Saturday, February 27, 2010

Big Girl

She has two teeth, one on the bottom and one just poking through on top:

But she is working on the others constantly:

It is time to put away the bottles. Here is a picture of her taking her first (and pretty much her last) bottle. She drank about a half an ounce and that is the most she ever drank from a bottle. The two cans of free formula that I got in the mail can safely be passed on. She did not need them.

Her baby carseat has been removed from the car. I can't get Ian's carseat turned around because the latch is stuck so we will just have to wait for Curt to get home to do that.

I am a week away from the end of Eva's first year. I love the snuggly infant stage, but the second year is where things get interesting, where I learn more about her and she can make more choices and we can start to communicate better.

Her Latest Trick


Very pleased...

I am so cool!

Until she tries to get down...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eva's Summer Wardrobe Preview

Singapore is hot all year so we were able to break out Eva's summer clothes. There are a few things that might not make fit by the time summer rolls around in Korea so it was fun to see her wearing them.
I bought this outfit last year with a gift card someone gave me after Eva's birth. It is size 18 months, but I'm not holding out much hope that it will fit this summer in Korea. But, it is super cute:

Here we are riding a bike at the beach. She loved the ride. She looked up at the sky and pointed at things. The bike path at the beach had a lot of trees so it wasn't too hot. The outfit I got on sale with an extra coupon at Baby Star. I got a really cute crib sheet, blanket and some pjs for her as well from that site. This dress will definitely fit this summer:

This outfit is all hand-me-downs: onesie from a friend, jean shorts from Ian and shoes from the Thrift store:

This one was a gift from friend, Mona who moved back to the US just a few days after we got back to Korea after Eva's birth:

My friend's daughter had stickers and she and Ian scattered them all over the house. Eva found them all. Note that she has an "e" on her neck and a perfectly coordinated ampersand.

See You in Singapore

One of the best things about being an expat, is that you meet other expats, people that you would never have met if you hadn't left your home countries. When I think about my friends here, there are lots from the US, but also Canada, Malaysia, China, Japan, the UK, South Africa, India, Sweden, and more. Some of my closest friends from my time in Korea are from Singapore. My friend W invited us to come to Singapore for Chinese New Year (Luna New Year). Our friend, S, who moved to Taiwan was going to be in Singapore for CNY as well. What an amazing opportunity to be with friends and see their home country through their eyes (and stomachs)!

Fortunately, we bought the airline tickets before our trip to the States over Christmas, otherwise, I probably would have backed out because Eva is not much fun to travel with (mobile but not bribe-able). But, the flight from Seoul to Singapore is only 6.5 hours with a 1 hour time difference so it wasn't that bad.

We managed to coordinate getting all three families together. Ian had a great time playing with the kids:

The word for Singapore is easy. It is a busy island port with warm weather, lots of shopping and even more eating opportunities. Most Americans probably think about the caning case of an American teenager for vandalism when they think of Singapore. Though the rules are strictly enforced, it does not feel oppressive. (However, I would not want to live there with a teenager who might make stupid mistakes since the stakes are high and trials are swift and punishments are swifter). Take this humorous sign encouraging you to be polite:

But, the fines for violating the rules are serious:

Does anyone love durian enough to risk a $5,000 fine?

By the way, I did get to taste a durian dessert. It was creamy and sweet but there was a kind of peppery after taste and smell that was like vomit. But, it is hard to say whether that was from the fruit or because I had vomited earlier in the day (terrible sinus headache compounded by the heat) I would like to try fresh durian eventually.

We stayed with our friends in a government pension flat. The government built lots of affordable apartment buildings so that anyone who wants to own (or at least rent) property, can. The last time my friend looked into buying an older attached house with a small front garden, it was $1.5 million. Since they don't live in Singapore full-time, but visit every few months, they bought one of these flats. The flat originally had 4 small bedrooms and a walled-off kitchen. My friend created a master suite by combining two of the bedrooms and a bathroom. She had the walls around the kitchen taken down so there is more room for the kitchen which flows into a livingroom/diningroom area. We stayed in the guest bedroom which was large enough for a queen sized bed and a full-size mattress on the floor in front of it (for Ian). The other room is used as an office. It was great for us and much better than staying in a hotel with the kids.

There are lots of malls in Singapore with foreign stores (there are even two IKEAs). The prices on foreign goods are much cheaper than Korea from what I saw. We went there to eat, not shop, but if I lived there, I would have plenty of shopping. There is a good metro system and cabs are easy to get, but you really don't have to walk far to get to eat somewhere.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New School for Ian

Last week, Ian started at a Korean preschool. It is an English-speaking school for Korean kids and employs a lot of foreign teachers. A bunch of kids from Ian's on Post preschools switched at the same time. It was sad to leave because I like Mustard Seed and CDC, but it is only three hours a day which isn't enough time for me to do anything and dominates my schedule. The bus picks the kids up before 9am and drops them off before 3pm. Another mom and I have been splitting a nanny once a week for our little kids. We went to Insadong last week and this week we went to a luncheon. The school teaches English reading and writing, Korean reading and writing, math, science, art and more. Not sure how much the American kids are getting out of it, yet because we don't push reading and writing as early as the Koreans do, but I'm sure after a few months we'll see some growth. They feed them lunch and snacks at school and all we have to do is wash the lunch tray. I haven't even had to do that because they haven't sent it home, yet. Their school backpacks come home with a communication journal every day where the teacher can let us know what the kids are doing and we can ask questions. All the American kids seem to be liking the school and adjusting well. And the moms sure love the new schedule!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Engineer's Dining Out

We went to the Engineer's Dining Out (like a ball, but no dancing). I didn't want to go because I didn't know what to wear or have shoes that fit my post-pregnancy feet, but I had to go. So we did. I stopped by my friend Chalica's to borrow a purse and she took pictures. Great to have such talented friends.

The dress I wore was a dress Curt bought me in 2006, the last time I was supposed to go to a ball. I didn't want to go and didn't have a dress so he ordered two dresses and they both fit. I got out of going to that ball because I was pregnant with Ian and decided to stay in the US after some bleeding. I pulled those dresses out for this event and the red one covered my strapless nursing bra (mostly) so i went with that one. I squeezed my feet into my black patent peep toe heels and cut the toes out of my stockings so I could wear them (because it was cold) without having them stick out of my shoes. I bought a slip that I thought was size small, but was actually folded over and size 2x, so needless to say I went without a slip. I wore my Egyptian crystal jewelry for the first time. It looked a lot less flashy on me than in the box. I think we cleaned up pretty well.

It was actually enjoyable. There weren't many women there because many people are unaccompanied, but I was appropriately dressed. The speakers were good and they had a few funny presentations like the making of Engineer's punch which started out with soju (does anything good, really start with soju?), then whiskey, red wine, vodka and finally sand from the desert (brown sugar). The head tables were served the actual punch and everyone else received a much less toxic version prepared by the hotel staff.