Chong Chong at 17 Months

Or, as I also like to call it… “All Day. Every Day.”

I’m the foley artist in this video. Finally putting some of my military training to work with trying to keep in step. Biggest success was not running into him.

He knows the names of things in both English and Mandarin. I mostly speak English to him, Shanshan is about half and half, and Lao Lao and Lao Ye mostly use Mandarin.

The video was taken with the back camera of my iPhone 6, and processed with Movie Maker.

Small Hand, Big Mouse

I know it is not yet time for my monthly picture of Chong Chong, but I really like this picture and want to share it. 😉

He’s standing quite well (almost walking), and loves reaching up to “use” my mouse and keyboard. A simply wonderful distraction when I’m working at home.

The shot was taken with my DMC-GX7. I would’ve preferred to have crisper focus on his hand, but I think the softness might help to convey a sense of movement (and, well, if he’s awake, he’s moving). A fair amount of cropping and straightening, with increases in contrast and clarity, and large decreases in highlights and shadows. I also took the liberty of removing some scratches from my desktop, thankyouverymuch.

Oh, and I like how the keyboard and glasses help to frame the shot.

From Laolao to Laozu

Chong Chong’s first official visit after exiting his month of household quarantine, was over to Laolao’s house. Once there, Laolao gave him a gold pendant with the image of a snake on it.

With the birth of Chong Chong, Laolao has become Laozu. We’re slowly making the transition, as we are from Ma to Laolao and Ba to Laoye.


  • Ma, mother
  • Ba, father
  • Laolao, maternal grandmother
  • Laoye, maternal grandfather
  • Laozu, maternal great-grandmother
  • Gold, symbol of good luck
  • Snake, Chong Chong’s birth year

Grandparents and Child

The grandfather isn’t just holding the child. He has a, well, seatbelt on underneath his jacket. That is, a little seat that is attached to his body via a belt. (I plan to get one of these.)

I really liked how instep the grandparents were, and how the grandmother was holding the grandfather’s arm as he carried the baby.

I also liked how they were well outside the crosswalk, and the background action.

Such is life in Beijing.

The Yue Sao (Cont)

So, about thirty minutes into the visit of our perspective  visit Shanshan’s mom arrived. Now, something to note here is that I call Shanshan’s mom, well, mom. The transition from formal to informal happened during the wedding ceremony, when I served tea to the senior members of the family. With Shanshan holding the saucer, I worked my way around the table, saying to each something “Ma, please drink tea” (妈,请喝茶), they would sip the tea, and from then on, they would be my mother, father, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, etc. Likewise, Shanshan now refers to my mom as mom. (From what I understand, referring to member’s of the spouse’s family as “in-laws” is impolite.)

Anyway, mom joined Shanshan and the Yue Sao in the baby’s room to continue the inspection. After a bit, they retired to the sofa in the living room couch, where the Yue Sao once again invited me to sit in my chair. Which, again, I did… and, just as promptly as before.

Everyone got along swimmingly, and the Yue Sao agreed that she would work with us. She agreed to work for her normal price, and forgo the 500 RMB bonus. In addition, she would stay with us for three months instead of just the one.

btw, before the visit, there’d been some discussions about how our sleeping arrangements would change after the birth of our child. At first, it was suggested that mom would sleep with her in the main bed, the Yue Sao would sleep in the baby’s room with the baby, and I’d sleep on the couch. Then, it was suggested that the Yue Sao and Shanshan would share the main bed, with the baby in the master room, mom would sleep in the baby’s room, and I’d still get the couch.

What was finally decided is that Shanshan and I would sleep in the main bed, the Yue Sao would sleep in the baby’s room with the baby, and, when mom would stay over, she’d sleep on the couch. This way, the Yue Sao could attend to the baby at times where Shanshan didn’t need to be woken.