Sunday, July 29, 2012


Prompted by our loss of electricity a couple weeks back, Ellie has been researching her traditional Mennonite roots, and is working hard to bring about revival within the household (I'm still a bit hesitant, as I'm not sure where we'd put the buggy.)

We've been blessed by an outpouring of gifts for Ellie, including this children's classic and a hand-knitted sweater from my brother-in-law's (Bob's) parents. 

And this crib from my best friend in high school.

We've also enjoyed several visitors recently, including my cousin Louisa and her family. Here, holding Ellie, is my cousin Ellie - one of the inspirations for her name.

Of course, our weekly visitors: Mom, Dad, and Heather. Miss Ellie loves the attention :)

And the "attention" loves her!

My summer teaching with Upward Bound finished up this past weekend with our graduation ceremony. Here are Tony and I, the two math teachers. The students confused us on a regular basis - so much so that I stopped even correcting them when they called me Mr. Xenos at study tables. Looking back over the experience - described by all as the most "interesting" summer in recent memories - I really enjoyed being a part of it and hope to continue next year.

While I was off teaching, Miss Ellie was doing some studying of her own!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ellie and her many hats

"How. Chief Ellie like hats."

"Hey Dad. Really? Working on the computer when you could be playing with me?"

Ellie belting out her morning song (or grunts and squeaks, rather).

Ellie's first walk . . . down across the river and on the bike path. She did great - I don't think she cried once on the hour + outing.

A rare photo with the belly exposed. Changmonim is very insistent that the belly be kept warm at all times. Works for me :)

The classic hand raise. As Mom said, it seems to be the sign she uses when she is most at peace.

Got breast milk?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Subtle Communications

The fiercesome trio. Obviously, the one in the middle is the only sane one.

Ellie loves her time with Mommy. Here she's saying, "Hey Mom, you remember that time when I came out into the world? Doesn't that seem so long ago??"


 Mostly just to prove that I do still wear clothes on occasion, I went out to Williamsburg, VA to speak at an education conference. It was a tough decision for JooYeon as to whether she should accompany me; she went back and forth on the issue more than the Clash did in the early 80's. In the end, she felt it would be too draining for Ellie to pull off about 1,000 miles in two days so I made a solo trip.

I always get nervous before public speaking and this time was no exception. It definitely took a bit of the buzz off though to know that I had two (well, three sort of) ladies waiting for me at home with open arms.

It ended up going fine, although perhaps the tone was a bit more pessimistic than I would have liked. It was the first time I've spoken to a packed room at a conference (the norm has been more like three or four other people, most of whom are speaking after me).

I gobbled down the buffet lunch, met with an old college friend (Pete Allen) in Richmond, and then jetted back home to the ladies.

This was a touching moment for me. After coming home, I laid down with Ellie a bit. When I got up to leave, she flopped her hand over to catch me as if saying, "No Daddy, don't go again." Of course it was probably random, but isn't it much more to fun to make up stories in our heads when dealing with infants? :)


Ellie continues to dominate the scene here in the household. Her grunts and squeaks are getting a bit louder and more frequent. She seems to be putting on some weight too, and is probably up around 7 lb now. Her father is just as "딸바보" as ever (a Korean phrase, whose literal translation is "daughter stupid"). 

I've been getting plenty of sleep, thanks to the three-adult-household. In fact, even JooYeon seems to be getting more into the routine, so that she's not in a sleep-deprived daze all the time.

The grandparents and Aunt Heather continue to check in about once a week. We made our first trip up there, a two-and-a-half hour drive. Ellie seems to be a good traveler; I'm hoping this trend continues so that eventually we can do some family backpacking around the world!!

Here's a shot of the time when Ellie spontaneously started "praying," when Grandpa was holding her. Uncle Bob used it on Facebook to make a wonderful announcement.

So that's of course exciting news! Cousins of the same age. Ellie's already so attached to Baby Harris that she threw a fit when Heather tried to leave.

"Hmmm... maybe if I start feeding, Aunt Heather won't be able to leave... that seems to work with Mommy..."

So, all in all, a peaceful start to Miss Ellie's first six weeks. I hear her grunting over in the other room now, so I think I'll go inspect...