Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

TongJie has now experienced his first Christmas, and we've had a good time with extended family and also with just our own little family of three (well, four counting Albert).  Here's a photo we took at home with Jeff's photo booth app on his iPad:

And here's a photo from church in front of the big Christmas tree:

TongJie likes to play the drums at church just like Daddy, so after the service is over and people have cleared out, we usually let him go up and play the electric kit for a few minutes (with the power turned off).  TongJie has spent a lot of time around the music aspects of the church services because he and I usually accompany Jeff to his Thursday evening music rehearsals at the church.  During the rehearsals, TongJie sometimes plays with his cars and other small toys, but often just sits and watches the musicians in rapt attention.  He knows that he's not allowed to walk up onto the stage when they're practicing, but that after the rehearsal is over he can go up to see Daddy.  

Before the Christmas Eve service, we went to Abby's pizza with my parents.  TongJie doesn't care much for pizza, which is too bad because it's my favorite food, but he had a great time using a spoon to drink water out of my cup.

At the end of the Christmas Eve service, everyone lit candles and sang Silent Night, which has always been one of my favorite parts of that service.

On Christmas morning, we opened our stockings and spent a leisurely morning at home.  We also got to Skype with my sister and her family for a bit, which was a lot of fun.  TongJie got some cars and a wind-up toy in his stocking, but he seemed to enjoy my "new" Goodwill spatula from Jeff the most!

Albert got a new chew toy:

After TongJie's Christmas nap, we spent the evening at Jeff's parents' house and TongJie got to play with his cousins and with Grandma and Grandpa's two chihuahuas.  The next day, we spent the day at my parents' house and had our traditional Christmas stir-fry for dinner.  TongJie may not be fond of pizza, but he loves Asian food, especially rice, so he was a happy camper with rice on his plate!  

This morning, TongJie had a rough time, probably trying to recover from all the excitement of the past couple of days, but after his nap he was much more himself again.  We had our own little Christmas celebration at home this evening, and TongJie opened his gift from me and Jeff along with a couple other gifts from neighbors and friends from church.  Jeff and I gave him a doctor's kit, complete with a lab coat that I sewed.  Since TongJie has to go to Seattle Children's Hospital so much because of his cleft palate, we're hoping that having his own doctor's kit to pretend with at home will make it less intimidating when he has to get examined for real.  I think he likes the stethoscope the best so far!

Apparently Dr. TongJie also makes house calls!

Our thoughtful friends the Stromings gave TongJie a fun little train set that plays music.  He has his own ideas about how it should be played with, and doesn't like to have the other cars connected to the engine.  Also, he doesn't like to just sit and watch it go around the track so he helps it along.  I took a short video of him playing with it this evening.  He signs "train" and "music," but if you don't know the signs for them it might be a little hard to catch.  Train is signed by moving the first two fingers back and forth on top of the first two fingers on the other hand, but TongJie does it with one finger.  Music is waving one hand in front of your body as if directing a choir.


  1. Looks like it was a blessed Christmas indeed! Love all the pictures! Miss you lots & big hugs to TongJie!

  2. So fun hearing about your Christmas--I thought of your little family often and wondered what TongJie would think of all the various rituals and traditions. Did you take him to the Living Nativity? Dick and I went, as we always do, and always love the animals! Happy New Year to all the Sandbergs!