Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Headed to Texas!

Well looks like we figured things out! Thomas got a new passport in a mere 3 business days, I applied and received his E-Visa online and we changed our tickets to TODAY! So in a mere 8 hours we should be happily flying to Texas! If so, this blog may not be updated for a few days/weeks again.
If not, it will be update with my rage and frustration. Hehehe.....
So watch this space! If there are no new posts be happy for us since we are in Texas!
I'll update about our trip as soon as I am able!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NOT on the airplane!!!

Ok, so Thomas's Canadian passport expired in June, we were just too busy to go renew it and his citizenship card JUST arrived last week. I figured that it would be easy to just use his Korean passport.
When our friend went to Singapore Air to verify her 3rd party payment for our tickets (my husband has no idea how to register his Korean credit cards for online shopping!), they told her Thomas would need a Visa for travel to the USA with his Korean passport.
They told her we could apply online at the ESTAS website. What she didn't realize was that we didn't have an electronic passport, and Singapore Air never mentioned that the ESTAS online Electronic Visa ONLY worked if you had an Electronic Passport!
I went on ESTAS, got Thomas his Visa and that was all. There was nothing on the main page to let me know that with a Korean Passport you needed it to be Electronic.
At the airport Singapore Air told us he could NOT fly with an E-Visa and old style passport. We either had to have a paper visa in his passport or an e-passport. I was furious! They refused to budge, stating that even though he had received his ESTAS Visa, we could not travel to the USA. I begged them to let us go and try our luck with the Customs official in the USA. After all, he has dual Canadian/Korean Citizenship, he is 16 months old and he was approved for a Visa! How hard would it be to convince someone to allow him in?!
They point blank refused, and when I demanded to speak to a superior, I was given an e-mail address to contact! At that point, I gave up and started crying. We left the counter and I called the main office in Seoul. When I spoke to the woman who answered, she told me that due to our tickets being purchased on an online special sale, they could not be changed!!! I lost it!! I started yelling and crying at the same time and told her how this was Singapore Air's fault. She asked for my number and said she would speak to a supervisor and call me back.
I then called Tom to come and pick us up and we went to KFC for a late lunch. Doumi was with me, thank goodness, or I would have completely lost it being denied boarding with a stroller, 2 suitcases and a cranky 16month old who just wanted to walk all over! singapore Air called me back after an hour and said as long as I flew before September 30th, I could change my ticket.
We came home, got new passport photos taken and we are applying for his e-passport tomorrow morning. We have been told it should take around 4 business days.
Unfortunately my brother-in-law had booked connecting tickets for us and may be out some money due to having to cancel them at such short notice. Not to mention the extremely disappointed grandparents and other family members who now have to wait a week or more for us to come. As well we had to have a notarized letter of consent for me to travel without Tom to the USA, to ensure I am not kidnapping him ins a custody dispute. That cost $100 to translate and notarize, and will now have to be re-done since the dates are wrong. This also messes up my work schedule and our plans for Chuseok when I returned.
I have always been such a careful planner, I had everything printed, notarized booked and filed for the trip. I had no idea that Singapore Air's advice would not be right! Goes to show with travel it is important to double-check everything in advance, even your passport validity and visa validity! Hopefully all will go well with his passport and we will fly next week. I'll keep everyone posted!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Almost Texas Time!

The Kimchi Kid rocking Mommy's hat!

Hello everyone! So sorry for the delay in updates. The Kimchi Kid has been a busy little boy and is thriving! He loves to go out for walks every day and will even hand us his clothes and shoes as soon as he wakes up. He gets so excited, full of laughter and smiles, when he walks outside. Lately he has started showing strong interest in children and will happily wave to them or walk up to them as if to introduce himself. He is such a charmer that when we walk around our area, many people call him by name to say hi! Everyone remembers our gorgeous little boy.
We have been busy ever since the baby fair ended, which is great. Sales are increasing even with the price increase. It is really fantastic and we are so glad that our hard work is paying off! Soon I will be taking more time off work to stay home with Thomas and I am really looking forward to it.

The new dish set Thomas has is orange but otherwise looks the same!
Thomas has made huge advances in self-feeding and cup drinking. I bought him a wonderful dish set at the babyfair and he loves to eat with it. It has an anti skid base so he can easily scoop his food up without the plate sliding everywhere!

The exact colour and style that we bought!
We also bought him a new chair that he can climb into on his own. If he is hungry he lets us know by climbing up and asking for "mama"(food) or "kaka"(snack). He is a very strong minded independent little boy and we are so proud if him.
Daddy has started to take Saturdays off and will also take off some weeknights as well. We hope to have lots of family time together, going for walks, playing at Little Bear Cafe, drawing pictures, etc. Thomas has started showing some definite need for Daddy-time! He has left my bed to sleep with Daddy, cried for 10 minutes at the door when Daddy left for work, and even refused to be held by me upon waking up one morning because he wanted his Daddy so badly! This was a sign to us that Daddy needed to work less and play with Thomas more.
Wednesday, September 16th, Thomas and I will be flying to Austin, Texas to visit Daddy's family. We will be there for 2.5 weeks and while I am apprehensive about the long flight, I am sure Thomas will be a champion and it will be fine! We will miss Daddy very much while we are gone, since he has to stay behind and work. Hopefully we will talk to him everyday and have lots of great pictures to share when we get back! During our time in Texas we will be limited in our internet access, so it will be a while before you see another update! Sorry!
Hope that everyone had a great Summer and we plan on doing lots of playdates in the Fall!