Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grandma and the Beach

My mom has been visiting for the past week (and we are so lucky to get her for a whole nother week still!). Today we took her down to the beach that is just a couple minutes away from our house. We wondered if it was a Sabbath appropriate activity--akin to a Sunday afternoon walk perhaps? Enjoying nature but not recreating too much? We left our toys at home and kept the visit brief. Anyway... Throwing rocks into the water. A new favorite, since Lo did it all Saturday on the temple grounds stream (more about that on a different post).

Couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather.

We found a couple good pieces of driftwood to entertain our new pet. Yes! Another animal (or two) to add to the Tam Fam. No, we didn't get it at the beach but instead adopted it from some friends of ours who were feeling all petted out lately. This little terrarium houses our new hermit crab. Lo Lo enjoys watching the crab climb around and I get a kick out of rearranging the crab's landscape every day. We named it "Hai Hai," which is "crab" in Chinese. Always trying to reinforce those language skills...Oh, and the second new pet we got is a snail (named "Snail" or "Nail" as Lo Lo calls it) to clean our fish bowl because I was getting lazy about scraping the algae off: A Golden Mystery Snail. These babies are AWESOME. Better than any other type of snail (do a google search if you want to know details). But I digress. Back to the beach.

Lo Lo has been such the happiest kid with Grandma around. He really basks in all the attention she gives him, and I love to get a bit of a holiday myself with my mom taking care of that Lo so much. We are keeping ourselves busy, but hopefully I'll make time to post more on the blog than I did last week, since I am quickly falling behind. eek.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Jerry has shoulders made perfectly for nestling. 
The research is pretty clear that kids are more likely to thrive and reach their fullest potential when they have active fathers in their lives.  And Lo Lo is blessed to have a daddy who takes his role seriously.  Who else but a daddy could think up 101 uses for vinyl--like this homemade road map. 
 And who better than a daddy to teach boys that reading good books is a manly pastime? 
 And when a little person spills rice and it ends up getting tracked all over the house, that little person needs a dad--because a dad just might have the presence of mind to take a photo of those neverending rice grains stuck to a little person's feet.  Really, Jerry is the one who makes sure our myriad candid moments get caught on camera--I am so grateful he is such a doting dad. 
Jerry is the kind of dad who tries to watch a DVD with his son, only to end up rarely looking at the screen.  Instead he seems to have utmost delight in watching his son watch a show. 
 Jerry is one of those fathers who is pleased to let little hands "help" with projects. 

  And of course, we could not honor Jerry in his fatherhood without mentioning the man who first showed him what it means to be a dad.  We love you Ye Ye! 

We don't have as many photos of my father with Lo Lo, but here is one I love because it shows the first moment they met. 
 And here is Lo Lo with his Great Grandpa Clark (my mom's dad):
As a mother, I recognize my great influence in the life of our child.  But I am also the first to point out my limitations--and because I cannot be everything all the time for my Lo, he needs all these fathers in his life.  Thank you to Jerry, Ye Ye, Grandpa Dean, and Grandpa Clark for being such good examples of fatherhood.  Hope you have a great day and feel loved!  And thanks to the fathers of past and future as well--we have such an eternal perspective of family ties in our faith, so it seems recognizing fatherhood today in a timeless sense is most appropriate. 

Friday, June 17, 2011


Okay, here's the video I was trying to upload earlier:
Lately Lo Lo seems to enjoy pushing the boundaries of his physical abilities. He frequently asks us to help him do somersaults, and on his own tries headstands/handstands. We have a video which I will have to post later since it is giving me error messages trying to upload right now...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cleaning up, Clearing out

We are moving next month and decided most of our household goods are not really worth taking along, since we will be packing and moving ourselves instead of having the company do it.

I put a bunch of stuff for sale on Craig's List. Even though it feels like a breath of fresh air to have more free space in our apartment, a lot of these items have sentimental value. Like our famous free couch, for example. We sold it a couple weeks ago for ten bucks. I know, I know, selling an item we got for free?? But it takes some time and trouble to get rid of an item, especially dealing with less than reliable buyers through Craigslist, so the few dollars we asked just covered our bases. And I felt truly sad to see the couch go.

When the items were being taken from our home, Lo Lo seemed really startled. He kept running back and forth, as though not sure if he should try to stop them or what. But finally he decided the best course of action would be helping move the couches out. Pictured above is Lo Lo helping move out our ugly red/gold loveseat cushions we got in our student days at BYU. I wasn't quite as sad to see this item of furniture depart. But still, it holds so much memory! Ah, passage of time. Moving on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Coin Dropping

Our apartment complex playground has a platform with holes. Here is Lo's recipe for fun: drop a coin through a hole. Then, climb backwards down the jungle gym stairs to sift through the bark/dirt surface below; finally ask Mommy to find dropped coin. Repeat multiple times. Oh, and holler "Dime! Dime!" repeatedly throughout process.

Friday, June 3, 2011


In that last post, I mentioned not having much drama with Lo's molars starting to come in. Well, a few days and at least 8 molars later, I would like to officially revise that statement: he is being bothered by teething. He still has lots of happy times each day, but expresses an overall mood of being needy. He seems to seek nursing for comfort, asking for "Nai Nai" almost as much as a newborn feeding schedule. And he hasn't slept through his nighttime nursings like normal, instead having a fitful cry or sometimes even full-fledged waking that needs my help to get him back to sleep.

I feel grateful to still have breastfeeding as a comfort tool during this time. I know it soothes Lo's physical pain to have my good warm milk washing over his sore gums, and it calms both of us emotionally to have hugs and snuggling while breastfeeding. The first set of teeth on a person is sometimes referred to as the "milkteeth," with it being the natural biological time for continued breastfeeding.

I am just about done reading a book on nursing toddlers, and it has helped me feel validated during this phase when I sometimes have a feeling of being "weird" or "different" from everybody else because of breastfeeding a toddler. It isn't normal in our country to exclusively breastfeed even the recommended 6 months, let alone keep nursing past the time a kid starts walking and talking.

Here are some of the interesting points I've come across in my reading on nursing toddlers:

  • large mammals typically nurse until the young have nearly quadrupled their birth weight (Lo is still a few pounds away from that marker).

  • primates typically wean when their young achieve about 1/3 the adult weight, with males nursing a little longer than females (since males will have a larger adult weight).

  • many mammals nurse about as long as their gestation lasts, which would put humans at around 10 months expected nursing on that scale--except that large primates typically nurse more than six times the length of gestation.

  • eruption of first permanent molars is also predictive of weaning in some mammals. Humans get their first permanent teeth around age 5.

  • in cultures that are generally supportive of breastfeeding, nursing into toddlerhood is typical.

But I don't live in a culture that supports breastfeeding. Thus, unsurprisingly, breastfeeding is not the norm. We have 10 kids in nursery at church, and seven of them weaned by age six months or earlier. Actually, there is one of the children I'm unsure of in that number. Of the remaining three children who breastfed beyond their first year of life, one was weaned (mother-directed) before she turned two, and the other one has a younger sibling now so I assume he no longer breastfeeds though I haven't asked his mom. Anyway, it appears Lo is the only one in nursery who still breastfeeds. I don't document these details to make anyone feel guilty who weans earlier than the recommended time frames, but rather to point out that while Lo and I are socially outside the curve, we follow Nature's norm. And that is a comforting thought when breastfeeding gets challenging.