Project 365 - week 30

Well hot ham, it's the end of July and I'm comfortably sitting in my apartment with no AC. I think it's God's way of saying, "I know last summer sucked like whoa, but doesn't that make this summer that much more enjoyable?" To which I reply, "Hell yes it does. THANK YOU, LORD." Now on with this week's photos.

He kept getting out of bed to tell me to turn the fan towards him (even though their little AC unit faces him). I told him that I would turn it towards him before *I* went to bed, and leave it on (poor, sweaty) Molly. I went in to check on them before bed and found that he had already positioned it twelve centimeters from his head. Stinker.

On this day, I took this crappy cell phone picture and sent it to my realtor to ask what these symbols meant and why the elevator buttons weren't working... He explained that it was maintenance time. Awesome. 6:30pm seems like a GREAT TIME to do elevator work. I had just pushed the kids four miles in the boat stroller and was sweating my guts out in the airless hallway waiting for the elevator to start working. Kids were fighting and screaming and there was no telling how long we might stand there, melting into a whiny puddle on the floor. So I folded up the stroller and we started walking up the stairs. I made it seven floors before the elevators started functioning again. I have never felt sweat flow in so many places as I have on that day. (And I feel like I've done a lot of sweating in my life.) And that, my friends, is why this is today's photo. Because after this photo was taken, no shits were given about non-air-conditioned activities like "taking pretty photos." The End.

Watching youtube videos on helicopters/running puppies/bulldozers while Molly works those arm muscles. (There is no chair underneath her. She just hangs like this for some reason.)

Banpo Bridge

Sunday evening at the soccer field. He needed my sunglasses because of that bright sun. And he's got dirty hands, obvs.

We don't have a dishwasher (unless you're staring at me), but this is a breeze compared to what Steve's washing after dinner. I laughed while I listened to Sam- "No, that's too HOT!" (one second later) "No, that's too COLD!" (screams!) I love doing dishes. Dishes don't talk.

Officially a two-car-family again!


That time we ate Mexican food in Korea and I backed into a car

  • The sitter arrived at 9am yesterday morning. Steve and I bolted out of the house and into the car, because FREEDOM!
  • And before you pity my children, just know that Sam started dancing when the sitter arrived and then said he didn't want Mommy and Daddy to come home. ((If we could afford to stay somewhere overnight, you can bet your last squeezy pouch that we would have done that, little man.))
  • We arrived in Seoul mid-morning and hit up the mega-commissary on post, the booze section at the PX, and Starbucks. Living the dream, people.
  • We were able to park on post and walk a short distance to Itaewon- a neighborhood in Seoul that we haven't been to before. It's the "foreigner district" and they have lots of "Big Size" clothes stores, foreign restaurants (Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican, McDonalds, Bulgarian, etc), and bars. We went to a popular Mexican restaurant called Vatos Tacos for lunch and it did not disappoint.

Not disappointing unless you're into chips and dip, because they brought out exactly 3 massive chips and about a tablespoon of salsa.

I had a galbi burrito and it was uhhhmazing. It's no Chipotle, but it was A Very Delicious Burrito.

  • We walked around until my hair had officially turned into an afro (nothing like 1,000% humidity and a light mist) and then headed back to our car. We weren't sure what the weather was going to do, so we headed for IPark Mall, which, idk if you've heard, is MASSIVE. We parked there and walked around for a bit, admiring how lost we were in a matter of minutes as well as the amount of stuff they had managed to squeeze in this place.

Drooled over cameras and lenses and then decided that it wasn't worth the risk. (This photo shows approximately 1/264th of the camera and lens sales counters on this floor. The entire floor was cameras and camera gear. The electronics section of the mall had its own little (ha) wing.)

  • We also made out in a dressing room.
  • We eventually met up with Aggie and family and walked around together (aka the blind leading the blind). After dragging them all over kingdom come, we decided to head back to Itaewon for dinner. 
  • We randomly found this LOVELY little Italian restaurant and decided that Korean-Italian was better than no Italian. Except we were totally shocked because it was actually real Italian food. (That, or our tastebuds are thoroughly confused at this point.)

Open air dining! (all the windows are rolled back)

That drink was called "Blue Lemon" something and we still don't know what was in it. Caprese salad was the bomb dot com though. (Also, an awesome photobomb of an impressive noodle slurp back there.)

Poor Steve is allergic to shrimp, so I couldn't share. I hated to be responsible for eating this shrimpy, bacon-y, onion-y, broccoli, creamy goodness all by myself....

  • One of my main goals for our day was to see the Banpo Bridge show. (Every night, the bridge puts on a water and light show that is all set to music. Pretty amazing.) Steve had to get cash out of the ATM for the sitter ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$) so I went and got the car to save time ("Get in, ya sexy betch!" - peel off at 20mph) and then drove us down to the river. We were going to miss the first show by a few minutes, so I might have been going a bit faster than usual, but when we started pulling into the parking lot, I saw FIREWORKS going off and I was more ready than ever to get out and go stand next to the mighty Han River. So I'm backing into the spot and waiting to hit the parking stopper. I slowly run into it, throw the car in park, grab my purse/camera bag, and start running. Then I see a Korean couple standing behind our car and staring at our bumper and oh no. I did not run into a parking stopper. I ran into a parked car. With people in it. People who, at the time of the bump, had been bumping in a very different way, if you catch my drift. I gave them my best "stupid American" and bowed a few times while saying "sorry" in English. I do believe they saw no scratches on their car in the pitch-black darkness of nighttime, and maybe they also wanted to get back to whatever was happening in that car before I so boldly interrupted. Steve and I stood there for a minute more after they got back in their car (hoping they'd call the cops on us maybe? trying to feel less guilty? like standing there staring makes it better somehow?) and then we noticed their seats were reclined once again, so we skedaddled on over to the riverside.
  • We watched the end of the fireworks show and some more of the bridge show. We walked further down towards the bridge to get a better look (and because we could barely even hear the music from where we were standing). There were also a TON of people out! It was incredible. The weather was amazing- so cool from the rain earlier in the day and nice and breezy. I was actually a tad chilly. AT THE END OF JULY. Where was this weather last year when we had no car and I sweat gallons upon gallons every single day until October?
Look at the little cruise ships watching too!

  • We finally decided to head home and then got lost (or if you're Steve- "just seeing more of Korea!") and then got home around 10:30. I showered and fell asleep while Steve sat on hold with USAA for half the night to get our second car insured. (Oh yes we are buying an upscale hoopty!)
  • Overall, it was the most fun I've had in a really long time. If it didn't feel like hemorrhaging money, I imagine we'd do it more often.


Halfway there

We've been living in Korea for one year as of today. It has been one big crazy ride so far. Can't believe we only have one year left in this beautiful country. We are going to try to live it up while we can! Enjoy this slide show that took me approximately way too long to make. I only had to weed through something like 4k pictures (wish I was exaggerating!) and then figure out how to add music and well, this is amateur hour here.


An abundance of random things

  • Thank you a thousand times over for all of the sweet comments and emails and texts and prayers after my miscarriage post. They are all so appreciated, and only confirms that I really do have the greatest friends.
  • Funny things Sam's been saying:
    • After drinking water, and then jumping around- "My water is giggling!" (points to tummy) (I said "sloshing" once, but I guess that word didn't stick.)
    • After eating, he holds his belly and says, "Oh Ma, I think my tummy is growing!"
    • "Yer a boom-ta-hottie." (Steve sings to me, "You're not just a hottie, you're a hottie boombalottie!" None of that "Mary had a little lamb" bullshit around here...) (Also, I didn't believe that was a real song until Steve googled it one night and showed me. I'd bet that Google settles about 93% of our fact-based arguments. Our search history would make you laugh out loud if it didn't horrify you first.)
    • "My-YOR" (Myer) (Molly)
    • As soon as we finish a meal (any meal)- "But Ma, what's fer yunch?"
  • We took our kids to our favorite beef and leaf Sunday evening. Even though the sweet old lady cooked our meat for us (not sure how we would have managed otherwise), I still felt like we were refereeing an intense match of American Gladiator with a side of throwing food at the kids so they would sit still long enough for us to shovel our yummy food in our mouths. Overall, I'm going to call it a success though. Sam even tried some of the food (really out of character for him, although I did lie and tell him the meat was chicken..) and loved it. Molly mostly took Steve's rice as her own and began using any utensil she could get her hands on to scoop it into her gaping maw. Once we established how hot the burning hot flaming fire was, no one had any desire to touch it. A'thankya Jesus. I love being able to do things as a family like that. I also love being able to enjoy the food I'm eating, so we're not giving up date nights any time soon ever.
  • After dinner we walked around the market and talked to some dogs forever and visited our Korean sitter's new place of employment (a cafe). Of course she was on her dinner break while we were there, but we got some $moothie$ anyway and enjoyed the free(ish) AC. She is back to working 6 days a week, so we might not see her as much anymore.... insert my sad face here.
  • We attempted to take the kids to their first-ever movie theater this past weekend. We walked in and gave them 3D glasses. Uproar. Maybe because we didn't let Sam fish them out of the box himself? Fine. Put them back in the box. YOU pick a pair out for yourself. Doesn't want to wear them. Well, you won't be able to see the movie very well without them. Which is kinda the whole reason we're here. Ok don't wear the glasses. Do we need to go outside and have a talk? Let's go outside and have a talk. You want to STAY out here and play? But there is a movie and lots of AC inside! What is wrong with you? Don't you want to watch Planes? And eat popcorn? Let's go! As we walk into the theater, the Korean national anthem is playing. Covers ears, runs, screams that it's too loud and hurting his ears. Ask the ticket lady if we can get a refund since this isn't working out. No refund? Only a coupon? Greaaaaaaat. Thanks. We head home and watch Madagascar 2 with a volume setting of 11 and pop our own popcorn. At least we can drink beer in our living room.
  • Molly played in a sandbox recently. Sam must have dumped sand over her head when I wasn't looking because when we got home, the sweat from her head had adhered the sand to her SCALP like Gorilla Glue. I spent no less than 10 minutes with the water in one hand and my other hand intensely scrubbing the sand out of her hair. I put her (dry) hair behind her ears a minute ago and more sand fell out. Awesome.
  • We went to a new church this past weekend (at another post near us). Even though we got the start time wrong, we caught the last half of mass and our little monkeys sat through it! Major victory for us since we haven't had a good mass experience since Molly became mobile and we no longer have access to church nurseries. I allowed them to bring one book and one car each. I know my mother would never allow that, but dammit I don't have her superpowers! How did she get 5 children to sit through mass with no entertainment??? I wish she'd write a book with her secrets. Anyways, after mass we were told there was going to be fellowship in the coffee house next door. We walk over with all 20 of the other churchgoers (this is a tiny church!) and lo and behold, this is no coffee-and-donuts after-mass gathering that I'm accustomed to. (Although, this is Korea, I don't know why I'm still expecting normal things.) We hung out and chatted with a few people and then Mrs. Kim announced that the spaghetti is ready! (?) Then Mr. Lee walked throughout the room and handed everyone corn on the cob that he had grown in his garden. He proceeded to tell us everything else he was currently growing. The corn was great, although not exactly complimentary to the coffee. We didn't partake in the spaghetti since it was only 10am, but the kids gladly ate the little bags of chips they passed out and rubbed all of the Cheeto dust into their church clothes. A very nice morning. We'll be back.
  • What does it say about you when you are riding in the car and your husband asks if you remembered to put on a bra?
  • Molly will go around the table at dinner and name us off as she points to us- Dada, Mama, Eem, ME!
  • And I think that's about it. Here is a picture!