Sunday, February 27, 2011

justin who?

unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know who this guy is:

they even made a movie about him. which, i am not ashamed to admit, i want to see. and i'm pretty sure elizabeth would go with me. :)

he's so huge, the folks at my favorite show recently paid homage to the be!bs:

but let me tell you, movie and g1ee episode and all, justin b!eber's got nothin' on our little pop star.

he showed up the other day with his trusty bodyguard.

at first, he wasn't sure about making a public appearance.

but, eventually, he warmed up to the idea.

he even managed to get up,

and sing a little.
i'm pretty sure this is the end of the line, ", baby, baby, ohhhhh..."

of course, he decided to break it down and show off some dance moves, too.

but then he got tired.

and told the paparazzi he'd had enough for that day.

being a worldwide sensation is hard work!


Friday, February 25, 2011

the day we became parents. {and a winner!}

one year ago today, the hubs flew into my classroom after school gushing with excitement he could barely contain.

the only time the hubs comes into my classroom is when i beg him to he wants to read a story to my students on read across america day (it's next wednesday!) or if i've forgotten something at home and he very nicely drops it off. he never comes in unannounced, so when i saw him sitting and waiting for me after kiss and ride duty, i was startled.

and my socks were blown off when he said,

"babe, we got a match. we have a SON."

and (of course), i started to cry. and quite frankly, i don't think i've stopped since. ;)

we hadn't been expecting to receive a referral for another month or two, so when our program director called the hubs, he assumed she was calling to check up on us since our first social worker had recently left the agency and we were assigned a new one. so imagine his utter surprise and delight when she told him she had our referral! (random sidenote: she actually called me, first, but our classroom phones go straight to voicemail when receiving calls from outside numbers. because, you know, we're supposed to be focusing on those pesky children and all...haha)

the hubs told our program director he was driving over to my school and that he'd call back when we were together. i have no idea how in the world he was able to drive over without getting a speeding ticket or crashing into something. i would have been a wreck!

after hearing the initial news and then collecting myself as best as i could, we called our program director and she proceeded to tell us about our son. OUR SON!!! she told us about this five-and-a-half month-old's history and when he was born and told us how cute he was. and, in true adoptive parent form, all i could think was (altogether now, fellow APs), "just send me the PICTURES!!!"

we hung up and she sent us THE email. thank the good Lord for smartphones because we could pull up our little peanut's face right then and there. and we (okay, just i) cried again. of course!

do you want to see what we saw?

first we saw itty bitty newborn choi boy.
look at that grumpy old man face! ;)

then we saw our new son in the famous red chair.
look at those toes!!! now that i've gotten to know the many faces of choi boy, i'm convinced this picture was taken just after he woke up. this is his "i'm still out of it, give me a minute." face. ;) it's always accompanied by squishy sleepy cheeks -- my fave.

finally, we saw a close up of cb's face.
look at that hair! and that mouth!

looking at these photos made things seem so...*real*. my friend, christine, said something i found really profound on her son's referral-iversary. she said something like, it wasn't what you'd call love at first sight, but it was what made us feel like we were really parents. and that was so true for us, too. sure we thought he was cute, but more than anything, we felt like we were just starting to get to know the boy that became our son.

and you better believe we looked at those referral pictures a zillion and one times and memorized every inch of our little guy's face. and we did the same for every updated photo we received until choi boy was finally in our arms. and every time we looked at those pictures, the feeling of being parents became more real and our love for choi boy grew and grew and GREW. and now that he's home, that love grows deeper still every minute, and i often wonder when my heart will explode because of all the love i have for him.

even though it took nearly ten more months to actually meet our precious son, february 25 will always be the day we became parents.

and how blessed we are to be *his* parents.
dried up boogers and all...;)

and how lucky this person is to be chosen as the winner of the blog-iversary giveaway!


congratulations, kelly @ jon and kelly plus max!

i loved reading everyone's life many powerful truths! here's what kelly had to share:

Life lessons? I've learned about a thousand of them since I've become a mom - you can't control everything so just let it happen, ask for help, don't sweat the little things, and things DO happen for a reason you just don't realize that until much later :)

wise stuff, girlfriend.

your goodies will be off in the mail on monday, kelly

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

jumping on the bandwagon...

so, i got a new toy. it starts with an i and ends with a phone. and i have no idea how to use it. i mean *really* use it. like doing things other than snapping pics of the adorable cb. :)


my sister is one of those people that loves to read manuals from cover to cover and learn how a device really works and what it's capable of (sorry to call you out of the nerd closet, tiff...hee). me? not so much. i still haven't really figured out how to use all the functions on my dslr. and i've had it for four years.

care to help a girl out? do you know how to use an i*phone? i mean *really* use one? do you have any helpful tips or apps you love that you'd be willing to tell me about? i'd SO appreciate any help!

pretty please?

merci beaucoup, techie peeps!

and don't forget, it's your last chance to enter my blog-iversary giveaway!

Monday, February 21, 2011

best buds.

last summer, our friends, evan and stacey, had a huge yard sale as a fundraiser to support their adoption from ethiopia. seeing that it was yard sale to benefit someone's adoption, a local adoptive family made it a point to stop by. they got to talking with stacey, and soon the hubs and i were called over from manning our respective stations (i may or may not have been loitering around the bake sale part...) to meet this korean adoptive family. the family happened to be none other than sandra, mike and ben. it was a sweet chance meeting and the beginning of a friendship i am so grateful for. isn't it so neat the way God brings people into your life? love it!

sandra and i met several times before choi boy came home, along with another local and fantastic blog friend, christy. sandra was so supportive during the last leg of our wait to travel and it was so great to spend face time with someone who really "got" it and had been there, done that. we chatted excitedly about getting our boys together to play once choi boy came home. we just *knew* they were going to be great friends.

well, when the boys first met each other at the airport on cb's arrival day, they couldn't have been less interested in each other:
the mommas, on the other hand, were very excited to see each other. ;) in the boys' defense, one was totally jet lagged and the other was missing his nap time.

the next time they met, they were slightly more interested in each other, but not by much.

the third time, of course, was a charm! :) i don't have any pictures from that time, but ben kept trying to hold choi boy's hand and choi boy gave ben some spontaneous hugs. so sweet! the fourth time was even better. the boys followed each other around a local kids gym and kept running up to each other to show off newly found treasures. so cute!

last week, sandra and i took the boys to a local farm and it was just an explosion of cuteness from these two.

rather than ignoring each other, ben and choi boy were serious partners in crime at the farm. choi boy even excitedly called out, "beh! beh! beh!" (referring to ben, not to be confused with "beh" that also refers to big bird, fish, and bird.)

check them (and the conversations they were surely having) out...
cb: "hey, ben! come check this out!"

b: "what is it? wait, is that...? are those...?"

cb: "yup!"
cb and b: "sheep BUTTS!!! heh heh heh."

cb: "let's climb in for a closer look!"
momma in the background: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

thankfully, they moved on from the sheep butts and played a game of tag.
contrary to what this picture might depict, it was the slowest, wobbliest (and cutest) game of tag ever. ;)

really, this is more accurate picture:

then they moved on to some serious business...

b: "hey, yo, cb! wait up, dude!"

cb: "hey, ben, what's up?"
b: "uh, this is kinda awkward...but i gotta talk to you about it. i hear you're a little...girl crazy."

cb: "say what? naw, man, i'm just tryin' to enjoy my snack!"
b: "c'mon, dude. 'fess up. your momma says you're a flirt."
cb: "okay, so i like the ladies! big deal!"

b: "it IS a big deal! girls are evil! they play crazy mind games with you! you don't need 'em! remember? PALS before gals?"
cb: "i dunno...they're all just so...pretty."

b: "alright, dude, i'll make you a deal. you lay off the girls and spend more time with your boys and i'll get you some strawberries. i hear you dig 'em. lots. i can hook you up. i know a guy who grows 'em *this* big."
cb: "you serious??? alright, dude, you got it. i'll stop flirting with all the girls."

b: "k, dude. i'm gonna check up on you later. peace out."
cb: "thanks, man. you're the best. laters."

sadly, ben's pep talk didn't really work because choi boy was flirting with all the ladies in the check out line at c0stco this weekend. he just can't help himself. at least he's got a best bud like ben to keep him in check. ;) can't wait to see what these two will be up to next!

*disclaimer: i really do love little girls. adore them, actually. this is purely just these boys' opinions. ;)

**psst...if you haven't already, be sure to enter my blog-iversary giveaway!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

happy blog-iversary to me! {a giveaway}

one year ago today, i posted my first chois-r-us blog post. i was nervous about putting myself out there and sharing about our journey. i wasn't a blogging newbie, per se; back in the happy days of xanga, i blogged regularly, but it was a lot of blog fluff. this was different as we were really sharing honestly and inviting others to join us for this crazy ride through infertility and adoption

and join us you did!

i thought that this blog would be a place to keep our friends and family updated throughout our adoption process and document things for the sake of posterity. i thought i'd be writing more for myself and my own documentation purposes. never in my life did i think i would find such an amazing community of people who would support us, ugly cry with us, laugh with us and cheer us on through this journey.

i tell people all the time that were it not for the blogging community and the friends and family that have supported us by reading our blog, i would feel so much more alone in our struggle with infertility and so isolated and clueless about navigating through the adoption process and adoptive parenting in general. and that's not all...were it not for the blogging community, i'd be missing out on some pretty rad friends. ;)

so, thank you, friends. and i am sincerely sincere when i say that -- both the thank you part and the friends part. you've made this last year so much better. :)

as a teeny tiny thank you, i'm doing a small giveaway to celebrate my first blog-iversary. yay! i love giveaways!

i'll be giving away a package of three of my favorite things. these are things that i loved before i became a mom and now that i am mom, they are absolutely vital to my everyday normal functioning.

a travel size l'0ccitane shea butter hand cream. i'm SUPER paranoid about my hands getting dry and wrinkly and old-looking (i know, so shallow). i've always been diligent about moisturizing my hands and i adore this shea butter lotion, especially when i put it on before going to bed. now, with choi boy home, i find myself washing my hands all.the.time. -- hello, diaper changes! and hello, lots of baby cups, bottles, and booster trays that can't be thrown in the dishwasher! so, my hands are drier than ever and they soak up this yummy lotion. i can almost hear my dry skin slurping up this creamy goodness. ;) love it!

c.o. bigel0w lemon lip balm.
i'm obsessed with lip balm. it's a bit of an unhealthy addiction, actually. this lemon one has been my favorite for the last few years -- it tastes like lemon bars! and it gives just the right amount of lip hydration without being too sticky or gooey -- it's the best! and i've discovered that's also super helpful in healing busted fat lips that were the result of choi boy's head butting. ouch! and yum -- remember, it tastes like lemon bars! ;)

and 3.
a gift card to this place. before choi boy came home, i'd drink coffee on days when i really needed a pick-me-up. now, i *must* start every day with coffee...and i'm ashamed to admit that i drink obscene amounts of the stuff. it went from an occasional need here and there to a very necessary drug of choice. sad, but true. my favorite kind of coffee is from dd, but if you win and don't have one near you, i'll switch it out for a gift card to 'bucks. ;)

this giveaway is open to anyone and everyone -- no matter whether you've been with us on this ride since day one or stumbled upon this blog today. even if you know me in IRL, please do enter! :) it might not be a car or as cool as 0prah's favorite things ;), but it's my way of acknowledging the fact that this community totally rocks and that i'm super duper grateful for it.

to enter, leave a comment with a life lesson you've recently learned...because if blogging has taught me anything, it's this important life lesson -- friends can be found in the most unexpected places and often at just the right times. ;)

a winner will be announced next friday, february 25th, which is another very special anniversary that i can't wait to tell you all about! good luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

choi macdonald.

today is one of those unseasonably warm winter days that gets your hopes up and teases you with spring-like weather. you find yourself fantasizing about finally packing away those winter jackets and getting outside regularly, only to check the extended forcast and see that there is a possibility of snow on tuesday. but, regardless of how short-lived this warm weather break is, we fully plan to take advantage of the predicted highs in the 60s and 70s! in fact, choi boy is fast asleep right now after a morning out and about at the farm.

we are so lucky to have a working farm 15 minutes away -- it's funny because it is an old historic farm, but it's surrounded by large, new-ish housing developments. if you didn't know it was there, you'd be alarmed to find this farm suddenly pop up among these nice suburban neighborhoods. the farm is a part of the county's park authority, so it is a working and teaching farm with lots of wonderful activities and animals to see. the best part is that it's clean and FREE!

we headed over there this morning to meet our pals, sandra and ben. after weeks of meeting up at indoor locations, it was SO nice to get the boys outside where they could run and burn off some toddler energy.

i think my animal loving choi boy was surprised to see these farm animals up close and in the flesh, but once he got over his shock, he was delighted to run up and see what they were up to.

(warning: being outside for the first time in a while was *very* exciting and *many* pictures were taken!)

i love that both ben and cb are animal lovers. ben showed cb how to pet the sheep. choi boy, on the other hand, was giving the sheep the stink eye for munching on his blanket.

once choi boy got out of his stroller, he tried to copy ben but didn't get quite close enough.

how stinkin' cute is this?! there is an entire post coming later about these two it!

we moved on to see the cows,

and the goats,

and the turkey!

this is choi boy telling me "quack quack!" close, buddy. :)

there was also a peacock!

who, like many males, felt compelled to show off ;)

we saw a horse,

and when he came close to the fence, choi boy's eyes widened at how LARGE the guy was. he was happy to see the horse, but kept his distance.

a sweet cow came by,

and had a staring contest with ben. :)
choi boy was in the background proclaiming, "cah! moo! moo! cah! cah!" apparently, cows are *very* exciting.

we went over to the chicken coop where this guy was totally the big man on campus:

this gal came over and glared at us,

and then brought over her equally disapproving friend.
perhaps they know what my dad does for a living??

choi boy was totally unfazed.
he sat and stared back and muttered, "bok, bok" at the chickens.

the only animals choi boy was not excited to see were the pigs. maybe it's because they weren't very exciting and just did this the whole time:
(to all my RR/teacher friends -- when i saw this pig, i immediately started reciting the level 3 PM/rigby book "the lazy pig" in my head. isn't it sad that i know it by heart?)

after checking up on all the animals, we sat down at the picnic tables just as the sun came out and enjoyed our lunch.
no, really, we *enjoyed* it, though choi boy's face seems to be showing otherwise.

it is amazing what sunshine and fresh air and non-freezing temperatures can do for your spirit! so lovely. i'm off to get some rest so we can head outside again after choi boy wakes up. love it!

oh, and just because, here's my boy showing off some of his animal sounds. watch carefully for the pig sound! and notice how cb is totally indulging his annoying momma by making these sounds as he tries to play:

happy weekend!