Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Korean Chapter Comes to an End

Wow, so it has been a while and now our chapter in Korea is almost over.  First lets back up and review what has happen since last entry, I'll try to keep it short.

Last blog was in March of 2012. Little did we know at the time, but our family had grown plus one, Megan was pregnant. As you can understand once we found out we became very busy getting ready and learning all the different things about having a baby overseas.

I was made painfully aware of how senses of a pregnant woman become superhuman. Korea is a country were most things smell like dried fish or rotten cabbage. That being said, now that Megan was pregnant with super human smelling powers, we stayed in a lot. We attempted a night out at Outback and it did not end very well. I do not think that Megan will ever be able to step in to another Outback. My parents came out for Easter in April and had a great time.  

During the month of May I was busy participating two best Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year Competitions in Hawaii. I know, having to go to a tropical paradise to show off our awesome Army skills is tough but someone had to do it, and I stepped up. (Really there were several competitions here in Korea in which I had to go through to be selected to go.) I first competed at the 311th Signal Command Competition which is a one star general level and a week long. I did well enough to advance to the Army Pacific Command which is a three star general level.  This competition I was was given an extra week in Hawaii to prepare. During this week I was able to train and hone my Army skills and learn to surf. I was able to get up on a long board twice and got an awesome tan.  That completion ended on Memorial Day and I brought Megan and Connor out to Hawaii for the weekend. We had a blast and made some very memorable memories and I bought Megan some pearls (Husband of the Year award). 

June, July and August seemed to fly by.  There was a cat 4 typhoon, hurricane, that came through Seoul, but there was very little damage.  It got hot and we stained inside a lot soaking up the A/C. Korea is like Houston in the summer, hot and very humid.  

September Megan was very pregnant and started to itch. She had cholestasis of pregnancy. This means that her liver could not keep up with supporting two living people. She got the medication she needed and we entered the home stretch of the pregnancy. This means that I found lots of excuses to take Connor to work and get out of arm and throwing reach of Megan. (I love you babe, but when pregnant your punches hurt a lot more.)

Megan's mom came out in October for the birth. Due to the cholestasis of pregnancy a c-section was schedule for week 38 of Megan's pregnancy, 2 weeks early. So the day came, October 10, 2012,  at 8:00 in the morning Lillian Rosalee Riley was born. At over 8lbs and measuring 19", our little girl was bigger then our little boy when he was born. She had a full head of hair and a great set of lungs on her. Our little family had now become even in the fight against men and women, 2 boys 2 girls.  Megan recovered so well that we were able to leave the hospital after two nights. 

November and turkey day was upon us.  Connor had a birthday party with the company and big Mickey  Mouse cake. Due to Megan's cholestasis of pregnancy her gallbladder was shot. So morning of thanksgiving Megan had to go to the ER. She is such a super homemaker that she still made it home from the ER to finish Thanksgiving dinner for my platoon, 15 hungry Soldiers. The guys finished off a 26lb turkey, two trays of stuffing, 5lb bag of potatoes that were mashed, lots and lots of gravy, two and half large green-bean casseroles, a tray of sweet potatoes, a pumpkin and pecan pie.  In case you were wondering, Soldiers sure can eat.

Megan had her surgery to remove her gallbladder in the beginning of December.  A couple of days later I put here on a 18 hour flight back to the states for Christmas, think I shot my chances for husband of the year in the foot. This was the first Christmas that Connor was old enough to understand what was happening. He had a great time. He got lots of toys and a tricycle.  He even made a snowman. I think we may have an artist on our hand, he was not content with the snowman until he moved the arms and other features around so that it looked like Picasso made the snowman. We also went to the Houston zoo and Connor got to feed the giraffes. Safe to say that he had a great Christmas. All the family members got to meet Lillian. She was a great baby and just smiled at everyone. 

The rest of winter was spent working on my next set of orders. I was made the platoon sergeant and responsible for 20 soldiers. That kept me very busy. Spring came and we got finalization on my orders sending me back to Colorado Springs. 

Megan had been working hard as a graphic designer. She has a real eye for it. She made invitations, flyers and RSVP cards for a charity in New Mexico and designed the wedding invitations and other graphic for a wedding she is doing with Coast 2 Coast Concepts, an event coordination business. She went back to the states at the end of May. She is in New Mexico right now working with Coast 2 Coast for a wedding in June. 

I am finishing up my last couple of weeks here in Korea and will fly back to Colorado on the beginning of July. Like it begins it finishes, I will close out this chapter in Korea and begin the next chapter in Colorado with Our Little Riley Family. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

(Sorry this was from awhile ago....Update to follow!!)

Hello All

We are all doing great here in Korea. Life seems to be getting to normal. Connor and I are on a schedule and Christian is settled back into work. We got our household shipment in so it feels like home here. We love to get out and explore Korea as much as possible (our apartment is really small). The people here are so friendly and everyone just loves Connor. They come up and play with him.  We went to another market this weekend called Namdaemun, at one point Christian and Connor were swarmed by women.  They brought Connor pastries, candies, and milk. They just love him. I don’t think that it would be smart for me to send Christian and Connor out alone!  We ended up at a really nice shopping mall and had some Sushi. We also bough Connor the traditional Korea outfit called a Hanbok.  We went back to the fabric market, Dongdaemun, this time I was on a mission to get fabric since my sewing machines are here! It is floors and floors of shops that have anything related to sewing or crafting that you can imagine.  You really have to stay focused, it gets really over whelming. We had a great time!

Connor is doing great as usual. He is 15 months and is just as happy as he has always been. He is getting really good at finger painting. He only eats it every once in a while. He loves to stack his toys and put them in baskets. There is some Nana (My mother) in him for sure. Everything MUST go in a basket. We are still working on walking, he is being rather stubborn. He just loves to crawl. Connor also loves to look at books. I will walk into his room and he will be sitting there flipping through the pages.  I had a great birthday with my two favorite guys. We also had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Well that’s about it here. Hope all is well back in America. We love you all and miss y’all tons!! Oh enjoy all the pictures below….there’s a lot :0

Friday, January 20, 2012

Well it has been a long time....Christian, Connor and I have had a crazy few months. Connor turned 1! Christian and I finished school and we moved to Korea! Christian has been stationed here for the last 6 months. He came home a a few weeks of leave and then we went back to South Korea to join him. So between a very active toddler, school, and moving to the other side of the word I have had little time to keep up with the blog. But now that I am settled I figured what better way to keep all of our family and friends in the states updated on our new adventure in Korea.

We have been here a little less than a month. We are settled in, just waiting on all of our stuff to arrive. We have loaner furniture as well as the bare essentials that I sent with Christian. We live in a SMALL high rise apartment, but we are all nice and cozy! Connor seems to be adjusting well. He did great on the flight. He slept most of the way and really was no problem at all. It took him a few days to get adjusted to the time difference. He is completely off bottles and eats like a big boy. Which means at least 60% of it ends up on the floor ( WE MISS YOU GOGGI). He just plays and talks (really loud) all day long. He never stops unless he is sleeping. His two bottom teeth are in as well 2 of his top teeth. We are working on his walking. He cruises on furniture and his walker but he just doesn't have the confidence to let go yet. Otherwise he is doing great.  Connor and his daddy are best buds. They both love to play with Lego's! They will spend hours in his room building and destroying tall towers, over all just making a mess.

Korea...well it is Korea, it is a neat modern country that still has a old world feel about it. We are located in Seoul so big city living would be the biggest adjustment of all. We use public transportation all the time (the subway system is awesome) or we just walk! Connor gets so much attention from the Koreans.  They just love him. We have been out exploring as much as we can since we have been here. The shopping in this country is insane. There are outdoor markets and vendors that sell everything you can image. We also went to the largest fabric market in all of Asia. I was so overwhelmed all I could mange to buy was a few yards of ribbon. It is neat to take Connor to all the different places you can almost see him just soaking it up.