Sunday, November 2, 2014

Celebrating 100 Days Of Seoul

Technically, last weekend was Seoul's 100 Day Celebration. But MIL felt I might be too tired then and decided to have it this weekend. Which really made no sense. But whatever. I also wound up having a sore throat this weekend so last weekend would have been better. Oh well. In any event, here's how Seoul's 100 Day Celebration went. Click here if you want to remember what Raelynn's was like.

It was only recently that China decided to nix the one-child policy so most families have only one child. When that child hits 100 days, they throw a huge party, just like we did for Raelynn, where all the relatives show up and bring you envelopes filled with cash. In Chinese culture, to have another child and have another big party like that is considered greedy. We didn't care about getting any gifts...we just wanted to celebrate Seoul. So we kept it very small and MIL only invited the old people in the family.

Seoul and I had to pose with all of them.

 This is MIL's older sister. I'm pretty sure anyway. They look alike, don' they?

 Yes! Score! I finally got one of the Chinese relatives right. It is MIL's older sister. And there's MIL in the blue shirt and Raelynn is trying to give FIL sunflower seeds. Seoul watches.

 Ok now these this FIL's brother? I think it might be. God I suck at this. Sorry! And that little boy is a 2nd cousin to Raelynn.

Me and Seoul, trying desperately to figure out which relatives these folks are.

 So to honor our little guest of honor, we had a gigantic meal and gobs of beer. See? There are some things I love about China and this is definitely one of them. Jeremy helped his mom pick out which dishes to order so that I would not starve. Thank you, Honey!

 Jellyfish salad. I really dug this. Yum!

 Dates stuffed with peanuts. Another yum!

 Some sort of vegetable medley. Chinese-style of course.

 Spicy pickled vegetables. I was really surprised that there were peperoncini in this dish too. I haven't seen those since I was in the US.

 Here's a platter of assorted meat parts. With sauce. Which parts? I have no idea. I didn't try this one out. It all looked rubbery to me.

The Lazy Susan is beginning to fill up quickly. Now we've got steamed shrimp. Yum!

 While it might look like someone's dropped a turd into my soup, it's a sea cucumber. I just cannot get into these things. I do not like them. At all. But the soup surrounding it was really nice. It is quite the tradition to order a soup like this for your guests. It's basically showing off but everyone does it. I wonder if anyone else dislikes sea cucumber as much as I do but hasn't the balls to say so...

 A large bowl of soup and some other dishes are now on the table. To the right of the assorted meat bits was the dish I loved the most. It had squid and pork in a garlicky brown sauce. It was delicious! Also, I don't see it pictured but maybe by this point, we'd already gobbled it all up...there were these triangular pastries on the table. I have no idea what they are called but let me just tell I figured they were filled with the typical red bean paste. That they were typically dry, as most Chinese snack things are. Not these. They were buttery and flaky. My best guess on the filling is sweet potato. Whatever it was, it was heavenly.

 Just to show you how classy we are, we're drinking our beer from wine glasses. Because. Because this is China and people do this here. No really. In most restaurants, you'll get what we'd use as juice glasses in the US. But this restaurant down the street from our house really wanted to class things up a bit. So there you go. Beer in a wine glass...ou la la!

 The giant steamed fish has come out, which I've learned from all my big important Chinese dinners here, is like the fat lady singing. It signifies the end in most cases. So if you go to China and someone is taking you to dinner, try not to fill up too fast. There will be tons of food and then when you see the big fish, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Wear elastic pants too. Seriously.

Oh but no! Not today! We had a tomato dish, another soup AND this giant roasted big head. See the snout? God. I couldn't eat the snout or other facial features of course, but the meat inside was like pulled pork and it was divine. It was served with those thin pancakes, green onions, cucumbers and some hoisin sauce. Yum!

 Isn't she cute? She has a look on her face like she can't wait to get teeth so she can eat the food too. Love her!

 Why look who it is! It's MIL! And she's not annoying me for a change. I know what you're thinking...why would I let her hold the baby? Well, for one, I'd look like a huge jerk in front of all the relatives. For another, after all that beer (which did NOT help my throat, sad to say) I needed to pee. Plus, she didn't hoard Seoul like she did at Raelynn's 100 day party. Thankfully, she seems to have learned.

At the end of our meal, after the gargantuan fish and skull of pig, they brought us these fried balls. Inside, it was like a chewy rice cake thing (for friends and family back home, rice cakes in the US - those crispy Uncle Ben's things you eat when you're dieting - are NOT the same thing as rice cakes in Asia). These were awesome. It has a nice little message on there too sending us good wishes.

All in all, a nice lunch. I wish the beer had helped fix my throat though. Oh well. We went to the doctor today and now I'm feeling much better. Anyway, here's to 100 days of Seoul, and to 100 years more for my precious angel. Seoul, we love you so much. You make our little family so happy. Your smile warms us through and through and we can't get enough of your sweet little face. I can't believe a few months ago, I was holding you for the first time. And now, I'm treasuring every second because I know from Raelynn that you will grow way too fast and I'll be missing these beautiful baby days where I can cuddle you in my arms, where you won't talk back and where you have no teeth and just coo. Thanks for being my baby.


  1. Congratulations :)
    I think such little party would have been nice with Nathan in China but well, cant have everything. In Finland we had nothing special, actually nothing at all on his 100 days thing. Perhaps with the next child or if I am lucky we redo the whole party in Xi'an next time we visit (I just need to have some hope ...)

    1. Thank you! I hope you get to have a 100 day party for Nathan too. It's actually a lot of fun. But you'll have to let all the crazy relatives hold the baby. Bring hand sanitizer and lots of wet wipes!