Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm dying to know...

I'm dying to know my son's thoughts and words.


I'm dying to know what he is thinking when I'm laying in his bed beside him at bedtime and he looks over at me and smiles sweetly.
I'm dying to know what he is telling me when he frantically wants something from me while I run around the room going "Do you want this?" "No? Okay, is it this?"  and he just keeps getting more and more upset.
I'm dying to know what he did all day at the sitters.  What did you play with?  Who did you play with?  Did you play fair?  Is she good to you?
I'm dying for him to call me "Mom" or "Mommy" or even "Mama" instead of the high pitched "Mah" that he has come up with as a substitute.
I'm dying to know what he wants when he's throwing a fit in the car and I can't figure out what it's about.
I'm dying for him to say "I love you too", or "Goodnight Mom".
I'm dying to know how he feels about new situations, especially when he gets quiet and distant.
I want to be able to ask him these things.
I want to be able to talk about Korea and his adoption....not just me talking, but him responding with some semblance of understanding.
I'm dying to hear the commentary that is going on in his head....I want to hear what his personality is like, because that boy has SO MUCH PERSONALITY.

**Miles isn't talking like other children his age.  I used to blame it on being immersed in another language for the first ten months of his life....which I do believe is a factor.  However, I've seen and heard other children with identical situations that are spitting out distinguishable words and sentences.  It's not just that he isn't talking, but it's that he is also making up words and sounds to substitute other words.  Up until now I haven't been all that worried about it.  I've made the conscious decision to approach it in a laid-back manner...in other words, give it a few months.  I've decided to wait it out until he's 2 and a half - then I can allow myself to explore it further.  However, 2 and a half is coming up quickly.  

Someday all I'll want is for him to sit down and zip it.....that's hard to imagine right now, when I want all of those other things.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

without the pictures of my bustling boys....but instead I'm borrowing someone else's words because I don't have my own today. 
Words that resonate with me. 
Words I want you to read.
Words that are bittersweet.
Words that are not for the weak of heart, but are in my own heart....and apparently another person's.

This Mama has the words I don't and asks the questions I can't bring myself to ask out loud.
Daily Dose of Mama

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Liam at nine and a half months...

video
Here is a short little movie of Liam - who is impressing me everyday with the things that he knows and understands.  He is now EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING.  It won't be long before he is walking.  He is such a happy little boy and he totally makes my night...every night.  How could he not?

Monday, September 27, 2010

mmmmm...fall

We had a great weekend (do you ever hear anyone post about a terrible weekend?).  It started out Saturday when Miles and I took a "Miles and Mom Day" to spend time doing great things together.  We started out going to Walk for the Mind down at the Riveplex in honor of our friend Brett who was diagnosed with a brain tumor this summer.  It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people that believed in this cause, and it was an honor to walk in celebration of Brett's life....and to celebrate his last treatment TODAY!
Bye balloon! (he handled this part surprisingly well.)






On Sunday we went to a local orchard in the evening.  I had never been to this particular orchard, but you have to pay $7 per child and then $5 per adult just to enter the playground.  So instead our cheap little behinds spent $1.99 on a delicious carmel apple that we all split.   (Had I known we'd be splitting it four ways I may have splurged for the second apple.)  It was a definite hit! 
It may not look it, but Liam is having a b.l.a.s.t., trust me.

Hey goat, I like your beard. (SNL reference for those of you that can appreciate it.)

Miles' new favorite animal.  The llama.  He may be the only person in the world that gets SUPER excited.  This boy loves him some llama.

Our faceless family picture...we look so anonymous and mysterious.

Way better than the overpriced playground twenty feet away...right Miles?



Liam loves carmel apples like Miles loves Llamas...a lot.
There you have it...a very fallish weekend.  Coming next? A title change for the dear ol' blog.  Dustin and I have been bouncing some ideas back and forth so I will keep you posted.  So far the major rejects (all his ideas) have been....
1.  What have we done?!
2.  Creative reproduction.
3.  Rainbows and Ice Cream




Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Chuseok - a picture from Miles' past


These pictures are from Miles' 100th Day Party in Korea with his foster mother and who I think was their neighbor.  This little girl in the picture is in so many of Miles' pictures and I would LOVE to know who she is because it appears as though they played together often.  Sometimes I look at these pictures and then back at my own calendar to imagine exactly what I was doing at that very moment.  On this day we had my friend Tiffani and her husband visiting us with their son Holden....who Miles would late get to know quite well.  I remember holding Holden, who was 10 months at the time and thinking that this was how old Miles was going to be when I saw him for the first time.

Look at how much my little boy has changed. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

**Epic Fail**

Yesterday was a bad day. 
I had a hard day at work, I was hyper-focusing on negative things all day, and right before I was leaving I received an email that completely let the wind out of my sails.  This year is hard.  Students are pushing me in ways I never have been pushed before.  Not discipline wise - which would be exhausting in a different way, but in a soul-sucking I'm-giving-you-all-I-got sort of way.  This is where I struggle in my teaching....how much of my own passion and love of art am I willing to sacrifice?  How much of my creativity do I allow others to take from me?  How much do I give, knowing that I won't get it back?  Okay, I know this seems incredibly melodramatic and selfish, but that is exactly what was going through my head as I drove home yesterday from work, knowing that when I got home I would have to give even more. 
Here's the other thing....until yesterday I had forgotten about Chuseok - A Korean Fall Harvest Holiday that is a big deal.  I wanted it to be a big deal in my family.  I want to do everything I can to honor the fact that we are now a Korean-American family.  However, I was completely unprepared and there was no way to prepare for something like that in the 1 hour I was able to spend with my children last night.  As my students would say..."EPIC FAIL."  All I could think about was how sorry I was to miss yet another Korean holiday, and how terrible I was at being the "perfect mom." 
(I won't even bore you with the details of how I felt incredible guilt as I thought about my sons at their new babysitters house - a woman I actually haven't even had the opportunity to meet yet.)

Then I decided to change it.  I decided to indulge myself...I pulled into the next McDonalds and got the largest fountain Coke money could buy (a luxury I learned about from my dear sister-in-law Amy).  As I was pulling out of the parking lot I decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and refocus.  I thought about how delicious that Coke was, I thought about the sun as it reflected off the bridge, I thought about the next jewelry designs I was going to make.  I thought about the fact that I actually have a job.  I thought about how great the rice cakes we were going to prepare and eat **tomorrow** for Chuseok were going to be.  I thought about the picture I have of Miles celebrating Chuseok with his foster mom and how I was going to post that on here today.  I thought about how great my dining room is going to look after I'm done redoing it, and I thought about how darn lucky I was. 

Did the night get easier then?  Not really.  Did I resolve to not be so whiny?  Yes, until I wrote this post.  Is today a new day that I am going to embrace?  Most definitely.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I.Heart.Fall.

like in a serious way...

But that is not the reason I haven't written for so long.  The truth is that I am drowning.  I'm not sure what it is that is happening to me in this moment, but I can NOT catch up.  I've been spending my early mornings trying to work on photos and organize my life, days running around at work like I have no idea what I'm doing, my evenings late at the school trying to get ahead, and my nights up late trying to get my business and personal life in order.  Let's not assume that I have had absolutely no fun.  In fact, that may be part of the problem.  The irresponsible teenager in me can't seem to find the middle ground - productive AND laid back.  And who is taking care of my boys during this going-on-two-week-long-guilt-induced-pity-party? Dustin.  What a superstar.  He is the best househusband anyone could ask for.  The only problem is that he retires that position in exactly two days.  That gives me two days to get my act together.  In the meantime let me give you a little summary of our last week.

First of all....Art Lessons!  I mentioned almost two weeks that I was going to start doing these.  I have been doing them with Miles every evening that we are home - which lately hasn't been a ton.  However, I do have some great action shots of our art-making!

Yes, I do realize that this one looks like the female reproductive system.

Besides art, we have been busy doing other things as well.  On Wednesday my Uncle Randy came to visit us on his last trip to Central Illinois for a long time.  He comes down semi-regularly for his job, and is starting a new job very soon.  Miles had fun climbing on him and showing him all of his tricks.  This was the first time we had seen Randy since my Aunt Marsha died last summer, so his visit meant a lot to us.

On Thursday we went to the Morton Pumpkin Festival and tried to eat everything Pumpkin that your heart could dream up.  We went with our good friends where I had to snap this picture....


Someone mentioned that this was a far cry from the Punta Cana trip we all took together almost three years ago.  Boy how things have changed. :)

On Saturday we had a lot of fun babysitting our good friend Caleb while his parents went out for a night on the town.  Miles was so excited that he wouldn't stop doing laps almost all night.  It was crazy.


Liam watching sandbox time enviously from the back door.

Caleb even got to do art time with us!







And then some other random pictures from this week....

I had Dustin take this because I thought Miles looked very Italian in when he put my sunglasses on like this at the restaurant...
Ummm...could you hold on a sec?  I've got to make a 3 point turn.
So there you go.  It hasn't been all bad, and I'm about to get my ducks in a row.  Watch out world, I've got some major productive butt to kick. (Right after I finish publishing this 45 minute in the making post.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We are artsy, hear us roar...

Everyday I come home from work, we eat dinner insanely early, and then I find myself counting down the minutes until my kids go to bed.  It's weird because I don't do that during the day when I'm home with them all day.  It's just this weird block of time where I don't want to get them wound up, I don't want to risk them falling asleep in a stroller, and I definitely don't feel like leaving the house. 

On a seemingly unrelated topic I am an art teacher.  I used to spend my days teaching 2 year olds about art. 

The connection?  My new idea is to have a daily "art time" with my boys. (I am ashamed to admit how sparingly I actually put a crayon in my son's hand.)  My goal?  To do an art project every evening with them between dinnertime and bathtime.  (By "them" I mean Miles, and Liam can make snacking on Cheerios artistic if he wants.)  My motivation? Well, exposure to art for one.....but if I'm being quite honest, it also has a little bit to do with the cup of tea I plan on enjoying while I'm sitting at the table with them.  Do I think it will be a success?  Well, it probably depends on your definition of success.  As for mine, one night down.



Lately, Miles has been getting really close to paper whenever he draws or paints.  It give you the impression that he is really concentrating, and it totally cracks me up.


Liam showing off his mad origami skills.  What a show-off.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

The famous words of Burt and Ernie....
Burt: "...I five a sandbox, I six a sandbox, I seven a sandbox, I eight a sandbox..."
Ernie: "WHAT!?  You ate a sandbox??!!"





Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When you take your kids out for sushi on a weekday you are reminded of how the days of a nice, quiet, enjoyable dinner with friends is a thing of the past.  Luckily you get an nearly empty restaurant with an attentive waitstaff

that will tolerate a little bit of this...
video

And a little bit of this...

video

But best of all, some of this. :)

video

Monday, September 6, 2010

Everything I forgot to tell you this summer...


Warning.....do not read this post unless you have some serious time to waste.

Yesterday I was looking through our photos of summer, ordering some for albums, uploading others from our cameras to our computer when I realized that there is A LOT that I never got around to posting about this summer.  Looking through these photos I can ever remember specific post topics that I was going to write about, but then never found the time.  So here is a shortened, photographic, condensed version of all of the things I forgot to tell you about this summer...and other photos that are just too great to leave out.

Bear is multi-functional and sweet.
An entire dinner of Ramen, courtesy of Boys Over Flowers :)



This picture and the next were meant for their very own blog post.  To make a REALLY long story short, Dustin and I used to be closet One Tree Hill fans.  Collin, my brother (the other dapper dude in the picture) is from N. Carolina and informed Dustin and I that the show is filmed in WIlmington - where we were visiting for the day on vacation.  We were a little excited.  ANYWAYS, here is the storefront for Clothes Over Bros - Brookes' clothing boutique....any OTH fans out there?  Okay, just us.
This is the basketball court that they always go to to "deal with life" if you know what I mean.  I'm not kidding when I say that Dustin spotted this all the way across the river.  We of course had to drive over there for a photo-op.  The city took the hoops down, but you can get the idea in this very realistic reenactment...Dustin is playing Lucas and Collin is playing Mouth.  Do any OTH fans want to come forward now?  No? 
I just included this one because it was one of my favorite dinners on our vacation and I forgot to include it....my parents and brother, Collin.
We stopped here because they have the world's largest frying pan.....why else?
When I went out to visit my parents with the boys we just happened to get there on the very last Cruise Night of the season, a.k.a. Super Cruise.  My dad and I took Miles, who of course loved it.  He spent the first 10 minutes pointing to cars and saying "No No" because we told him that he couldn't touch them.  (See photo below)  In this photo (above) I had my dad and Miles stand next to the exact same car that my dad drove when he met my mom.  It was much cooler than I expected considering all I had ever heard about it was that it was black with gold lace painted on as "trim".  Later that evening my dad admitted to me that he actually had it custom painted.  All these years I thought he had been forced to drive a car with lace. 
This Cruise Night thing has always been a mystery to me.  EVERY SINGLE STREET was filled with old cars.  And the crazy thing is that ANYONE can show up.  You just pull up to Main Street in your car and someone directs you where to go.  No registration, no rules, and no paperwork.  In a world where everything is overplanned, that just seems crazy.
A Popsicle snack with Grandpa.
This picture and the two below are from The Taste of Peoria.  This is Miles' good friend Caleb.  We kept our sons out way too late, but made up for it with free reign in the fountain. :)


At one point I decided we needed to buy a pool for the boys.  Did I mention that we have a Prius?  I sort of forgot until we got to the parking lot.  :)  But we got it to where we needed to go.
Liam peeking out.
Miles' first Tat....at a Children's Museum in Michigan up by where Dustin's parent's lake house is.  We had a lot of fun there with the boys.
Liam loved this.
Okay, we mostly just had fun taking funny pictures of the boys.
This totally cracked me up. :)
One hot day this summer my friends, Steph and Brett and I decided to go on an adventure.  We're all teachers so we were able to take the day to do some exciting Peoria things.  This started out with lunch at the carts downtown, renting Segways downtown, then ice cream, and a movie to wrap it all up.  It was quite an adventure. :)  And we made total fools of ourselves.
Lunch after a hike at the Nature Center.
A loaded down stroller with big plans.
And my favorite picture.  As one last adventure before heading back to school, my husband took me on a date that included wine a cheese at an outdoor restaurant with live music, followed by an enormous amount of popcorn and sour patch kids at the movie theater.  A perfect night.