Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gmarket Products We Love!

There are a few things we have bought on Gmarket recently that I really have enjoyed having around.


The first is our oven, which I mentioned in a previous post.20091129 001


It sells for about 88,000 won on Gmarket.  It’s a convection oven so it cooks things super quickly.  It is portable and runs off of electricity but it still is large enough to bake cake rounds.  Like what you see?  You can purchase it here.


The second are the wonderful baby legs that TheFry has been sporting these wintry days.  I don’t have any great pictures of them so far, so I’ll probably have to come back and post some later.


Here is TheFry, wearing his striped leggings that a friend  bought for him on Gmarket:

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Here you can see the picture on the bum (a lion playing the piano!):

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One not-so-great thing about the leggings is that after several washes they get a lot of fuzzies on them.  If I can manage to get my hands on an electric razor I can make those go away.

The leggings are great for kicking around the house, wearing them as a second layer of protection against the cold, or wearing them with a long-sleeved onesie for pajamas.

There are also leggings that are not like tights (think leg warmers, only for the whole leg).  Those, from my experience, do not wear out as quickly.  However, I prefer the leggings that are like full pants because the seem more comfortable and they have cute pictures on the booty. ^^

Anyhow, they are all super cute and come in many different styles.  You can see them or purchase them here.  They generally cost less than 5,000 won each.


The third thing that we are really, really loving right now is our Gmarket highchair. 016


Remember when TheFry used to sit in this rickety old thing?Picture0033


He was starting to tip it over by rocking back and forth, the chair was difficult to clean, and he could reach almost anything on the table.  It was completely not toddler-proof!


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I believe it is good through age five or six.  Right now he is 15 months and about 9 kg so we have a while to go!  The supports that run along the bottom and connect the legs (not pictured above) have anti-slip pads on them so the chair can’t be pushed around.  The best part about this chair was probably the price – about 26,500 won!  Interested?  You can purchase it here.


Gmarket has made our lives incredibly easier as items for baby are often too expensive for us to buy in stores.  Aside from that, there are some items on Gmarket that have been pretty much impossible to find in stores, such as:


1. Settlers of Catan board game, found here.

2. Non-old-lady bras that are larger than size B, found here.

3. Reasonably-sized cribs that cost less than 200,000 won, found here, here, and here. (we almost bought the second one, but decided against it due to the size of our apartment).

4. Razbaby pacifiers, which lack the chisel-tip that every other pacifier I’ve seen in Korea has, found here.  My son hates chisel-tip pacifiers, and although I haven’t ordered these yet, I will definitely keep this place in mind for the future.  They also have pacifier clips, which I have not seen in Korea, either.

5. If you search Gmarket in English, you can find a variety of larger but non-old-lady-looking clothing in “plus-sized clothing”.  The range of how large the sizes get depend on the Gmarket store.


Some of the pages listed above were actually found by searching Gmarket in Korean.  Gmarket can be a little tricky to operate if you don’t know any Korean, so here are some general hints about operating Gmarket:


1. the Korean site is

2. You can search in English and navigate the payment system in English using  However, not all items available on Gmarket in Korean are availalbe by searching this site.

3. Even if you search Gmarket in English, the pages will still have a lot of information in Korean.  The pages have a lot of information in general, so scanning is recommended.  Look carefully at items for numbers and measurements, which of course you won’t need Korean to interpret. 

For example, if you are looking for a crib, look to see a diagram of the crib with the measurements drawn in.  If you want to know if the crib is adjustable, look at all the pictures and see how it is used.  Some Gmarket stores make this easier than others.

4. Clothing items are listed in Korean sizes, so make sure you’ve looked up a size chart and you know the Korean conversions before shopping around.  Also keep in mind that most standard measurements in Korea are metric.  Knowing your measurements in millimeters/centimeters will help a lot.

5. The names of many items are English words written in Hangeul (the Korean alphabet).  Knowing a little bit of Hangeul will enable you to order most things on Gmarket yourself.  Of course, you could always get assistance from a friend, relative, or coworker who knows Korean well!

6. You can pay for your purchases via credit card, bank transfer, or PayPal.  I usually use PayPal and it is pretty quick and painless.

7. You can ship many purchases domestically within Korea and also internationally.  Make sure that when you are looking at your shopping cart your items are going to the right place!

8. Gmarket stores, as with many stores in Korea, are amazing to do business with.  Their items are often discounted, shipping for small items and clothing is never over 5,000 won (as far as I can see) and is quite often free of charge.  Also, I almost always get coupons and little freebies with my purchases!

9. Need something from Gmarket and are still confused?  Just drop me a line!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is just a quick little picture-post about our Christmas this year!

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First of all, some friends lent us their Christmas tree.  It really helped put me in the Christmas spirit!  We taught TheFry how to use “gentle touches” with the tree and kept him from stealing ornaments.  Eventually he found out that the tree was pretty to look at but otherwise boring so he left it alone 90% of the time.  Here is a picture of our tree with all the presents underneath!


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Here is a present on the tree – a homemade version of Hnefatafl that I made for PapaFish!  We first played the game on our honeymoon in Iceland back in the summer of 2007.  We considered buying it in Iceland, but decided it would be cheaper to buy back home.  When we couldn’t find it for any cheaper (and it was only available through online shopping!), we talked for forever about making a version, but it never panned out – not until this year, anyway!


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This present was “given” to TheFry at his nursery school by “Santa”.  His Korean name, DaeSung, is written on the front.  Actually, PapaFish and I purchased it for him, wrapped it, and gave it to “Santa” to pass off for us.  Can we say “photo-op”?  It was the smallest present handed out at the school’s Christmas party – perfect for the youngest student!


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All the children decorated their own Christmas cakes.  Each cake had three layers of low-sugar sponge cake, held together and frosted by whipped cream (without sugar), and decorated with sprinkles and chocolate frosting.  PapaFish and I enjoyed it with a glass of Moscato on Christmas night!


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TheFry goes to bed early on Christmas Eve like a good little boy!


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On Christmas Day, we visited a friend’s house for Christmas Dinner.  TheFry played in the exersaucer.


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He loved it so much!


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TheFry spend some time on Dec. 26 exploring the cabinets in the kitchen.


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He helped me set the washing machine.



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He watches the clothes getting washed all squeaky clean!



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All the rest of the weekend after Christmas TheFry was sick.


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He spent most of his time with Sucker and Blanket, his two best friends.


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He also asked if we could read a book.  Of course, he helped turn the pages!


We hope all of our friends and family had a very Merry Christmas and will enjoy a joyous and prosperous New Year.  We love you and wish you all the best!


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Don’t be too sneaky, now!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baby Steps

TheFry took his first steps yesterday.

He was scooting around the furniture, but the computer table was a bit too far from the laundry rack.  He reached as far as he could, then shimmied two steps to the computer table before reaching its leg.

It was not a magic moment, full of wonder and giggles and delight.  He didn’t even notice what he had done.

I have been eager for him to walk, but there was a slight terror sinking in my stomach at that moment.  When he does walk, will he notice it, or will it just come so naturally that he’ll skip straight to running?

We’ll see!

Monday, December 7, 2009

There is no time…

…for anything.


TheFry looks out over his dominion, planning his next campaign.


Our days generally go like this:

-get up at 9am when TheFry wakes us

-make breakfast, clean

-go to work

-come home from work

-entertain TheFry until he’s tired

-put TheFry to bed (hopefully) before 1:00am

Right now it’s 1:00am, and he’s still not sleeping on his own.  He will be up at 9:00 tomorrow morning.

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TheFry looks cute but he is really a time-stealing megalomaniac!

So here’s the shimmy, quick-and-dirty:

1. We bought an oven!  We bought it on gmarket.  Maybe I’ll post a link to it later.  It was about 82,000 won.  It’s a portable electric convection oven but it has 3 trays and can fit a bunch of stuff in it.  The only problem is that if you use the top or bottom tray, things get cooked unevenly.  Still, it was a godsend.

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2. TheFry is still not talking or walking.  He prances around on his tippy-toes while holding onto walls.  He also blabs all the time but his speech is incoherent.  He can recognize a few words, namely “mom”, “dad”, “milk”, “blanket”, “sucker”, “snack”, and a few Korean words, as well (words for “dad” and probably some other things).


3. How did TheFry learn Korean, do you ask?  Since mid-November we have put him in a nearby Korean nursery school.  Our main reason for doing this was that we anticipated PapaFish would find a job.  He is still interviewing for several jobs without much luck.  Everyone wants him to be able to work a swing shift between the hours of 5:00am and 10:30pm.  What’s up with that?  Apparently shifts are not cool anymore.

Secondly, it came to our attention that TheFry gets cramped in our teeny little apartment.  There is not enough space for him to explore.  We are bad at coming up with things for him to do.  We are busy people, needing to clean and cook and do laundry.  TheFry does not tolerate this.  Because he is so persistent at fussing and keeping us from daily chores, and especially since he does not sleep much during the day (his naptimes are a joke – more like ridicule!) or night, we found that we do not have enough time to give him the attention and exercise he needs.

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TheFry has crossed “the line” into the kitchen.  The look on his face says “What, did I do something wrong?”

So, in hope that we would have a place for him to go in the case that PapaFish found a job and also to give him some entertainment and a healthy dose of exposure to the Korean language, we put him in a nursery school part-time.  The first week was difficult, of course, but he grew to love it quickly!  The lady in charge told us it usually takes 4 weeks for babies to get used to going to the school, but after one and a half, TheFry was doing great!  He eats and plays well, and he is the star of his class.  His picture has been in the newsletter almost every week.

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TheFry steals my crochet patterns and litters them across the living room floor.  He lost his blanket in the aftermath.

4. We had a Thanksgiving pot-luck with some of my coworkers and it was fantastic!  I made cranberry sauce with real cranberries.  Where did  I find them, you ask?  Costco was selling huge bags of craisins so I rehydrated them and followed the recipe from there.  I didn’t say they were fresh cranberries, did I! *^^*

Anyhow, to rehydrate the cranberries you just put them in a pot and cover them with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil and boil them for 20 minutes or so, until you can see that the cranberries are fully rehydrated, plump and juicy.  The longer you boil them, the more delicious the water will be, so when you drain them, be sure and reserve the water.  An added benefit of making cranberry sauce this way is that you don’t have to use as much sugar in your recipe since craisins are already loaded with sugar.  Or you can add the regular amount of sugar and just have super-sweet cranberry sauce!

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My husband claims he can’t bake.  He lies!

5. I have several informational posts I would love to write.  First of all, I would like to give some information on the difference between getting vaccines at a hospital in Korea versus at the Community Health Centers, because there is a huge difference (and you pay for it).  I also want to post on where to find some great baby stuff that I have found rather cheaply online.  This month, if PapaFish lands the job we are holding out for, we will be buying a number of items online that I would like to review, so stay tuned for that, too.  I’m also hoping to start blogging more about our neighborhood, what there is to do and see, and places to find good deals on normally expensive stuff (which means probably a full post on district recycle centers, because I’ve been to a couple of them, but have as yet chickened out on buying anything).


I really apologize to any family and friends (but especially family) who watch this blog because this last month has left me wondering how I will ever have any time to myself again.  I suppose this is one of the seasons of parenthood!  Maybe it’s called “having a toddler.”  Who knows?!


Ha, ha, you fool!  I switched the glasses while your back was turned!  

And yes, this is our kitchen, complete with table, sink, oven (not the one we bought online – that’s another story for another day), and washing machine.