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Dol or Dohl: Korean First Birthday

Our youngest is now almost a year old. The first birthday (or dol or dohl) is a big deal in the Korean culture, and we celebrated a few weeks early (doljanchi) while we were at Halabuhji and Halmoni’s house, to include as many family members’ plans as possible. I started looking through Pinterest for ideas and found many, although I didn’t actually do much physical planning until we hit Chicagoland. We used the french doors as the bones for the pink and white background seen in the photos. Colorful paper fans set the top border and balloons on each side framed the entire scenery which highlighted the amazingly (i’m still surprised!) cooperative birthday girl perched upon her throne with the dol table set below her. Her hanbok colors tied into the cake decorations.




















Dol or Dohl: Korean First Birthday Part II

More photos…. some of these are much more candid (read: crying). Some photos show Koma wearing the hanbok that belonged to me when I was her age. And of course, dol isn’t complete without a doljabi, in which the child selects an object among several on a table to predict his/her future.  For example, thread means long life, a book means she’ll be a scholar, a brush means she’ll be artistic, money means she’ll be wealthy, a stethoscope means… (insert whatever your perception of medicine is here). Our girl chose a paintbrush, so hopefully she’ll carry through on those artistic tendencies.     (some photos courtesy of my cousin, thanks!)


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Birthday party with friends

After a party with grandparents a few weeks ago, then another party on the actual birth date, Unni celebrated her birthday with friends at the park, too.  The kids all played for awhile, then ate pizza and “ice cream cupcakes” which I found on Pinterest.  Unni really enjoyed her morning and was so happy to share her special day with her buddies.

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Introducing Rose

This doll came in the mail the other day, and has changed names a couple times. The most frequent name is Rose. She goes everywhere lately, even Target.



Mystery gift


We received this really cute romper and sun hat several weeks via  But there was NO information about who sent the outfit to us. Everywhere we’ve gone with Koma wearing her fashionable outfit, she’s been the recipient of lots of oohs and aahs. Thanks, whoever you are!!

Our Saturday

Our appointment for photos in the morning ended up delayed and after waiting for awhile, Koma was just about done.  That is, she needed a nap or food or outta there or all three.  With much patience from the photographer who distracted the girls by blowing bubbles at them, then quickly snapping photos, we managed to finish the photo shoot.  We’ll see if any turn out!

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Next, our scheduled lunch with the girls’ cousin who happened to be in town for the weekend ended up delayed too.  We were happy it worked out anyway!

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Then after naps, Dad took the girls to a couple stores for a couple items, but got caught in huge thunderstorm.  So they waited out the downpour in a bike shop.

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Preschool camp


Unni is loving her two-week preschool camp. Despite her serious expression in this photo, she’s been pumped after every session. “I had so much fun. I want to go all day.”  I think using a backpack makes her feel like a big girl, too!


The first day, we arrived early for pickup and wandered around outside. Koma found many interesting things to explore.

“Welcome to band camp 2013”


We walked out of Barnes and Noble the other day and heard the percussion beat from the high school across the street. We decided to check it out since Unni had just banged on a toy drum in the store.  This very cool painted bus greeted us at the entrance on the school. We drove further into the parking lot but couldn’t get onto the field and see band camp. Unni made me promise we’d come back. High school football….. here we come!