Monday, June 25, 2012

Pizza, Kimchi, and Mickey D's

When we visited Shinsegae, the world's largest department store, recently, we saw that there was a pizza oven place in the food area.  This weekend we decided to try it out.  We got it to go so we could do our taste testing at home.  :)  It was definitely edible, but it totally lacked in flavor.  Parker ate it up, but Connar took one bite of it and looked like he was about to lose it along with everything else he had eaten that day.  I've never seen Connar eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as fast as I did after that.  :)

We ordered a pepperoni pizza.  These little circles are not pepperonis.  It was like peppered ham instead... really, it was like ham sprinkled with some pepper.  Like I said, it was edible, but I don't think we'll be eating that again.  Notice the cucumber kimchi in the little container on the left? 

For those who don't know what kimchi is, I've looked up a pretty good definition to share with you.  Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.  There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber.  Kimchi is also a main ingredient for many Korean dishes such as kimchi stew, kimchi soup, and kimchi fried rice.  ***Now, I know many people like kimchi, but it's just not my cup of tea.  No, I have not tried it, nor will I ever.  You're welcome for the definition above because if I had given my own definition, it would've sounded something like this: Kimchi is a stinky dish that is made and sold everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, around here.  :)  I wouldn't be surprised if they sold a room deodorizer with the kimchi scent, because that's how very much they love it around here.

So another day this weekend we decided to try McDonald's for lunch.  There is nowhere to park anywhere in this city (Seriously, people make their own parking spaces right smack in the middle of the street, they move pots of flowers from medians to park there, they park on the sidewalk, and I've even seen some park in bicycle lanes.... and no, I haven't seen a tow truck yet.  Maybe that's why they keep doing it.), but it's okay because we live in a great location within walking distance (sure it might be a good little walk but that's okay) of lots of places.  Mickey D's is about a 10-15 minute walk from our apartment UPHILL so getting home is a little faster.  When Talton ordered, the lady pulled out a menu for him to point to.  Works for me, because then there is no confusion on what we want!  She even came over to the boys, pointed to this display case of Happy Meal toys, and asked them which ones they wanted.

This McDonald's has two floors and a drive thru (not ever doing the drive thru because I can't point to a menu there).  The first floor is where you order, and there's also a small counter to the left of this picture for call in delivery orders.  They have a handful of motorcycles parked outside that they use to deliver food around town.  If you want to dine in, you go upstairs.

This picture cracks me up!  Connar and Parker are both reaching for the bag of food.  Too funny!  By the way, they pack everything in that bag, including drinks.

I was psyched to have a fountain Coke!  And how about these nifty bags as opposed to the cardboard drink carriers we have back home?  I have to say that these rock, and I didn't feel at all like the drink was going to spill like I do when I use the cardboard drink carriers.

I'm not sure what the point of this ring around the burger was.
I'm pleased to report that the nuggets, fries cheeseburgers, and Coke tasted just like home.  Thank you, Mickey D's, for making me and my boys so happy!

Ice cream before dinner? Okay!

There is a Baskin Robbins here in Busan just down the street, and it tastes exactly the same as it does in Texas.  Man, I L-O-V-E love when things taste exactly the same!  It totally makes my day.  :)

Today we decided to eat ice cream BEFORE dinner.  If the boys only knew what a treat that is!

The spoon Parker is holding is mine.  He stole it.  He no longer wanted to wait for me to feed him.  Okay, Mr. Independent.  Have at it.

Connar was on a sharing mission this day.  He shared everything and then wanted credit for it.  "Mommy, what plane you want? Blue or green? Okay, blue? Look Mommy, I shared!" followed by a big smile.....and the request for the plane back so he could share again.

grilling for the first time

In order to grill in our high rise apartment, we have to go to the 16th floor.  That means Talton has to carry a small, portable grill and everything needed to start the fire, not to mention the food and cooking utensils, from our apartment on the 5th floor up the elevator and outside to the 16th floor.  Quite a bit of work but totally worth it!  This being our first time to grill here in Busan, the boys and I wanted to go up there too to see what grilling is like at the top of a high rise.

The boys headed out the door to the roof on the 16th floor.

You can see Talton grilling in the background.  The boys discovered a small area with rocks to play.  Now to keep them situated here with the rocks and nowhere near the edge of the building where they could accidentally drop them...

Connar wanted to bring his horse to play in the rocks.

There was a gorgeous view up there.  We could see the Gwangali Bridge in the distance.

I love watching them play together.  They're definitely each other's best friend.

A view from a different side

Connar helping his daddy grill the chicken

Mommy and her babies

sweet, sweet, sweet

I love that he still has a crease on his wrist between his hand and arm.  I also love the dimples on the hands!

Final product... Chicken and cheese quesadillas!  Delicious!  Thank you, Talton, for making us a little piece of home.  :)

our first visit to the hospital

Before leaving Houston, we all visited our doctors to make sure we were up to date on any vaccinations necessary for traveling to and living in South Korea.  The one we couldn't get in the United States was Japanese Encephalitis, so we promptly made an appointment at the local hospital in Busan to get it (we'll have to go back in the coming weeks and months for boosters).  The hospital is 5 minutes from our apartment, which is wonderfully convenient.  The International Health Care Center offers English translators, and we ended up with a very nice and helpful young man named Ethan.  He was born in Busan, but he actually attends college in the United States and comes back during the summer to visit his family.  He was volunteering as a translator at the hospital for the summer to earn hours for college.

The nurses gave the boys lollipops as soon as we got there, so that kept them occupied for a bit while we waited.  You can see Ethan, our translator, talking to Talton about how he's going to school to be an accountant....what a small world, that's exactly what Talton does!
hugging some of the nurses

Connar getting weighed.  This machine was actually pretty cool, because a little bar quickly lowers down and lightly taps the patient on the head to measure their height at the same time.

Parker didn't cooperate as much with the weighing and measuring.....

There was a little playroom waiting area, but these three toys were the only ones in there.  I think we may need to donate some of our toys in the future once the boys have outgrown them.

cute police car

Parker was trying to get out of the police car as Connar continued to push it, so you can imagine what the next picture would be like if I hadn't jumped up to stop the car.

Some other little friends came to play too.

my adorable Bug

Connar and Parker were friendly, as usual, and talked to the other kids, but the other kids just stared at them with no response.  Connar and Parker kept smiling and talking though.  Too cute.

When Connar saw this little boy see-sawing with his hands by his sides instead of on the handle bars, he had to do that too.

This is interesting... This is how medication comes.  Each pill is in its own little packet instead of in a pill bottle.
These are our ID cards at the hospital.  Look under the black bar... That's Connar's name written in Korean!

This is Parker's name written in Korean!

This is Kristi's name written in Korean!

This is Talton's name written in Korean!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bye and Hi!

So I pulled out the suitcase to start packing in Houston and the boys jumped right in.  It was hilarious to see them squished in there together!


These are the awesome people who woke up extra early to ride with us to the airport (Kaylon, Ryan's girlfriend, came too..she took this picture).  Thank you for seeing us off!  :)

Joel, Connar, Kelsie, Kristi, Ryan, Parker, and Darlena
Look at all that luggage!  Can you spot the boys in the stroller in front of all the luggage? When I say I was prepared for that flight, I mean it.  I told people when we left, "If this flight doesn't go well, it's not because I'm unprepared."  I had books, coloring books, toys of all kinds, movies, iPads, medicine, I bought special toddler headphones (They're GREAT by the way! They fit amazingly well on their little noggins.), had tons of name it, I had it.
Monkey and Bug in their pajamas waiting to check in at the airport.  This stroller was a life saver.  There was a time I considered not taking it and allowing the boys to walk, thinking that I didn't have room to take a stroller too with all that luggage.  What in the world was I thinking?!  Having this stroller was a necessity.  It allowed me to buckle these boys down and know they weren't going anywhere as well as giving our arms a break by strolling them around the airports.

We ate breakfast next to the window so the boys could look at the planes.  They were mesmerized!

Parker filled the time waiting to board the plane in Houston by driving a parked golf cart.  At first I thought we might get in trouble for allowing him to sit in it without the real driver, but then I thought, "Who could get mad at this adorable face?!"  So I let him get on up there and drive.  :)  When the lady came to drive it away, he was not a happy camper, to say the least.  Thank goodness another drove right up and parked.  She looked at us like we were crazy when we told her how glad we were to see her so Parker could "drive" her cart.

:)  He fits!

Connar found a tunnel to crawl through while we waited.  Normally I wouldn't let them crawl all over the ground at the airport, or anywhere else for that matter, but this was one of those days that I decided to pick my battles wisely.

Before we boarded the plane, we stopped at the window to let the boys see the actual plane we'd be riding on.

Connar played a game on the iPad as the plane took off...with a lollipop in his mouth to help with the ear popping.
Parker played with Mater and Lightning McQueen.

Connar played with puzzles.

Parker played games on the iPad.  How cute is this picture?!  He looks like a businessman doing work on his laptop.  :)

This is Parker watching a movie as we took off from Houston.

He just wanted to be loved on.

The airplane spanned nine seats: 3, aisle, 3, aisle, 3.  We needed four seats, so we bought two seats on either side of an aisle so we could still sit next to each other.

The babies would switch seats between me and my mom every now and then.

Connar and I played with his sticky frogs for the last hour or so of the flight to keep him occupied.  I kept his headphones on to try to block out some of Parker's fussing, because they tend to feed off each other.

This was in the Tokyo, Japan airport where we had to take a shuttle from one part of the airport to another.  You can't tell from this picture that we'd been flying for 13 hours and the boys had been awake for around 17 hours at this point (with a cat nap here or there).

checking in at the Japan Airlines counter

Boy, was I over the moon to see him in person for the first time in 7 1/2 weeks!

Parker giving Daddy kisses

He missed his boys terribly.

This is when Connar woke up to Talton's voice and turned around to see him for the first time.  Such a precious moment!

Connar giving Daddy kisses....and Parker waiting for more.  :)

Talton walking us into our apartment for the first time.
The boys took off as soon as we stepped foot inside.

They were ecstatic to see their toys that they hadn't seen in over 2 months!

Connar made the best use of his time by mowing the lawn while riding the motorcycle.

We just had to let them play with their toys for a short while before bathing them and putting them to bed for the first time in Busan.  We were so tired yet so happy to be at our new place.