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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious...

 as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Exactly 24 hours from now, we will be at the airport waiting for our flight home. Going home is an interesting thought, because to some it might imply that we think Korea hasn't been our home for over 2 years. Hopefully you realize that Korea was never meant to be our permanent home; it was always going to be temporary.

Marc and I have had a love-hate relationship with Korea for a long time. For example, I hatehatehate effing squatty potties (as one friend of mine has named them) but I lovelovelove the public transit system. We hate that it's nearly impossible to find a good sandwich here, but love the (customer/restaurant) service and how cheap it is to eat out. Seriously, there are several restaurants where Marc and I can get delicious, REAL meals together for under $20 total (sometimes under $10 total!). I think these days you can only accomplish that at fast food places in the US, or by sharing one plate.

We've made some friends here that we will miss, dearly. However, thanks to the wonders of the Internet maybe they won't seem so far away. Eventually, I'm sure we'll all be back on the same continent so I definitely see some trips out west and up north in our future.

Tomorrow we will get on that airplane and from then on, Korea will be a memory. We will look back fondly, I'm sure, and we'll tell our daughter how she lived in Korea before she was even born (haha). Maybe our children will all look at our photos one day and think, "Wow, I wish I was as cool as Mom and Dad!" We'll get on that (those) plane(s) tomorrow and go back to our "regular" lives; we always felt like things were kind of on hold as long as we stayed in Korea.

You know, I think we're not so much "going back" as we are "going forward." I mean, look at us--before Korea, we were poor, fat, and not quite as happy as it seemed like we should be. Now, post-Korea, we'll have our first baby, we'll be financially stable, we're skinnier, AND I think we're content with our lives and where we're at and where we're going. I guess while it may seem that not much has changed back home, we've changed. We're not the same people who left 2 years ago. Because of that, it's impossible to "go back" to anything; there is no back, only forward.

I've had a whole slew of awkward goodbyes this week, so with this final blog post I'm just going to say...

Goodbye, Korea. It's been real. Good luck with everything. 안녕!
Friday, April 22, 2011

25 Weeks + The End is Nigh

I can't believe that I'm already 25 weeks pregnant. I also can't believe that in just a few more days we'll be in the USA and Korea will be a memory.

We had our final appointment today with my OB/GYN, Dr. Song. He's so nice, I really should have taken a picture with him. Oh well. I had my Level II ultrasound (the one where they scan baby's anatomy for abnormalities) today and Karinne is perfect! I also had to do the 1-hour glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes, and I passed *whew*. I was a little worried because my mom had gestational diabetes with me and eventually had Type 2 diabetes, but everything was a-ok. Of course, then I was worried that my blood pressure was going to be high due to all the worrying I'd been doing, but it was okay too. Soooooo, basically, what I'm trying to say is that I sprouted a few more gray hairs today for no good reason.

Ah, speaking of gray hair... some of my students noticed a "white hair" on Tuesday, so I told them to pull it out. Well, apparently that just opened the door for them to pick through my hair and remove all the grays they could find! Oi vey, I didn't realize just how many gray hairs I had hiding in there. Sheesh. I felt old :(

Three days. Just THREE days.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

23(ish) Weeks!

Yep, the 23-week mark kinda came and went (last Friday), but I decided I should make a post anyway--especially since it's less than 2 weeks until we're on our way home! It's really hard not to just jump for joy whenever I think about it. Yesterday, in a very flat tone, Marc said, "I'm trying not to get too excited just yet."

We went to Seoul last weekend to sell our books to the big English bookstore there, and then we just hung out all day. I wanted to take pictures, but I forgot to charge my camera battery before we left (and it doesn't take regular batteries) so, no pictures. I really want some pictures of me NOT in front of the refrigerator...

So, one of the benefits of being from the US (or Canada) and working in Korea is the pension. We pay into the National Pension fund with every paycheck, and our employers match it. However, the US and Canada have deals in place with the Korean government that allows us to get aaaaaalll that money back when we leave Korea. Marc and I went to the pension office last week to arrange to get our pensions after we leave, and we should receive it all some time in June. I (heart) Korea!

We've also started selling our stuff--it's nice just to make a few bucks before we leave. I've sold lots of clothes and now we're working on selling furniture and whatnot. I really cannot believe how much we have stuffed into this apartment. I'm hoping that we're able to sell mostly everything... whatever doesn't sell we basically "give" to Moonkkang. They furnish the teachers' apartments, but since we already had our own stuff from working at YBM (who didn't provide ANYTHING), we only got a couple of things from MK.

In baby news, Karinne has started kicking up a storm. From about 18-22 weeks I was just feeling flutters and little "pushes", but the other night she started kicking HARD! I could feel it on the outside, so Marc tried to feel it too but she wouldn't kick him that hard. I'm just happy that I don't have to wonder if it's gas anymore--I can definitely tell that these are baby kicks!

Friday, April 01, 2011

22 Weeks!

Holy Bologna, Batman! Can you believe it? TWENTY-TWO WEEKS. (Do you like my use of all three types of sentence-ending punctuation?) According to the Internet, Karinne is the size of a coconut this week. It's a good thing I looooove coconut, because I'm not sure how I'd feel if she was like a... um... random food that I don't like.

Last Friday night I started having really horrible pains on my front-right side. I assumed it was just gas, so I popped some Gas-X. Sadly, that did NOT do the trick and the pain only got worse, until I could hardly move! I thought maybe I was just about to have a bad case of diarrhea, but that wasn't happening either. I'd been pretty regular, if you catch my drift, so I really had no idea what was going on. I think I finally just passed out from the pain around 1 or 2 in the morning. When I woke up, the pain was better--but it still hadn't gone away completely. Marc finally convinced me to call the International Clinic coordinator at our hospital to see if I should come in. She went ahead and made an appointment for me to see the doctor that afternoon. Well, the doctor poked and prodded me, took a look at Karinne on the ultrasound machine, and finally just chalked it up to REALLY AWFUL round ligament pains. I did learn that my placenta is on the left side, so if I have that kind of pain again that's one less awful thing that can run through my mind.

And that's all the excitement for now. Just waiting for our next appointment on April 21st--wahoo!




Hi Mewster!



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

(almost) 20 Weeks!

We had our (almost) 20-week ultrasound today, and it's definitely a girl! Marc and I have decided on the name Karinne Elise; it probably won't change, unless someone can give us an even better middle name. I also decided to finally get Marc to take some "belly photos" since I kinda look pregnant :)

I also feel like I should mention something besides the baby--my weight loss! Since October, I've lost about  50 pounds--and nearly 70 pounds since the last time most of you saw me. I've dropped about 20 pounds since I found out I was pregnant in December--that's right, I haven't gained ANY weight. Am I awesome or what? Of course, my OB hasn't said a word about it, but I'm taking her silence as a sign of approval. My blood pressure is also still looking good; it was lower today than at my previous 2 appointments, so I'm even happier about that.

Our next appointment is April 21, and that will be for my Level II ultrasound (high-res) and glucose tolerance test (their standard time to check for gestational diabetes). At that appointment I will also get copies of my medical records and my "safe to fly" note--most airlines don't require that until closer to the end of the pregnancy, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Then we leave Korea at 11am on April 25, and arrive in Dallas at 5pm on April 25!



obligatory "hand on the belly" photo
Right now I'm still wearing my regular pants, unbuttoned with a safety pin (and cutting into my stomach). I ordered some maternity jeans from eBay so hopefully I'll have them next week and then you won't see that dent in my tummy :) 

41 days until we're back in the USA!!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Birthdays and Things

Marc is 30!! Can you believe it? He says he's okay with it, that he's happy to not be a stupid 20-something anymore ;o) (I didn't take offense. You should meet some of his coworkers--oh dear God, it's embarrassing to be in the same age bracket as them.)

To celebrate, I made Marc's favorite - chocolate cake with white frosting. A friend on the US Army base bought some good old Betty Crocker cake mix and frosting for me, and I made lovely little cupcakes in our toaster oven. The cupcake pan I bought was too big for the oven, so I just put the paper cups on a regular flat baking sheet--some of the cupcakes were a little oddly-shaped, but it worked out because there was more surface area for frosting :) I failed to take ANY pictures, mainly because the apartment was a disaster.

That night we went out with a few friends and had some delicious galbi. Marc's gift came in the mail on Monday--I got him a Kindle and a nice purple cover for it (his favorite color). Between that and the baby that I'm cookin', I'm pretty sure I win Wife of the Year (Marc even said he would worship at my feet if I felt it was required).

T minus 57 days! And now we can say we're leaving Korea next month!
Friday, February 18, 2011

It's February!

I know, I know. I'm real original with my blog titles.

Now that I'm for realz pregnant and not just "early first trimester pregnant," I think I'll start making more updates in this thing. Maybe some of you don't really care, but guess what--neither do I! Ha! :o) According to some people (who shall not be named), I'm also becoming the elusive Pregosaurus. She only comes out of hibernation for roughly 4 months at a time, hence the elusiveness.

Anyway. I'm 16 weeks along now--crazy, huh? Sometimes I think I might feel the baby moving, but it's probably just gas. There are a lot of things that people don't warn you about with pregnancy, and with good reason. It would scare too many women away from ever getting pregnant. Right now my biggest complaints are gas and pimples. I don't think I had acne this bad even when I was a teenager, and I'm pretty sure there's enough gas in my abdomen to power a small car--maybe one of those smart cars. As the pregnancy progresses, I can also look forward to heartburn, hemorrhoids, constipation--and those are just the advertised side effects. Whatevs. I guess I do get a baby at the end of it all, so it's all worth it--right?

We're starting to think about getting ready for the great move back to Americaland. If you haven't heard, we're moving back to Birmingham now. I got a great job offer from the company I worked for before Korea, and we couldn't turn it down. I'm not excited about trying to clear this place out. I kinda want to just pack up what we need, and leave the rest and let someone else deal with it all.

Okay, that's all I've got right now. Goodnight!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January Update

Ahh, January. I hate January. It's cold, and there's nothing to look forward to unless you have a birthday or live in a place where they celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

I'm about 12 weeks pregnant now--kinda crazy. I can't believe I'm nearly 1/3 of the way through. We went to see the baby doctor, Dr. Song, on the 18th. Marc and I both posted a clip of the ultrasound video on our Facebook pages, but in case you haven't seen it, here it is again:

video

I had no idea that 12-week-old fetuses could move around like that! No one has ever mentioned it, although I guess I haven't known THAT many pregnant people.

Not much has been going in the daily lives of Marc and Christina. I think we're both already counting down until it's time to go home to our new home in Texas. February should be more exciting though; the Lunar New Year holiday (Seolnal) is February 2-4 (meaning we get a 5-day weekend) and we'll be spending a couple of days in Seoul with a couple of our friends.

Now we're just starting to take inventory of everything in our apartment and figure out what to sell/get rid of and what to send home. Our goal is ship a few boxes to America and then just get on the plane with 1 or 2 suitcases each and the cats. Wish us luck getting everything sorted over the next couple of months :)
Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010

2010 went pretty well. Nothing negative to report, and that's always a plus!
  • We dug ourselves out of debt and started paying on my student loan
  • We visited China and Singapore and Malaysia
  • We decided we were content with our life in Korea, but not content enough to stay a third year
  • I made the decision to take charge of my health and have lap-band surgery in October (oops, let the cat out of the bag!)
  • Found out I was pregnant about a month after having the previously-mentioned lap-band surgery (haha, joke's on me!)
I'm looking forward to 2011, as it will see our return to the homeland and the arrival of our first child. 

Happy 2011! I hope you enjoyed your celebrations. We went with some friends to a park downtown to see a show and watch them ring the giant bell at the new year. Afterwards, we watched "Tron: Legacy" so we wouldn't have to wait behind thousands of people trying to get a taxi. 


Awesome vocal ensemble

Children's choir; they were adorable!
Traditional dancers
I didn't take any pictures of the actual bell-ringing or the fireworks because I was too cold to get my camera out again. 

Happy New Year!

P.S. If you're interested, you can check out my lap-band blog at Daegu Fatty.
 

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