Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunshine, slides, and snacks of seaweed!

We've had some days of really nice weather.  So nice, in fact, that TongJie was able to run around naked in the backyard and play in the sprinkler.

We've been going to lots of playgrounds.  Since TongJie loves going down slides all by himself now, it's been lots of fun.  Just about every time we go anywhere, either walking or riding in the car, TongJie asks "slide?"  He even notices when we drive by parks, and we can hear him saying "Slide! Slide!" from the back seat.

He's been having fun on the swings, and even started swinging (very carefully) on the big swings.  He still likes the  baby swings too.

Jeff helped him on the monkey bars and he thought that was great.

The Apple Blossom youth parade was on Saturday, and Jeff's band marched in it so we went to watch.

TongJie got his very own fireman hat at the parade and he thought that was pretty neat.

He even liked it enough to have it with him while drinking his before-bed bottle of milk.

Speaking of hats, I made TongJie a fedora hat.  There's a free pattern here if you're interested in making a toddler-sized fedora.  After giving it a shot, I've come to the conclusion that 1) this type of hat is really hard to make and have it look not homemade, 2) I shouldn't have used a fabric with stripes because it makes it really obvious where it's not lined up, and 3) TongJie doesn't really like to wear hats for more than about two seconds at a time so it's a good thing that it's quite big on him still so maybe he'll want to wear it when he gets a little older.  Quite the fashion statement, though!

After picking a bouquet of flowers from our yard the other day with TongJie, he has been wanting to pick every flower that he sees.

I took the changing table out of TongJie's room one morning last week because we weren't really using it anymore, except for storing things.  So I rearranged some things in his room and got rid of some stuff that we weren't using in there.  As soon as I took off the pad from the changing table and set it on the floor, TongJie went right over to it and laid down.  He's grown a lot since the time that we first started using it almost a year ago!

Here's another funny picture, first with an explanation.  We recently had ketchup and taught TongJie how he could dip things into it.  Well, he must have really liked it because he dipped everything into his ketchup, including his grapes.  Or maybe he just liked the idea of dipping.  Then he wanted to drink the ketchup.  Ever since then, he's been trying to dip his food into whatever he can, usually his cup of water or milk.  After his nap the other day, he was eating a snack of seaweed (which he loves) and milk, and dipping the seaweed into his milk.  I thought it looked kind of gross, but he seemed to like it, as you can see from the picture.

He's generally been a pretty happy guy lately.  Getting to be outside in the nice weather is so much fun!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Break

Spring break was last week, and we had lots of fun!  First of all, we burned some brush at my parents' house.  TongJie got rides in the all-terrain wagon, and got to play in the dirt.

What fun!  Although he's talking a lot more now, he still uses sign language in conjunction with his speaking, which we're thankful for because he's pretty difficult to understand.  In the photo below, he's signing "dirty."

Jeff, TongJie, and I walked by the river on a nice, warm day.  It was perfect for throwing rocks in the water.

The next day was Easter and we had a wonderful morning at church.  We were there for a long time because both Jeff and I played our instruments in the orchestra for the first and second services.  Usually TongJie and I just go to the second service, so he was there a lot longer than he's used to.  I've seen a lot of people posting their family Easter pictures on blogs and Facebook, so I thought you all might like to see ours:
Seriously, this is the best one!  I wanted to get a nice photo of TongJie in his pants, blazer, and bow tie that I sewed for him, but he's not too fond of having his picture taken.  He did look quite dapper.

After church on Easter, we headed to Montana for a visit with my sister, Melonie, and her family.  TongJie was an excellent car traveler.  Here's a picture of him settling in for his nap:

He actually didn't sleep much in the car, but he did great even when he was awake.  He entertained himself for hours playing with his little cars.  We stayed Sunday night at a hotel in Missoula, then arrived in Great Falls on Monday mid-morning.  The weather was beautiful in Great Falls, especially the first couple of days we were there.  TongJie had so much fun with his Uncle Adam, Aunt Melonie, and cousins Drake and Levi. We went to lots of playgrounds.  TongJie decided that he REALLY likes slides.  Now the slides are his favorite thing about playgrounds.

One playground had a really long slide:

Drake was wearing slippery basketball shorts that made him go super fast.

It was fun to get out of town for a little while and spend time with family.

And we got some rare pictures of the three of us together.  Usually either Jeff or I is taking the picture.

We got back home on Friday evening, and TongJie adjusted quickly to his regular routine back at home.  We all had such a good time, but it was nice to get back to our own home all the same.  Plus, we had missed Albert!

Our friends the Schells gave us an even smaller balance bike for TongJie to try out, and he's been wanting to ride his bike all the time now.  At first, it took him five or 10 minutes to get the hang of it and he wanted me to be right there holding on to him, but pretty soon he was pushing me away because he could do it all by himself.  Like the other balance bike that I mentioned several weeks ago, this one has two wheels but no pedals, so the idea is that the child learns to balance like on a real bike and later is able to skip the training wheel phase.  We'll see how it works with TongJie.  He's already getting the balance thing down quite well, and it helps that this one is so low to the ground and has a very wide rear wheel.  And it looks like a little motorcycle!

TongJie has been rather obsessed with sheep and with "Baa Baa Black Sheep" lately - just ask Melonie and her family . . . there were near constant requests (from TongJie) for someone to sing "baa baa sheep?" while we were visiting.  So I decided to make TongJie a sheep shirt.  Well, actually I didn't make the shirt - I just bought a cheap plain white shirt from Walmart and then made a freezer paper stencil of a sheep design that I found online.  I recently got an exacto knife, like a real one instead of just a razor blade that I'd been using for cutting out designs, and the new exacto knife is WAY easier for intricate cutting.  So much easier, in fact, that I decided to add some words.  I was going to put "have you any wool?" but then decided to just make it say "got wool?"  TongJie likes it, and it looks pretty cute on him.

I like this time of year because of all the flowers blooming and the leaves coming out on the trees.  It's so pretty around here, especially when the sun is shining!  TongJie and I picked a little bouquet the other day.

Happy spring!