food and  playing at the park. She even got a new Chinese New Year dress. 

We did a birthday interview with her and I can't figure out how to put up the pdf so I've put up the video. It is very cute (even though it is very long 4min) but I am her mother! 

Joy's tea party birthday

For Joy's 3rd birthday we threw her a tea party. She had five friends (Elena, Abigail, Mathis, Christian and Simon) attend and we had it up on our roof. It was a fun afternoon. 
Play time: play dough, scooters and slides before the party started 

Joy and her scooter (her favorite thing to do!)

Mathis giving Rudy a little love and attention 

Craft time: Making fascinators and bow ties. 

Tea Time: I made decaffeinated strawberry tea with honey

Snack Time: tea sandwiches cut in the shape of butterflies, sausage (birthday girl's request), fruit and pop corn (birthday girl request)

 Cupcake time: Joy waited very patiently all day for this part. The candles wouldn't light due to the wind but Joy still pretended to blow them out!

 Simon avoiding sticky fingers....

Book exchange time: the kids all loved their books and we even read a few of them. Joy got the hilarious book "Children Make Terrible Pets"