Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flood my donuts

It is raining buckets here today.  We had to wade through this to move our cars, and Dean had to bucket some water out of his.  Tomorrow is Chusok, the biggest Korean holiday of the year, so travelers are probably not enjoying the rain.  I thought the monsoon season was over already.  Dean was sent home from work around 1pm today because of the rain.
Sometimes it's easier to have a quick bath downstairs when we do unspeakable things beyond the confines of our diapers.
"And it came to pass that they slept upon their swords that night, and on the morrow they fought again, and they contended in their might with their swords and with their shields, all that day."
"And it came to pass that they slept upon their swords that night"
Kyler will play with anyone, any time.  This guy was working on the roof of our building.

We're overdue for signage.

The translation here is "good luck merging".

We tried some Pizza Hut.  The price for a large pizza was 34,000 Won, which is about $30.  Since I walked in and carried it out (maybe instead of delivery or eating in?) they knocked off about 7,000 Won.
The yellowish ring just outside the topping (not the crust and not the white) is pureed sweet potatoes.  I liked it, Dean didn't.
I finally made it into Dunkin' Donuts.  These were pretty good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Birthday Obligations

So Kyler's birthday rolled around recently.  We agonize every year over what, if anything, to do for the boys' birthdays.  I'm just not a kids' party planner.  And, the house was in a state of terrible disarray with boxes and stuff everywhere needing to be put away in an organized manner.  I can only work so quickly.  So the short-term plan was to not tell Kyler that it was his birthday and celebrate a couple of days later, when things would be in better shape.  I didn't have birthday presents yet for him, other than a chimpanzee shirt I found in New Mexico before we came here.

Alas, Grandma and Uncle Bro called him up that morning to wish him a happy birthday, and the cat was out of the bag.  Dean was off work because of Typhoon Kompasu which came through and did some damage on the base.  He was out and about for a meeting and stopped at Emart to get some excitement, and I made a cake, along with some of Kyler's favorite fare, namely mac'n cheese with hot dogs for dinner.  The cake was easy, and Dean said he thought it was the best cake he had ever tasted.  I got the recipe from Heidi's recipe blog.  It calls for one baked German chocolate cake (I had a triple chocolate mix on hand, so used that), with holes poked in it with a fork when it comes out of the oven, then pour sweetened condensed milk and warm caramel topping over it (to soak into the holes), and top with whipped cream, with crushed Heath bar on top (I had Heath chips, and made caramel topping since I didn't have any on hand and the commissaries were closed due to the storm).  I thought it all turned out nicely, but Dean later asked me why I was so openly hostile to the children.  Huh?  We had decided together to just postpone it a couple of days until we were more prepared, and I was thinking of just giving him money so he could shop for his own presents, not to mention the money from Grandma.  He seemed happy enough with all the attention and the cake and presents.

In all reality, birthdays weren't that big of a deal in my childhood.  My mom would spend the day (since mine is in the summer and Nikki's is during the holidays) telling us that we should work all the more on our birthdays.  I do remember a couple of birthday parties as a young child, and we always got presents and cake (though as we got older, Nikki and I may have had to make our own :) so we were celebrated, but certainly not to the extent that so many kids are.  To this day my dad has no idea when any of our birthdays are, and it doesn't bother me - I think it's kind of funny.  Birthdays were a bigger deal in Dean's childhood, hence his concern.  At Emart Dean got Kyler a sword, a bow and arrow set, and a radio control airplane.  Uncle Dusty sent him a new football, that he can't chew bites out of (like the poor Nerf one he's had for a few years).

Then, a short week later it was Hunter's birthday.  Dean sang Happy Birthday in Portuguese, complete with clapping.  It is convenient to combine their birthday celebrations, or a party if we do one.  But, we just had "cake" and he requested his favorite meal of spaghetti at home.  He got money from Grandma, a new war/strategy game from Uncle Dusty/Bro, and a dart gun, toy binoculars, a movie, etc. from Dad and the hostile one, ha ha.  He had requested a cake with droids on it (from Star Wars), and ever wanting to please my children and brimming with talent, I came through for him.   Master Kyler came along and added some embellishments, but the droids are still in place, so no harm no foul, right?

We felt a little bad about not having a party.  They go to other birthday parties, so they expect it.  I can't blame them.  But since we move so darn often and don't necessarily have scads of instantaneous friends to invite (not to mention all the other reasons already listed), we invited a nice boy over for a few hours to play and celebrate with him today (Saturday).  He brought nice Iron Man presents, which was above and beyond, and they all had a good time.

Since I've neglected to post anything about their birthdays in the past, and this is the closest I've ever come to a journal, I will say that we did manage to throw together a last minute party for them last year.  Most of the guests were sick or had other things come up and couldn't attend, but they still gave them presents, which was above and beyond.  So, we had the Schrubbs and Tim and Michelle over for burgers and cake, and it was very nice - I thought: )

The year before, I was still in Astoria with just Kyler, so I took him out to eat and told him "happy birthday" and that was pretty much that.  He turned three and sure didn't know anything about birthdays.  Hunter was in Jacksonville with Dean, so Dean took him to Chucky Cheese.  The year before that we were in the abominable rental house in Astoria and just had dinner and cake and presents at home for each of the boys, and it was fine.

The year before that, we agonized as always over what to do, and I finally came up with having a party for Hunter at Michael's, where the kids each made/painted a treasure box to take home.  And for Kyler's first, we had Grandma Dee and the Hernandez cousins over for a little party at home.  I'm shocked that I can remember all that, but the kids are still young, after all.  For Hunter's third, I had just given birth to Kyler a week before.  I'm a little fuzzy on that one, but I'm sure Grandma Dee and the Hernandez' were there.  For Hunter's second, I was living alone in Carlsbad, NM with Hunter while Dean had started working in Albuquerque.  I think we went to Pancho's for dinner with Uncle Bro and Grandma Dee and of course Daddy in Albuquerque.  For his first, we actually had a birthday party in our lovely little backyard in Loveland, CO, with friends and the Burnhams from Denver.  

At least it will be another year before the next round...


 The Fabric Market
 Indeed, I had heard the stories even before coming.  It certainly lived up to all the hype.  Six stories of fabric, notions and craft items galore.
Miss Rachel in the Happy Quilt Shop, a favorite of English speakers.  There are hundreds of little shops.  My boys adore Rachel.  She had them over for ice cream and games, and they'll never forget!

 Buttons, anyone?
 Or thread?  Darsha is the fabric market pro.
 Men and women crocheting apparel in their little shops.
 Need a zipper?  It was loads of fun, especially since we went sans children. I really wouldn't go with them.  Then we had lunch in a delightful little restaurant nearby.  I had bibimbap for the first time - yummy!  It is similar to fried rice, and tasty.  I thought about it all week until I talked Dean into going out for more. 
 The egg cooks in the *hot* pot when stirred around with the other foods.
 Here are some typical accompaniments with a meal.  The bottom left is some sort of dried fish stuff; it's actually ok, and Tristan ate some.  The bottom middle is garlic cloves in a spicy sauce.  Dean and I ate those right up.  Bottom right is some fish stuff.  The top ones are all kimchi sorts of things.  The top left is the typical cabbage kimchi, and the middle is seaweed.  The top right is another vegetable.