Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Aww...chubby cheeks.

I wanted to post a few pics of the kid from the holidays. He seemed to enjoy Christmas, as much as a baby can enjoy anything so WELL DONE us. He was far more interested in eating wrapping paper and chewing on the boxes than he was in the actual gifts so everyone could have saved a lot of money. Hindsight. We have a post-placement visit tomorrow so they can see how he is settling in and how we are all doing as a family. The fun never ends.

I know the tree looks pink but it's white. For reals. The colored lights make it look pink, not that I don't TOTALLY covet a pink tree but I think Jeff would cancel Christmas if I bought one. BUT, if I had the pink tree AND a regular tree........hmmm.....I like where this is going. Anyways, cute kid, blahblahblah.

WHEEEE!! Look at me eat mah elephant's butt!



This picture is the cutest, hands down. I love his emo hair and he looks like he's telling me to go suck it.

"Why lady, WHY THIS GODDAMN HAT? Why you gotta do me like this?"

Mmmmmm......paper good.

Friday, December 26, 2008

HOLLA-day Shout Out


Sorry for the super gap in posting but get used to it. Babies leave about 34 seconds a day free, so I will have very little time to post. Just know my life is mostly this:

-baby cries
-check/change poop diaper (because it's usually poop)
-feed said baby some kind of goop and/or bottle
-try to convince baby to sleep by offering money and jewels
-rinse and repeat

I've been meaning to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive of all of us over the last several months during our big journey to get Max. This has been quite an amazing time for us and we are really thankful to have all our friends and family along for the ride. We've had some really nice gestures bestowed upon us and again, I thank you all. We feel very lucky and we wish you all the absolute best fortune in 2009.


Last year I said (drunk) : "2008 IS GONNA BE GREAT!" and it was so much so. We had some major changes in our lives and for the most part, they helped us move in a positive direction.
That said, "2009 IS GONNA BE FINE!"

Cheers everyone!

love,

amy, jeff, max, cleo & zoey

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

He wanted me to tell you "blahblahblah."

Just wanted to give you all a quick update........

Overall, today things are going really well. He is still having some sleeping issues, but we went to an adoption specialist yesterday and the nice doctor lady gave us some tips on how we can all get some sleep. So far we were able to go one night without a total meltdown but it means we are all sleeping together on the floor. She thinks he is still trying to figure out who we are and whether or not he can trust us and until that happens, he will probably have some issues. I woke up every 5 minutes because either he had his big Fred Flintstone foot in my face or he was farting or fussing or whatever but as long as we can get some kind of shut-eye, I'm gonna take it. His poor tummy has finally responded to the stress so we're finding out all about the wonders of poo and he is offering no shortage of specimen. He did so well at the doctor's office despite being poked and prodded and stuck with needles so we are anxiously awaiting the results of the testing. He has hyper-stimulation from all his trials and tribulations as a wee baby so we are also learning how to manage that. They think it may subside once he is in a routine, which is our next challenge. He's a pretty agreeable and happy little dude when he's content so that's what I'm anticipating for the future. We just have some humps to get over in the meantime.

He is, however, a fantastic dancer and we have a Robot Dance Party everyday. It's super fun and I'm going to start charging a cover soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Forcing your eyes shut doesn't make you tired, just for the record.

Well, it's almost midnight and the only one in this house not sleeping is me. I finally have a night that he goes down early and I am WIDE AWAKE. Figures. Today was the best day we've had. We were supposed to have people come to visit but after gifting grandma with our sickness, we decided we would refrain from spreading any more holiday cheer and lay low. Max and I both feel much better and I think the shroud of illness has finally lifted. His sniffles are almost gone and he was super fun and adorable today. It's amazing how much I am in love with this little dude. We spent most of the morning dancing to reggae music, which he apparently really digs, and playing around in his room. He is thisclose to walking and he will go all around his bedroom holding on to stuff. He also learned that the remote control makes the TV change and amused himself with that for a bit. We tried baby food for the first time and he made his debut in his fancy high chair, which he fussed his way in to but quickly decided he liked. He was unsure as to what to do with the food at first and basically let it plop out of his mouth like an old man. It was so cute it was killing me. Today we really felt like a family and it was awesome. So awesome.

Uh oh........I hear something.......gotta go!

Welcome Home, Kimchi. Now where is my martini?

So, I have about 5 minutes to type this so here's a brief synopsis of the last three days:

Trip home:
If hell had a name other than hell it would be Delta Flight 92 from Itaewon to St. Louis. In all fairness, Kimchi did LOADS better than the other screamers on the flight. However, it was still awful, compounded by the fact that I have been really sick since Korea. Lovely. Here is a conversation we had on the plane as I came back to my seat from the bathroom with him:


Jeff: How'd that go?
me: well, it was my worst fears all coming true.
Jeff: uh-oh
me: yeah, his ass exploded everywhere and while I was attending to that in the minuscule bathroom, he decided it would be SUPER FUN to whizz all over the place. I just got done cleaning the bathroom. YOU'RE WELCOME, DELTA.


Then we got held up a ridiculously long time in customs in Atlanta, which I will go on record as saying it is the WORST AIRPORT ON PLANET EARTH and is filled with rudeness. We sat in customs waiting for someone to help us, which wasn't happening, and we watched the customs agents standing around talking to each other and laughing and pretty much doing everything except their jobs. It took several of us angry folks who were about to miss their flight to get them to do anything. We barely made the connection. Seriously. I ran through the terminal. Like in a movie.


Day 1 home: Since no one slept, we were all a bit cranky and groggy but we had a dr. appt for him, which went decent and then we had to run some errands to get formula and such and then we picked up the dogs and came home and spent the next several hours trying to convince an 8 month old that he needed to go to sleep. That doesn't go over very well.


Day 2 home: Grandma Jan came to visit, thank god, so Jeff could go get provisions because we're about to get some massive ice storm and had no food or anything. I am still very sick but can't take medicine because it will knock me out and he is still allergic to SLEEPING so we are up. A lot. I am one of those fools who gets sick if I don't get enough sleep and since I've gotten about 20 hours of it in the last 7 DAYS, I am not getting any better. Grandma helps tremendously but her payment is that she is now also sick. Sorry, grandma.


Day 3: It's almost noon and he has been pretty good all morning. Last night was awful, however. I think he is finally realizing that his "other mom" isn't here anymore and he is pretty pissed off about the whole thing. We got him down at 11pm last night, he slept until 1:45 and then nothing we did would make him stop crying. We tried food, new diaper, playing, holding, rocking, I offered him some money, more food....nothing worked. We finally just put him in the crib and let him have his meltdown, which lasted until almost 5am.


So yeah, um, adopting a baby is VERY STRESSFUL. At least a newborn is starting from scratch, but I have a well developed almost toddler who has his own ways, which are not exactly jiving with our ways, so it's an uphill battle. I'd like to give a shout out to the other adoptive mommas out there who have gone through or are going through this now. It's hard because no one really gets that this IS NOT a normal situation and the next person that tells me that it is and gives me some lame-brained advice that will work for a 3 day old baby but not my kid is going to get a fist flavored sandwich. I keep reminding myself that this will pass and it will get better and goddamn this kid is cute, which makes it slightly easier when he is screaming bloody murder and pooping all over me, don't you agree?


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The First Day

So, we made the pickup. It was similar to picking up a UPS package, but with a lot more crying. A LOT MORE. Seriously. They said it would be hard and we knew it would be hard but we didn't know it would be THAT hard. They gave us instructions and paperwork and slings and god knows what else and 20 min. later we were on the sidewalk with him, his foster mom and our social worker hailing a cab. I stood and watched her try and hold it together but the tears came and I gave her a hug and thanked her for caring for my baby for 6 months and then the tears came from me and Jeff and finally she pointed to the cab, motioned for me to sit down, plunked him on my lap and shut the door. I looked up at her and she was crying an I felt so bad for her. They had already told the taxi where to go so off we went. I sobbed and Jeff sobbed and he was FURIOUS. Seriously. He was so mad and he wouldn't sit and he SCREAMED at the top of his lungs the WHOLE WAY. We almost got in two accidents because they drive like psychopaths here and the cabbie wanted us out ASAP, although he seemed very sympathetic to us and babbled in Korean the whole way. I held him in my lap, or tried to at least ( no car seat, we went Britney Spears-style, ya'll) and he cried and screamed and cried and flung himself around and hit my face and I was sobbing and it was NOTHING like the unicorns-farting-rainbows-style Lifetime movie you think it is. Not in the least bit at all. No soft focus, no "I love my new mommy!" no nothing. It was one of the absolute most difficult moments in our lives, all of us. Nothing could have prepared us.


We made it here and he was slightly okay until we got in the room and then it started again and I was sobbing and telling Jeff that maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all and maybe we should have just gotten another dog and then we put him in the carrier and I paced the room and suddenly he stopped.





Now, before you roll the credits and say "what a heartwarming story! That's Oscar material for sure" know that this did not last long. We got him to eat and take an hour nap,which was interrupted by Daddy dropping a wooden hanger on the floor and then we found out he LOVES water so we played in the sink but that again only lasted so long. I hope there is a sink on the plane because I am dreading this flight home and nothing I say will convey the overwhelming sense of fear I have. For reals. I am scared shitless. So we played and he finally tired himself out and fell asleep around 11:30pm and slept until 3:30am, which is why I'm up now. We fed him and he was back out. Le sigh. Seoul is truly a kick ass place and I've grown to really love it but I'm really glad to be going home. We went to the big ass crazy market again yesterday on the way to get him and between seeing a woman selling roasted silkworm larvae on the corner and the permanent smell of fermented cabbage and garlic that is EVERYWHERE, I knew I was done.
We leave in about 9 hours for the airport and then 20 hour flight home. Wish us luck. If you hear of a woman jumping from a 777 somewhere over Siberia, you'll know who it was.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meeting Max

So, big day today. We got a decent nights sleep, despite the bed being like a slab of granite. We took a taxi to the Holt office, and then realized that we gave them the wrong address and we were standing in the street looking at a map that we can't read and suddenly this man came up and asked if he could help. We told him we were looking for Holt and he was like " I work there, follow me" and we were like "YES" and he was so nice. We got there and met the group for our tour, which included our friends Connie and Jack, whom we met through the agency and who live near us. They are super cool! We went to a palace of some sort, I don't remember the name but it was really old and really beautiful:






After the palace we made our way to Insadong, which is a big shopping district. I swear, all these people do is shop! I love them very much. Hells bells, I love this whole place. It's freaky deaky but it's just mind-blowingly cool as well. Jeff took 8 million pictures so I'll post a full photo spread when we get home.



We had to leave our group early to take a taxi back to the Holt office for our meeting with Max. My stomach was in knots he whole way. When we got there, we met with our Korean social worker and she informed us that we had a surprise, we were going to get Max a day early! HOLY CRAP. Instead of on the way to the airport, we get him tomorrow afternoon and will have a night with him in the hotel. I'm so nervous I'm about to throw up, but I think it's better that he be a little more comfortable with us. They took us to a room where we waited about 20 min and then we heard a knock and my heart lept out of my body and then he came in and all I can say is I was in total shock. Seriously. This is just an experience that I can't describe.



I just can't believe this. Here is me and the little bugger:





video







video

video

Sorry but the second one is kinda Blair Witchy. Man, this is so amazing. We got to ask a bunch of questions and the foster mother gave us a bag of gifts. We got a necklace with his name and birth date in Hangul, a traditional hanbok that children wear here for their first birthday, a photo album from the last 6 months which is priceless and professional photo of him and his foster mom. It was so sweet and I am so blown away that she did all that. She was so sweet and seemed to really love him a lot. After we left, we walked out to the street and I burst into tears and cried all the way through the subway. Nice. Crazy crying lady. We pick him up at 4pm tomorrow and then we're heading back home on Thursday. Tonight we are meeting Connie and Jack for dinner and then we're going to a Buddhist temple and then who knows what. This has been such an amazing experience and I am SO GLAD we decided to come here to get him. The travel is long and expensive but it was worth every cent.





Finally

We made it to Seoul!! It's 8pm now, which is 5am at home and we haven't been to bed since Friday night so none of this gibberish may make any sense. The flight was looooooooong but Korean Airlines was supremely awesome and it made it not so awful. All I kept thinking about was how was I going to occupy all this time with a baby. Yikes. We are at the hotel right now and just got some sandwiches and are planning on eating and passing out. We have a city tour in the morning and then we meet Kimchi and his foster mother at 1pm. I'm nervous and scared and excited. This is just so crazy, I can't even describe it. I don't think it's really set in that we're not only about to meet our son for the first time, but that we're doing it on the other side of the earth. Driving into Seoul was surreal because it's so densely populated and there is neon everywhere and people everywhere and it's just freaking me out. I'm too tired to post pics right now so I'll do that tomorrow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Ready

So it's almost 11pm, we're at my sister's house and we're ready to go. Well sorta. I'm sure there's stuff I forgot but I'm hoping they won't be missed. We have to leave for the airport at like 4:30 am or some crap so I'm not sure if I'm going to bother going to bed. I have a lot of time in the air to nap. It only took three trips to Target, four trips to Walmart, a trip to the mall and two visits to Walgreens to get us ready for this thing. I'm alternating between totally freaking out and kind of melancholy. Everything is going to change. I'm good with change, though. I like change. Change is what make life interesting. I hope.

We should have internet access while we're gone so I'm hoping to be able to post often.

I bid thee adieu. Wish us luck.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Update

I'm super frazzled right now so a short post just to say that we are scheduled to meet Max and his foster mother at 1:30 on Tuesday. I'm so excited but I'm also nervous because we are going to be total strangers to him. We ended up with some extra time in Seoul because we had a minimum amount of time to stay so we have a couple of city tours lined up which I'm really stoked about. I'm planning on posting when I can during the trip and if we can get it work, we're going to try and post a video of our meeting on Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who has cheered us on and wished us well. You guys kick ass!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TCTCTCTCTCTCTCTCTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLY CRAP PEOPLE!!! WE GOT THE CALL!! I'm literally vibrating with excitement right now and I'm at work so I have to maintain composure but all I want to do is run around and scream AAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!

We're leaving on Sunday and returning Thursday. Oh my god, I can't believe this is finally happening. As details come in, I'll update.

WOO HOOO, BABY!!

UPDATE** Okay, I got the flights all booked as well as the hotel so we are officially a go! All I'm gonna say is that we have to be at the freaking airport at 4:30AM. HOLY LORD that's early. We're also taking a city tour with our own guide to see the palaces and such. Seoul is actually a pretty kick ass city, according to my travel guide anyway, so I'm really excited. It doesn't hurt that shopping is a sport there. Uh oh. Of course, since Jeff and I have impeccable timing, this joyous news came on two of the crappiest days either of us have had at work in a looong time. I have a major project that has to be done before I leave and Jeff is just buried. It is kinda nice because I hadn't really thought of it like this, but we're going on a vacay of sorts. We won't have the baby with us until the day we leave so we have a few days to just enjoy the city. How I'm gonna be able to deal with being there but not having him I don't know but I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride. This is the greatest adventure we have ever been on and I'm gonna soak it in, baby! I'll have plenty of time to deal with explosive pooping and all that fun stuff when we get home. Viva la pampers!

Universe-2, Me-0

Pisces, 12/4/08
Allegedly, if you want to grow a banana tree, all you need is a greenhouse and an onion. Plant the bulb, water the soil and say, 'Onion, onion, one, two three; turn into a banana tree.' This technique is guaranteed to work, provided you have absolute faith in it. If, for one tiny moment, at any point, you doubt that the onion can or will become a banana, the enterprise will fail. Trust is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it can work miracles. But only if it is based on something truly viable. Look for magic not logic, now.

My first question is would the banana taste like onion, because I like weird food combos sometimes but that just sounds nasty. Okay kids, so today's lesson is faith and trust. So, I have FAITH that the freaking travel call will come today and I TRUST it will happen soon or else I will most likely explode.

So as you guessed, no travel call. Last night was hard. I know it's like "oh poor me, I have to wait" but I've been waiting 3 YEARS for this to happen and I'm just done waiting so humor me a small pity party. It all just worries me because until that kid's in my arms, anything can happen. That's why I approach all these things with extreme caution. I've seen things fall apart before and I've seen people at this stage and then they still have to wait weeks or even months for the call. The worst is that we have no way of knowing what's going on behind the scenes so saying "oh, just be patient" will probably cause me to rip some one's head off their shoulders with my bare hands so I don't advise that. I woke up today saying to myself "voice in my head, today is THE DAY. Today you will get THE CALL and then everyone will shout "HURRAH!" and there will be crying and laughing and frantic packing and phone calls and all that crap and then next week you'll have your baby home. That's what the voice says so that's what I'm listening to. Hopefully, and a BIG hopefully at that, I will have a big, sloppy post later with a lot of all caps words screaming glorious news.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Wait.

Oh man, I'm on freaking pins and needles today. I have to keep telling myself that we may not get the travel call today and that we might have to wait a few more days and then I get into an argument with myself because I don't want to hear that crap and then there's a brain fight and now we aren't speaking. Great. We probably wouldn't hear anything until a bit later anyway, but if everything went as planned, he should have had his visa interview already since Seoul is 15 hours ahead of us. Crikey! Okay, I have to go try to focus and get some work done today. I'll update as needed. Here's a picture from http://www.cuteoverload.com/ to look at while we wait:




Awww....shhhhhhhh, he's on the phone.

UPDATE** Sorry, but there's no update except for my stress level, which is at about DEFCON 3 now. AACK. I'm so frustrated right now and don't tell me to be patient. Every time the phone rings I jump, which means I'm jumping alot because the phone rings her constantly. Le sigh. Okay, go back to looking at this damn puppy on the phone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I called the visa center this morning, like I do every morning, and they have told me WONDERFUL NEWS!!! Kimchi's visa will be issued TOMORROW!!!!!!! That means that we will probably get our OFFICIAL travel call in the next 48 hours and will probably be on a plane by the weekend. I cannot belive this is happening. I am freaking out right now. I'll post any new info I get as I get it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday....Celebrate...If we took a holiday......

As soon as I'm looking forward to 4 days off, they're over. Poof. Just like that. Man, 4 days at work is an eternity but 4 days of sleeping in and eating and sleeping and eating more and shopping and laying around is AWESOME and goes really fast. In case you were wondering what we did, because you clearly like boring things, that about sums it up. Thanksgiving was a really nice starter to the long weekend. We went to brunch and somehow ended up getting our own private dining room so we totally felt like rock stars and it was really fun and I had the best mashed sweet potatoes I've ever had. Mmmmm....I'm still thinking abut them. After brunch, Jeff and I went home to make a cake for my boss's son's birthday.(You can check it out on the other blog if you choose.) Anyways, after we got the cake done, we headed out to my sister's house. We couldn't decide if we wanted to brave the crowds again at 5am to go Black Friday shopping but we figured it would be better if we were there and ready. Well, at 7am the next morning, and considering I was still in bed, we decided on plan B, which was to go shopping at a more civilized time. We dropped off the cake and headed to the mall, where we wandered around aimlessly, remarking on how the economy wouldn't be so crappy if places like the Gap realized that while it's nice and all, $60 for a freaking sweater is ridiculous. There just were no deals anywhere. We decided screw the mall and went to Target and Walmart, where I discovered that I'll pretty much buy anything for $5. Fake pashmina for $5? SOLD. Two-pack of knee socks for $5? SOLD. The only big purchase we made, and I say "we" in the royal sense since my sister actually bought it, was Rock Band for Wii, which KICKS ASS! We trotted it home and set upon putting it together and then we made our band we called Richard. Friday was also my sister's birthday, so in honor of that, we let her be on guitar, which put me on drums and Jeff on vocals since he has trouble keeping a beat (sorry honey, but it's true.) Anyway, we got through about 8 songs before we sucked so badly that we got stonewalled by a Ramones song and decided to cancel the tour and go eat sushi. For the record, Jeff was a champ and carried us on vocals like a pro. I know that with more practice, we're gonna be the best fake band EVER.

Anyway, the next day, Saturday, was our 6th anniversary. Normally we go out to a fancy dinner but we decided to stay in and cook this year. Jeff cleaned the house and made it look fabulous and we had lovely appetizers and wine and then we decided to open presents. We usually get small things, like this year I got him a Zen fatherhood book and a tshirt for Kimchi that says, and I'm not kidding and I didn't make it myself, "Daddy's Little Kimchi." How freaking awesome is that?! Jeff pulls out this really nicely wrapped box for me and when I opened it, there was a small white box. I opened that and inside was a really pretty ring with a big blue topaz or something in the center. It was pretty and I'm not really a jewelry girl but it was so sweet and while I was gushing about what a great husband i have, he pulls out a different white box and when I opened it he said "the other one's a fake, this is the real one,"

I was like "holy bajoley," are you kidding me?! It's absolutely gorgeous and I cried and he cried and I just love him so dang much. The center stone is aquamarine, which is my birthstone, and it's surrounded by diamonds, which are both Jeff and Max's birthstone. We had a great night and dinner was delicious, thanks for asking. After all this, Sunday was pretty uneventful. The dog got a haircut, and as you can see, we got her a new sweater since all her hair is gone. She is thrilled with us and I'm sure she would be calling PETA if she could dial a phone.

Sorry, Z.

Cake Alert!

You know how I like to make cakes look like other food? Well, I do. In fact, I'm looking for someone who loves pancakes enough for me to make a pancake cake for them. For real. Anyway, go to www.theatomiccakeco.blogspot.com to a cake that doesn't look like cake. That's amore.