Friday, July 10, 2009

May 26- Our boring lives

A little bird (i.e. Michael) told me that if I keep posting pictures of the kids at this park, people are going to get bored reading my blog. Well, truthfully, we’re boring people. We spend most mornings at the park these days. It’s nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air and let the kids burn off some energy. And it’s free! So, it happens to be the backdrop to a lot of our pictures these days. I’m sure there are a few grandparents out there who don’t mind the monotony of seeing the same park in picture after picture…they’re more interested in the subjects in the pictures anyways! So here’s your chance to navigate away from this blog if you’re tired of park pictures. I won’t be offended, I swear! Otherwise, enjoy!
The best way to slide? With your twin by your side!
Ready, set, go! Getting ready to plummet down the slide.
Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!
And then there were two. A pile up on the slide.
Can you tell she loves this slide?
I guess our shyness around other children has passed? Or maybe it’s just that they’re intimidated by Caucasian, English speaking children and not Korean children? Who knows? We were making friends left and right at the park today. Lots of preschools/daycares have started frequenting the park now that the weather is so nice. It’s great fun for Ella and Sterling to run around and mingle with the other little kiddies. I love watching them! Every child Ella sees she says “Hi, friend” or “Awww, cute baby” to him or her.
Oh, the glory of sand! It’s messy like dirt, but a whole lot more pourable. What more could two rambunctious toddlers ask for? Thankfully Mommy learned her lesson last weekend and remembered to pack a bag full of toys to play with in the sand box.
What is it? A swimming pool? Hum, we think we’d like to go swimming in here. (Too bad that isn’t happening!)
We turned on the sprinkler for the kids to run through late this afternoon. Does it make me a terrible mother that I thought it was hilarious the first time they got sprinkled with water and weren’t expecting it? After the first shower they knew to expect the water and spent most of the time running from the sprinkler, not into it.
Ahh, the pleaseures of summer...juice pops!

May 25- First trip to the zoo

Today we took the kids to the zoo at Seoul Grand Park. I think they had a great time. I know Michael and I certainly did! We got to see all sorts of animals…elephants, gazelles, giraffes, zebras, you name it! I think both babies were amazed to see animals up close. I have a feeling they never realized exactly how big those elephants in their books really are until today!
There was a ski lift in the park to carry visitors from one exhibit to the next. I didn’t realize this was called the “elephant train” until later in the evening when I was telling Luter about our trip to the zoo and he asked if we rode the elephant train on our visit. Cute name for a ski lift, isn’t it? Although, I think I would’ve rather ridden a real elephant. As it was, I spent the entire time clutching Sterling close to my body willing him not to wiggle or move an inch for fear of him falling of the ski lift.
Checking out the elephants from high atop Daddy’s shoulders.
On the drive home Michael and I were talking about the differences between American and Korean zoos. Let us just say that the animals in American zoos are living the high life compared to the pitiful creatures here in Korea. The habitats the animals are in here are just cramped and don’t really appear all that well kept up. So, we were really surprised to see these beasts. Seriously, the elephants are well fed!
Mommy at the zoo, trying to wrangle in her baby monkeys for a quick picture.
I was trying to get a picture of the kids with an elephant in the background. Clearly Sterling doesn’t totally trust the big fella, and refused to take his eyes off of him.
Mary Poppins takes the children to the zoo! “Just a spoon full of sugar…..” Not a rain cloud in the sky. Michael has just become a good little Korean with his sun umbrella.
I think these two are ready for safari, don’t you?
We even saw a family meerkats! They’re just as cute in real life as they are on TV! But their teeth and claws look decidedly sharper up close.
Hum…hard to tell who’s in the cage here, huh?
Ella loved the giraffes. One mama giraffe had a baby. Anyone know what a baby giraffe is called? Well, if you ask Ella, she’ll tell you…a “baby raft”. The rest of the afternoon she couldn’t stop talking about the “baby raft” she saw.
Who knew you could train giraffes? We certainly didn’t! Michael and I were in awe of how well trained the giraffes were. As soon as their trainer turned the microphone on they immediately began herding around him. Amazing!
Talk about a captivated audience!
I just love the look of curiosity on her face. Nothing gets by this girl.
Curious and curiouser. Can you name it?

May 24- The end of an era

I’m afraid we’ve reached the end of an era. I dressed Sterling in this little bubble romper today and realized we may have passed our time for wearing bubbles. I love, love, love bubbles on little babies, but I’m afraid today Sterling just looked like a grape on toothpicks. I still think he looked precious, just a little, um…off? The other little kids at the park were even giving him stares (more than the usual amount…after all, they are usually the first blonde haired, blue eyed kids the other little ones have ever seen not on TV). Bizarre isn’t it? Makes you really appreciate what a melting pot America is. Anyhow, one little old lady came up and grabbed Sterling’s crotch asking if he was a boy or a girl. Oh, and I guess I should add, she was not molesting my child. Little boy parts are something to be proud of here. In fact, on their first birthdays they often have a full frontal naked picture made of a little boy, exhibiting his “family jewels” so to speak. All this is to say, I think this may be the last time Sterling wears a bubble. How sad.
We checked out the giant sand pit at the park today. The park was busy, busy, busy with weekend visitors. Not to mention it’s been so rainy lately that I’m sure everyone was suffering a little cabin fever and glad to get outdoors. The kids had a great time playing with another little brother and sister pair, who’s mother had thought ahead enough to remember sand box toys. Luckily for Ella and Sterling the other kids were kind enough to share their toys. Must remember sand box toys next time.
Sarah will have to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never noticed a sand pit at the park before. I believe they just filled it this past week. Well, whatever the case, I think this will be a new favorite spot for us at the park.

May 23- Always prepared

With all the buzz surrounding our not so friendly neighbors to the north, Sterling thought now would be a good time to practice wearing his gas mask. Actually, we really are supposed to have gas masks for each person in our family, but we’ve never pursued getting them issued. I really and truly do not believe we’re at immediate risk of needing one. Sterling is actually wearing Michael’s mask he brought back with him from the field last week.

May 22- Mow, mow

We met Michael for lunch this afternoon. No, Michael did not buy a new motorcycle, nor did Sterling and Ella travel to lunch on a motorcycle. It just happened to be parked in the parking deck next to our car. I’ve mentioned before that Sterling loves all things that “Go!”. Trains, Planes, Helicopters, Cars, you name it. So he was particularly excited to see a real life motorcycle, or “mow cycle” as he calls them. We had to let him sit on the motorcycle, which of course meant his sister had to follow. I’m just glad the owner of said motorcycle didn’t pick that moment to return to his vehicle!

May 20- A morning at the park

I just had to include this comical picture. It’s so typical of our lives! I was trying to get a picture of them sliding down the slide side-by-side, but my camera didn’t fire until they’d already reached the bottom…and were headed in opposite directions! I swear I get an even better work out than they do when we’re at the park. I’m always running in two different directions! The other week there were two little old ladies sitting on a park bench watching us and having a marvelous time laughing at them always going in two different directions. It really is comical from the outside looking in.
Yes, it terrifies me to watch my child climb like a monkey. For the obvious reason that I don’t want to see her fall and get hurt, which I understand is all part of the growing up process, but also because she can climb the jungle gym. The fact that my tiny little babies are now big enough to try such daring acts scares me almost equally as bad! Now I can only imagine how my mother felt knowing her daughter was bridge jumping into Lake Lanier!
Scarily, they’ve learned how to climb to the top tier of the playground equipment unassisted where the biggest slides are. Scares the life out of this Mommy!
The thrilling ride down in the tube slide makes the climb up all worth it.
What ya doing? Can I try?
There were some musicians practicing in the park this morning. We stopped to take in the free mini-concert and offer our applause.

May 19- Little adventurer

Off on another adventure…because it rained all weekend and Mommy goes a little stir crazy if she has to stay in the house for too long.
If there is one thing Ella has learned in her short two years of life it’s to always keep your loved ones near. No adventure would be complete without Teddy tagging along.
Today the kids and I went back to the ceramics festival in Yeoju. Yes, I know that makes 3 trips, but I really love this festival and it’s free to the public, so why not? Plus Michael is in the field for a couple days, so we need some fun distractions. Of course, as “free” as it is, I keep coming away from their with lighter pockets. I can’t stop finding beautiful pieces that must come home with me! This is my view as we strolled around the festival. What a beautiful sight!
There was no shortage of entertainment at the festival today. Acrobats and fan dancers just to name a few. The kids and I enjoyed sitting for a while and watching the performers.
Contain your enthusiasm. I think the kids enjoyed the festivities…maybe?
See Sterling, this is how you ride a clay donkey.
Find your own donkey to ride!
Guess I’ll have to settle for a really big fish. Anyone have a frying pan large enough for this fillet?

Encore! Talk about a little audience…only short in height, not in enthusiasm.
I’m so happy! We haven’t attempted to visit the ceramics museum before today. It’s an art museum. Not a children’s museum. Lots of breakables and “No Touching” signs. NOTHING kid friendly. Up until today I’ve passed on this stressful opportunity. Seeing as we had time to kill and my nerves were in good shape, I decided to attempt the museum. I figured the kids were safely contained in their stroller, and if we went into melt down mode we’d just make a quick exit, no harm, no foul. To my great surprise, they did beautifully! We strolled through the museum checking out the different and horribly interesting pieces on display. I so wish I could’ve taken picture of some of the works. They were fabulous! Outstanding! So avant-garde! We even had a personal interpreter join us in our tour of the museum. My pre-baby self would be greatly relieved to see me touring art museums, babies in tow.
After a day at the festival we stopped for a great American pastime…outlet shopping! I’ve seen the Yeoju outlets from the expressway before, but have never stopped before today. I was blown-a-way! It was just like an American outlet mall! And oh the shops! My mother-in-law would be in heaven in these shops! Names like Armani, Burberry, Escada, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Ferragamo, and Valentino! Needless to say I wasn’t in the market to do much shopping. Clearly Korea has horrid trade laws, the prices at these “outlets” were comparable to full price department store prices in the US. Still, it was nice to stroll through the outlets, window shopping.
Checking out the bubbler. A little Boston lingo.
***Edited: I've been informed that a "bubbler" in MA is actually a drinking fountain. Oh well, this GA peach thinks the word "bubbler" should be all inclusive of any sort of fountain. A nondiscriminatory word. Because really, who ever heard of a drinking fountain being called a "bubblah" anyway? Love to my one and only Mass-hole reader…
Why is it so thrilling to do something we think is otherwise taboo? Sterling was delighted to run in and out of the fountain.
Watch out!!! You just never know when one of the jets will erupt in a spray of water!
The first time Ella got spayed in the face by an unexpected jet of water she immediately came running back to me. She eventually gathered up her courage and went back to splashing in the water, but I thought she was so sweet snuggling up to me for protection.
Even after getting sprayed in the face Ella still thought the fountain was quite fun!
Soaking wet, dripping, and having a marvelous time playing in the fountain.
Rounding out a lovely day together, we stopped by Starbucks for a coffee for Mommy and muffins for babies. This has been a truly wonderful day with my 2 favorite people in the world!