Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yes, I'm a slacker.

Long time no post. 

Anyway, my younger brother and his beautiful wife came to visit last weekend! 
They live in New York, and flew all the way to Korea for the weekend. 

Yes, you read that right... the weekend. They love us, obviously. 

A 14 hour flight, just for a quick weekend? I don't know if I could do that! 
No, I know I couldn't.
So thank you for coming, Will and Jeanene. You guys rock.  

Elijah showing Will how to do The Superman/plank/skydive/whatever you want to call it.

Gnawing on a carrot for those pesky teeth.

Trip to the coffee shop.

See ma, I've got 2 now!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It flies by!

I can't believe Elijah is almost 6 months old.
Next week marks his half-birthday. That old saying, "they grow so fast".... oh heck yeah.
On one hand, I can't wait for him to be older. I love watching him reach milestones, and am excited to see the boy/man he'll become. However, I love that he's little enough to scoop up and smother.

He's not eating solids yet. We tried him on oatmeal and bananas, and a bit of apple, but he just wasn't very impressed. However, he can drink from a cup!

Ok, so here's Elijah's 5-month list:


How do these work again?
- He loves being outside. While it's still nice out, I try to take him out several times a day. He likes watching people, cars, the trees, LIFE! He's an observer.

- His Ergo and baby Bjorn carrier. Gary uses the Bjorn more, and I use the Ergo. Elijah just likes moving around, and since he can't move himself, we are his mode of transport.

- Elijah has taken to yelling at us if we don't move fast enough.... going outside, picking him up, looking at him, picking up his toys... He loves to yell. He doesn't cry, just shouts and hollers.

- He is very adept at picking up toys now, and can switch hands. Big step, apparently.

- We put him up in his highchair, and he now bangs his toys on the tray, deliberately. The kid likes making noise.

- Elijah has discovered Sookie, and just loves watching her. He gets excited when she comes over and licks him (which I'm not too excited about. Her mouth smells like his diapers).


- Sleeping. Yup, Elijah still won't sleep. I've sort of resigned myself to that fact, and it makes things easier. He takes between 3-4 naps a day, 45 minutes long. You could set a watch to him. At night, he goes down fairly easily between 7-8.... but then he rouses multiple times all night, until 7-8am. It's insane. So he sleeps in bed with me, which doesn't really help that much, but it saves me having to get up a zillion times all night long.


- Sitting/lying still. The kid is a real mover and shaker.... howbeit a totally immobile one.

- Rolling over. He still won't roll over regularly. He can do it, and he might a couple times a day. But he's just not interested. He'd rather 'swim'.

- Teething! He's cut one, and another is on the way through. Poor little fellow. However, he isn't as drooly as I had imagined he'd be. He doesn't even need a bib!

Hey, there's something in here and it's sharp!

All in all, Elijah is a pretty happy little guy. Yeah, he gets fussy/grumpy/miserable... but don't we all. He doesn't cry much (during the day), and it's not too hard to get a smile or giggle out of him. He's fun!

I just wish he would sleep better. We are contemplating sleep training... I feel almost desperate. Any suggestions on sleep training methods? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Up-cycled baby onesies

Yes, upcycle. Not recycle. Upcycle. Cause I'm cool like that and like to use newfangled words.

Since we lack a Target/Walmart/Cheapo Store in Korea, I can't easily find basic baby clothes - like onesies (babygros). I mean, you CAN find them, but you have to buy them individually, and they are pricey. Not like the handy packs you can find at Target (Carters brand, I love you).

Anyway! It's getting chilly here, and all of Elijah's 6-9 month onesies are short sleeved. As a matter of fact, so are all his 9-12 month ones. And winter is coming. By the time it's warm again, he will have grown out of all of those. So I decided to 'upcycle' the old pajamas and long-sleeved onesies from his 0-6 month stage.

This is the result:

Lil' gangster stylin' in his new threads. 
Not bad, for 15 minutes work! And it certainly saved us a lot of money. I also like that I can mix and match the fabrics. Makes (boring) boys' outfits a little more fun.

It is so easy to do, you should try it! Plus you get to feel all accomplished and everything.

Step 1:
Go through the clothes your baby has grown out of - grab all the long-sleeved ones.

Step 2:
Measure your baby's arm. All I did was use my finger as a measuring stick (I even did it while he was sleeping) ... Elijah's arm is 8 finger segments long.

Step 3:
Measure how long the sleeve should be, adding in the length of the bigger onesie's sleeve.

Step 4:
Cut off the arm of the too-small outfit. I cut off 6 finger segment's worth, as the sleeve on the bigger onesie was 2 FS (finger segments).
The process: cut off arm.  
Step 5:
Turn everything inside out, and pin if desired. It is not necessary.

 I only pinned one of them. Didn't make any difference. 
Step 6:
Sew the arms together. I lined up the sleeve to the hem, and sewed it so that the stitches don't show, and then finished result looks like layered shirts.

Stitch - yeah, my stitches aren't so neat and even. 
Step 7:
Turn it right-side out and put it on your baby.
Tada! Super easy. 

SO EASY! I've done about 5 of them so far.... and Elijah seems to like them too!

So happy with his new shirts!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I've been lax in posting, mostly because I'm tired. Also lazy. But mostly just so completely exhausted.
Elijah is a little nightmare when it comes to sleep! He's 5 months old now, and rousing every hour. I think he has gas, or reflux, because he just starts crying/screaming. Normal babies don't do this, do they? The weird thing is he doesn't fully wake up. His eyes never open. He just screams and cries, and I have to get out of bed and bounce him.

So anyway, I'm so very tired.

A very special group. haha. 

Gary's parents have left, and we had a wonderful time with them. Next up, my brother and his wife are coming! I'm so excited about seeing them. This has been an awesome year for family visits! Starting in July, we've had family come every month!

I don't have much else to say, so here are a few more pictures.

Amazing chocolates Ted and Jean brought. Yum!
beautiful baby
A day at the beach.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nan and Granddad

Gary's parents, Ted and Jean, have come to visit. They have retired to Spain (from England), but made the LONG trip over to Korea just to see their newest grandson. We are enjoying their company, and they certainly are loving Elijah.
We're stuck indoors today, with lots of wind and rain, but yesterday was great fun! We went for a walk around the neighborhood, down to the local grocery store, and then to the beach. Elijah loves being outside, and was happy and content the whole day. He's not so happy today, and Nan is working hard to keep him entertained.

Like-minded souls

Hopefully the rest of their week here will be sunny and fun! I've got a hearty beef stew in the crock pot, a loaf of whole wheat bread cooling, and a stick of French bread rising. Seemed appropriate for this damp, grey day.

Here are some pictures Ted took... he's got a great eye!

Lotte Mart down the road

pretty cakes

Korean apartment movers down the street

Free samples at Lotte Mart

gathering sea shells at Daecheon Beach

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shots and Jumperoos

I just hate when Elijah has to have his shots. Poor little man. 

He's on some kind of schedule (given by the doc) where we go in once a week for one shot (every couple months). 

September is one of those months. 

Elijah has had shots for three weeks in a row, the latest one being today.

However, we're done now.... until December.

Elijah has graduated to a jumperoo! No more passive swing-lying for this little man. All he wants to do is stand, so this is perfect.

We are renting it from a toy company we found online. They send the (new) jumperoo, we pay 20,000 won (aprox. $20) a month, and they come get it when our time is up. It's great! I was looking for a company like this, since baby gear is so expensive here. This way, we get to try out different toys, and swap them when he gets bored! 

He likes it (we think)! He doesn't last very long, and doesn't want to be left alone, but I think in the next couple weeks he will start to enjoy it more.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

my little 'eggy'

The Korean word for 'baby' is '아가'. It is written as 'ah-gee', but everyone says it like 'eggy'. Wherever I take Elijah, I hear that word, along with exclamations of how cute he is. 'Cause face it, he is adorable.

Today is special, as it marks Elijah's 20th week! That seems like a significant milestone (at least to me).

He can grab things now, and everything he touches goes straight into his little drooly mouth. He is quite particular, and very vocal about what he doesn't like.

He smiles and laughs so much more now! Especially with his dad... Gary can ALWAYS get a smile and giggle out of him, just by looking at him. Me? I have to work at it, making silly faces and noises.

I keep trying to get all these smiles on camera...but as soon as I take it out, he just stares up at the camera.

He's also getting so big! He's wearing 6-9 month onesies/babygros and Korean size 1-2 year old socks(!).
He weighs 17lb 10oz (8kg) and is about 27 inches (~70cm) tall. He's in the 85th percentile for his height/weight... big 'ol boy.

Just for fun, I'd like to start making a short list like this every month...

Things Elijah likes:

- waking up at 6am
- moving. He hates being stationary.
- standing! He ALWAYS wants to be standing. No sitting or lying down for this little guy!
- his daddy
- being naked
- bath time and massages
- eating while sleeping
- his little blue dog lovey, from dear Aunt Carol. He smiles and coos at it, and tries to fit the whole head in                    his mouth.

Things Elijah doesn't like:

- going to sleep
- staying asleep
- eating during the day
- not having your FULL attention
- tummy time
- bottles and pacifiers (so mama can't leave him for very long).
- sitting/lying down
- being carried in the 'cradle' hold. When he's held, he needs to be upright, or facing forward.

We're enjoying him a lot these days, as his little personality develops and he becomes more social. I am trying to cherish this time while he's small, but I am just so excited to watch him grow!
20 weeks old
3 days old

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a day, just like any other day

Last night was fairly decent, considering the 4-month regression and all. Elijah was asleep by 7pm, and only woke up once before we went to bed. He was up for a feeding at 1:30am, then again at 3:30 and 5:30. I took him into bed with me then, and he slept until almost 7am. Not a bad start to the day!

We hung out with Gary and had breakfast. Gary went off to work, and I put Elijah down for a nap at 8:30am, and he slept until 10:20 (with a short wake-up after the first 45 minutes - I had to bounce him back to sleep). I got a nap then too. Awesome.

Back awake, and the Gary came home again. Lunch and playtime, and another nap at 12:15pm. He slept until nearly 2pm that time (with just a tiny little wake-up and bounce back to sleep).


Then we made bread (Elijah helped)...

 ...and went for a walk with Sookie around the apartments.

It was a really nice afternoon, and it felt good to get outside.

Elijah had one more (very) short nap between 3:45-4:20pm. We then did tummy-time and read some books. Elijah practiced rolling over -- which he can do, but prefers not to. He's a bit chunky, and I've read that makes it harder to roll over.
"ma, WHY?"
"ack! so hard!"

Reading one of his favorite books.

Then daddy came home! Yay! Elijah was full of smiles (not shown).

At 5:30 we started the bedtime routine:

First comes nekkid time! Elijah loves this, and coos and laughs and gurgles.
Then there's the bath, which he enjoys most of the time.
After that, he gets pampered with a lovely coconut-oil massage. Lucky little man.
Then he's dressed and has a quick feed.
I walk around the apartment singing to him for a while, to wind him down, before swaddling and one last feed. Then it's bouncy time on the ball, and prayers.

And Elijah was asleep by 6:45 this evening!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

that dreaded regression

Yup. It's that time. Elijah is in the throes of the 4-month sleep regression. At this age, babies' sleep cycle starts to become more mature, so they have to learn how to transition between the sleep stages. It's not easy for them to do this, and then throw in new motor skills to practice (in their sleep), plus lots of new synaptic pathways developing . . . you end up with a baby who wakes up hourly (actually, more like every 45 minutes) all night long.

It's rough.

It will pass, but it's so hard right now. I actually held him all night for the past couple nights. It helped, but I certainly don't want that to become a habit!

He eats all night long too, far more than what he eats during the day. I don't really know how to stop this 'reverse cycling', and so for now I'm just going with it.

In other news, it's Korean Chuseok, kind of like Thanksgiving. Gary had 2 days off, which was amazing, as I was able to take naps! We didn't do anything at all, other than the usual house-cleaning. We didn't go shopping (one of the most popular past-times here), and we didn't even go to the beach. With Elijah not sleeping well, I am too exhausted to do a whole lot. We just hung out, played with the baby, went on a couple walks, and watched movies/tv shows together. It was really nice. I wish Gary never had to go to work.

Oh, and Elijah loves his daddy. He always has smiles for him. But for me? I just get yelled at.

looking at daddy

looking at mommy
loafing about

Friday, September 9, 2011

...all about Kathy

Just wanted to let everyone know that Kathy (my younger sister) had her arm surgery!

She went in on Tuesday, September 6th, and the kind doctor squeezed her in. Another doctor had told her that there was no space, but Dr. Rodriguez made room for her. She actually had a handful of doctors attending to her, and had a very positive experience.

Kathy was in and out of there quite quickly, and was home by dinner! Our brother Will and his wife Jeanene flew up from Memphis to be with Kathy. They made her food, did her laundry, and washed her hair.

Kathy's recovering well, and expects to be back in the classroom on Monday - she has a whole new slew of international students (She is an ESL teacher in the Boston public school district).

Thanks for thinking and praying for her (and me!) during this time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

She's only got one arm

[in 2001, I broke my arm right before Kathy and I went on an 8-week European camping/backpacking trip. I was thus exempted from all kinds of unpleasant duties because, "I only have one arm!"]

This weekend, my sister Kathy was in a bicycle accident. She badly broke her arm, and banged her face up as well. Thankfully she was wearing a helmet, or it could have been very very bad indeed.

She is scheduled for surgery (to reset and pin her arm) on Tuesday... her birthday!

Sadly, none of our family live in Boston, but our brother Will and his (awesome) wife Jeanene will fly up to be with her.

This is Kathy's story of the accident:


I was biking home around midnight from a friend's party. She doesn't live too far from me (about 1.5 miles), so I thought it would be faster to bike than take the subway.
On the way home, I was going down a small hill (so I had some momentum) and saw a car stopped in the middle of the road. Since there was no traffic, I just decided to go around him. However, I did not realize that the T-tracks for the subway line were SO deep! Not like normal train tracks.

My bike caught in the groove, and my bike stopped. I didn't. I flipped over the handlebars and I must have reached out my arm to stop my fall. I also have a cut and bruise on my chin, so I must have hit that too, but no head wounds.

My adrenalin must have been pumping, because I immediately jumped up so that I wasn't in the middle of the road and moved my bike over to the curb. I assessed my own damage and could tell I had a broken arm. It didn't hurt, but I couldn't move it. I felt surprisingly calm. I called two of my friends who I was with at the party but they did not answer. I didn't know if my injury was serious enough for 911, but I called them next.
Good thing I did because suddenly I started to black out and I couldn't think clearly, I had enough sense to tell them I was in a bike accident, had a helmet on, and my approximate location--I didn't have an exact location.
At that point I thought I was going to faint. I was disconnected from 911...I didn't know if they had enough info from me, so I tried calling again, but I couldn't see the numbers on my phone. I felt sort of desperate now. I couldn't see/think straight...I just kept praying to stay calm.

Thankfully, my sight started to come back and I saw some bright, flashing lights go by. I figured it must be the ambulance looking for me. I limped over to the road to flag them down. The EMTs were so nice. They strapped me to a board with a neck-brace because they weren't sure if I had a neck or back injury. They even loaded my bike into the ambulance with me! They didn't want me to lose it on top of everything else.

They took me right to Beth Israel's ER and the barrage of attention and questions began. By then I felt so grateful, that I calmed down and had a nice time. I think the hospital staff quite liked me too because I was so thankful and cheerful, and was even cracking jokes with them (unlike most of the other ER patients who I could hear screaming profanities and other less pleasant things.)

At that point my friends, who I had called earlier, came to the hospital and stayed with me until 2:30am! So sweet of them.
I then spent the night getting an MRI, x-rays, and various other medical treatments. Around 3 in the morning the orthopedic came to check on my arm. Since it was so badly broken, he wanted to align it immediately--at least somewhat. They gave me some Fentalyn (a very strong drug) and strung my arm up for a 1/2 hour so the bones could go back into place naturally. Then the doctor did the rest.
Man, that was painful!
But even then a couple of the nice ER staff came round to hold my arm and offer moral support! Once the temporary cast was on my arm did feel better.
I then slept until morning (just a couple hours), and left around 9:30am for home. The taxi let me put my bike in the trunk, so I am home now with all my belongings.

The surgery to pin my arm and reset it is scheduled for Tuesday, since the expert orthopedic is out of town for Labor Day. However, it is more likely that the surgery will be on Wednesday. Hopefully the surgery won't be too bad. I had such a great experience in the ER, so I am hoping this second visit will be as gracious and good.

This morning I washed my hair, made breakfast, learned to dress myself...and other tasks. It is amazing what one can do with one strong arm and a good set of teeth. I feel like this is a form of culture shock--how can I best adapt to having only one arm and another gimpy, painful one.


She's so brave! I wish I were there to help her, like she helped me when I had a broken arm. I hate how far away we live from each other. Someday.... someday we will all live close to each other.

[me, Kathy, and Will -- August 2007]

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

... and she's gone

Well, Kathy has now left us. And I've gotta say... sisters are special.
I wish she would just come live with us.

Her time here with us flew by, and all 4 of us miss her dreadfully (Sookie loved her).

We didn't do a whole lot, since it was raining -- that coupled with the fact of having a tiny (but very cantankerous) baby kind of limits the possibilities.

Kathy went on lots of hikes in the hills behind us, which Sookie loved. We also went to the beach one day (not for long... Mr. Grumpy Pants demanded to be brought home).
We did go out for lunch with my friend Theresa, which was so great. We even went and got coffees after! I felt I was playing hooky.

Kathy was so good with Elijah too!
Every morning, she'd come in and get him after he woke up, and let me sleep for a bit longer!

Having her here to help with the baby, and to pamper me, was just so wonderful.She washed dishes and gave me back rubs, not to mention the endless games of peek-a-boo and patty-cake for Elijah, and proper conversation for Gary (my train of thought doesn't stray far from 'BABY').

*sigh* I miss my sister terribly.

But we have more visitors coming!

Gary's parents are coming from Spain next month, and my brother and his beautiful wife are coming in November! It's going to be great.

I love family! Living so far from them all makes me appreciate time spent with them so much more.

If you're in the mood for a super cute baby playing peek-a-boo (and actually saying "Boo!") with his Auntie: