Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Things a Comin'

Okay, so there's no photos for this, but I'm so stinking excited I just had to post. Today I just had one of those REALLY good days in regards to my little business I'm trying grow.

I went to Joann's today to see if I could find any more of this one fabric that I'm running out of (and of course they don't have it) and as I went to get a cart to put Claire in, a woman was walking towards me with her cart (she was about to put it away). So I offered to take hers, and then she stopped me and said how much she loved my hair bow (I was wearing one of my favorite Blooms) and well, to make a long story short, it turns out she's a business owner - she started her hair accessory company about 10 years ago. She has a manufacturer, sales reps - the whole sha-bang. She was super nice, super friendly, and she actually took a couple of samples (that I miraculously had in the car) with her because she was on her way to 2 local boutiques that she had accounts with. She was adamit that my Blooms should be in boutiques and that I needed to pursue it right away, etc etc. I was SO encouraged by her words, and her kindess in wanting to help me. So after the 'Holidays' we're going to get together for coffee and discuss 'business' and she's going to allow me to pick her brain on how she's done everything, processes, etc. HOW COOL IS THAT?!??!

And now for my next cool thing...

So I got into this HUGE show this coming spring - crazy how it happened, supposedly an 'invite only' type thing but I got in. Well, they're going to have Celebrity Gift Baskets and guess who get's to be in it! YES, little ol' me! Or should I say, Little Lesiw. Of course I had to pay to be put in, but the competition to be represented is pretty fierce. Again, I was super encouraged by the company that heads up the baskets because they really liked my Blooms as well. One of the owners was telling me that I needed to take my Blooms to BIG retailers, and that I just need to do it, even though it seems hard. So it's been a real boost to see that my Blooms are starting to gather some interest, and people in the 'industry' think that I have potential.

Oh, and Jennifer Gardner will be getting some Blooms in January - SUPER FUN!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cards

You know, every year I'm late getting my cards out, and I always think 'Next year I'm going to send them out at the beginning of December...' Well, here we are, almost the middle of December and I just got our pictures done. Oh well. My friend Bree has been my photographer for Little Lesiw and I just adore her work. (visit her website/blog at: breehesterphotography.com) She has been so gracious and kind to put up with my emails that basically say, 'are you available in a couple of days?'.. 'wait, can't do it.. can you do it in a few more days?'... 'wait, can't do that either.'

Anyway, the 3 of us drove to down to her house after dinner the other night and had our own mini photoshoot. I have to say, a 20 month old isn't the easiest thing to take a photo with!

And of course it never fails that each photo you look at usually high-lights one person and the others look bad... but I think we finally settled on one. Here was this year's 'runner up'. I'll probably frame this as a 'family photo' - and the fact that Claire isn't smiling is kind of her 'trademark'. One of these days I'll teach that girl to smile on cue....



The Lesiw Family
(and yes, we really are that good looking in person)

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is why my parents are cool...

So for 5 weekends now, my mom and dad have graciously watched Claire while Bob and I go sell our wares in our Booth in Apple Hill. This past weekend, was our last weekend for the season, and while I'm so glad to have a break and get my life back to 'normal', I'm definitely going to miss it (and my mom's cooking).

This past weekend, was also Sara's birthday weekend, so my parents decided to watch Gwen, Kennedy and Ty as well. So it was full house. There were many fun activities going on, and like always, Claire did not care in the SLIGHTEST if we were gone, or there, because she was so busy with the kids and 'Dean' and 'B'. (Grampa Dean has been shortened to just 'Dean', and Grandma Buzz is now 'B' - I told mom it sounds like she has a new hip-hop name).

One of the funniest/coolest things that Mom and Dad did with the kids, is Mom made 'Gingerbread Men' out of cake (they were these cute mini sized) and Gwen decorated them. They turned out REALLY good, and Kennedy decorated Christmas Trees - also good (but not related to this story). Later that night, my Dad took all the kids and read the story of 'The Little Gingerbread Man' - I'm thinking this is one of the stories that they ALWAYS read with my parents - the kids dig this story. Well, afterwards, Mom takes all four kids, and walks them out the front door, down the steps, and starts to lead them down the dark driveway. Ty gets a bit freaked out, but they're not walking for long...

Meanwhile, Dad takes a tray of the 'Gingerbread Men' and goes out the back door. He then hides behind the cars and waits for Mom and the kids to get ALMOST half way down the driveway. Then he starts yelling out how he's run away from a little old lady and a little old man, a fox, (and all the rest of the things G-man has run away from) and he can run away from them too, (he can, he can). Then Dad takes off running towards the garage. He is then quickly followed by Gwen running full speed ahead - Kennedy and Ty - pretty much neck and neck - and followed up with 'B' running and carrying Claire (who has a HUGE smile on her face). Once they get to the garage, each kid gets to take their 'Gingerbread Man' and eat him how ever they want. I think Kennedy ate the head off first.. but I can't quite remember.

Anyway, it's stuff like this that makes me REALLY appreciate my Mom and Dad, and how they're willing to do some of the silliest stuff for the sake of their grandkids. But honestly, it wasn't that silly, it was actually super cool, and I think all the grandkids will agree that these two Grandparents are really quite awesome.

Thanks Mom & Dad - I love you!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Seriously... a month has gone by?!

So it's kind of hard to believe that I'm writing almost a month after my last post. I guess time really does fly by when you're having fun. Okay, so our life isn't all peachy-keen all the time, but we've had some good times in the past 30 days.

Claire is going to gymnastics (can't remember if I mentioned that or not) and she really enjoys it. They basically do a bunch of obstacle courses, but it gets her energy out and she's learning how to jump. Well... kind of.

We also did our annual 'Moms group goes to the Pumpkin Patch' (okay - so it's only the 2nd time, but it IS going to be a tradition). I got some fun photos, and brought home some sweet tastey treats.

For Halloween I completely failed in doing my dream costume for Claire. I was going to make her 'McDonalds French Fries' but amazingly, it takes far more time to cut foam (thanks Dad) and cover it with felt and cut out a box and cover THAT with felt and attach ribbon for 'straps', than one would imagine. So the night before I rummage through the hall closet and find the spider costume that Claire wore last year. It wasn't TOO dirty, and all I had to buy was a black long sleeved shirt. So that was cool.

Anyway, other than that, nothing much else is going on. Apple Hill is in the final stretch (our last weekend is in 2 weeks) and then I'll be able to relax a little. I'll be doing a super small Christmas craft show to get rid of excess stock, and then once January hits, I'll be in full factory swing again. I got into a huge show in LA, but I'll comment more on that later.

Until next time, here are some photos that will hopefully make you smile.


Halloween - just before trick or treating starts


'Nice Monkey costume. I think it's totally realistic!'


Claire has become a big fan of NOT holding hands when walking down the street.


This girl loves her some lollipops (or 'pops' as she calls them)


Enjoying some treats sans costume (whatcha thinking there Gwen?)


This is how Claire looked half the time we were in the hay jumping area at the pumpkin patch


This is how she looked for the other half


Claire and her friend Matea walking through the Corn Maze


I said, 'Wave hi to daddy!' and this is what we got.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

So we've been a little M.I.A. lately...

I can't believe how fast time goes by. But then again, when you're trying to sew and glue things every waking moment, you do sort of lose track of time.

So Apple Hill is in full swing and we've now entered the 'red zone' as it is referred to. (meaning, we've hit peak season) Things have progressively gotten better as the weeks have gone by and I really think we're getting the hang of it. I now know that I should start stocking my inventory in January vs. August, and that you can't go wrong with pink and brown, and moms think anything 'white' will get dirty too fast. Oh yeah, and 'tweens' seem to think my bows are the coolest thing.

Another 'learning lesson' I've had, is that I should have swallowed my pride and took a photo of my booth the first day we were there. IT WAS HORRIBLE. Seriously - like, 'did-you-find-your-stuff-in-a-dumpster' horrible. Okay, so maybe not THAT bad, but it looked pretty darn cheesy. Now, I am happy to say that our table cloths actually cover the tables and hang to the ground, the large photos are printed on a heavy cardstock/board thing (and aren't tied to the tent), and my 'signage' has my logo on it (rather than being paper and cardstock glued together). Fred - the guy in charge of everything was really happy with it this past weekend (I think he felt a bit sorry for me that first day).

Something else that is super fun about Apple Hill is the 'community' of fellow crafters and vendors. I'm serious - I think I look forward to seeing them just as much as I look forward to selling stuff. If we have a little break, or we take a restroom run, Bob and I will take turns making the rounds, and checking in with everyone. A few of our favorites are: Mary - she makes pillow cases that look like big stuffed animals (Claire LOVES her monkey pillow), Lila - she makes little people out of polymer clay, Mike & Molly - Molly makes beautiful jewerly out of some kind of glass. It's not really my style, but I SOOO appreciate it for other people and I respect the work and talent that goes into it. Plus -they're just a super cool couple. Francie - she's not really a crafter, but she works Lynn's booth (who does clever 'sayings' enhanced with cartoonish drawings). Gene does the 'whirlys' - he cuts out various animal shapes from wood and adds these spinner things that go crazy in the wind. And our newest friend Jerome - he's super quiet, but one of the nicest guys you've ever met. I'm sure he has a million and one interesting stories that he could share - so hopefully we'll be able to talk to him more in our next few trips up there. He does pictures on canvas (mom has one of Bodie). Oh, and how can I forget Stephanie! She does 'themed' picture frames, and she also informed me that October is 'off the chain'.

Anyway, it's a great time, there's great food, and obviously the greatest company.


Now onto another sales pitch:

I had a mom come to my booth with her daughter and she saw my red Bloom and said, 'hey look, it's like Kai-lan!'. (I noticed that comment for two reasons: 1) that particular Bloom is not the right shape as Kai-lan's, so she was slightly mistaken and 2) she was 'white' and her daughter was 'white'. I didn't know that people other than Asians embraced the little Chinese Dora - so kudos to her!)

So in honor of the show 'Ni hao, Kai-lan' - I now bring to you, 'Kai-lan inspired Blooms'.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Shameless Plug

Okay, so I think the majority of you guys know that I started a small hair accessory company called 'Little Lesiw'. And yes, it's where we make 'a little bit of flair for your hair'. My business has grown from word of mouth and I'm pretty happy with how things are going. A few months or so ago I launched my 'Bloom Collection' and I've had great feedback on it. Since my first customers were all friends and family, I thought that I'd run a little 'promotion' for you all. So for anyone who read my blog, I'm offering a free solid color Bloom with any purchase of $15 or more from now through Oct. 15th. You can go to: littlelesiw.etsy.com to see all the products I have for sale. (make sure you watch your spelling - it can be a tough one!) Also, I offer free 1st Class shipping - can't beat that, right?! These Blooms normally retail for $12 each - so you can take comfort in knowing that I think our 'relationship' is worth a ten spot and 2 things off of McDonald's Value Menu.

Also, I honestly don't care if you pass this 'deal' off to your friends who DON'T read my blog. You can give them the 'Cliff Notes' version and just say, 'when you make your purchase, leave a note to seller saying you want the Blog Special - and say what color you want'. It saves them time from having to read all this, and you kind of come off as the hero for knowing about a 'secret deal' and letting them in on it.

So I have the colors listed below. And seriously - just leave a note to seller when making your puchase and say you want the 'Blog Special' and say what color you want. I think my Blooms are pretty darn cute and I just want you all to look pretty darn cute as well.

Oh yeah, they're not just for kids. I wear one every day - and it's not just because I make them. Okay, so it's KIND OF because I make them, but I have people - ADULTS - stop me almost daily and ask where I got them. I can HONESTLY say I've never had a 3 year old stop and ask me where I got my Bloom. So there you go.



Hot Pink, Bubble Gum Pink, Light Pink, Yellow, White


Royal Purple, Purple, Lavendar, Light Porcelain Blue, Dark Porcelain Blue


Black, Orange, Red, Green, Brown

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wow. Was that SUPER FUN or what?!?!

Tonight (or rather, late afternoon) I went to see 'Mama Mia' at the movies with Colleen and Sara. I've been talking about this movie with Sara for some time (okay, so maybe a couple of weeks, give or take) and I've really wanted her to see it. She's not an 'Abba' fan, but I told her she didn't have to be to like the movie. It's just a fun movie that puts you in a really good mood when you walk out the door.

So after a few different 'tries', I finally get her to go - to which I'm also nervous that now I've hyped the movie up too much so then she'll be disappointed (which has happened before ). It was weird because we had looked up movie times and kept getting different times, so it was a bit confusing. But we ended up making it to a show only 10 minutes late - and about 5 minutes into the movie.

And to our surprise upon arrival, we discover that when a movie has an 'SI' after it, it means it's the SING ALONG VERSION!!!

NO JOKE! So Sara ended up really enjoying it (I won't be surprised if she posts something on her blog) but I think it had mostly to do with the group of senior citizens that were sitting next her who were singing along THE ENTIRE TIME (and yes, there were MEN in that group!)

Honestly - when you 'got over' the whole 'I feel stupid' bit, it was SO FUN to be able to actually belt out the songs you knew. So the plan is that we MUST go again (after downloading the soundtrack and learning every word as quickly as possible) and we have to have a HUGE group of girls (sorry boys - you gotta sit this one out!).

We've already been making a list of who we think would want to join in - so are there any other volunteers out there ready to have a good time?!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We're getting closer...


... to getting the website done, and starting the launch for Little Lesiw hair accessories. You didn't know I was doing that? Yeah... it's been a work in progress. One of these days I'll get my 'official' website up and then I then I can REALLY get down to business.

I'll actually be up at Apple Hill this fall selling my wares. If any locals want to stop by I'll give you a deal. ;)

If you visit littlelesiw.blogspot.com you can see some other photos that I just recently posted. I'm working with my friend Bree who I actually met when she took 6 month photos of Claire. Bree is a member of an organization called, 'Celebrating Adoption' that offers really great deals to families who have adopted. We ran into each other again, when I was doing the Baby Expo back in January and one thing led to another and here we are today. You can see her work at www.breehesterphotography.com - so feel free to check it out if you want.


This is one of the photos from the shoot that showcases Kennedy and her friend Becca. I thought this was so cute because it caught them in such a 'natural' pose. I think Kennedy was actually doing something with her foot that was making Becca laugh.

Anyway, that's the update for now. I'll let you know if anything significant gets finished, but at the rate I'm going, it could be around Christmas.


OH YEAH - on a totally random note I thought I'd make a comment on the Kidz Bop series. For those of you who aren't aware, they take 'current' songs, edit out any 'negative' or 'adult' language, and have kids sing the tunes. It's completely freaky, yet strangely addictive as well. So I added a sample song - see if you can tell what words they changed. ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm in love again...

...this time it's with Space Bags.

I'm sure all of you have seen those famously annoying commercials where the woman is walking in a pure white room (where the acoustics sound off since there is a slight echo) and she's talking about all the things you can 'space bag'. I, too, foolishly thought those were lame products that someone just got suckered into purchasing. But I am proud to admit my folly and now I must share the glorious attributes of this truly remarkable bag!

First, it's easy. Fill the bag with whatever things you need to store, and zip it closed. After pulling off the black cap, you see this clear rubber thing that sticks to the inside of the valve. (at least I think this is the technical jargon) Don't make my mistake, and think it doesn't belong there and pull it out. Because once you do, you've basically ruined the bag. (good thing they come in 'value packs' at Bed Bath & Beyond) Then you just put those hose part of your vacuum onto the valve, and wal-lah! It sucks all the air out into this really condensed version.

So far I've Space Bagged a bunch of blankets and all of Claire's receiving blankets and bibs. And then of course, is my favorite... All of Claire's clothes from Newborn - 6 months!!! Yes, it ALL fit, which I can't believe! I was trying to get everything put away and honestly, I need 3 BIG plastic bins to try and fit it all, and I still had some extra 'floaties'. I used the large cube size, and not only did I get all the clothes in, but I added more burp cloths, bibs, and bag full of socks. I'm totally stoked. I don't think this picture gives an adequate view of how much stuff was in front of the crib, but just know, it was ALOT!

I can't wait to start on the blankets in the spare room...


All clothes ranging from Newborn - to 6 months
The stuff on the left wouldn't even fit into a large bin.



The final result! Nice and neat with plenty
of room to spare!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

K76-614

I'm the other half of 'K76-613' (meaning: I'm Sara's sister - see garates.blogspot.com if you have no clue what I'm talking about)

I really enjoyed reading the highlights from Sara's adoption file, so I figure I might as well share some of my infomation as well.

But first I want to clarify what made me 'sad' about our foster parent's home being 'located 50 minutes away by bus from the office'. I'm just hoping that they didn't actually have to ride a bus 50 minutes to get to the office, back in the 70's. I can't imagine that being comfortable, and having to bring 2 small children. And then I can't help hope that they didn't have to BRING us to the office - period. It's not a huge stretch to think that they would have to bring us to the office for their final 'farewell' as we leave for America. And many adoptive parents will tell you that when they went to Korea to escort their children home, the foster mothers would be in tears having to say good-bye, and some might even be considered hysterical. So thinking of the 'attachment' that the foster parents have with the children they care for, can you imagine having to say good-bye to 2 small children, that you love, that you cared for, you have no other children, and now you have to take a freaking 50 minute BUS ride home and dwell on it?!?! Honestly, it sounds horrible to me. Almost cruel.

When Bob and I were considering adopting from Korea (oh yeah, we changed our minds on that in case you didn't know) that was one of the main reasons I did NOT want to go to Korea. I didn't want to have to face a Foster mother at the point where I would take 'custody' of the child. I totally and completely respect Foster Parents. I can't imagine going through the heart ache of saying good-bye to these little babies over and over again. (and a little FYI - Korea doesn't have orphanages, they have an incredible foster care system)

But enough of that... here's a glimpse into my adoption file:

Fusses with displeasure when being bathed (runs in the family apparently). Does not like her diaper being wet. Relatively mild in disposition, fussing little as long as she is fed when she is supposed to. (I think that's still true)

Has normal stools 1-2 times daily. (hahaha. Just had to throw that in, like you care)

Likes to be carried on the back or cuddled in one's arms. Is shy of strangers. (totally grew out of that last one)

Another interesting fact is that Sara and I have 'notes' that pinned to us when we were 'found'. Here is what a social worker had to say about that:

When we offered Sara and Rachel, I referred to the note found with them that was mentioned in the older girl's initial social history. As it turns out, there are two pieces of paper, one for each child. The girls' worker had kept them and has written in English underneath the Korean script. The papers simply give the girls' names and dates of birth. One is signed Chung Hyang Hee and the other has Holt Children's Services written on the back. The children seem to be have been well cared for and the idividual who left them, probably their mother, appears to have some education and to have felt concern, instinctively if not intellectually, about the 'who am I' that adopted children often wonder about as they grow up. How wonderful that these children have something tangible about themselves, which very few of our children have.

Here's the thing, I've never wondered about 'who I am'. I've always known. By the grace of God I was born in Korea to woman I know nothing about. Through God's sovereign plan my sister and I were left at a police box at the Cheongyangri Railroad Station. From there we were immediately put into foster care, and 5 months later we became the daughters to Dean and Bonnie and sister to Amy (and 5 years later to Andy). I don't like tea, hate spicey food, love cheese, obessive compulsive about crafting, and I really like buying shoes. That's who I am. And that's who I WANT to be.

I'm thankful for the notes, that we have our birthdates, birth names, and even this information on our foster parents. I NEVER thought I'd say this, but I hope that Sara and I are able to go to Korea and meet our foster parents - and maybe even track down our birthmom. I've contacted Holt USA, (and they can't contact Holt Korea until mid-September some time due to them temporarily 'shutting down' during the summer months as there are so many adult adoptees that travel to Korea at this time), about tracking down the foster parents. So we'll see what happens.

For those of you reading this that have had the wonderful experience of adopting their kids, I just want to say that when your kids grow up and become adults, and if they decide to 'search' for birthparents, know that they might just be curious, or they might have questions, but regardless of all that, YOU are their parents. YOU are they ones they consider 'mom' and 'dad', and nothing will ever change that. Take it from me. I should know.

My Note

Me and Sara

Sara's Note


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mom, I'm sorry!!!

I think just about everyone has had the same experience of having their mom cut their bangs the night before school pictures. And considering that 'Asian hair' is one of the toughest types of hair to cut, I never really gave my mom any slack for my crooked bangs.

So mom, let me be the first to say: I'm SORRY!!!

It is WAY harder than I thought. Claire's hair is always in her face, and even her little cousins will walk up to her and try and push her hair to the side. I finally hit my breaking point when Claire kept waking up with her hair stuck to her nose (she has a snotty nose right now - I think a slight bug). So being the spontaneous person that I am, I whipped out my scissors and cut her bangs.

I have to say, it's really hard. Not only because you're afraid of cutting you kid's forehead, but sometimes the hair just doesn't lay right. Plus, I have to factor in that Claire's hair wants to grow straight foward, and I'm trying to train it to go to the side. At first I did an 'angled bang', but it just looked like it was REALLY a-symetrical, and NOT in a good way.

The jury's still out if I made the right decision. I go back and forth thinking it's cute. Honestly, she looks like my wii character.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Sweet Boots!



Back in February when I did that Baby Expo, I picked up some shoes for Claire. They are these super ANNOYING shoes that squeak when you walk. Even though I knew it would be the death of me, I still bought them, because the image of Claire walking around with them on her feet made me laugh really hard.

And to my delight, I was right.

The other 2 pairs of shoes I bought are too small now (hmm. bummer.) but the boots totally fit - if not a bit roomy. They are completely ugly (unless you bought them for your child - then they are SO adorable) but in the privacy of our own home, they're not too bad.

Claire completely freaked (in a good way) when she first started walking in them. She couldn't figure out where the squeaking was coming from. But after about 10 seconds, she was running around, and I was laughing really hard. Fortunately - she doesn't seem all that interested in them - it was fun, but now she's over it.



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Little 'Claire' to Brighten Your Day

Well... I'll be honest. I'm totally in love with Claire lately. She is becoming such a little person and I think it's the best thing EVER!!! I'm afraid of becoming one of those moms who always talks about their kid and you're standing there with a smile on your face, nodding in agreement, while thinking in your brain, 'shut up, shut up, shut up.' So I figure I can get away with posting pictures on the blog because if you really don't want to see them, you can close out the page without me knowing.

So, without further ado - here are a couple photos of my dear little Claire. (which by the way, we call her 'the girl', and 'pookie' or 'pook-ster'. I know some people think I'm saying poop or poopie, and that's SO not the case!)

On the rare occasion where the carseat is in the house, you'll find Claire playing in it. I don't know what it is about the carseat that she finds so fun, as all she can do is sit or stand in it. (please excuse the dirty outfit - this was shot after she consumed one of her meals)



Hay y'all!!! Ya like my hat?!?!?!



Caught in the act of reading.
Yes, she's brilliant and will probably attend an ivy league school. I mean, she IS Asian!



I honestly don't recall her being angry at me when I took this picture - even though she looks like it. I just thought the green beard was funny. The girl loves her avocado!



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm a believer!!!

As some of you may or may not know, Claire and I were pretty sick a few weeks ago. We both went to the doctor, and luckily for me, I could take antibotics. They worked great, I felt better within days, and I'm thrilled to say that Claire made a full recovery... and then I got sick again.

I don't know if there's anything more frustrating than getting sick, getting better, and then immediately getting sick again. Oh I know, not being able to TASTE anything ranks pretty high too. I REALLY hate that. So poor me, couldn't breathe, yet again, and so I loaded up on tylenol, advil, sudafed, zyrtec and afrin. My best friend afrin even disappointed me. Almost at the point of breaking, I called Bob to see if there was ANYTHING else I could possible take (which there wasn't) and so I said - 'hey, can you find me a netipot? I'm going to have to go back to the doctor if I feel this way tomorrow, and I'm willing to try anything!'

For those of you who don't know what a netipot is, it's this little plastic miniature 'watering can' that you fill with warm water and add this salt solution. Then you lean over the sink, turn your head slightly to the side, and poor the mixture up one nostril, until it comes out the other side.

I know. SO weird.

And no. You don't feel like you're drowning.

I first saw this little contraption on Oprah. (go ahead and laugh) Dr. Oz was saying that this is supposed to clean out your sinus' really well - even better than medications. It gets rid of infections and allergents.

Anyway, I tried it, and low and behold it WORKED!!! Now, I didn't make a complete recovery over night, but I was able to breathe and I only took Sudafed as a 'suppliment'. I was doing it twice a day with the sudafed and honestly - I was shocked at how much better I felt! In fact, I haven't even had to do it for a couple of days now!

So I HIGHLY recommend getting one of these bad boys and just stick it on a shelf somewhere until the need arises, or maybe use it as preventative care. Bob got ours at Raley's.. so I'm assuming any grocery store would carry it.

*** Also, when buying sudafed, don't by the stuff that's out on the shelf - the GOOD STUFF is behind the pharmacy counter (you don't need a prescription, but they regulate that stuff now because I think you can make speed or coke - not the carbonated beverage - from it.) You're wasting your money if you buy the 'weak' rendition. To me, it's nothing more than a placebo.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

From boring - to buttons...

... which some of you still might find boring.

It's been a while since I last updated this thing. Sorry about that for those of you who are just dying to know what's going on in the Lesiw house. Nothing much really. Both Claire and I got sick this past week so that was SO not fun. But we're both better (well, Claire is ALMOST better) and life is getting back to normal.

I've actually starting making a new type of 'bow' - or rather, a new hair clip. They're flowers made from fabric using the method 'kanzashi' which is a Japanese fabric folding technique. Did you see the movie 'Memoirs of a Geisha'? Remember how when they would get all 'done up' they'd put these combs in their hair that had flowers, and flow-y things hanging down? Well - those are actually made from silk fabric. Now, mine aren't nearly as elegant, but I think they're cute nonetheless.

This is a style that I just starting making yesterday - no joke! I finally figured out the fold. For some reason that one really gave me a run for my money. The centers are fabric covered buttons. I really like making those. SUPER easy, and I like that I can co-ordinate any fabrics I want - rather than trying to find the right 'button'.



These are a different fold and are more 'rounded' than the other ones - and also slightly bigger. This is the first 'style' that I started to make.




And here is Claire modeling one in her hair. They're not super big, but bigger than what you would think. I can make them smaller, but it's tougher on my fingers! LOL. So anyway, that's my new obsession: fabric flowers, and fabric covered buttons.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It happened again...

So I got 'Tagged' by my dear sister Sara. So if you're totally bored outta your mind by this post then blame it on her. You can even leave mean comments on her blog: garates.blogspot.com

At least this one is different from my last. You must list 6 random 'quirks' about yourself. Also, you must list the rules (as I just did) and name 6 other victims that must follow suit.

So here it goes:

#1: I like plain, weird food combinations. For instance, I love taking white rice and adding either something like mangos, or tomatoes. That's it. I could eat a vat of the stuff.

#2: I can write backwards. Like, not only would I write right to left, but the letters would be backwards as well. If you flip the paper over you can read it and it'll look like 'normal'. Does that make sense? I discovered I had that talent one night during OT Survey II (or a class like that) and I hate to admit it - but I was bored. I would write hymns backwards. Call me crazy, but it was kind of fun.

#3: I have a secret fantasy of wanting to be a back up dancer in a music video. I don't think this needs further explanation.

#4: I love to listen to songs on 'repeat'. I go through 'kicks' where I really get into certain songs. About a year ago, my song of choice was 'Poison' by Alice Cooper. I couldn't get enough of it. So I made a CD that played Poison twice, and then a few songs by Def Leppard, and then Poison again. When asked why Poison was on there so much, I responded with, 'I like that song'. (and as a little hint, when played on 'repeat', at certain points you got to hear Poison 3 times in a row!!!) Right now I like Leona Lewis and I can run all my errands during the course of about 3 songs. So I just play the same ones over and over. If we're driving anywhere for a decent period of time, Bob won't let me listen to certain CD's more than one time through, no 'repeats'.

#5: I cry really easily in movies. I remember babysitting the first time I saw The Little Mermaid and I started crying at the end. (don't knock it - if you didn't tear up when Ariel hugged her father and whispered, 'I love you daddy' then your heart is made of stone!) It's also not the coolest when you can't stop crying in E.T. while watching it with the entire 8th grade class. In college after watching Message in a Bottle, I couldn't stop crying for 10 minutes after the credits ended. If I tried to talk about it, then I'd start sobbing again. Same goes for a TV version of Phantom of the Opera. I think this was around highschool, and I remember afterwards just going into the bathroom and letting myself 'ugly cry' for a little while. I got a migrain after crying from My Girl, and ask Sara how I was after Becoming Jane or even Brother Bear.

And I don't limit myself to movies. I can cry in books too. Most notably: The Notebook and Jane Eyre. Bob will just look at me and say, 'you're kidding me, right?'

#6: I love what Sara and I refer to as 'factory work'. I love doing things with my hands over and over again. Stuffing envelopes? I'm your girl. Data entry? Sign me up. I can cut, fold, tie, wrap, - you name it! I'll do it! So the next time you find yourself needing to stuff and address 5000 invitations, just call me up! And don't forget Christmas time... I'll wrap all your presents too. Just make sure you have bowl of rice and mangos for me.

And for those of you just dying to know, here's the next six I've tagged!
Cousin Elizabeth - you need to update your blog anyway
Kim - Since Big Boy is gone - you gotta have some time to kill, right?
Aunt Pat - since you just found your blog's password again, I'm not taking any more excuses!
Nancy - sorry friend - but I just gotta do it
Doreen - don't pretend you didn't read this
Heather - yes, I'm talking to you. Stop sewing and list your quirks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's OFFICIAL!!!


Today Claire is forever a LESIW!!! For those who didn't know (I didn't tell very many people) today was the court date to finalize Claire's adoption. I wouldn't say that I 'stressed' over this during the wait, but I have to admit, it is SUCH a great feeling knowing that it's all over. Nothing can change this, Claire is FOREVER my daughter. She's 'felt' like my daughter since day 1, but now it's just legal and binding. Gotta love it.

Funny thing - our adoption hearing was the FIRST for our judge - EVER! I think he was more nervous than we were.

The bailiff took all these nice pictures for us. But to you, they would have been really boring. Just photos of us sitting at the table signing the forms - can you see Claire checking out the paper? She was REALLY good during the whole process.

And here we are, outside of the courthouse. (It was really windy - so cut us some slack) The entire 'hearing' took 7 minutes - and that was including our photo-op with the judge.

It's hard to believe that a little over 13 months ago our precious Claire came into our lives. We are so incredibly thankful to God for giving us our daughter. She has given us so much joy, and we can't wait to see what her future holds.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

TAG! You're 'IT'

So a little while ago my friend Nancy 'tagged' me, and I've just been to lazy - I mean, busy - to fill the stuff out. I know I've been 'tagged' before by other bloggers but I didn't know what it meant. Now that I do, I'm playing by the rules. And for those of you who have played games with me, you know I never cheat. (I'm not kidding - I hate cheaters)

I'm not sure why I have to list things in quantities of 4, but I just quickly copied down the info from Nancy's blog - so here's to hoping I did this right!

4 Jobs I've Had
1. Landscaper: Sara got the joy of cleaning INSIDE the air-conditioned home of Mr. & Mrs. Tranter. Somehow I got to be the one digging up weeds in the front yard.
2. Waitress/Server: I've worked at The Buttercup Pantry, The Red Pony Cafe, Cafe Sarah's, The Green House Cafe, BJ's Brewery... and I'm thinking that's it.
3. Baskin-Robbins: You would think this was the best job on earth as you can eat ice cream all the time, but I found out that my favorite ice cream at the time had like 45 grams of fat per serving. And that was just before I quit. Bummer.
4. Sales: I sold shampoo. I LOVED it. And honestly, if the right position, with the right company became available, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

4 Places I've Lived
1. Camino, Ca
2. Valencia, Ca
3. Ansonia, CT
4. Loomis, Ca

4 Shows I Watch on TV
1. American Idol (who doesn't - GO DAVID COOK!)
2. Dancing with the Stars (strangly addictive)
3. The Office (did you know that Angela is pregnant in real life, that's why they don't do full body shots of her??!?)
4. Step it Up and Dance (it's on Bravo- it's almost over - you've missed out on some GOOD tv)

4 Blogs I Read (if you see your name, then you've been TAGGED - I'll be checking your blogs to hold you accountable)
1. Sara Garate (she's been BEGGING me to list her name!)
2. Kimchee Kingdom (now you HAVE to update your blog Bren!)
3. Nicole Pickard (you KNOW you were hoping to see a 'shout out' from me)
4. Aunt Pat (I'm taking a risk here as I don't have your blog linked, but you're on Sara's... this is kind of an experiment to see if you read my blog!!!)

4 Favorite Foods
1. Tomatoes. Rule of thumb: if they don't come with it, order them - if they do, order more.
2. Rice. What can I say, I'm Asian.
3. Side dishes at Korean Restaurants. I'm not sure what the stuff is called, but there's some bean sprout stuff that I could eat BUCKETS of. Yes, LITERAL bucket sized portions. And then there's this 'pickled' type white radish (daikon?) stuff that is really good too!
4. Spagetti (with salt. Can you say 'get your bloat on'?!?!)

4 Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
1. In bed sleeping not having to wake up at any partical time in the morning so I could sleep all day if I wanted. I used to do that, and I LOVED it.
2. Standing in the middle of a store that is jammed packed with Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Tiffany jewelry (let's just upgrade that to diamonds - skip the silver - it's MY fantasy, right?!) and I just happen to have a credit card in my hand that has no 'limit' with my name on it.
3. Sitting on the couch cuddling with Claire. She doesn't do it often, but she's getting better! Usually if she's still half-way asleep when she gets up, I can get a good 5 minutes out of her.
4. At a Red Sox game in Fenway Park with Bob (but if we could do this during the day or early evening rather than just before midnight, that would be great.)

4 Things to Look Forward to This Year
1. Meeting Ryan Hunter Heym. He could be born by now... or still in process. Hang in there Krissie!
2. Girl's Trip to Vegas - in August
3. Working my booth at High Hill Ranch in the fall.
4. Hopefully some little vacation we'll take as a family this summer.

Whew! All done. I'm headed to bed.



Monday, April 28, 2008

So HERE's what my problem is...

Bob ran across this blog and here is a post from it:

"Does anyone else ever feel that totally irrational nervousness when you have to open a can of those refrigerated cinnamon rolls or biscuits? As I’m peeling off the paper, I feel like my heart rate goes up about 100 beats/minute, even though I know that they never actually make a huge sound or explode violently. Why do I still feel so afraid?

Another example is when someone is going to pop a balloon. I know it’s not going to be that loud, but I still get nervous."


Okay, so anyone who knows me know that I 'suffer' from this. When Bob read it to me I said, 'oh my gosh! That sounds like I could have written that!!!'

And then he procedes to read me a 'response' to that post which says:

'You have a form of ligyrophobia — the fear of loud noises.'

The writer also goes on to say that he feels like he 'suffers' from that as well as it 'affects' him during fireworks, near large ships, etc.

So I'm thinking that my fear of being around people when they blow up balloons isn't really a fear of balloons themselves, but more of the possible 'popping' - which is really what the root problem is. (I remember as a kid being at a birthday party where they played this horrid little game where they tie a balloon to each ankle and then you mindlessly run around in sheer terror while menacing children try to pop your balloons by stamping their feet on them. Yes. I still feel the 'effects' to this day. )

Anyway, it's nice to know that I actually have a 'condition' and I'm not just some sissy-la-la. I'm thinking that the best therapy is probably eating lots of chocolate while getting massages on a weekly basis. Rest assured, I'll take my therapy VERY seriously and I'll start right away.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The 1st Birthday Party

SO!!! Miss Claire officially turned '1' this past Sunday. I must admit, throughout the course of her first year I played with a million different ideas of how I was going to do her first party. I went from tea-parties, to tutu's, to Chuck E. Cheese (that would mostly be for my benefit - I rock at this one game where you can win 150 tickets at a time - I hit it TWICE in one turn - EXCELLENT skills if I do say so myself - but I'm getting off track here...) but I'm a bit ashamed to say that when it came down to it, I just didn't put too much effort into her party. Life gets busy, and the thought of planning a birthday party for a kid who can't walk or talk can be tough. Plus, I belong to a moms group where it seems as if 95% of the kids are born in April. So that puts 'competition' on who gets to capitalize which Saturdays. Anyway, we ended up having an 'intimate affair' after church. I think it turned out perfectly.

So I made little cakes for the party that were in the shape of different mini-veggies, and butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and bumblebees. Super cute. I made one that just had chocolate frosting (with white cake - my favorite) for Claire. Honestly, she didn't care in the slightest. It just sat on her tray. She looked around, wondered why everyone was staring at her, and why mom had a camera in her face taking photos. I took a TON. But they all looked like this one.



We ended up just breaking the cake into pieces so she could eat it. We literally had to put pieces in her mouth so she would taste it. She played a bit with the frosting, but like I said before, she really didn't care. After a bit we just took her down. It gets pretty boring, pretty fast watching a kid NOT eat their cake.


So here's a photo of the the little cakes I made. See - I get these ideas of how I want things to look, but I never allow enough time to do them. First, don't start making cakes at 9pm the night before. That DEFINITELY doesn't allow enough time. I thought I had more piping bags and tips, which I didn't. So I used only 2 tips and ziplock bags. I actually like that way better as it results in quicker clean-up. Oh yeah, I also didn't get enough frosting to do all the colors I wanted. So I had to stick with chocolate and vanilla. The cakes are also a bit 'puffy' because I overfilled the cake shapes. Oh well. Next time they'll look better. One more thing, can you spot the two cakes that Bob said looked like a kindergartener made? (Gwen - that is NOT a slam against you)


Um... these are the rest of the cakes that I was too tired and bored to do the 'right' way. So they just got a quick coating of frosting. Good thing Claire's long term memory hasn't fully kicked in yet.


I love this picture of Gwen, Claire, and Kennedy sitting on the little couch that my parents got her for her birthday. Can you see Claire's little budda belly?! SO CUTE!!! (and she's not wearing a bow because she's now learned that she can pull them out. Much to my dismay)


One last photo. Claire is obviously checkin' out the goods. Thanks for the smile Gwen.

So to sum it up - it was a fun time, and I now feel like I'm leaving the 'baby' world behind. I can't wait to see what this next year will bring. Claire is changing so much and I never get bored of it! In fact, tonight, she actually said, 'mom-mee' I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Dearest Claire...

It is now just before 1am on the day of your birth. I'm getting ready to go to bed as I am up WAY to late - as normal.

I just checked in on you, and saw you laying in your crib. Some how you managed to turn upside down and you look SO incredibly sweet lying on your side. Your little legs make me smile - they always have, and I was so tempted to give them a little squeeze. I think your pajama shorts made them look extra cute.

I suddenly started thinking about what I was doing 1 year ago today, and I'm actually pretty surprised at how emotional I feel. Okay - so maybe that's not surprising as I can cry at anything remotely sappy.

At 1 am on April 13th of 2007, your daddy and I were actually asleep. Your 'Aunty Krissie' selflessly stayed at the hospital for what we considered to be the hardest 'shift' ever! Your dad and I still say that we owe Krissie the world for that. Your birthmom, 'D' was in 'transitional labor' (you'll learn about that stuff later on in life) and was having a hard time. She was very uncomfortable as she had already been in labor for 25 hours and you weren't going to make your appearance for another 12.

Emotionally, I was drained. Spent. So, SO tired. I couldn't wait to see you, but I was so nervous at the same time. See, there were two mommys that loved you so very much. One made sure that you had life, and that you were healthy. And she wanted you to have the best possible life that she could imagine. And by God's grace and goodness, she thought that me and daddy could give that to you. I hope so badly that I will. I can't imagine any baby being loved as much as you were.

I remember being so nervous that I would pass out when you were going to be born. I held your mom's hand and just looked at her face the entire time. And then I heard you cry. And you know what? I cried too! After you got your bath, daddy and I came up to the nursery to see you. You were being fed, and all the nurses said that you were so beautiful. And if I'm being completely honest - then I have to agree. Seriously - you were the prettiest baby EVER. And you were so tiny! I was so afraid to hold you - to change your diaper, to feed you. But 'D' showed me how. She showed me how to swaddle you, to change your clothes, everything! So again, you had 2 mommys to make sure that you were taken care of.

And now - here you are, a year later! A whole YEAR! I can't believe how fast it went by. You are becoming such a little person, and I love it so much! I love hearing you say 'mama', and I love when you give me smooches. I love your silly faces, and I love how you say 'oh, wow!' when something excites you. I love every thing about you. Everything - all of it. I love you SO incredibly much.

Happy birthday little munchkin!

love,
Mommy

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good Bye to the Mullet

As many of you know, Claire has had this very interesting mullet for the majority of her little life. I usually put her hair in 2 ponies so that it hides it, but since the rest of her hair is now growing in rather nicely, the ponies aren't looking too hot either. So for purely vain reasons (we're getting her 1 year photos done in just over a week) I made the executive decision to cut the mullet off. So here are a few photos, to document Claire's first haircut. And no, I did not do it myself as I knew I would probably mess it up - so Traci (who also does a fabulous job on my own hair -thank you very much) was so kind to do it for me. I, of course, in typical 'Asian' fashion was snapping photos left and right. At least I didn't have the neck strap on.


Seeing this photo actually makes me kind of like the mullet. I think it looks super cute here. Granted, you can't see the top - and that hat is OH so cute!!



Claire was just making sure Traci completely understood what look she was going for. I think in the end everyone was cool with it.


Claire did a super job during the entire 5 minute process. She didn't throw a fit of any kind, nor did she cry. I do think it's pretty cute how she was hanging onto the chair arm. Can you see that lock of hair on the counter? That's part of the mullet.

All done. My little baby is really looking like a little girl!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Well this Easter was a great one. I remember last Easter going to the service held at the fairgrounds and seeing all the 'moms' and their kids. Some were in strollers, and some were walking around, and I remember thinking 'Wow. That is going to be ME next Easter.' And yes, it really was. Claire sat in her stroller pretty well, but towards the end got a little sick of it. But a HUGE shout-out to Colleen who offered to hold her!! Thanks dude!

Our Easter Meal (I'm not sure if it was technically lunch or dinner, and it was too late to be brunch) was consumed up in good ol' Apple Hill at my parent's house. The food was incredible (seriously mom - where DID you get that ham!) and of course I totally over ate. But I blame that on the creator of cream cheese. I mean - who would have guessed that mixing that stuff with potatoes (and creating 'twice baked' potatoes) would result in chemically altering one's ability to control their intake of food. It's really weird. Maybe they should do a 'study' on it.

And now, for a few photos - be prepared - I added quite a few.

And here is Miss Claire in her totally beautiful but completely impractical 'Easter Dress'. Yes, it's silk, and has to be dry cleaned only. Which mean I fed her in her pajamas then quickly put on the dress before heading to church, and then snapped a few pictures at mom and dad's and then changed her clothes again before giving her lunch. Good thing I'm going to have her wear that dress during her '1 year photos' - so at least it gets SOME use out of it. I know. Stupid purchase. (oh yeah - disclaimer on the hair - she was messing with it so it looks REALLY bad - but I didn't have time to fix it before our 2 minute photo shoot)


Claire has learned to clap. Super cute.
So here she is, ready to look for eggs and 'cheering' about it.
I wonder if she ever realized there was one just behind her.


Hmm. Looks like some other kid found that egg.
But hey - its a great day out. So there's still tons to clap about.


Oops. I guess those eggs are still there. Now if she can just lean forward a bit...


Yeah. It's gets pretty boring. I totally understand. But I have a feeling that if you just would have moved around a bit - it COULD have been a bit more interesting...


So in the end, we just gave her a few eggs. She was totally cool with it. But what I don't have a picture of, is Ty - when about 2 minutes later he walked up and took all her eggs. I think he thought he 'found' them. (the other eggs he found were hidden at the same level of 'difficulty')
 
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