Sunday, May 27, 2012

june photo-a-day!

hey, friends!

hope you are all enjoying your holiday weekend! we are all about relaxing and taking things nice and slow as we start our summer at casa choi...especially since i still have 3 weeks of school left 'til summer begins fo sho. ;)

if you've been playing along with our #dailymuse photo-a-day challenge, here is the june list!

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

each month, my friends and i come up with different topics that we'd like to see each other interpret and we get our insta-happy fingers a-snappin' away! even if you haven't played along in months past, please do join in -- the more the merrier! i'll be posting @choisrus if you'd like to follow along, and our hashtag will continue to be #dailymuse. i'm really looking forward to seeing more summer-y shots from everyone!

hope to see you around!

p.s. thank you so much for your sweet cheers and love surrounding our annoucement! we are excited to have you follow along!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

here we go again!

y'all. i totally lied.

i know i said i wasn't bringing choi boy back to the post office 'til he was 10.

but, i couldn't keep that promise.

really though, it was for a good reason!


 because inside that big envelope?

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
...was the application and all the materials needed to start our homestudy interviews for our second adoption!


 Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

after months of dragging out our application process (somehow, it is just a tad harder to find time to collect everything and write out all our essays while caring for a two year-old...;) ), everything has finally been sent out to our agency and we should be beginning our homestudy soon!


in the end, we decided that we will request a little girl. we went back and forth on this for a little while, but finally decided that it just felt right. the fact that we *could* choose was a little daunting at first, but as i said, in the end, a little girl just felt right for our little family.

of course, as with all things adoption, there are ups and downs and changes and unknowns, so, until we have our sweet baby in our arms, i think it's pretty safe to say nothing's really set in stone...;) (i winky face you now, but we'll see what the next 2 years brings! ha!) we don't really know how this adoption will compare with cb's, but we are prepared for timelines and other things to change throughout the process as we saw during our first adoption. but something tells me that though waiting the second time around will be just as hard, having a silly 2 year-old to love on will add a bit more sunshine through the wait!

as of now, if things roll out on schedule (hardy har har, right APs?!), we expect to have a referral by early 2013 (at the *very* earliest late 2012) and will likely bring home our second kiddo in early to mid 2014.


we say, homestudy, here we come!

and bring on the wait!

someone can't wait to be a big brother. :)

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

no, for real! he's excited. :) and for the record, this post office visit was not so fun either. there may or may not have been some bribing with a fruit snack going on while i was trying to snap these shots... oh, yeah, we're totally ready for two! haha! ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

album dropped!

so, remember when i joked that this picture would make a great album cover?


well, it turns out someone else thought so, too!

one of our former youth group students is in a band. and he's crazy talented. he'll be heading to NYU tisch to study music production once he graduates from high school. and not just any high school, mind you. the nation's *best* high school! no, seriously, the best. at least according to a semi-reputable publication called US news and world report. but enough bragging. ;)

anyway, he emailed me after he saw the rockstar post, telling me how his band was releasing their first album and that he thought a picture of choi boy shredding on his guitar would make an excellent cover for their debut!

i know!

we were so flattered and (after checking to make sure the lyrics were, um...appropriate to attach a two year-old's face to), we, of course, said yes!

want to see?

choi boy's debut rockstar appearance on panel of expert's debut album:



i cannot even express how much i love this.

for real.


Monday, May 21, 2012

take me out...

oh yes, to the ballgame!


we were able to score tickets to the last game of the battle of the beltways series and we were so excited to take choi boy to his first baseball game!

of course, cb didn't quite understand where we were going and was distracted by all the cool stuff outside the department of transportation building... Photobucket
"mommy, i driving a pirate ship!" :)

we were eventually able to pull cb away and head to the stadium where cb's good buddy, gabe and his mommy and daddy (*our* good buddies) were waiting for us.
the boys were rooting for opposite teams and took a minute to size up the competition.

in the end they decided it didn't really matter.

because there was very little watching of this: Photobucket

and that would be because there was a lot of this going on:
people watching...

and eating. we forgot to take snaps of the chili cheese dogs and cheese fries...;)

oh, and there was a lot of this, too: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
oh, did you think they were practicing running bases? or perhaps working on sliding into home?

more like sliding into appa!


and gabe's appa, too! Photobucket

and seriously, that's about all we did. ;)

in the end, the nats won (whohoo!), but we didn't manage to stay til the end...perhaps next time.

but you can bet we still had a blast! Photobucket

Thursday, May 17, 2012

small style: the cropped pant.

*disclaimer: most of these photos turned out very dark, so i fiddled around with the exposure and some vintage-y effects while editing them in order to make them semi-presentable. i'm not totally satsified with them, but they'll make do. on another note, if a photo-editing whiz would like to take pity on me and tell me what i can do to fix underexposed shots, i'd be so, so grateful. and on another note, i really need to learn to use my camera!

there has been a long standing debate about the appropriateness of cropped pants/capris on men.

no? you don't also have deep conversations about this subject?

yes, perhaps there are other things to talk about.


my little guy has an annoying problem. he's too skinny for 2T pants, but too tall (tall being a very relative term here) for 18-24mo pants (skinny people problems). so, when his (okay, my) favorite pair of jeans began to look like highwaters, i decided to roll them up and turn them into bonafide cropped pants. because i also decided that whether or not cropped pants are appropriate on men, when you're two, you can get away with anything.

see? voila!

add a fedora and a cardi and you've got an especially euro-chic little man.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket


and after you toss the hat to the side and then decide to take the cardi off, it also maks a really good whippy thing with which you can jump around.

Photobucket Photobucket

and even after you toss all accessories aside because you just want to be a normal little boy with a ball and not a silly hat or sweater, your cuteness ends up being the best accessory of all.


i can't even stand it...i just adore him to bits. ;)

 the details:
 hat: children's place
cardi: h&m
polo: gap (gift from my momma)
 jeans: gap (gift from my sister)
shoes: tiny toms (gift from my sister)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

scooty scoot scoot!

*anyone who can name the book where that expression comes from wins a million points!

way back in september, choi boy was gifted a brand new scooter for his 2nd birthday. we decided to hold off on opening it because he was still considerably under the 37" height requirement (at 35.5" he's still not quite there), and he already had a plethora of gifts to keep him busy.

last weekend brought us a gorgeous, sunshiny may saturday and we busted out that bad boy thinking cb would have a total blast scootin' around the hood on his red scooter.

how it actually went down was a little different than we had envisioned. 

and i'm pretty sure if cb was to narrate the event, it would go something like this...

not sure what this scooter thing is, but i'm really good at putting it together. appa is a pretty good assistant, too.

you stand on it? 
 Photobucket appa: buddy, you stand on it and use one foot to push off. 

like this?
 appa: yeah, like that! 

it's not really working. 
 i'll just pull it instead. 

appa: here, let me show you how it works. 


ohhhhh! okay, i get it now! 
let me try again!! 
come back now!

like this, right?? ;) 

 appa: hmmm. let me try it *with* you.

heh heh. awesome. a free ride!

'twas my plan allll along... 
(notice the pleased-as-punch grin)

i even roped mommy into it! sweet! 
why push yourself when you have people to do it for you??

next up, getting my people to push me around on a bike!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


i still have mixed feelings about mother's day.

just two short years ago, mother's day was bittersweet as i longed to hold my sweet choi boy, who was still in korea. and the year before that was filled with unknown as we prayed through beginning our adoption process. and the years before that? filled with heartache and feeling like an outsider, wanting so desperately to be an insider.

but today, and for the last 17 months, i have had the joy and privilege of being cb's mother. which is an incredible and remarkable thing to celebrate. and yet, i cannot help but think about this blessing without also remembering the loss of choi boy's birthmom and foster mom.

our family did have an amazing day today. i felt so loved and so grateful for the blessing of being a mother. but quietly, in my heart, i said a prayer for the mothers that came before me in sweet cb's life and thanked the Lord for their sacrifice and His plan that brought our family together.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App 
we went on a hike with my sister and parents and just soaked up the beauty around us and the love we had for each other.
and that's quite a lot of love.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App 

i adore my family.

 my parents, who taught me how to love and happen to be super cool. Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
{um. can you believe they are going to be 60 in less than 3 years? crazy!}

 my sister, who makes me laugh and laugh and gets me like no one else. Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
{she got me a sparkly new phone case as a mother's day gift because she knew i'd love it. (i did!) and we also had another bout of outfit ESP today. ;) }

and my amazing hubs who loves me and cares for me just the way i need it. Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
{he made sure the day was filled with some of my favorite things...a handmade card; some new summer clothes; rita's; and my two loves!}

and of course, choi boy...who came in to our lives, turned it upside down, and made us parents.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
i am so grateful to be his momma. his main squeeze. his secret keeper.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
thank You, Jesus, for my silly boy...and thank You for orchestrating all the people and processes along the way that brought him to our arms.

happy mother's day to all of you amazing mommas...
and for those that are in that place where i was just a few short years ago, hugs, blessings, and much love to you...
and for we think about this day, will you take a moment and read this? a lot of powerful truth and perspective right there.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

i swear, the post office is cursed.

about a year ago, i wrote this post about the joys of taking a toddler to the post office.

apparently, i didn't learn my lesson.

today, choi boy and i hit the post office to mail out some packages. i had planned to go before picking him up, but i had a meeting that ran late, and i couldn't hold off til tomorrow because i had to mail my mother-in-law's gift for mother's day, so i gritted my teeth and walked through those red and blue doors, cb in hand. (and by the way, it was one of *those* kinds of days...the morning started with a ticket. awe.some.)

oh. my. goodness.

today's P.O. visit was legendary.

epic, if you will.

in a very, very bad way.

first of all, none of the free priority mail boxes were big enough for two of the packages. so i had to go buy some of the boxes they sell at the post office. then i had to pay for them before i was done packing them because by then it was 4:58 and they were closing up the window. so i paid for the boxes (with the clerk repeatedly reminding me that she needed to clock out) with the intention of finishing packing the boxes and using the automated self-service machine.

and i did finish packing the boxes. while cb ran laps around the post office. while yelling, "no more monkeys jumping on the bed!" with his elastic waisted pants falling down. and carrying a bag of crackers/stuffing his face. the bag of crackers with which i attempted to bribe him into quiteness and stillness. (yeah, notsomuch).

the lobby was empty at this point, so i just let him run and yell. whatever.

i finished packing and taping (while cursing myelf for not buying boxes and putting the packages together at home) and coaxed cb over to the automated machine where there was now a girl mailing off her own package (while simultaneously texting, etc. not that i'm judging; had i been sans kiddo, i probably would have done the same!).

finally, it was our turn, and i was just about to pay for my first package when cb looked at me with a certain look and i just knew. i knew!

last time it was a bit of barf, and this time? yep. poop.

it's true. my "potty trained" little man is still not fully down with the number 2s. and without going into too much detail, i'll just say he needed to find a bathroom. to um, finish.

so, we scooped up all our packages and ran. i threw the packages back in the car, scooped up cb and ran next door to chipotle, and made a beeline for the bathroom, while whispering in cb's ear, "just hold it for a minute!!"

he did his business, and i cleaned everything up, but it wasn't pretty. and i exclaimed, "oh, cr@p!" a few times. and then i laughed because it was so literal and ridiculous. and then cb started chanting, "cr@p, cr@p, cr@p, cr@p!" and of course, when i asked him to stop, he just said it louder, marveling at the echo and the acoustics of the chipotle bathroom.

we finally got out of the bathroom (where we were greeted by a line of ladies waiting to use the restroom), and walked back outside where it had started to rain. and as we ran back to the car, getting wet and avoiding puddles, cb made up this little song, "i go poo poo! mommy go pee pee! ha ha ha!" and broke into a fit of giggles.

as i loaded him back into the car, i just laughed, too.

because at that point, if i didn't laugh, i would have cried thinking about the 40 minutes of ridiculousness that had just transpired.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

and the packages?

they never got sent. they're sitting in my car right now. and you better bet i'm sending them off with the hubs tomorrow morning for him to mail.

i don't think i'll be setting foot into a post office with cb again until he's 10.

remind that to me next time i forget, okay?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

to redshirt or not to redshirt.

hi there. it's me. talking about first world problems. actually, just talking about one particular first world problem that really annoys me. but, one that we have to deal with nonetheless. blech.

around these parts, if you have a boy who was born after june 30th or so, it is almost assumed that you hold him back and "redshirt" him during what would be his true kindergarten year. the actual cut-off for enrolling your child in school is september 30, but most parents have reservations about sending their young, newly-turned or almost 5 year-old boy to kindergarten.

it's not a phenomenon that is unique to our area. in fact, 60 minutes did a very interesting piece on this issue 2 months ago and i thought they did a pretty good job of representing both sides.

as a kindergarten teacher myself, i've always told parents that it is a decision that needs to be made on a case by case basis. that each child is unique with his own needs and own abilities that need to all be carefully considered before making a decision about whether to redshirt a potential kindergartner. i've seen many children on both sides of the coin that either succeeded and did quite well in all aspects of their learning (including social/behavioral) despite being the youngest in the class, and those that could have really benefited from another year of preschool prior to entering kindergarten. and now that kindergarten has really evolved from the days of juice and cookies and naptime to children learning to be young readers, writers, and mathematicians, this decision seems especially weighty.

and the fact that this decision is one that affects us personally is really annoying! choi boy's birthday is at the beginning of september, meaning he would be 4 years-old for the first week or so of kindergarten if we were to send him to school "on time." and though it seems crazy that this is running through my mind now, when he is not yet even 3 years-old, i can't help it because it will affect how many years of preschool he has and when we send him, etc.

i've always been of the mindset to send a child to school on time unless there are some glaring issues that have to do with maturity and nothing else. in fact, my sister and i both have birthdays that were past our district's cut-off of october 31 and my mom pushed to have us tested and admitted to school because she knew we were ready (and she was *that* mom ;) ), and we both did fine in school and with our friends and actually enjoyed being among the youngest in our grades. the hubs was also on the younger end of his class and did fine as well. or so he tells me...;)

but, i'm not a big fan of retention once kids start school, so i'd rather hold cb back from the start than have him retained once he starts school (should he need it), so it's a big decision to make that could potentially affect the rest of his educational life. i know i sound totally melodramatic and that's why i hate thinking about it! and it really is such a privileged people problem. it costs a lot of money to keep a child home for an extra year, whether you end up paying for an extra year of childcare or preschool or a combination of both, so it's a decision that is not feasible for many.

here's the bottom line: if cb continues on the trajectory that he is on now, i feel that developmentally and academically, he will be ready for kindergarten when he is supposed to enter. we will have to watch his social development and make sure that around the time is slated to enter kindergarten, he can sit and participate in class and interact with his peers as an average pre-kindergartner should. and if he's not, we'll work on those skills and make a final decision the spring or summer before.

however, we are not ones to worry about the fact that choi boy will likely be the smallest in his class (um, we're pretty sure if he continues on the trajectory he's on, he'll always be short!); or that he'll be playing sports against kids that will probably be lots bigger than him (but that won't stop my tiny athlete! and please reference muggsy bogues!)  or the fact that he'll be the last to get his driver's license; or that he'll be 17 when he starts college...for us it boils down solely to his readiness (academic and social) and maturity for kindergarten, not so much to giving him a leg up by having him be the oldest in his class were we to keep him back an extra year.

but, that's us. and i'm not sure there *is* a right or wrong answer.

what are your thoughts? especially fellow mommas and dads of summer birthday boys? i'd love to hear your take on this!

and you know what? regardless of how much i worry about this, i know that in the end, cb will be just fine with whatever we decide to do. (you know, in like 2 years or so!)

after all, he *is* part superhero.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Thursday, May 3, 2012

small style: rock on.

black jeans always remind me of classic 80s bands. like styx or journey. or say, jesse and the rippers. ;)

my sister got choi boy a pair of black skinnies and every time i put him in them, i can't help but picture him rockin' out. with some awesome feathered hair. i think his hair would feather quite well.

so, anyway. we had a little fun in the black skinnies. because, it turns out that black skinny jeans + electric guitar = insta-rocker.
cb might have been a little skeptical at first,

but the equation proved to be true.

in fact, once he got going, he totally lost himself in the music. Photobucket Photobucket

and what kind of rockstar doesn't also sing? Photobucket Photobucket
loudly, i might add. ;)

but, don't be fooled, this rockstar is still a little sweetie at heart. Photobucket Photobucket

but when he's ready to be a full time rocker, i'm pretty sure this'll make an awesome album cover: Photobucket

and here is the breakdown of his rocker wear:
black skinnies: gap (gift from my sister)
purple oxford: did too (gift from family friend)
suspenders: american apparel
sneakers: vans (gift from my cousin, liss)
tats: thomas the tank engine