Friday, January 29, 2010

January, week 4: 2 weeks in review

DSCI0305TheFry sports a new hat I made for him. Sorry for the poor picture quality.

So, I finally downloaded Windows Live (including Windows Live Writer) on my work computer, so I have managed to get [sort of] caught up on blog posts that have been on the brain.

Now I’d like to at least do a periodical recap of what’s been going on in our lives. If there’s something monumental or TheFry reaches a new developmental stage, I’ll post once a week. But if life is boring me to tears then I probably won’t be sharing any of that nonsense with you!

So here’s the last two weeks for you:

1. I got caught up on blog posts, yay! I feel like I might actually have the potential to keep family and friends updated regularly.

2. TheFry is almost walkin’ and pretty much talkin’. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to realize that there are a couple of words—in both English and Korean—that he knows fairly well. In English, he uses the expressions “oh” and “yeah” pretty regularly and with confidence.

He also sometimes cries “Mom!” and “Mama!”, but only when he’s upset or having a tantrum. He also often whines and cries “엄마!” (“eomma”, the Korean word for “mommy”) in the same instances. Therefore, I’m reluctant to say that he uses any of those words at all, since he only uses them in those instances and never to get my attention any other way.

He also has started saying “아빠" (“appa”, the Korean word for “daddy”) pretty regularly, although I don’t think he uses the word to call on PapaFish, but he seems to enjoy saying it, and pronounces the ‘ㅃ’ sound very deliberately.

Furthermore, PapaFish informed me today that when playing “peekabo”, he will say something that sounds like “까꿍!” (“gga ggung”, the Korean word for “peekabo”).

3. TheFry continues to stack blocks. His nursery school even wrote a note about it, saying that he pretty much likes to play with the wooden blocks all the time.



4. Last weekend we went to the ToysRUs near Guil Station. It was fabulous – way cooler than any ToysRUs I can remember in the States! The checkout lanes were shaped like big toy train engines, and they had to-scale models of tables in chairs that adults can sit in to see what it’s like to be kid-size at their age!

TheFry can’t walk confidently yet, so he missed out on a lot of things, but we found that the store has quite a number of decently-priced toys for infants and toddlers, and quite a few infant/toddler necessities that aren’t bad, either. Of course, everything we would consider “necessary” back home (car seats, strollers, and baby safety gates, to name a few) were way off the charts as far as reasonable prices go, we found the store a great place to stock up on things like sippy cups and the like.

The ToysRUs is on level B1 of Lotte Mart, a grocery store similar to HomePlus in that it carries non-grocery items (such as clothing) and also has a food court. We ate at the food court for cheap, and TheFry gobbled down his meal. It seems that any more these days he will only eat when he’s not at home. Apparently the meals we serve at home are for playing with…

5. Probably my favorite development thus far is TheFry’s participation in ordinary activities that we do as a family. Specifically, I am speaking of mealtime prayers. When we can manage to all have a homemade meal together, we say a blessing beforehand. We have been showing him how we fold our hands. He loves to participate in family prayers! He will sit in his chair with his hands folded and the biggest grin on his face, being very quiet but letting out cute little sighs. Most recently he has started bowing his head a little bit, but of course not for the whole prayer.

The thing that is so interesting about this development to me is that we haven’t enforced it very much at all. We never discipline him if he doesn’t fold his hands, but we encourage him to do it with smiles and soft words. He just loves copying his mom and dad and he loves doing things together as a family.

Further developing his participation in prayers, however, is this little anecdote that had me laugh/crying on the bus on the way to ToysRUs last weekend:

We were taking the bus, and as per usual, the driver was cruising along like a maniac. I was wearing TheFry in the Pognae carrier, strapped to the front, and for some reason I was not able to sit down. The driver hit a big bump, and as I almost lost my balance, I shouted “Geez!”

TheFry looked up at me with bright eyes and a wide smile, and folded his hands in front of him. He recognizes the name “Jesus".

It’s time to start watching our mouths then, I guess.


See you next time, folks!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haircut Transforms Baby into a Little Boy

I was getting to love TheFry’s long hair.  It was curly in the back and all wispy-like.  It had a wonderful copper glow.  He was a real cutie. Dexter 003

See those curls on the side?  I loved them!

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The long hair kept him looking like a baby for a long time…


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Now he’s a little boy!  Yes, he did draw on his own face with a couple of ball-point pens!


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Sorry for the poor picture quality – but I love his grin!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bread on the Floor

So the other morning, I woke up to this:

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It seems that when TheFry woke up, he went about his business instead of waking up myself and PapaFish.  He proceeded to roam about, playing and causing general mayhem for the better part of an hour.  Towards the end of it, he pulled a bag of bread off the kitchen table, opened it and pulled out some slices of bread.  Then he started tearing them up and eating them.


Not wanting him to get sick from eating bread on the floor, I put him in his highchair and proceeded to pour him a glass of milk.  When I turned around, I saw something like this:


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…followed by this:


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Okay, so I guess I can’t put him in the highchair without buckling it anymore.  I get it.


But, even after strapping him in fairly tightly, how do I wind up with this:


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Cute, but naughty.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Seoul in White, Part Two

As I mentioned earlier, on January 4, 2010 Seoul had the heaviest snowfall since 1937.  I didn’t get that many great pictures, actually.  I took these early in the morning before PapaFish and TheFry got up.


Trees from our window


The tops of various businesses and apartment buildings across the street from us.



Looking down at the bus stop right across the street from us.



A close-up of the bus stop.  The snow was ankle-deep already.  It was 8:00 in the morning and it snowed past noon.  The flakes were big and fluffy, and the snowfall was soft.  Not a blizzard in any sense of the word.  It was wonderful!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Developmental Review

Some new developments have been unfolding in the Fish Bowl, especially now that TheFry is finally over all the miniscule illnesses he’s been struggling with since Thanksgiving:

1. TheFry has started taking steps. He will only take one or two at a time, and then drop to his knees. Then he will either start crawling like a madman to his intended destination, walk on his knees for a little bit before crawling, or collapse altogether into a desperate temper tantrum. Usually it’s the first or second option, though.

2. TheFry recognizes himself in the mirror. When I showed him his reflection, I said: “Who is that? It’s Dexter!” He responded by saying “Deh-ter.” I said, “Yes, that’s Dexter!” He responded again by saying “Deh-ter.” The other day I showed him his reflection in a little toy mirror we have and he said “Deh-ter” immediately. He only appears to be interested in this activity about half the time, but I think he’s catching on!

3. TheFry continues to love to read. Now he really wants to help turn the pages. His current favorite book is 곰돌아, 어디가니? (Little Bear, Where Are You Going?"). I am not very good at reading it but about 60% of the time he waits patiently for me to stumble through the words. It’s really helping my Korean reading skills improve a lot!

4. TheFry began to “play pretend” about two weeks ago. This really moved me, watching him imagine scenarios. His favorite game by far is feeding. He still will not feed himself at the table – he thinks it is a game and he will just end up scraping all the food on the floor – but he will feed himself (and others!) imaginary food. If I give him a cup and plastic fork he can play pretend for hours. The other day I woke up in the morning to him dipping a fork in an empty cup and then “feeding” himself.

Another play-pretend game he plays is crochet! If he has a crochet hook he will look for yarn and he will try and stick the hook in the yarn. He’s watched me so many times, I guess, it’s one of the things he knows about best!

5. He has started really getting interested in sorting objects. He will pull all the plastic bowling pins out of his toy box, for example, and line them up. Or he might spend quite a bit of time figuring out how to stack a set of plastic nesting barrels he has.

One particularly new development in this area is that he has become interested in building towers rather than just knocking them down. About 80% of the time he is building he will hand the blocks to me or PapaFish and then we will build the tower. However, on my dinner break this evening I was handing the blocks to him and he was trying to stack them up in a tower by himself! I am really excited about this one.

The down side of these developmental heights we’ve been climbing are the temper tantrums that have come with them. He just really screams and throws little fits sometimes. Also, he’s learned how to wiggle out of his seatbelt in his highchair and stand up in it, which makes me pretty nervous. I can’t take my eyes off of him for a second!

And now, the Stages of Tantrums:


Oh, Hi!


You have the camera!


Give me the camera!


Why won’t you give me the camera?!


Alas, cruel world, how will I survive?! My life is MISERABLE!


Does no one understand my pain?!


Fine, I give up—but I’m not looking at that camera EVER AGAIN.

Seoul in White, Part One

Last week, Seoul got the most snow it’s had since 1937. However, I am so behind in posting that I only have a few pictures of the light dusting we received just after Christmas:DSCI0234

McDonald’s near our house.


The building where I work.


A walkway dusted with snow.


Cart belonging to “The Snack Man” (yes, that is his official name – given by yours, truly). In the summer he sold fried spiraled potatoes and in the winter he sells those yummy fish-shaped cakes stuffed with bean paste or custard.


Bicycles lined up at a neighborhood building.

DSCI0242 Belated Christmas Tree!