Someone can’t wait for Halloween

My mom taught us songs all the time as kids. This is one of them.

(Tofu loves face paint and had her face painted green like a witch.  This video was taken after she washed her face but she insisted that those are the eyebrows she was born with and will not wash off. 🙂


Tofu turns 4! (Very soon.)

Huey Jul 2013

I am greatly indebted to this little girl.  The past few weeks she has been my constant helper; bringing me things, putting things away, picking up things I dropped on the floor.  Friends keep saying it must be so difficult to be on bed rest with a child to entertain and care for.  On the contrary, I’d be helpless without her!

She is as full of spunk as ever and often shocks us or makes us laugh.  She works hard at developing the best immune system in the world!  Example #1: One of her signature moves is licking off the bottom of both of her shoes after climbing in a taxi.  Example #2: The other day I was cooking and went to drop some peelings in the food waste (we separate out all our food trash in Korea) and quick as a wink she reaches in the can and snatches out a fuzzy, moldy piece of raw onion and gobbles it up saying, “Mommy, why’d you throw away a good one?”  Example #3: It’s REALLY humid in Seoul this time of year and everything molds,  I went through the bath toys and pulled out the squirter ones (you know, like rubber duckies) that needed a bleach bath to kill the black mold inside.  Before I’d cleaned them I found her slurping the mold out of one of them.  Suffice it to say, this girl is brave, curious, incorrigible, and has a rockin’ immune system.

She is very smart.  She has a journal that was intended to be a drawing journal for her but at 3 she loves words.  She’ll be walking around the apartment and I can hear her breaking up a word and mulling over the sounds in it.  Then she asks to get out her journal because she wants to put the word in it.  Recent words are “hosbitil” (hospital) and “dakter” (doctor) and she wrote a note to her friend “Lose” (Lucy.)

We spent most of the summer at my parents’ house in Washington.  She spent all her time playing outside except when she’d come in to eat.  She was in heaven; it was the absolute perfect summer for her.  Also, she and my dad (“Grumpa”) seem to have a special connection.  If he was home, she refused to leave his side. Whether he was at the barn, in the garden, caring for frogs or repairing things she followed him like a shadow–even if Grumpa had a work conference call, she preferred to sit quietly on the couch in his office to stay near him.

At the end of the day, Kimchi really needs to wrestle and get out all his extra pent-up energy.  Tofu may be a girl but I think she fits the bill better than most brothers would.  She’s tough as nails and they have SO MUCH fun wrestling and playing together. [Awesome video coming IF I can get it off my phone.]

We love our Tofu-girl!

30 Weeks

29 weeks

(More minutia than anyone but me…and maybe Linders 🙂 care to know.)

As of my last appointment, both babies are measuring 2 weeks ahead and each weighs three-and-a-half pounds.  Baby boy is a little longer and leaner than baby girl.  Baby girl is shorter than baby boy but with a larger tummy circumference. The ultrasound tech said she could see hair on both their heads.  Baby boy used to be the active one up until around 20 weeks, since then I rarely feel him move.  Of course, this worries me constantly (knot in cord? cholestasis? tear in amniotic sac? distress?  Please be okay my precious one.)  I’ve been told that he may be moving more than I can feel–perhaps he’s positioned more towards the back or he’s kicking his sister instead of me or that I’m misconstruing his movements as hers.  

Seeing the baby boy on ultrasound is very reassuring.  His heart-rate is 150 bpm and everything looks fine.  But he hardly moves.  In fact, to reassure me, the u/s tech pointed out the one time he wiggled his fingers.   Baby girl on the other hand never stops moving.  She infuriates ultrasound techs because even frozen stills of her are not clear enough for measurements.  Her heart-rate was 130 bpm.  Her movements bring me so much joy and reassurance.  I am so grateful to her for constantly reminding me she’s there and okay.  We play games where she sticks her foot out and I push it back and she’ll come back more vehemently or I can trace my skin in circles and she’ll follow with her feet.  Even when her movements wake me in the middle of the night, I cannot help but smile…and even tear up happily.  I am so grateful for all this.  

I’ve had some preterm labor and have been given medication for it.  At my last appointment (September 9th) my doctor congratulated me on their bigger size and said they’ll be much better off because of it if they end up being born prematurely. The doctor believes my body is at “max capacity”, and to give the twins a chance to develop longer he advised immediate bed rest.  I know it’s debatable whether bed rest really makes any difference.  For me, it’s been amazingly successful.  There has been no further progression of labor and my preterm labor symptoms have completely disappeared.  I’m extremely lucky.

In the past week, I’ve felt lessening of a lot of pregnancy symptoms.  Maybe it’s that my activity has greatly decreased or the babies dropped but I can breathe so much better!  My appetite unfortunately has disappeared.  I get the slight burning/stinging in the back of my throat (acid reflux)–just enough to remind me I’m in the third trimester but not enough to bother me.  I’m super lucky.

Other pregnancy idiosyncrasies:  my stomach is extremely heavy.  I never felt anything like this even at the very end of my pregnancy with 9 lb Kimchi. My stomach skin is so sore (like a fresh rug burn…but all over)–I try not to grimace if one of the kids unknowingly brushes against my stomach or asks to kiss the babies.  The worst is when I misjudge how far my stomach sticks out and catch it on the corner of the washer, a cupboard, the fridge, the doorway. Agony!!  However, I LOVE it when Tofu slathers my stomach with lotion.  It feels so heavenly.  Edema is back and it makes my hands, ankles and feet are unrecognizably swollen by the end of the day.  It’s not painful, just weird.  My feet feel like I’m walking on round padded bear feet and my hands burn and are too tightly puffed to bend my fingers.

D is a saint.  He gives me back rubs, foot rubs, and constantly prepares things for me to eat.  (He makes a mean pineapple-mango shake which is so cool and refreshing.)  He comes home from work, puts the kids to bed, cleans the house and does laundry.  Every week, he’s gone on some wild goose hunt all over Seoul to get things that he thinks might be delicious to me or make me more comfortable. He seems to be a bottomless reservoir of concern.

In our apartment we have A/C units in each room, but the building management controls the temperature of the air coming out.  It’s so hot in the building that the neighbors are rioting.  In response, the management put up signs in the building stating that “because it’s become cooler outdoors they’ve adjusted the a/c thermostats accordingly” (but really it’s because the owner is tight-pocketed.)  It is STIFLING in our apartment!  Even the kids, sleeping on top of the covers, in only their underwear, wake up drenched with sweat.  It is slightly cooler outdoors these days, but mosquitoes are a problem this year. If we have a window open for even a few minutes, our apartment is swarming and we get eaten alive!!!  These things have made sleeping the past few weeks incredibly hot and itchy.    Interesting note: I visited one of the premier hospitals in the area and it was about 95 degrees inside.  My English guide said it was because the government strictly regulates energy usage.

Introducing…. TaeKwonDo & Red Bean!

J/K, I don’t know what we’re going to call them on the blog, but we’d like to share our happy news:twins

I am pregnant with boy/girl twins.  They are due in November.

I’ve kept a daily journal for most of the pregnancy and could go on and on about what an amazing and spiritual experience it has been for me to carry twins.

The most helpful advice I’ve been given during this pregnancy is, “Never compare a twin pregnancy with a regular (singleton) pregnancy–because nothing is the same and if you do, you’ll go crazy worrying something is wrong.”

Names.  We the babies names picked out from the beginning and crossed our fingers that genders would align–and they did!  One name starts with a “C” and the other name starts with a “B.”  We’ve kept the names a secret.  However, my family members guessed all summer long.  (It was so fun!!!)  We do tell whoever guesses correctly.  ;D