Monday, August 20, 2012

TongJie's fun new water table

We hung out with some friends on Saturday morning who love to go "garage sale-ing" (I don't know if that's a word) and always get great deals.  They have two kids, ages 4 and 3, and had some extra garage sale finds that their kids don't use anymore.  They gave us some books and a really neat sand and water table.  We set up the table in our yard and filled it with water (no sand for now) and TongJie LOVES it!  It's just the right height for him to stand at and play with his toys and splash to his little heart's content.  He's already gotten quite a bit of use out of it and it's only been three days!

 As you can see, sometimes playing is pretty serious business

Aside from the outing with friends that I mentioned, we've also been to a couple other gatherings in the past few days where there were a lot of people.  Jeff and I can tell a definite difference in TongJie when he's been overwhelmed with lots of people.  He had a good time at all the events we went to recently and did great being around the people, but we can tell it was a little too much for him and he's been extra clingy to us at home.  He cries and wants to be carried and not put down, and he wants to sit on our laps which is unusual for him.  Even more unusual was when he snuggled up on my lap and let me read to him for quite awhile - I don't think that has ever happened before!

Since TongJie loves bags so much, I decided to make him his own little bag for him to put his toys in to carry around, or for when we go places where he might need to bring something to do.  The other bags we have are way too big for him and he trips over them, plus they look kind of girly, so it was time for him to have a little boy looking bag with short handles that wouldn't get in the way.  I found a cool monster fabric for the lining and pockets, and used green canvas to make it durable.

It's just the right size for a selection of smaller toys, with a couple of pockets for things like cars or who knows what.

TongJie loves to carry it around, and now he picks it up and starts waving and saying "bye" because he knows he always takes it when we go places.  I haven't been able to get a picture of him with it yet, though.

Speaking of having difficulties getting certain pictures, I've been wanting to get a picture of the inside of TongJie's mouth for quite some time.  It's hard to see in his mouth, let alone to take a picture of it, but when he gets laughing really hard and the angle is right, you can see the large cleft in his mouth very clearly.  I finally got a pretty good picture of it today when he was laughing on the changing table.  Mainly we wanted to have a "before" picture because after he has his surgery on October 16 it's going to look a lot different and someday he'll probably want to see what the inside of his mouth looked like for the first two years of his life.  I wondered whether or not I should post the picture on the blog, but I finally decided to post it because a lot of people who read this blog probably have never seen what a cleft palate looks like.  You can really see how having a cleft would affect your eating and speech - there is nothing separating the mouth and nasal cavity.  Cleft palates can be different degrees of severity, where some people have a partial cleft that is only through the soft palate in the back and some people have a complete cleft that goes all the way from the gum line to the back.  TongJie's is a complete cleft (they call it "3rd degree" in China, which is the most severe, but I don't think they really use that terminology to describe it here in the US) that starts all the way at his gum line in the front and goes all the way back.  Can't you just almost hear him laughing when you look at this picture?  Well, maybe not, but I can!


  1. What a cute little monster tote bag! I bet he loves it a lot. And it looks like he's really enjoying that water table - what fun!

    That's an interesting picture of his cleft palate, and he will probably be really glad to be able to see it someday, especially since it won't really be visible anymore after the surgery!

    It's fun to see him snuggled up on your lap to be read to. Levi wasn't much of a "book baby" either, but by about 3, he really liked being read to. I hope that maybe TongJie will feel the same as he gets bigger. :)

  2. LOL! His laugh photo made me laugh! So cute!