Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Holy goodness!  We received TWO more big boxes today!

One box was from my brother, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Kaylon.  They sent a box FULL of goodies for Connar's birthday, some Halloween fun stuff, as well as some extra goodies for Parker, Talton, and me too!  How thoughtful!  She sent Talton four Houston Texans plastic cups to help him cheer on his hometown football team, and she may or may not have sent me a few packages of Reese's.  :)

cool Halloween cups -- a skull and a pumpkin

He had stickers everywhere!  First they were on his shirt, and then he transferred them to the table.  I had to literally peel the sticker book from his fingers to make him stop taking stickers out.  We moved these cool dinosaur stickers to a piece of colored paper and hung it on the wall so he can continue to look at them.

Kaylon even made Connar's birthday card by hand!  I was so touched that she took the time to buy, gather, package, and mail all of the goodies and then make him a birthday card on top of it all that I cried.  To have someone shower my baby/babies/family with love and pure kindness makes my heart very happy.  (I'll save the pictures of her adorable card for Connar's birthday post later in the week.  :)  )

The other box was from my wonderful mom.  She sent some food staples, pictures for the boys of fun things they could reminisce about, American deodorant and toothpaste (I've found Korean deodorant and toothpaste that have been working fine, but it's super nice and thoughtful of my mom to send me some American toiletries).

Oh, there's one more thing she sent... My 1st Christmas card of the year!  Yes, I know it's early (Ha!  Who am I kidding!  If I had a picture for my card right now, I'd be preparing mine as well.), but she has to get the ball rolling on that early with her coming to Korea in a few weeks.  Everyone else won't be receiving theirs for a few more weeks, but I asked her to send it to me now so I could enjoy a Christmas card before heading back to the U.S..  (side note: I can't wait to receive everyone else's!  I'm hoping to come back to Korea with tons of Christmas cards in my mailbox to greet me.  hint hint!)

Because I received my first Christmas card and needed a special place for it AND ALL THE OTHERS we'll receive ;) , I went ahead and set up a place on the wall for them.  It looks pretty bare right now with only the one card, so I can't wait to fill it up!
I don't want to ruin my mom's Christmas card for everyone else that will receive it, so I'll keep them waiting on pins and needles to see the cute faces on it by just posting this far away shot.  :)

THANK YOU Kaylon, Ryan, and Mom for making our day special.  We love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


"1+1" is basically "buy one, get one free" here in Korea.  I was so proud of myself today when I went down this aisle looking for hand soap and noticed this sign next to the soap I was going to buy.  Yay for me for noticing the 1+1 sign AND even more importantly, yay for me for knowing what it meant! 

There have been a few instances where Talton and I have gotten to the cash register to pay for groceries, and they point out that an item is 1+1.  Our answer was, "Oh, it's okay.  We'll just take one."  Ha.  These Korean cashiers were not having that and INSISTED that we go back and get a second of that item. 

Imagine this happening in Costco with a mile long line of people behind you waiting while you run to get another bag of cream puffs that you're only buying to try it out...yes, that happened to us once.  (And no, they weren't any good and we ended up with the rest of the opened bag as well as an entire second bag...because after all, the second bag was free.  It would've been a shame for us to not take it and someone who actually liked them be able to buy them...)

Anywho, after checking out, I quickly checked my receipt to be sure the soap rung up as 1+1 and it did!  I did it!  Woo hoo!  It may be silly to you, but living in another country where you don't speak more than a handful of words is difficult.  I'll take the victories wherever they come!  :)

sliding in the sand

I've been steering clear of the beach lately, because the last time I took the boys to play in the sand with no intention of going near the water (It's cold, people!), Parker had a different idea.  He threw a royal one year old fit about me not letting him go to the water.  Needless to say, that was enough to keep me away from playing on the beach for a little while.

Well I didn't have amnesia and forget about that episode when I walked the boys down the boardwalk to a slide in the sand at the far end of the beach yesterday.  I'm simply doing the mommy thing.  Come on, you know the thing we mommies do...  The crazy thing where we torture ourselves over and over again hoping "This time will be different.  Maybe he's outgrown it since the last time we tried?  If not, oh well.  At least we gave it a go.  It won't be the end of the world."  I know... Crazy.  Except it wasn't crazy this time!  P did try to walk toward the water, but as soon as I scooped him up and redirected his attention away from the water, he didn't fuss at all and actually continued playing in the sand.  Small victory, but I'll take it.  I know that he may go back to throwing himself on the sand with arms and legs flailing everywhere as if he's on fire the next time I take him to play in the sand, but I know for sure that at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, the screaming at the top of his lungs when he is told "no sir" will stop.  And if it doesn't stop any time soon, I can at least count on Winter keeping us indoors for a few months while he outgrows that phase.  :)

But for this day, my one year old and days-away-from-being-a-3-year-old were precious and fun playing together on the beach.  I couldn't help but just sit back and observe them play and be toddlers.  Have I told you lately that I love being their mommy?!  :)

I can't even begin to tell you how much sand these boys brought home with them.  It was everywhere!  Clumps in their hair, pockets full, and even sand in between their toes even though they didn't take their shoes off at all!

I noticed on the walk back home that the moon was in a position in the sky that made it look like a crane in the distance was holding it up.  I thought it was neat looking, and it reminded me of the movie "Despicable Me" where Gru hatches a plan to steal the moon.  :)

Way to start the week!

It's no surprise I LOVE GETTING MAIL!  I mean, I don't care if it's a letter, a little card saying "Hey Kristi. I miss you and wanted you to know I was thinking of you!" (hint hint) , or a big box full of goodies.  

Well that's exactly what happened Monday morning!  I love the sound of the delivery man ringing my bell (I mean, let's face it.  There are only two people who ring my bell, and I happened to know that one of them was not available for a visit at that moment which meant this HAD to be the delivery man!) My kids even get uber excited and run to the door like crazy people their momma.

This awesome, jam-packed box happened to be from my dad and his sweet wife, Esther.  :)

Here's a funny stor
y for you about my dad.  When we called to tell him we received the box, he asked, "Was there a sheet of foil laying over the top of everything when you opened the box?"  I told him there was, and he said, "Good.  That means that they didn't open your box."  When I asked him if that was why he laid the foil on top of everything, he surprised me by saying, "No.  I laid it on there to keep the food temperature controlled."  Ha!  So smart actually!  Gotta love dads and the way their noggins work sometimes.

These boys LOVE opening boxes so much that they have a routine for when it happens. I sit the box on the table and they promptly mount the table while I fetch a pair of scissors.  :)

out goes everything, one by one

Another Dad idea to save space: pour the macaroni noodles from the box with lots of empty space in it into a baggie and ship it along with the cheese to make room for even more mac and cheese in the box.  :)

They sent us their favorite tortillas that you warm up in a pan on the stove.  C was all over that!  I had to warm one up for him as soon as he took them out of the box.  That's my boy!

P could hardly wait for me to open a cereal bar for him.... and this was after he had already gobbled up a package of fruit snacks.  :)

Yay for all these yummies from home!!!!!
 Thanks, Dad and Esther, for starting our week off just right!  We loved everything you sent and felt the love all the way on the other side of the world.

Busan International Fireworks Festival

This past weekend was the 8th Annual Busan International Fireworks Festival at the Gwangan Bridge.  This festival originated in 2005 to celebrate the 2005 APEC Summit and was so popular and brought in so many people from around the world, it has since become an annual festival here in Busan. Gwangan Bridge overlooks Gwangalli Beach, which is where millions of people pack in like sardines to get the best view of the amazing show.  People stake their claim on their spot of sand hours and hours before the show even begins. 

With our littles in tow, this was not a possibility for us, so we decided to go to the roof of our building on Haeundae Beach to see what we could of the show from there.  Because there are many tall buildings and Dongbaek Island between here and there, we didn't get to see much of the fireworks unless they shot way high into the sky past the buildings, but what we did see was pretty cool.

Because it's a little difficult to keep two little guys under control on the roof at night, we decided to head back home and watch the rest of the show from our window.  It wasn't the greatest view, so we didn't see much except for the smoke from the fireworks rising in the sky, so we put the boys to sleep.  Just then, the finale started and we pulled Connar out of bed after putting him 2 minutes prior just to watch it with us.  Don't you just love moments like that.....pulling your kid out of bed to watch amazing fireworks that he had been waiting on for days?!  So fun for me and Talton!  :)

Connar spotted a friend!  :)

Notice the group of Korean girls sitting on the right as the kids ran past them?

They were just having a little picnic up there while they watched fireworks.

me and Bug

If Talton and I are smiling, I consider that shot a success.  :)

There weren't too many other people up there, which was great!  I'm not sure if not many people know you can get up on our roof or if they decided to brave the crowds at Gwangalli Beach or elsewhere for a view.
 The rest of these pictures were taken from the window of our place.

Love Mommy's Monkey!

an early birthday present

Connar has been eyeing this airport play set for the past few weeks in this booth at the market.  Every time we walk past it, he asks to stop or I see him staring at it.  As we walked by that booth the other day, I realized this would be the perfect time to buy it for him with his birthday coming up.  Then I remembered that we had already bought him birthday presents from Toys R Us.  That's when it hit me!  This could be from Parker!  :)

I swooped in, snatched it up, gave the adjuma (old Korean lady) my won, and happily passed it over to a grinning soon to be 3 year old.  I told him, "It's from Parker for your birthday."  He turned to Parker and said, "Thank you, Parker!"  He must've said, "Thank you Parker/Mommy!", "I love it!", and "It's the coolest toy ever!" at least 10 times on our walk home.  It was awesome!  I love seeing my baby so stinkin excited. It was worth every cent...or in this case, won.

I'm thinking he was pretty happy about his choice of birthday present for his big brother.  ;)

He was showing me where he's going to sit when he rides on the plane.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

rainy day in Busan

Because I didn't start this blog until a few weeks into our Korean adventure, I have yet to blog about all of the amazing memories from our first two weeks in Busan, South Korea.  As this blog serves as a written history of our family's adventures, it's important that I backtrack a bit and do some posts from our first two weeks here.  Enjoy!

Over a week into our time in Busan, we experienced our first rainy day here.  Needless to say, we didn't stray far from home.

The boys watched movies...

There's my E-Trade baby.  Wouldn't you just giggle your heart out if you saw this little love nugget pop up on a commercial during the Super Bowl???  E-Trade, call me!
They colored...
He worked on his laptop.
I'm pretty sure he pushed the setting for this toy over to talk/play in Spanish...because you know how important it is for him to learn Spanish in Korea.  :)
He also showed off his multi-tasking skills by playing with play-doh as well as composing a beautiful medley on the piano.
Mom and I created a place on the wall for me to hang pictures and the boys' artwork.  There is not a single space in this place (other than an inappropriate place like the hood above the stove) that is magnetic, including the refrigerator, so I had to take matters into my own hands.  As of today, there is a second line hanging under this one, and there is not any space left on either line because they're both so jam packed with papers and pictures.
For dinner we walked down to Gecko's at the bottom of our building and ordered food to go.  They make great chicken strips and fries.