As you may remember, Jeff and I tried to take a picture of TongJie standing next to his growth chart on his birthday. He didn't really want to cooperate that day, so I tried again on October 1, which was one month after his 2nd birthday. I was able to get a better picture of him this time. You can tell he's grown even since the last mark from when we got the growth chart in early August. The lowest mark on the chart (at 64 cm) represents his length from his referral documents. That measurement was taken in July of 2011 (when he was 10 months old) at his orphanage. Incidentally, we did not receive the referral until over four months later, so all of the growth and development information was obviously outdated by the time we got it. He's definitely grown a lot in the past few months!
It's hard work to stand still for such a long time for photos!
TongJie has been using Jeff's empty guitar stand as a microphone now. It's about the right height for him, and it does look similar to the microphones on stands that Daddy and the other singers use at church. TongJie's style of singing has changed in the past few months - now it's more reminiscent of yelling. That blue necklace thing he has draped over the guitar stand in the video is his other "microphone" that he uses as a more portable handheld one. Apparently he needed both of them handy at the time of this video.
TongJie finally figured out how to get a sound out of his recorder that the Stromings gave him. For a long time, he would carry it around with him and shove it into me or Jeff's face when he wanted us to make a sound on it. He's been working a lot on blowing for his speech therapy, so the recorder was perfect for getting him to practice that. At first he could only get a little sound out of it every once in a while, but now that he's figured out how to do it, he can get a loud sound consistently. We think the reason he can do it so well is because his top lip is actually covering up his little nostrils when he has the recorder in his mouth - that way the air can't escape out of his nose like it usually would with his cleft palate. Regardless, his speech therapist was quite impressed with his new skill, and TongJie is so proud of himself. You might want to make sure your volume isn't turned up too loud for the video clip below, because it starts out pretty loud and shrill.
Poor Albert hates it when TongJie parades around the house tooting on his recorder. Albert had the last laugh though, because we went somewhere yesterday and came back to find this:
I guess it's time to get a new cheap recorder!