Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome, Ruby

Ruby Taylor (middle name Taylor), my first niece, entered the world 5 days ago. She's so tiny. About average weight, but I guess I've already forgotten how small newborn babies are. She's so sweet. Thomas is already a superstar big brother. When asked how he likes having a baby sister, he replied, "It's awesome." What a cutie. I was so glad that I could be here for her arrival.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Poor Sejin

I just received a call from Sejin, who is in a Seoul hospital since yesterday. After work he was getting off the bus near our home in Uijeongbu and the bus driver took off too soon, sending him flying, and then running over his ankle. His ankle and foot were crushed. He was transferred to a bigger hospital in Seoul where he had surgery last night. He expects to be in the hospital for at least another two weeks, and won't be able to walk on it for three to four weeks. Realistically, it looks like full recovery will take months.
Poor Sejin. He is feeling very down right now, as he was just getting going at his new job. After the accident, his boss called him and was only concerned about whether she should hire a new teacher or not. No words of sympathy for him.

Road safety is a big problem in Korea, which is why I don't drive. But as you can see, taking public transportation is no guarantee of safety, either. I think the subway is the safest way to go, but it is sometimes not the most direct route, which is why buses are handy. But anyone who has taken the bus before knows that it is not a smooth ride, the drivers are impatient, and there is lots of pushing and shoving. I was on a bus once when the driver slammed on the breaks to avoid hitting someone, but everyone on the bus fell down. I was lucky to have had a seat. A teenage boy standing a the front of the bus banged his head on the metal bar near the driver and was down for a while. Crazy city.

Anyway, if you know Sejin and want to drop him a "cheer up" email, do so at josejin at hotmail dot com

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Grace

I've been horrible at blogging regularly. Whenever I'm at the computer, I'm usually writing ESL material rather than emails or blog entries. The good news is, I finished the last unit (I think) last night, so I will be able to take a bit of a breather and relax in the evenings rather than write really boring multiple choice questions. I will be able to go to sleep earlier as well -- I really really need to do that.

While my world has been a little on the boring side, what with staying in most of the time and working, Grace's world, on the other hand, has been very exciting. It seems every day she can wake up and do something new. I realize that to people with older kids, or with more than one kid, this stuff is really old hat, but since Grace is my first, I take delight in all her new developments, no matter how small. I think it's amazing all the developments that happen in the first year of life. I really had no idea.
Here's a few things have have been keeping Grace busy:

Eating. She's been an enthusiastic eater from the start, but she's loving real food these days. I often end up sharing my own food (within reason) with her, because she'll get super frustrated otherwise. She just can't seem to get enough. Problem is, I think she's getting a little bored with the baby purees. She'll still eat them, but when she's had enough, that's it. She loves to share some whole wheat toast with me in the morning. She has potatoes and carrots a lot. I've even shared my macaroni and cheese with her -- not the healthiest, but man, did she ever whine for more. She also loves to snack on Cheerios. Cheerios are so great to keep her busy when we're out shopping.
Placing Objects. Recently she has discovered that she can put objects down somewhere and retrieve them again. It's really funny to watch her put a Cheerio on a pillow and look at it a few second, and then pick it up and eat it. Last night, she put all the Cheerios on her high chair tray into the little cup holder hole. Once they were all in there, she threw them all on the floor for the dog. She also put a Cheerio in Elmo's mouth!

Pointing. Just recently, her little index finger has started pointing at everything. She points, looks at me, keeps pointing. She likes pointing at the Christmas tree, just in case I've missed it.

Reading. She still loves going through her box of books. Before I was skeptical of how much she was actually seeing/understanding, but lately I've seen evidence that she knows a lot more than I think she does. She loves farm animals, especially chickens and cows. She tries to make animal noises (so far, animals only say "bababa" or "roooar"). I think she knows some shapes, as well. She even sometimes mimics the people in the books. There's a page in the Velveteen Rabbit with a fairy with her arms stretched towards the sky. When I get to that page, she puts both her arms in the air and looks to the ceiling. I thought it was a fluke the first time she did this, but nope, she does it every time now. There's a lot going on in that little head!
Listening to music. I have some kids CDs and she loves when I put them on. Her favourite songs are "Old MacDonald" (do all kids have a thing for farm animals?), and "The Wheels On the Bus." When I put these songs on, she gets really quiet and serious, but with a little half-smile on her face. She will occasionally clap at her favourite parts.

Watching TV. *sigh* Yes, yes, I know TV is evil, but after 3 or more hours of entertaining Grace with countless toys and books, sometimes it is necessary to take a break, especially if she is refusing a nap, another thing she is really good at. I figure, after she learns to walk, she won't want to sit still and watch much TV. She doesn't like many shows anyway. She hates cartoons. She will only watch Baby Einstein or Elmo. *sigh*
Grace is still not crawling. A couple of months ago I thought, 'what the heck is wrong with her?', but that worry has completely disappeared as she is so determined to stand and walk. She pulls herself up and loves to try to balance without holding on, without my hands on her. Problem is, if she actually succeeds and stands on her own for a few second, she gets too excited, bounces and claps, and just falls down. It's really funny to watch. I guess she's going to be one of those babies that doesn't crawl. She just doesn't seem to get it. She'll get onto her hands and knees, and then extend her legs (trying to stand up) with her butt in the air, making a triangle with the floor. It looks kind of like a yoga move. Anyway, like I said, not too concerned, because she doesn't seem very concerned, either.

She's such a good baby. I'm very lucky. I will print out this blog post for her baby book.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Knitting/crochet projects/an uneventful 30th

I turned 30 yesterday. Nothing special happened. I don't feel any different, or in any type of crisis, so that's a relief. My mom, sister, and I just went out for dinner. I did realize something last night, though: nearly all of my friends are in Korea. I have hardly any friends here in Ontario anymore. I guess this is natural after spending seven plus years overseas.
It seems I need my crafting time as much as I need sleep. If I don't get it, I get restless. So I try to do a little bit every day, even if I just do a few stitches/rows/rounds. I've been back on a doily kick. I don't know why doilies get me excited, but they do. I recently picked up a great book called "A Year of Doilies" which has really pretty patterns. It was a rare find, as I actually like all 12 patterns. The reason I usually don't buy books is because I usually only like one or two's kind of like buying a CD just for a few songs. Anyway, I started with my two favourites, White Blossom, and Summer Sun.
I have a small collection of really old doily books from a box my mom picked up at a garage sale. I think making things from vintage patterns is really cool. I bet no one has crocheted this Motif Doily is aaaaages. It was my first time doing anything with motifs.
Finally, I've had an urge to make Grace some accessories for winter. I started with Aviatrix, a really fun knit. It actually turned out okay. I have a habit of really messing up hats. They all end up either too small or really huge. The great thing about this hat is that it stays on, and for some reason, Grace doesn't try to get it off, as she does with other hats.
Store bought hat.... not going well:
Hat made by mommy...much more comfy.
Right now I'm working on some baby legwarmers. It seems every time I pick up Grace, or she's in the stroller, carrier, or car seat, her pants ride up and her little legs are exposed. We'll see if they turn out. I'm just winging it for now.

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had an uneventful Halloween this year with fewer kids than usual. There were high wind warnings yesterday, so the weather wasn't that great. H1N1 in the news and people being sick probably accounted for more kids staying in. That means there's more candy left over for us though. Grace was into the candy, too, but in the end, decided that the Smarties worked better as rattles.A week until we depart for Korea if all goes smoothly. I'm waiting on the WHO to decide whether infants actually do need the second H1N1 booster. She had a half dose last Thursday. If she does need the second, we may have to extend our trip by 3 to 4 weeks. Although I'd like to stay longer, Grace is getting stronger and more mobile by the day, so I'd kind of like to get this trip over with!