It’s been a while. It’s been crazy busy! It’s definitely been an adventure. I’ve been asked to categorize this blog but I can’t. I can’t because A: My interests are so varied they cannot be categorized into areas that would normally classify as categories and B: The crap life shoots at me and mine, cannot be classified either and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way! 😆
We have been busy living, we have been busy doing. Unfortunately not necessarily doing everything I have wanted to do, but doing stuff nonetheless! “Come to South Korea”, they said, “it’ll be fun!” they said, “you’ll love it”, they said, “You’ll get to do lots of traveling!” They said. Well, we are so busy socializing every weekend that there’s no time for anything else! Between our kids’ birthdays and birthday parties, between other kids’ birthday parties, between end of school parties, between the numerous social occasions we find ourselves part of because of hubby’s work, between all the crazy stuff that consistently happens on a daily basis, even we, are incredibly busy, there has been no more time for travel, there has been no time for writing, there has been no time! Let me see, aside from my Jeju writings, when was the last time I wrote about anything in my life? Yes, it’s been a while!
We came back from Jeju and I spent Tuesday May 31st unpacking and washing, Wednesday I had my follow-up Dr appointment (that I previously blogged about) followed by a Family Readiness Group meeting where we all brought a Mexican themed potluck dish. In between both appointments, I had to begin making dear son’s birthday cake as his party was on Sunday 5th June. It’s best to make the cakes early enough and freeze them ensuring they are the correct shape, etcetera, with plenty of time to make adjustments if necessary. I got one cake made on the day and followed it up with another on the Friday. We had a function to go to on the Thursday night followed by another one on the Friday night (both for hubby’s work). Friday day though, my girlfriend came over and watched as I made the cake, then made my own marshmallow creme fondant (taken from this blog: http://thefarmgirlrecipes.blogspot.kr/2011/04/marshmallow-creme-fondant.html?m=1), the fondant is delicious! The only problem is the high humidity here did cause it to start to ‘melt’ by the Sunday morning, meaning I had to do some rearranging by the time we got to the party. But the best part was that every single kid (and adult) ate that fondant, unlike the normal response I get to store-bought fondant.
The function on Friday night was then followed with something called an ‘at the gate’ sale. We literally set up shop at the gate and soldiers and spouses grilled hotdogs and hamburgers and sold them to people coming in. It was actually lots of fun, they had set up a dunk tank and a fairy floss machine (cotton candy machine) and had a great system going. Unfortunately we didn’t get there until 9pm as the previous function ran a lot longer than expected, but we got right into it upon arriving. Hubby had worn appropriate clothes to get dunked (and I had changed into comfortable clothes for the bbq event). He got dunked almost immediately (maybe with a little help from his wife) then we talked to other soldiers, family members, their kids and people passing by and had a great time. I had jokingly said to someone that I wouldn’t get in the dunk tank seat for less than $50 & unfortunately, that statement was heard by someone willing to pay it! He did keep missing however and I was hopeful I would walk away unscathed, but alas, the husband got his revenge dunking me into the ice-cold water (literally, water filled with ice!!)! It was definitely fun and something I never thought I would get to do, so no complaints from me and no, I didn’t have a white T-shirt on, get your mind out of the gutter! 😜
Saturday morning was cake decorating time, but only briefly as we were then meeting my lovely friend I had made on the plane on the way over here and watching her son play baseball. We followed that with a long, relaxing lunch, enjoying catching up after so long and reinforcing the knowledge that we were meant to meet on that fateful trip! Then it was home again to keep going with the cake! Spider-Man. 3D. It was a tad redundant but thank goodness I borrowed a pasta machine from my friend to help roll out the fondant. The cake came out pretty nicely and dear son was over the moon:
His party lasted until after 3pm and we got home, absolutely shattered. Monday was a Korean holiday but it was also a day I was able to get into (for a very last minute appointment) an ultrasound of my thyroid gland. Long story, but a couple of years ago, there were nodules on my gland and we have to check them every so often (& all is great right now). I asked the same friend who had hung out with me during cake prep on Friday if she wanted to join me in going to Seoul and she did. It was such a nice drive there, amazing how different it is when there’s no traffic. The appointment was smooth, I organized for someone to collect dear daughter in case I was delayed getting back and we even had a lovely lunch, eventually. This friend and I seem to have bad luck when it comes to eating at restaurants each of us recommend; they are never open! And that’s exactly what we found once again in Seoul. Dear son was with us which didn’t help matters when it came to lots of walking! Eventually though, we found quite a nice restaurant by accident and were very impressed by the food!
The walk around the area was also entertaining, the Koreans love to have fun things about and the location of poop bags to clean up after your doggy’s mess, (though empty) cracks me up every time I look at the photo! Pardon the pun!
Dear son also loved the giant gorilla in a store filled with all sorts of realistic animals, though I’m not sure where anyone would put them? Definitely an interesting feature!
All-in-all, a lovely day out filled with good company and a great outcome!
Should I stop here or keep going? It does get interesting, I promise! 😊 That entire week though was a tad insane! I ran around like a crazy person and got very mad at a number of parents as well when they didn’t even bother to RSVP to our daughter’s 8th birthday party on Friday June 10th (coincidentally my sister’s birthday). I had given the invitations out (through DD) 18 days prior. Things work differently here. Most kids who live off post go to school by bus. We hadn’t met many parents from her class, there just wasn’t the opportunity, in fact, I only had one parent’s phone number. But should I have to go chasing them? I’m thinking an entire blog will be devoted to this subject alone, given the story. Needless to say – Parents you need to step up! Of the 8 invited, we finally heard back (three on the night prior) from 4. 50% deemed it worthy of a response!
I did get an opportunity to finally see a great craft store here though on the Wednesday prior, with loads of art supplies also. Some things were cheap, some were OTT (over the top) but it was three stories of lovely things and I do like lovely things! I’m not a scrapbooker or anything (though I wish I was) but the painting supplies and other craft supplies and model toy supplies were fabulous! I got my styrofoam ball and pot ready to make dear daughter’s birthday cake, all of which was a surprise to her. It was actually very easy, tedious, but easy and it came out splendidly. There were 42 cupcakes covering the ball though, something I wasn’t expecting but luckily I had enough supplies to make a second batch of cupcakes. I made homemade buttercream icing (using the Wilton recipe) and mixed it with a couple of store bought (I’ve noticed American kids like their store bought icing but it’s too runny so I like to mix it. It was basically a 4:1 ratio, 4 cups of homemade to 1 cup of store bought Betty Crocker. I got 5 bowls and mixed up 5 different colours and was very happy with the outcome. And so was my DD! She loved it! I think that cake got more pizzaz than the Spider-Man cake. It was amazing how something so simple had such a big impact. One of the parents actually thought it was a bunch of flowers until she smelt it!
Maddy’s birthday party was a two part affair, a slumber party at our house followed by a trip to this amazing kids’ cafe here in South Korea, called La Cartata! Hubby had another work event that involved families so even though I missed out, it was a great night for him to take our other two along for this event and leave Maddy and her friends here to have Mummy’s undivided attention. Mummy even got her friend to come over and help chaperone and oh what fun we had. We did the girls’ makeup, they did ours. We did fingernails and toenails and they did ours. They loved it! Maddy even said that although she was worried because no one had RSVP’d in the beginning of the week, it ended up being the best birthday party ever! And I must agree. I set up an ice cream bar for the girls as well and they each grabbed a cone, a waffle bowl or a regular bowl and got a choice of so many toppings to put on their ice cream that even a fro yo place would have been a tad jealous! They all thought they had gone to Disney! It was seriously a huge success. Brilliant! Best of all, we two adults had fun (aside from the screaming) but when there’s 7 & 8 year old girls around, screaming is par for the course as my friend soon found out!
Saturday morning worked out a little differently than we had planned. Only one girl stayed the night, yes one girl out of the four actually stayed, though one girls’ mother did say she would be coming the next morning. It was just a bit odd. They are now all turning 8, I thought they would be old enough to stay the night, but I guess not, though only 2 out of the four actually mentioned this to me when they RSVP’d, leaving the other two Moms to mention they would be picking their child up that same night, when they dropped them off. But what did I expect? Given all that notice and everything? 😉 I understood the no overnight thing, but not the not coming to the party the next morning, I even offered to swing by and pick them up (like a true minivan owner) but no. One girl had sport, the other was ‘busy’. All very odd.
So here we were, heading off to this amazing venue that I had already paid a deposit on, not sure if they were going to go ahead and charge us for the 10-12 children we said we would have, yet us turning up with our three (literally our own three kiddos) plus one, with the possibility of another coming. I reached out to our neighbours and suggested we take their two little girls with us also and I’m so glad we did because they all had an amazing time. Two hours in the best kids’ cafe I have ever been to; a race track, a bounce house, a ball playground, numerous rooms filled with toys and activities, food, cake, and most of all fun! What more could a kid want? They had a magnificent time. On top of that, the place is clean, the staff are amazing, you can see your kids almost anywhere they are, yet you can sit there and adult if you want to! Yay! Once again, brilliant! The two parents who’s girls did come, were amazed at how great this place was and our neighbour’s little girls have been begging to go back!
On the Sunday, we had another birthday party to go to followed by a dinner on a rooftop. The day was fun yet filled with the interesting; let me just say this, it isn’t only us who have our share of adventures! They had hired a bounce house and a cotton candy (fairy floss) machine, in fact the same one we had hired just a week before. We all have transformers allowing 110V through our houses alongside of the 220V standard local power. Anything you rent from the post/base, will always be 110V and in this instance, it tore through the transformer. I kept walking past this one particular spot saying how much it smelt and everyone kept putting it down to the fairy floss machine, but I knew it wasn’t, I didn’t push it hard enough though as it took smoke coming out of the little storage room before anyone really questioned the smell. Their entire 110V was kaput for the day, yet the party wasn’t even half way through. We did all we could to help but hubby and I were both too exhausted to try to entertain even more children so we eventually called it quits, knowing we could go and adult on our friend’s rooftop. It was just that time. And relax and adult we did (for such a short time mind you, given everyone had school the next morning). But it was nice after such a huge weekend that was literally all about the kids. We actually got to see something called a hummingbird moth. This moth has the same peculiarities as the hummingbird. It doesn’t seem to stop moving and uses its long beak type thing (called a proboscis) to suckle from the nectar of flowers. It is captivating and beautiful, yet most definitely not a bird. Not something we expected to see and truly appreciate on a rooftop in South Korea.
And that is where I think I need to call it for this particular blog. Life here is filled with entertainment on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s extremely funny, yet sometimes you have to search for the humour. I feel like the only way to get through all of the craziness is to search for the humour. And sometimes I have difficulty doing that. I don’t like writing when I feel pessimistic or when I cannot see the funny side to something. It just feels like the world has enough pessimism and those of us who write to share/entertain, should write when we are feeling good and able to share in a positive way. Especially when I am writing of my crazy adventures here in South Korea. I haven’t shared anything too personal for a while because yes, we have been stupendously busy, but I’ve also not had the inclination to want to share in the light I would like to share. Obviously I’m also pretty good at getting on my high horse about things (i.e. RSVP’s) but when it comes to this crazy life, I want to share with you in a serious yet satirical way, underlined with a little bit of sarcasm and an optimistic sense of humour. Stay with me if you enjoy my writing. I won’t stop. I cannot stop. I just may have to delay every now and again. And please, as always, talk to me, let me know your thoughts. If you like my blog, share it. If you want more, let me know what you want more of! Email me at Aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com.