Guest blogger: A typical weekend at home

Tonight, I have the honor of posting one of my wife’s excellent blog entries.  Enjoy!

We had a nice quiet weekend, and it was much appreciated by both Mike and me.  

On Saturday morning, our sons week-long cold seemed to be getting worse, so we werent sure whether we should take him to his soccer practice.  In the end, Mike took him there, but he gave our son the choice of just watching from the sideline if he did not feel like playing.  He still joined the practice and, according to Mike, did well.  He is by no means a star on the team, but he followed everyone and had fun.  They came home with three little bags of fruit chews and crackers from the snack time after the soccer practice.  What a treat for a little boy!

While Mike and our son were at soccer practice, I was busy taking our stuff to the thrift shop for consignment.  Because our move from Korea is just three months away, I started to clean out the house.  I consigned a total of 19 items, mostly big and bulky things like a computer chair, a lamp, outdoor toys, children’s fleece outfits and a winter jacket, snow boots, and kitchen items.  It feels really good to get rid of stuff.  All we need to do now is just to collect our check when the items are sold.  It gives you quite a sense of accomplishment when you get your consignment check.  The thrift shop does very good business, as there is a large base of regular customers made up of Koreans and Filipinos who love American things, new or used.  We have been able to sell almost all of our items previously put on consignment.  I also dropped off some toys for donation.  Of course, I cant leave the thrift shop without buying something myself.  For example, I bought our son a Little Tike Lego table for five dollars.

Following consignment, I made my regular visit to the gift shop.  This gift shop is the neatest place.  Its run by the American Forces Spouse Association, and all of its profits go to support American and Korean charities.  The gift shop buyers search different countries in Asia to hunt for treasures and sells them at lower-than-retail prices while still maintaining a mark-up to fund its charity causes.  They carry all kinds of beautiful arts and crafts, furniture, carpets, decorative items, jewelry and clothing from China, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, among other countries.  For a person like me who loves to shop, there’s no better place to shop.  After an hour of half there, I came home proudly with two cashmere shawls, two evening purses, and a winter scarf.   

I made a Chinese dish at home for a late lunch.  Since our nanny makes all of our meals during the weekdays, Mike and I miss our own cooking.  I try to squeeze in one or two home-cooked meals during the weekend.  We then all had a long nap so that Mike is well-prepared for his extra work on Saturday night.  He had to go to the airport to pick up a high-level government official who is coming to Korea, and he ended up coming home very, very late.  This type of after-hour work related activities happen quite often for him, voluntarily or not.  It was a great experience for him, though.

While Mike was gone in the evening, my son and I went to the toy store to pick up several toys and get them ready for three birthday parties coming up within the next two weeks.  I made it out of the toy store with just one little puzzle for our son, which I bought for him so that he does not feel too left out while I bought the toys for the other kids.  He is pretty good about that. 

Sunday morning at 5 a.m., my son woke up crying and told me his ear hurt.  He also had a fever, so I immediately knew that his cold had progressed to an ear infection.  I frantically searched for Childrens Motrin in the darkness.  Even though I had definitely seen it lying around the house, I cant find it anywhere the very moment I needed it.  Finally, Mike found some Amoxicillin in the fridge, which our son took last time he had an ear infection, and I also gave our son some Children’s Tylenol.  That put him back to sleep. 

The first thing we did after we all got up on Sunday was to take our son to the Embassy clinic.  Its such a blessing to have a clinic just a few houses down from ours with a nurse is available around-the-clock.  She checked our son and confirmed my assessment, and prescribing him some more Amoxicillin and Childrens Motrin.  All was taken care of–including a nice sticker for our son-in just fifteen minutes.  I had to be thankful we weren’t subjected to the healthcare system in the United States, where we would have had to drag our son to the hospital, wait at urgent care for hours to be seen with other sick kids, run to a pharmacy, and pay a lot of money for this little episode.  At times, we are so spoiled living here.  The nurse here is an angel.

Normally we would go to the church on Sunday mornings, but today we stayed home due to our son’s illness.  By the end of the day, our son asked why we had not gone to church.  Bless his little heart for not wanting to miss church!  Instead, Mike read some Bible stories with him.  On the other hand, it just shows you that our son is a kid who loves routines.  In his world, there are certain things you do every day of the week.  Is this good or bad habit?  We will wait and see.

Needless to say, our son missed a three-oclock birthday party for another child in the neighborhood.  But he had a good rest at home.  We dropped off the birthday present for the child, and guess what.  Our son got a little surprise in return!  He received a nice Curious George Goes to the Ice Cream Shop story book.  Curious George is one of our son’s favorites, and he enjoyed reading the book before his long nap.

On Sunday afternoon, I went to the beauty shop and had a long overdue hair coloring and magic straight perm for my hair.  Hair appointments usually take so long (three hours this time), so I kept postponing it due to busy weekends.  This is the first time I visited this new beauty shop, and I am pleased with the results.  I stopped going to my usual places because for the whole last year I went there, they kept telling me that I cant do this or that for my hair.  They always said no to my own suggestion like certain hair colors or magic straight perms or thinning out my hair.  Hey, its my own hair we are talking about, and I am the one who pays the bill!  I finally got so tired of the nos and broke myself out of the habit of going there.   

Before the weekend was over, I had to accomplish one last must-do activity each weekend–grocery shopping for the following week.  Since the commissary opens till 7 p.m., its impossible for me to go there during the week.  I managed to buy enough food for the week, including tons of Halloween candies.  As trick-or-treats are scarce in Korea, it feels as if the entire country comes to our door on Halloween evening.  Enough is never enough when it comes to Halloween treats. 

Aside from our son’s illness, this is a typical quiet and non-eventful weekend at home.  Our son really does not get sick very often.  We are all rested and ready for the Monday now.

Hubby’s disclaimer:  In case you’re wondering whether I’m some slacker dad who lets my wife do everything on the weekend, I thought I would let you know that I do grocery shopping during weekdays, do a variety of household chores on the weekends, and often take my son during the weekend.  Whenever my son is ill, he tends to prefer being with mommy.  Her comforting spirit is something I cannot match.  Whenever he’s healthy, he loves hanging out with dear old dad.

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