Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Although Zander is still trying to figure out the whole Halloween thing, it didn't stop him from having fun celebrating over the last two weeks.  He dressed up four different times - his costume was the Korean Hanbok (native dress) that his foster mother sent home with us when we left Korea.  We really enjoyed the opportunity to see Zander in this beautiful, traditional outfit since we missed him wearing it on his first birthday! 

Last weekend was the General Mills fall festival - here is Zander getting ready:
Catching a quick (Korean) story before heading out:
Checking out the festivities:
His first wiener dog!:
Watching Cousin Luke get his face painted:
Yeaterday (Saturday), Zander spent his morning enjoying the Halloween festivities on Main Street in Maple Grove.  Then, in the afternoon, his school sponsored a Fall Festival:

In his classroom with Daddy and Nana Pat:
Too much excitement - I need a nap!:
Even in his sleep... a big hug for Dooly!:
After a quick power nap, Zander had a great time playing the 'tunnel' game with Nana Pat:
When Nana Pat got ready to leave after dinner, Zander gave her a kiss goodbye.  Then, he added a new word to his vocabulary - "Nana"!! 

This morning, we took a Halloween field trip to near Osceola, WI to see 'Aunt Jodi' and her girls who are visiting from Philadelphia.  Since Jodi was staying at her sister's place, the outing became a playdate with six other children.  In almost no time, Daddy became "Jungle Jim" with the kids, while Zander looked on (in his pumpkin socks):
 Gabrielle, Sam, and Zoe:
 On Sunday night, Zander went trick-or-treating in his wagon:
 Practicing.... "Trick or Treat!":
 Zander enjoyed getting a chance to pet Kim & Dave's cat Boo (yes, such an appropriate name!).  Zander was a little scared at first, but then did great. 
 Here is Zander with his Cousins Luke and Brady:
 The end of a fun-filled (and sugar-filled) weekend:

Friday, October 29, 2010


We first met Dooly on June 10th - the day we left Korea.  She was presented to us as 'Zander's girlfriend' at the agency as we prepared to begin our long journey home:
Dooly is a pink dinosaur (based on a Korean cartoon character) - complete with a bow in her hair and flowers on her shoes - with some resemblance to a Tweety Bird.  Dooly is a huge source of comfort to Zander - so we were delighted to be able to bring her home with us to ease his transition.  During our first several weeks as a family, Zander would often give Dooly hugs and (affectionately) chew on her nose to soothe himself.  It is always so funny to watch him carry around this big doll... which is definitely not very masculine!  Last weekend, we believe we may have uncovered an explanation as to how this inseparable pair came to be...

We recently confirmed that Zander had a foster sister during his 13+ months in Seoul!  Our guess is that Dooly was intended to be his foster sister's toy, but that Zander really bonded with the pink dinosaur and she became his.  Here is a recent shot of Zander on his glider with Dooly as he prepared to cheer on the MN Vikings:
 Zander even lets Dooly share his horns & braids - that's love!:
Zander loves to hug Dooly when he is sleeping - so yes, she makes the daily journey to his school so she is available at naptime.  And, it turns out that Dooly wears the exact same diapers as Zander:
Dooly even borrows Zander's clothing on occasion (and apparently Daddy's cell phone as well).
Back to Zander's foster sister - she is just a few days older than he is, and, amazingly, now lives near St. Paul!  We had the privilege of meeting her and her parents on Sunday for a play date - it was delightful!  We visited the Children's Museum and then went out for some delicious Korean cuisine.  It was wonderful to see the children reunite and compare stories - the children share such a special connection.  Here is Zander jamming on a drum in the 'Japan and Nature' exhibit at the Museum:
He loved all the colors in the Festival of Lanterns display:
We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to meet Zander's foster sister and her family - we are still in disbelief that she lives so close!  Zander thoroughly enjoyed the reunion, and was completely tuckered out after dinner:
Sweet Dreams Punkin!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy 18 Months!

Zander turned 18 months today - Woo Hoo!  We celebrated with a BBQ dinner with Nana Pat, who made a delicious homemade pumpkin pie - Zander loved it and kept asking for more!  He continues to learn and develop seemingly every day.  He is doing well running, jumping, balancing, and riding a few of his larger toys.  His language comprehension continues to grow, he is picking up new signs, and now has a vocabulary of about ten words:  mama, uh-oh, apple, mow, bus, bubble, up, wow, moon, and his latest (and least obvious): doctor.  Being able to communicate a little better every day is so much fun for all three of us.

The weekend started out on the rough side - another painful haircut - but fortunately things picked up from there.  Here is Zander's new 'do' - the sticker on his shirt is a testament to his bravery:
Zander helped Daddy close out the vegetable garden on Saturday, and had a lot of fun playing with Kim and Dave when they stopped by to visit.  We suspect that the they helped lay the groundwork for the recent "doctor" vocabulary word - the last time they were over, Zander practiced on them extensively with his doctor kit:
 Zander always has a great time playing with Dave:
On Saturday, Zander took a field trip to St. Paul to meet some new friends for an evening that included lots of time enjoying a big sandbox, a tasty Korean meal, and playtime with four other kids!  On Sunday he enjoyed hosting his friend Clara (who just turned one - Happy Birthday Clara!) and her family for brunch.  Here is Clara playing with the lawnmower:
 So cute - Zander peeking in on Clara in the playhut:
Earlier this fall, Zander had a great time visiting  a couple of different orchards - this is where he picked up the word 'apple.'  Here he is earlier in the season, climbing through a fun log:
Playing in a wagon with Mommy:
Very excited about the hay stack:
Those chickens are funny!:

Driving the train:
Our second orchard outing was with more of the family.  Here we are on a fun hay ride - Zander, Daddy, Great-Auntie KK, Nana Pat, Brady, Aunt Heather, Luke, and Uncle Bob:
Zander laughing with KK:
Sisters - KK and Nana Pat:
Zander, Brady and Luke checking out the pumpkins:
Cousins: ~18 months, ~34 months, and ~4 1/2 years:
Zander visited a different orchard when his friend Cole was in town - highlights were another (bumpy!) hay ride, eating apple donuts, and tasting the newest apple variety - Sweet Tango.  So yummy!

Monday, October 11, 2010


On Saturday, Zander helped Mommy & Daddy celebrate their wedding anniversary.  The fact that it was an unseasonably warm and sunny day with beautiful fall colors and that the Twins were playing the Yankees in the playoffs reminded us so much of our wedding day... but having Zander along reminded us how much life has changed!  We spent some time at the Mill City Farmer's Market where Zander enjoyed dancing to live music and sampling some different foods.  He uses a straw very well now - Daddy can vouch for that since Zander drank most of his Mango Lassi!
Dancing to the live tunes:
We enjoyed the view of the Mississippi River from the Guthrie Theater balcony.  The Stone Arch Bridge is where Mommy & Daddy got engaged, so it is always a special place to visit!

We strolled along the Stone Arch Bridge, stopping to admire St. Anthony Falls:
Daddy shows off the lovely view of Minneapolis from the bridge:
The beautiful fall colors:
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Astor Cafe in Saint Anthony Main before finishing our walk - it wasn't long before Zander was asleep in his stroller.  Nana Pat babysat Zander that night, allowing Mommy & Daddy to have a lovely night out to celebrate.  Thanks Nana!
Today marks four months since Zander arrived home - we went out to dinner to celebrate.  We continue to be amazed by his understanding of English in such a short time - he continues to say a few words here and there.  Tonight, he pointed up at the crescent moon and said "moo.."  So cute!