Sunday, February 17, 2013

August's leg is finally free

August got his cast off on Friday. Today (Sunday) he is finally walking again. He spent Friday and Saturday not bearing weight on his foot because he was too nervous, but he's getting better now. He's still limping, but at least we're not carrying him everywhere anymore.

As a tribute, here's a picture montage of the casts.
Cast 1 went on when he first broke his leg. It lasted only a few days but it still got signed by the nursery staff.
Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang

Cast 1, right before it got changed out for Cast 2
The changing of the cast. August never got used to the
super scary saw cutter used to get the casts off
 CAST 2:
Between Thomas drawing a dog on the cast and Amy
painting August's toes blue, the Cabaluna's really made this cast special. 
Here's August, not slowing down at all with Cast 2:

For cast #3, we switched from SNUH to Samsung Hospital, where our insurance is more easily accepted.
They have color choices at Samsung!
This guy is more of an "artist"

He's telling August to hold still

Super scary saw, again

The new, blue cast

Fun with a wheelchair

It was rainy that day
Cast 3 doesn't slow him down either. This is him on a gym scooter.

Finally, the removal of the cast!

All better!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us

Today is my actual birthday and, like on Christmas, the time difference between Korea and the US feels crazy. I'm going to bed at a reasonable hour (I am 35 now after all) but when I do the math, it's 5:30am on my birthday in the states. But here, the celebration is over. I won't say too much about our birthdays but I will say this. We celebrated with wonderful friends. We even had 2 cakes! One was bought for us and one was made. We feel very lucky.

We ate at Omama Noodles and Cuisine, one of my favorite restaurants and we brought in our own cake(s). We learned two things about Korean birthday traditions tonight: 1. fish cakes are traditional birthday food. So when we finished our delicious meal, and we got out the cakes, the waitress brought everyone some fish cakes to enjoy. The second thing we learned is that when you bring your own cake into a restaurant (as many people do) you give a piece to each of the staff. Lucky for us there were only 2 people working tonight.
Fish cakes

L-R: fish cakes, Emart Traders cake, homemade cake

I wish you could have been here to celebrate with us. Oh well, you can still mail us presents.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Night out in Apgujeong Rodeo

Apgujeong Rodeo is the Rodeo Drive of Gangnam, if you will. We met up with a group of people at Sunae and took the yellow line all the way. Apparently, a new part of the yellow line has open that extends further north so it took us directly there.

We had a reservation at Zen Hideaway at 8 and we arrived in Apgujeong at 7:30 so we got drinks first. We stumbled upon a very interesting bar.

They brew their own beer. Jim and I don't drink so I don't know personally if it was good, but our friends seemed to like it. Here's a picture of the owner (?) telling us to be careful when you open it. Jay was careful, but there was a learning curve and some people close to this one got sprayed with some beer when he opened it.
 Here's Jay being more careful for the next bottle.

No beer for us, but plenty of bottomless cheese balls!
 We didn't stay long at the bar and we made the quick but cold and icy walk to Zen Hideaway. This is definitely the nicest restaurant we've been to in Korea. The restaurant is beautiful and instead of chairs at the tables they had big, comfy sofas and the food was amazing.

 Everyone ordered "family style" except for me. You know, I'm a picky eater and there were things like Pho and muscles on the menu which most people like but I don't. Well no one ordered those gross things. Fortunately they let me throw my dish in the mix and join the family style and sample everyone's food. There was pizza and pasta and steak and chicken but the best was the pumpkin risotto. It was served in an actual pumpkin.

We were told it was only a 15 minute walk to Just Blues, but it was like 10F and as far as my calculations go 15min x 10F=150 minute walk. So some of us split a taxi! (and Jim and others walked).
The blues band was awesome. According to Kevin Duncan, the singer owns the place and taught himself how to play guitar. Unfortunately we had to get home to the babysitter and we had to leave early. This is a place we will definitely go back to.
Here's why we'll go back and why you should go when you come visit us:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When in Korea, do as the Koreans do: Taekwondo edition

We decided that Ruby needs something fun to do. Grace has Saturday sports and August has general recklessness.  Since we're in Korea, and there are Taekwondo places everywhere we thought this would be something fun for her. It turns out we weren't the only ones thinking this. After some group emails, we had about 10 families from our school interested in trying it out. We managed to find 3 places to try.

First up: Bally Total Fitness. That's right, I gave up my $15 a month membership (hope you're enjoying it Kelli!) because I didn't know where I would find one in Seoul, if at all. I'm pretty sure I googled it, but a map of Seoul meant nothing to me then-certainly not "Jeongja". It turns out that there is a Bally's in Jeongja, which is very close to us and even closer to the school. Last week, all the kids went one day after school. I couldn't go because I work pretty far from Jeongja so Jim took her. Ruby was reported as being totally "locked in" and focused. She was very proud of herself because she broke a (balsa wood) board!

On Saturday, we all tried out an MMA gym
MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. Yes, that MMA. The one where those bald guys go in a fensed in ring and bite and choke each other. Why wouldn't someone take their 5 year old daughter to train for that? It turns out they're not teaching the children those things, at least not in the trial class. They're teaching them defensive moves and wrestling kinds of techniques.

Here's Ruby learning the "Shrimp" move

This is Ruby wrestling an instructor to the ground:

 The MMA gym was a lot of fun. They played lots of games. But it wasn't structured enough for what I think Ruby needs. Besides, we still had one place to try out.

The Taekwondo place we tried out today is near Goodmorning Hill. The instructor tried to turn us down a few times because he doesn't speak any English. We were persistent though. And with my secretary, Chloe's, help we made it for a try out. Chloe went as far as to drive all the way down after work to translate for us at the class. She's amazing like that.

Ruby working on speed and agility

Learning how to punch
And the winner is....The last place. They're starting the kids at twice per week and we'll see how they do.
UPDATE (3/15/13). We switched from the last place to Bally's. Bally's presented us with an offer we could not refuse: transportation. They pick the kids up from school and drop them off at home! Besides, Ruby seems more comfortable because Master Park speaks English.