Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The things he says

Do you know the way to Lowes?  What about the way to Home Depot?

When looking out the window at breakfast, "I like the way the sun looks while shining through that weeping willow."

"At grandma and papa's we saw a (in hushed voice). Woodpecker pileated" with arms and hands held up like a magic trick was just performed.

After hearing Mike complain one too many times about the bike mechanic that screwed up my bike, Jee said to me, "let that bike guy leave your brain." My daily dose of Zen instruction comes from a 4-year old.

Mike:  Jee, please stop whining
Jee: I'm not whining, I'm just stretching my words.

Jee: what does "forget" mean?
Me: that means you don't remember
Jee: no I don't, can you tell me?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A week in the life...

If you saw Jeehoon this week, you would have seen him looking like this:

Watching a movie on the lap top

He made this panda bear mask at a New Moon Festival last week and has been wearing it every day since.  He often falls asleep with it on, so we have to gingerly remove it from his head each night. Why does he wear it?  Because he can’t stand to have his hair touching his face.  He incessantly pulls it back when his mask is not on, so the mask is basically serving as a headband. 

If you heard Jeehoon this week,  you would have heard him saying this:

"babies can't do that"  

He says this when he jumps; when he finishes his food; when he gets dressed; With his 4th birthday on the horizon he eels that he is REALLY old and getting to be a big boy...and he's right!

You would have also heard:

 "your rat insulted my wife"
He’s obsessed with the movie Fantastic Mister Fox, and this is one of the many lines that he repeats from it, along with, “I’m as light as a slice of bread” and “you wrote a bad song, Petey.”  I love that I enjoy this movie almost as much as he does.  I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson, and Jee has these adorable quirks where I think he could be a character in a Wes Anderson movie himself.

If you had eaten with Jeehoon this week,  you would have seen him eat this:

Seaweed – he’s been attending a Korean Language class at a local Buddhist Temple and when they eat lunch together, he will eat anything the teachers place in front of him.  And seaweed is one of those things.  In the past, when we had kim bop at home, he would remove the seaweed and just eat the rice, etc.  Now, seaweed has made it into his mouth and is a snack food.

If you had attended the Buddhist temple with us on Sunday and eaten lunch with the other members, you would have heard Jeehoon say, “I’m adopted to you; you’re MY family.” Just out of the blue. It was a funny thing: while sitting down to eat, the three of us were sitting together among many Koreans and Jee put his arms around us and said it;  It was like on some level he knew that our family looked different, and I think he’s becoming more aware of what it means to be adopted.  My emotions flowed on so many mixed levels when he said it. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's cooking?

Our kitchen has seen better days.  It is bright and sunny and definitely says, "GOOD MORNING!" with its bright apple green color, which was really a strategic distraction that we created to draw the eye away from the flesh colored, sand grouted floor tiles that acted as a counter top.  Add to that the drawer that was duct taped together and the shelf in the lower cabinet that you had to hold up every time you opened the door, and you have a perky kitchen peppered with a cursing cook.  
Good Morning!

After many years of frustration and savings, we were finally at the point where we could get a new kitchen...and here it is!

OK, well anyone who has been through a kitchen renovation must recognize this: the make-shift kitchen.  Crock pot, panini grill, and microwave become the staples and we learned that the rice maker makes so much more than rice.  In the beginning, it was fun, kind of like camping!  Especially because there was lots of happening downstairs - like this:

But the truth is, by the end of the process, we were tired.  After months of straining spaghetti out of a bathtub, I was over it.  Dust was EVERYWHERE!  It was winter and we were holed up in the three rooms upstairs, two of which were our bedrooms, and we were tired of eating frozen food for the past 4 months.

Our awesome and hilarious contractor completed all of the work. There were some really fun moments, like when "Irish Tomah," the electrician from Ireland, would come over and chat with Jee, encouraging Jee to speak with an Irish lilt.  And then there was the floor sanding boot camp  

Nice work Jee!

 Seriously, look at how pretty the wood is under all that muck!

In the end, it was totally worth it. We ended up with the kitchen of our dreams.  We designed the layout and chose the materials, and even had a little bit of a hand in some of the work, too.  Ready for a tour?  Here we go...  

The first picture below is the kitchen when we first moved in, and the second is the kitchen once we followed the HGTV number one cheap transformation tip:  PAINT!

We did a mini-renovation a few years ago on one side of the kitchen where our pantry was.  The pantry held our fridge (a very inconvenient place) and a window. I made a little curtain for the pantry (below) which was kind of fun, but removing the wall that separated the pantry turned out to be a lot more fun!  We can now get to the fridge and enjoy the light from the window.  Below is the pantry with the curtain, then what it looks like with the wall removed, and finally with the cabinets and counter tops installed.

With this past renovation, we made a big change where we removed a wall separating the kitchen and our living room.  Below is the shot of the wall that was removed. First is a picture when we moved in, then a picture with our paint job.

And finally, a picture with the wall removed

Below, a picture from within the kitchen looking East at the wall that was removed.

And with the wall removed

Looking East with everything moved back into the living room

And the whole shebang
The base cabinets are Ikea, and my dad and I made the doors on the uppers out of bamboo.  I also made the glass windowed display cabinets using the handy dandy Kregg jig.

Looking out to the park

One of my most favorite details.  We found these 1950's pendants made from fishline at a resale shop.  They were a steal of a deal!

The splurge: this wavy 3-D tile backsplash.  I'll get back to you as to how easy it is to wipe  tomato sauce from these babies.

Details Details
Bamboo Countertops and shadow of photographer's head *shrug*

Night Night

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Making Craps?"

WAIT! WAIT!  Don't let that title scare you!  That's just the question Jee asks when he sees me take out the paper, scissors and markers.  Translation:  Making Crafts

We love craft time and really need to work on it more often.  As Jee gets older, I'm seeing his creativity come through.  He'll take direction, but also likes to go off on his own and design his on creations - that part makes me really happy.  

Here's a rundown of some of his artwork:

This Birthday Sign from the summer didn't make itself!

Jee helped stiffen the fabric that outlined the letters 
(poor puffy eyes from mosquito bites last summer)
Sometimes it's just random sewing
The ubiquitous fridge art

Funny kangaroo!

Threading a needle

Working on the family tree
One of the first craft projects Jee completed
 has a place of honor in a shadow box

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


MVI_0047 a video by pajamaavenue on Flickr.
I'm so behind on blogging, but bit by bit I'm going to get some of these sweet memories I have in my head into this blog.

This video is from the lunar new year when Jee put on his hanbok and performed sabae.

The crazy "pop" sounds are from work that we were having done on our kitchen...more on that to come!

And below, pictures of Jee posing with his favorite cat

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Time Out

    Above: Jee placed Mike in a timeout for being mean to our cat

It's really easy to be a good parent, you just have to follow a few simple rules:
  • Don't allow your child to watch TV 
  • Expose them to fruits and vegetables, over and over again, they will eat them
  • Don't go to fast food restaurants
  • Get outside at least 30 minutes per day
  • Teach them that it is never OK for them to crawl around the floor in a public place
  • Any inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated - ever!!!!
These were the hard and fast rules that I had in my head before I was a parent.  Pre-Jee, I had all of the parenting answers.  Post-Jee, I'm finding that sometimes there just aren't answers that work all the time. 
Mike and I are pretty consistent as parents. We have our rules and our limits, and we also have our ideals, but have learned to re-frame them into something more workable for our family. This post from 2010 really shows how our ideals had to bend to make our family functional.  I learn so much from Jee about how to be flexible and creative, and when to hold the line.  And I guess Jee has learned from us, too.  He's become quite the disciplinarian/educator/rule maker of the house. 

He has an eye on safety and always makes sure everyone is buckled up before starting the car.  He likes to put his trains in time out and asks me to talk to them about the sad choices they make.  And, upon occasion, he has tried to place us in time-out.  Sometimes...he's right.  We need our time-outs, too.  I have caught myself not being the kind of mom I want to be - it happens, I'm not perfect, but I like that we are both recognizing that time-out isn't a bad thing and it's good to just step away and reground.

A couple of weeks ago we were out to dinner with another family.  Toward the end the boys were getting a little wound up and before the night was over they were together under the table where there may have been a noodle or two thrown at the other.  I looked at Jee, knowing that the pre-Jee parent in me would have been appalled and disgusted. 

But the post-Jee parent looked around and saw the restaurant was nearly empty, saw that there was no safety concern, saw a little boy who sat patiently through a dinner up until this point, and saw the laughter on my little boy's face.  I sighed, comfortable in knowing that it wasn't that I was defeated in this battle, but it was simply a battle I chose not to fight, and I think that can also makes a pretty good parent.