Today we celebrated the very 1st birthday of our precious, Maddox. We didn’t get a picture of him smashing his cake or blowing out a single candle but that’s ok because this is the very last birthday we will have to be apart.
I know our sweet boy had an incredible day being showered with love by his foster family. And in my heart I know it was a good thing for him to spend this first birthday with the family who he loves more than anything. He was able to celebrate his birthday with a traditional Korean Dol in his birth country and nothing could ever take the place of that. I wonder what item he chose at his doljabee? I can’t wait to know.
My heart is heavy for his birth mother. I can’t imagine her pain. I’ve prayed for her for the last few weeks that she would find peace about her decision and that she will somehow know that her first-born will be loved and cherished beyond anything she could have dreamed for him. Without her he would not be my son and for that I’m eternally grateful.
“He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” ~desha wood
Today started out with me checking the tracking on baby boy’s birthday care package. Would you believe it actually arrived in Korea ON his birthday?
Then,we hit the road for what I’m referring to as “The Great Escape”. Reagan starts kindergarten in just a few weeks and they count things like tardees and abscences..the nerve! So, we jumped at the opportunity to go with David on a business trip. It won’t be a glamorous vacation by any means and mostly involves chasing two wild preschoolers around the hotel pool but it’s a nice break from our normal routine.
So, what this means is we basically spent most of today in the car. BUT, being that it was our little guys first birthday we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate. First stop, an AMAZING Korean BBQ restaurant in Atlanta called Honey Pig. It was the first time the kids had ever eaten a Korean meal and our first time to experience BBQ.
David and Reagan are checking out the Kimchi and bean sprouts on the grill. I told the kids they were noodles so they would try them…sue me!
This kid refuses to look at the camera!
Reagan was so excited to drink out of her “silver goblet” aka tin cup! She was amazed by the entire place. Honey Pig is adorned with tons and tons of pig decor. The girl was in heaven. Then she goes into the bathroom. I promise you she thought she was in the Taj Mahal. They had bowl sinks but underneath the glass there was a pattern of flashing lights inside gem stones. She was squealing with delight. I’m pretty sure she has never spent that much time washing her hands! And don’t even get me started on how you explain to a 5-year-old what a bidet is.
Throw a little shrimp on the Barbie..oh that was terrible. I love these cast iron lids though! The kids thought they were great too! Not a single burned finger. I call that success!
Girlfriend has mad chop stick skills! This is a slice of cucumber that was in a delicious bowl of ice cold refreshing soup. It’s called Oi Naengguk and was really yummy and a perfect way to start our meal.
Dawson was surprisingly good with the chopsticks too! He has a slightly untraditional method but hey, whatever works! He wasn’t as big of a fan of that cucumber soup.
We ordered two types of meat. Galbi, Korean beef short ribs and shrimp (which I have no idea what that is called). The waiter trims and prepares the meat and places it on the cast iron lid to cook. Then you take your choice of wrap (usually there are several different types of rice cake wraps but they were out of those and only had the radish ones), place the sprouts, kimchee, and your choice of meat. Top it all of with one of a variety of sauces and there you have it! This is Reagan wrapping up a piece of short rib.
We ate and ate and there was still so much left! At this point Reagan and I were completely stuffed! I was surprised at how receptive she was to all the new veggies, and especially the spicy foods but she was a rock star and even slurped her soup which is of course totally appropriate in a Korean restaurant. It shows you are enjoying your meal. And I know that only because I read it in my culture book.
This shot is totally staged. I stink at using chopsticks. The kids seriously laugh at me. This meal was considerably more tough since there were no forks to use for backup! Reagan did a great job centering the picture though.
Oh, yes I did. I brought Maddox along for the trip. I mean it is his special day. : ) Dawson was overall not impressed with the meal. But he had a great time using the chop sticks as a magic wand, making everyone say cheers and touching glasses, and just to top it all of he has apparently learned how to cross one eye while keeping the other looking dead at you. ONLY a boy! This has become quite a problem when I need to discipline him about something because as I’m speaking he crosses his one little eye and I can not help but to laugh. Who can do that?
First Korean BBQ experience and we give it two thumbs up. I definitely have a feeling we will be adding Honey Pig to our list of Atlanta favorites!
Next we headed over to Mega Mart which is a Korean based food market with all types of international food. On the 2nd floor is a department type store. There was an especially eye-catching booth that featured Korea PJ’s in all sizes. I’ve heard these are the best pajamas!
I didn’t take any pictures in the market but we had a lot of fun! We bought some yummy pastries, picked out a few snacks, and some really cute juice boxes. I got each of the kids a set of training chopsticks. Dawson’s is Pororo and Reagan’s is a generic pink bunny. I figured I could pick up Maddox a set when we go to Korea.
We really wanted to try some mandoo so we headed over to the food court. I know right, more food?!? But it looked yummy and we could take it to go.When we got there we were informed that it would be quite some time because the lunch rush had cleared out most of the dumplings but David ordered a spicy chicken dumpling. I REALLY wanted to try one but they guy made it clear they all had mushrooms in them and unfortunately I’m allergic so I passed.
Oh, and I must tell you that Reagan totally blew my mind. A little girl walked past her and she smiled and said, Anyohaseyo! I kid you not. The little girl waved and smiled and from that point on homegirl was on a mission! She said hello to every person we walked by. I’m pretty sure most people had no clue what she was saying with her clearly southern accent but the sweet guys at the mandu counter played right along and said hello back with a great big smile. One of them even called his friend over to say hi as well. : ) I cannot tell you how proud she was of herself and I was really proud too. We haven’t practiced any Korean in several weeks so it completely threw me for a loop!
And then we loaded back up in the car for a 4 hour ride over to Montgomery, Alabama. It was a very, very long day but we ended it with you guessed it…more food! This time we chose Red Robin!
And this time not only did we bring Maddox in with us…we broke out the party hats! Don’t let that man fool you he had a hat on too. He just wouldn’t wear one for a picture. ; )
I LOVE Red Robin and of course we don’t have one back home so we were all excited!
Maddox rocked a party hat too! I totally stole the idea from my fellow AP friend, Paula who is in Korea as we speak picking up her sweet boy! Granted, she didn’t actually take the frame with hat out in public but hey…that’s how we roll.
The kids sang Happy Birthday to…the frame. Poor Rea had a slight case of bed head. It was a tough day in the car!
For some reason this shot is all blurry but I had to add it because I can’t stop laughing at how typical this is! Dawson is of course NOT looking at the camera and Reagan is seriously striking a pose. LOOK at that hip! I am secretly hoping this is a typical pose for Maddox too because if he is half as busy as his big brother and sister we may never go out to dinner in public again. Can you tell we are shooting for laid back?
And although today started out with me having a bit of a pity party we had an incredible time. I can’t wait to get our little guy home and have him join in on all our adventures!
Happy 1st Birthday, Maddox! We all love you from the bottom of our hearts and we are SO glad to know that we never have to spend another birthday apart!