Friday, December 31, 2010

I guess I have to buy a new calendar.

So, it's the last day of the year. New year's eve. We're pretty lame so in a shocking twist, we're actually going to be able to go out this year. I hope I can stay awake long enough to make it worthwhile. Last year we made it to about 11:15. I'm aiming for 12:40 this time.

2010 was quite a year for us. At the start, we were living in the city with Max and the dog. Here at the end, in the burbs, driving a minivan with another kid on the way. WTF?! When we look back, we realized we were pretty busy. We bought and sold a house. I made a ton of cakes. I had that heart thing happen. That was weird. Then we get this referral for Mia (yes, that's her new name), which was so fast and unexpected. We got a new dog. Then that dog went away. Max started preschool. We did a bunch of crap to the house. And here we are now.

2011 is going to be full of surprises for us. We hope to have some news about when we're going to bring Mia home next week. I feel like we're cresting the first hill of a roller coaster so I'm just gonna hang on, hope I don't throw up and enjoy the ride.

Have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

House pictures

So, while we've been waiting for the babe to come home, we've been occupying our time with home projects. We got the main part of the house done, minus the bathrooms and our bedroom which will all come along next year. Aside from the kitchen, where we took cabinets out, installed a new countertop and some light fixtures. it's been mostly painting and arranging but it's made a huge difference and it finally feels like our home. Here is a before and after tour:

The foyer before:

and after:

The dining room before:

and after:

The living room before:

and after:

The family room before (2 views) before:

and after:

view 2 before:

and after:

The kitchen before (2 views):

and after:

2nd view before:

and after:

Overall we're really happy with how it looks, it's very "us" and feels modern and retro all at the same time. The bathroom in the kitchen is up next. We're laying bamboo flooring and installing a new vanity and cabinet. Depending on when we get word about going to Korea, we might try to get it done before we travel. I mean, why not, right?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Pictures!

So, we got a new picture today!!! So adorable, right?

We sent her a birthday/Christmas package that included that cute penguin and that really scary monkey. That was Max's contribution. Sorry Eunie. Come home soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day! (4 days late)

So, I'm a terrible mom and completely forgot to honor our Gotcha Day. That is the day adoptive parents celebrate the day they were united with their child. Most parents go out to celebrate, some have parties and we.......well, we installed light fixtures, completely oblivious to the date. It wasn't until my friend Connie reminded me that I slapped my forehead and had a V8. According to my blog, which I have to use because I have lost the ability to remember anything, we picked him up on December 10, 2008. He was 8 months old and FULL OF ENERGY. Now, on December 14, 2010, he is STILL FULL OF ENERGY but totally our kid who says things like "Oh Em Gee" and "AH-MAAAZING" when he sees something he likes. He knows dinosaur names, and can count and say ABCs and has friends and is pretty much the coolest 2 1/2 year old I know. I am honored to be his mom and thank the woman who had him every day for giving us this kick ass person to call our son.

It really is something to see how far he has come in just 2 years. This was little Beom-Ho Gim in our hotel room the day we got him. He had a bruise on his cheek from falling at his foster mom's house. Apparently he was being rambunctious and fell into a coffee table. YOU DON'T SAY? This should have been a tip off.

This was Max on Sunday, all ready to tackle the snowy hill in the backyard but he was too excited to wait for Jeff to get his snow gear on so he just dropped it in the living room. FIGURES.

Max, we love you more than we thought we could. I want nothing more than to watch you grow into the AH-MAAAZING person I know you will be. Life works in funny ways and I doubt two years ago that we would have known how happy we would all be as a family. Thank you for being you.

Monday, December 13, 2010


So, we got our first snowfall of the season yesterday. Max was pretty excited and stood in front of the slider yelling "HOLY MACARONI" for most of the morning. Then we bundled him up and he and Jeff went sledding in the backyard. He had a really good time.

Who needs a sled when you can just use your bike? This is not dangerous at all.

This is for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eunie's Room

So, we've been knee deep, no scratch that, NECK DEEP, in home projects lately. I will be posting pics probably sometime in the next week or so because right now it still looks like a construction zone. I did, however, want to post pictures of Eunie's room, which I finally put together last week. We're sending her a care package for her birthday/Christmas and I wanted to send a pic along so they could see her cool new room. Like a baby gives a crap about this stuff. Whatever, let me have my moment. I should have taken a before picture but I forgot (OF COURSE) so imagine a white box that now looks like this:

Yes, it's totally girly, but my mother will confirm that I had a pink bedroom when I was a wee lass so it's not surprising. It's a pretty color, kind of a pinkish/lavender, depending on the light. It's funny to walk by now and see a furnished room and imagine that there will be an ACTUAL BABY in it in a couple of months. It kind of still hasn't sunk in yet. Anyway, I hope she likes it and doesn't look at the picture and scream.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Oh hello! I forgot this thing doesn't write itself. It's been a bit busy around here which is why I've been absent. I decided that since we got screwed on the whole "go get the kid" thing, I would use my pent up frustration in a more productive way. Thus, our home project extravaganza is on. OH IT'S ON. I'm not going to post pics just yet (BOO) because it's all in shambles but I will show a little before and after teaser of our kitchen, mid-construction. We are still replacing the countertops, sink/faucet combo and we're installing a stainless steel backsplash but this is how far we got this past weekend.


This is what we did over the weekend.

I've also painted the dining and living rooms, plus both kid's bedrooms but those are ALSO still in shambles so you'll see pics soon. We're doing some entertaining for the holidays so we have a deadline of Dec 17. Our next undertaking will be the bathrooms, but those wait until next year.

Aside from that, the only other interesting thing I have to report is that Max got his very first school photo taken! It's just his little preschool thing but still, it's totally cute. Obviously I'm a tiny bit biased but I'm pretty sure it was the cutest one in the entire school.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This blows.

So, we got our official word that Eunie will not be home until next year. They issued their final permits yesterday and we were not among the lucky ones. We were told they will resume in January and considering people that got their referrals as close as 15 days before us got their EP yesterday, I'm hopeful we're in the first group. Either way, she won't be home until probably early February.

Yes, this sucks and I would love to spout off a string of profanities that would make a hardened criminal blush but I will spare you. So now you know. Yes, we will miss her birthday but we're going to send her presents and I'm sure looking at pictures of your kid's first birthday is just as good as being there, right?

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Pictures!

So, we didn't get any news about EP (wah wah) but we did get new pictures of Eunie today!! She's getting big and is still rocking a mohawk but she's so cute I don't care. I just wanna squeeze the hell out of those cheeks!

It's hard to tell but she's a wee tiny thing, only 16lbs, so that bunny probably isn't as terrifyingly life sized as it looks. Good lord, that's the most depressing bunny I've ever seen. Run Eunie, run away from the bunny!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Adoption Update

So, I know I haven't posted anything other than adoption updates lately and I might try to pump something more interesting out later but for now, take what you get. As of Monday, our P3 packet has been sent to Korea. What the hell is a P3 packet, you ask? Well, I'm not exactly sure but I think it's a packet of all Eunie's info and documents up to this point. Let's just go with that. Anyway, her stuff has been sent to Korea and had the permit gods bestowed an emigration permit upon us already, we would be traveling to get her in about 4 weeks. HOWEVER......

....we're still waiting on that permit. We are literally stuck in limbo right now, or as I call it, adoption purgatory. We can't move forward until this permit is issued but we have no idea when it will happen nor if we'll get one before they run out. It'll either be in the next couple of weeks or we have to wait until January. So in the meantime, I'm going to take up the tinwhistle like Picard up there and wait. The bright spot is that in a fit of energy last night, I dug up my old notes from Max's process and saw that his P3 was sent 10 days before they issues his permit so there is still hope. Play me out, Picard......

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adoption Update

So, Captain Picard and I are pleased to say that the National Visa Center has officially received our I600 and it should be on it's way to Korea either late today or Monday. THIS IS WONDERFUL, isn't it Captain? I still haven't gotten any word on the EP situation but I'm going to ignore that glaring fact and focus on this. Once it leaves the NVC (or 'NVC out" in adoption lingo,) we only have three more steps to go until travel call day. I am REALLY REALLY REALLY hoping we get word on our EP soon because if we do, we actually might get this kid home before her birthday. Stranger things have happened, right?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adoption Update

So, we FINALLY got some good news this morning. Our I600 was approved!!! This was our last US approval and while we're still in the tangle of emigration permits, this is a big step. The officer at USCIS was so nice and asked me to send her a picture of Eunie to add to her "baby wall." I gladly obliged. Now we have to wait for the National Visa Center to do their thing, which means I get to start obsessively calling them today and then we're another step closer. I'm trying to be optimistic that our bad news from last week was overly cautious and that something kick ass will happen to make her come home sooner. WOO HOO!!

** I've decided to fly my nerd flag with Captain Picard up there. Don't judge.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Adoption Update

So, I had hoped to have some really awesome post this week about our paperwork being pushed through quickly but sadly we got the opposite news. In a nutshell, the Korean government only issues so many Emmigration Permits per year and it looks like their quota may already be filled FOR THE YEAR. Yes, I said for the year, as in we would have to wait until January for it to be issued and then wait even longer for the rest of the stuff to catch up which, as my email yesterday estimated, would mean we wouldn't travel until February. Mother. F*$&@r.

I'm so mad and I spent most of last night crying because I can't do anything else. It's not like we're the only ones, but how they've issued all they're issuing when it's not even winter yet is ridiculous and I REALLY hope that they are wrong but I'm done trying to figure this shit out. I know you might be sitting there saying "it's not THAT much longer and it's not like it'll make that big of a difference" but you know what, it DOES make a big difference. I'm not waiting on FedEx to bring me something. This is my kid who is getting more and more attached to her foster mom every day. I will not only be missing out on the first 14 months of her life, I'll be missing her first birthday, her first steps, etc. and just typing that started the waterworks again. If they're wrong, which based on what I've experienced they don't tend to throw this info around lightly so that's a long shot, she said we could travel in December/January, which is still longer than it should be taking but better than February I guess.

Either way this sucks.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adoption Update

So, since things are starting to get kind of exciting, I've decided to post as many adoption updates as I can. As I mentioned last week, we had our fingerprint appointment on Monday. Because I have a disorder called nopatienceitis, I started calling USCIS yesterday to check the status which I'm sure they are thrilled about. Last time we adopted, I probably called USCIS about 378,440 times only to be told by a robot voice every single time to leave a message. I'm still waiting for a call back. This time, however, I left a message for the agent who has our file and she actually called me back and said that our I-600 should be approved by the end of the week. She said it takes 2-4 days for her to get the prints and that's all that she's waiting on. I imagine since I called, my file might get moved to the top so I'm hoping to get a call or letter at any time.

So, now what are we waiting for, you ask? Well, once they approve the I-600, it goes to the National Visa Center and then they send it on to Korea (or something like that.) However, we are also waiting on Korea to issue her Emigration Permit and those are done in monthly batches and they're doing a batch today. If she's in it, I will explode from excitement because that means we will probably be traveling fairly soon but if she has to wait until next month, we'll have a longer delay and probably not travel until late November, early December. I'm planning on the latter and hoping for the former.

And now you know.

Friday, October 1, 2010

That tiny violin is playing me a sad song.

So, I haven't really given an update on Eunie because we haven't gotten one in a while which is really frustrating but whatever. The last we heard, she was still teeny tiny but they were trying to fatten her up so I hope the next report (ANY DAY, PEOPLE) will hold good news. On the paperwork front, we have our last fingerprint appointments on Monday, which will facilitate the last bit of paperwork approval that we're waiting for on the US side. It's funny to me because this will be my FOURTH set of prints. Um, THEY DON'T CHANGE and why they can't use what's in the database already is perplexing but this whole process is perplexing so why am I surprised. Anyway, I recently read that our fingerprints could take a stupidly long time to process, like another 9-11 weeks, which sent me to the ledge but I have since read that it generally isn't taking that long and the fact that my forms have been sitting there for 7 weeks already, it's probably already approved and waiting on the prints. This makes me happy and I'm choosing to believe this person over the other. DON'T BURST MY BUBBLE.

So, if we get a speedy approval, our stuff will be sent to Korea next week where we wait for them to work their magic. Things seem to be either running really slowly or really quickly on that side and while it was slow for a bit, it seems to have picked up as of recent which means we could possibly get a travel call around the first (or so) week of November. Now, that's if things go smoothly and that's a big IF. That's all great, right? WELL, I also found out that the G20 Economic Summit is being held in Seoul in early November. OF COURSE IT IS. This sucks a big one and I hope our dates fall around it and not in it because there will be no hotel rooms and no flights and if there are, I will have to use her college fund to pay for them. Sorry, kid.

So that's where we are. I really hope I can tell you nice people that we got our approval next week so cross your fingers and toes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's all gone to the dogs.

So, we adopted this dog Zoe, right? She's been here for almost 2 weeks and for the most part, she is a really awesome dog. She is so sweet and gentle and lets Max do things like run his train on her and she'll sit still while he makes her wear hats which I would stop if it weren't so funny. She's the kind of dog that everyone likes, even our other dog Zoey, and Zoey doesn't like ANYONE including us most of the time. She is very attached to me and follows me around the house like a shadow and I can safely assume that if anyone tried to hurt us, she would take them down the best she could. That is a lot considering other Zoey would pretty much lead a robber to all the good shit should the situation arise. Traitor. Anyway, when we met with her foster family, they told us she was mostly potty trained and they would leave her in her crate when they had to leave home. No problem. They said her biggest issue was jumping on the table (wtf?!) and possibly digging in her food/water bowls and making a mess. Also not a problem. We could work with those. Welcome to the family!


The part about the crate, yeah, not so much. We bought her a big plastic crate like they advised and the first few times we left her, which wasn't for long, she did pretty well. I expected some anxiety and she was certainly glad to see us and get out when we got home, but nothing terrible. As the days have gone on, things have taken a turn. The plastic crate is now in the basement because over the weekend she ate it. Yes, that's what I said. Not only did she eat it, we left her in it in the living room and when we got home, she was about 10 feet away in the hallway, still in the crate. How this happened, I do not know. All I know is that she managed to literally chew through the side of this thing, I'm sure cutting her gums up in the process, to the point that we had to abandon it because she could put her head through the hole she made. The rescue lady told us she hated wire cages but at this point we had no choice. We bought a new wire cage and put her in it to test it out. We left for a bit and when we came home, she was sitting in it quietly chewing a bone and we pretty much thought we were dog geniuses.

We are not.

That was clearly a fluke because ever since, when we try to crate her, she flips out, literally and figuratively. I left her for a bit Monday and when I returned, the cage was on it's side, the plastic pan at the bottom was broken in two pieces and she was standing at the door with other Zoey waiting for me. When she flipped it, the latches slid the wrong way and she had no problem opening the door and walking to freedom. I decided to outsmart her so the next time, I used a zip tie to hold the door closed. FOOLPROOF! This time when I got home, not only was the cage empty but the zip tie was laying on the floor. She didn't chew through it but managed to get it off intact and I still haven't figured out how. Well played, dog.

I had to step up my game so the next time I left, I used THREE zip ties to hold the door closed. THREE. When I pulled into the driveway, imagine my pleasure as I gazed upon BOTH DOGS in the window waiting for me. WHAT THE HELL? I came inside and when I got to the kitchen where I had left her, the cage was still closed and the zip ties were still attached. This dog, who is not small and weighs about 30 lbs, had managed to nudge her big head through a 6 inch opening and squeeze her whole body through. To top off this feat, she decided to give me the dog middle finger by knocking down the trash can and spreading trash all over the kitchen. As I cleaned up coffee grounds, old food* and god knows what else, I realized this dog had beaten me. I contacted the rescue group who informed me that (surprise!) Zoe has severe separation anxiety. Perhaps informing us of this would have been helpful but whatever, it is what it is and we have to deal with it. At this point, I'm about to go buy a padlock for the cage door. The rescue lady contacted me and they implored us to not give up in her so they're sending in the dog whisperer (not the real one but A dog whisperer) to try to help. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So yeah, that's what happening. A goddamn dog whisperer is coming. Stay tuned....

* So, we had met Jeff for lunch this day and Max had some chicken nuggets left which I put in my purse to take home because I am cheap. When he woke up from his nap, he wanted the rest of them as a snack so I gave him one. A few minutes later he walked past me and I got a big whiff of garlic and last time I checked, McDonald's did not offer garlic McNuggets so I told him to show it to me and realized to my horror that he was not eating a McNugget anymore but a piece of garlic bread from the trash. Zoe must have hidden it somewhere when she knocked the trash over and I didn't see it. Not only was it from the trash and had been chewed on by the dog, but it was covered in coffee grounds, the remnants of the potato leek soup I made over the weekend, apple peels and what I had swept up off the floor the day before. DISGUSTING BEYOND BELIEF. I snatched it away and immediately took him to the bathroom to give his teeth and mouth a silkwood shower but that garlic smell lasted for hours. I shudder just thinking about it.

Ice Capades

So, we signed Max up for ice skating lessons with his best friend Louie. It is HYSTERICAL and I'm not sure if he likes it or will bring this up in therapy when he's 25 but here's some video anyway.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

So last weekend, Grandma was so kind as so come and babysit overnight so Jeff and I could get away for like 37 seconds and decompress. It was a fast trip, we dropped the kid off at school on Friday morning and came home Saturday afternoon, but it was REALLY EXTREMELY NICE to just be away. We went to The Lake of the Ozarks, which for anyone not from these parts is a huge vacation area in the middle of the state. When we were kids, we used to go there at least once a summer, sometimes more, and it had that kind of resort area charm that they now only show in movies. The lake area circa 1985 was full of cheesy souvenier shops, really bizarre "Opry"-style shows, hillside go-kart tracks and water slides, questionably safe roller coasters and several places to buy Walnut wood bowls, Chicago cutlery and fudge. There were also tons of shops to buy things that smelled like potpourri, or just potpourri if you're a purist, and there was never a shortage of anything seafoam green or mauve. This was the 80s, people. Anyway, my childhood memories of this place are quite fond but I haven't been down as much as an adult so when we pulled into town and my first sighting was a giant Target next to a giant Lowes, I knew things had changed dramatically.

Gone was pretty much everything I mentioned above, replaced by Walgreens, the aforementioned Target, Walmart, Crapplebees, Panera, etc. Oh sure, there are still a few cute little shops left and we saw two go-kart tracks still operating, but it was nothing like I had remembered. Back in the day, we would drive the three hours to get there, stop at the ONE grocery store they had to buy everything we needed for the week and the rest of the time was spent doing fun things we didn't do at home and eating at places we didn't have at home. That's the point of vacation. Now, it's pretty much like any strip-mall-filled suburb around here but with a huge lake in the middle of it. Needless to say, it's lost something with progress. The bright spot is that there is an outlet mall down there that stretches for about a half a mile and I got some great deals on clothes for me and Max. That and we ate at a restaurant that has been there as long as I can remember but was always too expensive for us to go to as a family and it did not disappoint. We ate lobster and scallops until we almost burst, drank wine and sat by a huge window to watch the sun set. Ahhhh.....that part was really great. Here's Jeff toasting to you. You can tell it's a fancy place because it's so dimly lit.

After our delicious dinner, we went back to the resort and spent the rest of the night lounging around watching The Golden Girls on cable which made me very, very happy. The fun didn't stop there, either. On the ride back, we stopped to pick up our new dog. She did really well on the ride home and didn't pee or throw up anywhere. She's also SO SWEET and follows me like a magnet. Look at her!

So far her transition has gone well, she's settling right in, but we do have one small issue. Her name is Zoe, which is a name I love and you would know this because our current dog is ALSO NAMED ZOE. At first we were like "HA HA, can you believe we found a dog with the same name?! Whatta gas!" It took about 24 seconds for us to realize that this is not as funny as we thought in application. Yelling at the new dog to stop jumping on Max when the other dog is sleeping on the floor and wakes up with a look on her face like "WTF?! I was sleeping. Why am I being yelled at?" makes for a bit of canine confusion and you might be saying to yourself, "hey dumb blog lady, why don't you just name the new dog something different?" that may not be as easy as it sounds. The problem is that we'll still be saying Zoe all the time so she's going to continue to hear it and I'm not sure if her dog brain will understand that we aren't talking to her. So, if any of you have suggestions, please leave them because this shit is getting old.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What's up with that?

HELLO INTERNET! Sorry it's been a while but I've been busy. Here's what's happened since we last spoke:

#1 -we bought a minivan. A big honking minivan that makes me want to love it and hate it at the same time. This is what it looks like. It's for sure the fanciest car we've ever owned and since we're extra lazy, the doors and the hatch open on their own. TIME SAVING, PEOPLE. I am very busy and have no extra seconds to pull the door open myself. Anyway, the day after we bought it we drove it to Columbia, which is about 2 hours or so from home. It was a pretty sweet ride and still smells new despite Max's extra leaky pee pee diaper that soaked through him and everything else. Poor kid had to ride home with no pants on. Anyway, we went to Columbia to visit a dog we're adopting, which leads me to #2...

-we're not just adopting another kid, we're adopting a dog, too! Her name is Zoe, which is the same name as our dog now (confusing) so she'll have to learn to love nicknames. She's a 6 year old cockapoo who normally has cute curly hair but they had to shave her down. Here she is!

Awww...she's really cute and sweet and I hope she and current Zoe don't have an epic battle that ends in bloodshed but neither seem to possess the skills nor energy to pull of such an attack so I'm not too worried. I was worried this morning however, when.........

#3 - Max started preschool! Well, it's more pre-pre-school but whatever, he's in a classroom for 3.5 hours, 2 days a week and that is GLORIOUS! I keed, of course I will miss him but mommy needs a minute or 2 that doesn't involve someone yelling "MONSTERTRUCK" at me or something sticky being rubbed on me (is it a booger? I hope not. A chewed up cheerio? Maybe. This is my day.) and he needs more playtime with other kids so this will be good for everyone. He was pretty good overall but today was a short day with parents to get them oriented so the true test is Friday when I leave him.

And now you're caught up. Resume your day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cake Alert

So, this is the last cake alert for a while. A long while probably, so go over and give your eyes a present.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cake Alert

There aren't many of these left for a while so head on over.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's In A Name? A lot, apparently.

So, this new baby's name is Lucinda, right? Well, maybe.

I had a dream the other night. No, it wasn't the one where crocodiles come into my backyard and I have to walk on their heads to escape, nor was it the one where I'm on the edge of a giant rocky cliff and I have to keep preventing my dog from jumping to her death. Nor is it the one where I'm trying to catch a flight but can't get to the airport. I'm sure these all have deep meaning that I should investigate with a psychologist but I don't have that kind of time. No, this one went something like this:

I walked into the adoption center in Seoul, but it wasn't really the adoption center but whatever, it was probably a McDonald's or something. Anyway, I saw a baby sitting there but I couldn't make out what she/he looked like but for some reason I knew she was our kid. I told the lady I was there to pick up a baby and she was like "name" and I said :Eun Seo" and she checked her clipboard. She said they didn't have a baby named Eun Seo so I pointed to the one sitting there and said "she's right there." The lady told me that baby's name was Charlotte, not Eun Seo and then I argued this point with her for what seemed like hours. Finally, I went into my big blue adoption bag and found a manila envelope with her paperwork in it and when I pulled it out, I saw that it had the name "Chuck" on it and all of a sudden I was like "OMG, you're right, her name IS Charlotte!" Then I woke up.

Well, now I don't know what to do, so here's what I'm doing. We're not naming her anything until we meet her and see who she looks like. A name is a big gigantic huge deal to me and I don't want to regret it. I named a dog after an obscure band from the 90s and a few years later made a mental note to not name dogs after obscure 90s bands anymore so I take this shit seriously. So, she's back to Eunie for now. FOR NOW. My brain works in mysterious ways and we have a lot of time before we meet her so I can't guarantee anything.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well Baby Check

So, we got a baby update yesterday! Sadly no picture but just imagine a really cute Korean baby when you read this. She's doing GREAT and can hold her head up and looks like she wants to crawl. Crawling doesn't seem to be a big priority in Korea because the moms tend to carry them everywhere so I'll be surprised if she starts. Please don't start with the whole "she won't learn math of she doesn't crawl" bull crap (yes, people really think this) because Max never crawled and he's balancing my checkbook as we speak. Anyway, she's about 14lbs, which is kind of small but they said she's not too keen on eating cereal and isn't gaining much weight on milk alone. They're also working with her on bearing weight on her legs, which is about the only delay they've found but considering she's in a carrier on her foster mom's back all day long, not bearing weight on her legs isn't really that much of a shocker.

She's also cute and cuddly, loves to get kisses and hugs from her foster family, is VERY attached to her foster mom and will cry when she is out of sight. While that may make you cringe, we look at that as a very positive thing because it means she knows how to form attachments with people and we know she'll eventually form one with us. However, that also means that our departure from the adoption center in Korea will be met with blood curdling screams as it was with Max. That part I'm not so excited about. Overall she's doing really well and hopefully she'll be home sooner than later.

Oh yeah, we're naming her Lucinda, or Lulu as she's known around here now. Or if you're Max, you can yell "WOO WOO" when you see her picture on the computer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cake Alert

I have two words for you: Kittens and booze.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


So, I have some adoption updates. We sent our gigantic packet of paperwork off on Saturday and it's now getting ready to travel to Seoul so they can start to file all of Eunie's Korean paperwork. Our "legals" are being FedExed to us and we should have them tomorrow. Legals are legal paper or something. Something "legal." Honestly, I'm not sure what they are. There are a lot of papers in an adoption. Anyway, those things mean that we can probably say our countdown to travel is about 4 months or so. That is based in nothing scientific. I looked at some time frames on the internet and guessed but I'm pretty confident in that guess. That means that there's a good chance she'll be home before her first birthday. It also means that Jeff and I will have made this trip twice now at nearly the exact same time. We traveled in mid-December last time and my calendar tells me the same for this one. SO WEIRD! Thankfully we'll get to experience the joys of the holiday season in Korea. It's both bizarre, like the creepy animatronic not-quite-Santa in the market, or gorgeous like the perfectly decorated rice cakes I was drooling over the whole time.
Anyway, this also means I have to get my ass in gear and get my house in some kind of shape before she comes or else it'll never happen. I started taping the foyer for stripes and should have that finished by Sunday. I'll post pics. I'm going to be a painting machine for the next couple months. I'm also shutting down the cakes for a while. It was getting too big. Maybe someday. Anyway, I don't have time because I'm too busy buying crap like this:

What the hell? I couldn't resist the little frog feet. I can't handle all these cute little girl clothes! We also picked up some gear. This is a sit and stand stroller. This this is bigger than my car and I'm not exactly sure how you even work it. Max is obsessed with it as you can see. Eunie will ride in the front. I think I need a class C license now.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cake Alert

If you like balls, go to

And get your mind outta the gutter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So, this isn't another cake alert post so YOU'RE WELCOME. This post is way better.

Last week, we received a VERY VERY VERY unexpected message from our adoption agency. A mere 4 days after receiving notification that our paperwork was done and headed to Korea, we got a referral!!!!!!
This does not happen this way. Seriously. This wasn't supposed to happen for like a year. In fact, I had to read the email about 40 times to make sure I was reading it correctly. When I called Jeff he asked me over and over if I was kidding and we were both totally 100% floored that this happened. She's, yes I said SHE, 7 months old and her name is Eun-Seo Bak. For now, anyway. We've taken to calling her "Eunie" (pronounced Yoo-nie) at home because "the baby" sounded kind of lame and it'll be a while until we can decide on a name. As you can see, she's pretty cute and I'm sure that hair will grow right in!

We're still processing all this and quite frankly my brain will probably explode once it sinks in but we SO excited and Max has learned to say "sister" (well, it sounds like "ditter" but that's okay, I know what the hell he's saying) and I'm sure he will not mind having to share ALL the attention he gets. Yeah, right! We probably have about 4-6 months of paperwork and waiting ahead of us but we're really hoping to get her home before Christmas because she'll be 1 on December 23rd. We seem to only go to Korea at Christmas but I'm not complaining!

We're SUPER STOKED about this and I'll be chronicling our journey again so check back.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cake Alert

So, there's been a lot of stuff going on here that I'll be writing about soon (hopefully) so bear with me. In the meantime, here's another exciting cake to look at. This one was really special because it was a) for our best buds Louie and Wylie and b) it's a Korean theme. I also tried out a new technique that I've wanted to do for a while so I thank them for letting me go to town on their cake.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I entered a contest.

So, if any of you recall, last year I entered an online cake contest. It's run by and the deal is you take a shirt design and translate it into cake. Last time it was the sumo wrestlers. This year I decided to ask a few friends to look at the site and pick what they think I should do and if I picked theirs, they'd get the cake. This helps me because I tend to gravitate toward a certain type of design and I like to broaden my horizons. I'm entering a total of three cakes but these are the first two. I'm sending in the entries early this week so I'll post the link when I do and you can go check out all the pictures. If you're bored.

The first cake was picked by my friend Jane* and it was called Self-Portrait. It appears to be some kind of alien. I love it. Here's the design from the site:

And here it is in cake:

The second one was picked by my friend Connie and it's called Day vs. Night. This too, I love.

You really have to look at it upside down as well to get the full effect so here you go.

I'm still searching for design #3 so if you care, feel free to make a suggestion. Any design from their website is eligible. I won't guarantee I'll make it but if I do, you might get it. MIGHT.

* Fictitious name used to protect identity

Here's the link for Day vs. Night:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Terrible just doesn't quite describe it.

So, I've been a bit busy here recently with cakes and other various things so I haven't been able to blog. Most of those various things keeping me from blogging rhyme with the word "AXE" and are small and Asian. You know, when people talk about the "terrible twos," they do it with a wink and a giggle, like it's some funny thing parents go through for a minute or two and then everyone has a laugh. Well I'm here to tell you that is a load of shit. The "terrible twos" should be called "the most trying time in your life until now because this child will only listen to 2% of what you say and do the exact opposite of what you want them to and you will want to jump off a bridge sometimes in frustration but rest assured there is a mess somewhere in your home that needs cleaning so you have to stick it out." That's more accurate. This child is SOMETHING. We've had every kind of tantrum known to man and he's now started to hit when he's either in trouble or mad or both. Yesterday he was mad I had the audacity to look at something for MYSELF in the store an in retaliation, grabbed a handful of lipsticks and whipped them across the store. YES, THAT IS MY CHILD. We spend about 10% of the day in a loving embrace and the other 90% in a battle of wills. The force is strong in this one. Here is a typical exchange:

max: touches the computer for the 145,389,690th time today
me: "Max, don't touch the computer."
max: touching the computer again while looking straight at me
me: "MAX, please don't touch the computer."
max: walks away, turns around and starts touching the OTHER computer while still staring at me, taunting with his defiance
max: "no"
me: picks up hair that she just pulled out

So, this is life in my home right now.

On a related note, and feel free to send me to the loony bin at this point, we have made major progress in our adoption (ANOTHER ONE?!!) and after my last home study meeting today, we just have to wait for the paperwork to get to Korea and then we start the big wait for referral. When we did Max's, they sent the stuff to Korea in April, told us to expect a call toward the end of the year, but called 3 months later with this little bundle of joy so I'm not sure what time frame we'll be on. Could be a year, could be this fall, who knows. When you see your local wine aisles empty of all their bottles, you'll know we got the call.

**I posted that picture up top to show how cute he can be. It's more for me than you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cake Alert

Yeah yeah, I know I only post cake alerts these days. That's because I've been busy making cakes and can't type with sticky fingers. Anyway, if you feel like monkeying around, go check it out.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cake Alert

So, we've had some major computer malfunctions here at Kimchi HQ. As in one dead hard drive nd one very mad blogger. Between phone calls with Dell, I made a cake. If you like a good woody, and who doesn't, check it out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cake Alert

So, I did a cake for my little buddy Reis AND I got out my piping bag and produced a non-fondant cake. Well, I had a couple fondant accents but 90% was buttercream. It's quite cathartic to pipe and I get in a piping groove and then I want to pipe everything in sight.

That's a lot of piping.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cake Alert

Two words: coral reef. It's probably my favorite cake off all time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The week that was.

So um, last week I had surgery, which is why I wasn't posting anything. I'm not getting into much detail except to say that the ticker is fixed now and peeing in a bedpan is WAY harder than it sounds. Seriously. It was like the pee went back inside to wait for a proper toilet. Well that and having a nurse pull a giant tube from your artery while you're lying there TOTALLY AWAKE is not fun. Anyway, I'm all recovered now and everything is back to normal and blah blah blah. Just wanted to update the 3 of you that might be concerned.
Aaaaaanyway, aside from recovering, we spent Father's day putting up a pergola for the back patio. We were sitting outside on Thursday and it was so bloody hot and our patio is totally sun exposed all day and I was complaining that it was hot and sucking and wouldn't it be nice if we had a pergola and then WHAM, we go to Target and they have them. We could have gone and bought the lumber and designed it and built it but considering our vast lack of free time, building a large wooden outdoor structure was probably not going to happen so instead we spent 5 hours assembling one that some nice factory made for us. We got the whole thing up minus the retractable canopy which hopefully will go on tonight so I can sit under it tomorrow like a lady of leisure. Well, I can sit for 2 minutes until Max eats dirt or tries to catch a bunny or flings himself down the hill or whatever else his little brain deems a good idea. Here's how it looks in our new resort-like backyard.

I'm kidding of course. If you paid for a resort vacation and ended up in my backyard, you should be really pissed because it's mostly weeds, rocks, mud and matchbox cars. It's not a fun place. BUT LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS PERGOLA, AMIRITE?!

Anyway, while Max took what some might call a nap, I call it "47 minutes of near silence," I decided to paint the fireplace. I should have taken before pics but that require planning and forethought, neither of which cross my mind. It was normal brick color before, albeit dirty and old and in need of tuckpointing, but the white makes it look nice and new. It's also motivated me to get my ass in gear and paint the rest of this place. I have a billion paint chips taped to the walls and inevitably the one color I want isn't available at Home Depot or Lowe's so I have to go to an actual paint store and I equate that with $$$ so that sucks because I am CHEAP. However, I'm not painting this damn thing again so I'm springing for the color I want. I had planned on starting in the kitchen but that's just too overwhelming to think of right now so I'm starting in our bedroom (bawm chick a wah wah) because there isn't too much wall space, although I've designed this grid thing and that's going to take planning and time and I can't even decide on the wall color so maybe I'll start in the living room instead.

Or maybe I'll just go sit under the pergola. Yeah, that sounds much better.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cake Alert

It was a two cake weekend. Check it out:

Friday, June 11, 2010


So, a few weeks ago commenter Allie, of and, asked me to be a part of the promotional blog tour for her brand new book Stay. I was super honored and very curious. When I was a wee lass, I was quite the reader. I was also kind of weird and hung out alone in my head a lot and those things probably relate but let's move on. Sometime between high school and motherhood, I sorta fell away from the book world and landed in the soft, cushy land of magazines. They speak to me in bullet points and short paragraphs which is about the level of attention span I have these days. Anyway, the last book I read was about 2 years ago and it was She's Come Undone and I bought it at the airport on Kauai and it had "super fun read" and "I laughed and cried" and shit on the cover along with a gigantic gold "O" telling me the mighty Oprah deemed it worthy but in reality it was NOT a fun read that made me laugh. It was actually kind of disturbing and depressing and I didn't really plan on crying in my beach cabana on vacation so that book screwed me and I haven't tried again. Anyway, not to spoil my review, which I have to apologize to Allie for RIGHT NOW because I've never written a review before so I hope I don't screw it up, but this book did NOT make me want to put rocks in my pockets and walk into the sea, although I did shed a tear or two.

That being said, here is my review.
By Allie Larkin

Stay centers around Savannah, or Van, a single woman who has just watched the love of her life marry her best friend. While they honeymoon in Europe, Van spends her time trying to forget him, her and them and move on with her life but she feels isolated and tossed aside. One drunken night, she decides a gigantic Slovakian dog will help her loneliness but the dog only creates more chaos. She takes him to the vet which sparks a friendship that opens Van up to new possibilities and a new sense of family. When they return from Europe, Van must face her past in order to embrace her future and she finds allies in the most unlikely places.

Just read this book. It's fun, funny, and the perfect thing to make your heart happy. I WOULD KNOW. At first, I mentally put it in the "chick lit" category, which is not bad but I don't tend to think as much about the characters and stuff but after a bit, I really saw that this was so much more than some pink book on shopping (I'm not judging, I own some) because it brought out issues like loss, grief, classism, betrayal and trust in a really sweet and realistic way. I found myself crying more than once because the situations mirrored some in my own life and those of my friends and I really enjoyed the fact that the author didn't shield them from complication. I found myself rooting for Van to do things I would have normally been against and I appreciated the turns the story took. If you don't believe me, I'm including an excerpt so read for yourself:

Diane let out a disgusted sigh and shook her head. “You look like a pumpkin, dear,” she said, flatly. Then she kissed me on the cheek. “I’ll see you back at the carriage house. We’ll have fun.” She gave me a broad smile and a nod like it was decided, and ran off to hug Janie.
I missed the way Diane’s eyes used to crinkle at the sides when she smiled. My mom nursed her through her face-lift and a few months later Diane nursed my mom through all the chemo.
I stood there, watching Diane brush a curl of hair off of Janie’s cheek. I wished for a way to clean out my head so I could just be happy for Janie instead of thinking about Peter, or about how even if I did get over Peter and found someone else to fall in love with, my mother would never be there to fix my hair at my wedding.
I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. “Van?” Peter said. “I need a favor.” I turned around and looked at him. His tie was loose and the top button of his shirt was undone. His cheeks and his nose were flushed bright red, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like to have all that breathless excitement be about me instead of Janie. “Sure,” I said, trying not to make eye contact. I was certain that looking into Peter’s blue-gray eyes would break my heart.
“I know you’re enjoying the wedding, but . . .” He stopped and looked at Norman, who was slumped over the bar getting yelled at by the woman bartending. “Norman was supposed to go over and set up the room. But he’s not—” He tilted his head in Norm’s direction and raised his eyebrows. “Can you?” “No problem,” I said, hoping the relief at having an excuse to leave wasn’t oozing down my face.

“You’re the best, Van.” He grinned from ear to ear and slapped my back like we were locker room buddies. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” He handed me a set of keys attached to a silver Playboy bunny with a diamond eye. “Norman’s car,” he said, rolling his eyes. “The box is on the front seat. It should be self-explanatory.” He hugged me and rested his chin on my bare shoulder for a second. “You’re okay to drive, right?” His breath was hot. He pulled away to give me a good look, like he was making sure. “Okay,” I said, staring at his shiny new platinum wedding band. “Thanks, Van. I owe you one.” He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before running off. I felt the pressure of his lips on my face even after he’d disappeared into the crowd.
Janie and her dad had just started dancing to “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” Creepy. I took it as my cue to go. I ducked into the coatroom to grab the brown faux fur wrap Janie gave me as a bridesmaid’s gift, and made my escape to the parking lot.

I walked around the lot, clicking the door opener until the lights on a silver BMW lit up. The license plate read ladezman. When I put the key in the ignition, Michael Bolton blared from the speakers. I took out the CD and threw it on the backseat. Flipping through the CDs in the console, I found Boston. I slid it into the CD player and backed out of the parking space to the opening chords of “More Than a Feeling.” My mom and I were closet Boston fans. We kept all of our Boston records under her sweaters on the top shelf of her closet and listened to them only when we knew there was no chance of anyone coming over. I tore down the gravel road away from the Kittle House and made the tires squeal when I turned onto paved road. Normy’s car hugged the turns of the Saw Mill River Parkway as I made it from Chappaqua to Tarrytown in record time.