May 2008 Archives


I brought out the inflatable pool for the porch because I'm not totally comfortable getting in the big pool at our apartment with both girls yet (it is all 5ft deep and that water is cold but we have a hot water faucet outside so I can make our little pool nice and warm easily). The girls had a fantastic time!


The girls had another great time today checking out the Gymboree-esque place called Tumbland. I had enquired about this through Ameilie a few months back but was informed it was for ages 2 & up and something you drop your kid off to do. We all stayed and Sarah had a good time anyway. The session is Tuesday and Fridays from 3-5 for a month. It's a little pricey but we're trying it for June. Anna said she wants to go back tomorrow.


| 1 Comment

A litter of four kittens has been milling around our yard today. The one in the image above is not as scared of me and always kind of gets left behind the other three when they do stuff. I am stupid and left them some soy milk (the organic infant formula that Sarah never liked—she prefers the organic adult formula) and gave them a little bit of tuna. They are so tiny and frail-looking and too cute. Maybe it's because I'm a mother but I couldn't reason with myself to not leave them a little something.

I've told Amelie about them, wondering what the protocol for finding a litter of kittens is in Korea. There isn't one as far as I can tell. There have always been two adult cats (one believed to be male and one believed to be female, both orange) that we have seen taking a nap on our porch from time to time (the two adults are never seen together though).

I saw the male one time today and a kitten followed him across our porch but as I type this I hear them mewing in our yard.

I've never had a kitten before and how do I know if I'm too late to socialize one? Do I have to take care of all of them until a certain age and then take the other three to the vet if no one wants to adopt them? Or do I just stop giving them food and hope they go away/that their mother will still take care of them? Would the cat freak out whenever it saw her (probably) mother or father taking a nap on the porch outside (if I adopted a cat, I'd have to make it indoor-only)?

For the record, I know it's totally unreasonable to adopt a stray cat but they are here in our yard and I can't stop watching them. I need to make a decision!

I'll get caught up on the blog later; we're having power-supply issues and I don't think I have much time to update on all of the fun stuff we've been doing this week with my current battery supply.

Geoje Fishing Museum

We went to the Geoje Fishing Museum today with Karen & Constance, Bo & Emilia, and Anki & Tobias. Anna and Sarah had a great time although Sarah slept in until 8 so skipped her AM nap and was getting cranky around 11 AM. She ended up falling asleep for about 3 minutes in the car and not taking a very good nap in the afternoon (she is getting sick). Anna wanted to go back to the museum again this afternoon but I convinced her it would be more fun if we wait another week or so to go back.

One Year Portraits

Signing "thank you."


Sarah created her first piece of art today and she got to color for about five minutes before she couldn't stop putting the crayons in her mouth—I'd say this is great progress!<\small>

Anna had some fun clothing stickers so I drew some stick figures for her (of us and of our neighbors, at her request). Too bad I got these stickers at the One Spot at Target last summer or I'd get some more, they were so much fun!

Sleeping In

Sarah has finally started sleeping in until 7:30 or later some days! On days that she sleeps that late I think she's almost ready to try to drop the morning nap but she still needs a little break to get through the morning. Hopefully she will get that figured out before our trip to the US this summer so we can just deal with one nap per day instead of two while we're there.

New Signs: train, thank you, potty (she signs potty in relation to our saying that someone is going to use the bathroom, not her)

Reaching Out

I knew it was a matter of time that Sarah did this. Today when Sarah was trying to nap, I kept hearing pacifiers being hurled out of her crib (she has six in there with her). Then I heard crying so I went in to give her the pacifiers back and she was standing in her crib with the main light on. She has always been able to reach that light-switch from her crib but I don't think she knew it until today. So I moved her crib to the middle of the room for a temporary solution. I really hope she doesn't become obsessed with the light-switch because there really isn't another way to arrange her room (although we have considered moving her to the office/playroom).

Double Birthday Party


The purple & white tutu I made for Isabel.

The pink & white tutu I made for Emma. These tutus were super easy to make and I really liked how they turned out.

Anna couldn't wait to put on her party dress so she was ready an hour ahead and we had to be careful to choose a non-staining snack.

Sarah got gussied up, too.

Anna was invited to Isabel & Emma's joint birthday party today and Sarah came along because Craig was supposed to go sailing (he got rained out but since I asked about bringing Sarah along I decided to just bring her anyway). The party was at the indoor play area above the market and the girls had a great time. This was the first birthday party where Anna obviously had fun and ran around and played which was really nice to see. Also the place was big enough that Sarah was able to have fun, too. It was more fun going to the play area with other foreigners than when I've just gone with the girls on my own, too.


Am I remembering something wrong or do we have seedless watermelon in the US? If so, all the seeds have been transferred to the Korean watermelons. The girls don't mind though (and Sarah keeps trying to eat the rind so now we have to cut it off of hers).

Daytime Babysitter

This morning and tomorrow morning I arranged for a babysitter so I could take portraits at Playschool. Anna doesn't usually go on Thursdays so she stayed home with Sarah and the sitter today but just Sarah will be with the sitter tomorrow. I specifically asked for an English-speaking sitter and Amelie was able to find someone. The girls were alive when I returned and neither were crying, but...

Sarah freaked out when I set her down or handed her to the sitter, as predicted. Anna was just shy, as the best-case-scenario-predicted. What actually happened after I left I don't know because when I got back at 11:45, Sarah was still sleeping (she is usually up by 10:30 at the latest) and Anna had locked herself in her room (she was singing to herself).

I asked the sitter multiple times if she put Sarah down at 9 AM as instructed and she claims she did. I don't know if Sarah cried for a very long time or what happened because she slept until 1 PM. (I didn't know what to do with her so I figured she was going to be messed-up sleep-wise no matter what I did, why not let her get as much sleep as she can.) Anna says she did play-doh and stickers with the sitter but she didn't get a snack. Because I said that the girls have a snack when Sarah wakes up from her nap (but Sarah didn't wake up from her nap!). But, Anna had a Capri-Sun (which I had said she could have with her snack, so why wasn't a snack distributed?) and Sarah had some soy milk (which I also talked about in relation to the snack)...

I have no idea how long Anna was in her room but I was surprised that the sitter hadn't picked up any toys that Sarah had (obviously) strewn about when she was awake. Anna said that she went to her room because she "wanted mommy to be here."

Anyway, maybe I'll get a better story out of the sitter tomorrow but I don't think I'll be calling on her again at this rate (she was also 10 minutes late getting here this morning).

Signing Time

We finally got the Signing Time DVDs I ordered for Sarah's birthday today. So, after her afternoon nap she got to watch a little TV for the first time. One of the words was "doll" so I showed her her doll. The next word was "bear" and she got up out of my lap, ran to her room and grabbed her bear! (I'll note that she got distracted on her way back by something else and I had to bring her back to the family room.) Anna really enjoyed the DVD as well (probably more-so than Sarah: she kept walking away from the TV). We learned a few new words ("sorry" and "share," for example) and reviewed some we already knew.

Broken Room

Anna has been crammed into the office with all of the stuff from her room for almost two weeks now.

The hole in her ceiling.

A couple of weeks ago we noticed some mold growing above Anna's wardrobe in her room so after a lot of searching and repairwork, the leak has been fixed. They had to take apart the terrace above her room which was really noisy work (I've got video of Sarah sleeping through it!). It should be fixed this week.


| 1 Comment

Anna thought it was really fun to eat her French toast off of her fork this way. (Sarah loved it, too, and I ought to get a video of her saying "mmmmmmmm" the entire time she eats it.)

I've caught Sarah doing this a few times but mostly in her crib. Why do kids do this?

The photo is not sharp but how could I resist posting a photo of Sarah's super-smile?

Purple is the New Pink

Anna has been turning more and more toward purple lately. She picked out a purple purse for herself and a pink one for Sarah in Seoul and she is constantly wearing a purple skirt (thanks mom!) and shirt. Her favorite shoes have purple on them as well.

In Sarah news: she is eating off of a plate very well now and tonight at dinner she didn't try once to fling it onto the floor. I don't completely trust her to keep it on the table yet but she's learning! Oh, and her plates are purple.

Weights & Measures at 1 and 3 Years

Really quick (I'll get the blog updated with our trip to Seoul tomorrow): we took the girls to the doctor this morning for their 1 and 3 year exams and here are their stats:

14 kg (30.9 lbs, 50th percentile)
96.1 cm (37.8 inches, 75th percentile)

10.68 kg (23.5 lbs, 75-90th percentile)
76.2 cm (30 inches, 50th percentile)
I'll have to measure her head circumference myself later

Sarah weighs almost as much as Anna did at two years! (I'll update the stats comparison page, too.)

The girls did great with their shots: they both got the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and Sarah got one other. They both go back next week for the second Japanese Encephalitis (and again next year for the third one in that series) and then Sarah goes back next month for two more vaccines. I like that we're spreading them out over a month this time instead of having us come every week for three weeks like last time. Anna whimpered for half a second with hers and I don't think Sarah even noticed she got either shot. I was really worried about it, too, and had Craig go with me! All for nothing thank goodness!


I made Sarah a blanket out of minky material for her birthday because Anna received one as a gift when she was born and I felt like Sarah needed a blanket that was so soft. This was super easy and I think it will be part of my new standard baby gift to give out.

Carrying & Putting In

Sarah has been carrying this bucket or a purse or a bag around the house just walking around checking out random stuff. Sometimes she'll stop and put something in the container or take stuff out. She found a bib in a drawer and demanded it be put on and she wore it for a while. I've been telling Anna that Sarah is no longer a "baby" now that she's walking but she is now a "toddler" but it is still really novel to me to watch Sarah explore the house.

We actually had a relaxing day today because Sarah was playing with toys rather than going on a constant path of destruction this afternoon. It was so nice to see her being "busy" and not having to follow her every step saying, "no, bookshelves are for books, not people" or "toys are to play with not to put in the toilet." (Anna never put anything in the toilet but Sarah got something in today.) We are learning to shut the bathroom door for the most part but Anna doesn't always remember this new rule.

Raspberry Fingers

Sarah started it and Anna copied. Expected roles are reversed in our house as Anna likes to do the things that Sarah does as much as or more than Sarah likes to do the things that Anna does. I'd say Sarah just doesn't know she's not as tall/big/steady as Anna so doesn't know she can't do stuff (like climb the rope ladder at the playground). Sarah has also exterminated the compliancy out of Anna (that or Anna is going through the Terrible Threes); I don't think Anna had the idea that she didn't have to do what we say until this past year.

Little Things: Sarah 1 Year

Just a few things I've been taking notes on the past week or so:

Sarah is obsessed with drinking out of straws. I let her taste my kiwi juice at Davinci the other day and now she wants anything I'm drinking with a straw. Even water is exciting through a straw. So, I found a straw cup for her to drink her water and she is happy (but she still wants anything I'm drinking from a straw—somehow Craig's and Anna's drinks are exempt from this passion).

Sarah started walking and took off running. There seems to have been no real learning curve here. She does tend to plow through things instead of walking around so she still tumbles a bit (but really not as much as you'd think). She also can put her sunglasses on (and take them off and repeat, repeat, repeat) and she helps get dressed and undressed (shirt only). Sarah can also get going forward and backward on a riding toy but hasn't quite mastered getting on and off with grace (she loves getting on any kid-sized chairs, too, and is doing great getting onoff).

New signed words: bear, banana, bath

New spoken words: light

Home Again, Home Again

We made much better time going home today and only stopped once. The kids really did great in the car which may have given me false hope for this summer when we go to Colorado...


All aquarium photography by Craig.

Sarah was excited to get to the pool again; here she is walking around in her swim cover.

We went to the aquarium at the Coex Mall today but it wasn't really that great. It was expensive and not very big. It was also really crowded. But, the girls seemed to like it well enough so it wasn't a total waste.

Seoul, Day 3

I really liked this yellow wall, but you can see that McDonald's is also 30 meters ahead...

The red lanterns on the ceiling inside were lit and really pretty. I didn't feel comfortable/like I should take photos inside while people were worshipping so there aren't any photos of inside the temple.

I always find the artwork interesting so there are several door-panel-photos.

I can never decide if I like it more when there is a solid block of color or a bunch of colors mixed together. I really like the all-white lanterns though.

This is what the temple looks like from above with all of the lanterns.

Looking up at the gate.

I was in the Buddhism Supplies district (as indicated on the map).

A street near our hotel in Insadong. Later in the day this place was packed with people when Anna & I went out in the afternoon.

Hello, Kitty looks more Japanese to me here than Korean but that doesn't seem right.

"Starbucks Coffee." I had never seen a Starbucks here that just had "Starbucks" written in Hangul and not English.

Tapgol park again but the gates were closed this morning so I had to peek through the fence.

Fraser Suites (our hotel).

Our hotel.

I went out early to take pictures around Seoul this morning. I didn't stray too far and wanted to go to a temple specifically for the Buddha's birthday decorations. They were nice but I remember being more impressed at the temple I went to in Busan with my mom in 2004.

Seoul, Day 2

| 1 Comment

Sarah was really excited when she saw the giraffes!

All decked out for a hike (the zoo is located at Seoul Grand Park which has several other attractions, some hiking trails included).

A school group, one of the few that we saw.

Sarah excitedly signed "elephant" when she saw them!

Watching the seal and dolphin show.

I'm always surprised when I see nice facilities like this around (although I didn't go inside so I can't actually attest to how kept-up it is).

The view from the bathroom stall (the giraffes had moved by the time I came back into the bathroom).

Sarah loved the corn on the cob!

Sometimes it felt like Anna & Sarah were exhibits at the zoo.

We got the girls a lotus blossom each at Tapgol park.

The park was decorated for Buddha's Birthday (Monday, a national holiday).

Playing in the ball pit in the nice playroom at the hotel.

We drove to the zoo this morning and it was the Longest Walk Ever from parking lot to zoo entrance! Anna was so excited she wanted to walk instead of ride but finally relented after we went through the zoo gates to ride in the back of the stroller (now she only wants the back, not the front). Sarah was thrilled to see the giraffes (they were first) and was really excited to see most of the animals. I'd say she liked the giraffe, elephant, and guinea pigs the best! Anna says she liked the lions the best. We got tickets to see the dolphin show and both girls were impressed. I don't think the show was actually that great (but who am I to say, I can't say that I've actually been to one) but really, what can you expect for the entrance fee we were charged (I think we paid around $7 total)? The zoo is big and really quite nice but we were amazed at how little it cost to get in and how un-crowded it was especially for being a perfect day—a Saturday at that! We found some lunch (corn on the cob, waffles, and corn dogs) and then went back to the car. But not before stopping at the restroom on the way out. Anna & I were pleasantly (?) surprised that we could use the bathroom and watch the giraffes from our stall! I went back in to change Sarah's diaper and brought the camera in but the giraffes had moved by then. So, Anna was lucky that she got to go while watching a giraffe, I guess...

Sarah fell asleep in the car on the way home so I stayed in there with her in the parking garage so she got at least an hour nap this afternoon (she got about a 10-15 minute nap on the way to the zoo this morning). We relaxed in our room for a bit and then went to Tapgol Park for a run around. We went to Outback for an early dinner and then hit the pool again before bedtime.

Craig went out to the electronics market after the kids went to bed but most of the stores were closing by the time he got there. Tomorrow I plan to get up early and try to get some temple pictures.

Driving to Seoul

| 1 Comment

At the rest stop.

We assume this stroller and wheelchair are for anyone's use. At the other rest stops there were also some canes available.

Sarah has a band-aid on her hand because she saw the box of them this morning at home and really wanted one. I am actually really surprised it stayed on her all day.

Sorry for the flash but the girls were so cute in their new polka-dot swimsuits!

Got up and out the door by 8:30 (goal was 8). Sarah fell asleep by 9 and slept until after 10. We stopped shortly after she got up to stretch, have a snack, change her diaper... We got back on the road and had to stop two more times due to false-alarm bathroom stops for Anna. We ended up getting to our hotel just after 4 PM (much later than we had planned). We're going to try to stop only once on the way home on Monday!

The hotel is fantastic! Three bedrooms although we wish we had brought our own pack n' play instead of using the hotel's crib (different safety standards: they had it loaded up with soft bedding and pillows but that was easy to remove and I, thankfully, brought a crib sheet from home that works really well). Anna & Sarah were both so happy to get to the hotel it was hard to convince them to leave to go find some dinner. We took the easy way out and walked over the the 24-hour McDonald's. I told Craig that it was sad because we were at McDonald's but I felt like we were back in civilization!

After dinner we jumped into our swimsuits and hopped into the pool. The girls are sooooo cute in their new swimsuits and this was Sarah's second time in a pool so she was really thrilled with the experience. We'll try to go every night while we're here, I think!

Birthday Fun

Sarah started off her day in this cute dress but I ultimately decided it wasn't a good fit (too short and too tight in the middle).

Sorry I'm too lazy to photoshop-out the "sit here" sticker on the paper.

Anna wanted to take a portrait in her swim coverup that she got from Elizabeth on Saturday and has been wearing ever since.

Dr. Anna

Dr. Sarah

We had a pretty fun day today in spite of the fact that Craig had to rush home at noon to pack a suitcase to go to Ulsan for tonight and possibly tomorrow. We wanted to go to Chicken on the Mountain for Sarah's birthday dinner (we haven't been since my birthday and now Sarah could actually eat all of the food there!) but we'll have to do it another day.


| 1 Comment

Sarah did not want to sit still in her Hanbok for portraits (not that I was surprised) but it at least slowed her down a little.

See below for a comparison of what Anna looked like in the hanbok on her first birthday.

Happy First Birthday, Sarah!


Sarah is one! She is walking and talking, she is finished nursing (we stopped a week and a half ago), and she is so much fun! Sarah has spent three quarters of her life in Korea (6 weeks in Qatar, 4.5 weeks in the US, and from three months-present in Korea).

We are so lucky to have Sarah in our lives, she has made our family so much more full and complete. I can't imagine our lives without her. I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for our little girl. We love you so much, Sarah Elinor Martin!

Wayheon Beach

We went to the beach today for Caroline's birthday picnic (she is a friend from TKD and her birthday is also tomorrow). We went there early since the picnic was to start at noon but it didn't make sense for us to wait around when we knew we'd have to leave a little earlier to get Sarah back home for a nap anyway. We didn't end up even seeing Caroline (well, I saw her and wished her happy birthday) because we camped out on one end and the rest of the group didn't see us until we were leaving! Anyway, the kids had fun getting sandy and wet. The beach was kind of dirty and there was a lot of seaweed around so it wasn't really that nice. I hope it's because it's not really beach "season" yet and that's not how the beaches will be all summer.

Sarah was walking around the beach and around the playground today. Basically she starts out walking and only crawls if she falls over (she can't stand up in the middle of the room on her own yet). She is really taking to this so much faster than Anna and I am sure it is because Sarah has no sense of caution where Anna was always very careful. It's fun though and I'm excited for her to make the switch to 100% walking. (I'd say she is already 90% upright—she is either cruising, pushing the shopping cart/stroller, or walking and only crawls if she falls down.)


We had Sarah open her birthday presents today (a day early) because Craig had today off for Children's Day so we could relax and do it instead of having to rush before or after work. The big hit, as expected, was the shopping cart but Sarah liked everything else, too. Anna had a few clear favorites as well. I think Anna liked Sarah's birthday almost as much as her own!

One Year Ago

Last year at this time I was getting ready for my induction the next morning. I remember it was so strange to know that I was finally going to meet my little girl the next day.

A Day of Rest

Sarah really seemed to like the picture that Mathilda (five at the end of the month) drew for her.

We didn't get around to opening presents during the party yesterday (actually, we asked that no one bring any but our friends are bad at following instructions, apparently, and brought some anyway) so we let Sarah have them this morning. Anna even got a couple of little gifts which was a nice surprise for her. The rest of the day we basically continued clean-up and took it easy.

Happy Birthday Song

| 1 Comment

I love how Sarah seems to "get" that this is all for her after she hears her name in the song.

First Birthday Party

| 1 Comment

Sarah's choosing table: She is wearing the hanbok Mijung gave me while I was pregnant with Anna. The objects on the table are: a book (scholarly pursuits), string (long life), money (wealth), rock (happiness), rocket ship (adventure), paintbrush (she'll be an artist).

She chose the rock (happiness).

Checking out the paintbrush before making a commitment...

Now checking out the money...

Flipping through a Marine Engineering book.

The party is underway.

Some of the kids getting started on taking every single toy in the house out to play.

Sarah looks a little concerned that I'm about to light the cake on fire. Photo by Jaynie

Cake photos by Craig

Sarah is apparently in training for a pie-eating contest, she didn't think she could pick up the cupcake, I guess...

I forgot to take pictures of the cake before it was cut! This is the chocolate cake from the back of the Hershey's cocoa box; also known as "Jaynie's chocolate cake" around here.

These are Billy's Vanilla-Vanilla cupcakes as seen on Martha Stewart (I did a different buttercream frosting though). I'll post recipes for both cakes on the recipe blog.

The kids seemed to enjoy the bubble machine; even Anna was relaxed and comfortable enough to try to catch some.

Sarah wanted to get right to the source of the bubbles.

Matthias is one month younger than Sarah and lives two floors up from us.

We hosted a barbecue for Sarah's first birthday party. We had over forty people at our place and I think it went really well. Sarah did great and even Anna had fun and kept saying she wished the party was still going on after everyone left.

Steppin' Out


Sarah has been standing and taking steps this week but I don't think she knows she's doing it. Today I convinced her to come to me from the coffee table and she did it while aware she wasn't holding onto anything. I counted at least nine steps in a row and she looked so proud of herself when she did it! Look out world, it looks like Sarah is about to take off!

Rocket Painting

Anna had a great time painting this rocket that Anita sent for Sarah's "choosing table" at her birthday party on Saturday. We have happened to be reading a book about a rocket ship so Anna was really into it.

About this Archive

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

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 5.14-en