Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Settling in?

I put a question mark after the title, "settling in," because I feel like it's still too early to tell if we're actually establishing any type of schedule or if it's just wishful thinking.  We all got to bed before midnight last night and slept until almost 6:00 this morning, so that was great.  TongJie only woke up crying once in the middle of the night but went back to sleep without getting himself all worked up.

Because of the vaccinations yesterday, poor TongJie was pretty cranky today, especially in the morning.  We kept busy by all of us going to the Eastmont school district office to get some insurance paperwork turned in and then a trip to Washington Park to check out the baby swings.  Probably partly because of his bad mood, TongJie was not overly impressed with the swing like we expected him to be, but he seemed to enjoy it a little bit.  I bet after he's feeling better he'll enjoy it more.  He did like the other play equipment and was fascinated with going up and down the steps holding onto my or Jeff's hands, and going down the slide in one of our laps was also a big hit.  Pastor Pat and Jeannie came over for a short visit around 11:00 and TongJie promptly fell asleep after getting frustrated over his lunch, but at least they got to see him for a short time and it was good for me and Jeff to get to visit with them.  Jeff and I got him into his crib without waking up and he slept for about 2 and a half hours.  We both took a nap too because we feel like we'll never know when we'll get the next opportunity to sleep if we don't take advantage of it while we can!

We went to a couple of stores this afternoon.  We were sort of apprehensive about all three of us going because we didn't want to run into a lot of people at once and we thought it might be still kind of early for an outing like that, but it turned out fine.  We saw a few people here and there that we knew, and it was fun to talk to them and not too overwhelming for TongJie.  So we're glad we all went out and about, plus it gave TongJie some practice going on short trips in the car seat that didn't end with getting poked at by doctors!

Jeff's mom came over around dinner time for a short visit and that was fun.  Jeff's dad was working so couldn't make it this time, so we'll have to visit with them again soon.  After dinner, Jeff went to the church to catch the end of youth group, which is the last youth group meeting of the year.  He had fun seeing everybody, and I told him to say hi to everybody for me.  We miss our church family a lot.  While Jeff was gone, I took TongJie for a walk in the front pack around the neighborhood and by the time we got back he was falling asleep.  He was asleep in his crib by 8:00 and I didn't even get a chance to give him his bottle, but then he woke up around 9:30 and now Jeff is giving him a bottle, so we'll see what happens.

I was reminded of another thing while we had all our appointments with different doctors and specialists the past couple of days.  Most of them asked us the correct way to pronounce TongJie's name, and I suppose there are a lot of people reading this blog who don't know how we pronounce it.  It looks like "Tong Jee" with a long "e," but the Mandarin pronunciation is actually "Tong Jay" with a long "a."  Actually, the Mandarin pronunciation is more like "Tong Jee-ay" but the Americanized version is Tong Jay with the long a.  So in case you're wondering how to pronounce his name in your head as you read our blog posts, now you know.  Just think of salad tongs and the letter J.  Or a blue jay or something.

Oh, one thing I keep forgetting to mention is that way back when we began our adoption process over a year ago, Wacap gave us a timeline that told us all the steps that needed to be completed from the very first application clear up until post-placement visits after returning from China.  After we got matched with TongJie at the end of November, we put the timeline up on our refrigerator with TongJie's picture on it and made a red arrow magnet that says "you are here."  Every time we completed another step, we would move the magnet down so we could stay motivated through the mounds of paperwork and waiting.  When we left for China, we moved the arrow to the step that says "Family travels to China," but there are still several steps on the timeline after that, like things that we had to complete in China and things to do now that we're back.  Anyway, we noticed when we got home that the arrow had been moved to keep track of what we had done in China - the Stromings or my parents must have been following our blog and keeping track on the timeline for us!  We thought that was pretty neat.

Here's a photo of our timeline that I took a couple of days before we left for China.  Notice TongJie's photo - that was his referral photo that we got when we were very first matched with him in November, and that photo was from July when he was 10 months old.  Many of you probably have seen that same picture before because we carried it around with us and showed a lot of people during those five months of waiting, but we couldn't post it online or anything because of child privacy laws.  A funny thing is that I was slightly worried that we wouldn't recognize him because it was 10 months since the picture was taken, but when we got him at the Civil Affairs Office in Hangzhou I had no trouble recognizing him.  His eyes and his serious expression still look exactly the same to me.

Here's a funny picture that I found on our camera - this is at our hotel in Beijing, I think.  This is how Jeff had to charge up his Flip Cam because of the way the outlets were.  It just barely fit between the charger and the  wall!  If it would have been a little longer or a slightly different placement, it wouldn't have worked.  (Thanks, Meegan, for letting us borrow your adapter!)

Another picture from a few days ago.  I think this was our first day at home.  TongJie was sleeping in the front pack and I sat down and Chestnut had to jump up on my lap too.

Two photos from the park today - doesn't TongJie look thrilled?  It's hard to get pictures of him smiling, but he really does smile a lot.  Today he was pretty serious though because he was so tired and out of sorts from the shots yesterday.


  1. We are glad to hear that you guys seem to be getting more sleep and things are more "normal" (whatever that is)! Thanks for blogging and posting the pictures. We check for new posts, re-read posts and look at the pictures many times per day. :)

    1. Us too! :) Even the boys ask if there's anything new on "the blog."