Friday, December 25, 2009


Doumi tries to help the Kimchi Kid get in the Christmas Spirit!

Merry Christmas from the Kimchi Kid!

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!
May you be blessed with health, wealth and happiness in the coming year!
Merry Christmas from Mommy Cha and the Kimchi Kid!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Language and Respect!

As many of you may know(and if you don't know, why don't you read my blog??!!), we are trying to raise the Kimchi Kid in a bi-lingual environment. The reason we do this is mainly out of respect for my husband's culture and heritage but also since we are living and raising him in South Korea.
My husband left South Korea as a small child, around the age of 5. His parents whole-heartedly immersed him into the American lifestyle, culture and the English language. He very quickly(6 months he says!) learned to speak English and FORGOT all his Korean language abilities. As he grew older he realized that he was unable to comunicate with his grandmother and that saddened him. He attempted to re-learn Korean so that he was able to at least thank her and ask her how she was doing. Upon his return to South Korea he studied Korean in an academy and then joined the Korean military for his mandatory service. Adult Korean males must serve at least 2 years(it may be less now) in the military. My husband became fluent in speaking Korean during that time, and he STILL remembers how his grandmother cried after speaking to him on the phone, in Korean, for the first time! As a result he was determined that his children would NOT forget their heritage and their language. I agreed with him that it was important for our children to be aware of their cultural background and learn the language of their country of residence. The Kimchi Kid has been progressing well in both English and Korean, but since Korean is more prevalent he is stronger in speaking Korean than English.
I read and talked to several people who have raised bilingual children and we chose to follow the 1 parent-1 language approach. That means I try to speak only English while my husband tries to speak only Korean to our son. At times I do forget and speak in Korean to him, but I always try and say the English word as well.
Beyond just learning a language however, there is a question of respect. I was raised to always say please and thank-you especially to those older than me. Teachers, friends' parents, doctors, grandparents, relatives, etc. all of these people I was unfailingly polite to. So when I came to Korea I was shocked at how rude I found people could be! Once I had spent some time here, and read more about the culture and history of the country, I began to understand more. Korea was strongly influenced by Confucianism and still is today. This teaches the Korean people that elders should be respected, as well as teachers and scholars above all else and this is reflected in their language as well. Asking your age or job when meeting someone new is not considered rude, but it helps them determine what language to use with you and where to place you in their social hierarchy.
I quickly learned that strangers where not so much being rude to me, but more likely uncertain of my status in their life and instead choosing to ignore me. It was like I simply did not exist in their world until I was introduced. The older woman ramming me with her cart at the store, or pushing past me to grab something, would often change her attitude and apologise if I called her on it. Usually I would just ignore it as it was not worth it to me. Staff in stores and coffee shops where I became a regular who at first may not acknowledge me would start to respect me the more they saw me. Slowly I became "someone" in their view. This has led to me forming good relationships of mutual respect with many different people here, including teachers, doctors, students and their families. Our local store owner would often give the Kimchi Kid a free candy when we shopped for produce.
Since I was ever mindful that as a foreigner in South Korea, I paid special attention to my pleases and thank-yous in Korean. As part of the culture of respect, Koreans have formal and casual language, the formal of course being the most polite and suitable for elders, teachers or scholars. However, I frequently used the politest form of "thank-you" for anyone who served me or helped in stores or restaurants, as that was simply how I was raised. My husband was actually told by my favorite sandwich lady that she ALWAYS gave me extra toppings on my sandwich because I was the ONLY one who was always so polite with her! Not even younger Koreans would thank her like I did, they simply ignored her. She was so impressed that I spoke the most polite Korean to her, thanked her for my food and always said please and I was a FOREIGNER! This made a big impact on me, because it showed me that by simply respecting her and her language/culture, she would never forget me and treated me better than the average customer. A little respect can go a long way sometimes!
Once I made the decision to marry a Korean, I threw myself into language lessons. Despite the fact that my in-laws live in Texas and speak fluent English, I knew that I wanted to be able to communicate with them in their language. This was a sign of my respect for them, as they were my family now. I tried my best to learn the polite forms of please and thank you, as well as greetings and compliments for cooking for my MIL. They were very happy and touched that I made the effort and it helped them to understand that while I was not Korean, I respected them and their culture. The Kimchi Kid has been raised the same way and he already knows how to say "please" in English, bow his head in respect for greetings or thanks in Korea, and to use both hands as a polite sign when asking for a treat or toy. This is important to us and we hope to raise a bilingual child who is well-mannered and respectful in Korean and English.
I have often read postings in online forums from the ESL community and gotten angered by those who have no respect for the country or culture that they are currently residing in. I understand that you may have no intention of staying in Korea long-term and therefore have no need for the language, but is it really that hard to learn your please and thank-yous? I find it even more difficult to deal with people who marry into a different culture and live and raise children in that new country or culture. The very least you could do is learn to respect your in-laws in their language, especially if they do not know yours. Afterall if they moved to your home country, can you honestly tell me that you would NOT expect them to learn YOUR language especially if they plan to be there long term?
Respect is not given, it is earned. If you don't respect the people around you, why on earth would you expect them to respect YOU?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All Better Now!

Keeping all my Germs to Myself!

I'm ready to PARTY!!
Just wanted to drop a quick note and let everyone know that we are all better now!
We really seems to have had a very mild version of H1N1 so hopefully we built immunity without having to suffer much. We took our medicine like good little patients and we've stayed home for a week to be on the safe side. But now we feel all better and we are ready to run! Hope that everyone else either avoids getting sick or else has it mild like we did.
Take care!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mommy Cha and the Kimchi Kid have H1N1.

He wanted a pickle for breakfast, but just held it for an hour or so. Strange little boy!
The Kimchi Kid and I have been diagnosed with H1N1. Somehow, possibly due to his freakishly good immune system, Daddy does not have it. Thomas had a fever last Thursday and it came and went until Sunday evening. It was accompanied by a runny nose, slight cough and some cranky behaviour. We didn't think it was anymore than a common cold and waited until Monday to see our doctor since she didn't work on weekends.
When we saw her she said he had tonsilitis and bronchitis, she thought it was also the common cold but the hospital was testing any child with those symptoms for H1N1. We had the test, received a prescription for Tamiflu and went home. That night we got the test results, Thomas had H1N1. We immediately gave him Tamiflu and contacted everyone who had been in contact with him.
The next morning Tom and I went to get tested. I already had acute sinusitis, but it also fit the symptoms of H1N1. Tom meanwhile had no symptoms. During the testing the nurse asked for my card, her boss was looking for an English teacher so we gladly chatted and gave her our contact details. We both felt fine and still do, but we had to be sure for our work.
Tonight we got the results, I have H1N1 and Tom does not. Lucky man NEVER gets sick! We were both prescribed Relenza yesterday and since it acts to prevent as well as treat influenza of all types we both were taking it.
Overall we feel fine, Thomas had symptoms similar to a cold, but with high fever. I am glad we have it now because it has been very mild and hopefully we are building antibodies to protect us in the future.
So here is a video of Thomas on his sickest day. Not so bad is he?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toilet Time!!

He looks so proud of himself!
This was such a big step for Thomas, it deserved a blog posting all of its own!
Thomas pooped on the toilet!!!
We have noticed for a while that the only time he stands still is when he is pooping. So we've started trying to catch him when he does this and put him on the toilet. Usually he will have already pooped and we would dump it in the toilet and then let him flush it. This was followed by a reward of a treat snack.
But then today, he stopped moving, started grunting, and we whisked him to the toilet! We popped him on the seat and Voila! He did it!! YAY!!
We were so proud of him and he seemed pretty proud of himself too! ^.^
Hopefully this will continue and one day soon he'll be toilet-trained!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time for #2?

The day Thomas came home from the hospital.

He's growing up so fast! 18 months old now!

These days we've been talking a lot about having a second child. We tend to favour the idea but it only takes a few hours of crabby, high-energy, Kimchi Kid time to change our minds again! Yet for all it can be hard at times, we feel he would benefit from a sibling. He is a social little boy like his daddy and he loves to play with others. He has so much energy as well that having a sibling close in age would probably provide a good outlet for that energy. Basically, we have decided on having a second child and are just waiting for ourselves to accept that fact! Hahaha...
Part of the delay is my weight, we really don't want to conceive again until I have shifted the pregnancy weight that is still clinging stubbornly to my hips and tummy. I've made good progress thanks to my personal trainer, but having a husband addicted to late night fried chicken makes it hard!
I've started taking my pre-natal multivitamins, we've notified the kindergartens that I hope to be pregnant next March and we've discussed things with our doumi. The Kimchi Kid will be starting preschool in March so she won't have as much to do until #2 arrives, but to our delight she said she wouldn't dream of leaving us! That was a big relief, she has been such a huge help with Thomas she is like family now. I can't imagine #2 without her!
So now, my question for everyone out there: Any tips on having a girl??
Haha..I know several family members and grandmothers are hoping for a girl as am I. I like to believe a girl will be quieter, more peaceful, enjoy playing with dolls and stuffed toys instead of hitting things with sticks and running in circles. As much as I love the Kimchi Kid I do wish he would sometimes sit still!! So please, if you have any tips, leave a comment! We'll keep you posted! ^^

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today is November 11 in South Korea. This is a very special day in Korea. It is a holiday known as "Pepero Day". What is pepero you're wondering? Simple. Chocolate coated pretzel sticks. That's right, while we try to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom, people here bliss out on chocolate coated pretzels.

11/11 apparently looks like these chocolate pretzel sticks so a savvy marketing executive decided it would be the PERFECT day to push this sugary snack. This day has gotten bigger and bigger each year! It is bigger than Halloween and almost as big as Christmas here! Nevermind that it happens to be on a very solemn and sacred day to a large part of the "Western" population they envy so much. Nevermind that most native "English" speakers could easily tell any Korean how today is NOT about a chocolate pretzel but more about something that should be VERY near and dear to Korean's hearts. After alll, technically North and South Korea are STILL at war. They have simply had an armistice agreement for the past 50-60 or so years. They owe so much to those who have fallen to defend the lifestyle they have now. I suppose it is somewhat ironic that the freedom many of our countrymen fought for here during the Korean war allows them to have this ridiculously commercial chocolate pretzel fest.

No matter what, I try to remember what this day is about. I take my moment of silence. I remember, and I cry a little. I am living this life because of the sacrifice of others, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I hope and pray we remember this, so that Thomas does not have to grow up in a world torn by war.
Lest We Forget.

Thank you to Joanne.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The New Addition to Our Family!

The Kimchi Kid loves Eddie!

Meet Eddie!

Tom and I decided to enjoy the mild Fall weather and freedom from Thomas on Saturday. We went for a nice hike up wonmi-san, Wonmi mountain. The leaves were gorgeous, the air was crisp, we had a lovely conversation and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
When we came down the mountain we had to walk along the road to get back to our car for about 20 minutes. We came across an old man selling birds on the side of the road. They were very pretty and we stopped to look at them. Under all the cages, tied with a ragged piece of red ribbon was this adorable little puppy. His fur was matted and dirty, he had no food or water and children were poking at him, screaming and laughing.
I felt so bad for him! He was so happy to see us and so friendly, it broke my heart to leave him behind. As we walked back to the car I started to cry thinking of him. Tom and I discussed the pros and cons of taking him home as we walked. Eventually we decided we would drive by and ask how much he was selling him for. I pulled over and Tom hopped out to ask.
After about 10 minutes Tom came back with Eddie in his hands! I burst into tears, I was so happy! He was only 20,000won so Tom couldn't not give him a better home. We have wanted a dog for Thomas for a while, and we had agreed to wait, mainly because our doumi was not interested in having a dog to care for. But we just had to give this sweet little face a home!
We immediately took him to the vet to get checked out. They gave him the once over, bathed him and clipped his nails. He was so upset to be separated from Tom. We could hear him yelping from outside the office! Once we got home with all the supplies we could need he was 100% devoted to Tom.
We've been working to teach him paper training but so far he prefers to hold it and go outside. We've had about 5 accidents in the house each day, but most have been outside and really, we've only had him 1 day! He comes when we call him, responds to his name, sits on command, and doesn't whine or bark much once we leave the house. So far he seems to be a loving, intelligent and energetic little puppy and a very welcome addition to our home! We hope to keep you updated with all the future antics of Eddie and the Kimchi Kid!

Tired out from his first day at our home, he fell asleep with his head in his food dish.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Fall!

The cutest bumblebee in town!

Well the leaves are changing colours, the weather is cooling down and Halloween is past!

Seo Young, Thomas and Ji Oo enjoy the colourful leaves in Jungang Park.

Looks like Fall is here! We hope everyone had a great Halloween.
We did our little Kindergarten parties and had a fun time.

Thomas was the cutest bumblebee around, I was Minnie Mouse and Daddy was Frankenstein.

Baby Bumblebee and Mommy Minnie Mouse!

Scary Frankenstein Daddy! This mask made and still makes Thomas cry!

I also made Jack O'Lantern cookies for Halloween day.

Frosted with vanilla buttercream and topped with chocolate chip faces!

Hope you all have a lovely Fall and enjoy the colourful leaves!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Kimchi Kid lives up to his name!

Thomas and SeoYoung sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

These days I barely have time to sit down, let alone write a blog! The Kimchi Kid is a never-ending ball of energy, and even with reducing my work schedule I am hard-pressed to keep up with him. The best I am able to offer are brief snippets of our daily life and the occasional photo.
Thomas has developed several new and amusing habits/tricks recently.

1. Using a light stick, turkey baster or toy golf club he will repeatedly turn on and off any light switch in the house that he can reach. During this time he will repeatedly say "Wow!'.

2. When he gets tired, he will take either Daddy or myself by the hand, sometimes both of us, and say 'Night-night!" and walk us to the bedroom to go to sleep.

3. Anytime he wants something to eat, drink or play with, he will also take us by the hand, lead us to said object and point to it, saying "Kaka" for snack, "Mool" for drink and "Eego" for any other item.

4. He has discovered trains, and calls them "chee-chee" whenever he sees them. "Chee-chee bo-bo" is the sound Koreans say trains make.

5. When he has a wet or dirty diaper, he will bend over to look at it or point to it and say "Gi-gi" which means dirty. He will also make the sound "Sssshhhhhhhiiii" when he pees or daddy pees.

6. We've been trying to raise him so he isn't a cry-baby like a lot of children here seem to be. Anytime he falls down we tell him in English and Korean "You're ok!". This usually works well with him. He will get up and continue to play with few tears and an occasional hug. He has become quite the sturdy and strong little boy as a result.

7. He has mastered the art of standing on his ride-on truck to reach things he normally wouldn't be able to reach. Any time he gets quiet, I KNOW he is getting into trouble! I caught him in the kitchen trying to get snacks from the counter by the sink.

He is constantly surprising us with new vocabulary and abilities these days. We feel really blessed at how strong, active, healthy and intelligent he is becoming.

In other Kimchi Kid news, here are a few of the fun and funny things he has done in the past while!

* During lunch prep, the doumi placed a dish of kimchi on the table. Thomas has become taller, quicker and stronger so he took the bowl of kimchi off the table, ran into his playroom and started eating it before the doumi even noticed it was gone! This was plaid old kimchi, usually most people consider it spicy, but Thomas just munched it down!

*While playing with Daddy, Thomas managed to stick his finger up inside his nose high enough to cause a monster nosebleed! Then he ran away laughing, while Daddy and I laughed with disbelief.

* During bath prep time, I took of his diaper before going into the bedroom to get his towel. When I took it off he said "Ssshhhhiii". I just laughed and said "No, bath time." When I returned to the living room I realized he had said it because he had to pee! He had peed all over the living room floor and looked quite proud of himself!

* Thomas seems to love golf. On his first birthday he picked the golf ball off the tray of items at the party. He had never seen one before, so it really surprised us! Then while we were in Texas he was obsessed with Harabeogi's (Grandpa) golf clubs and golf balls. So once he came home to Korea he had no golf clubs or golf balls to play with. Instead, he took a spatula off of the kitchen counter and started hitting a basketball around the house with it. I ordered him a golf set shortly after I saw this! ^^
Basketball-spatula golf!

Well, the Kimchi Kid is ready for bed and tugging at my hands, so I guess I have to wrap this up! Hope everyone enjoyed this brief post! Cheers!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet Home Gyeonggi-Do!

Yes, we're back in Korea!
Yes, it is earlier than expected!
Yes, there is lots to share!
Yes, we are jet-lagged!
Yes, I am staying home for 1 week in case of the dreaded SWINE FLU!
No, I don't think we are actually sick.
No, I am not writing more now because I am tired and cranky.

Enjoy this photo for now.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Headed to Texas!

Well looks like we figured things out! Thomas got a new passport in a mere 3 business days, I applied and received his E-Visa online and we changed our tickets to TODAY! So in a mere 8 hours we should be happily flying to Texas! If so, this blog may not be updated for a few days/weeks again.
If not, it will be update with my rage and frustration. Hehehe.....
So watch this space! If there are no new posts be happy for us since we are in Texas!
I'll update about our trip as soon as I am able!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NOT on the airplane!!!

Ok, so Thomas's Canadian passport expired in June, we were just too busy to go renew it and his citizenship card JUST arrived last week. I figured that it would be easy to just use his Korean passport.
When our friend went to Singapore Air to verify her 3rd party payment for our tickets (my husband has no idea how to register his Korean credit cards for online shopping!), they told her Thomas would need a Visa for travel to the USA with his Korean passport.
They told her we could apply online at the ESTAS website. What she didn't realize was that we didn't have an electronic passport, and Singapore Air never mentioned that the ESTAS online Electronic Visa ONLY worked if you had an Electronic Passport!
I went on ESTAS, got Thomas his Visa and that was all. There was nothing on the main page to let me know that with a Korean Passport you needed it to be Electronic.
At the airport Singapore Air told us he could NOT fly with an E-Visa and old style passport. We either had to have a paper visa in his passport or an e-passport. I was furious! They refused to budge, stating that even though he had received his ESTAS Visa, we could not travel to the USA. I begged them to let us go and try our luck with the Customs official in the USA. After all, he has dual Canadian/Korean Citizenship, he is 16 months old and he was approved for a Visa! How hard would it be to convince someone to allow him in?!
They point blank refused, and when I demanded to speak to a superior, I was given an e-mail address to contact! At that point, I gave up and started crying. We left the counter and I called the main office in Seoul. When I spoke to the woman who answered, she told me that due to our tickets being purchased on an online special sale, they could not be changed!!! I lost it!! I started yelling and crying at the same time and told her how this was Singapore Air's fault. She asked for my number and said she would speak to a supervisor and call me back.
I then called Tom to come and pick us up and we went to KFC for a late lunch. Doumi was with me, thank goodness, or I would have completely lost it being denied boarding with a stroller, 2 suitcases and a cranky 16month old who just wanted to walk all over! singapore Air called me back after an hour and said as long as I flew before September 30th, I could change my ticket.
We came home, got new passport photos taken and we are applying for his e-passport tomorrow morning. We have been told it should take around 4 business days.
Unfortunately my brother-in-law had booked connecting tickets for us and may be out some money due to having to cancel them at such short notice. Not to mention the extremely disappointed grandparents and other family members who now have to wait a week or more for us to come. As well we had to have a notarized letter of consent for me to travel without Tom to the USA, to ensure I am not kidnapping him ins a custody dispute. That cost $100 to translate and notarize, and will now have to be re-done since the dates are wrong. This also messes up my work schedule and our plans for Chuseok when I returned.
I have always been such a careful planner, I had everything printed, notarized booked and filed for the trip. I had no idea that Singapore Air's advice would not be right! Goes to show with travel it is important to double-check everything in advance, even your passport validity and visa validity! Hopefully all will go well with his passport and we will fly next week. I'll keep everyone posted!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Almost Texas Time!

The Kimchi Kid rocking Mommy's hat!

Hello everyone! So sorry for the delay in updates. The Kimchi Kid has been a busy little boy and is thriving! He loves to go out for walks every day and will even hand us his clothes and shoes as soon as he wakes up. He gets so excited, full of laughter and smiles, when he walks outside. Lately he has started showing strong interest in children and will happily wave to them or walk up to them as if to introduce himself. He is such a charmer that when we walk around our area, many people call him by name to say hi! Everyone remembers our gorgeous little boy.
We have been busy ever since the baby fair ended, which is great. Sales are increasing even with the price increase. It is really fantastic and we are so glad that our hard work is paying off! Soon I will be taking more time off work to stay home with Thomas and I am really looking forward to it.

The new dish set Thomas has is orange but otherwise looks the same!
Thomas has made huge advances in self-feeding and cup drinking. I bought him a wonderful dish set at the babyfair and he loves to eat with it. It has an anti skid base so he can easily scoop his food up without the plate sliding everywhere!

The exact colour and style that we bought!
We also bought him a new chair that he can climb into on his own. If he is hungry he lets us know by climbing up and asking for "mama"(food) or "kaka"(snack). He is a very strong minded independent little boy and we are so proud if him.
Daddy has started to take Saturdays off and will also take off some weeknights as well. We hope to have lots of family time together, going for walks, playing at Little Bear Cafe, drawing pictures, etc. Thomas has started showing some definite need for Daddy-time! He has left my bed to sleep with Daddy, cried for 10 minutes at the door when Daddy left for work, and even refused to be held by me upon waking up one morning because he wanted his Daddy so badly! This was a sign to us that Daddy needed to work less and play with Thomas more.
Wednesday, September 16th, Thomas and I will be flying to Austin, Texas to visit Daddy's family. We will be there for 2.5 weeks and while I am apprehensive about the long flight, I am sure Thomas will be a champion and it will be fine! We will miss Daddy very much while we are gone, since he has to stay behind and work. Hopefully we will talk to him everyday and have lots of great pictures to share when we get back! During our time in Texas we will be limited in our internet access, so it will be a while before you see another update! Sorry!
Hope that everyone had a great Summer and we plan on doing lots of playdates in the Fall!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A great success!!

Fauna, MamaSeoul, Eva, me and Fauna's Mom!

A happy baby trying out the Moby!

The Ko family!

It was a hard 4 days, but it was well worth it! We had a huge interest in Moby, lots of people trying it on and checking out our demonstrations. We had steady sales and some unexpected interest from some big companies as well! We're negotiating some contracts as a result which is really exciting. A hard as it was to be away from Thomas and standing for 8 hours everyday, it was what we needed to get Moby introduced to the Korean public!
The most exciting part was having several mothers come in wearing carriers, change into Moby's, and be so surprised and relieved at the comfort difference and immediately purchase a new Moby! They then practiced wrapping, put their baby in and headed out with their old carriers stuffed in a bag! The only strange thing was that a lot of Korean mothers thought we were selling too cheaply! Imported items here are usually quite expensive, so they were surprised that we were selling at such reasonable prices! So as of September 1st, we are raising prices by 15%! So if you want one, get it now to get the best price!
I just really want to thank all the moms from the expat community who came out and supported us! Karen, Fauna, Angela, Leanne, Rachel, Bethany, Devika, and any others, I am sorry if I forgot you! We are soo thankful for your support!!

Friday, August 21, 2009


MamaSeoul and Eva were great models! Eva slept quite happily in the Moby. This is the Hug Hold.

This is the Joey Hold. It is a variant of the Lotus Hold, where instead of tucking the legs in the fabric, you leave them hanging out.

This is our booth. It looks crowded but we re-organized it and it is more spacious now!
I'll post more pictures of our visitors and Moby wearers as soon as I can!
We are on the 3rd floor, in the back corner, booth #3123, close to Sony.
Come on by and say hi!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We're still here!!

It has been a crazy hectic few weeks for us!! So sorry for not updating, and so sorry but I don't have the time to do so now!!
Basically, we are fine, healthy, and busy busy BUSY!!
I started working out with a personal trainer 6 days a week about 2.5 weeks ago, we're gearing up for the big BabyFair at CoEx August 20-23 and we've been working like mad while all the students are on Summer vacation doing intensive classes and extra classes!
Thomas has been busy too, vocabulary is expanding, his behavior has improved since we started trying to follow the Dr. Sears Discipline book, he has just been wonderful!
Right now I'm just stressed about the BabyFair and the big chance we have to get the MobyWrap name out there and make some $ales! After that is done I get to stress and worry about flying to Texas with Thomas all by myself! Yay!!
Hope to see a lot of people at the BabyFair!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time Moves So Swiftly!

The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!

This laundry basket is much more comfortable since I removed the dirty clothes!

Toilet paper rolls are fun toys, especially once you remove all the rolled up paper!

Why won't you help me climb up on the sofa to press the intercom? You're so mean Mommy!

Hey, what's that?

The Kimchi Kid has delighted in showing us all his new skills and more over the past few days! Time seemed to move so slowly while pregnant, now each and every day he is demonstrating new skills and comprehension.
Some days I miss that precious baby I held in my arms, but other days I rejoice at how blessed we are to have such a happy and healthy son keeping us on our toes!
His vocabulary is constantly growing and these days he seems to be trying even harder to repeat after us. We have always tried to speak to him, even when he was in the womb, but now he is trying to speak back to us.
This week he spoke English for the first time(if you can call it that!). We have a CD of children's songs that the doumi brought us and the first song is the Alphabet song. I asked him if he wanted the ABC song and he replied "ABC!" . We were so surprised and thrilled! He also has started repeating Korean words after us. He says "Banana" which is the same in Korean and English, and "Seureggi" which is garbage in Korean. That word came about because after changing his diaper, we would always throw it in the trash can and tell him that it was "Seureggi". These days he takes great delight in throwing his own dirty diaper in the trash and repeating "Seureggi" after us.
He has now mastered door opening and if he is not tired, he will not hesitate to open the door and leave the bedroom. This can be good and bad. It is good because now when he wakes up he can come out and find us, no more crying in the room waiting for us to come in and get him. It is bad because twice now I have been so exhausted I have not woken when he has, and instead I wake to the sound of dishes crashing in the kitchen as he searches for his morning "mool". The other bad side is he has apparently learned how to unlock the house door and open it, inspiring great terror in me that he may run away and be hurt! Fortunately he is fond of us and the doumi, and reluctant to leave us. He will try and follow Tom if he goes out to smoke, but usually I am here and can prevent him.
With the lovely Summer weather we have tried to take daily walks as a family. If not as a family, one of us will take Thomas for a nice walk around the area. Before we would put him in the stroller and then let him walk at our destination. Now we will walk with him, often with Thomas wearing his leash/harness, and he happily walks for 30 minutes or more on a daily basis. He is very active and loves being outside. He doesn't often run from us but he still tries to pick up trash, leaves and sticks and that can make for slow going.
Reading is still his favorite quiet time occupation, and he appears to have lost interest in his Pororo DVD. I can't say I mind that he no longer zones out with the TV, but when I am cooking it can be a pain to have him underfoot! I recently bought him a new book, "I Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch. Reading it to my son for the first time brought me to tears. I remembered this book from my childhood, and now reading it as a mother drove the sentiment home even stronger. Last night when I curled up in bed next to him and watched him sleep, I kissed his forehead and held him in my arms. I whispered the words of the story to him:
"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

I'm actually crying now as I type this. Never did I imagine I would feel so much love for someone as I do for my son. I would do anything for him and I am doing my best to be a good mother for him. The words from the story remind me that although he is growing so fast, changing from my baby to my boy, no matter what, he will always be my baby, and I will always love him.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Week Has Flown By!

The boys enjoy the 3 Bs- Beef, Beer and Bonding!

I can hardly believe another week has flown by!
It has been a hectic one to say the least, and I am blogging now at 2am, my first real chance to get online this week!!
Thomas has made some remarkable new discoveries this week. The major one is he can now reach and open any door in our house, except the front door! That was a big shock for us! I had ran away to the bathroom while Daddy was playing with him when the door opened and there, with the biggest toothy grin possible, was Thomas! I was so surprised, I was sure Daddy had opened it for him just to bug me. I closed the door and he proceeded to open at close it 3 times in a row, just to show me that he DID do it himself! Take that Mommy! Hahaha..
Thomas has also learned to jump off of steps on his own. We're undecided as to whether or not this is a good thing! On the one hand, he enjoys walking up and down stairs now, but on the other, he jumped off a large foam block at the play gym today. Luckily the floor was padded when he landed badly, but it will not always be so. We're trying to watch him even more carefully now. Hopefully he will learn without leaping off a dangerous height!
Next he has learned how to climb on the sofa and into his highchair if he wants to eat. He is not shy about letting us know he wants "mool", so now he gladly notifies us of his desire for "mama" as well! He continues to eat spicy Korean foods much to the amusement/shock of Koreans around us. They alternate between pride in his true Korean nature and concern over his potential stomach upset from the spiciness. We try to feed him bland foods but he demands it! He climbed on the chair and started eating my bibimbap(rice topped with various vegetables and a spicy red pepper paste) yesterday!
His last major discovery is that he can climb onto the back of the sofa, teeter precariously on the edge, and reach the built in video intercom/house phone! He has learned by watching us that you can press a large button on it and shout at people. So he presses the large button and shouts at it, usually when we are not nearby! When he does it though it simply goes to the landline and we hear a loud dial tone. The problem is he is so shakily balanced on his tiptoes to do so, and has fallen head over heels once already!

I'm hoping we make some more developments in the quiet, thoughtful, self-amusement area in the next month or so. For those of you not aware, we are going to Texas to see the Grandparents and Uncle Gary in the end of September. Daddy has to stay behind and work, so I am not looking forward to the flight with the ever-energetic Kimchi Kid!
Thomas has become fond of screaming lately so we have been following the Dr. Sears Discipline book. So far the recommendations have been practical, useful and effective. I hope to finish studying it before the trip so we can travel without being the people everyone likes to complain about on long flights!
Does anyone have any tips for the energizer toddler on a 10 hour International flight?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Starting over.

Thomas loves books of any kind, especially at bed time!

This is a writing textbook from University, but look how intently he is reading it!

This past week we got really bad with following the night time routine we had established. We wanted some down time and I guess we were just impatient, so we let Thomas fall asleep on the couch with Daddy while we watched movies. The end result was that he became increasingly agitated about going to be on his own, and wouldn't even sleep until at least 1am! He even woke up one night at 4am just crying, sobbing hysterically! I think maybe he had nightmares, but whatever it was it took an exhausting 2.5hours to soothe him back to sleep! The simple days of him going to bed by 10-11 were becoming distant memories and I had to stop it before it was too late!
Since Thomas was born I have enjoyed the advice and guidelines from
so I turned to them once again. Their advice is practical, simple, and works for us. So we started again last night. After dinner he has his bath. Bath time leads to bedroom time. We turn off all the lights, turn off the TV, and make the bedroom a cozy haven. We massaged his lotion into his skin, and dressed him in a onesie for sleep. Then he had a cup of yogurt, brushed his teeth, cuddled up for story time with Mommy and Daddy. After story time Daddy kisses him good night and leaves, turning off the light. I sing to him and rub his back, and cuddle. Last night he tossed, turned, rolled around, sat up, walked around, climbed over me and fought sleep for around 1 hour.
Tonight, 20 minutes, and he was asleep at 9:30!
Daddy did mess it up by moving him to the floor bed because he is afraid he will roll too much and fall off the bed, but 10 minutes later he was crying and sitting on the big bed. So Daddy went in, laid with him and after 5minutes he was back asleep. This time Daddy constructed a barrier of pillows and the bamboo wife which seems to work well.
I realized from this that even though we can be lazy at times, Thomas needs a regular routine to be happy. He wakes up every morning around the same time, and knows that he gets a drink of yogurt, "mool", and cuddles from the Doumi. If he doesn't, he gets upset. Sometimes we forgot to buy yogurt and it made a big difference to his morning and evening routines. I was making yogurt for a while, but it became difficult with my work schedule so we now have his organic plain yogurt delivered 3 times a week.
He really is a good boy, and we are so blessed. We just need to remember to put him first, even if we feel it is difficult or tiresome at times. We work so much these days, but we are doing it for his future, so we need to remember that THOMAS comes first, no matter what!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

THE BEST NEWS EVER!!!!!! Plus some bonus good news!

Hasani and Dublin running from the grumpy, sock-handed Grandpa Monster!
This is from my sister Jenni regarding my nephew Hasani who was undergoing testing this past month for Cancer:

I am so happy to know that Hasani is fine!! His femur abnormalities are just an extremely rare stage of growing. Thank you everyone for your positive energy and prayers! And congratulations to my cousin Andrea Cook for her baby news!

So Hasani is going to be just fine, and this special little boy who was born at 30weeks is even more special than we previously realized! Hahaha..

The bonus good news is that my Cousin Andrea Cook is PREGNANT! Wow!
Since everyone I know seems to be having girls lately, I am rooting for a girl for her! We need more in the family, my sisters and I all had boys! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mommy Cha is exhausted!

The Kimchi Kid, how cute am I?

Hey everyone, Kimchi Kid here!
I've been giving Mommy Cha a hard time this week. She's been in bed by midnight almost every night, and last night I woke her up at 4am for 2 hours of crying and begging for "mool" fun! Too bad Mommy didn't think it was fun!
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know I've done lots of really interesting things this week, and she will be sure to share with you once I let her take a break.
Not sure when I will let her miss out on all my exciting adventures, such as climbing on top of my truck to pull her heavy and expensive antique clock to the floor, which caused the top to be crushed and 2 big holes to be gouged in the wood floor! Honestly, who would want to miss out on that? So what if it was a wedding gift from her aunt, it was EXCITING and that is what I, The Kimchi Kid, LIVE for!

See, it's not that badly bent at all! Mommy Cha is so excitable at times!

You can barely see the holes now that Doumi covered it with wood tape!
Stay tuned, I'm sure she'll get back to blogging soon!
Much love,The Kimchi Kid


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Obsession...

Mint Condition cupcake!
Chocolate cupcake with whipped mint cream topping sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Caramel Flower cupcake! White vanilla cupcake with SUPER SWEET caramel buttercream frosting, topped with a drizzle of caramel and dried strawberry bits.

English Tea Party cupcake! Earl Grey tea flavored cupcake with an Earl Grey tea whipped cream topping.
While pregnant and even after giving birth, I would dream of one thing.
I wanted to open a cupcake cafe here in Korea.
I thought it would be HUGELY popular and VERY successful.
I was right.
Too bad I didn't open it!
GOOD OVENING CUPCAKE is a new chain of designer cupcake shops that popped up recently in this bakery mad country. Gorgeous hand decorated, tasty cupcakes packaged in little take out containers designed to save their frosting from being squished or smeared. So yummy and tempting looking, how can anyone resist?
My sister and I talked about opening a cupcake cafe on my trip to Canada last year and I also discussed this with my brother-in-law while visiting Texas last year. I even discussed how I wanted to create take-out packages with him.
So while I am still obsessed at least now I have some place to feed my obsession. (Hehehehe..)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!!

Hoping all our Canadian friends and family have a great Canada Day! Wish we could be celebrating it with you back in Canada!
Love from Mommy Cha and the Kimchi Kid!!

The Kimchi Kid and his new discoveries.

Thomas has been working hard this week. He's introduced a new word into his speaking vocabulary and has learned to respond to a new word when we say it.
His spoken vocabulary now includes "Kaja-let's go".
Ohma = Mommy
Appa = Daddy
Ahboba = this is used when the doumi wants to carry Thomas on her back
Mama = food or milk
Mool = water or drink as he uses it
Mong Mong = puppy in child-speak, and he is so in love with dogs!
Kaja = Let's go.

Since Thomas has always loved to go outside we would tell him "Bagata Kaja - Let's go out." when it was time to go. He responded to this buy going to the door, climbing into his stroller or getting his shoes. While that was exciting for us, it was even more exciting when he started saying "Kaja" back to us!

Reading one of his favorite Pororo books.
He still hasn't spoken any English words, but he does respond to us when we speak them. The newest word that has a strong reaction is "Check - Book" We use the Korean(Check) and English (Book) together whenever we say it. As part of his night time routine, we always would read a book with him and tell him we were going to.
Now, if we ask him to get a Check or Book, he will go into the playroom and look for a book which he will then bring back to us. Usually he will also then climb into our laps in preparation for story time. This makes me so happy, as I love reading and have actively tried to instill a love of books in Thomas. Since he was born and even before I have read to him and surrounded him with books to read and play with. While we have had a few incidents with destroyed pop-up books(he is too curious at times!), overall the books have fared well.
When he was younger he had a love for paper, eating paper that is! So my books were often tasty fodder for a teething toddler. He also delighted in the sound and sensation of shredding pages from magazines. This has thankfully passed and now instead he loves to sit and leaf through a novel of mine if he can reach it.
The other day Doumi showed me a book I am reading now, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and told me how Thomas brought this book to her to read but she does not have the skills to read so much English! She tries hard to read him the small baby books in English and said she was grateful to have a job that she enjoys so much and where she can learn new things at 61 years old. But a full on novel was just too much of a challenge. I thought this was too funny and I was so proud of Thomas. He knows there is more to the book than pictures and he wanted to experience what I do.

Dinner was curried lentils and vegetables mixed with rice. Sticky enough he could scoop it and feed himself.

So proud of his new spoon skills.

Another new development is his desire to feed himself. He has been eating finger foods for a awhile but recently he has started trying to use his spoon to eat. At first, he would turn it upside down on the trip to his mouth but now he has mastered the spoon to a the degree that he can convey the food to his mouth without turning the spoon upside down. It helps that he likes to eat sticky rice and it sticks rather nicely to the spoon. He is very Korean in his food tastes, in the food department we have discovered he loves anything spicy or spiced. Curry or kimchi, he loves it all.
I contemplated buying him a toddler spoon and fork set, which are shorter utensils than normal, but he eats fine with the free pink spoons from Baskin Robbins. Saves me money and they are easy to replace if he tosses or loses them! As part of the self-feeding we are now working on scooping the food out of his bowl with his spoon. So far I scoop it and give him the spoon as he will often try to pick up the food with one hand and place it on the spoon in his other hand. It also looks like he is becoming right handed, but he can switch it up at

Doumi put his blocks in this jar. He really, REALLY wanted them out.
He followed me around begging for it to be opened as I took pictures!

He has also figured out that packages can be opened and often they contain tasty treats like crackers or dried fruit. He will bring us any package, bag, jar or bottle he can carry in the hope that we will open it and share its contents with him!

Showing off his basketball skills for Doumi and Mommy.

As for his basketball skills, they are getting stronger by the day. He is very eager to have people come in the playroom so he can dunk a ball or toy through the basketball net. He was so excited when Daddy came home last night, he ran into the playroom and got a ball so he could show him what he could do! Daddy was of course thoroughly impressed and a rousing game of "throw anything through the basket" ensued!
Thomas has continued to a show a strong interest in animals, too strong at times perhaps! He was walking in the front of our building with our Doumi a few days ago and a rat ran in front of them. Now it ran away quickly and hid in some flower beds, but Thomas saw it, tracked it and pointed it out to Doumi with great interest. She of course was horrified by the dirty, dirty rat but Thomas was thrilled and tried to follow it around the garden. He also likes to follow dogs, dirty pigeons and birds around. When we visited Steph and her son Will last week, Thomas got to interact with her lovely cats. He was so excited by them, it makes me think he needs a pet. But our Doumi has said it is a pet or her, as she is not an animal person. Right now, we need her more than a pet!
We're so happy that he seems to becoming such a well-rounded little boy and glad we can share him and his experiences with you! Thanks for reading!