Friday, October 24, 2014

Is a smile too much to ask?

My kids are very smiley. But after two different sessions for family Christmas card photos, we ended up with nary a toothy grin. I'll forego posting the Christmas card photo just yet, but suffice to say baby Ro looks like one of those pioneer photos--somber and starving. And Lo looks like somebody told him to smile but he didn't want to. Oh, wait, that isn't just "what he looks like," that's reality. All I wanted was a few cheesy happy faces--why are they so much easier to capture on the fly? Observe:
The photography studio was playing Tom & Jerry in the waiting area. I eventually asked for a change of video, because MAN that show is violent--but I wish I had filmed Mr. Lo's reaction before we switched to Dora the Explorer. He was watching the cat and mouse antics with all the energy of a crowd at a championship game. He leaped off his seat, cheering, screaming in delight, giggling and crowing with abandon. Everybody in the waiting room was watching HIM instead of watching the show. :) I think it was his first time to be exposed to "old style" 2D animation. There is something extra entertaining about the classic stretch effects, slap comedy, exaggeration, etc. that makes me convinced 3D animation will never quite replace 2D. Anyway, of course all Mr. Lo's smiles faded the instant we left the waiting room and got our photos taken. :/

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Let the Blogging Resume!

Baby Ro's morning hair and Lo's "American Symbols" wall for homeschool (he can tell you all about Mount Rushmore and the Star Spangled Banner)
We went about a year using limited internet, so now that we just got "regular" internet, I'll probably start blogging again with some regularity. Yay! Not sure how to handle the backlogged photos and news. I'll start by just giving a semi-recent photo of each kid and brief update on what's new with them.
Her favorite ride at Happy Hollow
Baby Ro is not so much a baby anymore, though people often guess she's younger than her real age of nearly two. She's short and has a big head (aka cute) and makes us laugh all the time with her efforts to communicate. She usually talks in sentences that contain a 2-5 words with good enough pronunciation that strangers often know what she's saying. She talks herself to sleep at night, which I know from listening on the baby monitor--very amusing to hear her chatter on to herself about her friends, what she did that day, etc. She's a stationary sort of girl, loving to sit and watch her brother at gymnastics, sit at the library storytime, sit in the grocery shopping cart, sit in the stroller, sit and color, sit and read, sit and...think? She pens the most elaborate drawings, even starting to do a classic circle with a cross in the middle (a developmental stage of drawing). She is naturally conscientious about putting the cap back on the marker when she is done using it. She has a tender heart and if she sees someone crying attempts to give them a hug or toy, etc. to cheer them up. Her favorite song is "I am a Child of God," which she sings! Her singing is so adorable! It sounds something like, "God...Child...Ahhh..." and she repeats those words a bunch in a melodious manner. :) The first words out of her mouth each morning are something along the lines of "Daddy awake? Ge Ge awake?" (Ge Ge means "older brother" in Chinese). She is old enough now to have some good playtime with her brother each day.
Since we don't have a yard, we have a liberal indoor play policy. 
That Lo is still as intense as ever. He has activities every day, from preschool to gymnastics to swim class. However, we are also homeschooling him through Ocean Grove Charter, because he could have done transitional kindergarten this year since he turns 5 in a month. At his preschool, which is the parent-participation type, I am always proud to respond when people ask, "which child is yours?" He is a noticeable child in the classroom, in a good way. He is enthusiastic, confident, and a good friend. By the second week of class, I had multiple parents approaching me to say, "Your son plays so cute with my child--when can we set up a playdate?" Besides his social development, I delight in noticing his mind growing and expanding. His view on the world is original and thoughtful (as is the case with all people I suppose?). Recently he was fighting off a cold and told me, "There are lots of germs in my belly. But I'm KILLING them with water! Because water is some kind of medicine." :) He listens to the Book of Mormon stories which Jerry put onto an old phone for him (Lo uses it like an MP3 player). He takes it with him to the park, in the car, etc. and knows the stories so well now, he corrects his parents sometimes on the order of scriptural accounts, like the fact that the king-men rise up before the Army of Helaman, and THEN comes the Pahoran/Moroni exchange. He sings church songs to himself at random times--while falling asleep at night, while in the car, etc. which always melts my heart. The songs I hear him sing most often are "Our Father has a Family, It's me...It's you..." (what is the real name of that song?) And "Army of Helaman."

This was actually a whole year ago at gymnastics.  I don't have an updated photo.  But he's still at The Little Gym, learning the same basics skills.

I am overall feeling at peace about how our family is doing, though I am prayerful and concerned about the effects of our moving so much and having limited outdoor play opportunity. I am thankful the Lord has given our children healthy development and so many natural talents that help them succeed through the challenges of life.