Winners x 2

Today, I worked from home in the morning so I could go with Dave and Simon for Simon’s 2-year check up/first well baby check after his adoption. Remembering how awful Ezekiel’s first appointment was when we brought him home, and knowing that Simon has some potentially tough stuff in his health history, I went in with a little anxiety about what we would hear. Turns out there was nothing to worry about. Simon is 100% healthy, and 100% amazing with doctors and shots. Dave and I commented that we feel like we’ve won the lottery with both of our boys. With adoption there are so many unknowns. And we know there are still unknowns in our future, but our pediatrician was so reassuring, he calmed many of my anxieties. Plus, he’s pretty enamored with both of our boys; I can’t say enough good things about our pediatrician.

Size-wise, Simon has the potential to catch up to his brother someday. It’s not like he’s off the charts in growth or anything, but he’s at least ON the U.S. growth charts. He weighs 23.8 lbs, and is 33 inches tall today. He was so charming and compliant for the doctor today. As long as he had crackers to munch on. He may or may not have eaten half a container of sweet potato tortilla chips throughout the duration of his appointment today. During the shots, he laid still and calmly until those mean old immunization needles went in his chubby baby thighs. He cried and cried when they were done, and buried his head into my shoulder. The doctor came back in to give us back some paperwork we’d brought in, and found a sucker for Simon. He calmed down after getting some sugar in his mouth, and then gave the doctor a sweet smile. Our doctor said, “That’s my favorite way to end an appointment – with a big smile!”

Eze still takes forever to calm down after getting shots. I remember when he had to get blood drawn at the U of MN Adoption Clinic when we first came home. The ladies assured us they dealt with crying kids every day. By the end of that wrestling match, even they commented that Ezekiel was probably the loudest and most physical crier that they’d seen in their lab.

Meant To Be?

I typically get pretty skeptical when things in life feel like they’re going smoothly. When something feels like it’s meant to be. I wait for the other shoe to drop. For life to get hard again. Right now, life feels good, and I’m trying to accept the good for what it is, without fear of what the future holds. Today I had my first day at my new job. I know first days are typically the easy peasy day, with the real hard work coming down the line. But it felt so GOOD to be there today. So right. And the way I got this job was serendipitous.

On the Monday before we left for Korea, I was working away on getting how-to guides put together for my colleagues to use while I was out on maternity leave. My office phone rang, and it was a call coming in from the front desk. I never received outside calls when I worked there, so I assumed it was a wrong number or a solicitor. I answered the phone, and heard a man say, “You don’t know me, but I’m a recruiter for _____. I saw your profile on Linked.In through (my real-life friend) LB’s profile, and thought that your background in Kron.os, project management and hospital healthcare would be a perfect fit for a role I am trying to help fill at the hospital in Wac-town”. The same town Dave and I had lived in for six years, where we still have a rental, where many of our friends still live. We moved away from there just over two years ago.

I was about to tell him “thanks, but no thanks, I’m not looking for another job where I have to commute. I want a job in the town where I live” (I’ve never ever ever had a job in the same town where I lived), but something told me to give it a chance. I agreed to send him my resume (he was the go-between since he worked as a recruiter), which he then passed along to the hiring manager. They were impressed with what they saw and asked for an interview. I asked him to be completely honest with them and tell them I’d be in Korea the whole next week, and then planned to be out on maternity leave after that. They wanted to see me before I left for Korea.

On that Friday, I hugged my co-workers good-bye and left work to go meet the recruiter for coffee before I headed over for my interview. As I walked to my car, I wondered to myself if I’d be back in 8 weeks after my maternity leave, or if that was my last day of working at North.

The interview went well. Things seemed to click, and there were lots of smiles around the table. I felt good about it, but still was unsure about what they thought about me. Before I even got home from the interview, the recruiter was calling to tell me, “Great news! They LOVED you”. There were still e-mails that needed to be passed back and forth, and that happened while I was half a world away. Surreal. I got back, finished the pre-employment requirements and was officially offered the job. They even agreed to allow some flexibility for the first few weeks, since I’d planned to take an eight-week maternity leave with North.

I can’t help but think… if the recruiter had waited one more week to call the main number at North on a search for me, he wouldn’t have reached me, I’d have been on maternity leave already. If I wasn’t friends with LB (who also happens to be an adoptive mama with two Korean cuties – that is how we are connected and friends in real life, and on Linked.In). If if if… There are so many things that happened in my life years before this job interview that made it all fall into place. So tonight I choose to be thankful as I smile at the way God shows Himself in those quiet, powerful ways in my life.

My Loves

Dad and his boys.

Simon kept getting really close to Ezekiel’s face and whisper-babbling to him in Korean, then giggling. Oh my adorable.

After a couple of rough days to start off the weekend, the past two days have been really nice. Ezekiel had a short day Wednesday, then off Thursday and Friday (just like all kiddos in Minnesota). Yesterday, and especially today, we’ve really seen a happier and funnier side to Simon. It’s pretty awesome, seeing just how he fits perfectly as the 4th member of our family. We have two tiny comedians on our hands, at times. I’ve started reading “Siblings Without Rivalry” 🙂

Simon is still an all-time greatest fan of “Appa” (Daddy). While at times I wish it was me, I’m beyond glad that he loves his daddy so much. I start my new job tomorrow, and feel completely at peace knowing that Simon will be content being home with Dave. I am so excited about this new opportunity. I keep waiting for my heart to start pounding, to feel like maybe I made a mistake changing jobs, but I just keep feeling calm and happy. We’ll see what happens once the job actually starts, I guess! I think it helps that I’ve already been working in hospital healthcare for a year, and the place I’m working is in the small town where Dave and I lived for 6 years. I’m hoping I can get a good night of sleep tonight, despite this big change on the horizon.

The Apple Thief

Since we brought Simon home, I’ve been spending nights and naptimes resting in bed while Simon falls asleep on his little crib mattress in the corner of our room. Once he’s asleep, I usually get up and attempt to get something done around the house. Tonight, after about an hour of laying there, I decided to try and sit in the living room just outside of our bedroom. He was still awake and whimpered a little, but then got quiet. I got a couple of things done that I needed to do, checked on Eze and decided to go back in and lay down because I could tell Simon still wasn’t asleep. I came in the room and he was sitting up on his mattress, I could see his outline in the dark. I told him to lay down and go nigh nigh. He laid down in his spot and I laid on my bed (I hide under the covers and read. I feel like I’m 10 again, trying to read books after bedtime without my parents catching me (I was am a total geek)).

A few minutes later, I could still hear him rustling around, and heard sounds like he was sucking his finger or something. I finally decided to use the flashlight function on my phone, and shined it over toward where he was laying. He was holding an apple in his hand! I asked him to hand me the apple and he just stared at the light, sleepily. I finally pried the apple out of his hand, which he had partially eaten, and then he started crying. He calmed down after a few minutes and fell asleep.

My sister texted me after I wrote her about what happened and she asked if he had sneaked the apple to bed in his diaper.

The little stinker bottom, sleeping.

One Of Those Days…

This is a really long story about something that probably isn’t as dramatic as it felt in my sleep-deprived brain…

Yesterday was one of those days that I couldn’t have orchestrated any crazier if I tried.  Back up to Monday night, Dave and I were sitting on the couch after a rough evening of trying to get Mr Simon down to sleep. Gus was in the living room with us, after spending lots of time outside (we thought he was just enjoying the last of the nice weather we’ve been having lately). Suddenly Gus tooted loudly, he looked up at Dave when he exclaimed, “Gus!!” and then burped at Dave. I almost fell off the couch laughing.

The next morning, Gus wanted to go outside as soon as he woke up. He didn’t eat his breakfast, and just kept going outside. I thought that was odd, so as soon as it was light, I followed him to see what in the heck he was doing out there. He was over by our compost bin chomping on something. I scolded him and sent him inside. I called my Ali to complain about how tired I was, how little Simon slept the night before, and about Gus – these days he’s almost more work than the boys. Waking Simon up, barking like a maniac, and chewing stuffed animals. I thought that was as bad as it could get. I vowed that later in the day, I’d go out to my parents’ house to get the extra kennel we have for him.

We got off the phone, and I decided to take her advice and go outside with Simon. Gus came out with us, and I decided to walk back to the compost bin to see if there was anything else I could clean up to stop Gus from munching on it. As soon as we got around the corner, Gus spotted 2 squirrels. Suddenly, he sprinted after one of them, and got it in his mouth. I tried not to freak out and prayed it would get away from Gus. No such luck. Gus clamped his jaws down on it and ran into the neighbor’s backyard while shaking it. By this point, I was screaming at Gus to drop it. I finally got him away from it, and got him back into our house. I got Simon strapped in the Ergo and went back to the neighbor’s backyard to see the squirrel. At one point I looked up at their dining room window, and saw that a bunch of their retired friends were over having breakfast and visiting with them. Two ladies looked out at me with horrified looks on their faces. I waved and mouthed “Sorry!”

The squirrel was indeed dead, so I went back to the garage to find a shovel (if only it had happened in our backyard, I would have saved it for when Dave got home!). I tried getting up the courage to scoop up the squirrel with the shovel, but kept freaking out. I can’t imagine what the party inside my neighbors’ house thought of me. Finally, I went back to the garage and got a long pole. I poked it a few times and it didn’t move, so I tried again with the shovel. The darn thing kept rolling away. So so so gross. I finally propped it against something else and got it scooped up.

I tried to think of what to dump it in, because the garbage bin was empty. I didn’t want the thing in the bottom of the bin. So I tried to prop open a garbage bag to dump it into. Of course, it kept rolling off the shovel onto the driveway. I thought about just leaving it there, but the mail lady hadn’t come yet. I didn’t want a dead squirrel sitting in the driveway when she delivered the mail. That seems ominous. I came up with a great plan to prop the large plastic bag inside the garbage bin, and lifted the squirrel to drop it in. It promptly fell out of the bag, into the bottom of the bin. I shut the lid, and decided I was done with it.

I can laugh about it today, now that I had a better night of sleep. Poor Dave tried his hardest not to laugh and failed when I called to tell him about it yesterday. Today has been a better day (knock on wood), and Eze is off the rest of this week for a Minnesota-wide school break. It should be interesting having both boys to myself on Thursday and Friday! Monday I start a new job, so life will get even more challenging again, I’m sure.

When Gus was still only on strike 2, not strike 77.

Edited to add: I went outside yesterday afternoon to apologize to my neighbors for the mayhem. They are not dog people, but they just laughed it off. Then I felt Eze tug on my pant leg. I looked down, and Gus had pooped on the property line. *sigh*

two

Today, my baby turned two! It was a pretty rough day. Simon seems to have gotten the memo on how two-year olds are supposed to act. He met more of his aunties, uncles and cousins today, and was not loving life today. By the evening, though, when it was just the four of us again, we got more of his “face split in two” smiles and laughs. He absolutely loved us singing “Happy Birthday” to him, and blowing out the candles on his cake. I said a couple of prayers for his birth family and foster family today, as we know that they are thinking of him a lot today too. And as I’m typing this out, I’m looking at a gift we had put up for him to open from his foster mom on his birthday. Still wrapped. Oopsie. We’ll celebrate belatedly tomorrow, I guess!

Today, Ezekiel did an okay job, but has been struggling with this whole “sibling thing”. Poor guy. I’m trying to remember to give him lots of grace, as it’s a whole new way of life for all of us. At one point, while playing with Dave’s niece, Ezekiel came over to me and said, “Mom, I really wish that you had adopted Simon first, and me second”. I told him that I am so glad that he was my first baby, but he told me again that he wished he had been adopted second. I’m so glad he can use his words to tell us how he is feeling sometimes. He did help buy his brother a birthday present, and was very excited to help him open it 🙂

4!

Our family of 4!

We are so happy to be home and settling into life as a family of 4!

After we got Simon, he gave us about a 2-hour honeymoon period. Then came the temper, and the grieving and the saddest cries that could come out of a tiny little body. I slept with him while we were on our trip. First on the couch cushions that we laid on the floor in the living room of our hotel room, then later on the bed. He slept pretty well, every once in a while touching me to make sure I was still there. The first night, he sat up and stared at me for about 5 minutes. It was kinda creepy 🙂 During nap time, we had put up the Do Not Disturb sign, so housekeeping *kindly* called us to see if we really meant for them to not disturb us. Simon woke up screaming when the phone rang. Grr.

We met up with my dad’s cousin and his wife one more time the day before we flew out so that they could meet Simon. They got us some lunch, and we enjoyed spending some more time chatting with them before it was time to head out. I can’t even begin to describe how helpful their advice was for us. I said a prayer of thanks for them this morning

Our flight home was loooooooong. Even without a kid, it’s not fun to fly for that long. With a toddler, it’s even less fun. Thankfully the flight attendants on Korean Air are just about the most gracious and friendly crew you could have. They didn’t mind Simon running up and down the aisles for an hour at a time. They smiled and clicked their tongues at Simon to try and get him to calm down during his (multiple) screaming fits. They laughed and invited him back when he ran into their break room where they were eating their meals. We were supposed to have bulkhead seating with a bassinette. Instead, we were seated in the window and middle seat with an older gentleman on the aisle seat. Poor guy had to keep getting up for us. He was incredibly kind though, and kept assuring us that it was okay every time we apologized. The crew gave him a pair of ear plugs and an eye mask. I think that helped!

We landed in DFW for our layover. We were supposed to have a 4-hour layover, but that got taken down to 3 hours when our flight took longer than anticipated and landed an hour late. We queued up in line for immigration and customs, and waited patiently. Simon did really well waiting in the Ergo on my back. Another little boy, who’s parents looked like they had just about had it, got away from them and ran through the customs line, and got all the way through almost to the baggage claim. The poor parents got a very stern lecture from one of the officials in front of all of us.

We got up to the official, and he did what he needed to do for Dave and me. When he got to Simon’s paperwork, I was expecting him to just stamp his passport and welcome us back to the US (like what happened with Eze when we flew into MSP from the Philippines). Instead, he brought us to a small room where there was a line up of people waiting. We sat in the little play area and waited. And waited. And waited. At one point, we asked how much longer we’d be waiting, as we had a flight to catch. They told us if we missed our flight, we’d just be put on the next one out. *Super helpful* (** = sarcasm). We finally made it through with about a half hour until we needed to board. We ran as fast as we could to get our luggage, re-check it, ride the train to the correct terminal, get through security (where I got patted down each time, thanks to needing to carry a diaper bag with baby snacks and liquids in it for Simon), and get to our gate. I was starving, and thankfully we got there with 15 minutes to spare, so Dave grabbed some good old McD’s. Simon’s first taste of US french fries!

We got through the DFW to MSP flight with Simon finally falling asleep for the last half hour of the flight. As we de-planed and headed to the baggage claim, he didn’t wake up at all. Poor baby was so wiped out. I carried him, while Dave pushed all of our carry-on stuff in a push cart. I was sobbing the whole way there, so grateful to be back in Minnesota, and just moments away from seeing Ezekiel. Poor Dave was so excited he was practically running, but had to keep slowing down and waiting for me, I was having such a hard time breathing between carrying a sleeping Simon and crying my eyes out 🙂

We came down to the baggage area in an elevator, and I was so glad it was glassed-in. Seeing Ezekiel’s face when he finally saw us coming down the elevator was priceless. He was filled with even more joy and happiness than he normally is! Simon had a tough time waking up, but when he finally did, he was all grins for his big brother. He absolutely adores Ezekiel, and followed him around everywhere he went at the airport. Ezekiel then proceeded to talk non-stop the whole hour drive home.

We’ve had our tough times, some funny times, and some very beautiful times as we’ve begun to learn how to be a family of 4 this week. I feel like such a lucky mama to have two gorgeous and full-of-life little boys, and the best husband/ baby-daddy in the world.

SIMON!!!

The day finally came and we are holding Simon in our arms!!! He is SO smart, nothing gets past him and he has tons and tons of words to say. I just wish I understood any of them! And he is SO stubborn. It didn’t think it was possible for a kid to be more stubborn than Ezekiel, but this one could give his Gran Alice a run for her money. He is so handsome, and adorable. His laugh is incredible, we love the times we’ve heard it since we met him. OH! And he bows every time he meets someone new. It’s so so so stinkin’ adorable!

Our meeting wasn’t until 3 pm, Seoul time, so we had the morning to be nervous. We ate a good breakfast, and then wandered around the city for a little while. We walked over to the palace that we went to the other day, and on the way back we got to see the Changing of the Guard at another palace nearby. So cool. We also found some Nutella Belgian Waffles near that palace. Nom nom.

We headed back to the hotel around lunchtime and packed up our adoption day gifts we’d bought for Simon, and tidied up, knowing that when we came back, we’d have a curious toddler with us. Time moved like molasses, but finally it was time to leave for Holt. We took a cab and got there 30 minutes early. We sat and waited for DJ in a waiting room, and listened for every little peep, wondering if it was Simon we were hearing.

DJ, the social worker, came to get us, and we gave her our gifts. She was very gracious, and easy to talk to. She informed us before we walked in to meet Simon and his foster mom that this was foster mom’s last baby. She was retiring after Simon, so she was feeling very emotional. I started tearing up right then and there.

We walked into the room, and Simon gave us a big grin nearly right away. I walked over and gave the foster mom a hug, and sat on the floor to play with Simon. Dave took over asking questions while I played with Simon, and half-listened to the answers. I am so thankful Dave was writing everything down. The foster mom told us right in the beginning that she thought Dave was very handsome. Then she giggled and blushed. We all laughed and I told her that I think he’s handsome too!!

At one point, the foster mom said something, and then started singing “Gangnam Style” by Psy, and Simon broke out into dancing. I laughed so hard. He totally hams it up, and loves to get people going. Kinda like a big brother I know named Ezekiel! He knew something was up at the meeting, and would play with me some, but then push me away when I got too close. The foster mom would call him over, shower him with hugs and kisses while he pushed at her, and she would murmur words to him and cry. She tried so hard to keep it together, but it was just such an emotional day.

Once we were done asking our questions, we headed downstairs for Simon to have his last physical exam before we fly out. Down there, we met the foster mom’s son and her sister. Simon ran to them excitedly as soon as he saw them. It was beautiful to watch. The foster mom gave us back the hat we had sent over in a care package, and her son put it on Simon sideways. We could tell he must have worn that hat a lot; he knew exactly how he liked to wear it! And he wore it for the whole drive back to the hotel.

The foster mom tried, but just couldn’t walk us out to the taxi. She was sobbing by this time, and her sister was hugging her. It still makes me cry to remember that. Her son came running as we were getting on the elevator and handed us two bags we had forgotten. I told him thank you, and hope he understood that we were thanking him and his mom and their whole family for far more than just bringing us the bags. They did such a wonderful job loving our son while we were half a world away.

We got to the taxi, and DJ told us she would be praying for us. I assured her we would be praying for them and all of the babies too. We got in the cab and drove away to the hotel. I sang to Simon for a bit during the ride, and said the few Korean words I knew to tell him I loved him, and that he is a good boy, and that it would be ok. Every time he heard me speak a Korean word, he would make a small squeak, like, “Hmm?” It was really cute.

We pulled up at the hotel, and as we got out of the cab, another family who had adopted their kiddos a few years back were also pulling up to the hotel. They were so excited to see us, and I was excited to meet them, as Dave had met them earlier that morning. They snapped a few pictures of us, and gave us some advice. We spent the rest of the evening cocooned up in our hotel room.

For the most part, Simon really likes playing with us, and to make us laugh. There was a mix yesterday of some regular toddler tantrums, and also some deep grieving. He’s so smart; he knows his life is changing drastically. We got to Skype with Ezekiel right before bed last night, and Ezekiel’s face totally lit up when he saw Simon in my arms! By that time, Simon was exhausted and having none of our smiles and laughing. He was stoic and silent for the first part of our call, and then just started crying. I walked him around a little bit while Dave kept talking to Eze and my mom. Within a couple of minutes, Simon was asleep. We finished up our conversation with Eze, and then laid Simon down.

Poor baby does not like the jammies I brought. I thought I had brought 2 different sizes, but I only brought 3 pajamas all in the same size. His toes are a bit pinched, so today we’ll need to shop for some jams before we head out tomorrow! During the night, he woke up around 9:30, and cried hard for about a half hour when he saw us instead of foster mom. He fell back to sleep, and then around 4 am, he sat up and just stared at me for about 5 minutes. Then, suddenly his head drooped down, and he kind of tipped over J It is 7:45 am here, and he’s snoozing on my chest – I love having a snuggler!!! The foster mom said he’s a great sleeper. Hooray for that, and let’s hope he keeps that up!!!

The three of us!

Foster Mom giving Simon hugs and love.

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Simon’s foster brother (the foster mom’s son) – Simon loved this guy!

Kick!

My ham ball. And I don’t mean in size.

Surrounded by love

One last shot of the 4 of us

Dave and I with DJ the social worker – she is amazing!

The cab ride home. He did fall asleep for a couple of minutes.

A boy with his daddy

Yay Sleep!

The last two nights, I’ve been able to sleep fairly soundly from 9 pm to 5 or 5:30 am. Yay! It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do. Now to remember how to muddle through on little sleep for the next few months… Because today we get SIMON!!!!!! I can’t believe the day is finally here. We have our gifts for the foster family and agency workers packaged and ready, questions written out (thanks, Ali!), baby/toddler stuff unpacked and ready, and butterflies in stomachs. T-minus 8.5 hours until we meet him. 8.5 hours???? Why in the world am I awake so early? I better find something to keep me occupied this morning.

Yesterday, we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast at our hotel (seriously, I highly recommend Fraser Place Central – it’s been awesome to stay here – minus the rock hard, and I mean rock.hard, bed). We then met up with our Holt tour guide, Sue (not sure about the spelling there, but that’s what her name sounded like!) in the hotel lobby at 9:30 am. We set off on our adventure with her, and rode the metro to Gyeongbokgung Palace. As we were walking up the metro stairs, we could hear the drum beat start for the changing of the guards. We started running, and got there in time to watch most of the processional of the changing of the guard. SO cool.

We then headed back into the museum on the palace grounds and wandered around there until our English tour started up at 11. Our tour guide was amazing. She knew so much of the history of the kings and the palace, and her English was great. After the tour was finished, Sue walked us over to the back of the palace grounds where we could go out and see the Blue House, which is the equivalent to our White House. There were Secret Service guys around and everything, it was very cool.

We headed back out of the palace, and walked over to Insadong, the shopping area we had visited with Dwight and Lori on Tuesday. We even ate at the same restaurant we had eaten at on Tuesday 🙂 We bought a couple of other items we’d missed the other day, and then headed over to Myeongdong, and the Namdaemoon shopping area (where we’d also gone with Dwight and Lori the other day – they know exactly where to take visitors!). This time, we were lucky to find the soccer jersey we’d been trying to find earlier in the week. (We like to give our boys gifts from their birth countries on their annual Adoption Days. Ezekiel has a soccer jersey from PI for when he’s older, so Dave insisted that Simon have one too 🙂 ).

We debated heading over to Seoul Tower, but I knew I’d need some down time, so we decided to head back to the hotel. We parted ways with Sue, and thanked her profusely for the tour. She was so much fun to get to know, and easy to be around. We gave her a gift of an “I [heart] MN” tee shirt, and she seemed to like the gift. As we headed back to the hotel, we stopped at Cafe Droptop (thanks for the tip, Dustin!), and ordered a pastry that was over-the-top delectable – a honey butter crunchy ball. Drool. I’m sure we’ll order another one of those before it’s time for us to head home. I didn’t even take a picture, we ate it so thoroughly and quickly!

As we got back to the hotel, I came down with a nasty migraine. It kept getting worse, so Dave headed down and got some pain reliever from the front desk, and found some Gator.ade at the Seven-Eleven across the street from our hotel. None of it really helped, so we ordered room service and I went to sleep really early. We Skyped with Ezekiel before officially hitting the hay, and my mom felt bad for me. She gets migraines too, so she knows how hard that is, and especially to not have the meds with me to overcome the migraine. Love you, Mamasita!

I still had a dull headache when I woke up this morning, and then realized I haven’t been wearing my glasses at all this week. I only have to wear them at work when I’m back home, but I think I’ll rock them a bit more here to try and prevent another migraine.

A delicious fruit that I figured out how to peel, but then couldn’t figure out how to eat, so I just sucked the juice out of it 🙂 Who can name this fruit?

A gate in the metro station that promises if you walk under it, that you’ll stay young forever!

Baby royal wear!

A cool antique royal automobile

Our tour guide – later in the tour she laughingly said, “Don’t included me in your pictures, I always have my mouth open”

The party pavilion

The Blue House!

Gyeongbokgung Palace

One of the palace guards

Boo, Jet Lag

Wow, I don’t think there are words to describe how much I dislike jet lag. I guess it’s a good way of getting prepared for the sleep deprivation that inevitably comes with adopting a kiddo. The first night, I slept fairly well. I think it helped that I had stayed awake the previous 24 hours or so. Last night was a different story. I fell asleep at 7:30 pm, woke up at 8:30 pm to Skype with Ezekiel, and then fell back to sleep until 1:30 am. Then I could NOT get back to sleep, no matter what I did. Finally around 6 am, I fell asleep for another 2 hours. Dave snoozed through the whole thing!

Yesterday, we went to Insadong with my dad’s cousin and his wife. They were amazing tour guides. We ate some really fun things, including a dessert which I can’t remember the name of. But essentially it had 15 different ingredients – ice shavings, kiwi, tomatoes (which are a fruit here!), peaches, gummy stuff (which of course I can’t remember the name of, either), red beans, bananas, cereal, ice cream, and a bunch of different kinds of nuts. I loved it!!!

We got lots of shopping done, and had taken the metro to get there from our hotel. On the way back, we realized none of us could remember the station door number we needed to go back out of. Seoul metro stations have 12 different doorways you can get out of. And some of them are REALLY spread out. We went out the wrong one, but recognized some of the landmarks. We wandered a ways before finally deciding to hail a cab to take us back to the hotel. Of course, he pretty much turned two corners and there we were! Last night, while we were walking to find supper, we found the exact place we had been standing trying to figure out where to go. It was only 2-3 blocks away from the back of the hotel. Now we know!

We were supposed to go on our Ongo Food Tour last night, and I’m sad to report that I was just too tuckered out to go. While I’m bummed we didn’t do that, we still feel like we really got some really great shopping, and food tour/cultural lessons with my cousins. Plus, we have our city tour tomorrow with our agency guide, and will likely eat some good food again tomorrow.

Today we met back up with my cousins mid-morning at Seoul Station, and went shopping at an outdoor air market. We found some really great stuff there, then ate lunch down in the basement of a department store where we tried even more new stuff! It was fun, but my body is telling me to find some vegetables for supper tonight. My dad’s cousin told me I sounded very Korean when I told him that 🙂

I’m thinking tonight calls for a glass of wine with supper, as well. Hopefully that will get my mind settled so I can rest easier when it comes to sleeping time! I just can’t stop thinking about meeting Simon, what life is going to be like after he is home, and a few other things that are happening in life. I wish my brain would listen when I tell it to stop worrying, everything will be fine!

Breakfast buffet! Our hotel has an awesome buffet every morning.

Insadong

One of the larger market areas within Insadong

The yummy dessert that I can’t remember the name of!

Cheese!

Feeling completely tuckered out after a fun day of shopping. It called for a donut 🙂

Just for you, Dustin!

Skyping with our big boy and Nana! I like how our reflections are also in this picture.

Another market place we went to on Wednesday morning.

Krispy Kreme!!

Some dried pork my cousin bought us. He used to love this when they lived in Malaysia, and I can see, er, taste why. It was super yummy!

Johnny Rockets. They seriously have everything over here. It’s crazy.

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