Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weekend 88 of 52+

Expat Thanksgiving

Man, I said I was going to be in bed by 10, but that was when Joash went to sleep at 9. He went on to wake up at 9:30, so I said I'd go to bed at 10:30, and it is only 6 minutes shy of that goal. Five now. I lost a minute trying to think of a cleverer way to word the last sentence. Cleverness will have to wait until a morning edit.

We were invited to an expat Thanksgiving by a guy we randomly met at a Quizno's who is mutual friends with three different groups of people Dan knows in three different places on the earth. Um, that's pretty weird. His name is Ben. I am glad for the serendipity that led us to him and his Thanksgiving gathering. We did Thanksgiving dinner last year, but we ate at Dan's school, and it seemed more like putting on a novelty for the Koreans on staff. This year it felt proper and American and homey and cozy and tasty. There was the perfect variety of perfect food. I guess I don't have much to say about it. Pictures, then.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Facing Out

My happiest boy, facing out in the Bjorn, sat near a glitter wall at the fancy mall.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Present

First of all, I'm going to say that Dan dressed our baby fully in girl's clothes today, a brand called EllePoupon, with wrist and shoulder ruffles. After that I will say that I made a jokey video of Joah playing with this snappy, rattly, rolly ball toy I just found in a box of donated stuff. (Bonus: the face on the inside kind of looks like the lisping snake from Robin Hood.) I'm pretty sure it uses/strengthens all of his current motor skills. Being here to witness the minute a human begins to move with purpose has been pretty incredible. I hope I always remember his helpless flailing.

Happy Thanksgiving to us! Even though we're celebrating on Saturday, which is really Friday, so our day ahead becomes our day behind. Whatever, there will be turkey, and that's all that matters.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On a Quest for Pants

I've mentioned our search for pants for our son. He's got plenty of onesies and several sleeping options but not very many pants. With the latest weekend ushering in the winter, his need for pants has become very real. For whatever reason, Dan and I have failed to find cheap and normal looking pants for an infant. I can walk down the street and buy for myself a $7 pair of pants and endless varieties of dollar socks, but infant clothes are either nowhere or exorbitantly priced (we saw a name brand shirt with a bow tie on it for $100+). We tried the Western fashion stores in Myeongdong. We've looked at various department stores. We even, this weekend, went back to Jamsil where we'd previously found his monster pants. We bought two pairs, one of which was this fascinatingly ridiculous sweatpants approximation of cowboy jeans:

I posted this on Facebook, and it prompted friends to offer to ship over hand-me-downs. I wasn't trying to act destitute or anything. I am not above charity, though. I'm not that kind of girl. Already Sally has come over and solved his immediate need for pants. So, fret not, good people of Facebook.

Want to have a funny conversation? Talk to my mom about Facebook. She doesn't have one, and she is definitively not a computer person.

Well, so anyway, on our way to Jamsil, we stopped at D-Cube City (a mall) to eat Japanese ramen at Mist, upon the suggestion on Japanese ramen is my favorite food discovered in Korea (we probably would have discovered it in Japan, but we had a cash and credit card problem there that necessitated frequent trips to Starbucks; the toilets have heated seats, but they can't be bothered with credit card machines). It's soy saucy and with the tenderest, yummiest sliced pork and a soft boiled egg. So good. So good.

D-Cube City is the fanciest mall we've yet been to. There are glitter walls everywhere, even on convenience store facades. And there was lots of good food, so we will probably go back.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Babies Aren't Good at Things

Joash is still figuring out his fingers. Here he tries to coerce his eye to accept his fist. Mostly he just ends up red-eyed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend 86 of 52+


A month or so ago Dan and Johnny attended a TEDxItaewon event, a locally organized session of the larger TED organization. I would almost liken TED Talks to Toastmasters, but maybe with less nerdy connotations (or maybe not). Different speakers deliver speeches on a set topic. People go (physically or just online) and listen to those speeches. Sometimes there are cupcakes. It's all exceptionally cerebral. Somehow both Dan and Johnny met the organizers and got involved. Johnny spearheaded filming, and Dan was asked to give a speech about what drives him and to incorporate a couple of our songs. He's been practicing all week- while the baby's sleeping, while the baby's playing, as part of the baby's bedtime story. Yesterday Dan delivered that speech to more than 100 people, representing upwards of 26 different countries.

You know how people talk about their hearts swelling when their kid does something great? While I do get that every time Joah smiles or dances to Jay-Z songs or poops in his diaper and not on my leg, watching Dan give his speech made my heart swell with pride for that kid I married. I remember him clunkily teaching a high school Sunday school class 6 years ago, and to watch him yesterday as if he did that sort of thing all the time, no big deal, was really amazing.

Obviously I will still brag about my offspring. Joash made it through 8 hours out, characterized by eating in public restrooms, diaper changes and brief periods of play on cold floors, being held by three different strangers (three to him, two to us) and once when we weren't even around. He did get scared when I plopped down on one of those retractable theater seats, which meant that I spent most of the time in the lobby watching from the fourth floor window a little world culture festival happening in the courtyard. I think he was also a little overwhelmed by all the people. What a good weekend, though, for these Johnson gentlemen!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Moose Encounter

I dug through the box holding Joah's toys and decided to give him free reign of the gamut, which is mercifully minor. In that box was his new favorite friend, an Alaskan moose given him, I think, by Dan's sister Lisa.

He liked it so much he needed to taste it.

And because we're such great parents, here we are trying to make him cry with various animal sounds. Spoiler Alert: he takes it like a champ.

And, as a bonus, Joash holds his head up for a long time. So, there!

In other news, my kid rolled over today. All by himself.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Upon Grandma's Advice

My mom is trying to break my heart even faster. After watching Joah squirm around on his belly via Skype, she suggested that he might be ready to start scooting and I should put him on the floor. Boo, mom. So, anyway, when he had been alive for exactly 3 months, we did just that. And, ha! He can't scoot yet, but he sure seems to want to, and he almost flipped himself over onto his back, and, in between high energy motherly encouragement, I wept.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Infant

This is the last we'll ever see of Joah as a newborn. He's already an infant - a grabby, laughy, grubby (seriously, what's up with dirty baby palms?) little infant. We have diagnosed him as highly distractible, which often makes him incredibly difficult to feed. He won't finish until he's gotten all his chats in, and he's likely to pop off to stare at Dan after not seeing him all day. He likes to twist us up all across the bed, during which I fail to remain as calm as I should. It's pretty much the opposite of fun. Eating is his main disorder, though, and he's otherwise so well-tempered and sweet.

Here he is during one of his frequent breaks expressing his great dislike of cows and/or mooing sounds.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weekend 84 of 52+

Seonyudo Park

Ah, yeah. We had a weekend again. Can you believe it? Pregnancy and newborns put such a boundary on weekend making. Heck, there've been solid weeks I haven't left the house. But Joash is officially an infant now, at 12 weeks (don't even ask how that makes me feel), and we revisited Seonyudo Park as a family. We talked about just recreating all of our old weekends with the baby. That probably won't happen entirely, but here we've begun the effort.

The fun thing about having a baby is the desperation to capitalize on the moments between feeds. Luckily Joah skipped his morning nap on Sunday, so we were out of the house by 11. We went to Pizza School and GS 25 (convenience store) to forage for picnic foods. Then we hiked over the river, laden with pizza box, snack pack, diaper bag, and babe. We dodged many a bicyclist, some rude, others polite, some in biking costumes, others in civvies. Dang if distances don't seem longer with so much gear.

We settled in at the park in a seemingly abandoned spot and set up our space. The very second Joash wanted to eat, of course it's suddenly the most popular place in the park. And the poor kid screaming his blanket-covered face off. But we survived, didn't we? We also survived Dan dumping two liquids (Mt. Dew and water) on the mat, the latter of which soaked my bottom. It is ironic that it happened as I was attending to Joah's own soaked little bottom. Dan kept remarking, "And you're still not doing the weirdest thing in the park today." We saw some cos-players. We saw a photo club taking selcas with their hands covering their faces. We saw a girl wearing a long teal wig while dressed in a kimono and geta sandals.

It was a fantastic weekend, and we started our collection of pictures of Joash in front of Seoul-specific landscapes. I like to think he'll thank us for it later.