Sunday, July 20, 2008


Yesterday Sabrina attended her first birthday party!!!!

We went to Dave's -->cousin's--> daughter's (got that?) 1st birthday party - aka 'Tol" or "Dol". Her name is Hanna. She is such a cutie.

A 1st birthday is a very significant event in Korea. In recent history (as of 50 years ago), the mortality rate for children was high and many did not survive to see their 1st birthday. So this is an important milestone to the Koreans and a reason to celebrate big.

Technically, there are four parts to the traditional ceremony:
  • Praying for the child's longevity and giving thanks to God (or birth god)
  • Dressing the child-of-honor in colorful and dressy clothes that symbolize long life (with a double-wrapped belt) and luck (a pouch/pocket)
  • Preparing a table with ritual food and conducting the Toljabee ceremony
  • Sharing food with guests and neighbors
We did all of these things and the most exciting part is probably the Toljabee. The Toljabee is where the one-year-old is propped up at a table, facing all of the guests in her hanbok, with an assortment of objects placed in front of her on a tray. Whatever she picks up first and second will influence her fate most strongly. There are also items included for general luck.

On this tray there were:

Money - she will be wealthy
String - for long life
Fruit - for many descendents
Pencils - she'll be a scholar
A couple of mini balls (basketball, etc...) - she will be an athlete
Bible - she would work for the church (minister)

She chose...the mini balls! One right after the other. It was so funny to watch her parents try to get her to take the money! I thought for sure that she would go for the pencils because they were bright colored with long fuzzy feathers on the end. (I found out that this is a trick that some parents do to try and entice their child to take the item the parent wants them to take. My sister-in-law suggested I put a couple of fat highlighters on the tray.)

Side story -- Dave bought a new plunger the other day and it was in the living room by the front door. It was clean, still had the tag on it... We hadn't gotten around to putting everything away yet and Sabrina was playing in the living room. I walked away for a sec and when I came back there she was sitting by the front door playing with the plunger with a huge grin on her face. I asked Dave how freaked out would his family be if we put the plunger on the tray as one of the items for her to choose from at her tol.

It would be bigger than everything else on the tray, she would be sure to grab it. Then we could clap and yell, "Yay! She's going to be a plumber!!!" Nothing against all you plumbers out there
(one of Sabrina's auntie's is a pipe fitter and she kicks ass as a woman in a man's world) ...but we're pretty sure that some of the auntie's would freak. Ohhhh, but it would be hysterical. Definite Kodak moment.

There was a lot of good homemade Korean food, lots of pictures, yummy Asian style birthday cake with fruit. Dave's family got a good laugh out of the fact that he brought his own plastic container to his aunt's house to bring some homemade kimchi in. It is GOOD!

For those of you doing the math, yes Sabrina is turning 1 very soon! Can you BELIEVE it? And not to make this about me...but Sabrina turning 1 means the deadline I set for myself to get rid of these last 18 pounds from the pregnancy is FAST approaching.

Ok, back to Sabrina.

Sabrina's Tol is coming up in late September. All of our siblings, a couple of aunties and a couple of very close friends who live near us will br attending. I just sent out the 'save the date' cards and all I can say is that everyone should be prepared to wear elastic waist pants because there is going to be a LOT of food.

Here are a couple of family photos. We don't get many of the 3 of us together, so enjoy!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

If you need a smile today...or any other day...

This video will make you smile. Guaranteed. It may even make you a little weepy.

It reminded me of how much I love music, to dance, travel and meet new people. Everywhere I've traveled I have gone out dancing. That is until I became a mother. I wonder why I haven't gone dancing. It has always been one of those things that made me feel soooo good. I do dance with Sabrina quite a bit. She LOVES the 80's hits. And do I dare say that she loves the song by Nelly Furtado "Promiscuous Girl"? Ha ha. Seriously, I think she just likes the songs with strong beats and any song that I sing along to.

Been feeling a little out of sorts lately. I think I'm in need of some serious family time. We've been so busy and Sabrina was so sick which made me and Dave sick. It was constant for 3 months. Colds, eye infections, 2 ear infections. No kidding. The stress levels have been HIGH.

Hmmm, maybe we just need some Dave and Maria time...

Anyway, enjoy the video and the music it's set to. You will love it.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Dancin'! Dancin'! DANCIN'!!

So last week our friend's Liz and Jackie had a 70's/disco party.

What a blast!!!

I dressed up as disco singer/dancer - complete with superfro. I think I was trying to channel Diana Ross from WAY back in the day.

Dave dressed up as Dr. J (Julius Erving) from the 76er's - "My name is Julius. They call me Dr. J!" He had a massive fro, serious chops and a nice thick patch of hair on his chest sticking out from underneath his tank top.

Dave has, in my opinion, officially redefined the word 'sexy'. I'm confident you'll agree.

And Sabrina? Well our little queenie rocked it. She was the hit of the party.
Are you ready for it?
She went as a Solid Gold Dancer. And for those of you who are wondering - Yes, Sabrina does just happen to own a little gold lame in her wardrobe. Hellooooo? Have you not met her mother?

Check it.