Welcome to the newly redesigned Kimchi Mamas site!
Please poke around and get re-acquainted, and let us know if there are any dead links or other oddities.
So, for the internet equivalent of "Testing Testing 123," here is an animated gif of the cutest Kimchi Baby in the world, Yerin Park of YouTube fame. Hopefully she doesn't react to our new look-and-feel this way:
Here now is a video of Yerin, who is now old enough to talk, and her voice and mannerisms are so freaking cute I diiiiiiiiie:
parent of a ‘tween I found myself at the mall with my daughter the other day.
It was right after school and she was still in her all-girls school uniform.
walked by one of the kiosks, a young man stopped her and asked if she went to
ABC Private School – he recognized the uniform as the uniform of his all-boys
high school alma mater’s sister school. He was indeed correct – except my
daughter is in the sister school’s middle school.
it’s the “Asians don’t look their age” stereotype or maybe it’s because she was
in uniform or maybe because she’s tall for her age but as she said yes and I
gave my best KDS (Korean Death Stare) to this young man and gently guided her
down the hall, I had a mix of remembering the feelings of being mistaken as older at that age and what it may mean for my daughter..and me as her mom.
the faster-than-the-speed-of-light economic growth in China, and young people
flooding in from rural areas to the bustling cities in search of jobs and
opportunities, a saying has developed about this group of new-to-the-city young
women: The software doesn’t match the hardware. Kind of creepy when you think
about it. Here’s a young woman in search of opportunity and she has been
reduced to an electronic, a cliché, because she’s attractive but
in the United States are guilty of perpetuating some of that concept, too. Look
around: magazine covers, tv shows, music . . . Have you tried shopping for
“cute” girl clothes recently? Listened to the actual lyrics of some popular songs. Next
time you’re at the grocery store take the time to glance over the covers of magazines specifically designed for your teen!
fellow moms and I complain about the lack of appropriate clothing, the
pressures our girls face to wear make-up, shave their legs and have first
dates/first kisses, etc. And because many of these concepts were foreign to my
mother, the "right" way to navigate through them are in many ways foreign to me.
remember the first time you were mistaken as being older than you really were (as a 'tween/teen)?
Angie in Texas is practicing her KDS for all future boys...
this winter we celebrated warmer, spring-like days here in South Texas. There
was so much happiness and hope in our little family – the way spring is
supposed to be. What spring is supposed to mean. But as all South Texans know:
if you don’t like the weather: stick ‘round, it’ll change.
With a fierce, biting wind reminding me it was still winter, my world became
cold and barren.
the definition of a normal, modern, blended, American family. We struggle with
schedules, negotiate the school-work balance, commute to and from
extra-curricular activities, schedule social time among adolescent and adult
friends, cope with extended family matter dramas and move through our daily lives as
a family living alongside two ‘tweens.
had written off as normal ‘tween girl drama I can retroactively see now as
warning signs. Stereotypical signs, too! Tumbling grades (check!), increased
arguments with us, (check!), a new passion for fighting with her brother (check!),
yelling matches and hurling hurtful words (check!), periods of deafening total
hip, consciously-aware, educated, socially active mother (certainly not like
the old-school Korean mother I grew up with!) I knew and understood the stage of growing up she was
going through. She was in the
early stages of adolescent spring! The winter of child childhood fading. I could even empathize with the season of
adolescent spring: the bright sunlight moving from family to friends, chores and
homework to trips to the mall with friends and PG-13 movies in giggly, awkward groups.
here I was am trying to understand. I’ve Googled. I’ve
read. I’ve Tumblred. I've seen and read things that have broken my heart a million times into a million pieces. I’ve gone to see our family therapist. I’ve cried. I’ve begged. I’ve
pleaded. I’ve prayed. I’ve overdosed my daughter with “mommy and me” time(!) not
because I particularly enjoy spending countless hours talking about My Little
Pony, cats and watching Animal Planet, but because I’m too scared to leave her
alone. Too scared what I may find when I come back.
what I know about Koreans and depression; knowing what I know about my Korean
parents, depression and alcoholism; knowing what I know about my own struggles
with depression, alcoholism and addiction I wish I knew more about how to help
I think we are moving through this season of hurt, but then I am reminded of
the very meaning of seasons and that cutting isn’t just a one time thing, a one hundred
time thing, or even a one thousand time thing . . . it’s a lifetime thing.
My kids have been out of school since Memorial Day Weekend but most local schools got out some time after. We have LOTS of summer plans: breakfast at 9:30 am, scoops of ice cream at 9 pm, overnight week-long camps for the kids (2 sessions) and mini-vacays for the adults, day camps with specific actvities (tennis, ASPCA, etc.), roller coasters, water parks, reading and math enrichment sessions, open camp fires, amusement parks, the beach (already been once so far), state parks, national parks, s'mores!, slumber parties, birthdays, "spa" days, swimming at the pool, neighborhood block parties, camping, the river(s), reading, visits with Ms. Beth at the library, arts and crafts, lakes, fishing, gardening, movies, at home movies and much, much more.
What are some of your summer plans?
And of course day trips to the parks and area lakes and rivers will include gimbap picnics and galbi bbq!
Angie in Texas LOVES summer! Not so much the Texas heat.
(Please forgive the "first-world problems" feel of this post.)
As my children have gotten older (they are now almost 10 and just a touch over 12), I have noticed a disturbing pattern that I may have been unaware in the past: specialization.
My daughter's into soccer. She plays in a youth sports group and they practice for about 1 hour once a week, play once a week and the season is only about 2 1/2 months long at a time. She plays probably 2-3 "seasons" a year. Though she is 12, most of the girls on her team are 10 and 11. They "play up". Playing up is based on the theory that if you raise the level of competition they will play to meet that challenge (or something like that).
Many of the girls on her team will probably leave in the next season or two to move into "club" soccer. Club soccer here is more . . . specialized. This is when teams practice 3-4 times a week for an hour or an hour and a half each practice and will play 2-3 games a weekend. They will also travel to surrounding areas (and in Texas that could mean 3+ hours of driving) and play in tournaments that go on for entire weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).
My son was participating in Tae Kwon Do and in tennis. A few months ago, he had to make a very difficult choice: he had to choose. He is 10 years old and he was being forced into specializing. As a 10 year old he would do tennis 2 times a week and then TKD 2 times a week and depending on visitation weekends, TKD sparring on Fridaysa and TKD tournament team on Saturdays or a tennis tournament. Tennis was 2 private lessons a week plus 'clinic' for a total of about 7 hours of tennis a week. This wasn't enough . . . his new schedule is tennis 4 days a week (about 10-12 hours a week) and an average of 2 tournaments a month (tournaments begin on Fridays and end on Sundays if you're playing well).
I look around and I see it amongst many of our friends: a 12 year old who plays club volleyball - tournaments are all weekend long and consist of many games per day, a 14 year old who is now home schooled so she can pratice tennis 8+ hours a day, and a 17 year old who has been taking tennis lessons for 12 years.
And this is just the sports side. I know children who practice piano 15-20 hours a week, a neighbor's child plays drums for school, church and 2 bands (he's 16) and on and on and on...
In all of these cases (and from personal experience) I have been told that kids HAVE to specialize if they want to remain competitive. Competitive for school, college, scholarships, professionally.
As parents we want what's best for our children.
We want opportunities for them that we didn't have.
I know I am late getting this out, but even on the East Coast, this may not be too late. I was speaking to an coworker whose family had moved here from elsewhere in the world. They've been here a few years, and each year I asked if they were taking their son trick-or-treating. The mom wondered if he wasn't getting too old anyway, as he was already 8 years old.
Heck, back East, I remember trick-or-treating well into high school, but I've heard some parents on the west coast cut their kids off at middle school. And I do, as a homeowner, find it odd when roving gangs of teenage boys taller than I am ring the bell after 9pm still looking for candy. ("Get a job!")
But 8? That's still in the heart of the age of trick-or-treat. My kids are beside themselves anticipating the candy binge that begins on this last day of October, to continue through the Christmas holidays.
Anyway, talking with my friend, I realized it might be a little intimidating to join in this all-American holiday tradition if you did not grow up with it, so I wrote up some pointers for her. I am publishing here for new Kimchi Mamas who may not be familiar with how this all works if you are new to the holiday. Everyday stuff that most American/Canadian parents take for granted:
When to go? Between dusk and 8pm. After 8pm is older kids/teenagers
Where? A neighborhood of homes. Skip apartment or condo complexes--they don't get much traffic, and are usually not prepared. And you do not have to live in the neighborhood--any child in costume is welcome.
What equipment? Costume of course, bag to hold candy, and a flashlight is a good idea.
Which houses? Porchlights on, and halloween decorations are a good sign. Skip if the house looks dark.
Does the parent go with them? Usually yes, especially children under 10. You can stay on the sidewalk, or go with them up to the house. The key is your child should be in front, facing the door when the it opens.
What happens next? Child should say loud and clear "Trick or Treat!" and open their bag. Parents do not need to speak. The person who answers the door may ask your child what their costume is, so prepare them for that. They may drop in candy or offer a bowl the child can pull candy out of. I remind my kids to say Thank You, before they run to the next house to pillage.
What else might happen? Some adults get into Halloween and try to scare the kids a little, so beware of that--if the house looks too scary, skip it.
How many houses should we go to? As many as you or your child have stamina for.
What do we do when we get home? Inspect candy for opened or unwrapped--toss these. Remove anything that your family is allergic to. And your call on how much candy to let them eat. At our house, we dole it out over the coming weeks.