Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow, word approximation, and wooden beads

I figured it was time for another blog post, since me and TongJie are both stuck inside this morning feeling a little bit "under the weather."  Jeff still has school until tomorrow before he's on Christmas break, so we're hoping we're feeling better by then and really hoping that Jeff doesn't get sick right at the beginning of vacation.  We got to see Jeff's school band and choir concert on Tuesday evening, and it was a great concert.  All the kids did really well, and TongJie enjoyed listening to the music and clapping after each song.  He was even tapping his little foot during some of the songs the bands played.  I wish I would have brought my camera to get some pictures of the concert, but of course I didn't.

We got some snow here at our house over the past few days, so that has been pretty exciting!  On Sunday, when it first began snowing, we went for a little evening walk in the dark.  TongJie had fun holding the flashlight.

The next day, we got to spend more time in the snow.  We made a snowman and TongJie had fun feeding Grandma's chickens.  I don't think Albert had quite as much fun in the snow!  

TongJie learned how to say "snow" in sign language, and just about every time he looks out a window now (which is a lot!), he signs snow and says "nooooooo" (for snow).

TongJie is vocally approximating words a lot now, which is great, and one step closer to speaking.  He still uses his signs all the time (he's up to about 118 words in his signing vocabulary), but now the signs are accompanied by his little voice trying to say the word.  Some of his words are really close, but some of them are hard to tell.  He can make all of the vowel sounds, but the only consonant sounds he can make are H, L, M, N, W, and Y.  A back of the throat, gurgly "h" sound gets substituted for many of the consonants.  Lately, he's been pointing to himself and proudly exclaiming "hhyou!" when he sees a picture of himself.  We always point to him and say "that's you!," so it makes sense that he points to himself and thinks that he's "you."

This morning, we've been playing with large wooden beads.  TongJie is keeping himself occupied by moving the beads from the jar to the canister, then from the canister to the jar, over and over and over.  It's nice that he usually has a fairly long attention span for things like that.

I've sewed one more article of clothing for TongJie recently - a pair of pants that I've been wanting to try for awhile.  I used a yard-sale shirt that I purchased because of the cool pockets that I thought would make good back pockets on a pair of pants.  It's so nice to be able to use existing details like pockets, hems, buttons, etc. - I would never be able to get the pockets to look like that if I had to cut and sew them from scratch.  So the the pants turned out pretty good, but since they're are a tight woven fabric with no stretch, we found out that they don't fit very well over a cloth diaper.  He'll just have to wear them when he's wearing a disposable diaper and that's fine.  TongJie was not very willing to pose for pictures in his new pants, but I was able to sneak in a couple anyway.

Merry Christmas, everybody!


  1. Hope you two get feeling better real soon. Great photos of walking in the snow at night! I can really see his growth in the picture where he's wearing his new pants- all stretched out on the floor.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Great post! I especially thought it was funny that TongJie calls himself "you!" :) I remember that Drake used to do that too, for a little while, before he figured out that "you" meant other people and he was "me." (I don't remember Levi doing it, but he might have. He started talking a lot later, and it seemed like he skipped a lot of the "funny talk" that Drake used to do...or maybe I was just busier so I don't remember it as well.)

    That video of TongJie is great, and you can see how wiggly and active he is! Wow! I noticed that when we were skyping/facetiming the other day too...I had forgotten how wiggly 2-year-olds are!! I'm sure he keeps you quite busy. ;)

    1. That's funny - we were just talking about how we remember Drake saying "Mommy carry you!" when he wanted you to carry him, and we also remember Levi obstinately saying "NO! YOU do it!" when he wanted to do something himself (really meaning "me do it"). I guess the me/you thing is a hard concept to get at first!

    2. Oh man, I totally forgot about Levi doing that! You guys and Mom and Dad remember lots of stuff that my kids used to say that I totally don't remember (until you mention it, that is)!