Sunday, December 21, 2008
We had a break in the snow Saturday & headed out for some sledding. Paul braved the hill several times alone & only face-planted once. Now we are back to blizzard-like conditions. Sigh. & are due to appear at a family party once Paul wakes up. Can't disappoint the boy (Santa will be there) or Grandma. Sigh. Hopefully we will make it there & back in one piece.
Friday, December 19, 2008
For now, I need to wait for the almost-winter-solstice-darkness to end before we can do anything fun. Oh, and for some snow to fall. heehee.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
9. Turning used wrapping paper rolls into do-duh-do's
8. Busting out the Christmas Cd's
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas ("It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!)
6. Ben the gargoyle in his Santa hat & scarf
5. Reflecting on years past via Christmas ornaments
4. Watching Heath make a mad dash for the tree skirt
3. Speculaas (traditional Dutch cookies... spicy!)
2. Candlelight service on Christmas Eve
1. Helping Paul create his top ten list (so far his favorite thing was hanging candy canes on the tree... he had to go get a chair to reach "way way up there")
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Here's Paul in 2007. It was a school day, so I wasn't able to snap a photo until he was getting ready for bed.
And here he is this morning. We have decided to celebrate by watching flaming onion volcanoes at a local Japanese hibachi restaurant. Onions are Paul's current favorite vegetable (no lie) - so it should be fun.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
November 8th is quickly approaching. It is an ordinary day for most folks but a rather significant day for the van family because it marks the anniversary of when we went from two members to three. This particular day of celebration is called a variety of things in the adoption community, and I am struggling with what to use for our family. Here are some popular choices along with my views:
- "Gotcha Day" Okay, this one is pretty cute and all, but it seems a little, well, like we snatched our child out of a dark alley in the middle of the night. Yes, he did appear as if we had snatched him that first night we met - that look of "how dare you take me away from the only family I've known, send me on a ridiculously long plane trip and hand me over to these strange smelling people!!!" But when I think about that meeting, I try to forget that look. I try to forget the five hour drive home during which he screamed inconsolably. I try to remember instead the feeling of WOW. MOTHERHOOD. MY SON. Gotcha Day just doesn't seem to cover that.
- "Family Day" I like this one a lot because we did indeed become a family that night, although he was not legally a van until the following October. My problem, however, is twofold. I feel that CJ & I became a family the day we got married, and when we add #4 to the mix, what will we call his/her day? Hmmmm...
- "Adoption Day" Technically October 13th, not November 8th.
- "Homecoming" or "Coming Home Day" I don't know, Homecoming sounds too much like there should be a football game and a king and queen. And honestly, I'm sure Paul did not feel like he was heading "home" at the time.
- "Arrival Day" Accurate and doesn't hold any negative connotations, but not a whole lot of emotional bang to it.
I am open to thoughts/suggestions from any one out there with an opinion on the matter. Being the procrastinator that I am, I also need ideas for how to celebrate. Last year we took Paul out to dinner at the Olive Garden. He was miserable because he was coming down with a cold. Two days later we ended up in the ER after he had a febrile seizure. Hoping this year has a bit less drama.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The full collection of halloween pictures will be posted in our snapfish album.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
*** Disclaimer: Paul chose to start that far back - he would have gone even further back if I didn't tell him to turn around. Makes for a nice Monty Python reference though. (grin)
I have another video of him counting down to the big run, but I'm having trouble uploading it. Instead, here's a pic of him in the pile of leaves.
Monday, October 13, 2008
As an early birthday present, CJ got us tickets to see Equus on Broadway. We decided to go this past weekend so that we could have today to recover from the trip. Luckily we were able to stay with CJ's relatives in New Jersey and spent most of the day in NYC (sung like Daddy Warbucks: NNN!! YYY!!! CCCCCCCCC!!!). The weather was amazing & we spent some time walking around Ground Zero, lounging on a bench in Battery Park & shopping for Paul on 5th Ave. (He spent the weekend with Grandma van.) Then it was off to Broadway for an incredible show. Seriously. I'm not just saying that because it was Daniel Radcliffe, although that certainly helped. He without a doubt proved that he can be more than Harry Potter. I read Equus in high school and have wanted to see it performed live ever since. I was not disappointed.
As we left the theater, a large crowd quickly gathered in hopes of catching a glimpse of HARRY POTTER. We crossed the street to try and get around everyone and I remarked to CJ, "We don't need to stick around for this. We just saw him completely naked." (OK, so I used a more colorful word there, but I thought I'd keep this PG.)
Anyone out there in the blog reading world that plans to be in (sing it) NNNNYYYYYCCCCCC, I highly recommend Equus. A fantastic show.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I'm all for independence, but it is this struggle between what he wants to do alone and what he is developmentally capable of doing alone that is causing the problem. Hopefully soon his abilities will catch up to his desires. Until then, we celebrate each time his head and each arm all find their own way out of a shirt.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
We had a lot of fun and can't wait to start hitting the pumpkin patches.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I am happy to be working again, I'm just not so sure about this whole high school thing. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, P is feeling better about daycare but has decided to stop sleeping. It may be some sort of protest, I have no idea. And our homestudy has been approved by our agency & should be on its way to Korea any day now!!!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
- The summer we began discussing adoption (2005), I decided to refinish my childhood dresser for our future child. I dragged all of the pieces out onto our back deck, stripped the old finish and began to sand. We had to go somewhere that day so I neatly stacked the pieces in the patio, and they sat there... for an entire year. In the summer of 2006 we got our referral & I realized that I best finish the project. I managed to get the dresser sanded and stained and even found new hardware on ebay after months of searching for the right size. CJ couldn't believe he no longer had to stare at the dresser drawers out of our family room window.
- In 2003 CJ went on an eight month deployment. I dutifully collected newspaper articles and saved photographs and other memorabilia from that time period, purchased a scrapbook, and had every intention of putting together a nice album. And I did... it just took me five years. In the fall of 2007 I finally finished the scrapbook, motivated by the fact that CJ refused to pack up and move the stacks of newspapers.
Which brings me to today. When we moved into our previous house (2004), I purchased some mismatched curtains with the intention of creating window treatments for our living room. We had this massive picture window and I somehow figured I would sew the curtains together to create a swag. Ha. Me, sew. (To be fair, I did sew two roman shades in our WA house AND a bed skirt with the help of my friend Susanna.) Needless to say, it did not get done. We moved here, and when I chose the paint color it was partially based on the curtain remnants that I still had. Yesterday I went out and bought curtain rods. CJ refused to hang them until I had actually sewn the curtains. (External motivation) Well, I dug out the machine & after breaking the sewing table and cursing the bobbin that refused to wind properly, I managed to hem the curtains. HEM THEM. All this time and all I needed to do was cut the fabric in half and HEM them. Honestly, is there a twelve step program for procrastinators? I'll sign up tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Image of Paul when picked up from daycare: Eyes swollen and red from crying all day. ALL DAY. His teacher said he did manage to eat and take a one hour nap in between his crying and asking for "mommydaddy". Apparently he finally realized that going "back daycare" did not include his parents and that he would actually have to share the teacher's attention with other children. Hmm. I felt terribly guilt ridden and worried that we had rushed into this new situation. Honestly though, we visited the center several times and talked at length about what his day would be like.
I guess I took for granted the fact that he regularly accepts new people and situations without issue and completely forgot about the first few times at library hour. My son, the boy who dances to the music on television commercials and will sing his repertoire of nursery rhymes to complete strangers, sat frozen on my lap for the first several sessions. Music! Books! Dancing! It was the perfect fit! He refused to participate until he became comfortable with the situation. One week, my mom took him to a different library for a special Thomas the Tank Engine day. He sat mute on her lap the entire time. (Paul mute - hard to picture, I know!)
I can only hope that his crying jag at daycare is merely due to the adjustment of being away from mommy and my constant 1-1 attention. I tell myself it will be good in the long run; the teachers are kind and knowledgeable, the other kids are happy, and Paul will eventually love all of the activities and social interaction. I mean, comparatively I am pretty darn boring.
We go back for day two on Friday. Hopefully there will be fewer tears and more ridiculous grins.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
In the meantime, P is getting ready for his return to daycare. He starts next Tuesday and is beyond excited. We visited this past week and he made a beeline straight for his classroom. I am going to try and not be a nervous wreck next week. ha!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Last night I went to a local concert and was thinking to myself, if motherhood changes you into this new person, what happens to the one you were before? Is she still in there, popping out at moments when you are away from your child and engaging in a pre-motherhood activity (such as rocking it out at a concert)? Or do we shed her like a snake's skin and leave her behind while we embrace larger, more important roles? Why do some moms feel guilty about enjoying things for themselves? It is society that dictates this or our own inner fears? I think it is important that Paul sees me not only as his mom, but as a person with passion for doing things that bring me joy. Hopefully that will cancel out the bee fear and the fact that he says "You serious?" in a disgruntled voice when we come across a bad driver (hey, it could be worse)!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
He also enjoyed the infamous Jersey boardwalk and wanted to visit each and every arcade and eat lots of chocolate ice cream. The boy can spot an ice cream stand anywhere - it's like he has ice cream radar! On the drive home we passed a Friendly's off the highway & from the back I heard a tired voice say, "Ice cream." Honestly.
On the way down we had a quick visit with Karen, Kyle & Cole and enjoyed a day at Sesame Place where Paul climbed the rope maze like a little monkey and braved the tube rides.
A fun trip; we are happy to be back home!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Piper: "My juice!"
Piper: "My juice!"
Piper: "My juice!"
You get the idea. This went on for a good five minutes. I started to feel like I was trapped in a Family Guy joke that lasts just a little too long. The toddlers enjoyed tormenting each other in the car & I got a glimpse into my future with two children. Despite the bantering, Paul enjoyed having company for a few days & I was happy to have two of my buddies around.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Paul concluded that the "WATERFALL" was his favorite part, but he also enjoyed creek stomping with Daddy and sitting by the campfire. Oh, & splashing in the mud puddles Saturday morning. The boy has never been so filthy. Not sure if we will try to camp again this summer, but I look forward to more mornings waking up with the sun, opening my eyes to a little face peeking up over the side of the air mattress, a tiny finger poking my forehead. "Mommy. Morning, mommy. Reading books me? CAMPING!"
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I got there and saw a woman who I though might be my "date" but she didn't make eye contact. After about ten minutes we started making conversation. I heard her call her daughter's name, which was, coincidentally, the name of the daughter of the woman I was scheduled to meet. Hmm... I mentioned this. Ah-ha. She was indeed my mom date. Turns out she is a very nice person, and Paul & her daughter got along well, even exchanged a nice hug. As lunch time grew closer, I found myself feeling, once again, like I was on a blind date. Did she like us? Would she give me her number, so we could have another play date? What exactly is the etiquette in these situations?
Navigating friendships via motherhood is proving to be tricky, but hopefully I will find some new friends for both myself and Paul. In the meantime I am thankful to those friends who, though far away, are close in my heart.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
It seems to me the repetition is most often used to recount painful events. Like the time on the playground when he went down the slide too fast. Every time we drive by (the incident was in April btw), he says: "Playground. Head. BONK!"
I have also learned that if we must be extra careful about what we tell Paul these days. I've been looking for a new job, and CJ told him one night that I needed some privacy to prepare for an interview and that finding a job was very important because it meant Paul could go back to daycare. Every since that day, I've had to endure endless rounds of: "Mommy job. Paul back daycare." It doesn't help that we pass two daycare centers on our way into town. As soon as he sees them, the "Back daycare" serenade begins. Sigh. Not like I don't have enough pressure trying to find work without my two year old nagging me!!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
He seems to be going through this phase where he is scared by seemingly harmless things. In California, he was terrified of this indoor play area because there was an air cannon that shot out balls and made a whooshing sound. So my boy, who ordinarily jumps into every situation with gusto, hid against my chest and refused to play. Later in the week he reenacted his fear with his stuffed bunny, saying that bunny was feeling "scared. balls." and we tried to talk about ways to help bunny feel better. I am really at a loss, other than just letting this phase run its course and assure him that I will keep him safe.
Luckily, all was not lost at the library. Paul was happy to participate in the craft, making a lovely set of red dog ears.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Afterward we went out to the Lilac Festival and enjoyed the aroma of flowers and fried dough. The weather was perfect and the lilacs happily in bloom.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Needless to say we are making some progress in the right direction. All of the bedrooms are painted & we are waiting for the new rugs, which will hopefully be installed next Friday. Tonight we plan to stimulate the economy by purchasing all new appliances (YAY!) and (cross your fingers) a WATER HEATER. There have been hours of research and discussion regarding the water heater and whether or not it should be tankless. It seems that we do not live in a climate conducive to a tankless heater, and when CJ found out that the water can suddenly turn cold he gave it the big thumbs down. The man likes his hot showers. In an effort to reduce our "footprint", we plan to buy an efficient as possible tanked version & insulate it to death (well, not to death really, I mean we already have one dead heater on our hands!) Tomorrow CJ will be knocking down walls in the kitchen to make room for the new fridge. I plan to stay away and be nervous from a distance. It really is better that way.
Moving day has been pushed back at a minimum to next weekend while we wait for rugs and wall relocation. I'll keep everyone posted & will put some pictures up as soon as I remember to take a few.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sadly, in the midst of our celebration of homeownership, our little one has gotten ill. He came down with a nasty cough over the weekend & we ended up in the ER last night because he could barely catch his breath. He's been diagnosed with croup & given steroids & a nebulizer. The boy is downright miserable, but with the medicine he's at least able to get some much needed sleep. Hopefully he will be on the mend soon!
Friday, May 2, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In the world of Paul, we have had one successful visit to the potty - although it seemed to be quite coincidental because he was rather shocked to realize what he had done (as was I)! Needless to say his success was several days ago and we have not seen any repeat performances. Not that there hasn't been plenty of time spent sitting and reading books (followed by running around the upstairs stark naked). I have a feeling that there will be a long road to a diaper free existence.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Not too much else to report; the family headed out to a local Korean church on Friday for a night of Korean food and praise music, and I had a lovely time hanging out with the girls on Saturday as we celebrated Amy's birthday (a month late).
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Yesterday morning we woke up in our old house for the last time. It was nice to "sleep in" (Paul was at Grandma's) and have a relaxing morning reminiscing about our time in the house & listing the things we will miss/not miss (more on that below). Then the work began. It took about five hours to pack up the rest of the house & clean. Many thanks to Bryan & Amy, without whom we'd probably still be packing! Bryan expertly brought the truck right up to our front door (CJ most likely would have driven it straight into the house) and Amy helped clean and maintain sanity. Today we are headed to the new place to drop off our stuff. Unfortunately it may be a while before we actually move it due to the seller's death. Sigh. And we found out yesterday that her son is still living on the property. He was supposed to move out April 1. It is hard to be mad seeing as he has had a difficult week, but I am a little worried about leaving our stuff there. Of course we did not learn about this until after the truck was completely packed.
In the meantime, the weather is finally improving & we have been able to get Paul out of the house a bit. On Friday mom & I took him to the bike path, where he enjoyed enthusiastically naming everything "RIVER! BIRD! GRASS! DUCK! STICK!" and racing full speed ahead on the path. He even chased a couple of older gentleman out for a leisurely stroll. One commented that Paul was "full of life." That's for sure! He may be exhausting, but it he definitely puts a smile on the faces of everyone he meets!
Here are some things we will miss about our old home:
- when the snow lands on CJ's wall and makes it look like a Thomas Kincaide painting
- watching random creatures wander through our backyard (however we will not miss the deer eating all of our tulips, which btw they have already done, leaving the new homeowners with nothing but nubs)
- our GIANT garden (we will not miss the mosquitoes that made it nearly impossible to work out there)
- the fabulous butt workout you got from walking up our hill
- silence (we'll be in the 'burbs now!)
- driving past the llamas and various other farm animals, & listening to Paul make animal sounds
- the handful of friends that made our time there enjoyable. You are always welcome for a visit!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Today is Paul's 2nd birthday. In my efforts to be more domestic, I made him an Elmo cake for his party this past weekend. Many doubted my abilities, (and why shouldn't they? I am not known for my cake making prowess) but I pulled it off. Paul proudly proclaimed "Melmo!" when the cake was brought forth and was able to blow out the candle with minimal spit. He has been sung to three times now and will most likely have a fourth tonight after dinner. Today at lunch he desperately tried to blow out his sundae, which incidentally had no candle. He proudly proclaims that he is "TWO" to anyone who cares and was heard counting in his crib this morning while waiting for me to rescue him. The boy is too darn cute.