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This week has been an exciting week for Maya.

When we found out that we were coming to Seoul, I was in the process of potty training Maya. We had a few successes, but it was still in process. As our moving date loomed closer I decided to put potty training on the back burner (having read that big changes, like moving, were not good times to work on potty training.) so we could all be a little less stressed and little more focused on the move at hand. I figured that it would take Maya a while to adjust to Korea and I expected that potty training would probably come slowly because of that. So, the past few weeks I have been working with Maya to get her used to using the bathroom like “big girls” should. It has been pretty tough because she would to hide when she was using the bathroom in her diaper and would give me a resounding “No!” when I asked her if she had just pooped. I tried to show her what to do by example. Telling her why I was going when I needed to go. We tried taking her to the bathroom periodically, but we always seemed to go when she didn’t need to relieve herself. We even resorted to bribery. It was a bit frustrating to say the least. Finally, I decided to just put her in a pair of underwear and maybe then she will realize that she can’t just not go to the bathroom. Diapers just soak up the pee and I figured that that was why she didn’t tell me—there was no need. So she donned a pair of princess panties while I explained to her that she couldn’t just pee in these, that she would need to tell me if she needed to go to the bathroom. note: this was an easy decision for me since here in Korea our floors are made of laminate–easy clean up should an accident happen. I expected that she would have an accident, and she did. She was playing on the floor and she peed. She was so upset. I then explained to her that if she could tell me when she needed to pee, we could go to the bathroom and accidents like these wouldn’t happen. I am proud to say that after that she has been telling us when she needs to go. We’ve had a few accidents, but we also had many successes. I think she understands what she needs to do now and I am really happy for her. I can imagine that it is a liberating sort of thing to be rid of your diaper, something akin to eating solid food, or having the right to bear arms…yay! Maya!

Here are a few pictures of her with her first success on the toilet! She got really excited when she saw that I got really excited:

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Another exciting thing for Maya was that she got her tricycle this week. We have this nice area just outside our apartment (on the fourth floor) big enough for her to run wild. My mom thought it would be a good idea to get a tricycle so that she could ride around out there. Well, thanks to my aunt here in Korea, we got a really neat tricycle to keep Maya busy and active. Here are some pictures of her riding around (by request of my mom–I just want my mom to know that it was sprinkling outside and we risked it to take these pictures that I promised you…that and the fact that I had promised Maya we would go out and she would have been pretty upset had we not gone for at least a little bit) :

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You can see that it has an attachment that turns it from an ordinary tricycle to a stroller/tricycle, I call it a “strollcycle, ” complete with canopy and little carrying bag for my wallet or keys or something. When she is able to ride it on her own, the attachments come off and it is once again a tricycle sans stroller.

I also wanted to put up pictures from our sightseeing trip with some friends of ours. Over the Chuseok holiday weekend we went to some old prisons in an area of Seoul called Sodaemun. They were built by the Japanese to house Korean freedom fighters.

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Here’s a pic of of me in solitary confinement:

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Here’s a picture of where they cooked the rice to eat:

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Here is a picture of our friends, Aaron and his wife Na-young. Daniel and Aaron met in their Korean class at Seoul Nation–the two Americans in their class. We were eating lunch at a restaurant in Insadong before we left for the prisons. Thanks so much guys, it was fun.
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