hurricane sandy

last year it was hurricane irene. this year, it's hurricane sandy.

it's really surreal to have so many natural disasters coming through new york city. hurricane sandy is definitely stronger and worse than hurricane irene was. it's a bit nervewracking but overall, we are praying for God to keep us safe. currently it seems like there is a lot of flooding in battery park area as well as on the east and west parts of manhattan where the east river and the hudson are.

it's also nervewracking since as of today, i'm 39 weeks pregnant. baby can really make his appearance at any time and i'd rather not be outdoors during this mess of extremely gusty winds and torrential rain. i would need to get to the hospital at some point unless we have an unplanned homebirth with no midwife, ob or doula present. ack. preferably not. i know there are lots of sisters and brothers praying for me and this baby (to stay in!) so i will rest in God's plan for us and not overthink.

it's been quite some time since i've last written. sophia is nearly 2.5 years old and we had some rough patches some months back as she was testing limits and pushing every button possible. thankfully, overall it seems to be better - of course the testing will probably be a life long thing but i know it's an important part of her development as well as my honing to be a better mom and person who leans ever more on God. so i am trying to embrace it.

since september, sophia and i have been busy. each day, we go to one activity in the morning and 2x a week (3x every other week), i drop her off to a 'class' where she is separated from me. she always did so well with separation but i think she isn't liking the consistency of the drop off's this year. i thought it would be better but apparently she just feels more separated. she will still separate relatively easily but it does make me a little sad to hear her say, "mama,  baobao ni!!!" (which is her way of saying, mama, hold me!!!" over and over again. i've mastered the unemotional drop off and thankfully, she's adapted pretty well as well.  she seems to enjoy art class, swim class and storytime the most since we stay with her during those classes. :)

sophia personality is really emerging as well as she gets older. she's got quite the sense of humor and often laughs as herself and us. verbally and developmentally, she is growing leaps and bounds. i know everyone told me that would happen around this age - but it's still amazing to see it for myself. everything i've said to her in the past 2.5 years seems to have retained itself and whether it's mandarin, english or spanish, she's not repeating and saying it back to me. very fun times indeed!

with the arrival of baby boy, i'm anticipating a challenging time where we will all need to adjust and adapt. praying lots for SP to fall completely in love with her brother and want to help take care, etc but in reality feeling like there will be a few rough months.

time to post this before we lose power. praying for us all as hurricane sandy seems to be very angry. hopefully it will pass soon and leave most of us intact.


{handmade} sandpaper alphabet and number set

a friend asked if i would make a sandpaper alphabet and number set for her daughter as she wanted to use it to teach her daughter how to write letters and numbers. she got the idea from the montessori school. since i love doing {most} things art related, i said of course!

the process of sketching, cutting and taping ended up being rather tedious but i enjoyed the process and love the final product. i used an exact-o blade to do the cutting, double sided tape to stick the sandpaper to the front sheet and a colorful patterned cardstock for the back sheet panel. {wish i got a photo of the back too!}


nelno. alla. and tata.

today was an unseasonably warm winter day and we enjoyed it by going to the central park zoo and nearby playground. since we had only abt 10 minutes at the zoo before closing, sophia ate her snack while watching the sea lions jumping, diving and eating their own meal. then we walked over to the playground, met up with sophia's good friend and played some more. it was a good day.

sophia is nearly 21 months. she is communicating a lot more - still less verbal and more gestural/sign language. each morning she wakes up, calls for mama or baba (sometimes maba, and sometimes tata, who is jungles, her bestest monkey friend or nelno, aka elmo), nurses, goes on the potty (whether she pees or not is her choice and always a surprise to us), reads a few books (usually an alla, aka dora, book), brushes her teeth, eats breakfast and then is ready for the day. each day has an activity or two which helps provide some structure for her and sanity for me.

recently i've been working on the alphabet with her. she knows "O" and will find it and tell me where she sees it. i started playing a game with her that goes, "A" is for audrey, your very good friend. "B" is for baba, who loves you very much. "C" is for cyrus, you saw him today. "D" is for dora, she goes on fun adventures, "E" is for elmo, oh, how you love him, etc... (all the while singing the alphabet tune). it's amazing how she remembers things when she's 'connected' to them. now she will point out E for elmo, J for jungles, S for sophia, O, M for mama, B for baba, D for doo-chi (belly button) or dora.

during naptime and nighttime sleep, sophia always asks for nelno or tata. even though she knows she can't ever take nelno with her (cuz she plays with him too much by banging his plastic eyeballs against the crib) she will still ask each time. thankfully she quickly gives him a kiss and doesn't put up a fight when i say she can't take him. then she asks for tata. she loves tata so much. it's really adorable. her eyes light up and she makes me play this game she's been enjoying where tata's long arms cover his eyes, only to slowly come undone and jiggle towards her. she gets such a laugh from it.

ten things i love about you, my sweet SP.
{1} the way your eyes light up when you find something funny
{2} you doughy legs and chubby feet
{3} watching you sleep
{4} hearing you call 'mama' (over and over and over and over and over again)
{5} your big smile and loud chortle laugh
{6} the way your little legs (and arms) move so fast when you're running
{7} your love for YI
{8} your baobao (hugs) and ching ching (kisses)
{9} nursing time
{10} seeing you become gentler and kinder with your friends

and a proper blog entry isn't complete without some recent photos....