Sept 6 – Sept 25, 2016

What’s that you say? You want more adorable photos of Linus and Mina? Well, OK!

One thing we’ve discovered about Mina is that she’s an absolute champ at making faces. I would venture to say that she’s a facial contortionist. Just look at the journey she went on during a recent meal.

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Meanwhile, Linus has become increasingly interested in hair accessories. He likes Mina’s barrettes best, but he also enjoys my bobby pins. He’s recently discovered little clips that I used when my hair was longer, and I showed him that he could attach them to his big toes. He really enjoys that.

Anyway, I think he could totally fool someone into thinking he’s a girl. Those eyelashes!

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Great photo of Mina and Ba Noi, eh? Mina loves her so much.

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Aw, that little tear at the corner of her eye. Maybe Linus had just taken a truck away. Or maybe she was having trouble crawling in that dress? I’m so mean putting her in such silly clothes, but look how cute she is.

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Here’s much more practical attire for an active little girl: overalls! And appropriately, she’s playing with her current favorite toy (Old MacDonald’s tractor).

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This picture really kills me. That thing she’s wearing is her pajamas. It’s a great little device called a Zipadee Zip. It’s basically a wearable blanket. It has the suggestion of sleeves and lets, but she’s basically just floating around inside. Her feet and hands are covered so she can distract herself by touching things. It’s clearly not stopping her here. I asked Yen why the heck she was wearing it in the living room. “Oh, she was supposed to be napping.” Of course!

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We’ve been going to a different park lately, and Linus really loves it. It’s got a toddler set, a 2 to 5 set, and a 5+ set. Linus likes to tour around, trying his favorite parts of each set. Here he’s on the big set on a strange little slide made of rollers. It sort of bumps you down to the ground, which cracks him up every time.

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Mina is enjoying our park visits much more now that she’s old enough to join in. We help her go down the slides, and she can crawl through tunnels. And of course, she gets to go on the swings.

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Love these action shots of Linus going down the slide. And yes, he’s wearing his swimming outfit. Don’t try to talk him out of it.

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Here’s a shot from story hour. Mina is already charming older men into giving her presents.

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She’s so proud of herself!

Aren’t this dress the cutest? The little bees buzzing on her?

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Oh hey – Linus can make all kinds of faces too! Also, his hair is getting wild again. But I just can’t make myself cut it yet. It’s such an ordeal when I do. I always start by letting him watch while I cut Yen’s, but it still does nothing to calm him. I’m dreading the day when he realizes he can run and hide instead of standing, paralyzed with terror, until his turn comes along.

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Cooperating to tackle the bead maze.

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Linus has created a true masterpiece for our nightly tractor rallies. The green tractor is from Yen, so he points to it and says, “Cha!” The red tractor is from David, so he points to it and says, “Anh!” (older brother). The last one is Old MacDonald’s tractor.

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Linus and Yen nap together on Linus’s floor each afternoon. Well, lately this habit has changed. Yen had started to sneak into our room after Linus fell asleep so he could nap more comfortable. Now that Linus can handle doorknobs, he’s begun to let himself out of his room after he wakes up, trot across the hall, and enter our bedroom. He used to just alert Yen to his presence, but then he started climbing into the bed. Now they’ve given up entirely and the naps take place here. I’m jealous. The absolutely best naps I’ve ever taken have been with the babies. I get into such a deep sleep with a baby next to me. I think it’s because when they’re out of the bed (next to it in a bassinet or across the hall in their crib), some part of my brain is always on, alert and listening for trouble. When the baby is in the bed with me, I can completely relax. Mina refuses to nap with me now, so I’ve really missed it. I hope I can have a nap with Linus while we’re on vacation next week!

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A few times last week (and last weekend), Linus has gone biking on the Battle Road in Lexington. This is the path the Minutemen took from North Bridge into Cambridge and Boston for the early battles of the Revolutionary War. It’s such a beautiful place for a walk, especially this time of year.

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The little marker next to Linus identifies the general area where a group of British soldiers are buried. I think it’s amazing that these kids get to grow up around all of this history.

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Mina and Ba Noi went along for this particular walk. Aren’t those cheeks just delicious?! She’s like a little porcelain doll.

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Uh oh. I hope Linus didn’t see this!

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I like this shot. She’s kneeling so demurely, and that little kitty on her bum!

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Linus found his old conductor hat, along with another small collection. He went around assigning hats to everyone.

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I like this set. “Hey, what’re you doing?”

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“Can I try?”

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“Darn. Foiled again!”

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The next town over held a truck day, which really became a truck weekend for us! Here’s Linus on Friday afternoon checking out the earlier arrivals.

Burlington Truck Day

And then over to the park for some exercise. I took the camera away from Yen to finally get a few shots of him and Mina. Unfortunately I’m not always great with the focus.

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Here she is going through the tunnel. She loves doing this, just giggling the whole way.

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Then of course she takes a break on the swings.

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On our way home, we found these guys stopping traffic. They absolutely would not let us pass. They came right up to the car, and if Yen tried to go past, they started yelling at him and ran in front of us. I was ready to get out and yell at them myself when another car came along and distracted them long enough for us to move.

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Back to see the trucks! Now it’s Saturday, the day before the real event. But rain was in the forecast, so we met up with some friends to check out what was there.

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

This truck seemed to be his favorite. He kept coming back to count the wheels, and then the bolts on the rims. Somehow he always forgets the number 4.

Burlington Truck Day

Mina and I were just hanging out, seeing and being seen.

Burlington Truck Day

We ran into my friend Breanna. She’s got a little boy who’s 2 months older than Linus (but he wears a whole sizes bigger, so Linus gets his hand-me-downs). She’s expecting a girl in just three weeks, who will get all of Mina’s hand-me-downs. I love how that works.

Burlington Truck Day

Tracked trucks really excite Linus. They have wheels inside the track. We always have to point that out to each other when we read books or play with his toys.

Burlington Truck Day

Hey, a rare family portrait!

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

It was a busy weekend! This was our Sunday morning. It’s an event in Boston called Hub on Wheels. We cycled through the city and along the Charles River along with at least 5,000 other cyclists. Linus and Mina were a real hit. So many people asked to take their photo.

Hub on Wheels 2016 bike ride

Here we are on a much-needed break. Mina got to have a little milk, and I got a drink of water. Even after ten minutes of resting, look how red my face is!

Hub on Wheels 2016 bike ride

And… it turned out not to be rainy on Sunday aftenoon after all, so back we went!

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Burlington Truck Day

Another visit to story hour. Check out Loungy Linus!

Billerica Public Library story hour

Have I mentioned what a good eater Mina is? She just chomps away at anything we put in front of her. Meanwhile right next to her list Linus, refusing to eat anything except tofu most of the time.

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One afternoon Linus we found that Linus had taken his old baby seat, put it up on the couch, and was lounging there hoping for the TV to come on. He has little moments where I think he misses being a baby.

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This is how we manage to get through our Saturday morning errands in one piece!

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Wow, and another group photo! Here we had gone on a little impromptu hike before dinner, and everyone was in a surprisingly good mood. On the walk, Linus kept pointing out the bridges, and then finally he said (in Vietnamese of course), “Two bridges!” We were pretty excited, as this was the first time it was clear he had counted. Of course now he’s doing it constantly.

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Ok, here they are: ponytails! I have been itching for the day when Mina’s hair would be long enough. It was completely worth the wait.

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If you look really closely in this photo, you can see that her top teeth are just starting to poke through. Yikes!

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And finally, just a few photos from apple picking. Poor Yen. His camera battery died about ten minutes after we arrived!

Apple picking at Parlee Farm

Apple picking at Parlee Farm