Being Micah

January 24, 2010

“Thomas tank engine – Grandmama bought it!”

Filed under: baby writes — micahchan @ 10:38 pm

Mom writes:

Now that Micah can pretty much communicate any message quite clearly in words, it makes more sense to let him “writes” his own blog! So here it goes:

Baby writes:

“Go go, Thomas; Thomas Number 1…” (song)

Hi everybody, see Micah’s New Toy! Choo-choo train, Thomas tank engine!

Thank you, Grandmama! Micah likes it very much!

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January 23, 2010

Train Ride

Filed under: dad writes — micahchan @ 4:57 pm

Dad writes:

Took Micah for a quick train ride today. Here are a couple of pictures of him checking out the view from the blue/green tinted windows.

Kids ride free on the weekends which was kinda nice. We got off at the last stop and walked around for a little bit, looking at the tall buildings and the Chicago river. Got home just in time for lunch and naptime…

January 18, 2010

More at 21m!

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 9:52 pm

Mum writes:

Renovation is going well. Some days were louder and dustier than others. Most days, Micah and I would retreat to a corner or to a room to play. If the weather wasn’t too bitterly, we would run to the store for a couple of hours. There was one day when I decided to stay home and did some cooking. To keep Micah entertained when I worked on the countertops, I brought Micah’s high chair into the kitchen and gave him a book – a brochure, to be exact, from the Botanic Gardens. Amazing enough, the pages of flora, map and description of the gardens actually kept him occupied for quite a while. Captured these picture when he soaked it all in:

Here’s some idea of the “war zone” at our house, every weekday from 7am. Some days it ends at 5pm or beyond, typically work should wrap up by around 3:30pm:

After fully digested the content of the brochure, Micah decided that he needed to “do some work too”. Literally, he said “Micah’s working too” as he headed to the keyboard that had been unplugged and moved to a corner. Micah so enjoy picking up cables and trying to see where and how they fit in to an equipment. In fact, that’s been one of his favorite games of late.

These next couple of pictures were taken about a week ago, when Micah was introduced to the “Circle Tangram” – a toy given by Agnes Yi Yi (aunt Agnes) on the occasion of Micah’s first birthday. It’s quite an educational toy – trains a kid to be imaginative, patient, focus aside from developing fine motor skills. Micah stood there for a couple of minutes trying to make something out of the 7 pieces of “puzzles”. This was a pretty good first try we thought:

He has gotten better right after, and started lining the sides of the different shapes of wood pieces up as in the pictures below. More recently, he also like to stand the pieces up to “build a house”, as Micah would say.

Next, we also have a few pictures from this past weekend. It was right before Micah’s nap time. Somehow he felt like hearing loud noises and running at the same time. So he picked up his toy vacuum cleaner, dragged (or pushed) it around the “island” between the kitchen/dining and living room, laughing all the way! That went on for a good 5 minutes. Made it pretty hard for us to remind him about his nap time when we saw him so happy. I suppose all the running helped burn some energy off too, perfect for a good afternoon nap right after. (He did had a 3 hour nap after!)

Micah continues to enjoy singing and improvising the lyrics using the tunes he is familiar with. The songs are a lot more in tune now, displaying clear rhythmic variations as always. Micah sings while he plays, when he is in the car, on the shopping cart, at home before bed; and once he started it, he would happily go on singing for a very long time. It’s quite a treat when he made a song up for you – using mostly your name throughout the song and throwing a glance or two at you from time to time as he sang along.

Lots more longer sentences too since the last blog, and there is so much understanding. Quite exciting. During “cookie time” today, instead of gulping away, he reminded me that “Grandmama said – small bites!”; “mommy also said – small bite, and daddy said – small bite, too”. Some days it feels like I’m relating to a much older child than a mere 21 month old. I’m glad that Micah seems to pick up more Mandarin too now that I started speaking a little more Mandarin with him during the day. (I have to be a lot more intentional about that).

Good job Micah. Mommy loves you very much.

January 7, 2010

21 Month +

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 9:52 pm

Mum writes:

A couple of anecdotes about Micah at just over 21 month, and since grandmama left for Kuala Lumpur:

* Has been trying to speak in fairly complete sentences, such as, “May I touch this/that please?” when he sees interesting objects from the vintage point of the toddler seat on the shopping cart. Back at home, he could occasionally say “May I have some [tomatoes/pasta] please?” when prompted. Most of the time, he still prefers the baby-ish version of “May I [tomato/pasta] please?”

* Beginning to not only understand but also exercise a considerable amount of self-control over crying or temper-tandrum. Has been going to bed at night with a smile greeting, “Goodnight mommy, Goodnight daddy”. When faced with situations in which he used to fuss over, he would remind himself out loud, “No crying”. Once internally reconciled (usually takes a few seconds), he would happily obliged. It moves me quite a lot sometimes to realize how he has grown in the area of control, at just 21 month. Must be by the Grace of God!

* Communicative and enjoys giving a comment. In the right mood, he would not stop naming items around him, particularly at the stores; or naming face and body parts while playing on mom and dad’s bed in the morning. At other times, he would remind you that “(so-and-so) sneezed / coughed / yawned / burped”, (followed by “excuse me”) or “loud / too bright / too hot / warm / windy / snowing / raining” or in Mandarin, “hands / feet are cold / dirty”. The other day, he pointed to his mouth and said “ouch” to indicate there was a problem. We then found out that he had a little ulcer in his mouth! Expressing likes or dislikes “sour” (with a funny face) / “Tired, Micah’s tired” (rubbing his eyes, sometimes accompanies by a yawn, or sit/lie down) / “Nice!”/ “So nice” / “How nice!” / “Quite nice” / “Cute”. Enjoys using connecting words (such as “and”, “too”, “also”) and have been using them in just the right contexts, e.g, “Wow, so many cars, too many!”. He would run to greet me at the door with an exclamation and yelled, “Missed mommy”. When daddy prompted him, he would say, “Missed daddy too”. Counting from one to ten (even when he does it in Mandarin), he likes to add an “and” (in English) between the numbers 9 and 10. In the car the other day, he commented in one breadth that, “Daddy’s sitting and driving, mommy’s sitting; and Micah’s also sitting”.

* Seems to favor more – or at least seemingly more sophisticated words: If you say, “That’s BIG”, he will add, “HUGE! HUMONGOUS!” If you say, “hm, a small book”, he would say, “tiny!”. Since he figured out how to say “grandmama” two months ago, he would correct you when you say, “mama”. Sometimes he also likes to remind you that it isn’t “no touch”, but “don’t touch”. When it comes to naming shapes, the first shapes he verbalized were “oval”, followed by “trapezium”, “wedge”, “diamond”, “heart-shape”. The more “regular” shapes – circle, triangle, square and rectangle came only later.

* Enjoys humor: Seated at the digital piano the other day, he turned the volume down by the knob, pressed the keys, picked up his hands in a rotating gesture and said, “No sound, no sound”. Then with a giggle, uttered, “what’s happening?”  These days, when asked, “How many months old are you?” He would answer, “Eighteen months old”; then with a giggle, “No-no! Twenty-one months old”.

* Seems compassionate, caring and very sensitive. He would check, “Are you OK?” or ask you to “Be careful” if he senses that the floor might be slippery. It would be hard to forget the first time he expresses his feelings in clear sentences: On the early morning of new year’s eve, Micah grabbed my new glasses from the nightstand and broke the frame in a twist. Almost immediately, Micah informed me that he needed to do a bowel movement. I sat with him by the toilet and couldn’t overcome my frustration. “$300 out of the window”, I muttered to myself. As controlled as I could be, I said to Micah, “Mommy is upset. Mommy’s glasses are broken”. Immediately Micah looked away, and almost in a sigh, he said – very slowly, “MI-CAH, you broke it!”. Surprised by what I just heard, I pressed on, “Yes, Micah. Mommy is very sad, because Micah broke mommy’s glasses”. The next response was almost breathtaking. With a mellow and quiet voice, he said, “Micah’s very sad too.” I quickly wrapped up the conversation by reminding him that mommy’s “no touch” means no touch. In the same quiet voice, Micah said, “OK”. After breakfast, we headed out to have my glassed fixed. True to his words, for the entire time at the optician, Micah walked around and would not touch any glasses displayed throughout the store. Back at home, he hasn’t even tried to go near my nightstand since.

* Has quite an extensive singing repertoire for his age and enjoys improvising with the lyrics of songs he is already comfortable with. The songs are mostly sung out of tune (!), though he seems clearly aware of pitch variations. Songs with all the lyrics and rhythm intact, to date:

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, the “ABC song” (to the tune of the Twinkle), and the variations of the Twinkle in solfege (by Suzuki), “London Bridge”, “Are You Sleeping”, “Goodnight Baby” (by his grandparents, sang to him when he was an infant), the Solfege song following “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music, “Happy Birthday / Good Morning song”, “The Wheels on the Bus”. And a couple of work in progress: the “Zhuo Huo Che (Mandarin song – the “Train”)”, “Old MacDonald”, “Hot Cross Buns”, “Three Blind Mice”, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and the “Clean-up song”.

* Micah also enjoys jigsaw puzzles these days. We only have a few – a 4-piece puzzle which he is able to put together in seconds, and a story book with 9-piece puzzles on each page of the book, which Micah could handle with some help.

* Renovation in the house started two days ago. Demolition was completed in one day. There were still loud noises yesterday and today even when Micah took his afternoon nap. Surprisingly the baby doesn’t seem to mind it and slept through the afternoons.

* We are having a beautiful snow day today. There should be 6 – 10 inches of accumulation outside by now and we expect the weather to stay much the same throughout this weekend. This morning, Micah and I avoided the noises of renovation and went to play in the back yard. It was refreshing being showered by fresh snow. Micah spent most of the time shoveling away sitting down just like this. I thought he looks very much like daddy in the first of these two pictures:

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