Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Go to The Zoo!

When I was thinking about this post, all I could think about is the famous line from Jerry McGuire, "Let's go to the zoo, Jerry!"  Last Friday, we had our first date with Simon and his mom for a fun day at the Minnesota Zoo.  Ever since we got home, I couldn't wait for Simon and Nash to finally meet.  Obviously, I didn't expect them to squeal with delight once they finally saw each other (that is what I did), but it was so amazing to see both our boys together, finally.  We spent most of our time looking at the baby farm animals.  The boys had fun getting their fingers licked by the goats, while Desirae and I tried to capture ever moment on film.  As we were walking side by side, the boys sat in their strollers and gabbed back and forth in their own little secret baby language.  I pictured the conversation going something like this.

Nash- "hey, it's nice to finally see your mug, my mom spends a lot her day on her phone texting your mom."
Simon-"it's nice to meet you finally, too.  I met your mom in Korea and she was taking lots of pictures of me at Paris Baguette Cafe. It was quite distracting because all I wanted to do was eat my donut in peace."
Nash-"yes, she is always taking pictures and trying to get me to place nice with Butchy."
Simon-"Oh, I hear that all day too, be nice to Gretzky.  I have some snacks I'll share with you later."
Nash-"awesome, my mom forgot to bring water so I might need some of that, too.  Oh, and did I tell you that my mom locked me in the car at my daddy's softball game?  Rookie parents."
Simon-"oh, tough luck!  Did you get a treat after?"
Nash-"yep, a chocolate milk shake."

And now for the pictures!  Are they not the cutest together?  When they are 18, I'll post the then/now and it will be so fun to look back.

They didn't seem to mind the germs...that's all I could think about.

He looks, kissable!


Come on, lady! Enough with the photos.

Don't mind if I help myself!

Simon is an expert at sharing!  Good job, mom.

This was right before Nash almost squeezed the life out of the
little chic.  Lovely.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Potential Careers

Nash is very fond of our garden hose.  So much so, it got me thinking about potential careers in which he could use a hose of some sort, under each caption is a new potential career.  Although right now, I think he wants to make a career out of not taking a nap.  Ugh!
He could be a Firefighter.  Of course this one is obvious.

He could wash animals at the zoo or the circus. 

Or he could be a child model?  Yes, I know this has nothing to do with the hose,
but look at that face!  Hard to stay mad at him for too long.

He could clean up street chalk graffiti.
He was washing away my beautiful artwork I had created with our color chalk.

He could run his own landscaping business.
Daddy has him well on his way to sharpening those skills. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mine! A First of Many Lessons In Sharing

Dear Nash,

We know you love your toys.  We love that you love your toys.  It's so fun to watch you explore, pretend play and use every toy to it's fullest potential.  Here is a tough lesson for all of us.  You must learn to share.  Trust me, I didn't like to share my things with your auntie Erinn growing up.  So much so that she was forced to use them behind my back (I forgive you sis).  When your cousin Nolan came over for his first visit, you didn't let him ride on your car, play with your trucks or jump on your trampoline.  Since you are older than Nolan, you must lead by example and show him how to share.  In return, he promises to not droll over the toys, break them, or sneak them into his mommy's diaper bag to return home to Duluth.

I promise sharing can be fun.  See how often your daddy shares his french fries with mommy?  Actually wait, he hates to do that, bad example, but he does like to share other things.  We hope with every play date you can learn this a little more.  Today, when you were playing with Jane, she let you have your way but by the end it was really sweet to see you share the play cell phone.  You'll be the biggest hit at your school if you learn these lessons sooner than later.  Until then, we'll take our time and have lots of practice.  Next victim friend will be Simon.  Let's show him how far you've come!!!


Mommy and Daddy

First Meeting, First Cousins!

Nash's Taxi Cab

Nolan's Taxi Cab

Testing out Nash's favorite toy

I guess it's Nolan's favorite too!  This was hi-larious.  Nolan was pushing Nash away

Saturday, April 21, 2012

When I'm a mother...

When I was waiting to travel to bring Nash home, I had lots of time to think about all thing things I would and wouldn't do as a mother. Only a week in I've already broken many of the pre-parenting list of guidelines I was going to use. Nash continues to surprise me everyday with how well he is adjusting. Over this past week we have really bonded and I have to say we are both learning to trust each other. Attachment in adoption is a serious subject. We have taken classes and read many books on the subject. I really feel he has made great strides in attaching to the both of us. He seems really happy most of the time. With the meltdowns coming when he is either really tired, hungry or not getting his way. Things I feel are very typical for a toddler. For laughs, here are a few of the rules I've broken.
1. Nash will eat what we eat.! I have a picky eater and it's killing me. Honestly, this has been the most stressful part of our transition. He seems to only eat yogurt (by the gallon), peanut butter Cheerios (I blame this on daddy) and fruit ( which is good I know). Every meal everyday I feel like I prepare 16 different foods trying to get Nash to try some other foods.
2. I will not lick my finger and wipe his face. Just broke this one 5 seconds ago, sorry buddy!
3. Nash won't have sugar or rarely. ( see pic below for how long that lasted.)
4. Nash won't run around with dirty clothes. (see yogurt picture below). The first day I changed him 3 times, now a quick wipe of the shirt will have to do.
5. I won't neglect Butch. I think we've done pretty well with this one but the other day I totally forgot I left him outside for like 2 hours!
6. I'm going to keep toys in basement. Do I even NEED to tell you how long that lasted?????
Could this grandpa sweater be any more adorable?!
First bite of the famous Patty cake at YUM! Bakery.  Thank you Jenny, Charlie and Henry Harper!
We finally got Nash to start wearing a bib THANK GOODNESS!!  It's so messy.
Nash loves to try every single toy at the park.  He really has no fear.  Gulp.
Having a heart to heart with Butch.
Yep, more cake.  Hubby surprised me when he came home from work.  So sweet.   Best. Birthday.Ever

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Whatnot Wednesdays

Everyday it's a dilemma.  Do I shower or blog?  Today I'm going to blog.  Looking presentable is overrated anyways right?  Maybe my skin has liked the break from wearing make-up?  OMG, I don't even know what the spring "must haves" are.  I went from checking and the banana republic websites everyday to barely being able to return week old e-mails.  I'm having such a blast with Nash.  Everyday it just gets better and better but at the same time, I do already miss some of my old life.  I miss my friends, co-workers, going to the gym, talking to Bret about something other than poop and naps, and sitting down to eat.  I'm so blessed to have become a mother in a time where I was ready to give up a lot of my selfish ways.  I think it's ok to want to balance the two old world vs. my new world.  Slowly but surely I'll be able to enjoy all of those things again.  We are still staying close to home and not doing too much.  Until then we have DVR, take-out dinners and texting with my friends.  Bret is having a hard time being away at work. I can tell how much he misses him during the day....soon enough I'll be back and work and feeling the same way.  I'm really just going to soak up and enjoy every moment I have with my little buddy.  (I have to stop calling him that!  Sometimes I think he looks at me and thinks.. really mom, what is my name, Nash or buddy.)

Just a quick update on how Nash is doing.  Currently, he is obsessed with car rides and is sleeping alone in his little toddler bed.  I honestly was anticipating co-sleeping with him until he was 10 but he seems to love his room and likes his alone time (especially when he wakes up).  This morning, he just woke us up by walking into our room and snuggled with us and Butchy before we all got up.  Moments like that you want to relish and never forget.  My mom came to visit and we had a great time with Grandma!

Hi mom! 

Nap time

Monday, April 16, 2012

Was it a Dream?

I had a dream that Nash and I had the best day together. He wakes up happy as a clam, eats well, we have fun playing, learning and reading books, and goes down easy for a nap.  In this dream he begs to help with clean-up and the sweeping and gives Butchy hugs and kisses.  Throughout the day we continue to bond and he does not seem upset that daddy is gone to work.  He gives kisses, high fives and lets me snuggle with him.

Wait....this was not a dream this was our day!!!  Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better day with my sweet boy.  I was so over joyed and proud of him that when I was reading to him I started to cry out of sheer happiness.  (Yes, I've been doing that a lot lately).  Ok, so it's only 1:45 (he is napping) and they day is not over, but as you could sense by my last post, I was really nervous about Bret leaving for the day.  Bret managed to get out the door today before Nash woke up and I think it made the difference.  Maybe Nash is used to being alone all day with just mom?  Makes sense based on the environment in which he grew up.  OMG, the sun just came out!  What's next, will money fall from the sky and Brad and Angelina get married? Oh wait, that dream did come true.  Not the money part, the Brangelina wedding part.   

Best.Day.Ever (so far)

These are a few of my favorite things...

I really have so much to share about Nash that it's difficult to organize my thoughts for blog posts.  I thought I would present to you Nash's top ten favorite things.  It will be fun to look back and read this 6 months from now to see how much has changed.

1. Toy cars- he LOVES toy cars.  You probably already knew that from the previous pictures or the video I posted on Facebook.  Bret was getting so annoyed at the music the one played that he turned it off.  Of course, quickly Nash learned how to turn it back on.  Now, Bret and I find ourselves humming the super annoying tunes.  A special thank you to my brother Jeremy and his family for Nash's new cozy-coupe police car!  If he could he would sleep in it.
2. Butchy- he gets such a kick out of Butch the pug.  He follows him around and tries to give him hugs and grab at his ears.  Poor Butch, he has been such a great big-brother putting up with all the late nights and lack of attention.  Don't worry, his domain remains our bed.  Not like we are planning to sleep in it anytime soon.
3. Yogurt- he loves, loves, yogurt.  Funny story.  His current routine is to wake-up for a midnight snack, he grabs Bret's hand and finds his way to the refrigerator where he opens the door and takes out the container of strawberry yogurt.  We've also been forced to hide other eggs foods in his yogurt to get him to eat something else.  My mom suggested that maybe we should give him a snack before bed.  Hey, don't laugh people, we are new at this.
4. Stairs- this boy loves stairs, and he is very good at them.  If you've seen our house it's really a kids nightmare...hard to put up baby gates with all our different levels but funny how it all worked out.  We don't really even need baby gates.  He is very agile and walks up and down like a pro. 
5. Being outside- he adores running around in open areas in the fresh air.  Yesterday we had our first trip to the park and his first stroller ride.  Park = 3 hrs. nap!  Amazing.
6. Chores- yes, someday I'll look back at this and laugh my buns off.  He wants to mimic and do everything we do.  So lately that has consisted of putting things away, unpacking, laundry, cleaning, etc. 
7. Kids- We've been staying close to home but he has had a few interactions with Charlie and Henry Harper.  Thanks to Charlie and Henry, Nash now knows how to use his trampoline, shoot baskets and dance!  Foster mom had three teenage children and you can tell that Nash loved being around them and must find comfort in being around them.
8. His bottle- yes, at 21 months he still gets a bottle.  It's one of the things that comforts him when he gets upset.  I was so thankful that foster mom sent home some formula (although he was weened off) but the days where he was upset and not eating, I'm sure it reminded him of home.  Now, he is satisfied with a few ounces of milk before bed.  Plus selfishly, I get some snuggle time with my boy.  Pretty sure it eventually will be harder for me to give it up than him.
9.  Eating by himself.  He fully uses forks, spoons and real cups.  If we try to give him a sippy cup he wants nothing to do with it and takes off the lid.
10.  Daddy- I think I mentioned this before but he has really bonded with Bret.  When he is upset he cries for him and claps his hands for him.  I'm pretty certain he was very attached to foster dad.  The bonding has been going better with me the last day or so.  Bret can now leave the room and he won't always cry.  Monday, Bret goes back to work.  Let's be honest, I'm totally scared about this and pretty sure Nash will not be happy about this arrangement.  Gulp.

Yard work is fun!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nash is feeling the love....

How could he not?  I wanted to quick sent a HUGE thank you to all our family and friends who made our transition home a little easier.  After traveling close to 24 hours (and feeling quite home sick) the first faces we saw when we got off the plane were family and friends!  I couldn't believe all the people that came out to greet us.  Thank you to my parents, sissy, Bjorna, Tina, Jackie, Liza, Katie, Betsy, Fleisch, and Ramona for greeting us with tears, balloons and smiles!  It was hard to not be overwhelmed with emotion.  For so long, Nash was just a boy in a picture.  It was an unforgettable moment to see every one's face when they finally got the chance to see him in person!  Not only did most take off work to greet us, they brought gifts and filled our fridge with homemade goodies.  Another special thanks to Jenny and her family for making a huge grocery run and the indoor outdoor slide Nash has already put many miles on!

The transition for Nash has been tough.  He wears his heart on his sleeve (similar to his mama).  He seems most happy during the day when he can play with his toys and be distracted.  He is a very busy boy.  I'm amazed and his coordination and maturity.  He's like an adult trapped in a little persons body.  He mimics everything, is a master at climbing stairs, eating with utensils, drinking from real cups and pretend plays.  He is very strong willed, and at time seems so serious but also has a silly side.  He has the most adorable belly laugh that turns into full roll-over on the floor.  He is very social and LOVES kids.  Everyday we learn 50 new things about him.  His babbles a lot and calls Bret daddy in Korean.  We were told he is a good eater but I'm finding he is pretty picky.  I've tried to recreate the fried rice that foster mom would make for him but he is so smart, and knows its an impostor.  He smells everything before he eats it, which it completely hilarious and karma because I do that!  Here are some pictures because lets me honest, that is all anyone cares about!   Last night I think we might have turned a corner, I'll write more about that later!
This boy can fall asleep anywhere!

His head looks giant in this pic!!!  All brains, all brains.

This was taken by Liza at the airport!  Good thing nobody captured a picture of me..I was a crying mess.  Nash was loving all the attention from the beautiful ladies!

No time for the little kid swing.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Family Day! April 10, 2012

I'm super behind on updating the blog.  We are home safe and sound and getting used to being a family of 3 (well 4 with Butch).  I'll blog more later about what Nash is doing (mostly exploring our house and chasing around Butchy), but I wanted to start (document) about our Family Day (the day Nash was placed in our arms forever).   At 11:00 on April 10th, it was our last meeting with foster mom.  She brought her one daughter with to the meeting.  I was surprised to see that she had packed for us, many of Nash's most precious belongings.  She had put together photo albums throughout the 20 months we were not together, which were beautiful, and we also got his first birthday hanbok.  I was so excited about this particular gift.  The whole day I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I cried throughout much of the meeting.  Foster mom totally kept it together.  Once we left in the van Nash was quick to learn what was going on.  He was very upset, and continued to be upset for most of the rest of the day and night.  I when I say upset, I mean upset.  Our little guy was violently grieving for his foster family.  It was heartbreaking to listen to Nash cry for his Umma and Appa.  In the hotel he kept bringing to us his shoes and coat wanting to leave.  We are quickly realizing how smart our little guy is.  We all finally got some sleep and we were off to the airport.  Thankfully, Nash has totally bonded with Bret.  The report we got on him said he does prefer males to females but I mean, he LOVES BRET.  Pretty much wants nothing to do with me.  So, as long as Bret was holding him, feeding him, he was ok.  All things considered the 12 hour flight to Dallas went fine.  I was expecting the worst but overall, he did well.  He just played underneath our seats and slept a little.  The last leg of the trip from Dallas to Minneapolis he slept the entire time!  I want to blog a separate entry about our arrival home to our friends and family, which was the most amazing day.  Thank you to all your well wishes.  We are so blessed to be Nash's parents.  The real journey starts now and can't wait to share with all of you how special and loved this little guy is.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The American Tourists in Seoul

We have 3 full days to explore the sight, tastes, and sounds of Seoul. I'm grateful for this time. I'm trying to build all these memories so I can share stories with Nash of his beautiful birth country. I'm taking an obscene amount of photos but wanted to share some of my favorites. So far we have, toured the Demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, toured the National Folk museum, hit the Insa-dong markets for some shopping, Changdeokgung palace, and took a walking food tour with O'ngo Foods. The people here are beautiful and ridiculously fashionable! I'll do my best to dress Nash in accordance with the unwritten Korean dress code! After a few mishaps the subway subway figured it out and you can get to anywhere in the city. The city is very clean! This might be my last post until we arrive home. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and thoughts. I'm tearing up just thinking about all the emotions over this past week. Our journey is just beginning but I could not imagine how it could have started out any better or different. The city of Seoul and the people will always be close to our hearts. We are so blessed.



Look! You can see North Korea in the background!


Insa-dong Market

Food tour with Daniel and O'ngo Foods! It was amazing. Here we are having traditional Korean BBQ. At some back ally local spot we would have never found on our own.


I can't remember the name of this braised chicken dish but it was delish and spicy!

I could have this everyday! Korean berry drink. It was located on the menu under "healthy". I went with it, who cares about the scoop of ice cream.

Yep. Drank it all and did not share.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More pics of first meeting

I just had to dedicate more than one blog entry to our first meeting!!! Here are some additional photos. I'm so grateful that Grandma Sandy was with because she spent the hour capturing all the memories.

I used these finger puppets to try to break the ice. This was about 2 minutes into the meeting. If Nash could talk he would say " mom, these are lame". He quickly didn't think the we're fun and moved onto a bigger toy.

Did I mention he was obsessed with this car? Mom- can you run out to toys r us and get one?????