As promised... lots of answers to lots of really great questions! It took longer than expected to answer these. Mostly because my awesome husband was networking all of my computers and my iPhone last weekend so they all automatically sync. It's awesome. My life is already soooo much better. Even if I had no computer for a little while. [smile] I had a blast with this - I hope you did too. Especially since I plan to use this type of format for my next giveaway. [wink] So, without further ado:
Kelly C. asked: Looking back now, what is the one thing you wish you’d known then while you were going through the waiting process for Spencer?
Hmmm... my first question and it's a tough one! I think that I wish I had known how little time I was really going to have once I was home with Spencer. I may have been a little better about focusing on things besides work. Instead I threw myself into work and figured I could do the other stuff "later." "Other stuff" meaning organize the basement and the closets (nesting), finishing some craft projects, and reading some books that have been on my nightstand for too long (but require more mental focus than I have right now). Later still hasn't arrived and the things that aren't done are keeping me up at night. We have enough sleep issues that I don't need that as well!
Kelly C. also asked: Did you realize that 25,500 = about double 12, 450?
Yes Kelly, I did. The plan was originally to do it when I hit 24,900 which would have been exactly double. But I've come to realize that my plan needs to be throwing the plan out the window!
Kerryanne asked: What is Spencer’s absolute favorite thing lately? For example…My little man went through a phase of *only* wearing a certain hoodie with a certain blue train named THOMAS on it. Every. Day.
Hmmm... this is another tough one. There's lots of things that Spencer likes right now. Trucks, bubbles, balls, dogs, Gymbo... but I think his favorite thing is Elmo. Case in point: We were shopping in a big-name-computer-store over the weekend and I was looking at some software when Spencer started to flip out. Why? Cause he had spied (three shelves down mind you) an Elmo game. And would not let up with the frantic "mo mo mo" until we gave him the box to carry. At which point he carried it around the store for twenty minutes showing it to anyone who would look. Crazy kid.
Rebecca asked: What has been the most unexpectedly rewarding part of parenting for you? What has been the most unexpectedly hard part of parenting for you?
There's lots of rewards that come with parenting, but the one I didn't think would be quite so rewarding is the random moments during the day when Spencer looks up from what he's doing, looks for me, and upon spotting me breaks into the biggest smile. It gets me every time.
The unexpectedly hard part? I never, ever would have guessed how hard it is to function on very. little. sleep.
Sue asked: How did you decide on Spencer’s name? I love hearing how people name their kids!
Well, we originally loved the name Beckett in that it-would-be-cool-to-have-a-kid-named-that sort of way. Then, a certain pitcher (Josh Beckett) joined a certain baseball team (Red Sox) and the name had to be stricken. It was a sad moment. I tried replacements like Bennett, and that just didn't feel right. But what that did provide was a list of "sibling" names that I liked. A lot. On there was Spencer. (And a couple of others I won't divulge in case I need them down the road!) So we had our these-are-cool-names list, and that was that. We decided that we were in a good place until the referral. We actually thought we would wait until meeting him to make the final decision, but it was relatively obvious very early on that he was Spencer.
Mer asked: Lulu and I would like to know what Spencer’s fave bath toy is?
Actually, his favorite toy is the bowl we use to rinse his hair. Tons of toys and that's what he picks... oh well! Rumor has it he may be getting a few new ones to test out for Christmas though...
Theo, Emmett, and Rubin asked: We were wondering, does your mama love chocolate as much as our mama does? And if so, what is her favorite kind? Also, if she could vacation anywhere in the world with just your daddy, where we she choose (besides south korea, of course. we think that’s pretty obvious.)
Uh, yes. I love love love chocolate. My current fave is a certain bar that is dark chocolate with dried cherries and almonds. Drool.
Vacationing... I would love to go back to Costa Rica again. But also on my short list is Australia... and that's been there for a while. So I'll say Australia! Or maybe Portugal. Hmmm... can I have two trips please?!
Anne asked: Do you plan to adopt again?
Ugh. I haven't really gone into the hell that is our finalization right now. None of it our fault or within our control, but completely throwing us for a loop. (I'm thinking about doing a password-protected post on this soon, mostly because I need to get it off my chest) So being that there's some serious stuff going on with this adoption, and the fact that we're looking at least another 6 months before we're final, I can't even let myself think about if we want to expand our family. I'm the type of girl that likes to know what her options are, so we have multiple plans in our minds... we just don't know which one we will pursue quite yet. How's that for a non-answer?
Janet asked: What is your most “proud” knitting project (something you made that you are most proud of) and how long have you been knitting? Have you knit stuff for Spencer?
My proudest project? It's the one and only sweater I made. It's a simple tank top but I used really funky yarns. It's the only thing I attempted that HAD to be accurate in size and gauge... and I love it. I also love that people always stop me and tell me they like it when I wear it. As for things for Spencer, I have knit two hats for Spencer... and neither is finished. That's it. It's kind of a shame. I had such big plans... but didn't follow through. Luckily their is a hoodie pattern I am eying that will fit him next winter. I can still redeem myself!
Elizabeth asked: What kind of food do you absolutely HATE, if any?
Ham. Especially those spiral cut ones. Ugh. It's making me gag just thinking about it. Must change the subject...
Amanda asked: What is Spencer’s favorite snack?
Goldfish crackers. No question. Cute story to illustrate: We were in T@rget a couple of weeks ago, and since it wasn't too crowded (it was pretty much empty) I let him down to walk. We walked maybe five feet when he spied the end cap display of goldfish. (Quite a ways away... I didn't actually realize he could see that far!) He stopped in his tracks, said "Oooooo" and then took off full speed to the bags. He stood there, in awe, for a few minutes. Then he opened his arms W-I-D-E and tried to see how many bags he could get off the shelf as I frantically tried to stop him.
Jenna asked: Which camera?
Nikon D60. A little while back I went through some serious camera envy (think D90 and D300), but just recently have started to fall back in love with my camera. It's a little workhorse and by challenging myself to learn how to use it, I'm loving it more and more each day.
Jenny asked: At what point in the adoption process did you allow yourself to start buying things for Spencer??
Hmmm... I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I'm going to say after our home study went to Korea. I'm pretty sure I didn't buy anything before that! But I may be unintentionally lying.
Kris asked: What is one of your favorite books and why?
Tough one!! I read a LOT of books. (Yes, still. I have to get myself back to sleep somehow!) The first thing that popped into my head though is Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" series. They're quick, they're funny, they're a little bit suspenseful. Anything that has me laughing out loud repeatedly is a keeper in my mind. Read this summation of her books and tell me you don't agree!
Catherine asked: What is your favorite place to buy children’s clothing online? Spencer always looks so dapper!
Thanks Catherine! We very rarely shop online... I feel like that would be a slippery slope for me. But our two favorite stores (both online and in-store) are babyGap and Children's Place... hands down. We always work the sales. For example, I'll only buy things on sale, preferably when there is a sale on the sale stuff (it happens fairly often). And I also LOVE shopping consignment. I get some fabulous things there - for a great price. And I'm now starting to re-consign things so now I'm getting credit to use... which is awesome.
Bekah asked: I’m going to go with: So far, what has been your absolute favorite moment being a mom?
It's a simple answer... when I have him laughing so hard he snorts. Not only is it funny... but I also know he is having the best time ever!
Kelly P. asked: What is your favorite toy/activity right now, Spencer?
Oh boy. Dancing and climbing are up there in terms of playtime activities... I don't know that he has a favorite outing activity, although he does love the farm. And toys? The simpler the better. Bubbles, mama's bowls, balls. He's not very obsessive about a particular thing at the moment - thankfully!
Tracie asked: How do you ever tell that kidlet NO???
Honestly, when we have to say no, it's pretty easy. We use corrective measures several times prior to saying the word "no" (except for situations where immediate danger is at hand.) But he's pretty stubborn (and smart enough to know it) that it often escalates to being told no rather quickly. Then he turns on the mega-watt smile and tries again. He's definitely going to be giving me a run for the money!
Rachel asked: What’s your typical daily routine? I always find this interesting as we’re still working on this. Do you usually stay in or go out for “field trips”? What time does your head hit the pillow?
What typical daily routine?! You mean we are supposed to have a routine?! Kidding. But not really. It seems that it's this: Spencer wakes up between 5:30am and 6:00am. We get up and go downstairs where I make breakfast (and coffee!) I try to make this last as long as possible so that I can read FB or blogs and shake the cobwebs. We then play until 8:30 or 9:00 when I throw on something suitable enough for walking the dog. Spencer usually falls asleep on the walk and I then try to get stuff done around the house or shower and get ready for the day. Or I nap too if the prior night was hard. He wakes after an hour or so and then we have a little snack and go out to do errands or something fun after getting S dressed for the day. Lunch followed by some playtime (if there is time) and another nap around 2ish. (If I'm lucky) That can go anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Then we get up have another snack and play/do chores until dinner at 5 or 5:30. Tubby starts at 6:30 and we have bottle and stories at 7:00. Hopefully he's in bed by 7:20 - 7:30. I then try to clean up the disaster that has become my house, check email/blogs/FB, take care of any bills/business and am upstairs by 10 where I read/knit/watch TV until I go to bed no later than 11. (Many days I'm asleep well before that.) Now, on a good week, we're on schedule three days out of the five... so I'm still crafting this little routine. I'm sure when it's perfect he'll decide to go down to one nap! I aim to get just one thing done a day, which makes me feel like I am accomplishing *something* but still sets the bar low enough that I can reach it. And we seem to have at least one appointment a week, which always messes up a day... sigh...
Emily G. asked: How has sleep been going at your place?
Ugh. The past two nights have actually been really good. But it's the continual pendulum over here... a week or so good... then a week or so really bad... back and forth. I'm hoping by 18 months something kicks in and we at least start getting some consistency on this because I think that is the hardest part for me... just not knowing what the night will bring!
lg asked: What is Spencer’s current fave food? or foods!
Spencer pretty much will eat anything (except for Thanksgiving dinner apparently) but he also goes through phases. So this week it seems to be peas and chicken. But he also loves fish. And french fries. Luckily I'm very adept at making eggplant fries, zucchini fries, sweet potato fries... oh, and he has been chowing asparagus like it's going out of style lately too. Maybe I should just say that Spencer likes food... he just doesn't eat much of it. Unless it's junk food, which is a little scary since he doesn't really have much exposure to it, yet goes gaga for it.
Barbara asked: Are you a stay-at-home mom? or are you on parental leave? or do you work from home? If you aren’t a SAHM, what do you do as “work” apart from being a mom?!
Before Spencer came home, I was a graphic designer and worked for myself and had a nice little business built up. I totally thought I would go back to it... but when the time came, none of us were ready for that. So we decided I would stay home for the time being. I still take on some freelance work here and there to keep my mind active... but nothing like where I was. I miss my work a lot, but I don't see myself going back to where I was prior to Spencer anytime soon. It's hard at times, but completely worth it. I just wish I was as good at parenting as I am at designing.
Elisabeth asked: What is your favorite thing to do with your family on a Saturday?
Nothing. And by "nothing" I mean that my favorite thing to do is just let the day unfold and just be together. No obligations, no errands, nothing. Unfortunately, that rarely happens.
Dana asked: will spencer be a big brother? if yes, when?
As I mentioned above in response to Anne, I'm trying not to even think about that right now... at least until we get through finalization. Once that happens, we could start the process again. Which is currently taking 20-24 months (since we would have to start all over). Add on the six more months it's probably going to take us to finalize and we're probably looking at 2.5 years from now as the earliest Spencer could become a big brother. Wow. That's depressing. And, we don't even know for sure that we want to go from three to four!
Laura asked: If you are planning a trip back to Korea to introduce Spencer to his birth country, what age do you think would be the most appropriate?
Oooo - we go back and forth on this. If finances allowed , we'd like to go back early and often. But I don't think we would do it before he was five or six. I wouldn't want to wait until he was too old though (say a teenager) since I think it would be empowering for him to experience his country and his culture (and hopefully be proud of it) while still in elementary school.
Lisa asked: What has surprised you the most about being a new Mama?
That I can't do it all. Seriously. I really truly did think I would be able to juggle way more than I actually can. And I'm slowly learning to live with this fact. (Which is very, very hard for me)
Krista asked: Did Spencer fall head over heals for Olive or for Poppy in Chicago?
Sigh. I don't believe it was love at first sight for either girl... I guess they just don't see his charms yet. [smile]
Krista also asked: when are you going to share pics of Spencer’s nursery?!
Soon... very soon!
Michele asked: When are ya coming to Jersey so we can have a play date?
New Years!! Let's plan something!
Jessica asked: Maizie would like to know if Spencer is available?
He is available... although there may be a line of gals forming! (The line just doesn't include Olive or Poppy!) He's quite the charmer though so watch out!
Jason asked: How on earth do you find time to work on this blog? You must spend all your time chasing him around. I can picture him trying to chew on the mouse and press keys while you are trying to work on it. That’s what my nephew would do.
It's not easy!!! I try to make the time... not find the time. If I were to wait for time to fall into my lap we all know it wouldn't happen! I'm committed to documenting his life for him though, and keeping his family and friends involved in his life, so doing this is important to me. Even if it means I'm blogging about things three months late and backdating them! And, I do most of my blogging while he's sleeping which means I "sacrifice" a lot of my "me" time for it... but it's worth it!
Blayne asked: What do you want to be when you grow up? (Cause I keep changing my mind)
Oh, me too. Me too. I actually have some ideas that I'm exploring right now... but I'm not ready to disclose any of them yet. I want to utilize my graphic design skill set but apply it in a different way than I have been. Some of my ideas also allow me to still focus primarily on Spencer, but don't cause me to burn the candle at both ends like I have been. More in the new year!
Chamaree asked: are you going to post pic of the nursery ?
Yes - and sooner rather than later!