Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like X-Mas

I'm almost afraid to say it out of fear of jinxing myself (and the entire family) but I "think" that the sickness has FINALLY left our home. Wesley still has a runny nose, but hey I'll take it! Last weekend was the "official" kick-off to Christmas for our family. Brian hung the lights on the outside of the house on Saturday before the rain started in again. Then, on Sunday we headed over to the club house in the community where my parents live for a Santa Brunch. My brother, his family and his mother-in-law were meeting up with Brian, Wesley, me and my parents. Unfortunately, his wife Kelli and my nephew had to stay home because my nephew was sick. The rest of us stuffed ourselves silly with yummy food, mimosas and had a good time catching up. Then, it was time to meet Santa! Jaden (Kelli's son) was a pro at this so he went first to show Wesley "the ropes." When it came time for Wesley to step up, I pretty much knew what was coming. I told Brian to get the camera ready and then placed Wesley on Santa's lap.

He looked up at the strange man with the red suit and white fluffy beard and got this panicked expression on his face. And then, the tears came. We took a few pictures and then I had to go and get him before he was too traumatized.

Here's the group at the brunch. Note the candy cane antlers (courtesy of myself).

Mom, Dad & Wesley - poor kid had no idea his parents were such geeks.

Dad & Wesley "working" the antlers.

Jaden giving Santa an ear-full.

Wesley's first impression of Old St. Nick

And, here come the tears. . .

Umm, Mom are you going to come and get me off this guy's lap or what?

The last couple of years when it came to our Christmas tree, we would head to the Sierra Foothills with my parents to one of the local tree farms to cut down our tree. It had become a tradition that we really looked forward to each year. Well, this year with Wesley being so young and all of us not being in the best of health, we decided against it. As I've come to realize these past few months, there are just some things that we're going to have to let go. This was one of them. In fact we didn't even go pick out a tree together as a family. After Wesley woke up from his nap Sunday, he was coughing quite a bit and the nose was runny. He was cranky and the weather was starting to turn and it would soon rain. I just couldn't justify taking him out in the cold for a memory that would only serve us. So, I told Brian to just go down to Home Depot and pick out a tree.

Now, obviously most of you haven't gone tree hunting with me before, but let's just say I'm not easy to please. So for me to let him go without me and to the Home Depot versus a local tree farmer was HUGE. Can I just say that this year we have one of the prettiest trees we've ever had? It goes to show. . . Anyway, letting things go. Work in progress. We didn't get to decorate the tree until last night and we quickly realized that we had to adjust with an 18 month old in the room that is incredibly active and very curious. So, I made a suggestion. Brian said, "Are you serious?" And I said, "Absolutely. Do you have any better ideas?" And, here's how the first part of our decorating went. . .

Wesley eventually had enough and started getting crabby. So, we got him out and he and I went in the other room for some calm time before bed. Brian kept putting ornaments on the tree (without me). Again, me letting go. Once Wesley was asleep, I picked up where Brian left off and we had a lovely tree. I couldn't wait to show Wesley in the morning. And, I can't wait to get some presents underneath for our little peanut. It's going to be a great holiday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

18 Months Old, 4 Months Home & More. . .

We're still playing catch up at our house on EVERYTHING. Just when I thought we were on the upswing, the "house of sickness" went into week 5 with Brian on antibiotics and Wesley on the tail end of a double ear infection. By the end of the week, we all were feeling better and I thought to myself, "Ok, this is it." Then today, both Wesley and I have bad coughs and he's got a runny nose. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! We will NOT succumb to another sickness. We just can't!

Well, in the midst of playing catch up, Wesley turned 18 months last Sunday and this Saturday we've been home from South Korea 4 months. I can't believe how fast time is flying by and how much he is growing up. We are really seeing some changes in him. Physically, he's really grown. We've been to the doctor's office quite a bit lately and the nurses have even commented on how he's really stretched out these past few months.

The two big things we've been waiting for and that most people ask about - walking and talking. We make a little progress and then, not so much. We pretty much have figured out that both of these are things that are going to be on Wesley's terms. It's going to be just like when he went off his bottle. He just decided one day that he was done. And, that was that. One day in November when Wesley was home sick, he decided to take a few steps on his own. Since then he hasn't done it again. He practices with us and at daycare, but he's definitely on his own schedule. Same goes with talking. He babbles and babbles and babbles, but hasn't said any solid "words" since September.

Sleeping has gotten much better. We still have struggles everyone once in awhile, but for the most part we've got a routine down and it works for us. Feeding is a work in progress. Food is not an issue - the kid eats anything. He's been on a sippy cup since October, but we're working on him feeding himself with the spoon. I fear the mess. I know it's stupid. We even have a splat mat. We just need to do it and let him have at it. Daycare puts the entire meal in front of the kids and it's a free-for-all. You should see him when he comes home - OMG!

He is so smart and understands everything we are telling him. And, he is in full-blown toddler mode. He's testing us at every chance he gets. He has what we call "mini-meltdowns" on occasion when things don't go his way. And, he is into EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. So very curious. It's funny and scary all at the same time. And then he's unbelievably lovable and his personality is really coming out now. He has a funny sense of humor and loves to laugh. He's all boy in that EVERYTHING must be thrown, banged, pounded when he's playing (similar to "Bam Bam" from the Flintstone's). It's just amazing to watch him sometimes. He really fits in well to our little family.
Here is our little "ham."

He doesn't go anywhere without his hammer.

Hanging out in his rocking chair

He LOVES books!

One of his favorites - Dr. Seuss's "The Foot Book"

Cracking up at "The Foot Book"

I haven't posted about daycare since I went back to work full-time at the end of October. The first few weeks, I honestly couldn't post or even talk about it. It was very difficult. Difficult on Wesley and difficult on me. The first week was the worst. Lots of tears. Both Wesley and myself. Despite the fact that we "eased into it" with 1/2 days for part of the week, he was confused and understandably so. Naps were either non-existent or very short for awhile. But, once we got through week 2, we started to get into a grove and he realized that he wasn't being left. We still have tough days here and there - especially when he's missed days like he has these past few weeks with being sick. However, I think in the end, he really enjoys himself and the interaction with the other children and teachers.

It makes us surely appreciate the time we have with him even more. Weekends are precious and the time we have during the week with him is very special. And to be honest, I think I'm a better parent with the balance of work and personal life and he's probably happier. He is the light of my life and I couldn't imagine my world without him. I look forward to coming home to him each day and seeing his smiling face each and every morning. He is my sunshine.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful. . .

Ok, so I've been away from the blog WAY too long and I've neglected my blog longer than I ever intended to. The reason. Sickness. Germs. And more sickness. We're going on four (4) weeks of this. No joke. And I've got to tell you, I'm sick of being sick. Collectively, we've had ear infections, sinus infections, more ear infections, borderline upper respiratory infections, etc. Enough!!! Don't even get me started on the sleepless nights. Anyway, that is the reason for the neglect on the blog. Let's move on and post something positive on this Thanksgiving night.

We host Thanksgiving at our home every year and on occasion we are blessed to have my mother-in-law Bonnie visiting from the east coast. This was one of those years! She arrived last Friday so we've been enjoying her company all week. This was her first time meeting Wesley, so it was a very special visit. In addition to my family and my mother-in-law, we had our dear friends Jose and Shannon over who we consider family. Jose and Shannon graciously provided yummy appetizers including champagne while my mom made some awesome soup, and my lovely hubs did the rest of the cooking.

Here he is in all his glory. The bird looks burnt but it's not, it's the dry rub - mmmm!

Here is my mom enjoying a pina colada from a fresh coconut courtesy of Jose. OMG!

My brother J and his son Brooks

Wesley and his cousin Brooks hanging out. Two of the cutest boys in the world!!!

Mom, Dad, Nanie (a.k.a. Brian's mom) and Brian pose for the camera.

Me and Nanie

Jose and Wesley having fun

Me and "The Chef" Brian

These two look like they're going to get into some trouble!

Hey, how did this guy get to be at the head of the Thanksgiving table?

Me and my little peanut

It's times like this that we reflect on the past year and think about what we are thankful for. Well, this year I didn't have to even think about it. He's here. He's FINALLY here. After seven (7) years of trying to become a family of three (3) versus a family of two (2) we've finally made it! I'm reminded of the day that we told my parents that we weren't going to "try" for a biological child any longer. It was extremely difficult. Possibly the most difficult thing I've ever had to say to my parents. And my dad said to me, "Sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." God does have a plan for us.

So, on this Thanksgiving night here is my top 10 (not in order) list of things I am thankful for:

1. Wesley - I know that this child was meant to be with our family. In the short amount of time he's been with us, he's touched so many people and he's filled my heart with so much joy. I couldn't see my life without him. I love you Peanut. :)
2. Brian - I couldn't imagine going on this journey with anyone else. You are my traveling companion, my love, my life. You are an amazing father and I love you.
3. My parents - I feel so blessed to have two wonderful people that I look up to and enjoy spending time with. You are inspirational, crazy at times and awesome grandparents to Wesley.
4. Family - my mother-in-law, my brother, my aunts and uncles, I love you all and appreciate the love and support you have given me, Brian and now Wesley.
4. Friends - I wouldn't pick any other people to surround me with the love, support, laughs and friendship that you have. You are like family to me. :)
5. Lesley @ Across the World Adoption Agency - I'm so thankful for her listening to me vent about our China adoption one evening in May, 2009; the conversation turned to her referring us to our agency and the Korea program. If it weren't for her, I don't know if things would have turned out the way they did and I credit her with putting us on the path to find our son.
6. Adoptive mom friends - it's been said before by myself and many others but unless you have been through the adoption process (or are in it) you can't really understand it all. It is a roller coaster ride. There are good times. There are difficult times. There are times that words can't even describe. Having other moms that have "been there, done that" has been incredible and invaluable.
7. Reality TV - although we watch less TV now that our little peanut is home, we still make time for reality TV. I love it. The Real Housewives (Atlanta, Orange County, New York), Project Runway, Millionaire Matchmaker, American Idol and so many more. The trashy ones are the best. They take me to another place and help me to forget about my work day, stresses, etc. The trashier the better.
8. Naps - although they are few and far between these days (only weekends and only if we don't have plans) I am thankful for naps to catch up on lost sleep which seems to be the case these days. Just when you think you're having a good month sleep-wise with Wesley, things take a turn.
9. Spanx - If you've ever worn these you know why I'm thankful. Enough said.
10. Music - I've written about my affinity for music before so this shouldn't be a surprise. I'm happy to report that Wesley loves music. We have it on in the house all the time. He bounces to it and is starting to clap as well. He falls asleep to Beatles Bedtime (Beatles songs in lullaby format). A world without music is a sad, sad world in my book.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


All three of us have been sick this week with a nasty cold that's been going around (thank you daycare) and mine unfortunately turned into a sinus infection. So, hence the late Halloween post. Without furter adieu. . .

We kicked off our Halloween with carving our pumpkin the day before and putting some finishing touches on our decor outside. The weather has been wild here with rain one day then mid 70 degree weather the next. Needless to say a lot of the Halloween decorations weren't doing so hot in our neighborhood after the last rain. In past year's, Brian and I would buy two pumpkins and we would both carve but this year we decided to just get one big one and Brian handled the dirty work.

Wesley got the biggest kick out of watching his Daddy carve the pumpkin, but what was an even bigger hit was when we let him stick his hands in the "pumpkin guts" afterward.

We invited my parents over on Sunday for dinner and to participate in Wesley's first Halloween. The yummy chili that we had cooking in the crock pot all day filled the house with an amazing aroma. The Giant's game was on that night as well (World Series) so my dad was basically going to be glued to the television once the game started. After we all ate dinner (no chili for Wesley) it was time to hold our breathe and put on the Halloween costume. We really weren't sure what the reaction from Wesley was going to be. . .

Our little monkey with his Daddy.

Ummm, did you happen to see the banana sticking out the right side of the costume?

We couldn't get a good picture of him standing in the costume or sitting for that matter. Poor kid looks miserable. . .

OK - I'm ready for some SERIOUS Trick-or-Treating!

Wesley, my mom and I headed out for a little bit of Trick-or-Treating and left Dad and Brian home to answer the door and watch the Giant's game. The first stop was to visit a house around the corner where my friend Jenn (and her family) live. After we visited them for a bit, we hit a few houses on our street where we knew the neighbors. By the time we got to the third house, Wesley got the hang of reaching into the candy bucket and pulling out candy. Unfortunately, he then threw the candy to the ground - but hey baby steps, right? He was really "into" it and being out when it was dark with some house being decorated scarily didn't bother him one bit. The kid has no fear. We headed home after awhile because I was carrying him most of the way (all 30 pounds of him), it was getting late and we were fighting the beginning stages of our colds.

Too bad he couldn't eat any of the candy he scored. Until next year. . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The (a little late) Versatile Blogger Award

Well, first I must apologize for the tardiness of this post. My adoptive mom (and blogger) friend Michelle gave me the Verstile Blogger Award at the beginning of October and I'm just NOW getting around to thanking her and passing it on. So Michelle my friend, "Thank you" and hopefully you know that I look forward to the day that our families get together to meet. You were a huge cheerleader for me in the months leading up to traveling to Seoul and it helped tremendously.

About the versatile blogger award:
- You thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
- Share 7 things about yourself.
- Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers that you think are great!

7 Things About Me:
1. I've wanted to adopt since I was very young. Apparently I shared with my mom that "When I grow up, I wanted to have a family with a child from every country." Country #1 - China (paperwork has been there almost 3 1/2 years), country #2 - South Korea!

2. If I was a guy, I'd be in a band. Not just any band, a ROCK band. During our China wait, my husband suggested that I "get a hobby" to pass the time. I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar. That year for my birthday, he bought me an acoustic guitar. For the next 2 years I took lessons.

3. If money were no object, I'd love to buy some land and open a winery. Now, don't get me wrong, I know NOTHING about wine-making. But, the idea of talking to people (and pouring/tasting) about the wine all day in a beautiful setting is appealing to me. There are some wonderful wineries not far from where we live and I just think it would be/could be a blast (I'm sure it's a lot of hard work).

4. I have never (just knocked on my hardwood floors) broken a bone in my body. I've had plenty of sprains, strains, pulls, what-have-you, but no broken bones. Been on crutches, worn plenty of ace bandages, but no casts. . .

5. I LOVE lists. Now, this just doesn't mean "organizing" lists. Although, I do need them to get through a work day/week and now, I need them in my personal life. I'm also a big fan of "Top 100 Best Songs of XXXX" type lists. If you ever read/saw the movie "High Fidelity" - I'm all about it! Not THAT bad, but LOVE the lists.

6. Music is very important to me. I love all kinds of music from reggae to rock to jazz to rap and everything in between. I worked in radio for 9 years before going into the advertising agency world so I was blessed to be exposed to some interesting people and music. And, I love making custom mixes for people - many "special" people in my life have received a "Mix Master Mich" special. :)

7. The road that led us to our sweet Wesley hasn't been an easy one but it has been a journey, an experience with my loving, understanding, patient partner and I wouldn't change it for anything. . .

Now I get to pass AWESOME award on to seven other bloggers that have inspired me, supported me or ones that I'd simply like to recognize. Some of my recipients have already received this award, but that just shows how totally AWESOME they are and maybe you need to check them out!

1. Karen at Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home. Karen's blog was one of the first that I started reading when I began blogging. She was waiting for her daughter Aspen and her story was so compelling to me. She then became a big support to me and we found a common affinity for wine. :)

2. Jayme at You Fill Me With Joy. Jayme and I hit it off right away and she was a strong force for me while we had our delays while waiting for Wesley. Every photo that Jayme posts of her daughter Joye is cuter than the next - they're so expressive! Brian and I joke about how one day Wesley and Joye will meet and fall in love.

3. Christy #1 at Richardson Happenings. What I like about Christy's blog is that not only does she update on her daughters June and Ava, but she also posts fresh/raw recipes and information on CSA (community supported agriculture) which is a very hot topic in many areas (especially where I live). Go Christy!!!

4. Christy #2 at Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Christy is patiently waiting for her referral and in doing so, I've been inspired by her cheerful support of other adoptive moms/blogger friends along the way. I remember when she was going out of town right before Brian and I were anticipating our TC and she posted on her blog a special note hoping that we get some "good news" while she's gone. Whenever I check into her blog, it always seems like she's wishing other families well and/or praying for friends. She's a good person.

5. Pixie at Cheese Curds and Kimchi. Pixie came along while we were in South Korea I believe. I was able to catch up with her blog once we got back home and somewhat settled. Talk about a versatile blog - this gal has it! And, let me just tell you - she and her husband, Brian and myself will have to talk one day about the mid-century modern furniture. . .

6. Kelly at Jon & Kelly + Max. I know, I know, you've gotten this award like 10 times - j/k! But, I have to recognize! You and Jon have been a big part of my Blog World and especially right before Brian and I traveled you two were a part of our Adoption World. Kelly, you have obviously touched a lot of people (myself included) and I know we've talked about meeting up one day and I don't doubt that. Thank you for everything :)

7. Last but not least it's another fabulous gal that's been recognized before, but she's new to me and I think she's super! It's Grace at Chois-R-Us. She's got a great sense of humor, her blog always has her personality integrated into her posts and then her fabulous craft projects (now turned into her own Etsy Shop!). Grace, I'm glad that we found one another and I can't wait until you meet your sweet Choi Boy!

That's it all - sorry if it was a bit long. Thanks for reading and hanging in there for these amazing women, moms and friends. They're so worth it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wesley's 1st Haircut

Each day after I get Wesley dressed we go into his bathroom for the routine of brushing his hair and then brushing his teeth. He gets the biggest kick out of both and LOVES to look at himself in the mirror. He's a total ham - especially when I say to him, "Look at the handsome boy!" What Wesley wasn't realizing was the disaster going on in the back of his head meaning his hair.

To begin with, the poor kid doesn't have much hair and what he does have is very fine. Then, there's this big patch of bald. It's like what infants have the first say 6 months or so from being in carriers, swings, etc. Well, he's 16 months and still has one. We're pretty sure he rubs his head back and forth at night (one of the few self soothing things he's done since he came home). And, lastly - the pièce de résistance is the long hair at the base of his neck. It's basically a mullet. I've tried to control it and there's no way of polishing this mess. So, the only solution was a trim.

My hairstylist Marisa graciously offered to do it whenever we had time to stop by. So, this past Thursday we decided to take her up on her offer so that he could start daycare off looking snazzy. We started off with an introduction between Marisa (who is also a mom to an adorable little boy named Grayson) and Wesley. Then, I put on a smock to protect my clothes and put Wesley on my lap. I came prepared with one of Wesley's favorite board books, Dr. Seuss's "The Foot Book" to keep him distracted. We dove right into the book and Marisa started cutting. Wesley was a little aware of what she was doing, but more like annoyed - almost like there was a fly swarming around his head. He did really well and within a matter of minutes, we were done!

Here are a few photos of the afternoon -
The "before" shot. It's one hot mess.

He has no idea what he's in for. . .

Hey wait! What are you doing?

Thank goodness for Dr Seuss.

Almost done!

The "big boy" haircut.

Wesley is showing you the "side view."

A closeup in case you didn't get enough of me :)