Thursday, March 10, 2011

Move with me

Stability is hard for me. Really hard. I like to move. Since, unlike some of my bloggy friends, I am not physically relocating (ever again), I have decided to move my blog back over to Wordpress, where I started out.

I will be back at

I moved my blog over to Blogger because of all the cute things other people were doing with their Blogger account and I couldn't do with Wordpress. Turns out I never did any of those cute things because I am just not a cute person.

I am annoyed with Blogger for many reasons, and it's so much easier for me to read other people's Wordpress blogs on my i-Phone, so I have decided to move back to do all of you who read blogs via their mobile device a favor.

Please come with me!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh that mouth...

Open mouth kisses are a thing of the past... Ben now puckers his lips and makes the appropriate kiss sounds.... He also uses his mouth to make smacking sounds as he feeds his finger puppets Ernie and Elmo (who, by the way, also occasionally make out). And he can now drink out of a regular cup all by himself!!! I love seeing the progress he is making, but this is going too fast!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Look who's talking

It is so hard to imagine that a few weeks ago I was actually considering having Ben evaluated by EI because he wasn't saying much. Shortly after those thoughts, the words started, and within the past two weeks or so it seems like the flood gates have opened. He will repeat everything we say. Everything. Especially when we don't want him to.

He has also started using more words on his own. He'll say "Danke" (I think he is really trying to say thank you, it just comes out as the German version), "up", "down" (oh boy does he use those a lot), "honey" (after I gave him some for a cough), "done", "more". He loves to say "Prost" (=cheers) and clink his sippy cup with everyone else's cup at the table. Over and over and over. I joke and say that people will think we're heavy drinkers.

And he says "uh-oh" and "oops" all the time. Only his oops doesn't sound like that at all. It starts with the "oo" and then the rest of the word consists of a snorting noise made through his nose. I've tried imitating it, but I can't.

He also loves to say "hi" and especially "baba", accompanied by an enthusiastic wave. He'll greet any animal he sees and will also say baba after it leaves. He'll also wave good-bye to random people at a restaurant or store. Sometimes he'll wave at us and say baba, but sorry kiddo, you won't be able to stay home alone for several years.

His favorite animals are still bow-wow-wow's, buu (birds) and now sqch (squirrel - again with the nasal sound). He's also started grunting when he sees pigs and says '"eaow" for a cat. I am in awe of every little thing he does. Surely no other child is a genius like mine ;-) And since you're all here for the pics, here are some shots of Ben and his buddy Choi Boy at the farm (luckily for me his mommy Grace is more timely with her blogging and already wrote about it).

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I don't have any. I have about one million posts swirling around in my head, but can't find the time to put them on paper, or rather the computer. I have also neglected some of my friends, my work that has been so kind to let me earn some money from home, the awesome photoworkshop I wanted to participate in, and well, everything else in my life. I couldn't even tell you why I am so busy. I just know that after 14 hours of literally running after little man, all I can think of at 8 p.m. is sleep. I want to write about Ben's milestones at 19 months which include an explosion of words (up, down, honey, desk, and pen are new favorites) and the awesome Lunar New Year's festival we went to last weekend where we met tons of friends and Ben had a blast. I want to write about my wonderful and life saving German friends, who just like me are navigating life between two cultures (okay, that is a little melodramatic, but sometimes it really feels like I don't fully belong here nor there). And I want to write down all the little things Ben and I are up to every day, because isn't that what life is really about? At least now I will have this posting to remind me what I wanted to say.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Forever Ours

I am surprised at how much it means to know that we are now officially the parents of our little boy. In our hearts he has been our son ever since he was placed in our arms 9.5 months ago.

Today I received a surprising call from our attorney who let me know that they received the final adoption decree. Ben's name is now officially Ben and he is a US citizen. And we're his parents.

The day the adoption became final was the anniversary of the day that our acceptance paperwork made it to Korea. Isn't it great that with all the little steps involved in adoption there is always a special date to pick from?

Now it's on to the final round of paperwork and we will be DONE.

The Joy of Love Day 1: What they do

I am participating in a month long photo workshop at Willette Photography and the first assignment was to capture "what they do".

Well, there's a lot of this going on at my house:

Little man loves to point!

Friday, January 21, 2011

One year ago - part two

(My plan was to write this post yesterday, on the anniversary of our referral, but after having to pull Ben off our kitchen table no less than 14 times and then a mega tantrum at the rec center and mini tantrums the rest of day, quite frankly I didn't have the energy).

One ago (yesterday), just like every day, I drove by our adoption agency on my way to work. I knew that we were in the range of the average timeframe for referral and my anticipation had been building within the last couple of days. Every single day on my way to work I would think about what it would feel like to get the call and I would play it all out in my head.

My morning at work consisted of frantically checking blogs and message boards to stalk people's timelines that I already had memorized. Then, around 9 a.m., I made my cup of oatmeal and my co-workers started coming to work. I was slouching in my office chair thinking that I really needed to get some work done when my phone rang. Now, for the past month I had a heart attack every single time my phone rang. Which is a lot. And then I saw the caller ID. My eyes immediately teared up when I saw it was our agency and my heart leapt, but I tried to convince myself that they must be calling for another reason. I tried to sound super casual on the phone.

And then I heard the words "We have good news. We have your referral."

I immediately started sobbing and screamed "I'm going to be a mom!" and every single person who was in ear's reach came running and watched me as I was still holding the phone sobbing and unable to say anything other than "Oh my God". After I was finally able to establish with my agency that we could come by at any time, there was lots of crying and hugging by everyone and it took several minutes for me to realize that I had to call my husband. By the time I was able to get through to him I was sobbing again and unable to say anything other than ask if he could leave work and meet me. He asked if I was okay and I was able to get a "yes" out. Then there was quiet on the other end of the phone and he said "Did we get it?"

While he left work and drove to our agency I made a call to one of my best friends and headed out to get tea with my boss and co-workers. It was surreal. I was in complete shock. I was about to find out whether I had a son or daughter, and I was going to see my child's face. I was shaking all over. I had a hard time processing what was happening.

As I walked down to the agency my husband pulled into the parking lot and we walked in together. We were moments away from holding that magical packet in our hands.

Then, finally, we were handed the all important papers and a box of tissues.

And we saw this face:

Ben, we love you and are so happy that we were chosen to be your parents. Finding out you were our son was one of the best days of our lives.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One year ago - part one

One year ago today, I didn't know Ben existed. One year ago today, I said to my boss "I don't know when we will get a referral. It could be another year, it could be tomorrow." One year ago today, I was yearning to find out who my child would be. One year ago today I went to bed wondering when "the" call would come. One year ago today I was wishing and hoping that one year ago tomorrow would be the day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"What a cute baby!"

Obviously I believe that Ben is the cutest thing on this planet, and it is oddly flattering when I get compliments on his cuteness. I know, I had nothing to do with it. Some people will tell anyone their baby is cute (even though I do not do that, I actually say "you must be so happy" when someone shows me their ugly baby), but I have come to believe that it is impossible for any other baby to receive as many compliments as my child - insert winking smilie here. For the longest time I wasn't sure what to respond, but now I just say "I know!"...

People have followed him through grocery stores, the lady in the pastry section of our grocery store squeals with delight when she sees him, even the men in the meat section comment on his cuteness. One lady followed us into a store she wasn't even going to go in to see him up close. And then she ran outside again to get her friend. The funniest thing was when someone paged their store manager and then screamed "Look at the cute baby".

What's the point of this post? There is no point.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

18 months

What? Tomorrow my child will be a year and a half. If you round up, that means he is basically two. Which means that soon he will be driving. And then he'll go off to college. Yikes.

This is what he's been up to:

He has words. This is a big one because I was getting a little worried that he wasn't really saying anything. He can say:

  • Ba ma ma ma (banana)

  • Ba-ooooo (ball)

  • Ba-euuuuu (balloon, not to be confused with ba-ooooo. Said frequently during grocery store visits)

  • Baaaaa (bath, accompanied by frantic knocking on the bathroom door)

  • Bak (Milk)

  • Busssss (toothbrush. said with a slight lisp)

  • Turtle (said only once to point out a, yes, turtle)

  • Ei (the German word for egg, pronounced like "I")

  • Oy Vey

  • Apple

  • Po-ta-to (used to ask for: potato, clementine, blueberries, and kiwi. Sometimes also used for banana)
He says "brrrr" when we say "It's cold out" and shakes his little body.
He climbs up and into everything. I can't keep up!

He loves Ernie on Sesame Street and gets super excited when one of his diapers has Ernie on it.

He still loves to clean. He loves to look at books and can turn the pages himself. He loves to point out dogs and balloons in books. And Ernie. He still loves to tackle mommy and daddy and slobber all over our faces.

When he nods "yes", his whole body moves, not just his head. But mostly, he shakes his head when asked any kind of question. When he truly means "no", he scrunches his nose, turns the head sideways and makes a whiny sound.

I love this age because he is still super cute but not a baby anymore. He can walk, but I still get to carry him. He is getting more independent, but will still do what I say (sometimes).

We still have two big issues.

One is the tantrums. He's been having fits every since he came home, but somehow they have changed. Sometimes I can really tell that it is a temper tantrum because he isn't getting his way. But other times I wonder how many of these tantrums are still adoption/attachment related. When he just can calm down and it takes an hour of me walking him in the Beco, I think it's not just normal toddler behavior.

The other one is napping. He will nap - thank goodness - but I still have him nap in our bed with me next to him. I don't necessarily mind because I know that this way he will sleep and I will get a break, but I know that one day I will have to train him to nap in his bed. Or will I?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Same Procedure as Every Year *

* If you are not German, here's where that came from.

By now I have realized that New Year's resolutions are basically pointless. I feel like I have pretty much been the same person since I was 17 despite my best efforts. But somehow I just love new year's resolutions and the illusion that this will be the year in which I become rich, beautiful, and discover all of my hidden talents.

So, here are 7 things I vow to improve upon this year.

1. Be nicer to my husband.

I have an awesome husband. He puts up with all of my moods and supports all of my crazy ideas that never come to fruition (I suspect that he supports them because he knows nothing will ever come of it). He agreed to letting me stay home with our son even though it means that all of us had to cut back. He recognizes that being home with a child is hard work and he makes sure to give me some me-time. He even helps around the house and started cooking, even though theoretically this falls under my job description.

This year, I want to work on letting him know how much I appreciate all the things he does (instead of nagging about the ones he doesn't do).

2. Spend more quality time with my son

Sure, I spend all day with Ben, but quite frankly sometimes I struggle to truly enjoy the time we spend together. It can be hard for me to be mentally present and sometimes I catch myself being glued to my iPhone all morning checking blogs and FB or talking on the phone. So, this year I am going to for most of the day and have fun with my son.

3. Get over it

We have a never-ending argument about whether or not we will adopt again. The husband says that yes, he wants to, but wants to wait a while to see if we can handle it financially. I, impulsive as I am, want to start the process again right away. I have been really obsessed with this off and on for the past couple of months and it's not good for me. I need to let it go. I know that if I don't push for it, it won't happen, but I am sick of getting my hopes up upon hearing that he wants to adopt again only to have them dashed when I hear "but". Having just one kid isn't that bad, is it?

4. Just do it

As mentioned under 1. I tend to have lots of grand ideas for things I want to learn and do. These ideas swirl around in my head, but I can never get it together to concentrate long enough to do any of them. So I want to pick one thing and stick with it. What that is, ummm, I don't know.

5. Time management

This is a BIG one. I am horrible at it. HORRIBLE. Somehow each day seems to fly by and I get nothing done. I don't know how other people spend time with the kids, do the household, blog, read and comment on other blogs, and work part time. HOW DO YOU DO IT PEOPLE?

6. Make this house a home

We've been here 1.5 years, which is the longest we've lived anywhere in the past 7 years. But if you looked at our house you'd think we just moved in. It's really sad and embarrassing. This year I want to work on making this place look somewhat decent so I can finally feel at home. We're going to be here for a looooooooooong time.

7. Be aware of how lucky I am

It is very easy for me to live in the past or the future, or to think of all the things I don't have. I want to work on appreciating the life I have instead of dreaming about the "what if". Because I really am pretty darn lucky.