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!

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