Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Mysterious Hissing

I would like to share my favorite part of the day today:

I was cleaning up breakfast dishes in the kitchen, and Sophie was amusing herself by looking at her books on the couch in the living room. I was listening to music and not paying much attention, feeling very happy that Sophie was entertaining herself so well with something that did not involve emptying cabinets or begging for a snack. Then I started hearing a hissing sound coming from the living room. I looked over at Sophie, but she was absorbed with her book. I figured I was hearing things, but no, then I heard the sound again. It must be Sophie! What was she trying to say?

I walked over to see what she was up to and discovered her flipping avidly through Pat the Bunny. One part of the book has a "mini-book" pasted in, and the last page says "Shhhh-hh, Bunny is sleeping." Sophie was looking at that page and saying "sssss, sssssss, sssssss!" How does she figure these things out? I was proud and amused by my daughter, the reader.

As an added bonus, she also raised her hands and spread them wide when I asked her "How big is Bunny?" So-o-o-o big! Just like my Sophie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things to Do with Kids on Geoje - Hot Weather Edition

Now that Sophie is walking and climbing and very active, we are constantly looking for things to do outside the apartment. This can be a challenge since the weather is H-O-T these days and just going out to the playground is pretty unpleasant. Fortunately, our playgroup friends are kind enough to invite us over for a change of scenery, and they also share their suggestions for things to do. Here are some ways that we've found to beat the heat:

1. Go to the beach!
We live approximately 200 meters from the beach. But before you get envious, please note that this is Deokpo Beach I'm talking about. On days when it's nice, to paraphrase a favorite nursery rhyme, it is very very nice, but on days when it's bad it is horrid! There is often a lot of trash on the beach and in the water, and sometimes the water is smelly (we think it's from fertilizer runoff). So we try to get to the beach here when it's pleasant and to go to Gujora Beach when we have a little more time. We also tried out Heungnam Beach, a bit further north of us on the island with bigger waves and looked cleaner and a bit less crowded. Here are some photos and a video of Sophie enjoying the beach.

Walking in the waves at Deokpo Beach, on August 3, Keegan's birthday.

Trying to sit in a bucket at Heungnam Beach, August 5. This was her idea. I'm only holding the bucket up.

Playing with Daddy at Gujora Beach, August 13.

2. Go to the Geoje Sea Spa.
The sea spa has a really nice outdoor pool on the roof, complete with water slides and an indoor baby pool that is warm as bathwater. Although many Korean kids are outfitted in life jackets and inflatable tubes in the baby pool, it is still fun to swim there if you can go when it's not too crowded. Sophie loves riding the water bobsled on Mommy or Daddy's lap - I wish I had a video of her ear-to-ear grin coming down the slide. I can't get enough of it! After swimming in the pool for a while, you can visit the spa restaurant for ramen or spicy soup and rice.

Chilling at the sea spa, July 20.

3. Play in the fountain near the ferry terminal.
One of the consequences of the new bridge from Geoje to Busan is that the passenger ferry no longer runs from Okpo, so now the ferry terminal is just a relic. But there is a small park next to the terminal with a playground and a fountain that runs in the summer. Kids can run around in the jets and get soaked - perfect for sweltering summer days!

Playing in the fountain with lots of friends on August 4. She was actually having a good time, even though she looks miserable. Also, no babies were harmed during the filming of this video, despite the spill you see at the end.

4. Put a wading pool out near the playground.
This is only semi-successful with Sophie, since she likes to climb in and out of the pool and try to run into the hot parking lot in her bare feet. But it's nice to have a way to cool off right outside the apartment. There are inflatable pools for sale everywhere these days, and we're lucky to live somewhere where it's easy enough to fill one up.

Sophie swimming with Anna-Lynn on June 12. We miss Anna-Lynn and her family, who are in Florida for a long vacation.

Look for the rainy day list sometime soon - we have been busy, busy, busy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Skills and Experiences

Sophie is growing by leaps and bounds and learning new skills every day. Here are a few of her latest tricks and new experiences:

Trying corn on the cob for the first time. Korean corn is TERRIBLE, but she seemed to enjoy it.

Trying on Mommy's clothes. She often brings me a t-shirt from my drawer and is thrilled when she can wear it around the house.

Climbing on anything and everything.