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 www.askdrsears.com
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!