Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, 7 months

Can you even keep up with this? My kid is 7 months old?

In the last three incredibly fast weeks, he is suddenly superbaby mobile unit. He can turn around on his stomach 360 degrees. His octopus hands are getting quicker than lightning. He has pulled himself to a standing position by himself. He is cruising from the ottoman to the couch to me and back. He leaps after desired object with no fear of the landing. He is looking in your eyes and lisping words that seem to have a specific meaning. He seems to know what or who the following are: diaper, dada, momma, chinese flashcards, Nai-nai (chinese grandma), and jump-jump-jump after a short demonstration. He is eating #2 food with no sign of stopping. He is weighing in at 23 lbs. And when he smiles, which is rarely at the camera, the world melt into a soft pile of butter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tofu, and no two ways about it

I've had tofu sliced, boiled, fried, frozen, stir-fried, silky, dried, pressed, firm, thawed, hot, spicy, in hotpot, and raw.

How about you?

I also snuck off and had two tacos today.

Baby Tao is having a wierd rash. Poor little tiger. He is trying to walk and crawl. He is cruising from the table to the couch and to me. He has fallen backwards three times. Scares me to death. I guess this is only the beginning of understanding my parents gray hair. My dad says, his girls gave him the gray hair. He never had it before he had any of us.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tao Parents are here for a visit.

Jonathan awoke to greetings in Chinese from Nai nai and Ye ye. He got new slippers and new toys already and Christmas isn't even here.

He is not sure what to think of all the stimulation. I predict that every little peep he makes will prompt someone to respond. I shall have to enroll him in despoil class next =0)

Nai nai fed baby tao some congee, rice soup. He seemed to like it!

We put up our Christmas tree last night. Steve's first one that he picked out himself. He had to go back out for the tree stand. Our house smells great, and our tree looks gorgeous. Jonathan loves to look at the pretty lights.

I am making cookies and candy for the neighbors. Darn it but I messed up the peanut butter fudge. Dad, bring your spoon! Keni, I need your expert hand for this, I never did have the fudge touch. But I do have an "impossible to fail" recipe from ATK. They never fail me!

We attended the Christmas banquet with a dessert potluck. Wow, the chocolate raspberry cake is fabulous; Mrs. Sampson's famous recipe makes its annual appearance. I need to get that recipe!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jonathan shops for his swimming suit online

Jonathan went to his first swimming lesson at YMCA on Thursday. The day before, he was shopping for his swimming suit online. He looked long and hard.

He really is a water boy. He appears to enjoy the swimming pool very much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Water Baby

Jonathan needs a warm swimsuit. So he was helping me to look for one..Now that BT is 6 months, he can go to wet tots at the Y. Lots of moms had told me horror stories about terribly frightened and screaming babies. Needless to say I was both excited and a bit anxious about our first class. But BT is a water baby. He is a natural. Even going completely under the water was no problem for him. He really enjoyed the class. He was so tuckered out afterward too. He slept for 2 1/2 hours to recouperate. BT also loves his sing and sign teacher. He loves to stare up at her when it is his turn to play the guitar. He watches her so closely that he can't even select between the green beanbag and blue beanbag. She is much more entertaining! He loves to sing, well at least listen to singing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, 6 months for Baby Tao

Yep, 6 months already. We are astounded by how fast this has gone. Yesterday at the doctors Baby Tao got on his knees and straight arms. First time on his own.
The doctor was impressed with how BT could sit up so well. But he is so past that he wanted to show her how he likes to stand and not sit. They had a little battle of wills, the doc won, but he let her know he was not happy about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jonathan's first attempt to search for a good deal

Jonathan was trying to find his deal in the newspaper ad for his first Black Friday shopping list. But THERE WAS NO DEAL!!!! He was not happy about that. He was frustrated with the newspaper.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Food, food, food

Jonathan has just begun sampling solid foods. He loves sweet potato. Carrots are so, so. And peas are a struggle.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Josefina, what a doll

We went to visit new Josefina. She is so precious. She arrived after a long hard labor of love.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trip Tales

To Michigan and beyond...and back again...

Wow, being with family makes having a baby a whole new ball game. What fun to introduce Jonathan to so many of his relatives.

The plane ride there was a bit rough, and my anxiety popped up as I would return with out Steve to help me. So many people prayed, and I had a lovely trip back. From GR to Chicago, a gracious Korean lady moved and gave me an extra seat. From Chicago to LA, I sat next to a gracious, tiny, asian lady who slept most of the way. She always wondered what Asian/white babies would look like as she is engaged to a white man, Jonathan was able to help. He was really tired and downright silly when we first got on the plane so he giggled his way into charming her. She was so helpful, as well as the Christian woman across the aisle with a service dog who detects peanuts due to her extreme allergy. Once again God showed his graciousness to us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What a baby

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Everyday we take at least one picture of Baby Tao. Saturday I lost the camera which had 7 days pictures on it. Yep, I was not the Loved Ones favorite wife anymore. One of the neighbors found it and returned it thru Christian, our nice landlord. We are very thankful. And I now have more highly favored wife status again.

Labor Day was not labor free. We helped the Rios pack for the big move. That was so fun. BT did a great job. Saturday is the big move day. We will most likely have a slumber party at their place Friday night. Won't that be fun?

Today BT helped me turn a page of a book I was reading to him. I laughed with delight.

Everything is now heading toward his mouth. He is chewing heartily on those gums. I am going to go look for the vibrating star which we tried out at the YMCA. He seemed to really like it and it soothed him. His friend Hunter also really liked it.

I went to help Patricia set up her classroom so Steve, who had a day of furlough, offered to watch baby for me. He was supposed to take BT to sing and sign class at the Y at 9:45 am. When I called to check how things were going and to let them know I was on my way home he had quite a tale to tell about why he did not take baby to class.

"I started to get baby ready at 9:15 am by putting him on our bed to put on his socks, when I heard the runny gushy sound--baby poop. After I finished putting on one sock, I got to suspecting that it had leaked thru. I picked him up to check. Yep, it sure had. And it a tiny bit had also flowed onto the quilt. I said to myself, I am going to change him downstairs where the paper towels are available. We went to baby's room to grab a diaper since we had run out downstairs. So we went downstairs, I put down a papertowel, then baby, then I removed the soiled diaper.

Before I had completely removed his overflowing diaper, to my horror, BT continued to gush baby poop. Since his old diaper was about half off, I was in the process of wiping his bum when another big gush happened. Eewwww! It was now all over my hand. I was totally disgusted. And that was my big mistake. I assumed he was done with the show. I grabbed the soiled diaper with all of the nasty wipes to throw it away and wash my hand. I left him bare-bummed on a papertowel since my hand was nasty and I could not put on the new diaper without messing it up. When I turned around he continued to spew forth baby poop as well finishing the show with a pee fountain. He completed this show with an evil grin. He had succeeded in soiling the outside of his new diaper as well, not to mention the blanket under him and his clothes. Finally he was clean and diapered and I went to find a new outfit. Wouldn't you know I picked the one with the small neck that I think might hurt him when I put it on. Needless to say, by the time I finished with BT, baby class was already over."

I told him he could have just said, "I did not feel like taking him today." It would have been much easier, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chubby bunny

Our Baby Tao is getting super chubby. He is starting to wear his adorable shoe collection.
He is also starting to grab anything within his tiny grasp.

How about some slimey drool?

Baby Tao can fall asleep in a second, even still holding a toy.

What a baby

OK, score for napping...Round one, baby cried for 20 minutes. I got him up to calm him, he laughed and giggled and broke my heart that I had to put him down again. Round two he cried and cried until finally at the 19 minute mark after fits and starts he was asleep. When I went up to check on him, he had shimmied to the top of his bed and wrested off the miracle blacket.

Today he was just crabby. When I went to sing and sign class he fussed and whined which he hasn't done before, and when I went to work out the child care woman had to come and get me since he was so irritable. Must be one of those days.

I did get my kitchen floor clean during that crying though.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Love

Today we celebrate the Birth of Steve Yuan Tao. I am so blessed to have the blessing of being married to such a great man, loving father, interesting conversant, best friend, passionate lover, intellent auditor, committed believer. He is so compassionate, patient, gentle, kind. He provides so well for his family with love and materials. He is sacrificial in his care for us.

I do not think I could find a better husband than this great man. He continues to improve. I love him more today than the day we married.

Happy Birthday, My good-looking husband.

Oh, and on his birthday he bought me a new couch. What a love!

Deanna, we finally got rid of blue plaid one. I was sentimental about it for a moment of silence to consider all the memories and people that little loveseat has served. Almost seems like a family heirloom...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby 1, Mommy 0

Ok, trying to have BT fall asleep on his own... In the past I hold baby while he naps. If not, he wakes himself up for miscellaneous reasons. I am now trying to mend my evil ways and have him nap in his bed. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

After getting him plenty tired, I placed him in his bed. 15 minutes later he was still crying heartily with no sign of stopping. So, I got him up, took off his clothes, put him in his miracle blanket, fed him a touch--poof!ASLEEP! So, in round one, he took a two hour nap --in his bed--but he was asleep when I put him there. Hoping for improvement, where he can fall asleep in his own bed alone.
Today I picked up baby from the Y's childwatch center so I could work out. He was chilling in the swing. Here is his sitter. She read him books and fed him, and of course, she said he was adorable. =0)
He attended the sing and sign class today. I was so disheartened to learn the teacher makes up her own sign language instead of using ASL. Bummer! He really gets excited when the teacher plays the guitar right in front of him while singing to him.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Roll over, roll over

Yes, can you believe this? Our boy is beginning to roll over. I had no idea this happens so early in his life. He is growing non-stop. I have already packed away clothes that no longer fit. I held a tiny pair of socks that are just precious and I can't remember him having feet that tiny. He is giggling and goo-gooing.

He is also crying when I put him down. He follows my every movement with his eyes. I am a MOM! It is really hitting now. no escaping or resigning. Do you remember that book, "Where does a mom go to resign?"

He is almost officially to the 3 month mark. That is when his little life is supposed to change to schedules and timetables--parent directed. We shall see how the battle is waged. He has definite oppinions and brings hours of cheap entertainment to his mom and dad. He was sitting in his little Bumbo chair when we hear the "pooping noice". Wow, it was the blow-out of the century! Is that over-share? That is my little world now.

We attended the YMCA sing and sign baby class. It is a lot of fun. I am learning signs for animals and lots of new songs. How fun!

Daddy is reading baby books in Chinese to Baby Tao nightly. I am trying to repeat the words as I am cooking dinner. He really loves books and pictures.

Baby has discovered his sucking fingers. This morning Steve went to check on baby and he was awake happily sucking on his fist. We call that a knuckle sandwich. So do you want a knuckle sandwich.

Steve is hunting for a van for our expanding family. Is obsessing too strong a word?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sister, Clothing

Sisters Kendra and Cathy are clothes addicts, gurus, professionals, fashionistas...whatever you want to call them. I did not get that gene or jean...ha ha! Anyway, so they bring four suitcases this weekend for only one 24 hours stay. We almsot could not fit them into the car. We forgot to take out the stroller. We almost couldn't bring Keni back.

Steve managed to get in his favorite mantra, "We need a bigger car!"

Here are some of the fun outfits they brought...
Russian hat, have I ever mentioned they have an entire wall of hats...I didn't even try to count those...

Old Navy fun shoes, have I ever mentioned that they own over 100 pairs of shoes... I stopped counting at 100.

Opps, sorry, this outfit is from Aunt Cindy.

Baseball hat--

And this picture cause they gave him a nap with no clothing except his diaper, which he seemed to really like.

Kung-Fu Baby

My sisters named Baby Tao, Kung-Fu Baby. He holds his little fists up in a defensive boxing pose and waves them about frantically. He really looks like he knows Karate and his brother Kung-Fu.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sisters to the rescue

Kendra and Cathy came for the weekend. They watched BT Saturday night and Sunday morning so that Steve and I could go for date night. We napped, slept, went out for dinner and did not return until noon on Sunday. What a lovely break.

Kendra also surprised me with bags of clothes for BT from a friend of hers who has a four year old and had saved his baby clothes. Wow, I will not have to shop for BT for at least four years. What a blessing!


Yes, Baby Tao is showing some of his personality. One afternoon when he was sleeping on my lap, I lightly tapped his bottom. Without waking, he lifted he head, snarled back his lips and said, "Aehhh!" in a very irritated voice. I got the message. Don't interrupt his naps.

Today we were playing with the cow that when squeezed says "moo-ooo, moo-ooo." After I had sqeezed it one too many times, Baby Tao got back that irritated look, and then perfectly immitated the cows double moo-ooo, then started to cry. It was such a perfect immitation I thought I had lost my marbles. He has not done it again.

Today BT was rather short tempered. I think this heat is getting to him.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Schedule or not to schedule

Baby Tao has now begun to work on his daily schedule.

He goes to bed sometime between 7 and 10:30.

He eats a lot all day long.

He sleeps after eating or playing. Do you think I need to narrow the time slots?

He wakes up twice at night, 1, 2 or 3 am and then 4, 5 or 6. Not bad for a two month old. We go for a walk in the morning before 10 am.

He is working on holding up his head, swatting hanging objects, tummy time, and looking at a monkey book. He rides imaginary bikes and feels different materials on his cheeks and in his hand. Aunt Brenda got him a great teddy rattle that is smooth on one side and soft on the other, and fuzzy on the bear. He really loves it! Thank you, Aunt Brenda.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Baby Tao got his first round of shots. He was a trooper. He does not like tylenol, cherry flavored. But he does like vitamin D drops, cherry flavor. He cried so sincerely when he got the shots, Steve and I just laughed at his big tears and sad eyes. He stopped crying quickly, Thank you, God. Today, the day after, he was sleepy and whiny, but not the worst day of my with baby life.

I have heard plenty of horror stories. I even remember the shots I had to get for kindergarten, they really hurt. Very tramatizing! Our Baby Tao is strong. The doc was astounded at how he can hold up his head and kick his legs. She said he is comparable to a 4 month old. He now weighs 13 lb, 8.8 oz. He is in the top bracket for length and weight. We are happy parents of a strong, healthy, normal baby.

The doctor who originally reported that shots cause autism is being proscecuted for fraud in his case studies. He made up data! Wow, what a stir he has made. In my class tonight, a mother of three stated that she does not give immunizations, at all. . . Risky.

More Friends stay the night

Desire and Chris spent the night at our house. We had such a fun time. Steve and Chris got to get water for us.

Chris and I watered the tomato plants. He really loved doing that. Chris did a great job of coloring and we found out he loves Chinese dumplings.

Speaking of tomato tomato plants from last year are out of control with producing cherry tomatoes. The Heirloom tomato plants from my neighbor Cynthia are huge, but weak on fruit, so I will fertilize more. I am a rookie bucket farmer and am just thrilled that anything will grow.

I bought four new herb plants at the Culver City Farmers market and two of them have had worms. Those buggers are tricky. They look just like the stems so for the longest time I didn't see them. But they do leave behind evidence of their existence. Now I am a bit more educated on what to look for so discover them. What fun, this gardening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rios Family

The Rios Family spent the weekend with us and made a vidoe with Fernando's cool iphone. Thanks for the yummy dinner and breakfast, Monique. They are carrying one of Baby Tao's Best friends, Josiah. We can't wait for him to get here.

Here is Baby Tao sleepily cooing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Don't you just want to tickle these tiny toes?

So now it is time to begin a schedule for Baby Tao.

The only thing he has taught me that I have actually caught is that for sleeping he prefers the purple pacie, the green fuzzy blanket, turned on his side, and he insists on burying his face into the crook of my elbow.

He is a good eater. I feel like I can scarcely keep up with him. Overshare--he is sometimes eating with out the nipple shield. Yippy! I am really astounded at how quickly babies seem to learn.

He is also growing like a weed. He is just starting to not fit into New Born clothes. 3 month clothes at 7 weeks.

Grandma Tao got him this adorable little bathrobe with a frog on it. He finally does not scream like he is being murdered when I give him a bath. In fact, the other day, he actually seemed to put out his toes like he was trying to test the water. And he no longer looks into my eyes with sheer terror. I felt like a mean mom, how dare I try to have a clean baby.

Steve's second counsins were here for the weekend. They just loved Baby Tao. He was so good for them. He cooed on demand. They are getting ready to start their family, and so wanted to practice with Baby Tao.

Aunt Keni popped in for a quick visit and introduction to Baby Tao. Steve had spent the weekend teaching his counsins to care for Baby Tao, and continued with Keni. She just zapped him up and demonstrated her baby moves. She is a natural. Steve was impressed.

"Steve, we have five nieces and nephews that I grew up caring for, and this makes six!"

Baby Tao stole Uncle Ronnie's heart. Ronnie loved the Baby and was amazed by how tiny he is, and plans to return often to love him and help him learn about the world.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A moment

Baby Tao had just had his second blow-out in a morning. So once again I pulled off all his clothes, ran a sink full of water and prepared to throw him in for a quick rinse off. He looked up into the mirror and saw me and started smiling and cooing. He pulled his lips up on one side, and garbled something he found quite hilarious. I could not help but laugh with him, and suddenly I had a memory of my fathers lips curled in just the same way when he was quipping a witty remark.

That delighted me to no end as daily I look at my boy and wonder what he has inherited from my side of family. Just one more delightful experience in the first 40 days of motherhood.
Baby Tao loves trips in the baby Bjorn pack.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What a blessing.

Awesome woman, Janet came over to hold BT so that I could get some serious house work done. I am so grateful, and Jonathan got a great nap. Yes, he slept for 2 whole hours with barely a twitch. If anyone needs a sub grandma, I can recommend Janet.

mommy--its fun!

Ok, in just under two hours I think I have every body fluid known to man covering me. Details not necessary.

BT is cooing, and beginning to smile. I swear I got a laugh but Steve says it was an accident. BT is hanging out on his tummy more and actually enjoys looking at things from a different perspective.

Monday, June 15, 2009

First milestones

BT is holding up his head. Yes, it is very wobbly but still he is trying. He crosses his arms when he is lying on my chest and then pushes up his head and then tries to look around.

Today his little umbilical cord fell off, and he has revealed his tiny belly button!

He also uses a pacifier, he is getting better at holding it in his mouth.

Mom and Dad came for a week. That was so wonderful. They were both so great with BT and offering me advise and affirmation that I am ok, and so is BT. Dad created a hide-a-bed for our guests in BT's rooms. We still need to paint it, but it is a great space saver.

His eyes are still dark gray-blue. I am expecting them to change to brown any day now.

Ok, I am so behind!

Baby Tao was born on May 29th at 8:51 pm. He weighed in at 9 lb and 6 oz and 22 inches long. Yep a big guy. His sholder was stuck and the midwife was able to grab him and yank him out! She is awesome, go LaTonya.

Baby is a good eater, sleeper and all the other things new borns do. He sleeps for four hours at night. What a blessing! We love him so much! Being a mom is a great delight. I try to treasure each second since everyone keeps telling me they grow so fast.

One of my favorite moments is after he eats and I burp him. He curls up on my chest and I rub his back and we both treasure being cuddly and close. There is nothing sweeter than that. I am so grateful for this opportunity to love this little man.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Three days

Three days until our official due date. No sign of a ready to come boy however.

Today, I sent my man to Costco with his bro to buy a new mattress. Well, guess what shiny-eyed, happy man brought back, mighty hunter that he is?

A new TV and no mattress. Now what does one say to that?

Monday, May 18, 2009

UCLA shower.

Baby Jonathan was celebrated at Steve's workplace. They graciously hosted a baby shower with an adorable cake and potluck. Then blessed us with giftcards to finish baby's room.

Cinco de Mayo, well actually the 2nd!

Where do I ever get the ideas? Don't know but we decided to give a go at celebrating Cinco de Mayo. I am so thankful for my Mexican friends, who saved the day with helping me prepare the food.

We had Tortilla soup, that I the next day realized I forgot to add the chicken, so it was more like tortilla broth...
Beans and Rice, thanks Monique and enchiladas thanks Desiree and Monique. Stephanie made a cake and frosted it herself. Fernando wrestled up a gorgeous, artfully arranged salad.

We played animal uno, you must be there to fully appreciate the humor and M&M exchange. I think Fernando gave us a memory that we will never forget. I will never look at a blue M&Ms the same way. I found blue M&M juice for days after our party. I do wonder if he still likes M&Ms.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Four weeks from today

Yep, if the due date is right on, Baby Jonathan could be here in four weeks. He is currently just over 6 lbs and is estimated to be between 7-8 lbs at delivery. He has plenty of amnio fluid and moves tons each day. I am serious about serving an eviction notice as he is getting rather bothersome with all that hard kicking and stretching not minding if my bladder or stomach or ribs are in his little way. We just can't wait to see him. We are wondering if he will have my eyes or Steve's and asian hair or none.

Today I went to swim class. I call it the old ladies swim and sing class. The teacher, Esther gives us a move to make and then we sing a song with an appropriate oldies song and beat. The ladies are warm and welcoming and the workout is not bad either.

Wedding Bliss for Weston

Well Weston is hitched! Yeehaw! Did anyone get a pic of the silly grin he couldn't stop as his bride came down the center aisle? It was just precious...
They had a lovely wedding on Saturday. Pastor Shannon preformed the ceremony. I thought Kristina looked smashing in her green dress. She is her mothers daughter as she got up at three am and added sleeves to her dress as a last minute change. And the addition was great! What a talented family.
The cake and punch reception followed, that brings me to my southern days. I think the cakes tasted fabulous, which as you know, at a wedding can be a bit of a gamble. Lisa had a tiny sample and let us know that the frosting was pretty good.The cakes came in chocolate, yellow and a happy mix of both, and they also had different fillings and were moist and generous with their sizes. This for me is always most important with my little hobby.
Weston looked dazed in a happy way and Kristine was a radiant bride.
The groom's mother made her own dress, which was just one more way of Gwen demonstrating her amazing seamstress abilities. Glenn provided the getaway car. I don't know what the make and model are, but it is certainly a solid tanker car. Raymond, the famous mechanic, mentioned the pillow shocks, so they will ride on a luxury cloud to their honeymoon.
We appreciated the subtle detailed touches, like covering the seats of the picnic tables, and the homemade banana bread, and decorating the entrance way all the way to the parking lot. The punch was wonderful and refreshing on the warm, but not too hot clear sky day. Doesn't our Jenny look gorgeous with her new look?

The bestman had a great one-liner about his friendship being a match made in lemon since he and Weston met over a cup of lemon-aide.

Dinner Party

Rick and Rachel, Steve's coworker came over for dinner Friday evening. Rachel is Chinese and Steve enjoyed comparing their growing up years. We had Baked Chicken, red potatoes, beans, and they brought cherry and lemon cheesecake pie. We really enjoyed the evening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Resurrection Sunday

Celebrating our Lord's Resurrection on Sunday was such a blessing. This was Steve and I's first dinner party. We had eight people for our party. Everyone pitched in to help make our day a success. Eagle brought a gorgeous Easter lily. Steve and I really appreciated this later in the week as we read in Matthew, consider the lily of the field, it neither toils nor sows, but God clothes it better than Solomon in all his glory.Robert made the gravy and Hollaindaise sauce for the Asparagus, and well as bringing wonderful bread. Juan and Melina cut the ham to perfection as well as preping the salad and bringing drinks. Steve bought chairs for everyone to sit around the table. And I supervisedas well as made a chocolate flourless cake! The Nelsons had impecable timing, as everything was done and ready just as they arrived. But they helped with the dishes. And what a blessing that was!

Gifts for Jonathan

Stephanie, Jonathan's future babysitter, got these tiny socks.
This is Diane's amazing crochet work!

Raymond jr., I believe, is planning to teach baby Jonathan to surf with his totally awesome outfit! On the rear it says "Wipe Out!"