Hudson turns one!

He woke up after an hour or so as i was preparing food. I sat him down at his high chair and gave him a few pieces of fruits while I continued to cut the fruits. After a while, I noticed him systematically placing a the fruits from his plate onto the coffee machine’s espresso compartment. Wow, he grew up a little more again!

All his playmates.

We barely managed to get everything prepared at 8:30am as Johnson and the Yuen family came in bearing balloons and a gift for Hudson. Hudson clung to me and took quite a while to slowly warm up even as his other friends start to arrive. 

I’m glad I prepared the play stations for the children. 

I made my son’s first birthday cake! It feels like a good accomplishment as a mom.

Cake: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/vanilla-cake/

-written on 21st Oct (didn’t have time to write or post anything on this day as I prioritised spending time with my one-year-old!)

He loves his car/motorbike and would climb onto the seat by himself to ride it. At first, he can’t quite get one of his leg over the seat and the leg would be folded on the seat as he sits but after two days, he can 跨过去and sit properly. He’s really a fast learner. Yesterday at his party, he would also ask to ride on his bike when his other friends are using his bike.

-written on 22nd Oct

Best easy scones recipe

Here: Live Well Bake Often

My mom sent me this recipe because I had heavy cream left from H’s birthday so I made it this morning while H was out for a walk. the weather is so pleasant and I had our front doors open to let the fresh air in. The scone turned out yummy, crumbly and light while buttery in taste.

11 months week 5~

Before Hudson turned 1.

[19-20 Oct 2020]

This face *muakss*

I am facing a small existential crisis as my son will be turning one year old two days later. I’ve been busy making lists for his birthday party and checking them twice-the cake, the fruits, the outfit, the decor…what if I missed things? (I know it’s not the most crucial, but I unconsciously have been stressing myself out to sleepless bedtimes these few weeks). I admit it. 

Anyway, the existential crisis is because 1 seems to mark an important milestone and after this, he will be more like a little human and we would have to teach and discipline him (even just in this past week, his strong will and preferences had emerged and there’s a higher pitch of him wanting something/almost-shrieking voice that he made when he’s angry and definitely/defiantly wants that thing. Oh my. That scared me for a bit and then i remembered that I was the one in authority so I was firm to not let him get his way and carried him away (luckily his voicing out stopped). #parenting #needGodsgrace #toddlerhoodemerging 

The “crisis” also came because I have been faithfully keeping a weekly blog journal documenting his growth and now that I’ve reached his one-year milestone, it seems to be a good point to stop or I would have to decide to continue on (but because of blog storage capacity, I would need to start a new blog). It takes a lot of time and effort to do these weekly blogs actually. Sometimes I would go over by two-three weeks because I just didn’t have time to work on it. 

I also keep a daily diary and first year memory scrapbook. 

-written on 19th Oct 2020

He knows how to put things into containers/bags now. No longer just taking things out.

He still likes to release his hands and drop things to the floor for the fun of it.

We received his birthday gift package from Mic (Germany) and it has all the cute lions-a book about Daniel, a card, a shirt, and a box of pencil crayons that can be used on all kinds of surfaces including glass! Super nice.

First scribbles (ok, more like “dot dot dot” up-down motion that he made with the crayon)

He also started to walk more. He can stand up from a squatting position without help/hold but his walking is still wobbly. It’s really funny to watch how he would quickly 扑过来when he sees me there at the end of his walk.

He’s grumpier and clingier lately. It must be because of the new things that he’s learning and the mental leaps that he’s growing in that made him like this. The extra lower tooth on the right of his two lower teeth is very visible now.

He likes to use his own spoons and forks now and would grumble when we don’t give him the spoon. He knows how to bring food to his own mouth using the spoon now (a bit more successfully today than a few days before). His improvement is so fast. I really resonate with what my daddy wrote:

Eating alphabet pasta (gaining independence in feeding himself with utensils):

一年365天,天天都在成长,变化多端,实在奇妙。我们都一起的跟他改变,领悟的更多。

He really amazes me with the new things that he is learning and mastering each day (especially this week, including his birthday, which I will write in another post). 

11 months week 4

[12-18 Oct 2020]

My baby boy:

He played with his tongue 😛 like this in and out.

He also peeps with his head upside down from between his legs (arms and legs all fours on the floor ⛺️)

He is also very vocal about what he wants and is very specific about what he wants to get, such as the lamp and magnet from the fridge, among many choices of magnets and pictures.

He would quickly climb to the end edge of our bed each time he’s awake/done with a round of milk drinking.

He is much more interested in books now and would choose to leaf through/flip the books by himself. He can almost manage to lift the flaps of the Dear Zoo and move the dancing Mowgli in the Jungle Book.

He also holds the spoon and can feed himself (but with no food on the spoon yet). Haha. He also can stir? with the 🥄 inside his little bowl.

He can be good boy for the whole day while I was at work some days but on two days this week he cried quite a lot while missing me.

-typed on 17th Oct

Making sure to get some crawling photos of him because I know he won’t be crawling around for too long anymore.

On Sunday, we went to Mui Wo for breakfast. It was a nice Autumn morning and I felt a little excitement rising as I immersed myself in the loveliness of this season. #Sabbath #familyday

We tried out Cafe Paradiso, a British cafe style breakfast with a sea view. It was a sunny Autumn morning and it’s so nice to sit outdoors (I was praying we would have the table under the shade and when we walked over, there was a seat! Thank you Lord). Hudson, however, was not really in the mood. He munched on the animals-shaped banana pancake I made and eventually N had to bring him to walk around. The cappuccino was strong and yummy, the bap was good too, with brown sauce.

Recently finished book and currently reading.

We’ve been attending the TPBC online services recently. H was bouncing up and down to the hymn singing.

We did a rehearsal for his birthday cake smash and setup on Sunday evening (it was a bit late in the day already because it took the whole afternoon to clean up/organise the garden). H was on the sleepy side and so was the sun (Autumn days and the sun sets earlier nowadays). I was panicking because I couldn’t remember how to use the self-timer on the camera and H was being extra clingy.

I’m glad H was able to enjoy the bubbles and cake smash (sensory play) despite his sleepiness. Cake smash sequence below (a bit unsure at first and then going full on into a 花貓mode)

Cute cute 小花貓 and the end of the “party” hehe

11 months week 3

[5-11th Oct 2020]

This week, I’ve been quite busy with work, I don’t even read at night anymore but just fall asleep with H. However, when I do spend time with H, I try to more consciously be fully present with him and play with him, use words with him (making words sparkle, not avoiding big words), repeating some sounds to help him learn the phonics etc (he’s been working on ‘geh’ and ‘mama!!’, ‘baba’ etc). I also try to read to him and point things out on the books even though he still slides away from me and the book often, preferring to go find things that his hands/little fingers can grab and explore. He is pretty strong. He can lift a whole jar or bottle that are not light.

Since he is older now and can pretty much understand things (we think), we will try to teach him manners (saying ‘thank you’), following instructions instead of just doing things according to his fancy, and building good habits (I feel guilty for not doing a better job at maintaining consistency in this but we will keep working on it). Also, just praying to God for wisdom and for Him to take care/teach our little one. He is in His hands.

‘Consider the Stars’ by the Gettys.

Heavenly Melody’s podcasts/testimonies & songs.

Also, I need to be more intentional in exposing H to a variety of good music e.g. classical, and different genres (should’ve been doing this all along but there were so many new things to learn since his birth). Now is not a bad time to start doing this.

I’ve been playing piano with him more this week, sitting him in my lap while I (try to) play the piano. Every time I put him on the piano bench, he likes to play too but would often get distracted by the music stand and scores (his busy hands again).

Sometimes he would also dance along to music (e.g. the upbeat music from his toys), shaking his body and swaying left and right/up and down.

This weekend was spent with his YeYe and MaMa. He got to eat cake (panda chiffon muffin cake) aka sugar but thankfully he’s not super into it. It’s nice to have family around to look after H although he doesn’t always want to stay with them and would still look for me.

Looking all grown up with his shoes and tall body.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Mui Wo for a walk at the Silvermine Bay and although it was still hot and sunny, there is an unmistakable Autumn breeze in the air that makes you feel happy.

11 months week 2 (Mid-Autumn Festival & Long Weekend)

[28 Sep-4 Oct]

Lanterns at Tai O

This week, we had a lot of fun because it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival and we had a four-day weekend starting on October 1st. The weather cooled down a teeny tiny bit the morning of October 1st after a black rainstorm the night before but when we went to the beach today (Cheung Sha 下村), the sand was still scorching hot so it’s definitely still very much like summer here.

Eating our garden-grown cherry tomato. He knows how to spit it out since it’s sour. Haha..

Anyway, Hudson has been speaking/babbling a lot again (and loudly sometimes). He says “geh” “geh” recently

He loves going to the glass door and the sofa that is next to it.
I love how he sits properly and looks so cute here.

October 1st comes along with a slightly cooler weather and the four-day long weekend began…It’s Mid-Autumn Festival on the 1st of October and we went home to FL for dinner. We picked up some items from IKEA Shatin on the way and H was able to wear a face mask and enjoy seeing new things. The next day, S came over for staycation and we were able to have a few meals outside and went to the beach one morning. H was also fascinated with the new things he could see in the supermarket.

At Little Fields
The yummiest sourdough bread with EVOO
H grabbed a celery stick and lettuce to eat by himself and loved the taste of the sweet and tangy dressing (Vietnamese beef salad)

11 months week 1

[21- 27 Sep, 2020]

This week, he started to walk by himself! He can take a few steps by without holding on to anything.

He still loves exploring trays/containers etc. He is becoming more interested in toy cars e.g. the silver one and he would place them on furniture. When he is playing with objects around the house, he would sometimes glance at us to check if we are permitting him to play with those things or not (getting cheeky, this boy).

N built H a little home to play with and as Hudson likes to stand up/squat down a lot nowadays, he does enjoy it (not 100%) but at least he was interested and would play in the house.

He keeps waking up from his nap/sleep to drink milk these two days and N says he might be getting new teeth, which is why his gums are irritable.

Sunday breakfast at Mui Wo.

We let him play with water while we cleaned the bean sprouts.

Doing some gardening on a Sunday afternoon.

10 months week 5

[14-20 Sep 2020]

This week, N and I kept saying that H has grown really tall/long.

He likes to drop things from his ikea high chair to the floor perhaps to experiment with the weight/sound of it? Not quite sure. He especially likes to do it with his grey silicon suction plate.

He would raise his arm and make a lotus flower spin with his open palm to let us know where he wants to go. It’s kind of funny.

I rarely go outdoors with H because I’m always tired after work even when I get to work from home two days a week but on this particular day, I was able to join H and aunty at the beach and take some photos of H playing with sand.

We had a full weekend–brunch with M, W at S’s home on Saturday and visiting Ngon Ping 360 on Sunday morning and returning home for online church in the afternoon. H got gifts from M and W respectively and they keep praising his good looks. When we picked up Mag with our car, H kept approaching her to look at her and was making connections with her. Quite cute. He was still a bit apprehensive about Chase and being held by the “yi yi”s for too long.

Today when we went to Ngon Ping, he was able to sleep in the stroller and car seat even though he did open his eyes for a few times but was able to go back to sleep. He still doesn’t know how to enjoy going to these touristy places the most (maybe because they’re new to him and he’s almost always at the sleepy stage when we finally reach these destinations).

And then the hair cut!

Ta-dah! My boy boy eating steamed apple which is really yummy.

Baby diary – 10 months week 4

[7-13 Sep 2020]

He started saying “(h)ahd-tzen” these two days! (probably something closer to “ha”/”ah”/”ut” – “en” that we interpreted as his rendition of his own name (with his friend Fofo’s pronunciation). He has started to speak more two-syllable “words” this week it seems like. One night when he woke up to play in the middle of the night, he said “da, dada” quaver, semiquaver semiquaver and I made a mental note that this was something new that he could do! I mean, he has been babbling/speaking for a long time now, but I do think he has improved this week in these two significant ways.

Let’s see, what else is new. He is getting really tall and exuding a boyish look more than a baby’s look. We’ve made a mental note to ourselves that we need to start disciplining him since he can start understanding things more now. He would be very whiny and cry loudly when he doesn’t like being left in the cot (even after just 1 minute of putting him down) so yea, need to let him know that he can’t always get his way but it’s also hard.

I finished two books this week: Crazy Rich Asians and Kim Ji Young. The first one is a fun read. I especially enjoy the rich (pun intended) descriptions that paint the worlds of these people. The ending is surprisingly similar to “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”-the big news and an ambiguous but promising scene of the relationship of the leads. The second book was quite bland but I do see the value of it – raising awareness of the reality of Korean women.

-typed on 12th Sep

Today, N brought us to Mui Wo for a family outing again. It’s nice to be able to have these experiences where we can remember our family time by.

Last night, we brought back a xylophone and drum from Fanling home and H was happily waving the sticks. He also seemed to be delighted to hear the first sounds from the xylophone.

This afternoon, H was so cute with his high pitched voice sounds and happy eyebrows-raised eyes and big smile when he’s playing by himself (alongside us). I wonder what is in his little mind. At other times, he would have that stoic look but when I smile at him, he would break into a smile that warms your heart.

Baby diary – 10 months week 3

[31 Aug-6 Sep 2020]

I’m becoming very aware of how Hudson is approaching the one year old mark soon now that it is September. The passing of time in the blink of an eye–this year passed by really fast because of Covid that paused most things and now that I am back to full time work, I rarely see H during the week days, so the weeks also pass by very fast. It’s a very weird feeling. I’ve been reading books about eliminating hurry, slowing down, and humility, but I am very aware that I am a work in progress and I still get stressed about slowness a lot. I attribute a big part of it to H–the urgency of getting home as quickly as I can from work in case he is missing me too much and crying a lot the whole day again (although recently he’s become better and will mostly have a harder time in the late afternoons-after 3 pm, waiting for me to come home). This week, he is also more articulate about his needs. He would pull my shirt when he wants milk and when I leave for work in the morning (if he’s awake), he would use his non-verbal sounds to tell me not to leave (and that breaks my heart). But because of his clinginess, I’ve also found going to work in the office much more relaxed than working from home. I also have this constant fear of him waking up from sleep anytime (during the night or during daytime when he’s napping) because they mean that I would have to make him go back to sleep again–sometimes with great effort even though I just want to rest or having to stop whatever I was doing. I don’t know why I get so stressed about this. I need to just learn to accept the unpredictability of his suddenly waking up and not worry about the when and if when this would happen (I really should just enjoy my free time when he’s sleeping). At night, I would read books on the iPad when lying next to him to keep him secure and asleep (somehow if we leave the room, he would wake up soon after). During the day, I will catch up on tasks: documenting life mostly and on occasions sneak in some blogs reading/vlog watching.

He likes to say “ada” and he’s become a pro at “gostang” and coming down from the bed with his butt/legs first. His reunion with a piano also showed how much he’s grown: he can play (bang) the piano pretty well and with the correct hands posture even! He would also shout/say words as he “plays” the piano. He is also tall enough to stand and reach the piano keys from the floor and take things down from our three-tiered Muji drawer.

He can spend a long time playing with the small bottles of coconut oil, dottera bottles, lip balm etc that he gets from containers, and spend hours opening and closing the basket lids and playing with things from there. That’s his favourite pastime recently.

Today, we went to Tai O and to a church service since CNY. He has grown so much because he can mostly sit quietly with me during the service and observe the surroundings. He knows that we’re in a new place and he would look around and observe. When he heard the congregational singing, I moved his arm to the beat of the singing and he would also keep looking at the aunty who sang well the whole time.

He likes to eat cauliflower.