January 2008 Archives

Still Technically Eight Months

I have not been good about getting out the background paper the last two months and I guess I was remembering the turquoise portraits and thought I had done a portrait of Sarah for her official eight-month picture. I got a shot today but I hope that I can finish up the work on her baby album and get the blog updated and be more organized next month. Sorry, Sarah, sometimes it's tough being the second child.

Early Valentines

My mom's Valentine's arrived today and she only shipped last week (Anita ordered from Amazon weeks ago and the stuff is not supposed to arrive until after Valentine's Day now—this is new for Amazon they've usually been so good and now Anita's & my most recent order got held up a lot longer than usual). In the box from my mom was a baby blanket for Sarah (it was worth the wait, mom!) and a doll-size one for Anna. The kids both loved their cards (Anna's was Strawberry Shortcake) but Sarah is so cute because she just gets so happy when she sees these cats and I make them "meow." She actually doesn't try to eat the card, either.

Colds, etc.

Anna started getting a cold last week so she didn't go to school on Friday or Monday. This morning I could tell that she was happy to be going back when we were getting ready in the morning. I'm glad she was happy to go back and see her friends.

Sarah caught Anna's cold a day or two after Anna started it and actually ended up throwing up on Saturday (just once). She's been awfully crabby and taking bad naps so I hope it's teeth, too, and not something worse working its way through.

Sarah & I did go up to visit with some moms & babies this morning. Two of the moms (both Norwegian families) in the terrace houses here have babies about Sarah's age. It will be nice to have kids her age so close by if we can get them all together regularly.

TKD Night Two

I'm not sure how to title my TKD workouts since I usually title my other workouts by time. This doesn't apply for TKD though... Anyway, tonight felt like a better workout than last night because we did more kicking. I can tell that I haven't kept up on stretching and my brain is slow on any move that involves more than two steps. Hopefully I'll get up to speed soon. I did poomses 1 & 2 with Jaynie tonight and they felt familiar but there is no way I'd pass a test on any poomses any time soon! My sciatic nerve started acting up today but I think it was Sarah-related and not TKD related. (I have to hold her while I cook or when I otherwise can't spot her on the floor and she weighs about 21 pounds.)

Back to Sitting

Sarah can now get into sitting position from crawling/pulling up. Unfortunately she tends to just fall straight back from standing rather than trying to sit. This means that I must always be spotting her so she doesn't crack her head into the floor. She pulls up on everything and is unstoppable. Anna was not this rambunctious so we are heading into some exciting times for sure!

Don't Call it a Comeback

I went back to my first TKD class tonight. Luckily, Laurel & Mijung were there to help me through. I don't feel too bad tonight but we'll see how I feel in the morning. It felt more like a mental challenge than a physical one. We kicked up and down the room in complicated combinations of kicks that, as a black belt, I should be comfortable with but since I haven't gone in 3+ years I am quite rusty.

Book Club: The Time Traveler's Wife

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I hosted book club tonight. This is a version of the book club that was started the last time I was here but instead of turning people away we are wondering why no one around here seems to read! We had five in our group last night and it felt like a good number to keep the conversation going and for everyone to have a chance to talk. I loved this book and rank it up there with my favorite books. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did so the next book I read has a lot to live up to (I tried to pick up The Historian and couldn't read it it was so poorly written compared to The Time Traveler's Wife). Our next book club book is Good Grief by Lolly Winston.

Latte Art

Latte art & photo by Craig.

Ball for Sarah

Lunch & Dinner


This is why Craig comes home for lunch every day.

This is what Anna did while I got dinner ready during Sarah's afternoon nap. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to do any cooking/prep-work while Sarah is awake so I need to be organized and motivated to get it done during one of her naps.

Thanks, Lance


Just a quick run on the treadmill tonight. I tried the Intervals setting tonight but liked the Sprints setting better. I should note that the treadmills in our gym do not have an incline. I guess they figure there are enough mountains around that we can get our hill workouts on those. I do hope to hike with Sarah some days when the weather warms up and Anna is in school. Laurel says the night TKD is at 8 PM right now so I should probably just go and then when I am hooked on the night class I'll still feel compelled to go when it switches back to 9 PM (after the Lunar New Year, I assume).

After you end your workout on the Nike+/Nano the Nike lady tells you in a nice, soothing voice your time, average pace, and your distance. Tonight after she was done, I heard, "This is Lance Armstrong, congratulations on your personal best 1 mile" (or something to that effect).

Making Friends

We had Anna's friend Eleni and her older brother Kostas over this afternoon to play. Anna stuck to me like glue but, thankfully, Sarah was a little more self-sufficient. At the end Anna did give Eleni a hug goodbye (Eleni gave Anna a kiss!). I just hope Anna gets more self-confidence as she gets older because it is going to be hard for her to be this shy when she is on her own in the world. Anna's friend Kristin is coming over tomorrow morning and Sarah & I might go up to one of our neighbor's houses next week for a playdate with kids her age (one is 3.5 months the other is 7.5 months) while Anna is at school.

One of my goals this year is to have friends over more for the kids since we really haven't been doing that at all since we've been here (especially since we're downstairs and don't "run into" people much when we do pass through the parking lot) . I guess it's hard for me to coordinate and we are all in our routines. Eleni & Kristin both have older siblings (so afternoons are harder) and Eleni & Gwenn both go to school five days per week (so mornings are out) which leaves little time for us to get together with more than one of her friends at a time, I guess. It's also hard because I just don't know many people with kids our kids age because I don't get out!

Anna talks about Kristin, Eleni, & Gwenn when I ask her about school and today I saw Gwenn, Kristin, & Anna all holding hands on their walk up to the playground (I've only seen Anna hold her teacher's hand on the way to the playground before). I would have loved to have gotten a picture of this but then Anna would have seen me and I had to run to the Import Lady and the bakery before I could get Anna & her things from school.

Babbling Brook

Sarah is babbling a lot more lately. We all claim to have heard her say various things although if she did they were flukes. Anna & I heard her say "Anna" and "Mama" and Craig & I heard her say "dada." She's working on some g and d sounds right now and she has just the sweetest voice ever.

Not as slow as it looks at first

At the start of this workout I was trying to figure out how to get the TV in the gym on (I got it on but couldn't figure out how to get a signal from the satellite so I gave up but forgot to reset the Nike+....) I did sprints on the treadmill and was pleasantly surprised how much it didn't suck for not having run since August. So, I hit 5k at about 38 minutes (treadmill minutes, not Nike+ minutes; I guess it's about 43 minutes on the Nike+ graph) but couldn't slow the machine down until the sprint was over (I think this is a dangerous feature of this particular treadmill).

I'm thinking about TKD again but need to convince myself to go to the 9 PM class which is tough since I'm usually ready to be in bed around 10 PM.

I am trying to get started on some weight loss now that Sarah is sleeping through consistently and I'm not so tired any more. I actually only weigh 2.5 pounds more than I did when I got pregnant with Sarah but I think my shape is different again. I'm also in a nice little point in breastfeeding where I can pretty much eat whatever (and not exercise more than going up our stairs and chase & carry 21lb Sarah around the house) and not gain anything. I know that that will shift in the next couple of months though as Sarah starts eating more solids and nursing less so I'm aiming for a 10% loss and this really should be just the first of many new entries to my workout log. I hope to actually have time to shop for clothes that fit when we are in Colorado this summer (dates still undecided).


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I am working on Sarah's baby album and realized we don't have a picture of her in a bath towel so I made it my mission today. The girls typically take 2-3 baths a week. We used to do a bath every night with Anna because her skin required it. Sarah's is not as sensitive (and Anna seems to have outgrown her eczema sometime over the last year) so we can get away with less. Anna still doesn't like to get her hair wet but likes to take a bath with Sarah (Sarah still sits in her baby tub but that will have to go soon since Craig says she pulls up on it).

Sharp & Baby Elbow

When Anna has a nail that tears and needs to be trimmed she says she has a "sharp."

I was telling Anna that I needed to work on Sarah's baby album and she thought I said something about a "baby elbow" and got kind of upset when I corrected her until I showed her her own album that I had done for her. She kept thinking that the pictures were of Sarah in Anna's album but after a couple of looks through the book finally "got" that they were pictures of "Baby Anna."


Sarah just can't stop or be stopped. I feel like she is always getting into something! I realize this is good but I could do without putting everything in her mouth. She can't be convinced to put something in her mouth if I offer it to her as an alternative to something "forbidden." For example, she started trying to eat the foam mat we have on the floor in the office/playroom so I offered her some foam letters instead and they were just not as appealing although they are the same material.

The Next Level

Sarah is officially pulling up and I'm not sure how I'm going to get anything done now! She is so much more active than Anna was and there are two kids now so I think that accentuates how difficult it is to keep an eye just on Sarah. Baby-proofing will move up a level soon as the coffee table will no longer be considered a "safe zone" for Anna's puzzle pieces and other things that she is playing with that Sarah should not put in her mouth.

Butterfly Shirt

I have a feeling Anna will wear this shirt every day for a while...

The Sister Train

The girls had a ton of fun with the bus tent and tunnel. I am not sure how many times Sarah went through this tunnel but it was a lot! She would get the end, look over her shoulder, see the tunnel and feel compelled to do it all again. Anna had a ton of fun doing the "Sister Train" (her words, not mine) and following Sarah through the tunnel and cheering her on.

Black Bean Goatee

Photo by Craig.

I think Sarah may be moving from being spoon-fed to a higher concentration of finger-feeding. She's been doing a mix for a little while now but I'm having an increasingly difficult time feeding her with the spoon (giving her one to hold onto herself helps). She is loving black beans right now; I think they are her favorite along with the vegan waffles.

Big Puzzle

Lyn came down with some toys and clothes that her kids have outgrown. I saw this nice puzzle from Mudpuppy and Anna & I checked it out during Sarah's afternoon nap. She is doing 36 piece puzzles now but had a good/challenging time with this one because the pieces are so huge they were spread around the room.

I should note that "J" is for "jumper" in this puzzle but this took me a minute to figure out because all I could see was a "sweater."


Sarah and I were playing peek-a-boo around the corner from each other but she had to come get me. She was trying to play the game on her own with a towel today as well. Sometimes both of her eyes wouldn't get covered all of the way but I played along anyway.

Needs Ironing

I will plan to do a real photo session with Anna in the Hanbok on her birthday (and Sarah on her first birthday). It is hanging in Anna's closet so she occasionally will ask to wear it. I really should buy a couple of cheap ones at Home Plus next time they have them (they did around Chuseok last year) for dress-up because I think this one (that Mijung gave me at Anna's baby shower) is nicer that those and I am terrified it is going to be ruined!


Anna is alternating between Strawberry Shortcake characters now: Orange Blossom, Angel Cake, or Apricot. I made her some felt apricots (I didn't have any orange felt on hand or I would have made the oranges already) to cart around when she feels like pretending to be Apricot.

Three Days

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Anna is trying out three days per week at school this month (Monday, Wednesday, & Friday). She's on the list for Friday when it is open again but apparently Fridays are full starting in February. She did well but did not use the bathroom at school all week (just held it until she got home). I don't get a consistent answer from Anna when I ask her if she likes school or if she liked going three days or would rather just go two. However, she will finally say two of her friends names now (Kristin & Eleni) so that is progress. Usually she just describes everyone by what they are wearing.

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck?

I had to take the baseboard out from under the cupboards because approximately every 23 seconds I was saying, "no, Sarah, we don't eat baseboards." The baseboards are not attached in any way and Sarah found the gap between the baseboard the the bottom of the cupboard irresistible so it had to be moved after she ended up pinching her fingers (she pulled it down with her right hand and the baseboard fell on her left finger tips).

Orange Blossom

Admiring herself in the mirror

Orange Blossom (Photo is a screen shot from StrawberryShortcake.com).

We have one Strawberry Shortcake book (The Berrylicious Bake-off*) and for some reason Anna has identified herself with Orange Blossom. She runs around saying she is Orange Blossom, I am Ginger Snap, Craig is Huckleberry Pie, and Sarah is Apple Dumplin'. She wants to wear all orange but I've only got the Broncos shirt and one shirt with some orange stripes in it for her right now.

I've mentioned before that I'm not into licensed characters and although I did get her the Elmo plush and she did get a Minnie Mouse for Christmas. I think because I played with Strawberry Shortcake and because I really wanted to find a particular Orange Blossom doll (after days of research, the one I wanted doesn't exist; I wanted one to match the Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue I got in Doha) I've been promoting this Licensed Character obsession. We've been downloading coloring sheets from StrawberryShortcake.com, watching the music videos, and I even downloaded a CD of music (Let's Dance) from iTunes. The real clincher is that I've ordered some dolls from ebay and a couple more books from Amazon. I told Craig that this is me holding back. It's a good thing we're not in the States right now or we'd have a whole Strawberry Shortcake room in our house by now.

*We actually call it "The Very Delicious Bake-off " but I'm sure I'll give in to all of the "berry" instead of "very" stuff eventually.

Holding It In

Anna went back to school today and I was nervous about her first day in underwear there. All break-long I've been telling Anna she could use the potty with Minnie, her favorite teacher, and this seemed to be a positive thing for her since she loves Minnie and even said she wants to invite her to her birthday party. Wouldn't you know that on Saturday night we got an email saying that Minnie had to leave Geoje Island and won't be at the school any more. I have no idea why she left but I was super nervous about how Anna would handle this news in relation to school in general but also in relation to using the toilet at school. I told her Minnie moved away and that she'd have to go with Emmie or May to the bathroom. She acted like this would be ok (although I could tell that she was sad).

So, I went to pick up Anna from school today and saw that she was still in the same clothes I dropped her off in so I was hopeful that the potty thing went alright. She didn't go at school. It's not clear to me whether her teachers brought her in or if they asked her if she needed to go and she said, "no." I'm anticipating a few accidents before she'll use the bathroom with one of her teachers though but I believe she "held it' the first few times she went to school this fall based on the major diaper leaks she had when she got home and finally relaxed...

I was using school as the test on her training (she hasn't had an accident since day six) so I'm not sure what to make of this result.

Sleepless in Seattle

Check out how the fruit is stacked in bowls on the back of this truck driving down the road!

Craig's cappuccino at Sleepless in Seattle

The parking lot we like in Gohyeon; I felt inspired to take a photo but just had the little camera so this is what you get. I was feeling sentimental and thought it might be nice to remember this part of the experience as well.

Since we did the Admiral yesterday we rewarded ourselves with a trip to the coffee house again today (although Subway had only limited ingredients for sandwich-making so we didn't bother ordering any).

Turquoise Portraits

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Checking out the stars I placed on the paper indicating where the kids needed to sit.

Getting in on the photographic action.

Sharing a tech-moment with his daughters.

Sorry about the background paper; it's amazing how much harder it is to photograph your own kids than it is someone else's so I have to take what I can get with Anna.

I've been meaning to get some photographs of Sarah in this sweater for a while now (while it still fits!), so I was inspired when Anna chose her clothes this morning to try and get some shots of the girls together.

Carolyn's Sweater

Sarah: Eight Months

Anna: Ten Months

Now the real gem would be to obtain a photo of Craig in this sweater that his grandma Carolyn made for him.

Sarah Elinor: Eight Months

Sarah is eight months today! She is waving a lot right now (it seems her hand-actions/signing come individually and don't stick when the next new thing comes along). She currently loves Path the Bunny, lift-the-flap books, and books with photographs in them. Animal noises are a big bonus. The toy that gets the most consistent smiles from her is Anna's Hello, Kitty doll (accompanied with excessive "meowing" of course!) She wants to make you laugh and capture your attention (will post videos soon, I promise!)

She is crawling (still technically creeping with belly on the floor) everywhere and is into more mischief than I remember Anna being. She likes to pull books off of the bookshelves and go into the office and Anna's room. I try to find a really exciting toy to place just outside the bathroom when Anna needs to go but inevitably, Sarah comes racing in and tries to get into all sorts of contraband. (Lucky Anna is fast using the potty because I really don't like the idea of Sarah crawling around the bathroom.)

Sarah hates sweet potatoes (although the ones here are different than at home and Anna loved the ones at home but doesn't like these either; too bad since sweet potatoes are over-abundant here). We've tried chicken and she loves the vegan frozen waffles I get at Home Plus. So, we're moving on to more foods which is good since a lot of the things that she was "allowed" to have between 6-8 months are not available here in Korea which has been slightly frustrating.

She hates sweet potatoes (they are different than the ones at home; Anna doesn't like them either and she loved the ones in the US). She still won't nurse lying on her left side consistently and she has also been waking up at 5:15 the past week and cries until I give in around 6-6:30 (it's off-and-on crying, not constant). Hopefully whatever it is that's getting her up that early will work itself out soon because I'm not excited about it at all.

Date Night & Babysitting Mix-up

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I arranged for a babysitter (through Amelie again) for tonight. Sung-Hee was supposed to arrive at 7 PM and last time she came fifteen minutes early so when she wasn't here by 5 after 7 we realized something was wrong. Luckily I had saved her cell number in mine so I called her. She said she was babysitting somewhere else. I could only assume that somehow she got double-booked. So, she asked her friend to come here and it was all working out fine. (Sung-Hee and her friend are probably in their mid-forties.) We got upstairs after the new sitter arrived and there was someone who kind of looked like Sung-Hee in our parking lot on the phone. It turns out our reservation had been mixed up somewhere along the line and she had written down another apartment in our complex for 8 PM. So, Sung-Hee and her friend had a nice visit at our house while we went out.

All this to say that we have decided to try to go on a date night at least once per month and tonight we went to VIPS for dinner. The steaks were really good (I'm not sure if they were actually good or if we just haven't had steak in a long time!) and the salad bar had a good selection (even a taco bar!). Before we went to dinner we were talking about all of the different restaurants we were going to hit each month but when we were done we joked we might just go to VIPS each time. It's in Gohyeon (same building as Home Plus) so it's really not convenient to go during the week with the kids but we might try to brave the weekend crowd sometime for lunch.

Admiral Hike


We hiked up the Admiral again today. Today was a much better hike for me because I wasn't over-dressed like last time. We made it a bit farther today and plan to try to make the full loop next weekend. The kids did great again. I might try to take Sarah up on my own sometimes while Anna is at school. I'll have to use the carrier Anna rode in today because I can't get Sarah on my back in the Ergo by myself (at least with all of the winter clothes on). My sciatica didn't flare up this time so that's the best news. My Nike+ stuff didn't work with the Nano for some strange reason so no data again. We hiked for 1 hour and 8 minutes.

Playing Favorites

I mentioned recently that Anna loves Craig and basically thinks that we are paired off as Mommy & Sarah and Daddy & Anna. Potty training has really changed that as Anna seems to have bonded with me over this (she has not had an accident since Saturday so I think she's doing awesome! The only real hurdles left are school and getting more comfortable with pooping on the potty). This brings about mixed feelings because now I am the one who she wants to do everything with which is flattering but also very tiring! I will choose to just enjoy it though because I know some day again she'll switch back to Craig and then another day still she'll be embarrassed to be in the room with either of us.

Another Tote

I have found that I need approximately three tote bags for my shopping at Home Plus so I decided to make a third one so I could quit buying that last plastic bag. I messed up the sizing on this one a little but it works (I made it last night and tested it out today).


Buzzy & Bizmark!

Sorry, I don't have a picture but these two pesky flies have been living in our house for several weeks (the cleaning ladies let them in when they opened the windows and the screens weren't completely shut). They won't leave, we haven't caught them. Buzzy likes to get in your face while Bizmark keeps his distance and waits at least until you're done eating to start scavenging. I'm finally posting about these guys today because now Anna is calling them by name. I think naming them might be part of the reason they're still around although we have made a few honest attempts.


Anna made up a story tonight about a bear whose bed broke so he had to sleep on the floor. I wasn't in the room so I don't have the details but I think it was inspired by reading We're Going on a Bear Hunt. (Incidentally, Anna also told me her first known lie the other day. She said she finished eating something I asked her to eat before she could have a treat. I thought she ate it pretty quickly and went to do grab her plate and saw the food on the floor (it fell). She still had to eat more of what was on her plate before I gave her the treat.)

Change of Location

Sarah has been refusing to nurse lying on her left side for four days now so I decided to just take her in to be sure there isn't an ear infection or something going on. I got the kids up the stairs, into the car, and into town. We parked the car, walked to the doctor's office and it was totally dark. Furniture was scattered and there was a small sign on the door all in Korean except for a 12 and a 17. So, hoping that the sign said they moved somewhere else on 17 December, I took a photo with my camera phone (I was pretty miffed when I realized I forgot my diaper bag camera!) and walked down to Best Office, showed them the picture and they informed me where the doctor's office moved to.

The office was newer and nicer, of course, but Sarah doesn't have an ear infection and the office was so busy I'm just hoping the kids didn't pick something up there! Sarah doesn't have to go to the doctor at 9 months like she would at home so she won't go back until her one year appointment.

The office does have a kind of cool thing for measuring and weighing the babies & kids. For Sarah I set her on a table that weighs her (they did it with all her winter clothes so I didn't bother to remember the number) and then the nurse lay Sarah flat (Sarah did not like this) and the table scanned her length. For the older kids they stand and a little measurer slides down and taps their head and slides back up. It was kind of futuristic and pretty cool looking.

So Long 2007; Hello 2008!

2007 is a blur. We started in Doha, Anna turned 2 in March, Sarah was born in May, we spent 5 weeks in the US this summer, moved to Korea this fall, Anna started Playschool, Sarah started crawling...

In 2008 I am looking forward to:
Anna's 3rd birthday (and Craig's 31st, ha!)
Anita & Corrine coming in March for ten days! (and the suitcase of "stuff" they'll bring)
Sarah's 1st birthday
July in Colorado (probably, we haven't booked anything yet)
Family vacation over Chuseok in the fall (maybe Thailand?)
Watching Anna & Sarah grow and learn

I don't have true resolutions for 2008 but a huge list of things to do. (Sarah's baby album; making books of the blog for 2006, 2007, & Sarah's first year; sewing projects; organize photos & videos; working on our family tree; organize, organize, & organize.... just to name a few.)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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