July 2009 Archives


Grandma has been taking such good care of the girls (and me!). She has even been brave enough to drive in Korea (once to the hospital and then again today to Home Plus to get some groceries). I am still pretty worn out just from being around the house so I really appreciate having my mom here to help keep things running smoothly. Thank you, mom!!

Big Sister

Little Things: Henry 1 Week

Henry has been such a sweetheart this first week and (dare I write it out?) really easy so far. But I realize he is still a super-sleepy newborn and this could change wildy in the next few days and weeks! But, because he has been so kind to me the last three nights I have to sing his praises: he has woken up at 9 PM, 12 AM, and 4 AM (and then again at 7:30 AM) the last three nights and then gone right back to sleep without any hassles! I love this kid! So, I feel relatively rested and am trying to appreciate that this could just be temporary and tonight he might go berserk (he was really fussy during the night the first two nights we had him home).

Henry makes little squeaking noises and really sounds like a puppy when he does it. I'm trying to capture it on video but you know how that goes (as soon as the camera is out everything stops!). I will try to get a video posted this week regardless so that everyone back in the US can experience him a little more.

Anna & Sarah really seem to like their little brother which makes me happy. I was a little worried about Sarah since Henry is taking her "place" as the baby but she seems totally cool with it and is proud to be a Big Sister. Anna is always commenting how Henry is "such a cute baby!"


Just a picture of the three kids hanging out together. It is going to be fun to see how Henry interacts with his big sisters as he grows!


Sarah found out this past week that we have some fun games in our cupboards and we found out that she is actually mature enough to play some of them! The best one is a Haba game called "Keep it Steady" and the other two she really likes are "Sequence for Kids" and "Cariboo." She does have a problem of sticking the Cariboo balls in her mouth though so that one has had to go up on top of the fridge a few times.

Portrait Wednesday


Sarah was very gentle with him but panicked each time she thought he was going to "burp" (spit up).

Giving him a kiss.

The girls wanted tiara portraits, too...

This is my current favorite of Henry. HOW did he get so cute?!

Sweet, Sweet Smile

I don't know how Craig did it but he got Anna to smile for the camera. Too bad the camera couldn't figure out where to focus!

Tuesday in Pictures


Craig & I took Henry in to get his blood drawn (PKU, etc.) and then stopped by the office to introduce him to Craig's co-workers. This small outing nearly took it out of me!! Some of the Korean ladies in Craig's office had never seen a baby so young/small before because in Korea it is very rare for anyone but immediate family to meet the baby before—at a minimum—three weeks.

Monday with Henry

Both cats are kind of creeped out by Henry and are very curious about him. Luckily they haven't lashed out at us since I stole "their" chair for nursing and we are keeping them out of our room when Henry is in there.

I'll have to do some digging for comparison photos but this one reminds me of Anna.

And this one reminds me of Sarah!

Both girls are having a ton of fun with my mom! I am so glad she was able to come out to take care of us!

Jaynie gave Henry this outfit and I think today is the only day it will fit (it's a Newborn size... which means I had better get the few Newborn-size outfits I have at the front of the rotation or they'll never get worn!)

Sarah was sharing her fairies with Henry.

We received some gorgeous flowers from Craig's office.

More! (Notice the nice pots these came in, too.)

Craig will openly admit that he was excited for an "excuse" to have to sit around on the couch for a while.

Sarah thought Henry needed another blanket. Her reaction to her new brother is so cute (Anna was super shy about Sarah when she was born). Both girls think he is great.. I hope that never changes!

Three Days Old

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Good morning, Henry!

Henry's first bear picture.

The girls were excited when I asked them to get in the picture with Henry. We might try for a more formal portrait session later in the week when I have a bit more energy.

Anna & Sarah are adjusting really well to Henry but it is an adjustment to our routine and I'm sure things will be a little crazy for a little while as we get used to our new routines. I'm so glad that my mom is able to be here to help out and that Craig is able to take time off of work as well.

Hanging Around the House

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I keep forgetting that we left the hospital so early and that we normally wouldn't have even been home by now! Here are some things we've heard around the house since we brought Henry home yesterday:

Anna talking to Grandma: "His skin is so soft! Your skin is really hard... like wood."

Sarah: "I don't like Henry's crying voice."

Anna: "He is the cutest baby!"

Sarah: "I love you Henry."


Home Coming

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Although I was pleasantly surprised that the nurses and Dr. Lee respected my list of requests for labor, delivery, and newborn care we really wanted to get out of the hospital ASAP! The room had the floor heater on and we were scolded for turning the A/C on. I was sweating to death even with the fan we brought along (probably because I was lying on a plastic bed!!). I also don't know if it's because the staff knew this was my third child or what but I got virtually no advice on how to care for myself or my child which I thought was slightly strange.

We did bring Henry down to the pediatrician as part of the checking-out process and the doctor said he looks good and advised us on his cord care (different than the US, they don't put iodine on it to dry it out so it is still soft and flexible—kind of gross, actually!). We were home by 11:30 this morning. Henry was less than 24 hours old!

Henry goes back to the clinic on Monday for a blood draw (PKU, etc.) and both of us go back to our doctors on Saturday for follow-up appointments.

Henry Lawrence Martin

6 AM: Check in at Miz-Mam Clinic (raining and cool this morning). Blood pressure check, fetal monitoring for 30 minutes.
6:50: The nurse declares that my "uterus is closed" and inserts the Propess gel. I have to lie down for at least 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes of fetal monitoring. The gel starts things moving pretty soon but I've got a long way to go and I am disappointed that I'm starting out at 0cm.
8:00: Walk the halls (the clinic is pretty small so this gets boring fast but we get to peek at the nursery twice each lap).
9:15: Dr. Lee wants me to come down to check Baby weight, etc. on the ultrasound. Baby Boy is measuring big still (4.4kg) and Dr. Lee says they recommend c-section over 9lbs in Korea. This is when I said, "I"m American, I can get him out."
10:00: Dr. Lee calls for Craig, sends him back up with a textbook marked at the shoulder dysplacia to try to convince me to go for the c-section. I am a little annoyed with Dr. Lee even though I can see where he's coming from. I am too stubborn to get too discouraged.
12:00 PM: 3 cm, oxytocin started. I got really nauseous at first and thought I would pass out but as quickly as that all came on it was over. Harder contractions start.
1:00 PM: oxytocin level increased. Baby is in a funny position with his bum way off to the right and is causing quite a bit of back pain with the contractions. I switch my position and change his. Contractions stop altogether giving me a nice break.
2:15: 4 cm, break water (without warning, I might add!) The contractions are coming like crazy and are really hard to get through.
3:00: 7 cm, I want oxytocin OFF, nurses aren't listening, finally get Dr. Lee to come up. It is going too fast for me to handle. Dr. Lee reluctantly turns off the oxytocin, predicts another hour or more before I'm ready to push. I start thinking about epidurals and c-sections and I realize I must be in transition to be having thoughts like this! Shortly after Dr. Lee leaves I let them know I am ready to push and I think the nurses are surprised since Dr. Lee had just left! I push a few times in the labor room and then walk across the hall to the delivery table. This was something I was dreading but actually wasn't a big deal at all. Maybe just knowing it was all almost over made the walk totally do-able.

Henry Lawrence arrived at 3:24 PM on Friday, July 24, 2009. He weighed 4.2kg and was 50cm long (but it should be noted that the measuring tape only went to 50cm so this is probably not correct). He has blonde hair and super chubby cheeks! To be more specific: he is ADORABLE!

I want to note that I was really nervous about having Henry in Korea based on a few stories I had heard. I think I had a really positive experience at this clinic because I knew what I wanted and didn't want and then had someone (Craig's fantastic secretary!) translate my list of preferences into Korean for the nurses. The nurses basically left us alone (other than the fetal monitoring, etc.) and respected our wishes. In this way I had a much better experience than in Qatar even though Al Ahli Hospital felt more "modern" or "advanced." I think my stubbornness also paid off in not getting a c-section. I could tell that I was frustrating Dr. Lee from the time I was reluctant to schedule the induction. To be honest, Dr. Lee was frustrating me with all of his c-section talk! In the end I'm glad I was induced at 38 weeks because it was hard enough getting Henry out at this size!

38 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant


Tomorrow is the day!

This past week I have had hip pain, major heartburn, nausea, insomnia, and extreme fatigue. I think I've been noticing all of the "bad" things about being pregnant this week to help get myself mentally "OK" with being induced. I'm ready. Baby Boy's stuff is ready. Let's hope it all goes well! We check in at 6 AM tomorrow morning.

I'm sad to be finished being pregnant forever but am also very ready to meet our son! I'm worried about family dynamics for the first little bit but grateful to my mom and Craig's mom for coming out to help out during the first few rough weeks where I need to devote a lot of my attention and energy on Baby Boy. I am really curious to know if he'll have blonde or red hair (Anna is sure he'll have blue hair—maybe he'll be a muppet?)...

Plant Update

The seeds the girls & I planted have finally started flowering; at least they have enjoyed all of the rain we've had!


I am so lucky that my mom came out. Too bad I didn't get her out here earlier though because it's almost like having her here made me realize how tired I have been... I am so glad to know Anna & Sarah are in good hands while Craig & I are at the hospital tomorrow!


We haven't seen the sun for weeks and it was out this morning so we went to the beach. Sarah even tried out a new hairstyle for the occasion!


My mom arrived last night and the girls did not run down the hall screaming "Grandma" as they had planned but it didn't take long for them to warm up to her. I'm glad my mom is here but I think I caught her jet-lag!

37 Weeks & 2 Days Pregnant

[will insert u/s picture later, sorry!]

We took the whole gang with us to the doctor this morning since I was anticipating setting an induction date with Dr. Lee. The girls & I got there first and I had to go take a non-stress test (I didn't know in advance) so it was lucky that Craig was on his way to entertain the kids while I had to lie down for 30 minutes. Baby Boy is not stressed.

I was able to successfully slow down our weight gains but Dr. Lee still wants to induce next week. We are to arrive on Friday, July 24 at 6 AM. I gave Dr. Lee my list of demands/"preferences" and he balked at the line where I said "no bottle or pacifier: breastfeeding ONLY." He said, "we give a bottle of water in the nursery." I said, pointing to Anna & Sarah, "No. Breastfeeding only. No problems." We had Craig's secretary translate our preferences since the nurses don't speak much, if any, English... I think I'm actually more worried about dealing with the nurses than with getting induced earlier than I would prefer.

One week until Baby Boy!!

Rainy Drive

We finally got ourselves organized to get our Korean driver's licenses today and the rain was so crazy (major flooding on the main road) it took us 3 hours instead of just over an hour to get to the place we needed to be. The kids ate all of the food I had packed on the way to the place and they were getting pretty antsy stuck in traffic. Thankfully Craig had loaded the movie Cars on his iPod and everyone's sanity was saved. From now on I'll probably be way over-prepared for the shortest of trips to avoid this happening again! The good news was that it was really easy and the rain had stopped by the time we were finished.

Princesses Dance

The girls are super into doing everything alike lately. If one is wearing a dress the other wants to wear a dress; if one changes into a skirt and shirt the other must change (and they must share some of the same properties: color/pattern/spin-factor); it goes on and on. Anna started wearing the gloves so the whole thing snowballed into a princess party. Anna informed Sarah that "princesses dance" so they had to do a little dancing in their get-ups, too.

Undersea Tunnel

The girls & I drove up to Tongyeong to ride the Sky Car today but apparently it is closed until the 27th. So, on our way back toward home I kept seeing signs for the "Undersa Tunnel" and thought we'd give it a try. The amount of signs made it seem like an attraction (and the signs were brown like the other tourist attractions in Tongyeong). So, we found a place to park and walked through the dripping, moldy tunnel. It's just a walkway that happens to go under the water. I thought maybe there would be a window or something to see some water but it was just concrete. The girls didn't seem too disappointed but Sarah dropped her cat in the mud and it had to take a trip through the washer and dryer before I could give it back to her!


Anna designed this skirt today. I have promised her I will sew up the sides so she can actually wear it out of the house.

High Tea

We had Alfred & Karen up this morning for something for all of us to do while it is raining again. The girls invited Alfred to tea and he didn't seem quite sure of what they were going to do until Anna turned on her hostess charms and started serving him cookies and tea. Pretty soon they were giggling and have a grand time.


Craig took Anna sailing today but they went with one of Craig's co-workers so I'm not sure if Anna liked it as much this time as she did last summer when then went. Hopefully he can convince her to go again! Sarah and I stuck around home and played in the terrace pool. At least we got a break from the rain today!

36 Weeks and 2 Days Pregnant

[will insert ultrasound picture here]

Last night I went to my 36 week appointment and my doctor finally said what I had predicted he would say so many weeks ago: he wants to induce me. He seems very worried about the size of Baby Boy and wants to induce at 38 weeks. I am still wrapping my mind around it. I would rather wait until 39 weeks if possible and he said only if I can "slow down" my weight gain and Baby Boy's weight gain. I'm not sure how one would actually go about this since Baby Boy is supposed to be gaining an ounce per day from here on out! He was measuring 3.8kg (Sarah was 3.7kg when she was born) which is 4-5 weeks ahead of where he should be. Of course, the measurements can be off by 500 grams either way and I did talk about that with Dr. Lee. My mother has changed her tickets to come out a week and two days earlier so she will be here if we end up inducing at 38 weeks. I go back to the doctor on Friday next week and I assume we'll generate a plan at that point (unless somehow both Baby & I miraculously stop gaining weight!).

Last night and tonight I walked for an hour (Dr. Lee wants me to walk an hour in the morning and an hour at night but that's not in the scheduling-cards yet). I've also been drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea and eating pineapple. These are all things that I hope will make me more favorable for induction (I'm not actually hoping, nor do I believe, that these things will induce me "naturally.).

I now have a list of must-do things to prepare for Baby if he's really coming in two weeks and I'm a little stressed out about all! Hopefully once I cross a few things off of the list I will feel better about it all.

Rainy Day Play Area

We met up with a bunch of the other foreigners that are spending their summer in Okpo at the indoor play area after all of us being cooped up in our apartments the past few days. Spending the summer at the pool is just not happening around here with all of this rain!

Gelato Playdough

It was raining today so we we made playdough this afternoon. I used this recipe and I really like how it turned out although both Anna & Sarah seem to have gone a bit crazy with the green food coloring...

Art Gallery

Anna brought home all of her artwork that was hanging on the Ladybirds walls so I told her I'd keep it all on display for one week before taking it down. This has inspired her to open an "art gallery" in Baby Boy's room as well. I will also photograph these individually for the art book I'm working on for the kids.

Busan Day 3

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Angel-in-Us coffee. Sarah has her angel wings on!

"Peach" the Starfish (for Anna).

Checking out the Nemo and Marlin.

Sarah was hesitant to get in this photo but put on a brave face in the end.

I let the girls watch Finding Nemo last week (which is really super scary!!) and Sarah has been calling herself "Nemo" for the past three or four days. Anna is "Peach the Starfish." We went through the aquarium pretty fast today because they just wanted to find Nemo and he is toward the end... They were also excited to see Gill, Dory, and Peach. They pet the starfish again and Sarah just giggled when she did it. Anna was picking them up and really inspecting them which surprised me a little. Sarah was very scared of the sharks in the tanks so we had to go by those very quickly.

The girls and I drove home after the aquarium and Sarah had a couple of meltdowns in the car but we made it home and everyone was happy to be here. Craig is scheduled to start living with us again starting Wednesday night. I thought I'd be much more worn out by the end of this business trip than I am but I'm surprisingly still doing OK! I think we all needed the family vacation this weekend and it was our last as a family of four!

Busan Day 2

We checked out Shinsegae this morning. We told the girls we were going to go check out the new mall and then asked if they knew what a "mall" was and they said, "no." Half-way through though, Anna was proclaiming that she wanted to live at the mall.

Giant piano like in the movie Big with Tom Hanks.

This isn't actually unique to the mall but since it was so nice and clean I decided to take a picture. I've seen this at the rest areas on the highways as well: a nice little stall with an adult-sized toilet along-side a child-sized toilet. Both girls thought this was really nice!

Anna could hardly wait to finally get to the bottom floor and get her picture on the starfish.

After lunch, Craig and the girls ran around the "Sky Park" on the 9th floor of the building.

We had an American day to celebrate the holiday weekend. We ate McDonald's breakfast, went to a mall, and then went to the beach. Today Sarah did take a nap which threw off our beach/dinner schedule a bit so we ended up eating corn dogs from a vendor and then buying some chicken from the chicken-lady as she passed by. One could also order delivery from one of the many nearby fast-food places but we weren't sure how you would tell the delivery person which umbrella you were under and we weren't willing to ask our neighbors to order for us! It was a pretty nice set-up though. We rented an umbrella for 5,000 Won both days at the beach, too.

Busan Day 1

Sarah was excited to pack her own suitcase (a Miffy backpack) for our trip. She really wants a wheeled-suitcase like Anna's though. Maybe for Christmas or her birthday next year.

We hit the beach right after we checked into the hotel.

Anna didn't want to get wet or sandy but eventually she gave in and had fun.

Sarah was a sand-fish and was sliding and scooting all around in the sand.

Maybe we should have named her Sandra?

The girls were so wonderful on our trip to Busan today. We had to take both cars because Craig is in Ulsan again next week and will leave from our hotel to Ulsan on Monday morning. I drove the girls in my car and they just read their books and listened to music. We were in the car for over three hours total (we stopped at the Lotte Department store for lunch which caused quite a delay in our schedule). They were also perfect angels at the restaurants today which was amazing since Sarah didn't get a nap today. (I think she's phasing it out—she didn't take one yesterday, either, although she did rest in her crib.)

Happy Fourth of July, etc.

Dr. Sarah loves to give you a shot and a band-aid.

This is Anna's new "happy face." She refuses to open her mouth for a picture. I guess I'm lucky she'll make eye contact with the camera? I have probably made too big of a deal of it and this face might be all I get for a while.

We decorated some cupcakes with red, white, and blue sugar to celebrate the holiday.

We put candles in the girls' cupcakes for Aunt Rachel's birthday (today).

The sparklers were a big hit even though we didn't wait until dark to do them.

Sarah had to be in on the action but Craig had to keep a hand on her arm to keep her from getting too wild.

Doing one last big sparkler together.

We made cupcakes to celebrate Anna's last day of school, Aunt Rachel's birthday, and the Fourth of July! The girls were excited about all of the preparations but were disappointed when they realized that there are no presents to open at a Fourth of July Party (unless you're Rachel, I suppose!). I think the sparklers made up for the lack of presents though.

Last Day of Ladybirds

Anna on her last day of Ladybirds.

Anna on her first day of Ladybirds.

Walk with Sarah

Today and tomorrow are the last "mommy & Sarah" mornings! Of course we'll still have time when Baby Boy is napping on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings but I'll miss these days with her.

On our walk to the Bunnies, Birds, and Chickens park.

Sarah at the start of the 2008-2009 schoolyear.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2009 is the previous archive.

August 2009 is the next archive.

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