A Very Merry Ethan Christmas

  Ethan says a Merry Christmas to everyone! We celebrated Ethan’s first Christmas with the obligatory first family Christmas photo session at JC Penney. Ethan cutely donned a brand new outfit his Auntie Kim bought him, which went perfectly with his little Santa hat. Having Ethan as ours has truly been the best Christmas present ever. He is just flourishing, and at his most recent 6-month checkup with his pediatrician, officially is above average percentile in every respect. Many of our friends and family marvel at just how solid this 20lb little guy feels when they hold him, incredulous that he doesn’t weigh more.

  Our son has now graduated to size 3 diapers, and not only can sit and roll around back and forth, but also can stand up against a sofa or table unassisted for minutes at a time. He’s beginning to show signs of being able to crawl, but hasn’t really figured out how to move his hands and knees at the same time. Oh, and he’s beginning to discover the joys of his feet, not to mention a predisposed urge to suck on his toes!

  Since Thanksgiving, we began to celebrate Ethan’s first holiday season with family gatherings and special occasions. Our friends Melody and Karen came by with little McKenzie to have a hot pot feast and to help us decorate Ethan’s first Christmas tree, although I’m not sure our little guy was too impressed with the lights on the tree.

  We also had a holiday family gathering at our Cousin Mel and Sammy’s, who were so kind enough to host another get-together, this time with everyone present. Although it’s only been 1 month since our last visit there, many of our relatives marveled at how much bigger Ethan’s grown. Here’s the little guy showing off that he’ll be walking not too long from now.

  The Christmas dinner was just fantastic, and the food, well, the food was superb. From a savory shrimp pasta to home-made egg rolls, and to add to that many authentic Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, 30+ people enjoyed this holiday feast. So much thanks and appreciation must go to Mel and Sammy, who were just amazing hosts and made everyone feel at home and welcome. Three generation celebrated what it truly means to be a family. Ethan showed his appreciation by giving Mel a well-deserved Christmas gift – a day at a spa to relax.

  Mel also had a surprise event for everyone, a raffle drawing complete with 6 different prizes – ranging from a bag of gourmet mushrooms to a potted orchid to a grand prize of $100 cash. Everyone placed there names in a pot and all the little kids got to go up and draw the winners of the prizes. It was quite uncanny as all 6 prizes went to Kim’s and Mindy’s families, with Mindy winning 4 of them!

  There was also a hectic white elephant gift exchange, which was incredibly fun as people opened surprise presents and begged to give the unwanted ones away while stealing those gifts more desirable. John got a bun cha (a Vietnamese rice paper used to wrap into spring rolls) dipping container, which he tried many times in vain to hock to the older aunts, who were quite wise to his shenanigans and opted to keep their more desirable gifts. I got a box of almond roca candy, which I deftly tucked behind my seat so no one would remember… well, I doubt anyone cared. Most were focused on the more desired pack of lottery tickets.

  Will also was so kind as to offer his photography skills to help take family photos for everyone. Just amazing how he was able to corral, I mean, coordinate 36 adults and children into this Christmas photo to remember. Ethan, of course, posed with his signature thumb in the mouth…

and by the time it was our turn for the family photo, Ethan was getting tired of smiling for the camera.

after a couple of shots, he had enough. Too bad, that Santa hat ain’t gonna fit next Christmas!