Sledding!

This weekend we’ve been making the most of winter and the (fairly) nice temps with some sledding!!! I took advantage of some deals last night and bought snow pants. What a difference warm clothes make when playing in the snow! Simon has slowly been lasting longer and longer outside in the snow, too. Yay! I’m thankful for parents with a great sledding hill who don’t mind watching their grandson inside when he’s had enough of the cold.

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Christmas 2012

Wow, I’m actually getting this post done in the same week as Christmas. It’s a Christmas miracle! We had such a blessed celebration this year. We all felt so thankful that our little family could be all together, and that we got to enjoy Simon and Eze’s smiles and giggles as they enjoyed the magic of Christmas. I had everything I needed right there. And the extra gifts were bonuses!

Dave and the boys had a theme for me this year. I got a heated throw (blanket), long socks, arm warmers, and a mug. Perfect!! Simon got not just one, but TWO ride-on scooter cars for Christmas, and many other cars and trucks and toys to play with. He is in heaven with these new toys. Eze got Spider.Man EVERYTHING this year. At one point, he was playing with three different Spider-Men, had a story line and voices going for each of the different guys. I adore listening to this boy’s creative ideas. Dave got a camo Santa hat, and a decorative Santa from the boys this year – I let Eze pick out each of the gifts on his own. Lucky Dave! I also got him a watch, as he had missed wearing one. Poor Gus the dog didn’t get anything at all, but has already helped himself to some of the sticks in the fort building set Eze got, and chased around some “hex bug”-like toys the boys got from Santa.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Car!!!

Car!!!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Eze

Teenage Mutant Ninja Eze

Simon waiting patiently for Cousin G's concert to start (she got a karaoke mic stand, and put on so many concerts for us that her "voice was kind of hurting").

Simon waiting patiently for Cousin G’s concert to start (she got a karaoke mic stand, and put on so many concerts for us that her “voice was kind of hurting”).

Moustache Eze

Moustache Eze

Moustache Mommy

Moustache Mommy

Moustache Simon

Moustache Simon

Owen and his mama reading with Simon and his daddy.

Owen and his mama reading with Simon and his daddy.

Christmas morning!

Christmas morning!

Camo Santa Daddy and his boys

Camo Santa Daddy and his boys

Presents!

Presents!

 

Merry Merry!

Tonight we are at Dave’s brother’s house celebrating Christmas. I’m laying with Simon guy trying to get him to quiet down and sleep after a very fun celebration with family. Tonight, I have Korea on my mind. I hope all of the people who love Simon over there are having a happy Christmas.

Earlier this week, we got a picture in the mail of Ha-Mae (Simon’s foster mom) and Simon from the day before his adoption day. When Simon saw that picture, his face lit up and he smiled as he yelled, “Ha-Mae-na!!!” He gave the picture a hug and kissed it. And then today, I put the socks on him that she sent home with us. As I was putting them on his feet, he suddenly exclaimed, “Ha-Mae-Na!!!” and hugged his foot. So sweet.

Tonight, Dave and I have some work to do to get ready for tomorrow. Eze full out believes in Santa, so I hope tomorrow lives up to his expectations 🙂 Merry Christmas, everyone! Hug the ones you love and hold them tight.

Cutest Videos In The Whole Wide World

Okay, I might be a bit biased. I love these videos. They show Simon’s love for his daddy, and Eze’s excitement on his Adoption Day 🙂

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Fun Facts about Mr Simon

We’ve been thoroughly enjoying our life with two boys as Christmas draws near. Ezekiel is the perfect age for understanding and loving the magic of Christmas. I’m not sure how much Simon understands about what is going on, but it’s amazing to watch him discover more and more about life every day. And so fun to see his little personality shining through. His vocabulary increases every day. My favorite thing that he says right now is, “Hello!! Hi…. Good”. Even if no one says any of that back to him, or asks him “how are you?”. I guess he’s used to hearing us answer the phone and saying, “Hello? …Oh hi! …I’m good.” He also tries to repeat much of what we say, and totally understands everything that we tell him. I think it helps that he has a big brother who never stops talking unless he’s asleep!

Some other fun facts about Si guy:

– He is a huge fan of all of his grandparents. I think it’s due to the fact that he lived with Ha-mae for nearly 2 years. He is really drawn to his grandparents, who are all close in age to her. He calls my parents the same thing Ezekiel has always called them – Nana and Bompa. And he came up with new names for Dave’s parents – Grampy and Grammy. So so so adorable.

– He calls his cousin who is 8 months younger than him “baby”, even though baby Owen is slightly taller than him.

– He initiates hugs with both Dave and I completely spontaneously throughout our days. And when I come home from work (or upstairs after being downstairs for a few minutes), I hear, “Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Mommy mommy mommy!!!” And see Simon run toward me with a huge grin on his face. My heart nearly bursts with joy every time he does that.

– Last night, when we went to go view an amazing Christmas light display, the rest of us were oohing and aahing over the beautiful and incredible lights. The most excited Simon got all evening was when he saw a large bus. “Twup! Twup!!” (Truck). I told him it was a bus and he just sat and stared at it. He loves vehicles.

– He also loves anything else with wheels. Shopping carts, baby buggies, wagons, he finds any toy with wheels and loves to play with those.

– When Dave is home with him during the day, Simon will walk into a room and yell, “Hello!!!!!!”, then turn around to leave the room saying, “Bye bye…….. Daddy bye bye…… DADDY, bye bye……” until Dave finally says it back. Then he walks out of the room, turns around, walks back in and starts it all over again.

– He loves to talks about each of our family members and where they are. “Where Ettie (Eze)? …Ettie cooah (Eze school)”. “Where Mommy? Mommy wook (work)”. Even when we’re all home together, if one of us is out of his sight for a moment, he’ll ask where we went. He’s the “all together” police, and loves when we are all together.

– Whenever anyone hands him something, he signs “thank you” and says “yoo, Mommy (or whoever handed it to him)”. He is so polite with his thank yous. He also says, “Deya go” (there you go), whenever he hands us anything. We hear ourselves in all of his words 🙂

– When we’re out and about, he says “hi” to every single person we pass. He befriended a twenty-something man waiting for his daughter who was playing on a playground at the mall this weekend. Completely random, and it always brings a smile to those people’s faces when they hear his little “Hi! Hello!!”

– He loves to make us laugh, just like Ezekiel. He’s a little quieter about it than crazy Mr Ezekiel, but nothing makes my heart happier these days than seeing Simon with an easy smile on his face, and the little twinkle in his eye when he is joking around with us. He is such a perfect fit with our family. We are incredibly blessed.

Merry Christmas!!!

Tis the Season!!!

International Christmas Tree - the Philippines and South Korean flags were right next to each other! Just above the right side of the sign.

International Christmas Tree – the Philippines and South Korean flags were right next to each other! Just above the right side of the sign.

Dave brought Simon to a huge play area today, and Simon wouldn't move from driving this fire truck. He'd get mad at Dave anytime he even suggested playing with something else.

Dave brought Simon to a huge play area yesterday, and Simon wouldn’t move from driving this fire truck. He’d get mad at Dave anytime he even suggested playing with something else.

And a random shot thrown in because it makes me laugh:

My favorite little Gert in her teenager pose.

My favorite little Gert in her teenager pose.

Adoption Day!

What I have found amazing every single year is how much Ezekiel loves his Adoption Day anniversary. How excited he gets about it all, and how much he understands what a special and happy day it is for our family. Birthdays for our boys feel bittersweet. We weren’t there the days they were born, and I find myself thinking a lot about their birth families on those days and praying that we are doing right by them. And feeling a little sadness that we didn’t get to know them for the first few months they lived in this world. Their Adoption Days, on the other hand, are incredibly joyous for us. I have such vivid and beautiful memories from those first moments with my boys.

Eze’s Adoption Day 2009
Eze’s Adoption Day 2010
Eze’s Adoption Day 2011

Eze’s 4th Adoption Day was no exception. He woke up in the morning with a huge grin on his face, and had a great day. He requested Outrageous Garlic Soup for the 3rd year in a row, and we enjoyed a quiet, fun day at home. We talked about his adoption story, I sang him our special song, and we gave him his special gift from the Philippines (we bought enough gifts while we were there to give him on his Adoption Days until he is 18). Unfortunately, the gift broke within the hour after he opened it, so Daddy-to-the-rescue stopped by the store on his way home from work with a Spider-man web shooter. A much-desired gift for Mr. Ezekiel.

What a difference 4 years makes

What a difference 4 years makes

Pumped for his gift (take two)

Pumped for his gift (take two)

Spidey shooter!!

Spidey shooter!!

Outrageous Garlic Soup!

Outrageous Garlic Soup!

Kinda sleepy while we all sing Happy Adoption Day to you...

Kinda sleepy while we all sing Happy Adoption Day to you…

Staying up late to play trains!

Staying up late to play trains!

Pack vs. Vikes

Since Dave and I met, we’ve always teased each other about the (American) football teams the other is a fan of. Dave loves/hates the Vikings. I love (and always love) the Packers. We never spoke out loud about how we’d raise our kids. I think we both just assumed that the other would cave and begin to love the other person’s team. Not so. Our boys didn’t get their stubborn personalities from us – we still both have all of the stubborn we were born with.

I lost Eze a few years ago to Dave and his Vikings. Every once in a while he’ll debate becoming a Packer fan, but it never happens. Dave has some magic spell over him. So I (and my brother) have high hopes for Simon. I bought a shirt for him the other day in hopes that would be what starts a lifetime of love for the green and gold.

Pride

Some random shots from our last few weeks… We decided a couple of weeks after Simon came home (after some convincing from Ezekiel) that the boys would share a room. We now have a great dedicated guest room that is Simon’s old room! We need to have some slumber parties at our place.

Since the boys started sharing a room, I was excited that Dave had thought to buy large flags when we were in the Philippines, and again when we were in South Korea. Now the boys each have a corner showing the flags from their respective birth countries. We hope to instill a sense of pride in our boys, and this is just one small way to visually show them how much we love where they’ve been, and continue to be proud of wherever our lives take us.

Simon's corner of their room

Simon’s corner of their room

Eze's corner of their room

Eze’s corner of their room

Nothing better than two sleeping kiddos in the car.

Nothing better than two sleeping kiddos in the car.

Uncle Nate and his guys!

Uncle Nate and his guys!

Peek! The boys created a "tank" out of an old refrigerator box :)

Peek! The boys created a “tank” out of an old refrigerator box 🙂

Bullet Train

I feel like life is moving along at the pace of a bullet train these days. Between working, the holiday season and all the fun busyness all that entails, and two incredibly busy little boys, my tail is getting a thorough kicking. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I LOVE being a mama two these two. Today, we had a welcomed snow day. We got 6+ inches of snow over the course of the weekend, and were in a blizzard warning for part of our day today. We just hung out and did things as a little family of 4. We did do a bit of sledding with my sister and her family in the afternoon. It was one of those days that had its moments of insanity and frustration, but when I think back, was a blissful day that makes me very thankful for my life and everything in it.

This weekend, Ezekiel and I went on a date – just the two of us. My mom watched Simon (he loves her – I think in some ways she reminds him of Ha-mae, they are close to the same age too, I think), and Dave worked while Eze and I enjoyed lunch and a movie together. I even wore a dress, per his request 🙂 He told Dave as he was going to bed that night, “I had so much fun today, Dad!” His attitude has been great, too. He’s been going with the flow, even as we’re still trying to figure out how to be parents to two boys. And today, Dave accidentally got snow down Eze’s shirt/coat more than once. Each time Ezekiel would just smile and say in an exasperated tone, “Why in the world does that keep happening to me?!”

Simon continues to have more and more words for us all the time. When Dave got his snow boots on him Friday after the first of the snow fell, he kept saying, “Cool! Cool, cool, cool!” He thought the snow was lots of fun, although at one point, he bent down and picked up some snow to eat. However, he grabbed some dirt at the same time and got that in his mouth. He kept gagging until he finally worked it out, but then kept trying to wipe his tongue off with the dirt-covered mitten. Poor guy. Daddy finally got him all fixed up. Sledding today was not Simon’s most favorite activity, but we did get him to go down the hill with us a couple of times. His favorite thing is still to say each of our names and point to each of us.

Ezekiel’s vocabulary continues to astound us as well. I swear the boy remembers every word and story he’s ever been told. He asked me to tell him the story of the time I saw Santa’s boot when I was a little girl (I may have embellished a story about when my sisters and I had a sleepover together one Christmas Eve to try to catch our parents setting our gifts out). I couldn’t believe that a year later, he is the one who remembered the details of my story, and kept correcting me. He is also learning about fact and fiction at school right now. The other day on the way to school, he told me, “Mom, I’m non-fiction real”. I told him, “That’s right, Ez, you are non-fiction!” He answered, “No wait, Mom. I’m fiction fake. Ha ha ha ha ha!!!” He also used the words “cumbersome” and “flabbergasted” in the right context a few weeks back. Thanks PBS and Word.Girl.

Both of these boys make me laugh many many times throughout my days. I’m so thankful for the joy they both bring to our family.

Simon "borrowing" some crackers from his cousin Owen.

Simon “borrowing” some raisins from his cousin Owen.

Christmas Tree shopping!

Christmas Tree shopping!

A typical picture of my boys in the morning. Fairly certain Simon could go for a cup of coffee before anyone speaks to him when he wakes up.

A typical picture of my boys in the morning. Fairly certain Simon could go for a cup of coffee before anyone speaks to him when he wakes up. Ezekiel sometimes reminds me of Will Ferrell in Elf.

Decorating our beautiful tree!

Decorating our beautiful tree!

This was how Simon felt about decorating the tree today.

This was how Simon felt about decorating the tree today.

Eze wrote this note the other day. I could go for no more cklen up (clean up).

Eze wrote this note the other day. I could go for no more cklen up (clean up).

Dapper

Dapper

Sledding! A rare short of Simon smiling during our fun in the snow.

Sledding! A rare shot of Simon smiling during our fun in the snow.

Eze + Mama Date!

Eze + Mama Date!

Bless this mama's heart!

Bless this mama’s heart!

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