Saturday, May 30, 2015

Michael & Nancy's Visit

Eric keeps informing me of how many days it's been since my last post. Apparently, I need to make it a bit more of a priority in his eyes. This has been one of those weeks when I turn on the computer every day (because I don't want to have to wait for it in case I end up having time), but I don't sit down in front of it until all of the kids are in bed, and then we usually watch an episode of Parenthood rather than work on our computers. When your computer is the TV, it's much harder to multi-task.

I suppose when you consider the fact that this is only the second post since Reece's 6 month post and it's now time for his 7 month post, it's clear I'm not doing a very good job at keeping up with everything here. But, our house is somewhat clean, I'm still continuing to sort and pack, and dinner is on the table every night, so we'll consider that a success at this point!

This week we had play/mom dates for Reece and me, Kennedy's spring concert, and Cade's end of the year party. High school graduation was yesterday; it was my first time watching one of my classes graduate, and I really enjoyed it! The principal is really hoping that the connections and memories that graduation evoked will convince me to take the freshman English leave replacement for next year, but I'm not sure that it worked.

This is the last week of school, and Eric and the kids are so excited! I can completely understand their excitement, especially when my Instagram photos from last year show up on my Timehop. All the grading. All the time. Yuck. But, this year, I'm not quite as excited for the end of school. Yes, I'm excited for Jeju, and I'm excited for our move, and I'm excited to go back to the States for the summer, but the last day of school just doesn't hold the same excitement. For the first time, I'm experiencing the apprehension of having all three kids home all summer! I'm excited for the summer; I'm just missing the excitement about the last day of school, I guess.

It will be a fun week, though. I have two baby showers for friends and Kennedy's end of the year party. Cade only has three days of school, but he gets to go to Everland with Eric and the middle school on Thursday, the day of Kindergarten graduation. Kennedy's last day is a half day on Friday, and my former students are trying to convince me to come to school to sign yearbooks that day...we'll see about that!

We've been busy since Michael and Nancy were here at the beginning of May when it was a comfortable 70-ish degrees! It was nice to be able to comfortably enjoy all of our outings with guests. These days it's mid to upper 80s every day, and so it's hard to keep those jeans and sweatshirts in the drawers for our trip to WA in a few weeks.

On their first day, we had the staff "picnic" at school, which is only a picnic because we eat outside. This year it was catered by On the Border, one of our favorite (and of the few) Mexican restaurants in the area. After the picnic, we made the obligatory trip up to Seoul Tower (via bus) and after ice cream and an awkward diaper change, we walked back down through Namsan Park and back home. We will miss being so close to Namsan when we move neighborhoods! We were still so full from lunch that we decided to introduce them to the cheap Korean pizza from Pizza School for dinner. We have cut Pizza School out of our diets this year for the most part, so the kids were excited!

On Saturday, we walked to the Korean War Memorial where we take everyone who comes to visit, I think. Our kids really enjoy it, and it's pretty close, so it's an easy walk. We've probably been there a dozen times by now, but we always manage to see something we've never seen and learn something new. After the museum, we took the kids to the park across the street because they've literally been asking to go there for years, and we've never taken them.

No trip to the playground is complete without a cup of iced coffee in hand, though, so we stopped at the Dutch Coffee truck outside the museum before heading across the street. Dutch coffee is brewed in such a way that it cuts down on the acidity of the coffee and also reduces the caffeine content, so it was perfect on that warm afternoon! After walking back, we had Korean BBQ at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, which everyone enjoyed. We haven't had Korean BBQ since Reece was born because it's a little tricky with him in the stroller or on my chest, but it all worked out perfectly that evening. With the doors to the restaurant open, there was room for the stroller and he was perfectly content to watch all of the people walking by!

On Sunday, we went to church and it was the first Sunday of the month, so we passed out food to the homeless at Seoul Station afterward. We decided to introduce them to the Korean food court experience at Seoul Station...complete with the joys of "table hovering" because if you want to be able to sit down at some point, then you have to stand next to a table and wait for the people to finish eating, so you can snatch it the moment they make a move. We had dongkatsu and dolsot bibimbap, amidst the dinging of bells signaling orders up. And, of course, no outing is complete without some sort of awkward diaper change these days. So I was covered in pee as we headed home again.

After a busy couple of days, we decided to hang out and play Legos in the afternoon. Eric and I had our second date since Reece's birth when we went out for coffee for an hour before going to pick up Indian food for dinner. After not eating out most of the school year, I was excited to eat at some of our favorite restaurants again!

Monday was a bit cooler and Eric's last day off, so he decided to take them hiking on Mt. Bukhansan. Reece and I were not up for the hour-long subway rides and long walks, so we decided to stay home. I think the kid was ready for a more relaxed day and a chance to nap in his crib again! I made chili and cornbread for dinner that night and everyone slept well after the long day!

Tuesday was their last full day in Seoul, but it was also Children's Day, which means that anywhere that one might consider bringing a child is packed So, we struggled with coming up with a reasonable plan that wouldn't involve massive crowds. We decided to stay home and play games and Legos for the majority of the day, and then head to the nearest (least child-friendly park we know) when Eric returned home from school. We figured out our game plan for reaching the destination (which involved some shuttling and such) and headed out.

We were still almost a mile from the park entrance when the traffic began, so we had to change our plans a bit--the major difference being that we decided to just pick up chicken for dinner at the park, rather than from our favorite fried chicken place. That turned out to be a major disappointment. By the time I arrived at our little picnic spot after dropping everyone off and getting a parking spot, I was there just long enough to take one look at the chicken and decide it wasn't worth eating, then take a few pictures, and help pack up, so we could get the kids home and ready for school the next day...probably no more than 30 minutes! Oh, city life.

Everyone was back to school the next day, and Michael and Nancy were headed home. Reece and I were back to our normal routine. I have actually been trying to take a lot more pictures lately, but there's no evidence of that in this post. I took a few iPhone photos and a couple of shots on the last night, but the rest of these pictures were taken by Nancy. With Reece on my front and a diaper bag on my back, the dslr doesn't make the cut on most outings these days, unless it's a stroller-friendly trip. Pictures in the house? That I can do.

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