Sunday, November 28, 2010


I have so much to be thankful for this year.

On the top of the list, of course, is my little man. Somehow we survived the wait, which at the time seemed like it would never end. Somehow we survived the first weeks home, which also seemed like they would never pass. Somehow we found our new normal, and it feels good.

I am also thankful for an amazing husband. Yes, he drives me crazy sometimes, which has less to do with him than my moodiness. He gets up at night to comfort a screaming baby. He lets me sleep in as much as possible. He loves our son with all of his heart and it just makes me love him more.

I am also thankful for the friends I have made through adoption, whether it be in real life or the blogosphere. Thank you to all of you for sharing your lives, your struggles, and your triumphs. You keep me (somewhat) sane.

I cannot stand it when people say that we are such special people for adopting (because we are not), but I have to say that some of the most amazing people I have met are fellow adoptive parents. I feel very blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas (and some shameless advertising)

This year I am so excited for Christmas to finally get here. I usually love fall so much, but this time I can't wait for the holiday season and everything that goes with it. I can't wait to get started with my decorations and sending out cards. I may even bake cookies this year!.

I was super excited to find out about a Shutterfly holiday card promotion through my friends Jackie and Grace's blogs.

Of course there are so many designs that I have a hard time deciding. It will be either this:

Or this:

They are both very classic and simple, which I like. I plan on using a black and white picture of our beautiful baby boy on them, and I think either one will turn out great.

Both sets of grandparents will receive calendars for next year. I ordered one for my parents last year and they loved it. This year it will be better still because it will be all about our little man. I even thought about making one for his foster parents.

I am not sure if his foster family celebrates Christmas, but may send them a new year's card.

Here is the link if you want to take part in this promotion yourself!

And then there are days like this....

Times up during the night: 3
Rise and shine: 4 a.m.
Tantrums: 5
Average tantrum duration: 30 minutes
Naps: 0
Sippy cups thrown into cat litter:1

I need it to be 8 p.m.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friends, Fun and Food

My friend Grace invited several of her adoption friends to her church's food festival on Saturday (and blogged about it here) It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g for so many reasons. The food being one of them, of course, and the company another. I love getting together with other adoptive families. I finally met my bloggy friend Kala and her sweet son in person, and met Jen and Becky, two other ladies who are currently waiting for their babies to come home. We ate delicious Korean food and talked about all the things that only adoptive parents understand.

But for Ben and I, there was another reason why this day was so special.

Things started off on a little bit of a rough note for us. Ben and I arrived a little early, as always, and wandered through the building and while we were waiting for Grace to finish her shift and for everyone else to arrive, a very nice man gave Ben a balloon. Unfortunately in the process of doing so he looked at and - gasp - touched him, which was enough reason for a mini-meltdown.

At that point I was not looking forward to spending any amount of time at the festival with a clingy, crying child. I had injured my shoulder earlier this week (funny story, it happened during a nap) and was completely out of commission for two days, so the prospect of having to lug the toddler around in my arms was not appealing.

And then a miracle happened. I put Ben down and at first he walked around a little holding my hand, and then all of a sudden he took off running and laughing into the crowd! I know this sounds like typical toddler behavior, but Ben usually does not let go of mommy when there are others around. It was so special to see him so comfortable that he was going up to people, even other kids, staring at them (and their food) and laughing when they talked to him. It may have been slightly annoying to everyone else since it was pretty crowded, but I wasn't going to ruin his new found freedom. Later in the day he even let Grace pick him up and hold him and walk away from me. It sounds so silly, but it was such a relief to see that he is so much more comfortable now.

A picture like this would have been unthinkable just last week. Yes, this is Ben in close proximity of Matthew and he is not crying!!! (Thanks Grace for letting me use your pics).

He's becoming a person!

At 16 months, my little man is really becoming his own little person! The progress he is making is amazing to this mama.

A while ago we removed the tray from his highchair and pushed it up against the table. I am so glad I got my way and bought my European style highchair (DH and I got into a big argument over it way back when)! I love having all of us sit at the table. Ben is starting to be able to put things on his spoon and feed himself, but most of the time I still have to either load the spoon and give it to him or he will eat with his hands. Oh the mess he makes.

He is now running all over the place and getting into everything! We thought we had childproofed our house, but it turns out that we have a lot more work to do. I have been really lax in what I have allowed him to do, so he loves to empty the lower shelves of the pantry and some of the cabinets. I figure that it keeps him entertained while I do stuff in the kitchen, but DH is not so happy with it.

Ben is now also starting to imitate things we do. For example he will grap a rag and clean the floor. Something that I do multiple times a day around his highchair. He also helps put away laundry by grabbing handsful and stuffing it in dresser drawers. And then he takes it out again and puts in the hamper. Or uses it to "clean" the floor.

He is totally obsessed with the cat food and water and gets in trouble multiple times a day for dunking his hands in it.
He can point to his nose, teeth, hair, cheeks, ears, eyes, belly, and toes. He also likes to point out body parts on his stuffed animals.

He loves "ABC" books and will always bring them to us and then point to different things. Sometimes I think he is testing me. He'll point to the goat about ten times and then to the gorilla and then does the goat again multiple times.

The absolute best thing is that he has been so much happier lately and laughing and giggling non-stop. He is also becoming more comfortable around people. I used to always have to carry him where ever there were people that might look at him and he would start crying as soon as someone talked to him, but as recently as this past weekend he was running around in a crowd and going up to strangers to stare at them (more on that in another post).
I know I keep on saying this, but I am still just amazed at how much I love being a mom. Because that was not always the case.
I am in so in love with this little person and feel so blessed that I get to be his mommy. My heart has never been so full.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The return of the bib

Ben has been bib free for one entire week out of his 6 plus months home. The rest of the time he has been teething and drooling, and therefore needs to wear a bib at all times. Unfortunately I never get pics without it. But check this out - he is looking at the camera (sort of) and he is smiling! Nothing melts my heart like this boy's laugh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Obligatory Halloween Posting

We took Ben to our neighborhood's Halloween parade, where he saw lots of dogs in costumes and was kissed by his little friend Luna.
I love how Luna is checking him out!