Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Last Wednesday I realized that we had no weekend plans, I wasn't working, and we needed to get out of town!  The phrase "Let's get the heck out of Dodge" ran through my mind several times.  The weather was to be nice and I was thinking about camping, until I realized that our little tent went gross and slightly broken and we threw it away a year ago.  Then I started thinking about how I'm old now and my back hurts after sleeping on the couch for half the night.  Hmmm... maybe camping isn't such a good idea.

A couple of friends suggested a trip to Cincinnati to check out their zoo and also Jungle Jungle Jim's.  A quick look at Jungle Jim's International Market's website and I knew that this was the place for foodies like us!


Our Jungle Jim's shopping experience was amazing, except for the whines of a four year old that was DONE after an hour there.  There were 4-5 isles of Asian food, and half of an isle that was specifically Taiwanese.  Score!  I really did buy eight boxes of pineapple cakes that were made in Taiwan.  We bought moon cakes, Chinese candies, Taiwanese wafers, dragon fruit, lychee fruit, Japanese sodas, and Japanese crackers.  For the kids, there were a few displays of animatronic animals.

HUGE, right?!?!

Dragon fruit, grown in Florida.  Why haven't I ever seen these for sale in Florida???




I can't imagine consuming this in my lifetime. HUGE!

The highlight of our trip was hanging out with our friends the Savages that recently relocated to the Cincy area.  So glad that they are just a couple of hours away now!  We like to bring their kids horrible treats, so we brought the kiddos large disgusting gummy snakes.  Amy got us back by handing our kids bright red popsickles "for the road."  Well played, Amy.  Well played!


For dinner on Saturday we went to the House of Sun because they had Taiwanese offerings.  I had three cup chicken which was AMAZING!  Three cup chicken 三杯雞 sān bēi jīis a popular dish in Taiwan that is named for using a cup of three different sauces for each chicken.  The sauces are soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil.  The chicken is usually left on the bone with the bones chopped up and the dish is usually cooked and served in an earthenware pot with the sauce reduced.  My three cup chicken was served with white sticky rice.  Loved it!  Kevin had Taiwanese noodles with chicken.  The kids both loved the noodles, but Kevin and I really loved the three cup chicken.  The House of Sun also offers Chinese breakfast.  Kevin tried to convince me to come back when they opened at 11am for Chinese breakfast, but we'd promised the kids the zoo in the morning, and needed to do that.  We'll be back for Chinese breakfast on another trip, for sure.

Mom, let's stop taking pictures and see more animals.
This mama likes taking photos of her little monkeys!

little boy + dirt = happy

I know. So stinkin' cute!

b&w snuggle boy
Hudson really liked snuggling in bed with us at the hotel.
He curled up so close to me at night that I kept getting edged off
the bed and had to move him back to the middle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

sisterly love

Kevin called me at work tonight with an important revelation:

I'm folding laundry in our bedroom and from down the hall I hear Hannah loudly and proudly make a proclamation... "Hudson, I love you!"


Thursday, August 23, 2012

at the hair salon

The whole family had haircuts today. Hannah showed Hudson
the baskets of curlers and hair clips that our stylist lets her play with.

Hudson was more interested in anything electronic.

Big sister Hannah was more than happy to show him how the hairdryer works.
Hudson's new word is "NO."  Sigh.  I wish we could have
delayed the expression of that word for a little while longer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012


middle of the night cries are very sad.  the little boy who hugs readily, gives surprise kisses, and now uses "wheee!" appropriately for fun is very different from the little boy who cries in the night.  he doesn't want picked up.  he usually doesn't want me, and he certainly isn't crying for daddy either.  it was a peepee diaper that woke hudson up, but the grieving cry is oh so sad, and makes me cry too.  i held hudson for an hour and a half one night in the recliner, both of us not sleeping.  i eventually laid us both down on the couch, hudson laying on top of me uncomfortably, and we managed to get a little sleep.

daddy's girl at the Dairy Queen


Sunday, August 12, 2012

portrait artist

my little portrait artist

Hannah and Allie, holding hands
  atrist's commentary from Sarah on Vimeo.

"This is Mommy, me, Gabbie's mommy, and Gabbie."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

my little squirts


little squirt



It should not come to anyone's surprise that Hudson's third real English word is "eat."  Kevin called me on my cell tonight as I was leaving work to tell me that Hudson was sitting on the kitchen floor chanting "eat eat eat eat" over and over.  I think that means I'm supposed to hurry home for dinner!

Words he says in Mandarin that we understand:  xie xie (thank you), mama, ba ba (daddy), jiě jiě (older sister), di di (younger brother), gǒu gǒu (doggy).

Words he says in English that we understand: mama (same as Mandarin), more, dada, and now EAT.

Along with tonight's eat eat eat eat eat, we're hearing a lot of ma ma ma ma ma ma and dada dada dada dada dada all day long as Hudson wants our attention.


Monday, August 6, 2012

水 {water}

Little dude, you are blowing me away with your comfort in the water. When we came home from Taiwan you screamed and cried when we sat you in one inch of water. When we took you to the public swimming pool for the first time, you clung to us like your life depended on it. Less than two months later, you lay down in the tub and blow bubbles in the water. Way to go, tonight! I'm so proud of you! Love, Mama

Saturday, August 4, 2012

zài jiàn, honeymoon period!


The honeymoon period is over. Bye bye!  Zài jiàn!  Hudson is testing us, and letting us know very clearly when he is not happy with the limitations placed upon him. He still likes to play, laugh, sing, and be chased... but he has decided to no longer stop bad behavior such as yanking the dog's hair when we tell him firmly no.

On the way home from Taiwan ROCks in Chicago (more about that later) we stopped at a McDonalds with a playland. I promised Hannah that if she ate a good dinner she could play for a few minutes. When I took both of the kids to the playland, I realized that there wasn't anything that an under two year old could do there. Everything involved climbing up first to go through tubes and down the slides. Hannah monkied up the play equipment, and Hudson wanted to go in right after her. Physically, he could climb it and tried to... but he's only 19 months old, and when he gets stuck and scared up there in that structure, I can't get up in there to save him. When I removed him from the play area I experienced the biggest fit from either of my children I'd ever seen. Screeching, scratching, hitting, bucking, and kicking with all of his might to try to get out of my grasp. It was bad. I can't explain to him that he can't do this because he could get hurt... and the only way he has to express his frustration with me is with a full blown fit. I walked Hudson out to Kevin to remove him from the situation and take him out to the car to settle down.

Bad behavior now has consequences, and we're working through that. I've been to the eye doctor's office at least four times since we've been home from Taiwan to have my glasses adjusted because of getting hit in the face with a hand, a bucking back, or a toy. We slowly moved away from bottles. When we picked Hudson up at 18 months old he was drinking four bottles a day and then eating a meal. We switched that to eating first and then a bottle, then dropped out to two bottles a day right before naps and bedtime, then went down to one nighttime bottle, and now no bottles this week. This week has been the hardest in our transition. I'm a mean mom because I wouldn't let Hudson drink my Corona light at the Mexican restaurant or let him open and play with lighters a the grocery check out. This morning over breakfast when the photo was taken, he was mad at me because I wouldn't let him eat his weight in grapes. Seriously, I think that about 15 grapes for a 19 month old are plenty and we can move on to eating other healthy foods. Throwing the buffet of Cheerios, cheese, apple slices, and bits of ham back at me is not acceptable table behavior.

Thursday night both kids played at Nana and Papa's house for a couple of hours. This is the first time we had been away from Hudson since we met him. He's totally comfortable with my parents and did great. When we dropped them off Kevin joked, "Okay... let's set the GPS for Florida and keep on driving!" it sounded really tempting.

I have a great support system of local adoptive mama friends as well as my online connections of Taiwan adoptive mama friends. Yes, there are so many other people that have much more difficult transitions when adopting children, but this is still HARD for US.  Thankfully, Hudson gives great hugs, participates in snuggle time, and enjoys kissing me on the lips over and over.  He's easy to love when he's not screeching.

walk in the woods family photo op

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