Monday, August 29, 2011

the one where guilt kicks in (again).

thankfully, irene spared us and we are so grateful that there was relatively little damage in our area. we continue to pray for those that were hit harder, especially for their recovery efforts. xoxo.

heigh-ho, heigh-ho! it's back to work i go!

actually, i've been back to work for two weeks working on some school leadership stuff. but today was the first day back for all teachers and today was also the day it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

"it" referring to mommy guilt, of course.

i am back to work full-time this year. and i truly am excited for a new crop of kiddos and all the learning that will happen for them and for me this year. i love, love, LOVE my school and my colleagues and am so proud of our accomplishments from last year and i just know this year is going to be phenomenal, too. i can feel it in my bones!

but, that doesn't mean i'm not feeling super anxious about leaving my baby for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.


i know he'll miss me (well, at least i hope he will!), but i also know he enjoys his time with his friends. his extroverted personality does so well with the consistent social interaction with his peers, too. but part (okay, right now, a big part) of me definitely feels lots of guilt about leaving him. there is a nagging feeling that i am missing out on some of the best times of my little guy's life.

i know the guilt is made all the more stronger because we are coming off the heels of an awesome summer and some amazing time together. and rationally, i know that summer is but a season, and often a magical one at that. i know that, come the dark and dreary days of winter, if i were at home with choi boy, we would be fighting to stay entertained and have meaningful time together, because they can't be all fun, special summery kinda days. but part of me wonders if it's those dark and dreary days that would be the most meaningful. because we'd have to fight to make it meaningful.

i also know i'm being a bit melodramatic. (i have that tendency, if you haven't caught on by now. ;) ) we'll still have 5 hours together in the afternoons and evenings. we'll still have weekends and holidays and breaks. and of course, we'll still always have summers.

but, for right now, i'm letting myself be melodramatic and i'm letting myself wallow in self-guilt. just a little. i think i need to get it out of my system for a bit. i'm sure it'll always be an inner-battle for as long as i am a working mom, but it's certainly magnified during these first few days back.

after all, when you get used to seeing this face all day long,
and then suddenly you don't,

man, is it rough.

Friday, August 26, 2011

a {sunshiny} sneak peek.

it's been an unusual week around here. a historical earthquake on tuesday, a historical hurricane on its way.

it's bizarre and even somewhat frightening, but it's also a teeny bit cool. we'll see what tune i'm singing on monday after irene makes her way through, but for now, i'm thanking God for and watching things from the safety of our home and praying for everyone in irene's path.

to add a bit of sunshine to our week of natural disasters, here's a sneak peek from our family photo session last week! we worked with natalie and jamie of borrowed blue photography who donated their time and awesome skills for a free session through the celebrating adoption program. they were amazing! though they totally captured choi boy's adorableness (i'm so not biased), phew, was it hard work! our session lasted for about two hours with two shooters and they took hundreds and hundreds of shots, but cb did anything and everything in his power to avoid the camera at all costs. there goes his illustrious modeling career!

oh well. ;)

go check it out!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

pebbles and bam-bam.

remember how i said that choi boy and his cousin molly reminded me of pebbles and bam-bam? well, i never got around to sharing these pictures of choi boy and his ridiculously cute cousin, so i thought i'd pair them with some more pebbles and bam-bam vignettes.

on another note, i can't believe it's been a month since our chicago trip! this summer has flown by entirely too in the world is it already wednesday (almost thursday!)?!

last summer, the hubs and i bought an awesome shirt for cb at american apparel. i think it was one of the first pieces of clothing we purchased for him that was intentionally bought for him to wear when he came home (versus sending it in a care package). later that summer, i bought a matching shirt for molly, and my sister-in-law and i agreed that the cousins would definitely have to wear them the first time they met because it would be just too deliciously cute.

people, it so was.

okay, so my child totally is not paying attention, but that's all the better to segue to a pebbles and bam-bam story...

while we were hanging out at molly's house, the hubs tried to engage in conversation with the littles. he started with a simple question: "hey, where's your belly button?" to which choi boy grunted and lifted up his shirt to show off his prized belly b. and molly? she looked at the hubs, pointed to her stomach, and said, "it's right here, uncle peter!" duh. silly question!


but, perhaps my favorite story of cb and his cousin is this one...

we were browsing through the children's section at the best store ever (all together now: TARGET), when we came upon some sesame street t-shirts.

cb immediately started shrieking, "EH-MO!!! COOKIE!! ERNIE!!"
he was slightly excited.

meanwhile, molly started swaying back and forth and, in near perfect pitch, began to sweetly sing, "sunny days, sweepin' the clouds away! on my way to where the air is sweet!"

i almost peed in my pants from laughing so hard.
it. was. awesome.


luckily, despite their differences, choi boy and molly played so well together. they even shared some sweet, sweet hugs with uncle jake/molly's daddy.
how stinkin' cute are they?!

maybe next time they meet, cb and molly will actually be able to fit into their t-shirts and they'll look less like dresses. ;)

although, did bam-bam even wear pants??

p.s. i had to edit this to add that i know that the differences between cb and his cousin are due largely in part to the facts that a) she is a girl and b) she has heard only english for her entire life, versus cb who only began to hear english at 15 months. sorry if it sounds like i'm making fun...i know my son is perfect just the way he is. ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

how cheesy are we?




i mean, ridiculously,


get it? because we're all wearing matchy bicycle shirts? while riding bicycles?
love it. ;)

just wait 'til you see our awesome santa claus christmas sweaters, complete with pom-poms and sparkles and bedazzled goodness.

you know i'm so kidding on that, right?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

vacation musts.

being away on vacation is such a privilege and one that we don't take for granted. if anything, we make sure we savor our annual family trips and make the most of our time away.

it's a time to relax, laugh, let loose and enjoy each other.

it's also a time to:
totally chill

to eat ridiculous amounts of ice cream...

to explore new places.

to savor good food.
this was actually the only yummy thing at paula deen's restaurant. really and truly. sad and disappointed.

to be extra adventurous.

to go on aimless bike rides.
(clearly aimless because we ended up in front of a large recycling bin!)

to be loved
and to love on your nearest and dearest.

to eat crazy ridiculous amounts of food in whatever hodgepodge dishes the beach house has on hand.

to do your best impression of amelie and her raspberries, only with olives.

to have your picture taken again and again for no other reason than because your shirt is cute.

to have large family meals where the talking stops once the food comes out.

to find treasures.

and most importantly, to have the freedom to walk around shirtless, munching on dried squid.

good times, folks. good times.

what are your vacation musts?

Monday, August 15, 2011

just beachy.

we are back from a week away at hilton was lovely and so wonderful to spend extended time with our family. choi boy relished every moment of being surrounded by his adoring fans and thoroughly enjoyed his first family vacation. he was such a champ through it all -- the 12-hour drive, the heat, the sleeping in a pack-and-play, the being in an unfamiliar environment...all of it. it was quite a relief to see that he just went with the flow. this certainly bodes well for future travels!

one of cb's favorite parts about our vacation was the beach. yay! quite honestly, i was worried about how he would handle the whole beach situation. while he loves water, he isn't the biggest fan of having his hands dirty, so i worried about how he would react to all the sand. turns out, there was no need to worry! our boy took to the beach like...well, like a fish takes to water. :)

want to see?

at first, he was a bit confused about what was going on. especially since we had so much stuff!

after we were settled in, cb headed to the surf with appa. appa showed him the wet sand.
and though he was a bit skeptical at first,

cb quickly decided it was pretty cool. and he let us know by repeatedly exclaiming, "coooool!" again and again. :)

he explored the water and sand with the help of many beach toys.

and even brought his beloved football along for some further exploration.

and when choi boy realized this beach place was awesome, it was time for some serious football playing.
very. serious.

choi boy joined us for some obligatory family shots,
but really, all he wanted to do was get back down and play.

and play he did!

of course, all that play works up an appetite, and we all know cb has a healthy one to begin with. man, did he attack those post-beach-play snacks!
that would be a squeezy yogurt he's got a death grip on.

and the only time the sand actually bothered him?
when it interfered with his eating, natch. ;)

that's my boy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

whatnot wednesday {on thursday}.


it's been a while since i've joined elizabeth for a whatnot wednesday. she's right...there's too much pressure to bring the funny. and while she pressed on and continued to blog despite the pressure, i...just stopped. but i'm going to get back on the whatnot wednesday horse (a day late, mind you) and try again. pretend i'm funny even when i'm not, okay? ;) thanks!

*i'm busy planning choi boy's birthday party and am having a bit of cool idea overload. there are too many amazing ideas out there and so much pressure to make cb's party phenomenal. not that i could, but you know. anyway. an idea that i ruled out early on was a pinata. i'm sorry, but i just don't get how i could hang a beloved character, only to have the kids beat the living daylights out of it. what kind of message does that send to children?! okay, i suppose the pinatas with the pull strings are pretty harmless, but then doesn't that still lead young children to believe elmo or dora or whoever is filled with candy? hmmm. how i'd love to be able to peek into a young child's mind as they create schema and try to make sense of this kinda stuff. intriguing.

*i love summer movies. there are always several that i'm itching to see (currently, the help!) and often they do not disappoint. sure, they're not usually oscar contenders, but generally, they're feel-good or great movie-experience flicks. but, there are two movies this summer that i just do not get. first, cowboys and aliens. dude. there is a huge wtf factor going on there. seriously?! cowboys? and ALIENS?!! and clint and daniel? who thought that was a good idea?? second, that new plant of the apes movie. okay, this one is slightly more plausible (hey, it doesn't take much to be more plausible than COWBOYS and ALIENS), but that's kinda what freaks me out. have you seen the previews?! that look that the chimp gives the dude sends chills down my spine. ::shudder:: eeeeeeeeeee...incidentally, did you know that the guy that "plays" that chimp is the same guy that "played" gollum in the LOTR trilogy? i wonder how he feels about being typecast as the freaky nonhuman thing...

*on that note, i seriously worry about children who are cast in horror films. doesn't it mess with them? don't their parents worry for their mental wellbeing? do they need major cuddles and happy songs and joke telling after each take? note to future choi boy, i could totally see you on the big screen, but you're not allowed to be in scary movies, okay?
glad we got that out of the way.

*speaking of grown up choi boy, it seems that some people wish he would hurry up and grow up. because the other day, choi boy got a letter addressed to him from ford informing cb that he should take part in their awesome! buyback! program! not sure how that happened, but i'm pretty sure 23 month-olds are not allowed to sell cars, let alone own them. or, you know, drive them.

*this is really pathetic, but i'm giving myself a present. i'm declaring blog commenting bankruptcy. yup. there. i said it. i have hundreds of posts that i haven't been able to comment on and was planning on playing catch up this week. we're away and i was hoping to whittle away at my google reader, but the internet connection here has been spotty and it's just been too difficult to try and open blogs and comment (though, clearly, i've been able to blog, so i totally have my priorities straight, folks). i'm so sorry. i know how important comments are and wish i had time to be able to go back and comment on all of your posts, but i head back to work next week and know the backlog will only get worse. so sorry. but, please know that i've been keeping up with blog reading and have been rejoicing with your good news (yay, for those of you that FINALLY got EP!), laughing with you, and even shedding some tears with you.
and with that, i will be hitting the "mark all as read" button on my reader today and starting fresh tomorrow.
eek! i feel strangely nervous...

*and finally, so i don't end on that pathetic note, here's one more whatnot tidbit for you.
choi boy has taken messy eating to a whole new level. somehow, he manages to paint his face with whatever he's eating. it's quite classy. and he still hates getting his face wiped, so it makes clean up even harder. if only you could reason with an almost two year-old...if only.
here are some of his latest masterpieces:
just beautiful, no?

happy whatnot to you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

twenty-three months.

i have an irrational dislike of prime numbers. i think it's the nonconfrontational, everybody-let's-just-be-friends person in me that hates the fact that prime numbers cannot be divided up evenly. i told you, irrational!

so, since 23 is a prime number and does not lend its rigid self to my nice little lists, i will instead use twenty-three words to celebrate choi boy's twenty-third month.


to make it more fun?

i'm gonna do it in two haikus.

yeehaw! nerd alert!! ;)


choi boy:
he’s hilarious.
and always cracking me up
i’m crazy ‘bout him.

choi boy, my rockstar:
happy twenty-three months, bud.
what a joy you are!


listen, i didn't say they'd be *good* haikus.

as a refund for your time, here are two cute pictures of my twenty-three month-old babe:
next month, he'll be TWO! wowzers! how the heck did that happen?!

i am going to seriously savor the last month with my one year-old. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

wisc'd away!

*sorry, some of these pictures turned out extra large and a bit wonky...but my internet access is weird and spotty right now, so i can't quite fix it. please forgive me for the wacked out photos!

after some fun times in chicago, we headed off to wisconsin for a quick trip to my in-laws.

do you get the title of the post now? so clever, right?? i know, not really.

look at these cute cousins ready to roll on a mini road trip!

my mother-in-law is an amazing cook and had lunch waiting for us when we arrived.

the kiddos had an eating showdown.

pretty easy stuff when the main course is halmuhnee's famous korean fried chicken.
umma, have you tasted this goodness?! yes, sweetheart, i have. it's the stuff of champions, i tell you.

we had a visit from the hubs' little cousins who were absoultely over-the-moon about meeting their nephew for the first time.

and this little girl charmed us with her pre-bedtime smiles.
gah, i die. seriously!

the next morning, we headed over to the neighborhood playground for some early morning play.
molly was kind enough to lend choi boy a pair of her sunglasses since we left his at home. i think he's really rockin' the pink, no?

the kiddos ran around a bit...

but, mostly,
they just wanted to hang out.
i'm sorry, i couldn't help myself!

for lunch, we headed over to our favorite milwaukee joint...

can you tell the mommas were excited?!

after lunch, we tried for (yet another unsuccessful) photo shoot...
i love how halmuhnee is the only one looking at the camera. :)

so sweet!

we tried to see if being outside would make things better,
but it turns out,
inside or outside, trying to take pictures of more than one toddler is not an easy feat. ;)

we said our goodbyes to halmuhnee (and realized we never got any pictures with halahbuhjee!), and loaded everything and everyone up in the car.
and thankfully, the babes promptly fell asleep.

which was perfect because when we got back to chicago, uncle jake had the pool ready for a certain pair of sweet toddlers!