Archive for the ‘Introductions’ Category

so soon?

EDIT – I think I’m finally done. Come see! No more updates here, so please update your blog rolls. Thank You!


Ok, the layout is still getting worked out — but due to a fortuitous turn of events (aka free hosting) I registered milktongue.com and I’m moving over. Same content, new cooler name.

It’s cool, right? Everybody update your links. Thank you!


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My husband and I recently caved to family pressure and agreed to have Toot and Pickle baptized. Recovering catholics ourselves, we weren’t going to go through all the rigamarole of attending baptismal classes but we told our parents that if they could make it happen without us, we’d show up with the kids on the appointed day. Well, Halmoni got it done and the kids are scheduled for their “dunking” in early November.

Free from original sin? Pffft. I get to buy baptismal clothing!


I ordered this dress for Toot and a matching, fully functional miniature tie for Mr. Baby from Bellasofia on Etsy. I know where to get him a white dress shirt but I’m still looking for the perfect pair of pants. Time to visit Janie and Jack.

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I was on the phone with a friend this morning when I heard Toot shouting something at her sister. It took a minute to resolve the sound from background noise Toot-speak to standard English but when I did, I realized she was shouting “night of debauchery!” over and over. Thank you, Spongebob Squarepants. I cannot properly express how happy it makes me that she knows and uses this phrase.

Just a few minutes ago she was standing on our bed rocking a notebook and singing the first verse of rock-a-bye-baby. In tune.

I have a feeling that the deployment of her father’s ultra-withering “Your continued existence offends me” look is not far behind.

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i’m ready…depression.

After 3 glorious months on a local project, my husband is back on the road.

It’s been a great summer though.

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Cooking was never a high priority for my mother. True, she was raised in part by my great-grandmother, an old school Italian who used to hand roll spaghetti noodles but this wasn’t enough to offset the influence of my half English, half Norwegian grandmother, an orphan (barely) raised on institutional cooking. I adored the woman (we shared a birthday and many interests) but her idea of a good meal was black coffee and a cigarette. Maybe if she was really hungry, a slice of toast and half a grapefruit. She famously said that she would prefer if her nutritional needs could be met just by taking a pill.

Everything I ate growing up was either bland or over cooked with a few notable exceptions (Chicken Paprikash, yum). Consequently, I was never really interested in food. I loved sweets but I think that was due largely to my chronically low blood sugar. During high school, I got addicted to Thai and Indian food but I still didn’t eat well at home. After I had Mitten, the low blood sugar that I used to be able to ignore got so bad it would trigger migraines. I had to eat regularly but I still didn’t really enjoy it.

I met my husband when Mitten was 2. On our first date, he made me a frittata. On subsequent dates we visited MacKinnon’s (duck breast w/ crispy skin), Ruth’s Chris (filet mignon and giant shrimp), D’Amatos (tea braised pork w/ scallops), The Whitney (Remy Martin XO and dark chocolate), Lily’s Seafood (Sander’s Hot Fudge cream puff and handmade creme soda). I never knew food could be so good! At home, Halim made everything from Korean bbq to 40 clove garlic chicken. Our Thanksgivings were epic. On our wedding day we served our guests crab seviche, Danish lobster tails, filet mignon and ahi tuna steaks with pureed celery root and lemon cake w/ cream cheese frosting.

We love food and food loves us. All this time I watched my husband cook, sometimes I helped and sometimes I would bake. Before the birth of our son, I made banana bread and snickerdoodles almost every other day. Still, I held back from making my own entrees because I thought I couldn’t cook. I was sure I’d burn the roast or make everything taste like feet.

Then something illuminating happened. I went to my mother’s for dinner. She was trying to make my husband’s 40 clove garlic chicken recipe for my sister’s birthday and things were going wrong. I got in the kitchen, took a look at the dish and realized that I knew exactly what I needed to do to fix it. I did and dinner was good.

Now I make dinner whenever I can get a free hand. My husband still loves to cook and I don’t fight him for the pleasure unless a dish has really caught my fancy. I know which spices finish a dish, when things are done by smell and I can make a perfectly tender tri-tip.

Apparently, over the last 7 or so years, my husband has taught me how to cook.

“Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.”
Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

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I’m not usually one for superstitious mumbo-jumbo like astrology, tarot cards or church but after reading this Wiki entry on Chinese Astrology, I’m feeling like they just might have something.

I’m an Earth Horse based on my birthday and I was born in the hour of the Dog. The combined profile sounds *very* familiar.

Earth: Patient, Stable, Reliable, Hard-working, Ambitious, Stubborn, and very energetic, disciplined, logical, governed by service and duty to others.

Horse: The horse personality is extremely independent and confident. The horse person is very quick-witted, inquisitive and determined. They are very good at recognizing patterns: he or she is on to the thought in your mind even before you’ve expressed it. They adore being the center of everyone’s attention, but they prefer to be recognized for their skills and are easily flattered. On the other hand these people have an honesty and genuine warmth which attracts lots of people and helps them make new friends. People as a rule confide in a horse person because he/she is sincerely interested in their thoughts and feelings and is able to help with both wise words and an action, but there is a small problem about it – the horse person is so excited by new discoveries that it is difficult for them to keep a secret.
It is easy to inspire such a person by new ideas and he/she tends to act on them without delay, carried away by the excitement of the moment.

Horses (like Geminis) are supposed to be flighty and distractable, which I am not. I guess “Earth” modifies this.

Dog: Like his animal namesake, he is Loyal with a capital “L”. He is the one who people are most likely to turn to when they need help. The dog person will come through every time. That is because he/she is sensitive to others and empathizes with them, particularly if someone has suffered an injustice; he/she reacts quickly with the same feeling as though he/she had been personally offended. Friends know that they can rely upon their Dog friend to keep a promise or remain cool in a crisis. Dog types are honest, intelligent and straightforward. They will take on any responsibility that is given to them and you can be sure that they will do their job well. People born in this year tend to be difficult, upset and shocked more often than the other signs. Dog types do not tolerate weakness. They will work to push the weakness or the whole person with weakness out of their lives (the pack) if the behavior continues.
The dog is loyal, unselfish, and idealistic. They can sometimes be worriers and overly critical. Dogs go best with tigers and horses. Their friends are other dogs and also rabbits.

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Yasuro and I started dating in early 2000 when my daughter, Mitten, was 2 years old. We worked together in the IS department of an automotive PR firm in Fordland for about a year before we realized out mutual desire to jump each other’s bones. Things went well and within a year Mitten and I were staying at his house on the weekends (the only days he was home. Yay, consulting). We dated, with ever increasing seriousness, for three years. Then the three of us moved in together. A year after that, we got engaged. 5 months later, thanks to an infertility scare and the resultant conception of Toot, we were married.

Now, my husband does not have the sunniest of relationships with his parents and for most of our dating relationship I felt that they viewed me as a placeholder, the entertainment their son was allowed until his real wife, his Korean wife arrived. The fact that I had a child from a previous relationship certainly didn’t help me make a great first impression. I am a good mom. I worked and went to college full-time. I was respectful, from a nice family, kind and loving to their son. I love Korean food. Completely open to learning about and adopting Korean cultural traditions. I thought that with time, they would come to know me as me and their objections would fade.

When we announced our engagement to Yasuro’s mother, she played it cool. She said she was happy for us but that we should wait to tell his father until after she had some time to “prepare” him. This was in May 2004. In late June, we moved to California and Yasuro’s father still didn’t know that we were engaged. In August, I realized we were pregnant. I was simultaneously elated (doctors had told us we might not be able to conceive) and horrified. My future father-in-law STILL didn’t know we were engaged. I knew how it would look from his perspective. Because of these considerations, it was with some trepidation that I told Yasuro our news.

I shouldn’t have worried — his first reaction was to flex like a 1977 Schwarzenegger.

We decided to speed up our wedding plans and set a date of 10/02/04.

Yasuro’s father was brought up to speed and everything seemed good until about a week before the wedding. My husband’s parents still hadn’t invited anyone and we feared that they would eventually refuse to come themselves. A few days before we flew home for the ceremony we got the call. They wouldn’t come. They couldn’t accept me as a daughter-in-law. I still don’t know what they hoped to accomplish with this gambit but at the time it made me incredibly sad. I was insulted, sure, but worse, they were turning their backs on their grandchild and son. I felt horrible for my husband. Through all of this, Yasuro made it clear that if they forced his hand, he would choose OUR family. It was “us against the world” in his eyes.

We flew home and met his parents and mine for dinner the night before the wedding. That evening now carries the dubious distinction of holding the title of “Best Ambush Dinner”. We ate, we argued (for hours) – long story short, my husband’s parents agreed to come to the wedding. We had a lovely wedding with 40 of our closest friends and family. It was officiated by the mayor of the town we used to live in before moving to CA. Yasuro’s parents came and even seemed to enjoy themselves.
6 months later, our daughter was born and for the first time, there was ease to my relationship with my in-laws. I always had something to talk about with them and I got to see their very caring, considerate side that I had always figured was there (my husband didn’t get awesome from nowhere) but had never seen first hand. My MIL was/is especially good about making sure my oldest daughter is shown the same affection that they lavish on their biological grandchildren.

If my younger daughter started the healing process, my son was surgical glue. When he was born, I saw my FIL beam at me for the first time. He started being tenderly concerned about my health and well-being! I realize the sexism inherent in the Korean obsession with gochi but that doesn’t diminish the warm fuzzies and strange sense of accomplishment I feel when I see my in-laws cooing over my son. I think I even got a ‘thank you’ when they visited us at the hospital.

It’s taken a long time for us to reach détente. I hope that eventually they will see me only as ‘loving wife, mother and daughter in law’. Less and less as ‘white girl’. I will continue to get over my lingering trust issues. My husband and I will keep forging a loving family that is half asian, half european and all our own.

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