June 2 - June 19, 2016

June 2 – June 19, 2016

Lots of silly play this month, starting with Linus’s tractor. He’s rather obsessed with the fact that someone drives each of these machines. He always points to the cab and says, “Om?” Which is, “man?” Which is to say, “That’s where the man sits?” And we agree. But he doesn’t have a lot of little figurines of men who can drive his machines. So he improvises sometimes.

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Linus still wants to be outside as much as possible. And he’s teaching this to little sister. Many evenings we just sit on the front step and watch people and cars making their way by our house. I understand this is how they eat breakfast in the morning too, after I’ve gone to work. You can see the door of a blue house on the left. Usually an old man likes to sit on that front step, just as Linus does. They wave to each other, of course. He doesn’t speak a lot of English, otherwise I think Linus would make friends with him.

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Sweet little Mina is very interested in her toes lately. She grabs them, pulls them, and pops them in her mouth.

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Her eyes have just about finished changing to brown – just as Linus’s did at about the same age. I must admit I liked her blue eyes, but these are rather beautiful too.

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Yen pointed out to me that Linus’s manatee is really more of a body pillow than a lovey.

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We tried for a family portrait, but it was so dark!

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Mina can roll all over the place now. As soon as you put her down on the floor she takes off, rolling this way and that. She also likes to practice pushing up on her arms. She clearly wants to crawl just as soon as she can. We are not ready for that.

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Bath time! Got to keep those flowing locks clean.

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I love this little bath towel. I can’t remember who gave it to us. She’s just adorable when she’s wrapped up like a little lamb!

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And here’s my lady just after her bath with her hair all slicked down. Isn’t she sweet?

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Linus goofing around with the laundry basket.

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Linus loves to do yard work. He waters my garden, and here he’s… brushing the gravel? I didn’t know gravel had to be brushed! But thank goodness he does it.

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Selfie with Cha! You can see where Mina gets her good looks.

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Linus has started playing with Mina. I’m so proud of him. He offers her little toys like his turtle here.

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Of course she just turns it into a turtlesicle!

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Linus has been drawing a lot lately. He draws big circles and says, “Wee wee wee wee…”

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Linus has gotten to be very good about brushing his teeth. He brushes at night before bed, and at noon before he takes his nap.

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One of the roads near us was recently repaved. Of course Linus and Yen had to bike down to check everything out.

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Linus absolutely loves his glasses. As soon as he realizes he’s headed outside, he immediately puts them on. Most of the time he even puts them on right-side up!

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Often when he’s biking, he stops to check out the trees. “Cây! Cây!” he yells.

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Another selfie before nap time!

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Mina is a little sleep lady! We’re trying to transition her out of sleeping swaddled. It’s pretty slow going, but we’ll get there. This cute little whale pajama is waiting for her when she’s ready. Right now she only wears it for naps.

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This one happened while I was away. I wish I could have seen it!

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As you can see, the attempt to unswaddle her isn’t going that well!

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Linus all decked out and ready to go wherever Yen takes him.

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And it turned out to be… Target! Look at that little man about town with his glasses on his head, just like Yen.

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Mission accomplished!

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I received this photo while I was sitting in a meeting and just busted out laughing.

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Meanwhile here’s Mina looking like a proud little student at a science fair. “I made this!”

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Followed by, “What? Some kid down the street made a working nuclear reactor?!”

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“Never mind. I’m still the cutest little scientist you’ve ever seen.”

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This random little photo is of note for two reasons. First, he’s completely cracking up. I wish you could hear the belly laugh that’s going on. Second, he picked out this outfit (of course). He was absolutely adamant about it. I assume that as we walk around town with him wearing it, all other parents are nodding and saying, “Yep. I’ve been there.”

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Here we are headed out for a little walk at the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Linus is our guide.

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He’s very interested in insects right now. I’m guessing that’s what he’s showing me. Meanwhile Mina is probably silently observing a moose or something.

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He’s yelling, “Ah! Ah! Ah!” which is to say, “Water! Water! Water!” That’s not Vietnamese, by the way. It’s Linusese.

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I’m sorry, Dad. We saw a few snakes. We’re trying to make sure that Linus isn’t scared of things like snakes and spiders by getting really happy and excited when we see them.

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A rather momentous event occurred right after this photo was taken: Linus peed in the great outdoors. At this point he’s about 85% potty trained, but he really prefers to pee only while sitting on his own potty seat. So it was a big deal that he allowed Yen to pull down his pants and help him water a tree. Since then, he’s even successfully used a urinal twice!

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Little Miss Mina sitting with Mommy in the car after a snack.

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Here’s that water table Linus bought earlier. He simply adores it. There are typically four wardrobe changes a day now as a result of it.

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I don’t often say, “I told you so” in my marriage. Mainly because I’m seldom right when Yen is wrong, but also because it’s rude. And yet here I’m going to say it: I told you so! I’ve been telling Yen that he and Linus should check out the library for, oh, about a month now. Finally they went and of course they had a terrific time, and brought home tons of books to read.

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Here’s our little Bruins fan reading a book for her own!

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Linus is such a little ham. He’s learned that if he’s not too sure about something, all he has to do is flash a winning smile, and help is on the way.

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I insisted that Yen take this photo on a walk one evening. Her little hand won’t be so little much longer!

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Linus has gotten just a little bit lazy on the hills lately. Yen helps him out by pushing him very quickly to the top. I think they both enjoy it, to tell the truth.

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Hey, while Anh Hai’s away, I’m going to play with his tractor!

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No worries – even when he returned, he just started showing her its features instead of getting upset.

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Then he got very engaged and started explaining modern farming in general, I believe.

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Mina’s a good pupil, so she got a little pat on the head. I think she hates that already.

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And then… Whoa. He offered her a dump truck!

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And then a book about trucks…

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They discussed their mutual love of trucks…

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He showed off some yoga moves…

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And Mina asked all kinds of insightful questions.

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This is a more typical scene, honestly: Mina safely out of the way. When Linus is reading, he likes to stack up the relevant toys, and then he matches them on the pages. You start telling him about a tractor, for instance, and he lays his tractor over the picture in the book. It can make reading a very slow activity if the toys are scattered all over the house.

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Wrapped up in a big towel after a session with the water table.

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Mina has been eating a little bit of food, but here Linus is just tormenting her with forbidden trail mix.

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Trying out his training chopsticks…

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I left a necklace on the counter one day and came home from work to discover that Linus was accessorizing!

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Little Mina wants so badly to crawl. I wonder when she’ll figure it out.

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Have you seen Linus’s new train set, by the way?

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I don’t like putting Mina in skirts. I think it’s pretty silly when she can’t even walk. So most of the hand-me-down skirts she’s received have stayed in the drawer. One day, though, I put this one on her – just on a whim.

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Yen’s been dreaming for a long time now of getting a family photo. He finally dug out the remote for his camera and we managed it! It took many, many photos to get one of all of us looking at the camera without fingers in mouths. But it was worth it!

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I can’t resist including an outtake.

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When I asked Yen what he wanted to do for Father’s Day, he said he’d like to take Linus on a boat. We thought about going to the Harbor Islands, but it’s an hour-long ride. That just seemed a bit too much. So instead, we drove to Charlestown and took the ferry into downtown Boston. Just a ten minute trip, but it was just right.

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Here it comes!

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Here’s Linus on board. Playing it cool, of course.

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Looking back at Charlestown. The tower is the Bunker Hill Monument. Just under it is the USS Constitution.

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Nice view of the city, eh?

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We thought about staying on board and going right back, but then decided to walk around for half an hour.

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Back on board now, and watching a whale watching boat set out from the aquarium.

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Walking around Charlestown.

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Back at home and ready for lunch!

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Linus was wandering the house in this little get-up one day. He cracks me up. That’s watermelon juice he’s drinking, by the way. It’s his favorite.

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Setting out for a morning walk! They do this every day after I’ve  gone to work.

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