Friday, December 2, 2011

Hi, Hello, How Are You?

I hate that it's been so long since I posted. It's incredible how much time a little baby can consume; can you believe she's already 4 months old?!? Speaking of babies, on Sunday it will be exactly one year since I got my positive pregnancy test. What a crazy year!

This is going to be a bullet point post, because that just seems way easier.

  • Since my last post, I returned to work. It's been an adjustment, but it's not that bad. At least it gets me out of the house everyday! The worst part is having to pump 3x while at work; as I said before, I just feel like a dairy cow! It also didn't help when people would tell me how gross or disgusting it was. I-G-N-O-R-A-N-T.
  • I had to go to San Diego a few weeks ago for work, and Marc and Karinne went with me. We expected the worst, but she really wasn't that bad on the plane. She cried a little, maybe a total of 20 minutes--not bad for 6 hours of flying!
  • We traveled to New Orleans for Thanksgiving (Marc's father's side of the family all live there). I think she was actually worse on that 5-hour car ride than on the plane. However, she was a doll when it was time to meet the 30+ family members.
  • Our "good" car died last Saturday. We were driving and suddenly everything just stopped. It was insane. Turns out the engine broke. Luckily, we have a lifetime engine warranty so we're 98% percent sure it'll be taken care of; we're just waiting on the final word from the inspector. Unfortunately, we're only going to have 1 car for a while--just a minor inconvenience.
  • I got a raise at work. It really came at such a perfect time; I was feeling really down about our money situation, especially with Christmas coming up and the car breaking down, and then I got the raise. However, I'm having a difficult time refraining from celebrating by spending lots of money.
  • My one-year bandiversary came and went on October 30th. While I'm definitely not where I'd hoped to be by now as far as my weight is concerned, I'm still please with where I'm at. I mean, I had an entire pregnancy during that time! I'm still about 35-40 pounds (depending on the day/hour) down from my surgery date, so that's something to be proud of. I have to start exercising though--much easier said than done, right now anyway. I'd really like to be much closer to goal (if not already there) by the next time I get pregnant!
Daddy and baby, taking a break at the San Diego Zoo

Mommy and baby in front of the lions


3 months!

Monday, September 12, 2011


mooooooo. moo. moomoomoo.

Yes, I'm mooing at myself because I feel like a freaking milk cow! I feel "udderly" (ha.ha.) ridiculous double-pumping while wearing the hands-free bra thingy, but it does allow me to easily update my blog. We went to the pediatrician for Karinne's one-month check last week and even the doctor called me a good milk cow (due to her good weight gain and I never had to supplement with formula).

Speaking of her one-month check, we officially have a thriving baby! As of last Wednesday, she was 9lbs 6oz (7lbs 10oz at previous appt) and she's grown almost an inch. She also got her second dose of the Hep B vaccine and a heel stick and she was NOT happy after that. I swear, she's got the most pitiful cry sometimes; I dread the day she has the mental capacity to use it to her advantage!

On a sad note, I go back to work on Thursday :( Just half days for 2 weeks so I'll be able to kind of ease back into things, but I'm definitely not looking forward to it. There were also some pretty big changes made while I was on leave that affected my department so I'm interested to see what's in store for me when I get back.

There are a couple of neighborhood cats that hang around our house sometimes (I think the people that lived here before us let them hang out in the crawlspace) and one of them is chasing a squirrel around the back porch now. I hope he doesn't kill it and leave it there. Right now Mr. Squirrel is under the grill licking up some strange substance and the cat is just sitting next to the grill, watching; I guess it's not exciting when the squirrel is just presented on a platter like that!

Here are some photos from Karinne's newborn photo session; she was really unhappy after we took off her clothes, so it was kind of a bust. 15/20 photos are just different angles and colors of one pose; I kind of wish the photographer would have let us see all the shots, and then let us choose the poses we wanted--I at least would've liked the option to reject them! I think it bothers me more that I didn't intend for all of the shots to be in those clothes--we just decided on a whim to get a few because she looked cute. Oh well. Maybe she'll be better for her 3-month photos in November :)

Monday, September 5, 2011
First of all, thank you for all your sweet comments :) I know I've been pretty lame, not commenting and all, but I promise I'm reading and hopefully one of these days I'll actually start leaving comments again! You see, most of the time when I'm on here I'm nursing and it's not easy to type while holding the baby. Right now I'm pumping with my handy-dandy hands-free pumping bra--I've never felt so much like a cow in my life! I'm just trying to get a nice little stash going not only for when I go back to work, but also for when I'm out and about and want to leave Karinne at home, or, you know, if we ever decide to have a date night.

Karinne had her one-month birthday on Saturday; oh how the time has flown. I also can't believe that I'll be back at work in less than 2 weeks. I'm going to just work half days for a week or two so I can kind of ease back into things. I actually get 8 weeks of leave since I had a c-section, but seeing how I'm not getting paid I decided to go back at 6 weeks for half days. I hope that this country has better maternity leave laws by the time Karinne starts having babies; and that's all I'm going to say about that.

This week we discovered that our baby looooves Pink Floyd. She was really really fussy one day so Marc turned on Pink Floyd because his dad told him that it always soothed him as a baby; it's kind of funny because whenever it stops or is quiet between tracks and she hasn't conked out, she starts crying--then when it comes back on, she's quiet again. It's amazing!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4 weeks? Really?

I can't believe my baby is already 4 weeks old! She's getting to be more alert every day and she's started making little cooing noises (yay for sounds besides crying, haha). Her nighttime sleeping isn't terrible, though the closer it gets to dawn, the shorter her sleeps are--for example, last night she slept from about 10-2:30, 3-5, 6-7:30. I guess it could be worse.

We're thinking about when to start putting her in her crib in her own room... I'm a little nervous, only because our room is downstairs and hers is upstairs and it just seems so.far.away. I think next week we'll start putting her up there for naps and then after a couple of days do the whole nighttime thing. Those of you with kids, when did you put them in their own room?

We've been trying to get out more and more with Karinne; she's been pretty good in restaurants, only once so far has Marc had to take a walk with her. We went to a park last week to enjoy the weather and listen to some live music. I'll leave you with pictures from that excursion:

Sloss Furnace and downtown Birmingham

tummy time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

emotional rollercoasters.

Having a baby really is a rollercoaster (just like everyone says it will be!). What a lot of women don't talk about is the rollercoaster of emotions that you're on at the same time. I love my baby. It's amazing how much love you can have for such a tiny, squirmy, parasitic creature. However, people keep asking things like "Is it wonderful??" or "How much do you love being a mommy?" and well, truth be told, I didn't know how to respond. I didn't love being a mommy for the first couple of weeks--and I felt really guilty about that. I knew I eventually would love it, but no one ever talks about how they don't love being a mom straight from the get-go. I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with me or that I'd made a terrible mistake--but how could that be? Again, I loved my child, but I just didn't love the mommy part yet. 

This week, though, I feel it changing. Karinne is 3 weeks old now, and we're getting out more and doing more and I'm more confident about breastfeeding in public (politely covered of course!) and my hormones aren't all wonky anymore AND I'm feeling loads better since the c-section; now I only feel pain if I've been walking or standing too much (that threshold is about 45 minutes). I try to get out with Karinne at least once a day, even if it's just to walk around the block. She loves being in her Ergo carrier, and both Marc and I love wearing her, so we may end up becoming mall-walkers, haha; at least until the weather cools down a bit. 

Tomorrow Karinne is going to have her newborn photos taken (she's still a newborn at 3 weeks, right?) so let's hope she cooperates and isn't cranky for them. I've decided that my darling child is not one of those easy, always happy and content babies; she is a "passionate" child, as I learned from reading The Happiest Baby on the Block. However, she seems to do pretty well out in public so maybe I'm slightly worried for no reason; we're also learning more about her every day so we can better soothe her. I feel a little more confident every day that I might actually know what I'm doing. 

In weight-related news, my weight has been fluctuating between 229 and 231, so I'm pretty okay with that. In 3 weeks I can start exercising--I can't WAIT to break out the Gazelle! I got it like a year before we went to Korea, but the weight limit on it is 250 so I couldn't really use it (how embarrassing is that??). I'm dying to wear some normal pants, but my tummy is still a bit poochy and swollen so they're a little snug in the waist. I just gotta be patient, I know!
Friday, August 19, 2011

BYOC--My first one!

Can you believe I've never participated in BYOC (Bring Your Own Crazy)?? Me neither! So here goes nothin':

1. How much makeup do you wear daily, how long does it take you and are you loyal to certain brands?

These days I don't wear any, maybe some mascara and lip gloss if I'm actually leaving the house. However, when I'm going to work and such I wear foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and maybe eyeshadow if I'm feeling frisky. I always use Clinique for foundation and powder; everything else is up for grabs. 

2. Repeat question: I’m going to pick a person not knowing your relationship with them (or even if there is one) and you try to describe this person in 5 words/short sentences.

Your oldest paternal aunt


3. Tell me about your first real kiss and how old you were.

*sigh* I was 16 and he came over to my house to have dinner and he brought "Saving Private Ryan" for us to watch; romantic, huh? Anyway. My mom made spaghetti and garlic bread, and he ended up being an hour late because he got lost. That should've been my first clue that he was lame since our house was not difficult to find. He finally arrived and I watched him eat then my parents made themselves scarce and we sat down to watch the movie. I noticed the whole time that he kept inching closer and closer to me and then out of the corner of my eye I saw his face looming closer and closer with spaghetti in his braces; finally I decided that I was just delaying the inevitable and turned my face so he could kiss me. It was pretty anticlimactic, but I suppose it could have been worse.

4. If I gave you $1000.00 and told you that you had to give it to a charity – which charity would you choose and why?

American Heart Association or something geared towards women's heart health. My mom died from complications after a heart attack and I strongly believe the outcome would have been different if her treatment hadn't been delayed nearly 2 days due to lack of knowledge regarding the symptoms of a heart attack in women. 

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

In blog land, I've started blogging again and also redesigned my blog--I'd forgotten how theraputic blogging is! 

In real life, I've been super-busy too--my baby is 2 weeks old now!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

happy 2-week birthday, Karinne!

Karinne is 2 weeks old today--on one hand I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since she was born, but on the other hand it's also felt like the longest 2 weeks of. my. life. The days aren't so bad, really... on Monday we took our first adventure to PetSmart, Target, and a Mexican restaurant... but the nights are still pretty rough. Last night wasn't too bad... I actually got to sleep in a few 2- and 3-hour stretches. I know it'll get better though... as many people have told me, "this too shall pass".

In weight-related news, I weighed 268 on the day I delivered. Today, I am 231 and some change. I love giving birth! Considering that my pre-preg weight was 252 and I got down to about 235 before I started gaining during the pregnancy, I'll call it a victory!

Enough posting for today. I have to go take care of a baby!

Karinne's Birth Story.

Her birth story, as promised:

I woke up on Wednesday, August 3, 2011, thinking that it was going to be just another routine doctor day—go to my 40-week appointment at 8am and get to work around 9am. Since I normally had these appointments on Thursdays, I even sent a text to one of my coworkers letting him know where I was so he wouldn’t wonder if I wasn’t at work because I was in labor.

My blood pressure was a little high on this particular day—right around 140/90. Not high enough to really worry, but enough so that my doctor decided to send me for a non-stress test to make sure the high blood pressure wasn’t affecting the baby. I was certain everything would be okay, because we’d had quite a few “false alarms” during the pregnancy that turned out to be nothing.

Everything was going fine during the NST until the baby’s heart beat dropped from its rapid swishing to a very slow beat during one of the bigger contractions; I told myself that she’d just moved off the monitor again. I glanced at the screen and it told me that her heart rate was in the 60’s, when it had been in the 140’s. The technician came over to check and had me roll over to one side and started jiggling my belly a little bit. After a couple of minutes her heart rate finally started to come back up. The technician said she thought the baby had probably just rolled onto her cord and that it was probably nothing, but she had to call the doctor anyway.

Dr. Tamucci came down within a few minutes and after looking at the strip of paper that showed the baby’s heart rate and the strength of my contractions (not real labor contractions, mind you) she had kind of a shocked expression on her face. She started off by saying that she really thought this test would be fine and that we'd get to go home. Then she continued: 

“I’m afraid to let you stay pregnant, and I don’t think I can induce you either. If her heart rate is dropping this much with just these little baby contractions, can you imagine what it would do with big-time labor contractions? We need to do a c-section, and we need to do it today.”

My heart dropped. The last thing I’d wanted was a c-section; I’d planned on a totally natural, unmedicated childbirth! Of course I wanted whatever was best for my baby, but I couldn’t help but mourn a little over the loss of something I’d looked forward to for such a long time. Marc was upset too, but more because he didn’t want me to have to go through major abdominal surgery. Once the initial shock passed, I tried to just focus on the fact that I was going to be having a baby in just a few hours. This was around 11am, and the c-section was scheduled for 3pm.

I continued to cry off and on for about an hour; so many emotions were hitting me all at once! I was already dreading the recovery from this surgery, but I kept reminding myself that the goal was a healthy baby, and that’s what I was getting. Then I started to feel anxious, maybe a little scared; I tried not to focus on that part too much. Marc left around 12 to go home and get our bags and continue making phone calls. My doula, Sarah, arrived around 12:30pm—she was just what I needed. She calmed me right down and gave me hand massages to help me relax. Marc came back around 1pm and from then on it was a waiting game. At 2, the anesthesiologist came to place the epidural and around 2:45 they wheeled me back to the OR to get prepped for surgery. I kept getting waves of nausea but thanks to a magic injection of ephedrine it didn’t stick around very long. Dr. Tamucci came in—I hardly recognized her in all her OR gear—and then Marc came in.

Approximately 6 minutes later, at 3:06, I heard the sounds of my baby girl crying which of course made me start crying. The doctor held her up so I could see and so Marc could get some pictures and then they went to wipe her off and wrap her up in a blanket. One of the nurses brought her over so I could see her and touch her and smell her—I thought she was absolutely beautiful. Marc took Karinne back to our room to wait for them to finish closing me up; once they got me back in the room (it was only 3:30!) she was unswaddled and placed on my bare chest with a warm blanket placed over both of us and we laid like that for an hour. She was a little sleepy so she didn’t start breastfeeding during that time, but it wasn’t too much longer and then she was breastfeeding like an old pro.

I experienced such a range of emotions on that day—fear, anxiety, sadness, happiness, excitement, peace—but I wouldn’t trade any of it. You know why? Because it resulted in the birth of my healthy baby, my daughter, Karinne.

holding her up so I could see

love this face

the blog formerly known as Memoirs of a Daegu Fatty

Today I decided it was time to *really* update my blog. Let's face it, this ain't the same girl who started this blog back in October. I've been contemplating the change for a while, I just couldn't think of how I wanted to change it. I mean, first of all, I'm not in Daegu anymore. Secondly, I HAD A BABY. I'm pretty sure that my life is no longer just about not wanting to be a fatty.

I decided that this blog has become more than just a lap band or weight loss blog... it's about everything in-between because losing weight, especially a LOT of weight, affects every part of your life. My weight loss journey has been on the back burner for a while now; I was mindful of my weight while I was pregnant, but it wasn't a priority. Now I have to get back into that mindset while taking care of a newborn, preparing to go back to work, and remembering that I have a husband too.

As I was sitting here this morning, with my new baby girl sleeping on my chest, I realized that this journey is, and always has been, about finding my way home. It's been about finding my way to that place of contentment and happiness, whether in an apartment in South Korea, a house in Alabama, or walking down a sidewalk on a sunny day. I know I'm home, finally, and this blog is the story of how I got there and what I'm doing and how I'm improving it every day.
Sunday, August 7, 2011

Meet Karinne.

Just wanted to update you all with some news:

Karinne Elise Prados made her grand entrance into the world on August 3, 2011, at 3:06pm. She's 20.5 inches long and 8lbs 4oz. We went to our 40-week appointment that morning and realized that her heart rate was dropping drastically with just the little "nothing" contractions I was having and the doctor was afraid to let me go into labor on my own and wanted to do a c-section that day. When they did the c-section (a mere 3 hours later!), she had her cord wrapped tightly around her neck which was causing her heart rate to drop. I may not have had the natural birth experience that I'd hoped for, but I have my healthy baby girl. I'll post a full story and more pictures later on, but I wanted to go ahead and share the news :)

Right after she was born

Her first milk coma :)
Thursday, July 28, 2011

39 Weeks...

Hey guys, just thought I would throw you an update :)

I'm now 39 weeks pregnant and everything's looking great. My BP is still behaving and now we're just waiting to meet Karinne. I can't believe it's already almost time to have her! I wouldn't say that the pregnancy has flown by--it's definitely felt like 9 months--but it hasn't dragged either.

Being pregnant with the lap band actually hasn't been so bad. I never did get my band completely unfilled--I've still got about 2cc's in there (at least I did back in December!), and it's just enough to keep me from overdoing it most of the time. I do still have to be super super careful if I decide to eat bread or a tortilla, and I still can't drink while I eat. I'm a little bit nervous about getting fills again after I have the baby, but I've GOT to get to my goal weight before I get pregnant again! Hopefully having a baby and breastfeeding will work wonders for my weight :) I also never got any heartburn, which is incredible for 2 reasons: 1) Everything I read said heartburn was practically inevitable during pregnancy and 2) I have a lap band which should have made it even worse! I also didn't get any really bad swelling that stuck around; my feet and ankles and hands blew up last weekend, but it was gone in a couple of days. I think I've still got just the teeniest bit of swelling, but it's not bad at all; I only notice it because my feet aren't as bony as they were a couple of weeks ago.

I'm now up about 14 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm a little disappointed, as I'd hoped to just maintain, especially since I lost so much at the beginning of the pregnancy, but I'm trying not to let it get to me and just be realistic about it. No one is giving me a hard time about it except myself; but I also have noticed that I can still wear all the L and XL maternity clothes I bought so I'm pretty sure the weight gain is all in my belly. Now I'm starting to wonder what the heck I'm going to wear after I'm not pregnant anymore--there's no telling what size I'll be!

No two pregnancies are exactly alike, and I feel so lucky to have had such an easy pregnancy--I've definitely enjoyed my time being pregnant and I think I'll miss it a little bit. I hope this doesn't mean that my next one will be miserable ;)

So, now it's time for PICTURES!!!

38 weeks
Cooking breakfast; Marc liked that I was barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen :)
At a friend's baby shower
Lots of pregnant girls at the shower!

We all went to high school together
Today, 39 weeks exactly!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So this is awkward.

Hi, I'm Christina. Remember me? My life has changed drastically in the 2+ months since I last updated in here, but I'm only now getting around to putting it all to paper.

My last post left you all with the story of our journey back to the homeland. We made an offer on a house shortly thereafter, and we finally closed last week and moved in on July 1st! I'm also 36 weeks pregnant now, and I've gained roughly 3 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (my ticker has been updated, sadly). Oh, and no heartburn or swelling --I've actually really enjoyed being pregnant! My blood pressure's been slightly elevated so my doctor has me on bedrest outside of work; I was doing really well with that until we moved. I go to the doctor tomorrow so we'll see what my blood pressure has to say about that, lol.

I will now leave you with some pictures...

First, some maternity shots, taken around 34 weeks at Railroad Park in Birmingham:

Our first house! (Helena, AL):

Me and Marc:

Okay, so that's my quick update to tell you all what's been going on--I've been keeping up with your blogs, though I haven't been commenting.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just call me Timothy McVeigh.

We made it to America. I'm sitting here in Tyler, Texas, at my in-laws' house just hanging out, and I LOVE it. It's a really strange feeling, because in some ways it almost feels like we never left, like we haven't been in Korea.

Now, it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops getting here. If you remember, we brought our cats with us as carry-ons on the plane. We packed a little cardboard box and some kitty litter in our other carry-ons to give them a chance to go to the bathroom at some point (otherwise they'd have to wait about 25 hours to use the potty). About halfway through the 12-hour flight (Tokyo to Minneapolis) we decided it was time, so we checked with one of the flight attendants to make sure it was okay to do this in the bathroom--we were in the very back row, next to the lavatory. She said of course, and how cute and thoughtful we were. Marc took the cats one at a time into the bathroom but neither of them used the litter. He proceeded to wrap the unused litter back up in the ziploc bag and tossed it into the garbage (we wouldn't have time later on to try this again).

After landing in Minneapolis, we had roughly an hour and 20 minutes to make our connecting flight to Dallas. We had to go through customs and pick up and re-check our baggage--not a lot of time, but we were sure we'd be okay. Well, it took about 30 minutes to get through the customs line; they took Marc's passport and sent us to the "Baggage Control" area to have the cats checked out, and they'd give his passport back at that time. We picked up our luggage (3 giant suitcases and a giant iMac computer) and got in the "Baggage Control" line. There were 4-5 people in front of us, and ONE customs officer checking the bags. The person he was currently checked had about 98347598374 bags filled with sketchy-looking wrapped baggies and packages, and the officer had to open up EVERY ONE OF THEM. After 10-15 minutes, the other officers apparently came back from their break so now there were 5 officers working. Then we were next, but this guy ran ahead and cut in front of me. I was so exhausted I just didn't even say anything. While we continued to wait, Marc mentioned to a passing officer that we had to catch our next flight in about 30 minutes; he replied, "Other people have connecting flights too," and walked on.

FINALLY it was our turn. The guy quickly checked out the cats, said they looked good, confiscated our cat food and cat treats (ha!) and let us go. We walked about 10 steps, and another guy walks up to us and says, "Do you guys have kitty litter with you?" I said, "We did, but we threw it out on the plane." He said, "Okay, wait here for a few minutes, some other people might want to talk to you," took Marc's passport and walked off. Another guy came up to us and asked more questions like, "Where were you sitting?" (66H and K), "Where did you put the kitty litter?" (in the bathroom behind our seats), "Who did you talk to about this?" (the flight attendants). He told us to sit down and wait some more, and walked off. Now I was really starting to feel the exhaustion and stress and started to cry--I was worried we were going to miss our flight (which by this time we probably were going to anyway) and then I was worried about the cats because they'd gone so long without using the bathroom and food and water (we offered but they didn't take it).

About 5 minutes later another customs officer came up to us and told us that the cleaning crew on the airplane found the cat litter and thought it was FERTILIZER and that it smelled like AMMONIA (which is impossible because it wasn't used and unused litter smells like flowers--at least ours does). They delayed the flight, blah blah blah. He let us go and said that everything's okay now, and if anyone gave us more problems to tell them that Supervisor Buck said it was OK--and then he told us congratulations on the pregnancy. We ran to re-check our luggage and *maybe* make our flight; Marc had just started putting our stuff on the conveyor belt when ANOTHER officer came bursting through the doors and shouted, "I don't know what they told you in there, but what the hell were you thinking??!?!??!?! You don't leave cat litter on an airplane! Because of YOU, we had to call the FBI and Homeland Security, AND delay this flight!!! Yell yell shout yell blah blah I'm a jerk shout yell yell blah, and Val's going to come talk to you so DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE!"

Now I proceeded to start bawling, and the nice little ladies helping us check our bags looked completely bewildered and shocked and asked what happened and why that man chased us down like that. Marc started to tell them about our ordeal, when the mysterious Val came in--she was apparently some Delta representative who we decided must have already been chewed out and had to come chew us out to save face or something. She yelled at us some more and then barked at the poor bewildered woman, "Just put them on the next flight out of here!" and off she went. The next flight wasn't for 3 hours (since our original flight was leaving at that exact moment) so at least we got to take our time.

Welcome to America! (At least I got a frappuccino.)
Saturday, April 23, 2011

The End of Our Korean Adventure

Check it out--the final update for our blog, Marc and Christina in Korea.
Friday, April 22, 2011

Freak-out in 3...2...1... GO!

Oh dear God in Heaven above, please help me to not implode (or explode, for that matter).

1. We're leaving Korea in 2 days. We have so much stuff crap shit and I'm still upset that we weren't able to sell everything. One of our foreign managers is moving into our apartment after we leave, so I feel added pressure to not leave the place a total warzone. However, this may be unavoidable. Besides, between the two of us we paid a $400 "maintenance fee" to our school so I think that should cover any mess that we leave behind. I've also got 2 huge bags of clothes and a big bag of shoes that I offered for FREE and not a single person wanted them! WTF?!? I hate to just leave them here to go out with the trash, but... I have a feeling that's what's going to happen.

2. **POOP TMI*** You always hear about pregnancy constipation. You know what people don't tell you about? Pregnancy diarrhea. I've had it for weeks now... usually it's what I like to call "surprise diarrhea" because most of the time I think I just have to pee, and then SURPRISE! I've noticed it's significantly worse after eating galbi (Korean BBQ--which can be quite greasy); for example, I had galbi last night and since I got home at 1am, I've had approximately 5 diarrhea "events" (and it's only noon). I'm going to take Immodium before the flight because I really don't want to deal with this on the trip.

3. Delta allows 2 checked bags @ 50lbs each, 1 carry-on, and 1 personal item per person. Marc and I will each have a cat which counts as our personal item (which is a total rip-off because we have to pay $200 per cat and Delta doesn't even have to do anything with the cats because WE ARE CARRYING THEM OURSELVES). Marc's ginormous iMac will be one of his checked bags, so now we're limited to 3 checked bags and 2 carry-ons. We packed one suitcase last night--didn't even pack it tight, there's still room in there!--and it weighed in at 64lbs. Checked bags that are 51-71lbs are charged $50. I have a feeling that this is going to be an expensive trip.

Okay. Freak-out over. Thanks for listening.
Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Week!

Wow, I can't believe it's just one week until we're on a plane back to the good ol' U. S. of A. We'll be getting on our plane in Busan, South Korea, at 11:15am on Monday the 25th and landing in Dallas at 4:49pm on Monday the 25th. It's a total of 19.5 hours with 2 layovers (Tokyo and Minneapolis). The longest stretch will be Tokyo-Minneapolis, about 12 hours. Once we get to Dallas, we'll be staying with Marc's parents for a week and then drive to Birmingham where we'll stay with my sister until we find a place of our own.

It's a little strange... I always knew our life in Korea was temporary, but it's weird to think that the life we've made here for the last 2.5 years is coming to an end. It's like someone pushed "pause" on our Birmingham life and now they're just going to push "play" and we'll keep going like nothing happened. I'm even going back to the same company I worked for before we left! Of course, I'll be coming back with a baby in tow, but you know... details.

I know that I'm NOT the same person that I was 2 years ago, or even 1 year ago. I don't look the same, I don't feel the same... thank God for that.

Waiting for my flight to Korea; February 14, 2009

April 11, 2009; Gyeongju, South Korea

October 2, 2009; Kyoto, Japan

January 1, 2010; Seoul, South Korea

February 19, 2010; Daegu, South Korea

June 12, 2010; Beijing, China 
September 22, 2010; Andong, South Korea

One month later, on October 30, I got my Lap-Band. Shortly after that, on December 4, I found out I was pregnant. I continued to lose weight, and now I'm no longer afraid of full-body photos. (I would post one that I took recently NOT in front of my refrigerator, but Blogger doesn't seem to find photos that I've just uploaded.)
April 9, 2011; Daegu and 23 weeks pregnant!
I really hope the cats do okay on the flight. We're taking them as carry-ons this time--I hope they're quiet and don't poop or pee in their carriers. Our older cat's had some bloody poop this week (mmm, I know you wanted to know that!) so we took him to the vet because we need him HEALTHY to make this flight! He seems okay... his personality hasn't changed or anything. He pooped last night for the first time in 2 days, but it was all covered up by the time Marc got in there to check it out. I'm sure he's fine. It's annoying because in 2.5 years he hasn't had a single issue, and now just before we're supposed to leave he has this! Argh.

In other news, we've been trying to sell some of our stuff before we leave, because whatever we leave here will basically be given to our school to give to future teachers. (We sent an email to the 100+ teachers with our company.) I'd arranged with one guy for him to come by on Saturday at 1pm to pick up his stuff,  and gave him my phone # in case there was a problem. He EMAILS me at 12:30 on Saturday to say that he wouldn't be able to come by but he'll be "in the area" on Monday around 3pm and can come then. Well, I leave for work at 3:10 and Marc leaves at 3:20--and I'm sure he won't be here by 3pm. We were so angry because we'd put our day on hold for this; I'd gotten up early to dust off his furniture and clear everything so he could take it, and more than likely he'd just woken up from his night of drinking and couldn't be bothered to come get his stuff. Marc took my computer and replied back quite strongly, making it clear that we were NOT happy. The guy never responded and now I have no idea if he's actually going to show up today. Whatever. One thing we're happy to leave behind is the immature attitude of 90% of the foreign teachers here; everyone has at least graduated college, yet they still act like they're in college and drink and party every night. I wouldn't care about this guy so much, except that he's actually (supposed to be) taking a good bit of our stuff--I wouldn't care if it was just 1 or 2 things.

Ah well. Just one more week. I hope it flies. I'm going to make cookies now to give to our cleaning lady tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Aw, thank you guys so much for all your sweet comments recently--you certainly know how to make a girl blush!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my 5th-grade students told me, "Teacher says 'Achi! Achi!' and baby goes out!" ["Achi" is how Koreans say a sneeze, I guess.] I was sneezing a lot in class that day, and he was concerned about the baby. Well, yesterday evening I thought it would be a good idea to watch some natural birthing videos on YouTube--which, by the way, was muy interesting/horrifying all at the same time. Of course, last night I dreamed that I actually did sneeze the baby out, right into the toilet. I didn't even realize there was a baby until I started to get up and found that I was still attached to *something*. Oh, and it was a boy--my first concern was the baby shower invitations because they were just made with Karinne's name on them.

That reminds me, I can't even remember if I told you yet, but it's definitely a girl, and her name is Karinne Elise. I will be 23 weeks on Friday--it's gone by so fast! My last day of work is April 20th, 2 weeks from today, and we'll board the airplane on April 25th. I'm sosososososososo ready for this.
Sunday, April 3, 2011

I went to Gap and I actually bought something!

Oh man. I can't believe we're leaving Korea in 3 weeks! I'm sosososososososososo excited; I wanted to spend today cleaning stuff out, but I've had an awful headache all day so that kind of went out the window.

Yesterday I went shopping with a friend of mine who is a bad influence on my wallet, but she makes me try things on that I normally would overlook. We went into Gap--they only go up to size Large here in the women's section, but I thought what the heck, might as well see what *could* have been (meaning if I'd been able to continue really focusing on my weight loss). I assumed nothing would fit since I have this ever-growing baby bump (hill? mountain?), but alas... I WAS WRONG! I ended up buying a shirt that's just a plain old Large... it's cut big, so I think it's meant to be more loose-fitting, but that's okay! It looks good on me! And hopefully I'll still be able to wear it after the baby is born.

I haven't bought any maternity shirts yet, though I'm sure I will once I get home. I'll have to have some nice-ish clothes for work because they kind of have a dress code now--oh well, I always love a good excuse to go shopping :)

Alright, so here's a couple of photos of *the shirt*. The first is how I actually wore it (with a cardigan) and the second is sans cardigan; I desperately need to work out my arms.

Aaaaaand.... that's all, folks. Goodnight!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Posts - Day 30

Day 30: What have you learned this past month? 

Yeah, I totally skipped Day 29 because it was "Your favorite song" and there was already a favorite songs post a while back and I thought it was stupid.

So here we are, Day 30, the end of this thing--that was a fast month! I didn't learn much, except that next time I should find one with more "interesting" topics. I don't think I'm the boring one here, per se... just these topics weren't all the most exciting, know what I mean? Anyway.

Smell ya later.
Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Posts - Day 28

Day 28: A picture of you last year and now, and how you have changed since then

O. M. G. I have been waiting for this day since I started this thing!

Here I am last year...

All of those were taken during my 2-week visit home last year at the beginning of March. I probably weighed around 290, though I can't be sure because I didn't own a scale at the time. I think what saddens me the most when I look at those pictures is that I thought I looked pretty good. Now I look at the photos and all I can see is how unhealthy I look--how fat I look.

Here I am now...

These were all taken on March 22. I had some other ones that I wanted to post, but for some reason the Blogger uploader isn't recognizing their existence. Anyway, I would like to mention that I bought this green shirt probably a year and a half ago. While I could wear XL in Old Navy's knit shirts--they stretch to high-heaven!--I couldn't even get this very non-stretchy XL shirt over my arms. I actually can still button the next button down, but it looks better leaving it open like that over the baby bump :o) I also have the same shirt in a khaki color.

So, how have I changed? Hm, lemme break it down for you:

  • I've lost 60 pounds
  • I'm 5 months pregnant
  • My blood pressure is normal *crossing my fingers that it stays that way*
  • My feet aren't fat and puffy
  • I can sit indian-style or with my knees up and it doesn't hurt
  • I no longer worry about breaking things when I sit down
  • I fit in the rides at amusement parks
  • I'm happier
  • I feel better about myself (at least with clothes on...)
  • I don't mind walking and taking public transportation so much (too bad we're about to head back to the land of no public transportation!)
  • I feel healthier
  • I look healthier
  • I no longer have to shop in the plus-size department
  • I'm more comfortable in the KTX seats
  • I'm positive that I'll be more comfortable on the plane ride home!
And the list goes on. I love the new me. I don't necessarily hate the old me, but I do hate that I thought it was okay to let myself turn into a fat tub o' lard. I definitely didn't realize what I'd turned into until I was sitting at a bar with some friends last year (during that trip home) and this really drunk, obnoxious guy was next to us talking about strippers and strip clubs and I don't really remember what else. His friend kind of gave us an "I'm sorry about him" look and Obnoxious Drunk Guy says, "I don't care what that fat bitch thinks!" Being called fat in Korea was one thing... but it was then that I realized I just looked fat, period. It stung. Unfortunately, it still took a few more months for me to actually do anything about it. 

So here's the new-and-much-improved me--Cheers! (...with sparkling apple juice, of course)
Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 Posts - Day 27

Day 27: Why you are doing this 30-day challenge

I decided to do this because I'm pregnant and shouldn't be trying to lose weight, and that doesn't lend a lot to blogging about my life with a Lap-Band. Also, I wanted something to pass the time while I wait for April 25 to get here!

Unfortunately, I'm nearly finished so I guess that means I'll have to start writing more "real" posts again!
Saturday, March 26, 2011

30 Posts - Day 26

Day 26: What you think about your friends

Okay, seriously? These subjects are getting kind of lame.

What do I think about my friends? Well, frankly, I can't stand them and I wish they would just leave me alone. I mean, fo' rillz, they're so boring and smelly and have bad style.


I told you that was a lame subject.

30 Posts - Day 25

Day 25: What I would find in your bag

What's in my bag, eh? I thought about just taking a picture, but I'm too lazy to do that. It would involve getting up to get my camera, taking the picture(s), finding my camera cable, uploading....yeah, way too much work.

So, in my bag, you would find:

  • wallet
  • phone
  • Burt's Bees chapstick (with pomegranate oil)
  • Gas-X strips
  • a pen
  • tissues
  • iPod
  • bobby pins
And that's all, folks!

30 Posts - Day 24

Day 24: A letter to your parents

This is kind of an odd one, no? I'm not really sure where to go with it, which is why I didn't do it yesterday. Oh well. Here we go...

Dear Mom and Dad:

Thank you for being the best parents anyone could ask for. When I think about how much you guys sacrificed in order for me to have the best childhood/teenagerhood possible, I really feel quite humbled. Thank you for your unconditional love and support, in everything I ever even thought I wanted to do. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

30 Posts - Day 23

Day 23: Something you crave for a lot


These days my cravings are pretty standard:

Galbi (aka Korean BBQ)

Baskin Robbins (especially Romeo's Heart flavor)

This is my food porn. MMMMmmmmMMMMmMMMMMmmmmm.

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