May 2009 Archives

Dinosaur Park & ChoRo

The girls really wanted to take Craig back to the Dinosaur Park to show him the things we did on Anna's field trip. We also went down to where Craig & Anna go sailing, took a tour of a large ship, and Anna & I walked through a giant dinosaur egg. Sarah was a little grumpy today but who knows exactly why. We ended our day with a visit to ChoRo for dessert. We got some delicious coffee & chocolates right here in Okpo!


I wish I could tell the girls to "go read a book" but I'm happy that I catch them doing this on their own and try to get a lot done when they do!

Craig caught me getting the camera out, but moments before they both had the Sarah's look on their faces.

They were watching the street get torn up from our seat at Prince Coffee.

30 Weeks 2 Days Pregnant

Baby Boy's face with a finger in his mouth?

Both images are his feet.

Baby Boy's face again but with a hand or a foot near his head (his right).

Baby boy looks good again this week! I gained ZERO kg from my last visit two weeks ago which surprised me since I haven't done anything different from previous weeks. Sarah was an absolute dream during the appointment which I was really nervous about since she was so difficult last time (she was probably just tired of being at doctor's offices last time since we had just gone to two appointments for her the day before). Baby Boy is head down with his bum near my right ribcage which is where he was last time, too.

We went on a little tour upstairs where Baby Boy will actually be born. The place looks nice and clean (it is only two years old) but the nurse who gave us the tour spoke very little English which reinforced to me that I truly will need my requests written out in Hangul and have Mijung on call when we go in! There was a row of the cutest little Korean newborns in the nursery and they were all sleeping (so cute but how did they achieve that?).

I got a few more questions answered from Dr. Lee today since Sarah was cooperating:

  • Yes, I can nurse Baby Boy before he goes for his 2-hour "observation" period in the nursery—and now we've seen the nursery and Craig will be able to watch everything they're doing during that time.
  • I think I can talk Dr. Lee out of an episiotomy and shaving but he doesn't want to budge on an enema.
  • If Baby Boy or I have an emergency we would be taken to the hospital in Jinju which is 90 minutes away by ambulance.


For some reason I can't just say, "go play by yourself" and have that happen. Today, however, both girls were lost in their own little worlds playing on their own. This morning Sarah was happy on her own in the playroom and then this afternoon Anna set out to work on a book-boardwalk (to keep us out of the mud and away from the pigs). Sarah sat on the boardwalk and read a few books but didn't destroy it. I wish I knew how to repeat this at will!


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Sarah can count to ten and then starts to make stuff up after that. She'll say eleven, twelve, fifteen, seventeen, nine, etc. Today on the way up the stairs she started saying, "five-teen" which makes sense. Today while playing with blocks that have pictures of things on the sides she was counting, "ten, eleven, thirteen, ice-cream-cone-teen." Obviously she saw a picture of an ice cream cone but I thought it was pretty hilarious!

30 Weeks Pregnant

I'm starting to get some serious kicks now. Baby Boy is really jabbing into my ribs several times per day. He is getting stronger and running out of room in there! My back is really not doing so well though and I'm wondering how I am going to survive another 10-11 weeks? I think it's mostly from dealing with short people and short household appliances but it's also because I've got all of this weight hanging off of my front! I really hope that the back pain is just instantly gone the minute Baby Boy arrives!

Birthday Cards

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Anna's rainbow.

"Happy" on the bottom, "Birthday" on the next line up, "Grandma" on top, and "Starsong" written on the right side two letters at a time.

Front of Sarah's card.

Back of Sarah's card.

These are for Grandma's birthday next week. We mailed them on Thursday but since she won't be home next week to get her mail I am posting them for her here. Hopefully the girls will be equally inspired in time for Anita's birthday next month!


Anna has been "Star" for a long time now. She actually changed her name to "Starsong" on her 4th birthday and yesterday she was playing with play-doh and we have a star-shaped cutter. She cut out a star and said she wanted to keep it so she could have her very own star to sing to, hug, play with, and be her friend. I said she couldn't keep the play-doh one but I'd make her one if she wanted.

She requested a "white star" and wanted no embellishments. Of course I can't just make her a star, I have to make Sarah one, too! So, I had some old baby blankets we had gotten from someone else that were fuzzy on one side and satiny on the other which met her requirements exactly.

The girls loved them this morning when they found them and I think they've played with them for more time than it took me to make them which is all I had really hoped for! Anna is sleeping with hers tonight and said, "I love it!" and gave me a big hug. Sarah said, "it's cute!" and then proceeded to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to it.

Tea Party

Not part of the tea party but this is what we are doing multiple times per day.

Pouring the tea.

Pouring again.

Now we're having "cookie tea."

Pretty smile! I had a ton of great ones but had my ISO set too low and they were super blurry. I can't throw the files out, but can't post them on the blog, either...

Putting cookies in the oven.

Get in there "just so," cookies!

Watching the cookies "bake."

"Cookies are ready!"

Hanging the cups on the kitchen hooks.

Plant Progress

Little Things: Sarah 24 Months

Before Sarah's injury we were spending long, leisurely mornings at the park and playground after we dropped Anna off at school. Now, since she doesn't want to walk anywhere any more we have had to find other, more sedentary things to do. Today she played with play-doh for an hour and a half which, I think, is the most she's ever concentrated on one activity at a time! We've been solving puzzles like mad (she can do 2-5 pieces without assistance but likes the challenge of up to 12 with me providing plenty of guidance) and building with Legos for hours on end as well. I have to say I was nervous how I was going to entertain her while she is less active but it has actually been going very well!

One of the things I like best about Sarah's age right now is the way her mind works. Craig came out of our room without a shirt one morning and was reading to the girls and Sarah stopped him and said, "Daddy, do you need a shirt?" with such concern for his comfort.

She definitely knows what she wants most of the time and I'd say it's usually what she can't have or what she thinks she can't have. It's almost like she's disappointed when she asks for her water bottle while we're out and I say, "sure, here it is." She has a way of saying what she wants and then when she sees she's going to get it, she changes her mind and says something else. I've started to hold her to her first choice because the flipping and flopping is enough to drive you nuts!

Sarah loves to help me in the kitchen. Any time I am making something, or, heck, even opening up a package, she is pulling up a chair to help. She is a very good whisker and does keep the whisk in the bowl which I wouldn't have suspected of her. She also really likes to take tastes so I have to keep my eye on her at all times.

She and I have had some lovely tea parties the past few days. I finally brought out the little chairs to go with the girls' kitchen table last week. I had kept them put away because I didn't trust Sarah with them but she really has surprised me and has not tried to do anything dangerous with the chairs so they are staying out! She is really getting into the whole tea party thing and loves to bake cookies in her kitchen and make me/serve me tea. She will serve to Anna first if Anna is home though. It's so cute to hear her saying to Anna across the room, "I made you some tea, Anna!" Anna is loving this new form of playing with Sarah as well and I can tell that Anna is starting to think that I'm a bit boring when she's waiting for Sarah to wake up from her afternoon nap!

Sarah's transition to the toddler bed is going pretty well. Again, I had some pretty low expectations and we do have to return her to bed a few times per week but she is getting the hang of it. She has only mentioned her pacifier once or twice since she gave it up but not in a longing sort of way but in a way that shows she's proud of growing up a little.

She is starting to stay dry between diaper changes and is very interested in using the potty and toilet. I think once her heel has healed more we might make the switch to underwear. I picked out a few pair of underwear at Home Plus to get her started already!

Party Dresses

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In party dresses before Isabel's party in 2009.

Before Isabel's party 2008.


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We're counting down the days until Grandma gets here (and I'm mentally tacking on another 7-14 links in the chain until Baby Boy arrives!).

Beach Party

Craig took Anna & Sarah to a beach barbecue today while I made the trek to Costco with Karen. He said that Sarah had a blast playing in the sand. Anna had announced before they got there that she was just going to "sit on the bench and watch Sarah & Craig play in the sand" but got too tempted once they got there and joined in the fun as well (although I don't believe she ate any sand like her little sister did).

Heel Update & Children's Day

What could they have been trying to communicate with this sale sign?

This is how Sarah looks now going through town (instead of walking along the sidewalk with me).

Anna's mask and "party clothes" for International Children's Day at school.

Craig took Sarah back to the Bone Doctor today for her follow-up x-ray while I went to the International Children's Day assembly at Anna's school. Sarah's heel looks like it is healing on the x-ray and she is to come back in ten days for another check. She is still pretty grumpy, asking for lots of hugs throughout the day, and wants to be carried a lot. She also is walking on her toes more (she was doing this before but I think the frequency has gone up).

Anna's class sang "We All Love the Little Children" and I did make a video but Anna didn't perform (she stood with her class but didn't sing or dance). I might post it later when I figure out what the problem with the conversion/uploading is that I had with the last video I posted (soccer). The kids were instructed to wear their "traditional costumes" from their home countries or their party dresses/suits. I'm thinking I could have sent Anna in a cowgirl costume (and that is what the kids who did a performance representing the USA wore) but she was super excited to wear her Easter dress so it worked out for the best.

Plant Progress

Sarah's plants (the two on the left) are really taking off!

Hi, Chopstick


Sarah's hair is starting to curl a little on the ends now that we're getting some humidity in the air.

Tiny Bubbles

Anna was pretty pleased with herself that she could finally blow bubbles today! She still prefers to have me blow them and her chase them but I can only go so long before I feel faint so I was pushing this skill on her. This was a delicate training process because Anna can sometimes react negatively to too much praise/fanfare. Two days ago I asked her to try and she was very reluctant and only blew a few bubbles because she was nervous. Today she just went for it and did great. Now if only I could apply this to other things I wish she had the confidence to do.... but I realize she just has to do things in her own time so I try to not put too much pressure on her.

Pile of Friends & Some Flowers

Craig found Sarah playing in her room this morning with a big pile of "friends" stacked around her. The more the merrier!

The girls and I planted these flowers a week ago. The two on the left are Sarah's, the two on the right are Anna's. I didn't think to start taking pictures right away but I suppose that's OK since they would have just been pictures of potting soil!

I didn't save the seed packets but this one is sunflowers.

Rainy Saturday at Home

The lego people are having a dance party on top of the lego house. Sarah is joining in here.

Sarah was pretty pleased that Chopstick chose to hang out with her on her bed!

I don't think I've posted a photo of the girls room yet. I'll post another when we get their wall decorations settled.

Tea party for two.

Craig went off to play a round of golf today so the girls and I stayed home in the rain which was a somewhat challenging task. Sarah is still walking funny so I tried to keep her off her feet as much as possible (not that she wanted to be on them anyway—she is pretty grumpy when the Motrin wears off).

28 Weeks 2 Days Pregnant


3-D with Baby Boy's face on the right.

This seems to be the same picture but without the golden color?

I think the one on the left is a profile and I guess the one on the right is his face from the front.

Can you believe how cute Baby Boy is? We never got a good 3-D face-shot of the girls so I'll be interested to compare this picture of Baby Boy with his little face when we meet him in August!

Baby Boy looks good! He is kicking me a lot! Sarah did a good job during the part of the appointment where I was lying on the table getting the ultrasound but did not want to stick around for the millions of questions I had for Dr. Lee today. (Craig was supposed to come with me yesterday when we planned to go but couldn't come with me today because of meetings.) I did find out the answers to a few questions (and these are as I heard them over Sarah's protesting/trying to run away from me):

  • Yes, I can keep Baby Boy with me after he's born (he does not have to stay in the nursery). But (I need to clarify on this one), he needs to be "observed" for two hours after birth and it sounds like they want him somewhere other than with me.
  • I can nurse right away (before they take him for two hours, I presume)
  • Circumcision is not routine here. (Dr. Lee had a surprised laugh when I said "circumcision." For the record we had already decided not to and I had it on my list of questions because it is so routine in the US.)
  • The Group B Strep test is not routine in Korea. I tested positive with Sarah and have read that after you have tested positive once you need the antibiotics before delivery with every subsequent pregnancy. I need to read up on this again but Dr. Lee indicated that it won't be a problem.
  • Since I have a negative blood type and that is very rare in Korea I need to pay extra to be sure to have some blood available for me if I need it. This I need more clarification on but will be happy to pay extra just in case!
  • August 5 is a national holiday in Korea and my doctor is planning to be gone that week. He asked if I was OK with the other doctor if he's not there. I'm not sure if he is offering to induce me before he leaves but I said it was fine with me whichever doctor is there.

We still have more questions (and obviously more that needs to be cleared up with the "answers" I got) and hopefully Craig can come with me next time (in two weeks) and we can take a tour of the labor & delivery rooms then as well.

Baby Boy weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. I have gained 23.5 pounds and am 8 pounds shy of my max weight with Sarah. I had better slow down a little with 12 weeks to go!

The Fall

Sarah jumped/fell from a platform on the playground last night and hurt herself. Craig didn't actually see how she landed but she had a bloody nose and was pretty upset. However she pulled herself together relatively quickly so we thought she was fine. When she went to stand/walk, her legs were super shaky and she said her legs hurt so we picked her up and kept her off her feet the rest of the night (we checked for anything that felt broken, bent her legs, etc.; it seemed only when she was standing that she complained).

This morning she didn't say her legs hurt but her right leg was pretty stiff when walking. Then she didn't want to walk to school with Anna and wanted the stroller. She didn't want to walk up the stairs, just to be carried. And she was crawling a bit on the playground at school. So, instead of going to my 28-week check-up this morning I took Sarah in to the pediatrician to let him check her out.

Sarah didn't complain when the doctor felt around her leg, but just said, "That guy is touching my leg!" (in an interested tone). The pediatrician drew a map on a post-it and said to go to the "bone doctor" down the street for an x-ray. I called Craig for assistance because I have a tendency to get flustered in these situations! I'm also glad I called him because I shouldn't be hanging out around x-ray machines right now anyway.

Sarah really didn't like getting her x-rays and I really didn't like sitting outside the door listening to her scream ("I want my skirt on!", "I want my shoes on!", "I'm ready to go home now!"). Knowing Craig was in there was comforting but I had to force myself to not run in, take her in my arms, and race away without looking back!

There is a small fracture on her right heel and we are to "keep an eye on her" this week and bring her back next week to make sure it looks better. I have been giving her Motrin but when I do, she walks more so I kind of don't want to give it to her to keep her off of her foot! She does not complain (verbally) that it hurts but still walks with a stiff leg and wants me to carry her and chooses stroller over walking almost every time. (She has been walking all throughout Okpo lately so this is very unusual for her!)

I guess it's pretty good that we made it over four years (and that Sarah made it two, I really would have predicted she'd do something like this before now!) without a "big" visit to the doctor. I'm not cut out for it, that's for sure!

No Pressure

Sarah wore her MIT t-shirt today.


In the book on Love Languages my "language" is "acts of service." I recently bought (but have not yet read) the version for kids. I strongly suspect that Anna's "language" is "touch." Sounds silly, but I am constantly reminding her that not everyone likes to be touched so much! I'll report back after I read the book on what I think both girls languages are and if knowing what they are helps out in any way.

Hakdong Beach

Obligatory Mother's Day Photo with all of my kids. (I can't believe I didn't stand up and have Craig get my profile again!)

Geoje Island is "known" for its pebble beaches.

Naptime for Sarah after a fun morning at the beach.

Field Trip: Dinosaur Park

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Watching the parade. Anna was in awe of the "fairy" and the moving dinosaurs in this parade. Makes me think a trip to Disney World is in order soon (while it is still magical).

Anna & Miruna.

All of the Ladybirds that came on the field trip.

My baby dinosaurs.

All of the kids loved these giant bubbles.

I especially like this one because you can see (if you click on the image to see the larger photo) that Anna is happy and having fun with her friends.

Sarah always surprises me when she acts shy: she preferred to stay in her stroller rather than get out and chase bubbles with the big kids.

We had a great time at the dinosaur park today! Anna & Sarah didn't complain at all (about walking/riding the stroller/the heat.. all of the things I had been anticipating) and we saw some new parts of the park that were actually age-appropriate for them. It was pretty warm today and we did more walking than I was really up for (listen to me complain!) but I'm glad Sarah & I joined Anna's class on the trip. The girls are already talking about how we need to take Craig back to see the new part of the park right away (and we do, because soon it really will be hot and I'll be worthless to join them!).

27 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant

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Baby Boy is really starting to kick around now! This past week he has started kicking a lot all throughout the day. It seems any time I stop moving, even momentarily, he starts wiggling. I don't remember so much daytime activity with the girls. In fact, he seems relatively quiet in the evening and I think he likes to hear Anna & Sarah's voices during the day.

I am getting anxious to go to my doctor's appointment next week and ask all of the questions I feel like I should already know the answers to about delivering in Okpo. Hopefully I'll like all of the answers because I don't know what my other options are around here!

This week: Baby Boy weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended.

Happy Second Birthday, Sarah Elinor!


May 6, 2007.

May 6, 2008.

May 6, 2009.

I say it every time but I can't believe Sarah is already two years old! She is changing so much all of the time I can barely keep up with her. Sarah is very excited to turn two years old and all week has been asking "Is it my birthday?" Well, Sarah, today it finally is your birthday!

Sarah can count to ten (she sometimes skips nine) and then does a random selection of numbers after that in an attempt to count to twenty. She sings the alphabet song (and usually skips over four or five letters in the middle). She sings a lot of songs, actually, and loves to dance, too. She has some pretty funky dance moves that I would love to capture on video sometime but, as you know, as soon as the video camera is out all charming things stop. Sarah's speech is very clear and can speak in long sentences—I think even the doctor in Colorado was impressed!

Sarah is so much more physical than Anna ever was (or still is) but she also likes to read books and solve puzzles, play with the dollhouse, and play dress-up. Sarah loves to swing on the swings at the playground and I think I push her just as high as her big sister: she has no fear!

Sarah is not a rule-follower and is not compliant like Anna. I have a hard time with this because I think I tend to be more of a rule-follower myself so I can't figure out where Sarah is coming from a lot of the time. She throws bigger and longer fits than Anna did at this age which is also new territory for me. The big tantrums she had while we were in Colorado have not re-appeared though so they were, I guess, travel-stress-related.

Sarah is also super sweet and loves to give and receive hugs and kisses. She doesn't like it when Anna is upset and talks to the cats in reassuring tones. She likes to check out my bellybutton and ask where Baby Brother is and has started talking to him in my tummy. I am sure she doesn't fully grasp the changes he will bring to her life but she is interested in this kid we keep talking about and have set aside an entire room for!

We are so proud of Sarah and we are so excited to watch her grow over the next year. We love you, Sarah Elinor!

Working Out & Nap-Skipping

Anna always wants in on the action if I take a picture of Sarah.

Two years old!

She is smiling at Anna. She will not look at the camera!

Sarah & I met up with a few friends at the park & playground near the old abandoned amusement park today. She had a lot of fun checking out all of the exercise equipment there and playing with some friends. I put plenty of sunscreen on her but after over two hours outside I had to get her back inside because her cheeks were bright red (from being hot). She complained that her back was sticky all the way home... it's going to be a long, hot summer!

After a couple of days and nights (the first two nights went well!) of getting out of her bed non-stop during naps I decided to just skip her nap today because I needed a better plan than the one we had going. Tomorrow we will go back to naps because she definitely still needs one (I knew that before though!). Tonight we got her into bed and she did not get out but I'm skeptical about what the next few naps and bedtimes will bring...

Shake & Cupcakes

Craig took the girls to Prince Coffee for a shake this morning.

Sarah was a cupcake-bandit! She must have had a growth-spurt recently because she was able to swipe the cupcakes off of the counter with no effort at all...

She was also unable to decorate because her finger kept swiping the frosting.

Anna got a little over-excited and dumped almost the entire container of sprinkles onto two of the cupcakes.

Happy Pink Cupcake-eating, Sarah!

Opening a present from Alfred.

Birthday loot.

Anna was more than happy to assist with the tricky tape.

The gift from Anna (Anna not-so-secretly wanted it for herself!)

Watching the flames on the candles while we sang "Happy Birthday to you"

Anna lending a lung or two for the candles.


A duet with Alfred. Sarah was singing "Charlie Parker played be-bop."

Craig had the day off for Children's Day today so we decided to celebrate Sarah's birthday today with him. I asked her who she wanted at her party and she only wanted Alfred & Karen. So, that's who she got! The girls were excited to decorate the cupcakes, eat the cupcakes and open the presents (Anna was also thrilled to help wrap all of the presents).

Show & Tell

Anna was really excited about her first show & tell project at school. The kids each have a weekend with a scrapbook and they are to create a page about their travels either inside or outside of Korea. I showed her all of our vacation photos from our blog and she had a very hard time choosing pictures! She narrowed it down to 30, I printed them out, and she pasted them to the page. I then wrote notes about each picture that her teacher could share with the class (because Anna is beyond stubborn and will not speak in class!). Anna will also bring in a few of her "souvenirs" to show her friends (she has chosen her Build-A-Bear Unicorn, her Easter Bunny, and her Hello Kitty charm from the Narita airport).

So-long, Pacifier; Hello, Toddler Bed

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Yesterday was the day we decided to end Sarah's relationship with the pacifier. We have been talking about it all week and although she was reluctant, the first day went well. We also moved her into the toddler bed which is going so-so. Yesterday she did not take a nap which we can't say whether it was the pacifier, the bed, or just a day she refused a nap (she refuses/fights her nap probably at least once per week now). The girls were asleep in their beds by 8:15 last night (thanks to Sarah being totally wiped out from no nap!). No problem at all with the bed or pacifier. I actually anticipate more problems with the bed than pacifier.

Today Sarah took a good nap in her bed (1-3:30) but it is nearly 9 PM now and the girls cannot settle down. They are staying in their beds (looking out the window to the terrace though) but I now don't know if this is a sign that Sarah's napping days are over or what. She is acting like she had three cups of coffee with dinner tonight!

She is really proud of herself for being in the toddler bed and for sleeping with no pacifiers and overall it is going much more smoothly than I had been imagining!

Airplane and Portraits


Craig made another airplane for the girls today so they had a blast playing with it at the playground. This one has officially lasted longer than the first one even though we lost it down below the bottom terraces for a while (Alfred, Karen, & Thomas were over and Thomas was nice enough to go down to find it since Alfred was overly concerned about the plane).

The azaleas are fading but still made a fine background for the girls pictures. I wanted to take their "official" two and four-year pictures this weekend but Anna refuses to do it until Sarah is actually two. Hopefully we have cooperative kids next weekend!


I've been meaning to post this picture for a while; it is a picture of a picture on the 2008 calendar that we got from CS last year! Anyway, it is our apartment building and you can see how the terrace homes are below the parking lot. When we lived here in 2003-2004 we were in the tall building on the right.

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