Saturday, October 27, 2007

Argh and Boo

Well, it's one step forward, one step back with the final bit of adoption paperwork. The application for Sam's certificate of citizenship was returned because I sent a personal check and they only take cashier's checks or money orders. I should have known better, having done this all before..."Doh!" Luckily this mistake "only" cost me the money it took to send the application by registered mail ($13 to cover several hundred dollars worth of original documents). What's another $13 at this point? Nothing really. It's just frustrating to make a dumb mistake on the last step!

The amazing thing was, they actually had the rejected application and all my forms back to me within 2 days of their receiving it. Not bad at all for a government office. :-)

On another note, we spent our Saturday morning with the largest mob of costumed people I have ever seen at the zoo's annual Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. The animals must have wondered what was going on, but they took it in stride. It was great! Alex discovered blue taffy, Sam had his first big Tootsie Pop, and we all had a grand time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

Took my little tiger and pumpkin to Engh Gardens' "Pumpkin Patch" today.
Alex took off through the hay bale maze, so I had to grab Sam and follow before I lost her. Luckily I was tall enough to see over the bales so I could sort of tell where she was. It was cute seeing her little tiger tail wagging along behind her. Sam liked playing with all the tiny pumpkins, and several people commented on what a cute pumpkin he was. Alex wore it 2 years ago, but she would never keep the hat on.

I've decided after all these years I should really just get a costume I like and wear it every year for Halloween. I tried looking around for some fun masks or hats, but all I can seem to find in the regular stores are very ugly, gory, or grotesque. Not to mention boring. There are a hundred variations on witches, vampires, beasts, ogres, etc. Where are all the cute, innocent, funny costumes? Nothing seemed to inspire me. Finally I bought a $2.50 headband with two spiders with "googly eyes" wobbling around on springs on top. If anyone knows where I can find a Lisa Simpson costume, let me know. I would dress up as Lisa and carry a sign with my favorite quote of hers: "The courage of the small embiggens us all!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One More Step

For over four years now, we've had adoption paperwork in process.

Today we got Sam's social security number in the mail. That means we have ONE MORE STEP in our adoption paperwork - obtaining the Certificate of Citizenship. After 4 years, I am ecstatic at the thought of being DONE!

The last step is exciting, but as with most things in adoption, it comes with a pricetag. The $420 fee for a Certificate of Citizenship is annoying for a couple of reasons. First of all, there is a law in effect that declares our adopted children citizens at the time of their adoption. BUT - despite that law - we still have to pay them $420 for the piece of paper that says it. Second, it is not technically "required" for us to get that piece of paper. Our childrens' passports, birth certificates, and adoption papers prove their citizenship. But passports expire, and in case there is ever any confusion (throughout our kids' lives the laws could change again - not taking away their status but people's understanding of it may be muddled, for instance if they are trying to apply for college scholarships, etc) so it's just nice to have that final declaration. For Sam, it's also a means of making sure he is never called to serve in the Korean army. Korean men have mandatory military service and I've heard about immigrants who were basically drafted after living in the US their whole lives. As I understand it, Sam's US citizenship means his Korean citizenship is automatically revoked.

So, I have downloaded the 7 page application for the CoC and the 8 pages of instructions and I will be happy to get them in the mail, despite having to write that $420 check. Lord willing, by the end of this year, we will be officially FINISHED with adoption paperwork. YAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Unless, of course, I can talk Bryan into adopting again in a few years! ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sam at 18 months

Slammin' Sam is a little ball of energy, a 21-pound tornado who spreads crumbs, toys, germs, kisses, and joy. We are in love with him. Well, with Alex it may be more like love-hate, but...anyway, here he is figuring out how to feed Elmo and modeling his shark pajamas. Note that his manhood is not at all challenged by the act of pushing dolls around in a pink stroller. He is in touch with his feminine side.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

my Saturday

Lest I let days like this go by without remembering how fun they are, I will blog today's events for posterity...

Sam wakes up and as usual, mine is the first face he sees in the morning. Happy Sam. I wish I had a video of his facial expression, though, when we enter the kitchen and he sees Lena smiling up at us from her seat on the kitchen table. You can just read "What is THIS doing in MY house!" all over him. Later, I'm goo-gooing to Lena and she's smiling and we're having a happy aunt-niece bonding moment, when Sam taps me on the arm. I turn and say, "Yes, Sam?" and he plants a big kiss right on my face. And some people think babies have a hard time communicating without language!

Enter Ava, a few minutes later. She is greeted by Sam with his favorite all-purpose name for people, "Mama!" and she says very seriously, "I am not a mama." Take that, Sam-I-am!

We make blueberry pancakes with pink food coloring (lately Alex is really into colored pancakes) and the girls help stir the batter. While the pancakes are cooking the kids eat frozen blueberries. Soon I have 3 happy kids with blueberry faces and fingers, and spots of squashed blueberries on my recently-mopped kitchen floor.

Soon it's time to go to Calvin's birthday party (he's 3). Alex throws a tantrum over having to wear clothes instead of pajamas, and refuses to go potty (it's 10:30 a.m. and she woke up dry and hasn't gone since last night). I realize I have not had a shower and now I don't have time, so I put on more eye makeup and hope it will detract attention from my greasy hair.

The birthday party is well attended, chaotic, and a big hit with the kids. I enjoy talking with friends I rarely see, and we all say we should get together more but no one has time. Sam pushes trucks around and makes truck noises while Calvin opens his presents. Sam cries when he can't have Calvin's new trains. Alex starts whining that her tummy hurts, which means she REALLY has to go to the bathroom now. I take her to the bathroom but Sam sees us go, which causes his face to crumple and he stands at the door and wails until I let him in, while Alex pees about a gallon and instantly her tummy is better. Later she wants to be "baby Lena" and eats chocolate cake with her hands instead of a fork, and then gets into smearing the cake all over her tray and hands, laughing hysterically. (At least she didn't smear it into her hair, though it would be easier to remove than A&D ointment.) Sam grabs another kid's cake and runs off with it in his mouth, a huge grin on his face. He then climbs up on me, smearing chocolate onto my pants and shirt. He falls asleep in the car on the way home.

We all take naps. Afterwards, the kids get baths and I dress Sam in a cute outfit he could wear to church tomorrow. I make spaghetti for dinner. After picking a thousand strands of red-stained angel hair pasta out of Sam's clothes, high chair, table and surrounding area, I vow to make only "shell" pasta from now on. Sam is whining about something and I hear Alex say to him, "Sam, where is your sunshine?" I smile. My sunshine is right here, all around me.