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I am back, with twins almost hitting 3 1/2 years old

This past year has been a heck of a ride, indeed. It was hard, not in a sense that boys need as much physical care but just overall being in New Zealand and not knowing what we were doing for a while there. Anyway, at least I am very happy to say that we have found Tauranga the place we can call home. 

The trip back to the US was fun but extremely tiring. And I really have to think deep and hard about what the root causes of our problems, it can be a bit confusing sometimes or second guessing yourselves if you are doing the right thing, or just wonder and get frustrated with why the kids turn out to be complete crazy, screaming, wild animals, at times. 

With Lin and Li’s diet, we continue to make great progress, they are even healthier than before, I do not remember them having a fever in the past six months, or having any sort of problem eating, digesting, occasionally they have minor colds but they didn’t seem to bother them or break their routine at all. Of course when we were on the road (a lot!), it’s much harder to get the proper ingredients and have a decent place with decent tools to cook. 

However with their behaviours, it has been quite challenging, and we noticed a huge difference once we put them to Montessori preschool in early December (so scary 2013 will be history in a day), they fit in very well, and we love the environment they are in, the teachers there are so experienced and wonderful at communicating with them, they love their time and cannot wait to go, they are so focused on their games, and it’s hard to pull them out of the classroom. They immediately started washing dishes at home, going to the toilet on their own, holding their lunch boxes on their own…this brings me to the realization that we could have done a better job at home if we had more knowledge and guidance. Of course, as first time parents, we cannot be too harsh on ourselves but I really wish we did some things differently, such as not holding them as soon as they cried, and standing the ground and be more firm to establish who’s in charge, etc. But it’s not too late, because Lin and Li are still at the early stage to develop their personalities and there’s so much we can do to encourage them to grow good practical life skills and behaviours with positive coaching. 

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They are such sweet boys in heart, I dropped them off this morning and they are perfectly happy seeing me leave, they usually take a plate, set the fruits on it, then sit down and eat. Then they go to the window to wave goodbye at me while I drive away. Today, Li said, “Bye Mama, I love you!”, it really melt my heart. They now can go to sleep on their own, so that’s a bit of extra freedom we get. I enjoy very much reading to them before bed, usually between 30 and 50 minutes, and enjoy watching them acting silly, say they see a frog on the book, they would say, “watch me Mama!”, then get down like a frog and jump around the bed. We went shopping last night at Pak ‘N Save, Li opened up my shopping list, and seriously read out, “香蕉,面包, 酸奶,ice cream!”. Well I wrote the list in English, although bananas, bread and yoghurt were on the list, there’s no way I would ever put ice cream on it – he was going through the list of things he wanted in his head 🙂

This morning Li was eating his breakfast and then we saw him chew his bread into hisImage name!!! I guess it’s time to teach them alphabet and writing, since toddlers usually go into a writing explosion before reading. They often look at things and tell me what they are, elephant, mouse, car, robot, etc. which is pretty amazing sometimes. As adults, we definitely do not have the same level of attention to details as children. It is such a fascinating age, with so much to explore and learn, I love this sensitive period, their age now is so critical, fast growing and need so much nurture and encouragement, great fun! 

Lin is just as creative as his brother, he absolutely loves robot, he loves drawing them and loves putting his name next to them. He also seems to tell me what troubles his brother is causing, whether it is screaming, spilling, running around, then he will say, “弟弟(younger brother) is not nice.” So cute…

Now I have Monday to Friday mornings all to myself, it’s,honestly,  really wonderful. I always wanted to home school them and I am not completely ruling it out but if there’s a right school for them, and the teachers there can do a better job in some areas better than I do, why not? I really need the time to run errands, since our diet requires so much more work in food preparation, but more importantly to have time studying, self educating and a little break for myself. 

 

 

 

 

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2.5 years old

Oops, how did I miss writing the blogs for so long? I don’t know. I guess we have just been so busy. Lin and Li are really little people now, they turned 2 and half on Jan 2nd, I did remember to measure their heights, they are at 92.5cm, but because we are moving house (it’s a long long story that deserves a bunch of separate blogs) I couldn’t find my scale so I would assume they are somewhere between 15kg to 16kg probably. 

Terrible Twos are wonderful age for twins. Even though they are stronger and even more active (if you can believe it and image if they eat sugar)! The school holiday is till end of Jan and I have been taking them to the Milson Playcentre. From Feburary Michael will be taking reductions of hours at work and he will be going with us as well. I am really excited. Boys are learning so quickly, they are addicted to their tablets, doing puzzles and games all the time, and they learned to say 公共汽车,even though their Chinese pronunciation is not perfect but they get so excited when they see one, or bicycle or motorcycle. They love to go outside and play so the word “play” becomes one of their favourite words. They have definitely become much more physical, fighting with each other all the time, and now I have to be careful because they can be hurt or I can be hurt quite easily, boys are rough! 

Michael and I took the boys to Wellington over the weekend, it was lovely. We found a great vegetarian restaurant in Lower Hutt after visiting Junglerama (a playland for kids). 519 High St, really delicious food and no need to worry about the parking. The next day we spent quite some time at Te Papa, boys really enjoyed the StoryPlace, it was nicely set up. 

We signed the lease today for the house on Park Rd, Michael and I really excited…finally we found a new and warm house. And most importantly we really like Carmen, she’s organized, responsive and kind. I think this will be really good year for us. 

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Some old photos from national parks

Internet was out for almost a week and I find myself enjoying the recovery from the addition withdrawal…anyway, just organizing some old pictures for the photo competition organized by the social committee at Landcare, since Michael is a committee member now (and he’s a union delegate too since last week!). These were really wonderful reminders of how beautiful nature is…they are mostly from Costa Rica (2007 trip), Alaska and Miami Bahamas cruise (2008), Yellowstone National Park (Summer 2009) and Lake Tahoe (Sept 2003).

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UPDATE: I am so lucky to win two awards, one is the wildflower at Yellowstone National Park, for category of best flora; and the People’s Choice Award for the watchdogs in Alaska.

 

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Singing and Dancing

This is definitely one of the funniest videos of the boys! our last order of the Tempur bed came yesterday, Lin and Li took the stage for sure! They love Lazytown and now can sing along a bit, especially the “Go Go” line. They are pretty talented dancers as well, take a look…

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A Special Note to Pesci

I can’t believe its been 4 years since you were taken.  Certain dates just jump out and they are so heavy, and they drive us so crazy. Life without you is getting a little bit easier over time, but the pain still remains no matter how hard we try to forget. They say the good memories will stay and the bad ones will go away, it is true but I always wonder what OUR future would have been now, knowing it’s not a healthy way of thinking at all, but our mind isn’t always in sync with our sensibility, sometimes we just have to let it do what it wants to do, as a compromise to avoid inducing greater sadness.

We, who your path crossed through, are all very thankful that you have changed all of us – the will and the determination to challenge and to explore the world, to question and to fight for principles regardless of what everyone else says. Now that I am in the same place where it all began, and the “me” 10 years ago probably would not like the “me” now. 10 years ago, I was searching for happiness, now I am still on the same quest, however, the definition of “happiness” has completely changed.

I am happy now – so easy to say – but I am truly happy now after knowing what miserable is, and how ugly this world can be. In a way, I miss the simple mind I had, but sooner or later the understanding of the reality shall take place unless we intentionally pacify our mind and you know I am not that kind. The search for happiness will go on, it’s almost definitely never-ending, and I really don’t know if I want to have the life if I would have known what would have happened, but what matters was it did, whether we like it or not.  The not-so-perfect experiences make our life better, and we just have to keep on living and be happier, hopefully with different life experiences that continues to give us knowledge and shape our view, and that’s what I am doing with Michael and hopefully our children would be able to learn the life skills we have and go on with their life pursuing what they want.

I still feel I am speaking a foreign language the rest of the world don’t understand, the only audience who would truly understand is gone but you, live forever in our hearts, no one can take that away from us, till the day we die and be forgotten. But today, Happy Birthday Pesci and a big hug from the other side from many of us, we miss you dearly.

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