Monday, April 20, 2009

Sometimes life is just funny...

I had someone run across my blog about the Walk for Hunger who wanted to help us get it published in the local newspaper. She asked for my permission. I said yes. And about a week later - we found it in the Natick Tab. I couldn't find it online, but I scanned it in for you to see. You probably won't be able to read it from this scan, but it's as close to being "published" as I've come thus far. And - despite our crazy busy lives, we've collected $150 for the Walk - I'm sure we owe a lot of that to this article. We've reset our goal to $200, and we don't walk until 5/3, so you still have time to send it in! Our kids are loving this more than I could have expected. Thank you for helping them to learn such a valuable life lesson!

April 17th - Levi's Tol

Our family photo

Mini cake...
For the rest of us.
Edamame salad (I'd intended to photograph more beautiful Korean food, but this is all I made it to for pictures - however, the food was quite yummy!)

Handsome in a handbok

The Tojabee Event:
In this event, the birthday child goes around the table and picks up items that attract him or her. The child's future is predicted according to the what he grabs. After placing the child in front of the table, the first and second items the child grabs are considered the most important.

A knife is the winner! It means "The child will be a good cook!" And mommy couldn't be happier about that! :)

A close second was the jujube (red dates) meaning "you will have lots of descendants".

Juliette & Levi
Waiting for our American tradition - cake!
Singing Happy Birthday.

A little help is needed for blowing.


A little help from Ben. What are big brothers for, if not for teaching you how to stuff your face!

April 15th

No cake yet...until the party!

But ice cream is the next best thing.

Ella, Mommy, and the birthday boy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In the clear...(for now)

Levi is doing great! Our VCUG and ultrasound yesterday were a "piece of cake" compared to some of the test we had to do when he was sick. We are so thankful. The even better news is they saw NOTHING concerning on either of his tests. YEA! More tomorrow, on April 15th as we celebrate Levi's First birthday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

You need a date??

So - I realized after some great feedback on our walk that many of you were wondering when we are doing this walk!? Oops! In all my excitement, I forgot to mention that we are walking:

Sunday, May 3rd

Anything else I left out??

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Power of One

This will be my third year participating in Boston's Walk for Hunger! It is a 20 mile walk through Boston and it's suburbs. I started doing it because I enjoy the walk and the city "tour". But the walk raises money for Project Bread - the states leading antihunger organization. Money raised through The Walk for Hunger funds more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, and food salvage programs in 128 communities across Massachusetts, including our ownn here in Natick!

This year, we are trying something a little different. Some might argue that we are doing something a little crazy. We can't disagree. Steve, Ben, Ella, Levi and I will be walking as "Team Gerrard". While we are not walking all of the 20 mile course together (that would be crazy), our hope is to combine our efforts to complete 20 miles and cross the finish line together. We want our kids to know that even one person (or family) can make a big difference.

We know that times are hard and many of us have been struck by this bad economy. However, we also know that even one person can make a big difference. Sometimes it feels like our efforts are so insignificant when we see them on the small scale. Think about it - When you are trying to loose weight, would you expect to see huge results immediately? No! It comes off one pound at a time. When we are trying to save for a big expense, we don't wait to have a pile of money to start - we save it $1 at a time. So - we are asking everyone we know to contribute one dollar. Just one. We have a giant money jar (photo above) that we'll but putting it in. Our hope is to collect at least $100 for this great cause. With this project, our kids will be able to tangibly see that lots of "ones" can really add up! Will you help us? If you want to help, please send me an email at and I will send you our mailing address. We hope to collect dollars from friends at the playground, at church, at the workplace - everywhere, so if you are local, just look for us around. :)

We look forward to walking together to help fight hunger. We hope that you will join us! Stay tuned to the blog when we unveil our WFH family T-shirt! Steve it designing it, so it is BOUND to be a hoot! :)

Also, if you are interested in donating to our Walk for Hunger (beyond the $1), please visit my walk webpage here where you will be able to donate via credit card. For more information on other ways to help, please email me! I'd love to tell you about it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Hello all,

For those of you who follow...Levi is lookin' a lot better! He's back to his normal, happy self. However...the doctor has deemed antibiotics for 7 more days and more tests on Monday, April 13th. He turns one on Wed. next week! So, we are happy to get it out of the way before his birthday - but I hear the tests he's having done are not so fun. (To say the least.) We are headed to Children's Hospital in Waltham. They will do an ultrasound of the kidneys (to check for blockage), and a VCUG to check for reflux in the urinary track. I won't even pretend I know what either of those things are! However, I will keep you posted...we are hoping it was just a fluke!

On a positive note, these photos are of bulbs popping through the ground in our front yard. Dear friends of mine surprised me in the fall, and came over to plant them with hopes that by the time we saw them peeking though, we'd be loving our time with Levi as well. Don't I have the most amazing friends??

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Ok, so I debated about wheter or not I should share this, but frankly, it's a very good story.

Picture this: It was a cool, rainy Saturday morning - not spectacularly awful, but we were moving slowly... It was about 8 a.m. and I had just gotten into the shower and Steve was downstairs with the three kids. I heard Levi screaming downstairs in a way that I hadn't heard him before. He tends to cry vigorously at most things, so I wasn't panicked, but decided to give the "shout out" just in case. I climb out of the shower, open the bathroom door and yell "Is everything ok?" To which my husband replied "I need help!" Uh...ok...I shut off the shower, wrap the towel tighter around me and run, soaking wet downstairs. When I find Steve and all 3 kids in the office I wonder why Levi is crying. And then I see why. His head is stuck in the elliptical. He wasn't in danger - just totally stuck with no way out. Umm...and how did this happen? Steve told me that he had been on the computer, and Ben and Levi were crawling around. Ben calmly said to Steve "Levi's head is stuck." And Levi, upon realizing that it was really stuck started freaking out. At this point I ran upstairs to put real clothes on, and when I returned, I started comforting Levi while Steve ran to get tools. Yes, tools. He was REALLY stuck. I told Steve I was going to call 911 because I wasn't sure we'd be able to get him out of this ourselves and Levi had been stuck for 10 minutes or more and was pretty frantic. When I explained to the operator what was going on I just said me might need "a little help."

Steve found the tools he needed and quickly got to work! Just as he was unscrewing the last bolt, every firetruck, ambulance, and police vehicle in metrowest pulled up to our house. No less than a dozen men in uniform came blasting in our door. Turns out you can't just ask for a "little help." (As a side note: Ben and Ella were very brave, opening the door, getting pacifiers and popsicles and remaining calm. However, the rest of their day was imaginary play involving 911 emergencies!)

Despite our obvious embarrassment, one of the men helped Steve pull apart the elliptical and Levi was free! know, a typical Saturday morning. :) Levi, I'm happy to report, is doing just fine. However, I guess that means Steve and I are out of the running for the "Parents of the Year" award. Bummer.

Grafted in...

My dearest Levi,

When I think you, one word jumps out - Determined. I see it in you every day. You are determined to get through the safety locks (ok...they are rubber bands!) on the kitchen cupboards. You know that whatever is inside is worth the extra lockdown, so it must be good. When I put you down on the floor, you head right for the stairs to see if the gate is up. (And you will usually find that it is not!) But, interestingly, you will not go up them until I am looking at you. You wait, ever so slightly to make sure that I am watching you do what you know you shouldn't. It's as if you want to challenge me to stop you before you reach the top. You are amazing. I pray every day that we can help you foster that gift of determination as you grow in faith and statue. We pray that you will be determined to stand up for what is right, that you will be determined to love deeply, and you will be determined to follow your God-given passions.

You bring utter joy to our lives. You are so happy, so full of energy and life, and your personality has been evident since the day we met you. There is something so sweet in hearing you call me "mama" and Daddy "dada". It is a daily reminder that family goes beyond blood and heredity. We feel amazingly connected to you...and we love you more than we could ever express on paper.

Today, life with you is blissful and easy. You don't see that you are different from us. You know nothing of the challenges you will face down the road. To be honest, we are cherishing these moments because we know that they can't and won't last forever. When the time comes that you do notice these things, we want to give you full freedom to explore you identity, to discover what it means to be Korean, to be American, to be adopted. We know that we, as parents, are bound to make many, many mistakes, but we hope beyond all hope that you will know how much we love you. We pray for you each day, that God would give you wisdom.

Someone wrote this verse in a card that they gave us when you arrived. I'm not sure why, but it speaks to me. Ephesians 2:19-20 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone". We know that this story of this amazingly beautiful and happy baby being grafted into our family is our story. My sweet son, we can't wait to help you build your life - story. And to help you discover who you were meant to be. We thank God for that privilege.

We love you always,

First, an update...

So before I can post anything fun, I should update y'all on where we've been. We've been on a remote tropic island in the Caribbean enjoying the sun and nothing but lazy days of playing and swimming.... Oh, wait. That's in my dreams. :)

We've been sick. As a mom...I'm SO tired of evaluating. (Can I get an "amen" from other moms out there?) My brain hurts from all the info swirling in my head. Is she sick enough to keep home from school? How long has this fever lasted? When did he last eat? When was the last time I gave her Motrin? How long has he napped today? Did I call the school this morning to let them know she won't be in? Sick...sick...sick.

Our biggest and most concerning illness has been with Levi. Without going into graphic detail, he's been very ill. Fevers topping at 105, vomiting, and needing us constantly to hold him, often falling asleep in our arms. To know Levi, is to know that this is very out of character for him. After 5 doctor visits in 3 days, we've learned that he has a Urinary Tract Infection. Luckily, though it appears he has a severe infection, we caught it before it spread to the blood. So - we opted to treat it from home, but it has required us to take him in to receive a series of three shots of antibiotics over 3 days in our pediatricians office. Not surprisingly, he now hates the doctor. The very sight of an exam room will send him into hysterics! And if you've never had to watch them draw blood or catheterize your infant...consider yourselves very lucky. Tomorrow we'll talk about next steps if his fever doesn't go down to normal, and also to try and discover the root of the UTI, which is uncommon in infants, particularly in boys.

So, now you know why we've been missing. On to better news...