Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tickley Tovina

Last night after work, Michael got to spend some quality time with Tovina and her very ticklish bear.

As is often the case, a longer version can be found on YouTube.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Trying to read

Michael found picture cards with Chinese and English words and Tovina can't get enough.

Here Tovina is caught on video trying to teach herself to read. She is pointing to the pictures on each flap and then thoughtfully considering her word options.

There are a couple of longer videos over on YouTube if you want to see more of Tovina's study session. While I didn't capture the whole thing, she sat there for almost 15 minutes studying these cards.

Baby's mother

Today I was recognized by an apartment staff member as Tovina's mother, again. Both times I have been in the elevator and had someone else come in, surreptitiously look at me a little bit, and then ask, 'where is your daughter?'

The first time the question was in Chinese but it was still pretty darn clear what the maintenance man was asking.

I knew she was popular but I had no idea that it could spill over to encompass other members of the family. I had thought that I could anonymously hide behind her smile but apparently the bearer of the empress is also noteworthy, if only as the harbinger of good news.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Another new trick from Saturday is the climbing of stairs. Tovina encountered her first stairs on Friday night at services when she tried to steal the show from Arthur who led the d'var torah (torah discussion).
Then on Saturday she saw stairs for the second time in her mobile stage of life and pretty much thought they were the coolest thing ever. Or at least a close forth behind milk and pacifiers and Cheerios.

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And here are some action shots from TWO DIFFERENT VIEWS! (so exciting we know.)
(while there is almost a minute of video, you'll get the idea after about 10 seconds if you have other things you want to do.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Turn turn turn

One of the fun things about this stage of Tovina's development is that she seems to learn a new trick every day.
Yesterday's was how to use a Sit 'n Spin... but without the actual toy.

She likes to just turn and turn and turn.

She has also taken to opening some of her books up on her lap and 'reading' to herself.
Most adorable (though I may be biased)

Check out this video of her demonstrating her trick.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May Birth group get together

Our birth group had another get together. It was great seeing how all of our little people are growing.

Here are most of us. Unfortunately Carolyn, Josh, and Sophia couldn't make it.
Michael, Cara, Tovina, Gabby (baby), Cara, Travis, Gus, Anna, Justin
and here are all the daddy's with their respective babies.

Back in the house, there were the kids and (the other) Cara. Notice how well Gabby, the oldest in our group, is standing on her own. Even random toys strewn in her path were no obstacle.

And here is Travis reading to Tovina . Travis does great voices and Tovina was very impressed.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

New foods for new people

Tovina is getting to eat more and more foods. As of today she has tried chicken curry with matzah balls, papaya which she likes to have after her morning oatmeal, mangosteins, mangos, brown rice, broccoli, green beans, snap peas, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, bananas (often mixed with the egg yoks), and today we added dragon fruit. We've included a picture of dragon fruit here at the left.

One of the bizarre optical illusions that occurred during this eating session was how the very tiny dragon fruit seeds became so large once they were stuck to Tovina's face.
Tovina also thinks optical illusions are funny
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kiddie, Kitty, and Kitty toy

Not quite up to writing much so instead will leave you with another photo set.

All the young creatures in the house are sharing so nicely.

While we don't have a picture of it, letting Tovina play with the kitty toy is a little dangerous as she does try to bite it the same way Cyrano likes to.
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Sleep Interrupted (updated)

One of the things that is rather common around our apartment these days is something of a shortage of sleep. So we all need to catch, um..., cat naps whenever we can.

Roxanne found a particularly comfortable box just the other afternoon in which she was able to enjoy a bit of late day sun.

Michael and I had never realized just how comfortable sleeping squashed up in a plastic box in the sun could be, although, to be fair, neither of us had ever tried it.

But wait! What is this?

Alas! The Sleep Disturber! She strikes again!

Clearly she was very contrite about the whole thing.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

A cold for everyone

The whole family has been getting and recovering from various colds, most of which we attribute to Beijing air. Michael succumbed first and passed it to his dad just in time for our guests' flights back to the States. I've had a little something but it mostly just made me tired. Tovina was our most recent victim. (Don't worry though, she is almost recovered already.) Her only symptoms were an impressively runny nose and a certain exhaustion that made her slightly more cranky than normal.

Here she is discussing her displeasure with me.
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Saturday, May 17, 2008


Given that Tovina is so fair she is practically transparent, we try to make sure she always wears a hat when in the sun. She usually pulls it off after 10 seconds, so we put it on her again.
And she pulls it off and throws it somewhere
And we pick it up off the ground and put it on her
And she pulls it off and sucks on it and then throws it away again
I bet you can guess what comes next.

While Grandpa and Aunt Sheila were here there were a few new options added to this exciting game, usually referred to as "other people's hats."
It goes like this:

Grandpa: Tovina look at the camera

Tovina: Yup, I see Mommy with the camera

Tovina: But I see cameras all the time and your hat looks much more interesting. In fact...

Tovina: I think it would look much better on me! Here, Let me just borrow it for a minute.
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Friday, May 16, 2008

New toy

Tovina just got a new toy to help her walk around. (Well, really to help us walk around with her and save mommy and daddy's back for a little longer.) Her favorite parts of this fun toy are the 3 little shapes that can go in the front. She is not so sure about how the shapes go in but she is all about how to get them out.

Here is a video of Tovina and her favorite shapes. If you like it, there are more where it came from. Just go to

Thursday, May 15, 2008

9 month collage

Here is a set that was actually taken in Shanghai with the assistance of Grandpop and Aunt Sheila
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Temple of Heaven

On their last full day in China, Tim and Sheila and Tovina and myself headed over to the Temple of Heaven

The last time Tovina was here she wasn't able to see much because she was still in my belly.

Luckily for us it was a lovely day and we were able to fully enjoy the park.

Tovina found it particularly exhausting.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Didn't feel a thing

Just to answer the questions that have started coming our way - the only quake we felt was Tovina rocking her stroller as she tried to make it go faster.

Tovina and Julie

Here is Tovina with the ayi (babysitter) of the month - Julie.
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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Back in Shanghai

We are in Shanghai for my penultimate class.
Another new sitter but she speaks some English which is making things easier.
All the family has come over to share the trip so I'm keeping this post short so that I can go and meet up with them now!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Paparazzi at the Great Wall

I know we shared some still shots of this recently, but here is a more comprehensive idea of what happens when Tovina pauses for a photo op.

The noise she makes at the end of the video is when someone new tries to take her for the next round of photos. I should also explain that this had already been going on for about 10 minutes when I took the video.

Pics of the family at the wall

Based on popular demand we've got gramps and auntie at the wall
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Friday, May 02, 2008

Gathering the paparazzi

We decided to tour one of the local parks with the family. During our walk Tovina did her normal trick and gathered about her a group of complete strangers. We had stopped to watch people use the exercise equipment and lady in the blue jacket with gray gloves came over to see Tovina and ask how old she was.

Then a few more people stopped.

Then a few more..
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