Friday, September 25, 2009

Peek-A-Boo!

Our little Eliza is really letting her personality shine through more and more every day. I really keep waiting for this honeymoon to be over, but so far, the adjustment has been so much better than I ever imagined. The boys are so in love with their sister, and fight over who gets to play with her (as if they needed something else to fight over), and I think Miss Eliza very much likes being the center of attention.

We had her 12 month checkup this week, and her doctor said she looks very healthy, especially considering how small she started out. She is about the size and developmental stage of a typical 9-10 month old, which is just about right, since she was born 10 weeks early and only weighed 1.8 lbs. She is now 17.5 lbs, and 27 inches long. Although my back thinks she's a little heavier. ;)

It has been challenging for me to get back into the baby routine, since it's been 5 years since I've done it. I have no idea how I did it when the stairstep boys were so small. I guess I was younger then, and just used to it. But I am slowly getting my energy back, and Eliza and I have been exercising (ie: going for walks) everyday. Thank goodness for the beautiful weather.

Here are some pics for this week, as well as an adorable video of Eliza playing pee-a-boo with me.




Playin' with Grandma Barbara


On the porch swing with Phillip


GO CHIEFS! Cheering with Grandpa Ed!


Cuddles with Grandpa Wayne


PEEK-A-BOO!
video

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Eliza Inae!!

Yesterday, September 16th, we celebrated Eliza's 1st birthday. Since she has not even been home 2 weeks, it was a very small, informal celebration, but it was great.

I made bulgogi (korean bbq) and some other korean dishes. We had a small version of the tol table with rice cakes, orange candies, korean cookies and cupcakes. In Korean tradition, the child's first birthday is a very special celebration. The child is dressed in traditional korean clothing called a Hanbok, and during the birthday celebration, several items are placed in front of the child, each item being symbolic of the child's future. The first two items selected by the child are said to predict the kind of person the child will be as she grows up.The items are:

a book = the child will be a successful scholar
a spool of thread = the child will have a long life
a knife = the child will be a great cook
a jujube = the child will have many decendants
a ruler = the child will be good with his/her hands
money = the child will be wealthy

Eliza's beautiful Hanbok was given to her by her foster mother. It is quite big on her and should fit for several years. She was not too excited about having it on, so we just kept it on long enough for her to choose the jujube (many decendants) and the knife (great cook). Then we let her get comfortable again.

She enjoyed everyone singing happy birthday to her and she REALLY enjoyed her cupcake. At one point I had to lift her head up out of the cupcake, because she was so burried in it I was afraid she couldn't breathe.

We are so amazed each and every day by this precious gift God has granted us. We fall more in love with her every minute. She continues to show us more and more of her dazzling personality, which is so encouraging, because that means she is getting more comfortable with us. She is leaning in and giving her daddy kisses, and today, she looked me straight in they eyes and called me mama, then gave me a big hug. Blessed is the only word to describe how we are, completely and totally blessed.





Friday, September 11, 2009

Home One Week

It's hard to believe we have already been home with Eliza for a week. I would say the adjustment is going really well. She still much prefers to be held by me, but is starting to allow me to put her down, and has even let daddy carry her in her carrier a few times. I can tell she is going to be quite the handfull. She is starting to show off her crawling skills, which is more of an army crawl at home, since we have hard floors. I think it is just more comfy on her little knees to do the army crawl, but boy is she fast! And what do you suspect the first thing she crawls toward is...the stairs, of course.

I know we have yet to see her full personality, but she is so sweet. She is starting to let out little laughs, and I can't wait to hear her really let out a big belly laugh.

She LOVES to eat. She may be tiny now, but she is really workin' on catching up. She has liked everything we have given her so far. She especially enjoys Gerber Puffs.

She has been sleeping all night long in her crib for the past 3 nights. Not even waking for a bottle. I can't beleive how easily she adjusted to the time change. If only her mommy was adjusting so easily. The jet lag is kicking my butt. Ken is used to swithching his days and nights around for work, but my body is not at all ahppy about it. I think I am almost there though. I was able to get to sleep by midnight last night, which is much better than 3-4am. Thank goodness for afternoon naps!

Here are some pics of my beautiful, sweet, silly girl.





Saturday, September 5, 2009

We're Home!

Yesterday we flew home with our precious baby girl. She did incredibly good on the long 12 hour flight from Korea to Chicago then the 1 hour flight from Chicago to KCI. When she wasn't sleeping, she was smiling and playing. I think she maybe cried 30 minutes total the whole way home, and most of that was when I was changing her diaper, which she is not a fan of. We were welcomed at the airport by my mom and our boys who had a huge welcome home sign. Ian ditched sign holding duties and started running toward us as soon as we got off the plane. I am so happy to be home with my boys and my girl.

Eliza slept all night last night except for 2 bottle feedings, then she went right back to sleep. She is such a sweet girl. She prefers to be held by me right now, but we got her to play on the floor for a little while tonight with her brothers and daddy. We are all so in love. I still can't believe she's actually here. It feels like a dream.




Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seoul Day 7

Today we headed out walking from the hotel which is close to a lot of great sites. We walked to the newly built plaza at Gwanghwamun Gate. It is so beautiful with a very intricate flower garden and fountains. Then we went to Tapgol Park near Insadong. It is a fairly new park that desplays some very old Korean pieces. It was quite interesting.

After that we got back on the subway to head toward Holt. When we arrived, Eliza was already there and looking quite gorgeous. We went over some paperwork with the social worker, then it was time. Foster mom said her final goodbye to sweet Inae, whom she has raised since her release from the hospital 9 months ago. It was so hard to say goodbye. Foster mom tried to hold back but eventually shed a few tears. Eliza was so scared. She screamed and tried to pull away for most of the time we were on the subway back to the hotel until she cried herself to sleep. She woke up briefly when we got to our room, and cried some more. We tried to feed her, but she wanted nothing to do with it. I wrapped her in a soft blanket and layed with her on the bed and she dozed off again. She slept for 2.5 hours.

When she woke up she was in a much happier mood. We decided to go out for some dinner and since she was doing so well, we also went to Seoul Tower. By the end of the night, she was all smiles. Ken would say Anyungahsayoh to her, which means hello, and she would grin from ear to ear.

We then came back to the room and fed her some rice cereal, which she LOVES. Then I gave her a bath. We laid in be for about a hour with her just checking us our and touching our faces, then we all fell asleep.

We are getting ready to leave for the airport now for the long trip home. We can't wait to see everyone, and for everyone to meet our sweet Eliza.





Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Seoul Day 6

Today we met some new friends who are also here adopting their little boy. They just arrived in Korea last night, and we're staying at the same hotel. We both had appointments today at Holt, so we travelled together. We got to see Eliza again, and she was much, much happier today. She let us hold her right away. We went with her to her final medical checkup which was great, then they let us take her outside and go for a 30 min. walk with her. She loved riding in her carrier, and we got lots of smiles and laughes out of her before she fell asleep in mommy's arms. What a perfect day! She woke up when we got back to Holt, and she didn't even fuss at all for foster mom. She even showed off her crawling skills for us before we said goodbye.

After that we went to Pizza Hut for bulgogi(Korean BBQ beef) pizza on a special potato crust. It was very yummy. Then we went to Lotte Mart to get a few things for Eliza. Lotte Mart is MUCH less of a zoo on Wed. afternoon than Sun. afternoon. I had to snap some shots of Ken on the shopping cart escalator. I was also amused that they had 2 carts side-by-side with the same junk in them showing how their prices beat some other store's prices.

Oh, yeah, and today just happens to be our 14th wedding anniversary. What a perfect day! Did I say that already?



Happy girl loves her new rattle


It's also a very delicious treat.


Shhhh...the princess is sleeping.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Seoul Day 5


Today we slept until 5am. Much better than 2am! I got up and went up on the roof, well, not actually the roof, but the helicopter pad above the roof of our hotel. I got to watch the sun slowly light up the city as it rose behind the mountains. It was so beautiful! I also got a great view of the palace and the National Folk Museum from the top of the Somerset.





Then we were off the Namdaemun Market for some shopping. It is an open air market that goes forever. We found some Korean candy for the boys (I bet they are really excited for us to come home after reading that!), Some super comfy socks for my very sore feet, and a few toys for Eliza.


This rocket is just something we saw while walking around. I thought the boys would like it, because, well, it is a rocket.


I cannot believe I found a Salvation Army thrift store in South Korea! How awesome is that! I LOVE that place! I am such a thrift store addict, now I have thrift store shopped internationally! I'm so proud! Of course I had to buy something, for the experience, if nothing else. We found a few great things in there for some of the boys, but they are reading this, so I won't tell. I will say I got a great deal and I am so pleased with my bargain purchase.