18 Months!

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He’s 17 months in this pic, but I love it ♡

 

E’s half birthday was Monday! In just 6 short weeks, he’ll be promoted to big brother status and I have a feeling that the rest of this year is going to fly by. He’s definitely still a baby, but changed so much since his first birthday…

 

E at 18 months:

- Waves at everyone! Neighbors, dogs, the guy on a tractor across the street, airplanes etc…

- Loves books and asks us to read to him all day. He has free access to all of his board books, and we end up reading most of them to him throughout the day. He will bring us a book, insist on sitting in our lap and he’ll point out pictures of words he knows, while we read.

- Stacks blocks, but enjoys knocking them over or dumping them out of buckets even more.

- He demands a lot of our attention. He’s very good at playing by himself or looking through books alone, but he will usually try to pull us away from whatever we’re doing to join him before sitting down alone for a little while. He’s usually patient with me if I tell him I have to finish washing dishes or doing laundry etc., but he’s more insistent with Papa.

- Recently we started showing him some episodes of Sesame Street (in English) and Thomas (in Japanese), and he really loves them, but the interesting thing is, he only asks Papa to turn on the TV, not Mama. We consider this a good thing because Mama’s the one home with him most of the day so it keeps his TV watching to a minimum. Also, he can’t sit still through even a half an episode. He’ll watch a few minutes and then go play and come back.

- Is drawn to male figures. If Papa or Poppy or either of his uncles are around, my mom and I generally take a back seat.

- Blows kisses!

- Can do the climbing hand movement to the Itsy Bitsy Spider. It’s his favorite song at the moment it seems, but he still loves Row, Row, Row Your Boat and will usually ask for “Row” just after the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

- Will give us kisses on the lips. A couple of weeks ago, the three of us were sitting on the couch and he was taking turns giving us each kisses. The last kiss he gave me, he grabbed both sides of my face, leaned in a gave me a good 5 second smooch on the mouth, closing his eyes half way through. It was the most romantic kiss I’ve ever gotten!

- Runs trains across the floor and says, “Choo choo!” and runs cars around saying, “Brrr!”

- Really just wants to run around outside all day. Playing in the water at my parents house is his absolute favorite. They have a large concrete bowl and a small fountain. We set him up with some cups and a few water toys and he’s good for hours!

- Is pretty good at eating with a spoon and fork when he feels like it. He’s recently working on using his fork to spear things.

- We switched him from his highchair into a booster seat last week and he loves sitting at the table with us to eat.

- Goes to bed at 8:00 and wakes up anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30.

- Still goes down for two short naps a day at home, but at preschool he’ll take one longer nap with his class.

- Is the most lovey with Mama just after his bath. He loves to cuddle with me (and baby) while he dries off.

- He will “help” us get him dressed, as in try to get his arms through sleeves and stick out each foot when we’re putting on his socks.

- Likes to show us his “strength.” One day he picked up our ottoman!

- Gives us “looks” like when he’s doing something he knows he’s not supposed to. He also has a cheesy grin he will flash at you when he wants something :)

 

Says lots of words:

-Mmm (Moo or Cow)

- Chou chou (Japanese for butterfly)

-Wan Wan (Japanese for woof woof or dog)

- Nyan Nyan (Japanese for meow meow or cat)

- Shoes

- Juice (shoes and juice sound the same so it’s hard to tell which he means sometimes)

- Mama

- Papa (He likes to point us out in photos)

- Boo (as in peek a boo)

- Toad (in one of his books)

- Bubble

- Apple

-Uh-oh

- No

- All done (His only two word phrase. I tried teaching him the sign for “All done” a while back and he learned to say the words and sign at the same time.)

- He signs and says, “Mo mo” for, “More”

- Aka (Japanese for red)

- Ao (Japanese for blue)

- Baby (This is a commonly used word around here lately…)

- Baby sister’s name ♡

- Rah! (Roar or lion)

- Bah (Ball)

- Chi chi (Monchichi)

- Doggie

- Gii (He says this when he wants to get up on or down from something)

- Dada (Means TV)

 

 

His favorite books:

- Little Blue Truck

- The Little Engine That Could

- I am a Bunny

- Goodnight Moon

- Teeth Are Not For Biting

- Kodomo Zukan (a series of Japanese books with lots of categorized and labeled pictures)

- Babies

 

 

 

May

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               These past two months have flown by way faster than I could have even anticipated!

               The highlight of May was the nine days that my husband’s parents from Japan were here. E’s time spent with “Ojiichan” and “Obaachan” was pretty magical.

 

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               We’ve connected with them on Skype once a week since E was born, but we weren’t sure with how E would react to seeing them in real life. We were afraid that they might not be familiar enough and he might cry upon meeting them since he was right in the middle of his “stranger anxiety” phase, but he was all smiles when they approached us at the airport!

 

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               He seemed quite comfortable with them right away and at home he was immediately ready to sit in their laps and lead them around our apartment. They slept on a mattress in our living room and each morning, E would go hop on it to wake them up. Poor things! They were so jet lagged, but eager to spend time with their grandson ^^

 

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               A few days after they arrived, we headed to Austin for my husband’s Ph.D graduation ceremonies at UT. Even though they couldn’t understand the speakers, I could tell that it was important to them that they were here to celebrate their son’s accomplishment. My Japanese skills were definitely put to the test that weekend! It was hot outside after the ceremonies (especially in that robe!) and someone wanted to be held only by Papa ^^

 

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               Recently I’ve thought that sometimes E really looks a lot like his Obaachan, but seeing them together proved it to me! My husband and his brother also look a lot like their mom so it makes sense. As they posed for this picture together, my family said the same thing :)

 

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               On the way back from Austin, we attended my nephew’s 5th birthday party, where E had his first splash pad experience and had a blast. My parents-in-law were really happy to see E’s cousins who have grown a lot since they saw them at our wedding four years ago. My nephew, the birthday boy, was the same age as E is now, the last time they saw him!

 

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               That following week, my mother-in-law taught me how to make takikomi gohan (seasoned rice cooked with veggies) which makes my husband and E happy ^^ It’s a really simple and delicious staple dish.

 

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               The night before their flight back to Japan, we we out for dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday.

 

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               My mom presented them with an album of photos she took during the graduation weekend. They were very moved and appreciative. They and my parents regretted not being able to speak more during their visit! I wish they could converse directly. They’re all such sweet people.

 

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               It was tough to see them go after such a short trip (my father-in-law owns his own business and couldn’t be away for too long), but I think that E appreciates seeing them on Skype much more now that he has actually met them, so we still talk with them online every weekend. I hope that next time, they, or we, will be able to visit longer!

 

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               We finished out May by attending a retirement party for one of my husband’s colleagues at his crazy fancy home, complete with museum, library, and very decorated yard.

 

               There was lots to celebrate in May and we were very thankful!

 

 

 

 

Guess What!

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E’s going to have a little sister! I’m a little more than halfway through my pregnancy, and our daughter will be here in September! We are more than thrilled!

We know that E is much too little to realize that a baby is going to be coming to our house this fall. Just 19 months older than his sister, he will still be a baby himself! This doesn’t keep us from pointing at my tummy and telling him, “Baby!” repeatedly though. Sometimes he repeats, “Baby,” but usually something like, “Babu,” comes out. If I sit on the floor with him and ask, “Where’s the baby?” he will lift my shirt and poke my belly button. It melts my heart. ♡

It’s going to be a little crazy around here for a while with a toddler and a newborn, but we are looking forward to E having a close sibling to grow up with!

Children’s Day 2014

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Despite having had a fever the day before, E was his regular super happy self on his second Children’s Day. He would dance every time we turned on his special music box.

This year he is 15 months and full of personality. Last year he was just 3 months old!

To learn more about Children’s Day, check out my posts from last year:

http://etwaewsw.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/childrens-day/

http://etwaewsw.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/koinobori-carp-streamer/

http://etwaewsw.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/kabuto-warrior-helmet/

15 Months!

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Clapping because, “Yay! We’re going outside!”

 

This sweet boy turned 15 months old this week. A quarter of his second year already gone??? How can this be! Also, I don’t know if you can read his shirt, but it hints at something big that I haven’t posted about here yet… Update coming soon :)

 

E at 15 months:

- Often says, “uh-oh” and “whoa”

- Tries to say a lot of things: “nuh” (no), “buh” (book), “shuh” (shoes)

- When he sees a dog he says, “wa wa” (wan wan = woof woof in Japanese)

- When he wants to read, “Row Row Row Your Boat” he brings us the book and says, “Row row row”

- When he wants something, he points at it and says, “ah?”

- He also says, “ma ma” sometimes but not really in reference to me… it’s more like when there’s something he needs.

- Loves his board books, wooden blocks, and anything with wheels.

- Loves the Itsy Bitsy Spider and will sometimes imitate the spider motion with his hands.

- When he’s done something he’s proud of he claps his hands and smiles. He always claps for himself after he successfully manages to stack one block on top of another.

-Is really impatient at meal times. As soon as I step into the kitchen to prepare dinner he starts whining to get in his highchair even though I have nothing to give him yet.

- Can drink from a straw.

- Points at his shoes and leans on the front door when he wants to go outside.

- Wants to eat whatever we’re eating, which means that we can only have snacks or treats after he goes to bed :)

- Sleeps 8:00-7:00ish.

- Still takes two short naps a day.

- Wears 18-24m clothes.

- Hold things up to hear ear like a phone a lot (including his toy phone).

 

Easter 2014

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ImageLast year, E was a tiny baby, but this year he lit up when he saw his Easter basket. We filled it with a new board book, some Melissa and Doug crayons, and these soft and squeezy farm animals. He was a little hesitant at first so we had to assure him that it was ok to pull everything out and play with it, but he was smiling the whole time, and quickly started passing the farm animals out to me one by one.

My parents also made him an Easter basket with a couple of new books, a new polo shirt and shorts for the summer, Goldfish crackers, and these awesome bubbles. Those Jelly Belly bubbles are the best and E loves all of his new books!

In addition to the regular eggs the kids hunted for, my parents made a special golden egg for each one and there was a map with directions on how to find it in the backyard. My mom and dad are so clever :)

We were lucky to have lovely spring weather so that most of the day could be spent outside!

Enjoying Springtime

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Although it won’t last long, we’ve finally had our first taste of spring weather. Pretty soon the a/c will be working round the clock and sunscreen will be necessary for every outing, but we’re enjoying the transition out of winter cold fronts that lasted longer than usual this year.

I think that the appearance of wildflowers and blossoming trees bring a little optimism out in everyone, so we try to get a glimpse of them up close whenever possible. My parents have a beautiful wisteria tree in their front yard that has the most gorgeous purple flowers hanging from it. The pops of bright color here and there make me happy.

 

ImageE really enjoyed the petting zoo at our county rodeo. Since he hasn’t been around many animals before, he wasn’t quite sure what to do or think at first, but once he understood that it was safe to pet them, he lit up. He ended up trying to give all the goats kisses. ♡

Preschool!

           ImageHanging out in Mama’s office. One of my sweet coworkers brought him a new ball.

 

E and I have made a big transition lately. Well, not so much for me, as for him, but three days a week I go to work and he gets to attend preschool!

I wasn’t looking for work outside of my few-hours-a-week fun, evening job, but suddenly I was offered a job in the office at the preschool my mom teaches at (and I attended as a child!) I was told that they needed administrative help and that E could join the other babies in the nursery while I work. A decent paycheck, and a chance for E to be with other kids three days a week? It was too perfect to pass up! Also, I still get to “stay home” with him 4 out of 7 days, so it feels like the perfect balance for us.

 

ImageSnack time with friends :)

 

When I was pregnant, we talked about how great it would be if E could attend preschool a few days a week after he turned one, so when he was three months old, we put him on the wait list at the preschool that’s run by the college that my husband works at. However, their wait list is so long, and the school so popular and exclusive that we didn’t put much faith in him getting in when we wanted him to.

The job offer came around just two weeks after his first birthday, so it was great timing! It’s a nice, private school with sweet teachers and my mom and I can check on him any time.

 

ImagePlaytime with Papa in the evening is the best!

 

I worried about the transition for E because he didn’t know anything other than being with me all the time. I’d taken him to library play groups since he was tiny so he’d been around babies and adults he didn’t know, but I was always THERE. Now I was going to be dropping him off and leaving him (although I’d really just be down the hall…)

He really didn’t do badly though. At first he’d cry pretty hard when I’d leave, but his teachers said it didn’t last long because he was soon distracted by toys and friends. Now he knows what’s up and will usually try to glue himself to my legs to prevent me from leaving, but he’s gotten used to his teachers, and will sometimes even go to them when they hold their hands out for him in the morning.

Generally, we get to the school a little early and he hangs out with my mom and I in the office for a little while, then I walk him down to the nursery. I find that it’s a good strategy to just go ahead and strap him into a highchair and put his breakfast on his tray so that he’s busy while I slip out the door. He’s with his class from 9:00 to 3:00. Throughout the week they go to a music class, a gross motors activity class, and take rides in a buggy that holds six babies at a time.

I try to check on him once an hour, if I can peek through the door without him seeing me, and he’s always happy and playing. I’m lucky that he’s such an adaptable little guy.

 

13 Months!

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With all the birthday planning, I never got around to writing up E’s 12 months update. I didn’t feel like there was such a big difference in his development from 11 to 12 months of age, but now that he’s 13 months I see many changes. I can’t believe that just four months ago he was only 9 months old!

At 12 months he could say two words: “wow,” and, “whoa”. On his birthday, when we told him, “E, it’s your birthday! Happy birthday!” he replied “Wow, WOW!” At 13 months he’s added one more word to his vocabulary and that is, “oh-oh.” (uh-oh) There has to BE an uh-oh for him to say it though (like dropping food off his tray)

E at 13 months:

Is so BUSY! Loves to play, and is good at entertaining himself when we’re at home.

Loves to explore outside, and when we’re inside he loves to look out the window.

Blows on his food even when it’s not hot sometimes.

When he’s done with the food on his tray he drops pieces over the side and says, “oh-oh!”

Often squeals when frustrated.

Hates having his hands and face wiped, and getting his teeth brushed.

Is very affectionate! He comes over to lay his head on us and gives us hugs all day. Loves to come sit on out laps.

He’s also going through a period of wanting to be held all the time. I think part of the reason is that he wants to see what’s going on at the adult level. He especially wants to be picked up while we are cooking, to see things on the stove, and when I’m getting ready in the bathroom, to see what’s on the counter.

Likes to be tickled under the chin.

Points at things in books.

Comes to us for help, like if he wants us to open his shape sorter to dump the pieces out, or wants us to turn his mp3 player on.

Wants to do everything by himself. At meal times we have to give him a utensil so that he can try to feed himself while we feed him at the same time. Sometimes he gets food to his mouth :)

Tries to put his own clothes on. Steps on his shoes, drapes shirts around his neck, and when we put out his pj’s at night he sits down right on them.

He’s had his first haircut! It was so cute long, but reached past shoulder length and was getting in his eyes, so it was time. Maybe now with his “boy” haircut, people won’t mistake him for a baby girl anymore!

O-N-E!

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Goodness. Our baby will be 13 months old tomorrow! I’ve had a draft of this post waiting to be published for almost a month, but have been too busy or exhausted recently to finish it! E turned one at the end of January and we had a little celebration in early February to mark the occasion.

We had a birthday lunch at my parents’ house and kept things low key by just inviting aunts, uncles, and cousins. I didn’t pick a theme for the party, but decided to go with blue and green decorations. Simple is good, and I really liked how it turned out!

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We ordered sushi and sandwich trays from our local grocery store, I made cupcakes, and Papa made a couple of Japanese dishes, so there was plenty of food. The kids played, E opened a few presents, and we sang him “Happy Birthday,” which didn’t make him cry!

We also set up a fortune telling game, where he had to pick one of several objects. Whatever he chose was supposed to indicate something about his future. He chose a pack of pencils, which could be interpreted in a lot of ways… Teacher, artist, writer?

It was a special day that was definitely as much a celebration for us as it was for him! I can’t believe we’re lucky enough to spend our days with this sweet, happy, tiny boy. ♡