Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getting crafty!

Well, Alex is loving kindergarten! From the first day, she has enjoyed developing new friendships and learning about her wonderful teacher (Ms. Lily is the bomb!).

Over the past few weeks, she has gotten into writing in her journal. She loves to take it to restaurants and write about past events, while waiting for her food to arrive. Journaling is also a way for her to address some of her biggest frustrations. For example, there is a classmate with whom she's had difficulty communicating. Alex writes repeatedly,
So-and-so (name withheld) keeps misunderstanding me.... Whenever I try to help her, she thinks that I'm doing something to make her feel sad. That is wrong!
When Alex showed me her journal (because she was proud of the dozens of pages of journal entries and also because she was unsure of how she spelled a lot of the longer words), I realized how wonderful this new habit was.  Plus, I was learning about what issues she wanted to resolve and what she found most fun about her days.

To encourage her to keep up with her journaling and to feed her voracious craft-loving side, we have added rhinestones to the front cover. I also bought some Mod Podge, which we can't wait to use to create a cool coolage on back and front covers.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back after a long hiatus

For some time, Eric & I wanted to stop updating this blog for privacy reasons. However, I have different reasons for getting back into the saddle with this blog. One reason is that I now realize that this blog will serve as a valuable record of these amazing years with Alex. (Hard copy journals are too easy to misplace or tatter. And I'm not going to lose sleep over any strangers reading about Alex/my family)

Another reason is that I am finding a greater need to voice questions/issues about balancing my life between Alex and work. What better place than a blog about Alex?

Enjoying Easter Day at Seattle Center
So, Alex is now 4.5 years old (turns 5 in November). We have been looking at various options for school. We'll do the best we can to get into the school of our choice. But, if we don't, then there's a great public school about 3 blocks away from our house.

Lately, I have had a nagging concern that I'm not pushing myself in my career enough. The big question is what is "enough?" I have enjoyed lots of flexibility in my current arrangement, which is at a respected litigation firm in Seattle. At that firm, I get experience as an attorney alongside some of the best in the field; and they have also entrusted me to lead the charge with all of their marketing/advertising efforts. So, rather than stay at home everyday, I savor a few mornings and a few afternoons with Alex. We get to enjoy the playground on sunnier days, her music classes, or playdates.

This past weekend was blissful as Alex enjoyed several egg hunts. One went waaaay too fast, and disappointed Alex. It was the one at the Magnolia Community Center, where there were about 50 kids in her age group and about 150 eggs. The whole hunt was over within 5 minutes with many kids crying because they didn't get any eggs. Alex got 4. She was pouting for a good 10 minutes, as I explained to her that there were only so many eggs and too many kids.

She shrugged it off and played with a friend as we had brunch. Yesterday, we enjoyed the sunshine and went to Seattle Center in the evening. Here are a few shots of her sitting in what she called the "sticky donut" (the Armory sign).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Alex's trip to San Diego

In mid-November, we were getting the itch to go somewhere to a place that might be warmer than Seattle. We considered Los Angeles at first, but decided that Alex might still be a bit too young to enjoy the theme parks there. Then we came up with San Diego. I had only been there once when I was about 12, and it's certainly warm there. So, we booked a room there for five days and away we went!

We stayed up in La Jolla near the University (of California San Diego), and not far from the Scripps Institute, a famous Oceanographic institute. Also close to our hotel was La Costa, a beautiful golf course that has hosted PGA and LPGA events in the past. The whole area was beautiful! And the weather was really pleasant, even though it rained several days while we were there.

Alex particularly liked the Birch Aquarium, which was only a few miles from our hotel. There's an enormous tank of fish with a window looking into it that fills up a two story wall. Alex loved watching all the weird fish swim in there. Her favorites were the eels who hid in the rocks. The aquarium is perched on a hill with a fabulous view of the ocean. We were there near sunset, as you can see.

La Jolla itself is an upscale community right on the ocean. Right in town is a beach called Children's Pool, because it's a little secluded cove where it would be easier for kids to swim than in the regular ocean. But it's not really a swimming hole for kids anymore; instead, it's a place where sea lions live. These photos were taken overlooking the Children's Pool.

Of course, you can't go to San Diego and not go to the San Diego Zoo. The most famous residents of the zoo are the pandas. There is a mother, daddy and baby panda, but apparently the mom and dad don't get along, so when we were there only the mom and baby were visible.

Alex was a little unsure of the tram that went from one end of the zoo to the other. She looks happy here, but she was pretty scared, as it was very high in the air.

Later we also went to Sea World with Catherine's cousin Carol. Alex loved 'Shampoo' the Killer Whale, the dolphins and the otters.

I hope we can go back again, and maybe next time hit the beach!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Alex's 2nd Birthday!!

It's hard to believe that two years have already gone by since Alex was born! On November 5th and 6th we celebrated Alex's second birthday with a weekend long extravaganza. It seems like just yesterday that we were at the hospital when she came into the world. Time really does fly!

Last year, for Alex's first birthday, we had an enormous party. The tradition in Korean culture is to throw a big shindig when the baby finishes her first year. Dozens and dozens of people came to celebrate with us. This year we had a much quieter party, with just a few people invited to our house for her party. Some of the folks were not able to make it, so we wound up with two couples and two of Alex's young friends. It was a great night!

But before that party, we had a family-only dinner for Alex on her actual birthday, the 5th. We went to Alex's favorite restaurant, Red Robin, where Alex ate fish and chips, her favorite dish there. At that restaurant, the waiters come and sing for people celebrating their birthdays. As it turned out, there were several people around us also there for their birthdays, including a 4 year old girl at the next table. We made sure to tell the waiters about Alex, and they came to serenade her. When Alex heard the clapping that proceeds their arrival, at first she thought it was for another table. When she realized it was for her, her eyes lit up.

They brought a sundae with her, and Alex really enjoyed the dessert after her big meal!

The next day was her party. She scored a lot of presents there as well! She loved them all. Here you can see her play with the magnetic numbers she received as one of her gifts.

Later she also got to eat a chocolate birthday cake. Here mommy brings it in while everyone sings Happy Birthday! They put a few more candles on than necessary, but we think it looked better with more candles.

For the first time, she got a chance to blow out birthday candles. OK, mommy helped her a little, but she still managed to get them to go out!

She had a great time with her friends Chloe and Colin.

She wasn't sure what this present was at first...

... but when she realized it was a little puppet, she loved it!

Sunday gave her a chance to play with her new presents and get used to being two years old! It's pretty amazing how much she has developed in just the past few months. She has gone from speaking a few words here and there to complete sentences. In fact, sometimes you can't get her to stop talking! She can sing several songs from memory as well. Every day she says or does something I didn't suspect she could do. We can't wait to see how the next year will go!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Smiling Through Summer!

This is Alex's mommy with a quick post. Alex has been enjoying this summer immensely, spending hours at playgrounds & in the outdoors every day.

She's talking more articulately each day, although she prefers affectionate nicknames: Instead of "cupcakes," she prefers to say "ta-tas" (imagine our surprise & confusion, when she first said this & pointed to a picture of a cupcake!)

We should probably see a dentist soon, as Alex has developed quite the sweettooth like her daddy.
Before ending this post, I should include a picture of me & Alex right before I was heading to a 70's costume party. Yes, those are disco ball earrings that I'm wearing. Alex wanted to pull of my giant wig -- probably because she had a hard time recognizing me in my 'fro.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July: Alex is changing so much!

It's been quite a while since our last post, and Alex has changed so much in that time! I think the last time we were posting, she was just starting to get the hang of walking. Well, that's certainly no problem for her now! She is running all over the place, climbing stairs and furniture, and even climbing the ladder on her toy slide to give it 'one more time', as she puts it (and one more time usually means many more times, I might add!).

As amazing as her newfound mobility is, perhaps the biggest change in the past six months has been her increased ability to talk. She had been already using sign language to communicate with us even before her first birthday, but now it seems like her vocabulary has been growing almost daily. And she is not just saying one word; frequently she strings several of them together in sentences. Just the other day, she sat down on the stairs, pointed to the spot next to her, and said, 'Daddy sit here now'.

I never cease to be amazed at what she has picked up. She can count to 10, for instance, and sometimes does that to put herself to sleep. She has known tons of body parts and types of clothing for months, but now she is also getting colors and can identify pretty much any of her toys by name and type.

The biggest challenges right now are that she sometimes adopts her own terminology for things, and sometimes she can't quite pronounce what she wants to say. She pronounces 'c' as 't', so most words with a 'c' sound sound like 't' words. For instance, 'tat' instead of 'cat'. It can get pretty tricky! She likes to tell me which clothes she wants to wear in the morning. When I ask her what pants she wants, she'll reply, 'tatty'. But she means 'khaki'. Took me a while to get that one!

Another word that challenges her is 'cupcake'. Sometimes she says 'tuptake', but more often she just uses the word 'tata', one of her Alexisms. She has a bunch of those. For instance, she calls her nanny 'Nana', and the nanny's husband Rich she calls 'Ree Ree'. Her word for pizza is 'tabba' (no idea where that came from), but she understands what you mean when you say 'pizza', so it's probably just that she doesn't feel comfortable saying that word. 'Th' is another challenging sound for her, so there is a lot of 'dis' and 'dat' coming from her right now. But she's quite good at identifying something she wants. If she wants you to put cream on a 'booboo', she'll identify it by pointing and saying 'cream dis part'.

Her diet has also expanded a lot. She loves ice cream, which she calls 'um', and french fries, which she labels as 'chen chies' ('f' is another letter that she has trouble pronouncing). Strawberries, avocados, pizza (she loves that), clam chowder, 'tots' (ie tater tots), cheese, potato chips, popsicles, apples, and blueberries are some other favorites at the moment. She hasn't acquired a taste for meat yet, but I expect that will be coming soon.

Next time I'll talk more about how her world is expanding, as she not only reads books but has started watching some TV and interacting more with kids her own age.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Alexs Walks in a Winter Wonderland!

The exciting news is that Alex has been taking her first steps these past few weeks. She's especially cute when she walks, as she beams with pride in her new mobility. Now, her mommy & daddy need to worry about what other mischief she can get herself into...

I have to admit, this year has flown by with such velocity. It's all a wonderful blur. This is why I'm grateful to Alex's dad for blogging here as regularly as he has, to record some milestones.

These days, I just marvel at how much of her own person Alex is. Sometimes, she has such a reserved personality. Like here, where she's in her car seat, just looking at me with such a serious expression.

Other times, she's just plain goofy. If she likes a tune, she'll most likely dance to it. She loves her music class, which meets weekly and involves lots of singing, playing instruments, and (guess what) dancing!