Saturday, June 30, 2012

Birthday Girl Celebration

Allie's party was celebrated Korean style, with the colors of the Korean flag.  We enjoyed a Korean meal of bulgogi, fried rice, kimchi, spring rolls, Spicy Korean Soup, and delicious Korean BBQ pulled pork.  It was delicious and so easy to make.  She loved being the center of attention!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2 going on 13...

I can't help but be sentimental on this day.  It still takes my breath away to think that two years ago on June 28, 2010 Allie Hee Young came into the world half a world away.  And now she's here with us celebrating her 2nd birthday.  Her birth mom is never far from our thoughts, but today especially she is in our minds and our hearts.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Finally.... a trophy

Sam has watched his big brother get trophies for baseball, soccer and basketball over the past couple of years.  He LOVES Ben's trophies, keeps them arranged by his bed and talks of the day when it'll finally be his turn.  This summer he played for the Milford Wizards, a fun t-ball camp that teaches baseball basics. He was SO PROUD to finally be the star of the show instead of being on the sidelines.  He was so hopeful for his first trophy... but this camp doesn't give away trophies (although they do give away awesome snacks, an incredible coach, slip-n-slide on the last day and TONS of fun!).  So we gave him a trophy from us for all his hard work.  I've never seen him so happy.  It was a big moment in my little man's life.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


                                  Happy Birthday to Grandma Toodie!!!

                    And Happy Birthday and Father's Day to Grandma Tim!!

                                  Hanging out at VBS.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Trip to the Ocean

Last week we took the kids for their first trip to the ocean.  To say that the boys were excited is an understatement.  We went to Virginia Beach and stayed at an AWESOME hotel right on the boardwalk and beach.  It's geared towards families, so there is a cool indoor pool/hot tub, and 3 outdoor pools with water slides, waterfalls, lazy rivers, etc.  There's also a kid's playroom where we could DROP THE BOYS OFF to play for a while (!) and also a kids movie theater on site.  Plus 3 restaurants, kids eat free, etc.  Not to mention it was right on the boardwalk and beach!!  Our room was on the first level, so we could walk out the backdoor of our room, cross the boardwalk and right onto the beach.  Made it so much easier with 3 little ones and beach gear.  The kids did great on the drive there.  The drive home we ended up doing at night and they slept most of the time, so my worries of a miserable car ride were for nothing.

The boys had the time of their lives.  They adored the ocean, waves, sand, pools.... they were so good and fun and we had the best time.  We swam, built castles, swam, buried daddy in the sand, swam, flew a kite on the beach, rented a family bike to explore the boardwalk (this was a workout!) and swam some more.  There were a few days where it was very windy and chilly and the last day the ocean was dangerous.  So we took full advantage of the pools and other fun activities at the hotel and made some great memories.  We were also close to a Navy base, so there were fighter jets flying over regularly.  An unexpected treat for my plane-obsessed boys!

The only downside was poor little Allie had a pretty rough time of it. She is a creature of habit and routine and she was totally out of her comfort zone being away from home.  She was petrified by the ocean and sand, as you can see in the pictures.  She was crabby and irritable, and didn't eat much which is unusual for her.  Luckily she napped and slept great, so that was our saving grace.  So also liked the pools and would swim for short periods of time before melting down again.  Jer and I alternated between playing with the boys and dealing with her.  We were "that" family in the restaurants with the screaming kid for many of our meals there.  Oh well, we'll never see those people again!  :)

I think she struggled in part because of her strong-willed personality and her age.  We definitely would not have attempted to take the boys on such a long, big trip when they were almost 2, so it was a lot to ask of her to keep up with them.  I also think she still carries some attachment fears; she would scream any time either Jer or I would walk away and ask to go home.  We just wonder what goes on in her little head after all she has been through.  Sometimes we forget that she spent her first year of her life away from us, and that has a lasting affect on who she is.  So we did our best to keep her world low key while we were there.  Boy was she GIDDY when we got home!

Despite Allie's struggles, we had a wonderful time and made some great memories.  However, the last day of the trip things went sour pretty quickly. Read my next post for details.  I swear I didn't make this up! 

                            hotel restaurant-right on the beach!

                            first time at the ocean!!!

a calm moment

sooooo tired, didn't make it through dinner

                               awesome outdoor pools

                                   a regular occurance over our hotel

she is always stylin'


view from our room

                             checkin' out the boardwalk in style

                             better Daddy than me

can we just go home yet??

hot tub!

                                   my fish

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This All Really Happened

Despite our best intentions, sometimes things are just ugly with 3 kids ages 6, 4 and almost 2.  Here's a sample of our morning on our last day of vacation.  These things all occured between 8am and noon.

-Allie had to be removed from the restaurant 3 times at breakfast for screaming tantrums.  All eyes were on us.

-Ben "squirted" diaherrea in bathroom all over floor, his clothes and toilet paper.  "I don't know how that happened!" he said.

-So windy out and waves were so dangerous that the boat trip we were going to take was cancelled and we couldn't go to the beach or swim outside.

-Found a cool park, but it was so windy we just about blew away.

-Broke rear hatch on van on day we need to load up to go home-can't open back door. I'm not joking.  We had to take out carseats and load from the front of the van.

-Allie has cried most of morning.  Literally one tantrum after another. Literally.

-Decide to treat kids to frozen yogurt before lunch; finally found long sought after  metered parking spot, paid meter and walked in hurricane-like weather to find that they weren't open.

-Both boys had to pee in the emergency "pee cup" in car and spilled entire cup of pee over daddy and van.  I'm not kidding.

-Upon arriving back at hotel, within 15 minutes, Sam spilled yogurt all over the couch and two cups of milk all over our hotel room.

-Sam is writhing in pain naked in front of the back door of hotel for all to see due to constipation.

-Allie's poopy diaper is unbearable in small space but no one wants to change her again.

Clearly we are all about bodily functions.  I feel terrible for whoever has to clean our room after we leave.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10th - Gotcha Day!

One year ago today, our sweet little girl joined our family forever.  After years of paperwork, waiting and worry, she was carried off  a plane and leaned into my arms for the first time.  It's a moment I'll never forget.  I had worried if I would know which baby of the group was mine; but when she was carried out, my eyes never even searched the crowd; they instantly met her as hers met mine.  She reached out her little arms to me and hasn't let go!  I still can't believe how lucky we are.  If you have ever felt a call to adopt, it is so, so worth it.

Click here to view Allie's Gotcha Day video!
A look back at Allie's Homecoming Video

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I love that my kids get to grow up with their cousins right around the corner from us.  Ben worships Ethan, and Sam and Izzy are more like twins than cousins.  Allie just wants to be with all of them.  Here they are at the start of the summer together:  Ben (6), Ethan (11), Allie (almost 2), Sam and Izzy (4).

To celebrate the last day of school, we did a kid switcheroo:  Ben spent the night with Ethan at his house, and Izzy stayed at our house with Sam.  It was a late night full of giggles and silliness!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kindergarten Graduate

I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my Ben is a first grader.  This time last year we weren't entirely sure that he was ready for kindergarten.  Would he be mature enough to handle it?  Boy are we glad we took a leap of faith because he had the most amazing first year of school.  Not only is he beginning to read, write, etc. but he has so come out of his shell and just blossomed.  The end of kindergarten brought fun days and excitment.  The day the bus dropped him off for the last time, he had a crowd waiting for him in the driveway to celebrate and start the summer off right!  I'm determined to make the most of every minute with him this summer before he heads off to school full time.  You hear it all the time, but they really do grow up way too fast.