Monday, May 31, 2010

Pool Party!

Sorry for my lack of blogging, it's been pretty busy having two kids that by the time night falls, and I have time to blog, I am too tired to do anything but sit on the couch and gel. Things are going good around our house. Kyle is settling in and has now been sleeping in his crib for over a week. It took time and patience but he now pretty much sleeps through the night and doesn't wake up after 1/2 of being put in his crib (I don't want to jinx myself so enough of that). Naps are a different story as he doesn't take them for very long, unless he falls asleep on me or in the car. I am able to transfer him easily to the couch or stroller where he will nap for a long time but the crib, forget it! I also took Kyle for his first haircut on Saturday (see first picture). I wanted him to have a faux hawk as I think they are so cute on little boys. I was worried that he didn't have enough hair and when the hairdresser pulled out the clippers, I started to panic that Kyle would end up with no hair but the style turned out pretty cute and he now looks like a little boy.

This past week, Kyle has also been diagnosed with an allergy to milk. Last Saturday, he started to break out in hives and they were pretty bad on Sunday. I took him to the pediatrician on Monday who ordered a blood test to check for all food allergies. It took a week and the poor guy was stuck on formula only, little did we know that the formula was causing the allergy which we ended up switching to a soy based one on Thursday and Friday, we found out that Kyle has the milk allergy which means no dairy at all. It's amazing what items they put dairy in these days and I now have to read ALL labels. Did you know that Ragu sauce contains cheese?! We did go to Whole Foods today and found a bunch of items that are made from soy, including cheese, pudding and yogurt so I am ecstatic about that. Kyle's happy that he can eat again. :) Kyle also has a very slight allergy to eggs. Wednesday, Kyle also went in for his 1st year check up and the doctor said that he is right on target which is great as all the well baby checks from Korea had him about a month behind in devolopment.

Finally, yesterday we went to my brother and sister-in-law's house to go swimming. Gracie loved playing with her cousin Kevin in the pool and Kyle dipped his toes in too. In a couple of weeks, we are having Kyle's DOL which is his first birthday so I am busy planning that now too. Our social worker is also coming this Thursday and we plan on taking the kid's to Disneyland this Wednesday so pictures of that coming soon!

Whew, I think I wrote enough so enjoy the pictures!

Kyle's first haircut, isn't he adorable?!

Gracie and Aunt Debbie

Kyle slept through the first half of the party, lol!

Gracie loves her cousin Kevin

With Grandma

We celebrated my sister and mother-in-law's birthdays early. This is the first cake I've decorated by myself since taking my classes a couple months ago.

Check out Kevin and Gracie

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to our special boy. Jerry made this video shortly after we came home. It's simply beautiful and will make you cry. We love you our precious boy and are so happy that our prayers were answered and we could be with you on this very special day. My heart aches for your birth mom as I know how much she wanted to keep you but circumstances would not allow for it. Prayers are for her on this day that she has peace and comfort and somehow knows that you are much loved. Prayers for your foster mom too as I know she is thinking of you too on this special day.

PS~ For some reason, the video cuts off so sorry for that. :)

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Friday, May 21, 2010


These last few days, actually nights have been very difficult. We are all still jet lagged and trying to get into a schedule/routine. Nighttime is the worse for Kyle and I am trying to figure out a way that's best for him to get a good night's rest. Kyle hates his crib, doesn't like the pack n play or his high chair, unless he is given a snack. He will tolerate the exersaucer but I think it's because his foster mom had one in Korea for him but he only likes to play in it for a short time. He is bonding to us as he cries when we leave the room and wants to be held all of the time which makes it difficult for getting things done around the house. I do have the Ergo and think I may have to strap him to my back so I can clean the house.

As I mentioned, the sleeping issues are the worst. I think Gracie is finally back to "normal" as she went to sleep last night and awoke around 5am and came into our room but the rest of us are still messed up. Kyle does fall asleep easily and I can transfer him to the crib but he will wake up about 30 to 45 minutes later, crying his head off. The first time he did this which was Tuesday night, I went in and got him, fed him the bottle but he did not want me to sit or lay down with him at all. All of us were up pretty much all night. Gracie who is trying to adjust too, started bawling her head off. We all finally fell asleep in mine and Jerry's bed until around 11am in the morning. Wednesday night was a little better with Kyle allowing us to sit down with him but he did not fall asleep again until about 3 hours later. Last night, I tried a new strategy of putting the pack n play in our room and putting him down in that. It worked for about 30 minutes but then Kyle started bawling. This time, it only took him 2 hours to fall asleep and he slept in our bed until 10am this morning. He stops crying the minute we pick him up and will lay on me or next to me without crying so that is a little baby step. Kyle is also teething big time so that is not helping with the sleeping as the poor guy is in pain.

For myself, I have been having insomnia at night. I think I am on edge, waiting for Kyle's cry so I can comfort him and I've also felt very guilty as it's been hard trying to balance my attention between two kids. I fell asleep for about 10 minutes last night and woke up in a panic. My whole body was shaking and I felt like I couldn't breathe. It was the typical panic attack and exhaustion. Jerry calmed me down and I was able to go back to sleep until 11am this morning. On a positive note, we are all fed, alive, and the laundry is done. :) Even though I have more bags than Samsonite as Jerry tells me, I know things will get better.

Kyle was in Jerry's lap and Gracie wanted in on the fun too

Gracie getting in some down time yesterday while Jerry took Kyle out for a bit

We ventured out to Costco and Target on Wednesday and Jerry took this cute picture of the kids in the double Costco cart

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Day Home

We made it home, yay! The plane flight was not my favorite. Not because of Kyle and Gracie. They were both champs as Gracie settled in to watch the shows on the monitor and then fell asleep and Kyle fell asleep during taking off, slept for three hours and then went back down before landing. Nope, it wasn't the kids, it was me. I do not and I mean do not like to fly. Even with my drugs, there was some pretty bad turbulance that had me grabbing Jerry's hand so hard, he lost feeling. After we finally landed, we waited until the plane was almost empty to get our tons of stuff and go. I think we had more stuff coming home then going! We finally made our way through immigration to where we were told that we had to go to the line for foreigners. We waited in line with all of our passport information and it was finally our turn. Gee, I almost felt like I was trying to get into the state of Arizona. :)

My good friend Karen and my dad were waiting for us at the airport. Karen had brought us dinner and has it organized where my friends are going to bring us dinners for a week or so which is awesome. After saying our goodbyes to Karen, we put Kyle in his car seat. His foster mom said he likes riding in the car but had never been in a car seat. I said a little prayer as Jerry buckled Kyle in and he did great on the ride home!!

Last night, I rocked Kyle to sleep and put him in his crib as I am transitioning him to sleep in it. He's always slept with his foster mom but we have a tiny house and our room is so small that we don't have space for a crib and when Jerry goes back to work, he wakes up super early and Kyle moves all over the place. Anyway, Kyle slept until around 12:50am and woke up crying. I gave him a bottle and rocked him but he was so uncomfortable that I finally moved to the office couch. Kyle did fall asleep around 3AM and I put him back in his crib until he slept until 7:40ish. I brought him in our bed where Gracie lay sleeping as she had a rough that had Jerry reading to her until 3am also! About 10am, I heard a loud thump and sat up fearing one of the kids had fallen out of bed. Not sure how possible as they were between us. Yes, it was the big kid, Jerry who had fallen out of the bed. See no room, that is why we don't co-sleep. :) The kids finally woke up super late this morning around 11 or 12ish.

Today, Kyle did great and Jerry took him to Grandma's house while Gracie and I went to get our dog Wrigley. Kyle was introduced to Wrigley and was unsure of him but started to warm up. I would be unsure too of an 80 pound black dog! .

Tomorrow is a new day and we'll see what it brings.

Getting ready to board our flight in Seoul

The kids fell sleep passed out on the way home from the airport.

The famous DO NOT OPEN brown envelope!

I have this same picture from 3 years ago when we brought Gracie home except they've remodeled since.

Three years ago with Gracie

Here we come!

Grandpa's first look at Kyle

We came home to this surprise, thanks Karen!!!

Playing today, Kyle loves books just like mommy

What's a post without Princess Gracie?!

Getting some sunshine

Monday, May 17, 2010

Leaving Soul

I had a whole long post carefully planned out but when it came time to type it, I am at a loss for words. We are leaving Seoul today and I feel the same way as when we left China. So grateful to this country to allow me the privilege of being called mommy again. Korea is beautiful and I don't know when we will be back again but I feel lucky that I was able to see the country of my child's birth. I hope that when Kyle looks at the pictures as he grows older, he is able to see how beautiful Korea truly is and love it just as much.

I love my children so much, more so than I ever thought could be possible and I have been waiting a very long time to say this. Gracie made us a family and Kyle completed it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Seoul Sights and Stuff

This is actually a combined post from yesterday and today. Things have been busy and last night I was exhausted, that I just didn't get the chance to post. After our busy day from Friday, we decided to just hang out and walk around the area by our hotel. We had met a very nice couple via our agency's message board who were getting their daughter the same day that we got Kyle and they invited us to spend the day with them. We went to a man made river that is in the middle of the city and walked around a bit. Afterwards, we decided to grab some lunch at a Chinese restaurant that we had found. I played it safe with chicken and rice which wasn't that bad. I know, I come all the way to Korea to eat Chinese food!!! Afterwards, we did a little bit of shopping on the way back to our hotel. Believe it or not, this was the first time that I had shopped the whole trip! I don't know if it's because I did tons of shopping in China but I didn't really see anything particular that caught my eye. We did end up getting Gracie a lantern for her room and Kyle a present for his 18th birthday as we had done the same for Gracie in China.

Today, I wanted to do something a little different. Seoul is different than China in that they are much more westernized. There are a lot of tall buildings here, just like in LA and I wanted to see older buildings. I did some research online and found The Korean Cultural Village. It's a village that has replicas of houses and things from long ago. Not one to shy away from going outside of our comfort zone, 40 minutes and $40 later (Jerry won't let me live that down), we arrived at the village which was in another province. It was really neat to walk around and see how they used to live in Korea. There was a beautiful river that ran through the village and they had pagoda type places where people could bring their lunch and eat. The village even had a small amusement area with rides which of course, Gracie loved.

On the Kyle front, he is doing awesome! He seems to really be bonding with both Jerry and I. Last night, he cried for about 5 minutes, I gave him his bottle and then he went down. He did cry out a little in his sleep but I patted his back and he quieted down. Tonight before bedtime, Gracie was playing with him and he was all giggles and having a blast. Jerry gave Kyle his bottle and put him down. He didn't fuss but wanted to play a little. He didn't cry at all and finally went to sleep. The poor guy does have some type of rash that has popped up on his legs, parts of his tummy and arms. We think it's a heat rash, possibly because it's been warm here and I am carrying him all around in the carrier. Hopefully it will go away quickly.

Tomorrow we are leaving so if you could keep us in your prayers for a safe journey home and an uneventful flight.

My two monkeys

Man-made river that was built to "beautify" Seoul

Gracie and her new friend J.

One of the sites we saw on our walk back to the hotel

Not sure what this was but it looked cool. We didn't see anything living, crawling or ready to sting you like we did on the streets in China.

Kyle has chub and rolls! It's so cute and I love it!

She isn't doing a chokehold here, just trying to keep him from moving while I take the picture.

A beautiful church on the way to the village

Love this photo! Didn't even know Jerry was taking it.

At the Folk Village in front of the beautiful river

They had these cool swings at the village that were super tall. You could actually stand on them and swing that way if you wanted to.

Gracie got the hang of the Korean way to take a picture. We asked why they put up their two fingers and were told it means victory.

Jerry's favorite place! When we went to NJ, he fell in love with their coffee and we don't have them in CA. Gracie would point out all the Dunkin Donuts when we walked or drove by them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lotte World!!!

Yesterday which was Friday, we decided to take the kids to a place called Lotte World. When I was doing my research on Korea, I saw that they had a couple of amusement parks and I chose this one because it's kid friendly and according to reviews, Korea's answer to Disneyland. Well, since we are season pass holders to Disneyland, how could I pass up a trip to the world's largest indoor amusement park in Korea?!

We went to the front desk to ask for directions via the subway as they told us that a taxi would take a very long time due to traffic jams. Here in Korea, there is a ton and I mean a ton of traffic no matter what time the day and we didn't want to sit in a cab that long. We had experience with the subway the day before so I felt okay taking it. Korea's subway system is pretty easy to navigate, once you are able to figure out where the handicap elevators are as we had the stroller and which way the signs were pointing for the trains. It's super nice too because in Korea, they have signs in Korean and then English. We only got lost a couple of times, not on the subway but trying to find where the next train was to take. Also, one thing that Jerry and I noticed is the subways are super clean, unlike New York (sorry).

We made it to Lotte World and bought our tickets. The tickets were normally 35,0000 won or $35 US dollars but for some reason , the girl gave us a discount, only charging Jerry and I $20 per ticket and no charge for Gracie. We thought that was really nice of her. The inside of the park was pretty neat. The first ride that we hit was the carousel ride which we all went on. Throughout the few hours we spent there, Kyle was really observant and didn't cry. He seemed to like it which is great since we go to Disneyland a lot. Jerry and I felt like we were really immersed in the Korean culture as we only saw maybe 1 or 2 other caucasian people at the park.

After we left Lotte World and came back to the hotel, we decided to give the kids a bath to which Kyle was not that thrilled with and then order pizza from Pizza Hut. Gotta tell you, the pizza tastes exactly the same as at home. An interesting tidbit, the pizza came with sweet pickles on the side. For some reason, Koreans like to serve sweet pickles with their meals.

After dinner, we put Gracie and Kyle down for an early bedtime. Kyle fell asleep pretty easily but after about two hours or so, he woke up and started to grieve. I had Jerry make Kyle a bottle but he did not want to take it. I just kept holding him and patting his back until he said mama which someone told me (thanks Jamey) means food in Korean so I gave Kyle the bottle. He cried for about 15 more minutes and kept calling out for his Omma (foster mom) until he fell back to sleep. Kyle did wake up a few times in the night but I just patted him and he went back to sleep. As I am typing this at 7:45am, Kyle is still sleeping.

All in all, I would say yesterday was a success. Kyle's personality is coming out more and more and he truly is a happy, calm baby. He is easy going and loves to observe things. We got lots of smiles out of him yesterday which was awesome! Gracie loves her brother and has been doing very well. She gets very concerned when Kyle cries and wants to know what's wrong with him. When she gets tired at night, she does get a little jealous and doesn't want her brother to touch her things but that's okay as a lot has been thrown at her. It's going to take time and small baby steps but we will get there. When I woke up this morning at 4am and saw my little boy sleeping next to me and my little girl sleeping at the foot of the bed, as Gracie likes to say, my heart smiled.

PS~ Jerry and I noticed a lot of people staring at us yesterday. It wasn't that bad when we had just Gracie but now that we have 2 kids and I am carrying Kyle, I guess we stand out more. It didn't bother me as people are just curious and I am used to it from having been in China. People have been very positive with us and say what beautiful children we have and I agree. :)

I couldn't resist these shirts and Gracie was very proud of hers.

Yes, we have to take pictures of funny shop names. We did the same thing in China. This was actually a candy shop.

First look at Lotte World

Poor Jerry had to take a self portrait

I love this picture!

Entertaining her brother

Welcome to Disneyland, I mean Lotte World

One of the wonderful smiles we got yesterday

Korea's version of Snow White. Never mind the fact that she is blonde, a mannequin and the dwarfs looked more like elves. Jerry and I were cracking up over this scene.

Another picture I love. Despite the fact that they are from different countries, it's just a bunch of kids having a blast!