Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Photo 'Runner-Ups'

one of my girlfriends is a professional photographer.

I actually met her when we adopted Claire and she came to take her six months photos 
(as she was a part of an 'adoption photography network')
and then we just ended up becoming friends.

she was also there when I arrived in San Francisco with Charlie. 
(she's just super cool like that)

oh, and she has the most AMAZING food blog

you have to take a peek at it   HERE 
(seriously, the stuff on there makes me drool)

so I was super stoked when she was able to fit us in for our Christmas Photos
as she's semi-retired from portrait photography
since her blog is kind of a big deal
(my words, not hers - LOL)

anyway, she got me the files quicker than I can eat a dozen
(okay, so I haven't technically timed myself
or actually tasted these, but boy do I WANT TO!!!)

and I have to say, I was STOKED at the photos. 

First, I hate photos of myself. I never take them. But with the hope of 
becoming a 'good mom', I've been trying to take some of me with the kids
so that they know I actually existed when they were younger.
There were two family shots, and I'm using the best one for the card
and the other ... well, you'll see it in a bit. 

ALL of the photos of the kids I loved. I really did. But there is one
that absolutely has my heart. For some reason to me, it just makes my heart melt.

so I'm saving that one for last.

So here's a taste of some of the ones that didn't make the cut for the card ...
... but I still thought were super cute. 

and here's my favorite.
I actually just ordered stickers and I got it printed in an 8x10

... and yes, it's already in a frame, and I just LOVE it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whew ... are we in December yet?

gosh... it seems like this past week or so has just been incredibly


which I know isn't anything new to everyone else, 
but for some reason I just feel extra tired this time. 

(could be because I'm coming down with a cold or something)

I kinda can't remember what all we did, but I know we
seemed to be always on the go. 
oh wait. I take that back. It rained a lot. 
so we were home bound.
(yikes. I sound like I'm losing my mind)

I did get pictures of a couple of things. 

First, I took the kids to the local 
'Day Before Thanksgiving Parade'

I thought it started at 9:30 am
but it was actually 9:00 am

We were able to catch the end of it
(it wasn't all that exciting, but something we'll definitely do next year)

and here's what the kids thought

yeahhhh ...  oh well. 

Thanksgiving was super fun. We went up to my parents house
and because of a little storm that passed through a few days before, 
there was still some snow left to play in!

Claire liked making snowballs and learned how to throw them

 she had a great time watching her cousins sled
(she was a bit scared during her one and only trip down)

She tried making snow angels on the icy snow

and of course Mr. Charles decided to come check out the white stuff

 he did a lot of looking

and then Bob gave him some snow

and he carried it around until we took it out of his hand. 
It was kind of crazy how he didn't complain about his little hand getting cold. 

and of course, he tried eating it. 
(he still tries to eat everything)

I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving as it was just fun, relaxing, and delicious.

and of course I loved the Black Friday shopping as well. 

Last year was my maiden voyage in Black Friday seas
and I have to say - I am SO addicted!

I think it's the thrill of the hunt. So far I have failed to make a game plan
(besides knowing what stores I'd like to check out)
and instead I kind of do a quick browsing type thing. 

it's fun to see what goodies you happen to come across. 

Oh - and now I'm sick. 
Yeah ...  I have some kind of cold or something like that. 
I have one more day to get over it, and then I'll have to buck up. 
so until then, I'm going to bed. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

okay, so it's not THAT cold out
but in our neck of the woods, it got COLD.

It was supposed to rain all weekend
(and for the next few days)
so when the sun decided to give us a break
 from being holed up in the house
we jumped on it.
(or rather, we walked)

this kid will NOT smile at a camera. 
(it's starting to really annoy me)
like ... he'll actually be laughing and then I'll pull out 
the camera and the smiles instantly stop. 

this is the closest to a smile I've gotten in a long time.

taking photos of two kiddos is next to impossible I'm finding.

they may not be smiling
but at least they're looking at the camera.

I kinda have to give myself a pat on the back. 
when I got them up off of the ground, I noticed that their
backsides got really dirty. 

and I didn't freak out. 

I think this Momma is finally starting to loosen up. 
awww  yeahhhh

Saturday, November 20, 2010

my little guy

I was taking some photos of the kids the other day
and I passed over this one because the focus was all off.

but after taking a second look at it, I just kinda fell in love with it. 

my little guy is walking like a big guy

kinda like the thinks he owns the world or something.

 (here's a close up)

it's crazy to think that he's only been home for 5 weeks. 
of course we're still adjusting, but things are definitely progressing. 

it's funny - when I first got him I thought he was soooo laid back. 
but actually, he's kinda not. 
he's definitely a 'go with the flow' kind of kid, 
but when he wants something (or doesn't want something) he will SO let you know!

and I'm also starting to get better at handling two kiddos. 
In fact, I took them to buy some kimchee today
which was over an hour (round trip) in the car
and it was also raining. 

there was no fighting, and even some sleeping

which makes life seem pretty good right now. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the GOOD ATTITUDE princess

Meet Rapunzel

in our house she is the bringer of 'good attitudes'

she comes complete with a blonde hair extension
(for her ... or for you ... take your pick)

we've been having some issues with attitudes in our home lately. 
primarily with the eldest daughter.

so it was decided that Rapunzel could come join our family as long
as a certain 3 year old could act like a big girl. 
(that includes no throwing fits and eating all of your food)

when Rapunzel made her entrance this evening 
(thank goodness Daddy works close to a Target)
I had a little talk with Claire about the expectations
that came along with this particular princess.

Claire, you can sleep with Rapunzel tonight
only if you do NOT throw a fit when I tell you it's time to go to bed.
And you can't throw a fit when it's time to go potty 
or brush your teeth.
And in the morning, I will put Rapuzel on the counter
and after you've finished eating all of your food, you can have her again.
And when it's lunch time, I will put her again on the counter
and when your food is all gone you can play with her. 
Same goes for dinner. I will put Rapunzel on the counter
until you finish eating all of your food. 

Do you understand?

Mom - that's enough talking about Rapunzel. 
She can't even talk yet. 

Um... okay?

Apparently to get Rapunzel to 'talk'
Claire would tap her on the chest and yell

hey Rapunzel!
Can you hear me? 
Can you hear me?

Somehow that must have awakened Rapunzel's vocal chords
because after that she couldn't stop talking.

Here she is talking to 'Molly'.
(Claire is currently obsessed with Molly - who is from the movie 'Annie')

tonight, bedtime was super easy.
no fits. no fuss. 

let's hope this princess can deliver the goods tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a little FYI...

so what does 



and this

have in common?

all the shoes are from here!

I happened to be checking out some of my favorite websites 
to see if there was anything good going on, 
and stumbled across this sale. 

super great prices.

like ... I got Charlie some shoes for $16!

anyway, I thought it was too good of a deal to keep to myself.

and no, I'm not sponsored by them to be telling you this.

but OH how I wish I was.

here's the link the their site:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Enchanting Afternoon

there is an old park not too far from where I live. 

it's super basic. 

... a covered picnic area ...
... a small play structure for toddlers ...
... a large play structure for the bigger kids ...
... and some soccer fields ...

the other day we decided to head over there
and we took the kiddos
(and my parents)
and it was discovered that if you took the path that outlined
the soccer fields and curved off into the trees

it would bring you down to this little spot

there was something about how the soft beams of sunlight made everything glow
that took me back to a time where I wished that a little spot, 
just like this one, had existed for me to explore.

to have a stream (preferably in your own backyard) was my fantasy.

I often thought of magical adventures that involved me having long flowing hair
while wearing a soft billowing dress that always seemed to flutter in the breeze.
and of course there would be some handsome boy 
who would come to rescue me from who knows what
(but rest assured, there was always a boy. apparently I was boy crazy)

there was this tall tree that looked a million years old
and I had a fleeting thought to tell Claire
that He was the keeper of all the secrets.

He knew where the fairies hid and which animals could speak to you.

He knew that if you took an ordinary stick ...

... it could become a shiny sharp sword ...

... or a magical wand ...

... to help you find a buried treasure ...

... or read the secret message hidden between the grains of sand ...

but instead, I said nothing.
and I just watched her play and explore her new spot. 
I have a feeling that we'll be making many trips here.

and when we do, the stories will be different.
as they will be her's to tell
and I will be the one who gets listen.

because sadly this girl has forgotten how to get to the enchanted kingdom.

instead she sees the mud that will get the car dirty
... the horse manure that she almost stepped in - and made her shudder ...
... the sand that is undoubtably in her children's shoes ...
... and the realization that snakes and tics could be in the vicinity ...

but maybe on one afternoon
when they go back to do some exploring
  the sun will drop soft beams of light
that will seem to make everything glow

and once again she'll get lost in a magical land
with a little maiden and a little prince
and it will last for more than a moment.

Monday, November 15, 2010

getting a bit personal

Something happened Friday night 
that contributed to me having an 'ah ha' moment.

it's totally non-adoption related

and I guess you could say it involves me dealing with my inner demons.

I decided to start a new blog that will focus on 
my new goals and the long process it will take to achieve them. 
(so I can keep the focus on this blog separate from that one)

I really debated about whether or not I should go 'public' with my new blog
but ended up deciding that it would be the best way for 
me to have some accountability.

You don't have to read it. 
Really! I'm totally serious.
In fact, it might be boring to some of you. 

but then again, some of you might find in interesting.
or maybe encouraging. 

All I know, is that I need a form of accountability.
And the thought that maybe someone other than myself
(and my mom) is reading it, gives me a 'healthy fear'
to not give up. 

at least that's what I'm hoping

so feel free to check it out
you can even comment on it if you want to.
but be gentle, my skin isn't that thick.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Super Junior

I have a thing for Boy Bands.

*NSYNC and Backstreet are still on my ipod.

and then I was introduced to kpop...

and of course that turned into a new addiction for me as well. 

so do you realize how thrilling it was for me when I discovered

super junior

um... yeah. It's was seriously an awesome moment in my life.

Should I be embarrassed to admit that every day
 me and the kiddos watch kpop videos on youtube? 

Claire and Charlie love to dance to them
and I love watching the videos... er.. I mean, the kids.

I think I justify it by telling myself that Charlie loves hearing them sing in Korean.

so here are two of my favorite videos by Super Junior. 

I know which one is my favorite

do you?

and yes, that was a trick question

as I love them both.

I'll have to video Claire & Charlie dancing to 
'Girls Generation' next. 

They both go crazy when they come on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beep Beep

we got a new car the other day.

it's for Charlie

he actually really likes it

and figured out how the horn worked pretty quickly

I swear the kid actually smiles
(I just can't catch it on film very often)

'racing' is the new favorite past time

they never get tired of it

it's so super exciting

and something they can do together

and really enjoy

thank goodness it has a handle ... it makes steering so much easier. 


oh, and something really special happened today.

Charlie came to me
I wasn't holding anything that he would want. 
And he just walked straight up to me and lifted his
arms for me to lift him up. 

... and I held him and I hugged him ...

and then he was off again to explore.

I must admit, my heart started beating faster.
I've been talking to Bob about how Charlie won't just come
to me, and while I know he hasn't been home all that
long, I was beginning to wonder if maybe I wasn't doing enough
or maybe there was something I was doing wrong

So to see him smile, and just come walking quickly towards me,
made me ohhh so happy and I felt a twinge of relief.

I'm not saying that the attachment process is done and now we can just
live happily ever after, but I'm saying that things are going in the right direction.

later in the evening he came up to me a bunch more times. 
I kept saying to Bob, 
'You saw that right? He came just came up to me!'

We were watching kpop videos and the kids were dancing.
So periodically Charlie would just walk over for me to pick him up
and he'd just want to sit next to me. 
He'd look up at me and laugh and wave his arms while he danced
and then after a short bit he'd get down and walk around some more. 

It just feels good to be at this point. 
To feel like you're seeing some progress and not just thinking you are.

Now if we could just get the kids to share, I'd really be flying high!

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