Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taean's Anmyondo Jurassic Park

For Memorial Day weekend we headed to the South Korean east coast to hit the beach. While in the Taean area though we also drove the coast, did some forest bathing at Anmyeondo Park, visited the Anmyeon-do Jurassic Park and celebrated Buddha's birthday at a Buddhist temple. In fact we were so busy that the Memorial Day weekend post will be a 4 part series. The dinosaur pictures are some of my favorite and was such an unexpected stop off that those are going to post first... 

We decided to take a drive down the coast and catch a glimpse of several of the 30 beaches in the Taen area. Along the way we saw several dino signs so we decided to take the detour. We found the main sign for Anmyondo Jurassic Park (also spelt Anmyeon-do or Anmyon-do) and drove the short 350 meters to the park.

  • Anmyondo Jurassic Park (opened in 2011)
  • Location: Taean, South Chungcheong Nam-myeon sinonri 641-3
  • Admission: adults - 10,000, children under 12 - Free (this was our admission but the website translation lists it a little differently).
Once we arrived there was a 2-story waterfall descending from the main building down to the parking lot. At the entrance to the museum was a large area with various statues and dino replicas like these all around.

For the record: Cooper does not like mermaids.
Had to hold mommy's neck for a bit after this pose.

The first floor of the museum had an impressive display of all of the most famous dinos. The T-Rex replica spanned much of the first floor and went all the way up through to the fourth floor.

This dino park is famous for the footprints that were found here and they have been preserved under a glass floor. Cooper and daddy walked across each set to get a better look but I was more comfortable walking along the edges!  

The other floors included a really great selection of fossils and rocks and more great dino displays and interactive elements. 

To the right of the museum was an outdoor dino park with more replicas and rocks and statues on display. There also was a great Jurassic-Park looking waterfall and at the foot of the falls was a submerged dinosaur that was a great photo opp. 

Outside was also a pond, a rose archway, and even a little playground. 

The dino park was a great find! 

Cheers for going off the beaten path - even when you live somewhere that every direction feels like the beaten path. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Playing Designer in Korea: New OOSC Look

Over the last few weeks I haven't been exactly a regular post'r so thought I would dedicate a whole post to what I was doing instead of blogging... 

About a month ago I took on the Publicity/Webmaster board position for the Osan Officers' Spouses' Club. One of my first charges was to create a brochure and info card. But before I could do that it was really important to create a consistent foundation for the look and feel of all OOSC collateral moving forward. Because I'm not a designer these probably took entirely too long to create but overall I'm excited about the results and the coming year with OOSC!  
Back cover / Front Cover of the OOSC brochure
Inside Spread of the OOSC Brochure

Design Notes:

Colors: The blues and red derive from the OOSC logo/patch as well as the Korean flag and the yellow is an accent pop of color that visually draws the eye and distinguishes from the other red/blue materials on base. 

Photography: Many of the photos used are a bit more stylized / purposeful without much background. I used individual and group spouse photos as well as a few cultural photos as well. 

Logo: The OOSC logo and FB logo will be used on all materials moving forward for consistency.

Tagline: A tagline was created as a quick way to explain what OOSC 'is' - social. cultural. philanthropic.These also became the page titles for the brochure pages. 

Fonts: Two fonts have been used in consistent sizes throughout the brochure. 
Back Side / Front Side of the OOSC Info Card 
OOSC Cookbook Information Flyer (with login u/p marked out)
Throughout the summer I'll be working on implementing the new design across our other platforms including the OOSC website and Facebook page. 

Looking forward to a great year!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Splish! Splash!

This morning I was surfing and came across a post on the Osan Parents of Toddlers FB page about a trip to the Camp Humphreys' waterpark. Me and Cooper are always up for an adventure so in under two hours we were on a bus heading to Camp Humphreys for the day. 

Cooper wore his new surfboard swim trunks, his matching sailor hat and two layers of sunscreen (just to be sure). 

He was tentative of the water shooting up out of the ground but soon he got brave and had so much fun! 

And that warmed him up to start pointing out things all over the park he wanted to check out!

In the 1-2-3 ft pool he liked having me hold him on his tummy while he intuitively kicked his legs and paddled his hands. He's still getting the hang of the concept of water because he unknowingly dunked his face into the pool a couple of times - oops! 

I thought Cooper would like the little kiddie pool best but each time we visited he fussed to be held and then held onto my neck like he was hanging on for dear life. To a little two and a half footer it must have seemed like a landmine of water geysers. Although the dragon water slides were pretty cool! 

Pictured are the dragon slides plus 5 of the fleet of 20-30 Black Hawks flying nearby.
The next pool had an entire playground set under a foot and half of water - this turned out to be Cooper's favorite area. He enjoyed what probably seemed like a huge bathtub to him. He liked hanging out by the big slide and watching the big boys shoot out. He liked walking fast, while splashing from the shallow to deeper water. And he liked watching what our feet looked like under water. 

At the park there is also another larger playground set under deeper water with big slides, an Olympic size lap pool, a set of non-water playground equipment and all of the other amenities you would expect at a waterpark (like loads of sunning chairs and umbrellas, concessions and more). 

One of the big slides is pictured here plus more of the Black Hawk fleet
Along with our two new mommy friends and their toddlers we spent about 5 hours at the waterpark - lots of time in the water and lots of time hanging out under the shade of the umbrella. (That last part must be something he took from his daddy because if it was up to me I'd be sunning all day!)

It was such a fun day and after an accidental ride home* in a $20 taxi ride Cooper was completely wore out and hit the sack early. Worn out toddler = mission accomplished. 
*on account of another Korean language barrier communication mishap

There's a lot of splish splashing in mommy and Cooper's future this summer - that is if we can avoid the wayward taxi drivers. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

My second Mother's Day (okay, okay - weekend!) itinerary:

12-hour Seoul Zoo day. Super fun, exhausting and deserving of a whole separate post... coming soon.

Breakfast: Owen made homeade waffles - my all-time favorite breakfast. I had mine with bananas and peanut butter, Cooper takes his plain and daddy is a traditional butter and syrup kind of guy. Yum-o!

Morning: We attempted to call our moms on what would be the eve of Mother's Day for them but they weren't available. No worries - we found Trenton and Stacia and Granddad and Granboddy on Skype and had a great chat!

Lunch: Owen and Cooper had dinner plans so we ate a light lunch after Cooper woke up from his morning nap and then we headed into town to do a little shopping.

Early Afternoon: Owen and Cooper took my flower and pot shopping around Songtan. We bought 4 pots at the very first place and it was only 60,000 won (about $52). A great price and some lovely pots! 

We stopped at a couple of different flower stores but the last one was the goldmine. They had a wide variety of Asian-specific plants as well as the geranium-petunia-marigold type of mainstays and we purchased a little of each. We only spent another 60,000 won for enough flowers to fill the back of the Acadia... and our balcony. 

{pics coming}

Dinner: For dinner we went to a very traditional Korean eatery. Owen knew of it because he went there with some members of the Korean Air Force. 'Very traditional' sounds exciting but sometimes it's just hard. No high chair, no English, and often times you don't get exactly what you thought you were ordering. I ordered the bipimbop which is my favorite Korean dish but the recipe here was a bit different and it was actually a soup and the 'veggies' were seaweed and kimchi. It also came with seasoned raw meat that we grilled which I hadn't seen before. 

Owen got a very high-end cut of meat that was terrific. One of the traditional practices that carries over to even the most Western Korean restaurants is that of cooking your meat on the charcoal grill built into your table. As with every Korean meal it came with several side dishes in little bowls - various kimchis, salads and other things. We were full and Cooper was ready to go! 

Evening: It was just about Cooper's bedtime when we arrived home but they had one more present for mommy! They got me a custom-made purse out of a flight suit with pink lining and a patch with my name on it. Super cute and so thoughtful - I fell in love with this purse model a couple of months ago and daddy remembered! 

{pics coming}

Thank you to my boys for a wonderful Mother's Day! I love you both very, very much! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Cooper turned 14 months old on March 22 and everyday is more fun than the last. I wanted to document a few Cooper-isms and new things he does at this age as I know it'll be just a fleeting moment soon. 

 Most of the kids on the playground are much older - at least 2 so everyday he's been watching them learning what to do. Yesterday for the first time he 'got' how to climb up the stairs go down the slide and go back around to do it again. Such a toddler! 

Climbing: Even though he's been walking for months now we've somehow avoided climbing. Yesterday he started. We went to the playground and he just knew what to do (reference above video) then I found him IN his dresser drawer, climbing on top of the humidifier, using his shopping cart as a climbing tool and climbing on the couch. Oh, brother! 

Music: Music is in his blood on both sides of the family and we've made a point for him to listen to all kinds since we brought him home. He falls to sleep to lullabies every night. Every morning we turn up the radio and dance to whatever might be on. And at the first couple of notes to any tune he starts swaying to the music. I just enrolled him in music class that we start on Monday - we're very excited!

Wheels: Like any little boy he's obsessed with wheels. Cars, bikes, strollers, wagons... anything that goes round and round! Here he is playing with a wheel on the playground. 

Kissing my ou-wees.
 I can show him a hurt and ask for kisses and he'll give them to me on my hurt. 

Hugs: He'll make the hug sound with me. Mmm-mm!

Soccer: He loves kicking the ball around the house and kicking it back and forth with me and Owen. Here you can here him say "kick it."

Cabin fever: Cooper loves going outside and so does mommy so we spent quite a bit of time outdoors. If we go too long indoors though Cooper will now bring me my shoes and fuss to take him somewhere.  

Holding hands: We just started holding hands and he's doing great with it. We'll hold hands walking to the playground or to the car and it's much easier than holding him or toting around the stroller.

Highchair: He HATES the highchair almost as much as the car seat. If he had his way I'd feed him a bite and he could play while chewing, then he'd come back for more until he's full. He's a busy bee. It's kinda' exhausting at home ... and at restaurants.

Reading: Cooper loves being read to and now "reading" to himself. Since he was born we've read a book to him every night and it's always part of the toybox we have out. I now find him all of the time in his room reading a book to himself. And sometimes he'll bring me a book which means he wants me to read it to him - no matter what I'm doing I never say no - so we sit wherever we are, he climbs in my lap and as soon as the story is over he's off again. 

Cups: He cries to drink out of mom and dad's cups rather than his sippy. He loves drinking out of a glass but doesn't quite get gauging how much liquid is there so if we let him do it he'll just throw it back and get the drink everywhere. You'd think if we'd let him do this a few times he'd learn - but nope, he thinks the adrenaline rush of cold water in the face is hilarious. 

Sock Monkey-In-The-Box: One of Cooper's awesome daycare teachers in OK, Penny, gave Cooper this little toy. Cooper loves being scared so this is a favorite although he was getting frustrated that he couldn't make it pop up. He quickly figured out the trigger mechanism and bypassed the music turning wheel but once he figured it out it was magic! Here he is back in March figuring it out for the very first time! 

Carrying things to and fro in his shopping cart and on his ATV. Yesterday he was transporting around my shoes, a couch pillow, and his drink on his ATV. He'll also fill up his shopping cart with toys and shoes, and whatever else from his room and move them to the living room and dump.  

Frustration: He gets really mad when he can't figure something out or if something is in his way. It's so cute now but I'm sure one day it won't be so adorable. 

Words: He babbles all the time and sometimes he says actual words. Here's some to add to his list from about a month ago:

vroom (when he's driving his cars around)
kick it (when he's playing soccer)

Chalkboard: He loves his chalkboard wall. He favorite part is giving me the chalk and having me draw something and then he colors over it all the while talking up a storm. 

Small spaces: He loves small corners and spaces. I'll often find him reading or playing in the back corner of his closet, a certain inconspicuous corner in the living room or in the bottom of the pantry. He loves the bottom of the pantry so much that we decorated it with glow in the dark stars. Here he is with his blanket, drink, a toy and a book - all a little boy needs!

Pointing: He points at everything and says "that." It's super adorable now but when he can really talk I bet it might just start getting old.  

Flip-flops and toes: Now that Spring is here the moms all have their flip-flops on and pedis done. Cooper will spot sparkly shoes or painted toes across the playground and make a b-line to get a better look!

Flirt: Okay, I know everyone says there little guy is a flirt but seriously he gives this shy look that is irresistible. He will stare at a lady or another toddler until they make eye contact, then he'll smile and give that shy look again and then look away. It's so ridiculously cute. 

Love that precious baby boy!