Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Three days after the cat died, we decided to break the news to the 4 yr old, although the thought did cross our minds to wait and see how long it would take her to figure out the cat was gone. We had considered how to talk about the subject of death without telling her that Gato just went to sleep (to avoid sleep fear), or that she is buried (to avoid buried-while-you're-awake fear), or that she went to heaven to be with jesus (to avoid future christianity confusion).

Ironically, the night before we told her, Amelie asked what happened to Mr. Burns (our old cat that died when amelie was 1). I lied and told her Mr. Burns was very old, and when you're very old, you die (he was actually hit by a car). She asked me, "Older than me?" "Yes, older than you." She continues,"Older than you?" "Yes, older than me." She asks, "Why do we die?" Again, i lied, "We die when we get very very old. That's why." She didn't look entirely convinced, but let me off the hook.

The next morning, we were all snuggled in bed and i told amelie, "Remember last night when we were talking about mr. burns and how he died? Well, Gato died last night" (again with the lies). Amelie paused, and asked, "Where is she?" I replied, "She's dead." Amelie processes some more and asks, "But where is she?" I stammer, and come up with, "She's all gone because she's dead." Amelie persists,"Where is she?" My athiest engineer husband says, "But her spirit lives on, amelie. With Mr. Burns, and Baily, and Booty, and CD" (all our childhood dead animals). As amelie is asking him about "spirit," i look at him with a WTF-are-you-doing face--and he responds by shrugging and saying to me, "You gotta take it from here, i'm not sure where to go with this."

I told her i felt sad that Gato was dead, but it would make me feel better to share our favorite memory of Gato. I started to tell amelie about the day I got Gato as a kitten, and amlie rudely interrupted with "READ. ME. This book!" I said, "Don't you want to share stories--" "NO!"

That was a week ago, and amelie didn't bring it up again, nor did she seem sad. This morning, she told me, "When we're bigger than me or you, we go to Egypt." I asked her, "Um, what?" She said, "Gato and Booty and Mr. Burns are in Egypt and we'll go there too when we're bigger."

I'm not sure where we went wrong with the lesson about death. While we avoided fears about going to sleep or getting buried out in the cold, we may have started a fear about Egypt.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Chaos

We survived another xmas. We have our traditions down now: Santa at Jackson Street Roundhouse, Macy's 8th floor, xmas cookies. Every year, i think about how to give to others less fortunate, and think of less emphasis on stuff and now that i have children, how can i teach them xmas isn't only about stuff (and less emphasis on the whole baby jesus thing too)....It's definately a trickly thin line.

Yes. I thought about these things for just one second--then my almost-4 yr old reminded me of all the things she wants for xmas. As you can see above, she wasn't too excited to actually tell santa what these things are.

The next picture is of me and the girls on xmas eve--getting ready for the present opening frenzie at my brother's house. You can see me in my work clothes because i worked the morning of xmas eve. Because people think that their VIRAL colds will all-of-the-sudden respond to antibiotics on this day, the 24th of december. I'm not sure why--perhaps something to do with baby jesus' special magical powers? Me: You cold is viral. Unfortunately antibiotics won't do anything for it. Them: But it's xmas tomorrow. Me: I know. Them: So, can i get a prescription for antibiotics?

And the girls made out like bandits. Amelie spent an afternoon with my parents and they asked her what she wanted for xmas. She told them a princess wand and ice skates--and my parents delivered. As her and i were walking home on xmas day from ice skating, amelie asked me, "Santa didn't listen." I asked her what she meant. She said, "Santa didn't bring me what i asked for. But grandma and grandpa did."

And below is a video of my brother playing a little post-fondu wii. Doesn't he look special?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gato, RIP

I woke up this morning to the news that our cat, Gato, died in her sleep last night. Although she was 15 years old, her death was rather unexpected. After i got over my own sadness, i quickly shifted to how the hell i'm going to tell my almost 4 yr old. I seriously considered getting a similar looking cat to replace her (c'mon...She's 4. Would she really notice?), or coming home with a kitten; Sort of a good news-bad news situation. But i was assured at work this would lead to life-long therapy for our daughter.

Gato lead an interesting life--i got her from a friend in high school as a kitten and because we lived in the country, she quickly became an outdoor cat and my father insisted i teach her how to 'hunt,' by giving me a coffee can full of rat babies and telling me, "You're her mother, teach her how to hunt." At age 16, i was pretty mortified, but managed to give her a lesson that stuck. She endured a few years in arizona with my parents when i went to college and i took her back after they called her 'coyote bait' one too many times. She would bring me dead rats and birds to the doorstep often. In her later years, she served as a great cuddler, and the girls really loved to crawl and tug and pull at her.

She will be missed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Santa: A Warning

The Big One

Adele's korean tol was a success. She went for the rubics cube placed by her sister. Amelie didn't have a future prediction in mind, we're hoping it means she'll be a math genious. She then chose a toilet plunger brought by a friend that represents a future Joe...sefina the plumber (gawd, no). The third choice was the fake sword--which means a future in the army. I wonder what the koreans do when the chosen item fortells a direction the parents weren't intending on....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Year Ago

A year goes by so fast. After dilating and contracting every 5 minutes for almost a week (i worked while dilated to 5 cm two days before her arrival), i finally had my friend/midwife give an eviction notice to the baby (pop the bag) and less than 2 hours later she came flying out into this world.

In one year, she has accomplished crawling, standing for short periods of time without help, cruising, showing us how big she is, peekaboo, itsy bitsy spider motions, signing "more" and "all done," and saying the following words: eye, mooo, mamamama, dada.

KADs are so pretty

Someone recently asked me why it is that the koreans who are adopted are so pretty and the 'real' koreans (his words) are so plain looking.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Warning:

The baby turns 1 next week, and we will celebrate by having a traditional korean tol. I will also prepare her a processed sugar free carrot cake and instead of serving this super yummy cake to everyone, we will be getting a "regular" cake for all the non-babies. I was discussing the whole 2-cake birthday situation to amelie and she informed me that there will be only one cake for her birthday, and it will be too spicy for me because it will be a kimchi cake. She insists that we bake it with kimchi inside and on top of the cake with a big "4" candle.

Hmmm....I'm tempted. You've been warned.


Thanks, scooter, for directing me to this.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Times are a'changing

At ecfe that's held in an elementary school, they had a 'code red' drill. This was during parent/child separation time and they didn't tell us what code red meant (tricky codes). Apparently, it's the drill you do when an unknown person is walking the halls with a gun. The parent teacher was explaining this to us and reminisced that when he was a kid, they did drills in the event of a nuclear attack. Aah, how times have changed.

That was weird...

I was looking for my wedding video to show the 3 5/6th year old and instead found my high school video compilation. The compilation included my junior year gymnastics routines (she freaked out seeing mommy do such fantastic tricks--"Mommy! You should do that at gymnastics practice!"), christmas of '94 complete with showing my xmas gifts including pj's that i still wear today and an art kit that my daughter recognized from the cabin, the video of me and some friends sneaking a swim in our principle's pool at midnight before graduation, and graduation itself. Before going down the isle in my white graduation gown ("No, dear, that's not a wedding dress."), there was a shot of my band teacher and high school counselor giving me a pat on the back and some words of advice that i have since forgotten. It was sad because both these guys have died prematurely since then.

After graduation, there was a clip of my closest friends and relatives duct taping me to a tree and stuffing ice down the back of my shirt. My daughter was especially concerned to see this snuff video. Questions and comments included, "It's not nice to tape people to a tree." "Why is uncle scott laughing?" "Doesn't that hurt?" "I'm not supposed to tape my sister to the tree."