July 11 – August 3, 2016

This has been a tough summer. Not because of Linus and Mina, but because we’re experiencing very unusual weather. It’s been above 90 at least one day every week, which is unusual for out here. But worse (and more unusual still) we are official experiencing a “severe” drought. The plants are dying, and we’re under water use restrictions. All of this results in two rambunctious little kids who aren’t able to run around outside quite as much as they need to! But of course, even when they’re trapped in the house, they’re still adorable.



If he can’t go outside, I guess Linus focuses more on his yoga moves. He’s getting increasingly more acrobatic about it. I think he’s defying gravity here!


These kids both love watermelon. Linus asks for it at each meal. Mina has such strong little jaws that she’s no longer allowed to have a piece unless it’s in a little teething device that keeps the pieces from getting into her throat.



Linus’s favorite part of the watermelon is the juice. He always asks to drink the water at the bottom of the bowl. “Ah? Ah?” is how he asks for it. “Ah” is his word for water. He was very considerate and let Mina chew on the lid of his cup while he drank.



I’m sure I’ve told you that Linus always wants to get props to match his books. If it mentions a dump truck, he goes to get his toy dump truck and then holds it up next to the picture. Lately he’s even been connecting books, so if one book mentions Santa Claus, he goes to get another that’s about Santa Claus. In this book, there’s a balloon that floats away, smaller and smaller on each page. So that’s why he’s holding a big pink balloon.

Yes, I’m wearing one of Mina’s barrettes!


This reminds me of wildlife photography: doing what it takes to get the action shot!


I think Mina’s eyes are getting bigger and darker with each passing day. Her hair is certainly getting more wild!


Lexington (a few towns over) had a special day where kids could come to investigate the service trucks. Linus is really into ladders right now. He  can spot them in every book and also as we drive around town. He makes a sound like “chuk-chuk-chuk” when he sees one, which is the sound of someone climbing up.

Lexington Library Truck Day

Looks like he played it really cool!

Lexington Library Truck Day

Lexington Library Truck Day

Lexington Library Truck Day

Yep. Definitely playing it cool. “Oh yeah. Street sweeper. I know those.”

I think everyone’s favorite part of the day was when there was an actual fire somewhere and the truck had to leave in a hurry with all the lights on and the sirens blasting.

Lexington Library Truck Day

Dinner time is a group affair now that Mina is eating a lot more solids. Linus still tries to sneak her interesting bits from time to time.


“Hey! I ate all my carrots! See?”


This little girl has the biggest smile ever! And doesn’t that little dimple high up on her right cheek just kill you?


Still no teeth, although as I write this (August 14), she’s got one that’s just starting to poke through. You can barely see it, but it’s definitely there if you run your finger over it (or if she clamps down on you! Ouch!).


Here’s Linus checking out a lobster. He sees them all the time in the tank at the store, but he’s never been able to touch one before. He seemed way less impressed than I imagined he would be.

You’ll note that he’s totally decked out in rash guard and swim trunks. I doubt he even went near the water that day. He just loves the ensemble!


And then in contrast, here was a day when he ended up at a sprinkler park without all the proper gear! We had driven into Boston to walk along the river and stumbled across it.

Charles River Reservation

Charles River Reservation

Charles River Reservation

Charles River Reservation

Charles River Reservation

Back at home with the books. He’s very interested in books now, and wants increasingly longer stories. He finally sits and listens all the way through! Mina is also starting to enjoy reading time. I think it might be a good time to create separate bookshelves.


There’s that crazy smile again! Waiting for pears, I would imagine.


Mina is so active with her playing now. She reaches across for everything she wants, and sometimes does a little army crawl on her elbows it the object of her desire is out of reach. We keep saying she’s close to crawling, but she just hasn’t made the leap yet.


I wonder what this was all about!




Aw, as I said, these kids love to read!


Linus’s trucks are always parked along this wall, so he often just joins them. That’s when we’re not pulling them along by strings for a truck rally.


Look at these cheeks! Just try not to pinch them…



Aw, I love this photo!



These kids are always watching each other and laughing together. Linus really looks out for her. This evening he heard me tell Yen that she’d spit up, and he immediately ran upstairs yelling, “Towel! Towel!” He’s also recently started to offer her something new when he wants to take something away from her. For instance, this afternoon she had gotten a hold of the little cup that holds his snack cereal. He furiously shook Captain Calamari in front of her and yelled, “Em! Em!” Like, “Take this instead!”


How soon is dinner?!


Linus is still the best helper in the garden. He waters everything and harvests all of the tomatoes… even the ones that aren’t ripe yet!




It was about this time that I decided I had better cut Mina’s hair… When she had her bath, I could comb it down to the middle of her back!


Classic boy pose, I guess. And notice those pants. They’re his favorite! Never mind that they are size 12 months. Can you believe they still fit around his waist?



Isn’t this a beautiful photo? These kids are so lucky that get to see Ba Noi almost every day.



Saturday morning we decided we’d had enough of being locked up and had to get out. We left early while it was still fairly cool and visited good old Great Brook Farm. Linus is noticing little details right now, especially holes (I absolutely must get a video of him saying “hole” – it’s the cutest!) and plants.

Great Brooks Farm

Great Brooks Farm

I showed him how to touch the ferns very gently. You can see that Mina got in on the action too!

Great Brooks Farm

Don’t worry. We were watching carefully for poison ivy.

Great Brooks Farm

In the afternoons, we usually retreat down to the basement. We’ve got central air in the whole house, but the basement stays particularly cool even with all of the vents shut. The train sets are down there along with Yen’s stereo. Mina chews on a little tool set, and Linus plays with the trains. It’s a relaxing time for all of us.


Linus kisses Mina constantly! Most of the time she allows it without too much of a fuss.

By the way, check out her fashionable haircut!


Little cutie. He’s become such a little boy. I can’t help calling him “baby” still, but he’s getting quite grown up. He loves to help out around the house. He handles the laundry almost entirely on his own. I just have to add the soap and make sure to pull out things that can’t go in the dryer. He even knows how to turn it on! On Sunday morning after we finished laundry, he promptly ran over to get the mop and started seeing to the floors.



We were so busy at Linus’s second birthday party that we only got one photo – of Mina! Here she is in her little tennis dress. Look at those legs!


One Saturday morning it was raining, but we decided to get out anyway. We headed for the Museum of Science, but got there before it opened! No problem – we found this park across the street.

North Point Park, Cambridge

North Point Park, Cambridge

Mina had a little hat and umbrella, so she was unconcerned with the weather.

See that little cut above my lip? Little Mina has tiger claws! She likes to grab at my mouth while she’s nursing and managed to cut me a couple of times. I don’t know how she does it even when we keep her nails so short.

North Point Park, Cambridge

The Museum finally opened and we went inside. Linus got to work building a bridge right away.

Museum of Science

This is a new exhibit that shows the kinds of animals that live in the Charles River. I think it’s time for another trip to the aquarium. Both Linus and Mina really enjoyed seeing the fish.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

The button right in front of Linus makes the little train go. He must’ve pressed it ten times before I made him move on so another little boy could try it out.

Museum of Science

The special exhibit right now is on frogs. Linus really loved it… until he suddenly didn’t. His attention just wanders after a while.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Museum of Science


There weren’t photos of Linus on his birthday, but at least we have more of him in his special birthday outfit. Only this time he didn’t feel that pants were really unecessary.






How incredibly cute this this photo?! “Read it again, an hai!”



Mina’s hobby right now is removing things from boxes. We’ve got a bunch of containers we fill up for her and let her go to town. She particularly enjoys emptying the box that contains all of her little bean bags.


So close to crawling!


Why is she so happy? Because she managed to get a plane to play with! She covets Linus’s toys.