February 2010 Archives

Travel Day

I've never had to wake him up before and if I've gone into his room and he was still sleeping he has always just woken up at the first noise. This was hard to do!

The last link on the chain.

Busan to Tokyo!

Ice cream at Narita.

Stretching out in Narita before the long flight to Minneapolis.

This didn't last very long (maybe 30-40 minutes?) and he never slept in his seat the rest of the trip: always in my arms after this.

Amazingly, Sarah fell asleep watching a show on the PSP.

She slept a few hours and then was up for a while when everyone else was going to sleep but she played quietly by herself in her seat for a long time before she slept again.

Chopstick & Clementine were happy to get out of their carriers but they weren't totally sure about the hotel room, either. The top of the refrigerator seemed the safest place for the first few hours.

Is that enough tags & stickers?

The cats sent us a note each time they got on the plane. (We don't know how they got under Henry's name since Craig was the one who checked them in in Busan.)

What a long, long day this was!

We started out by hauling 3 carseats, 1 stroller, 5 carry-ons, and 9 checked bags up the stairs to the vans. We had one minivan for the luggage and one large van for the people & cats. The girls called our van a "big-shot car" (from Richard Scarry) because it had a TV, neon lights, etc. in it. The driver instantly turned on a Korean cartoon with audio BLASTING for the kids but we had him turn it off. Maybe we're mean but we wanted to have the allure of videos on the PSP for traveling so we didn't want to have the girls bored with TV during the first two hour section of the trip!

In Busan Craig did all the baggage checking & cat checking. The kids & I didn't have to wait around with him so we went to the bathroom and got a snack a Starbucks. Somehow both Craig & I thought the other person was doing more work so I guess we worked that out well!

From Busan to Tokyo I sat with Henry and Anna & Sarah sat across from Craig (it was just two aisles with two seats each). This worked out well until at some point Sarah wanted out of her seatbelt but the flight attendant was nice and helped Craig talk her down. One man across from me said he was also traveling to Houston through Minneapolis and I started trying to think of what I should buy for him in Duty Free if things started getting ugly with the kids...

We had a little time in Tokyo to get some food and stretch out a little. Henry & I sat together on the side and Craig and the girls sat in the middle. I kept waiting for Sarah to freak out but she didn't. All of our children got compliments on this flight. (This is the first time that has happened for Sarah!) Henry was not as challenging as I worried since he was easily placated by nursing him to sleep. He slept so poorly that he was pretty tired the whole time so anytime he got fussy I nursed him and he'd sleep a little more. Not something I'd recommend for every day but it worked for this trip!

We had a longer layover in Minneapolis which was OK since we got to get lunch and stretch our legs a bit. We were all ready to just get to Houston at this point though! We had to collect all of our bags and the cats and go through customs and then re-check our bags and the cats which wasn't as big of a hassle as we worried it would be. There was a skycap there that helped us with the bags and the cats didn't try to make any sudden moves when Craig had to take them out of their carriers for inspection.

Thank goodness the man who was traveling all the way with us announced to the first class cabin that he had been with us since Busan when he got on the flight to Houston because Sarah did end up throwing a fit on this flight (understandably, but if you didn't know her situation you would just think she was a spoiled kid throwing a fit in first class!). She was screaming that she wanted to "GET OFF THE PLANE RIGHT NOW" while we were in the middle of the flight.

Amazingly all of our flights were on time and there were no delays and all of the flight crews were pleasant. Overall it was an excellent trip (although you won't catch me booking any international flights again soon!). We got all of our stuff and the cats again in Houston and loaded it into a full-size van (Craig was smart enough to hire a driver with a giant van!) and went up to the hotel. Craig ran out to get us some dinner and we settled into the hotel for the night. My friend Sara had left a littler box and some dishes for the cats for us at the hotel which was a life-saver. The hotel has two bedrooms, a family room, and a kitchen but we won't last very long here with all of this luggage, people, and animals!

We are all so very glad that this day is over. I was dreading it for so long and now we get to move on to the next phase of house-hunting, car-hunting, and reverse culture-shock.

Gifts & Gamjatang

Hanmi stopped by with a really nice hanbok for Henry today (I will photograph him in it when he turns one) and several people from Craig's office sent him home with some little things for the kids. We were so lucky to meet so many nice people while we lived here.

We decided to head out to Gamjatang one last time. The girls will miss the trampoline!

Yesterday and today have been hard without all of our "stuff." We can't keep up our regular routines, etc. We are all getting antsy to get on with the traveling part of this adventure (Craig and I, at least, can't wait to get that part over!


The movers arrive (Henry is napping so the kids & I wait until he wakes up to get out of the way.)

The hospital where Henry was born. (I needed this photo before we leave so I made sure to get it today while the skies are sunny even though it was raining the day he was born.)

A playground we haven't been to for a long time was the perfect choice for our morning entertainment.

Henry was happy to get out in the fresh air, too.

Our afternoon entertainment was the D-Cube indoor play area (it started to rain around lunch time).

Anna loves the zip-line.

Sarah was a little too scared to do it.

She would always get about this far before letting go and then hopping the rest of the way off the mat.

Henry hung out here for a bit.

And then I let him stretch out here. One little girl was fascinated with him and I had a very hard time getting her to stop touching him.

Sarah on the slide and Anna on the zip-line.

They are finally almost done packing and have started loading the truck.

Clementine napping on the cushion-less couch (Sarah is using it as her mattress until we leave). The cats are pretty confused at what happened today but they had some good training for their carriers since we kept them in there all day while the movers were here.

Seven Months (Tomorrow)

Henry is seven months old tomorrow! (I took the picture today since the movers will be here tomorrow.) This past month has gone by super fast as we have been getting ready to move to Texas. He is getting up on his hands and knees but still not going forward.

I have been giving him Cheerios for a solid food but have decided to wait until after we get to Texas to move along with the solid feeding so that it will not complicate traveling on Sunday (he's waited this long, a few more days won't hurt!).

Henry has also still been waking to eat in the night which we normally would have stopped by now but then we have the move complicating things again. Things are going to just be crazy for a while so it just feels like we'll make it as easy on him (and us) as we can while we wait for things to settle down.

He is so sweet and happy. I can't seem to get his cheeks and neck under control so I'm hoping the Texas air and/or the pediatrician in Texas can help us out there.


We are packing our suitcases now. The shippers come tomorrow so we need to have everything we're bringing on the plane with us out of the way. Anna is packing clothes, Sarah is throwing random toys in her suitcase. I am trying to remain sane! (It's a good thing I have made lists for each person's suitcases so I know what needs to actually get inside some of these bags.)


Sarah, Henry, & I went to Anna's ballet class today (her last class is Thursday) to watch and see how she has progressed. The owner's moved to a new studio last week so it was nice to also check that out (much nicer and cleaner than the old one!). I also learned that Anna's teacher is due in March with twin boys (I can't even imagine!). It is getting really sad this week as we are quickly doing a lot of things for the "last time" in Okpo!

Sarah got pretty bored shortly before the class ended. I attempted to tell her that she was going to think the ballet class was pretty short after our upcoming trip to Texas on Sunday but I don't think she truly grasped what I was trying to tell her.

Last Minute Tourism

There was no heat in the "museum" part (but the store was nice and comfortable for leisurely shopping!).

They thought this tiara was amazing.

I took the girls up to the Tongyeong Pearl Museum today. (I tried to go in September with Anita but we went on a Monday and they are closed on Mondays!) I originally wanted to get a little necklace for Sarah similar to the one I got for Anna in China in 2004 but I wasn't inspired by anything. There were some beautiful pieces there but nothing in I adored in my price range.

Pizzeria Il Toro

The kids always loved going to Pizzeria Il Toro and the pizza was really good. The man went to Italy to learn to make wood-fired pizza so it was more in the style that we are used to than Korean-style. I would call to order ahead when we dined-in and they always remembered the kids quirky preferences and had things set up "just so" when we got there. (Anna preferred one style chair over another one time so they always switched it for her, they always had pink straws and orange juice for them as well.) You just don't get that kind of customer service in America. We will visit one more time to bring them a copy of the photo!

We visited on the last day we were in Korea to get take-out and drop off the picture. I think they were about to cry they were so sad to see the kids go!

Norae Bang Night

This and some of the above photos were taken by Shelly.

I decided I wanted to go to Norae Bang one last time before we leave Korea so we gathered the few ladies who were interested in going and went out to dinner (I didn't get a picture of Mijung and Hyunjung at dinnner!) at the "Good Korean Beef Place" (and I don't know why I hadn't been there before) then went to The Party.


Probably our last visit to the Gohyeon Starbucks.

Henry likes that he can finally sit in the high chair here!

We have stopped watching TV during the week and just have "Friday Afternoon at the Movies" each week now. If we can we stop at the movie theater to get some Movie Theater Popcorn but the girls don't complain if we just have microwave popcorn sometimes.

We gave Anna one of our old digital cameras (one Craig had gotten for free from work) because her kid one was frustrating her.

He's getting on his hands & knees!

It's more fun when Henry is at the table with us! (We are just skipping purees and moving on to finger food. He loves Cheerios!)

Reading to her bunny.

Playing with her ponies... The girls are so good at playing on their own!

Cleaning Ladies

Sarah often says she "loves the cleaning ladies 100" (and she says she loves Craig "100" as well). She says this because Anna will say she "loves (something) 10" or "infinity," etc. to show varying degrees of love. Anyway, I thought if she loves them that much we had better get a picture with them so that they can remember them after we are in Texas.

Mini Photo Shoot

This was Sarah's idea but Anna is the only one who ended up doing anything with it: this is a "photo shoot."


The girls were excited when they discovered that a new bench was put in on the hiking trail near our house.

Pile of Readers

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Tea on Tuesday

The girls & I have been practicing our Best Manners at Tea on Tuesdays in the afternoon when Henry is napping. Since Craig had today off (for Lunar New Year; he doesn't go back until Thursday!) he joined us. I guess we were too polite to tell him he should get out of his pajamas for tea!

Family Cars

Anna drew this this afternoon. We all have our own cars.


This used to be a grocery store when we lived here in 2003, now it's the screen golf club where Craig & his cronies spend their free time.

Craig's Hyundai Click

I took the kids down to screen golf this afternoon since they were curious what it was like. Unfortunately Sarah & Henry were a little freaked out by the loud noise when the guys hit the balls so we didn't stay long!

The Rest of the Shoot

Little Boy Blue


Clementine didn't trust me when I tried to get a shot of her, but Chopstick just thought he found a good place to nap on the background paper.

Six Month Portrait


I realize that some of these are nearly identical. Sometimes he's just so cute that I can't choose.

Happy New Year! (Year of the Tiger)

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I didn't bother putting on the pants that go with Henry's since they were way too big. He'll wear them for his one-year portrait though.

Today is the first day of the Year of the Tiger. I gave the girls some new hanboks because their old ones were getting too small and worn out. I bought Henry one for his first-year picture since I have that of the girls. It was difficult to pick a hanbok for him because they were all in what I think of (as an American) "girly" colors. I chose this one because I liked the dragon and I will probably take the dragon off and frame it after he's had his one-year portrait in it.

Basket Lady

Sarah comes up with some of the funniest stuff around here.


I have no idea what the game was here.

Adding the "V" and "M" pages to their alphabet books.


Anna was inspired by Henry's nesting blocks and found objects for each letter of the alphabet and set them next to the side of the block the letter is on. (The ball for "B" rolled out of this picture.)


Waiting for the banana-oat muffins to bake.

Playing "muddy-gooey shoes" in the rain.

The kids have been sick again this week (me, too) so we've been taking it easy for now. This morning for our science experiment we put some carnations in colored water. I didn't have any white carnations so I think this didn't work as well as it could have. We did see some good results with green food coloring but not with purple. The colored water shows up in the petals after a few hours of the flower drinking it.

More Push-ups

I think he just can't stop doing them! He has finally started rolling on his right side now (until now he would only roll on his left). He still isn't into solid food and I've pretty much given up on it for another little while. Traveling at the end of the month will be easier if I don't have to bring a bunch of food for him anyway!


Last week Anna came home with some origami paper from ballet class and today she came home with these stars. She said that her teacher made them for each of the kids.

Drop and Give Me Twenty!


We expect him to start clapping in between his push-ups any time now.

Last Things

The girls and I made a list of things we'd like to do before we leave Korea at the end of the month and at the very top of their list was to go to the dinosaur park one more time. We had beautiful weather today so Craig took the girls. (I stayed home with Henry to clean up the house so that some people could tour the apartment.)

This Week

Since everyone was still kind of sick this week we took it pretty easy again. Sarah learned about the letter D and we made sun prints and butter (Anna got back to her reading and math lessons as well). Today we made some brownies with some of the chocolate I've been hoarding for so long. (I get all of my baking chocolate from home because there is not a good source of chocolate here—on Geoje, at least!)


We made butter for our science project today. The girls shook this container of fresh cream (I put it in a sour cream container in case you can read that it says "sour cream" on the container) for about ten seconds each. When it became obvious that I was the only one who intended to do "my share" of the 20 minutes of shaking required I put it in the food processor instead. We were all just as impressed (I think) and I added some honey to the butter for a different taste than what we buy in the store. It was really good and I didn't realize how simple it is to make butter until now.


Everyone is finally feeling better (still some coughing but no fevers) so we had to get out of the house today for some fresh air and a walk through town. **Note the ride Sarah is on has a "police officer" with his gun drawn.**

Too bad Craig & Henry were not also on the couch. Now that would have been a picture!

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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