Healthy Girl

Last week, Londyn and I went in for her 18 month well child check. I dread these visits, not only because of the vaccines but because the minute we enter the exam room... she starts crying/screaming until the appointment is over. Exhausting... would be an understatement.

This time, Londyn actually managed to make it through the temperature, measuring and weight checks without a peep. What a relief! When Dr. Rollin came in to see us, Londyn put on her sass and charm by showing off her dance moves and all the words that she knows.

We were excited to hear that she has grown 2 inches taller and 2 lbs heavier! She is in the 88th percentile for weight and 97th percentile for height. Dr. Rollins thinks Londyn will be tall if she keeps going at this rate!

Now for the big news that I have been hiding for the last week! Because of Dr. Rollins suggestions for Londyn's lack of sleep, she has been sleeping for an entire week! Apparently, Londyn wasn't getting enough sleep during the day. When she started showing signs of dropping her morning nap at 13 months- I prematurely took it away! Boy, was that a mistake! Dr. Rollins recommended to let her sleep whenever she wants, for as long as she wants and go to bed earlier than I was putting her down. So, basically she sleeps A TON now and through the entire night! We'll see how long this lasts, but for now- I'm lovin' it!


Shoe Fettish

Londyn is showing me more and more how much of a girlie-girl she is becoming! Along with a love for getting her hair done, she loves to play with makeup and now has a fettish for shoes. All shoes. She is constantly walking around saying "Shoes... SHOES... shoes..." in my shoes or trying to put her own shoes on.

Last week we met some friends at the mall and Londie Lou got a chance to check out one of my favorite places... the Nordstrom's shoe department. Just like me, she has to touch and feel every textile. I'm training her well!

I like these...
and these too.
How do I look?
Oooo Daddy pants


Free & Fabulous

Another trip to Safari Sam's to get some wiggles out. FREE for the monkey is the best part!

This kid is a crack in the pants.

Time Out

Londie Lou has always been a pretty good listener for as young as she is, but lately she is into testing her favorite grownups. Her biggest temptation is the big red bench right outside our kitchen. She is constantly climbing up and standing on it... grabbing everything on the counter top that she can. It absolutely makes me batty and she always checks to see if I'm looking when she makes an attempt.

She know's that climbing on the bench means Time Out. Whenever I say the words, she walks over to the corner and puts her nose right in it. She usually stays there for a good 30 seconds and then turns around for a hug. I'm not gonna lie... it's pretty dang cute.

Miss Independent

Ever since we got back from California, Londyn has had a major tude. Of course, she's still cute... but she either wants me to hold her right when I'm in the middle of taking dinner out of the oven or she is throwing a fit because I am trying to help her use a fork. She has always been sassy... but I think we're getting a sneak peak at the terrible 2's.

Here is the little stinker at dinner tonight... with a nutritious helping of Chef Boyardee (don't judge me). She pitched a fit when I tried to spoon some of the noodles onto her tray and had to have the whole container to herself. I usually don't allow such a fit, but I have been up in the middle of the night with her for as long as I can remember... and I really just didn't care. Who knew a spaghetti sauce facial could be so cute!


Sunny San Diego

Not to brag or anything, but we got to spend the last 4 days in sunny California!
We traveled with my Mom & Dad, Gma & Gpa Strawn and my sis Jenelle to attend my cousin Cam's wedding reception.

On Friday we went with my parents to the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park. This park is filled with tons of wild animals and beautiful scenery! Londyn didn't know exactly how to respond to some of the animals... especially the Lorikeets that you could hold and Deer that you could pet. She kept saying "No no" and "Bye" to them.

On Saturday we got up and out early to soak up the sun and check out the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Andrew went to Boot Camp at MCRD and had not been back to visit since. It was crazy for him to be back and even remembered the very smell of Boot Camp. We did some souvenir shopping and walked around the grounds. Unfortunately, the Command Museum was closed for the holiday weekend. But we will definitely return in the future to see it!

We couldn't visit California without making a stop at In-N-Out Burger. Boy, were those burgers delish!

The reception was beautiful and of course, the sun was warm and delicious! The reception was held at my Uncle David & Aunt Gaila's beautiful home in Escondido.

Londyn was an absolute angel even with our delayed departure from Portland, barely any naps, lots of car seat and stroller time and even with our 4 hour delay returning home. Throughout the entire trip, she was a doll at every restaurant and never minded staying up late and sleeping in a new crib with Andrew and I in the same room. We were amazed.
We did capture her awesome bed-head do in all it's glory! I love this kid.

Once we got to the San Diego Airport, we were informed that our flight was delayed by 2 hours and then found out later it was delayed another hour on top of that. Andrew, Londyn and I headed to the USO in the airport to get some of Londyn's wiggles out. The volunteers were so kind. They fed us and even gave Londyn some toys. The kids/family room was fabulous, complete with tons of toys, a TV with movies to watch and even a sofa to get some rest. We couldn't have asked for a better way to kill time.

The sun was a breath of fresh air and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip! We were accompanied but great family, yummy food and just having fun together. I can't wait until we can do it all over again!

Thanks Ma & Pa Milne!


my miracle

It's 2am and I can't sleep.
12 hours ago, my life changed.

Around 1pm I received a phone call from Steve, a post adoption caseworker with Holt. He left a voice message informing me of some news from Korea that I would probably be interested in hearing. Of course, after listening to the message I quickly returned his call... only to get a voice mailbox. I left my own message and anxiously awaited for the news. Although I tried not to jump to conclusions, I knew exactly what he was going to say...

At 2pm, Steve called back and asked if I had time to talk for a while... OF COURSE I DID! He beat around the bush for several minutes and finally I told him that he was making me really nervous and to just tell me already!

My birth family has been found.

Even though I knew that was what he was going to tell me, I was shocked. No amount of time could have prepared me for this feeling. I still cannot stop smiling.
The truly amazing part of my search is that when I submitted my application on December 17th, 2010, it was only 11 days later that Holt received a response from my birth family. Steve said that in the 6 years he has been doing this, he has never seen a birth family and adoptee connect so quickly.

The following are two e-mails that were sent to my caseworker from from Holt Korea:

Received December 28th

The following is the birth search update requested on December 17th.

The police search result showed that the birthfather, Mr. Kim, Dae-Shik, passed away in March

4, 2008.

It was the adoptee's aunt (the birthmother's younger brother's wife) who called this morning

regarding the telegram which was sent to the birthmother. According to the aunt, the

birthmother was really shocked, and did not know how to react to the telegram. She asked the

aunt to call us instead to learn what it was all about. The birthmother remembers of her

relinquished daughter, said the aunt.

The aunt tells me that the birthmother would like to receive the letter/photos of the adoptee,

and since none of her children is aware of the adoptee, the birthmother is somewhat fearful of

the past being found out and how her other children would react.

The birthmother currently lives alone, and working at a market place, selling vegetables and

fruit. She is 60 years old now, and she currently lives in the south province of Korea, Kwang-

Joo city.

I hope and pray that once receiving the adoptee's letter/photos, the birthmother would be able to

directly contact us.

The letter and photos will be mailed to them tomorrow.

I will continue to update you on this. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you

with this case.

Received January 6th

Today we received the letter and 2 family pictures from the birthmother herself who lives in

Kwang-Joo city. I also spoke with her on the phone.

Family picture #1 was taken long time ago (she does not quite remember when it was):

back row: birthmother & birthfather
front row (from left to right): Jin-Sook (3rd daughter), Eun-Jeong (4th daughter), Hang-

Woon (only son), Eun-Young (2nd daughter), Jin-Yi (the 1st born)

Family picture #2 was taken in 2010 to celebrate the birthmother's 61st birthday (Korean age).

The birthmother did not mention anything about the 5th daughter who was supposedly

relinquished too, according to our intake information. At this stage of my first contact with

the birthmother, I did not bringing this up.

She was very frank and honest about the past when her priority and reason to live was to bear a

son for the family.

The birthmother, Mrs. Lee, Keum-Soon, tells that the birthmother, Mr. Kim, Dae-Shik, was

such a healthy and active man until he had brain aneurism in 2008.

The family got together last week, and shared the pictures and letter from Hyo-Eun.

Birthsisters did not know about Hyo-Eun until recently, and they would also like to write to her

after some time of processing.

The following is a letter from my birth mother:

Dear my daughter whom I loved only in my heart,


I don’t even deserve to call you by that name, and “my daughter.” I have nothing but shame and guilt as I even dare to write this letter to you. Forgive for calling you, my daughter.

However as soon as I saw you in the pictures you sent me, resembling so much of your older sisters, I couldn’t help myself with a delusion that you have been always part of our lives.

Before anything else, I would like to express my sincere thanks to your adoptive parents who loved and raised you since you were a baby. You are now a well grown up with a daughter of your own. I am so grateful. No amount of word will be enough to express my gratitude.

Dear Hyo-Eun,

Thank you for growing up well, and I am truly sorry for not keeping you back then. I am so sorry. How could I possible put into words to explain why I had no choice to do what I did?

I just thank you for the effort to find me and your birthfamily like this. Thank you for letting me know how you are doing. I hope that I will be able to meet you and your adoptive parents too.

I hope that I will also be able to meet your family, your husband who seems to love you very much, and your beautiful daughter.

Please let me tell you a little about the family: You have 4 older sisters. Three of them are currently married and one is still single. Their names are (from oldest to the youngest – “Jin-Yi” (39) “Eun-Young,” (35) “ Jin-Sook,” (33) “Eun-Jeong.” (30) Eun-Jeong who is a beautician lives with me in Kwang-Joo city.

You also have a younger brother who is now a sophomore in college. His name is “Hang-woon.”

I hope that the day of our big reunion will come sooner than later.

Until that day, please be well and take a good care of yourself.

I will look forward to your next letter.

Um-Ma (mom)

I still cannot fully put into words all that I am feeling, so I will just share what I wrote in response.

My Dear Um-Ma,

I received a call from Holt today, notifying me of your response to my search for you. I am still in shock that I finally found you.

I can’t stop staring at the photos that you sent of my Korean family. It makes me so happy to see how much I look like my sisters and especially like you.

I was saddened to hear that my birth father passed away almost 3 years ago. I am especially sorry for your loss and hope that someday you can share with me, who he was and what he was like.

Now that I have found you, I want to go to Korea and meet you soon. I would love for my daughter to meet her cousins, aunts, uncles and especially her grandmother. My adoptive parents and I have been hoping for the day to come when we could finally meet you and thank you for all that you have done for us.

I can’t express to you enough how much I have always loved you. I would be honored for you to call me your daughter, as I am blessed to call you my “Um-Ma”.

I look forward to your next letter.

All my love,

Kacie (Hyo Eun)

I can't stop looking at the photos and analyzing who I resemble most, who Londyn looks like and whether I even resemble them at all. When I look at their faces, I love them already. It's instant. I love how sweet my Um-Ma looks and how close of a family they appear to be.

Even though I have never met them, I miss them. Is that strange? I want so badly to meet them and know them. I want Londyn to meet her cousins and get to play with family that look just like her. I never had that.

Even in all the excitement, I keep thinking about the 5th daughter. Finding my Korean family gives me that much more hope to find her. I want to meet her and know her story. I know she's out there. She doesn't even know I exist... but I have a strong feeling that she wants to find me too.

My parents are already talking about a trip to Korea this summer. It can't come soon enough. I haven't even cried yet. I'm still processing all that has taken place, but I have a strong feeling that when the day comes and I reunite with my Um-Ma, I will shed 24 years worth of tears.


"peas air" Part II

On Tuesdays, Londyn tags along with me to Young Women's activities. Last night we had a Beauty Night and the girls made super cute fabric flower headbands and learned makeup and hair tips. I had the chance to talk to the girls about taking care of their bodies, AKA personal hygiene. I decided to dress up (or down) for my little spiel. Of course, Londyn wanted in on the fun too!



Ever since December 26th... I've been in somewhat of a post-holiday funk. The magic just seemed to vanish when the decorations came down and Andrew started a new term in school. The laundry had been giving me the evil eye... along with the dishes and crumb covered floors. I'm sure some of you can relate. I was feeling overwhelmed, bummed out and anxious.
I needed a break.

Andrew was at drill all last weekend, so I took 4 hours on Saturday just for myself. My sister and her girls watched Londyn, while I ventured out for some much needed "me" time. I got a 1 1/2 hour massage, chowed down at a local Chinese restaurant- complete with peace and quiet, no wiping of noses or mouths, no cell phone, just the sound of my own mouth savoring each bite. I then hit up Target and spoiled myself with a new ensemble.
It was pure bliss and rejuvenation.

I was ready to snag my little sassy-pants and tackle that nasty laundry. It was just what the far-from-sane housewife ordered.

"peas air"

The title of this post is a sentence I hear repeatedly every morning from the little munchkin.

Translation: "please hair, please hair!"

Londyn pleads with me daily to get her hair done. The only way I can really get her to cooperate about getting dressed in the morning is by telling her that if she gets her clothes on, we can do her hair. There's no doubt about it. She's definitely my kid.

She loves sitting on our bathroom countertop and looking at "nun-done" in the mirror. She points at herself and smiles, saying "nun-done... air?" (Londyn, hair?) and "petty" (pretty)

She makes it so easy to doll her up, doesn't she?



The morning of New Years day, we went up to my brother Kevin's house to practice shooting Andrew's new hand gun. I thought this gun would be much easier than his others, as it's much smaller and looked to be the perfect size for me!
When it got to be my turn, I thought I knew exactly what I was doing... so I loaded the gun, stood steady and fired. You're thinking... whoop-de-freakin'-doo, right? Wrong. Prior to shooting the gun, I forgot to evaluate how my hands were positioned. They were not in the right position... which led to the action kicking back and biting me right on the knuckle of my thumb.

I turned around and said, "Uh... I'm bleeding." As we walked back up to the house, it kept bleeding and bleeding all over the place (Sorry Bec for the blood splattered on your front porch). After applying pressure, I could see a white surface within the wound and was convinced it was my bone. Hello... I see open skin, white and think bone... wouldn't you? Wrong again. Doc said it was just a layer of fat under the skin... which was not nearly as dramatic of a response I was fishing for.

We went to the Urgent Care while my nieces watched Londyn. Doc gave me 4 stitches and sent me on my way. The anesthetic was the most painful part!

Yesterday was the first day post-accident and I'm not gonna lie, it hurt like no other. I seriously thought something was broken. The Vicodin helped me sleep at night, so at least I got some rest.
Today I woke up and it was feeling tons better! I could actually put pressure on my other fingers without getting a shooting pain down my hand. Although, the improvement quickly vanished when Londyn threw a tantrum and kicked me in the hand. Gotta love the kid.

Who can top that New Year's story for starting 2011 off with a bang?


The moment we've all been waiting for...

Londyn turned the ripe ol' age of 18 months today! Not only is she becoming such a big girl, she is old enough to go into Nursery for two whole hours at church! What does this mean? No more chasing and wrestling the grumpy, hungry and just-wants-to-play toddler for three hours! Of course, now that she is officially allowed to be in Nursery class, I am constantly tempted to go check in on her. Go figure!

Grandma Milne just happens (she had some say) to be Londie Lou's Nursery teacher and like usual, the 2-foot tall sassy pants has her grandma wrapped around her finger. Londyn is the youngest in her class, but has no problem holding her own. She absolutely loves the toys and having snack like all the big kids. Today when I went to pick her up, she kept saying "Nononononooo... no no."

My baby is growing up too fast!

Londyn's picture she colored/decorated in her first Nursery class!