Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Kimchi Kid wants YOU to come and play!

That's right! I mean YOU!!

After feeling the need for solitude and not finding it, I ended up deciding to be social instead! Haha...inconsistent, I know!
I was invited out by my friends Kat and Viola who I hadn't seen for a few weeks. It was decided that we would meet for dinner at TGIFriday's by Bucheon Station. Thomas and I were excited to go and see our beloved Emo Kat and our darling Viola. Daddy decided to tag along at the last minute and we were off to have a nice evening out! At TGIFriday's we ordered for Thomas from the kid's menu for the first time, but we ended up eating most of it, not him! Coconut shrimp, grilled pineapple, BBQ ribs and french fries with a fruit smoothie. Yummy! He had a bite of the shrimp, pineapple and some fries. I think he ate 2 ribs by himself but he was more interested in his smoothie than anything else! Daddy and I shared their deep-fried Mac & Cheese bites. We all had a lovely chat and a decent meal but we girls were just getting started on the catching up! Daddy was sweet enough to offer to put Thomas to bed so I could go out with the ladies and have a drink or 2.
We ended up going to Rhythm and Booze, the local expat hangout. I had 2 tasty Malibu and Coke's with the girls. Uncle Mattie, Rachel, Kate, Abbie and her friend Esther all joined us for a few hours. We laughed a lot, particularly thanks to Uncle Mattie's warped sense of humour! I have only been out maybe 3-4 times since Thomas was born, so it was nice for me to relax and chat with my friends.
Friday was a super busy day, but we made a new schedule with our doumi ajumma and she took care of Thomas from 1-7pm for us. This meant we could go out to a movie! We watched Transformers 2, which was ok, but way to long!
Saturday we had a lazy day, just me and Thomas playing together while Daddy taught. We took a 3 hour nap and went our for a super delicious dinner! After dinner we watched a Korean movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Weird". It wasn't the greatest movie I've seen here, but not bad. Thomas had one of his "I refuse to sleep!" nights and fell asleep in my arms on the sofa.
Sunday we had our friend Devika come over at 10am for a Costco trip! We had no issues with traffic there or back and were able to shop in comfort. Thomas fell asleep on the trip back, but only slept maybe 20minutes total. When we laid him down at the house, he woke up 5 minutes later and that was it! He was up for the rest of the day! We had a great time playing and chatting with Devika, and then our friends Aaron and Helena came over with her sister and their new baby son, Elijah.
We all had a great time chatting, oohing and aahing over the baby and laughing over Thomas's reaction to the new little guy. He was very uncertain while I held the baby, but got up close and personal once Elijah was back with his own Mommy. Then he got really close and even tried to comfort Elijah who was crying from being woken up by all us nosey people! It was really sweet to see how Thomas reacted and how interested he was in this tiny new baby.
Overall we had a great few days, full of socialization and action. Thomas has been showing some shyness and anxiety over meeting people other than us, even if he has met them before. We worked hard to socialize him this weekend and it seems like it paid off.
Aaron liked it so much he took it home to try with Elijah!

He was very happy and content when Aaron had him in the Mobywrap for a demonstration.
Devika also seemed to be able to play and amuse him well. The best progress was with Viola though! She was able to hold him briefly without Thomas crying, fussing or trying to push away from her. Admittedly there was a helium balloon involved, but it was progress nonetheless!
Hope everyone else had a great weekend too! We plan to try and meet up with many more friends, old and new this Summer! (Craig, Abbie, Angela, Karen, Sarah, Alana and who ever else reads this, we mean YOU!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Need for Solitude...

Departure Bay beach, Nanaimo, BC, Canada.

Ask anyone around me and they will probably say I am an outgoing and social person. Truth is, my husband is, and I play along.
Yes I do like to visit friends, chat, spend time together, etc. But more often I like, no CRAVE the moments where I am alone, just me and my thoughts.
Back home in Canada I grew up on an island. The beach was always nearby, or forests with towering trees and dripping greenery. Quiet. Solitude. The chance to think, look inward, clear my head.
Some days I hate noise. No music, radio, TV, chatter for me please. I want to just be quiet and alone. But here in South Korea it can be hard. There is constant noise where I live, 24hours a day. People are always around, and I must smile and pretend to be social.
I like it when Tom goes out drinking with his friends. It fills his need to be social and spares me. It gives me a chance to try and gather my thoughts, regroup, find some calm.
I think sometimes that is why our marriage works for us. He gets what he needs by going out and so do I.
But at times it is not enough. I need more. But now, I have a husband and a baby. It is harder to find those moments, and even more so when Tom is not around and I have Thomas to care for all by myself. I tried to go to the park, but there was still too many people, too much noise, and me pretending to be social and acknowledging all the strangers who ooh and aah over Thomas and his adorableness. I tried to go out, have a drink, listen to my friends chat and relax. But nothing has worked.
Writing this blog does help, I used to write so much. I used to pour these emotions, these thoughts, this introspection into fiction, trying to paint with words. I have a love of alliteration and descriptive writing even now, but I rarely indulge it.
I have been searching for a place to go here in Korea. Bucheon doesn't offer me any respite, Chejudo was disappointing, and Muuido just whet my appetite. I've read about other small islands, had friends talk about them, but usually it seems that they are touristy and full of sight-seeing tourists.
A few years ago I went on a trip with my former co-worker Jared and one of my adult students. We went to Ansan, and visited a temple and a lake in the countryside. I found a peaceful place but alas, I was with people and unable to take the contemplative time I needed.

The last time I really had that feeling of calm connectedness was when I was home to get married, when I walked and showed Tom the beach I grew up with. We went early in the morning and we just sat and watched the water. It was enough and he seemed to understand that I needed the peace.
But now I am stuck. How do I find what I am searching for with a husband and a child who need me? I hope we can leave Bucheon this weekend and try, but Tom works a lot and Thomas doesn't enjoy long car rides. If we do, hopefully I'll be able to get my mind back into a place that is comfortable for a while.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Today we received excellent news! I wept tears of joy! The test results show that Hasani does not have Cancer! What he does have causing him pain is unknown, but it is not Cancer! WE are so happy and so grateful to everyone for their support, prayers and good wishes! THANK YOU!!

Hi Family!
We have good news! The blood test was perfect, no problems. The bone scan showed no irregularities. However, the CT scan revealed the same grey area in his opposite knee as well. We just had another round of X-Rays, this time of both knees, and will be meeting with the Dr on July 10th (my brothers birthday). Dr Penny wants to keep an eye on this, and the fact that it had caused him pain is the head scratcher. So! All good things! :) Thank you for all your love and support, and lets hope this thing sorts itself out. Now it's Holiday with a visit from Grandpa and Jodi, Mama (Val) is here right now, and soccer camp and swimming lessons for the rest of the summer. He had a perfect report card from his first swimmming lesson, and graduated to the next level, hooray! The limp is gone. I am breathing a sigh of relief as I am sure you all are. Love Jen and Hasani

Moby Wrap Korea!!

Thomas happily sleeping in the MobyWrap at 3months old.
We are the official distributors of Moby Wrap here in South Korea.
We started using Moby when Thomas was born and have never used any other carrier. We love it! Tom uses it, I use it and our doumi uses it. We've given some as gifts to Korean friends here and they love it as well!
We decided it would be a great business for us to start here with our Korean partners and we have finally gotten our website up and running! We even had our first order already! We were pretty excited but today we got great news!
We will be in the AUGUST COEX BABY FAIR!!!!
This is a HUGE baby fair at the biggest shopping mall/convention center in Seoul. Tens of thousands of mothers pass through this fair in the 4-5 days it runs. It usually has a 6month wait to get a booth in the fair, BUT someone backed out and the organizers decided our product was so new and so unusual that it was PERFECT for the empty space!! So we now need to get all our promotional materials up and running for the big fair in August. This is EXACTLY what we need to get Moby known and get moms interested. We are anticipating HUGE sales off this and it should be the jump start the company needs to be a success!
I've been so busy this week and I have loads more to post but this was the most exciting and important thing to date!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What a Beautiful Day!

I love cupcakes. Love them! Think they are the best thing in the world! I dream of opening a cupcake cafe one day. I think it would be amazing! So yesterday when Tom and I stopped by Hyundae Department store for lunch, I was THRILLED to see a gourmet cupcake shop had opened!! I was not so thrilled-to see that each cupcake was 3,600 won each, but they were all so pretty and delicately decorated! After much deliberation, I chose this chocolate vanilla cupcake for our doumi ajumma who has a major sweet tooth! She was so impressed by it's adorable appearance she STILL hasn't eaten it!! Hahaha..that was the start of my Beautiful Day!

How could you resist??

It ended up being a gorgeous day here! Blue sky, golden sunshine, a light breeze ruffling all the glossy green leaves around where we live. Bucheon has put a lot of effort into planting trees and making green spaces. One of the apartment complexes I teach at recently put small gardens with tall, leafy trees all along the sidewalks on the main road that runs past them. Koreans love to relax in the shade, sleep even, in local parks during the hot Summer days and nights. I really love that about Bucheon, and I think that is why I have stayed so long. Even though Winters are bitterly cold and dry, the lush green Spring, Summer and colorful Fall make up for it!

View from our building of the park and area.

Fountains in the park.

Thomas enjoying the shade.

Since the weather was so gorgeous and I was done for the day at 4:30pm, I decided to take Thomas to the park to enjoy this day while we could! He was more than happy to crawl into the stroller and get his shoes on. He even tolerated his hat for more than 10 minutes! As I was leaving our building I bumped into my friend Melody(Mel) and asked her to join us. She was happy to spend time with us so off we went!
As soon as we arrived at the park we let the little man out of the stroller and he took off exploring! There was so much to see! Mong-mongs walking with their owners, dirty pigeons cooing and walking around, fat lazy carp swimming in the pond, and birds singing and flying through the leafy canopy. Thomas was a little ball of energy moving from one interesting site to the next with so much interest and excitement. He was making the sign for "all done/all gone" when the dogs would leave and the birds would fly away. Mel was so impressed at what a smart little boy he is becoming.

Watching the carp swim with Mel keeping a protective lookout.

Pointing at the dirty, dirty pigeon he followed around for 10 minutes!

Trying to spot the birds that were singing so happily.

After chasing the various animals (and ditching his hat on the ground!) we moved on to the rest of the park. Jungang Park(Central Park) is a very large park in the middle of the city we live in, and only 5 minutes walk from our building. The park has an auditorium for musicians and other performers, a playground for children, various water installations like ponds and fountains, sculptures, tennis courts, badminton courts, an open-air gym, lots of leafy trees, flowers and climbing wisteria and the whole perimeter has a 1.3km track made of spongy recycled tires that is wonderful for walking, jogging or running on.
We walked through the leafy wisteria shaded path in the middle of the park, admiring various flowers on the way. Eventually we came to the children's playground. Thomas was so excited to run around, we got very few decent photos! He was just too fast! Poor Mel was trying so hard to stop him from flinging himself of the edge or down the stairs on the play castle as I tried to take photos. He tired us both out and STILL had energy to keep going!

Looking at the pretty flowers.

Running down the cobblestone path beside the pond.

Peeking out of the play castle.

After all the fun in the park, Mel had to go to work and we went shopping for Daddy's dinner. We bought some spicy chicken stir fry, called "Dak Galbi". It is chicken meat cut up with onion, leek, carrot, rice cakes(chewy rice noodles) and spicy red pepper paste. I added sliced potato as well, although Korean normally add sliced sweet potato. We cooked it up for daddy and had a great dinner followed by a dessert of fresh blueberries which Thomas loves, especially since they are so expensive here I'm sure! Haha..

After dinner we went out to meet a new student I will be tutoring this Summer in essay writing. He will be starting grade 12 in September and has been attending school in NEW BRUNSWICK of all places! He has been going to school there for 1.5 years so far and loves it! He is very athletic and his build is similar to Tom's, he doesn't look like a 17 year old skinny Korean boy who studies until 2am, that's for sure! It was great to talk to him and I am looking forward to tutoring him this Summer.
After the meeting we went to meet a friend of ours, Kelly, who is a Korean living in Australia. She comes back to Korea every Summer for a brief visit and met me first when I was pregnant with Thomas. She was so excited to see us but Mr.Energy fell asleep in his stroller while we were walking!! We sat outside and he slept for 1 hour. Considering how noisy everyone was laughing and drinking, we were surprised he slept so long! He did wake up and charm the pants off the group of teachers we were with, and then we went home. It ended up being such a great day, we had so much fun and the weather was so lovely! Days like this make us so happy to be a family and live where we do!! Hope everyone else has wonderful days this Summer!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Future Sports Star!

Tonight Thomas decided to show Daddy just how athletic he can be! He has a small basketball hoop in his playroom and so far he hasn't seemed to understand its use. Until tonight. He tried to dunk the ball when Daddy got home! It was pretty adorable and he couldn't quite reach so we put some cushions down so he could reach better. I don't know who was more thrilled, Daddy or Thomas! Hope you enjoy the video!

Today our doumi came back from her weeks vacation. We were all so happy to see her! It meant I had to work a full day again, but Thomas was much more comfortable being at home with her rather than in the Kindergarten with our director.
Doumi brought him a pair of black Mickey Mouse Crocs. Lucky guy, she treats him like her own grandson! She was so happy to see him and he seemed happy to have her back. Sleeping on her back in the traditional Korean style is one of his favorite places to nap. She even asked if he missed it, since that is one of the Korean words he says. Tom and I don't carry him like that so he probably did miss it!
I took Thomas out for an almost 2 hour walk to HomePlus(supermarket) tonight. It is kind of like a big Walmart with a bakery, produce, meat and dairy section in it as well as the packaged and canned foods. It is owned mostly by Tesco which is a big supermarket chain in the UK. I love it because they have started bringing in more Tesco branded products which are basically imported foods at a lower price. Today I found boxed mixes for Yorkshire Puddings(OMG!), Victoria Sponge cake and Pizza Crust! Just add 1 egg and water! I also found creamed corn which I hadn't had in years! I was so excited! Hahaha...simple things amuse me, especially when it comes to cooking and ingredients that I haven't seen for so long! The best part was each mix cost under 2,000won(Less than $2) each!
Thomas walked the whole way home from the store, which meant a 10min straight walk became a 30min meandering stroll under the leafy trees that shade the sidewalk. It was dark by this time, but Korea is a fan of neon lights and light pollution is an ever-present issue here. He really enjoyed his walk, but he was constantly seeking out the mong-mongs(puppies) by calling them. When I said they were all gone in Korean or English, he would do the baby sign for all gone. It was really too cute!
Once we got home we still had an hour until Daddy arrived so we played a spirited game of Hide-and-Seek. Mommy is too good though, and he started crying when he couldn't find me! He usually loves it when we hide and jump out and scare him, but when he couldn't find me he became so upset. I kept calling him until he found me and he just climber into my arms for a big hug and laid his head on my shoulder. That made me feel awful so we cuddled on the couch and read one of his favorite stories until Daddy came home.
I know that our daily life may not be that interesting to everyone, but every moment with Thomas is special to me and Tom.

Happy Father's Day!

To all those Daddies out there, hope you have a great Father's day!
To my husband and the father of the amazing Kimchi Kid, we love you and are so happy to have you in our life!
Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!
Love, Mommy Cha and the Kimchi Kid

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not a lazy Sunday...

Enjoying his juice on his sofa. He worked hard for it!

Can you see the grapes hanging off the basketball net? It has Velcro on it and he was so impressed by his ability to hang it on the net. He thought it was magic! Kept him busy about 30min!

Those blocks were heavy but he was determined to play with them!

This Sunday I woke up with a killer sore throat. Again. Unfortunately I also had a class scheduled for 10am. I canceled my class and tried to sleep a little longer. Daddy took care of Thomas so I could get a rest.
Thanks Daddy, Happy Fathers Day to you!
Usually when I have throat problems we go to the ENT in the shopping mall and department store next to us. The bad thing about going on a Sunday is that they are crazy, RIDICULOUS busy! We debated going and decided to walk even though it was 29degrees today. When we got there we were all overheated and I felt even worse. Unfortunately the ENT takes a break the 3rd Sunday of the month, which happened to be today. I was not happy and wanted to get home but decided to make a quick detour to the 6th floor of the department store to the children's section. Our friends just had a baby yesterday so I was looking for a gift for their new arrival. I didn't see anything I liked and Thomas started being fussy so I went to the elevator to leave.
Now, I mentioned that this was Sunday and the department store is crazy ridiculous busy right? The 3 elevators are clearly marked with large yellow circles detailing that they are for the use of strollers, shopping carts and wheelchairs. Of the 3 elevators, only 2 stopped on the 6th floor, one stopped only on odd numbered floors. We waited for the first elevator to arrive for almost 5 minutes.
When it did arrive, it was crammed full of people who obviously were capable of taking the escalators!! Girls in heels clinging to their boyfriend's arms as they pout at being squished in the elevator, heavily made up ajummas(older married women) clutching their designer handbags as they elbow and wedge their way in tighter and 1 poor couple squashed in the back with their baby stroller.
Fine. Whatever. I am used to ignorant people ignoring all signs and common courtesy but today, I was hot, sick and tired. I waited for the next elevator which hits every floor, and when it came, an ajumma in full evening dress and one of those simpering young couples PUSHED PAST ME into the elevator. Now at this point I had been waiting 10 minutes for an elevator. They had arrived a few minutes previous and I was obviously waiting. Not to mention the elevator was already full of people who obviously did not have strollers, shopping carts or wheelchairs.
I lost it. I started shouting at the people in the elevator that I had been waiting for 10 minutes, the elevator was for people with strollers first, were they so ignorant and selfish that they could not get off to let me and my child on?
The ajumma was full front and center to my tirade, and she was also overloading the elevator so that the doors would not shut. As I was shouting one woman stepped off with her daughter in response. But not just any woman and daughter. But the mother and student from the class I had canceled that morning due to my sore throat.
At this point I was shaking with rage, hot, and sick and utterly, completely embarrassed that the witness to my very public meltdown was one of the sweetest mothers and daughters that I teach. She hugged me and held my hand and helped to calm me down, and we managed to get on the next elevator. I apologized profusely and she just held my hand and made sure I got to the 1st floor OK. I was so embarrassed that I asked my husband to call her again and apologize in Korean for me.
It only figures that the one and only time I actually do lose it with the rude, selfish and inconsiderate people I often encounter here, there happens to be someone who KNOWS me personally there to witness it! Bah!
After that excitement we returned home. I decided to take a nap to recover from the stress of our outing and Daddy managed to get Thomas to nap with him. Once we woke up Thomas was energetic and excited and delighted to play in his playroom. Best thing we did moving here. I can sit and relax and he amuses himself. Every child needs a playroom, or every parent does! Hahaha...
Anyways, the lazy Sunday we thought we would have for Father's day is long gone. Now we have friends coming over for my famous stuffed mushroom caps and some dinner. This is what my husband loves, socializing with friends, so in a way, this is his Happy Father's Day! Hope everyone will be able to join us for mushroom caps some day soon!!

My nephew Hasani

Hasani enjoying his grilled fish dinner in Bali, Indonesia.
My nephew Hasani was born prematurely 3 1/2 years ago.
But he is a strong boy and grew up without any problems developmentally. He recently came to Korea in January/February of this year and stayed with us for a month with his Mother, my younger sister.
We went to Bali, Indonesia and Chejudo, South Korea and generally had a fantastic time!

Then this past week I received this e-mail from my sister Jenni:

Hi family,
Hasani has been limping for a week, and tripping, falling, complaining of knee pain (once or twice...) And it worsens after physical activity. He cannot walk to the beach from our house anymore, which is a block away... He hasn't been his usual 'go bigger, run faster, jump higher' self...
I took Hasani to the doctor yesterday. They ordered an X-ray for today. Right after I got a call requesting me to go back to the doctor immediately. Hasani has a dark spot on his femur of his right leg, could be a tumour, could be an infection, could be nothing. I was upset and a bit scared to say the least. Dr Ted Burchowski ordered a CT scan, and a Paediatric Orthopedic Surgeon will be meeting with him in the next two weeks. I believe his name is Dr Norgrove Penny.

Anyways. Please pray for us. For his knee.

I was terrified for Hasani and immediately called my sister. She said that they were waiting for an appointment and that they would keep me updated.

A few hours later I received this e-mail:

Hasani has an appointment with the Paediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr Norgrove Penny, tomorrow at 10:30.

His secretary just called and said he can tell a lot from an X-ray, and so we will go over it then.

I will keep you informed. Thanks for your kind words, and prayers.

Love to you all!

In Canada you do not pay for your Healthcare directly, you do it through your taxes, and as a result there can often be long waits for appointments and tests. I was glad Hasani got an appointment so quickly, but worried that in order to do so, the doctor must have seen something important in his x-ray.
I asked my mother to message me as soon as the appointment was done, regardless of the time here. I received a call just before 4am and Tom was immediately up and by my side. The doctor had ordered more tests, that were going to require at least 2 weeks to be done, and they would keep me informed.
I had read up online and knew that the regime of tests ordered where being used to try and diagnose one thing - Cancer. The next morning I called Jenni as soon as I woke and talked in more detail. It was true, at 3 1/2 years old, my adorable nephew Hasani was being tested for bone cancer in his leg.
I was devastated. When I hung up the phone I fell into my husband's arms and began sobbing. Poor Thomas was so upset at my sobbing he had no idea what to do and tried to climb into my arms. Later in that day I received this e-mail from Jenni:

Hi Family,

we met with the doctor. My mom met me there, and we looked at the X-ray. He has a 1cm lesion/tumor on the femur bone by the knee. We will still rule out infection. Now we do a bone scan, CT scan, and an MRI. Then we will do a biopsy, which entails making a small incision in his knee and scraping some bone out. This should all be happening in the next 2 weeks or so. Dr Penny said that if he were to bet, it looks like cancer. The scans will show us if it's spread elsewhere in the body, into the surrounding tissue, etc. If it were benign 9which we hope it is) he said it would have a solid border. It doesn't, it blurs into the surrounding bone.

He is a good doctor. I have confidence on my side, and a really good friend who has just gone through a year of cancer with her 5 year old Zoey. She is an ally and a wealth of information. Who knows? It may be an infection!

Love to you all, send your positive vibes out our way, and prayers, too.

I still am holding out hope that this will just be a cancer scare and nothing more. I prayed like I haven't done for years. I cried as I prayed and held Thomas in my arms as I begged my Heavenly Father who I hadn't spoken to in so long to look after Hasani.

Now is a waiting game, waiting for tests, waiting for results, and waiting for a diagnosis. I think about Hasani and my sister Jenni everyday and pray for them. I ask each and everyone of you who reads what I write to hold them in your thoughts and prayers if you pray, and think positive thoughts for them. He is only 3 1/2. He needs all the love and support he can get, as does my sister!

The Kimchi Kid and his never-ending energy!

Ever since Thomas was born, he has had endless energy and determination to sit up, crawl, stand up, walk and finally run, as soon as he could! Thomas began walking right around 9months and hasn't looked back since!
At 13 months he is a strong and steady walker who rarely seems to get tired. In fact, he often prefers to run if he can! As a result he gets VERY cranky if he doesn't get outside for a good walk AT LEAST once a day! This boy LOVES to go outside and walk around. We try to take him out to the local park behind our building, weather permitting, as much as possible. They have lots of paths to walk and some big open fields to run and kick a ball on. If the weather is unpleasant, we take him to HomePlus, the local Supermarket we favor. He is always so happy if we ask him if he wants to go outside! He will climb into his stroller for the walk to the park and put his foot out for us to put his shoes on.
The park has been great for him so far this Summer because he has also been able to indulge in his love of mong-mong's(puppies). He loves to chase after them, pointing with his thumb, and shouting "Mong-mong, mong-mong!". The Koreans LOVE this! Mostly they already rave about how cute he is, how he looks like a doll, etc. But once they see him chasing dogs and shouting in Korean, they whip out their phones or cameras and start snapping pictures!
A lot of other Foreign mothers here have mentioned that this annoys them, but I don't mind. I know that for the most part they are completely innocent and basically treating my son like a celebrity! Now if only I could get him some modelling or commercial gigs!! Then he really WOULD be a celebrity! All hail the awesome power of the incredibly cute and charming Kimchi Kid - Thomas!!
Daddy likes to take Thomas to a local children's cafe when I work Thursday evenings and Thomas gets to run around and play with other children in a safe, clean environment for 2 hours solid! There are slides, ride on toys, balls, balloon rooms, ball pits, trampolines, climbing centers, books, blocks and more! Daddy gets to sit and relax with a free Caramel Macchiato(his drink of choice these days) and Thomas gets to burn off some of his energy! Usually this is the one place that manages to use up that never-ending energy so Daddy is VERY fond of taking Thomas there when he has to watch him for a few hours. Not to mention the helpful staff who ADORE our son and are more than happy to play with him for the whole 2 hours!
When we chose our new apartment 1 month ago, I decided Thomas needed his own play room and I worked hard to set it up. He seems to really enjoy it and I know I can let him play safely in it while I work, cook or clean. Since he is Mr. Never-ending Energy some nights he can be playing in there until 12 or later! Tiring on us, but he does sleep solid through the nights now.
As it stands now we are really trying to channel this energy into a positive outlet like sports. He has already shown some natural talent and interest in kicking balls around on a field. Well, not kicking so much as dribbling the ball down the field. He is quite skillful with the soccer ball! Daddy has promised him he will buy him any sports related equipment he wants and so far he has a basketball hoop and basketball, 2 soccer ball and 1 football. I on the other hand have promised him I will buy him and book he likes, and despite being so energetic, he definitely does like to sit down and quietly read himself a book at least once a day.
So what does his future hold? Athletic scholar? I hope so!

The Kimchi Kid's amazing vocabulary!

Making the sign for "more".
As many of you may know, my husband Tom is Korean. We made the decision before Thomas was born to raise him bilingually. Tom speaks to Thomas mainly in Korean and I speak mainly in English. However, we have had a doumi ajumma(nanny/housekeeper) since Thomas was 5 days old. As a result, he has begun speaking, but ONLY in Korean so far! He is getting better at communicating by the day, and so far his vocabulary consists of:

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!

We also tried to teach Thomas some baby signs, but we only managed to keep up with it enough to teach him "more" and "all done".
He does seem to understand when I ask him things in English, but so far he is definitely only speaking Korean!
He also understands a lot of spoken Korean and will react when we ask him or tell him things like where is mommy or daddy, let's go outside, put on your shoes, etc.
Hopefully he will keep on learning new words and try out some English ones soon!

Why I started this blog!

Hello Family!(Friends too!)
I decided to start this blog after spending a long, tiring, yet thrilling and fulfilling week with Thomas!
I realized that too often I fail to share the milestones and precious moments of my son's life, and indeed my own life, with those who care most about us. To start this blog will be about those moments in our life here in Korea, but I hope to also share some of my advice, tips and experience as an expat Mom who has lived here for over 6 years now.
I hope that those of you who decide to read and follow me enjoy what I have to say and share!
Much love from us all here in South Korea!
Mommy Cha and the Kimchi Kid(a.k.a. Thomas)