Sunday, December 28, 2008
It's a lazy weekend. I didn't do much yesterday except wash up the last of the baby clothes and sterilize the baby items and put them in the cupboard. Today, Sejin and I have just watched a documentary (Who Killed the Electric Car) and we'll probably watch some more TV soon. I'm not a big TV person, but it doesn't take much energy, which I like these days. I may finally photograph the mittens I made and start a new knitting project. It would be nice to squeeze in one or two more projets before baby arrives and I have no time to knit anymore.
As of my last appointment (39 weeks), the doctor was disappointed to see no progress and hinted at getting out and doing some walking. Not going to happen today. I may venture out this week though since I've had an itch to go shopping.
Christmas was so uneventful I didn't even notice it. Some friends, J and S, came over and we went out to VIPs buffet for early dinner. S is also pregnant and just a few weeks behind me, so it was nice to talk about baby stuff and preparations. They brought over a DVD called The Happiest Baby on the Block, which is all about baby soothing. The narrator claims to have all the answers to calming crying babies. I'm skeptical though. If it's as easy as he says and makes it look in the video, why doesn't eveyone know these secrets? Oh well, I'm willing to take any help I can get, so I took mental notes of the techniques in the video.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It's a very gray day here in Seoul. I actually didn't even realize it was Christmas Eve until sometime this afternoon. That's the way it is here, though. Not a lot of hype. But my good friend, Y, came over to visit, and then A dropped by with a gift for the baby. It's nice that friends have been coming around to see me. Yesterday, R and I spent the afternoon together shopping at Homeplus. I bought snacks for my hospital bag. Tomorrow, J and S are coming over. I sure have a lot of good friends around.
I finished the mittens I've been working on, but have been too tired to post pictures. Now I'm trying to think of what to make with the remainder of my Noro Silk Garden yarn.
Well, I'm going to watch Rudolf or something because I keep forgetting it's even Christmas!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My husband has been looking for work in the ESL field. Since we're having a baby soon, he wants something stable, with less hours. His English skills are top notch and he enjoys teaching, so why not?
So far, he's gone for around seven or eight interviews at hakwons (private institutes or academies). The conditions of these jobs are insulting to say the least. Most require a 6 day work week (full eight hour days) and offer laughable salaries.
His most recent interview was the funniest yet. It was at Jung Chul English, one of the biggest hakwon chains in Korea (I worked there around 6 years ago actually). They told him to prepare a teaching demonstration: a listening lesson based on a CNN video clip. So, husband spent this afternoon prepping for the interview. He arrived to find out there was no Internet available, so he could not use the clip or his lesson. He was told, "Ah, just forget about it." Instead, he was handed "The Frog Prince" and told to teach. Sure, CNN news clip on the economic recession in America and "The Frog Prince" -- can totally see the connection...
Next came the details.
Interviewer: We have positions at the Gangnam, Yangjae, and Jongno campuses.
SJ: Jongno would be best for me.
Interviewer: Well, that's out of our control. There are two shifts - morning and evening. That's out of our control, too.
SJ: What are the hours and salary?
Interviewer: Eight hours, five days a week. 1.5 million won per month. But if you bring in more students, you'll get bonuses.
SJ: My wife and I are expecting a baby very soon. If she has the baby during working hours, will it be OK if I leave work to go to her?
Interviewer: No, you have to stay.
Sounds like a great position, huh?
About the leaving work for baby thing: I recently heard that it's law in Korea for men to get three days off to be with their wives if they have a baby (not much, but at least it's something). I have to look into that and see if it's official. But if a huge chain like Jung Chul isn't honoring that rule, I can't imagine too many others are.
So anyway, I have finally solved the mystery! Koreans who actually speak English well don't accept these positions! They move on to something better or do their own thing.
We have a lot of thinking to do.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
That's all for tonight. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have an ultrasound pic to upload!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I've been a little slow with knitting. I finally finished my baby bell bottoms. They turned out cute enough...but we'll see how practical they actually are. Far more practical is the baby beanie I made for Karen's baby. It turned out really cute, so I think I'll make one for my baby as well. The yarn I used for this was nice and soft.
Monday, November 24, 2008
This was all done in the labor and delivery room, which was extremely hot. I know Koreans like to keep the temperature a bit higher than normal, but this was ridiculous. So now I have another point to discuss with my doctor about my birth preferences: since I'll have a private room, I want to be able to have some control over the temperature.
Luckily I'm feeling better today. Still not 100%, but worlds better than yesterday. I'm off to rest some more.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I finished the Fantasy Naturale Top Down Baby Cardigan and I'm very pleased with how it came out. This would be an easy pattern to modify by changing the girly eyelet pattern to some ribbing or other edging.
So I scour for another few days and find another site. It's not sold out. Free delivery...awesome. I promptly have Sejin order the chair and pat myself on the back.
That was last week and no sign of the chair yet. Sejin called the "customer service" number on the site and it seems it's out of service. No emails are returned.
I think we were robbed of our 140,000 won ($140).
Here is the site: http://www.mozorishop.com/goods_detail.php?goodsIdx=560
At least it was only $140...but it still sucks to be a victim of such fraud.
I'm through looking for rocking chairs. I've got a comfy sofa and my nice new nursing pillow. That's enough.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Cable baby hat (3 month size?):
My mom baked this pie in my little convection oven:
Another good thing about staying in was that I had time to think about what baby stuff I needed, and I ended up doing a lot of online shopping. I got some serious deals on gmarket...far cheaper than what I'd found even in Namdaemun. Onesies for 2,900 won, sleepers for 7,000. Stuff like that. I couldn't even find onesies in the baby malls in Namdaemun and the sleepers I saw there were 10,000 won and up (some over 20,000). So the baby stash has been growing and I haven't even gone that crazy, money-wise. My list of things to get is growing smaller, which puts my mind at ease.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The first half of this month has gone by super fast. Feels like it was October 1st yesterday and I was thinking, I have lots of time to get done book one, fix up the place, and have time to spare until mom gets here. Well, she arrives tomorrow.
I'm not too worried about having to do too much work while she's here. I'll have to take a few hours here and there to do some work, perhaps when she's taking it easy, or if she's napping due to jet lag. Luckily, the new series for preschoolers I'm working on isn't too hard on the brain, and can even be enjoyable at times. I've also canceled most of my classes for the time that she's here.
I haven't planned too much for me and mom to do. I'd like it to be a laid back visit. If we feel like doing some shopping or seeing a movie, we can do that. Or, if we feel like staying in and knitting, we can do that too. It will be quite different from her 8-day whirlwind visit to Korea 3 1/2 years ago for the wedding!
At Gyeongbokgung, the day after our wedding:
At the Icheon ceramics festival:
So, before she gets here tomorrow, I have to finish writing book one (just the student book), clean up the place, and get a few groceries. Food is going to be interesting. I don't cook much and I don't think she likes Korean food. Also, most western food in Korea is expensive and unhealthy. I guess we're going to have to be creative.
During my July 2006 trip home. We visited the Canadian Rockies.
Near my parents' summer trailer on Lake Nippissing:
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Last night, history was made when I closed Toto out of our room. It was really sad, but we have to start somewhere. She scratched and meowed at the door for about 5 minutes before giving up and going to sleep. I got up around 6am to use the facilities and get a snack. She didn't look very pleased with me, and tried her hardest to slink into the bedroom with me. She scratched and meowed for a little longer that time, but eventually gave up. So, she deserves credit for sleeping her first night without us. I was pretty happy with her performance because I thought she'd get upset and pee somewhere out of spite.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This band was led by Sadao Watanabe, jazz legend from Japan, who is still going strong at 75 years old!
The next day at the festival (but at a different location), we caught the Iiro Rantala New Trio, an experimental jazz band from Finland, and the Giovanni Amato Quartet, a very impressive combo from Italy. I think I enjoyed the quartet the most. They were truly masters of their instruments -- very impressive.
Here's a clip of the Iiro Rantala Trio. They were impressive as well. Notice there are no drums...One of the members does all percussion by beatboxing.
After returning from Nami and getting lunch (Chuncheon dalk galbi -- very good), Hayan and Yungyu headed back to Seoul, while the rest of us stayed to catch some more jazz.