Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jae's Green Card

Jae's US Green Card arrived in the mail a week ago and I forgot to blog about it.  Jae is a permanent resident of the United States of America!

We took pictures of Jae opening the envelope which contained his Green wasn't that exciting until our dog, Larry, decided he needed to be in every picture!  The first one is my favorite.  :)

Jae's Mom

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Last 3 Days

Jae has made some pretty big strides in the past three days.  One very noticeable one is he is really starting to understand English (and repeat it).  It was like all the sudden he understood the "What does a cow/dog/kitty/chicken/duck say" game.  But our favorite is "What does Larry (the dog) say?"  Larry gives out this moan/growl when he goes to lay down and Jae has caught on to this.  So when asked what Larry says, Jae starts growling!  :)  It is really funny.  He also knows where his nose, tummy and ears are.  And asks for some of his favorite foods like crackers, bananas, and cheese.

He is also starting to warm up to my parents.  Jae is not ready for either of them to hold him, but he feel pretty comfortable with them here or even over at their house.  They both get kisses on the cheeks and plenty of fist bumps and high fives.

We are also doing better sans the milk bottle.  He still points toward the fridge and asks for Mammu even when a glass of milk is sitting in front of him, but it isn't an all out throw down.  He will take little sips here and there out of different containers.  And on the days when he isn't real big on our new milk distribution systems, we make sure he has plenty of cheese or yogurt.

Last night was fun because we decided to get out the Hanbok that we purchased for Jae while in Korea.  The kid went nuts!  He knew this was a special outfit.  How he knew, we have no idea but Jae was more than happy to put it on and pose for pictures.  Once the fall leaves start peaking in color we will have to have him photographed outside in it.  We also received the one he wore for his 1st birthday (which I hate to admit, but it is much nicer than the one we purchased) so he has a couple of Hanboks to wear at special occasions.

And ps - we let Jae feed himself chocolate pudding last night:

Jae's Mom

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cell Phone Pictures I Never Posted

I was flipping though my cell phone and found a few pictures from Seoul that I never posted:
Riding the Subway
Good to see they take an interest in American History!
Royal Palace Gardens
Subway, but I guess it is not a social event.
Paul at the Palace Gardens
Mountains on the North side of Seoul

Jae's Mom

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Battle of the Bottle

Every parenting article I read says take away the bottle by month 15 at the latest...and now I understand why.  Paul and I feel that Jae is attached to us enough that we can start to move away from having milk in a bottle (Korean adoptees are often left on the bottle to help them attach to their parents...looking us in the face while feeding, rocking while feeding, nourishment comes from parents, etc) and towards sippy cups.  Jae disagrees.  Milk comes from a bottle.  Water can come from sippy cups.  Juice can sometimes come from a cup and straw, but milk?  No, milk comes from a bottle!  End of story. 

We had a little (okay large) meltdown this morning because Jae was asking for "Mammu" (Korean for milk/formula) and I would not give it to him in a bottle.  Offered a sippy cup-no.  Then a regular drinking glass-no.  Then a cup with a straw-no. Chocolate milk in any of the three devices-no. He would not touch any of them.  So after his meltdown subsided, we made our way to Target to buy whatever drinking device we could find.  Two plastic monkey cups, water bottle type straw thing with Buzz Lightyear on it, and a "my first sippy cup" (and $12) later we made a small step forward with a small plastic monkey cup to which I added some chocolate milk.  25% of the chocolate milk made its way down the front of his shirt because he wanted to do it himself, but some went in and that is what counts. 

So it has been a rough day.  And it will be again when he wakes up from his nap because I know he is going to want the bottle.  And no, we are not cutting him off cold turkey, he had some milk from the bottle when he first woke up this morning.  I hate being mean mommy.  It kills me.  But I also know that we need to make sure we are at least drinking all liquids from a sippy cup (if not a normal plastic cup) but the time he heads to day care so we need to make the move at some point.

On a lighter note, foster family sent us home with a USB full of Jae's baby pictures.  Jae was clearly very loved by the entire family as we have so many pictures of him playing and smiling.  I have added a few below:

PS - The picture of Jae in the top right corner of my blog, where he is wearing the green stripped shirt...that was taken in the lobby of Eastern  That is the exact place we met him for the very first time.  Paul and I were sitting on the couch behind him when Jae and foster mom first walked through the door.  Fun little tidbit.

Jae's mean mommy that makes him drink milk out of something other than a bottle

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Caught in the Rain

I thought I was the world's worst Mommy this morning around 9:45am when Jae and I were 1.5 miles into our run and the cold heavy mist started and I kept pushing forward.  Selfishly I wanted to get at least 4 miles in so into the cold mist for at least another 1/2 mile we went.  Right at our 2 mile turnaround spot I checked on Jae to make sure he was okay and he had a little mist on his face, but otherwise was warm, dry, and smiling (thanks to a rain jacket, a couple of blankets and the stroller cover) so I decided to try and turn our 4 mile run into 5.  Right when I got to the 5 mile turnaround spot, I once again checked on Jae...who was out cold.  Warm, dry and snoozing like no tomorrow.  So, what started out as "What kind of mother takes her kid for a run on a day like today!" turned into "My nice mommy ran 3 extra miles so I could continue to nap."  Yep, I ran 8 miles in the cold mist (and wind I should add) so Jae could continue to snooze.  :)  Not that I mind the mileage.  I needed a little bit longer of a run to counter act the previous night's meal at Perkins and to get ready for my race come mid October.

Jae also slept through the night for the first time!  As noted in his baby book, the first time Jae Miles Herzog slept through the night for his parents was Sept 19, 2011.  Granted he hasn't slept though the night since, but our nights have been sooooo much better.  If he wakes up, it is only once or twice and he goes back down really easily.  No more 45 minutes of rocking at 2:30 in the morning.  Which means Paul and I can get back to our normal late night bedtime of 9:30pm.  Yes, we are such night owls.

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lots to Blog About

I can't believe an entire week has gone by since I last blogged.  We have been busy keeping Jae entertained, hosting a few visitors (for short periods of time) and showing Jae Owatonna.  Lots of trips to the grocery store, Target, Wal-Greens, work, etc and he seems to love every minute of it.  In fact I have to be careful about when I plan our little stroller and car seat outings as he loves both a little too much and has a tendency to take a snooze in them.  Being a Hunze, I am more than fine with a cat nap here or there (that is what us Hunze gals are good at) but Jae is still waking up a couple of times a night so we want to make sure we are at least trying for a solid night.

Speaking of bedtime, a HUGE stride in the right direction was made last night and tonight.  For the past 2.5 weeks we have been completely rocking Jae to sleep before putting him in his crib.  If we tried to put him down before he cried bloody murder.  And who can blame him?  He is used to sleeping in the bed if not the same room as foster mom and dad so a crib in his room all by his lonesome can seem a little scary.  But, the last two night we have been able to put him in his crib and let him fall asleep there.  Granted, it took an extra 30 minutes for him to fall asleep; but, he opened his eyes quite a few times and was okay with being in his crib.  I think we are going to try the 'stay by the crib' method for a good week or two before we place him in the crib and just leave.  My arm muscles will miss the workout though.  Rocking a 24 lb kiddo to sleep every night has given my biceps a much needed workout.  :)

Other news:  Jae's first American haircut!  See below pictures...Lisa did a great job.

And Jae's first American doctor visit!  We went and saw a wonderful new peditrician in the Owatonna area and she more than reassured us that we were doing things right (or at least not completely screwing up our kid).  Jae is getting the right amount (and kinds) of food and is growing just as he should be at 17 months.  The surprise of the visit is that Jat is in the 80th percentile for height at 17 months!  Although Paul and I wonder if she got the measurement right since Jae is still wearing 12 month pants.  Jae also got 4 shots that he didn't exactly love, but seemed to manage just fine.

Pictures from the last week:
Wagon ride with Daddy

Before hair cut
After with our artist, Lisa.   :)

Jae's favorite tiger jammies
Jae's Mom

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Paperwork

Even though Jae is living with us, in the eyes of the court, we are not legally his parents.  More like temporary guardians.  Which means we get to fill out an whole new pile of paperwork.  Paperwork that helps get him a social security card, state issued birth certificate, proof of citizenship and ultimately finalization in the adoption.  If we complete all that we should in a timely manner, Jae should have court appointment finalization in about 5 months.  And what a fun day that will be!  We have been told that local judges really enjoy adoption finalization appointments and I can understand why.  Kind-of a nice break from the traffic violations, criminal charges, and the other items that fill their days.  We might have to make a little party of the day and invite our friends and family over...but we will worry about that later.  Other things we need to complete in the next five months (less official things) include letters and pictures to both the foster mom and the birth mother.  Which I am happy to do.  Both of them help get me the son I already have grown to love.

This morning Jae and I made a trip (along with a large batch of chocolate chip cookies) to my office.  I think it is safe to say the kiddo was a hit.  At one point I looked up and about 30 of my co-workers were all standing around looking at Jae...sorry to any clients, marketers, etc that were trying to call at that took a second seat to the cutest kiddo ever.  Well, that is what his Mom thinks anyway.  It was fun to show him off.  And really fun to see the support we had behind us through this entire process.  The wait was long and I got the impression that I wasn't the only one that was ready for it be over.  :)

Visiting Daddy at work yesterday

Eastern.  Our home for the week.

Inside the Royal Palace

My 3 favorite guests also staying at Eastern.  Henry, Charles and Andrew.  Jae LOVED the oldest, Henry.


Name Chop being made

Jae's Name Chop

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Running is Hard

You know what gets a lot harder after traveling to Korea to adopt the cutest little toddler ever?  Marathon training.  I am still planning on running Whistlestop Marathon on Oct 15th up in Ashland, Wisconsin.  That is if I can get my training runs in.  This morning I was scheduled to do a 18 mile run and made it 15 miles before my body said "no more."  I think I will be able to complete the marathon, but any chance of a personal best is probably out the window.

Jae was all tuckered out from all his outside activities and went to bed pretty easily last night.  And here is the best part...only woke up once!  He had been averaging 3 or 4 times a night so hopefully this is the start of a new trend.

While Daddy went for a run today I taught Jae two very important social skills:  giving five and giving knucks.  I click my tongue when our knuckles bump and he thinks it is hilarious!  He even tried repeating the sound a few times.

It is nap time right now and then Great-Grandma Olson, Great Uncle Bob and Great Aunt Jane are coming down for a quick introduction. 

I haven't taken any pictures today (but will when our guests arrive) so here are a few more photos of Seoul.

Store at the Toy Market

Guard outside the Royal Palace

At the Royal Palace

Downtown Seoul

Shoe Market.  Yes!  An entire market devoted to shoes!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Last night was one of the worst yet for putting Jae down to sleep.  He really fought me and I had to actually turn the duty over to Paul because I was getting so frustrated.  Jae fought and kicked his way past his 8pm bedtime.  But the good news is, when he did wake up in the middle of the night, he went back down pretty easy.  Hopefully, as I listen to Paul read Jae a couple of bedtime books, things will go better tonight.

Jae had a couple of firsts with us today...first time going for a jog in the running stroller, feeding the ducks and then going for a ride in his wagon.  He loved them all!  Babies are often carried on Mom or Dad's back in Korea, in fact I don't think we saw more than 2 or 3 strollers during our week there, so we weren't sure how he would adapt to all the new wheels. But it is looking to be just fine.  We made it 5.5 miles in the stroller before he started to get a little antsy, so 6 miles will be his max.  Jae also seemed to enjoy the wagon.  Tonight there was a neighborhood block party on our street and Jae made his inaugural appearance to most of the neighbors and he was a huge hit!  See the below pictures of him eating corn on the cob and I think you will understand why.  I threw in a couple of other cute photos from the day's activities as well.

Jae's Mom

Friday, September 9, 2011

Big Day for Dad

Jae's Dad had a big day yesterday.  Jae finally warmed up enough to let him hold him even when I am in the room.  Things went so well that I was able to keep a dentist appointment.  Attachment to Dad makes things a lot easier on all of us.  And Dad changed his first #2 diaper!  It was a little stressful for the both of them, but they made it though just fine.

But we did take a step or two back last night, he was sleeping good until about 3Am when he started grieving.  He absolutely refused to sleep in his crib.  Jae only wanted to be held.  I ended up sleeping on the floor with him after an hour or so of fighting.  He went right to sleep as long as he was being cuddled.

We are off to meet Great-Grandma in about 30 minutes!

Jae's Mom

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Better Night

Jae had a much better night last night.  He still woke up about 4 times grieving, but that is expected.  The nicer part is that he was down from about 7:15pm until about 7:15am so at least he is getting on our time zone as opposed to Korea.  It is Paul that really has been struggling.  I am one of those that can pretty easily go back to sleep after putting Jae back down, Paul isn't so lucky.  Which is why I am the one up feeding blueberries and cheerios to our little dude while he sleeps in.  Another success of the night was Paul and both sleeping in our own bed.  We had been taking turn sleeping on the floor of Jae's room.  So with the baby monitor between us, we were both in our bed for the first time in over a week and a half.

Jae went down pretty easy last night as the result of his first ever stroller ride.  He met quite a few people on his ride...the fantasy football crew (which I had to bow out of at the last minute due to Jae's sleeping schedule...or lack there of), one of my bosses, a couple of friends.  Apparently it was too much excitement because he was out cold before I got home.  He didn't even wake up for his diaper/PJ change.  Now if we could just get him to stay asleep the entire night.

Jae's Mom

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pictures at Home

Rough Night

Jae had a rough night last night, which means Paul and I did as well.  Jet lag, grieving the loss of his foster family and teething all at the same time isn't fun for anyone.  It wasn't until about 2 am this morning that we realized teething was part of the mix.  Paul noticed one of his blankets was wet from saliva and thankfully I had put some teething rings in the freezer before we left for Korea.  He went to town on the icy teething rings.  And once we got the gums all numbed up, he decided he was awake and hungry.  Two eggs later (about 3 am) he was having bed time bucks.  I don't think he fully went to sleep until about 5am but then did stay down until around 9 this morning.  Paul and I are exhausted.  Paul thinks he maybe got 3 hours of sleep and I didn't get too much more. 

Although now that he slept in to a decent hour, we are hopeful that he might be more on CST as opposed to South Korea time.  We'll see.  It is 10 minutes to noon so it looks like he will not be taking a morning nap.  Hopefully a good 2 hour afternoon nap and then sleep good tonight.

I will post new pictures during nap time.

Jae's Mom

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Yesterday was a loooong day.  A full day in Seoul before flying out at 6:15PM and spending the next 18 hours or so in air.  The first leg (from Seoul to Chicago) wasn't exactly fun, but better than expected.   The first two hours of the flight Jae was busy with a capital B!  Up.  Down.  Up.  Down.  Kicking, reading, yelling, eating, singing, kicking and whatever else he could think of.  At one point Paul and I looked at each other and were like "you have got to be kidding me!"  Paul and I took turns eating our meal and by the time I was done with mine, Jae was out cold and remained out for about the next 5 hours.  The only problem is he was such a little heater sitting on our laps.  We had to take turns holding him so we wouldn't sweat to death on the plane.

But we made it to Chicago.  And before we were back through security in Chicago, Jae was asleep again.  I don't even think he saw the plane to Rochester.  He was asleep the entire way, which was nice. 

In Rochester we had a great crowd waiting for us to welcome Jae home.  Family and friend were all there to see Jae, but he was too tired.  I think he spent the next 20 minutes in my arms either falling asleep or actually asleep.  He woke up just in time to realize he wasn't a fan of the car seat.  But his little car seat buck didn't last long.  As soon as we got moving he was a happy camper with plenty of Gerber puffs to keep him happy (thanks Aunt Holly). 

The first hour at home (11pm) was awesome!  Our dog, Larry, and Jae did great!  They are already buddies...Larry getting whatever snacks fall on the floor and Jae giving "nice touches" to his puppy.  A friendship is already taking place which is huge relief.  After an hour of playing Paul and I decided we were done and everyone was going to bed with us.  Jae laid down right around midnight and was on and off until 5 am.  Which is all we could really hope for given the time change.  We are hoping to get his regular afternoon nap in today and then he will get a really good night's sleep tonight.

So the morning has been full of playing, dancing, eating, petting Larry, etc.  He really is a happy little dude and it is fun to watch.  :)

I will post some pictures later today.  Already this morning we have got some good photos of him. 

Ps - Thanks for all the food that was waiting for us!  Jae is extremely excited because he is the proud owner of 9 containers of Gerber puffs!  :)

Jae's Mom

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Both Daddy and Jae are napping so here are some promised pictures: