Daily activity with popo

A few of many parks & playgrounds time while popo’s here!

From a shuffler to a master of crawling, lucky popo has witnessed the progress that Flynn made.

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Picnic With Popo

We made a spur-of-the-moment decision to take advantage of the nice weather this past Sunday to pack up a lunch and head to the park.  There are a couple of parks in walking distance, but a short drive gets us to Beddington Park which is larger and has some nice water features.

It’s all largely the same for Flynn though.  He’s mostly interested in trying to eat whatever he can get his hands on, especially if it’s something that shouldn’t go into his mouth.

Check out the new mat that Danni’s mom brought from China.  It’s fantastic for Flynn as it’s really large and he’s not really able to grab it and pull it up like he could with our previous picnic blankets.

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Photo Recreation

Danni has some adorable photos from when she was little, and one of them was by far and away my favourite and one I knew I would want to recreate with our own child.

It’s shown below, but it was a simple black & white photo depicting an adorable, infant Danni and the toy her father had given her.  I scoured the internet to try to find a copy of the inflatable deer she adored so much as a child but the only reasonable copies I found were on Chinese websites and would only ship to Chinese addresses.

Luckily, we have connections over there 😉

I had to spoil my plans and ended up asking Danni to order the inflatable for me so we could do this photo.  She loved the idea and managed to track down a supplier on Taobao and put in an order (minimum 3!).  They arrived in plenty of time, but were about twice the size of Danni’s original and not nearly as cute, but they would have to do.

As these were so much larger we had to prop Flynn up on an overturned basket to get a similar feel.  Fortunately, he’s a pretty strong sitter these days and only fell forward face-planting onto the bed once.  In my head, we would get Flynn to place his arm as lovingly around the deer in the same way his mum had done with her’s decades earlier.  In reality Flynn wasn’t a fan of the deer but did enjoy knocking it over anytime it got too close to him which, while funny, wasn’t exactly the look I was going for.

In the end we settled for the image below.  Flynn is in the midst of teething, so keeping his fingers out of his mouth is a task that no man can accomplish.  We’re happy with the image chosen though as even while chewing his digits you can still see his smiling face.  All that was left was to try to age the image a bit in Photoshop and we have the end result you see below.

Side by side with mummy

Slightly interesting for me at least was to learn one difference between China and the West in relation to photography.  Danni and I were born in the same year a little over a month apart, and when she first saw my baby photos she asked if they had all been colourized.  Turns out, colour photography wasn’t widely available to the average consumer when she was born so all of her baby photos are in black & white.

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Lavender Fields

With Danni’s mom visiting us (well, visiting Flynn) for a couple of months we’re finding plenty of excuses to go out and do a bit of sight seeing.  Last weekend we hopped in the car and took a short drive to our nearby lavender farm for a few family photos.

It was a lovely day out and the farm is well equipped to handle the volume of tourists they see during peak season (not seen in our photos due to some heavy photo-editing).  We wandered through the fields for an hour or so, took a bunch of photos, Danni discovered what stinging nettles were, and then had a nice lunch at the edge of the flower fields.

While the farm isn’t quite on the scale of the lavender fields we visited in the Cotswolds, it’s a literal 15 minute drive from our house so that’s hard to argue with.  And I think the photos prove that it’s well worth a trip out there.

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Popo’s visit

In south China where I originally come from, we call maternal grandmothers “popo”. Since we are trying to raise Flynn bilingual, that’s how he will be addressing my mum.

After the greatest anticipation and a long wait for popo, finally she’s here to meet her grandson for the first time! Needless to say that popo was super excited even just after a sleepless 11 hour flight — although I did warn her to keep a low tone, in case it was too overwhelming for our little Flynn to handle. I guess the excitement was too profound and popo forgot about my concerns…She almost ran towards us and instantly reached out to grab Flynn’s hands. I find it amusing to see the photo which was captured on that very moment. There’s definitely a ‘love at first sight’, although judging by the picture, I can’t really say that feeling was mutual 😉

Having said that, blood is indeed thicker than water after all — A couple of hours later when we got home, Flynn was feeling comfortable enough to let popo hold him, even laughed and played in her arms. The following day, Flynn was happily taking breakfast from popo, sitting in his baby play pen playing with her for quite a while and I thought hallelujah! Here comes a lifesaver! Little did I know, a normal development milestone as well as a challenge was coming our way. 

“Separation anxiety”- sounds familiar? It happens to all children and often peaks around 10 months. Entering the phase Flynn becomes increasingly clingy, sometimes even just nipping away for 2 minutes and leaving him with popo would upset him. Although Popo has her own tricks. When it works, I’d get 20 mins to do my own thing; but sometimes it failed to impress Flynn and it’s only me who is able console him. 

Other than that, Flynn is perfectly happy to have popo’s company. We would go to parks and playgrounds almost every day, and a few big trips to central London. Below is our first big outing into central London.  Soon after we got out from Westminster tube station, Flynn appeared to be a little intimidated by the buzzing ambiance there. Perhaps partly because he was never being surrounded by soooo many people. But he quickly learnt to adapt to it and started to ease up. We had a mini picnic by the London Eye and walked along river Thames. Finally Flynn fell asleep in his pram like an angle, just the dream baby he has ALWAYS been (or is it my wishful thinking? )

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