Monday, August 30, 2010


while we were away in the outer banks earlier this month, piper was suddenly in major, agonizing pain. out of nowhere, she yelped loudly and then proceeded to sit/lay very gingerly at my feet with her head in my lap. she started to shake on and off and would whine and cry when we tried to touch her tail/bottom.

we were completely freaked out and tried to examine what was wrong. she'd let us get near her, but would stagger away when we got close to her tail. we ended up having tom and peter hold her down and restrain her while i looked around, butt hole and...ah, lady parts to see if anything was cut or inflamed. i didn't see anything, but could clearly tell that she was terrible pain because she was shaking really hard.

we called our local vet, which has a 24-hour emergency line, and they told us that it could be a few things. they asked me, smell around her bum to see if her...uh, anal, exploded. (i am so sorry if your breakfast just came up.) after checking, it turned out not to be exploding anal sacs, which was good because had it been that, we would have had to rush her to the (pet) emergency room.

the nurse told me that as long as she wasn't bleeding or swollen everywhere, she should be fine through the night and we could check her again in the morning.

we were so sad that there was nothing we could do to make her feel better and even sadder that piper couldn't tell us or show us what was wrong. we felt so helpless seeing our little girl in so much pain and that we had to put her in even more pain to check her out.

peter was, surprisingly, quite a mess about this and really worried about piper.

surprising because peter didn't grow up with pets, so it took a while to convince him that having a dog is just about the awesomest thing ever. (read: lots of begging and pleading and emailing him pictures of adorable puppies on and even after piper came home as an early christmas present pour moi (read: we went to an adoption fair to "JUST look," saw piper, ran to the ATM to get cash in order pay the adoption fee and took her home), he was very clear that he liked her a lot and liked her more than any other dog, but that love was reserved for humans.

however, this incident at the beach resulted in peter's second declaration of love for piper. (the first came after this ridiculous moment of love between piper and molly.) and that second declaration was followed by many more.

he was (rather adorably) shaken up and had a hard time going to sleep. so instead we spent some time consulting dr. google and dr. wikipedia and found that piper probably had a case of limber tail (also known as cold water tail or limp tail), which happens in some bigger dogs after swimming in cold water or excessive exercise. seeing her move about more the next day and watching the way her tail slowly started to come up again confirmed that this was the likely cause of her pain. we were relieved to find that this would go away on its own, that the pain would subside, and that there would be no lasting effects.

but, in the moment, it was so hard to see piper suffer and so difficult to stand there and just watch, not being able to do anything.

and as we tried to fall asleep, we lay there talking and thinking about how much harder it will be with choi boy.

i can only imagine what a mess we'll be there the first time choi boy has a cough or a runny nose or, *gasp* a fever.

as silly and crazy as it might sound to compare our furbaby with choi boy, i felt like this experience gave us a little practice in terms of handling emergency illness situations as parents.

i have to say, i think i'm going to have to be the one that keeps my head on straight during any such situations we might have with choi boy. because, really, my hubs was a way bigger mess than i was.

and, babe, if you're reading this, the fact that you were a serious mess made love you even more. in other words, don't get mad that i blogged about it. ;)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

epic fail.

remember that to-do list from earlier this summer?

well, i made some progress on some of the projects and they continue to be on-going, but these two items?:

*work out at least five times a week
*eat healthier


um, wanna know how many times i worked out this summer?

that would be a big, fat, ZERO. i can't even believe know what they say, what's the most popular day to start an exercise regimen? tomorrow.

eating healthier? unless eating healthier means eating lots of deep-fried food and seconds of anything and everything, i failed miserably in this area. and, i'm starting to develop an extra chin as proof.

i really need to work on these two things because all summer long, i've gotten away with wearing my flowy, comfortable summer dresses and skirts with elastic waists, but most of my work clothes have those pesky little things called BUTTONS and ZIPPERS. and buying a new fall wardrobe is NOT in our budget. unforch.

so, i'm declaring a do-over on these two items. and i WILL achieve them.

starting tomorrow.


Friday, August 27, 2010

wisdom needed.

thank you so much for all your sweet and very encouraging comments on my last post. i am always blessed and humbled by your care and support. big hugs to you all! :)

and, phew! i feel lots better and more normal after reading that lots of you also worried about motherhood. i don't know if the fact that our road to parenthood has been so long has helped or hurt us as we prepare to really enter this next season of life as parents...but ready or not, here we come! (soon, i hope!)

okay, so i have a confession to make. perhaps one of the reasons i'm so worried is because of this...

confession: i *love* reading and have read a dozen or so books this summer -- a good mix of books for tutoring, books for pleasure, books for professional development, and books for bible study. but, none, zilch, zero, zippo have been about adoption or parenting.

i accept all your gasping and finger pointing.

i don't know what it is, but i just haven't wanted to read anything...i checked out several books from the library, skimmed through them, and tried to read in earnest, but just couldn't get into it.

maybe i wasn't nesting yet? maybe the thought of it freaked me out because it made the reality of becoming parents more real?

i don't know.

but, i'm ready now. really. i promise i'll do my homework. jinjjah! (that's korean for "really," and peter and i use it all the time when we REALLY mean "really.")

so, here's where i need your help. what *one* book/article/website would you recommend that's been the most helpful to you as you prepared for your little one?

any and all suggestions are welcome!

p.s. i know, i'm such a nut. now, that school's starting in three days and my whole entire free summer is gone, i ask for reading suggestions. go figure!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


when we were in chicago, we had the privilege of caring for our niece for 2 days while her parents were at work.

i loved it! it was so much fun, and molly is such a sweet, sweet baby girl.

but, truthfully?

it was hard.

keeping your eye on an active and mobile 10 month old can be rough.

but at the end of the day, i got to give her back to her mommy.

and those 2 short days? it confirmed what i had been quietly worrying about.

i have been wanting to be a mommy since i was wee little thing. i love babies, i love children. in fact, i used to joke that if i had to choose between a baby and husband, i'd choose a baby. hands down.

oh, hi, peter! i love you!

i started babysitting way before one should. i look back on this and wonder what the heck my aunt and uncle were thinking leaving my 13 year-old self home alone with 3 children under 5, one of them being an infant. i don't even think that's legal. but, i think they gave in because i loved my baby cousins so much, and they trusted me since i was "so good with kids."

"so good with kids."

"such a natural."

"made for this."

all things i've heard time and time again since i was a preteen. when i went into teaching, everyone said, "oh, of course you should become a teacher! that's your gift - you are such a natural with children."

i love teaching. i love spending time with children. a lot of times, i prefer the company of children over adults. they're less snarky. ;) and people always assume that because of this, i'm going to be "good" mom. a great mom. an amazing mom.

{as an aside, people would say these things all the time when we went public about our infertility. i know they meant those words to be comforting, but in a lot of ways they stung even more because it reminded me of what i so desperately wanted, but couldn't have...just wanted to share that. not pointing fingers, just saying.}

but, the truth is, i'm *really* worried about this.

i worry that i'm not going to live up to everyone else's and my own standards.

because over the years, as i've heard those words from everyone around me, i began to think they were true. secretly, i thought, "i got this."

but now, as the actuality of motherhood looms in the very forseeable future, i'm kinda freaking out.

you see, the thing about other people's children is you can give them back. when they're fussy, naughty, tired, hungry, cranky you can just hand them back to their parents.

but to care for a little one all day, everyday, through every mood and every trial, and to be the one that others turn to when the little one is fussy/naughty/tired/hungry/cranky scares me.

i worry that i'm not going to have enough patience on a daily basis. i worry that i'm going to be fussy/naughty/tired/hungry/cranky and take it out on someone else, namely, choi boy. i worry that with adoption, i'm not going to understand choi boy's grieving, and i'm going to be personally hurt by it. i worry that i won't be able to bond well with my son or vice versa. i worry that i'll be too selfish to parent well. i worry that i'll lose it some days, most days, everyday. i worry that i'll be extremely frustrated when i don't understand his needs/wants.

i worry that there'll be tons of days when i'll be a miserable mommy.

please don't read this as a fishing for compliments or "please affirm me" post. because it's not. this is what is troubling my heart right now.

i think that once i'm in thick of mommymode, i won't have time to worry. that i'll be flying by the seat of my pants and all the preconceived notions i had, whether good or bad, will go out the window. and i'll be so exhausted that i'll be dead asleep at all other times.

but for now? i worry.

waiting is bad news bears for worrywarts. bad news bears.

Monday, August 23, 2010

trash into treasures.

on saturday, we had the great privilege of helping out with the snyders' yard sale to raise money for their adoption from ethiopia.

it was amazing to see all the STUFF that people donated to sell at the yard sale. it was HUGE! again, such a testament to how how loved evan and stacey (and their little boy) are.

they had a TON of things for sale...quite literally, everything AND the kitchen sink :)
i even found some great treasures of my own! all these cute clothes (some new!) for $5 -- score!
and look, we got something for choi boy, too! a very cute romper he can wear next summer:
peter thinks it's a little femme, but i think the combination of the puppy and choi boy will be ridiculously cute. like, too many kinds of cute to count.

but the best part was that it was all for an incredible cause. to know that every knick knack, every old tv (and there were lots), every random piece of furniture, and every article of clothing sold went to help bring little ezekiel home was so heartwarming. to know that perfect strangers would have a hand in joining this family together was just amazing.

and, we got to hang out with some friends while helping out!

here are evan and peter hanging out on some stools for sale. i think they went for $5 for the pair!
don't you love amy's find?
love this little guy...from this angle, noah's head looks like it's the same size as peter's. in the real life angle, it's not that much smaller. :)
look how cute stacey was at the money table! she has the best laugh ever and i loved hearing it from every corner of the yard sale. it just made me want to giggle along with her with every sale she made. :)

also super cool? we met a couple that recently adopted their son from korea! they came to the yard sale after seeing the huge "adoption yard sale" sign that stacey made. it turns out, we have a lot of bloggy friends in common and after sandra went home, she was able to find me through kelly :). i'll say it again, i love, love, LOVE the blogworld! sandra and i live fairly close to each other and i look forward to meeting up with her and having choi boy play with her little boy, ben, after choi boy is home! how cool is that?! our meeting was just serendipitous! :)

we had so much fun helping out our friends and we are so glad we got to do so. we just found out from the snyders that they made an ASTOUNDING amount -- $5,300 from the yard sale!!! AH-MAZING! God is GOOD indeed.

love you, snyders! can't wait to see our boys together!

the answers. :)

10 points to kala for guessing juno! and lex, deb and elizabeth -- you were all correct! so, 10 points to you, too. :)

if you're curious, here are the answers to my movie quotes:

*i feel like such a heifer. i had two bowls of special k, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, FIVE peanut butter M&M's and, like, 3 pieces of licorice! -- CLUELESS

*i carried a watermelon. -- DIRTY DANCING

* dear liesl, i would like to tell you how i feel about you STOP unfortunately, this wire is already too expensive sincerely, rolfe -- THE SOUND OF MUSIC

*don't you love new york in the fall? it makes me want to buy school supplies. i would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if i knew your name and address. on the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. -- YOU'VE GOT MAIL

*well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and i knew it. i knew it the very first time i touched her. it was like coming home... only to no home i'd ever known... i was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and i knew. it was like... magic. -- SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE

*you once said you liked me just as i am and i just wanted to say likewise. i mean there are stupid things your mum buys you, tonight's another... classic. you're haughty, and you always say the wrong thing in every situation and i seriously believe that you should rethink the length of your sideburns. but, you're a nice man and i like you. if you wanted to pop by some time that might be nice... more than nice. -- BRIDGET JONES' DIARY

*but i'm not two hundred years old. why can't i sleep in pajamas? -- ROMAN HOLIDAY (this one was a toughie! but i just love how audrey goes on and on about pajamas and says the word "pajamas" so regally.)

*je ne suis la belette de personne... -- AMELIE

thanks for playing!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

yo yo yiggity yo. {august iclw}

*anyone know what movie that's from? 10 points to the first one to answer correctly!

hello, to those who found us through ICLW! (and of course, hello, and love you to all my bloggy friends!)

if you're new here, some good places to start would be the "about us" and "our journey" tabs on the top of the page. if you don't feel like clicking on the tabs here's the short version: we are adopting a little one from korea and right now we are anxiously waiting for our travel call. you can see our choi boy in all his adorable glory in the post below. :)

and, just because, i'll leave you with some quotes from my favorite movies (the one in the title is one i love, too)...don't you feel like one's movie choices show a bit of their personality? as you'll see below, i'm a bit of a you know where they're from?:

*i feel like such a heifer. i had two bowls of special k, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, FIVE peanut butter M&M's and, like, 3 pieces of licorice!

*i carried a watermelon.

* dear liesl, i would like to tell you how i feel about you STOP unfortunately, this wire is already too expensive sincerely, rolfe

*don't you love new york in the fall? it makes me want to buy school supplies. i would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if i knew your name and address. on the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.

*well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together... and i knew it. i knew it the very first time i touched her. it was like coming home... only to no home i'd ever known... i was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and i knew. it was like... magic

*you once said you liked me just as i am and i just wanted to say likewise. i mean there are stupid things your mum buys you, tonight's another... classic. you're haughty, and you always say the wrong thing in every situation and i seriously believe that you should rethink the length of your sideburns. but, you're a nice man and i like you. if you wanted to pop by some time that might be nice... more than nice.

*but i'm not two hundred years old. why can't i sleep in pajamas?

*je ne suis la belette de personne...

i'm not ashamed to say it; i'm such a sap! really, i could watch these movies over and over and over again. :)

happy iclw to you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

just what i needed.

thank you so much for all your sweet, loving and encouraging comments on my last post. they each felt like the huge hugs i needed! the blog world has me gushing again. ;)

even though we found about this new information last friday, it wasn't until i wrote about it that i was able to fully process my thoughts and feelings. that's what i love about writing, and it's been so cathartic throughout our adoption process.

so anyway, yesterday, after posting that, i was in such a funk and welled up with tears more than once.

my sweet mommy took me out for shopping, mani/pedis and dinner (i had to will myself to walk away from gymb*ree without purchasing anything. so hard.) and while we were out and about, i received another email from our dossier specialist.

this one, though?

made my heart sing!

she sent us new photos of choi boy! just what i needed to pick me up and get me out of the gunky funk i was in. after i saw them, all i could do was giggle and smile. it was like the Lord knew exactly what would cheer me up!




a few thoughts on these photos:

1. seriously can't stand the hair clips in his hair. i don't get it. but, it makes me think he is such a sweet, easy going fella, because i think i counted THREE clips in his hair, and he is totally chill about having them there. :)

2. love him in his non-weird-korean outfit! that's actually a onesie that my sweet friend, vic, got for choi boy! we sent it over in his last care package along with a toy and some disposable cameras that i hope are being used just as well! :) love the little embroidered electric guitar!

3. looks like his baby fat has thinned out a bit and that he's gotten taller instead. secretly, i'm hoping he gets fatter because i really want him to have squishy, squishy thighs.

4. is it just me, or does he look like he's getting cuter?!

nah, it's not just me. ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


on our way down to the outer banks, i received an email from our dossier specialist that broke our hearts a little.

i emailed her to inquire about our timeline and the response i got back was not something i was expecting.

back in april, i wrote this post explaining how we had just made the cut-off for the 2010 visa quota. well, it turns out we really did *just* make the cut.

there are currently eight remaining families waiting to bring home their children from korea this year.

and yup, you guessed it, we're numero ocho.

what does this mean?

well, right now there is a group of children's paperwork at the korean ministry of health, welfare and family affairs for the purposes of emigration permission and passport issuance. this will take about 4-6 weeks. after that group's paperwork has exited the ministry, the next group can enter.

if the ministry permits up to eight children's paperwork in the next group, choi boy's paperwork would head to the ministry and we would get a travel call in approximately 10-12 weeks, in late october or early november. and that's already later than what we were anticipating and hoping for.

but the thing is,

the ministry has been known to take groups of as small as three. THREE. which means, if the ministry chooses to take less than 8 children's paperwork, it could take 16-18 weeks (four to four and a half months!) or more.

that brings us to december or even january. which, in all honesty, makes it a little hard for me to be thankful that we even made the cut-off for 2010. i know, i feel so ungrateful, but a part of me just wants to complain and cry.

do you see why our hearts broke?


we are so anxious to bring our son home, and being the eternal optimist that i am, i keep hoping for the very best, thinking that the best will happen. and when it doesn't happen, and we are met with inevitable setbacks, i end up with some serious heartache.

so, as we nurse our heartache, would you please pray with us and for us? please pray that the ministry would take all of the remaining children's paperwork into the next group. please pray that our son can home to us soon, soon, SOON. and please pray for patience and understanding as we continue to wait.

but above all else, please pray for our son. please pray that as he waits to come home and as we wait for him, he would continue to grow and be healthy physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. pray that his little heart would be filled with joy and his days with laughter and love.

pray that our family would be united soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

happy birthday to my hubs!

today my dear hubs turns a year older.


i love birthdays. i love that they are celebrations of life and markers of each year of God's faithfulness (though we may not see or realize it 'til way later) in our lives.

so, today we celebrate another year of peter's life and all the good things that have come with it.

and, because it is the last birthday he will have before he is officially a daddy, we're going to party it up!

meaning we're going to hang out with some friends, eat a lot, laugh and probably break out some board games that we will all play with fierce competitive spirit. sounds like my kinda party! :)


peter and his birthday present -- a donald driver jersey he's been coveting :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

stop taunting me!

it's that time of year again.

and it feels like everywhere things are taunting me to remind me of it:

school supplies are running out.

halloween costumes and candy are on display. (really, people? REALLY? it's not even september!)

children's stores are offering a wide variety of items that could be worn as school uniforms.

jack johnson's "we're going to be friends" keeps coming up on my pandora.

fall clothes are being sold and summer clothes are on clearance. not even on sale, ON CLEARANCE.

i keep getting emails from vacation rental and hotel companies with subject lines like, "HOT END-OF-SEASON RATES!" and "BOOK YOUR LAST SUMMER GETAWAY!"

that staples commercial where the parents run through the aisles singing "it's the most wonderful time of the year" keeps airing. on every network. (which is funny, because that's the song my friend and i run through the halls singing after the kids leave on the last day of school.)


yes, friends, it's true.

i have less than 2 weeks left before i return to work.

don't get me wrong, i love my job. in fact, i don't consider it a job, but rather, a calling.

but still. a girl could get used to: nights with ample sleep, and waking up AFTER the sun rises, and eating lunch at a reasonable hour instead of 10:50am, and going out on a wednesday night just because, and just being lazy in general.


i'm going to relish every last one of these last days of summer break.

and i know that once i head back, i'll be excited to be there and will fully throw myself back into the swing of things, eager to start a fresh, new year.

but for now, i'm going to mourn the end of summer.


okay, all you non-teachers can start throwing things at me now.

p.s. i know that there will be no such thing as summer break once i'm in mommymode, but for now, i choose to whine. indulge me a little, will you? ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

wardrobe - part 2. or, "what happens when boys shop."

people, things are out of control.

remember that cute little wardrobe i was building for choi boy?

well, one trip to wisconsin changed things a bit.

my hubs, my guy's guy hubs who HATES to shop, went a bit overboard in the baby clothing department. just a bit.

look at these new additions to choi boy's wardrobe, courtsey of daddy:

the front:and back:
and the best?
mmmHMM. AND, peter wants to add iron-on letters on the back that say "CHOI". kinda cute, yes. a little crazy? definitely.

and we also got some more badger gear from some very dear and sweet friends:i LOVE this baseball tee.

if you've been counting, that's 2 packers shirts, 4 badgers shirts, 1 brewers shirt, and 1 badgers sippy cup.

sippy cup?
sippy cup.

yes, these shirts are most definitely cute, but poor choi boy already has wisconsin gear/propaganda thrust upon him and he isn't even home yet! some of the clothes are ones he'll have to grow into, so he'll have wisconsin gear to last him quite a while.

as in 4 or 5 years. :)

actually, i think it's really cute that peter was so excited about getting choi boy all this stuff. he's even more excited to pass on his obsession/love for the packers, badgers, and brewers.

but, the line had to be drawn at the bucks.

c'mon, the little guy has to root for at least ONE team from his momma's home teams! GO KNICKS!

(diclaimer: yes, i know, new jersey has a basketball team, too, but when i was growing up, nets games were rarely broadcasted. and to be fair, madison square garden was closer than continental airlines arena. plus, my dad rooted for the knicks.
okay, i'm done being defensive.)

the next time we're in new york, we are most definitely picking up a knicks tee for choi boy. peter accuses me of being a fake fan, and it's true, i haven't kept up with them like i used to (i had a SERIOUS crush on john starks in 1994 and was MAJORLY in love with allan houston thoughout the 2000s), but i still love them and will have my son proudly wear the blue and orange!

AND, i'm going to have find a shirt that says NEW JERSEY or EXIT 18 OFF THE TURNPIKE.


poor baby. he's going to have to put up with the crazies that are his momma and daddy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the beach -- part deux.

we are *really* taking advantage of peter's sabbatical.

here we are, back in the outer banks for a weekend getaway with our buds, the ros!

loving the sea breeze and the sound of the ocean and the salty smell in the air...

the weather is gorgeous,
the dogs are having a blast,
our tummies are full,
settlers of catan and the expansion packs are set up,
and we're laughing up a storm.

who could ask for anything more?

Friday, August 13, 2010


five years ago today, we did this:

and a little of this:

and now, here we are, ready to bring home this little guy:

it's been five years full of ups and downs, fun times and still moments, wild adventures and quiet comforts, love and life, and a lot of laughter in between.

and as we prepare for our biggest adventure yet, there is no one i'd rather have beside me than my hubs.

five years later, we're older, a little fatter, perhaps a little wiser, still in love, and we keep truckin' on...


happy anniversary, peter! i love you!

five years closer to forever.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

wardrobe - part 1.

not gonna lie, friends, i love to shop.

i totally get a shopping high when i find bargains and fully believe in spaving.

with choi boy coming, there is now a newfound reason to shop: baby clothes! (if he's reading this, my husband is totally similutaneously cringing and rolling his eyes right now.)

at first, i was all, "girl clothes are so much cuter than boy clothes." but, after looking around, i've found some awesome things to add to choi boy's wardrobe. plus, i like me a shopping challenge. and here's the best thing about baby clothes: they are SUPER cute and SUPER cheap! a full priced t-shirt for five bucks? sure! i'll take two!

here are some pieces that i've bought or were given to us for choi boy's wardrobe...

first up, awesome t-shirts!

this one was a gift from a friend, given to me at my shower. her husband is one of the praise leaders at our church, so it was fitting to get this shirt from them:it says, "that's my jam!" how cute is that?

i bought this as a gift for peter on father's day:
this one was a gift from the snyders -- can't wait to have choi boy wear it on his first trip to OBX!
and this one is my favorite!it's a vintage-y beatles t-shirt, from none other than my favorite place, target! my dad is a big beatles fan (i was *almost* named michelle), making me a fan by birth, and i'm going to have grandpa teach choi boy all my favorite beatles songs!

this one is extra special because one of my students made it for choi boy. the letters are a little crooked, but i think that makes it even sweeter because it is evident that it was made by six year-old hands:

and, finally, this t-shirt, paired here with distressed denim jeans, is one of the first things we bought for choi boy. it's an american apparel t-shirt and we just couldn't resist getting it!

and now on to the preppy portion of the wardrobe...

these two outfits are from gym*boree. choi boy's auntie vic introduced me to the cuteness that is gym*boree. she actually went out and bought two really cute outfits for him the day after we got his referral, but we had to return them because they were too small. so, instead, here's what we ended up with:love it! peter's not sure about the doggy vest, but i think it's adorable. besides, who else can get away with wearing a doggy vest besides a cute baby? i know some elementary school teachers think they can, but they can't.

sorry, did i just say that? listen, i've been around more than my share of holiday-themed sweater vests...not a pretty sight.

and of course, you can't go wrong with a little RL. this one's from auntie sylvia and uncle ricky. choi boy and his daddy can be matchy matchy in their polo shirts.
and finally, on to loungewear.

monkeys seem to by choi boy's thing. well, according to me and others. this boy better like monkeys 'cause he's got a barrel of monkey stuff!

sorry. couldn't resist. ;)

this was a gift from my second cousin, who was also my first babysitter. look at the adorable pouch on the front and the tail on the back:
and last, but not least, everyone needs a monkey pirate sweatshirt, right?
love, love, love it!

you know what i'd love more?

seeing choi boy actually *in* these clothes. ;) he is going to be SO dapper.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

versatile blogger award!

we are home again, home again, jiggety jig! :)

as i was catching up on my google reader, i came upon this post. i was so honored to receive the versatile bloger award from PCOSchick over at His and Her Infertility, Just Like the Towels. she and i have a lot in common in terms of our infertility background and she and her hubs are also on the journey of adopting internationally. i so appreciate her honesty and her humor -- i mean, hello? her blog title is quite hilarious and tongue-in-cheek. love that! right now she's doing a cool 30 day blog journal -- check her out!

and now on to the award!

here is how the Versatile Blogger Award works:
1) thank and talk about whoever gave you the award
2) share 7 facts about yourself
3) give the award to 7 other bloggers who rock!

7 facts about me:
1. i was born and raised in the beautiful and lovely state of new jersey, just outside manhattan. say what you want, but i heart new jersey and always will. holla! do i watch jersey shore? no. i am still proud to be from jersey despite that show? yup.
p.s. snookie is not even from jeresy, so ha!

2. i can sing the alphabet backwards. i don't remember how this started but i think someone said they could do it, and i said i thought i could, too. so, i did. on the first try! i did NOT sit there like a nerd and practice. really. cross my heart.

3. i love my handwriting. sometimes, i sit and admire it. i know, i'm so vain.

4. one of hardest things about being a teacher is not being able to go to the bathroom whenever i need to. i have to pee all. the. time. sometimes, i'm thankful i'm not pregnant, because i think i would seriously need to wear depends if i was.

5. i can blow spit bubbles off my tongue.

6. i cannot watch scary movies. thinking about "the shining" (i saw it 15 years ago) still gives me nightmares. even scary movie trailers freak me out.

7. i am a complete and utter klutz. i trip over air. the best story to illustrate this? my senior year in high school, i was playing the nurse in "romeo and juliet". on opening night, i slipped while walking down a ramp on stage and slid all the way down, landing hard on my bum. and then i couldn't remember my next line. for those of you that are familiar with the play know that the nurse is a comic relief character, but of course this incident happened during one of the two scenes where the nurse is in serious mode. of course.

and, now the fun part! i get to pass the award on to other bloggers i love! i love all my bloggy friends and it was so hard to choose, but here are some that i've been reading lots of lately. in no particular order, the award goes to (imagine a drumroll here, please)...
1. tina at the ros' bowl! tina is a close friend IRL and she has been walking this infertility journey with me for the last 2 years. she and her husband have been amazing friends to me and peter and their friendship is the best thing that has come out of our dealing with infertility. she is pregnant with her little miracle after IVF -- go congratulate her and follow her on her journey!

2. joanna at little bit o'seoul! love the name of that blog! i had the privilege of meeting joanna recently and she is just as sweet and cool in real life as she is on her blog. and her son gabe, whom she had her husband adopted from korea, is SOOOO cute!

3. sas at can i walk with you! sas is a bloggy buddy who lives on the other side of the world in new zealand - i would so love to visit her! she and i met on the hannah's prayer forums and she blogs about her infertility journey. go and say "gidday!" (do they say that in NZ?)

4. kelly at jon and kelly plus one! she brought her little cutie home from korea just over a month ago and has been writing about her family's transition. go encourage her and admire her son! he is adorable!

5. christine at 12,450 miles! christine also has an adorable son adopted from korea. she is also an amazing designer -- check out all the paper products she made for her son's second birthday and his amazing nursery!

6. heather at can i get some sugar with these lemons! heather is also on a journey to adopt from korea. she blogs honestly about her feelings, especially around infertility, and i applaud her candor. check her blog out as she also waits!

7. elizabeth at a.e.i.o.! i just recently started reading elizabeth's blog, and i have to say, her little girls SO cute! they recently brought their youngest home from korea and are transitioning to life as a family of four. go give her a web hug!

yay for awesome blogs and awesome bloggers! :)

oh, and happy 11 months to my little choi boy who turned 11 months old yesterday! i love you, baby, and can't wait to hold you and squish you!

dude, i used way too many exclamation marks in that post. apologies. ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

okay, i'll admit it...

milwaukee is kind of a cool town. :)

usually when we're here, it's butt cold and most of our time is spent indoors away from the harsh wisconsin winters, which happen to start, oh, october-ish. :) what can i say? i despise the cold!

this is the third time i've been here in the summer and the first time we've really had some extended time to explore parts of the city.

peter always talks about how amazing lake michigan is and that it lives up to its status as a great lake. eh, call me an east coast snob (my brother-in-law totally did), but there's nothing like the ocean.

but, i will say, lake michigan is quite lovely and did feel a bit (a smidge, really) like the ocean in its vastness. piper enjoyed romping around, too.

we saw these tents set up with mobs of people milling about and heard the unmistakeable sound of polka!turns out, it was brewfest! so fun!
we wanted to sample some of the goods, but as we walked around, we noticed that everyone was wearing bracelets, meaning that it was probably a flat fee for unlimited sampling. we were right. and as we walked up to the ticket booth, we saw the prices and a fairly large sign that said, "NO PETS." oops. :)

so instead, we strolled around the lake, people watching. we saw a weird guy rockin' out and disco dancing on rollerblades and SIX wedding parties. mostly, we enjoyed the view and peter turned to me every few minutes and said, "see? it's nice, right?"
yes, it *was* nice. :)

we also enjoyed some iced coffee at alterra, a local coffee chain. very cute and fun. and we loved the outdoor seating.
the houses around that area are gorgeous! this one was my favorite:i could definitely live in milwaukee if that was my house! :)

as much as i cannot stand the wisconsin cold, i will say that it is a fun city in the summmer -- hope to be here for summerfest sometime!

til next time, milwaukee!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

off to the fair! (alternatively titled, "a day of gluttony.")

when we found out we would be in wisconsin the same time as the state fair, we were THRILLED! fried fair food, eclectic vendors, farm animals, and rides? yes, please!

we went on saturday with peter's sweet and hilarious cousins (sarah, eunice and grace) and were blessed with gorgeous weather, perfect for getting lost in state fair madness.

our one mission for the day?


and i can confidently say that our mission was fully accomplished. here is our eating adventure in pictures (if you have an aversion to deep fried foods, stop reading now. if you are like me and gobble up anything fried, grab some napkins 'cause you're gonna drool)...

first stop, cheese curds:
see the look of sheer joy on my face? mmmmmmm!
next, a garlic butter potato on a stick (why is it that food tastes so much better on a stick?) and fried onion crispies:
at the same time, loaded fries and chocolate-covered bacon:
this food vendor also sold the single most disgusting?delicious? thing i've ever seen...i couldn't bring myself to get one, so we had the eunice and grace pose with the cutout that depicted it:yes, that is a cheeseburger on a krispy kreme doughnut bun.

i have no words.

though we passed on the cheeseburger doughnut, we absolutely had to have funnel cake. what is a visit to the fair without funnel cake?
and finally, our last food item of the day, a bloomin' onion. yum! yes, i realize we consumed two different types of fried onion (it could have been three had we had onion rings!), but that's how we roll.

we *did* actually do other things besides eating...peter and gracie got matching fayke-bans (see what i did there? hee.)
eunice and i got henna tattoos:
we saw a hilarious and adorable pig race (they were running for iced oatmeal cookies):

we went for a ride on the sky glider: where we saw MORE delicious food. check out the bird's eye view of a grill filled with meatballs:
and, the world famous cream puffs!
we also couldn't resist a picture by a random giant tractor -- it was literally just chillin' in the grass area among the picnic benches:
and finally, i found the perfect ring upgrade for our upcoming fifth anniversary:just kidding.

loved our time at state fair and so glad it happened during our visit! i know i say this all the time, but i can't wait until we can bring choi boy with us next time! :)