Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

Whatnot Wednesday May 23, 2012

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 9:00 AM

  • I’ve recently realized that in every classroom, there will always be a mother who makes cute, crafty gift bags for every child for every occasion.  This mother will never be me.  And I will always slightly resent her.
  • Isaac and I have been reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” together.  His first chapter book and he is following along so well!!  Anyway, he told me the other night that he wanted to read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Featuring: Mr. Willy Wonka”.
  • We were explaining vowels to Isaac one day.  Right when he got down the concept of “a, e, i, o and u”, I threw in that sometimes “y” was a vowel.  A few hours later, he asked me, “mom, what days is “Y” a vowel on?”.
  • Playing outside one day, Matthew got on his scooter.  He had on his helmet, and stood there for a minute, then he looked up at me and said, “Let’s scoot!!”.
  • Our cat has been going out in the backyard for a few hours at a time.  He slinks around, chews on grass, climbs on the kids playground, and lays in the sun.  And then he stands at the back door and meows, and when I let him in, he goes downstairs and poops in the litter box.  Then he comes back upstairs and meows to go back outside.  Is this not horribly wrong?
  • When Isaac plays superheroes, he fights the imaginary bad guys, kills them and then tells me they are in bad guy heaven.
  • We bought the boys an inflatable pool on Sunday and they were so excited.  Isaac screamed, “this is the best night in the whole wide world!!!!”.  And it kinda was.



Forgotten Milestones May 15, 2012

Filed under: I'm a Sap,mommy brain — Elizabeth @ 9:43 PM

My sister is in the hospital tonight, getting ready to have her first baby!  I will be going down tomorrow to join in the fun, but tonight I am thinking about all the things to come as she prepares to meet her son.  More specifically, I am thinking about milestones, all of those major life moments that you look forward to as a parent.

Any baby book will highlight events like birthdays, first words, first steps, and first lost tooth.  And those milestones are great.  They are beautiful, and memorable, and often captured in photographs.

But some milestones, you don’t see coming.  They are surprising and more meaningful than you ever expected, and they take your breath away.

Here are some milestones that I think the makers of baby books everywhere forgot:

First time they use their own money to buy a long coveted item.

First time they outsmart you.

First time you walk in a room to find them praying.  Double points for the first time you find them spontaneously praying for their someone else.

First time they hurt themselves and try valiantly not to cry.

First time they use “y’all” correctly.

First time they see you cry.

First time they independently throw up into a container or toilet without your help.  (this just happened to us yesterday–YES!!)

First time they let go of your hand to walk ahead of you and take the hand of a girlfriend.

Oh yes, there are many firsts to look forward to and remember.  But what about the lasts?  Because that’s what is so heartbreaking about motherhood.  You can’t record the lasts…..because usually as it’s happening, you have no idea that it will never happen again.

The last time you rock them to sleep.

The last time they pronounced girl as “goy-el”.

The last time they used the ipod bear to fall asleep.

The last time they cry when you leave them at daycare.

The last year they believed in magical elves and Santa Claus.

Sometimes the lasts are just as memorable as the firsts but they don’t strike you until you realize they aren’t there anymore.

So my dear sister, on this the eve of motherhood for you, my only advice is to enjoy it all as much as you can.  {But don’t feel guilty on the days when frustration reigns supreme.}

The firsts will burn themselves into your brain, but the lasts……the lasts can get lost in the drudgery of the everyday.

So breathe him in everyday, committing those memories into your every cell.  Because while sometimes the days seems to crawl by, I can assure you that the years fly by.

Buckle up for this life changing journey you are about to take.

You are ready.


Sometimes I Wish it Had a Name May 9, 2012

Filed under: adoption thoughts,Matthew,special needs — Elizabeth @ 9:21 AM

Last Thursday was Kindergarten Kickoff at the boys’ new school.  It was a time for the kids to have a little while to explore their new school and for the parents to get informed about everything we need to know.

We were excited about it for many reasons, but mostly because we were going to meet Matthew’s friend.  THE friend.

You see, after 2 years of preschool, Matthew has identified one child as Friend.  His name is Sam, and Matthew talks about him with a smile on his face.  Matthew plays with Sam and if Sam isn’t at school, Matthew plays alone (this is his choice).

Actually, there are many kids who would like to be Matthew’s friend, and perhaps he is friendly with them at school.  I’m not really privy to what goes on there.  But I can tell you this–we have run into kids from Matthew’s school out in the real world….at parks, at stores, at the doctor’s office.  And the same thing happens every time.  Their face lights up, they say, “Hi Matthew!” and he immediately says “NO” and walks away.  Matthew consistently denies even knowing them and then leaves me standing there trying to smooth things over with a confused child.

So we were overjoyed to find out that out of every single child in Matthew’s preschool, there was only one going to the same elementary school as our boys.  And it was Sam.  Better yet, Sam’s mother is part of the instructional support staff at this school and she has recommended that Matthew and Sam be in the same class to help ease their transition into kindergarten.

We were going to meet Sam and his mom at kindergarten kickoff and for 2 days when we talked about it, Matthew would say, “we see MY FRIEND there.”  He was so excited.

When we got there, we scanned the crowded lunchroom and Matthew identified his friend, and then he did what I had hoped against hope wouldn’t happen.  He cried, he refused to look at or speak to his friend, he wouldn’t sit at a table with him.  All the kids were supposed to get nametags and have their picture taken.  When Matthew realized that they needed a picture of him with nametag clearly displayed, he crumpled up the nametag on his shirt, shoved the whole thing in his mouth and hid his face.  It would have almost been funny if the situation was different.

I was so disappointed.  Sam was disappointed.  Isaac was disappointed (and I’m sure annoyed, because most of the important occasions like this take this sort of stressful turn.  One day in another post, I will have to write about how my heart breaks for Isaac in situations like these).

Sam’s mom came to talk to me and asked me what it was that Matthew had been receiving services for (she was aware that he had “graduated” from the special ed program).  My answer was speech, but the glaring elephant in the room was that there are serious issues going on here, and speech is basically the least of our concerns.

But I have no name for this.

My son is socially and emotionally crippled in a lot of ways.  But he is not autistic.  He is not “on the spectrum”.

My son has some sensory issues.  But he does not have a sensory disorder.

My son has some attachment problems, but he does not have reactive attachment disorder (and yes, I am thankful for this).

And I don’t wish these diagnoses on him, I don’t.  But sometimes I think it would be easier if I had something like this to fall back on.  Some explanation of his behavior.  And I also know that I don’t owe anyone an explanation of his behavior, but it is hard to see these searching looks from people, wondering what is wrong.  And maybe if there was a diagnosis, it would make me feel a little better at night as I lay in bed thinking about all of it, worrying if he will every really have friends.  Because I know that soon, no kids are going to want to put up with that kind of reaction from him.  I can’t blame them.

My son has special needs.  Glaring special needs that don’t really have a name, and that is harder than a diagnosis, I think.  Because when they don’t have a name, there is also no clear treatment.

And that is hard.

After kindergarten kickoff, as we walked to the car, Matthew looked around expectantly and asked, “where’s my friend?”.

“Matthew, we saw your friend, and you wouldn’t talk to him.  He talked to you and you wouldn’t even look at him.  Kindergarten kickoff is over now.”

“Oh,” he said as his smile disappeared.

We climbed into the van and buckled up.

“Matthew, why didn’t you talk to your friend?  He likes you and it made him sad when you wouldn’t talk to him.”

His face clouded over as he looked out the window and whispered, “I don’t know”.



Husband and Kid-Approved Healthy Muffins….oh, and gluten-free! May 7, 2012

Filed under: food! — Elizabeth @ 12:17 PM

Muffins are a constant around here.  The kids seem to love them, no matter the ingredients (we like to use pumpkin, butternut squash, bananas and other things), they are a healthy breakfast, snack, lunch (I put them in Matthew’s lunchbox instead of a sandwich because he is gluten free), and sometimes even dinner–last Friday night we had these muffins, homemade hash browns and locally made bacon.

They were the first thing I knew I had to learn to make gluten-free because I love them too.  I’ve been fiddling with this recipe and I think it’s pretty good now.  The kids are gobbling them up as we speak:

Yummy Molasses Muffins

1 single serving cup of unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup molasses

1 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup ground flax

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 tsp grated orange zest

1 cup chopped dates

1/3 cup local honey or pure maple syrup

1/3 cup oat bran

2/3 cup + 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF flour

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Blend the first 9 ingredients together.  Then in another bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Blend the wet and dry ingredients together and then transfer to greased muffin cups.  I used coconut oil for this–I am very new to this oil.  As a matter of fact, that was the first time I used it for anything!!

So there you have it, these are pretty much ALL ingredients that I feel pretty darn good about, especially when they are organic, which the applesauce, flax and yogurt were.  And when everybody in the house happily gobbles them up, I feel even better about them.

PS–if you want to make them, but you don’t have to go gluten-free, just use 2/3 cup + 1/4 cup of whatever flour you choose, and omit the xanthan gum.



Whatnot Saturday May 5, 2012

Filed under: whatnot — Elizabeth @ 8:58 AM
  • Isaac got some new Spiderman underwear the other day.  Mostly because I was getting sick of him updating me like this, “Moo-ooom, I only have 2 underwears left in my drawer–you need to do laundry!!!”.  So the solution here is not so much to do more laundry, but to buy more underwear.  See how that works?  Anyway, he wore a Spiderman shirt to school and had on Spiderman shoes.  When a teacher was getting him out of the car, she commented on that and he promptly began to pull his pants down to show her his new underwear.  Which makes sense–it’s kinda cruel to have underwear that awesome and not be able to show them to anyone.
  • Is it weird that for our anniversary, I asked my husband to make me a place to start a compost pile?
  • Isaac’s version of Ring Around the Rosie includes the line, “Achoo, Achoo, we all fall down”.
  • I have this fantasy.  It involves a day with nothing to do and no kids to take care of.  This fantasy is me, in bed, watching crappy Lifetime movies.  I say if you’re gonna dream, dream big.  So this is kind of a sad dream in many ways, but mostly because even if I get the chance to do it, I never do, I choose household chores or computer stuff every time.  So months ago, I DVR’d a crappy Lifetime movie, much to the amusement of my husband.  And Tuesday night, I got my chance.  Jason was at church til late helping out with something and the boys go to bed at 7.  So I sat on the couch and watched a Lifetime movie called “Blue Eyed Butcher” and ate sea salt caramel gelato.  And it was everything I hoped it would be.  At least until Jason got home and talked loudly over the last 20 minutes of the movie.  {le sigh}
  • Isaac climbed into the car after school and asked me, “Mom, do you know why Lizzie-Lu wasn’t at school today?  Because she has a BUG living in her tummy!!!!”.  {she had a stomach bug–had to explain that one to him}
  • Isaac to me:  Mom, you’re my BEST friend!!  Me:  oh buddy, you’re my best friend too.  Isaac:  Well……maybe not my best friend……
  • Have you seen those new Swiffer commercials?  They are hysterical.  The ones where the woman finishes cleaning faster because of the awesome Swiffer products and then she has this unexpected extra time and she says things like, “I’m gonna drink this coffee…..on the porch!!!” or “I’m going to read one of these books!”.  You can tell a woman wrote that because it’s so true.  That is what I imagine my life is going to be like when the boys go to kindergarten.  A girl can hope.
  • Isaac was excited to tell me about a party at our library to kick off the summer reading program.  The main selling point:  it costs FREE!!!!
  • Isaac has a shelf of bins in his room to keep toys in.  If you look at it, it looks totally chaotic, but there is a method to his madness.  One day, he was playing with this cheap hat he has and it broke.  I said we should probably just throw it away and he said, “no, we will put it in my bin of ‘broken things and things I don’t understand’ “.  Yep, he’s got a bin for that.  It contains old glow necklaces that don’t glow anymore, a broken giraffe hat, and a chopstick he found at the park that has chinese characters on it (hence, the things he doesn’t understand).
  • If you can find something cuter than Isaac saying “easy, peasy, lemon squeezy” with his missing tooth lisp, I would really like to know about it.

The Birthday-versary May 3, 2012

Filed under: Jason,looking back,Matthew — Elizabeth @ 9:35 AM

Re-posted from last year……..

Nine years ago, I married my best friend.  It was a day much warmer than today that started out with storms, but ended with sunlight.  Actually, it ended with cake and champagne and karaoke.  It was a good day.

Nine years ago, I doubt we could have imagined our life as it is now.

Nine years ago, I thought driving a Saab was a priority.  (Now I covet minivans)

Nine years ago, we had 2 dogs, 2 cats and lived 2 blocks from the beach.

Nine years ago, we were different people.


Five years ago, on the other side of the world, a baby was born.  The baby was born to a woman that we don’t know.  Her face, her personality–we have no clue, although I imagine we see glimpses of her everyday.  She gave birth to a child that would later be our son.

Five years ago, South Korea was not on my personal radar.

Five years ago, I wasn’t even sure we would adopt.

Five years ago, I was consumed with being the mother of a 6-month old baby named Isaac.

Five years ago, I had never even heard of bulgogi.

But our youngest son was born that day.


Tonight we will celebrate it all–another year older for Matthew and another year together for his parents.  Bulgogi for dinner.  Something I am rather good at preparing, and to think, 4 years ago, I had never heard of it.  Cake–gluten free cake, at that.  We will celebrate family.  Family around our table and family around the globe–known and unknown.  We will celebrate surprises.  Like saving for a minivan and finding your family in the most unexpected places.

Oh, you naive lovebirds, how could you ever have guessed it would be this good?