Tales of Tofu (4 years old)

Never underestimate the determination of a 4-year-old.  She asked to watch part of a movie (Frozen.)  I said, yes but that she needed to clear dinner dishes from the table first. Well, I was in my own world nursing the babies on the couch.  Then I hear the sound of the dishwasher starting.  (She had cleared the table, scrubbed the dishes out, loaded them along with the rest in the sink into the dishwasher, pulled out the soap from under the sink, untwisted the child-proof lid, filled the spot and started the dishwasher.)  Then she set my laptop up beside the TV, found the HDMI cord, hooked up the laptop up to the TV, entered my password on the laptop, found the file and started it,

Tofu is gassy and potent, poor girl.  My sister Lindy was riding on the bus with Tofu when Tofu had some sbd gas.  The smell hit Lindy right as Tofu, without guile, says “what is that AMAZING smell?!!!”

We frequently have friends stop by asking if Tofu wants to come over for a playdate.  Most of the time, she will tell them no, that she wants to stay home with her babies.  A few months ago when the babies started smiling she came home from a playdate and ran in asking, “How many smiles did I miss?”  Me: “Just a couple.” Tofu, on the verge of tears, “I shouldn’t have gone!!!”  Another time, one of the neighbor boys was over and Tofu squealed in excitement, “Let’s play with the babies!!”  The boy looks at the babies laying on the playmat and says, “Nah, I have one of those at home.”

[Sidenote] One lesson that the kids have really taken to heart is that babies are wanted and treasured in our family.  There has been no formal (or even intentional) teaching of this lesson but I think it has been a side-effect of the way we think and talk and pray about family members.  Sort of an osmosis of the feelings of our hearts.

  • Kimchi: “I’m going to get married when I’m 18!”
  • D: “Well, you can’t go on a mission then, you start missions at 18.”
  • Kimchi: “Okay, I’m going to get married when I’m 19!”
  • D: “Well a mission takes 2 years, you’d be in the middle of your mission.”
  • Kimchi: “Okay, 20.  I’ll finish my mission and get married at 20.”
  • Me: “Kimchi, why do you want to get married so quickly?”
  • Kimchi: “Babies.  I want to get married and have my own babies so badly.”

Haha.  Surely we need to swing that pendulum back and find some balance for him to carpe diem his own babyhood/childhood, but he has a tender heart and overflowing affection for the babies.

Along the same vein, Tofu and I are together 24-7.  She is my best little friend and a marvelous companion.  For better for worse, her little world is consumed with things from my bucket of responsibilities and I find her sweet little voice saying things like, “Wow Mom, you pumped all that milk?!  You are magical!  I am so proud of you.  That makes me so happy.”  (I’ve also caught her many times rubbing lansinol on her little chest buttons and stuffing nursing pads down her shirt.)  

While she is incredibly responsible in many areas she continues to keep us on our toes and regularly visit the ER.  In one week, she drank mouthwash and cleaning solution.  (Chugged it like milk.)  Luckily, in both scenarios I was prompted to go check on her at that very moment.  Luckily, she is fine.

She’s also been doing some zany things at night: sleepwalking through the dark apartment for long periods of time and one night she rolled back and forth across the wood floor in our bedroom for over an hour.

D and Tofu were walking down an alley near our house going to pick-up take-out. A gaggle of women in their mid-twenties stop to gush over Tofu (happens a lot here, I had multiple people, other patients, taking videos of the twins at the doctor’s office.)  D said to Tofu, “those ladies said you are very pretty.”  Tofu responded with, “Yeah, I know.  Everybody really likes me.”

Vocabulary by Tofu:

  • pinkie: a combination of “pink” and “binkie”; all pacifiers are called “pinkies.”
  • comspolsion.  Ex: Oh no, baby Bonnie’s diaper comsploded all up her back!
  • satchamated:  Ex: Her diapers is really satchamated; we should change it

Baby Colt’s name is really difficult for non-English speakers.  (At one hospital his records are under “Cott” and at another hospital they are under “Cort.”  I told the reception that it is “C-O-L-T,  L as in the word LOVE.”  The response was, “Yes, Airl as in Royve.”  Can’t argue that!  Seriously, I’m lucky so many people speak my language, when I speak none of theirs yet I am presumptuous enough to try to find the nuances of my language in their country. i recognize my arrogance and the absurdity.  For what it’s worth I’m so grateful for the sacrifices so many have made to learn English and that we can be so comfortable here.)  Anyway, Tofu hears me say a lot, “Colt means boy horse.”  She loves playing puppy and naturally she came up and asked me, “is there a name for a girl dog?”

Plans:  we are hoping to find and enroll her in gymnastics.


Tofu the Model

Choco El - grey jacket

Here’s the story for those who have asked:

We heard that Korean clothing companies like to hire foreigners as models.  I thought, “that could be so cool for my daughter!”  A friend at church gave us the number of a modeling agent but warned us that it could be months before they call.  They call sporadically when your child fits a particular role.  Well time ran away with me and suddenly it was right before the twins were due.  My mom arrived to help with the babies and I mentioned regretting never pursuing that opportunity for Tofu.

My mom suggested I go ahead and email the agent and maybe, just maybe, she’d get a job while my mom was in town.  On Sunday night I emailed the agent a few pictures.  Monday morning at 9 am the agent called asking if one of her clients could come asap to meet Tofu and do a clothes fitting.  She got the job; her first photo shoot was two days later.

Since then “Tofu” has modeled every week (sometimes twice a week).  First my mom went with her, then my sister Lindy, now since we know (and really like) the agent, Tofu goes by herself with the agent.

For most shoots, the agent picks her up around 1:30 and brings her back around 4pm.  “Tofu” loves it so far and on modeling days she asks me every 5 minutes if it’s time for modeling yet.  Her agent is fantastic with kids and brings lots of toys and treats.  Plus, she loves playing with the other kids.

It’s a wild goose chase trying to track down the catalogs when I don’t speak Korean (I’ve only gotten ONE so far) but here are a few recent ones:

Skarbarn (click on collections)

CanKids (click on Stylebook)

Jelispoon (click on her outfits, they are hyperlinks to additional pictures)

36 weeks AND A DATE!

One of the things on my “Korea Bucket List” was to have Tofu model (I had heard that there’s a demand for Caucasian kids and such.) Last Spring was encompassed by morning sickness, Summer was spent stateside, and as soon as I returned home to Korea I was put on bed rest, bed rest would be followed by newborn twins.  So I wrote off the chance to have her model.

I mentioned this desire to my mom and she said she’d go with Tofu.  Awesome!  On Sunday night, I emailed a modeling agent some pictures of Tofu.  First thing Monday morning the agent called wanting to come meet Tofu asap!  The modeling agent brought the client who asked if Tofu could do a shoot the next day.  Yippee!

Tofu LOVED having her hair & make-up done.

I went for the first hour then took a taxi home while my mom stayed with her.  I was SO PROUD of her.  The team was raving about how pretty she is and how well she was doing.

Pregnancy Update: Still pregnant!


D & I always think to take these pictures around midnight…hence the mascara under my eyes. But wearing make-up at all, even in the wrong place, is a BIG deal these days. 😀

When I look at my bare stomach in the mirror, it totally reminds me of filling up a water balloon.  The top is taut and pulled straight but the bottom is much bigger and rounder.  It gets heavy and swollen as it fills and threatens to pop at any moment.

I had a doctor’s appointment last Monday.  (My mom came with me!)  We saw the babes on ultrasound.  Baby girl is still head down and ready.  You know how they take different measurements (femur bone, stomach circumference, head circumference) to measure gestational age?  Well baby girl measured 40 weeks.  40 WEEKS!   Baby boy is transverse (ie his body makes a “t” with hers.  He is behind her against my spine with his feet on my left side and his head on my right.)  He was VERY hard to measure because he is so far back and hidden behind her.  The tech could see his heart beating but was not able to measure the beats per minute.  Baby boy’s size measurements were also difficult to ascertain but it appears he has not grown since the last ultrasound.  If the ultrasound is correct, baby boy will be significantly smaller than baby girl.

The doctor wanted me to get a chest x-ray.  I was apprehensive (x-rays while pregnant??) but they assured me it was medically necessary and they would take precaution to cover and protect the babies.  I got the chest x-ray, they put up a screen over my stomach…hope it was enough!

From the chest x-ray, they could tell that my lungs had a lot of fluid in them.  Seriously?  Fluid is pooling around my heart and now in my lungs??  I must have the leakiest blood vessels in the world!!   This was interesting though because I’d slept horribly the night because every time I laid down I was having trouble breathing.

Anyway, the doctor said the c-section should be scheduled for earlier; today was suggested.  Then I panicked.  I kept asking the doctor what we should do.  We decided on a date a week away.  (Of course, after leaving the hospital, I spent the rest of the day fretting over this decision.  “Had I convinced the doctor to delay the babies’ birth to their detriment?”  Or, “Had I my body failed to support the babies and pushed the c-section earlier to the babes’ detriment?”  I could not read the doctor.)

Anyway, <drum roll, please> in a few days I’ll check into the hospital for monitoring; The following morning will be baby girl and baby boy’s BIRTHDAY.

If you are stateside, THE BABIES WILL BE BORN NOVEMBER 4TH at 4PM MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME (that’s 6pm if you’re GoGo & Fiddy and Auden, 5pm if your Texan, 3pm if you live in Washington state, etc.)

We’re so excited…and nervous…I shared the specific time so that if you’d like, you can pray for us and the medical staff.

Kid Quotes


  • Me: Tofu, are you going to miss me when I’m gone? (at the hospital, when the babies come)
  • Tofu: Nonnie will be here, right?
  • Me: Yeah.
  • Tofu.  Then I won’t miss you.

So much for sentimentality.  :/

Tofu turns 4! (Very soon.)

Huey Jul 2013

I am greatly indebted to this little girl.  The past few weeks she has been my constant helper; bringing me things, putting things away, picking up things I dropped on the floor.  Friends keep saying it must be so difficult to be on bed rest with a child to entertain and care for.  On the contrary, I’d be helpless without her!

She is as full of spunk as ever and often shocks us or makes us laugh.  She works hard at developing the best immune system in the world!  Example #1: One of her signature moves is licking off the bottom of both of her shoes after climbing in a taxi.  Example #2: The other day I was cooking and went to drop some peelings in the food waste (we separate out all our food trash in Korea) and quick as a wink she reaches in the can and snatches out a fuzzy, moldy piece of raw onion and gobbles it up saying, “Mommy, why’d you throw away a good one?”  Example #3: It’s REALLY humid in Seoul this time of year and everything molds,  I went through the bath toys and pulled out the squirter ones (you know, like rubber duckies) that needed a bleach bath to kill the black mold inside.  Before I’d cleaned them I found her slurping the mold out of one of them.  Suffice it to say, this girl is brave, curious, incorrigible, and has a rockin’ immune system.

She is very smart.  She has a journal that was intended to be a drawing journal for her but at 3 she loves words.  She’ll be walking around the apartment and I can hear her breaking up a word and mulling over the sounds in it.  Then she asks to get out her journal because she wants to put the word in it.  Recent words are “hosbitil” (hospital) and “dakter” (doctor) and she wrote a note to her friend “Lose” (Lucy.)

We spent most of the summer at my parents’ house in Washington.  She spent all her time playing outside except when she’d come in to eat.  She was in heaven; it was the absolute perfect summer for her.  Also, she and my dad (“Grumpa”) seem to have a special connection.  If he was home, she refused to leave his side. Whether he was at the barn, in the garden, caring for frogs or repairing things she followed him like a shadow–even if Grumpa had a work conference call, she preferred to sit quietly on the couch in his office to stay near him.

At the end of the day, Kimchi really needs to wrestle and get out all his extra pent-up energy.  Tofu may be a girl but I think she fits the bill better than most brothers would.  She’s tough as nails and they have SO MUCH fun wrestling and playing together. [Awesome video coming IF I can get it off my phone.]

We love our Tofu-girl!