Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain, rain, go away!

Water stomping!

We had a water stomping family good time. We got our not best shoes and went out in the rain to prevent cabin fever. It was great! We splashed, splished, jumped, pounded our hands, skipped, ran and sang in the rain.

Los Angeles got more rain this week than in the last ten years. That is a lot of rain. You may have seen us on the news. Houses washed away, bridges collapsed, and something like 1500 car accidents in 18 hours. Yes, we don't do well with rain. We rarely get it.

BT and I had such fun bringing holiday treats to the neighbors. Great fun! Only 3 day to Christmas. This year we have ornaments we put on the tree one each day. Each is relating to a name of Jesus. Immanuel-God with us, and today was The Door. We also did a chocolate advent from Trader Joe's that is really fun too. Christmas is so fun with kids! Everything is delightful. He pokes the ornaments, and angels, and presents. His eyes shine with wonder as he repeats pretty much everything you say.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yeah, I'm a Survivor!

Cold (super light) is all but gone, except for the hanging on runny nose which may last for years, I've heard.

I am so delighted in my little man. He is so charming. Yes, I know I am his mother but still... he says monkey, hoo-hoo while scratching his armpits.

I am trying to get him to say thank you politely, so I say "thank you, thank you, thank you, Mommy." Yesterday, he said so sweetly, "Thank you, Mommy". He hasn't said it since, but hope springs eternal in my heart.

His little hair cut is adorable. His eyes look so big and innocent and when he is teasing nothing twinkles brighter than his brown/gray eyes!

Where there is the smallest bit of water his feet will soon follow. He is recently enthralled by leaves. No matter what they look like, if they are crunchy, all the better. Today he frantically zipped about trying to collect all of them before the wind swept them away! He got three, but a lovely three they were.

He insists that I wear the too small fireman hat, and pretend to spray and put out all the raging fires around the place. The spittle that comes out your mouth in the process of making the sputtering sound the better.

He got some wibble wobbles and giggles and squeeles with glee when we spin them.

Last night he "helped" me cut out sugar cookies. He loved putting his finger in the dough. Made me think it is time for play dough.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Cold by any other name is still a COLD.

Yep, BT has an official COLD. Some symptoms: A nose you cannot hope to catch, No patience for things that do not go his way, Whiney and not a chance of understanding what he is trying to say with a stuffed nose, If he sees the thermometer he has an allergic reaction by throwing a fit and shouting, "No, no, no!".

But he is more cuddly, and wants holding and rocking. He also slowed down enough to enjoy coloring and writing and then saying "x". He loves letters!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, 30 yrs old, Alex

Alexandria, wow, didn't 30 years just zip past. It is so hard to believe that another 30 years and we will be in our 60s. That changes my perspective on 60.

Tavis surprised her. I met lots of fun people. One girl from Grace I had met not long ago, and happens to me my next door neighbor, literally. So glad to meet you, Jane. This is so unique in a church as large as grace to meet people to actually live near you.

It was delightful to be with kids of all ages and really nice friendly believers. I met a woman who will be praying for us to adopt some kids, Tavis' aunt Joy. Her name perfectly suited her! A newly wed couple who knew each other since pre-school and re-met while working at Starbucks, the Pastor and wife of Alex's church, and we even saw our friends from Bible Study.

Mr. 18 months is big and strong and likes to do a one arm stop the train move. He tried it on a tiny 2 year old and when adults from every couner of the room came running to check on the crying girl, he started crying in terror. I hope this is a lesson that sticks, as my little reminders and corrections have not worked so far.

Today when I was going thru my closet he saw a pack of little trucks. He really wanted them. When I said ,"No." he threw an official fit. I really wanted to give them to him, but I counseled myself to do what was best for him for the long-run.

BT was trying to sing the Alphabet song with the Alpha bug. It was really really precious! Nanna Deanna worked really hard to teach him to hug her tight, and his hugs are so dear. He hugs great! Mommy moments are worth every minute.

Monday, November 29, 2010

18 months, how can it be?

Yes, It is 18 months to the day since little BT entered our lives. We are blessed more than we can count. No word is safe from his vocabulary! He repeats all that he hears.

He just discovered that pens, pencils and crayon make marks, so this is a whole new game. I am purposefully holding back on markers. He is also checking out the paintbrushes I bought at a garage sale as well as sidewalk chalk. He loves the way the chalk makes a clunking sound when it hits other pieces of chalk.

Uncle Ronnie came by to see BT and brought a girl along. BT loved the attention and the adorable backpack wheely case with the monkey on the front. Too cool! We went to the hometown chinese restaurant and "Aunt Helen" the head waitress took BT to see the euye...(fish) in the giagantic fish tank.

Thankful for my family, sanctifying hubby, delightful son, and my sisters. We had such a fun time at Cathy and Keni's this year. We love cousin Frankie and Uncle Edgar. That is such a fun name to say, right BT? Uncle Edgar taught us a great new game that was so funny and silly. We also played Skipbo to think of Grandma Wanda. We love and miss her and called her to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christian Family, bargains

My dear sisters broke down on the way to Michigan, and what shall we say but our friends the Taylors live but an hour away. In all this drama it has been quite lovely to know the Taylors are willing to help if the sisters need help. God is good all the time.

Today we had such fun yard sale shopping. I found great little tonka trucks for BT. However, he is leeking a selfish heart. He quite insisted that he not share with Frankie. We had to keep insisting that he do. We shall see about tomorrow. More bargains to be had on the morrow.

The Sisters are Off

LOL, that could be taken in two ways... I think I may mean them both. Carol and Cindy are off for Michigan via the Grand Canyon. Cindy has never been before. Carol packed up each inch of her vehicle, and no opening the back door, drivers side. I think Cindy may have to sit on her left hip with no moving her feet which may be wedged between bags of things. I am impressed, cause if I tried to move I would most likely need a full sized semi truck with the additional wedging also

What fun we have had with the sisterhood. It is fun chatting and laughing. I got to go shopping by myself, got my hair done, and then we got our pictures done at pennies. What a hoot! Some great photos indeed.

We ate out at Garcia's Mexican Restaurant. Jonathan did not enjoy the food. His Chinese stomach rebelled against the fried beans and spicy chicken. I however was grateful for the fun food.

Tomorrow we go to hunt for bargains at yard sales.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Phoenix with

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't cry over spilled

Don't cry over spilled rice, yeah, I know it is usually milk. But in my case it was bulk rice. You do know that if one grain makes the leap he convinces lots of other grains to follow. Soon a large herd of rice will pile and spread across your floor. You will keep finding rice for days. I am thankful that my little man was napping, otherwise, that would have been totally up his alley to make up a fun game of rice rummaging.

More toddler news....

Today BT was downstairs and periodically he would call out to me, "Eh?". I answer, "Yes, baby." Then it was quiet, really, really quiet. I zipped downstairs to find my climbing monkey standing on a chair next to the table tasting peanuts, yogurt covered raisins and raisins then spitting them out when the favor was gone. Also he had been putting Mini moo creamers into his mouth and trying to suck out the milk. He had a nice orderly system and grouping of the already been sucked creamers...

Today was also the day I gave him a hair cut. Not too bad considering his mama did it.=0) If you look closely you will find a couple of crooked places where either he moved or his barber is shabby.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween with the Rios

Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year! We delighted in the cool weather, the gorgeous leaves, fun with friends and costumes.

Friday was another doc visit and shots and a blood test for Lead. BT did not cry for the first one, the second one he checked to see if he should be crying, and the last one, which the nurse said was the most painful he took a shakey breathe, waited a long time, then sobbed with his whole heart!

Friday nite was a hoot at the YMCA seeing lots of little people dressed up. BT went dressed as an elephant. Sometimes he liked it, and at other times he did not... The Y had an old fashioned shadow puppet show. Kind of slow for our kiddies of this day and age.

Saturday we visited the LA Zoo. What a blast! It is so delightful to see BT point to animals and say the correct names of them.

Sunday was a Rios visit day. We had fun watching Mr. J and BT learning how to interact. We can see certain areas where BT needs shepherding. Things like obeying, and sharing, and NOT pushing, pulling, or otherwise terrorizing smaller monkeys. He loves, adores, is fasinated by cars, trucks, basically anything with wheels. Mr. J had a big car that really moves, but if you can believe it... he was scared of the thing. But fighting over the balloons was a favorite activity.

As soon as Mr. J is a bit bigger, Steve and I think he will be telling BT how things work, since he is a small but powerful personality, I am impressed that he is climbing already. BT tends to sit back and watch versus being a go-getter. Make no mistake, he has a true sin nature...which he demonstrated by knocking Mr. J down, and screaming when he did not get his way. Also he randomly bit a hole in the tablecloth???? I know, I have no idea what that was about! Hungry?A big congradulations on a great little Rios man, we can't wait until more of the Rios tribe gets here!

Monday went grocery shopping and then we went to Vet park. A friendly grandma swung BT for a while which he loved, then another gma corrected him on pushing her 2 and 1/2 yr old granddaughter off the steering wheel. Then Mexican grandma shared a ball and blue truck with him. So I guess today was grandma day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guam friends visit LA

Ah, our dear Guam friends who will shortly be our dear Greek, Guam friends. The Traughts stopped on their way to Guam. What a dear family. The kids are lovely! This is my first time to meet the littlest man Jordan.

Nathan is 11 and I was his aunty in Guam. We used to put treats in the microwave for him to open the door and discover. Oh what fun days. And bro #2, he will always represent a miracle to me. I watched him come into the world. I think that was one of the most beautiful things I ever saw. I was supposed to helping Mommy with backrubs and encouragement, but I just sat there sobbing as I saw Stephens head and body pop out! I will be eternally grateful for Mommy sharing such a private and special moment.

Princess Leslie is cute as a button and a bubble of joy. All these little ones inspire me to continue to shepherd my little man's heart so he will be a blessing to those he meets.

Oh, and Kathy, the mother in law offered to come along to help pack up the place in Guam for the big move to Crete. This lady was a great inspiration to me and I only met her one time at the wedding. She taught me about something to look for in a hubby. She taught me about collecting collectables, ie...dust collectors, and she looks like the all American picture of a gorgeous grandma. She even brought me chocolate candy made by her sister-in-law and homemake sugar cookies. What a lovely woman. She is someone I would love to live near and learn from. While I was putting Jon to bed she even cleaned my kitchen, Wow! Can I get one of these?

Harvest Celebration

Thank you, Julie, for hosting a fun play group for the little people. I had a brainless moment and totally forgot BTs elephant costume. JJ graciously let BT wear a bumblebee outfit. He along with most others were tired and cranky and did not wish to wear such things.

Claire's gma made an amazing zebra costume. It was so adorable! It was a little top heavy with couch fringe as the mane. But so precious. My fellow moms are so talented with sewing I am amazed!

Jose was a pixie pink fairy. Noel was a duck that looked a lot like a chicken, but she insisted was a duck.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wide shoes

BT inherited my wide feet. Thankfully Nora was able to direct me to Payless shoes which carries wide shoes. We got two super cool pairs for the boy.

My sister, a die-hard garage sale queen, has been buying clothes for BT. So we have the next three sizes for under $75! What a blessing! Especially since I do not really like shopping.

Mrs. Sobaje suggested a video from Leap Frog, The Letter Factory. BT and his cousins after watching it one time have been making alphabet sounds. BT makes the "X" sound and finds the letter everywhere as there are eXit signs almost everywhere we go. Jack, jack told mom the letter M says "MMMMMMM!" The drawback to the film is the catchy songs stick in your head and randomly you will break into song as a sound or sight will trigger the "on" button for the song or sound. Since I left the three film set in Michigan I will need to get another from Target. It is a little over $20.

Home again.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig! Jon is adjusting to playing alone again after two solid weeks of playing, fighting, wrestling with cousins only slightly older than him.

Today Frankie will be coming from Phoenix for a couple of days. We are so excited to see her after not seeing her for several months. We will go to the zoo, swim class, sign class, and the park if it clears up!

Tried OMG Chicken from "Lost Recipes". Super flavor, but lots of work! Brought it to the Joki family to celebrate the birth of their new little son!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Packing, repacking, re repacking

Ok, Thursday we are back to LA. I hope the flight is as good going as coming.

Check out the family Tao band. We sound umm, well, how do you describe how we sound?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Steve in Hong Kong

Steve just emailed me that he has 17 students in his age group.

Michigan Adventures

What fun we are having!

We have been apple picking. The cousins and BT had a blast scampering about in the grass while we picked 9 bushels off apples. My mom makes the best applesauce and apple pie and apple slices and apple dumplings and you get the idea.

Jonathan saw real cows and horses and chickens and cats and dogs galore.

He is so excited to see tons of trucks and diggers and bulldozers and excavators and tipper trucks and semitrucks and delivery trucks and mailtrucks and the moon. He just loves to tells us he sees the moon. He sees the moon in books and over and over when he looks out the window...

Tonight we had music time with papa. He was so delighted to play a yukalale, a guitar, and a mandolin. His eyes lit up and his face just smiled and smiled. He laughed to say the names of the instruments and if you heard him you wouldn't have known what he said. But to him it was just magic. In fact when I tried to take it from him for night time rituals we had a bit of a protest on our hands. Loved that, DAD! If I learn to play just three chords I can play tons of songs like the ABCs and the Wheels on the bus and 100s of others. I have G and C down pretty good.

Tomorrow is Mom and Dads 50th anniversary party. As always my sister Cindy knows how to throw a party!

Tonight I hear a thunder storm! I love thunder storms, the energy is just electric! (pun intended).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Church Nursery Crier

Ah, back to my pre-mommy days when in my heart while working in the nursery I said to myself, "At least my kid will not be a crier when I check him into nursery..." Ah the foolish things we say to ourselves. Yes, indeed, my son is the crier. Each Sunday he lets us know that he is still not thankful to be going into nursery. I am thankful for the joyful FaithBuilder group who lovingly care for him each week.

I am reading The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott. A quote I can feel the pain of right now... "Our children are often one of the main means that God uses to show us our sin and mold us more and more into his likeness." pg 6&7

"We know [when we are being faithful] it when we are seeking to live habitually according to God's Word." pg6

Another great aspect of this book is that it continually repeats the previous points in the chapter then gives out the next one. For a slow learning mommy brain like mine, who can scarcely remember her name, this is a great aspect for reminding me what I was just supposed to have noticed while I was reading. It also summarizes the main points in a "concluding" paragraph. It also uses Bold Titles for paragraphs which I also find fabulous, as you never know when you need to put the book down and save your little climbers life and limb.

This week I got a new pair of shoes called the Shapers by Sketchers. They are like walking in soft sand, and from the two walks I have taken I am feeling the burn. I also climbed the mountain at Culver City Park...a little stretch for the title mountain but needless to say I could feel the burn!

I also had to get my third tube for my bob stroller thanks to an amazing creation with tons of names but I am going with goathead thorn or devil pricker. The amazing little spine punctures a tire with almost no effort and then happily clicks each time the wheel makes a revolution to let you know you are in serious trouble. The little hole leaks air quickly and efficiently.

Deanna is coming soon and we are absolutely delighted to have her finally visit us. We have been waiting for almost 2 years for her arrival. I can't wait!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trusting God

Wow, yesterday was a huge whirlwind, but needless to say, I saw God work in ways I in weak faith did not expect. My nephews are back with my parents, and hopefully we will continue to be grateful for God's sovereignty in all things.

BT is 15 months old. He is really expanding his vocab at a breakneck speed. He is jogging around touching everything. He is climbing on anything he can pull his chubby little legs onto, and shepherding his heart is in full swing. He will even obey, but with an evil attitude that his father taught him. --just kidding. No instruction is needed for his little sinful nature. He flashes his eyes and chucks the item he is holding to let me know that he is not pleased to have to obey.

He is still obsessed with trucks and especially wheels. His dad just bought him a Tonka truck with flashing lights and a towing rope that cranks up and down. Each day he drags it to where ever I am to explain some aspect of the truck to me. Then he brings the legos, then the alphabet train, pretty soon I have a large pile of toys that I can play with at my fingertips.

I am also really proud, in a good way, of the craft I made. I have wanted to make felt food to encourage imaginative play and to give away as gifts. I made a felt fish that changes to a sushi. So totally cool. Ok, I will admit it, the sewing is a little shoddy, but it was really enjoyable. It took me way longer to finish that the 1.5 hr. suggested time. I still have to get some eyes for the thing.

I also picked up pics of baby and BT. They are so precious. Watching this little tiger grow is such a blessing! We can't wait for the rest of the passel.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Frankie Arrives

Frankie arrived last night to spend the week with us! What fun.

She knows how to play the kissing game. What an angel.

She also went to sign class and then stayed for activity class at the Y.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Big Leap

Today in swimming class when it was time to jump into the water, BT actually took a big leap! He can almost float on his back by himself, and he loves to splash others and kick, kick, kick. He blows bubbles, can glide underwater to the wall from three feet away. This is such fun! What a delight. We so love watching him learn and grow.

Yesterday he picked up a Z and did the sign for Zebra. I was surprised he randomly remembered it. He is saying more and more words, yes in both English and Chinese. I know I've got to find a chinese speaking person to help me with his Chinese. He is just not getting enough at home.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Truck, Big Truck.

Jonathan's recent favorite is DK's Big Truck book. He loved it so much that wherever he goes, he will take that book along. It is so funny to watch him dragging a book that is more than half size of his body.

So one day, we went to library. He was doing his routine book check, then he found another big truck book. He was so delightful with his new finding.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Swimming at Fraziers

We went swimming at Frazier's pool. What fun we have with friends from Grace.

This weekend we hiked to the Griffith Observatory. Jonathan climbed the fense.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Immunize at One

Our little trouper bravely faced four shots. He cried little aligator tears and then all was well. He had a great nap, fun at the park and hopefully a good tomorrow.

Daddy/son bonding moments at Best Buy tonight!

Monday, June 21, 2010

nothing is safe from the monster

Yes, he has grown so tall, that nothing is safe from our stretching-put it in your mouth-grab it off the table or desk monster. Today he grabbed daddy's bag of Chinese Lee-chee fruit. He thought they were pokey little balls to throw around.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birthday Boy

Are we not blessed and overwhelmed to have a one year old? Jonathan's birthday was a lot of fun. I am grateful to our friends and family for all their love and support through this amazingly fast year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

time flies

when having fun or not...

I am now officially 38.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wow, what new things every day

BT is growing leaps and bounds. He now thinks he is talking. After he gibbers awhile, he looks at you and says, "eh?" and you are supposed to say something affirming. He blinks his eyes at you and you are supposed to blink back. He unpacks all his books, as though looking for something. He stands up by himself. He sings little songs. He imitates the sounds of words you say. He is using some sign language. He says all done, flower, more,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

These are some of Baby's Favorite daily tasks...

Carries Classic Winnie the Pooh around and periodically wrestles, hugs, kisses, and smushes the Pooh. Oh, and the Jungle Lion gets in on that action of hugs, wrestles, droole, and squeals.

Tears apart and chews on the foam alphabet mat, scatters toys everywhere, discovers and eats old snacks no one know from what day they originated.

Climbing the stairs, climbing down the stairs, climbing up the stairs, climbing down the stairs, climbing up the stairs, crying for staff to carry him down the stairs, climbing up the stairs.

Scatters cherrios all around the floor, he later follows up this business plan by checking for dividends and eating the stock.

Playing with the water cooler. He opens it--closes it, opens it-- closes it, get the idea. Splashes in the water in the tray, removes the cup guard, flicks the light off and on, opens it and closes it, opens it and closes it...did I mention he likes to open and close it?

Opening the kitchen cupboards then pulls out cups, bowls--he can actually spin them, tupperware and lids.Smearing hands on sliding glass door, Verifying that he may still NOT (No, no, no) play with the blinds (he says, "nine, nine, nine"-a little German lesson).

These are his first plants, seedling of carrots we got at earth day at story time at the library.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Tao, Always on the Move

Dada gave BT his own computer. He has already changed several settings and fonts to his preference. BT is now the owner of his own Binkie book, teething torn cover and all. He bought the library a new one due to his overusage of the book.
BT is trying every day to open the drawers, we are still safe for another week. But now he can see the top and reach and grab pretty much everything off the top of the desk and table.

This is baby Tao helping mommy. He open and removes the cups. Open and cleans the dirty silverware in the dishwasher. Removes the bowls and spins them, making the lids fly. He, of course, hits the tupperware box. And loves wiping his hands on my pants.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easter Trip to Phoenix

Wow, I am a day late and dollar short on the easter trip to Phoenix. Steve was really generous in driving us there. We had a good time with family.

Saturday morning we zipped off to yard sale with uncle Phil somewhere in North of Tempe. Cathy got a super deal several weeks back buying three pictures for $3 each. I stole one picture that is now hanging in my living room. I think that guy got in big trouble from his wife when she got back from the bathroom. One of the pictures was exceptionally cool, ours is pretty cool and the third was acceptably cool, but for $3 a piece it is worth the frames alone.

Saturday afternoon I went to a Diamond Backs vs cubs

We went to church and walked thru the "Easter Walk" which is an enactment of the passion week with people from the church dressed in period clothes. I really enjoyed what they had done, and loved that you could participate in the activity. Edgar met us there. BT really loved the palm branch they handed you in the first exhibit. This is such a new experience being a parent wanting your child to experience all they are able. He also loved the last exibit where we were handed music makers and were encouraged to shout and dance around shouting, "He is risen!" BT loves making noices with the shakers.

Frankie and BT went for an Easter Egg hunt after church in the front yard. He did not really get the concept. He thought the eggs were shakers since they all had little coins in them to make noice. Frankie can get right into her basket this year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Uncle Ronnie is moving to San Diego

So he is here this weekend. We took our annual short trip to the poppy reserve and dessert. Wow, everything is so gorgeous. The poppies are exceptional this year because of all the rain we got. The desert is blooming. The color is so bright it almost hurts your eyes, or that could be all the pollen in the air, hard to say. One enterprising woman was out in the middle of nowhere to sell ice cream cones. No competition for sure.

Here is the LION, each morning BT wrestles with the lion and talks and coos to the lion in motherese. I think he believes the LION is alive, and something like a dog. He also has a classic Winnie the Pooh, and Lamb that he also includes in the fun. Ye-ye and Nei nei, thanks for the great toy! We got to play with bubbles, BT loves bubbles. They are really delightful. He now loves to play peek a boo and hide and seek. He also loves to play with the blinds, and is working toward understanding the meaning of no. He speaks German, I guess. "Nine, nine, nine", he says. That is because everyday he plays with the blinds and I say, "No, no, no."

This week on Monday I hear him crying his serious distressed cry, I open the shower to see him crying because I am in the shower where he can't get me. I leave the shower open a crack, and there are his little fingers wedging the door open. A few seconds later his arm and then his head are hanging over the edge of the tub. He happily pounds on the side of the tub, getting his head and arm soaked. Sharing a shower has never been as entertaining, sorry Steve.

Tuesday he found the toilet paper. When I looked in on him, from the shower again --way too quiet, he was in a huge pile of toilet paper. He now knows how to flush the potty, but so far doesn't know how to open the lid of the toilet. I was also surprised to see that he can easily open the fridge and lick the bottles in the door. Each and every day he opens the cupboards in the kitchen. First, he opens the tupperware box, then he moves to under the sink to take out the plastic cups, all 12 of them, they must all be rolling on the floor, and then he takes out the plastic bowls in the third cupboard. He has discovered a game that can make the purple bowl spin round and round. Such a delight to watch, since that will last about 10 minutes. I need to work on having him clean them up. It is good exercise for me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jonathan started walking

Last Friday was the day. After coming back from the play on the yard party at Sobaje, he determined he is going to walk. So he holds his arms to his chest, and started walking. So this whole weekend, he was walking all around the first floor. First, three steps, then 10 steps. Now, he felt so confident that he would just get up and go.

Go, Jonathan, go....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The teething monster

Baby Tao is teething. Poor little tiger. This has got to be excruciating. He has three or four coming all at one time on top. He will look like a different little man once they are in.

I am looking for a stud. I have to find it to hang up a shelf in the closet and I drilled everywhere looking for one. Is it possible not to have a 2x4 in a closet? That seems unlikely, but it is a rental...I tried the banging method, then the drilling method, I am going to have to resort to borrowing a stud finder.

Hubster is walking like an old man since he hurt his back. How? Sneezing! Yep, some powerful sneezing, those. Made teething monster cry they were so loud.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A New Car

Yes, the Tao's have a new car. I will post pics soon. We got it on Sunday afternoon from the Moore family. Thanks Moores.

Baby Tao had his first fever last night. Yes, I learned much about what parents with sick children must suffer. Thankfully Tylenol saved the night. Looks like four tiny teeth are on the way this week.

What a fun baby I have. He started doing yoga on his own. He loves the lion his Ye-ye bought for him, he hugs and kisses it each day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Master Story Teller

What is the secret to jokes and storytelling? Indeed there are many elements to successful tales, but one of the most important is timing. My dad has got to be a master. Even things that are not particularly funny are gut-splitting funny when my dad says them. In fact, he finds funny things and works out the perfect senario for the joke. Let me give you one example, while taking my mom out for Japanese for her birthday, my dad asked my good looking hubby if Chinese people use throw away chopsticks in China.

He replied, "Certainly, and they have cleverly learned how to repackage them". Ok, I have to admit that in super-sensitive to hygene America, the thought of second hand chopsticks is pretty gross to me. Any one interested in this business model? I mean I have reusable wooden ones and plastic ones that go in the dishwasher, but still, that is weird to me to have the cheap one reused.

Enough on my chopstick opinions...I was thankful for a washing machine at my nephews and decided that a grand finale washing before heading back to LA was in good order before I am back to the laundry mat living. I asked around if anyone had anything to wash. Everyone contributed a shirt or socks or unmentionable items for a last washing. I was loading the dark colored cloths and grabbed my dads sweatshirt. Guess what fell out of the sleeve? Yep, placed there especially for my entertainment.

--chop, chop! and good night! Now how shall I repackage them for my dad, it will definitely have to include ducktape. Dad and ducktape go way back. Last year for Christmas I bought him a roll 12 inches across. He brought it right over to the neighbors and told them to eat their hearts out he got the king of the tape!

Happy Birthday, Mom

Beautiful Blue Angels and Baby

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


BT today saw a line of cherios on the carpet. He suddenly became a vacuum and with head down, lips open, bum up he headed over to suck them up. He was so excited to have found them.

My dad showed him a recorder and BT grabbed it from him and figured out how to make a whistle sound. Next my dad tried to interest him in a harmonica. That was just too much for today, maybe tomorrow BT will pick up a tune and play that. =0)

Today the neighbor cat was interested enough in a bubble floating across the yard from BT's bubble time that it inadvertently allowed BT close enough to touch him. I think BT was so surprised that the cat was real, that he let the cat go before the cat damaged him. The owner wanted to see what would happen and I was thinking "your cat scratches my kid, I kick it to Truk for dinner."

BT was upset when his cousin was crying. He is so interesting to watch process info about that tiny little person. He tried to kiss it better, when that did not work, he tried to get me to fix the crying creature. He loves her tiny hands and he loves watching her face. He tries to talk to her when she cries, she is obviously not getting his message.

He is working on tooth #4, so the score is two down, 1.025 on the top, with one cranky attitude to get this tooth out. I tried to give him brown rice, but the yogurt I used to disguise it was gone and out came the unappreciated rice. Mom and I really laughed to see that little tongue get out the rice. He loves carrots and cottage cheese though. He sucks on apples and strawberries and then those come flying out too. Poached eggs are also a winner, thanks mom Tao for the recipe! Tofu is pretty well out, and black beans are still being debated. Meat of all sorts are pretty much out so far.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

guy and his game

Do you know how guys are when they are trying to watch their game on TV? Well this evening we were watching the US vs. Canada hockey game. All day long BT has been trying to love and kiss on his one week old cousin. I had both of them on my lap and would you just laugh with me, while the game was playing my monster could not be bothered to notice that his cousin was on his lap, he was too focused on the game. He suddenly noticed afterward and could not shower her with enough hugs and kisses.

Cousin looks like her daddy with two deep dimples in her cheeks, and dark skin and hair; eyes are yet to be determined. She is slightly jaundiced, so hopefully that will clear up quickly. My sister calls her little turtle as she stetches out her neck like a little turtle. She slept most of today so I imagine they will be awake all nite.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby Nixon

Oh how sweet to hold a new born baby. My newest niece has arrived. She will be coming home tomorrow. I can't wait for Jonathan to see her and watch how he reacts. He loves babies. I thought she looks like her daddy. I could not see much of Keni in her, but she is still swollen and misshappen.

BT now stands up in the crib, yesterday he fell asleep collapsed upright against the bars of the crib since he had been crying until he could take it anymore and just tuckered out and crashed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

BT and swimming

BT loves swim class. He loves being on a little platform with the other babies. However, there is a point that he adamently only does under duress. Swimming from one platform to the other. The platform is called the castle. I guide him gently by only holding the back of his neck. He is supposed to put out his hands and kick to the other castle. He starts by looking me in the eye, I blow in his face, then we are off. He now refuses to look me in the eye if he does not want to go. He has also started screaming. I can't have him go until he stops since his mouth is open and he swallows water instead of holds his breath. Smart little tiger. I still make him do it by grabbing his little face so he has to look at me. So guess what, he now closes his eyes.

I took him to get his Chinese new year picture yesterday at JC Penney Studio. He looked so adorable in the little outfit that his Nei nei got for him. They got some great shots.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sosi comes for a visit

Sosi came over for a fun time last night. She literally ran circles around BT, bless his heart. They both love reading books, brushing their teeth, and climbing stairs, and baths. Sosi has a book that I inadvertently skipped a page while reading it to her, and she evidently has it memorized, because she made me go back and read the page with the boy on the train. She brought me other books to read her. She pretended to listen to me reading the other books, but she was really enamored of her book. She also has a singing toothbrush that she wanted played again and again, only she says "open" instead of "on". It took me a while to figure out I only needed to push the button to start the music and I did not need to open anything.

Another funny Sosi story: Sosi was eating shell pasta for dinner. Some of the pasta had vegetables inside the shells. Sosi carefully checked each shell before eating it. If it had a vege inside she scraped it out and then gobbled it down. Kids can find veges anywhere and eliminate them.

Jonathan had a great tiume at the park! We try to go every day.
Steve got me these gorgeous mums for Valentines Day and Chinese New Years. We had dumplings one night and our favorite, Hot Pot! For V-Day we went to Korean BBQ.

Ok, BT can't even walk yet, but he can climb.Today he was standing on the train clinging to the chair so proudly. Scared us to death. Did I mention climbing? Daddy bought a stairway gate so the free stair game is about over.
We ruin all his fun!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Books books books

Baby Tao is sporting a stylish basket on his head.

Did I mention

Baby Tao just loves those books. This is one of his new favorites. Dr. Suess, Mr. Brown can moo like a cow. His favorite part is the "BOOM BOOM BOOM" thunder page. He likes loud noises. I think he likes to be startled too. Last evening we went to the library and he crawled to the stacks, pulled himself up, studied the options, then got busy systematically pulling out the books. He would look over the cover then pull out the next one. None of those seemed to meet his criteria. He managed to empty two whole sections of the shelf in about 20 seconds. He did find a bright silver line separator that he seemed to look at himself, dance around, suck on, bang loudly, and generally act very non-library like. We laugh alot when we are around him. I called him a pole dancer, but papa bear did not find that humorous.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Two small teeth and ready to crawl

This last week was a big week for Jonathan. He learned and mastered the skill of crawling. There is nowhere in our living room he cannot reach. It was so cute to see him lift up his rear end and move along.

After many sleepless nights, two teeth finally got out for his lower gum last week. It seems like there are some more coming in his upper gum. He is so proud of them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tiny tooth, All gone

Baby Tao has a tiny white fang peeping just thru the lower left gum. Not a tooth really but we are working really hard to get it out. All things must be tested by going into the mouth of the monster. He loves sucking on ice in a baggy, thank you Aunt Keni, great idea.

We met the Taos at a Restaurant, and our Baby put on a one man show. He must have had a really good nap, because he was so energetic and funny, we were almost rolling on the floor.He was holding court with the waitresses, with Nai nai, with the girl behind our table, with passersby, and his parents were amazed at this never before seen side of their boy.

We three are all that is left of our holiday visitors. Ye ye and Nai nai returned to Guam Monday morning. We will miss them. Uncle Ronnie returned Monday night, back to work for him.
Cathy and Laurel came for a short visit on Friday evening. I went out with them to a mystery dinner. We had such fun. None of guessed correctly on the who-done-it, but it was fabulous to meet people, laugh heartily, and Laurel got to go onstage. What a hoot! And the meal was pretty good too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stand up and be counted

Ok, twice in one day is enough to be frightened. First, jr. stands up during nap time in his crib. Then he pulls himself up out of his bath. Yikes! Steve also got a fright. We will lower his crib shortly and try to figure out what to do about the bath. No rest for the weary.

Now that was a battle.

Just try to get that bag away from Jr.Baby Tao loves his highchair. He is eating really well, all 23 lbs of him.
Did I mention Nai nai helped Jonathan up and down the stairs? He could not stop smiling. You could tell he wanted to do it again, but she was fanning herself and panting, "Too hot!" she gasped.

Yep, BT and I just had a royal battle of wills. He did not wish to nap, I did wish for it. I won, sort of. . . scary thing is I went to the next room for about 30 seconds to pick up something and coming back I was dismayed to find him standing up in the crib, still screaming of course, but standing up! So tonight we have to move the level down. Way to go big boy.

He is loving swim class and looks too cute in the swim suit I got him.

Yesterday he managed to turn on his own mobile music. This is going way too fast, I can't keep up. He pretty much get where he really wants to. Yesterday I put him down to play while I worked on dinner. I looked up and was shocked not to see him. He had scooted to the otherside of the room.

BT thinks stuffed animals are real, and Joe can talk to him. He drools on them to show his affection. Eagle got him Winnie the Pooh, classic and Nei nei got him a sheep.

Random info for you: Cell phones hold up pretty well to drool-bathes. Babies always go for electronic equipment and cords. What did they go for before they had those, I wonder?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Paul Sobaje (almost)

Paul is now happily 34. Lauren was totatally terrific at hosting a surprise party for him. He had not a clue. Those are the best!

I made pioneer woman's sheet cake recipe and Libby's pumpkin roll. I have always wanted to try the pumpkin roll and had bought the ingredient before thanksgiving and then never got around to it. I even bought a new pan to make it. I think I can improve it with a little work.

This new year we are looking forward to baby swim class beginning this week and sing and sign again. We are beginning mom's club shortly with believing moms.

BT was sporting his new $8.00 shoes from the fashion district we visited yesterday. Nei nei also bought him a yappy little dog that I think we will need to make visit and forget at one of his friend's house, if you know what I mean???

Here are some pic of BT with Ye ye and Nei nei. Did I mention we popped in to see the rose parade floats. A BIG WOW! Really impressive.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nei nei and Ye ye, Christmas

Steve's parents are having such fun with Baby Tao. He has a special way of chattering with Nei nei, and Ye ye has his special games that he and baby Tao play together.

Uncle and Cousins were here for two weeks and just left at the beginning of the week. BT was overwelmed at first, but now he is always looking for people. He has a new way of demanding to be picked up and cared for that will need to be improved. Chinese people do not like for a baby to fuss or cry. Thankfully we had worked intensely on getting BT to fall asleep easily.

BT has been blessed with lots of toys. Cousins gave him a great alphabet train and a farm that he really likes. Sister Cindy sent some awesome ornaments of wisemen. We can't wait to put them up next year. We put up stockings but did not put anything in them, since we are not doing a gift exchange for adults. Gifts are for children in our Tao Christmas policy. I admit that I am delighted with this policy. It is a great way to enjoy the holiday for me. Sisters Cathy and Kendra also have gotten lots of gifts for the little man. Buying gifts for babies is a great honor! He did not really understand the ripping open gifts this year, maybe next year.

We still have the night time feedings and crying to work on but that is in our new years resolutions.

I must admit that the night time crying is the most difficult thing for me to deal with as I am not at my best at that time. How can say no to picking up that adorable bundle of chub...serious chub.

2010, the stuff of sci fi

Yep, did you think 2010 would ever come? I remember in highschool when 2010 sounds centuries away, and I wondered what I would be doing or if I would even be here to see it. I've been reflecting on what my life has brought and I am thankful for the place God has given me.

I have a great family. My hubby and precious baby are a daily delight.Baby Tao's name means "Gift of God." and he has lived up to it.

I have a serious church pursuing after holiness. My extended family if really fun and encouraging. My hubby's family has been good to get to know. I am learning new things like what Chinese people eat daily, hearing a new language, experiencing fun shopping expeditions, and dreaming of what 20 more years will bring. Do you even imagine Baby Tao will be in college and possibly his brothers or sisters? We may move to a new location or two. We could travel to other countries, participate in missions. Family may have kids, travel, or even pass away.

This reminds me to cherish, cherish, cherish today and this moment. I will never have it again. I fondly remember my college friend Stephanie. We were having a moment of laughing with tears rolling down our eyes in delight and she made us all stop and remember that moment. I will never forget it and furthermore, I often stop in the midst of a delightful moment and try to memorize how I feel, who I am with and what we are doing. I have enjoyed life richly.Baby Tao is playing with his first ornament.

I know this will sound like a bad joke, but how many degrees does it take to assemble a high chair? One phd, one ma, one bs, one ms... Or how many chinese does it take to assemble a made in china highchair?