Life as MommyMo

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Wordle

I've seen this wordart on a few other blogs, but just saw today how to create it myself (by going to I love seeing the words I (apparently) use most often when writing about my life turned into something so fun to look at. I'm going to have to scrap this for sure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another hurdle cleared

I woke up this morning kind of sad to realize that summer is already half over. We haven't even gotten in to any kind of groove yet. Rob's been so busy taking care of his dad that it seems like we can't settle on any kind of routine.

I did have a couple of days off this week. We had our final Parents in Process class on Tuesday at Holt, so I also took Monday off. We spent Monday at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden because it was so hot outside that I about passed out at the very idea of spending the day at Sesame Place. Sam had such a great time at the aquarium. He's followed it up with almost obsessive requests to watch some sea life kiddie documentary Rob discovered. I swear, he spent the entire time he watched it yesterday morning shouting "Look, Mommy! Did you know piranhas..." I admit I don't recall a single detail that he was so excited about, but in my defense, he fired so many aquatic facts at me while I was just trying to down my first cup of coffee that I really can't be expected to have absorbed the information.

As for the hurdle we've cleared, we took the last requisite parenting class at Holt this week. When we first started the process to adopt, I was kind of annoyed that we had to go through formal classes in order to parent. I felt like it was another element of the cosmic unfairness that had been chasing me for a couple of years. After all, I've encountered plenty of parents just during trips to Target that clearly could have used the help. However, when I went to the classes, I realized their value. It's good to spend some conscious time thinking about the unique aspects of raising a child born in another country.

This particular module was geared toward parents who were not first-timers. I thought that meant only people who were adopting again, but it must have meant anyone adding a child to their family. Several couples were adopting for the first time from China after having biological kids. We were among a group that all had preschool-aged boys from Korea and were in process for a second child.

The biggest eye-opener of the day was listening to a lovely woman who was an adoptee herself, and had also adopted two boys from Korea. (I did ask if she had requested gender, since they make exceptions to that rule for adoptees and other people born in Korea, but she did not. Note to self: adjust the mental odds when people ask if we'll be matched with a boy or girl!)

Anyway, this woman spoke to the exact issues Rob and I have always worried the most about... The biggest such issue is how to deal with the inevitable racism that children like Sam are likely to encounter in school. It's easy for us suburbanite Caucasians to feel that our community is diverse and "color-blind," but that's never the truth. No matter how much we want to believe it is, adoptees like Sam and this woman struggle throughout their entire lives to fit in some place. Most adjust just fine and are happy people, but they still deal with the constant awareness that they feel white but are not, and that people assume they are Asian, but don't feel Asian either.

I was in tears twice listening to this woman talk about how her own family could make her feel without realizing it and how she has been treated while doing something as innocent as trying to register for school. I know we've tried out best to gently correct people in our own circles who don't realize that, for instance, Sam is Asian -- not "oriental." That seems like an innocent mistake to some people, but for someone struggling with real identity issues, a family member who can't be bothered to learn the correct term can be deeply hurtful.

We will continue to try to do our best (and need to do better at that) to expose Sam and his soon-to-be brother or sister to aspects of their birth culture that they will want to be somewhat familiar with later in life. It's not easy to balance both sides of their world, but that's our job.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Days Are Harder Than Others

It's beginning to get harder to wait and wonder when we'll be matched with our baby. I find myself with my mind wandering off on a pretty regular basis at this point. It's still too early to expect a call, but there's been a small part of me that's always thought we could be on the early side for a referral. Our homestudy has been in Korea for six months already, which is so hard to believe! Of course, his circumstances were different, but Sam was home with us about six WEEKS after our homestudy was complete the first time around. So... I'll just admit right now that the waiting part stinks. I know it's all part of the process and that God will ensure *our* baby is matched with us when the time is right, but I'm still allowed to be antsy, right?

So much of my life changed when Sam came home, and it wasn't all what comes along with being parents for the first time. I had a new job, too. I think part of me is beginning to wonder how this will all play out. Deep down, I feel like a lot is going to change this time as well, but I just can't say what that means for sure. Maybe it's just because I didn't have as long a period to wait and wonder last time, but it would seem that too much time to think is not always a good thing for me.

When I wasn't thinking about all the baby "stuff" today in church, I could not get our friend Ted out of my mind, either. I have no business even beginning to complain that it's been too long since we've had quality time with our friends the Gwaras given how much Ethan and Kim miss him, but it's really starting to wear on us, too! Of course, we pray for his safety every single day (along with about 1,000 or so others also praying for him at our church!) but I can't help but think that I just wish we had a weekend to visit Sesame Place and hang out with the kids. That's probably why I seem to be on such a tear to find a house right in our neighborhood for them to move to. Walks with Sam and Rob have turned into conversations about how many houses we can find that would be just *perfect* for them. Honestly, my definition of perfect right now seems to just mean that the living structure be located within walking distance of my own. There is a house right NEXT DOOR that is certainly more perfect than the others, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fun List

I'm so tired after an interesting travel week that I can't even think of writing creatively. For those work friends who were speculating as to how I would "handle" meeting Mr. Relay For Life himself in person for the very first time, I'm proud to say that we had a really great, long and productive discussion yesterday in Ithaca. I am still tortured over the fact, though, that my boss and I left two hours to drive a distance that should have taken just one, but still got lost in Ithaca and were late to our meeting. Most anyone who knows me at all knows how much I HATE being late. I'm obsessively, annoyingly early for everything in life. The day I meet the icon that is Relay For Life? I'm late. He was very kind about it and even joked with me later when he heard we got lost yet again after parting ways for the afternoon.

So... the fun, mindless part. I don't know why I enjoy these lists so much, but I do.

Here’s the game: you have to answer the question with ONE WORD only and then you have to tag 4 people.
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? Sears
3. Your hair? floppy
4. Your mother? honest
5. Your father? Kansas
6. Your favorite thing? Mac
7. Your dream last night? nonexistent
8 Your favorite drink? tea
9. Your dream/goal? independence
10. The room you’re in? toy-strewn
11. Your hobby? digiscrapping
12. Your fear? finances
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? settled
14. What you’re not? energized
15. Muffins? carby
16. One of your wish list items? lens
17. Where you grew up? Kansas
18. The last thing you did? walk
19. What are you wearing? Relay
20. Favorite gadget? Flip
21. Your pets? mopey
22. Your computer? Mac
23. Your mood? tired
24. Missing someone? yes
25. Your car? Toyota
26. Something you’re not wearing? flip-flops
27. Favorite store? jjill
28. Like someone? Mom
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday
Tagging? Kim, Noel, Melissa (I know no one else who reads this and also has their own blog!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008


We're taking Sam to see real, live fireworks for the first time tomorrow. This clearly isn't his first Fourth of July, but it is the first year we can be assured he'll still be in a relatively pleasant mood at 9 p.m. when it all starts AND that the loud noises won't scar him for life.

I'm actually not entirely convinced that second point is true, but I'm hoping it is. To be on the safe side, I'm going to get little bitty ear plugs this afternoon that he can wear if he wants to. I think the fun of it all, especially with his cousins, will eventually make him forget the loud booming noises. My dog, on the other hand, has not been left alone on the Fourth for quite some time and may have entirely destroyed our house by the time we return home. He's a big fraidy cat.

I saw this Blogthings quiz on the Sweet Shoppe blog today, and it seemed appropriate, so here you go:

What Your These Fireworks Say About You

You are the type of person who lives a big, bold, and unique life.

You love to stand out and be noticed. And people definitely notice you.

You are easily excited, and you're quick to move to action.

You like to be in motion doing something. Keeping busy makes you feel good.

A big, bold, and unique life? Ok. Sounds like someone else, but I'll take it. Like to be noticed. Um, not so much. If I looked like Jessica Alba, maybe. But I would rather people didn't look that closely on most days! That keeping busy part is true, but I count sitting in front of the computer scrapping as keeping busy, which may not be everything the quiz writer had in mind when I selected that lovely photo of two-in-one fireworks. Then again, who writes those quizzes anyway?!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The end of an era

After a great deal of debate between Sam's Daddy and I, we have finally agreed THE day has come. Sam no longer needs to nap.

Feel free to join me in a nice big sigh.

I have a love/hate relationship with this entire awake-all-day concept. On one hand, it's nice to not be tied to the need to be home for Sam to sleep for four hours in the middle of every single day. It will be nice when we're on vacation (as if) and don't have to plan to find a place to get him to sleep. It will be nice when we know we have parties to go to and typically either deal with a cranky kid or miss half the party.

It will not be so nice on our usually lazy Sunday afternoons, when I get a nice peaceful bit of bonding time with Photoshop and Rob gets to read or garden or play Wii.

There's no question there's some transition involved in this whole ordeal. And I will admit it here, though deny having done so: I am getting off so easy in all of this. Poor Rob. I'm tucked away upstairs working all day while he's left to figure out how to keep our overly active child busy ALL. DAY. LONG. Seriously. The man should be sainted.

That photo you see? That's part of the transition. Rob turned his back for five minutes around 6 p.m. one day last week and Mr. I'm Too Big For Naps, Mommy was out cold.

I have been a delinquent blogger lately because most of my life is consumed by script writing and deciding between the virtues of maple and oak or distressed vintage finishes vs. lovely wood stain vs. paint. I thought that redesigning our kitchen after it's needed it for so long would be fun. And it's not. Don't let anyone tell you differently. There's not a single glamorous thing about knowingly forking over this kind of money and all the while losing serious sleep because you and your significant other can't decide exactly which cabinet door style would look best or if the island should have a small radius edge to it. Call me when it's time to pick the paint. That sounds like more fun to me.

Finally, I promised a friend that I would out myself on my own blog. I assured him that no one that reads this probably cares to see me promote our Relay For Life video contest, but he did get me to admit that anyone who knows me would probably enjoy a laugh at my expense, so here you have it. Watch this video and see just how far I'm willing to go for my job. This ranks up there with serious embarrassment in my book, but my dedication to transcends my need to keep people from watching me make a fool of myself. And thanks again to the coworkers who have already seen this and do believe that I deserve combat pay for putting up with these two crazy people while we filmed this.