Monday, January 31, 2011

backyard sledding at Uncle Johnny's

I had forgotten how much fun sledding is.

Oh yeah, now I remember. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Nedy's vocabulary is hilarious.

When she hears a new word she's always quick to ask, "What dat word mean?", followed by intently listening to the response, a brief pause and eyes rolled up to the ceiling, as though she is literally moving it into a particular Rubbermaid bin in her brain for recollection at a later time. As a result, her three year old vocabulary includes such “big words” as: ingredients, exaggeration, immediately, and scandalous, to name a few.

What is amazing to us is that she not only holds words she has heard once in her bean, but manages to, almost without fail, use them in context correctly. It is hilariously enjoyable.
For instance. A couple weeks ago Nedy was sitting at Nana’s kitchen table with her 7 year old cousin, John John. Nana was also at the table, holding John John’s baby sister, Vivian, a darling gal of 7 months. Nana and Papa’s place is always really warm and Vivian’s face was flushed, prompting the removal of her tights.

Nedy: “Oooooh, dis is soooo scandawous!”

John John: “What’s that mean?”

Nedy: “It means…yike…twouble!”

John John: (looking at me) “Is she speaking Chinese?”

Nedy: “Noooooo, John John, it’s ENGISH."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Our international agency reported that Kamron's "legals" arrived today and were overnighted to our local agency. "Legals" are the legal documents proving a child's availability for adoption. Receipt of this paperwork allows us to file the formal request with USCIS (immigration) to bring him home. Moving right along...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

paperwork headed over the ocean

Got word from our agency today that our stack of referral acceptance paperwork was "perfect" and is already Korea-bound.

"Perfect" paperwork. Bliss. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

I know, I know...where are his pics?

Sadly, I cannot post pics of Kamron (his first name...but you'll have to wait to learn the rest!) on the blog because the agency requires password protection, which is not a particularly functional part of Blogger. Sigh. He's soooooo adorable. Really, you should see him.

Soooooo...if you know us and haven't seen his pics yet and would like to, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment here and I'll e-mail some of his scrumptiousness your way.

All of our referral acceptance paperwork is done, double-checked and ready to be overnighted to our agency. They will prepare our bundle of documents and forward it to Korea yet this week, and then the wait for travel begins. As of now, our agency reports that they are continuing to experience their longtime travel norm of 3-4 months following referral acceptance, so April or May in our case. C'moooooooon Spring!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

BIG news! :)

And I do mean BIG news!

In March we began the process of adopting a baby boy from South Korea. We have three, soon to be four, nephews from Korea and were excited about giving our son a "built in" network of Korean guys! At the time our paperwork made its way to Korea in June, we were told to expect a 4-6 month wait for referral. Being veterans of the long and winding road to China, we weren't quite ready to believe that a referral could come so fast...but they proved us wrong! Today, home with a sick Ned (more on that in a later post), I checked my phone at lunch time to see a missed call from our adoption agency. Trust me when I say that a missed call from an adoption agency is the source of immediate excitement/angst. So I tried calling back, as I had just missed their call by minutes. But turns out they were on the phone with Dan...telling him all about...OUR SON!

We have a baby boy, 6 months old and--are you ready for this?--a whopping 23 pounds! When I spoke with our agency, they were giggling about what a "Buddha Baby" he is. Ooooooh, I couldn't wait to see him! But Dan was at work and sick Ned needed a nap, so I put her in bed, took a shower (hey, I was home with a sick kid--who cares that it was 1:00pm?) and waited for Dan to come home. Last time when we got Ned's referral, I was at work and saw Nedy before Dan did. This time, I wanted all of us to see him together.

We got to our agency around 4:00 and sat down together to open the file and see his face for the first time. It is such a surreal moment, opening that folder. Like, "Hello, rest of my life." And when we opened that folder, I couldn't believe how sweet, adorable and BIG our baby is! He has such a gentle, calm look about him. Ooooh, he's just scrumptious. But you'll have to take my word for it for now, as our international agency does not allow photo posting on blogs. But I'll be calling them tomorrow to see just what I can get away with in that regard... ;)

What did Ned say about him? "He's a wiwwy big baby. Yike, I not sure how I fit him in my Ewgo to cawwy him awound." (Ergo is our baby carrier. Apparently Nedy's had delusions of grandeur about hauling "yitto brudder" around in it...kid cracks me up.) Dan made the mistake of making a joke at dinner about how "yitto brudder" is bigger than Nedy to which she promptly and indignantly replied, "He not dat big, Baba. He just a yitto bit big. Fow a baby."

Our agency confirmed that we are on track for travel to bring him home in 3-4 months, so looks like this family will be Seoul-bound in April or so! I told Nedy that we'd go to Korea to bring home baby when it gets warmer outside and winter is gone away, to which she replied, "Yitto brudder prolly be even bigger by den." Probably so, kiddo. Mama's arms better start working out. :)

More to come...stay tuned!

Monday, January 3, 2011

a visit with friends

In 2005, when starting the process of adopting from China, our agency told us we would be part of a "travel group", depending on what other families had paperwork ready for submission to China at the same time as us. Shortly after our paperwork was sent, we were given the information about other families in our group. We started e-mailing right away, and over the years of waiting, the closer we got, the more we e-mailed. By the time we were ready to travel, we had already personally met two of the three other families in our group and felt like we "knew" them.

And then we went to China and met our daughter while these other families met theirs. All at the same time. All in the same room. This isn't an experience many can relate to, but trust me when I say a unique--and strong--bond is formed under such a circumstance.

We're lucky in that two of the three families live in Minnesota; a relatively short (6 hours) drive. We've been up to see them twice since coming home from China. Since two families live close to each other, it makes sense that we would travel to see them. But a couple weeks ago I got an e-mail from one of the families that they wanted to come see us! In the words of Ned, "Dyno-miiiiiiiiite!"

Jill, Thomas, Li An and Kaitelin joined us for a couple days of fun Thursday until Saturday. We packed a lot of fun into those couple days, but I think we'd all agree that seeing the girls goof around and play together was tops on the list.

Thursday night, we went for a carriage ride downtown...only afterward did I find out Jill isn't particularly fond of horses. She's a good sport, this much I already knew. ;)
After the ride we came back home and had some take-out...
followed by what would be the first of many musical performances of the weekend.
After a late bedtime Thursday night, Ned woke me up Friday morning at her usual 6:45 and said, "Hey, Mama? You sink guests awake yet? I sink dey want to pway wit me and I should get up." And then she waited by the door for them for a bit, letting me know occasionally that "Dey moving awound down der!" until she was overjoyed by the opening of the door. "Dey up! My guests! My fwiends!" (Built in play buddies is a seriously cool thing, we decided. I'm not sure that Jill and Thomas are interested in taking up living in our playroom permanently, but the offer is there just in case.) :)
After breakfast and some play time, we stuck our head out the back door to see if my phone's report of 50 degree weather was actually right. It was. 50 and misty. (Much better than 35 and misty, right?) So we decided to head out to the zoo. The weather held pretty well and the zoo was sparsely attended, so getting up close to see the creatures behind the glass was a piece of cake.
The Peacock Whisperer at work...
Funny, Ned's been afraid of the lions for the longest...enter a couple buddies and the "well, if they can do it, I can, too" kicks in. Both the lion and lioness came right up to them and brushed against the glass while walking past.
After a stop at the grocery store, we headed back home. The gals got out the Play-doh...
and Thomas joined in. Thomas makes pigs in a variety of colors. Even when you ask him to make a panda, you get a panda-themed pig. It's really something.
Dan started cooking--fruit stuffed pork tenderloin--and we played while waiting for Holly, Pat and Zhi for our little New Year's dinner.
And the band is up one member with the arrival of Zhi. Do kids get any cuter? I don't think so.
Somehow we all managed to fit around the table for dinner. Pat made this fantastic potato dish--YUM. Good stuff.
Nothing revs up the band quite like a full tummy, apparently.
Happy 2011!
Saturday morning involved doctor visits...
and a reunion of the band, down one member, though this time with a distinctly Chinese twist...
You can't beat Milwaukee's Domes for energy depletion prior to a long car ride, so our visit ended there. And I finally got a family shot for my wall:
Mask-making out of fallen can't beat the Domes for entertainment value. :)
The CUTEST picture in the entire world. (Not biased or anything, but seriously, look at these cutie pies. Be still my beating heart.)
And this is what you get when you ask a random person to take a shot of all of you with "limited background--just us." Sigh. I guess we can't all have an eye, can we, Thomas? ;)
Thanks so much for coming, guys! We absolutely loved having you here. Come back soon!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Day

Nedy woke up Christmas morning, tapped me, and said in her loud whisper, "Mama, you sink Santa Cwaus come yast night?" After protesting a brief stop at the bathroom, she was on her way to the family room..."HE CAME! Mama, HE CAME!" Seriously, just look at her face. (And try not to look at mine. Note for next year: make-up application first.)
I quickly figured out that, for Nedy, it wasn't about what Santa brought for her but whether or not he actually came. Once she saw that he had indeed deemed her a "good girl", she said she "didn't wiwwy feew yike opening pwesents" and would rather "just pway." My guess is this is the last year that she won't care much about the stuff. :)

But I managed to convince her to open a few things. I mostly directed her opening to the things I wanted to play with. I'd been waiting a month to get my hands on that vintage View Master...
And check out these Lego letter tiles! Building words! Love it. (I know. I'm pathetic.)
And who doesn't need a child-sized accordion?
Lego hospital anyone?"Hey, Mama and Baba? Maybe I take your pick-chur? Yike, wit da wiwwy big camwa? I be wiwwy caweful and not dwop it? Okaaaaaaay?" (I think she might be developing a nice eye for composition--you think?)
Then Nana and Papa came over for lunch and afternoon fun. Our long-standing Christmas Day tradition is lunch followed by the Domes. (It's pretty fun being among the twelve people who are lame enough to go to the Domes on Christmas Day.)
"Bye-bye, puppy from Santa. You not go to da Domes because dey don't yet dogs in da Domes, okay?" (Nedy wanted a puppy for Christmas. She never told him exactly what kind of puppy she wanted. Santa is a thoughtful guy.)
THE DOMES! No matter how many times we go, Ned never grows tired of the Domes.
We unexpectedly ran into our friends Barb and Paul and their son, ZhengZheng in the Show Dome. Who knew that they were also among the twelve? Small world. :)
Awwwwww. Seriously, what else can I say?
Our annual Domes waterfall self-portrait.
After the Domes we headed over to the downtown M & I Bank lobby for a visit to their Enchanted Forest. The security guard had actually just closed the lobby and turned out the lights, but I guess we looked pathetic enough (perhaps he sensed we were among the twelve?) that he let us in and turned it back on. It is a bizarre collection of Steiff animals, some animated, placed in a woodland scene. Lions, penguins, giraffes, rabbits and squirrels all side by side in seeming harmony. It's...odd. And oddly enjoyable. But don't take my word for it: