Apologies for the lengthy absence of posting.

I can’t say that my posts will return with any frequency, but when I do blog, it will be noteworthy.

Korea has a very low birth rate and the government is eager to encourage population growth. As result, there are various monetary incentives to promote larger families. For example, since the birth of our second child we have been receiving 100,000W (approx. $100 USD) per month (child must be a Korean national~our son has dual citizenship).

There is daycare dough for multicultural families (one parent is a Korean national, other parent is a foreigner who resided overseas for over 15 years) for each preschool age child at 300,000W (approx. $300 USD) per month. The reimbursements (money is directly deposited into parental bank account) began in 2011 and registration must be completed at your local Resident Center (주민센터), ask about 다문화가족유아이 (da moon hwa ga jok yoo ai/multicultural family baby). Once you are registered, the monthly 100 is replaced by 300, but it’s basically free daycare versus grocery money.


Now we get daycare dough for the first-born and the baby starts this spring!

My toddler begs to go out everyday. It’s been difficult lately because we had to change nannies again. We finally made it outside this afternoon and discovered ice at the bottom of his favorite slide. Needless to say, the playground was a ghost town. Still, he refused to wear his hat or gloves and spent all his time playing with ice cold sand.

There is a clock on the refrigerator that tells baby time. First-time guests think it’s a toy teach-me-clock but it actually serves many purposes. With a newborn set the clock to the time of the last feeding ~ better to gauge the next feeding or why she is crying. With a toddler set the clock to the time of yesterday’s nap ~ know when to start winding down for naptime. Magnets mark when there was poop ~ helps plan outings. It’s easier to read than a note that will get lost in the daily shuffle.

Baby clock indicates that our toddler napped at 11:30am with poops after breakfast and lunch yesterday.

Try using magnets of different colors or shapes for each child. Maybe even one to indicate when they got medicine…it is cold season.

Often there is no time to plan or prepare a proper lunch. Especially with two under 2. This is my latest go-to lunch that the toddler and I can both enjoy.

Tofu Pancake

1 slice of tofu (about the size of a serving of pound cake)

1 egg

1 clove garlic (mashed, optional)

1 packet of matchstick mushrooms 팽이버섯 (chopped up for toddler)

some flour or 부침가루 (less than 1/2 cup)

some cooking oil

Blend everything together using hands. One tablespoon smooshed into the fry pan makes an appetizer-sized pancake. Try to flip over just once using medium heat.

The second pregnancy made blogging unfeasible.

I hope to resume posting soon, now that our second son is good and healthy.

Sorry for the pregnant pause, nearly nine months away.

The weather has cooled and the snack vendors are selling different foods now. The little fish snack cakes/붕어빵 are back. Did you know there is a Korean expression for when a baby looks just like his father (we’ve been hearing this a lot)? They call the baby boong-uh-bbang/붕어빵, think “chip off the old block.” Because the snack cakes are made from a mold, they are identical.


Little fish snack cakes are filled with 팥/sweet red bean paste.

I’ve been on a crafting kick lately. After inheriting a lot of fabric and notions from a cousin who moved to Australia there was a stack of colored felt that begged to become soft baby blocks. They are not hard to make and once you get started, it’s addictive. Thus far, baby has 21 blocks. Two of which are dice made with colorful buttons sewn tight. They are much kinder to fall upon than wooden blocks for the little guy.

How To:

1. Cut squares, each block uses six.

2. Decorate some squares, try ribbon or felt cut-outs.

3. Assemble the cube using embroidery thread to whip stitch the seams.

4. Stuff insides (I used cut up foam wrapped in crunchy plastic) before complete closure.


Soft baby blocks made using colorful felt, embroidery thread and ribbon.

The baby carrier is a wonderful invention. It allows baby to hang out while I get a few things done. Usually the movement rocks him to sleep. My only worry was the hard plastic buckle right near his eyes. Tried tying baby hankies, even thought about sewing up some sort of cover. While packing up things too tiny for him to wear the solution became obvious. Snip the toes off his tiniest socks and viola, baby carrier buckle covers that can be washed or even coordinated with his outfits.


The cut edge does require stitching.

We went to a first birthday/tol. This is where a child chooses his fate or career path. Symbolic items are placed in front of the child and the first one he picks up indicates his future. The standard array includes a pencil, money, string, rice.


Stethoscope (doctor), pencil (scholar), rice (never go hungry), string (long life) and a gavel (lawyer).

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