Recently in Sarah Elinor Category

Happy Third Birthday, Sarah!

Our neighbor brought Sarah this fun cutting cake today. The girls had a ton of fun with it this afternoon and I'm sure it will be featured at many tea parties in our future.

Sarah Elinor Martin is three years old today! The girls were so excited that Sarah would wake up this morning and suddenly be three. We had decided to go to the zoo to celebrate her big day and they loved it. (Henry didn't really realize that he was looking at anything special when I tried to point out each of the animals but he enjoyed the train ride and was ready for a nap when we got home!) We went to Tommy Bahama's for dinner (her choice, she calls it "The Tallest Tree") and then to Coldstone Creamery for dessert.

I remember spending Sarah's second birthday at the park in Korea last year and it seems both like yesterday and like a million years ago. She has grown and changed so much this past year and we can't wait to see what she does this year! I always tell her that she is sweet, funny, smart, gorgeous, and full of pizazz.

This is also Sarah's first birthday in the United States (born in Qatar, 1st & 2nd birthdays in Korea).

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.

Lunch Date

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Sorry, I can't help it. I love going to Starbucks for lunch because I can get a really tasty chicken caesar wrap and feel like I am in America for a short time.

Day Five

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It's still going really well over here! You can see we did some suncatchers today, Anna was busy creating more art, Sarah was getting good use of the dress-up drawer, and Henry is starting to make some moves toward rolling over. I am so surprised and happy with how this week has gone (and that we seem to have escaped the H1N1 virus so far).

Jet Lag: Day 2

Today the girls and I were still sleeping when it was time to get up for our swimming lessons so we skipped them. I just didn't have the heart to wake the girls for a lesson that wasn't promising. Anna slept until 8 and Sarah slept until 9.

We went to the post office, made a quick trip through Target (where I quickly realized I was overwhelmed and would need to come back another time by myself). I did get a cute pair of shoes for Sarah and Anna picked out a pair of super sparkly shoes for herself. We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets (this was the first meal that Anna and Sarah actually ate, they just haven't been hungry since we got here), and then went back home for Sarah's nap.

This afternoon we tried another pool and it was so much better. We are going to try to get a few (four or five?) private lessons while we're still at Anita & Brian's.

In spite of her jet lag, Sarah added a new sign to her repetoire (thanks, Riggs!): dog

Weights & Measures at 1 and 3 Years

Really quick (I'll get the blog updated with our trip to Seoul tomorrow): we took the girls to the doctor this morning for their 1 and 3 year exams and here are their stats:

14 kg (30.9 lbs, 50th percentile)
96.1 cm (37.8 inches, 75th percentile)

10.68 kg (23.5 lbs, 75-90th percentile)
76.2 cm (30 inches, 50th percentile)
I'll have to measure her head circumference myself later

Sarah weighs almost as much as Anna did at two years! (I'll update the stats comparison page, too.)

The girls did great with their shots: they both got the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and Sarah got one other. They both go back next week for the second Japanese Encephalitis (and again next year for the third one in that series) and then Sarah goes back next month for two more vaccines. I like that we're spreading them out over a month this time instead of having us come every week for three weeks like last time. Anna whimpered for half a second with hers and I don't think Sarah even noticed she got either shot. I was really worried about it, too, and had Craig go with me! All for nothing thank goodness!

Driving to Seoul

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At the rest stop.

We assume this stroller and wheelchair are for anyone's use. At the other rest stops there were also some canes available.

Sarah has a band-aid on her hand because she saw the box of them this morning at home and really wanted one. I am actually really surprised it stayed on her all day.

Sorry for the flash but the girls were so cute in their new polka-dot swimsuits!

Got up and out the door by 8:30 (goal was 8). Sarah fell asleep by 9 and slept until after 10. We stopped shortly after she got up to stretch, have a snack, change her diaper... We got back on the road and had to stop two more times due to false-alarm bathroom stops for Anna. We ended up getting to our hotel just after 4 PM (much later than we had planned). We're going to try to stop only once on the way home on Monday!

The hotel is fantastic! Three bedrooms although we wish we had brought our own pack n' play instead of using the hotel's crib (different safety standards: they had it loaded up with soft bedding and pillows but that was easy to remove and I, thankfully, brought a crib sheet from home that works really well). Anna & Sarah were both so happy to get to the hotel it was hard to convince them to leave to go find some dinner. We took the easy way out and walked over the the 24-hour McDonald's. I told Craig that it was sad because we were at McDonald's but I felt like we were back in civilization!

After dinner we jumped into our swimsuits and hopped into the pool. The girls are sooooo cute in their new swimsuits and this was Sarah's second time in a pool so she was really thrilled with the experience. We'll try to go every night while we're here, I think!

Birthday Fun

Sarah started off her day in this cute dress but I ultimately decided it wasn't a good fit (too short and too tight in the middle).

Sorry I'm too lazy to photoshop-out the "sit here" sticker on the paper.

Anna wanted to take a portrait in her swim coverup that she got from Elizabeth on Saturday and has been wearing ever since.

Dr. Anna

Dr. Sarah

We had a pretty fun day today in spite of the fact that Craig had to rush home at noon to pack a suitcase to go to Ulsan for tonight and possibly tomorrow. We wanted to go to Chicken on the Mountain for Sarah's birthday dinner (we haven't been since my birthday and now Sarah could actually eat all of the food there!) but we'll have to do it another day.


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Sarah did not want to sit still in her Hanbok for portraits (not that I was surprised) but it at least slowed her down a little.

See below for a comparison of what Anna looked like in the hanbok on her first birthday.

Happy First Birthday, Sarah!


Sarah is one! She is walking and talking, she is finished nursing (we stopped a week and a half ago), and she is so much fun! Sarah has spent three quarters of her life in Korea (6 weeks in Qatar, 4.5 weeks in the US, and from three months-present in Korea).

We are so lucky to have Sarah in our lives, she has made our family so much more full and complete. I can't imagine our lives without her. I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for our little girl. We love you so much, Sarah Elinor Martin!

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