December 2008 Archives

New Year's Eve 2008

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Anna & I made Corrine's peanut butter cups for our dessert tonight. Nothing too fancy but the girls liked getting the Christmas crackers again and had fun trying to get those noise makers to work.

Return to Geoje

We took our time getting out of the hotel this morning (Craig took the girls do the play area while I packed our stuff) and made it home shortly before dinner. We had to make two stops this time because Sarah was a little bit cranky from so much sitting.

Anna felt better this morning and so far no one else seems to have what she had yesterday.

Seoul: Day 3

This morning we took the girls over to the Hilton to check out the gigantic model train display they had there. Both girls loved it. I asked Anna what she liked about it and she said, "it moves by itself!"

We had lunch at Pizza Hut because it was close and Anna was pretty whiny so it wasn't worth walking around looking for something we couldn't get on Geoje. After lunch, we went back to the hotel and Anna & I got ready to go to the Nutcracker. She had actually thrown up in the morning at the hotel but was otherwise acting normally so we didn't think too much of it, thinking it was an isolated incident..

I wish I had taken a picture of us at the Seoul Arts Center but was having too much fun enjoying the music in the lobby and the decorations and the festive atmosphere with Anna to think of that. We had great seats and Anna was wowed to say the least. She had her mouth hanging open for most of the first act and was constantly pointing things out to me. At intermission she didn't want to leave our seats because she thought if we left we wouldn't see more of the dancing. I convinced her to go downstairs and pick out a souvenir nutcracker, go to the bathroom, have a snack, etc.

About 15 or 20 minutes after the show started again she asked for Craig. I asked her if she wanted to see more ballet or go back to the hotel now. She wanted to go back now. I was disappointed but glad that she got to see the Snow Fairies and that she did enjoy what we saw. As soon as the doors shut from the theater and we stepped out into the lobby she threw up again. Poor little girl! I'm glad she was able to get that far though and do it on the tile and not in our seats in the dark! We took a taxi home and she didn't want dinner and fell asleep right away at bed time. Hopefully being sick won't cloud her memory of the ballet because she really did enjoy it.

I will say that it has been several years since I've seen the Nutcracker (I'm thinking it was in 2000 in Boston) but this production seemed a little "off" compared to the Nutcracker book Anna & I have been reading this past month It was fine and Anna didn't care but some scenes seemed out of order to me. The dancing was fantastic and the set was good (not as good as I remember seeing in Boston and Denver but on it's own it was just fine).

Seoul: Day 2

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The girls were up at around 7:30 and we sent Craig down the street to get McDonald's for breakfast. After we got everyone ready we left for Lotte World. We got there shortly after they opened so it wasn't too crowded at first. We hit the carousel and no standing was allowed so Craig & I had to ride horses as well. Sarah & I shared one since she couldn't sit on her own horse unassisted (she would jump off!).

Next we went on the hot air balloon rides and had to wait in a line for this. Maybe thirty minutes? The girls loved the ride and wanted to go on the train next. So, we got a smoothie and a churro then headed down to the train. This line felt longer because you couldn't see what was head and how long you had to go; it was also probably thirty minutes. The train took us outside and around Magic Island which has some promising things for kids our kids age but since it is cold out (0 Celsius) we stuck to the inside stuff! Maybe next time we will come in warmer weather and can check out Magic Island activities.

On our way out of Lotte World we stopped and the girls drove a bear around. Sarah jumped off before we got the video going but Anna is not ready for her license yet! This was probably Craig's & my favorite part of Lotte World! We found our way to Pizzeria Uno and I hit up Muji while we waited for our lunch. Anna & Sarah were in a great mood today! I was worried that they would be tired from their shennanigans last night.

We got back to our hotel and got Sarah down for a nap by 2:15 and she slept for two hours. After she woke, we had a quick snack then found a much closer subway entrance and went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. The girls loved it! They relaxed on a big couch and watched music videos (Sarah apparently really likes Bon Jovi and said, "growl" and signed "bear" when ZZ Top came on).

Something happened with Anna today that made me very happy. Since Halloween she has not spoken "in public" to us. Only when we are in the car with the car door shut or in our apartment. This has led to many frustrating times for us. Today at Lotte World she started whispering to me. By the time we were on the subway back from the Hard Rock Cafe she was laughing out loud and talking to us! Craig and I were so happy but didn't comment to her because that tends to backfire when we make a big deal out of something.

Seoul: Day 1

Our dive to Seoul was pretty good. We left at 9 AM, stopped for a lunch at a rest-stop at 11:30, and got to our hotel at about 2:30. The girls did great in the car even when traffic backed up a bit once we got to Seoul. There are about twenty tunnels between here and Geoje-do so I think that helped a lot. (I'll have to try to actually count on the way home because there are a lot of tunnels!)

Craig took the girls to the play area and then we all took the subway to dinner at Outback. The walk to the subway station was a lot farther than we thought it would be and it was COLD. We took a taxi home and saw a lot of really great Christmas lights. The girls were both tired and crabby at the restaurant and the food and service wasn't as I had hoped so that was a bit of a disappointment.

Anna & Sarah also had trouble getting/staying asleep. Anna kept turning on the light and this made Sarah cry (of course!). The last time I went to their room was at 11 PM!

Christmas Day

The girls loved their Christmas stockings this morning. After breakfast we put the Christmas decorations away and this afternoon we went to a party at Craig's co-worker's apartment. They are American so I figured they'd have some decent food that the kids would eat. Sarah ate most of a plate of summer sausage and we all loved the Triscuits and Wheat Thins and other fantastic American things they had for consumption (they had just been to Guam and stocked up pretty well!). The girls had fun at the party and they are ready for our big trip to Seoul in the morning!

Oh, and the pictures I ordered to include in my Christmas cards arrived last night. That means I will send out cards sometime next week (hopefully!).

Christmas Eve

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This is Sarah's big smile that I feel like I've been trying to capture on film since she was six weeks old! I bought some pickles at the store (she loves them) and sang a pickle song to her while she was eating them. Let's see if the pickle song works next time I try for an "official" picture...

Opening the Christmas crackers and getting ready to eat an ice cream cake.

We decided to open Christmas presents this afternoon after Sarah's nap since we leave on Friday morning for Seoul and we wanted to get the tree down before we go so that the cats don't destroy it completely. It felt wrong to take the tree down on the same day we open presents! Santa will still come tonight though.

The biggest hits were the Tinkerbell toy from Jake & Sam to Anna and the Max doll (of Max & Ruby) from Nana & Papa. Sarah was instantly in love with him. Both girls had a blast playing with Sarah's new dollhouse and all of the new Polly Pockets and accessories that went along with that.

The first several presents Sarah opened, she exclaimed, "cute!" The girls were not slow this year. They barely checked things out before moving onto the next gift. This was fine because last year it just drug on too long.


We had Isabel over for a playdate today. She is Norwegian but has learned a lot of English in the time she has been in Korea (just under a year now). A lot of kids are moving away right now so it's nice to have Isabel in our building to play with.

Mommy & Me (and my sister)

Anna joined Sarah & me at our D-Cube class today. I think she had a great time and might have been a little jealous! I reminded her that she gets to go to Ladybirds five days a week and Sarah only gets to go to this class one day per week. After that we stopped at a bench designated for pictures at D-Cube. No luck here with a fantastic picture, either!

I also must note that Anna & I have been reading the Nutcracker in preparation for our trip to Seoul at the end of the week to see the performance there. She likes the Snow Fairies the best and was wearing her Snow Fairy Outfit today.


I hated to wake Sarah up from her deep sleep but was left with no choice.

Santa moved fast! I didn't even have a chance to pull Sarah's skirt down over her diaper to get him in this shot.

Anna opening. Sarah watching the commotion.

High-heeled shoes! Anna's letter to Santa requested he bring a purple pair for her and a pink pair for Sarah.

Anna was really nervous about Santa coming to school today. We've been talking about it for a while and on Sunday she broke down and said "I really want someone from my family to be there!" So I promised her that Sarah & I would come. Santa came at the annoying hour of 1:30 PM which is 30 minutes after Sarah usually goes down for a nap. It wasn't clear how long he'd stay so I tossed around the idea of putting Sarah down after Santa but ended up putting her down early and she got about an hour before I ripped her out of her crib and drove to school. We barely made it! Santa arrived at the gates just before us and I was only fast enough to grab the one picture of him passing out presents.

Santa mis-calculated Anna & Sarah's shoe sizes though and the girls could not walk in the shoes. So, I told Anna we'd go to Home Plus and if they had some smaller shoes we could get those and send back the too-big shoes on Christmas Eve. (Santa can give them to some other girls with bigger feet.) Luckily Home Plus did have some smaller dress-up shoes (and for only 5,000 Won each so they were a steal!). I'll have to try to get some shots of them in their new shoes but, rest assured, they love them.


I definitely need to go back over my videos for the year and add some! I haven't added video since May. Shame on me. This post has a video to go with it but I don't have it for you yet....

This morning as we were getting ready for school Sarah seemed to be humming a little made-up ditty and seemed pleased when Anna & I mimicked it. Tonight as I was preparing dinner she was working in her little kitchen and singing, "Happy Birthday to You." It is super cute to hear her try to carry a tune!


I can't remember if I've mentioned this already but Sarah is picking up on some Korean-English. Koreans will often add an "-ee" to the end of words. "Orange-ee," "beach-ee," "finish-ee," etc. I don't know why this is, but suddenly Sarah has started to say "hug-ee" instead of "hug" when she wants me to pick her up and hold her. I'm trying to correct her but her extreme desire to do the forbidden makes her want to do it more. I will have to stop correcting her!


Sorry this was with the little camera which isn't so great any more... Sarah has decided that it's fun to put on several of Anna's skirts at a time and wears these ensembles throughout the morning while we're home.


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Whenever Sarah thinks something is funny she says "tickles." It's super cute and I'm having a hard time convincing her that the word she's looking for is "funny."

Christmas Baking

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Helping make the dough in the stand mixer.

The girls "helped" me bake some cookies today. I chose sugar cookies that we could roll in colored sugar because I figured both girls could handle their duties. They also helped me count, measure, and pour. But once Sarah realized she could stick her finger out and get some batter she was no longer a helper. She did not do a good job rolling the dough in sugar (she proceeded to eat the dough-ball in one bite!). So she had to sit and watch. The dough was a little sticky so Anna didn't like rolling it either because her fingers got messy. Let's see if I have them "help" me with the rest or if I just do it myself!

Screen Golf

Craig and I went to Prince Coffee to start off our date night last night and Cindy wrote a nice note in my "mint hot choco." Then we went to play screen golf at the old D-Max Mart (lame grocery store but good for a quick trip b/c parking was better than Suhyup). This was a pretty fancy place! There is a screen golf driving range right off the lobby but if you play a round you have a private room. We played as well at screen golf as we would have in real life (we both SUCK!). But we had a lot of fun and will probably do it again next date night (Craig wants to go again tonight.)

Sleep Deprived

The girls did okay their first night sharing a room. We had to unplug Anna's bedside lamp because she kept turning it on to talk to Sarah to "calm her down." This made Sarah upset (because she wanted to be asleep!). Hopefully tonight will be better since we have a babysitter coming (Anna won't make a peep because she doesn't want the sitter tom come in but Sarah doesn't understand that concept yet, I don't think). I think it took them 45 minutes to finally get to sleep.


I went to get Sarah this morning and stepped in a giant puddle outside her door. When I went in to turn on her lamp, I found another, larger puddle. One of the pipes in the floor had busted (we have really nice heated floors here!). Now all of the stuff from her closet (our main storage area and it is a lot of stuff!) is in the office and she will sleep in Anna's room until her room is fixed.

Oh Christmas Tree


That's Clementine's collar securely fastened to the tree to the left of the pinecone.

Maybe I'll try for a better shot later on, but you can see our tree is seriously leaning and the cats have been attacking it at night so the top half and the bottom half are separated (all of the bottom branches have been bent downward and are clumped together). Sarah is officially more mature than two young cats.

First Crush

I asked Anna what was the best part of the concert last night and she said she liked that Mr. Gary played the guitar and then added that "he's really cute." Mr. Gary is one of the other teachers at the school and I think Anna is intrigued by him because he has no hair (I think this because she actually said: "he's really cute. He has no hair!").

Christmas Concert

Anna's teacher helping her get ready.

Looking thrilled. I think she started to realize that this was a "big deal" and got some pretty major stage fright (as expected).

Photo by Craig.

Anna is in the front row, third from the right (with green pom-poms). Photo by Kasia.

Proof that she did the turns. Photo by Kasia.

I have a video but there's not much to see because I was in the back row and Anna really just watched Miruna (the one to her right) the whole time. She didn't shake her pom-poms and only did the turns. I was not surprised and was still proud of her for standing up in front of all of the people in the room!

Letting it be Known

Half-way through our super-lame Home Plus Mommy & Me class this morning Sarah walked out the door. Three or four times before I told her to at least grab her shoes if she wanted to leave! We left the class early and we don't plan to go back (I will go request my money back though!).

Hiding Spots and the Christmas Tree

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This looks like an ordinary kitchen cupboard.

Imagine my surprise when I found her inside!

Anna moved her hiding spot into her room. One quick picture because it was funny but then out because we don't need Sarah copying!

Sarah enthralled with the Christmas tree.

I wish I had taken a picture of the tree as we were decorating because Anna did the classic "put as many ornaments as possible on a single branch" style decorating. Too bad between Sarah and the cats the ornaments moved to the top half of the tree by the end of the day!

19 Months

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Sarah is nineteen months old today! My how the time flies with two kids. I can still vividly recall last year at this time just like it was yesterday. We are going to be fools and set up the tree this weekend. I don't know who is going to do more damage: Sarah or the cats.

Sarah is a sweetheart but she definitely gets into trouble. And she does it with a smile on her face! She has, however, taken to reading longer books with me and we can read stacks upon stacks of them together if she is in the right mood. She knows what she wants and doesn't want and is very effective at communicating these things to us. She does like to throw a fit occasionally, too. This week has been particularly bad as she has been sick but I am hopeful we'll get our sweet Sarah back in a few more days.

When you ask Sarah for a kiss she gives you her cheek. I don't know how she decided this was how to give kisses but no amount of demonstrating with her lips will convince her otherwise. She'll probably figure it out by the time she's sixteen, unfortunately.

One of Sarah's favorite things to do is swipe the contents of a table (or any surface, really) onto the floor and then proudly proclaim, "MESS!"



(I realize you probably can't even see the snow in these pictures, there were better, bigger flakes throughout the day but never at a time when I could take a picture!)

Of course I didn't have my little camera with me when the really big flakes were coming down when Sarah & I went to pick up Anna from school today. All of the kids at school were outside to play in the falling snow. This was the first time my girls have seen snow falling. Last year we had a slight dusting on the porch one morning but that is a different thing than actually seeing it fall. Poor Anna wanted to know when we could build a snowman. I told her we are going to try to go to Muju this winter and go sledding so maybe we can build a snowman when we go there.

It was pretty exciting for me as well since I probably haven't seen snow falling since winter 2005 when Anna & I were in Colorado for Christmas. (If it even snowed then!--I know it did when Anna & I visited in April 2005.)

Downtown Okpo


Sarah and I were walking through town and this is what we saw on "Baskin Robbins Street."

Craig's Dream

Sarah wanted to check out Craig's OLPC and Anna was trying to explain to her how to open it (although she doesn't know how, either).

What Was That?

Our "super fun mommy & me class at Home Plus" is anything but fun! It was the strangest thing I've seen. Sarah is 19 months and the class is geared for 12-18 month olds (but it was in the only time slot that was left that we could sign up for). The teacher sat behind the desk with a boom box blasting, spoke into a microphone, and showed a bunch of "fun" flashcards. Sometimes the flashcards were interesting but there was only one hands-on activity! Very strange to me. I told Sarah we'd give it anther week and if next week is just as bad we'll ask for our money back. I'm so glad we also signed up for the D-Cube class!

D-Cube Class

Sarah and I signed up for classes at D-Cube and at Home Plus. Today was our first D-Cube class and Sarah seemed to enjoy it. She go to play in the "snow" and decorate a tree and a snowman. There was music and dancing which she kind of enjoyed. She wouldn't dance on her own but only with me. She refused to take a ride on a sled around the room (because I lost physical contact with her). I think she's a little off today so hopefully it won't take long for her to warm up to "our super fun mommy & me class at D-Cube" as I call it since I don't know what it is really called. The class is in Korean but when Sarah hands the teacher something the teacher does say "thank you" to her which is nice. There is one other foreign girl in our class which makes it that much more fun for us.

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

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