April 4, 2011

The cultural slant

To answer OTRmama's question, of course Mom K thinks it's going to be a boy! So does her pastor. She does keep saying she'll be happy no matter what, but she's already picked a Korean boy's name that means "God has made" or "God provides". It's traditional for the parents to pick the Korean name, so I'm fine with her having selected a name, it's just cute that it's only a boy's name. We'll pick the American first name and go with the Korean name she provides as the middle name. Ironically, we have a girl's name we really like, but not a boy's name yet.

My sister offered to come help for the birth and we've asked Mom K to come after that. I'm glad we're doing it that way since there are a ton of Korean traditions around the birth experience that I'd prefer to avoid. The biggest one is the belief that your whole body has to stay hot. Any cold air will cause arthritis to enter into your joints. Every part of your body is stretched out and until it pulls back together you have to stay hot. SO, no bathing after childbirth. Sponge bath only while you lay in bed swaddled in blankets. Hot drinks. Hot soup. Even in summer. Sure, I'm due in mid-October, but I'm thinking that Dallas will still be warm then. Plus, I'll risk the arthritis, but I know I'll need to take a shower after giving birth. I was there for my sister's labor and it's not the cleanest process in the world!

Mom K is thrilled to be invited to come and help. I know I've had a hard time before with her coming for more than 8 days or so, but I've heard from a lot of people that after a baby, you don't care who it is, you're just glad to have extra hands. I'm hoping that's true! With her around I'm sure I'll be fed a ton of seaweed soup (lots of iron) and red meat. She's a great cook and I do love Korean food, so that will be fine. We'll just have to supplement with occasional salads (since Korean fare tends to be a bit meat heavy).

I'm also collecting her advice. She's given me the usual suspects: rest, eat, no stress. The advice I enjoy most comes when she exceeds my expectations:

"Sun Ae (my Korean name), you live on the second floor (like I might have forgotten). When you go down the stairs, you can't run. You have to go slow."

"You have to get a four bedroom house so you have room for a baby, an office and a house guest."

"You have to read the Bible more than ever. It will help the baby."

On the work front, we've ended up going with a hybrid booth that uses half the ideas we gave them, but doesn't go all the way. We were invited to the table to hear what all the franchises within the big organization want to see in their special rooms. That was a big deal since they haven't done that before. I've been officially listed as the Creat1ve D1rector on the project and the client is thrilled to have me in that role. So that's all good.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with our General Manag3r to discuss next steps and timelines. I get to find out if she intends to keep me on full-time. I also get to tell her I'm pregnant. Fortunately, Jrex and I timed it perfectly (not on purpose...) since the work schedule for post-October is really empty. I've written out job descriptions for the people I'd like to hire in my place and done a timeline for when I need to do interviews and when to hire someone (late May). It's coming up really fast.

Sunday I met before church with the junior high youth workers and the women ended up praying for me and all these life transitions. Then in the afternoon, I went to my small group (which is all married couples with kids). In an unusual twist, the Dads took all the kids out to play so four of us women were able to share and pray for each other. What was cool was that the group in the afternoon ended up praying along very similar lines as the group in the morning. Beyond the usual health and smooth transition stuff there were a couple other threads that are private, but were really neat to hear.

oh yeah! In other good news, Jrex has been in Orlando since Friday night at the Amer1can Assoc1ation of Cancer Research3rs. He was a speaker in a symposium that was run by his advisor. It went really well and he said a bunch of people complimented him on his part of it. I'm so proud of him. So many things in both our lives that have felt stuck are starting to move. It's an exciting time. Feels like we're clicking up and up toward the top of the roller coaster (in a good, anticipation of fun times way).

Thanks for all your excitement and your prayers! Life feels good right now.


Aimee said...

That's sweet! It all sounds so good. :-)

Anonymous said...

julie is a good name :)


OTR sister said...

Dad was over for his weekly visit and we were talking about your baby. T reminded us that at your Korean wedding ceremony Dad threw out a huge handful of chestnuts(?) to you and the MC freaked out and said, "But that means daughters!" And Dad said he wanted you to have many daughters, as wonderful as you. It was really sweet.

Congrats on the symposium, Jrex! That's great.

otr mama said...

I'm calling Mom K up right now and telling her you are still rock climbing!