Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This is not a nudist camp. Usually.

So, I forgot to tell this story here. I told it on Facebook so if you read it on there, spoiler alert.

Max had a little party at preschool for Valentine's Day. I helped out with the other stay at home moms and after an hour of crafts gone wrong, icing overload, games no one would pay attention to and several doily mishaps, I went home to wait out the next 90 minutes until pick up. Since it was party day, everyone got out at the same time so when I went back, the lot was full and the hallway was clogged. There are a group of moms that have kids in the same class a year ahead of Max and they're kind of bitchy to those of us not in their little clique AND they like to stand in the middle of the hallway having their overly loud conversations so they were causing much of the traffic jam I walked into.

As I looked through the moms and above the sea of kids, I saw Max's teacher standing in the doorway of his class looking, um I guess distressed is the right word and suddenly she locked eyes with me and I knew that her distress probably had something to do with me. Before I could react, I heard Max yelling through the crowd.


Oh sweet baby jesus. This is not good.

As I looked down, I saw him busting right through the crowd heading right for me and as he walked closer, I saw that his pants were falling down with every step. Then I noticed that he wasn't wearing a diaper. My son was in the hallway of his preschool, surrounded by his peers, their parents and the staff and he had gone FULL DONG. Once he got to me, all I could do was shake my head and reply, "yes Max, you do."

He yelled again (why do little kids yell every goddamn thing? Seriously. He hears just fine but everything must be told through a bullhorn.) "I DON'T HAVE ANY PANTS ON" as though this was our little secret. At this point, his teacher had made her way through the crowd with a pull up and an apology for why my son was running around commando. Apparently he had decided just as class let out to chuck his diaper in favor of the sweet taste of ass freedom and before she could lock it down he saw me and made his (in)famous walk. So there I was in the crowded hallway, diapering my almost 4 year old non-potty trained son, who is completely comfortable being nude (he is right now, in fact) so he will have a full conversation with anyone walking by as though nothing was awry which he did, while his teacher and the preschool director watched in amused horror. As the bitchy moms passed by, I got a mix of HAHAHA IDIOT MOTHER eye rolls to condescending faux smiles saying "I've been there (but not really, my child keeps his clothes on in public you neanderthals. Why don't you take this hippie fest somewhere else.") so we made a hasty retreat to the van as soon as that sucker was on.

When we finally pulled away Max said, "hey mom, I wasn't wearing pants. Did you see that? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA." Sigh. Oh yes honey, we all saw that. And I do mean all but bless his little naked heart anyway.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Amy Playing Dress Up: Vacation

So, as I mentioned before, I have (had) another blog called Amy Playing Dress Up where I would would play dress up via online virtual shopping but both blogs were giving me the vapors so now it's just this one. Anyway, this is my first style post here. If you hate it, read something else. The internet is a big place.

We're mere weeks away from our first official family vacation. WEEKS. It's the whole family including my mom, stepdad, sister and brother in law and it's going to be quite epic as we're going to the place I hope to call home some day, the glorious island of Hawaii. Why am I taking two toddlers on an 8 hour flight to Hawaii, you might ask, because quite frankly that sounds like a TERRIBLE idea for everyone involved? One, I am a glutton for punishment and clearly have no sense but just think of the glorious tales I will have to tell. Two, momma needs a break. FOR REAL. I need a goddamn break involving my toes in some sand and someone else cleaning up my mess for once. I can't explain in human words how excited I am about this trip and you know what else makes me excited, shopping so here are some exciting (not really) things I have on my vacation wish list.

This dress reminds me of zipping along the Italian riviera on a Vespa with a scarf barely holding on my head. That has nothing to do with tropical Hawaii vacations but that means nothing to me. It's adorable and with some coral jewelry it will be even cuter and islandier. (from Ruche)

This is everything I love in a shoe and the wedge means I might actually be able to get my gnarly old man feet to walk in them.

This scarf will be a nice accessory for sightseeing with khaki shorts and a white tank. (from Target)

I love a maxi dress and this one should be called The Dress Amy Is Taking To Hawaii because once The Gap throws me a sale (do it, Gap), this baby is mine.

Also SO CUTE and I j'adore the draping in the front so I can eat massive amounts of kailua pig and no one will be the wiser.

This is very oceany and I think an orange or red belt would polish it up. OOH, or maybe neon yellow. That would be wicked.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day, Mia!

So, as we already know, I only have my act together about 3% of the time anymore, so it should come as no surprise that this is post is a day late. A year ago yesterday, we met little Mia. I will never forget walking in and seeing here there with her foster mom. She looked exactly like her picture, down to the rosy cheeks. When we walked into the room, everyone stood up and then everything got all swirly and overwhelming and everyone was trying to talk at once and I just stood there like a deer in the headlights staring at Mia until Jeff made me sit in a chair. The next hour went by in an agonizing blur of questions and awkwardness and tears and all the while Mia wanted nothing to do with us. Nothing. Not even a wave. I tried to bribe her with food but it only lasted a minute and she was clamoring back to her foster mother. I knew that this wasn't going to go as it did for Max and I started to get really scared. She was SO PISSED that we were there and she was sick and I knew she just wanted to go back to her home.

Soon they told us to follow them downstairs so we could see the doctor and it was just a chaotic mess of foster moms, babies and workers and holy lord it was SO HOT and I had on a wool sweater and it was itching and I was sweating badly and probably smelled like a foot. We met the doctor, asked a few more questions and then suddenly we were handed all this medicine and paperwork and bags and a howling baby and plopped into a waiting cab. Mia was beyond upset at this point and I struggled to get into the cab with her. The social worker leaned in and with a worried look said she would pray for us (not a feel good send off, fyi) and soon we were stuck in the never ending clog of Seoul traffic with a wailing baby. I tried everything in my power to calm her (blinky monkey! bouncy leg!) but she didn't stop until she passed out about 3 blocks from the hotel (which is about a 20 minute drive in traffic. For real.). The lovely cab driver, who had spent a good deal of time yelling "KOREAN BABY NUMBER ONE!" at us during the ride, helped me out with her and gave me an oddly comforting little hug and a sympathetic smile before he sped off. We took her in the hotel and as we made our way through the lobby, she woke up, realized we were not her foster mom and that this shit was real and proceeded to lose her marbles again. There was a Buddhist monk convention going on (of course) and so there were like 10 monks in the lobby while this was happening and they all bowed their head a bit as we walked through this sea of orange and red robes and I was like "please let them be joining forces to help us" because that is a lot of monk power right there. MAKE IT HAPPEN. When we got upstairs, she was so tired from crying that she reluctantly took a bottle, let us clean her up a little and posed for a few pics before passing out for the next 13 hours until she woke up and it all started over again. And again. And again. For weeks.

But, if you had told me that a year later, this same kid would be showering us with kisses, dancing to sick beats and chasing her brother around laughing like a lunatic, I would have rolled my eyes and called you a liar. She is one of the happiest, joyful little scamps I've ever known and is truly like a little ray of sunshine. Part of her birth name means "grace" and it couldn't be more fitting. Her turnaround has been remarkable and I can't imagine her not being here now. I am in such in awe when we see her smile and laugh, knowing the pain she went through a year (and a day) ago. These are two tough little kids we have here and their road may be rocky at times but we're all walking down it together.

Mia, 2011

Mia, 2012
Love you, baby.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Deep in my Seoul

So, like I said the other day when we were catching up, we're in attachment therapy with both Max and Mia. What is this, you may be asking? Well, we go to a therapist who helps us learn to "attachment parent" which is a complicated way of parenting when your kids have a rocky start and may have some issues to sort through. Adopted kids fall into this category fairly frequently and as they've gotten older, we've seen behaviors that required we turn off our blinders and address them. When we were just starting our process with Max, we had to take these classes about parenting and adoption and they tell you about all the fun stuff that can go awry and about attachment and quite frankly it's all a little overwhelming because you haven't even gotten the kid yet so your brain kind of puts it somewhere and you go on about your day. You figure it probably won't happen to you because you're going to love the shit out of this kid and that they won't have issues. I mean, they're just babies and babies don't remember stuff, right?


Well, as we've come to know, babies DO remember, especially when they've dealt with stuff like foster homes, medical issues and being taken 6000 miles across the world where nothing and no one is familiar. As our therapist Oprah (not her real name) explains, all this stuff is stored in the nervous system and then it gets unleashed when you least expect it. For instance, birthdays can be difficult when you're adopted and we noticed that there was a 2 week period around Mia's birthday when she was totally out of sorts and acting like a huge jerk. I thought she was sick or something but she was fine, just sad and pissed off all the time. When I told Oprah about this, I asked if this could be her reacting to her birthday, although I didn't really think it was, and she said yes. Jeff and I rolled our eyes silently thinking that this lady was whackadoo and that there was no way Mia woke up, got out her Yahoo calendar and thought HOT DAMN IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. She is a BABY, not a robot. We talked on the drive home about how hard this concept is for us to grasp and that it was probably something else, partially because it does seem ridiculous and partially because we really didn't want it to be true.

However, I started to notice something in myself recently. I've been feeling this restlessness about the kids, like I'm obsessed with them knowing how much I love them and junk (they think I'm insane and wish I would leave them the hell alone) and I keep thinking about their birth moms and their foster moms and planning our fantasy trip back in my head and then yesterday my friend Connie sent me an article from Time Magazine about a girl going back to Seoul to find her birth mom and I lost it. I LOST MY SHIT FOR 30 MINUTES. I was sobbing and I called Jeff and he was like "um, are you okay, crazy wife?" because I was crying and babbling on about this article and how he should read it but not at work because he might do the ugly cry like I was but then I remembered that he isn't a lunatic and could probably handle it which he of course could and did. (If you're interested, it's,9171,997807-1,00.html. Grab a hankie.)

So what does all this gibberish mean, blog lady and why aren't you writing about something FUNNY? Well, my nervous system was remembering that it was a year ago today that we left for Korea to bring Mia home. I honestly knew it was coming up, I'm not that horrible, but it wasn't in the forefront of my brain but then it all made sense. On the surface when we talk about it, we talk about the fun stuff we did and seeing her and all that jazz but it had actually been so much more nerve wracking then it was with Max because we were clueless then and now we knew all the stuff that could go wrong and as we all remember, did go wrong, and it was also the first time I had that overwhelming feeling of dread knowing you were leaving your child. We had gone away for short trips but when we put Max to bed that night and I knew that I wouldn't see him again until we got home, after a 12,000 mile round trip, well all I can say is it felt like someone ripped all my insides out, threw them on the ground, stomped them like grapes and made human wine. Couple that with the issues we had in Korea and so yeah, I kinda get it now. Oprah isn't crazy after all and deep down your body does remember this stuff, especially when shit gets real, even if your brain pictures are showing you something different.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Fish Tale

So I mentioned the suicidal fish before so I'm now going to talk about our betta fish Gene. Gene, or Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine as his official birth certificate states, has been with us for a little over a year and in that time I've brought him back from the brink of death FIVE times, and quite frankly he's been a very stressful pet to have, plus he eats blood worms which are really disgusting and get all over my counter. Prior to Gene, we had Fred, who met his untimely demise due to a water ph problem (my fault) and after we gave him his porcelain burial, I felt super guilty for my bad fish parenting and decided to right my wrong with Gene. This is a bad idea for life in case you were wondering.

First I had to cure his popeye, which is exactly what it sounds like, the fish's eye was POPPED OUT and totally freaking me out and after consulting the lady at Petsmart who said I needed a $20 antibiotic for a $7 fish (um, no), I used magical holistic methods (the internet) and somehow it went away. Then, when we returned from Korea with Mia, we saw that Max had been allowed to feed Gene, which meant he got the entire container of food in one dump. The tank was so thick with food sludge that you could barely see him so the first thing I did when we got home was clean out the tank while wearing my new baby and he once again, lived to see another day. However, in the course of the next few months, every time I cleaned out his tank I would find he had leapt out of the cup and onto the counter presumably to end his life. This happened three times and I was about to call a therapist but then I remembered it was a fish.

Anyway, the other day, I noticed he wasn't eating and floating kind of sideways and even though I would give him a poke now and again to see if he was still with us, I assumed he was finally meeting his fish maker but then it just went on and on and I was like "what the hell Gene, are you going for an Oscar or what?" and then he just kept on living. We moved him into some fresh water and he kind of perked up but was still swimming like he was half paralyzed so after playing Dr. Google Fish Version, my diagnosis is that he has swim bladder disease and probably fin rot. OF COURSE HE DOES. So now we're yet again trying to cure this goddamn fish as if I have nothing better to do and I read that they can live for 10 YEARS. If this is true, I may need to find him a new fish home. Any takers? I'll even throw in the blood worms.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Queen of K-Pop

A Merger

So, as I mentioned before, I have another blog called Amy Playing Dress Up and if you haven't checked it out yet (you jerk!) it's about clothes and junk but having two blogs is more than my small mouse brain can handle so I'm merging them into this one blog right here. That means that you will occasionally see style posts mixed with the poo talk. I hope you can handle it.

Catching Up Part Deux

So, Max is going to be 4 this spring and I almost can't believe it. The last year has flown by and I feel like an old person telling my kids they're growing like weeds but THEY REALLY ARE and he's literally less than 24" shorter than me. He is a wonderful, sweet, hilarious, gross and half deranged kid most of the time, with occasional bursts of supreme loviness and feral cat-like tantrums to keep it all fresh and interesting. Little kids are just really a whole other species, aren't they? They're just so weird and he's learning a lot right now and it's all jumbled up in that big brain with the energy of a medium sized power station so he's like a crazy little firecracker looking for a spark at all times. He is a great big brother 76% of the time and the other 24% is spent yelling at Mia to leave him aloooooooone, he's TRYING TO PLAY. He's super smart and I'm amazed on the daily at the stuff he says and does that seems years beyond him. He also acts like a rebellous teenager which is why we are currently on behavior lock down right now and much like the boys from "Talladega Nights" learned, it's time for Granny Law in this house before we get a visit from the Supernanny.

Since Mia came home, Max has had a bit of a rough go adjusting to all the changes and one of the things that kind of fell by the wayside, and by wayside I mean it fell off the face of the earth into a fiery pit along with The One Ring, was his potty training. He was never super excited about it to begin with as he's inherited my extreme laziness, but at this point we're still full on diapers only. Yes, I said diapers. Not even pull ups. Sometimes I can get that going with the promise of some M&M's but not often. We've tried it all, timed intervals, toilet targets, rewards, letting him sit in poo, etc. and at this point everyone tells us to just let it go and he'll figure it out eventually, that he knows what to do but now it's a power struggle and blah blah blah. He will go at school, of course because why would he want to make Miss Patty upset, but the minute we get home it's pee pee in the pants time and let's remember he eats a FULL DIET. He's also pants optional pretty much all the time so you will usually find him running around here in a shirt, diaper and nothing else. Did I mention he's almost 4? Just this morning I asked him if he wanted to try the potty and he said "mom, is it because my diaper isn't a personal toilet?" I have no idea where this came from but it was wise so I said yes but then he proclaimed I was wrong, his diaper was indeed a personal toilet because he was in fact peeing at that very moment. Touche', Max.