Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

My niece Isabelita's Chicago B-day Bash

Ben loved the Curious George theme:
Ben and the other kiddies enjoy fruit:
Grandma and Grandpa Schmid:
Ben says, This is MY grandpa:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Ben in action pics: March-April

Going to the park with Grandpa Tom and Bear:
This past weekend, we went shopping at H&M, where Ben got a new hat. He's crazy about his new hat and the vain little man asked me to take his picture in it:
On a playdate with Jimmy Yanez Dravenack:
On a playdate with Keltie Cornyn; this might have actually been taken in Feb:
On a playdate with Noli Ostlie:
Baking shape cookies:
Finger painting:
Tea party with Bear:
My boy celebrates his mommy's main heritage on St. Pat's...we'll call him Chirish:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brookfield Zoo trip

An ape relaxes in the ape house to people watch while we ape watch:
Ben brushes a goat in the petting zoo:
About to start the zoo merry-go-round. Ben has a great natural smile, but his purposed smile is a little, um, forced looking. The zoo merry-go-round is made up of all different animals, instead of the traditional horses...It was really neat:
Coming around:
Oh boy, mommy and daddy bought me a monkey to take home:
Whew, the zoo was fun, but tiring:

Friday, February 27, 2009

10 years and blessed to still be so much in love!

Today is Bob and my 10-year anniversary. I can't believe I've been married 10 years! I am so blessed to have my wonderful hubbie with whom I have so many wonderful memories!
Italy 2004:
Nevis Island 2005:
Camping in Wisconsin 2007:
Italy 2008:
China 2008:


Ben now knows so much English that I couldn't even sum up what he can say...He probably knows more vocabulary than communicative English, but he has learned a lot in the way of communicative English as well. He's not what I would call fluent and is not nearly where his native peers are, but he's come a long way for being home only 9-10 weeks.

The second month Ben was home, he became much more toddler-like and was pretty difficult on and off for a few weeks. He's a sweetie, but like typical 3 and 1/2 year olds, stubbornly wants his way sometimes. He is very well behaved most of the time in public, knock on wood, and that because of that, everyone thinks he's an angel. On most days during the past couple of weeks, he's been pretty good all day until dinnertime and after, what my neighbor friend, mother of a 2-year-old, likes to call, "the bewitching hours." So he pretty much returned to being a good boy overall. Occasionally, he has a bad day.

Ben is about 3 and a half. I am reading a book on 3-year-olds right now and I guess it's typical for 2.5 year olds to be difficult, 3-year-olds to be surprisingly obliging and then for those 3-year-olds to go back to being difficult around age 3 and a half. I talked to two moms who saw this in their own never knew there was a back and forth progression and regression...interesting! Of course, there's many more life factors involved in Ben's behavior. He has the clinginess of a one-year-old due to separation anxiety.

He is still demanding when it comes to being the focus of my attention 24-7 and gets pretty difficult when I'm doing things like typing this entry...sometimes engaging things like making a mess cutting paper will keep him occupied (like now), but most times, he's on my lap whining, tugging, and can't wait until my morning e-mail and facebook check is over with. He's not satisfied with playing with any toys unless I'm engaged in it. I let him watch TV while I do my devotions. He gets a lot of mommy's attention with lap time, learning, playing, shopping, going on playdates, etc., but I think he'd only be 100% happy if I just stopped with this nonsense of cleaning house, taking care of responsibilities and problems, making phone calls, and talking with other adults. It can be pretty difficult to get anything done, especially because I try to engage Ben in most things because he is right there getting his hands into everything, and because everytime I go upstairs or downstairs in my 3-level house, which is often, I walk slowly, holding Ben's hand. I am not complaining...I love my little companion and I realize that he will have both baby and toddler needs, as we play catch up, due to his past.

He's starting to like seeing certain friends, but I have yet to see him interact with them too much...He's mostly still doing parallel play, entertaining himself by looking at all the toys other kids have at their homes, and trying to engage me more than his playmate. I was wowed to see him and a couple of kids all playing with his kitchen last weekend; he actually handed them a couple of things.

Ben endearingly tells us he loves us a million times a day, giving us kissies, asking for huggies and lap time. We are so blessed to have such a sweet son! The most important issue is whether or not I'm a good mommy. At times, I'm not as patient as I should be, but God is working on me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ben in action

Jimmy (son of Johanna Yanez) and Ben at a neighborhood park in Chicago:
It was the only blissfully warm spring-like day so far in February:

Aunt Monica and Cousin Isabel were in town!
Ben with nextdoor neighbor and best buddy Jonathan at Two Toots restaurant in town:
Kids love this place...Food is delivered on a train that runs back and forth past the tables:
Ben loves riding the old horsie there:
He often says "horsie up and down" at home:

Ben's favorite toy ever...His very own kitchen, which is placed in mommy's kitchen, of course!
Slicing a strawberry...nothing like boiled strawberries?
We were at the dollar store when Ben spotted this baby and said, "Baby...Take it home?!" He's being a good daddy here:
Ben took this picture of one of his bears and Pluto whom he likes to cook for:
Pounding nails:
Unscrewing a bolt:
A few of Ben's fav books: The Wheels on the Bus, Go Dog Go and Big Dog Little Dog, which was daddy's in the 70s or early 80s. The Wheels on the Bus is a pop-up...He's spinning a wheel here:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chinese New Year celebrations

Feb. 1, Chinatown, Lao Sze Chuan restaurant, the best place to eat Chinese food in Chicago:
Friends Bob, Kevin, and Jean:
Chinatown's Chinese New Year parade: The lion walks through:
And, the dragon:

Ben loves his traditional Chinese garb that we bought in China:
Feb. 7, My playgroup's Chinese New Year celebration:
The lion dance:
Dancing mom and her 2 daughters:
One of the dancers poses with us and his headdress:
Ben's Suzhou sister Chloe and her mommy, Beth:
Now why would the kiddos look at the camera?
The chocolate give-away:
Ben with his friends Tonito and Vivi:
Evin and Ethan in the front, with cutie pie Maya on the right:
Talking with the Morales family: