Saturday, October 3, 2009

I've Moved!

Hi Everyone!

I've moved over to a new address:

I've been meaning to move the address for this blog for a while, and less than a week from my 25-year high school reunion seems like a good time to take care of it.

The 3rd part of the Kimchi Meet-Up post is now there, and you can read about my adventures in Korean Karaoke!

While you are there, please remember to bookmark the new site, or start following it.  All the old posts have been copied over there, and all NEW POSTS will be there as I write them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Multi-purpose Craft Sticks

As I took Barley to soccer practice, he informed me that Daddy had a "special treat" for all 4 of us, and while he (Barley) had already had his, I was going to be lucky enough to have mine after practice.

DH had just gone grocery shopping, so I will admit my curiosity was piqued. I had eaten a hurried dinner in the 15 minutes between when I stepped out of the home office and when I took Barley to his 1.5 hour practice. A special dessert sounded good to me.

Barley was delighted I had forgotten my knitting, since this meant I would have to WATCH him the whole practice for a change. He was not thinking about the fully charged iPhone with internet access in my pocket.

Hey, there are only so many times I can watch kids run backward and dribble a ball with one foot around orange cones. I watch the GAMES without my knitting--those are too exciting to miss! Practice is another matter. Barley tries to "test" me by giving me a thumbs up signal. If I am watching, I am to give him one back. He informed me that last practice, he signaled me 6 times, and I only saw him once! I hinted maybe he wasn't holding his thumb up long enough or high enough, and anyway, they practice waaaay across the field from me so who can see that far anyway?

He informed me that he held the thumbs up at least 15 seconds each time, and that meant that he signaled me for at least 90 seconds (at least his math is good)! I retorted he was lucky I sat there through the practice at all--most of the other moms are dropping their kids off and leaving--so there!

Anyway, as I sat in the hot sun semi-watching the drills, I daydreamed about this special dessert. Ice cream sandwiches? Nah, Barley had just scarfed a box of these last week--that wouldn't seem that exciting to him. It couldn't be Haagen-Dazs or Ben and Jerry's--the boy only likes chocolate--the more interesting flavors would be wasted on him.

I wondered what it could be that he thought was so special? When we finally got home, Barley instructed me to wait in the living room, so he could ask Daddy to get the special dessert out for me. I waited 10 minutes, then realized Barley was in the TV room playing video games with his brother. When I called out to ask if I could go in the kitchen yet, Barley said he'd forgotten--then told his Dad what I was waiting for.

DH called me into the kitchen, and warned me that I might not be quite as excited as Barley was. He reached into the fridge and pulled out....

a homemade frozen popsicle made from apple juice.

OK, I will admit I felt a little let down. Frozen juice treats are not my favorite thing, but Barley was watching me with such a happy, proud grin (it was MY idea to make them, Mommy, and we saved that one for YOU!), I had to eat it.

I had just finished the last drop, licking the craft stick off, when I asked DH where he found the craft sticks? I didn't remember there being any in the kitchen.

DH: "I got them from the kids' art supplies in the office."

Me: "Were they in some wrapped packaging or something? I don't remember buying any."

DH: "No, they were loose in that glass container with all the loose parts...why?"

Me: " Oh... Those were from their stick and tape rafts that they brought home from school. I took the tape off when they abandoned them--figured they could just reuse them in some other craft project."

DH (laughing at me): "Lucky you didn't ask until you were done with the popsicle, huh?"

Me: "Yeah, right. So... don't save these, OK?"

Message to all well-meaning Dads out there: Don't prepare food with children's art supplies, and we promise never to serve you a soda with an empty paper towel tube as a straw...Deal?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kimchi Mamas Meet-Up (Part 2 of 3)

At the speed with which I am cranking out these posts, I should be done by the time we organize our NEXT Meet-up--in November!

Work is looming large, and while I am on target to hit all my MBO goals, it's been a lot of late nights and working weekends to get there. Not much "me" time this month, which translates to not much time for you, my blogging audience. I am sure all dozen of you are waiting with bated breath for the next Kimchi Mamas Meet-Up post! (9 of you were there with me!)

My first impression of the NorCal Kimchi Mamas group? Well, first off, we really put the "Mamas" in the Kimchi Mamas. If I kept count right, there were 3 pregnant moms, 2 of whom are in their 9th month. And 2 moms of nursing newborns. 2 Moms brought their daughters with them, and one brought her accommodating husband along so as to have both family time and Kimchi Mamas time. Now *that* is efficient use of time. The poor man had no idea the conversation immediately flipped to discussion of vaginas whenever he left the table.

Some of us (ahem) were more experienced Mamas, with older children, but we all connected pretty easily. No loudmouths in the group (I was on my best behavior). We all had made some effort on appearance, though none of us was polished enough to go grocery shopping at a typical Korean grocery store. You can tell the "real" Koreans from us Americanized versions by the high heels--YES, for getting groceries. In that context, the pink parking spaces in downtown Seoul do make a warped kind of sense after all.

The Meet-Up was at Sahn Maru in Oakland, which I learned had been reviewed on the KQED show, "Check, Please!". Our organizer, Mary Choi, in all her pregnant glory, is even ON the show--watch here. It is a good review of the restaurant. I would definitely go back again.

We did think it was odd they did not mention the buttock sculptures hanging on one wall of the was an interesting piece Yeah. If you want to see OUR feast, click here. Following are short descriptions of who I met that dinner--the introductions were funny as we gave our actual names, then had to explain our online identities as well.

Mary Choi, our organizer--I pronounced her name "Choy" when I came in, the host clarified it to the Korean pronunciation "Chey" brought me right back to Seoul. Mary is lively, funny, mother to a newborn (why does she still have so much energy)? And persuaded several of us to go to karaoke with her after...more on that in my next post. Read her at: (personal blog) (jewelry hand made by yours truly) (follow me on twitter!)

"Twizzle" - one of our founders--I sat too far away from her during dinner, but she did sing with us at Karaoke, so that tells you something. Not sure what, but something. I hope to get to know her better in the future. Read her at:

Eleanna: blog reader (Thank Goodness we have some!)--again, other end of the table--though she did share a funny story about her name and people mispronouncing it as she was growing up. Eleanna not being a typical Korean name, in case you couldn't tell.

Karen the Californian--new Mama--I sat next to her at dinner and at karaoke. She looked great, except for the flip-flops. Definitely no pink parking spaces for her! Read her at:

Julie Kang, the one I had read the most, of course ended up completely at the other end of the table from me. At least she did come to karaoke, so we got to hear her pipes. She also posted a picture of me in her blog, but I won't tell you which one is me. Read her at:

Shinyung Oh - I had already read some of her excellent posts--her journey to motherhood is chronicled here:

Glennia -- we sat too far away--it was a looong table. She writes a travel blog, and that makes me jealous, since I love to travel but have not had time or $ since having kids. Sigh. Glennia may also have been the only one of us to go to BlogHer, but I might have that wrong.
@glennia on Twitter
Personal/Family Travel Blog: The Silent I:
Political Blog: MOMocrats:

Min Jung brought her very quiet, well behaved baby to the dinner, and told us about Captain Poong Poong, a "magical farting children's program hero in Korean" to quote her Twitter feed. Not being one to shy away from body talk, I noticed she posted this very funny, poignant, and completely accurate post about the relationship between a baby and a nursing mother. Or, I should say, a baby and her mother's boob. Mom's really just there as a bonus.
Eingy -- One of the new moms, Eingy sat across from me. She was very nice, and said some clever things, but I've taken so long writing this post, I can't remember details anymore. She has written a very good post on interpersonal communications. You know, the stuff you wish you could staple to someone's forehead when they just don't "get it." (Ooops, that might be my PMS hormones talking there...don't mind me)
Twitter by eingy
Her blog is at

So, lots of sharing, lots of laughing, not nearly as much vagina talk as one woman's husband thought there would be, and hopefully, the start of some long friendships.

Next post, sometime before the end of the year...Karaoke. Yes, dear readers, I sang. If you can call it that...