Posts Tagged ‘friends’

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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Hazel is One Year Old!

Posted by Greg on June 1st, 2010 with tags: , , ,

Today Hazel passed the major 12 month milestone – we’ve got ourselves a one year old! It’s amazing how fast time flies. Yenari and I spent much of the day yesterday recounting everything about Yenari’s labor and the hours that led up to it – definitely didn’t seem like something that happened a whole year ago.

Hazel has changed a lot in the last few months. She’s standing – both pulling herself up on everything around her and standing up without holding onto things. She’s also started learning things really fast and has become particularly good at copying us – she’s clapping, waving hello/goodbye, blowing kisses, imitating hand motions, trying to say the words that we’re saying, and generally acting a lot more like a kid. She definitely understands a lot more now – if we say hi/bye she waves and if we say jusaeyo (Korean for ‘please give it to me’) she politely hands over whatever she is holding. It seems like she’s coming into a bit of a renaissance period now and changing so much each day.

Here are a couple photos of her today at the park:

at the park on her first birthday

at the park on her first birthday

at the park on her first birthday

This Saturday we had Hazel’s first birthday party. We had it at the same park where we took the photos above and had about 30 people. Korean’s take their first birthday’s very seriously and we didn’t have the time to do all of the decorations for Hazel’s Dol, so we hired a couple people who do it for a living. They did an awesome job setting everything up:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel was a bit quiet and cautious because of all the people, but she seemed to have a good time. Here she is picking from an assortment of toys – a stethoscope, golf club, microphone, money bag, pencil, and thread:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel ended up picking the golf club – so it’ll be a career of professional sports for her…don’t quite know which gene’s will help out with that, but the Dol doesn’t lie, so a professional athlete she will be. So spent more time picking runners up – the stethoscope and money bag…maybe a lucrative career in sports medicine?

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel's First Birthday Party

and then…cake!

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Hazel enjoyed a couple bites of her cake…strawberries and all. And then she returned to playing with her guests:

Hazel's First Birthday Party

Thanks to everyone who came to the party to help us celebrate Hazel’s first 12 months and to give her their best wishes for the next 12 months and beyond.

The last 12 months have definitely been a major learning experience for all of us, but life with Hazel is just getting more and more fun everyday.

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Connecticut and Boston Trip

Posted by Greg on May 31st, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

Catching up on this trip over a month late!  After that series of posts on our Korea trip I had to take a breather, but I’m back now.

Right after our Korea trip, meaning the day we arrived back in San Fransisco, we all hopped on a plane to fly out to Boston so that I could make it to some meetings in in Southborough, MA.  Considering that we had already flown for 12+ hours that day, Hazel handled the 6 hour redeye flight east really well.  We arrived in Boston, got our rental car, drove to Southborough, and I ran straight to my meeting while Yenari and Hazel slept for most of the day.  Because they slept almost the whole day they were wide wide wide awake when it was time for me to get some sleep that night.  We had a couple rough days of sleeping and catching up from the difficult 12 hour time difference.

On our second night in Southborough we went to see Alden, Katie, Violet – this was the week of baby Field’s arrivial, but he hadn’t quite arrived yet.  We hadn’t seen Alden and Katie in over a year, so this was the first time they had seen Hazel.  It was great seeing them after so long – we had hoped to see a little baby, but we were a couple days early for that.  It the excitement of it all I didn’t manage to take any pictures though – booo.

On Friday afternoon we picked up Liza at the train station and then drove down to Connecticut to my mom’s house for a weekend of fun.  We spent just about all of our time in the house, but had many visitors to keep us busy and check in on Hazel.  Here’s Hazel with her grandmother and great grandmother:

In CT at Meemaw's house

and here she is with Yenari and her Aunt Kathleen:

In CT at Meemaw's house

all of the excitement definitely tired her out:

In CT at Meemaw's house

On Sunday, right before we left, Joe and Sophia came for a visit with their little one, Vera. Hazel was kind of afraid of Vera and got really jealous when Yenari picked her up. We snuck the two of them close enough together so I could take a picture, but they definitely weren’t doing much playing together on this trip:

with Joe, Vera, and Aunt Liza

Finally, on our way back to the airport on Sunday afternoon, we stopped by Yenari’s high school friend Jungeun’s place in Boston. Jungeun and her husband have a little baby boy, so we wanted to have a meeting of the babes. Hazel did a repeat of her jealousy act when Yenari picked up their baby and seemed afraid of him – just like he was with Vera earlier in the day.

And with that…our trip was over and back to California we went – this time for more than 12 hours!

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Korea Trip Part V: Fake Traditional Birthday Party

Posted by Greg on May 3rd, 2010 with tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t worry, this is part five of five…last of the Korea trip posts, and only three weeks after our return!

In Korean culture, a baby’s first birthday is a major event.  Not only do people host parties with their friends to celebrate, but they also mark the occasion with a ceremony called a ‘Dol’, where the baby dresses in traditional Korean clothes and is placed in front of a table full of food, decorations, and series of items for the baby to choose from.  The item that the baby picks up first is supposed to indicate the profession or future of the baby later in life.  When Yenari was a baby she chose a pen and a book – foreshadowing the fact that she would spend a lot of time studying…a fortune that came true!

Even though our area of California has a very high population of Koreans, there aren’t really many places where you can buy Korean traditional clothes, and especially not many where you can buy traditional baby clothes.  So, one of our goals on our trip was to find clothes for Hazel for her upcoming birthday (just one month away!).  Yenari’s grandmother said that she wanted to buy the clothes for Hazel and knew just the place for it – an open market in the middle of Seoul – a wild place filled with thousands of tiny shops, food sellers, and lots of commotion.

We made our way through the market, slowly following Yenari’s grandmother who was weaving in through the tight corridors as only someone could who had walked the market thousands of times.  We eventually made it a set of shops dedicated to baby hanboks.  Here’s a small slice of the wall:

Shopping for Hazel's hanbok for her Dol

We spent a while there with Yenari, her mother, and her grandmother talking to the women behind the counter and seeing what they had to offer. After serious debate on exactly how hot the hot pink of the dress should be, and after holding up many different hanboks to see how they’d look on Hazel we made our choice and followed Yenari’s grandmother out of the maze.

Shopping for Hazel's hanbok for her Dol

On way back home, Yenari’s grandmother and mother were both feeling a bit sad that they wouldn’t actually get to see Hazel wear her fancy new clothes at her Dol, so we suggested that we have an early birthday party for Hazel (2 months early) so that all the family in Korea and Yenari’s friends could be a part of it. Everyone was excited about the idea and we planned the party for the weekend before we were to leave. Yenari’s grandmother started all of the cooking and decorating preparations just about as soon as she got home.

Fast forward a couple days to Saturday and the preparations. Yenari’s father was the boss of the preparations, making a trip to the Korean equivalent of Toys R Us to pick out some stuff for her to choose from at the table. The table itself was his other main job, decorating it with fresh fruit, handmade rice cake, handmade carved dried squid, and about twenty stuffed animals. Here’s a shot of Yenari’s father preparing the table, and following that the squid and rice cakes that Yenari’s grandmother worked so hard on:

being coached by grandfather before her Dol

Dol table

Handmade rice cakes made by Hazel's great grandmother for her Dol

Carved dried squid made by Hazel's great grandmother for her Dol

Up next, the arrival of the guests and the dressing of Hazel in her hanbok:

getting dressed up for her Dol in a Korean traditional hanbok

Once dressed, Hazel had fun with the family before the event got going:

gnawing on stuff with her grandfather

with her great grandmother

playing with grandma, partially dressed up at her Dol

and then it was time to start the festivities – Hazel was put down in front of the table, quickly grew tired of her hat, and then started checking out all the things in front of her:

all ready to go at her Dol

what to pick...

second pick - princess wand

her first pick was a stethoscope – a total setup by Yenari, placed well in front of all of the other items. The stethoscope was followed by a princess wand, which was followed by a gold ring. Yenari’s father tried to have to her pick up money, a sign of wealth, but she immediately threw it on the ground…uh oh. We all had a great time watching it and then took some group photos:

fam photo at her Dol

with Yenari's friends at her Dol

and a not so happy photo of Hazel with her grandparents!

not so happy with grandma and grandpa at her Dol

quickly turning back to happiness seconds later:

with grandma at the Dol

Playing in her fancy dress at the Dol

We were all so happy that we decided to have this fake birthday party and celebrate Hazel’s Dol. While this was the fake one it’ll definitely be much more authentic than the one we’ll do here in a few weeks. A huge thanks to Yenari’s grandmother for both buying the hanbok and for preparing all of the rice cakes and decorations, thanks to Yenari’s parents for for hosting the party and preparing the table, and thanks to everyone who make the trip out to celebrate with us and who got Hazel such nice presents.

We had another three days in Korea, but I’ll spare you all and not go into extreme detail on each and every minute. We visited Yenari’s grandfather’s grave in the countryside, we met Yenari’s father’s extended family (who Yenari hadn’t seen in about 10 years), had some last visits with Yenari’s buddies DoYoung and Eulji, and spent more time with Yenari’s family. It was a great trip and it was so nice to see Hazel get to know Yenari’s family and to have her spoiled with all of the attention. She changed a lot in this trip and started to look a lot more like a kid and a lot less like a baby (looks can be deceiving sometimes though!).

So it was back to reality…a long flight home with an almost immediate hop back on to a plane for all of us to go to Boston (for my work) and Connecticut (to see my family)…but I’ll leave that for another post…

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