Adventures living as expats.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

1 Year!

Watching you grow, learn, and develop from a squirming little newborn to a power walking (almost running), inquisitive, determined, and giggly tot has been the most rewarding and joyful year of our life.  I'm having trouble letting go of my cuddly infant that was happiest snuggled up with Mom and Dad and would gladly nurse through a 10 hour international flight.  You now want lots of varied activities and time to explore new places, toys, and everyday objects.   You love to carry Oolong's toys around so she'll follow you around and will even hand them over to her on occasion.   Your sense of humor is evident and you love to make people laugh, especially Dad and Gramma.  We love you so much sweet boy.

We had a busy month and started it out with a trip to Nevada to visit Grandma, Pap-Pap, Great Grandma, Auntie, Uncle, and your two older cousins.  You loved chasing them around and all the extra attention from family.  You must have opened their cabinets 200 times per day and walked several miles in their backyard pushing toy trucks around.  We ended the month with a small birthday party for you where you received so many fun gifts, chowed down on pizza, practiced sharing your toys with friends, and seemed to enjoy your first taste of cake.  
  • Size: At your 1 year check-up you were 25 pounds and 30 ¾" tall.  
  • Eating: Your favorite foods are spaghetti, any kind of fruit, and pb and applesauce sandwiches.  You didn't quite know what to make of your cupcake on your 1st birthday at first, but really got the hang of it a few minutes in.  You still enjoy nursing, but Mom is ready to start cutting down the sessions so hopefully the weaning process isn't too difficult for us. 
  • Sleep: You have recently started sleeping much longer at night and seem to be transitioning towards one nap a day, but we're both not quite ready so we'll hold onto that second nap as long as possible.  
  • Talk: You love to talk and now say Dada, Mama, Nene (Oolong), and No (towards Oolong).  You have so many different sounds and really have the "more" sign down, especially when eating.
  • Play: You've outgrown many of your baby toys and now love to carry small objects around and put them in bins.  At the playground you love to explore around and often find a hill to try running down while Mom, Dad, or Gramma tries to catch you before you fall.   You enjoy climbing the stairs and are slowly learning to put toys away with lots of encouragement from Mom and Dad.   

Miles and miles of rough and tough construction play
Cuddles with Morgan
Play time with Madden
Farm play at the pumpkin patch
Studying the many pumpkin options
Zoo day with the ladies
Captain Hux at the air museum
Our little pumpkin
First set of wheels
First taste of frosting
Happy little Halloween mechanic

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

11 Months

Look out world, Huxley is walking and we couldn't be more proud!  You started walking at 10 ½ months and its taken several more weeks for you to gain confidence and begin walking more than crawling.  Another big milestone is that you are self-feeding and really want to do it all by yourself now.  You are clapping, learning to hand things over, and passing a ball.  It amazes me how much your personality is showing through now and we love our determined, inquisitive, and goofy little boy.  Your favorite books right now are Little Owl, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, and Doggies.  
  • Size: You weigh 24 lbs this month and fit really well in 18 month clothes.  We started cloth diapers and some of your pants are really tight now while at the same time being too long.  
  • Eating: You are an ambitious eater and have a habit of shoving food into your mouth faster than you can chew.  According to Grandma, this is another trait inherited from Dad.  Now that you're feeding yourself, you've become much more picky and would love to subsist on fruit and cheese.  We usually give you vegetables first hoping that you'll be hungry enough to try them.   You still nurse about 4 times a day, but seem to prefer it mostly for comfort and cuddles first thing in the morning and before you nap / sleep.  
  • Sleep: You are still such a good sleeper - at least 10 hrs at night and 2 naps that last about 1 ½ hrs.  Even with all that sleep, it often seems like you overtire yourself with exploring around.  
  • Play: You love to push things around - furniture, chairs, laundry baskets, push toys, your computer table, Tupperware, your highchair, or even the stroller.  You love tickles and find funny faces from Mom and Dad hilarious.  Dad roughhouses with you when he gets home from work and you love being swung around and hung upside down, especially if it ends with a good tickle.  

First steps

Who's that handsome boy?

Family beach day
Just tasting the sand Mom
Wrist rolls club
All smiles at the fountain
Park time in Tualatin

All smiles during picnic time 
Family hike

Saturday, September 2, 2017

10 Months

We've been making the most of the beautiful Oregon summer and getting outside as much as possible which seems to be the best antidote for the seemingly endless teething and recent cold you had.  One of the highlights of this month was going down to Salem to celebrate Grandma's birthday, watch a baseball game, and see the solar eclipse.  You slept through the eclipse but sure enjoyed playing with Grandma's kitty toys and exploring the big parks close to her apartment.  You've been mimicking a lot more noises this month including (we think) the elephant noise your jumparoo makes.   Your love for the water continues to grow and we usually get to a splash pad, pool, or beach once or twice a week to keep you happy.  You always go to sleep so easily after a day splashing around.   Hopefully we'll find a good indoor pool for the long Oregon winter.
  • Size: We met our new pediatrician this month and you were 29 ½" tall and 23 lbs, still a very big boy for your age.  We've been living in temp housing much longer than expected so I've been hoping that you don't hit another big growth spurt before we move into our house in late September.  All your bigger clothes are packed in the shipment.  
  • Eating: You still highly prefer to be fed but will grasp blueberries, bananas, and grapes and let us guide them to your mouth.  You drink out of a straw and can mostly feed yourself a pouch.  You like almost everything but have started protesting anything with a little bit of spiciness in it like Mexican rice.  
  • Sleep: We had a few rough nights where we had to hold you throughout the night when you were sick.  You were so uncomfortable and tired it just broke our hearts.  Trying to give you Motrin is the absolute worst part of parenting and elicits the most dramatic fit I've ever seen from you - violent back arching, high pitched screaming, and arms flailing wildly.  Grandma says you get this from Dada and that she is scarred for life from trying to give him medicine.  
  • Play: You really love to turn the pages in your favorite books.  Since we're living in a temporary apartment, we've avoided buying new toys for you but its becoming clear you're done with the "baby" stuff and ready for some more challenging toys.  Luckily its summer and super easy to entertain you by taking you to the park, playground, or splash pad nearby.  Your favorite activity seems to be looking for doors to close, cabinets to open, and drawers to slam.  Mom has to be on constant patrol.
Still feeling a little under the weather for this month's photo.  
Cruisin around our favorite playground

Gymnastics practice with Dada

Splash pad at Orenco station
He's quick on the grab so we have to clear the perimeter
So sad you've outgrown these awesome Nikes
Zoo day with the ladies
Fun at the pool
Keepin' an eye on the girls
Jamison square fountain with your friend Cedar in the background
Play hard, nap hard
Proud zoo members!
Perfecting those modeling poses
Sauvie Island beach day 

Monday, July 31, 2017

9 Months

This month we moved out of our apartment in Taiwan and have been staying in a temporary apartment in Hillsboro, Oregon where you've been excitedly practicing your crawling, standing, cruising, and falling.  You've been saying "dada dada" for a few months now and to my joy started saying "mama mama" too!  We're not sure that you know what it means yet, but absolutely love hearing it none the less.  

Grandma G is delighted to have you near and has babysat several times now while Mom and Dad enjoy a few dates.  You love all the attention and snuggles and have really turned on the charm to get her laughing.  

  • Size: We haven't had a scale this month so we'll have to wait for a weigh in when we meet your new pediatrician next month.  You look to have grown in height quite a bit and slimmed down with all the activity.
  • Eating: You still love eating and we've started giving you more table foods cut into small pieces rather than purees or mashes.  Your favorites have been blueberries, peaches, cherries, raspberries, pasta, cheese, and pb&fruit sandwiches.  You often say "mumumumum" when you really like your food.  You are growing less interested in the pouches of food, but still eat them on occasion when we go out to eat and there aren't good options for babies.  
  • Sleep: You were a jet lag champ and adjusted to Oregon time in just 3 days, which was much faster than Mom and Dad.  You've been going to bed at around 8pm and waking up between 6 and 7am.  You take two naps and they've been quite long lately as you've been going through a growth stage.
  • Play: You've figured out how to "play" with Oolong by grabbing her baby or bone and swinging it wildly around while squealing with enthusiasm.   Oolong doesn't quite know what to make of it but is very ready for the day that you learn to throw her toys for her.   You've spent many, many hours playing with your stroller while you stand up - exploring the straps, wheels, and levers while making various grunts and blowing loud raspberries.  You also love to push your highchair around, swing doors, pull on drawers, open your books, and unlace our shoes.  
  • Bath:  Dad gives you a bath in the regular tub after dinner every night and you love to relax and play with your cups while he scrubs you down and squirts water on your belly.  
Looking slim and trim this month, please don't lose those leg rolls yet Hux!
Turn up the volume for Huxley's giggles

Who's that handsome baby?
Last visit to the Art Museum in Taichung
Making friends
View from our hotel room in Taichung
First crawl through the grass in America
First playground swing
Always enthusiastic about dinner, we're enjoying it while it lasts! 
Jeff has this exact facial expression!  
Cheeky boy!
Exploring the Portland Children's Museum
Games at the park, sadly Hux couldn't enter the eating competition
Stroller time is serious business

Friday, July 28, 2017

Oregon Summer

Since we moved to Asia 5 years ago, our trips back to America have felt like a whirlwind of activity and reunions.  While we needed to pack the schedule so that we could spend as much time as possible with our loved ones, we also missed the leisurely summer days in Oregon.  We've been so lucky to travel the world the last 5 years, but we haven't yet found a place that can compete with Oregon during the summer (February in Oregon is a whole different story though).  Since our move back on July 2, we've spent our days soaking in as much of Portland's beauty as possible.

Our travel back to Oregon couldn't have gone any smoother which is really saying something when you're traveling with baby who just learned to crawl.   Since we weren't flying on our dime, Hux got his own business class seat which still seems a bit hilarious and ridiculous to me.  We were able to build a little blockaded area in our row where he could crawl around and explore all the features of the plane.  He is so active now and can't sit still for longer than a few minutes so this made the trip very close to pleasant.
We will miss you Taiwan
Hux and I clearly livin' it up in business class
We arrived back just in time for the Smith's 4th of July party and the festivities did not disappoint - homemade burgers, bubbles, wine, sparklers, a table full of desserts, and this wonderful group of ladies.
Celebrating 4th of July with old and new friends
We've spent an enormous amount of time exploring all the parks in the area around Orenco Station where we're staying temporarily until our shipment arrives from Taiwan.  Our apartment is very hot so getting outside in the evenings for picnics and play time for Hux and Oolong has kept us all happy.
No shirt, no problem for Hux
Who me proud? Dad says Hux is ready for lawn mowing duties.
Movie in the park with a special appearance by Santa and the Easter Bunny
Jeff sporting Hux's new backpack on our way to a concert at Shute Park
Waterfront park while visiting Grandma during her lunch break
Wow have we missed Oregon wines!  Luckily tasting and opportunities are readily had and much easier to manage with the help of Grandma G to babysit.  We LOVED the break from parenting, thank you Grammy!
White Rose winery with the Smith's
Going solo at a few wineries in Forest Grove 
Trying to stay cool at the Hillsboro Hops game
Stick statues at Orenco Woods park
Cuddles and botany lessons with Grandma G 
Blueberry picking with a great group of Moms and their kiddos
Sweating it up in the carrier!