Friday, October 31, 2008

Questionable Parenting Practice #7,854,765

Pretty much all of my parenting practices are questionable, so I hesitate to single out just the one, but this one is perhaps beyond questionable, verging on pretty bad. My mom hates to drive, so she has saved up all her errands for the last month, waiting for me to chauffeur her around. Usually she and my dad go out on their retired people rounds together, but he's not super patient about thrifting, or anything that requires browsing. Right now Dad is in Montana on a hunting trip with Lloyd and his father, leaving me, my mother and my mother-in-law to hold down the fort. I have been taking full advantage of the high quality, free babysitting during the day to go shopping and visit my friends, and in the afternoons and evenings we've been loading up the minivan and doing errands and taking my mother-in-law shopping. Now, the reason I need the free childcare so much is that it is virtually impossible to take Shane anywhere. He hates sitting in the cart, but if I let him out it's a guaranteed scream-fest when I prevent him from his heart's desire, which usually consists of hucking whatever fragile items are within reach or playing his favorite game ever, 'run away from Mommy'. Which brings me to this: twice in the past 48 hours, I have removed my children from a store where they were wreaking havoc by offering them ice cream. Yes, it's true: I have been rewarding them for bad behavior, simply to make my own life more tolerable. Luckily for me, I have access to any number of blogs with excellent parenting advice, and I will clicky clicky, tout suite.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yessir, yessir, five bags full



Okay, I wasn't sure if I should post this, because those of you who are NOT here might shrivel up and die with envy, and then I would feel bad. But not that bad, so here goes:

I have just returned from the ultimate Seattle destination, and now I can die happy. But preferably not today. Where is it, you may ask. Where is this pleasure palace? Is it the Space Needle? Pike Place Market? The EMP? The chocolate factory in the old Redhook brewery? No, no, no and NO, though those are awesome places and good guesses.

It's the Goodwill outlet, where you can buy goods by the pound: $1.39 per pound for clothes and shoes and $0.69 per pound for toys and housewares. For $52.15, my sister and I came home with the equivalent of five tall kitchen garbage bags full of stuff, including a pair of Seven jeans. I might be a little too old/short/fat to wear the Katie Holmes baggy jeans look, but they sure are comfy. And expensive, if you're not a clever shopper. We also got:

8 pairs of shoes, including some Keens for mom
Winter coats and clothes for Weston and Shane (almost a whole bag full)
4 books, including a very nice full color anatomy textbook
3 Slinkys (yes, I do need three slinkys, just in case you were wondering)
A teapot
Dragon Halloween costume
Cool linky toys (see picture)
A Mondani bag
Miscellaneous clothes, toys and housewares

Now, before you sprint down to 6th and Holgate, I should warn you, there is a catch.
A couple of catches, really; I'm not going to sugarcoat it. You really have to work for your goodies here. The stuff is just dumped in bins with no presorting, so you have no idea what you're getting into when you start digging. Also, the place is populated with some fairly skanky people. Some of them come in to dig through the purses and wallets for forgotten cash, and some of them work there, because it is a job training center. Did I say fairly skanky? Because I meant really, really skanky. But it doesn't bother me; I'm totally going back tomorrow!

Seattle Strange

Some things I am finding odd:

1. When I go to the store, there is no one I know there!

2. Starbucks is cheap! I got Weston a hot chocolate and a tea for myself yesterday, and it was $3.34.

3. Everyone stops for the stop signs and lights. ALL of them!

4. None of the cars have the steering wheel on the right.

5. No one is admiring my children.

6. The array of products to choose from is dizzying, so shopping takes a lot longer.

7. There is no odor of kimchi wafting about when I come home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Salmon Ceremony report and photos

Click here to see a nice photo of Weston and Paloma at the salmon ceremony, right before we had to leave, because 'This song is yuck! It hurts my ears!'

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Very Seattle Day

0900 Starbucks
0930 Hit Goodwill to stock up on fleece
1030 Target/Starbucks
1200 Kick over mushrooms in yard
1300 More Starbucks
1700 Native American inspired drumming ceremony to welcome spawning salmon home
1900 Glass of Columbia Crest, or two.

Yeah, baby.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Toe Art by Weston and Paloma






One thing I miss about Osan is the pedicures. Weston and Paloma did my toes last night; didn't they do a great job? Paloma was in charge of the right foot; Weston the left. They started with red for a base coat, then did 'designs' with blue on top. Paloma's babysitter Christy taught her how to do the flowers, aren't they pretty?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hey, I'm going to Nordstrom's- can I pick up a virus for you?

Hand, Foot and Mouth strikes again! Enjoy this guest post from my Friend Brandy:



Monday 7/28: 12:30PM Jackson, Hudson and Ryder meet up at Southcenter mall to check out the new H&M store. Relegated to strollers or mommy's arms while experiencing the much anticipated and overly crowded Swedish store Ryder and Jackson (not sure about Hudson) enjoy some hanger chewing when possible.



1:45PM Next stop, Forever XXI. Music playing at decibels so high that the mommies can no longer hear one another talk without screaming. Skirts are picked up to be tried on but alas, long lines and impending migraines force the mommies to put the skirts back on the rack. However, the blaring 80's tunes drown out the tiny cries of "I need to go to sleep now" fussies and like dominoes, Jackson then Ryder and then Hudson fall into afternoon naptime slumber.



2:15PM Mommies, desperate for a drink and some sustenance, finally find their way in the new maze that is now the largest mall in the PNW to the unfortunately named restaurant, BJ's (Why would you name a restaurant this? As far as I know, there were no hot dogs on the menu – THANK GOD. Ah…got ya to come right down into the gutter with me, didn't I?). Just as quickly as the dominoes fell, the bambinos awake, each opening their eyes in opposite succession as they went down; Hudson, Ryder and then Jackson. Happy to be back in mommy's arms but not so happy to be at BJ's with the creepy waitress that wants to steal them or at least touch their heads (another story and no, we didn't allow her to touch them).



3:30PM The mommies decide to check out the Nordstrom sale before departing the lovely city of Tukwila. Some of the lucky boys get some new shoes while others just get their feet measured to be told that they are a size 4.5 even though the shoes that they are currently wearing are a size 4 (sorry, Ry). Once they were let out of their strollers it was as if the mommies had set caged animals free and there was no getting them back in. Hudson and Ryder shared a moment of Solid Gold worthy booty shaking under a clothing rack in the kids section before moving over to the (not age appropriate for the beautiful and hip, but in their 30's, mommies) Brass Plum. THIS, this is where IT happened. Unaware, the mommies set their precious, dear little sweet boys on the (now we know, or assume) feces laden puce shag rug. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease or HFMD. That is what happened on this rug (as evidenced below). Those mannequins, with their icy glare and pursed lipped grins…they knew, oh yes…they knew what was happening and didn't utter a word to the unsuspecting mommies. Damn them!



Tuesday 7/29: Crapola summer continues and Jackson and Hudson decide to meet up with Will instead of risking pneumonia by going swimming at Coleman Pool. Play. Share toys. Share saliva on said toys. HFMD lives on!!



Wednesday 7/30: Ryder wakes numerous times…bad night. Mommy and daddy are very irritated.



Thursday 7/31: 7:00AM Mommy and daddy feeling extreme guilt over said irritation and possible profane grievances uttered during sleep deprived moments from the previous night as they discover that Ryder has a fever.



Friday 8/1: CRYING. CLINGING. Did I mention CRYING? Oh yeah, guess other stuff went on but Ryder's day was dominated by the crying, clinging, and the obvious pain tormenting his defenseless body. Lots of tears shed by both mommy and Ryder. Bad day followed by WORST NIGHT EVER. No sleeping. No eating. No NURSING!? Now mommy is very concerned.



Saturday 8/2: 5:00AM and mommy and Ryder are awake (did they sleep at all?) and mommy decides to consult with Dr. Google about Ryder's symptoms.

Fever? Check

Fussy? Check

Tired? Check (wait…mommy or the baby? We'll say: Check Check)

Malaise? Check

Sore Throat? Check! (now we're getting somewhere!)

Painful oral lesions? Yuk…what?! Oh no…Check.



Mommy waits until 8:00AM and calls the doctor and Ryder gets an appointment at 10:10. Dr. Google was right – Hand, foot and mouth disease (confirmed by a real doctor, Dr. Kumasaka). Ryder recognizes Hudson's car parked outside the doctor's office and later the mommies confirm that they were indeed at the same place at the same time (Hudson actually heard Ryder…recognizing his "Let's get ready to R U M B L E" voice from down the hall).



9:15PM Lots of Motrin and one strawberry milkshake later, Ryder's mood is pretty good and he ends up having an OK day. Mommy is feeling much better also, especially after the 2 ½ nap that she got to take with him. Ryder is sleeping now and has only woken up once since 8:00PM…oh wait, that's once an hour – not the best sign for things to come...but mommy is hopeful for a better night and a speedy recovery!



Moral of the story: Never ever let your baby play on any puce colored shag rug at the Brass Plum in Nordstrom at Southcenter Mall. Duh.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I mopped the floor today, thanks W!



By Jennifer age 37 ¾

My profile
I am Anna’s sister and while I am not as clever as her, I am pretty cool anyway. I am a married artist mom who works from home with 2 kids Paloma, 4 and Theodore 4 months. My website is www.jennifermcneely.com

Today I mopped the floor. I even took a picture. It left me with a sense of accomplishment and also a bit relieved. I do not usually mop floors. Unless like if something like oh...say... projectile vomit or dog urine or both ends up on the floor, then yes, of course! Usually, I mean. Up until 3 weeks ago, I have had a cleaner come to my house for the last 4 (YES 4!) years. It started as a gift, a lovely gift, from my friend Barrett. Once the gift ended, it was like having your eyebrows waxed, I couldn't go back to doing it myself, and I just couldn’t!


Fast Forward to TODAY As my nearly 4 month old has not really taken to the bottle and I have not been able to work very much, I decided to do the prudent thing, after carefully examining what could be cut form the budget, NOT my goodwill money, I assure you! I had to let them go. It was a sad call for both of us, but thanks to W and friends. I have to be financially savvy these days. I decided that I would make a list of the things that they were doing and try to fit it in during the week, bathroom, floors, and tubs. Dust. Until now, I’ve had no problem with the dusting, or bathrooms, but the floors are a different story, somehow it represents something so housewifery to me, so ... umm.... mom-esque.


There, I've said it.


When I was pregnant with my first child I remember very clearly a trip to shop for spendy baby gear to Bellevue square. There was a group of mommys there with, I swear, at least 15 strollers. More than one of them was wearing overalls and at least several I m sure had Disney character appliqu├ęs on their spitty encrusted tops. They were probably snacking on cheese sticks and goldfish crackers, and I think I threw up a little in my mouth, or maybe that was the pregnancy.


Either way, it really affirmed for me my FEAR of “mommy hood” did you really lose yourself and start eating nuggets for dinner??? It would never happen to me, I vowed. In fact, I was not even worried. I hate those little fish crackers.


It was with the second child that my illusion shattered. Now as I type this, I've really developed a taste for cheese crackers, (especially with a little red wine, but I’d caution you to go easy on it, as this combo while delish can be quite shall we say.. “plugging”). I am wearing what I call my “dress” sweats, and as of yet today, have not brushed my teeth. It’s not overalls with mickey mouse, but its pretty close!

I’m hopeful that I will find as time goes on it gets easier. I m hopeful I’ll still reach those goals that are important to me outside being someone’s mommy, like getting in the biennale or fiber arts like my friend Diem Chau (who rocks, BTW). And getting to wear my old clothes again!


SO many things have changed since I made the cliff jumping leap into mommy hood and I would not change it for anything. Its thrilling, exciting and really actually fun. Its life and death changing forever type stuff. But it’s the everyday chores I find exhausting, the thought that as soon as I complete my “list” I get to sleep (maybe) then (yeah!) do it all over again tomorrow! This is why I hate to mop.


But this time as I was mopping, something was different. Maybe I've learned something or maybe the fight has been beaten out of me. Whatever it was, I found that I felt relieved to just mop the floor. I feel its nice to not feel the pressure to PRODUCE for awhile, and for now maybe mopping floors and making photo albums is what I m supposed to be doing. I don’t have to run out and get in shape, get the biennial or get a grant, or even have shiny hair, all I have to do is make milk and mop floors. So thanks George W Bush! I feel a little better.


Jennifer, guest blogger

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leaving, on a jet plane, la la la

Perhaps, by the time you read this, I will already be winging my way towards Target. I am going to share my shopping list, so you can help me out if I am forgetting something.

Under clothes
Outer clothes
Shoes
Boots
Toys
Books
Housewares
Food
Coffee
Vitamins
Toiletries
Kitchen sink
Duffel bags (many)

I was thinking of making it sound like a Dr. Seuss book (short clothes, tall clothes, red clothes, blue clothes! Over the head clothes, up the knee clothes! And so on) but I lost my gumption. Because pretty soon I am leaving on a fabulous trip, have I mentioned that? Look for an awesome guest post tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Madame Sagsalot says No Thanks

This morning I was laying on the couch with my belly exposed. Shane was standing up next to me, picking up my loose skin with his prehensile toes like some kind of demented little monkey.

I have been hearing a lot about saggy boobs and tummies lately. Many of my nursing pals are concerned about how the girls will look when after the baby is done sucking the life out of them. At least one of my non-nursing friends said she also has some serious southward migration. But don't worry, ladies, your secrets are safe with me! You have my personal guarantee that no one will be outed on Stories From Korea.

I've seen this topic on some of my favorite blogs recently, too. They have much more clever metaphors than I could come up with, like pudding in a picket fence, or bread pudding in a thimble.

My understanding is that the reason for the hated droopage is pregnancy, not breastfeeding. But maybe it's just gravity and time. How to figure this one out? I know! All I have to do is find someone normal, of approximately my own age, who has not been pregnant or surgically modified who will show me her boobs for my little scientific experiment. The data would be better if I could find five or six of these someones. The line forms to the left, ladies. Yeah, that's what I thought.

I'm a little surprised, though, by how many people have had or are seriously considering a surgical solution, in the form of a 'lift and tuck'. None of my beeswax, of course. While I think it's outrageous to expect a 30ish to 40ish mom to have the body of a childless teenager and I would like to see acceptance of women's actual bodies, I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen anytime soon. Because of this, I can understand why someone might want seek a solution to what our culture considers a problem. But surgery? I have had two c-sections, and while that is not a minor surgery, it is a very simple one: They make a small incision, take out a small human, and sew you back up. After two, I am left with a numb spot the size of a small saucer, a scar that burns occasionally for no apparent reason, and an inability to do a sit-up, in addition to my two small humans. My understanding is that a lift and tuck requires large incisions, and some serious rooting around in your innards. The aftermath is probably pretty unappealing, even if everything goes swimmingly, and perhaps largely unanticipated. But not by me.

So, I say to Dr. 90210 and his foolishly unappreciative minions: 'No, thanks. I'll take the droopy orbs and the poochy pouch that Anne LaMott so charmingly, and accurately, likens to a soft puppy laying next to me. You can keep your perky boobs, your fillet knife, your damaged nerves, your scars, your MRSA, and your ludicrously unrealistic expectations.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is this really possible?

This morning I asked Lloyd to fill up some sippy cups with water for a short outing while I was getting Shane dressed. This is what I heard:

Short grunt of assent
Cupboard door opening
Cupboard door closing
"I can't tell what cups go with what lids"

Seriously, dude? You can fly a $200 Million jet filled with people and all kinds of expensive crap halfway around the world to a teeny tiny dark airfield while tracers fill the sky, but you can't match up some brightly colored character cups with the matching lids? Even after I soundly mocked him, he continued to insist it was beyond him. So tell me, is there even a remote possibility he is telling the truth?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Korean nights


This is the jack-o-lantern Lloyd and Weston carved, posed against the Korean night sky. One of the things I don't love about it here is that it is never really dark. There is a streetlight every fifty feet or so on base, and a constant hazy glow from downtown. The moon is almost full in this picture, and the jack-o-lantern was lit up, but you can't really tell. We would love to show Weston some stars and constellations, but we rarely see more than a few.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Whole wheat flour: healthy snack, junk food, or just plain weird?


For the most part, we let Weston eat what he wants. We have mostly healthy things in the house, and he can choose to eat, or not eat, whatever there is. He will eat almost anything and gets plenty of fruits, veggies, oatmeal, brown rice, yogurt, cheese, and milk. Sometimes, he wants to eat flour, and I let him, though I try to limit it because, well, eating flour seems really strange to me. Today, he has eaten three bowls of flour, probably a total of a cup. I am trying not to freak out about the flour, because I remember when I was little, I would mix shortening and sugar, or shortening and coffee, and eat that. But my sister and I would also roll up coffee or tea in paper and set it on fire so we could pretend we were smoking, so I'm not sure that what I did is a very good criterion for determining weird or normal. If there are any nutritionists or actual normal people here, please let me know: will the flour eating scar him, or just glue his mouth shut for a while? Because I could definitely live with that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

McChord Air Show 1997; or, how I met Lloyd and my life was never the same again. Ever.

In the comments in one of my recent posts, my longtime friend Lisajoy made an airshow/pancake joke. Here's the story to go with it:

In the summer of 1997, I had just moved from Seattle to Steilacoom because I was working at McChord Air Force Base doing military construction inspection for the Corps of Engineers. All my friends lived in Seattle, which is about an hour from McChord, sometimes more if the traffic is bad. I decided I needed to make some new, local, friends, and maybe meet a cute pilot, or two, or three, while I was at it. I saw a blurb in the base newspaper that said volunteers were needed for the Airshow. That seemed like a good way to meet people (and cute pilots!), but I wasn't much of a volunteer, and I ended up shoving the paper in my desk drawer. Because I was, and remain, supremely disorganized, some days that drawer held my lunch, sometimes whatever I was working on, and sometimes my gym clothes. Therefore, I frequently had the opportunity to see the paper and was repeatedly reminded I intended to sign up. I really felt like I was being 'pushed' to do it, and so one day I finally went down and told the air boss I wanted to volunteer. Surprisingly, and as it turns out, foolishly, they were pleased to have me. Lloyd was also on the staff.

They assigned me the pancake breakfast, a longstanding tradition that I believe was discontinued the very next year. The idea was to provide the visiting flight crews, about 300 people, a pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning, prior to the show. How hard could that be, right? I rounded up some single friends. It was pretty easy: 'We can drink beer all weekend and it will be crawling with cute pilots! All we have to do is get up early and make pancakes!' You can see where this is going, right? I couldn't.

On Friday night, eager to get to the cute pilots and beer part of the weekend, we neglected to test our cooking apparatus (electric griddles), defrost the orange juice, or prepare the pancake mix. In fact, our preparation for the weekend was limited to application of perfume and mascara. Yes, even me.

When Saturday morning rolled around, we stumbled, unshowered and bleary-eyed, to 'Hangar 13', the squadron bar where the breakfast was to be held. We plugged in our griddles and got to work. The aircrews started lining up. The pancake mix was flying, the OJ and coffee was splashing. The griddles started popping the circuits. The extremely long pancake line rapidly turned surly and the smart pilots headed to Burger King, but we didn't especially want the smart ones anyway. Finally, everyone was either fed or fed up. Either way, they were gone and we could get back to the beer and cute pilots! Just not the ones that wanted breakfast. Sunday was a little better; we figured out a way to keep the outlets powered and most of the crews had learned that they would be better off licking the lint out of their pockets.

Fortunately, Lloyd was otherwise occupied with his airshow duties and missed out on the pancake debacle, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Looking for a few guest posters

Good morning from Korea! In anticipation of our upcoming trip to the states, I am looking for a few guest posts to fill in while we're gone. The economy will be very disappointed with me if I don't spend at least 12 hours a day at Target, leaving me precious few minutes to slave over the computer. Please email any posts to: storiesfromkorea@gmail.com

There are no rules; posts can be from wherever you are, about whatever you want, but I always appreciate stories about humiliating parenting moments or humorous approaches to marriage, parenting and family/home life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New OPN Blog!

OPN has a new blog! Here is the inaugural post, so you don't even have to click to see it:

As you may already know, Osan has an active community of bloggers. OPN is jumping on the blogwagon. To paraphrase the Gettysburg Address, this blog is by the parents, for the parents. So, Osan Parents, we need your posts! If you have something to talk about, this is the place to do it.

Do you have words of wisdom for newcomers, fun kids activities, parenting tips, health or nutrition advice, consumer education, a little known skill, or just a point of view to share? Content is completely up to you! Controversial topics are fine to tackle, but please keep it clean and be respectful of others.

Please send your contributions to osanparents@gmail.com; we look forward to hearing from you!

Broken promises

Today I feel compelled to break a promise I made to myself. I vowed that I would never, ever post about anything I dreamed, because there is nothing more BORING than someone else's dream. I mean, really, they're all, "I was in a forest but it really wasn't, know what I mean, and then there was this guy that was sort of like Joe from high school, remember him? And anyway, blah blah blah..."

Last night I had a nightmare that I got fired from the thrift store, and it was horrifying. I woke up in a cold, panicky sweat. I will spare you the long-winded details about why and who said what, but I was totally framed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Report from the Thrift Store


Today was terrific Tuesday at the Thrift Store- check out my goodies: a nice striped shirt for Shane, a pair of brown leather boots for me, and two baby slings! I also got a hot air popcorn popper.

I love the boots; they are beautiful and fit with thin socks. BUT they are just on the edge of a teeny bit too snug, so if you are named Jennifer and have feet a half size smaller than mine, it might possibly be your lucky day soon.

The slings are both gorgeous and came out of the same bag. I pick them up when I see them for new moms in our Breastfeeding Support Group. The one on the left has a tie-dyed butterfly pattern and I might have to keep it for myself even though I rarely use a sling anymore.

And the air popper! I have been wanting one every since Lloyd gave away our microwave. And this one is a beaut; the butter cup wasn't even gummed up.

But don't think all this good stuff just jumped into my bag. I had to work for it. When I got there, there was a huge pile of donations to go through. You couldn't even walk down the hallway, and another volunteer, Debbie, was completely surrounded by boxes and bags. I'm not sure how long she'd been there but there was a pile of blankets and a beer can pyramid in the corner. Always wanting to be of service, I jumped right in. Remember how Scrooge McDuck would dive into his money bin? I'm pretty sure some of the stuff we get at the thrift store isn't any nastier than some dirty old gold coins, and they're a lot less painful. But maybe we need a vat of disinfectant. Or a Cipro shower. In any event, I emerged disease free and triumphant. I keep wanting to hum a superhero theme song, but it seems a little over the top.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Words fail me

Perhaps 'I fail words' would be more accurate. I can't even decide. It vexes me when I can't think of a good post. Usually I can just go on and on and blah blah blah about anything or nothing, but I have felt very dull for the last few days. I keep thinking there is something somewhat clever hovering just beyond my grasp like a delicate butterfly, but then, poof! It's gone before I can bludgeon it to death with my keyboard. See? What kind of ridiculous metaphor is that? It doesn't even make any sense. Some topics I have considered and discarded:

Weston's explanation of the word 'dike' ('It's something that turns into something else. You might say a caterpillar is a dike because it turns into a butterfly'). I have no idea where this came from. It could be a Korean word, or a made-up word, or maybe it is even a real meaning of the word 'dike'. Not being so good with the words lately, I would have no idea. Please resist the temptation to make lesbian jokes in the comments. Thank you.

The airshow we had here over the weekend. I worked the lost child booth for several hours on Saturday, and it was an interesting experience. But no clever words! Bah.

A job description I'm working on. My friend Helen had a really great post about balance and talked about creating your ideal job description as a tool to help decide what's most important to you. I really liked the idea and have been working on it. I think it will end up being a very valuable exercise for me.

Our upcoming trip to Seattle. I suspect anticipation may be the cause of my blogging malaise.

Our new fish, Mars and Venus. They don't get along so well.

Turtle care. Not as easy as you might think and involving plaster of paris. Intriguing, I know, but again, I'm coming up dry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday photos



My new camera is awesome! I really like it. Pretty lucky, because the BX selection isn't that big, and I had both Weston and Shane with me, so my browsing time in the camera aisle was very limited. Also, it is an exercise in futility to ask any questions of the Korean employees. I might as well have just closed my eyes and pointed at one. So, hurray, lucky day for me! Weston and Shane are both wearing their breastfeeding symbol shirts today, but Weston did not care to have his picture taken. In the other picture, Shane is wearing his Oscar the Grouch fleece pullover I scored from the Thrift Store the other day. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Contest! With a real prize this time!

Okay, all you talented readers: Osan Parent Network is having a logo contest. OPN is primarily for families with kids younger than school age and our motto is Fun for Kids; Support for Parents. We provide playgroups, special activities, breastfeeding and parenting support groups, family advocacy and other services here at Osan Air Base. The logo will be used on our website, on stickers to identify OPN property, on correspondence, on flyers, and perhaps on t-shirts someday.

I got so many great entries for the breastfeeding logos, I'm sure someone has a real winner for OPN. The prize is a $20 AAFES gift certificate if you are at Osan (or another base). If you're not able or willing to shop at AAFES, you can choose an authentic gift from Korea or a gift card to a retailer of your choice, provided it can be purchased online. Or in Korea.

Check out our website and get those logos coming my way (storiesfromkorea@gmail.com) by Tuesday, October 14th, Osan Standard Time. This is roughly equivalent to Midnight, Monday the 13th Pacific Time. I know the deadline is tight, and I didn't make it up. Helen did, and she is a real taskmaster. But, if you have a great idea but just can't make the cutoff, let me know. I'll talk to Helen and maybe she'll cut you some slack.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Planet Birthday
















When Weston woke up on his birthday, he got his birthday present: a Vtech Kidizoom camera. It's a digital camera for kids, and it is supposed to be indestructible. The pictures it takes aren't that great, but it also takes lousy movies and has some crappy games. Weston loves it. Then, we got dressed and went to the diner on base, Checkertails, for ham and eggs, french fries and pancakes. Then off to the BX for supplies to finish the solar system cake, and a new not-indestructible camera for me.

When we got home, I frosted the sun, star, moon and planets. I went with the original nine, plus Charon, because Weston really likes Charon. Charon is Pluto's biggest moon, and some astronomers consider Pluto and Charon a double planet system because Charon is almost as big as Pluto. That can be your astronomy lesson for today. There will be a quiz the next time you talk to Weston. After they were frosted, Weston placed the sunspots (Hershey's Kisses), solar flares (gummy apply circles) and the corona (candy corn) on the sun, and put the volcanoes on the appropriate planets. The volcanoes were cherry slice gumdrops and pomegranate jelly beans (Good for you! Full of antioxidants! The package actually says that).

We covered the cake up to wait for the party, the sitter came over and I headed to the thrift store. I hit the jackpot, too. There was a beautiful keyboard and stand for Weston and a puke green Oscar the Grouch fleece pullover for Shane. Lloyd came home early to help get ready for the party, and he brought a turtle. His name is Turtle, and he eats some kind of dried bugs that come in a can. Then, our guests started arriving and all kinds of great chaos ensued. There were broken dishes, play doh and frosting smeared on the floor, legos flung across the room, and shrieking galore. And that was just Lloyd. Of course, I am lying. Lloyd was actually cowering in a closet sucking down beers. There wasn't enough room for both of us, so I had to keep my beer in a ziploc bag in my pocket. I snaked some rubber tubing up under my bra and kept it tucked away for when I needed a good honk. Yes, I am lying again. Put down the phone: Child Protective Services is not interested in your tall tales anyway.

When everyone went home and it was quiet, I sat down with Weston to tell him about the day he was born. I was telling him how happy we were to see him and he said, 'Can I have some milk now?'

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday = Movie Day!

video video Happy Sunday! I have not been very good about getting videos and pictures up lately. My camera has been acting a little surly lately, and I'm pretty sure it's picking up bad habits from the company it keeps. But I smacked it around a few times this morning and its attitude has improved, so here are a couple of videos.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shane


I don't write much about Shane on here, only because Weston is so hilarious and provides so much good blog fodder all by his lonesome. Not surprisingly, however, Shane is also very funny. Why, just this morning he had a poopy diaper that he wiggled off inside his sleeper, and then.... oh, never mind. It really wasn't all that amusing.

But clever! He is very clever. He meows and quacks. We taught him the sign for 'duck', which is to make a bill over your mouth with your hand, and added the quacking sound, and now he uses that for all birds.

And musical! He loves to sing the 'Mail' song from Blue's Clues, complete with dance movements. If he is grumpy for any reason, the song will cheer him up instantly. They do say music soothes the savage beast, right? If Blue's Clues is not on your tv 24 hours a day and you're not familiar with the mail song, it goes a little like this:

Here's the mail, it never fails (arms swinging)
It makes me want to wag my tail ('tail' wagging)
When it comes I want to wailllllll
Maillllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll (Vibrating hands framing face)

He also loves to actually get the mail. We have a little box with a combination dial and a little handle. When we go to the post office, he runs right to our box, which is surrounded by hundreds of other ones, and spins the dial.

Shane is a nature lover. He loves to water the plants, pick up rocks and sticks, and look at bugs. Fish are his favorite. He says 'ish!' 'ish!' when he wants to get up and look at our fish tank. The guppy mortality rate is pretty high here, about 100%, but our plecostomus (sucker fish) continues to thrive. We hold him up so he can see and he looks around until he sees it and then points and laughs. Yesterday I took him to the little shop at the BX where they have some aquariums so he could see the fish. The goldfish tanks there have open tops and and I had to take his little grabby hands out of there before the nice Korean lady that works there started to swear at us.

He likes to draw- we have lots of markers, crayons and paper, as well as window markers and sidewalk chalk for the deck. He has been drawing with his left hand. He loves to play ball. He has a mouth full of teeth and his eyes have become quite brown. He eats everything and does a really good job with utensils. He likes to help unload the dishwasher, clean up messes on the floor and use the broom. He has recently learned to jump and he can almost get the front door open. Hey, did you hear something? It sounded like the door. You didn't hear anything? Shane! Shane! Oh, no, gotta go!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Social interaction in the pre-school set

Weston: I have lots of friends: Hannah, Rilee, To'Seanna. Do you have any friends?
Friend: I have lots of friends! Poopy pee! Stupid! Stupid! Poop!
Both (very loudly, rolling on floor): Bwahhhh Ha Ha Hahahahahaahaa!
(short interval)
W: Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Me: What's wrong?
W: He said he hates my toys! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Friend's Mom: Did he really say that? Friend, did you say that?
F: YES!
W: Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
(short interval)
F: Follow me!
W: NO! I'm the leader!
Both: Scream loudly, run down hall

Repeat until blood drips from my ears.

Moving on, thanks for all the great ideas for the cake solar system! We are going to try out some of the ideas this weekend so we don't make rookie mistakes on b-day. Weston and I talked about it this afternoon, and he had a great idea too: ice cream planets! I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Bad Penny Turns Up, and it has a friend!

Well, it was inevitable. You may recall that Lloyd had taken his painting back to the shop for modifications. If you're unfamiliar with the painting saga, you can read about it here, here and here. Yesterday, we had a sitter so we went downtown for lunch. After a delicious meal of hot shredded beef soup, bibimbap and kimchi dumplings, Lloyd said, 'Hey! Let's go check on my painting!' I died a little inside, but I pasted a smile on my face and off we went to the 'Blue Boy Gallery'. The painting was done, and Lloyd was very pleased with it. The smoke is apparently just right now. I asked him how he was going to bring it home, because it's quite large (and valuable!) and we were on foot. He said, 'Oh, I'm just going to wait until the other one is done and get them at the same time." My head spun, I blacked out just a little, and everything started moving in slow motion. I understand that's a common reaction to shocking and traumatic incidents, like car accidents or when you fall through the ceiling. Not that I would know. Anyway, I said, 'Whaaaaaa?', and Lloyd pointed to an easel where a small canvas rested. Clearly visible were the outlines of the two ships, and it was obvious even in my discombobulation that there will soon be another, similar painting released into an unprepared world. If you're getting a little nervous, I totally understand, but you can rest easy. It turns out that his mother admired the painting, and so he is having a similar, smaller one done for her. Whew.