Thursday, January 29, 2009

4 Months!

Tyler is 4 months old! He has grown so quickly and amazes us everyday with the new things he is learning to do. We were at a friends house 2 weeks ago and Tyler was laying on his tummy. My friend asked if he had attempted to roll over yet and right as she finished her sentenced he plopped himself over for the first time! I put him back on his tummy and he did it seconds later on the opposite side! Won't be long before I burn some extra calories chasing after him :) Here are a couple photos and a video of him talking this morning as I was changing him. (If you receive this post by email you will need to go to our blog to view the video).




He didn't go back to sleep after his 5am feeding...he just kept talking and laughing in his pack n' play so we let him play in here for a while and this was the end result :)



Playing with Mr. Ducky from Grandma and Grandpa L.


Eating Mr. Ducky...
Sorry the video came out sideways.
video

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Snow!!

This last weekend we were couped up in our tiny apartment due to the 7 inches of snow and icy roads that visited Songtan. We woke up Saturday morning to about 3 inches and then it continued heavily throughout the day. We couldn't get our car up the ramp of our apartment. Our sweet friends offered to babysit Tyler so Andy and I could have a date night but we had to cancel because we would have had to walk to the base in the cold icy climate...so we ate what food we had in the cupboards and watched movies Saturday and Sunday. Although it's Monday and we are more than ready to get out; it was a nice relaxing time. Going out for a late night snow walk :)
Surprisingly, Korean snow tastes different from American snow.....(umm..if you fell for that, you're more gullable than I am :)


Sunday morning with a few extra inches
At the bottom of this picture is the ramp you drive on from the parking below...you can see there are no tire tracks :)
Although this picture is bright; you can see Tyler truely did get his chicken legs from the both of us! I think he was getting a lil' bored with his exersaucer and play gym so he hung out with me in his carrier for a while.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Exercise, snow, and Seoul

All last week was a base exercise where every unit practices real world attack scenarios. You cannot call anyone, go anywhere other than work and home, and you have to work insanse hours. This is Andy in his chemical gear. They have to wear the gas mask all day along with the chem outfit, boots, and bullet proof vest that covers his flight suit. There is a base wide inspection in April so they will have a week long exercise each month until then...fun stuff! The other morning I woke up to snow!! I was so excited. This is the view from our living room window.

This last weekend we drove to Seoul. With nearly 15 million people in the city you can only imagine the traffic. We drove which was a big mistake, but learned our lesson and will be taking the subway from now on. It took 3 hours to get into the city and only an hour home. You can't see it, but the Seoul tower is lit up behind us in the photo.
Tyler is a big hit with the Korean people. They LOVE babies!! Everywhere we go men, women, teenagers, you name it; stop to look at him with hopes of getting to hold him. We were on the subway; which was crowded to say the least and people called home to say there was an American baby next to them. They would push their way through the crowd to get close. Our waitress at the restaurant would stop by our table every 5 minutes asking if we wanted a refill and then take about 10 minutes to play with him...our cups were never empty! Anyway, you can't see it here, but there are about 10 people surrounding Tyler just staring and smiling...this is as close as we'll ever get to being famous :) haha
We went to the Coex Mall downtown Seoul which is one of the largest malls in Asia. It is all underground and pretty cool. They have a movie theater, gym, aquarium, and so much more all beneath the surface. Some quick observations about Koreans: 1.) Women LOVE to wear heels...and I'm talkin' high high heels! 2.) They are pretty open people...simple bumps into each other don't require an excuse me. With 47 million people in the country it happens so often; they are just used to it. 3.) They love to smoke...period! 4.) They love babies...case in point! And they think that all babies like to hear funny clicking noises...they must teach that in school or something. 5.) They all assume that you understand Korean...no attempts to talk slow or use hand gestures...they just start talking even if you tell them you don't understand. 5.) They are aggressive drivers....we've already had some near death experiences!
We love how most restaurants post either photos or real demonstrations of their food. This is a typical display in one of the windows. On another note; we walked to our neighborhood market yesterday and noticed some unique items. They really love their squid and octupus..no joke there. I've seen so many in the markets I'm kind of used to it now. They also love eel...yum! In the market we were equally intrigued to see dried squid next to the dried seaweed right next to the dried fruits and nuts. I guess anything goes :)
Tyler's first experience with ice cream
We also went to the Korean War Memorial right next to the Yongsan Army base we stayed at. It was pretty incredible.
The huge wall of names left of Americans who died in the war...all 54,246 from 1950 to 1953 which is significantly higher from our current war in Iraq with less than 3,000 since our invasion in 2003. I was not aware and was shocked at the figures.

Tyler and Dad having fun testing out the North Korean Army equipment.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tyler Weeks 11-14

Tyler has been so fun lately! He is so interactive and really starting to grab with his hands when playing with toys. We got him an exersaucer that he loves!! He is sucking his thumb and outgrew his swaddler. We were hesitant not to swaddle him at night because he slept so well with it; but we haven't noticed a difference yet. He is still sleeping 8-10 hours each night with a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. I can't complain! He wakes up smiling and loves to talk :) He really hit his 3 month growth spurt fast! The clothes I brought with me 3 weeks ago on the plane were once too big and now he is already outgrowing! I can't believe how quick they grow up! Andy is enjoying having us here and being able to see with his own eyes and experience the daily changes that Tyler has. Here are some photos from the last month.
It looks like someone gave him his first crew cut for the military!
Getting too big to fit in my arms like he used to...can't hold him with one arm anymore. He loves falling asleep in this position as you can tell.

Opening Christmas presents

Daddy having fun with him...don't know if this is Tyler's definition of fun :)
Getting ready for a bath. Since we don't have a tub; we bought the only baby tub we could find and it's not too comfortable for him or easy for us to bathe him in...so he discovered the shower and loves it :)

Like father, like son...hmmm...could that be a TV in front of them?
Still trying to figure out the weird, green puppet on his exersaucer


We were running around base all day and he really didn't get his nap...he was so tired; he couldn't wait for bed.
Each squadron has a hail/farewell where the new guys get hailed and the guys who are leaving get farewelled (if that's a word). Anyway, Ty was a hit with the single guys at the Mexican restaurant (yes, we do have one in Korea!). It was fun watching them interact with him and hold him. We found this sombrero on the wall and decided it fit him perfectly. He's ready to cast in the next "Three Amigos" with that face :)



He doesn't like his car seat...plain and simple. This guy likes to move and when he is in it he gets frustrated!! After "telling me" on our drive home from base that he wanted out he finally stopped screaming and spent a good 5 minutes in this daze after getting home wondering what went wrong in his defeat. The hat all twisted and sunken gives away his struggle :)

Happy as a clam when it's time to play!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Our Korean Apartment

This is the main building in our apartment complex. There are 8 of them and we are #3. Each building has about 4 parking spaces underneath. Since this is a new complex and it is filling up with enlisted airmen who can't have cars; we are lucky to have a place to park! This is "moving in day" when we had several people installing the washer, fixing pipes, bringing in the fridge and so on. It is custom to take off your shoes here. So every apartment has this type of entrance space for them. Andy got yelled at by our landlord the first time we met him...he was caught red handed with his shoes on!

Our Korean Washer/Dryer combo unit. I had to look at the pictures in the manaul to figure it out cause this just doesn't make sense for some reason :)
1 wash cycle takes about 1.5 hours and drying is about the same time. It steam drys it so even after that long they still come out damp so most people hang dry them on a clothes line in an area like this....never thought I'd see the day...but I better go by some clothes pins! Last night at about 10pm we had to take the screen off from the window in this room cause when I was doing the wash the kitchen floor started to seep with water. I opened this door and it was flooded by about 3 inches. All I had was my shower towel to soak it up and ring it out of the window. Called the landlord today and someone was supposed to come out today to fix whatever they did wrong when hooking it up...no one came....so I'll crash the laundry room at the dorms on base tomorrow for clean clothes :)
The main bathroom. It is so funny here because every bathroom has tile floors with the drain in the middle of the toilet, sink, and shower. You literally shower right next to the sink and the entire floor gets wet; there are no dividers. It stays wet for several hours so we have to wear flip flops when going to the bathroom. The big bonus is being able to brush your teeth and shower all at once!!
Master bathroom...we don't use it..there is no room. You can see the shower drain at the bottom right next to the toilet. I think they expect you to sit on the toilet when showering in this one. Don't think the toilet paper roll would stay dry either :)
Master bedroom (Andy is sleeping in there if you can see. He has to be up for work at 2:30am). They don't have closets in their apartments so all they gave us was this armoire for three bedrooms. On a side note; they REALLY like their wallpaper :)
Not much of a nursery but it works! Changing pad on the floor, a playmat, and a bin full of clothes. We have Tyler's pack n' play in our room so far until we get another tranformer unit to plug in the monitor in his room. Since they are Korean outlets, we have to purchase transformer boxes that have two outlets to convert the power. We have four right now for the apartment but would need another one for his room and ours.
Main living room area. The master bedroom door is on the right.
Here is my HUGE kitchen!! I don't have an oven yet but apparently they are brining one in "many days" as our landlord says in english :) It will get placed on the countertop in that empty space next to the sink....guess no big Thanksgiving Turkey dinners for me!! Also notice that there is no dishwasher. Each night at the sink I have flashbacks of doing dishes by hand with my brother growing up. In reality it's not that bad; I think I've just been spoiled with all the nice American amenities.
The water here is not really drinkable. Before we got our filtered water as seen below; I was so dehydrated I woke up one night and drank some from the sink. Not a half hour later I was back up with wretched stomache pains for hours later.
The office/storage space
Dining room...sorta :)
The furnshied apartment came with the couch, TV stand, bed, armoire, and dining room table. We caved and bought a flat screen TV and this glider chair to nurse Tyler in. And for many of you that know us as "floor" people we had to buy the square rug piece to sit on....who needs a couch anyway!?! All in all, we are pleased with it. Since it is new we are sort of the guinea pigs as we see things breaking or the toilet leaking; but we can't complain. It is a 10 minute walk to the base, clean, and just big enough. I would like to say we have a spare bed if any of you would like to visit; but I'd be lying! If you like couches...we have one ready and waiting :)