Saturday, December 10, 2011

Snow Day

Today CJ, Appa, Mamaw, Papaw and Omma all went to the neighborhood Snow Day in the park. For those of you that have been following for awhile you may recall when CJ and Omma went alone last year. Well what a difference a year makes.

He keeps recounting how he "threw one at Daddy, and one at Mommy, and another at Daddy, and then at Mommy......."

Appa giving snow ball instructions.

Planning Attack
Getting the hang of it.

Trying it out for himself.

Getting so more help.

Pitch pointers
First time to enjoy a bounce house.

Running from the camera.

Having a blast "lying down".

Better Late the Never

I finally loaded the few Halloween photos we took this year. Appa and I are not the best when it comes to taking photos. CJ kept calling himself a "Mater Shark".

Friday, December 2, 2011

Always a Cow

Every time CJ's teacher sings Old McDonald she does the cow, and then I think she stops, because CJ fights us when we want to do any other animals.

I have been very bad about doing updates we have been so busy lately. The holidays have been so  much fun this year now that he is aware of the specialness of things. He was Mater, from Cars, for Halloween. We didn't Trick or Treat, but he had a party at school.

Thanksgiving was small and relaxing. He was super excited for the day, and sad on Friday morning when it was over. He actually asked "Is this my Thanksgiving?" that morning and when I said it was over his exclamation was "Oh man!"

He is super into the Christmas lights, the tree, all of the lights on other people's house. I am really excited about Christmas this year. I can tell it is going to be a blast.

In non-holiday news, CJ is starting to try and read. His favorites, a few Thomas the Train's he has memorized, were the first. He wants to know the letters and is trying to put the sounds together. He is asking "Why" and wants everything to be his. His vocabulary is growing exponentially and his sentence structure as well.

He continues to be very humerus, and is always trying to be funny. Even as I type he is driving his father crazy with his practical jokes (returning a sock to it's place while Daddy wasn't looking). I have a feeling this is karma at work. Unfortunately, I have a feeling I will also pay the price once CJ reaches school age.

One of my favorite things right now is CJ climbing into my lap and saying "I'm your boy baby, right Mommy?" We are also very lucky that he continues to be sweet, caring, and generally very willing to please. What a blessing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello South Korea

I see you stop by every now and again. I wonder who you are, and how you got here. Was it a random search? If so I hope you found what you were looking for here.Is it the same person watching CJ grow or different people. Did you come for a short visit or stay awhile. No matter the cause I want to say welcome. Thank you for coming by!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Heart

We were all very lucky Mamaw and Papaw were able to take CJ to his cardio appointment when it was changed at the last moment (this does seem to be a trend). CJ was initially apprehensive of the EKG. The racing of his heart made the test impossible, but Mamaw called him down so the nurse was able to run the test. As with the last time he was very still during the ultrasound due to a combination of TV and a little bit of reasoning that the more still he was the faster it would all be over.

The results were not bad, but maybe not as good as previous. All of his exercise is taking a bit of a tole and the left side of his heart is starting to harden. Doc says it isn't nearly as bad as if it was hardening on his right, but still needs to be watched. We will return again in another six months.

In the mean time we are all very grateful we don't have to try and limit to movement. I was especially so this afternoon as he ran "faster" through the park trails as we walked out dog. He may be a cross country star one day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CJ Just Like Daddy

Months ago Appa was sad because Mommy was getting all of the love and attention. At that time Grandma told us those preferences seem to swing back and forth to the extreme. Well we are currently in a Daddy phase for sure. Mommy is appreciating getting to see their interactions and the deepening of their relationship. She does not appreciate being treated like a second class citizen when she is the one that picks CJ up when he really wanted to see Daddy.

CJ's drive to be like Daddy leads him to pick out a green towel for bath because that's the color Daddy was using this morning, or to eat his okra because Daddy does. Other ways he is like his Daddy, but doesn't know it yet, include preferring his nickname, loving singing and a the constant joking. I'm telling you these two boys keep me on my toes!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Star

Oustide Daddy's former dorm room

He is normally such a neat eater.

The obligatory wearing Daddy's shoes pictures

Opening very special gifts from a very special friend!

Family Day dinner with Godparents
Same evening - much later!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Family Day

Today is one year of family. Daddy picked CJ and I up from the airport after we traveled for almost 36 hours with no sleep for mommy and less than an hour for Christian. We have come so far from those first days together.

Things CJ is up to at one year home-
  • Counting to his teens
  • Singing the ABCs by himself
  • Wants lots of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider and Old McDonald Has a Farm
  • Transitioning to the 3 to 6 class at school is going smoothly (although he does miss his old teacher)
  • Folding small blankets
  • Getting to spend LOTS more time with Mamaw and Papaw
  • Being so very bossy and wanting EVERYTHING to be his
We celebrated with special Jamba Juice snacks after school and 1.5 hours at the splash pad/park. Now we are calmly waiting for CJ's Godparents to pick us up for  Korean dinner. Calmly only because CJ doesn't know we are waiting. 

    Gottcha Day

    Dear Christian Jae-won,

    It has been one year since I first saw you, first met you, since you first became real to me. Until the moment that you first looked at me, your smile fading and quickly turning to tears, the pictures I held were only a fantasy of what was to come. My smart little man, you so quickly realized what my presence in that small office meant for your near future. You and your foster mom held each other so tightly. You grieved and your Aunt Robin and I sat quietly holding back our own tears. So sad for what we only could imagine the two of you were experiencing. Not wanting to discount the final moments - not wanting to act as if our happy anticipation should overshadow the real grief that we could see and hear.

    I was Omma from that very day. Now no longer Omma, but still so much your Mom or Mommy or sometimes even Mother. That day you were placed into my arms, and from that moment you were mine. From the forever taxi cab ride filled with your wails, to the sad and much quieter moans of your nap, I have loved you. Your sweet laughter and ready smile always bring a shine to my face.You know my hearts strings.

    Our time in Korea together was short, I anticipate returning one day to more fully appreciate the country of your birth, while the journey was long. You were strong and amazing. You are such a trouper. You were scared, and confused. You would not sleep. I am so blessed to be your forever Mommy.



    PS. This is the song I sang to you after over 24 hours of travel back to our home while we ate what was our 7th or 8th meal that day sitting in the Dallas airport.

    It was the day that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend. Just when you thought you got to the end. It starts right back over again......

    Sung to the tune of "Song that Never Ends" and dedicated to Alexandra L. for teaching me the original version

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    New Class

    Today I dropped CJ off in the transition class that he normally attends (18 to 36 months), but he was not there when I went to pick him up. I saw his show-and-tell (Thomas the Train Goes Fishing easy reader) waiting for me, but there was not a chorus from all the kids in circle "Christian your mommy's here!" like usual. Instead Ms. Amanda came up to me, followed by a few of the girls, to tell me he spent the day "up front". The girls then proceeded to ask me where he had gone. I think they were very confused to have their ladies man taken away from them.

    I had known this was coming, but it took me by surprise none the less. Ms. Amanda shared that he had been a bit confused, just sitting there at first, but had eventually begone to participate. At that point I said my good-bye and proceed to "the front" where the 3 to 6 year-old class is held.

    The older kids were just getting done with nap, and CJ was taking his turn in the potty when I arrived. He didn't even get to have his snack so he ate it in the car. Ms. Ann said he did very well with using the restroom, and eating (I told her the eating was an easy one). I was also told that I should just bring him to that class in the morning and we would see how it goes.

    There were three kids from his class that moved with him to join the 13 that were already there. Then next month there will be three more from the younger class moving up. There are three teachers in the room and one is the owner. I can't wait to see how much he progresses in his new class.

    As a side note he was really getting into Nirvana today on the way to school.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Family Vacation

    I took the advice of my IB coordinator and turned a summer training opportunity into a family vacation. When it was initially suggested to me my first step was to check the calendar for conflicts and second was to look at the daily agenda. Well there were no conflicts and the days were fairly short, we ended at 4:30 and then 2:30, so I would get to spend the evening with the boys.

    CJ and Daddy got to spend some awesome quality time together. They went to visit one of Daddy universities, our state capitol, and took advantage of having a pool on site. We were lucky to get a suit so they could grab a bite and have quiet time before I would come home each afternoon. Thankfully the training itself turned out to be very worthwhile or I don't know if I could have stood to miss out on all of the fun.

    On the first evening we took advantage of the unique food trucks located all over the city. The spot we choose allowed us to start with some amazing sushi and follow with the best Thai Putt-Thai Daddy and I think we have ever had. CJ didn't quite understand that we were indeed going to get more food after the sushi was gone and kind of had a bit of a panic, but I was eventually able to convince him that did was not over.

    The second night we traveled to a town about an hour away to play in the river. The cold water was very refreshing, and after an initial issue with a too large life-jacket, Christian seemed to really enjoy himself. The end to a great day was being joined by Grandma and Pops for dinner. They arrived just in time to get Christian to eating, and we found a pleasant location with seats over the river. Then as a bit of a special gift to all involved CJ went home with his grandparents for his very first overnight stay. Everything went extremely well as far as all that was concerned.

    Appa and I returned to our hotel, after I finished off a half day of training the next day, we took a leisurely journey towards the grandparents' house with a stop for some excellent BBQ along the way. That final afternoon and evening was full of good quality family time which included one of my father's brothers and his wife. We left early the next morning to make it home in time for a classmates birthday party.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    1, 2, 4....

    CJ has been saying his numbers more and more lately. Not always that he is necessarily counting any particular item, but just kind of absentmindedly practicing saying them while he is playing or doing other such things. Interesting fact is that  when he does start at the beginning he seems to always skip his age or maybe the fact that he always skips the three is why he tends to start at four or beyond.

    This morning he and I were once again talking about how the figure on the front of his shirt is not a frog, but a monster, when he asked about the figures on the front of mine. This is a night shirt I wear often and having been a gift to me from an Alaskan trip (taken not by me but my Grandmother) has several moose on the front. Each moose is several different bright unrealistic colors and patterns. After he asked me what the third figure was, to which I relpied "a moose" yet again, I asked if he wanted to determine out how many moose were on my shirt.

    Now we let the counting begin. While he did need help several times, to get started and keep going, there was one time when he got all the way from one to nine without any reminders or needs of assistance. I am sure you can imagine how excited I was and that the overwhelming positive feedback from his success encouraged him to continue trying. CJ does seem to be taking to numbers faster than letters to which you know I couldn't be more than please.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    A Day at the Museum

    A new NRA member is born.

    Fun Mirrors

    "I don't know who Harry Potter is, but anyone that wears a hat and glasses has to be cool."

    Papaw Participates

    "I NEED a bike!"

    "Wait, I NEED a car!"

    Patience Pays Off

    "I NEED a kitty cat! MINE!"

    Food is Good

    Who sent me down this rabbit hole?

    I'm the king of the world.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

    Christian was so sad about saying good-bye to his Mamaw and Papaw this afternoon after spending the early part of today with them at the Children's Museum. It was CJ's first visit to the museum and as expected he had a blast. He was so tired and so sad that at first he refused to even give hugs and kisses. Thankfully he listened to advice, that they would have to leave regardless, and calmed down enough to give a little hug. When he was taken back to his room he just cried and cried, but what seemed like forever when your little guy is so sad was only 15 minutes until he fell fast asleep.

    We all three are so grateful for not only today, but the past two evenings with Mamaw and Papaw as well. While they are headed back home for now, we hope that their house hunt was worthwhile, and that they will be returning very soon with boxes.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011


    This past Saturday Appa finally got to share a full length movie with CJ. For those of you that don't know Frig is a HUGE movie guy so this was a very BIG deal to him. When CJ first developed a fasination with Cars we did try to show him the movie, but it was a no go from the start. No music, no dancing and that meant no attention span for watching. At least that is what Appa has determined to be the winning combonation that will keep Christian's attention. Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, Electric Company, Cat in the Hat all have these things while Thomas the Train and Cars do not.

    Don't get me wrong give the little guy a Cars or Thomas the Train book and he is all over it. Hand him a cup with a character from one of these series, get out a puzzle, or better still the vehicle to play with and he can tell you who it is, but he was not interested in watching either on the TV. Maybe he didn't want to waste his precious little TV time, but I believe his father had it all figured out with the music/dancing combo.

    Well much to Frig's pleasure something changed this Saturday night. After dinner and bath we decided to all climb in the big bed and do a little reading. Well mom decided to climb in the bed to read and the other three members of the family, yes I am including the dog, decided to join me. CJ even brought along a book - Cars. This got me to thinking, seeing as really did want to get some reading done, that we could once again see if the movie would maintain his attention for any length of time. Given that he has aquired so much language since our last attempt I was hoping for a little more engagement

    From the moment Lightning McQueen appeared on the screen he was hooked and his Appa was in heaven. I wish I been able to record CJ's utterance of amazement at hearing the character utter "Ka-chow" for the first time as opposed to his father, mother or friends at school. It was eye opening to him. He was so wrapped up in the story it was as if we hadn't read the book to him a hundred times or more. Appa and I were both overjoyed to get to have the experience of watching the movie with him - his joy and excitement became our joy and excitement.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Lot's of Playtime

    Mamaw and Papaw gave CJ this hat during his birthday weekend. It quickly became a a favorite.

    Excuse the expression, but I'm just trying to keep up with my cousin Owen when it comes to laundry basket play time.
    Meet the "Lord of the Hats" - This is for you Uncle Rich!

    Daddy teaches CJ the fine art of imaginative play.

    "No fair Mommy!!!!!"

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Third "Car" Party

    Christian's birthday party was a breakfast at his favorite neighborhood park - the SPARK. I was the one with park idea, but my mom was the inspired creative mind that came up with the idea of breakfast. This was after I told her that I thought June in the park would be too hot for most people.

    I prepared many of CJ's favorite foods and flavors: bacon, banana-nut-chip muffins, strawberries (just "berries" to him), orange-strawberry fluff, and chocolate-peanut butter Krispies. His father was 100% in charge of the "toupe" (aka cantaloupe) and as usual they were perfect. We also had mango and orange juice. There were other items, coffee for one, that were not of real interest to the little guy. Yes, there was a birthday cake as well. I made one that CJ's Pop could eat, wheat and gluten free, and decided on dye free as well to cut down on any hyperactivity possibilities.  It was a white cake with "cream cheese" icing.

    The SPARK is actually two play areas in the mist of many pine trees and separated by a large pavilion. We set up all of the tables, chairs, and food under the pavilion and were very grateful for the swift breeze that blew for the majority of the morning. We brought two of CJ vehicles with us and he spent a good deal of time riding his trike around all of the party goers. I am very proud that when one of the other children did manage to get a hold of the trike he shared nicely.

    Christian had many, many, many friends and family attend his celebration and everyone was more than generous. CJ was overwhelmed with the trains, cars (of varying sizes and purposes), and dinosaurs too. Appa Frig helped CJ decide which toys need to make their way to a local mission for homeless mothers and children in order to make room for all of his new belongings. This is the only way that all of the new play things will fit in his room if he wishes to be able to walk around.

    Here are a few pictures of the event:

    CJ with the grandfathers
    "The Loot"

    Loving' some water

    Bubbles with Appa and friends

    Friends and Family

    Pops, Grandma, Cousins Casey and Sarah, & Aunt Ann

    Papaw, Parr, & Giselle
    Elena, Ramiro, and son Tyler
    Birthday morning - a few small gifts from Omma and Appa

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Planes, Trains and No AutoMobiles

    Christian and I took our first domestic plane rides together this weekend when we went took advantage of my three day weekend to visit his aunt and my sister Robin. He was very excited to get to she "Aunt RaRa" since he hadn't had the pleasure of her company since Christmas time. In fact, when I was packing early last week, and we told CJ why I was packing, he proceeded to put away his toys and get ready to go right then and there. That was when his father pulled out the USA puzzle and explained how far away she was and that it would require a plane trip.

    Christian was very well behaved on both flights that took us to Ohio. Despite the fact that we were traveling well past his bed time he spent most of his time quietly occupying himself with the few cars we had brought with us. Thankfully the man next to us on the second, very late flight, was a grandfather that obviously enjoys children. He was loads of helping keeping CJ happy. By the time we loaded all of our belongings and ourselves into the car it was past 11 PM and CJ was asleep in about 11 minutes.

    Aunt Robin had done an excellent job of preparing for our visit. She had borrowed a box full of trains and various vehiles for CJ and us to use. From another of her friends, the lady that was kind enough to take us to and from the airport, she borrowed a two-wheeler with training wheels for him to ride. This was his first experience on a two-wheeler and he took to it very fast. I suppose he may need his own for his birthday!

    Aunt Robin had also planned a play date for one of the evenings that we were in town. Christian started off the party by sharing his Chex mix with the other two boys. He then became the pied-piper of food and led his new friends out into the backyard to eat hot dogs and play bubbles.

    We spent lots of time riding the bike, playing at the park, and even discovered the wonders of the children's area of the library. Now we need to investigate our own library and see if it is as wonderful. CJ did miss having a car, and was very thankful for ours when we finally found it in the parking garage late last night. I enjoyed the closeness of a small community and using travel between locations as a means of exercise.

    If you are noticing a distinct lack of photos in this post it is due to my poor packing and Robin's poor luck. I believe letting younger CJ play with her brand new camera in Korea may have dramatically shorten his its life span. We were able to borrow a camera on our last day together and I hope to have some of those pictures to post very soon.

    Monday, June 6, 2011


    Until last weekend Christian had never said his name in my presence. When people (those we meet in public, friends, or family) would ask him his name he would just stare at them blindly. It was more than obvious that he knew his name, but saying it was a whole other story.

    That all changed last weekend. Out of the blue he goes from saying "mine" to "That's Christian's." or  from "My spoon." to "Christian's spoon." Maybe he was waiting until he felt more confident in his pronunciation, but I think the "Shishian" is super cute.

    Last Monday I mentioned to Ms Kesa, his main teacher, how he started saying his name. Her reply was "Oh yes, we have been working on that." The following day he thanked me for something and Ms. Kesa told me how she likes that he always says thank you. My reply: "That is something we have been working on!" It felt good to know that our efforts were paying off outside of our presence.

    Speaking of all things Christian's. I would like to thank my former student Matt H. for the books he donated. While he has only had the Thomas the Train easy reader for a few days it has quickly become a new favorite. Tonight when he couldn't find it on the shelf he quickly said "Where's Christian's book?" as if the others belong to someone else.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    First Family Zoo Day

    This morning Frig and I brainstormed some different ideas for how we should spend Memorial Day and we settled on taking CJ to the zoo. Some of you may recall that I did take him to the zoo one time before, early on, and that it didn't go very well. Today was the complete opposite.

    First, I learned a lot from watching the more experienced zoo goers on our last trip. We came prepared with water for all, hats, lots of snacks, sunscreen on, and the wagon instead of the stroller. Christian pulled the wagon "My turn!" he would tell us, more than he rode, which made his father and I VERY happy.

    Second, CJ did amazing with his potty training. He even managed to go number two after his snack. This really helped with any potential stress levels.

    Third, he was so much more into the animals. Knowing what they were called and wanting to get closer looks at different birds, the chimps, the grizzly bear, and the "horses" (large antelope and zebras).

    Fourth, his Daddy was with us. Everything always goes so much smoother when Appa is able to come with us.

    Early on - still a little unsure.

    Starting to take closer looks.

    No time to stop - eating on the go!

    Can you see the bear?

    Daddy too!
    African drumming

    Checking out the Chimps.

    Being checked out by the Chimps.

    Mommy, CJ and the cool Giraffe
    "And Daddy too" - CJ wasn't happy until he took a photo with Daddy.