Christmas is coming

You like to look at the Christmas lights, you say “They are so pretty!” You really are like a little independent person now. You’re personality is strong and independent. You really like to be able to do things by yourself. It’s so cute you go to the bathroom by yourself then ask us for help to get your pants back up. You like to have right amount of bubbles in your bath, not too much or too few. You know what temperature you like. We started taking baths everyday at 9, and go to sleep at 10. This really has helped you get into a rhythm for sleep. 

You have been going to Chinese classes on Saturdays for about 3 hours each time. You like the class, it’s good to help to get used to Chinese. Your ability to speak two languages is amazing, you’ve figured out how to distinguish them most of the time. It’s cute though when you say “I 吹 some bubbles!”

Actually, you’re mother and I think you are a language genius. Many people also can’t believe all the things you are able to say for just turning 3 years old. 

Recently you’ve been getting excited about Star Wars. You like Darth Maul and Darth Vader and R2-D2. At the store, you wanted to buy the soup with Darth Vader on it. You like to play with a toy light saber that Big Victor gave to you. The new movie comes out Dec 18th, and we will go see it together. 

We will be getting a new home soon. We’ve been looking for one for a while and found one near the park you like. I’m excited for us because we will all get our own rooms and space. It’s close to the park and you and mommy can go often. 

The Games We Play~

“Do you want to play Dinosaur Battle?” “Yeah!” I love to hear how excited you are to learn about Dinosaurs. One thing I’ve noticed is when you are interested in something, you totally blitz the information, you will read and read or watch videos until you have got it in your head. I can’t believe you learned all 100 dinosaurs from the 100 Dinosaurs video, on top of learning the names of many dinosaurs from library books.

You also like to play True or False with me. First I asked you questions like “Mars has three moons, true or false?” and you would answer “False, Mars has two moons!” Its amazing how quickly you picked up this game. Now you will ask me “Is a Hot Jupiter very hot true or false?” Its so cute how you mix up a statement with a question.

We also play Chinese Battle sometimes. We will take all the Chinese flash cards and put them on the floor and Mommy says the Chinese word and we have to grab the card. You are still so young , but beat me several times! OR sometimes Mommy will say the word and we battle who can say it in English first. And you beat me in that sometimes too! Its truly amazing.

Also we started playing imagination games, like making up stories together. You will start the story like “There was a Maiasura with her babies” and then I will say the next line and we will go back and forth. Or we play spaceship outside and going to Mars and Saturn, shooting at comets, blackholes, and asteroids. We find sticks and rocks and explore the planets.

Lately we say “I’ll be an Apple and you be Bran Flakes” then we pretend we are eating each other and say “Yummy or Umm Umm!” I love playing with you!!!

Almost Three!

Your birthday is coming soon. What shocks me the most is how I’ve watched you go from being a baby to a walking, talking, playing little person with his own feelings, thoughts, ideas, and just all around personality. You can be serious and silly, and say they funniest things. We talked about the new baby in Mommy’s tummy and you said, “what’s in my tummy?”

You are very kind hearted, you tell us that you love us, and do little nice things like get us water, give mommy a “sage” for massage. And love to play. I think you really like to play with other boys and girls the most.

Yesterday at the park, you were going up to other boys and girls and asking “What’s your name?” And when one little girl told you her name, you ran up to me and said “That girl told me her name name!”

You recently quite enjoy listening to music that your mother and I have on our phones. You listen to Chinese music on mommy’s phone and English music on my phone. You can speak quite a bit of Chinese now, but I think English is your primary language.

I think it will soon be time for you to go to school. I just gotta find the right school. Hopefully I can find soon. You will be 3 years old soon and I feel you would enjoy the social interaction and learning time.

You keep asking me “Daddy, Daddy, what’s this day?” And I say it’s Saturday or Monday or whatever day it is. Then I tell you how long it is until your birthday! You are getting excited as well 🙂

At the Pool

We have gone to the pool several times this summer and you’ve enjoyed being in the water, though you haven’t learned to swim yet. Today was a bit scary because you slipped in the water and couldn’t get get your head above the water on your own. I came over right away and pulled you up, but it was scary. Mom told me tonight that I jumped in the deep end when I was a kid and my dad pulled me out too. I remember learning to swim and I hope you will do the same. I was very proud because even after this scary moment you got back in the water and tried to swim. By the time we left you could float in the water and kick your legs!

On the way home we sang the monkeys in the bed song, and you improvised the last line, “there were zero in the bed, mama called the doctor and the doctor said put them back in the bed!”

 

Having fun in San Diego

We went to San Diego last Friday. We all woke up early Friday morning and drove to California. We arrived at Coronado Beach about 1 pm. You had woken up from a nap and I carried you to the beach. When you got to the beach you said “Wow, so much water!” I said that is the ocean. At first you were a bit intimidated by the wind, ocean and big waves and refused to get in the water and wanted to go home.

I said watch the waves, what do they do. The come up and they go down, they come up and they go again. And we chanted this for a few minutes. It seemed to help you understand what was happening and that the waves would not just come up and up and up. They seemed safer and you seemed more at ease. Then we drew pictures of the planets and the said and watched how the waves made the pictures disappear. You thought that was interesting. Finally, we played hide our feet in the sand. You liked that. Then we played chase near the water and you were having so much fun. Eventually you got closer and closer to the water and even let the water go across your feet. Then we started jumping up and down in the water and kicking the water to make big splashes. Eventually, you seemed very comfortable in the water. Except if there was a big wave, you’d run over to me and hold my leg till the wave receded.

We played at the beach for nearly four hours and you didn’t want to leave. We left a little after 5 and went to the Gas Lamp Quarter and walked around there. Then we did some shopping at some Chinese stores. We left for home around 8 and arrived about 2am! We gave you a quick shower and you were fast asleep.

The next day you were full over energy while Mommy and Daddy were exhausted! We went to the stare and got you a marble game and fishing game to play with. It was also 4th of July so we played with sparklers and pop-its as well. Today we’ll go to the Good Egg and get some pancakes and later the library~~

What you are saying?!

“Triceratops eat Yixi, Yummy, Yummy!”

“Li Yixi, Li Ma-ke, Li-Mommy!”

When counting, you said “twenty seven, twenty eight, twenty nine, twenty ten…”

“Yixi is happy now!”

Looking at the fireworks:  “Lots of little stars!”

After splashing Daddy in the pool, Daddy says “No splashing!”

Victor: “I put water on your head to make you feel better”

Daddy says: “Victor is holding a rock, Daddy holds Victor, who holds Mommy?”

Victor: “Mommy holds Mommy!”

6 am in the morning “Daddy! I wake up now”

 

 

Bilingual

Hi my son! You are speaking two languages now! You use English and Chinese! Also you are making sentences~! Tonight I asked you, do you know any words in Chinese, and you said 米饭!By the way, you really like to eat rice and egg. You eat broccoli and chicken sometimes too.

The other day you ran out and “Daddy, Daddy, Mommy, Mommy”, I said “what is it?” And you said and this semi-concerned voice..”Super Giant Big 鼻涕!” Your mom and I just laughed.

We’ve tried to get you to stop saying “Oh my God” all the time. You must have heard your grandmother say it, and now you say it too. I’ve tried to persuade you to use “Whoa” or “Wow~” instead.

The other day we were at the dinner table and your mother said “干净” to you. And having never asked you before, I said “Victor, how do you say 干净 in English” and you thought about it for a minute and said “Clean”. I was so impressed, that was amazing. You seem to really get the idea that there are two languages and they use the different words to convey the same meaning.

You are a huge fan of space stuff. You have memorized all the planets and many of the names of the moons. You often say to me “Deimos and Phobos orbit Mars!” You know the four major moons of Jupiter. You know Titan, Mimas,and Enceladus of Saturn. You know Oberon and Titania of Uranus, and Triton of Neptune. You also know Charon and Pluto as well as some asteroids/dwarf planets like Ceres, Haumea and MakeMake. You like that last one, it must sound funny to you.

You are 2 years old only once

We went to see Zoolights a few weeks ago and on our way, you saw a sign that said “ZOO”, and you said “Zoo”! I was impressed because you have started to read! You know your ABCs pretty well, both lower and uppercase, and you’ve stated learning how to say them phonetically as well. Like the other day, you used ABC magnets on the refrigerator to write out CAR!

Emotionally you’ve grown up a lot recently. First you are very aware, more than before. You’ve started to get used to living in the USA and the environment here. Also, you showed your mommy and I how you have a big heart. A few weeks ago, mommy was upset with daddy, and probably rightfully so. She also was getting homesick and was sitting in the garage crying by herself and wanted to go back to her home country. You ran over to her and did your absolute best to cheer her up and bring her back inside the house. You lifted her chin and said “Happy!” and you pulled on her arms. You tried so hard and when she still didn’t budge you cried genuine tears of concern and grief. Your mommy really saw how much her cared and tried and she finally relented and came back in the house and made you feel better too. I was so amazed what you did, for a 2 year old boy to show much love and effort, I won’t ever forget.

You love to play with trains. You often say “Toys R Us”, because they have the Thomas train set and table and you could sit there for hours and play. We are going to try to get you some kind of train set this weekend.

Last night we talked about under, on, above, and next to. You were trying so hard to say “The train is on the table”. You were struggling and giving so much effort, you made me very proud.

One thing we also do is sing and play games while driving in the truck. I ask you something like “How do you say car in Chinese?” and you say “qiche!” You’ve turned into a little living dictionary. I think its important for you to learn Chinese and English, so I will continue working to help you learn.

We need to get you into a preschool pretty soon. I think it will good for you to make some friends your own age. You seem ready for it. Your very nice to other kids at the park, you often say “Hi” in a very nice way when you meet other kids.

You had fun at Christmas time. We planned to open Santa’s presents on Christmas morning, but you were so happy opening the presents on Christmas Eve, we just did it then. At first you didn’t get what you were supposed to do, but after you opened the first present, you were ready to open the next one and next one! You got some games, Play-doh, viewmaster with space pictures, a firetruck, some ABC books, and toy blocks.

Today, you and mommy went with Grandma to a friends house and picked oranges and grapefruits, like two bags of them! I heard you had a lot of fun 🙂

Sick Day

My little boy is sick today. You have a bad cold, congestion, runny nose, a bit of a temperature, and a cough. The tough part is we try to get you to drink water, orange juice, soup, but you refuse “No, no, noooooooo!” We try all kinds of ways to get you to drink, “Watch Daddy drink, now you drink some!” or use Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cup, or fun little straws which you like, but when you are not feeling good, none of these work to get you to drink. I try to reason with you, I saw, “You gotta get that bad stuff out of you” or “If you drink water, you will feel better” but you just say no. If we tried to force you to drink that wouldn’t work at all, you’d get upset and spit out the water. So we keep trying to get you to relax and trust us, we aren’t gving you medicine or anything yucky you’d hate, just water or OJ to help you pee out the stuff making you sick.

I went and bought a humidifier for the room. This should reduce the dryness of the room and help you to sleep. I bought a little German made one that is really nice. Just needs a water bottle of water to get it going. I love German craftsmanship, it’s smart and solid. Even the button on this little device feels nice to turn. It’s not cheap, but you feel good when you use it.

New Start

Last time I wrote, we were still in China. We had a big move to the USA and a lot as happened to our little family since then. Just flying across the Pacific ocean and arriving in Arizona has been a huge change we’ve all had to get used to.

The weather and climate is very different from China. Nowadays you sometimes say “Taiyang” or “Re” to your mommy because the sun is in your eyes or it’s hot. In China, we almost always travelled by taxi or subway, occasionally train. Nowadays we always get in the truck, and put you in the child seat. You never sat in a child seat before in China, though it may have been comfortable for you, that made me nervous because it was unsafe.

Since we left China, you’ve turned 2 years old! You enjoy going to the park and playing on the “jungle gyms” or children’s playground equipment. You love going up the ladders and sliding down. You like rolling a ball down the slide.  You like being on the swings, often we sing or count while you swing, and you learned to say “stop” when you want to get off. I am impressed by how you want to challenge yourself. For example, there was a high steep web-like ladder you had to climb to get to the top of the jungle gym. It was quite scary for a 2 year old, and even though you were crying because it was scary we couldn’t get you off of it because you were absolutely determined to go to the top. So step by step you did it and climbed over the rail above our heads. You’ve fallen off some of the ladders at the park a couple of times, though we catch you, but you still bump your head and get upset. That didn’t deter you from going back up the ladder later and fortunately  you learned to watch your step and hold the safety rails better. Its hard for me to watch sometimes because I’m scared for you, I want you to be safe and not get hurt, but I know you’ve got to try, you are really determined and can do it.

We go to the library and book stores sometimes. I like the library, all the free children’s books. Sometimes we borrow 10 or more at a time. Surprisingly, you most enjoy the science related books, specifically Volcanoes, Rocks, and Space. We read one book on Volcanoes and you were hooked. Now you already say words like “lava”, “magma”, “mantle”, “core”, “ash”, and “Volcano”. For words you don’t know or can’t pronounce, you have created your own word called “Dadu”. For example you will will say the names of the planets except Mercury and Jupiter, because you have a hard time saying them, so you call both of the “dadu”.

You really like to play with sand at the park. We got you some shovels and buckets and you will go and play with those for awhile. Grandma created a little sandbox for you to play in in the backyard. Grandma said as soon as you say it your smiling and giggling. You’re very friendly with the other kids at the park. You often say “hi” and smile. Sometimes other kids will come and talk or play with you too.

I find it amazing how much you like rocks. Lately we have gone to some local mountain parks and you will often pick up rocks and look at them. You are very curious about them. I’ll ask you what shape they are, or what color, or how they feel, but I don’t know how to classify them beyond sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Hopefully, you will learn geology in the future and better understand.

I’ve tried to balance your activities. For better or worse, you really like the iPad. I find the iPad good for learning some things, but it seems to be quite addictive. Same with Youtube. I rather we read books together or go to the park to learn and explore.

We have fun painting and drawing sometimes. You like to paint…what else? Rocks! We’ve tried finger paints, face paint and water colors too. You use brushes as well. You enjoyed painting daddy much more than getting yourself painted.

You love the ABCs. We often sing the ABC song together. At two years and two months, you know all 26 letters, and can repeat them from heart. We spell may words together such as “mama”,”space”,”sun”,”car”, “cat”, “apple”.

We sing a song sometimes called “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!” along with movements.

Last night was so cool. You pointed at yourself and said “happy”. We had learned the words happy and sad from a book a few days ago, but suddenly you just pointed to yourself and kept saying “happy”, “happy”, and smiling.