Pumpkins, puddles, playtime

Some sunny days around here have allowed us chances to spend more time outside than we expected in October. We checked out two local pumpkin patches and the kids have been relishing the local apple and apple cider season here.

While baby’s growth has me physically drained and beyond mental capacity some days, I’m still thankful I can spend some sweet moments with Timothy and Grace as we anticipate the arrival of their newest sister. Grace’s vocabulary is becoming easier to discern by the week, and her little stubborn ways with saying or doing things remind me of my own (although it’s pretty frustrating at times!). Her humor and compassion for our family is to cute to see grow, especially when she hurries to hug and comfort her brother when he’s sad, even when she causes it! Grace still loves being held when she’s not busy playing and shoving various containers or bags full of toys, books and whatever else she can get her hands on at the time. Her dance moves are enthusiastic and we love watching her get excited to dance with all of us.

Timothy has his better and difficult days (sometimes quite out of sync with mine!), but most days he is quite eager to do some schooling and workbooks around play times, and has taken up practicing writing everyday on his own. This means we’ve needed to provide easy access to permissible writing surfaces and easily washable writing instruments. He especially likes writing or spelling out our all entire family’s names…on everything. Timothy’s animal and people drawings are getting creative and his humor is increasingly quirky and silly. Both kids currently like listening to our Cubbies curriculum CD (all. day. long.) and it’s been fun to see Grace share Timothy’s enthusiasm for the stories, too even though she’s not in the program.

September beginnings

We took advantage of the final days of the summer farmers markets around here as fall weather took over last month. Our children are continuing to grow in their friendship and it’s been so sweet to see them love each other so much at times as a sibling pair. They especially enjoy holding hands across the aisle in the car, giving each other hugs and kisses (most of the time), and sharing food with one another (mainly Timothy giving to Grace, though; she’s a big eater!) We continue to be excited about meeting baby girl, and are savoring how Timothy tells and shows us everyday how very thankful he is for another sister. The excitement and endearment has been passed on to Grace, too. It’s been such a joy to watch Timothy grow as a big brother.

A short visit from my older sister brought along some sweet time with Aunty Sophia for our kids and some nice sister time for me, too.  After our visitor, we jumped right into the full swing of school, Bible study, and a more consistent weekly routine.  I turned 30, and was struck by immense gratitude for the opportunity to be my little ones’ primary teacher, a part of the new Revelation study at BSF, and serve our local church. It was nice to reflect and look forward to all the Lord has for me this year and in this new decade, and am eager to learn more from others, especially older folks as I stumble along in so many different roles.

A bustling June

This is a rather late entry, but in addition to the heat and everything else that was going on, blogging and sorting through photos has definitely been on the back burner for us. In June we had quite a bit to celebrate with a birthday, anniversary and Father’s Day, we tried to bear the Seattle-area heat, and acclimated to life with busy little walking Grace. The children and I have started hitting up some of the area farmers markets, and continue to appreciate the abundance of parks we have the luxury of choosing from for weekly outings. Andrew and I celebrated 6 years of marriage over a nice brunch together and seeing some of what God has done in our life together. The following day, our children enjoyed showering him with cards and a framed canvas photo on Father’s Day. Perhaps next year, they can contain their eagerness and even let Papa sleep in past 7:30AM before heaping their gifts on him. 🙂

March Musings

It was a good month around here with the weather warming up, lots of weekly activities, and Spring upon us. Although some days still feel long with a toddler and baby keeping me on my toes (and knees for prayer and cleaning!), I’m impressed with how precious this time is while they’re still little, and how quickly it’s passing as they grow just a bit more each week. I’m thankful to be with them during the day to catch the sweet moments of sibling tenderness among the many teachable times. Andrew and I have been taking some opportunities for more one-on-one time with the children, and it’s been fun to enjoy those special times with us. Timothy often asks for our entire family to do everything together, but it’s also been great to hear him excitedly recount some of the outings he has with Andrew.

Grace is learning more words and showing avid interest in almost everything, especially new places and foods. Her newest words are “bye-bye”, “yes” (in both English and Cantonese), “baaa” (sheep sound), and “voom” (when playing with vehicles). She makes efforts to sign for more food, and to reach out for hugs now, too. She’s also a very fast crawler and cruiser now, getting into anything her little fingers can reach to shove into her mouth. Grace also enjoys cooking up (or just causing) a storm in their little play kitchen. Meanwhile, Timothy continues to insist on helping in the kitchen, trying veggies as I chop them, and especially likes making cookies with me. His imagination, humor, and communication is growing so much, and it’s especially cute to see how he likes making us laugh with his jokes. I also love he plays getting ready for work by filling his backpack with play food and jumping into the Cozy Coupe or waiting for the bus, just like Papa. We continue to enjoy hearing him “read” (memorized) large portions of or entire smaller books. Timothy is continuing to spell a lot, and at time it seems like he really knows how to read words, but then it’s evident he’s actually just recognizing familiar words and logos (like Costco!). He takes many opportunities throughout the day to smooch and hug his baby sister, sometimes even when she really doesn’t want it, though. He’s also pointing out in recent months that she’s not walking yet, and that he wants her get older and start doing it soon – funny! If she’s anything like him, it’ll be a few more months of waiting. I’m willing to hold off on that extra busyness anyway. 😉

We visited the cherry blossoms nearby at UW on a nice warm day and were glad to see Timothy and Grace enjoy themselves. Andrew and I hadn’t seen the blooms in years so it was nice to do a picnic dinner there, take some photos, and watch our little guy run happily around the Quad. Grace tried to eat some of the leaves and fallen blossoms, but that’s about par for the course these days with her exploration. 🙂 Our own fruit trees are blossoming well this year and we look forward to hopefully enjoying the fruit they bear later in the fall. Big brown snowshoe hares have also been appearing around our home lately, to our collective delight, especially since this is our first Spring without a bunny of our own to watch hop around outside.

Holy Week is upon us and it’s been so neat to see Timothy start to recount more of some parts of Jesus’ journey to the cross and the Resurrection. While he seems more obsessed with the little trinkets at this point, I still enjoy using our old set of Resurrection Eggs with him this year as we navigate his Bible together. As we look forward to joyously proclaiming the most important event in history, I’m eager for that hope to penetrate my heart since my due date for the baby we lost has come and gone recently. I’m amazed at how God is bringing comfort, truth and conviction through His word and people. Our heartaches aren’t for naught and they’re ultimately not even about us, which is surprisingly encouraging to my introspective and selfish soul. While I stumble along in learning to treasure Jesus, celebrating the journey to the cross has been especially meaningful this year. I pray that Easter means so much more than candy, baby animals, and cute pastel outfits for you, too! 🙂

Happy Easter!

Short and packed February

While adjusting back to the cold and wet PNW weather, I survived some days of solo parenting when Andrew went back to the Bay Area for the rest of his work trip at the beginning of February. We were very eager for him to come home and for Grampa King to arrive by the end of it, though!

With birthday parties and baby showers the first half of the month, we had some fun and busy weekends celebrating life. It’s been neat to see Timothy enjoy it so much when we host people in our home each week and on some weekends. thoroughly enjoyed taking in the Lunar New Year celebration nearby, along with two other lion dances locally to ring in Chinese new year. He continues to sway and stomp along to music performances with gusto. I appreciate the freshness of each holiday with little ones since we get to explain and introduce celebrations to them as they ask observe and ask questions. The children continue to enjoy Cantonese Story Time and BSF each week. Grace is still an enthusiastic participant at both activities and cooperates quite well. I love watching them both dance around enjoying music and look forward to making more music together as a family when they’re older, too.

Our sweet little girl turned one and we enjoyed celebrating her first year. She’s become quite vocal and eager, and continues to be interested in everything, especially what Timothy does. Grace is quite excited about playgrounds and parks, so we’re already looking forward to the summer with her when she’ll likely be walking. For now, she is a fast and very busy little cruiser. New words this month were “amen”, “milk” in Chinese and a faint breathy “hi”. She signs for “milk” and “more” now (although it looks like “all done”, which can be confusing). Her frequent babbling, waving, and clapping elicits some funny imitation from her brother, too. Grace loves crawling around brother’s bed and pretending to lay down with him before nap times. Playing chase up the stairs has become even more exciting as she’s gained speed lately. After many months of not seeming to care much about my whereabouts or attention during the day, Grace has become more clingy and needy. It’s both busier and sweeter, and I’m glad to know that my baby girl doesn’t only prefer her papa during the day.

Timothy is becoming quite the kitchen helper with peeling garlic, stirring ingredients, pushing blender buttons, inspecting produce, pouring ingredients, and taste-testing. I appreciate his eagerness to help even though the messiness is sometimes hard for me. He continues to love learning letters and numbers. His avid interest in Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Noël Piper, Sandra Boynton and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom books has really helped with his English. We’re surprised to already hear him spelling words he sees and memorizing sounds that some letters make. Then there are also the many times when he mixes words and sounds up for his silly talk…sometimes seemingly regressing into babble. 😉 He is also translating a lot between Cantonese and English, sometimes seemingly for our benefit but probably mostly because he’s thinking out loud. It’s so interesting for me to watch him think through and find the vocabulary he wants to use to talk about what he sees, hears and interprets. I keep bumping up against my language limitations more often now and think that we’ll probably be speaking a lot more Chinglish around here in the months to come.

Our morning times when Grace naps are pretty special so I’m not sure what I’ll do when she permanently drops that morning nap. For now, I’m quite enjoying these times together. Our little man is still quite a mama’s boy and I relish his hugs, kisses and snuggles before he grows up much too quickly. I’ve been trying to be more organized with Timothy’s morning learning times during the week when we don’t have planned activities somewhere else. He thoroughly enjoys Play-Doh, our sensory bins, alphabet and number manipulatives, short videos, and lots of books and several Bibles. I need to let him draw and “write” more in the coming weeks, too so we can continue with numbers, letters, colors and shapes. He’s been on a kick of wanting two of many things (we have him eat two bites to finish meals when he wants to be done) because, as he says in Chinese, “I’m two!”. He’s been telling me that he really wants another little sister so he can have two of those, too. So precious… but my heart does ache a bit as I watch pregnant mamas anticipate their spring babies. We’re continuing to trust the Lord with that loss, and be thankful for this opportunity to lean on him in our weakness and hurt.

We hope it warms up more soon as Spring finally arrives, especially for those of you stuck in the snowy and frigid northeastern part of the continent. Thanks for keeping up with our family!