Hello everyone, so sorry for the delay in blogging! The Kimchi Kid and I have been very busy, and the Kimchi Kid #2 gave me the worst morning, noon and night sickness!
Showing off my burgeoning baby bump!
To start, I had to take time off work in September due to my morning sickness. I was unable to keep any food down every time I ate. A good day meant that 1 meal or snack didn't come back up, and those days were few and far between. I was also having trouble sleeping, so I had no energy for even the basic aspects of life like caring for my son let alone trying to teach rambunctious Korean kindergarten students. Luckily my work was very understanding and allowed me to take time off to rest.
Through the first trimester I was frequently reassured that I MUST be having a girl since my first pregnancy was nothing like this and so many friends who had girls had suffered morning sickness like this. Since a girl was what we wanted, this made us excited to find out the gender! Surely this would be the much desired daughter! My MIL and I both had dreams of me giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. Koreans have a lot of superstitions regarding pregnancy and this was considered a very strong sign that we were having a girl.
The only problem was the Kimchi Kid. Thomas was frequently asked about his sibling, and he always replied "형", which means "older brother" in Korean. We laughed and thought this meant that he wanted an older brother instead of a younger sibling. However when our doumi returned to us after her 6month long to China, she informed us that often Koreans believe the older sibling can identify the gender of the new sibling best. So she asked Thomas the morning of our scan, what was the gender of his new sibling. Thomas replied "남자" which means "male". We laughed and told the doumi he keeps asking for "형" and we were all sure it was a girl.
Can you tell what that blurry picture is? It was much clearer in the office and the original print of the scan. That is Kimchi Kid #2's penis. That's right, we were all wrong and only Thomas was right! We're having another boy!
The "bits"! It is a BOY! Surprise!
When we arrived at the doctor's we asked him to check the gender for us. Usually this is not done in Korea, but as I am a foreigner here, I was able to get the doctor to do so. At first he thought he wouldn't be able to find out, but he was able to get the angle right and showed us what we were waiting for.
The "bits"! It is a BOY! Surprise!
After the doctor told us and showed us the news, he proceeded to check on the rest of the baby. I was shocked and asked him if he was sure it wasn't the umbilical cord. He laughed at me, moved the scan back and showed us again what was very obviously a boy. My first reaction was to cry, which caused a lot of laughter in the doctor's office. Eventually we realized this would be for the best, for Thomas and for us. We'll save so much money on clothing and toys, and the Kimchi Kid will have an awesome playmate which is why we always wanted to have a second child.
When we came home and told doumi, she also cried. She had just finished hand washing a delicate pink sweater I had worn as an infant. She was so proud of managing to remove the ugly stain on it and was so excited to see our beautiful baby girl, she simply couldn't believe she was wrong! Even now she is convinced our next check up will show the doctor to be wrong and that we are having the girl everyone longs for! ^.^
I had introduced a friend of ours to my BIL almost 2 years ago. They had an MSN relationship that culminated in meeting in person at the Kimchi Kid's 1st Birthday party in May 2009. As my BIL lives in Texas their relationship was mostly long distance, daily Skype calls, e-mails and a few visits over the past 2 years. This Summer my BIL decided enough was enough and asked our friend to marry him. We were so excited and threw a good-bye/bridal shower for her! A whirlwind of paperwork ensued and she was on her way to a new life in Austin, Texas in August of this year.
Bridal shower cupcakes made by Gerry of Butter Sugar Cream! Delicious and gorgeous! Bridal bouquets, linked wedding rings and the couple's initials in white chocolate!
We were very excited for them and the wedding was planned for 10/10/10 (October 10, 2010) in Las Vegas. We informed the family that we'd be unable to attend, but they had other plans. As a result we had a whirlwind of planning of our own to do! Thomas and I had to leave Daddy behind due to his work, but we flew to Austin, Texas for 11 days. We then flew with the family to Las Vegas, Nevada for 2 days. I had booked tickets from Las Vegas to Victoria, BC, Canada to see my family as well. We stayed in Victoria for 6 days and then headed to Nanaimo, BC for 4 days before returning back to Korea.
One of the few outings in Austin, Texas. Zilker Park playground. He wore his Texas Longhorns jersey because it was a game day!
I was extremely sick for the majority of the time in Austin, Texas. My morning sickness was either aggravated by the jet-lag or some greasy Mexican food that caused me to have food-poisioning. I ended up in bed for almost 3 days, so sick and weak that I was almost ready to go to the hospital despite the cost. Poor Thomas was so upset by my illness that he became extremely clingy and terrified of his grandparents. It made for a hard visit to say the least.
Every time his grandmother tried to take him he began screaming, crying and shouting "할머니 무서워!" which means "Grandmother is scary!" The trip to Texas ended up being an exhausting round of hysterical toddler, draining shopping trips and hours spent on the couch watching TV.
To make matters worse, the wedding was canceled 5 days before we were due to fly to Las Vegas! My friend had been having a hard time adjusting to life in Texas and was very depressed. Her mother had also begun to pressure her to return to South Korea since she felt that my BIL was not a good person. This was due to the fact that he had not flown to South Korea to visit his future in-laws. Despite being offered airfare to come to Texas to meet the family, which they refused, my friend's parents were adamant that she not marry my BIL! This put her under a lot of stress and eventually she made the decision to honour her parents wishes. Since so many of our family had booked tickets and hotel rooms, the decision was made to turn the trip into a mini-family reunion!
Thomas checking out the scuba maintenance guys in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.Not having been to Las Vegas with a child before and knowing that we were staying at the Bellagio hotel, I thought it would be a nice trip. The day before we flew my morning sickness seemed to pass and I was excited to go. Thomas was excited to go on another "비행기", "airplane", and I thought we could spend time in the pool.
I was not anticipating the constant battles to drag him away from the slot machines with all their flashing lights and sounds. To get to any restaurant, exit the hotel or get to our room, you HAD to walk through the casino. I was also shocked to realize that all casinos are smoking areas, so we had to walk through clouds of cigarette stench at all hours. My BIL was great at chasing the Kimchi Kid down and carrying him when I was unable to. We had brought a stroller that worked at confining him but he would often cry "내려줘!" which meant "Let me down!".
Las Vegas was most definitely not child or stroller friendly. To get anywhere you have to walk over moving sidewalks or pedestrian overpasses. Escalators are everywhere and elevators were often out of service. The moving sidewalks often had signs posted on them saying "NO STROLLERS". Each Casino on the strip was huge, meaning to get from one to another required lots of walking in the hot sun. The sun was magnified by the shiny glass buildings and lack of shade on the sidewalks. All of this combines to drive people indoors to the dark and cool casinos where they will most likely gamble away, but if you have a child, it makes for a miserable time!
It took us close to 2 hours to get to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef on our last day. This was due to the convoluted route required to walk there and the fact that you have to walk almost 30min INSIDE the casino just to get to the aquarium! Despite the glowing advertisements and expectations, it was much smaller than the COEX aquarium here in Korea and we were all exhausted by the end. This was meant to be the highlight of our 2 days with Thomas in Vegas, so it was very disappointing.
In the end, I was very happy to leave Las Vegas and head to Canada to see my family!
More on that later, I need a break! ^.~ Catch-up part 2, The AWESOME trip to Canada coming soon!