True Love and Big-Boy Pampers

On True Love:

I don’t talk enough about how amazing my husband is. He likes to remind me how I rescued him when I moved half-way around the world to be with him in Korea, but I never have quite verbalized the depth of my love for him.

Two weeks ago, I was in labor and preparing to welcome our first child into the world. What I wasn’t prepared for (not because I didn’t think it possible or Jason capable) was just how amazing Jason is. I say “is” because he’s still amazing, has been amazing, so it’s a constant.

While having a contraction half way out of the tub I had been in I began to vomit and Jason was there holding my hair. Previous to this, I had vomited during pregnancy and he did the same thing. I had really only associated this act with something my mother did. Even as an adult, if she heard me throwing up, she was there holding my hair and rubbing my back.

So when I think about love, I think about the people who stay with you, at your worst; when things are falling out of you that you don’t even want to mention.

Since having the baby, I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster. This is actually a good thing because it’s allowed me to really evaluate my relationship with my husband in a new way; for me.

I still don’t have words to describe the depth of my love for this man. But, when your husband can hold your hair when you’re puking, watch you try to push an 8 pound baby out of you, not pass out when he glimpses your insides, and then sings cute songs and tells “modernized” versions of fairy tales to your newborn so you can get two more hours of sleep, you know it’s true love. And while I can’t put words to it, I know “my cup runneth over” every time I think of him.

On Big-Boy Pampers:

Happy 2-week birthday to our baby boy Tucker!

He’s closing in on 9 pounds, if he’s not reached that milestone already. On Tuesday he was just three ounces shy of the big nine-point-oh.

We had been noticing that his newborn diapers were fitting just a little more snuggly than before, so we tried putting him in the next size up. The number 1 Pampers are for 8-12 pound babies, while the newborn is supposed to fit babies up to 10 pounds.

Before having Tucker, we’d bought a big pack of the number 1 size, figuring that he’d probably be at least 8 pounds. The last weight estimate came in July so we really had no idea what to expect.

Tucker pretty much swims in these number 1 diapers. But the legs are snug, so at least we’re relatively safe from blowouts. Thankfully.

I’m still happy my little baby is a little baby though. And although I anxiously await the time when he’ll be just a little more self-sufficient (read: he doesn’t flail about uncontrollably is what I really look forward to), and better able to sleep soundly though the nights, I feel this time now is precious and I do value it immensely. Another example of true love for you.

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Korea: A Retrospective

Today, three years ago, I was Korea-bound for the first time. After six months of emails and phone calls with Jason, who’d been there already for four years, the reality of the next leap was not only hitting me, it was engulfing me.

There were so many things that worried me about living abroad. What would I eat? What would I wear? How would I communicate? What was I going to do there? How were Jason and I really going to get along; together; in person; after not physically seeing one another for four years?

What would I eat?

For those who know me, this was a big fear. A big hesitation. I pretty much don’t like anything. I don’t like most veggies, I don’t like most seafood. In fact, a big part of my diet up to this point had been beef or chicken, potatoes, and one of three kinds of canned vegetables: Peas, corn, green beans. My mother and I thought for sure I would lose weight from the mere fact that Korean cuisine was based solidly around the foods I didn’t eat. I was so sure, that I packed all my skinny clothes in anticipation of fitting into them in no time.

But I wasn’t going to the 3rd world. I was going to Seoul. And Seoul is like going to the opera. The variations of sounds, smells, foods all co-mingled in the atmosphere. They didn’t just eat squid or noodles or mushrooms; they had everything. They had restaurants  serving American food I’d never heard of. (Restaurants I’d never heard of, that is) To my chagrin I wasn’t going to get skinny here. I actually gained a lot over my two years there. Very disappointing.

I did find A TON (by my standards) of food that I have since fallen in love with. Well, three dishes in particular. But I also discovered a heartfelt love for fresh broccoli (gasp) and cooked mushrooms (double gasp). There were also snack options that blew my mind.  See? I wasn’t going to starve. And when were weren’t eating those things, we could easily pop over to BK, KFC, Micky-D’s, and other fine dining establishments. And the grocery stores had pretty much everything we could possibly need to make ‘home-cooked’ meals. And if the grocery stores didn’t have it, Costco did.

What would I wear? 
Plus-sized clothing in Korea is pretty near impossible to find. At least for me it was. I went to the Gap and found a few things, only tops, and generally had to beg my family to send me clothes or buy online from LL Bean. And I survived for two years on four pairs of slacks from NY & Company, two pairs of jeans from Torrid, and about 15 shirts from random places like Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and Torrid (again). The situation was far from ideal, and would have been better had we been able to get back to the US at least once in those two years. Oh well.

How would I communicate?

This was easy. Pantomime. Actually a good percentage of the people in Seoul speak English or broken English and we were able to ask for basic items. And most of the menus in chain restaurants were partially in English, so we made out OK. Subways and taxis had a good amount of English as well. My coworkers were always helpful, as were Jason’s, when we needed to make bank transactions, call the electrician, order a special pizza from the place around the corner, or order chicken deliciousness for delivery.

What was I going to do there?

Aside from starting my job as an editor for a Korean-based publishing company, we did all sorts of touristy things. We went to temples, visited museums, went shopping. When the newness of being there wore off, we bought bikes and went on rides, we went to an indoor amusement park, we checked out the zoo, bussed down to Andong for our friends’ wedding, flew down to Jeju for a long weekend.

How were Jason and I really going to get along; together; in person; after not physically seeing one another for four years?

If you’re not into mushy, romantic gestures, skip this part. The very first thing Jason did when we saw each other outside of the security check and customs area was kiss me.

OK, you can resume your enjoyment of the blog now.

We had our ups and downs. Jason and I had each other for support during our time in Seoul, and I think that from that we’ve been able to build something that few people have. The shared experience of living in a foreign country, while struggling with the day-to-day stuff of creating a foundation for a lasting relationship was something I think we’ll both cherish forever. After a year and a half of living together, Jason took me up to Seoul Tower, got on one knee, and asked me to be his partner in life, to be his wife.

I said yes. You can read more about that story here.

Since then, our lives have pretty much been a whirlwind of moving back to the US, buying a house, getting married, and starting a family. And I wouldn’t change a thing.