28 March 2007

Life with twins, thus far...


Some of you have asked us,"Is it hard with twins?" I guess our best answer would be, "We don't know any different." As the girls get older, I'm sure they will have different needs at different times but for right now, their needs are pretty much the same so we just do everything twice or at the same time, if possible. I thought I loved them when we just had their pictures but each day, my heart grows bigger for them. They are really the sweetest little things. I asked God for girls with a loving spirit who are easy-going and kind-hearted and He has answered my prayers. Our God is so good. They love to dance whenever they hear music. They both start to sway back and forth and it is so cute to watch. Grace is quite the songbird and Faith babbles a whole soliloquy. They both make raspberries, smile a lot and laugh out loud. They started saying "ma-ma" and "da-da" the week after they arrived home. They knew the Korean word for mommy and daddy which is "um-ma" and "ap-pa." They still call me "um-ma," everyday too. I use mostly English with them but I also speak to them in Korean and their ears perk up. They light up with smiles when their daddy walks into the room and both crawl as fast as possible to cuddle with him. It's all too cute!

They are eating very well. In addition to milk and juice, they love steamed pot stickers, mashed potatoes, rice, apple sauce, carrots, peas, yogurt, peaches, pears and cookies. But I think their favorite food is Cheerios! Something about the fact that they can pick each one up with their own hands and put them into their mouths. All in all, they are very happy and healthy babies and we are so blessed to parent them both. Don't get me wrong though, they are not perfect nor are they always happy, all the time. That's just not the reality of a one year-old. They do get cranky but it is usually because they are tired, hungry or we are just not feeding them fast enough. I try to remember during these times that they have been through so much in their short lives. They need lots of love in order to feel secure. After all, they thought all this time, that their permanent home was with their foster family. Everyday it has been a privilege to love them and care for them. I try to enjoy the lesson in patience (sometimes it's hard to do at that very moment) and every morning I thank God for our new family. Patience used to be my worst character trait and I believe me, I still have a long way to go. I'm sure God knew that when he decided to give us two daughters :)

I have also turned into the quite the multi-tasker. Morgan and I have only eaten out once since we've been home. I have still managed so far, to cook every meal for all four of us, keep up on the blog, do all the laundry (almost everyday), grocery shop, plan a birthday party (with lots of help), and watch my favorite indulgences on TV at night, "American Idol, The Office and Dancing with the Stars" (thanks to dvr/tivo). The meals I'm making are not as elaborate as they used to be but Morgan says that he is just amazed that I am keeping it all organized and together at all. I am sort of a neat freak too so I don't like to have a messy house. I couldn't wait for our girls to come home so life as a busy mom suits me, I guess.

Everyday, I can see the bond between the four of us grow stronger. The girls are feeling more and more secure and we are all getting into our grooves. They have only been home now for 3 weeks but they have brought so much joy and delight into our lives. It's been so wonderful! I have truly never seen my parents so happy and joyful. Last Sunday, we were able to visit Morgan's parents for the first time since we've been home from Korea. They both came home from the hospital earlier in the week and were finally able to meet their newest grandchildren. Again, the girls did great and we all enjoyed our time together. Grandma and Grandpa G are doing much better now and both are getting stronger everyday. Thank you so much for those prayers!

I would be lying if I said that life with twins is not a lot of work. Much of the first two weeks, we were getting a crash-course in parenting as well as letting go of the "me" time we had for ourselves whenever we wanted it. It has been a lesson in prioritizing my life better and using my "free" time wisely. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Our girls are gifts from heaven and we know without a doubt that they were meant just for us. I pray everyday for wisdom, courage, strength, patience and most of all, love. Through our daughters, I am learning many things but most importantly, I'm understanding more about how much God loves us, His very own children.

26 March 2007

Dol Party

The birthday girls. It's hard to get them to smile at the same time!

Sitting at the table of traditional Dol rice cakes.

Our family of four.

The happy parents.

Grace and her Great-Grandmother.

This weekend, we traveled to my parent's house to celebrate Faith & Grace's one year birthday. Traditionally in Korea, the Dol is one of the most celebrated birthdays in a person's life. In ancient times, when medical information was lacking and childhood diseases were common, if a child lived past their first birthday, it was considered to be a very happy milestone. In modern day, the Dol is still celebrated as a congratulations to the happy parents and family.
The traditional celebration has four major components:
1.) Praying and giving thanks.
2.) Wearing the traditional clothes, the hanbok.
3.) Preparing the table and performing the *Toljabee.
4.) Sharing food with family and friends.

The Toljabee is a custom where different items are put out in front of the child. The child's future is predicted by whatever they pick first.
For example:
A pen or pencil = a good writer
A book = a scholar or really smart
String or thread = a long life
Money = rich

With both our girls, we put out each of these items plus a camera (a future photographer) and for fun, we put out a golf ball. Faith and Grace both love anything electronic so we were almost certain that they were going to pick the camera or the book. To Morgan's joy and delight both our girls picked the golf ball! He says he is staying in shape just so he can caddy for his girls one day! LPGA, here we come!

The girls held up wonderfully throughout the whole party. They were passed around from person to person and both did not cry at all. They were just happy and content. Hooray! They must have felt the love all around. It was so wonderful to see our families and dear friends. Some came from hours away and it meant so much to have you join us on this special day. We enjoyed traditional Korean food and a table full of colorful Dol rice cakes. Thank you also to my parents, Rich and Emily, and the whole Walswick family for helping us with the party! We love you and appreciate you all very much!

22 March 2007

Lessons in sharing

This week, we've witnessed the girls looking into each other's eyes and fighting for a particular toy. This happens on many occasions throughout the day. I suppose our girls will learn to share much faster than they would like to. I happened to capture this bout on camera. In the past, Faith has dominated but Grace is learning to hold her own. Unfortunately though, not this time. The pictures go in order so if you keep scrolling down, you will see who got the better of their favorite alphabet singing bus. Grace is on the left and Faith is on the right.





Happy 1st Birthday!

Today our girls turned one! On Saturday, we are going to have a celebration (Korean style), with lots of family and friends at my parent's house but we wanted to celebrate this special day with just the four of us today. The girls got their very own cupcake and tiara. We let them have their cake and eat it too while capturing some great moments on video! They got so messy that we had to give them a bath afterwards. Here are some fun pictures of their birthday feast! We love you, Grace & Faith!




20 March 2007

Busy day

We had our rescheduled doctor's appointment this morning. The doctor now has all of Faith and Grace's medical information and history. He examined both of them today and gave them each a good progress report. The girls had to get one vaccination shot and they both took it very well. Faith barely cried at all and Grace cried a little more but just for a few seconds. We found out that our new doctor has twins too! Hooray! Incidentally, Faith weighed in at 25 lbs. and Grace was 23 lbs. Faith is also almost 2 inches longer than Grace. Needless to say, I am getting in my workouts! I have lost that stubborn 5 lbs. that I've been wanting to lose but truthfully didn't try very hard. The twin workout beats pilates or running any day!

In the afternoon, we had our first of four social worker visits. Basically, they just come to ask some questions, collect some forms, look around the house a little and see how we are all adjusting to each other. The visit went well and the girls were playful, happy and just being their cute little selves. In the afternoon, Morgan had to get back to work and I had to do some shopping so I took the girls with me and we hit two stores. Unfortunately, this cut into their nap time a little so they didn't get their full one hour nap in the afternoon. That means Faith was a little cranky tonight but both were fast asleep before 8:00 p.m. Everyone told us to get ready for sleepless nights when the girls arrive but honestly, we have been sleeping great. We feel so blessed that our girls sleep 12 hours straight and have not once cried during the night. Let's hope it stays that way! Here are some pictures of us getting ready for bath time tonight after a busy day.

"Oh boy, we can't wait to splash around!"

"Are you gonna play with the duckies or the turtles?"

"Is it ready now, daddy?"

19 March 2007

Grandparents visit

My parents came to visit over the weekend and it was so nice to have them here. They waited a couple of weeks in order to give us more time to bond as a family. The girls did much better meeting their hal-mo-ni and ha-rlah-buh-gee (grandma & grandpa) this weekend than they did the day they came home from Korea. The new grandparents had so much fun, too! They could not stop doting on the girls and pointing out all their talents and attributes. The girls really enjoyed all the playing and loving attention. It was wonderful to have some extra hands over the weekend, too!

On another note, Morgan parents (who live close to us), have not been able to see the girls yet. They waited so patiently all those months and were so eager to have us all home when we were in Korea. Unfortunately, the day we got back, they both caught the flu. After a week, the flu turned into pneumonia and both of them have been in the hospital for almost a week now. They are slowly doing a little better but we'd really appreciate prayer for a speedy and complete recovery for both of them. Thank you!

Just another day at the beach.

She sells seashells by the sea shore (Faith).

Grandpa and grandma with the girls.

Daddy and Gracie.

Me and mom with Faith & Grace.

17 March 2007

Surfer Girls

The girls have been very curious about their room and all their toys. They have recently discovered that there is something painted on their walls. Here are some pictures that looked like they were surfing. Hang twenty, girls! Surf's up!





14 March 2007

Unique






With our schedule being a little hectic this past week, we forgot to add the girls to our insurance the day we got them. That means, we had to reschedule our doctor's visit. This process should only take a few days and the doctor said he will squeeze us in as soon as possible. We should be able to see him within the week. We're thankful that the girls seem really healthy.

Hallelujah! Last night, when we put them to bed, they did not cry at all! We went to watch them from the monitor in the living room and to our amazement, they were happily talking (babbling) to each other while tossing dolls back and forth in their cribs. That explains why some days, we noticed that there were more toys in one crib! It was very interesting to watch and they only played for about 10 minutes before both falling asleep. They are still sleeping about 12 hours a night and straight through too! Whew, it was worth it to have them cry for 25 minutes the first night! Each night has just been better and better!

We are very much enjoying their personalities, too. When people first see them, they ask us,
"How do you tell them apart?" We were just saying last night how different they are to us, not only in appearance but personality. Faith is definitely more independent. She likes to explore things on her own and she is a smart little cookie. Grace is definitely the baby in the family. After all, she is a whole 2 minutes younger than her big sister! Grace gets jealous if one of us is holding Faith. She wants in on some lovin' too. She likes to be near me and can't go too long without touching me if possible. Both are very sweet and will steal your heart away with their smiles and laughter! We are in love!

12 March 2007

lil' angels

I can't believe we've had the girls for a week now. We are all getting into our grooves and adjusting to a nice schedule. Today is the first day that Morgan has officially gone back to work. Even though he works from home, he successfully stayed in his office most of the day, other than for breakfast and lunch. The girls have really been bonding well with us over this last week. They do not wimper anymore when one of us walks out of the room and they are feeling more secure about us and their surroundings. They wake up happy and loving and like to get lots of hugs and kisses. They both have an easy temperment and a loving spirit, too. Just what I prayed for! Tomorrow morning, we have our first doctor's appointment so the girls will get checked out and hopefully, get a clean bill of health.

11 March 2007

jammies & a good book

Today, the girls crawled more than ever. They are busy exploring the living room, hallway and kitchen. They have been sleeping great! About 10-12 hours each night with two 1 hour naps during the day. That means mommy and daddy are catching up on their sleep too! Here's a picture of the girls, all washed up and in their jammies. Nighty-night!
Faith is in blue and Grace is in pink.

10 March 2007

Too Cool

It got up to 92 degrees today and it will only get hotter over the next few days. We went out this morning for our stroll, before the sun got too warm. Along the way, we stopped at Lisa and Brad's and they gave the girls their first pair of sunglasses. Faith & Grace looked too cool for school! Thanks guys!

Heart & Seoul

My experience in Korea was enlightening to say the least. I am so happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to visit my birth country as well as the country where our girls were born. South Korea has a booming economy today and in many ways, they are more technologically advanced than the rest of the world. Korea is an interesting mix of both the modern and traditional. Their simple customs are pleasantries that we've grown to enjoy and appreciate in the short time that we were there. They revere their elders and take great pride in providing higher education to their children. We did not see any homeless people on the streets of this big city. We think it's because the family unit is much stronger there and families tend to take care of each other.

Even though I was born in Seoul, I've always been more of an "American girl."
I was always taught to be proud of being Korean but up until this trip, I don't think I fully understood why. Sometimes, as a child, the last thing you want to celebrate is being different. During my childhood years, my family practiced and taught us all of the traditional Korean customs while still embracing the American way of life. It's sort of hard to explain in words but I feel like after visiting Korea, I have come full circle. The funny thing is... I didn't know I was missing anything until I came here. I've gained a better understanding and appreciation for Korea as a country, its people, culture, rich history and my own family.
It has been an wonderful journey of the heart and one that I would not have truly understood or gained without going to Korea to meet our girls. God has been so good and faithful. We cannot even begin to express our joy and gratitude. Now that we have met our girls and spent some time with them, I just stare at them and marvel at the double blessing that God had in store for us. In them, I see God's heart. His love.

Morgan and I both feel as though we want to learn more about Korea, not only for ourselves but also for our daughters one day. Morgan has adopted Korea along with his girls too. Sometimes, he uses the term "us" when he speaks of Koreans :) Someday, we hope to take our girls back to experience their heritage and birth country, just as I have.

09 March 2007

Crawlin' around

Today was another good day. We are enjoying our girls and having so much fun. It'll be difficult for Morgan to actually get some work done starting on Monday :)
Here are some pictures of the girls crawling around and pulling themselves up. They haven't taken their first step yet but it'll be very soon! Faith is in pink and Grace is in yellow.





08 March 2007

Afternoon Nap

We are all doing great! The girls slept in their cribs for the first time last night. They are used to sleeping on the floor with their foster mother so we slept with them this way for the first two nights we had them. Last night, they cried for about 25 minutes as we watched them from our video/audio monitor. We felt really, really bad but we wanted them to get used to sleeping in their cribs as soon as possible. We pulled the cribs close together so that they could see and touch each other. This morning, they woke up happy and playful. We woke them up after sleeping 8 hours because we want them to start adjusting to our schedule. Tonight, we had them sleeping in their cribs by 8:30. Let's just hope they don't think this is a nap! Here's a very cute picture of today's carry-over afternoon nap. We keep saying how blessed we are because all in all, the girls have been wonderful and they are really adjusting well and bonding to us. Despite all of the traumatic changes in their lives, they are little troopers and very resilient little girls. We took our first trip to the Wal Mart Superstore today as a family because that's where we could get most of the things we needed, all in one place. They were very good and curious all around the store in their stroller. The only thing is, it did take us a little while longer than expected because the girls had so many admirers that wanted to look at them and stop to ask about them :)

07 March 2007

We're home!

We don't have much time to write right now but just wanted everyone to know we are all home safe. The girls traveled very well and slept for about 4 hours on the plane. Everyone said how great they were. They were loved and enjoyed by everyone on the flight, especially the flight attendants. They slept in their car seats all the way home from LA and their grandparent's house. When they finally got home, they didn't cry at all and loved playing in their room with all their new toys. They finally fell asleep around 3:30 a.m. and didn't get up until 11:30 this morning. We are all tired and trying to get used to the time change but all in all, we are doing very well. Your prayers were felt and answered and we couldn't be more appreciative. We are absolutely in love with ours girls and even though we are exhausted, we are having so much fun. We welcome any short visits over the weekend. By then, we should be better adjusted. We also apologize if we don't return your call right away. Here are some pictures of their first bath in their bathtub this morning. They love to splash around in the bath and it's very cute! I'll try and post more as the days go by! Thank you so much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!




05 March 2007

We're coming home today!

Yesterday was full of emotion as the foster parents said their goodbyes to our girls. Faith & Grace must have sensed their lives were about to change because they too had a hard time saying goodbye and getting adjusted. Finally, at about 11:30 last night, they fell asleep. By the grace of God, they slept until 7:30 this morning. Thank you, Lord! They have been so darling and great today. They are really taking to us well and we just pray it continues on to our flight. We will be leaving for the airport in just 2 and a half hours and we are anxious to get back home. We miss everyone and can't wait to see you soon! Here are some pictures of the foster parents yesterday, the girls playing this morning and our first bath. Enjoy!







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