Monday, September 19, 2011

Wish you were here

 I took these with my iPod.  Our poor camera flew off the stroller recently and isn't working at all now, not to mention its other issue of letting in too much light.  I've been agonizing long and hard about whether to repair or replace it.  I've found repair places online. This website seems helpful for replacement, along with Consumer Reports, and I'd like to upgrade sooner or later.  Decisions, decisions!

This next one was taken with the real camera before it went airborne, but with its other problems.  Speaking of the Trist-man, he is one defiant potty trainee.  His latest trick is to put his entire booty into the toilet water when he doesn't want to use it (and I put him on the seat), even though he clearly needs to "go".  If my camera was working, I'd have pictures of that to show his friends and girlfriends later!  Dean has suggested that we give up and wait a year, but he clearly knows what to do (he showed his bear how to use the potty the other day), and lately has been dropping his loads closer to, if not in, the pot.  He had no accidents in church yesterday, wearing underwear.

Last week he managed to lock the van with himself and my purse/keys, etc. inside, and baby and me on the outside.  I tried and tried and tried some more to get him to push the right spot on the unlock button, but finally gave up and walked to the main gate to summon the MPs.  They called in a slim jim, but were actually able to get him to unlock it before the slim jim arrived.  That incident made me quite late for a primary meeting, and I had already missed a group exercise that morning thanks to some potty antics.  Serenity now!  Later that day Kyler's teacher called to report on how naughty Kyler had been.  It sounded like tattling as he rattled off all of Kyler's misdeeds for the day.  I'm glad that someone else finally gets to enjoy the boy; it's really been unfair that I've had him all to myself for so very long.

 I went with some ladies from church to visit this traditional village, right here in Seoul.  The pictures are also with the iPod.  It does alright when there's plenty of light.  The basket weaver is in the background, with some of his wares in the foreground. 
 A lady in her hanbok in a traditional house.  I got Tristan to use a urinal for the first time while there.
 This grinds grain, I believe, though probably not with helpers like these.
 Tristan always likes to climb over the "fence" and make people nervous.  He likes the fishies, and pushing his stroller around

Dean is currently in Maryland to visit army research facilities and see if maybe he'd like to become a lab animal vet or pathologist, or do a phD in such things.  It's unlikely that he would, but as he said, "you never know".  He was able to visit his uncle and some cousins in Connecticut before hand.  I'm trying to not completely lose my marbles on the home front, and when it makes sense (some years down the road), I think I'd like to take off at will and let him man the fort while I regain composure somewhere less stressful than home, ha ha.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Where to begin?

Dean is trying to exercise whilst Tristan climbs him.
  It has been hectic around here lately.  I finally hired a house keeper to come half a day a week, which has lightened my labor load.  Granted, the clutter is back in place within a day, but at least it's clean underneath for a bit.

Tristan's potty miracle was short lived.  We have him in underwear most of the time (even out of the house), but he still prefers to drop his load anywhere but the royal throne.  He's pretty good about numero uno at least, or will hold it for a long time. 

Cambria is generally a happy baby as long as she's not hungry, and she's wrapped up snug with a favorite binky.

The boys are back in school; Hunter seemed relieved, and Kyler was excited to finally go a week after Hunter.  Kyler's teacher is spending the first two weeks of school going through the motions with the kids, like how to line up to go to the lunch room.

Hunter, our fourth grader

Finally sending Kyler to school a year late (need I remind anyone that he missed starting last year by ONE DAY?!) feels like the black cloud hanging over me has turned to sunshine and rainbows.  He is mentally exhausting, and thinks he should have one on one attention and entertainment all day, every day.  I cried on the inside this whole extra year.  Dean had a four-day holiday weekend, so after gleefully sending the boys on their way we spent the day together with the two little ones, who are still cute and delightful.

Kyler - Mr. Socialite
I forgot to mention back in August that Dean and I celebrated our birthdays.  I made a lovely steak salad with chipotle dressing and a coconut cream pie (still his favorite) for his birthday, and arranged a date for us on mine, to a Brazilian restaurant and the cutest little coffee shop for dessert.  I would LOVE to have a B&B or a little decadent treat shop like that some day.  Without discussing it, we both bought massages for each other, and still need to redeem them.

We had a birthday party for Hunter and Kyler on Labor Day.  We told them about it . . . on Labor Day.  That saves the constant headache of questions every five minutes until the event.  It was an airplane party, with no pictures, but lots of airplane/projectile flying and airplane toys, plus pizza and cupcakes.  They were delighted and received much nicer presents than they deserved  from their friends : )  Toward the end of the affair a group of hooligan boys descended on us and started inhaling pizza and cupcakes, then demanding water and asking to come to our home.  Uh, no thanks.  Apparently that's how it goes around here; groups of kids roam around looking for parties to crash.  I was not amused, and lectured the boys later about not ever doing such a thing.

We were blessed to attend the temple sealing of Angela Hur on Saturday, whom we adore, and who has been in our home teaching group here.  I haven't mentioned them enough.  She, Corinna Barrett and Adam Murphy (until he moved back to the US) have been a joy to have over for dinner and  a lesson every month.  The kids love them and ask every week if they are coming.  I am so impressed with the single population in our church here.  They are all outstanding enough that they are here in Seoul, Korea, of all places, doing something way cool and having all kinds of experiences.  Most of them are not affiliated with the military, so they don't have that and all the conveniences of the base.  I really can hardly comprehend how much more difficult it would be here without the commissary, APO shipping/USPS, the PX, American schools/hospitals, and all the other amenities we have.  I never realized how difficult it would be to live in a foreign country that speaks a different language, and has a different writing system.  I do know how it feels to be illiterate, and helplessly dependent on the kindness of others.  Anyway, our singles are AWESOME!