Being Micah

October 21, 2011

Daddy’s Birthday!

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 11:34 pm

October 10, 2011

Apple Picking & Pumpkin Patch

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 11:09 pm

November 20, 2010

Leading up to 32m…

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 10:42 pm

Mum writes:

Micah continues to be full of fun and mischief. He likes to insist on speaking only complete sentences (e.g., “Would you mind if I turn on this light?”) and a constant fascination with words / expressions (e.g., “This is the bee’s knees!”). Some recent top moments that really cracked us up:

1. Looking out of the window at the rain, “Oh, it’s raining, it’s raining cats and dogs!”

2. Caught a toy that was rolling off the table and yelled, “I caught it in the nick of time!”

3. Climbing on the slopes at the playground, he toppled and almost fell. I ran over, “Micah, are you alright?”. Micah replied, “Yes (with a little giggle), I just lost my balance”.

4. Daddy made a vehicle for Micah using K’nex pieces. Micah brought it to daddy and requested, “Shall we attach a steering wheel to this car, daddy? (pointing to the center front of car interior)” Daddy thought it a great idea, and added the steering wheel (Here’s a picture – before it gets “re-modified”).

5. At a store, a fellow customer explained to us that she was gathering pieces to make a wreath. Before I even got around to respond, Micah, with dropped jaw, cheerfully exclaimed, “How fun!”

6. Strolling along the aisles at another store, Micah and I chatted casually, making small comments on Christmas items on shelves. Suddenly I remembered that he’s only 2 years old, I turned and looked at him, probably looking a little surprised. Micah looked back, and with a giggle, “I sounded like a grown up!”

7. Found a watch I no longer wear, put it on and said, “Look, I’m wearing a watch. I’m a grown-up. I’m pretending to be grandpapa” – recalling grandpapa’s visit a year ago. (Grandpapa is the only person in the family Micah has met who wears a watch). “I’m a boy. When I grow up, I will be a man, and I’ll be going to work just like daddy”.

8. I explained to Micah that I needed to make a phone call because a student was a little upset about a recent test. With a lot of understanding, Micah entertained himself while I talked on the phone. As soon as I hung up, Micah asked compassionately, with a concerning voice, “Is (my student) feeling much better now, mommy?”

9. Micah greeted me at the door one evening, happily reminding me of my full name, nick name (of my childhood), our house address as well as my cell phone number. Apparently daddy told him all that while I was out at work that day. Micah must have thought the info interesting (useful, for sure!) and immediately committed it all to memory.

Some other fun things the little guy has been occupying himself with recently, mostly at his own initiative:

1. Counting to 110 in English and Mandarin, needs some help sometimes going from number 39 – 40, 49 – 50, etc but confident otherwise. I have to distract him as soon as he reaches 110 or he would get all goofy and go “a-hundred-and-ten-one, a-hundred-and-ten-two…”.

2. Memorizing Bible verses. It was part of my homework for a Bible Study group to memorize some Bible verses. Micah heard me practicing them out loud, and lo and behold, recited them back to me more fluently than I could memorize them. He now knows John 10:10, Romans 3:23, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 5:12-13, John 5:24, and has periodically been helping me review the verses.

3. Loves the hymn “Come thou fount”. Came back from church one day and couldn’t stop humming it. I decided to finally learn at least the lyrics of the first verse for his sake. Micah listened quietly and intently to my singing when driving around with him one morning. The same evening he burst out with the hymn complete. We made a recording of it first thing we got up the next day:

4. Excited about being able to recognize English words in stores, on the streets or in books as we read. E.g., “I love you”, “Jesus”, “me”, “be”, “Micah”, “up”, “stop”, “start”, “it”, “Thomas”, “go”… as well as much easier, single letter words, “I”, “a”, and abbreviations such as “OK”, “QT (cutie)”, “TV”.

5. Able to draw, mainly happy faces. Showing interest in writing (pen in fist) – mainly alphabets.

6. Knowing more Mandarin by sound/picture. More interested in speaking Mandarin in complete sentences. Seems to enjoy translating English to Mandarin and vice versa for daddy.

7. Continues to enjoy jigsaw puzzles. I was rushing to get lunch ready one day. So I took out a box of 24 pieces jigsaw puzzles he had never seen before, spread the pieces on the floor and ran back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, Micah yelled from the living room, “I did it! Look at this mommy, hot-shot rookie race car!” That was a record. The same evening, I helped him a little with a more challenging 50 pc puzzles (the incredible hulk). We completed it together in 10 – 15 min. It always takes longer when he worked on puzzles subsequent times. He seems more enthusiastic and more focused with puzzles he is not yet familiar with.

8. Continues to enjoy rhyming, occasionally requesting if we could rhyme in Chinese.

9. Making up new tunes for his nursery rhymes. Micah is always singing and humming. When he gets familiar with a nursery rhyme, he would replace the melody with his own tune. They are usually of improvisatory nature, though often with a clear sense of form and structure. The tunes are usually dropped and forgotten as he moved on to other songs. We made an effort to make a recording of this one – Incey Wincey Spider, within a few minutes after he started singing it. I tried to play it on the piano too to provide an accompaniment for his singing.

10. Continues to enjoy building things. Some pictures of him with his building blocks from October:

November 1, 2010

Dressing up…

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 11:45 pm

Mum writes:

October 21, 2010

31 months

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 11:56 pm

Mum writes:

Micah’s 31 month birthday coincides with daddy’s birthday! Micah made sure that daddy has an “M&M cake”. We had the cake at home after dinner at a restaurant in Evanston.

More pictures of Micah from over the previous weeks:


October 16, 2010

Autumn Fun!

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 7:01 pm

Mum writes:

The weather continues to be beautiful. I had less students today, which enabled us to spend the morning/early afternoon at the Botanic Gardens as a family. When weeks are full, family time like this are simply precious! This is the season for chrysanthemum – there were certainly so many of them all around the gardens. As expected, pumpkins and gourds abound in the vegetable sections. Bathing in the warm sun and cool breeze, we let Micah run around, and took our time marveling at the Fall colors and all the wonderful artworks of our magnificent Creator!

Throwing pebbles into the low-lying fountains


Fall leaves!

More leaves?

What fun!

Humongous pumpkin!

Fountain at Rose Garden


Riding the Lion Sculpture

On the stone bench



October 12, 2010

At 30 month old!

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 12:09 am

Mum writes:

For about six months, from 22m – 28m, we saw the beginning of the “4W” (What/Where/Who/When) and “1H” phase for Micah. He also started using such connecting words as “because”, “otherwise”, “instead”, etc. and used them fairly accurately, much to our surprise.

Fascination with Maps

Micah loves staring at road maps, atlas, world maps, even billboard directory at malls. If he catches you around, he would rush to you with the map (or rush you to the computer screen / billboard directory) and demand, “Where are we? Where are we?”

Mushroom, Mushroom!

On our way back from the last day of Vacation Bible School back in early August, we spotted an unusual sight in the front yard of a house in our neighborhood – about 50 (yes – FIFTY!) tall, big, white mushrooms packed along the walkway all the way to the house of one of our neighbors. After we’ve parked by our house, we decided to pull out the stroller and take a walk to check out the mushrooms. It was quite a sight – wish I had a camera with me then.

Later that day, Micah woke up from his nap, all excited about telling daddy the extraordinary experience. In one breadth, he said, “I was suppose to come down from the stroller to pick the mushrooms, but I did not pick the mushrooms because they might be poisonous!”

Some memorable conversation we’ve had so far:

Mommy’s Tummy:

Micah: “I used to live in mommy’s tummy when I was tiny-tiny. What was I doing in your tummy?”

Mommy: “Well, you were growing in there. You slept most of the time I think”.

Micah: “I was also kicking and having hiccups!”

Mommy: “Yes, you were”.

Micah: “I couldn’t see your face”.

Mommy: “Hm. That’ true. But you could hear me! In fact, your eyes were not fully developed yet anyway. Your eyes were developed only very close to when you came out”.

Micah: (all mesmerized… ) “AH…”

Some Fresh Air

Micah: “Daddy, I want to open that window”.

Daddy: “Why?”

Micah: “Because we need to let in some fresh air”. (Truth: he just wanted to play with the mechanism).

Daddy: “Oh, really?”

Micah: “Y-E-SSS! We need some fresh air.”

Don’t Eat Me!

Daddy and Micah were playing…

Daddy: “Can I eat your nose?”

Micah: “No, no”.

Daddy: “I want to eat your ears”.

Micah: “No, no, you can’t eat my ears”.

Daddy: “I want to eat you!”

Micah: “NO, don’t eat me!”

Daddy: “Why?”

Micah: “If you eat me, you won’t have any more Micah to play with!”

Is it ALIVE?

Micah was reading about a little girl planting some flowers with her grandma. We remembered being given some pumpkin seeds from the Vacation Bible School earlier. So one morning, we decided to start our first Science project – growing some pumpkin plants!

The seeds germinated, and took just 2 days for the shoots to emerge from the soil. It was so good to see the excited little Micah hovering over the plants celebrating the miracle of life. “Are they alive?” He promptly asked, almost a rhetorical question it seemed, as it was obvious on his face that he was only seeking an affirmation.

Later that day, I was soaking some dry “wood-ears” (a type of edible fungus, dried) in preparation for dinner. Micah asked for a small piece to play with. I thought he might enjoy watching the wood-ear loosen up in water, so I gave him a small bowl of water too. Micah dropped in his tiny piece of wood-ear, apparently with close to no expectation for anything to happen. As he watched the wood-ear expand, Micah’s eyes widened. With jaws dropped, he turned to me and asked, “IS IT ALIVE?”

Mosquito Bite and the Backyard

Mommy: “Micah, you have a small bump on your cheek, looks like a mosquito bite. Are you feeling OK?”

Micah: “Yes. (In deep thought for a second). Did I go to the backyard this morning?”

Puzzle Book

Mommy: “Micah, well done for closing your puzzle book so gently!”

Micah: “Yes, if I closed it faster, the puzzle pieces might fall out!”

Right around he turned 30 m, Micah started asking WHY for almost anything. The WHY phase:

Paint on Tree

Mommy: “Look at that tree – the leaves are all red. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Micah: “Wow… Why are the leaves red? Did someone paint the tree?”

Falling Leaves

Micah: “Why did the leaves Fall mommy?”

Mommy: “Because it’s the season, Fall – when leaves fall from the trees!”

Micah: “But, why? Why do they fall?”

Mommy: “Well, that’s the way the trees get ready for a long winter’s nap”.

Not yet satisfied with the answers apparently, he asked again, “Why do the leaves have to fall?”

Mommy: “So the trees could grow new leaves in Spring.”

The questioning stopped there, thankfully! What else could I have said?

Lion Fountain

Micah: “Why was Lion Fountain blocked off?”

Mommy: “The fountain must be broken in some ways. It needs to be fixed”.

Micah: “Why was the fountain broken?”

Mommy: “I don’t know.”

Micah: “Was it an accident?”

Mommy: “Maybe. Things break from time to time. But don’t you worry. The fountain will be fixed”.

Micah: “I want to go in and see it”. (Pulling my hand, hard).

Mommy: “No, Micah. See the yellow tapes? That means nobody is allowed to go in there”.

Micah: “Who broke the fountain?”

Mommy: “Maybe nobody. It just needs to be fixed from time to time”.

Micah: “But why? Why can’t anyone go in there? I want to go in and see the broken fountain.”

Mommy: “Broken fountain could be dangerous!” (SIGH…)

I realized that sometimes he asks “why” as a delay tactic – to buy himself more time for negotiation. On that occasion, he really wanted to get closer to and check out the Lion fountain. He was probably hoping more talking might take him closer to getting his way. But most of the time, Micah seems to be genuinely exploring his ever expanding universe. This is a really fun phase for me too, I must say! I’m so glad to be able to spend time during the day with him, and learn to see the world through the eyes of a 2 yr old.

More exciting happenings at around 30 month:

1. Figured out by himself how to find the program “Alphababy” by clicking on “Application” on the computer desktop, and kept himself entertained with Alphababy for the next 15 – 20 min. The first time that happened, he was already playing away with Alphababy when we entered the room, so we assumed he might have just accidentally clicked the right icons. Soon we found out that it was for real – he could navigate the cursor quite confidently with one or more fingers on the mouse pad, and knows exactly where to find Alphababy… Somehow he also figured out the functions of the “delete” button, the space bar, and knows just when to click “enter”. Too soon, Micah! Why do you need to know how to use a computer at 2 yr old?

2. Started Suzuki Piano, learned to bow slowly and steadily. At the piano, willing to sit in Rest Position and place his thumb on the right key for Ready Position. Able to clap the rhythm of Twinkle A well, and showing interest in the rhythm of Twinkle B. For this – mommy is really proud of you! 🙂

October 8, 2010

Mommy’s Free Day

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 7:36 pm

Mum writes:

I had a day off (from teaching) today. The weather was lovely – sunshine with cool breeze, so Micah and I spent a long morning out at Old Orchard Mall, an outdoor mall nearby. It was so nice to be able to just let Micah take his time running around, eating pretzels, enjoying the fish ponds and the fountains.

October 6, 2010

Interlocking Structure

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 8:05 pm

Mum writes:

Micah continues to enjoy puzzles and loves to play with building blocks. He would call unusual shapes “sculptures”, or he would give them specific names. This interlocking structure he calls it, “In and Out”. Quite an appropriate name, I thought!

October 2, 2010

Building Blocks

Filed under: mum writes — micahchan @ 8:17 pm

Mum writes:


Building my Sears Tower (Oct 2)



(Sep 25th)



"Do you like my Sears Tower?"


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