Friday, March 27, 2009

New Video

Hubby posted a new video over at YouTube. Take a gander.

My week in a list....

There's not too much to talk about today. Well, that's not true. There's lots to talk about. But creative energy? There's not too much of that. So, for sheer lack of effort, here are the highlights of our week, in list format:

1. Went to the doctor.
Baby is still measuring quite large. Doc is not too concerned right now, but if she's still getting too big at my next appointment (in three weeks) then he will start monitoring her on a weekly basis and potentially induce if the size thing gets out of hand.
Baby is also officially "in position" for the big event. While this makes my life a weeeeeeee bit uncomfortable, I'm also very glad we're not dealing with any complications in that area. Also: she apparently has so much hair that it showed up on the ultrasound. This is VERY exciting and different for her parents and big sister who were all bald until the age of two.

2. Ate a for-REALZ hamburger and steak fries for dinner one night. Yeah, baby, that was AWESOME. We took a trip to Seoul on Thursday and met up with our American friend Ansley who took us to a fantabulous restaurant near her place. This might have to be a monthly trip, my friends. I can't remember the last time a beef patty tasted so scrumptious.

3. Ansley spent a couple nights with us. This was a lot of fun. With all the broken English and "Konglish" that we must speak in order for folks around here to understand us, it's nice to be able to speak some plain ol' English (complete with y'all's, ain't's, and yonder's) with someone who understands! Brandon and I probably talked her ear off the entire time, but I think fun was had by all.

4. We got a baby swing!! This is the second-to-last thing on my "big items" list for the baby. Because it is more expensive to ship these large items from the states than it is to just buy new ones here, we have been quite concerned that our budget would be completely eaten up with baby stuff. However, we got a bed for almost nothing. It will arrive by the end of April. And this lovely swing?
$50.00 y'all. It's used, but only slightly. An American couple on the military base bought it for their little one who only used it a few times simply because he didn't like it. I'm SOOOOO very excited. The only item we have left is the Ergo baby carrier which is absolute necessity in this part of the world where strollers just aren't practical.

5. I found Japchae noodles at the grocery store! I have been wanting to try my hand at cooking this yummy Korean dish for some time now, but I can't ever seem to find the noodles. So *woot*! I can't wait to make some Korean comfort food for our family!

So that's pretty much it. Brandon's classes are all going very well. His Saturday School kids had a lock-in last night. Chloe, Ansley, and I all went and watched him do his thing. Very entertaining.

I have been reading a REALLY awesome book recently. But that topic shall be reserved for another post. Perhaps the next one? We shall see. We shall.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My goal for today... don't complain.

After starting and restarting this post about four times, I am realizing that it is difficult to talk about the last trimester of pregnancy without a loooong list of complaints. About four days ago, the baby "dropped down" causing things to become a leeeeetle...uncomfortable. I am ashamed to admit that, aside from a couple loads of laundry and a small dinner, I did not leave my couch yesterday.

Then I looked at my calendar.

I still have eight weeks to go, my friends. Eight weeks. So, I have decided (mostly because I don't have a choice) to grin, bear it, and get on with life. Hence, despite being awakened at 5am by said uncomfortable-ness, I am about to get my rear off this couch, get dressed, throw on a load of laundry, pick up toys, wash dishes, dress my toddler, and walk to the store - all in a (I'm afraid) feeble attempt to be good and finished by nap time. Just call me super mom... or super idealistic mom, at least.

So, for the sake of not complaining (my one and only true goal for the day), allow me to list for you all the things I love about being pregnant.

1. I love the excuses. :) I know that sounds terrible, but I have been able to get out of more than one late-night meeting or uncomfortable dinner party by simply saying (quite truthfully) that I am just too plain exhausted. Because I'm pregnant, no one questions it. Good stuff.

2. I love the feeling of my baby moving inside. As much as I want to meet her face-to-face, I love knowing that she is safe and warm and protected from most of the dangers that will also meet her face-to-face the day she is born. I love knowing that, at least for a short time, I get to be her safe place.

3. I love new baby things! There's something about getting that first pair of booties or that first little outfit that makes my heart go aflutter. Doesn't really matter if it's brand spakin' new or a lightly used hand-me-down, just holding the clothes that will soon be wrapped around my little one is a very exciting moment.

4. I love my pregnant body. I know that's weird, and maybe even TMI for some people. But there is a sense of empowerment when I look in the mirror and realize that I'm SUPPOSED to look like a pumpkin. For perhaps the only time in my life, I am the exact shape I am supposed to be. That's a really cool feeling.

5. I love the peace of a second pregnancy. My first pregnancy was wrought with fears and worries - particularly regarding my ability to actually BE a mom and RAISE a child. But since my first little one is at least healthy and mostly happy, I'm not too worried about our ability to give our second the same health and happiness. I love being able to look forward to our future and get excited (not nervous) about what's in store.

So that's it for now. My list of why I like being pregnant. Here at the beginning of the most uncomfortable eight weeks of my life, this is a good reminder to be thankful and not complain.

Toodle pip!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In the quiet place...

Back in the day, when I had a regular eight-to-fiver at the insurance agency, there were things in my job that I did REALLY well. I was good at problem-solving: making six phone calls, searching the manuals, not giving up until a solution or resolution was found. I could also schmooze with the best of 'em. By the end of my "career" as an insurance rep, I was the manager of the commercial department. This meant that I had daily interactions with local business owners, wealthy contractors, and the like. Turning on my southern drawl, I could have them thanking me at the end of a conversation where their premium had just doubled. I jest, of course... sort of.

Then there were those aspects of the job which I did NOT do very well. These were the every-day mundane tasks that never felt completed. Things like emptying my inbox, filing, and making sales calls. For the sake of perfect honesty, I confess that these things rarely got accomplished on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. The fact is that I HATED those tasks because it didn't matter how hard or long I worked on them, how detailed I was in completing them, or how much energy I poured into them, they would still be waiting for me the next day. If I filed every single piece of paper in my office, a new stack would appear before the end of the day. If I answered or deleted every single email in my inbox, it would still be full of awaiting messages the next morning when I arrived.

There was no sense of accomplishment or completion. The only reward that came at the end of these tasks was the knowledge that I would just have to do it all over again tomorrow. So, for the most part, they just didn't get done.

What does any of this have to do with anything going on in my life right now? Well, quite frankly, everything.

For the first time in my life, I am a full-time stay-at-home wife and mom. Now my problem-solving skills are limited to spaghetti stains and finger-painted walls. Schmoozing only happens when trying to convince my toddler to eat her vegetables. And the majority of my day is consumed with every-day mundane tasks that never feel completed. When every article of clothing is clean, folded and put away, I am rewarded with the knowledge that the clothes we are wearing right now will be in the basket (or floor) waiting for me in the morning. When every dish is washed, I know that in just a few hours, dinner will introduce a whole new stack that demands my attention. Floors will get dirty again. Toilet rings will come back. Fingerprints will magically appear on glass doors. And toys will be strewn about the house again... probably in a matter of minutes.

I know this sounds like one big, long, unending complaint, but please allow me to continue:

In this place of never-ending monotony, I feel more "right" than I ever have. Our home is a peaceful respite from the oh-so-foreign world outside our door. For the first time in our marriage, our family sits down together for dinner almost every night. And I finally feel like I'm not being ripped apart between school, work, family, friends, home, and church.

And in the bigger picture, I feel like this is just a piece of what the Lord is teaching me on this "trip" to the other side of the world.

Our church here is VERY, very, very, very, very (get the picture?) traditional. I can tell you from start to finish how each hour-long service will go. I can tell you what the pastors will be wearing and how, exactly, they will conduct the service. It's quiet, pensive, and reserved - not ANYTHING like I'm used to, what with my background in the Congregation Holiness (read: very, very, very animated) denomination.

I realize this post is all over the place; so let me try to summarize it all.

I feel that through every experience here the Lord is showing me the value of a quiet, steady, disciplined life. In my home, in the church services, everything is routine, mundane, monotonous, and unchanging. Those are words that would have scared me to death just a few weeks ago. But in this place, where I have no choice but to step into my new "role" as stay-at-home-mom and Samonim, I am learning to find God in the ordinary, the trivial, and even the boring.

It's not exciting. I would venture to say it's probably not even interesting to anyone but me. Still, I'm loving the journey - the quiet, peaceful, slightly boring journey.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Psalm 23:1-3, The Message

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Day in Brandon's Class...

video

A Tasty Morning

This morning was a good one.

My little one, who just a month ago was not waking up until 9:30 or 10:00am, has suddenly decided that 7:20am works better for her schedule and that breakfast must be served promptly at 7:30am (to avoid, you know, a total emotional breakdown first thing in the morning). So most mornings (since Hubby doesn't get up until 8:30am), I get up, fix a quick breakfast (Hello! PB&J with bananas!), and turn on the ever-so-entertaining Playhouse Disney. Then I grumble something about being quiet so "daddy" can sleep while I grab a pillow and blanket and attempt to catch a few more Zzz's on the couch.

Now, I realize that this is not the way a "good" SAHM starts her day. According to flylady, I should be up and dressed by 7:10am and ready to tackle whatever cleaning task is on my list for the day. Yeah, notsomuch.

But this morning was a little different. Last night, as we have done the last few nights, we slept with our windows open. The weather this week has been warm and breezy, and the fresh air feels good in our home. So when the Little Princess came in my room at 7:24am and informed me that it was time to get up, I actually FELT like getting out of bed.

Sure enough, I got up, got dressed (complete with hair and makeup)and set to the task of making breakfast. Then I opened my cabinets and realized that today is grocery day; therefore I have NOTHING to make for breakfast this morning. No bread, no bananas, no pancakes, no milk, no juice, no nothing (unless a spoonful of peanut butter and canned corn counts).

So in that moment, I decided that - what with the warm weather, no food, and a sudden surge of morning-time energy - today would be a good day to walk down to the local Dunkin Donuts and splurge.

With a quick mention in the direction of "chocolate muffin," Chloe was dressed in no time, and we headed out the door. (Daddy was still snug as a bug in a bed-shaped rug, it being his day off and all.)

As luck would have it, one of the pastors was heading out to get some pastries for his morning class and offered us a ride. Woo hoo!

Here's a little taste (no pun intended) of our trip :
video

Hyped up on caffeine (me) and chocolaty deliciousness (her), we decided to take the long way back to the house. On the way home, we stopped by a little store and purchased Chloe her first book bag. Believe it or not, out of all the pink, purple, red, frilly, polka-dot, kitty cat, princess bags... she chose a blue school bus bag. (This could have something to do with the myriads of children we saw boarding their own school buses as we walked towards DD's.)

video

We were about 2 blocks from home when we remembered... we had left daddy's muffin at the store. Being the good wife that I am, I said we should leave it and let daddy fend for himself since he didn't want to come walk with us. But Chloe was VERY distraught at the thought of her daddy without breakfast (and I'm sure the fact that half of her chocolate muffin was in the bag never crossed her mind); so we walked all the way back to the store and grabbed the bag. Needless to say, taking the long way home no longer seemed like a good idea. As a matter of fact, the early morning wake-up was catching up to me and the caffeine high was wearing off. So we hopped a taxi. "Don't you judge me."

Still, we were home by 10:00am, full of sugary goodness and ready to chill out.

Now, after talking to Papa for a few minutes, Chloe is quietly playing with her new book bag, completely oblivious that mommy is about to interrupt playtime for a good (hopefully long) nap time.

Yum. Yum.

Oh, I suppose we should go to the grocery store at some point to... although Dunkin Donuts for breakfast again doesn't sound like such a bad plan...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mommy-baby time

I have to get up and get ready for Wednesday morning service in just a few minutes; so this will be a short post.

Our church only provides childcare for Sunday morning services. So for every other service, Chloe and I go to the "Mommy-baby room" where we sit on the floor, eat snacks, chat it up with the other Samonims, and listen to the service (in Korean, of course). I actually really enjoy going into this large room full of other moms and children. Even though only a couple of them speak enough English to actually chat with me, there is a family atmosphere in there that I've never known among strangers.

Koreans really stick with the "it takes a village" concept when it comes to raising their children. I have, on more than one occasion, watched a Korean mom leave her child standing in the middle of a store or sidewalk while she goes to look at something not-so-nearby. The first few times this happened, I wasn't really sure what to do. Should I pick the child up and chase after the mom? Should I stand and wait for the mom to come back? After some time now, I have come to realize that they just think differently about their children in regard to strangers. They seem to think, "If something happens to my child, someone will look after him or her until I get back."

And on the flip-side, everyone here seems to keep a special eye out for little ones, whether they know them or not. It's very common for a total stranger to touch a child's head, pinch a child's cheeks, give a child candy, or even pick a child up.

While I don't think I'll EVER get used to total strangers trying to hold my little girl, I really LOVE this mentality in the church setting. In the mommy-baby room, everyone (moms and children) are greeted warmly. Often, someone picks Chloe up and removes her shoes and coat while I am in the process of removing my own. We all bring snacks that are then shared with every child in the room who wants some. When one mom's snacks run out, the kids just move on to the next mom. Of course, not every child gets every snack, but everybody always seems to get enough. In between snacks (and often with mouths full of food) the kids run around and play with each other. Here again, it's really nice because I don't have to worry if Chloe runs out of sight. I know that the other moms will take care of her, just as I will help take care of their little ones who run into my area. On more than one occasion, I have gotten up to check on Chloe, only to find her sitting in some other mom's lap reading a book (or, more often, eating candy).

All of this has taken some getting used to, but now I really love it. Having said all that, I REALLY need to go get ready. Church starts in 50 minutes, and Chloe and I both need a bath.

Be back soon! Blessings!

Hubby's classes and Chloe's personality

It's 7:15pm, and Hubby just left for his English Bible Study. Chloe and I attended his children's class today in order to "help" him. Yeah, right. He had that place under. control. The kids were attentive and excited. The classroom pace was upbeat and fun. The entire two hours was very well managed and executed. Having never seen my "teacher" husband in an actual classroom setting, I have often wondered what it would be like to be one of his students. I have to say, I was THOROUGHLY impressed with his mad skills.

Should you happen to doubt my word, stay tuned. I plan on having a video up by the end of the week.

In other news, my little girl is growing. I told her to stop. I tried everything. I bribed her with candy. I threatened. I pleaded. I even half-heartedly considered giving her coffee which, I have been told, will stunt her growth.

All to no avail.

Her vocabulary and sentence structure seems to become more and more "grown up" every day. Seriously, every day hubby and I look at her and ask, "Where did she learn that phrase?"

We noticed it start just a couple weeks after arriving here. It's like all of the change has jump-started her little brain, and she's suddenly picking up on everything she hears (both English and Korean).

While it makes me sad to watch my little baby girl turn into a full-fledged toddler, I also REALLY enjoy discovering her little (or not so little) personality. Just this month, I learned that she only likes the first half of "Goodnight Moon" and would prefer to skip the part after "goodnight, room." We discovered that she wants a "red fish" to come home with her from the store (a request which we finally gave into yesterday), and while we went through an entire list of names for said aquadic creature, she finally decided that his name is "just Fish." Apparently, the most exciting part about "baby sister" coming home is that, when that event happens, Grandma and Grandpa are coming too! She doesn't like bread-and-butter pickles, but she likes the juice they come in. She likes to wear one sock to bed at night, and she is willing to endure extreme torture (in the form of hair pulling) so she can have pigtails like Barbie.

These are only a FEW of the things I am discovering about my little girl now that she is becoming more and more adept at telling us how she thinks and feels.

(Side note: It's 7:30pm, and a lady from the church just rang my doorbell to give me a plant. She can't speak English; so I don't know who it's from or why she's giving it to me. Earlier today, a different lady came bearing a bag of apples and pumpkins. I have no idea what these gifts are for, but I dutifully say "gumsumneedah" or "thank you" and offer them some coffee. This is my life, friends. Good times, good times.)

Another change that has happened in her within the last week is this: my ever-so-shy little girl has completely stepped into her role as the "beautiful American baby." Everywhere she goes, strangers greet her, touch her head, make faces at her, and give her candy. Until this week, staying true to form, she would simply bury her face into mommy and say, "nooooooo..."

But recently, she has been waving back, bowing to strangers (a traditional Korean custom) and even using a few basic Korean greetings.

Who IS this child?!

Anyways, she and I will continue to attend hubby's children's class as often as possible. It's about 2 hours a day, three days a week, and it provides great interaction for both Chloe and the children who are learning English. Chloe really seemed to enjoy today, and she was even able to participate in the activities since they are learning very basic things like the alphabet, counting, and phrases like "Hello, my name is...."

She colored, she sang, she watched a movie, and she ate pizza. It was great fun for her to participate and for me to watch.

As I said, expect a video of all this by the end of the week. Great fun, y'all. Great fun.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Identity Crisis

I'm afraid I have been suffering from a severe case of bloggers block. It's not for a lack of material. It's simply that, with so MUCH stuff to write about, anything I attempt just doesn't seem like enough.

But today I'm going to bite the bullet, knuckle down, and write SOMETHING.

This week, as our routine gets back to normal (after the virus of 2009 and a wonderful visit from my mom), I am feeling a little bit duped.

Now, I consider myself a fairly savvy person. Gullible is not a word that I have been called very often in my life. I have never truly been surprised by a surprise party, and it takes some real effort to pull the wool over my eyes.

But, y'all, I was tricked, duped, deceived.

When we agreed to take on this task of traveling to the other side of the globe, it was to teach English. Plain and simple. Our job was to come and start English classes that are sponsored and paid for by a church. But ministry? That's not what we're doing. We're just teaching. Teaching English. It's aaaalllll business.

Then we arrived. The first week, Brandon was introduced to the church as "Missionary Brandon," and I as "Samonim" (the formal Korean word for Pastor's Wife). Missionary? Pastor's wife? We did NOT sign up for that. We signed up to teach English. But suddenly Hubby has been thrown into a world of ministry, Bible studies, 5am prayer services, pastoral meetings, and (of course) speculating church members. I, on the other hand, dove head-first into a world of turtle-neck shirts, appropriate greetings, hierarchical "friendships," open houses, and (of course) speculating church members.

Quite frankly, I'm suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. When I think of missionaries, I think of mud floors and thatched roofs. I picture peeing into a hole in the ground and eating bugs for dinner. I realize that those people - the ones who are called to the developing world - are the ones who really have the "right" to complain about their identity being stolen.

But somehow, in this highly technological and modern country that is not all that different from New York City, I am struggling to find a description for who I see myself becoming.

First, my name has changed. To my husband and a few close friends, I am simply "Brandy." To EVERYONE else, I am "Samonim" (pronounced Sah-Muh-Neem). It took a while for me to get used to that, and in the beginning, I'm sure I offended some people by accidentally not responding when they called my "name."

But it's not just the name change. It's the fact that, now, I have the very same name as every other female in my apartment building. All of us - us minister's wives - are called Samonim. So by accepting this name change, I am losing a bit of myself as and individual - Brandy - and becoming one of the many females surviving the formal hierarchy that is the Korean church.

And hierarchy is EXACTLY the right word for it. Upon our arrival, I was given a crash course on which Samonims I could befriend, and which ones I am to simply "respect." Depending on their age, amount of time at the church, and position that their husband holds in the church, I must treat them accordingly. And, apparently, I'm the low woman on the totem pole. Even though Brandon's position is considered "higher" than some of the other Pastors-in-training, our age puts us in a place of submission to every other Pastor and Samonim (most of whom are 5-10 years older than we).

I have one friend, a Samonim. When we are alone in our homes, I am allowed to call her by her given American name. But she is almost 10 years older than me. So when we are at the church or in the presence of other Samonims, I have been instructed to either call her "Samonim" or "Onni," which means "big sister." Because of our age difference, I am not allowed to call her by her name or call her friend.

And then there are the expectations that come with being a "good" Samonim. Extreme modesty is expected. Now, I consider myself a fairly modest person. I don't like to show lots of skin, and as a Pastor back in the states, my wardrobe had already become a bit more "mature" than what most girls my age are wearing. But here, I find myself stuffing my head through a little turtleneck hole before adorning my other clothes. And even then, I don't feel quite as "decent" as the other Samonims who wear lose-fitting pants, turtle necks, and (I kid you not) frocks.

In addition to being severely modest, a good Samonim has an "open house" all the time. It has been VERY common for church members, Pastors, and other Samonims to simply drop by my house unannounced and expect to be entertained. As a matter of fact, this past Sunday, the entire church was invited to "visit" (aka, examine) our homes after morning service. Each day, I must make sure I have a constant supply of instant Korean coffee and fresh fruit in the house because a good Samonim always serves these two things to their company (regardless of whether or not said company gave notice about their visit in advance). On the upside,I have become an EXPERT at slicing and peeling apples in record time. Seriously, I'm beginning to think I'm developing a superpower in this area.

Samonims are also expected to be full-time stay-at-homers. They are not allowed to hold a job or (in some cases) even drive. This was a HUGE adjustment for me. I have never been a truly full-time SAHM. I have always held (at least) a part-time job which was usually accompanied by several hours of college classes. My first week in Korea, I sat at home and stared at the walls. No TV, no computer, no phone, no car, and no way to tell a taxi driver where to go should I decide to venture out on my own. Talk about culture shock!

I won't write about Brandon and all the expectation put on him because you can read all about it first-hand on his blog.

Suffice it to say, we are both working really hard to adapt to our new "identity" in this foreign country.

But as difficult as it has been so far, and as frustrating as it is to know how much more we have yet to learn, I wouldn't trade this "transformation" for anything in the world.

While all of these adjustments have been confusing and often draining, I love who we are becoming. For me personally, the Lord is using this time to teach me about dying to self. We could just as easily say "we are American, and we don't have to fit into this 'mold' of a Korean minister's family." While we might get some sideways glances, the kind people here would understand (and DO understand) that we are different and that we do things differently. But this trip isn't about us and our comfort. It's about loving on and ministering to the people in this city. And in order to do that, we must become like them.

This was such a difficult concept for me to grasp. I found myself spouting off politically correct ideals during my prayer time. "We should be able to celebrate our differences, Lord. I shouldn't have to give up who I am just so they can be more comfortable." Blah blah blah. Waaaah waaah waaah.

It was then that the Lord reminded me of the ultimate loss of identity - the one He experienced when he gave up his place as God of the Universe to become just like me. He left his home, his father, his position of power, and his entire identity. He took on a new persona, a new name, and a new place in the "hierarchy" of earth (hello! God of the Universe to poor carpenter's bastard son) - all so that I could have a loving, personal relationship with him and his Father.

So today, as I think back over the last eight weeks, I'm so glad the Lord "duped" us into coming here as missionaries (though that word still makes me shudder a little bit). I'm begrudgingly thankful that we have been dragged and prodded out of our little comfort zone and thrown into this new life and new identity.

There's so much more to write on this topic, and perhaps I'll come back to it later.

But needless to say, we covet your prayers. We're not just changing the way we eat or sleep or shop or speak; we are changing who we are. We only pray that, regardless of what those changes look or feel like, they will shape us more into the image of Christ.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Halted by sweet temptation...

Mom is here. Virus is gone. Life is good again.

At this very moment, Sweet Hubby is playing basketball in the church's new gym (about a 30 second walk from our front door), Chloe and Grandma are playing "Cinderella" in Chloe's room. And I? I am curled up on the couch surfing blogs and watching the apparent shifting of tectonic plates in my abdomen. Oh wait, that's not an earthquake - it's just that little one moving around in there.

She has become particularly active this week, and it's kind of fun because I no longer have to tell Hubby "put your hand here, just so, and you might be able to feel her." Now, all he has to do is look and see my entire belly full of life and movement. Lots of fun, my friends, lots of fun.

This might go down as the shortest post ever. But I just remembered there are ice cream sandwiches in the freezer. Mmmm...

I'm pretty sure the baby needs one of those.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Snooglisheousness

So, my mom is flying into Seoul tomorrow evening, and I couldn't be more excited. There are many, many reasons that I am looking forward to her visit. So, for your reading pleasure, the list format:

1. Talking face-to-face is easier when it isn't done over a sketchy web cam.

2. We get to set up (or at least start to set up) the baby's room!

3. I get to show her - live and in person - that we really are doing ok.

4. She's bringing bed sheets! (Thanks to Martha Dale and Nanna!)We have had the hardest time finding sheets here...

5. And the thing that, perhaps, I am most excited about: She is bringing me....

THE SNOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



When pregnant with CJ, I purchased this pillow (at the insistence of my good friend Christan) and used it every single night. My poor cuddle-less husband started calling it my "second husband" because of how much time I spent snuggled with my snoogle.

But this time, I decided to wait. I decided that pregnant women all over the world get through all nine months without the miracle that is the Snoogle. But, my friends, the time of martyrdom has passed and I JUST WANT TO GET A DECENT NIGHT'S SLEEP.

So, with the help of a trusty credit card and a willing family member (my mom) who has agreed to fly the pillow all the way to the other side of the world... I will be once again be reunited with the comfort and love given to me by this rather large c-shaped pillow.

Yes, my friends. Tomorrow night, for the first time in weeks, I WILL be comfortable in my own bed (though, this time, I have agreed to share equal time between my first and "second" husband... per hubby's request).

But, you know, I'm excited about seeing my mom too. :) Seriously. I am.

Love you, mom! (and the snoogle you bring with you!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

How mommy got her groove back... or not

As I opened this little bloggy page, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Ahhh... internet, at last. As you may have read on my previous post, we have actually had it for a couple days, but I chose to spend my time emailing relatives (to assure them that, no, we are not dead) and to get as caught up as possible on all the fabulous excitement I have missed in bloggerland.

Now that I have my virtual feet under me again, I shall begin...

First, allow me to remind you that Sweet Hubby has started his own blog over here. Quite frankly, his writing is probably a lot more informative regarding culture, food, etc. Plus, it includes all sorts of fun videos and pictures of our journey thus far.

Having said that... I shall continue as best I can.

You see, I'm having a difficult time starting this post. My instinct is to tell you everything - apartment, grocery store, first taxi ride, snow, language barrier, culture, church, parenting styles.... I could go on, my friends.

But all of that cannot be summed up in one little entry.

So, I've decided to just start from today:

About 1am, as I was heading to bed, my little one woke up with her first ever stomach flu. Honestly, it's not as bad as it could be, and I am just praying that it will stay that way (and that Hubby and I can avoid the germs). She is fine (don't worry, grandparents) and I'm sure it will all pass soon. I just have to remember that with all the new food, new places, and new people... there also come new germs.

In addition to just feeling bad for my pitiful little girl, this illness could not have come at a worse time. I had meetings scheduled every day this week as I prepare for English classes to start next week. Also, my mom is coming in from the states on Friday, and I was hoping to have some time to find fun things for us to do while she's here. But alas, between the snow fall outside and the germs flowing inside, I believe all of my planning has been for naught. I'm not too stressed though. Everything will get done in its time.

Baby #2 is doing just fine and dandy. Following in her sister's footsteps, she is measuring large. Hence, my due date has been moved up by 5 days. May 20th, folks. It's not too far away. So I've just started my third trimester, and this pregnancy seems easier than the first (at this stage). Sure, I'm uncomfortable - especially since Koreans believe their beds should be as hard as bricks and as uncomfortable as splintered wood - but things are not unbearable yet.

Ok, so chalk this up as the most boring post ever. It's a little difficult getting back in the groove - especially when sleep deprived.

So, I'll throw it back at'cha: is there anything in particular that you want to read about? Any questions? Comments? Random bits of trivia?

I'll do my best to be more interesting next time.

With love, from Korea.

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood