March 2010 Archives

Empty Inside

Family room with kitchen to the left, master bedroom to the right, front door behind me.

From the dining room to the family room. (We hope to get rid of the "step-down" thing completely at some point, get wood floors put in in the family room, new tile in the kitchen, new appliances, etc.)

From the family room to the dining room and front door.

The gameroom up is open to the family room below.

The wood paneling on the wall in the family room (master suite is behind this wall).

The "conversation nook" is to the right of the kitchen here (it is a wet bar with seating).

Office area of the master bedroom.

Into the master bathroom.

His & hers closets.

Inside Craig's closet.

The "conversation nook."

From the conversation nook to upstairs. Sarah's room is at the top of the stairs.

The kitchen. I cannot wait to get that wallpaper down!

Giant pantry.

Laundry room. (There is another closet behind the opened door!)

Seriously old appliances!

Sarah's room.

Henry's room.

Sarah & Henry's bathroom.

Game room.

Game room. (Anna's room is to the left of the circle-part of the game room.)

That's Sarah's door and Sarah & Henry's bathroom door.

Anna's room.

Anna's closet and bathroom.

I wanted to get some pictures of the house before our stuff comes in because I just don't know how long it's going to take to get our stuff organized and looking OK for pictures! Today was a long day. Craig couldn't take the day off of work so I was on my own (he was able to come for a bit and bring us some lunch, thank goodness!). The girls played outside a lot and although Henry took two naps he was definitely difficult to corral most of the time. We received the things from storage today and tomorrow we'll get our sea shipment. There were several things that I didn't even remember having and it was really hard to figure out where a lot of it should go in this new space. We are planning to go through our things and get rid of the things we didn't miss/didn't know we had/don't like any more and hope to not accumulate so much stuff again!


We closed on our house this morning! The kids were great during the closing (the girls were engrossed in coloring and Henry had enough new stuff to explore that he didn't even get fussy although it was his nap-time.). I took the kids over to the house to spend a little time there before we move in tomorrow. Before we went, Sarah said she wanted to stay in our temporary housing and not move into the new house. After we spent some time there, however, she is definitely ready to move in in the morning!

Texas Bluebonnets

Anna was trying to make sure Henry didn't fall over. I didn't see her hands by his neck until after this one and then the rest where she had her hands around his waist were worse than these! There's always next year!

I don't know if eating blubonnets makes you officially Texan or not.

Can you tell she was not into this? The ground was wet and she didn't want to get dirty. (?!)


Concert in the Park

Craig & the girls are giving Henry a push on the swing.

We went to the concert in the park tonight and had a picnic dinner which is incredibly difficult to do with an eight-month old who wants to be on-the-go and eating things he shouldn't be eating. We had a fun time though and we hope to do it again a few more times this spring (the summer concerts are later so those will be harder to do).

Nature Trail

Playing "super-closey" in the booth at dinner because they were cold.

Craig went golfing today so I took the kids on a nature hike near one of the new parks we checked out last week. It was totally flat so it was really different than what we've been doing in Korea but it was already really warm and humid so I'm not sure how we're going to survive the summer here just yet. I know we'll adjust but I don't know how long that will take!


Since I didn't have the bear and I was so so sick yesterday, I'm going to have to use the picture of Henry with Anna & Sarah on the couch with the firefighter hats for his eight-month-"bear" picture!

I was horribly sick yesterday and Craig had to stay home from work to take care of the kids and me. I could barely sit up and I was nervous about passing it on to Henry and feeding him. Craig made me go to the doctor who gave me some anti-nausea medicine and advice on staying hydrated enough to feed Henry. (Although we all agreed that he is nursing more than he "needs" to be so he'll be fine... we are going to start the sleep-through-the-night campaign after we move into our house.) I'm feeling better today although still weak from being sick and not eating anything. No one else got what I had so it's not clear if it was something I ate at the restaurant or not, but I'm really glad I was the only one!

IKEA and Firetruck

We went to IKEA today to scope some things out and to get a dresser for Henry (for a changing table—I left the old one in Korea because it was not going to survive another international move!). I dropped the girls off at Smaland but could hear Sarah crying for me when I made it downstairs (there is a pick-up point when you get half-way through the store) so I got the girls out and they walked through the rest of the store with me. I was hoping that since they were together they would be fine! We'll try again another time, I guess.

This afternoon we walked over to the book store and then to dinner. We are not going to be in this town house much longer so I thought we had better take advantage of it while we are so incredibly close to everything. On the way we saw a fire truck outside the grocery store and I was making a big deal of it since we hadn't seen a fire truck up close for a long time (the Children's Museum in Denver a year ago). A firefighter came out of the truck and gave each of the kids a little firefighter hat which made everyone's day!

Seven Month Portrait

Needless to say, things have been crazy this month and I didn't get to Henry's official seven-month-portrait until the very last day! Henry is really crawling a lot and getting into everything. I will be so happy when we are in our own space and we can properly baby-proof (he wants to eat everything he gets his hands on!).


I was so excited when we found out we were going to be back in Texas in time for the Houston Rodeo but it was hard to actually find the time to go once we got here! We made it on the last day (and a very cold day!) and we had a good time. The girls got to pet some different animals in the petting zoo (we were surprised they had some deer and I took Henry out of the zoo when the deer started trying to eat the Baby Hawk straps. (I didn't want it to start nibbling his toes by mistake!) Then the girls got to ride ponies and watch chicks hatch out of eggs. Henry did enjoy people-watching but got totally wiped out by the time we found some lunch and fell asleep for a bit in the Baby Hawk. He woke up when we got settled at the pig races (!) and shortly after that we made our way back home.


Henry loves Eric Carle books.


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Front of the house.

Back of the house.

Playset and large deck.

The girls had a blast with the tetherball.

The sellers accepted our offer today and we both have a much better feeling about this house. We'll get an inspection set up for next week. The house was built in 1978 and was a custom home. It is a little bigger than we wanted and there are a lot of cosmetic updates we want to make (these were our big hesitations on it previously). It is in a wonderful location and it is on a small, quiet street. I'll post pictures of the inside after it is officially ours.


Here a few pictures of the inside of the townhouse we've been living in this month.

We went to the park to keep people happy while we waited to go look at house #2 again (this was the third time we've been through it, the first time was during the first week we were here!).

We decided to not go with the first house and instead have made an offer on the second house. I am feeling much better and less stressed already!


The townhouse we're staying in has convinced us to buy a house near-ish to here. We have inspections on a house this week but I'm starting to get cold feet about it. I'm not sure if it's just because it's a big decision or what but I keep thinking about one other house (but would I keep thinking about house #1 if we were getting inspections on house #2?). We'll see what the inspections say and go from there, I guess. In the mean time we are thoroughly enjoying being so close to everything right now (within walking distance to all sorts of great stuff!).


Thankfully, my mom was able to stay for a few days this week so I could run around and get a few things done while she watched one or two kids for me. Thank you, mom!


And for Craig's 33rd birthday, Sarah & I spent the afternoon and $150 at Toyota buying a second key and a key fob for my car.


Anna is five years old today! She wanted sandwiches from her new favorite sandwich shop and a cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. She didn't really want anything for her birthday (I am guessing that will change after we live in America for a while!) but she was thrilled with everything she did get (unicorns seemed to be the theme of the day).

Anna is sweet, patient, and kind. She is smart, nurturing, and beautiful, too! We hope that she can overcome/work through her extreme shyness in the next year (we suspect she has Selective Mutism and will seek therapy for that after things settle down here a bit). She is really into listening to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books right now, loves math, and is doing really well with learning to read.

I'm excited to watch Anna grow and learn this year!

The Country

Craig got my new minivan this morning and my parents came down for a visit. We all got in the new van (it's an 8-passenger!) and went to visit my dad's aunt about an hour away from us. The girls liked checking out her yard but Henry got pretty tired on the way home and screamed for a good chunk of time (of course only to fall asleep shortly before we made it back to the townhouse).

Fairy Houses

The girls are always finding things at the park to add to their fairy houses at our temporary house (even though the town maintains the front yard and keeps destroying their houses).

Another Park

He just loves the swings!

HEB and New Favorite Park

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The kids are still easily entertained by going to the grocery store and to the park. I wonder how long this will keep up?

Waldorf School

Henry dove right in and started chewing on the toys.

Anna is giving Sarah a push here.

We all really enjoyed our morning at the Waldorf school's parent/child class. The class is for 18months-3 years but I asked if it would be OK for Anna to come along to try to ease her back into a school setting where she might be comfortable enough to speak in class (and hopefully eventually to the teacher). Anna & Sarah played with the barn most of the time and had a great time. Anna really seemed to enjoy the bread and tea part of class and she seemed really comfortable overall since there was no pressure on her in any form. Sarah was hesitant about going but had fun once she & Anna started playing but but shedidn't start eating her bread until it was nearly time to clean it up! (I'm always surprised that she acts a little shy when we try new things/meet new people because I just don't think of her that way.) They both loved the swings hanging from the oak treas outside and didn't want to leave to go home for Henry's nap. Henry did take a short nap in the Baby Hawk so I went ahead and signed us up for the spring session (it is ten weeks long and starts the week after next).

More Nana & Papa


Henry really started scooting around today. He had taken a few crawling steps forward just before left Korea but today he is moving around the room! I'm so excited for him but it makes me even more ready (I didn't think that was possible?!) to get out of this temporary place so I can baby-proof properly.


Self-entertaining Sarah!

Poor little Sarah is still having a hard time with this move. She keeps telling us she wants to go back to Korea. It's hard for her since all she knows is Korea and we are not in our "forever house" as the girls are calling the house we are looking for right now. Since we have a "temporary" van (a rental) and a "temporary" house I think she is just unsettled. I really hope she will feel more at ease once we get into our house and we can finally get back into a normal routine (although who knows how long that will take).

Corrine & Ross

Corrine & Ross arrived last night. Just in time to celebrate Ross' birthday today!

Nana & Papa

Thank you go Anita & Brian for coming out to help with childcare while Craig & I go house-hunting. The house-hunt has been a wild roller-coaster of emotions so far. I have been looking online for so long that maybe that is what makes me feel like it's taking so long to find the right house but I didn't think we'd have to see so many places to find the right one!


Sarah is in a tough spot: she wants to be little and big so she goes on both the big-kid swings and the baby swings.

The girls are amazed at all the wildlife we're seeing. ("This is the first time we've ever seen a wild turtle!" "This is the first time we've seen a cardinal!" etc.)

The kids are loving all of the parks here so far. They are much newer and nicer than the ones they are used to in Korea and they have baby swings for Henry! He loves swinging so much! Every park is their new favorite park. There are so many parks here that I feel almost compelled to try each one (there are 111 in this town).

We have moved into a temporary house which is much better than the hotel. It is a townhouse right near the center of town so we can walk to a lot of fun stuff and it's really just a convenient location. The girls have their own rooms but Henry is sleeping in the (large) closet off of our master bathroom. It's making me want to narrow down the neighborhoods we are looking in for a house (no luck in that department yet!).

Reverse Culture Shock

Three years away makes America seem almost as foreign as Korea once seemed!

Things we'll miss about Korea:
-Craig coming home for lunch every day
-the small-town/small-island feel
-the expat community
-the friends we've made
-heated floors
-I'll actually miss the driving: I like that I can park wherever I want or make a right-hand turn from the left-hand lane if I really need to and no one is going to get upset (no road-rage here). I don't think I ever did anything crazy while we were there but it was freeing to know that I could.
-speed cameras, I like those better than getting pulled over for speeding. Just send me my ticket in the mail, please.
-screen golf
-the "lock-n-lock" aisle at Home Plus (I should have stocked up on the wide variety of food storage containers when I was there, what Target has does not compare!)
-fast internet
-first-come, first-served health care (and it was cheap!)

Things we won't miss:
-people touching our children (although this has gotten better since the whole H1N1 thing)
-loud music in the stores
-mixing my own prescription drugs

Things we're excited about in America:
-being literate again!
-being in our own space (eventually, we have to find the right house first, of course!)

Things we're not excited about:
-rampant commercialism
-the thin plastic bags at the stores and that the cashiers pack one or two items per bag. I plan to keep using my re-usable bags but while I'm out of my routine right now I already have a massive collection of this obnoxious bags!
-loud music playing out of peoples cars (never once heard someone else's car stereo in Korea)

Things that are just weird:
-drive-through everything
-cable news everywhere you go
-I don't have to remember to get a coin for the shopping cart (I wonder how long it will be before I stop reaching into my pocket for a coin when I walk to the carts?)

It's almost embarrassing to take the girls out right now because to anyone who overhears them in the store, they must think that I've locked my kids in a closet for the past five years! They are so excited by all of the little things at the store (the race-car shopping carts, random products & produce, etc.).

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

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