Monday, December 28, 2009

At least it's a short week, right?

So, Christmas came and went. Whoosh. I distinctly recall a conversation I had with my sister around Thanksgiving and during that call I told her that I feared December would blow through here like an angry wind and Christmas would be over and Sad January would show up before we knew it. I was pretty much spot on. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did. Christmas Eve was awesome, as usual, and this year we had a Mexican theme. Brother brought carnitas, we had the fixins and the margaritas and LM provided delicious flan. Muy bueno. Christmas day was fun, too. We had an open house brunch/lunch thing with family and friends and Max had fun opening his new presents. He was having trouble with the "multiple present opening" concept because we would give him one and he would rip off about 1 square inch of paper at a time, very delicate that one, and then I had to go in for him because I'm impatient and he would be so excited for that thing (unless it was clothes)that he would stop and want to play with it. I had to keep taking the stuff and putting it behind me so he would focus on the next present. Tough problem to have, kid. We bought him his first train set that we spent about 45 minutes putting together for him to take about .7 seconds to dismantle (Seriously. Off the table) and he got tons of books and some cute and funny shirts and a new train to ride on and a table and chairs of his own. He made quite a haul. Jeff and I had a nice quiet Christmas evening at home in our pajamas eating leftovers and drinking champagne cocktails. Jeff told me he hid a bottle at the party so we could have some later (SORRY, GUESTS). That's love, people. On Saturday, we had our annual holiday shindig with all our friends at a wine bar kinda near our house. It was a cute place and I drank champagne out of a can and ate a cheeses of the world platter. It was so fun to see everybody and get to relax and have a chat. Halfway through the night, all these cop cars pulled up with their lights on and we were like "HUH?!" It turns out some people had just gotten mugged outside! It actually happened a few blocks away but still. Luckily all the fuzz were still there when we left so we felt very safe walking to our car. It sucks because the neighborhood is interesting but crime has made an unwelcome surge in recent months. It's a shame, really.
Anyway, my point in all this rambling was that December blew through here and while I complained when I had to run around shopping and dealing with jerkwads at the mall and cooking and cleaning, I actually kind of miss it now. Don't worry, my laziness will set in shortly.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

...and to all a good night.

So, Jeff and I are busy cooking and cleaning for both our celebration tonight and our brunch tomorrow morning. I hope Max cares more about his presents this year than he did last year when he spent most of the day chewing on a string. This year we decided to celebrate our Christmas eve Feliz Navidad-style with a super Mexican fiesta. I wanted to take time away from spilling crap down the front of me (seriously, I'm on my third shirt today) to wish you all a happy holiday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever flavor you celebrate. Thanks again for reading this drivel and putting up with my antics. You are all peaches and cream.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ho, Ho, UH OH.

So, Christmas is apparently in 3 days. This is according to my 2009 Pacific Island Art calendar but it is not according to my brain. WTF?! Seriously, I can't seem to get my brain to register that Christmas is THIS FRIDAY. Why, head, why? Why can you not grasp this simple concept? I know why. Because I haven't done jack shit about it. I'm even hosting a Christmas brunch here and have I even ordered my ham yet? No. Do I have ANYTHING resembling brunch supplies? No. Have I baked all the cookies I said I would? No. Do I have all my thoughtfully purchased (HAHAHA) presents wrapped in pretty paper under the tree? No. Well, actually I did wrap a few gifts last night in paper that may or may not be holiday related and I wrote the name on it with a Sharpie because I forgot to buy tags. HIGH CLASS. So, basically this all this means I'm going to spend the next two days running around like a deranged psychopath trying to get everything together.

Christmas-1 Me-0

Well played, Mr. Kringle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poor Santa.

So, we went to see Santa. It went about the way I thought it would go. Not as bad as the picture above but not great, either. He was fine in line, saying (yelling) "HI" to everyone around us, watching other kids go up for their picture and yelling "CHEESE" but once we got up to the big green chair...well, that's when it fell apart. I tried to sit him down but he had wrapped his legs around me like a spider monkey and was strangling me with my own scarf as he clung on for dear life yelling "NOOOOOO!" The elf lady suggested I sit down with him and they would crop me out so we tried that but that was still WAY TOO CLOSE TO SANTA and he again tried to crawl inside my body. We finally got him to sit for one picture that didn't involve his outstretched, pleading hands or crying face but it took about 5 people yelling "MAX, SMILE!" and a squeaky yellow toy. Incidentally, that's about the same technique that Petsmart uses for their "Pet Pics with Santa" but I digress. The whole thing lasted all of about a minute but he was super pissed off for the next hour or so. He finally warmed back up when he saw french fries were on his dinner plate (it was late, don't judge) so I think he's forgiven me.

Until next year.....

NOTE: Um yeah, I'm using his picture for our Christmas cards so I'm not posting it until they're mailed out and at that point you won't give a crap so imagine the above photo not set in 1950 and with a small Asian boy and not that poor child. That's about how PISSED he was, though.

I hope there are elves. Keebler elves.

So, I've been a bit under the weather for the last few days but tonight I'm packing my roll of toilet paper, otherwise known as hillbilly kleenex (only the best!), and braving the coldness to take Max to see Santy Claus. We saw him for about 2 seconds at the mall a couple weeks ago because I wanted to gauge his reaction so I could be prepared. As we know, Max is allergic to being still and sitting quietly so I don't know how this will go down. I hope Santy has some Aflac or something in case Max goes gonzo on him and tries to debeard him. He didn't seem scared or anything before but he likes to surprise us so I make no guarantees.

I'll post some pics tomorrow (unless you already see them on the news under the headline "Toddler Goes Crazy On Mall Santa.")

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cake Alert

I had two milestone cakes this weekend, one for 40 and one for 50 and next month I have one for a 90th birthday! One thing remains the same, though. People still seem to like a fun cake to celebrate with and that's a good thing.

Friday, December 11, 2009


So, one year ago today, Jeff and I stepped of a Delta airlines flight carrying two suitcases and a very tired little Korean baby boy named Beom Ho. In the adoption world, they call this your "gotcha day." It's not really a birthday since clearly he was already alive when we got him (unless he's been a zombie this whole time in which case the joke's on me, right?), but as LM so elequently put it the other day, "it was kind of a birthday because it was the day Beom Ho became our Max." That is 100% true. That day when we stepped off that plane, it was the first step into our new life and more importantly, his new life. Imagine being taken from your parent and plopped into the arms of strangers who don't look like you or sound like anyone else you know, then boarding a plane to who knows where and being met by another group of people that seem REALLY happy to see you even though you don't know who they are. Now, he was only 9 months old then, and at the time I was like "he won't remember any of this, he's a baby and is unaffected." WRONG. Now I look back and remember how those first few months were so freaking difficult and how I didn't know anything about babies and figured they were all tyrants but all that time, he was probably freaking out just as badly in a different way. He was missing everything he knew and had this crazy woman trying to be his mommy. It's a wonder we all made it out alive. It's also a wonder that in a mere 365 days, he went from that to a fully formed toddler who walks, talks and makes us crazy for him. There are many times that Jeff and I both look at him and are still amazed, even a year later, that he is our kid. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we:

Here we are, after 20+ hours of flight, covered in poo, formula and spit up. That lady next to us looks pissed and the one behind is over it already. I just noticed how fresh faced Jeff looks. WTF? Was there a spa on the plane that I missed?? I look like a hot mess. (Dec. 11, 2008)

This was our first night home. He looks as scared as we were.

Christmas 09. He was a gift, indeed.

I remember the cutting of the teeth. Not fun. (January 09)

This was taken the morning of his first birthday (March 25, 09). He looks silly. Because he IS.

At his birthday party in his fancy Korean outfit.

This was his first foray into his EYE-talian heritage, although for full disclosure, I think he's eating Chef Boyardee, not homemade. Don't judge. (April 09)

This was taken in the Spring. He had a lot on his mind that day. He is a thinker. (May 09)

This was the day he officially became our kid. (June 09)

Here he is having his first summer of fun. He still loves to splash around and I predict lots of pool time again next year based on his love of the bath. (July 09)

Summer fun in the backyard with Daddy. (August 09)

The first haircut and apparently his first day as a male model. He is working that onesie. (Sept 09)
How could we forget Godzilla's "bitch, please" face? (October 09)

And that brings us to now. I can't believe how much he's changed in one year. I think if you had asked me a year ago what life would be like today I would have had a much different answer. Kids change every single minute of your life for both good and sometimes not so good, but at the end of the day, we wouldn't want things any other way.

Wellllll, that's not entirely true. We do love our life right now but we have decided that a change is in order. A big change. A REALLY big change. A change in the form of.....another baby!!!!!!!! Yes, we're applying for a little brother or sister for Max. Don't get too excited yet though, we have a wait ahead of us but the ball is indeed rolling and I'll fill you in as we go just as before. I'm hoping for a girl (PLEASE BE A GIRL) but more than likely we'll be getting another son. So, we're off again and hope you have enjoyed this ride enough to join us on another.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cake Alert

So, I was asked to make a ladybug birthday cake for my friend Erin's daughter. Most of the ladybug cakes I see are a variation on the "one giant ladybug cake" and they're totally cute but I decided to challenge myself to come up with an alternative that was still cute but just a bit more interesting. See what you think.

Brusha Brusha Brusha

So, Max has finally decided he loves to brush his teeth. All we have to say is "brusha brusha" and he runs into the bathroom and hops up on his stool. He loves this so much that when he's done and we have to leave the bathroom, he will throw himself down in dramatic protest. We have to drag him out kicking and screaming every time. While I applaud his attention to dental hygiene, these twice daily tantrums are driving me bananas. Nonetheless, toddler dentures are not an option so we will forge on. Last night we took some pics of him because he thinks he's hot stuff.

As you can see, he's also learned what "cheese" means when he sees a camera. Also see below.

What a weirdo. A weirdo with really fresh breath.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Today will probably not be quite as exciting.

So, do you know what happened last year on this day?? I got our travel call to go get Max. I was sitting at my desk at my still kinda new job and I was depressed because my sweet friend Connie had already gotten her call and I was having a total pity party for myself. I was even listening to my "sad songs" playlist on my iPhone. I can't explain it but even though we waited years and months for this to happen, the last 48 hours of waiting before the travel call were the WORST. I remember my phone ringing and seeing the unfamiliar number and knowing who it was and freezing for a second because I was almost too scared to answer because it was SO EFFING REAL NOW. On the other end, I heard a woman's voice asking for me and telling me she was from Holt and asking if I had time to talk. I laughed this weird psycho squawky laugh that is not my normal laugh and only comes out when I'm wigged out and told her that I would always have time for this phone call and she laughed and said "this is your travel call!" and I squealed loud enough that a few co-workers came by to see what the hell was going on. The rest of the conversation was kind of a blur but I vividly remember that part. The next couple of days were a frenzy of phone calls and packing and double checking paperwork and more packing and freaking out and shopping and having no idea what was in store for me and finally getting on the nicest plane I've ever been on to fly over the Arctic circle to the other side of the world to meet this baby who was going to come home with us. The same baby who is now sitting on his dump truck reading a book and talking on his phone like he's been here forever. I had no idea then that I was down to the last couple days of the old me, the me that stayed out late and slept in, the me who had an office job and wore office clothes, the me who went about her life without worrying about getting home for a nap or whether we had enough milk. Some days I really miss that me but most days I look at him and remember what we've gone through and realize that the new us is pretty okay, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Head Wound Harry

So, today was interesting. This morning, things were going as normal. Max was playing around in his room, chasing the dog and talking on his cell phone. I had my laptop on his dresser answering emails when all of a sudden I heard a thud. I looked down to see he had tripped right into the wooden rocking chair frame, face first of course. I swooped down and was all "are you okay buddy?" and he looked up at me WITH A RIVER OF BLOOD POURING FROM HIS FACE. I grabbed him, screamed a slew of expletives and ran to the bathroom. I grabbed a washcloth from the bathtub and held it to his face to apply direct pressure, as I learned from 10 years of watching "E.R.", but the washcloth was too wet and now I had blood and bloody bathwater running down his face and me. When I pulled the washcloth away to wring it out, this HUGE GEYSER OF BLOOD came shooting out of his face. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. It was like in the movies when they hit an artery and blood squirts out like someone took their finger out of the dam. This was coming from the space between his eyes and was FREAKING ME OUT. There was blood everywhere because he was crying and thrashing around and I was trying to hold him and keep the washcloth on his head faucet but I was also freaking out and crying so I kept dropping the washcloth and it would spray all over like a blood sprinkler. It was on the floor, the walls, the dog, me, him. The bathroom looked like the set of "CSI." This is what his pajama shirt now looks like:

I tried to call Jeff but I got his voicemail and I didn't know what else to do and I know calling 911 is an option, but it wasn't life-threatening and I could tell at this point that it was just a nasty cut and not an exploded eyeball, so I called my neighbor. She ran over and very calmly got the situation under control. She held the cloth on his eye while I ran around frantically getting dressed and explaining the events to Jeff as he drove home to meet me. By the time he walked in, Patty had gotten the blood flow slowed down enough to put on some band-aids, which sadly for Max were the pink Hello Kitty variety, so we headed to the hospital. When we pulled up to the doors, he had totally stopped crying and was pointing to all the ambulances yelling "RUCK!" and occasionally he would say "ow" but that was about it. We checked in and after waiting about 20 minutes, during which time he played with crayons, a race car game and ran around yelling "hi" to everyone else, I thought maybe I had overreacted. He seemed fine and Hello Kitty seemed to be doing it's job so I went to the desk and said "he seems okay now, maybe he doesn't need to see a doctor." The guy took off Hello Kitty and I watched red ooze down his nose. He put another band aid on and told me to go sit down. About 20 minutes later we were in the room and 10 minutes after that, he was glued back together and we were headed home. They opted not to do stitches because of scarring and used some dermabond stuff that smelled like feet. He wasn't thrilled with the process and I had to hold him down on the stretcher while they did it. That was the only other time he really cried. He is one tough mutha.
Clearly, is has not diminished his rugged good looks.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Treats: Holiday Wreaths

So, this is probably the most popular treat in our house. We can plow through an entire recipe in about 2 days. HAHAHA. Did I say 2 days, I meant about 45 minutes. If I'm feeling energetic, I'll actually form them into rounds and add the red hots in cute holly berry bunches. I'm not normally energetic, so they usually end up as Holiday Bushes With Red Hots Randomly Thrown On In No Particular Order. Anyway, here you go:


1/3 c. butter
16 lg. marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. green food coloring
2 1/2 c. corn flakes
Red Hots

Melt butter and marshmallows in saucepan. Add vanilla, food coloring, and corn flakes. Coat the flakes well. Drop on wax paper in a wreath shape and drop a red hot on each wreath so it sticks on. Let it set overnight.

**Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that these are two giant wreaths and not even bushes. This was all I had the energy for. They're still delicious. Don't judge.

Holiday Treats : Golden Grahams S'mores

So, as I said yesterday, I'm doing some baking this year. Yeah, I know, I bake all the damn time but cakes and treats are very different. Treats are cookies and bars and weird cereal combinations all melded together by the magic of mini marshmallows. Treats are what I ate as a kid, cakes were for "occasions." That being said, I hope you enjoy the recipes, none of which are difficult or obscure or anything so you have no excuse not to join me in my sugar coma.

We were big fans of Golden Grahams as kids and my mom (or maybe my meemaw, I don't remember) would make these as an alternative to rice crispie treats. They are addictive like crack. See, I wanted to take a picture for you nice people but we couldn't stop eating them. My jeans are already tight and this is only day one. I'm screwed.

Golden Grahams S'mores

3/4 c. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. butter
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips (2 c.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz.) pkg. Golden Grahams cereal
3 c. mini marshmallows

Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Heat syrup, butter and chips to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal in bowl, toss until coated. Fold in marshmallows 1 cup at a time. Press in pan with buttered hands or spoon. Let stand 1 hour, cut into squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.