Life as MommyMo

Monday, April 30, 2007

The secret of toddlerhood... and some good news.

Being back on the road after quite a few welcome weeks at home has taken its toll. I'm tired! I've spent most of my time at home just hanging out with Sam and Rob. Someone has to be there to keep the tendencies of a headstrong three-year-old in check.

For anyone who's not a parent, there's a little secret that other parents don't let you in on until quite late in the game. The glass-is-half-full side of me thinks it's those who have been there trying to protect the vulnerable sensibilities of newer parents. The secret? The Terrible Twos? Yes, they can have moments of terribleness, but overall, it's just nature's way of inching you into the real jungle of child rearing, otherwise known as life with a three-year-old.

My adorable child has a will of steel and a vocabulary that would make any school marm proud. Sounds cute when you see it presented on a pretty blog page. When it's screaming, face down, fists pounding on your kitchen floor... not so much. The thing is, it's kind of endearing to hear Sam repeat words like "delectable" that are beyond his years. When he repeats phrases like, "Don't be fresh with me" as "No, Mommy. Don't YOU be fresh with ME," THEN throws in "1...2...3" with his finger held up for good measure, you know you're in for it!

He's also decided AGAIN that his bed is no place to spend a night alone. Why should he stay nestled in his cute Cars sheets, surrounded by puppy, blankie and about 42 of the 60 Thomas the Tank Engine trains that he holds so dear when he can wedge himself between Mommy and Daddy, randomly talk (in that one, single volume that toddlers seem to have) just as we've fallen back to sleep and flop around like a sea otter who just can't quite make it back to water?

I went to the doctor today and she asked if I have any unexplained bruises. I replied that I can explain all of them. They come from sleeping with a 36-inch-tall kid who seems to need the space of Shaquille O'Neal to get any rest.

I did say I have good news. I do.

I posted to a thread on DigiShopTalk that turned out to be a conversation about why the same dozen or so scrappers make all of the creative teams. I bemoaned the fact that creative teams should be about promotion. Ostensibly, that's something I'm expected to know a thing or two about, but apparently that credential doesn't go far in scrapbooking circles. However, one super sweet designer saw my post, checked out my gallery, and asked me to join her team. Her designs are great, so I can't wait to get started.

Maybe scrapping with nice, soft, pretty things will soften the stories of Sam's crazy antics that are bound to come over the next few months.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Leonard Revisited

You may recall reading about Sam's new friend "Leonard Lewis Lion." He's turned out to be a keeper. Sam still plays with him daily, but his name has changed. To Leonard The Lion King!

I might add that we had not yet seen the movie "The Lion King" when Leonard got this grand promotion. Aunt Jenny took care of that and sent a copy home. Now our house is a symphony of Disney/Pixar noises. We go from Lighting McQueen gutteral engine revs to a *different* engine rev representing Frank the Combine Harvester to an all-out roar in homage to Simba. Sometimes if it comes out really deeply, Sam tells us that it was Mufasa or Scar.

He either has quite the imagination or an incredibly discerning ear.

I do know that his hearing has allowed him to nearly memorize The Lion King after having only seen it a couple of times. Even though he never truly appears to be watching it.

Case in point: After Sam's bath and the ritual of where-is-Sam-I-can't-find-him-he-must-be-down-the-drain antics, I toweled off his hair the other night. Sam never likes this, but on this particular night, rather than just whining and insisting I stop, he put out his hand and said "Mommy, you're messin with my MANE!" Needless to say, I laughed hysterically, so he's repeated it hourly ever since.

We had a great weekend... Sadly, it was the first Saturday we could recall spending together in a while. We just hung out together, I scrapped during naptime, and we ended the day dyeing Easter eggs for the first time. There's a reason the boxes say it's an activity intended for those older than five years. What a mess! And even pretty colored, Cars-wrapped eggs could not get Sam to do more than lick the outside of a peeled egg. Still just chicken. Stay tuned for future protein updates.

We did a long day of family visiting today, but it was great. Sam had a blast playing with everyone and finding that the Easter Bunny locates him wherever he goes! I tried to explain that the day is less about chocolate and jelly beans and more about Jesus, but I don't think he got it. He knew he was more spiffed up than usual for church and did manage to repeat that it was "Jesus' big day" a few times, but I think the lesson about the Risen Lord will take a few more years.

Monday, April 02, 2007

JaeHo update

My hope has some basis in reality, as it turns out. There's been a flurry of activity on the Holt board when we noticed that older children are now being listed for adoption in Korea.

Under the "old" system, children were removed from any possible referral list upon turning three years old. It seems that the upside of the new rules is that older kids are being referred!

I'm SO happy to know there's still a chance that JaeHo will find his permanent home. I know he's being taken good care of where he is, but no one can doubt that a family of your own is the best place to be. He seems to be doing well, so I hope a family that can help him progress will see his file and bring him home.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lessons Learned at McDonald's

First, to update my last post, we're sitting at T minus 5 hours now till Daddy lands and, truth be told, I'm a wee bit sad. I'm really going to be happy to see Rob and missed his company even more than I imagined I would, but Sam and I have had a great weekend together. It's been really nice to have some special Mommy time.

Well, nice except for the burst of energy he got last night that ended with me clutching a bag of frozen peas to my bloody, swollen nose. It's not broken. just bruised, but it was ugly and painful (and still is if I sneeze or scrunch up my nose!) It went like this: sticky hands needed wiping, Mommy bent over hyper son to wipe said hands, son -- apparently quite elated at the sight of a fresh wipe -- bolts STRAIGHT up out of his little chair and directly into Mommy's nose. My last deviated septum repair was no picnic. I hope not to repeat it.

So... back to the lessons I learned in McDonald's today.

After church, Sam said he was hungry (not surprising since he fed Ellie his breakfast.) A quick mental inventory of both the refrigerator and my cooking skills landed me at McDonald's for a McNugget treat. We rarely go to "Ronald McDonald's house," (we're a Wendy's nugget family) so Sam was delighted.

He behaved like a perfect gentleman, which translated into eating very slloooowwwwllly. His meandering pace left plenty of time for chat.

I learned a few things:

1. Sam DOES know how to whisper. You wouldn't know it most of the time, but the child IS capable of lowering his voice.

2. He also rather enjoys the particular brand of Muzak piped into this McDonald's location. As if he wasn't eating slowly enough, we stopped every few minutes to "groove" to a new song. It was mostly MoTown, which I like, too so it could have been worse. Each time the music caught his attention, he'd put down his nugget, swing his arms in the air, and wiggle around in his highchair with his eyes squeezed shut. He'd occasionally peek out at me mid-groove and demand that I "rock on" with him. Those quotes really are his.

3. He might possibly be getting ready to sample a new protein source. We're still all about beige food in our house, but he's starting to take notice of beef when it's nearby. He even asked if he could try another child's cheeseburger. She just stared at him as if he had horns. I don't blame her.

I also had a sweet moment with an older man who was hanging out enjoying his coffee with some pals. I am fairly used to being noticed when in public. I'd be less conscious of it were I even remotely convinced that it was my stunning good looks attracting attention or if I hadn't been approached one too many times by rude strangers demanding to know all sorts of details about Sam's place in our family. (For the record, the answer is always that I AM his REAL mom and that NO, he'll probably never speak Chinese.)

Anyway, this particular man was definitely noticing us, but not in a way that seemed offensive. He was just a cute guy trying to make Sam smile from across the room. When he got up to refill his coffee cup, he paused at our table and introduced himself to Sam. He asked him what his name was. Sam replied, "I'm Sam Andrew Becker!" in garbled toddlerese.

When I translated that his name is Sam, the man's face just lit up. He bent down to look Sam in the eye and told him that his name was Sam, too. (I later heard him marvel to his pals that he hadn't met too many kids named Sam...) They shook hands, gave each other a high five and he was on his way.

He seemed to take a few extra seconds to fill his cup and then turned back to us. This time, he bent down next to me and had tears in his eyes. He told me how lucky I was to have such a beautiful son and that he could just tell that we were going to have a wonderful life together.

Of course, I know this to be true, but it was so moving to have someone else phrase it that way. So often, people tell us that Sam is lucky to have been adopted by us. I suppose that could be true, but I know that it was Rob and I who received the real gift when he joined our family.