Monday, September 27, 2010

I took a Big. Huge. Gigantic. leap of faith

I resigned my job this morning.

I am sad that I won't get to see these fabulous people anymore every day and will be forever grateful for the opportunities they've given me.

But for the foreseeable future I will be a stay at home mom.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I am a cheater

Until very recently I believed that photo editing was cheating. Then I realized that cheating makes average pictures look so much better. And since I am a huge believer in bending the rules in many other aspects of life, I am finally embracing the fact that I need editing to make my pictures look decent.

P.S.: This is addicting! I can't stop.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

My new friend Christy who blogs at 3 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed gave me the Versatile Blogger award. Thank you!
Christy is waiting for her referral of a Korean cutie (and third little monkey) and is with the same agency we used. We're about to meet in person on Monday at our little blogger ladies night out with Grace.

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous
  • Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award

So here we go:

1. I used to be an Army wife and hated it. Don't get me wrong, overall the Army was really good to us and I shouldn't complain (even though I will). We did get to spend two lovely years in rural South-West Georgia where I became familiar with pecan orchards, peanut fields, and people who have multiple grandchildren by the time they are 30. We also got to see Colorado during the winter twice. And I got to have my herniated disk misdiagnosed as a kidney infection by a Navy doctor, landing me in the emergency room right after a three day cross country drive to the new duty station.

2. Over the span of my life I have lived in approximately 21 different houses/apartments.

3. I want to want to be a working mom, but I just don't. When I first returned to work after my FMLA it was all about catching up with my work friends, going out to eat with adults, and wearning clothes without stains. I felt so refreshed when I came home from work, and so exhausted when I spent an entire day with Ben. Now I spend my entire day working, and then working some more at night. I feel completely exhausted and feel like I am missing out on some of the fun parts of being a mom (like play dates). I secretly wish US society would believe in women staying at home as much as they believe in women working outside of the home.

4. When I look at pictures on blogs, I try to see how other people decorate their houses. Yes, I do look at your kids, but I also look at what furniture you have in your dining room and what pictures you have on the wall.

5. We moved into our house a year ago, and the only pictures that are up are there because there were existing nail holes. We have lived in some places where we did not hang a single thing.

6. I wish I could have an Etsy store. Or rather, I wish I had the talent to make something awesome to sell on Etsy.

7. I really should've been doing work instead of blogging. But this just was so much more fun.

And the award goes to....

1. Lisa at Our Adoption Journey to South Korea

2. Jackie at Journey to Korea and Beyond
3. Kari at Our little Seoul
4. Jenny at And we Lived Happily Ever After
5. Karen at 33 for a Moment
6. Kim at Seon Mi Kyung
7. Krista at When you Wish Upon a Star

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ahhh... Sleep...

Ever since Ben came home he has been sleeping in our bed. When we first came home with him he was so scared, I just couldn't let him be in a room all by himself. He had been sleeping with his foster mom, so I wanted to give him at least a warm body to lie next to, even though it must have been terrifying for him to sleep next to two complete strangers. We went from waking up at 1 a.m. in the morning every night (and being up for good) to 4-5 nighttime wakings where he had to have a bottle and/or be carried for hours on end. Then the bottles became less and less, and the need for us to carry him so he could go back to sleep slowly vanished. We started to be able to calm him by simply reaching over to pat his back.

I loved our pre-bedtime ritual of playing and snuggling in the bed, especially when the husband was working long hours and this was our main family time. Things we didn't enjoy so much were the twisting and turning, headbutts and kicks we got throughout the night.

We had been talking about transferring Ben to his crib for weeks, and couldn't really decide on how to go about it. I ended up ordering a book on the internet - my first sleep book, believe it or not - after reading another adoptive parents recommendation.

I read the book and thought it would never work.
The method that is used is to basically put the child to bed and check on him in increasing intervals. The book said that the first night it would take about an hour, the second night a little longer, and the third night it would take 20 minutes for the child to fall asleep. Even though it went a little against my grain to use any method where my child will cry, we gave it a shot.

And it worked.

The first night was awful. Ben screamed and threw up. I wanted to cry. But after a little over an hour of going in and reassuring him, he was asleep. That night we got up about 3 times to pat his back as he woke up and each time he went right back to sleep.

The second night involved more puke (it was disgusting) and all of us ended up having to take a bath or shower. Yuck, yuck, yuck is all I am going to say. But we put him back in his crib and after an hour and a half he was asleep and pretty much stayed asleep all night.

The third night we were prepared with extra sheets and PJ's ready and a pre-filled bathtub, but didn't end up needing it. Ben was asleep in 15 minutes and didn't cry until he was ready to get up in the morning.

We are on the fourth night and just got done with the changing of the baby after the throw-up ritual. 10 minutes after being changed, he is asleep.

Now if I can get the cats to sleep in another room, I will be one rested lady!

Yesterday we actually watched some sitcoms. On TV. For 2 hours. Uninterupted. It was amazing. Weird, but amazing.

And we got to sleep. Also weird but amazing!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

14 months old today

Huh? How did that happen? He was just 9 months old yesterday.
Ben has almost been home for - what? - 5 months? That can't be. Seriously, I can't get over how fast time is flying by! How is it September when it was JUST April?

Ben now walks on his own a lot more, he can do up to 10 steps by himself. But he still prefers to hold onto one of my fingers and walk and walk and walk around the house. He likes to pick up different items and take them on a walk with him.

He now points to - or rather in - his eye every other time you say "nose".

He loves my old legos that my parents lugged with them all the way from Germany.

He says "agoo" all.the.time while pointing out different things he wants.

When he doesn't get what he wants, he has a huge fit and will just sit there screaming his little head off.

Speaking of which, Safety First products stink. He thinks it's a fun game to pull out the outlet covers.

He LOVES to eat out, just like mommy. He is in the best mood and makes sure everyone notices him. Both Ben and I wish we could eat out for every meal.

Oh yeah, and I managed to jam something in the card reader on the computer, so at this moment I cannot upload pictures. I was hoping I could fix this before it is discovered, but I think I will have to come clean with the husband. Not that he'll be surprised.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September - a year ago

Last September was a big month for us.

We added our sweet little kitty Casper to the family, who has gained 5 lbs since living with us and is in dire need of a diet. Before Casper joined us, we thought Freddy was a lot of work, but boy were we wrong. Casper loves life, is super playful and has also become very very loving ever since we brought Ben home. Even before we had Ben, most of my nights really ended around 5, since that is when Casper likes to get up and make lots and lots of noise, including meowing, scratching on the bed (argh) and knocking things around. It is amazing how much noise a deaf little cat can make!

Then, exactly one year ago today, our homestudy was FINALLY on its way to Korea. Due to some mishaps with USCIS it took us much longer than anticipated to get that much coveted I-600A approval and I was miserable waiting on it. Once that homestudy was sent to Korea, I felt like a weight had been lifted. For nine months we had been waiting to wait. Now we were officially waiting for our referral!!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nature vs Nurture and Other Random Thoughts

Every year my parents visit us from Germany.

Every year I look forward to the visit, but then am quickly reminded why my mom and I function so much better with an ocean between us. Of course this ocean is also the reason why we are stuck together in one place for several weeks at a time instead of a couple of hours several times a month.

I do miss my parents, and I wish they were able to see little Ben grow up on a weekly or monthly basis versus a yearly one. But spending time with them is hard. Not seeing them constantly makes me notice a lot of little (and not so little) quirks in them that I also notice in myself, and most of them are not good ones. I wonder if they were passed on to me via genes or the way I was raised. Like my mother's quick temper and her ability to always find something wrong with pretty much everything. Yup, I got that too and I am not happy about it. My dad's belief that doing things last minute will work out perfectly. Yup, that's me. My mom's panic when things don't work out. Also me. Her inability to properly close containers, doors, and anything else that needs to be closed. I got that too. And the list goes on. Every year the visit is a wake-up call, and sometimes it makes me realize how hard it must be for my husband to live with me at times. Because it is hard to be around my parents. Every year all of a sudden I have so many a-ha moments of why I am the way I am. Not that they are bad people or bad parents, but just like everyone else they are far from perfect.

And I wonder which of our quirks and not-so-pleasant attributes little Ben will display as he grows up. I hope some were hereditary so they can't be passed down to little man. I hope I can work on un-learning the ones that are learned. And I hope that the hubby and I can give Ben the best of both of our worlds. I want my little man to have my love of food and travel, but I want him to see the world as a happy place just like his dad does. I want him to have his dad's work ethic but with a little of my way of being flexible and ...umm... bending the rules. But most of all I hope that Ben will always know how much he is loved and that we are proud of him.