Friday, July 31, 2015

And we're back!

Well, people, we've been home a week now, and what a week it has been! You would think that after doing this for four years, we'd have things figured out by now...or that at the very least it wouldn't be this difficult. But no, it's still hard. Made harder by the fact that we expect it to be easier.

At any rate, our flight home was uneventful aside from the 17-month-old on his first transpacific flight who screamed the.entire.time. So did his mom, for that matter. I felt for them, especially when thinking about the fact that Reece will be about that age the next time we do that flight. Yikes. Our kids were troopers, though.

We were all feeling (relatively) good as we boarded the airport bus...okay, that's not actually true. Cade had a stomachache, so he and Eric raced to the bathroom as Kennedy and I (one-handed of course) tried to get all of our bags, stroller, and car seat to the bus. It wasn't pretty, but eventually everything got loaded and we took the last four seats on the bus.

You may remember that after school got out, and after our trip to Jeju, but before our flight to the States...we moved! Oh boy, was that crazy! Anyway, the point is that from our new apartment, there is a very conveniently located airport bus stop. We were all excited about how much shorter the bus ride to our new apartment would be! I figured we'd have time to grab some dinner and maybe play a quick game to keep the kids up until their regular bedtime after the naps they'd had on the bus. I knew that we were going to have to pass our stop and come back around to it because of which side of the road it was on, and Kennedy and I kept discussing where the bus would turn around after it entered our neighborhood. Unfortunately, it never turned around. Because I can't read in the car (or bus), we were nearly to the end of the route before I discovered that the bus only stops at our stop when it's on the return to the airport. Not on the way from the airport. I swear, it's always something!

Because of our neighborhood bus, I'm pretty familiar with the fact that when a bus has run it's route, the driver takes a break, so I was not surprised when he started unloading all of our stuff, even as I was trying to ask him about the stop for the Hyperion. Eric was fuming as he was trying to figure out how we were all going to get home with all.of.this.stuff from Wangsimni station. Eventually, we discovered there was a man standing there who spoke English and Korean and pretty soon the driver was loading our stuff up again and we were hopping back onto the bus for the return trip to the airport. After about a 2 1/2 hour trip, we were finally back in our neighborhood.

Now, the other fun part of getting home is the luggage/people shuttle that we do. Oh, it's fun. The first step is Eric running up the hill (there's always a hill!) with one small bag to get the car. Then, he loads the car with bags, takes them home, unloads, and returns for the people and the rest of the bags. By this point, it was after nine Korea time, about six hours since we'd landed. We were all exhausted, of course (I hadn't slept a wink on the flight...grrr), and our first step to the shuttle--a most essential step--failed. The car wouldn't start. (You can ask Eric about that one personally.) So, up we went (in shifts, of course). Hauling suitcases stacked with Rubbermaid bins, pushing a stroller, and dragging groggy kids. Oh, the joys.

To be honest, things have kind of stayed on that track...everything has been a bit of a struggle up to this point even. We knew before we left that our air conditioning wasn't working, but as of today, after three different visits from people to fix it, our apartment is now down to a cool 80 degrees. We lost our Korean SIM cards somewhere along the way and had to wait three days to have them replaced (for a nominal fee). We accidentally went to Costco on a Saturday (we could have sworn it was Friday!). Reece got sick for a day--would barely eat, just cried and whined--while it was 90 degrees both inside and outside. Cade also got sick for a day--the day after getting his dTap and MMR vaccines, so we're chalking it up to that.

But now, things should be on the upswing. Everyone slept past 7:00 this morning, so the worst of the jet lag is over. Eric and I both have plans with friends over the weekend. It's only taken me 12 hours to get this post written and published (though I only got a couple of pictures edited...that's another story!). And, it's the weekend, so things are looking up! Maybe I'll even get around to taking 9 month photos of Reece soon...just don't hold your breath!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Reece at 8 Months

Since I try not to worry about blogging during our time in the States, hopefully it came as no surprise that this post was not on time! It's hard to believe that two weeks from today, we'll be back in Korea, but we've been having a great trip so far! We started with a couple of days at my dad's that involved trading in our little Corolla for an Expedition, so that we could all fit in the same car at the same time. Then, we spent a few days with Eric's brother, wife, and our nephew. Then, back up to my dad's and over to the cabin on Whidbey for almost a week with my family. Then, a few days of re-connecting with friends and family in the Mt. Vernon area before my dad headed back to Alaska and we headed to Sun Lakes. Now, we're starting to slow down as we try to get a few things accomplished while staying at Lindy's, before heading to Oregon to visit friends and maybe we'll fit in a camping trip with family. Does that sound busy? hmmm...maybe that's why I haven't had time for Reece's 8 month photo shoot! These shots were taken during his 8th month of life, though...

Sleep: Reece has only slept through the night once since we arrived in the States. It's rough, but we're used to it by now, at least. The first few days of him being up once every hour or two were especially tough because, of course, he'd been sleeping through the night in the week before we left (in spite of our crazy trip to Jeju and a move!). Now, it's a good night if he only wakes up three or four times. He's been rolling onto his stomach several times throughout the night, and if I had to guess, that's what's bothering him. Of course, having him in the room with us doesn't help things much. We hear every little moan and feel an obligation to get up with him. So far, he's slept in five different places (not counting different rooms in the same house) and that can't be doing him any favors. Obviously, naps are pretty inconsistent these days, but he's still getting in two ranging somewhere between 45 minutes (usually when we're in the car) to two hours when the house is quiet and dark (oh so rarely!).

Eating: Reece is just now getting into finger foods and I can't even begin to list the new foods that he's tried since being in the States, so it's a good thing he hasn't shown any adverse reactions. It could be tough to narrow it down! His recent favorite finger foods have been crab, avocado, tomato, pickles, homemade hamburgers, french toast (hangs head in shame), and any type of fruit. It's hard to know from day to day and meal to meal whether he will be willing to eat from a spoon or not. Sometimes, he loves the baby food pouches and sometimes he'll have nothing to do with them. I started the summer continuing to make purees for him myself, but after staying in three different places in the first week, I gave up. It's just so much easier to buy it.

Moving: Reece is now officially happier on his stomach than on his back. If I lay him down on his back, it won't be long until he's rolled to his stomach, but he doesn't often go the other way. He's starting to scoot backwards a bit, but not in a I'm-almost-crawling type of way yet. Hopefully, he'll hold out a little longer. He's also sitting up pretty well now, thankfully. I think if he got to choose, he'd remain in that position most of the time. I appreciate having carpet around, though, since he still isn't 100% reliable. He'll often see something he wants to go after and the next you know, he's fallen over again. It's a rough life.

Everything else: Reece's second tooth came in shortly after his first, so he now has the two bottom front teeth, which help with all of that eating! In spite of his massive amounts of solids, he's still taking four 8 oz bottles a day and has somehow managed to not outgrow the 9 month clothes yet (well, except for the pajamas). The other day, our waitress called him chunky and though most wouldn't describe him that way, I was oh-so-proud! He's still long and lean in the opinion of most people. He is still the happiest baby you've ever seen and is pretty much guaranteed to give you a smile, but sometimes you have to be a little more patient than before. We've had a couple of run-ins with stranger anxiety and he does have a tendency to be a little shy and bury his face in my neck when meeting new people now. Thankfully, it doesn't take him too long to warm up, though.

He's been a great little traveler and I suppose he's being raised to go with the flow...he certainly doesn't have much of a choice! Our trip back from Sun Lakes ended up being about six hours because we made a few stops, and he barely cried or whined at all, in spite of the heat and the traffic in the last leg. And the kids still dote on him, in spite of the "a baby changes things" talks we've had to have with them lately. We're so glad this little man is a part of our family!
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