I can not say enough good things about Yo Mama’s story time. Today they had a fruit tasting instead of a craft. Miss Vickie was great about talking about the fruits and convincing the kids to try a bite. Then when it was time to get their yogurt she encouraged fruit instead of all candy (you’ll notice Alex got one of every sweet topping and then added pineapple).
Month: April 2012
(Alex was adamant that Moose had to be on “his” pillow.)
Two buddies sharing a snack (or a picnic as Alex called it).
One of Alex’s favorite games on Saturday mornings.
Alex hasn’t outgrown his current car seat, but with Teague coming we’ll eventually need two. It seemed to make sense to get Alex a new car seat that can also be used as a booster (when he’s 4 and 40). Alex has been super excited and is still telling everyone we see (random people in the grocery store) that he has a new car seat with cup holders.
Daddy makes awesome bubble hats.
Alex spent 30 minutes looking out the window waiting for his “bathing sitter”.
It has taken 38.5 months but Alex has finally learned to climb out of his crib.
Dinner in a box.
Alex’s new car seat arrived today. He immediately wanted the box. I was trying to get everything in the house (and was evidently taking too long) so Alex got his saw and tried to open the box.
The rest of the night was spent in the box – playing, working, fixing, eating, and coloring. Oh yeah, hide-n-seek too.
We are dog-sitting for the week. I am learning a lot about “bigger” dogs (They are taller and therefore can get into more. They have a longer tail and knock things over). This one is skittish, stubborn, and quite smart. She has figured out how to open the gate on our fence. She also likes to play with Alex. When he’s on his knees she will come up behind him and continually use her nose to tickle him. Alex thinks it is great fun and obviously the dog likes it too.
This afternoon was the second soccer session outside. Amber and I sat in the grass and chatted while the boys played. Maybe someday Alex will have a long enough attention span to go more than 5 minutes between snacks or saying “I love you Mommy” (which is really sweet but his filler when he needs to say something or wants attention).
When we got Teague’s last update, we received a picture. Our last care package made it in time! (Excuse the funny cropping. I had to remove his foster mother from the picture.) The update included that he is now walking unassisted and saying Mama and Dada (or maybe the Korean equivalents?)
It’s time to send off the second care package. The only item not shown in the picture is a picture of Alex. I took one of him in his matching t-shirt and with his lovey. I’m not including a letter this time, but I’m assuming the picture will explain why the items are special. We included puffs, baby food pouches, an airplane t-shirt (like Alex’s), a long sleeve white shirt, frog pajamas, a robot lovey, coffee singles, Girl Scout cookies, a book, and a toy phone (that let me record a personal message).
Just hanging out on a Sunday morning.
Today’s big activites were Alex’s swim class and Crafternoon (hosted by Nicki). The YMCA has two options for 3 year old swim class. The child can be with the parent or without. I wasn’t sure which way would work best for Alex but all of the classes with a parent were full. I signed him up for the class without a parent and he did great. Wade and I were able to sit right inside the pool area and watch. I was amazed at the things Alex would do for the teacher that he has never done for me (floating on his back, etc.)
While Alex was napping I went to Nicki’s for Crafternoon. She had picked a craft involving a canvas, scrapbook paper, and a glue gun. I felt fairly confident I could actually do this one (with my limited artistic ability). I was even pleasantly surprised by how much I liked my finished product. Too bad I don’t have a place in my house to hang it.
The first swim lessons Mom doesn’t have to get in the pool too!
Today I turned 33. Alex understood it was my birthday and would randomly say, “Happy Birthday Mom” all day long. We didn’t really celebrate till after Wade got home from work. Then we went to dinner at Habanero’s before Alex opened all of my presents.
The boy loves his boxer shorts.
(Maybe he needs more than two pair.)
Alex, my wonderful sleeper, has started to have some trouble. The biggest issue is going to bed – whether for a nap or at bedtime. Five to ten minutes after you close his door he cries. When you open his door he has great reasons: “You forgot to turn on the fan” “I have to go potty” “Wipe my tears”, etc. The problem is it happens every time and sometimes requires numerous trips. I recently started a new policy. I’ll come in when he calls, but I take away a lovey (he has at least 20 in the bed). That worked a few times. Today he cried and I told him if I came in then I would take three loveys. He immediately yells back, “No. One Lovey”. I explained the new policy was three. He decided he didn’t need me to come upstairs.
When he loses an animal he has to “earn” it back by not crying the next time he’s put down.
Today’s tour club meeting was at the Wildlife in Need Center. We learned about the organization (they are awesome! and treat 2,000 to 3,000 wild animals a year) and got to meet some of their ambassadors (animals that can’t be released back into the wild). I was most impressed with the owl, but Alex loved the snakes. Asher and Alex even got to watch the snake eat his dinner (yuck!).
After nap we enjoyed the awesome weather. Sam, Abram, and Alex took turns bouncing between the parachute launcher and playing in the dirt.
Short story: While at the center this morning, Alex asked for a stuffed animal on the way out. The funds help the center so we picked out a hedgehog for Wade (one of his favorite animals). We talked about it the car and decided to name him. I suggested Amos and Alex countered with “Amos McGee”. It took me a few minutes to connect that with one of the books we love – “A Sick Day for Amos McGee“. We ended up meeting Wade for lunch and Alex would talk about nothing but the new lovey for Daddy. He even went so far as to tuck him into Daddy’s bed for a nap when we got home.
The parachute launcher is still a favorite activity. The boys love to try to catch it as it floats down.
I told the boys it was too cold to turn the hose on. Their solution was to use the squirt bottle to put water in the hose….
The highlight of the day was our trip to Yo Mama’s story time. The power was off when we got there, but quickly came back on. There weren’t many kids so the three little boys banded together and had a blast. They ended the time by running laps in around the middle candy station. We were the only ones in the shop so we just laughed and let them.
Alex couldn’t wait to get up this morning and try out the parachute launcher Wade built.
When Alex and I got downstairs this morning I realized we were going to celebrate my birthday a little early!! After breakfast and presents, Alex and Gam played (with Popoids – a childhood favorite) while the rest of us got ready for church.
The plan had always been to stay for church and lunch before starting the drive back to Milwaukee. As we were driving home from church I got a call from Wade cautioning me about the weather. He told me to take a look and consider staying another day. I evaluated it and decided to leave quickly in hopes of beating the storms. I was rushing Alex to change clothes and get packed. He was whining and crying and I was getting frustrated. Then he told me he had a hiccup. The next minute he threw up. I didn’t stop to think about it but changed his clothes and got us in the car.
In retrospect, it turns out Alex was sick. He ended up wearing four different outfits and going through three blankets on our drive home. He was actually in a pretty good mood considering and the storms ended up being the least of my worries.
Don’t let that happy face fool you. It was a rough trip home. Alex was sick and this was his fourth outfit.
We spent most of the morning in our PJs. Alex has loved playing with Wade’s old toys in Memphis and my old toys in Paducah. We couldn’t find the coins that belong with the cash register so Alex used his cars instead.
Alex likes helping Gram cook. This time they were making Oreo Cookie Dessert. We were talking and turned around to see Alex giving the ice cream layer a close inspection.
Feeding the ducks.
The minute we got to Gram’s house Alex wanted his diggers in the wood chips.
We had a yummy breakfast and then said our goodbyes to Granny and Pop:
The first thing Alex wanted to do in Paducah was take his diggers to the wood chips.
After taking a few pictures, I sat down on the bench in Mom’s garden with the camera in my hand. The bench was rotten and immediately collapsed. The camera fell and hit one of the flagstones in the flower bed. I quickly realized my lens wasn’t functioning properly. I called Wade and he said it would be best not to use the lens till he could look at it. In the meantime I have been wanting to experiment with instragram and here is a perfect chance.
The motorcycle that won’t die. We inherited this toy from Amber (she had inherited it from someone else). She was trying to get rid of it and conveniently left it at our house. We took it to Memphis on a trip and conveniently left it.
Nobody wants it, but nobody wants to throw it away.
Granny and Pop had a wonderful list of activities to keep Alex entertained. They started the morning by letting him plant a flower (a b-day gift for me) and water the plants.
Then we went to a truly amazing park at Shelby Farms – Woodland Discovery Playground. Alex played while I took Madison for a walk in the nearby dog park. Then we all settled under the trees for a picnic.
Alex and I had breakfast with B and then hit the road for Memphis. We got to Granny and Pop’s house just in time for lunch and a nap. Then it was off to a local park. We met up with some family friends, and another boy named Alex, and ran into a few other people we knew!
Alex was quite surprised to learn that the Easter bunny and left eggs (and gifts) hidden all over Granny and Pop’s house. He found one in every room and couldn’t wait for bath time to try out the shark and guppies.
Granny and Pop have the coolest parks.
Alex and I are spending the week visiting grandparents. We are starting at B’s house and then traveling to Memphis before coming back to Gram’s house. Today was all B’s. He took the day off work and was willing to do anything Alex wanted. Which of course meant Alex was in a weird mood and didn’t want to do anything (no visit to the quarry, no riding the pony). We spent the morning playing hide-n-seek (meaning you tell Alex where to hide and he does so) and then managed to get Alex in the pool for maybe 30 minutes. We still had a good day and did take a walk around to see the horses and B’s cars. (B keeps his “fun” cars in the garage under covers. Alex thinks they are taking a nap and we have to be quiet.)
Going to see the horses with B.
Alex and I made the long drive to Paducah this afternoon (8 hours).
We started after lunch and Alex immediately took a long nap. When he woke up we started a movie. By the time Alex asked to potty it had been at least 5 hours since we started. I told him I’d hurry and look for a gas station. He says, “I’ll try to hold it.” When I turned around I realized he was physically doing so.
(I have said “hold it” in the past to quickly realize he doesn’t get it at all.)
We started the morning by following the bunny trail (cotton balls) to Alex’s Easter basket. He had a great time opening eggs and playing with toys.
We also managed our Easter picture before rushing out the door to church:
Our church had their Easter potluck and then Alex, Madison, and I hopped in the car. We arrived in Paducah eight hours later. We were staying the night at B’s house and Alex always sleeps in his pack-n-play in the closet. He was adamant about sleeping in the big bed (a king size) so I told him we’d try it. This is what I found when I went up to join him a few hours later.
(Alex was super excited that I was cleaning and wanted to help.)
I’m going to try to explain why the wait to bring Teague home is so long (10-12 months). When we started the adoption process we were told the wait between referral and travel would be 4-6 months. After a year of waiting, they revised those numbers to 4-9 months. Then we started hearing all kinds of rumors/complaints/etc. The current wait ties into the Korean overall adoption plan to reduce international adoptions.
As a whole, the country would prefer to keep their children in Korea and promotes domestic adoption. Their overall plan is to slowly phase out international adoption. The way they do this is to reduce the number of exit permits (EP) granted each year (basically how many children are allowed to leave the country). When statistics are printed it shows that fewer children are being adopted internationally each year, but this number is not directly related to the number of children available for adoption (which has stayed fairly steady). As this number has decreased, a bottleneck has occurred of children matched with families and waiting for an EP. There are a set number of EPs granted for each adoption agency. When they have reached their quota then everyone else has to wait for the next year. Last year the issue came to a head. The number of EPs for our agency ran out in the early summer. This meant anyone matched with a child after March 2011 had to wait till the 2012 year. Those families are just now (in April) getting approved EPs.
The situation is not likely to change anytime soon. Earlier travel might be possible in some special circumstances – a special needs child (Teague qualifies because of ptosis), an older child (Teague qualifies because he is already 13 months), a foster family situation, or Korean heritage. Even knowing Teague has two of the above there is absolutely no guarantee that we won’t have to wait, but of course we are hoping!
This article is a pretty good explanation.