Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Seollal!!

Someone had a happy lunar new year this Sunday - a visit to church, a family craft at Michael's Art/Craft store, a nice lunch at Jason's Deli, and a quiet afternoon at home! We decided to wear suit/tie to church instead of a hanbok...someone is really into picking out his own clothes, and was determined to wear a tie like his Appa and Grandpa. And he did get a new book instead of money - I figured we would save that part for when he understands what money is : ).


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Visit to Zoo Atlanta

So, at long last, we made it to the zoo!  Eli loves animals, so it was only a matter of time : ). We first went to the public library to check out the zoo video. Zoo Atlanta offers a free pass for two adults and two children for anyone who does this, so we were even able to go to the zoo for free!

Eli did his best monkey impression while we called the different libraries (the night before) to locate a copy of the video.

When we got to the zoo, the first animals we saw were the flamingos.  Eli decided he LOVES flamingos. He wasn't willing to leave the flamingos until I signed (and said) "more animals", pointing to the path. He looked back at me, with his eyes huge, and signed back "more??". I told him "Yes, more" and he jumped in the stroller.  But, before we could leave, he did ask to take home a flamingo. Actually, he asked to bring home several animals.  And when we told him "no", he tried to take matters into his own hands.
I immediately grabbed him and started to pull him down; my dear husband said (and I quote) "Wait! Let him do it! I want a picture!".  So, I settled for grabbling his pants to at least slow him down while Patrick got the shot.  What animal was he trying to climb in with? Vultures and other birds.  But trust me - he also seriously considered trying it with the elephants, tigers, and panda bears.

Eli was truly excited about the Panda bears. Not because they are really cool looking. Not because they were eating dinner when we got there - but because one of the bears was "playing toys".  He also was really excited when I explained how one of the bears was an "Oma" bear (Mommy bear) and one was a baby bear...we've been reading a book about baby animals and their mothers several nights a week.
We decided to take time for one of the wildlife shows. We chose a bird show; Eli couldn't seem to get enough of the birds - even at the show. The only one he didn't really care for was the Macaw - because it didn't fly in the show. He adored the hawk and the hornbill and fell head over heals for an owl - which he also wanted to take home. He stared intently at all of the birds through the entire show, too - except for asking about taking home the owl. I mostly ducked and hid behind him. I am rather intimidated by Eli's feathered friends (although I admit to secretly liking the flamingo and owl, too).

All in all, it was a nice afternoon. After almost two hours, Eli sighed, sat down in his stoller and said "All done, Bye-bye."  We headed out, and as we left, Eli said bye to everyone we saw - and to each of the animals as we passed : ).  At the exit of the zoo, we heard music.  I asked Eli what instrument was playing, and he (correctly) said "Trombone!".  So we took a quick detour to find the trombone player.  I think it's really funny to have a little one who knows several instruments by ear - but his favorite BY FAR is the trombone - his Grandpa's instrument. Not even Patrick's trumpet is as interesting : ).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lunar New Year 2013

We've decided as a family to begin celebrating Seollal, the Lunar New Year holiday.  Although we will put our own twist on the celebration, we will at least be able to expose Eli to some of his cultural roots this way. For this year, we will simply enjoy a special Korean meal, light a few sparklers in the cul-de-sac, and hang out together as a family.

Eli's school is also including the Lunar New Year as one of their focus topics this month. Since the holiday happens on Sunday (the 10th), Eli's teachers have designated Friday as the day that they will talk about the holiday. I decided to have Eli help me create Seollal goodie bags for his class, and we've just finished them.

Here's what we included in each bag:

A child-size pair of painted chopsticks (they came in 5 different designs):

A "Red Envelope" - this is usually given to children on New Year's and usually holds money (although these have candy coins inside) - this one has a snake on the front, since it will be the Year of the Snake:

The candy coins that we put inside the "Red Envelope".
And for a sweet treat, a pineapple-filled shortbread cookie - oddly, this one was on the Korean aisle of the international market, but the writing on the package is Chinese:
We topped off each bag with a little ribbon:

I really hope the kids will enjoy the small treat.  Mrs. Lee even said that the kids were going to get to try out their new chopsticks at lunch: she's making noodles!

Eli was a big help doing the goodie bags, too. He put two coins in each envelope, put the envelopes in the bag, then put in the cookies and chopsticks.  All I had to do was to tie the bags closed and curl the ends of the ribbon!  He was so funny with the coins - I worked with him on the first few bags, making him count the number of coins each time, while still allowing him to do the work. But, for the last 7 or 8 bags, he suddenly grabbed all of the coins, made two rows of coins on the table, then use his rows to separate them into groups of two.  As a math teacher, I nearly fell out of my chair (a combination of pride and surprise) when he did it. I went to grab the camera, but by the time I had it ready to take a picture, Eli'd already finished putting the coins in the envelopes!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sick Day

So, the three of us have come down with a strep-like throat infection after finally beating that horrid cold that Patrick brought home from school. YUCK. Eli and I stayed home from school today to get better, and we had a quiet morning. In fact, even after I changed Eli into a warm outfit for the day, he said "night, night" and jumped back into bed with a jigsaw puzzle! He loves doing his puzzles - he calls them "pubbles".

Ice Skating

Some people might not realize it, but we DO have ice skating in Georgia!  Eli got some ice skates for Christmas (thanks Gannie!), and had a chance to practice his skills back before the car accident on New Year's.  Here he is, learning to get his feet going : ).

My mom also got him a new pair of roller skates for Christmas.  However, I forgot the video camera last time we went to the roller rink, and haven't been able to take him skating lately.  Hopefully, we will be able to go soon - he's getting pretty steady, and likes to play "dead bug" at the rink - he even won the game last time and was really excited to have the prize (a glow stick). Thankfully, they don't play "dead bug"at the ice rink - it's too cold!  Eli's favorite game there is to grab one of the metal trainers (a device for kids to push around the ice when they are just getting their balance), run as fast as he can, then sit down to slide!

For now, a few more pics!