Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Five To Nine

Its 8:55 am, 13c and rainy in Seoul right now. I think its safe to say that our little one is born and is still in his/her jammies right now having breakfast and doing morning things. It just crossed my mind when I realised the time. What I wouldn't give to pick up that little person with sleepy eyes and bed head hair and have them rest their head on my shoulder b/c I'm their mama. Soon. Soon. Soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Stolen Moment

I was having a mean craving for chocolate dipped strawberries! Crazy propaganda! ;)

We stopped by Metro real quick and grabbed the ingredients and before I knew it, I had myself some double broiler action! I always feel so professional when I get to do that!

Happy Valentine's Day!

BTW- M & I skipped dinner tonight and ate this entire tray instead. It was so amazing! Oh and earlier I got to wear my leather pants/tights that I bought forever ago and hadn't worn yet b/c I didn't have a shirt that covered my back side and refused to wear them until I did. Today ruled. Baaaaooow! That's my air guitar noise. :)

Big Weekend!

So much to celebrate! Valentine's Day, The Lunar New Year, Homestudy has been w/ the Ministry for 10 weeks (double digits, baby!), that sponsorship application I was working on last week have been submitted, the central vac has been successfully installed, Family Day, AND.............our dossier is complete!

The above pics are of M & I (do ya love my hair-don't?!) just after we packed up the paperwork to be sent to our agency. From here we continue to wait on the ministry's a-ok and then once we get that, it all gets sent to Korea!

The timelines the agency states say that once our file is in Korea it can take anywhere from 4-10 months for a referral. Now- I'm going to tell you this but only b/c it made me very excited and hopeful NOT b/c I think that this will happen for us or that you should think that this will be our reality...(that's my disclaimer.) There was a family last week that got a referral in 7 weeks! Amazing, eh? Again- not the norm.

Is it weird that just after we took this pic I danced around the dining room?


Happy Lunar New Year!

Today Koreans celebrate Seollal, the lunar new year. The Chinese, Vietnamese, Tibetans and Mongolians celebrate the lunar new Year too. This year is the Year of the Tiger! So exciting!

The plan was for me to make rice cake soup yesterday but I was ill and stayed in bed all day. Talk about boring. So instead, M and I are going to have a nice dinner out tonight, relax, and tackle a new recipe another day. Probably Tuesday. Plus, this morning we're going for a nice brunch so according to a Chinese friend of mine, we're celebrating the New Year perfectly. By EATING! :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

9 Weeks Today

That's how long our file has been with the ministry. We're feeling good this week. Of course we're going to have those days where we just wish the time away but as far away as we are, we're closer than ever to being parents and that is AWESOME!

Next week is the Korean New Year's day and it lands on the 14th. Valentine's Day! Its one of the most important holidays in Korean culture. I've linked the wiki page. Check it out!
I think I'd like to try and make "Tteokguk". The traditional New years dish. Its a rice cake soup. I don't know that I will tackle the rice cakes from scratch though being that I can purchase properly made Tteok easily enough.

Why not?! Its worth a try and it'll be super fun!

Trying Korean recipes out really excites me b/c it makes us feel closer to our baby. Plus-I get to cook and eat! Never not fun.

Random but, you know what I think about? I think about our son or daughter hanging out with friends and one / some or all are Korean. It would break my heart if they could relate to their friends on a physical level but experience a disconnect when it came to cultural holidays, traditions, foods, etc. I would feel like we've let them down b/c well, we would have. There is an important connection to the Korean community that we are responsible to uphold. Does that make sense? Simplified- if our teen is hanging out with some friends and one says "aww man, my mom is making bibimbap (a super popular Korean mixed rice dish)tonight. I'm so stoked!" I don't want my son / daughter wondering what the heck bibimbap is. That would suck. I want them to think "my mom makes the best mixed rice ever" or at least "yeah, I could go for that right about now!" Or whatever. You know what I mean.

Regardless of everything else, I want them to know they are a strong and important part of their Korean community and their Canadian community. We feel really lucky and excited to explore & integrate a new culture into our lives with our babe. Its obvious our families are too and that is SO exciting.

I've linked Bibimbap too. Doesn't it look awesome. At the Korean restaurant I mentioned in a previous post they serve it in a big hot stone bowl and you mix it all up as you eat & the stone bowl cooks your egg. So cool.

Funny side story to(needlessly)explain further- When I was a kid I was playing outside with my friends from the court and we were talking about dinner for some reason (my sister SO knows where I'm going with this!) and I said something along the lines of "Dinner was awesome. We had roast, mashed potatoes, & Yorkshire pudding!" The girl I was playing with said "Yum! What flavour pudding? Was it chocolate?" and I just got such a kick out of her thinking it was a dessert! But later when I was telling my family about it there was an underlying...connection, I guess. We really laughed. We were in the know. Its what we ate on Sundays.

Ok, I'm babbling. Anyway, as always, I'll post the outcome of my cooking adventures!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

While I'm At It

Mom, Dad, Mil, Fil, Brother-in-laws, friends (list is endless), and of course, as always my sis & partner in crime, IKE. Thanks for everything. The phone chats, the excitement, and all that jazz!

"Are those potatoes?!"


What A Day! - updated.

Paperwork Central!

Dexie is spent!

Today I spent the day filling out government paperwork and arranging all of our dossier goodness. What started out as a stressful day b/c I don't, as it turns out, know anything about immigration (who knew!)worked out to be a really rewarding adventure! I found myself on the opposite end of telephone calls to the government call centre three times today and had totally pleasant experiences each time.

Did I mention that between calls and filling out forms all-day-long I got a call from my adoption fairy Godmother / awesome friend M.E? Woman's intuition must have been on our side today as she called to lend some much needed encouragement and advice on exactly what I was working on! She turned what could have been an ass day straight around with a gentle but truthful reminder that in time, we will be parents to a baby that was meant just for us. Its all the universe's way. I find a lot of comfort in that and the reminder was perfect! I feel super lucky to have someone I'm already close to know the ups & down of the adoption journey first hand and who shares real life advice. Really- there's so much unknown and although I know every adoption process is unique, an educated guess from someone who has lived it is all I need from time to time to keep on keepin' on, you know? Man- I dig her.

Dex was my wing man all day. Snoozing by my side leaving only twice to sprawl out in his sun spot in the soon-to-be nursery.

I feel like I accomplished a lot today! Once again, baby steps but even, no, TWO steps closer to our little one!

We're coming for you little one!

M.E.- If you're reading this- Correction. 9 weeks tomorrow, not 10. Even still, spirits are up!

Update- OH! I forgot to mention! M and I watch CP24 every morning with our coffee and they do these prize contest give-aways where you email them the answer to a question they ask. I shoot an email off on the odd occasion I know the answer and today I won! Yup! The question was "How many days till Valentines day?" Yeah, not a skill tester but still! I got an email just after I had Dex out saying I had won a special V-day Le Senza Gift. Neat right?! I gave the station the name of a good friend who I know could use some spoiling.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

South Korean Fun Facts!

•South Korea has a Continental climate with hot, humid summers and dry, cold winters.

•The major cities of South Korea are Seoul, Pusan, Taegu, Inchan and Kwangju.

•Its largest and capital city is Seoul, which is the world’s second-largest metropolitan city.

•Korean is the main language and English is widely taught in schools. The Korean language is related to the Mongolian and Japanese languages. A large number of Chinese cognates exist in the Korean language. Around 1,300 Chinese characters are used in modern Korean.

•It has a population of over 49 million people by current estimates.

•It is one of the world’s leading economies and has a large and sophisticated technological base. It has the 13th-largest economy in the world and the third- largest in Asia.

•It has 63 daily newspapers.

•The eldest in the Korean house is considered the most wise, and therefore makes most of the important decisions.

•When you enter a South Korean home, the first thing you do is remove your shoes.

•When the first night of the new year comes everybody hides their shoes. This is because there is a belief that a ghost will come down and try on everyone’s shoes. If the ghost finds a pair it likes it will take it. It is thought that the owner of the shoes will then have bad luck for the whole year.

•The martial art 'Tae kwon do' originated in Korea.

•South Korea has a history of over 5000 years.

•Prehistoric remains found throughout Korea indicate that early in the history of the Korean Peninsula the inhabitants used sophisticated technologies. These people believed that all objects had spirits (also called animism). They also believed that some people had the power to communicate with these spirits, which is also known as shamanism. Farming at this time included cultivating rice. This was around 3,500 years ago at the start of the Bronze Age. Many farm tools have been found from this period.

•In 1910, Korea became a Japanese colony. Korea was under Japanese rule for 35 years.

- The tradional Korean dress is called a "hanbok" (pic above). The man's basic outfit consists of a chogori (jacket), paji (trousers) and turumaji (overcoat). The jacket has loose sleeves and the trousers are roomy and tied with straps at the ankles. Women also have a chogori with two long ribbons tied to form the otkorum (bow) and has long full sleeves and a full length, high waisted wraparound skirt called the chima. White cotton socks with boat shaped shoes of silk, straw or rubber are worn as well.

- Rice is the traditional main dish in Korea and often times you are not considered finished eating until you've eaten your rice. Second is "Kimchi" which is a spicy vegetable dish. Kimchi is comprised of celery cabbage heads, turnips or cucumbers, seasoned with salt, garlic, onions, ginger, red pepper and shellfish. Rice and Kimchi accompany almost every meal.

-A Korean child's First Birthday is called "Tol" Tol has two meanings in Korean. The most common meaning is a child's first birthday. It can also be used as a generic description for birthdays: Chut-tol (first birthday), Du-tol (second birthday), Seo-tol (third birthday), etc.

The traditional Tol celebration had four major components:
1) Praying and giving thanks
2) Making and wearing the birthday clothes
3) Preparing the table and performing the Toljabee (see below)
4) Sharing the food with guests and neighbors

Toljabee ceremony- Items such as large bundle of thread, a brush, a Korean calligraphy set, pencil, book, money (10,000 won bills), bow and arrow (needle, scissors, and ruler for girls) are arranged on the table to predict the child's future.

In this ceremony, the birthday child goes around the table and picks up items that attract him or her. The child's future is predicted according to the what he or she grabs. After placing the child in front of the table, the child's father becomes the guide for the child to go around the table and grab whatever he or she wants. The first and second items the child grabs are considered the most important. Usually Korean parents place the items that they want the child to choose near to the edge of the table. The child's future is predicted according to the items:

-bow and arrow: the child will become a warrior
-needle and thread: the child will live long
-jujube: the child will have many descendants
-book, pencil, or related items: the child will become a successful scholar
-rice or rice cake: the child will become rich
-ruler, needle, scissors: the child will be talented with his/her hands
-knife: the child will be a good cook

Isn't that neat!? I can't wait!

How do you say?

I love you - Saranghamnida
Hello? (phone)- Yoboseyo?
My name is _____.-Chonun ______ imnida.
How are you? - Ottoshimnikka?
Thank you. - Gamsahamnida

Here are some more from my sis "A"!

Saranghae imo
(I love you Auntie!)

Mah nun kiss dul gwa ahn eum
(lots of kisses and hugs!)

Oo ri ga man nan soon gan eh goom goo go
(Dreaming of the moment we meet!)

Ridiculously awesome!

Ok, I could go on & on! So many interesting & beautiful things about South Korea and its culture. I'll do more posts like this! It's fun!

(Some facts borrowed from an article by: Prabhakar Pillai. Otherwise from all over web)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some Retro Cuteness

There's my Grandpa "L" (Dad's Dad) in the backround. Soooo cool. Can't you just tell?!

Doesn't my Gramp's (Mom's Dad) look like he could host a show on MTV or something with his flannel shirt and thick rimmed glasses?! :)

My mom sent me a huge file of old photos! Some I had never even seen before. Best surprise ever!

Ok. Alright.

I think it may be time to turn a new leaf. I haven't been in this rut for long but its certainly time to shake it off. I've tried not to bog down the blog with my blues but after reading my last few entries I think you probably got the picture.

This weekend everything kinda came to a head though. I was so grumpy. I didn't want to talk to anyone and anyone who spoke to me was "wasting their breath and my time"....I was miserable. Thank goodness for M. Long drives, coffees, grilled cheese sandwiches. Best hubby in the world.

Truth is, there is a big part of me that just wants to flail my arms, kick my legs, and cry. Its not fair. I want to protest. Wear jogging pants and not brush my hair. Eat costco's chocolate muffins (they should be illegal) and scowl.

I really thought we were closer than 10 weeks behind. I don't know why I've put so much stock into that.

So. OK. New leaf.