Friday, April 29, 2011

friends. {old and new}

you've all heard me gush about our buddies, sandra and ben, many times. and it's because we just love them so. :)

through our buddies, we met some new friends, gabe and his momma, and liam and his momma. all four little dudes came home from korea last year and are within two months of each other, age-wise.

last week, we got together at a local park and had fun playing (read: chasing our wandering children) together. though it was an unseasonably cold day (the day before and the day after were well into the 70s!), we bundled up and enjoyed one another's company.

now, onto the pictures!

there was some excited screaming going on.

some sweet sharing of snacks.

some peeking through tunnels.
(how CUTE is gabe?!)

some...i'm not sure what's going on in this picture, but i find choi boy's expression hilarious!

and there were also some attempts at taking a group picture.

yup. attempts.

do you know how hard it is to take a picture with four toddlers?




{ugh, i give up.}

(thank you for being so patient and still, liam!)


it's always wonderful to spend time with other families that our similar to ours and i hope that as choi boy grows older, he will cherish the friendships he has with these buddies that have similar stories to his.

wait, do boys *ever* cherish friendships?

it's possible, right?

i hope so! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

whatnot wednesday.


*i hope you had a lovely easter weekend. we sure did! and it was made even lovelier by post-easter candy sales on monday. i was crushed to discover that BOTH targets i went to were swept clean of my precious mini eggs. but, i discovered these little guys that are an acceptable (but still not as awesome as the original) stand in:
i bought four bags. i probably should have bought more, but i still haven't given up hope on finding mini eggs on sale! and i think i've uncovered what it is that makes the mini eggs superior (because i can clearly claim expertise in this area since i have consumed multiple bags of both). it's totally the candy coating. and not just the ratio of coating to chocolate, but also the coating itself. it's a little thicker on the mini eggs and it stays on better, so you don't have those little coating flakes at the bottom of the bag or eggs with only half their coating. and i feel like the fact that the mini eggs have a matte coating (versus a shiny coating), makes them tastier. and it makes me feel like it's *slightly* less chemical-y, since one would think it takes more chemicals to make something shiny, versus matte. no?
probably not.
i can't believe i've written this much about chocolate eggs.
i need help.

*so, vanity plates are huge in our area. i'd say as many as a third of the license plates are vanity plates. some of them are funny (the best i saw was on a REALLY ugly car and the plate read: OK LAFF). some of them are clever. and some of them are fun to try and figure out when you're stuck in traffic. but others are just plain lame. last week, we saw a license plate that said SAM PARK. and i'm thinking it's probably the dude's name (and he's probably korean). you really want your name on your license plate? doesn't that make it super easy for people to track you down and remember you? for example, if you were fleeing the scene in your getaway car, witnesses could just tell the police, "SAM PARK did it!!!"
not that i'm planning on doing anything bad and then fleeing the scene or anything...;)

*have you seen that new show "happy endings"? it's okay. not hilarious, but fairly entertaining. in the preview commercials, it was described as being "like 'friends,' but not as white!" huh? not exactly sure what that meant, but it cracked me up. that comment was probably funnier than the actual show. ;)
anyway, i was watching it, and i as obsessively often do, i looked up the cast on (i heart that site -- anyone else?). and i was so sad to discover that half of the cast is younger than i am. for some reason, the fact that they have sitcoms about people my age and younger, makes me feel old. i used to watch sitcoms and think "haha, that's funny! someday, i'll be able to relate to that!" and now i watch and think, "oh yeah. i remember when i could relate to that."

*know what else makes me feel old? faceb00k profile pictures. every once in a while, an old classmate's status or activity will pop up in my news feed and i'll click on their profile, look at their picture, and then gasp and think, "good gracious! when did they get so OLD?!" and then i remember, oh, wait. i've aged, too.

*one of my favorite singer/songwriters is ingrid michaelson. she's fun and cheeky and quirky and she writes great music and lyrics. i just love her. apparently, so do advertising execs. because recently, two commercials have ruined two of my favorite ingrid songs. the hair*cuttery used "maybe" in one of their commercials -- and i have NO idea why. that commerical makes ZERO sense. plus, do you really want to pair an advertisement for your business with lyrics that say, "maybe, in the future you're gonna come back..."? shouldn't you be a little more confident in your product and say that people will *definitely* want to come back?? i don't understand. anyway, after that, i can't listen to that song and not think of that blonde chick standing in the street with a pouty look on her face, showing off her hair.
and now, e*harm0ny has gone and used "everybody" in their commercials. and admittedly, the lyrics to that song are quite appropriate for e*harmony's product, but still! i don't want to think of dr. neil when i'm singing along to one of my favorite songs!
if someone uses "the chain" or "lady in spain" in one of their commercials, i'm going to be so sad.

*i'll end with a confession:
up until three years ago, i had no idea that asians had different earwax than (most) other ethnic groups. and the way i discovered this is rather amusing. i was in the middle of a reading lesson with a (non-asian) student and noticed a dark brown, sticky substance in her ear. i thought it was dried blood. i thought she was BLEEDING FROM THE EAR. so, i stopped our lesson, and took her down to the school clinic and told the nurse, "i think the inside of her ear is bleeding." she took a look and then laughed and said, "oh, that's just earwax! it's different from your earwax, but that's what it looks like."
i was embarrassed. and then grossed out. and then quite curious. and i also finally understood why it's called earWAX. ha!
and it also made me realize why, growing up, my non-asian friends looked at me as if i had two heads when i mentioned my mom cleaning my ears with an ear pick.
you know, these:


i know, they look like tiny torture devices, but don't knock 'em til' you try 'em. 'cause it feels awesome.

oh, and in case you're worried about the safety of using an ear pick, don't worry. because these newfangled ones come with a handy dandy LED light.


off to go pick my ears now.
maybe. ;)

{edited to add a clarification}: you can read all about earwax here. it's actually quite interesting. and plenty gross, so don't click on over if you have a weak stomach. here's the gist, taken from the page itself: "There are two distinct genetically determined types of earwax: the wet type, which is dominant, and the dry type, which is recessive. East Asians and Native Americans are more likely to have the dry type of cerumen (gray and flaky), whereas Caucasians and Africans are more likely to have the wet type (honey-brown to dark-brown and moist). Cerumen type has been used by anthropologists to track human migratory patterns, such as those of the Inuit." <-- how COOL (and bizarre) is that?!

so, to sum it up, east asians and native americans have dry earwax that is yellowish to grey (more like the consistency of dirt) and caucasians and africans have wet, light to dark brown earwax that is more like the consistency of wax.

and that's probably more than you'll ever need to know about earwax.

if that's not whatnot, i don't know what is.


come and join the whatnot wednesday party and link up with elizabeth!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a reminder.

this week is national infertility awareness week.

and though i don't talk much about it now that choi boy is home, infertility was (and still is) a big part of our journey.

last year, i wrote about lessons i had learned through infertility.

this year, things are a little different because i *am* a mom now. but the sting of infertility still stealthily lurks underneath and jealousy, bitterness, and sadness can still rear their ugly heads at times. and i hate that. i think it's because for a long time, i felt like our infertility indentified me. and i'm learning to shake that, but healing deep wounds is a process.

but wounds are also reminders. reminders of lessons we have learned; places we have been; changes that have shaped us into who we are today. and i don't want to forget any of those important things.

as i mentioned before, at this point, i am mostly just grateful for the situation our infertility put us in because it lead us to choi boy. and thought of not being *his* parents is just unthinkable.

but, i know how heartbreaking and difficult the road of infertility can be. and i know how isolating and lonely it is because people just dont't talk about it. and i know that it feels hopeless and daunting and it consumes you. and i know that it often just plain sucks.

and i guess all that's to say, if you're going through infertility, you're not alone. and it's okay to talk about it. and there should absolutely be awareness brought to it.

because chances are, if you're not on this road, someone you know is.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


He is risen!

He is risen indeed.






oh, and one more thing.

we hope you have a joyous easter!

that's right,

we're talkin'

to YOU.


Friday, April 22, 2011


choi boy gets his baths at night, just before bedtime. which means that sometimes his hair is still a bit damp when he falls asleep. which means he sometimes wakes up with crazy bedhead.

did i tell you choi boy is a *violent* sleeper? he is. he tosses and turns all over the place and takes full advantage of the crib bumper, as well as the crib itself.

a few nights ago, he must have gone on some awesome adventures in his dreams, making for a pretty active night rolling around in his crib.

because when he woke up, he had the CRAZIEST bedhead ever. EVER.


of course, before i fixed it, i did what any good momma would do. i made him keep his hair like that until i could take some pictures!

for documentation purposes, of course. ;)

cb looked at me like, "what's so funny, umma? why are you laughing so hard?"

and then he looked in the mirror.
oh. that's why.

as i was laughing and snapping away, i couldn't help but think i had seen this hairdo before...

i was racking my brain, trying to figure out who wore this famous 'do.

was it beethoven?
no...not quite.

maybe it was beaker?
no, that wasn't quite it either, though we were heading in the right direction.

was it that dude from drag0nball z?
hmmm...definitely close, but still not it.

and then, i figured it out.

did you guess it, too?


i'll tell ya.

ladies and gentleman, back to prove that her fifteen minutes of fame are not yet up, the bearer of my son's matching bedhead hairstyle is...

kate g0sselin!
uncanny, right?!

after i figured that out, i fixed choi boy's hair right away. ;)

but not before taking one last picture:

have a blessed easter weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

whatnot wednesday.

it's still wednesday! better late than never, right? ;)


*okay, so first, let me clear up the snakes in the onion bin thing. a few years ago, my mom and i were chatting and the following conversation took place...
momma: grace, when you're at the grocery store and looking for onions, make sure you put the produce bag over your hand as you sift through the onions.
me: huh? why?
momma: because, i heard on the news that a lady was looking through the onions when a snake came out and bit her. and she died.
me: WHA??!!! what are you talking about?! how is that even possible? why would there be a snake in there?!
momma: because it got in there from the farm and then into the boxes and then into the onion bin.
me: that's ridiculous! there's no way a snake could have gotten in there with no one seeing it.
momma: snakes are sneaky!!
me: mom, was this on the korean news?
momma: the korean news is REAL news!!!

so there you have it. be careful when you look for onions, folks.

*the other day, i saw an ad for a cake pan that allows you to bake a cake the resembles a giant 0re0. i so don't get this phenomenon. they also have cake pans that can make giant donut cakes. i *kinda* get the giant cupcake cake (just kinda), but a giant 0re0 or donut? isn't the point of all of those things to be handheld and bite-sized? what if they took this to the next level and there were kits to make giant hot dogs or sandwiches or bagels? gross.

*choi boy and piper have found a hobby to share. what is it?
on the neighbors.
piper's done this since she was a wee little pup, and recently, choi boy's taken to joining her at the window. piper will bark if she sees a squirrel or bird or dog or any animal, really.
and cb? well, he likes to imitate the people he sees and hears. he'll pretend to join in their conversations, etc, but the best is when he hears people laughing and then he busts out with his crazy fake laughter.
right now, it's funny because he's so darn cute, but i know there'll come a point where it becomes creepy and stalkerish.
at least it makes for a cute photo op!

*it's spring break around here and i'm loving my extra time with choi boy. we've been spending a lot of time outdoors, which has been fun, but my allergies are attacking in full force. apparently, the area we live in is one of the worst places for allergy suffers to live. it's so bad...i'm congested and itchy and it makes me want. to. gouge. my. eyes. out. i end up going between being super gross and congested and itchy to being drugged and super tired. i can't decide which is worse.

*allergy season also means those annoying nas0nex commercials are back. is that *really* antoni0*banderas doing the voice of the bee? i've never been able to figure that out. i suppose i could just g00gle it.
okay, i just did. and it's totally ant0nio. for some reason, that makes me so sad for him.

*cb recently learned how to say "bear." he usually refers to animals by the sound they make, with the exception of cow and kokeerhee (elephant), so it was great to hear him add another actual animal name to his repertoire. but, the funny thing is, he says "bear" like mike myers' linda richman from "coffee talk." so instead of "bear," it comes out like "beh-yah." i have no idea where he picked up this long island accent, but it's awesome.
it's equal parts adorable and hilarious.
see for yourself!

*i could probably think of a few things i need to get out of my system, but i SERIOUSLY want to claw my eyes out of my head right now. i'm going to off to take some meds. zyrtec is totally my BFF right now.

want to join the whatnot wednesday party? link up with elizabeth!

Monday, April 18, 2011

some finishing touches.

*edited to add {slightly} better pictures, just for cb's eemo. love you, sis. ;)

before choi boy came home, i started a project that was to become some of the wall art in cb's room. i purposely started it prior to leaving for korea knowing that i'd need a head start in order to have it completed within some sort of reasonable time frame.

aaaaaand, four months later, i just finished. :)

wanna see?


i wanted something that tied in with choi boy's loosely alphabet themed room. one of my favorite activities to do when building a literate environment in my classroom is to make a classroom alphabet with my students. choosing a personal, meaningful word association for each letter makes the alphabet something the children can connect with and have ownership over. using that idea, i made six canvases, one for each letter from A to F, to represent important parts of choi boy's journey and story.



here are some close ups of each canvas:
A for airplane, with a picture of the pretty blue plane we rode home as new family of three.

B for baby B (cb's korean/middle name), with cb's referral picture, taken in the famous red chair.

C for C (cb's first name). this is probably my absolute favorite picture of cb. thanks again to jojo and gabe for the hat! :)

D for dog, with a picture of piper, cb's furry big sister.

E for everyone, with a collage of everyone on both sides of our immediate family (or are they extended family now and the three of us are just immediate family? i get so confused by that!)

F for family, with one of our first family pictures. :)

it's far from perfect. i wish i had taken the time to actually center the letters and words. i also should have used a thinner paint marker to write the words. the modge podge is really gloppy and not smooth, as you can probably tell (i have *never* been able to use modge podge well!!). and the canvases are definitely not hanging as straight as they could be and i'm thinking they should also be a little lower. but, it'll do. at this point, i'm just glad they're done and up!

i also have an ABC book in the works that will follow a similar theme and i hope it will serve as a first lifebook of sorts. and, um, i still have the actual lifebook in the works, too. hopefully, they'll be done before choi boy enters kindergarten. or graduates high school. ;)

and what did little cb think of his new decor?

he enjoyed checking out the pictures...

and, as i hoped,
he loved picking out and saying the names of the people (and animals!) he recognized. :)

i have a few more things i'd like to get up on the walls of cb's room...but, i'm giving myself to the end of summer vacation.

baby steps! ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


there is nothing that revives my soul more than the sound of choi boy's laughter.

it is so sweet and so full of unbridled joy.

and it makes my heart want to burst!

it's hard to get pictures of cb genuinely laughing when i've got my camera out, so when he burst into uncontrollable laughter the other day, i whipped out my phone and snapped some quick shots:

the set up...

the start of the giggles...

the full on, throw-your-head-back belly laugh!

i can't stand it!

i just love him and his laughter to pieces!!!

oh, and what was he laughing about? he was smacking the garbage can and i was saying, "what're you doooooing??"

i know, i'm hilarious. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

i got your back, bro.

ever since choi boy came home and settled in, we've been meeting up with sandra and ben for weekly playdates.

i've already talked about cb and ben's relationship here, and the more time they spend together, the sweeter their friendship grows and the more they enjoy interacting with each other. i know a lot of it has to do with them growing older (sniff!), but i swear, cb actually plays more with ben than he does with other kiddos.

we really look forward to seeing ben and sandra each week and cb excitedly calls out ben's name when i tell him our plans to see them. and the best part is, it's a win-win for all four of us because sandra and i really like each other, too! (right, sandra??) ;)

i got some quick phone shots of the boys when we got together this week. they're just the cutest together!

they sit on the steps and converse about the important things in life (you know, cheese, balls, dogs.):

they chase each other around the park:

and they even give each other kisses:

but the absolute best?

they help each other up when they fall down:


the back story: i've been trying to let choi boy be a little bit more independent by not making a big deal out of it and allowing him to get up from a (minor) fall by himself. so, when cb looked to me and reached out his hand to get him up after he tripped, i told him, "you can do it! you try first!" and then he looked to ben and said, "beh! beh!" and sweet little ben came to his rescue while cb's mean momma took pictures.

the end.


p.s. this is my 200th post! that's just crazypants (and a lot of nonsense i've posted on the web)!