Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Different colors of water mixed with oil--Lo had fun dripping the food coloring in and shaking it all up.  It makes visible waves between the oil/water separation. Note: Jerry's bike stays in our living room since his last one got stolen from our apartment's bike rack. 
Making a fake lemonade stand with a few other neighbor kids.  They used yellow sidewalk chalk to mix up yellow water.  This project had them SO enthused for what seemed like hours. 
Making REAL lemonade this time; we have had ample supply of lemons since there are lemon trees everywhere here.  A neighbor lets us pick lemons from his tree, so we've done that a few times and brought home bagfuls.  Note Lo's special Blue Pei Pei in the background (his comfort object giant blanket). 
Oh, and just so our other child doesn't get forgotten: Baby Ro eating her hands as usual.  :)  Only these days she isn't content to just eat her fingers.  She wants everything in her mouth.  Also noteworthy that she still fits easily in her infant carseat.  (Mr. Lo had outgrown his by this time). 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cultural Observations

Have I mentioned we live at the crossroads of Latino Land and Vietnam Town. I have very little prior exposure to either of these cultural backgrounds, so often find myself surprised by what my neighbors and friends do here. One thing that is common here that I have not experienced elsewhere is door-to-door peddling. We've had frequent knocks on our door in the evening. Peddled wares include homemade cheese, toys, paintings, cooking utensils, tupperware, and other items I was unsure about because the seller did not speak English. So fascinating.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sleep and the Rest of our Day

Figured I would expound a tad on my reference to Lo's naps in that last post. First of all, I should explain that my relationship with Sleep has been a complex, tempestuous insomniac affair for much of my life. So I have determined it shall be a simpler act for my children. Step one: find a regular bedtime. Jerry's work schedule fluctuates. To add to that variability, when Mr. Lo was napping half the days out of each week he had bedtime sometimes at 6:30pm and sometimes as late as 8:30pm; it made him see his dad some evenings at bedtime, but other nights not see him. Which confused and saddened the poor child. So it was a tough decision to make, but we decided to have Mr. Lo quit napping (which he was basically ready for anyway) in order to make his bedtime a perfectly regular, set time: 7pm. It varies by about a 30 min. window, but stays pretty firm regardless of weekends, dinner appointments, neighbor children knocking on the door at bedtime or neighbors throwing pinata parties at bedtime, etc. We stand strong! We eat dinner at 5pm sharp, have Lo hit the bath at 6pm, then clean up toys, brush teeth, I massage his feet with essential oils (Lavender and Lemon), a 2 min. nursing session and I hug and kiss him goodnight. He listens to soft church hymns as he falls asleep. He has been thriving on this routine and we are happy with it. It is my goal for Baby Ro to be in bed by 7pm as well, but her evenings have more variability because of her daytime napping getting switched around quite a bit. Also, because of being distracted by directing Lo's bedtime routine I often end up missing Baby Ro's ideal sleep window (when a baby is drowsy but awake) so she cries and fusses most nights or sometimes I have time to soothe her to sleep but I sense this inconsistency will cause problems for us in the future. This is the imperfect part of my life: 2 kids, 1 me. Jerry leaves for work at about 8am and returns around 8pm. This is his NON-busy season schedule. Intense, right? He has a 2-3 hour commute for many of his assigned clients. To get to and from work, he rides his bike, takes the train or light-rail and sometimes drives our personal car which believe it or not is a comparable commute time to taking public transportation. The commute here is officially the worst in the nation.  Anyway, it means that with our family's schedule, Jerry sees the kids for about an hour each morning during the weekday grind.  But the consistency of the routine has felt comforting.

After Jerry returns home from work around 8pm, the two of us eat dinner together, do dishes, plan for the next day, have companionship scripture study, and go to bed around 10:30pm.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This week our Mr. Lo turned three and a half years old. I have not been very consistent doing age reports for awhile but figured I might as well give him a little spotlight. He seems like such a grown up kid most of the time, but then has moments when I remember he has only been on this earth a short little while. Things he does: Shares (willingly and happily much of the time but sometimes needs reminding to wait until other kids are done before he tries to take a turn); Bikes (he got a balance bike last summer and rides it almost every day. Our longest route is 4 miles round trip and he gets tired but is a trooper!); Sings (his favorite part of church is singing time in Primary and I hear his sweet melodies around the house as he rehearses either songs he has just learned in school/church or songs he makes up on the spot); Potties (deserves a post of its own, but the short story is that he insisted on potty training himself last year right after we moved back from Texas--ditched diapers cold-turkey daytime/nighttime included and it went pretty well overall); Pretends (he makes up stories, likes to role play, hide and jump out at me as if he is a monster, etc.; Eats (only consumes about one good meal every 2-3 days but isn't picky overall) Still nurses each evening as part of his bedtime routine; Sleeps -for about a year now has slept in his own room all night long, even getting up to potty at night without needing help most of the time.  He goes to bed between 7-7:30 and wakes around 6:30-7am.  About a month ago, I weaned him off of napping entirely because he was only napping a few days per week anyway and it bothered me to have inconsistency.  And it messed with his bedtime when he sometimes napped/sometimes didn't.  So anyway, I'm relieved he's done napping.  It makes scheduling our days simpler.   "Reads;" okay, not really, but he does the pre-reading pretending sort of reading, like telling me, "I'll read it," and turns the pages, telling the story as he has memorized it or making it up based on the illustrations, etc. He also LOVES to be read to still and will sit still for whole stacks of books. He seems to like any genre and a whole host of subjects. One of his recent favorite topics to read about is bats. He often says, "I can read this book because it is a Chinese book, but you can't read it Mommy because you aren't Chinese." And then he'll pretend to read to me in Chinese. I love it. Helps (he enjoys mopping up his own spills, like when he overflows/floods the bathroom every night during his bath or pours his own milk from the jug. He also enjoys entertaining his younger sister and frequently requests, "Mom please can I hold my sister?" Cooks/Bakes (with a lot of assistance of course he commonly makes pancakes, play dough, pizza, cookies, bread, and without assistance is able to get himself simple snacks). Usually I ask him, "What should we have for dinner?" and he gives me great ideas. He likes measuring and stirring dry ingredients most and sometimes protests when I say it is time to add the wet ingredients. He doesn't like getting messing. I need to rearrange the kitchen to put more items within his reach but then am not sure how to simultaneously baby-proof it soon for Baby Ro). I wish I had time to write more about him because he is such a complex, amazingly developed little person and I am sure I've missed important categories. But I'm running out of time and need to get to bed so that's it for now...