Friday, February 26, 2010

The Story About Ping

It's true!  Grandma Valerie put a label on it: Little's hair is naturally growing into a style that matches the boy from the beloved children's book by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Weise.  I had actually been feeling like his hairstyle had a "familiar" look to it, and I totally think this is why.  Well now I really can't cut his hair!  

I'm excited to check this book out from the library later today.    And maybe the Easter Bunny will have to include it in Little's basket this year...

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Sidenote: observe the changes in his hair over the past month. In the first photo, he still had a pretty even covering over his adorable noggin. In the second photo, taken yesterday, there is just that one odd strip left! aaaah! What to do? I am seriously tempted to just chop it off/buzz it with the clippers. But then I can't bring myself to cut it because it is his BABY hair--it was with him at birth...! I remember reaching down and FEELING that fuzzy piece of hair while his head crowned. Anyway, ahem, I digress: this post was supposed to be about bibs, not reminiscing. So Little never really wore a bib much before this week. He has only spit up at random, infrequent intervals, so before now I never figured a bib was needed. But the drool lately had been making me change his outfits every hour or so, since his chest gets drenched in saliva so easily during this chewing stage. He mostly seems to regard bibs as a conveniently located toy, as shown in the picture above. He immediately grabs the bib when it gets put on, and then he wrings it in his hands and chews on it a lot.
Another sidenote: he's getting pretty stable at sitting if I prop him up with a pillow. Also, his toes are cute. =) Also, this outfit is size 12 M, which is what seems most comfortable to him these days. He is quite a large boy.

Wish I could think of a cute caption for this shot, but I'll leave that up to our witty readers to think of their own. His pointing finger makes me smile anyway. Grandma Valerie gave him this bib.

This bib was picked out by Daddy at Disneyland last summer before Little was born. It brought some good memories to finally bring it out and put it on our baby this past week. I remember that feeling of delicious anticipation while preparing the layette, folding clothes, counting onesies, bibs, and socks, picturing what our baby would look like wearing them. And now he is here, and I get to dress him up all the time! One of my favorite parts of being a mom is playing dress-up with my real baby doll. =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chewing Stage, wide-opened eyes, and laugh

(You will discover pretty quickly that this is J's writting, because simply I don't write as well as C does.)

So, I am trying to post some Little's pictures here for my HK family. Flipping through the camera, I quickly realized that he is at a chewing stage (I just made up the name); since most of his pictures taken when he was chewing on something. In fact, whatever you give him goes straight to his mouth....

Let's put him down on the play-mat...

Put him in his swing...

Since he's chewing on everything in the house, let's take him out...

The other night, after C's visiting teaching, she called home. Little hearing mommy's voice and seeing the bright cellphone-screen gave this expression. Well, it was obviously an "eye-opening" experience for him.

Little started to laugh; and it's been a few times now. But, every we grabbed the camera, it's too late. Here is a minute-long of what we can get. Note how tight he "holds on" to me.

We got some professional pictures done yesterday. Hopefully we can post them in a couple of weeks. C didn't see this post yet, let's give her a surprise.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Living from the Heart

The Idaho Statesman newspaper recently did a feature on my grandparents. Since newspaper online links often don't last long, I am posting the whole story here on the blog rather than just doing a hyperlink to it. Sorry if it seems long; it is worth the read!

Katherine Jones/Idaho Statesman:
He calls himself the Love Doctor. The Marriage Mechanic.Which makes her the wife of the Love Doctor. And somewhat of a Marriage Mechanic herself. You know, what with the two of them having to, well, kick the tires and tinker around under the hood together, so to speak.
Before this analogy goes awry, let us note that it is true: One can't go about fixing things if one doesn't also know what makes them run. Clark and Eleanor Swain have been married 55 years. Their love and their marriage give them the voice of experience.
Clark is a therapist, specializing in "marriage counseling, sex therapy and divorce busting." Eleanor is his partner in life, associate in business and wife.
Eleanor says: "We're the models. If we're counseling people, helping them to develop less conflict, better communication, and a better sex life we want it to be right in our lives. We want to be models of what it can be for them."
That's five and a half decades of living together, defying odds in a culture where so many marriages end in divorce. The Swains use their knowledge, wisdom and experience - 20 years of Clark's teaching plus their own experience raising five children - and help couples enhance the quality of their own marriages, commitments and relationships.
Clark says: "My philosophy is marriage is the heart of the family. It's the hub of the home. As the marriage goes, so goes the family. As the family goes, so goes Boise, Nampa - and the whole country.
"The best thing ever for you to do for your children, I say to husbands, is to love your wife, and the best thing a wife will ever do for her children is love her husband."
He tells a story, rooted in their philosophy that the committed relationship comes first. A couple called, needing help with a troubled teenager. They wanted to drop off their son to be "fixed."
Clark: "That's not how we work. É We helped them improve their marriage and enrich their relationship. As they became stronger parents, their relationship with their child improved."
Eleanor: "Marriage comes first. It's been important to model a good quality marriage for the next generation."
Lest you think their marriage is an anomaly, they've had their challenges. Their courtship started romantically enough, in the college newspaper office when they were 18 and 19 years old.
Eleanor: "I was immediately interested in Clark. As you can see, he's a really handsome guy. I always told him, I was thrilled to look into his eyes and see the kind, caring look on his face."
And they'd see each other at dances.
Clark: "Dancing was one of the main reasons we started dating and kept dating. I'd watch her on the floor, with someone else. I'd think: I can dance that good.
"We met mid-September. I asked her to go steady Dec. 12. I told her before she answered: I would not ask anyone to go steady with me if I didn't plan to marry her."
Eleanor: "It was an old-fashioned romance."
They were married three years later - while Clark was losing his eyesight. What they thought was temporary proved permanent: Clark has good enough eyesight to take walks alone and watch TV ("I always watch Miss America," he teases), but they both talk about his visual condition as a challenge as well as something that helped them be more compassionate, understanding and kind.
For her part, Eleanor has debilitating arthritis. They take care of each other.
Clark: "We make it an enduring marriage in spite of the challenges.
"We have a philosophy about anniversaries that we teach couples. If your anniversary is Aug. 22, then make a special date the 22nd of every month."
It's the little things that mean a lot. During this interview, Eleanor interrupted herself in an aside to Clark, "You don't even know it yet - I bought chocolate at the grocery store."
Eleanor: "Like yesterday, he was walking by and Clark put his arms around me and gave me a good, long kiss. It's called the '10-second kiss.'
"Because it's 10 seconds, it's not just an automatic peck on the cheek. It can take us back to when we were falling in love, in so many dimensions."
They're both 74 years old. Their health issues have put some stress on their marriage. It's not like they don't have to work on their relationship like the rest of us.
Their dancing - their romantic doorway to memories and the flame of young love? On hold. ("Now we're watching Dancing with the Stars together," Clark says.) He speaks of several health challenges recently - and then he pauses.
"But the most important thing is I'm still really happy. I love Eleanor and she loves me."
Clark is working on his second book. It's called "Finding and keeping your true love: Choosing your partner and creating a forever marriage." Clark turns to Eleanor and smiles.
Eleanor: "Where there's a lot of love, there is joy and happiness and great quality in relationships."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tiger Hearts

Little's Ye Ye had to have surgery on his heart recently. He asked for some pictures of Little to cheer him up. So here are a few from Valentine's Day, a few of our Little Ox, and here's to wishing a Happy Chinese New Year (year of the Tiger) while we are at it. We went to Chinatown in Cleveland last weekend to get red pockets, but only got ready to send them out today--a little late. Sometimes Little hates tummy time. But this is still a good picture, because it shows lots of things I love: fireplace, complete with vinyl horse silhouettes, created by Jerry for me this past Valentine's Day! (Click on the picture to see the close-up of the horses). He stayed up late creating it and surprised me! He also made a vinyl announcement on our hallway wall. It said "I [heart] my Valentine." I was so squealy about it. Anyway, back to the wonderful picture above: I love how our new apartment has south facing windows (lots of great sunshine for most of the day). Also in this photo, note the flowers. I love chocolate! The shiny red flower is a chocolate rose from my sweetheart (I added it to the baby shower bouquet we got a few months ago).

I have started exercising again--a very half-hearted effort. Some days I go outside walking if it looks sunny (today a friend and I walked to Sam's Club, which has become a weekly tradition for me). Other days, I walk on the treadmill while Little hangs out in his bouncer below me, as pictured. He usually stays occupied by toys for about 10 minutes. But I can go longer on the treadmill if I do it while he is napping.

I have started experimenting with some daily diaper-free time/EC. Fairly low-key at this point, but it has seemed to help the diaper rash that cropped up last week. And plus also, it is just so cute to see this Little on the infant potty.

We had a party with some other couples on Friday to celebrate Valentine's Day. I supplied some snacks, including "Love Potion" drinks and these cutie heart sandwiches. We played the Newlywed game, and Jerry and I ended up with the "best buds" award.

This post seems disjointed and random to me, but I have not much time and just wanted to get it posted for Ye Ye to enjoy! We love you, Hong Kong Grandpa!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A sign of sleep-deprivation?

A little while back (long enough ago that we were still using these Sesame Street diapers, I realize--more than a month ago), Jerry was dressing Little for bed. "These pajamas might not fit him anymore," he called out to me. I came to inspect, and started to laugh. "Well, these pajamas don't actually have mittens on them." They were on upside-down, with hands in the feet spot. :D

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Latest happenings

Though our lives revolve around Little, we promise we do other activities besides stare at him all day. We just don't get any photos of those activities, so it makes it harder to blog about them. But I figured I'd still report on a couple fun things we did recently:

  • Hosted a dinner at our home for the biggest group we've attempted up to this point--including us, there were eight adults and four babies sitting in our tiny dining room. I kept worrying there was hair in the food, because I have been shedding like crazy. Seriously, handfuls come out everytime I touch my hair. But nobody mentioned finding hair in their soup, so maybe it was ok?
  • Toured Historic Kirtland. Our favorite part was the School of the Prophets, where we felt the Holy Spirit so strongly. The Little needed to nurse right when we got to the Newel K. Whitney store, and one of the sister missionaries let us use a bathroom in the back (oops, she said not to tell anybody it exists). So I was figuring we would just have to rejoin our tour group in one of the other buildings later, since Little normally takes 15 mins. or so to nurse. But he was done in just 5 minutes, a MIRACLE, which is why we were able to be there for the School of the Prophets portion of the tour. The sister missionary who talked to us in that room impressed me with her knowledge. She had memorized a whole first person account from one of the men who saw God in a vision at the school room.
  • Church callings: we are both full swing into home and visiting teaching, of course, and I just started my calling as an assistant primary teacher. It feels perfect for me at this time. I am really grateful to have something to structure my gospel study, and preparing for the lessons has been sweet. I teach the four-year-olds. They make me laugh so much. I think Jerry will have a calling extended to him this Sunday. We'll see. While I went visiting teaching last week (end of the month, bad, I know), Jerry watched Little at home for me. When I came back, I saw Jerry had taught Little a new trick--holding his bottle very cutely. It is fun to see our sweet baby get more skillful at using his hands.