Seoul Siblings

Well, the name has changed. Our local group of little Korean boys now has a little girl in the midst!  And we met this little darling on Sunday, along with the other Seoul Sibs at Storybook Gardens in London.   For those who are new to our blog (and I know there are some of you out there!) the Seoul Siblings now consists of:

Like all the other gatherings, we had a great time.  Even with the sub artic temperatures!  So much for June warmth.  The boys had fun on the amusement park rides, playing on the amazing climbers, chasing the geese, checking out the animals, and riding the train and merry-go-round (except my son when I removed him from the merry-go-round.  That was not a pretty sceen.  The moms and dads all chatted and got caught up – it was so nice to see everyone again.  The last time we were “almost” all together was back in October! Way too long.  Luckily we will see most of the group again in July at the annual “Brickman Picnic” (thank you Brickmans!).   So here it is… the photo dump from Sunday!

Ahh... nope. Not going down this slide Momma!

Moments before Alex peed through his pull up... all over the equipment... sigh.

Jump Lucas Jump!

Matthew & Isabel hanging out.

I'm standing in front of Adam - that's how high up he is!

Daniel also loved the climbers.

I just like this one.

The frog shot - a must at Storybook Gardens

Daniel, Adam & Alex

Run Geese Run!

Very cute pic of Adam

Butterflies!!

Alex and Xander on the elephant ride

Emily & Isabel smiling

Getting boys to pose... not so easy. Lucas? Where did you go?

Sigh...

Passed out... (after a honey dip donut fix)

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60:40

WARNING: POTTY TALK… LITERALLY

60:40 is what I’d say Alex’s ratio is for using the potty. That’s right folks – we are almost there!  We are not full out “potty training” – but instead, just promoting it’s use. It’s pretty hard when we are not with Alex 24/7 – although our sitter is really good in getting Alex to go on the toilet with all the other kids before they go outside and play and before nap.  So most days, Alex comes home with the same diaper on that he had when I sent him.  I guess I shouldn’t say diaper – we have pretty much moved on to Pull Ups (except at night).

One thing that helps keep Alex dry through the night is that for the last week or so, Matt and I go in before we go to bed, and put Alex on the toilet. He’s still sleeping, but we whisper “go pee pee, it’s potty time” and he pees! My dad used to do that for me when he got home from his late work shifts and according to my mom it really works.

Most morning’s Alex is dry as well, and usually (but not always), we can get him to go pee right away on the toilet [using this cool potty seat – thank you Gifts to Grow Pampers points!], or we take off his diaper (usually kicking and screaming) and he has no excuse but to use the potty.  There is a potty in the tv room so he just sits when he needs too – and will tell us too: “Yeah Pee Pee!”

And not just pee – no siree! On May 26, Alex had his first poop on the toilet! Afterwards we went and bought a cool new Spiderman ATV toy as a reward [seriously – I had no idea I would be so obsessed and excited over bowel movements and use of the toilet].  He then went a full week pooping on the toilet – even when we went away to the cottage.  He also peed pretty much 100% of the time on the toilet as well that week.

So we are almost there.  The only real problem is that Alex seems to think that even if he tries to use the toilet he deserves a treat.  We made the mistake of starting to give him smarties after a bathroom success – should have gone with stickers.

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UPDATE

I wrote the above post on Saturday.  Two funny instances since:

1. At Storybook Gardens, Alex was so excited to play with the Seoul Siblings that he wouldn’t go to the washroom with me. Within 15 minutes he peed through his pull-up – and strangely it wasn’t actually wet! He must have had some crazy wedgie going on.

2. On Tuesday night, Alex had to go “#2” and he told Matt (so very proud!) and Matt got him on the toilet on time and all was good.  Then about 10 minutes later, he had to go again… and he wasn’t wearing a pull up at this point… and well, they didn’t make it in time. All over the floor and wall from my understanding. I was luckily at work and missed the fun times.

Must Watch

This youtube video has been making the rounds, and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend you do. It’s a very moving performance of a young man named Sung-bong Choi who made it from literally the streets of Korea to Korea’s Got Talent. He is a total inspiration.

Random Notes

These days I feel life is running so fast that I just can’t catch up – at least not on my blog in proper posts … Sigh. But random notes, that I can do. So before I lose the info from my overstuffed brain, here’s a purge… 
  • I’m totally addicted to Pinterest. [If you need an invite, let me know] I’ve been having too much fun seeing what lovely things my friends pin and what others in the world pin. I’ve also decided we are going to have the most beautiful cottage from all the pins I’ve gathered – gotta start playing the lottery. 
  • I recently created a felt floral brooch for Mothers in Action for Viet Nam – a project my friend KerryAnne has taken on. I’m honoured to be helping her with this project [and if you can, go buy something! 100% of the proceeds will be going towards helping children in need. No pressure 😉 ]
  • I came home the other night from work and Matt had taught Alex to say Momma Mia! Adorable! Even funnier is that I was catching up on some blogs the following day and a certain little C is doing the same thing!
  • Matt and I are going out on a “double date” tonight to the movies – [feels like highschool!] We are off to see Hangover 2 – should be a hoot! Alex is at my mom’s for a sleepover – Thank you Mom!
  • Last Friday night we took my mom to see the Beach Boys! It was essentially my mom’s first concert – she was so excited! Especially since her name is Rhonda… 
  • Matt bought us tickets today to go see “Rise Against” in October in London (Ontario)! Yep – I’m a hard rock girl at heart!
  • Last weekend I took Alex to the Railway Heritage Day in Stratford. He LOVED it!  Dozens of miniature trains in a giant hall. A little boy’s dream!
  • A co-worker and I are coordinating a craft show for the Library this coming October! It’s being called “Handmade Culture” to coordinate with Culture Days in Ontario.  So I am busy getting ideas for things to make as part of the sale.  
  • I’m published! I was reading Cottage Life magazine yesterday, and noticed a comment I made about the importance PFD’s was printed in the magazine! June 2011 page 15 to be precise. 
  • And I’m super excited about tomorrow.  Matt and I will be taking Alex to Storybook Gardens… and will be meeting up with the “Seoul Siblings” – can’t call them just bro’s now! There is a beautiful little girl now in the mix!

Random Notes

This past weekend was a long weekend here in Canada – Victoria Day! Gotta love celebrating the birthday of a long gone Queen. I’ll take anything to take a day off! I had work on Saturday, so after that it was pure “relaxation”.

Saturday morning Alex started his “blast ball”.  If you are not sure what blast ball is, you are not alone. I had no clue until this spring! Blast ball is like t-ball – you hit a ball off the tee, then run to a base and jump on it – and it squeaks. There is only one base.   It’s for 3-5 year olds – so a perfect start for Alex. Unfortunately I was working so I didn’t get to see how it went… but according to Matt it really didn’t go at all. Alex wouldn’t even walk across the field. I think the hundred or so little kids running and screaming made him a tad overwhelmed. In the end Matt took Alex out of the situation – he wouldn’t participate at all.  Poor guy.

Over the long weekend we had some decent weather which allowed me to get into the garden a bit. I worked up the garden I dug last year, planted a lilac bush and a mock orange bush. I also battled… the dreaded leatherjacket.  These nasty creatures are everywhere! They turn into crane flies later in the summer.  I’m waging a battle against these suckers.  I have been getting Alex involved (inspired from this book I won from this lovely lady last year).  Probably shouldn’t be teaching Alex to hate bugs – but seriously – did you look at them? The rain has been pushing them out of the ground (or should I say mud thank you very much mr leather jacket – they eat the roots to your grass) and the birds have been having a hay day.  Nasty people – Nasty!

Yesterday we tried a new dish – Chicken Panang – it was pretty good! Did I make it you may ask – ahh… no. Did we eat out? No. Take out? No.  I’ve found a new local “underground” service where a you can order premade meals and freeze them so you can use them as needed! Love it! Pick up my next order tomorrow (crab, spinach and cheese cannelloni).

Last night Matt was telling Alex to dream about the regular things – “boats, hockey, and atvs” – but to mainly dream about ATVs because we are going to be going to the cottage soon and he’ll get to ride on “pappa’s.” He got sooo excited! He clenched his hands and his teeth and started shaking! Love him!

Books On My Nightstand

Yes, I’m still here – just absent from the blogging world longer than I wish – but that’s life with a 3 year old! It’s busy! And after working on a computer all day, often the last thing I want to do at night is to hang out on my computer yet again. I am more often hanging out with a bag of chips and a glass of wine on the couch watching “How I Met Your Mother” or “Big Bang Theory”.

The one thing I still continue to do everything however is read. Books help me relax, and this working momma needs that.  I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still ensure I get a few minutes each night.   I am currently reading “Fear The Worst” by Linwood Barclay – I’m not far enough in it is tell if I’m going to enjoy it yet or not.

Recently I have read:

“The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” and “The Girl that Played with Fire”, both by Steig Larsson. I thought they were great!! They were (for the most part) fast paced and kept my attention – which caused me to stay up way too late more than once.  I’m going to be starting “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” shortly. I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

The book I just finished was “Secret Daughter” by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. This book was one of the best I’ve read in a long time.  It is about a three women – one in India, and one in California, and the daughter shared between the two.  One of the reviews on Amazon described the book perfectly – “On the surface, this is the story of a child born in terrible circumstances, the twist of fate that changes her life, and her adolescent search for self that creates ripples with the people who surround her. Yet there are many more layers to this novel. There is great complexity in the relationships between parent and child, and husband and wife, making them both realistic and heartbreaking. There are the questions of class, education, gender and culture in our globalized society, so beautifully illustrated through two seemingly opposite families. The characters are imperfect, but they all learn and grow through their experiences”

I personally felt that Gowda was able to accurately describe many of the emotions with adoption – through many different view points.  The emotions of infertility, the pain of making the best possible choice for your baby, the feelings of being adopted, the fears of an adoptive mom, and the strength of a mother’s love.   At times I thought she was reading my mind. For that reason alone, I would love my friends to read this book – so they may understand some of the feelings I have had in the past – and may have in the future.  Well, that reason and the fact that it is  compelling, well paced, and a great story.  One of the lines that I feel really resonates is “the family you create is more important than the one you’re born into.” How very true.  If you are going to read this book – have some tissues handy – it’s at times a real tear jerker.

I was actually just trying to find my last book blog post – and it was in November.  November! Yikes! Other good books I’ve read since then included:

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other” by Scott Simon (4 out of 5)
Little Bee” by Chris Cleave (4 out of 5)
Room” by Emma Donoghue (5 out of 5) – if you click on the link, be sure to watch the book trailer.
The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (5 out of 5)

So what are you reading? Any good suggestions? One I’m interested in is “Little Princes“.

Mobile Musings…

Have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone? No – well, I do. I take quite a few pictures, but never enough, on my phone, but never think to upload them. And guess what – just did, so here is a few of my recent favs (can you tell I play with Instrgram and Hipstamatic?)

I Won!

I was so excited recently to find out that I won a prize off one of the adoption blogs that I read!  The blog is Life with Lauryn, written by an amazing mommy – Lisa. She and her husband adopted a beautiful little girl named Lauryn from China last year.

I was quite surprised at the size of the box in the mailbox! I wish the picture turned out more clear… but you get the gist of it.  There were colouring books, crayons, bubbles, a fun ice cube tray, treats for Mason, treats for Matt and I, play doh, and a slinky! So much fun! Out of everything, Alex loves the ice cub tray the most. Silly guy!  So thank you thank you thank you Lisa, Kyle and Lauryn!