Day 37/365 {sharing}

Ever since Savanna can sit on her own and grab toys, I battled with Joshua on the issue of sharing with Savanna.  He would rip toys out of Savanna’s hands, yell “mine!!”, and I would get so angry with him.  We have often both ended up in tears because he refused to share, and I refused to accept his behavior.  This went on for months, and I was tired of hearing myself yell and threaten to throw away whatever toy he won’t share.

Then I read this book called Sibling without Rivalry.  It changed my world.  I won’t go into the details of the book in this post.  What Cliff and I started to do is allow Joshua to NOT share.  His matchbox cars are his most prized possessions, so we told him one evening that he no longer has to share his cars with Savanna.  I apologized to him for making him share, and I told him that he can decide if he wants to share his cars.  I think he was a little surprised, but he agreed that it’s a good idea to not share his cars.

For the next few weeks, he hung onto his cars like a hawk.  If Savanna ever got her hands on one, he swooped in to take it away, and righteously tell her that those were his cars and he didn’t have to share.  I would chime in and tell Savanna that she can find another toy to play with, because those cars belonged to Joshua.  I would also encourage Joshua to bring Savanna a different toy so that she has something to play with, and he would gladly bring her something.

This greatly reduced my stress level with the whole sharing business.  I think Joshua felt like he has control over his favorite toys and that his wishes were respected.

What I didn’t expect all it was that 2 weeks later, Joshua started to share his cars with Savanna on his own initiative.  He actually offered her the cars to play with.  When this started happening, my jaw just dropped.  I even said to Joshua, “Are you sure?  You know you don’t have to share, right?”  He would nonchalantly tell me he will share.

This has been a huge parenting lesson for me.  I realized that by forcing Joshua to share, he never experienced the joy of sharing.  But by allowing him to make the decision about sharing, he got to experience what it’s like to make someone else happy on his own initiative.

Angela Chang Photography Day 37 of 365

Photos of my kids

I rarely dress up or pose my kids and take photos of them.  Weird eh?  I have hundreds of beautiful images of my client’s kids.  But when it comes to my own kids, I do have thousands of pictures of them, but they’re generally snapshots of daily life.

I thought it’s time to take a couple of better photos of my kids.  Here they are.

Angela Chang Photography baby-

Angela Chang Photography baby-6467Angela Chang Photography baby--3

Photographing Ming and her family

This past Labor Day weekend, I was fortunate enough to have three photo sessions booked.  I was so excited that I barely got any sleep on Friday night.  I spent the Saturday morning at Granville Island with Ming and her gorgeous family.  We ran around, watched a dog swim in the ocean, laid on the boardwalk, ate lollipops, and got some beautiful shots of this fun family!
Angela Chang Photography-5933 copy Angela Chang Photography-5967 Angela Chang Photography-6036 copy Angela Chang Photography-6066 copy

Water park fun

At the farmer’s market this morning, we ran into Mrs. Chumsley over at The Chumsleys.  She was taking Miles to the water park by the community centre.  It occurred to me then that I have never taken Joshua to the water park.

Being a super hot summer day today, I rectified the situation by dragging the family to the water park for the first time this afternoon.  Joshua doesn’t like showers, so I was worried he would hate the water park with the water being sprayed down on him.  But it only took him about 48 seconds to warm up to the spraying water, and he had a blast.  He ran back and forth in the shallow pool, and ran through the spraying water numerous times.  He didn’t want to go home.

I bought Savanna a bathing suit over a month ago, but haven’t managed to take her swimming.  Even though she wasn’t going to play with the water today, I put her in the suit anyway because the occasion was right and I thought she would look really cute.

Joshua-4704 Joshua-4720 Savanna-4688 Savanna-4723

 

 

Settling back in

We now return to our regular programming of being back home in Vancouver.

We’ve been back for 6 days now, and I feel like I’ve lost the battle with the kids’ jet lag.  Savanna is up playing usually from 2 to 6 am.  Joshua randomly cries and screams during this time as well.  If they both happen to dose off, one of them will cry, waking up the other.  I can’t remember how many f bombs I’ve dropped in the last 6 nights.  I’ve yelled at both kids and ended up in tears myself a few times with exhaustion.

If you could all please send sleep vibes to my kids, I’d really appreciate it!

It’s always interesting to go away for a period of time.  When we come home, I can see clearly how much the kids have grown.  Savanna’s cloth diaper now must be buttoned with a space apart because she has gotten bigger.  She sprouted a tooth with a second one following closely behind.  Joshua has put on 2 pounds while we were away.  Both kids seem longer in their beds.

It was so nice to get Sammy back.  I’ve really missed him.  He always fits easily and quietly back into our lives after we’ve been away.  Sam is a constant and a calming spirit when the rest of the household is going crazy with sleep deprivation.

Getting right back to digging in his favorite sandpit.

Getting right back to digging in his favorite sandpit.

See the tooth?

See the tooth?

My old boy.

My old boy.

Pictures from Asia: Part 2, Family

The whole point of this trip was to spend time with my family.  I have so many pictures of my kids and my parents together!  Since my parents don’t live in Vancouver, my kids rarely get to see them other than on Skype.

Joshua now knows that Gong-gong (grandpa) will give him pretty much anything he asks for.  On this trip, he has gotten into the habit that whenever mommy says “no”, he can turn to Gong-gong and probably get that toy car to add to his collection.

My parents playing with Savanna.

My parents playing with Savanna.

Very jet lagged Joshua.

Very jet lagged Joshua.

My dad preparing a feast for us.

My dad preparing a feast for us.

My mom hanging out with Savanna.

My mom hanging out with Savanna.

Joshua likes to put his shoes next to my dad's slippers.

Joshua likes to put his shoes next to my dad’s slippers.

 

Joshua likes to put his shoes next to my dad's slippers, even when the slippers are apart.

Joshua likes to put his shoes next to my dad’s slippers, even when the slippers are apart.

Joshua enjoying Gong-gong's company.

Joshua enjoying Gong-gong’s company.

Gong-gong and grandson.

Gong-gong and grandson.

Joshua.

Joshua.

Handsome little Tiger.

Handsome little Tiger.

My godmother came to visit.

My godmother came to visit.

Tiger and Joshua playing on the iPad.

Tiger and Joshua playing on the iPad.

Gong-gong goofing around with Joshua.

Gong-gong goofing around with Joshua.

Tiger giving Joshua a hug.

Tiger giving Joshua a hug.

Still very jet lagged Joshua.

Still very jet lagged Joshua.

My dad preparing another feast in the kitchen.

My dad preparing another feast in the kitchen.

Savanna killing me with her sweet smile.

Savanna killing me with her sweet smile.

Joshua gesturing that I love him "this much".

Joshua gesturing that I love him “this much”.

Gong-gong playing Lego with Joshua.

Gong-gong playing Lego with Joshua.

My grandmother, who no longer recognize us due to Alzheimers, still enjoys our company.

My grandmother, who no longer recognize us due to Alzheimers, still enjoys our company.

Cooling off in the air conditioned hotel room.

Cooling off in the air conditioned hotel room.

My grandpa's ashes.  He passed away almost 2 years ago.

My grandpa’s ashes. He passed away almost 2 years ago.

Even though my grandma doesn't recognize us, she was keen to hold Savanna.

Even though my grandma doesn’t recognize us, she was keen to hold Savanna.

Pretending to be cool on my uncle's brand spanking new Harley.

Pretending to be cool on my uncle’s brand spanking new Harley.

My aunt trying to put Savanna down for a nap.

My aunt trying to put Savanna down for a nap.

Going for a trike ride at my aunt's farm.

Going for a trike ride at my aunt’s farm.

Feeding chickens at my aunt's farm.

Feeding chickens at my aunt’s farm.

This is Joshua's first time meeting my aunt, and he really took to her.

This is Joshua’s first time meeting my aunt, and he really took to her.

The same carousel I was addicted to at Joshua's age.

The same carousel I was addicted to at Joshua’s age.

Hanging out with gong-gong.

Hanging out with gong-gong.

Hanging out with po-po.

Hanging out with po-po.

Waiting for our ice dessert at Ice Monster.

Waiting for our ice dessert at Ice Monster.

Hanging out with po-po.

Hanging out with po-po.

Joshua watering my dad.

Joshua watering my dad.

Chilling out.

Chilling out.

Joshua insisted on sleeping in the crib in the Hong Kong hotel.

Joshua insisted on sleeping in the crib in the Hong Kong hotel.

Disneyland HK.

Disneyland HK.

Disneyland HK.

Disneyland HK.

This is the smile that makes me do whatever he wants.

This is the smile that makes me do whatever he wants.

Winnie, my very cool BFF from our SFU days.

Winnie, my very cool BFF from our SFU days.

Winnie's gorgeous son, Seth.

Winnie’s gorgeous son, Seth.

My parents at the Beer Fest in HK.

My parents at the Beer Fest in HK.

Joshua at the Science Museum in HK.

Joshua at the Science Museum in HK.

My girl.  She grew so much while we were on our trip.

My girl. She grew so much while we were on our trip.

My goofballs.

My goofballs.

Getting ready for the trip home.

Getting ready for the trip home.

Last meal in HK.

Last meal in HK.

Last meal in HK.

Last meal in HK.

Flying home.

Flying home.

Savanna grew a whole tooth on this trip.

Savanna grew a whole tooth on this trip.

Christmas traditions

I’ve been looking forward to Christmas since August.  August!  Seriously.  Work has been so stressful this past year, so I just mentally find things I can look forward to outside of work.  Other than Savanna’s arrival, I mostly looked forward to Christmas.

I didn’t grow up with a ton of Christmas traditions, because it wasn’t a celebrated holiday in Taiwan.  Although I’ve always loved the Christmas congee on Christmas eve.  Some years my mom would put up a tree, but for some reason it wasn’t very exciting for me to decorate a tree.  I think mainly my laziness overshadowed the fun.  I mean, really, you pull out a gazillion pieces of ornaments, put them on a tree, and a couple of weeks later you put them back in the box.  That sounds a lot like doing laundry.

When it was just Cliff and I, we didn’t bother much with trees or decorations or presents either.  But somehow having kids changed my perspective.  We go through the trouble of getting a tree, decorating it, and putting presents under the tree.  Just seeing how excited Joshua got with the Christmas lights makes all the trouble worth it.  Every morning he demands for the lights to be turned on, and he’ll literally stand there enjoing it for a few moments before he attacks his toys.

Joshua is now old enough to also understand the idea of presents.  He knows that if he rips the wrapping paper off a box, there’s something new and exciting waiting for him inside.  He knows that he’s going to be eating some of those chocolate chip cookies we’re making for Santa.  He also knows that his cousins are coming over for brunch on Christmas day, and that just means crazy fun for him.

I am excited about creating Christmas traditions of our own for our kids.  Tonight Joshua and I made chocolate chip cookies for Santa.  Of course he got to lick the dough and eat one cookie (and I helped him eat the rest of the 3 dozen we made).  I hope to continue this tradition in the future, and look forward to having Savanna join in the fun when she is old enough.

I think Joshua and I both look forward to the dough more than the cookies.

I think Joshua and I both look forward to the dough more than the cookies.

Mmm, cookie.

Mmm, cookie.

What?  Santa gets THREE?

What? Santa gets THREE?

I have been taking pictures of Joshua and I reflected in a tree ornament.  I was scratching my head about what to do with Savanna at this young age, and finally decided that we’ll play a “where is Waldo type of game” with her in a picture.  She was totally a great sport about it too!

Where is Savanna?

Where is Savanna?

I’m excited about tomorrow, seeing Joshua’s reaction to all the presents he’s getting.  I’m excited about having brunch with my brother’s family, and having dinner with Cliff’s family. In the back of my mind, though, I kind of wish I belonged to a church family too.  It feels a bit lonely without a church family to talk to about the most important part of Christmas–Jesus–the whole reason for the celebration.  Anyway, it’s late and I’m wiped, so I’m not getting into a big long post about that tonight.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Hope you all enjoy time with your family and friends.