Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lately /

/ About two weeks ago, my work location moved. My total commute time is now 4 MINUTES. Roundtrip. I can’t tell you how great it is to work so close to home. I even skip out for about 20 minutes during lunch time to pick up Anna from school. Even better is this – the project I am on is winding down and there is a shortage of fund available for us to be at the client site full time…..so we have only been working 6 HOURS a day. I am getting so used to this 4-minute commute and 6-hour workday that I don’t know how I could ever go back to the norm. I must find real PT work.

So all this just means extra time with the kids. I get to hang out with Will, who is the happiest when he first wake up in the morning.
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/ Much to my dismay, hubs bought a Kindle (Fire) for the kids. Well, I guess mainly Anna for now. She enjoys a spelling game, but I don’t think she “gets” it so I feel it’s a waste of time. Then when we try to show her the correct way to play, she gets all pouty and mentally shuts down. And because she’s not good about sharing it with Will, she has gotten yelled at. A Kindle? Eh, I can take it or leave it.
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/ Over the weekend, we took the kids to the mall twice. Just to walk around and to play in the play area. Both kids played very well. Will even tested himself by going out of our eyesight and smiled so big when he spotted us again. He’s so different from Anna, who clung onto us when we first took her there. Will is so cute to me. Ha, I am sure all parents say that about their kids.

I couldn’t get a good picture of Will playing, but here is one of Anna.
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One more picture at a bookstore...so many toys to play with!
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Will - 15 Months Update

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tunnel
We bought this and the kids are having a blast with it.  I am getting the tent next!

Eating
Will used to be a good eater, but he has been eating less and less solids. He has long moved beyond purees and eats table food like the rest of us. But the problem is that he still only has 6 teeth, all in the front, so I think it’s tough for him to chew. On the other hand, he may just prefer playing over being strapped down to eat. Luckily, he drinks a good amount milk so I am not too worried about him.

If he doesn't eat much of lunch or dinner, we give him lots of fruit and he loves it all.  The amount of fruit we buy for the kids is costing us a small fortune.

15 Month Checkup
Will had his 15 month well checkup this month. He weighs 26 lbs 15.5 oz (50th percentile) and is 31.25 inches tall (90th percentile). Hubs took him for the checkup and when I saw that 90th percentile written on the stats sheet, I was shocked. :)  I hope he keeps it up!

Schedule
Lately Will has been skipping his afternoon nap, even though I don’t think he’s ready for just one nap either. However, he has been having trouble going down for his second nap for a few days now. He fusses and cries in his crib, and eventually, we just go pick him up if he doesn’t fall asleep after an hour. Anna was completely transitioned to one nap by 15 months, so it would be great if Will was the same way. Being on one nap will make our lives easier because he will be on a similar schedule as Anna.  The timing is good too because as the weather gets warmer, weekend trips will go a lot smoother when we don't need to worry about Will's morning nap.

This is Will’s current schedule if he takes two naps. If he decides to skip the afternoon nap, then bed time is about 7:00p instead.

6:30 – 7:00a – Wake up
9:30 – 10:00a – Morning Nap (1 hour and 10 minutes)
2:30 – 3:00p Afternoon Nap (1 hour)
7:15p – Bedtime

Milestones
In addition to bye-bye and ball, Will says throw whenever he throws something. These are the only words he says without any prompt. However, he repeats many words after us, like wawa (water), mama, baba, and nana (Anna). By 15 months, 3-4 words for a toddler is average, so he’s right on track.

Recently, Will has been really into bringing us books. He goes to the shelves, pick up a book, walk over, and wave it in front of us. If we are busy to pay attention, he throws a fit. So he’s definitely becoming more aware and emotional.  When I sit down with him on the floor, he uses me as his chair and sits in my lap.  Love that.

Will may have a touch of stranger anxiety, but it's nothing like Anna's.  Because of Lunar New Year, we had been making trips to hubs' parents' house for dinners with a bunch of people there.  All the unfamiliar faces didn't phase him a bit.  He was his usual happy self, with a huge smile plastered across his face.  However, when he was worn out and needed someone to hold, he came straight to hubs or me.  Such a sweet boy.
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Celebrating Lunar New Year with red pants!

Now that we know all about the split-personality of a preschooler, I wish Will could stay a little baby toddler for a while.  I love the stage that he's at right now.  He's happy to see us, doesn't talk back, and can't do anything about our hugs, kisses, and squeezes.  He adores being with his family and the feeling is mutual.

I love this boy.
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This is typical Will - just happy and goofy and playful.
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After I saw this at work, I tried it at home. It kept them busy while I cooked.
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He loves his dog.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Almost 3: Sleep (& pictures of Anna's room)

Anna is about to turn 3. I will be writing a series of posts throughout the next few weeks, in the hopes that it can help me remember what is happening in her world at this time.IMG_1871
Every night before lights off, we listen to this music snow globe.

Confession time.

Shortly after Will was born, I can’t remember when exactly, Anna started sleeping in our bed with us. Her in the middle...sleeping horizontally...taking up 80% of the space...while hubs and I split the remaining 20 on the opposite ends of the bed.

Oh, and she likes to sleep on top of the blanket and pratice her karate kicks in the middle of the night.

Needless to say, we were not getting good sleeps.

This went on for a long time. More than a year?

Then she started school. And we knew her getting a good sleep was more important than ever.

So one day, we talked to her about sleeping in her own big girl bed. She said “okay” and nodded, but I wasn’t sure how it would go.

Well, the conversation happened over two weeks ago and she has slept in her room ever since. Through the night. Just like that.  No bribes, no rewards.

Anna is almost 3 and she sleeps in her own bed, from roughly 8:15 at night to 7 in the morning.  (Lights off at 8:15p, but I don’t know when she falls asleep. Same thing in the morning, she sleepily walks over to our room at around 7a, but I don’t know when she wakes up.)

On the days she naps, she naps in her bed for 2 to 2.5 hours. Once or twice a week, she will just lay there until we say it's OK to get up.

I never did post pictures of Anna’s room, so here are some to share. She doesn’t spend much time in her room except to sleep, so it still feels empty and undone to me, but hopefully that will change soon.

Pictures taken right before bedtime, while she was getting her bath.
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Anna's Room

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pencil Arrow Valentines

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and it is the first time Anna will get to pass out Valentines to her classmates at preschool! Instead doing the whole thing myself, I wanted to get Anna involved in every step of the way. So we hit up the Target dollar bin section together and got the supplies.

The supplies sat there for weeks, until one day, when Will was napping and I decided to get to work.

It didn’t take long. I wrote “Happy Valentine’s Day!” with a marker...

Anna peeled + stuck the stickers...

She did it all on her own, I didn’t even correct her when she covered the words with stickers.
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and hubs was in charge of making slits and sliding the pencils through.

This was his face the entire time. Haha. IMG_1808
There are so many cute ideas out there. Although I could've easily found some printables online and made them "professional" looking, I am happy that I went with this option. They are imperfect, but as handmade as possible. :) Can't wait for Anna to hand these out tomorrow.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy (Lunar) New Year!

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To all those that celebrate the Lunar New Year, I wish you all a wonderful, prosperous and healthy year! This year is the Year of the Snake! Over the weekend, we visited both set of Grandparents and received red envelopes filled with money. Hubs’ and I received some, too, but decided to just go ahead and give them to the kids as well. In Asia, Lunar New Year is a weeklong celebration, but we are back to work today. One of these days, we will have to take the kids to Taiwan over this big holiday and show them what it is all about.

All through the weekend, Anna kept on shouting, “Happy Chinese New Year!” Well, to make it more authentic, we taught her to say it in Chinese:

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Friday, February 8, 2013

TGIF.

It’s the weekend of Lunar New Year, which means we will be spending time with family and eating lots of good food. And receiving RED ENVELOPES. I have a new outfit, from head to toe, for Will to wear. There is something for Anna, too, but I am not sure she will agree to it. That girl has been a tough cookie to deal with lately and is so opinioned about everything.

Anyway! In honor of the Year of the Snake, we did a little snake craft last night. Anna helped with cutting the paper into strips and making them into chains. It was a success. I didn’t expect it to turn into a lesson in patterns, though. We had a pattern of red-red-green-red-red-green and she did it so well. She got it immediately and knew exactly what color came next. Learning through play is the best.
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Oh! And totally unrelated to the New Year or snakes, hubs and I have been watching Downton Abbey. We are a few years late to the party and only started watching them a while ago. The best thing about starting late is that we get to watch episodes after episodes without any hiatus. The sad thing is that I accidentally caught a spoiler about Lady Sybil. Boo. We are both hooked on the show. And do you find yourself trying to speak with a British accent after watching the show? Because I do, but totally butcher it. Hubs, on the other hand, is very good and it is so funny. :) Who is your favorite character? Lady Mary is mine. Even back when she wasn’t so nice.
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Have a happy weekend!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Almost 3 - Little Bookworm

Anna is about to turn 3. I will be writing a series of posts throughout the next few weeks, in the hopes that it can help me remember what is happening in her world at this time.
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At almost-3, Anna really enjoys curling up with a good book. In fact, I will go out on the limb and say that it is her favorite activity.

She likes being read to, but just as much, she likes to read independently on her own. She has a very good memory and can recite many of the stories that we read to her often.

As a working mom, I can’t read to her during the day, but this is our nightly routine:
- Hubs gives the kids a bath while I shower.
- After I shower, I get Anna dressed and put her on our bed. She reads on her own.
- Then I grab Will – get him dressed, feed him, and put him down for the night.
- I snuggle up with Anna + read her a story or two. Then hubs reads her a story.
- Then we read a short book in her room.
- Lights out.
- [And then we exchange I love you's twice.]

All in all, she gets about 25 minutes of reading a day, but that does not include the time she flips through the books herself.

She was hooked on Winnie-the-Pooh stories for a long time, but after reading them for the zillionth time, I decided I had enough. So now we have moved to reading classic fairy tales (but with a Disney twist!), such as “Rapunzel,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Gingerbread Man.” All with Disney characters mixed in so even I enjoy reading them.

I am glad to see Anna turning into a little bookworm!
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