Friday, 31 October 2008

31 Oct -- Happy Halloween!!

Charlie dressed up as Waldo and Anna and Jane dressed up as Wilma. We stayed at home and Charlie enjoyed handing out candy to all the trick or treaters.

Oh, is it picture time?

Now I am ready.

Has anyone seen me?

Charlie working "blue steel."

Got a cold, anyone?

No day is complete unless you are upside down at some point. This is true and this is why kids are happy. Just look at Charlie.

Howdy, Carrrrrrrrrrter.

I don't know how they did it but they found me.

Where did al my fans go? I was about to pounce on them.
Prepare for lift-off.

Anna shows Charlie some moves...but he is not receptive to artistic criticism at this point.

Fun Game: throw a sticker on your kid's hand and wait for the excitement.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

30 Oct -- Rough Day...*Sigh*

So, no new pictures this post. Just some observations and updates. We've been battling a nasty cold with both Charlie and Jane for the last 4-5 days. I didn't think too much about it until today. Jane woke up so snotty and red-eyed and teary. Charlie woke up cranky and snotty and teary. Luckily Dan was around to save his children from utter Mama-meltdown this morning. After naps, I was all on my own until bedtime. We battled, we cried, we spent time in our rooms alone (both parties). Dinner came up on me suddenly (as it always does for some strange reason) and all the way up until Charlie crawled into his bed I was on edge. Vaporizers are running full blast, there's a smell of Vicks Vaporub in the air and the sound of little people coughing more forcefully than any body should cough.

There was one beautifully proud parent moment in the middle of the madness that just made my entire day and I had to share it. As I was nursing Jane right before bed, Charlie was in her room playing. He turned to me and said, "Bye Mommy, Elevator" as he pointed to the closet. Then he proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes getting on and off the "elevator". At one point I watched him as he pushed the button, waited for the doors to open and then entered the elevator, I heard him say as he shut the door, "[Floor] 2?...umm, oh yes, please!" Where he came up with this game is beyond me, but I absolutely loved watching his little mind work through the steps of riding on the elevator and it made my heart swell. Sappy? Yes. True? Absolutely.

Last observation, I've been avoiding the TV with Charlie (for what reason, I have no idea). But today I should have just given in and popped in an episode of "Charlie and Lola". I had to be the Mom that refused her sick-y babies a few hours of television reprieve. Somehow I thought I'd feel like a better parent at the end of the day for making it through without the "babysitter", but I just feel guilty and exhausted. I guess that's the glory of being a parent. No matter how miserably you fail one day, you have the knowledge that you get a fresh start tomorrow to perfect your parenting skills.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

26 Oct -- Charlie Tries Sushi

So they opened this new sushi bar in the commissary. The folks around here went absolutely wild when they finally opened. I only had tried my first sushi a month or so ago in Hawaii and was less than impressed by it, although I have to say it's starting to grow on me a little more now. Anyhow, Dan went to the store and brought home some sushi. Charlie was intrigued and this is his reaction to the first taste of sushi...
Hmmm, tricky..

He saw Dan using this sauce and figured Dan knew something that he didn't

Cap off...


What in blazes have you tricked me into, you evil, evil man?!


We bought these protective ear muffs for the kids (Pops/Mike will be so relieved that his grandchildren's ears are well-protected!) when we go out on the flight line (I only wish we'd had them for the air show!) Charlie was loving them and kept wanting to wear them during his movie. Oddly enough, the show he was watching was teaching baby sign language so it didn't affect his enjoyment.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

23 Oct -- Jane's Six Month Stats

Happy Half-Year, Janie! Well her well-baby appt isn't for another few weeks, but we were able to get her stats at the local WIC office and she's definitely in the heavy-weight category (although she still can't compete with Charlie's chunkiness!)

Weight - 19 lbs 0 oz (she did have on her onesie and diaper)
Length - 26 3/4"

We've started some cereal and carrots and she's tried avocado and banana. So far we're liking it all. Other milestones is she's rolling over both ways, sitting up fairly steadily and chatting up a storm (although who knows what she's trying to say). Her necklace is an amber teething necklace. Supposedly amber has healing properties that release analgesic oils that are absorbed by the skin and reduce teething pain. Now if we could just get those teeth try it out! For now it is purely a fashion statement. Don't stress, each bead is individually knotted to prevent a choking hazard.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

17 Oct -- Who's Your Daddy?

This morning we were watching TV and a preview for the television series "Life" came on. Charlie wasn't paying attention, so I casually said, "Charlie, look at that." and pointed to the main character. Charlie immediately replies, "Daddy!" and then the rest of the morning he was pointing to the TV and saying, "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?". Ahhh, so the skinny, red headed, long face has shown up again.
You tell me, does Charlie have it right?!

Jane's Bumbo is piled high...wonder who helped her?

Hanging out at the playground

Charlie heads to his holding cell

Joint Squadron Halloween Costume Party...I'm Where's Waldo's girlfriend, Wilma


Monday, 13 October 2008

13 Oct -- Won, Don't leave home without it

So we decided to go out and do something today. Dan looked up how to get to the Seoul Grand Park (AKA, Seoul Zoo) and we brought our Everland passes, just in case things didn't pan out. We loaded up the kids and were in the car by our set time, 8:30AM (this is an impressive feat, I will say). We realize we have no Korean Won for the tolls. No problem, we'll stop at the ATM before we leave base. No need to fill up on gas since we have a half a tank and aren't going too far.
Here's how our day went from there:
-ATMs on base wouldn't dispense Won, so I got dollars
-Money Exchanges off base were not open yet
-Foreign ATM wouldn't accept a foreign card
-Korean bank where I'd exchanged money in a previous situation was not open
-We scrounge around and pull together 2,900W (approx. $2.25) and decide that's enough for
tolls one way
-We contemplate going to Everland as we know we have enough Won for those tolls and that the kids will do great, but we decide to be bold and go for the Zoo
-Hit the tolls, 2,400W paid (Phew!)
-Get to the Zoo and realize that there is a parking fee of 3,000W (about $2.50), Dan gets out and runs up to the kiosks in search of a Korean ATM that will take our American luck. We try to bribe the parking attendant with a $5 bill, but he is not to be bought.
-Since we can't go back towards Everland (due to our lack of toll money now), we decide to drive on north to Yongsan Army Garrison (in Seoul) to eat lunch, hit the ATM there and then find something to do.
-We get to Yongsan and they won't let us on base due to an expired car sticker
-We drive to the visitor's gate but can't get a day-pass due to an expired registration paper
-We walk on base and take a taxi to the food court for lunch and track down an ATM where Anna takes out enough Won to get us through the entire country's toll system
-Back to the car and a decision to try to drive to the Seoul Tower (a great lookout point of Seoul)
-No signs or easy, straight roads get us to the Tower so we turn around
-We decide to go to the COEX mall to see their aquarium, but miss seeing any signs and soon find ourselves back at the exit for the Zoo. We feel our efforts must not be in vain, so we head back and sheepishly hand over our Won to the same attendant who denied us earlier
-We spend a nice afternoon walking around the zoo and having our children flirt with the hoards of Korean folks who can't get enough of blue eyes and blond/red hair
-We head home and hold our breath as we somehow get by the gate guards with our expired sticker
-Once home we eat a quick dinner and then walk to Baskin Robbins for some much deserved ice cream
Pluses to our day-
-Traffic was not bad (a rare occurance for Korean roads)
-The kids did fabulous in the car and being dragged all over the west side of Korea
-The zoo was really beautiful and fun
-Jane chose to wait until we got home and inside to explode out of her diaper and clothes, requiring an immediate bath and half a bottle of Shout
So...when faced with the situation we were given this morning, we should have just slept in late and watched Wall-E for the 1,000,000,000,000th time. Here are some pics of us at the Zoo.
Charlie admires the giraffes

Korean girls admire Charlie

Charlie loved this slide and the alligator slide (although he had to enter through the alligators backside to come out his mouth)

Charlie and Dan fight over the delicious Korean's no 7-Eleven, though

Charlie and his friend stuff these birds full of bread

Charlie on the Alligator Slide

Sorry, Anna can't seem to remember that the camera's video can't go sideways. So turn your head at a right angle and enjoy the clip!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

12 Oct -- Jane Sitting, Osan Air Show and "We Are! Penn State!"

This week was full of fun stuff. First off, Jane now sits up, froggy-style. She is loving this point of view and I think she's going to get good at the sitting up thing really quickly. She's soooooo happy, I'm enjoying every minute of this 6 month old bliss (as I recall this was the age Charlie was when I started to think a second kid was a great idea!)

The Osan Air Show is this weekend and we went yesterday to watch the A-10, F-16 and helicopter Search and Rescue demonstration. Dan flew in this last year and it was fun to have him beside me this time around. Dan held Charlie because he was not digging the loud planes flying around. We will definitely be investing in a good pair of ear muffs for next time.

This morning was a little piece of sports heaven in the family. Both the Red Sox and the Penn State games were being played here and we enjoyed watching both teams play. Charlie was loving all the yelling that was going on at the TV screen and enthusiastically joined in the raucous.

Smiley Girl

New Hampshire's Black Bear to remind Jane of her history :P

Gotta take the cuddles when we can get them these days

Charlie's oh-so-thrilled with the demo

The downed pilot sends out a smoke signal...

Nemo snacks make everything better

Cory, Charlie's buddy, Carter, and Dan and Charlie watch the demo together

Jane kept her earplugs in and thoroughly enjoyed the show

Jane's entertaining the Korean ladies...what do you suppose they do with the pictures they take of Jane?

Give 'er the gun!

" I'm with the hot one in the green flightsuit"

Lauren, Stephanie, Jane and me hanging out after the show

Charlie is reading "Hello Nittany Lion" to Jane

Jane figures if Charlie can do it, so can she!

Snuggling up to the Nittany Lion!