Posts Tagged ‘work’

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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Recent photos and video

Posted by Greg on October 13th, 2009 with tags: , ,

Ducky PJs

It has been a while since I posted anything, so I figured I’d post a couple of the recent photos and a video.  I was all geared up for a busy weekend this past weekend as Yenari was scheduled to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…but due to a small number of patients in her unit Yenari was sent home after 4 hours on both Friday and Saturday and didn’t even need to go in on Sunday – woo hoo!  So instead of struggling with the bottle, Hazel had a weekend long all you can eat milk buffet!  Ok, on to the rest of the photos:

Ducky PJs
Though Hazel always sports the mohawk, this photo really shows it off…along with her ducky PJs.

All wrapped up

And here’s a video of her laughing at me bringing the camera close to her and then far away:

A bit over a week ago we went to El Camino Hospital (Yenari’s employer) Community Day to celebrate the opening of their new super high-tech hospital.  Here are Yenari and Hazel in front of the nurses station in Yenari’s unit and then a picture of Yenari watching the hospital robot (a supply, medicine, and food delivering robot) while Hazel happily ignores the big moving file cabinet like robot!

Yenari and Hazel at the new El Camino Hospital

Meeting the hospital robot

Random post complete!  Thanks for bearing with me here…

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Home Alone!

Posted by Greg on September 16th, 2009 with tags: , ,

Home alone, but not alone – I’ve got a baby!  Last week Yenari returned back to work, so for the past week there have been big changes in our house.  Yenari works from around 2pm to midnight 3 weekdays a week and then every other weekend.  We have a nanny coming to take care of Hazel for 4 hours on the 3 weekdays, but then I’m on baby duty for the next 6 hours and I’ve got the full 10 hours on the weekends.

So…I went from spending just about no time home alone with Hazel a few weeks ago to spending about 50 hours alone with her over the past week and a half!  It has been an…interesting transition and is definitely taking some getting used to for all of us.

For the most part things have been going really well in my alone time with Hazel.  I’ve been going on long walks with her through the neighborhood – checking out all the parks, exploring the small streets I’ve never been on before, and seeing things I never noticed in the neighborhood when life moved at a faster pace.  I’m not looking forward to the end of daylight savings time and the shortening of the daylight hours – soon enough it will be dark by the time I get home, so the walks will probably be shorter and less entertaining.

My favorite thing though is making her laugh.  Over the past few weeks she’s transitioned from occasional little smiles, to big smiles, to the occasional laugh, and now to all out cracking up.  I just about gave myself whiplash today shaking my head around while she watched me in the mirror, laughing her chubby cheeks off!

It’s not all laughs though.  Hazel still hasn’t caught on to eating from a bottle – she’s eating only a few ounces a day while Yenari is at work and those ounces are painful painful attempts filled with crying and frustration.  She definitely knows how to eat from the bottle – she’s done it for short periods of time successfully – it just seems that she doesn’t want to do it!  So, for now I’m keeping up on trying to feed her, but I’m not trying to push it much – if she fights it I give it a break and try twenty minutes later.  As long as I don’t fight with her on eating she seems perfectly happy and well behaved.  When Yenari finally gets home Hazel goes into eating overdrive and catches up on 10 hours of eating.  Apparently lots of breastfed babies take a few weeks to adjusting to eating from a bottle in daycare, so hopefully we’ll have a better story to tell in a few weeks.

One area she has been very cooperative in is sleep – she’s been able to get to sleep around 9 or 9:30 each night, letting me wind down after a long day of work and then baby herding.  I’ve even led a number of calls for work while she’s been sleeping – though I have warned my colleagues that I may have to abruptly end the calls to soothe the crying babe.

So…things haven’t been perfect by any means, but at the same time they haven’t been a complete disaster.  Hazel and I have been able to spend a lot of time together and as a result I’m getting to know her and to understand her better.  Now if we can just take care of this ‘not eating anything’ issue, all we’ll have left is the fun and games!

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100 days!

Posted by Greg on September 7th, 2009 with tags: , , ,

Today marked an important milestone for Hazel – her hundredth day since birth!  The hundred days celebration is popular in Korean culture and dates back to the times when infant mortality rates were low and making it through 100 days was a sign that the baby was likely to survive and thrive.  Nowadays the hundred days celebration carries is both a celebration of the baby and the parents…survival is a two way street!  Some people have a big party to celebrate the hundredth day, but we decided to take it easy and enjoy the day with Hazel.

Yenari did, however, dress Hazel up in her fanciest princess dress:

100 days old!

100 days old!

In addition to this being a celebration of her age, today also marked the last day of Yenari’s time off of work.  Tomorrow Yenari heads back to work at her full schedule of 4 days a week at the hospital.  She works the evening shift from around 2:30-11:30pm, so her going back to work will also mean some big changes for me!  On the weekdays we’re going to have a nanny taking care of Hazel until six and then I’ll take over until around midnight when Yenari gets home – scary!

The major part of the preparation over the past several days has been trying to get Hazel used to eating from a bottle.  Shouldn’t be too hard right?  How hard could it be for a baby to eat from a bottle?  Ummm….apparently quite hard!  This has been one of the most difficult times we’ve had in the last…100 days.  As soon as a bottle comes near Hazel the screaming and crying begins.  She’s gotten a hold of it a few times and eaten a few ounces, but she doesn’t seem to remember or want to eat the next time around.

On Saturday we fed her only with the bottle until 9pm…she probably drank a couple ounces of milk over the course of the day – a tiny amount compared to how much she normally eats.  On Sunday we tried to follow the schedule that she’ll have once Yenari goes back to work – breastfeeding until 2pm and then the bottle until midnight.  We all survived it, but there was lots of crying and Hazel only ate a few ounces.  It’s really difficult as a parent to watch your baby cry because she’s hungry and to not give in and let her breast feed.

Over the last week we’ve done our part in supporting the economy by purchasing just about every bottle and nipple on the market…from the local Babys R Us to the local Japanese market…we’ve seen them all.  None of them have provided the miraculous breakthrough we were hoping for, and I’m guessing that we won’t find one that will provide that miracle.  Hazel seems to be able to eat from a bottle when she needs to, she just doesn’t seem to want to do it too often.  My hope is that with more practice and with the reality of no mommy in site, Hazel will resign herself to eating from the bottle and overcome this challenge for all of us!

So, here’s to Hazel’s hundred days, a good return to work for Yenari, productive eating for Hazel, and me surviving with Hazel at night 4 days a week!

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