February 6 – 23, 2017

Now we come to the part of winter that seems to last forever. The snow is old and dirty, it’s cold, and no one wants to go outside. But that’s OK, because we’ve got more trucks than any two kids could ever play with.


Both kids love playing in this little space between Linus’s dresser and the wall. I suppose it’s like a secret cave for them. If they squeeze hard, both can actually fit in there – until a slap fight breaks out.


I have no idea why Linus is emerging from under the couch here. Possibly a spelunking expedition for lost animals? I’m really just amazed that he fits. He’s so lanky now. He’s still wearing his beloved red bear pants – which are size 12-month.


Sometimes Mina just takes five. I like her style!


I’m afraid this is Linus showing Mina his secret toy hiding spot. We never did find that Thomas the Tank Engine.


Mina loves to walk like a little old man with her hands behind her back – just like Linus used to. Now if you say, “Walk like a little old man!” she’ll do it right away. Well, if Yen says it. I’m not sure she’d get it in English yet.

By the way, Linus continues to try hard to speak English around me. Last night in the bathtub, he told Mina, “That not for that. That for wat-er!” And then when she tried to put the little cup on his foot, “That not for that. That for I foot!” I think that’s his first attempt at a pronoun in English. He’s getting it!


This is Linus’s, “see how silly I’m being?” face.


Mina hanging out in Linus’s bed for a bit. She loves going in there, like it’s a forbidden place.


Yawn? Shout? Who can say.


Look at this deep squat! She’s a yogi for sure.


The kids under the table, of course. It’s the best cave in the whole house!



We got our biggest snow storm of the season – or rather a pair of them. First it snowed about 12 inches. Then a few days later, we got another 8 on top. Whew!





Snow can’t stop a Tran from a good walk! We’ve been looking everywhere for a good two-person sled. Unfortunately each time I find one, Yen declares it “dorky.” The BOB works pretty well on the snow, though.


Mina is going through the standard one-year-old phase of not eating. But at least she’s still social at the table.


Classic Mina scowl. We actually just call it “The Scowl.” I expect to see a lot of it in about 12 years.


If Mina catches the smallest hint of a whif of a suggestion that we might go outside, she dashes off to get a coat. Lately she event points to the door and says, “Di?” Just like Linus, what she really wants is a walk. If we go downstairs and get into the car instead of the stroller, she becomes enraged. See above, re The Scowl.




Who wants sinh to bo (avocado shake)? I do! I do! These kids are addicted. Don’t worry – Yen makes it without much sugar (just a wee bit of condensed milk).


You may be saying to yourself, “Wow, that’s a lot of Mina. Where’s Linus?” Yen feels really bad because at about 13 months, the photos of Linus got incredibly scares – because he was moving so much and we were just struggling to keep up. He’s trying to make up by getting extra of Mina. Unfortunately Linus is even more on the go now, though, so he’s even harder to catch.


It’s a lineup! This is our new evening game: I sit in the corner of the kitchen by the stove. The kids line up on the far wall, and I count, “1, 2, 3!” Then they take turns running as fast as they can and jumping into my arms. Except sometimes they pivot to the side at the last minute and running laughing away because they tricked me. Even Mina does it!





We went back to the Water Works Museum so Linus could check out the gears and machines.

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

Naturally, his favorite part was when he discovered a tiny fan stored on a shelf. I swear that kid could spot a fan in 12 feet of murky water.

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

Mina wasn’t terribly interested in the machines, but she liked the open space to run.

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

And they both enjoyed the elevaotr, of course.

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

The Waterworks Museum, Brighton

Here’s Mina doing her best Johnny Carson impersonation instead of eating her ham.




Linus loves this little blue car so much. I’m not even sure where it came from. Unfortunately he’s got a bad habit of leaving it in various places – at Ba Noi’s house, in the car that she borrows… So often he’ll sadly tell us, “The blue car is gone.” And we have to talk about waiting until tomorrow to see it.




I’m not sure what kind of exercise this is…


Sorry, Mina. I think that coat is still too big!


My little fashionista decided to style his hair with lip balm. He looks like he’s ready to join a boy band.

Linus styled hair with lip balm


There was snow just a few photos ago, but then it magically melted, and we’ve been able to get outside a bit. We’re thinking Linus is about ready to try pedals, which is perfect timing because Mina is getting really interested in his bike.


For now, she’s got her own sweet ride.