Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

Today we had our first rainy day in quite a while.
(at least I think it's been awhile. my brain still isn't quite up to par)

It was supposed to rain yesterday when my parents came to visit. 
They were coming to hang out with Claire since I thought she could use
a little 'fun time' sans the little brother. 
One of the 'activities' they were going to do was take a walk in the rain. 

And I think it was during that conversation with my Mom where I had
to admit that I've never done that with Claire. 

I do not claim to be Mother of the Year. 
In fact, I don't think I could even be nominated.

I let my kid...

... watch too much TV ...
... eat chips ...
... or McDonalds ...
... I'm not the finest cook ...
... don't like 'outdoorsy' stuff ...
... let her play with play-dough for the first time the other day ...
(because it was a gift)
... and I encourage 'independent play' ...


but before you call CPS
I do...

... let her wear whatever she wants when we're home ...
... have conversations with her while singing in an 'opera voice' ...
... paint her toe nails ...
... buy her frilly dresses that she can spin in ...
... write out words so she can trace them ...
... and let her sleep with me when she needs to ...
(even though I wasn't a fan of co-sleeping) 

So to ease my guilt of the never 'walking in the rain' thing, 
I decided that today was the day that was all going to change. 

we got our boots



and our umbrella



we walked this way



and that way



and then I finally let her step into the 'gutter' where the water was



and she splished and splashed to her hearts content



she walked in the water while singing 'Tomorrow' from the movie 'Annie'



all and all, it was a fun activity and I probably should have done it sooner.
(although my umbrella had a hole in it and I was worried my camera was getting wet)
seeing that smile on my little girl's face brought a big smile to my face.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

jammies

I love jammies on babies. 

There's just something so incredibly cute about how they fit those little bodies


and they have some of the cutest prints


they're easy to play in


especially when you're on the go


and they make my little cutie look even cuter


so thank you Target

you have one very satisfied Momma!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

I guess technically to have true sibling rivalry you need two participants.

at this point Charlie doesn't realize what's going on.

he's just going about doing his thing
(which is picking up every small thing on the floor and trying to eat it)


 So how did this sweet girl



turn into this?

We've been trying to do little outings in between Charlie's nap times.
And since our mall partially burnt down, that left one other place.

It's called 'The Fountains' and true to it's name,
it has a big fountain at the center that comes
complete with a water show timed to music. 
(I know, it's like our own mini Bellagio)

I brought my camera with the hopes of getting some good sibling shots
but the eldest sibling was just not havin' it.

Instead it was full me yelling things like...

Hey guys - Claire, Charlie - Look at Momma!
Yoo-Hoo - over here - HEY!!!


GENTLE! Do NOT knock him down!



STOP BLOCKING HIM!!!
He's allowed to walk around!


no words
{her eyes say it all}

But even though Claire is still working on being a super great big sister,
she still has her moments of kindness...

like when she tried to help Charlie eat breakfast all by herself.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thinking about Korea

You know, the other night I dreamed about Korea.

It wasn't about the country, but somehow I had three friends (who I didn't recognize)
and I was telling someone that they were Korean
(like it was super cool)

I know. Kinda weird. 

So tonight I made a batch of jook
and ate it with one of my long stemmed Korean spoons

and decided to write out my thoughts on Korea.
(especially since that was my first time back since I left to be adopted)


First - I want to make it perfectly clear that what I write is purely my own opinion. To me, each Adoptee has their own point of view and I completely respect that. Life experiences shape your perspective, so I think it would be only natural for people to have differing feelings on the same subject. Anyway, that's all I really have to say about that, but just felt that it needed to be said. 


and now, back to Korea.


Before I left on my trip, I had quite a few people ask me how I felt about going back. This was, in fact, the first time I would be stepping foot on the soil of my birth country since I left back in 1976. To be honest, I didn't give it much thought. I mean, of course I realized it was kind of a big deal, but in actuality it didn't feel like one.

Let me start off by saying that where I grew up - there were hardly any Asians. For reals. So I grew up used to being 'the only one', or 'standing out' so to speak. I never found it to be a bad thing, and never really thought about it. But if I went to San Francisco, or an airport where a group of tourists just landed - I would feel very uncomfortable.

After college when I worked in sales, one of my clients was Korean. I actually credit her for 'teaching' me about Korean food and some cultural stuff. It was a slow progression, but over the years since then, I became more interested in being 'Korean'. Once we started thinking about adopting from Korea, (which was almost 3 years ago) I actually became a bit more pro-active in my 'interest'.

And so that kind of brings us to my trip to Korea. 

I have to say, I surprised myself as to how much I loved Seoul. In some ways it seems a bit premature to rave about a city that I only spent a few days in - and I never ventured farther than a 30 minute cab ride. There is still so much of that country to see. Which I will... in hopefully a couple of more years. 

But regardless, I truly did love what I saw. And strangely enough, I felt really comfortable being around the largest group of Koreans ever! It was kind of like I got to be part of a secret club... except I didn't have full access because I still had the language barrier. Never before had I wished that I spoke Korean as I did while I was there. I found that I just wanted to be able to communicate - really communicate, like in Korean. And I wished that I knew all the cultural nuances that they already know - like when to bow, am I handing my money to them properly, do I turn to the side before I take my first drink. 

And while I found myself falling in love with the motherland, there was something that became even more clear to me. 

I am so glad that I am an American.

It's kind of hard to explain, and that's probably another reason why it's taken me so long to write about it - because it's hard to find the right words. I guess the best way to describe it, would be if you found out that your ethnic heritage included being {insert whatever you want here} and so you traveled back to that country to visit it. You discover all these 'cool' things that they do and you appreciate, and you definitely want to come back and visit... again and again. But at the end of the day, you love coming back home

does that make sense?


Because I've learned so much about why women choose adoption in Korea, I have to say, it does contribute to my thankfulness that I was raised here, in the states. If I were to have stayed in Korea, I know that I would not have had the same opportunities that I have been given. Chance are, I could have been someone totally different from who I am today. And while I may never know the true story behind why I was abandoned at a train station, I have to say, I'm okay with it. 

My life is actually really good. Far better than what I deserve and I truly am grateful. I have a super fabulous husband, two incredible kiddos, and a wonderful family - filled with fantastic parents, siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles. I can't complain. 

But I do wish that I was able to tell my Birth Mom & my Foster Mom 'Thank You'. Thank you for giving me life and a great foundation to grow from. Thank you for making a decision that must have been hard, but ultimately was for my benefit. And whether it was on purpose or not, turned out to be a selfless act. 


So I plan on going back.


This time we'll go as a family - all of us. We're thinking it'll be in about two and half years. Claire will be about six, and Charlie will be three and a half. Charlie's Foster Mom is 68, so I really want to be able to bring him back so she can see how well he's doing and how much he's grown. So hopefully in these next two plus years, I'll be able to learn a bit of Korean and build up my stamina for all the walking we'll be doing. I'll also be able to schedule an 'appointment' to review my adoption file. From what I understand there is the possibility that some of the information can differ from what my parents originally received. So maybe that will turn into a fun adventure... who knows...

What I do know, is that I'm glad I'm an adoptee
and I'm glad that I'm Korean

because my life has brought me to them


and that's a really good thing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love my Family

I remember life before I had kids

(the good ol' days)

I'm KIDDING!

but seriously...
 there was something nice about being able
 to sleep whenever I wanted, 
eat a meal non-rushed, 
and feed my purse obsession...


but now I have these two in my life.



and when I see him smile



and take in the new 'world' around him



and call me Omma

it absolutely melts my heart.



And when I see my Big Girl




acting so grown up




and full of life

it makes me wonder where the last three and half years have gone.



I am so thankful that this is my family
and while we continue to grow closer to one another
I simply cannot imagine my life without them.

Thank you Auntie Me-Me & Uncle Andy

Yesterday when I got the mail there was a super fun package waiting.

It wasn't for me, but for Charlie & Claire.

 Auntie Me-Me & Uncle Andy sent a bunch of goodies for the kids

 but if I'm being honest, my favorite part was the
two pictures they sent for Charlie.


 it says,
'Hi Charlie - I'm your Aunt Megan'


and this one says,
'Hi Charlie - I'm your Uncle Andy'

 *I have to say, even though my brother and sister-in-law have
movie-star-good-looks, I think my son still prefers me. *

yeeesssssss!


Here's the Mariners shirt they sent for him
(he got it dirty within 2 seconds of putting it on...)


and of course they sent the 'Asian guy'
(which made me laugh & I secretly super love)


I wanted to get a photo of the kids together...
but it's not that simple I'm finding.


But a big THANK YOU to Andy & Meg.
I really appreciate how you included little things for Claire.
That was so incredibly thoughtful of you and she 
just LOVES the new microphone!
(she's been singing songs into it non-stop)


On the 'transition' end, things are going pretty good. 
Charlie is sleeping through the night
and taking a couple of naps during the day.
He loves to be outside and he's eating well. 

we have his first appointment with the pediatric GI specialist tomorrow
and then Friday we have an appointment with a pediatric
cardiologist. Apparently his heart murmur is still there
so they want to follow up on it. 

Claire's transition is slow in coming, but I'm thinking 
that I might be seeing a smidge of improvement each day.

or maybe that's just wishful thinking


but I was able to capture this super cute photo the other night


so maybe not all hope is lost.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting to know Charlie

We're coming up to Charlie being home for almost a week.

I can't believe that time has already gone by so quickly. 

a week passing means I only have a week left with Bob being home

*sigh*

but I won't focus on that... for now.


things that I have 'learned' about Charlie since being home:

he prefers to walk
he can pop back up super fast if he falls down
he's willing to try almost any food
but will spit it out if he doesn't like it
likes to fall asleep in the sitting position
and will fold in half when he passes out
he really likes his sister
even though he's bitten her twice
he loves biter biscuits
has learned to clap
tries to do the motions for 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' when I sing it
smiles a lot
squats when he has to poop
has huge lungs
put everything in his mouth
mimics a ton


Getting to know Charlie is coming along. 
I know it's going to take time before we really attach to each other
but I think I'm starting to see a little bit of progress each day.

Even though Claire is only three and a half, 
I have to say, I totally forgot what it was like to have a one year old.
It's amazing how much of a 'baby' he still is. 

Not that I actually had my act together before he came home,
but I see myself falling behind again...
forgetting to pack things in the diaper bag...
losing track of time...
you know ...  the basics

Alright. It's past my bedtime. This girl has got to get to bed.





Thursday, October 21, 2010

Out and About

So I figured it was about time that we got out of our cave 
and out into the real world. 

The plan was to head over to the mall 
and hit up Babies R Us across the street.

but then I saw that our mall was on fire...
... and there was a possible hostage situation

nice

so instead we went to Target
and when we got home we hung out for a bit outside.

Claire rode her bike, and Charlie walked around.

It was actually pretty fun.









(notice the teeth in this one? he's going to cost us a bundle)


Claire had fun riding around but didn't want Charlie to touch her bike.

So when she started heading back our way, 
I was curious to see what would happen.


Charlie was excited to see her coming


Eye Contact was made - but no smile was engaged


 She's accessing the situation at hand



And makes a last minute swerve 



 Successfully passing her brother without a scratch


I know that one of these days these two will be best of buds.

(at least that's what I'm hoping)
 
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