Although Natalie doesn't speak mandarin with us at home, clearly she is learning quite a lot while at school.
See Video 332 of Natalie video chatting (and singing) with Nainai.
Also see Video 333 and Video 334 of Natalie singing even more mandarin songs with Nainai. Video-chat is great because Natalie really loves it and can use it to connect with her grandparents who all live in Canada.
Natalie has started to really enjoy drawing. We bought a little magnetized board for her and she carries it around with her everywhere and draws little pictures. We also bought her a big box of markers (5o colours!) which she loves and she has been using every day.
This is a picture of me and Lauren (according to Natalie). She always draws hair sticking straight up.
We love that we can now identify the things that she draws.
Here's an oldie but goodie: Last month, Natalie's school held their annual school Christmas Party. The students and parents were invited to perform on stage.
Video 330 - Here is Natalie performing "Merry Christmas" in Mandarin with Clark. Can you find her among all the students? She's standing in the front and wearing a rainbow coloured outfit with a hood. Now can you find Clark? (He's the second tallest person on stage.)
Clark bringing Natalie up to the stage. Some lifting was required because they were a bit late getting up to the front.
He did a great job elbowing past all the other parents and kiddies and planting Natalie in the front and center of the stage.
Lauren is getting stronger every day. During tummy time, she can now hold her head up 90 degrees.
Also, see Video 329 of Lauren rolling over! She can only roll over from front to back and only in one direction, but it's a great start for a little 15-week old. Also, in the video, listen to how encouraging Natalie is to her baby sister :)
Two weeks ago, Lauren could lift her head this much. C'mon, baby, you can do it!
Good job, baby!
Yesterday, she could lift her head all the way up.
Natalie really enjoys cooking. She likes to pull a chair into the kitchen and stand on it to reach the counter while helping with various tasks to put our meals together. We don't let her near the stove or other hot appliances. Instead, she likes to wash vegetables, add dry ingredients into a recipe, hold ingredients we might need, or mix. This weekend, Natalie was the executive chef in the Wang kitchen as the head pizza-maker.
See Video 328 of Natalie putting toppings on our pizzas. She is super talkative now.
The final product. Yummy!
As you can see, we'd already devoured half our pizzas before remembering to take a picture.
Natalie happily eating her pizza. She only finished half her pizza because she likes to eat as she cooks.
It's amazing how patient Natalie can be for a 3.5 year old.Initially, she would do her best to play with Lauren, but didn't understand that a little baby needs a bit of extra time to respond. But now she's gotten the hang of it, she's great at cooing to Lauren and hanging around to make sure Lauren has time to focus and respond to her.
Natalie playing with Lauren.
When I try to take a video, Nat gets shy and stops. Here she's trying to tell Lauren to look and smile at the camera. Of course, Lauren just lies there.
Natalie says, "She's just a baby, she doesn't know!"
Over the past couple weeks, Lauren has become more and more playful. When you look and speak to her, she gets really excited and starts waving her arms and legs around. Sometimes, she even tries to talk back, like in Video 327 where she gives us smiles and coos (don't mind my baby voice, please).
Lauren looking interested in everything I have to say.
Lauren talking back to me. Her current favourite word is "goo".
Lauren looking confused when I talk to her in my "regular" voice.