Hazel is 2 years old!

Posted by Greg on June 6th, 2011 with tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Playing in the backyard

The months keep flying by – 6 months since my last update brings Hazel to the 2 year mark! She’s a total blast and sure keeps us moving! Hazel had a busy birthday week last week as we hosted Yenari’s friend Eulji in a week long trip from Korea. We spent the three day weekend in Santa Cruz, played on the (windy and cold beach), met up with Rebecca and Ewan, did lots of shopping, ate way too much food, and celebrated Hazel’s birthday. Hazel looooooves Eulji and had so much fun running around and playing with her, but somehow I didn’t get a photo of them together – drat.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

We’ve had a lot of visits and trips in the 6 months since I’ve last wrote…a month long visit from Yenari’s mother, a visit from my mom, many visits from my father, and a trip to Boston and Connecticut where we saw Liza, my mom, Duncan, and my grandmother. Many other things have been keeping us busy too – Yenari started a Master’s program in nursing in January, she switched from the cardiac unit to the mother/baby unit (just yesterday!), and my company was just acquired…so we each have (somewhat) new jobs even though we’re both working at the same places.

Hazel is at that stage where every day brings new words, new understanding, and just plain figuring things out that no one tried to teach her. She hasn’t moved on to full sentences, but she’s practicing her parrot routine – trying to say everything that we say and practicing lots of words.

Here’s Hazel with one of her favorite birthday presents, her bad-ass trike:

New Trike! Thanks Papa!

She hasn’t figured out how to ride it the ‘real’ way yet, but she happily scoots around our living room on it.

Hazel has become a slide aficionado, content to repeat the cycle of climbing up the playground steps, making her way as fast as she can to the slide, then sliding down…exclaiming ‘weeeeeeeeeeeeee’ each time she swirls down:

Slide slide slide

Slide slide slide

Slide slide slide

Slide slide slide

Hazel is still sleeping in bed with us, something we haven’t been able to shake. She did finally stop breastfeeding though – at the ripe old age of 23 months. While two years is still the World Health Organization’s recommendation, it sure is a difficult thing to keep up for that long – Yenari is finally free! This also makes life easier for me when I take care of Hazel at night, because she no longer holds out on eating until Yenari gets home from work. Here are a couple photos of Hazel getting her stuffed animals ready for bed:

Bedtime for Hazel and Friends

Bedtime for Hazel and Friends

Bedtime for Hazel and Friends

And to round it out, a bunch more photos from Hazel playing in our backyard…

Playing in the backyard

Playing in the backyard

Playing in the backyard

Playing in the backyard

Playing in the backyard

Playing in the backyard

Yay Hazel! Happy birthday (not so) baby girl!

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Hazel is 18 months old!

Posted by Greg on December 7th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , , , ,
Playing with a train set at the Button's house

Hazel hit the 18 month mark about a week ago – one and a half years already…amazing. We brought her to the doctor today for her 18 month checkup and she’s doing great – the growth charts tell us that she’s tall (93rd percentile), skinny (35th percentile), and has a big head (85th percentile) – what a combo! She’s still a light eater, but seems to be eating enough to keep growing and keep herself running all around causing trouble, making messes, and having fun.

She’s still not talking too much – at least not with real words, but she seems to understand a lot of what we say – both in English and Korean. She has definitely learned how to say ‘no’, it isn’t afraid to use that word when we try to feed her something she doesn’t like or try to do something she isn’t excited about. She’s also changed the way that she plays – now she’s playing pretend quite a bit…filling up ‘water’ in her toy kitchen to give us, feeding all of her stuffed animals and us with make believe food, and pushing her stuffed animals around in her stroller and her toy car. Her other favorite thing is to slip her feet into my shoes and try to walk around the house in them…something she is surprisingly good at.

Since I haven’t posted anything in a couple months, here’s a quick pass of some photos and some of the things that have kept us busy lately…

Meemaw visits

My mom visited us for a couple days and Hazel had such a great time with her…

Meemaw visits

LA Trip

We made yet another trip to LA, though this time we went for a reason other than gorging on Korean food – my mom and Duncan were in LA for a few days so we decided to join as well. We had a great time at Mona, my mom’s high school buddy, and her husband Barry’s house…though somehow we managed to not get a photo of Mona or Barry! Hazel had an awesome time playing with their 3 dogs and wasn’t the least bit afraid:

Visiting Mona

Visiting Mona

Visiting Mona

Visiting Mona

On this Hazel finally warmed up to Duncan – here she is romping around on the bed in their hotel room:

Playing in Meemaw and Duncpa's hotel room in LA

Playing in Meemaw and Duncpa's hotel room in LA

Halloween

Hazel was a bumble bee for Halloween…wearing a great costume my mom brought us from Connecticut…also seen above in one of the dog photos where she was practicing for Halloween!

Halloween!

Halloween!

Halloween!

Thanksgiving

Yenari worked on Thanksgiving and Hazel and I had a wonderful time celebrating with Jeff and Sarah in Oakland. We followed that up a few days later with a full-on Thanksgiving meal at the Button’s house two days after Thanksgiving. Katie and Russ brought out their kids’ old train set which Hazel had a great time playing with:

Playing with a train set at the Button's house

Playing with a train set at the Button's house

Playing with a train set at the Button's house

Playing with a train set at the Button's house

and that’s it!

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Second Stop, Waikiki

Posted by Greg on October 7th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

After our activity filled trip to London, we had two days back at home and back to work before heading off on our vacation to Waikiki on Oahu.

Our trip was broken up into two phases:

  1. the first day when we were on our own with Hazel
  2. the rest of the trip when we were joined by two of Yenari’s friends from Korea – Eulji (who visited us in California the month Hazel was born and who we saw many times when we were last in Korea) and her friend Gohwoon

We arrived early on our first day and walked the couple blocks to Fort Derussy Beach where Hazel had her first fun playing in the ocean and on the beach. Even though we live in California Hazel had only seen the ocean, she hadn’t been in yet. Here she is, enjoying her time in her bikini on the beach:

Playing at the beach

Playing at the beach

Over the course of the 6 days we were in Hawaii Hazel played a lot on the beach and managed to get sand just about anywhere possible…her favorite routine was face planting into the sand right after having her sun block applied and her daily attempt at eating sand. She was initially scared being in the ocean…particularly whenever the slightest drop of water touched her face, but over the week she started really enjoying it and having fun with us.

Around lunch time on our second day Yenari’s friends showed up at the hotel. We had a big suite and all stayed together as a big, happy, Hazel-watching family. Hazel almost immediately became best buddies with Eulji and Gohwoon – I think by the end of the trip she was convinced that they were HER friends who were there for her entertainment. Here are the girls (minus Hazel who was passed out in her stroller) sampling Mai Tais on the beach:

Cocktails on the beach

The next day we went out for our first non-eating, non-beach activity – a trip on the Outrigger Catamaran to go snorkeling. Here are some photos of the day:

Snorkeling catamaran trip

Snorkeling catamaran trip

Snorkeling catamaran trip

Snorkeling catamaran trip

Most of the time on the little excursion was spent snorkeling – it was fun, but not nearly as good as the snorkeling we did on our honeymoon in the Cook Islands. After the snorkeling they let out the sails and started cruising…Hazel got totally nailed by a big wave that crashed aboard the boat and was not a big fan of the bumpy and windy ride. Here she is hiding from all the excitement:

Snorkeling catamaran trip

We had many great meals on this vacation – many driven by Yenari’s desire to eat any and all ramen in Waikiki…a place that has a lot of ramen joints – I think we ate at four ramen places in our 6 days. We also ate some other great meals…the winner was definitely Morio’s Sushi which had raving reviews on Yelp. We called early in the afternoon to try to reserve a table for dinner and they asked us to call back at 8:30pm…maybe they’d have room. We ate a late lunch to prepare for a potentially late dinner and called them at the requested hour….when they said they’d call back by 9pm if they had a table…which they finally did. By the time we made it there Hazel was passed out:

Morio's!

Morio’s is a BYOB kind of place (SWEEEEET) and it seems that all of the diners take advantage of that and bring booze not just for themselves, but for Morio and the two others working there. It is a tiny place, but the booze still adds up. We were at the sushi bar talking with chef/owner Morio, and since the night was almost over, he had quite a few free drinks already…enough that he started giving away all his extras to us – in addition to the bottle of wine we brought we drank another 4 bottles of sake from Morio. The sushi was incredible (including all of the leftover toro at the end of the night) and it was probably the most entertaining sushi dinner I’ve had…primarily filled with Morio hitting on Yenari and her friends. We stumbled back to the hotel a little more intoxicated than we had planned, but took these photos first:

Morio's...delicious!

Morio's!

The rest of our trip was filled with a lot more food and a lot more beach time. Hazel had so much fun with both the beach and with her friends. Eulji and Gohwoon were both so great with her and kept her entertained everyday until she passed out:

Hazel and Eulji take a nap

Thanks to both of them for choosing to spend their vacation with us and for putting up with all of Hazel’s inquisitiveness and all of her requests to play. We had a great trip and we all planning where the next trip will be. Here are some more photos from our trip to finish it off…

Waikiki beach

Waikiki beach

Sunset from Waikiki beach

In the hotel

Fort Derussy Beach

Kayaking

On the way to the beach

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First Stop, London

Posted by Greg on September 27th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

We had a busy couple of weeks in the middle of September. A couple months ago we made plans for a vacation to Hawaii…and then a few weeks prior to the trip I got word that I needed to go to London for a few days for work. Yenari was luckily able to rearrange some of her work days so that she and Hazel could come along too. The only problem was that these two trips were separated by just two days…leading to lots of travel with a little toddler/baby combined with an 11 hour time difference!

London was the first on our list. We got into London on a Wednesday afternoon and I had a couple of busy days in our European headquarters right on the Thames. Yenari and Hazel spent most of the mornings and afternoons sleeping, making both of them slightly nocturnal. Yenari did manage to crawl out of bed on day and visit the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern museum:

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Tate Modern

To celebrate the end of my work week in London we took the tube to the London Eye, the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, for a nighttime ride. Hazel was passed out for the beginning of the half hour ride but soon woke up and started walking around the massive cabin and checking out the view.

On the London Eye

On the London Eye

On the London Eye

Our flight back was on Monday morning, so we had the whole weekend to be tourists. Saturday was our Museum day where we went to the British Museum to check out the Greek exhibits of the Parthenon, the mummies, and all of the other items items plundered/discovered/recovered/bought from the British empire over the past several hundred years.

British Museum

British Museum

British Museum

Hazel slept during most of our museum visits, but she did find some time to check out the exhibits:

British Museum

Speaking of sleeping Hazel….here she is passed out at the museum followed by another one of her passed out with Yenari at Trafalgar Square, following our visit to the National Gallery the same day. She was a sleepy baby.

British Museum

Trafalgar Square

After the museums we spent the rest of our afternoon at the Tower of London. Hazel slept through the tour of the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armory to enjoy the nice afternoon whether and check out the Tower Bridge:

Tower of London

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

After all the museums and the Tower of London we were tired! We made our way through the city all day on the Tube…which is just one of the key examples of London as a stroller unfriendly city. Most of the tube stations and even many of the museums have only stairs which meant carrying a stroller with a sleeping baby inside up and down many many flights of stairs…a fairly awkward and not so fun thing to do…over and over again in London. It would have been a lot easier if Hazel had been awake, but hey, we were in London, so I’m not complaining (too much).

After crashing for a while we took the tube down to the Thames where they were throwing the Thames Festival…a weekend festival of food, shopping, and entertainment on the Thames. Yenari tracked down a chocolate truck and thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate and brownies while I ate a Indian-spiced lamb burger.

Yenari's favorite hot chocolate at the Thames Festival

For our last day in London we started it off with the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. It was packed so we didn’t get anywhere near the gates and Hazel wasn’t able to attempt my sister Liza’s (HI LIZA!) feat of getting her head stuck between the fence surrounding the palace. That would have been made for a good picture, but alas these are from afar:

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
(doesn’t Hazel look like she has a really long leg in this picture?)

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

After the changing of the guards we hopped on a bus tour so that we could see a little bit more of the city. Hazel had fun on the bus, repeatedly yelling ‘whoa’ right in the the ears of the guy sitting in front of us.

London bus tour

When we got nearby the Thames we hopped off the bus and went back to the Thames festival for an encore cup of hot chocolate and to checkout the tent and events that KOCCA (the Korean government agency that Yenari’s father works for) was hosting. Hazel was (of course) asleep and missed out seeing a huge cut out of her favorite cartoon character, Pororo.

Yenari's father's company at the Thames Festival

Hazel sleeping next to her obsession, Pororo

From there we head across the river and took a roundtrip boat tour of the Thames, where Hazel woke up for a few minutes to enjoy the ride:

Thames boat tour

We rounded out our tour of the city by hopping back on the bus tour and making our way to the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Paul's Cathedral

It was a fairly hectic five days, but we had a great time in London. Hazel will surely have fond memories of sleeping in hour stroller in all of the beautiful museums, sleeping while we ate our meals, and sleeping on our tours around the city.

We had a leisurely 11 hour flight back, followed by 2 days at work for both of us, followed by a vacation in Hawaii…covered in the next episode…

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Monterey Aquarium and Disneyland!

Posted by Greg on August 10th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m already 11 days late for a 14 month update, so I’m not even going to try…instead here’s an update on two of our recent adventures: a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a weekend trip to Disneyland.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Two weekends ago we made a trip to the aquarium in Monterey – we weren’t sure whether Hazel would love it, not pay attention at all, or hate it. Almost immediately she started copying us and others around pointing at the fish and saying ‘whoaaaaaaa, whoaaaaa’ in a reminiscent of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. She had a great time…here are some photos:

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Disneyland

This past weekend we made a trip with Yenari’s aunt and uncle to LA first (where we ate a bunch of Korean food) and then to our primary destination, Disneyland. This was another one where we weren’t sure whether she’d like it or not…she ended up kind of ambivalent about it, having fun sometimes but being bored others – but she didn’t meltdown and we had fun at least :). Here we are, just arriving at the park:

Arrived at Disneyland

Luckily there are enough tame rides at Disneyland that Hazel was able to join in on the fun. While waiting on the line for the Dumbo ride Hazel pulled out the oooooing and awwwwwing that she learned at the Aquarium as all the Dumbos flew by. One we got on she seemed fairly entertained, continuing her oooooing and awwwing soundtrack. Here she is:

Dumbo the flying elephant

Dumbo the flying elephant

One of her favorite rides was It’s a Small World where you ride on a meandering boat while little dolls from around the world sing “It’s a small world afterall” over and over and over. Hazel was dancing away to the music and having fun – she’s a big dancer these days, she starts bopping up and down, side to side, whenever music comes on – from children’s music to Nirvana or Alice in Chains. She was so comfortable on the ride that she transitioned quickly from dancing having a great time to being totally passed out.

It's a small world

It's a small world

It's a small world

It's a small, sleepy world

We also went Mickey’s House so that we could get a photo of Hazel with Mickey Mouse. On the way there Hazel and Yenari were thrown in jail, but luckily Hazel pulled the bars apart and they were able to escape:

Breaking out of jail

Once in Mickey’s house we ended up on a massive line waiting for the photo…quite deceiving since his house looked tiny. After waiting for at least a half hour or maybe even an hour we made it to Mickey…Hazel was in a good mood, but that changed the second she was standing next to Mickey…when the waterworks began. Apparently stranger anxiety is just as applicable to stranger mice as it is to stranger people. Here she is with Mickey:

Crying with scary Mickey Mouse

Crying with scary Mickey Mouse

After a long weekend driving, in LA, and at Disneyland we headed home. Hazel wasn’t nearly as cooperative as she had been on the way down to LA so we had to use our magic weapon in silencing her cries and wiping away here tears: showing her Pororo videos on YouTube on our phones…repeatedly until we got home. It was a fun trip – thanks to Yenari’s aunt and uncle for sharing the fun with us!

Emo halmoni

Emo harabaji

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