Friday, April 28, 2006

Another Friday rendezvous at the Eagle Rock Farmer's Market

I mentioned before that Eagle Rock has a Farmer's Market every Friday. Uwe and I went there once before Astrid was born, and Astrid and I went there once when Uwe was out of town on a business trip. Today was the first time all three of us went together. We tried the Hawaiian rotisserie chicken. Tasty!Astrid eating her evening oatmeal which she gets as the last meal before bedtime (and her formula nightcap).Here I am enjoying my chicken and peeking over at Astrid.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Flipping through Star magazine

Our nanny had soap opera digest with her one day and that's how I found out she loves soaps. With her not being able to watch TV all day, we thought that she would like to read some tabloid gossip news (aka Star magazine) to get her celebrity fix and to have something she enjoys reading to pass the time while the baby is napping. Astrid's pointing to Britney Spears' baby.Flipping through the pages of the magazine. She's getting pretty good at it and she LOVES to turn the pages of new books, magazines, newsletters, you name it.I cringed when I heard about Britney Spears' baby having a skull fracture from falling out of his high chair. I had a similar scare when Astrid fell from her changing table right onto the top of her head. But luckily for us she has a tough noggin and bounced back a few minutes later without any injuries.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Haribo Happy Cola Kind

I love these Haribo coke bottle gummi candies. We used to get them at the German store in Alpine Village in Torrance, CA until one day I stumbled on them in passing at Walgreens. Yes, the drugstore. So now Uwe and I have a running joke. Normal people go to the drug store to get medicine, but we go there to get candy. Our Haribo Happy Cola Kind. (Kind is child in German.)

Astrid loved playing with the empty candy wrapper.
"Maybe mom left me one in here. "
"Felt the entire bag and no stray candies left. Oh well at least I've got the bag to play with."
Standing pic #1.
Standing pic #2.
Standing pic #3.
Down she goes.

Astrid has been standing more and taking more steps. We know that invariably she sits down when she gets tired, but frequently she falls down. It's a bit nerve wracking, but it's fun to see her wobble around on her two little legs to get from point A to point B. No matter how many times she falls down, she'll get right back up and try again. It's amazing how fearless and tenacious babies are.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Laughter is contagious

Tonight I was blowing on some food to cool it down so that Astrid could eat it. Astrid saw what I was doing and started laughing. This of course made me laugh and in turn made Astrid laugh even harder. In the end we were both cracking up.

Something I never thought of as funny all of a sudden became hilarious. It does look pretty silly to see someone blowing on a fork.

Seeing Astrid smile makes me smile, and hearing her laughter makes me laugh.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Astrid playing with her birthday gifts

It's the day after Astrid's birthday party and today she gets to play with all her new toys and try on some new outfits. These "peekaboo" blocks (a gift from our nanny) are really cool. From A to Z, each one represents a different letter from the alphabet, and inside there's an object that starts with that letter. For instance: The "U" block has an umbrella inside with tiny blue plastic balls that you can shake inside the cube to represent rain. The "N" block has a nest with bird and two eggs inside. Playing with her zebra stuffed animal toy that came with her gift basket (a gift from our friends John and Lisa).
Astrid loves this big Koala (a gift from our friend Dave). The Koala is as big as Astrid.
"Thank you for all my new toys and clothes!"

Here she is wearing a new strawberry outfit from me, and a new peach bib from our nanny.

Before her birthday party Uwe and I noticed that Astrid had outgrown most of her clothes and really needed summer clothes. But after her birthday party, she received so many new outfits, most of them summer outfits, that now we're all set for the summer. =)

Fascination with the remote control

What is it with remote controls and babies? Why are babies so attracted to the remote? Astrid is drawn to our remote controls and whenever they're in sight she wants to play with them. Recently she figured out that if she pushes the "on" button, the TV will turn on. Now we have to keep the remotes out of her reach. Especially so she doesn't push all the buttons and create some kind of error.

During the day we don't even have the TV on, as we don't want her glued to the tube. In the evenings before she goes to bed we rarely have the TV on. If we do, it's on in the background for the occasional ballgame or news. So it's not like she watches any TV.

I gave her a remote from a TV we don't use, but she doesn't want to play with that one. Go figure...she only wants to play with the live remotes.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Astrid's 1 year birthday party/celebration

Astrid's birthday was on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, so we had her party this weekend, on Sunday 4/23/2006, to celebrate with family and friends. This of course is her very first birthday party and it was very important to me to have a traditional Korean style celebration like I had as a child. Here's my clan.

People from left to right: Uwe, Rose, Astrid, Grandma, and Grandpa (my parents)

Towers from left to right: dates, Korean cookies, pine nuts, rice cakes, and walnuts.

Traditionally these towers of food represented wealth and prosperity (as well as decorative pieces), however today these towers are made of plastic and made to look like real food, so they can be used over and over again.

The Korean writing on the middle, pine nuts tower reads "Chuk Dohl" which means 1st year's birthday.We were trying to get Astrid to look up at the camera, so many of our friends were jumping up and down and making faces. Even though it was for the baby's benefit, I couldn't keep a straight face and as you can see I'm cracking up. Hurray...Astrid finally looks up at the camera!Lots and lots of Korean food. There's even more that wouldn't fit on our dining room table.

The 3 smaller towers are three different traditional Korean rice desserts.
My mom was a great help setting out all the food (and finding a place for everything), as well as helping me and Astrid into our dresses. Three generations of Korean women in my family (my mom is 100% Korean, I'm 1/2 Korean, and Astrid is 1/4th Korean) all dressed in Hamboks (traditional Korean dresses).

I had no idea how expensive these dresses were until just recently when I went shopping for Astrid's dress. Her dress was $150, which is okay since she can keep her baby dress as a nice keepsake for the rest of her life. (I'm thinking of framing it for her.) However, the adult dresses are $400 and up, which doesn't include the slip underneath which is an additional $100.

Luckily for me I was able to borrow my mom's summer Hambok.The birthday girl in full Korean regalia. Here she is standing up next to the coffee table. You can see the full length of her dress.

Her top is light pink with a brown collar with multi-colored stripes running down the length of her sleeves. Her floor length skirt is a bright pink. Her ribbon hat matches her bright pink skirt and has a tassel on the front, with a strand of pearls on top, and a long ribbon in the back.A view from the back. You can see the long ribbon from her Korean hat..Looking like a porcelain doll standing in her Korean dress.

That's our nanny's son Nicholas sitting in the chair beside us. He's a very nice, well behaved, 12 year old boy. I knew from his mom, (our nanny Lorie) that he's a straight A student and that he has perfect attendance at school (one day she mentioned that her son was sick but he told her he had to go to school because he couldn't miss even one day - and I thought "What a good boy!"), but this was the first time Uwe and I met him in person and we were impressed. It's reassuring to know that our nanny did a great job raising her own son.

(Unfortunately we didn't get a photo of Lorie, however there is one photo where she's standing in the background and you can see her from the neck down.) Here we are, just the two of us.You can see my dress a little better in this photo. It's made of beautiful flowing fabric that's ideal for the summer months.Astrid crawling in her dress.

(That's our nanny Lorie standing in the background. I have to get a nice photo of her to post on my blog. When I was Astrid's age I also had a nanny, and even though I don't remember her, I would have loved to have a photo of her.)

We have a "no shoes" policy in our home, which keeps the floors nice and clean. Everyone knows when they come over to our house that they're going to have to remove their shoes before entering. We have a cute sign that I purchased in Hawaii that says "Mahalo for removing your shoes" which hangs outside, next to our front door. Pushing herself backwards, sliding across the floor.A cute photo of the different ages of kids: the two 1 year olds playing on the floor, and the 18 month old standing, staring up at the 6 year old who looks like a giant in this photo.It's fun watching the little kids interact with each other. Astrid and Mara checking each other out, as us mommies (me and Julie) hover and oohh and ahhh at our little ones.Mara tries to grab Astrid's hat.It tickles me to watch them "playing" with each other.I could sit and watch them for hours. They both have their own distinct personalities.Grand Central "Baby" Station.Cutie pie with her finger in her mouth."Check ya later!" Crawling out onto our deck.Sitting pretty on our deck.Lilah and Mara getting to know one another.
The birthday girl in her proud mama's arms.A close up of the birthday girl. My dad told me I looked really pretty in my Korean dress. He can be really sweet sometimes. But he also likes to be a clown (literally as he's a clown for the Shriners, and a figuratively). He commented that Astrid makes a good Korean, referring to how she looks like a German kid dressed up in a Korean costume. Ah well it makes me happy and she's celebrating her Korean heritage and looks really cute in the dress even if she does have blond hair and blue eyes. Munching on Korean food and watermelon.
"Korean food is yummy, yummy in my tummy!"

When I was pregnant with Astrid I read that children develop a taste for foods in the womb. So if you eat spicy foods while pregnant, you child is more likely to enjoy the taste of spicy foods, and vice versa. So after the morning sickness phase was over I really tried to eat a lot of Korean food. And for some reason I craved really spicy foods like jalepenos even. So Astrid is destined to eat kimchee!
She was such a good baby and was content to sit on my lap and eat all the Korean goodies I fed her.
Astrid amazed me by how good she was in her costume and hat. Usually babies can't wait to pull off their hats and get grumpy when they're dressed up, but Astrid wore the dress for as long as I wore mine (2 hours) and was happy the entire time wearing the hat as well. I only took off her hat when I was feeding her, and changed her out of her outfit when I wanted to change out of my dress and get comfortable. Our friends Jeff (Astrid's godfather) and Mary standing on our deck enjoying the view, while the two grandmas (my mom and Julie's mom) sit and chat and enjoy their Korean food.Mary with her daughter Maya. Maya is looking like a preteen now. I can't believe how much she's grown from when she was a flower girl in our wedding four years ago.
The boys chatting (John, Uwe and Dave).Uwe illustrating a point to John, while I'm in the background chatting with Mary (who I haven't seen since I had Astrid).Lilah, the dancing queen. She liked to dance on our hardwood floors. So cute.Lilah sitting on her mommy's (Becky's) lap.Who needs elbow room when you've got food and beer?Our friend Jill (Astrid's godmother) took these amazing photographs. Thank you again Jill!Another nuclear family - Becky, Michael & Lilah hanging out on our deck. It's so cool that we were friends with Becky & Michael pre-baby and now post-babies we can chat about our kids and parenthood.My mom holding Astrid.My mom did not want to wear a Korean dress. It was a point of contention between us for weeks leading up to the day of the party. She thought it was too much of a hassle and had a number of other reasons she didn't want to wear it, so I left it up to her and stressed how important it was to me. I wasn't holding my breath, but today I was extremely happy that she wore a Hambok (even if it was for just an hour, and then she changed into her suit).
A sweet photo of Uwe and Astrid. Happy birthday to you!

Everyone who sees this photo says Astrid looks like a German baby. Well it's a good thing then that I'm a Deutsch-o-phile (a lover of all things German).Kisses from papa.Here we are in front of Astrid's birthday cake (a traditional Korean rice cake). I found it funny how everyone kept asking me, "Is that Astrid's name in Korean?" Nope. The red beans on top spell "Chuk Dohl", 1st year's birthday. She'll have many years with a traditional American birthday cake with her name spelled out in frosting and a numbered candle. This year, just once in her life, she'll have a traditional Korean birthday celebration. Here's a pic of Astrid in her PJ's, wearing her hat for a few last photos.Almost time for bed.My angel faced birthday girl. Astrid also had a pair of matching Korean socks (but they aren't ideal for standing so I didn't put them on her). She also had a Korean purse to go with her outfit. All of her birthday presents that she'll get to play with and try on tomorrow.

A great big thank you to everyone who came to Astrid's birthday party! And thanks to those of you who couldn't attend, but sent well wishes and/or presents!