Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Can moms ever do anything right?

While browsing through books at the library this weekend, I came across a book called "Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood."

At first I thought the book might be an interesting look at the science of feeding babies. But based on my very cursory perusal, I'd have to say this book is just one more way for mothers to feel like they can't ever get it right.

Breastfeeding advocates seem try to make women who feed their babies formula (for whatever reason) feel like they're not real women. This book seems to just turn the guilt around onto women who do breastfeed. Making it seem as if I'm depriving my baby by feeding it the way women have done for ages.

Women who breastfeed are already seen as less competent. I am shy and embarrassed about breastfeeding my baby in public (even with a cover up).

Sure, the book probably says that formula is just as good as breast milk. And in this day and age, I'm sure it is -- especially with clean, healthy water supplies. And there are plenty of great reasons to choose one over the other. All of which are personal choices for a mother, and I don't question any of them.

For me, breastfeeding is convenient and cheap. No, it isn't easy and sometimes it's frustrating and exhausting as all get out. But it works for me. I realize it doesn't work for everyone. My baby doesn't like formula and has spit out any we've offered to him.

I don't think anyone needs to justify her choice to breastfeed or formula feed. As long as Baby is growing and thriving, you're doing something right. And I don't think anyone should tell anyone else her way is wrong -- or better, for that matter.

Just shut up and feed your baby.

Monday, July 25, 2011

100 Days Redux - Korean Style

For his 100th Day Celebration -- or Baek-Il -- Milo's Korean grandmother brought him a traditional outfit.

I don't think the "My Mom Rocks" pacifier is traditional.

He is supposed to wear this outfit again on his first birthday.

She also brought Korean rice cakes and black bean cakes.


Too cute!

100 Days

Milo is 100 days old today.

In Korea, on the 100th day after a child's birth, a small feast is prepared to celebrate the child's having survived this difficult period. With Milo being 1/4 Korean, we thought we should do something to commemorate this day.

It is believed that if steamed rice cakes are shared with 100 people, the child will have a long life, so rice cakes are sent to as many people as possible to help celebrate the happiness of the occasion.

I don't think I even know 100 people, and even though I don't have 100 readers here, I am going to share virtual Korean rice cakes with you, dear readers -- to help celebrate the happiness of this occasion.

Happy 100 Days, Milo!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three months old

Dear Milo,

This month has been full of firsts for you. You met one of your great aunts. You took a cross-country road trip to meet cousins and aunts and uncles. You went to the zoo. You had your first Father's Day with Daddy. You attended a renaissance festival.

And got a hat!

You are changing so quickly, some days it feels like I can see you changing before my eyes. You've completely lost the scrawny newborn look and are now a full-fledged baby, with roly-poly thighs and chubby cheeks.

You are now fascinated by our ceiling fans, and they never fail to elicit a smile or even a giggle from you. We can keep you entertained for a long stretch with your new musical mobile, as you lay there watching it.

You are so much more aware of the world around you, and sometimes it's a scary place. You're more likely to break down and cry when a loud noise startles you now. The dog barking, Mommy coughing, Daddy calling to Mommy in your presence can all cause you to flail your arms, then melt down into tears -- especially if you are even a little hungry.

You've been able to ride around in your stroller. So far you mostly just fall asleep, but soon you'll appreciate not being strapped to Mommy's or Daddy's chest when we take you out.

You can almost roll over all by yourself. Which means no more leaving you alone on the bed.

Our trip to visit family threw off your sleeping and eating schedules, but before we left, you slept almost seven hours straight. I hope we can get you back to that when we return home.

You're growing like crazy. Last time I checked, you were nearly 15 pounds. Many of the clothes you're wearing are labeled for 6- to 9-month old babies. You seem to eat constantly. And you are much more resistant to naps, regardless of what's happening around you.

You are holding your head up consistently during tummy time. Unless, that is, you're really tired. Then you're likely to lay your head down and take a nap that way. I have to admit that I let you fall asleep that way, but I watch you like a hawk and turn you on your back once you've drifted off. You can get extremely fussy when you need your nap and don't want to take one.

In between feedings and needing naps, though, you are one happy baby. You have expanded your vocabulary to include lots of goos and gagas. You smile and giggle regularly and have recently taken to wrinkling your nose at us, which makes us laugh and makes you smile at us.

If it's possible, I love you now more than ever. No matter what your schedule or bodily function, you are my sweetheart.


Family visit

Milo, his daddy and I are away from home this week, visiting family. Milo got to meet his uncles, two of his boy cousins and his grandpa. It's been quite an adventure for Milo (meaning we've totally thrown off his eating and sleeping schedule).

My sister-in-law wasn't able to join my brother on this visit, but she sent gifts with him. Milo got some onesies, a sippy cup and a new pacifier. He also got a very nice cross-stitch.

I was appreciating the details and the hard work, when the S.O. noticed an envelope on the back of the frame. He pulled out a letter, read it, then handed it to me. Here's what it said:

Your grandma made this cross-stitch before she passed away. I found it in her craft room and thought there must have been a reason that she had this all done. The only thing we needed to do was stitch the name in it. She had it all framed and left complete directions on how to finish it. So I like to think dhe had it all ready and waiting just for you. I think she knew she had one more grandchild to come and she wanted to leave something just for you. Your grandma was one of the sweetest, most loving ladies I ever knew. She loved being a mom and a grandma. Her family meant everything to her. I believe she is looking down and watching over you. We all have our own personal angel keeping an eye on us. If you ever have questions about your grandma, ask any of us. We all have so many nice things to tell you about her.
My family members all read the letter and either had chills or tears in their eyes (as did I). I'll never really know the motivation behind this piece of handiwork, but I like to think my sister-in-law is right and Mom knew there would be another grandson. Either way, Milo has a beautiful keepsake made my his grandma.

It's true he won't get to spend time with his grandma, but thanks to her legacy, he will certainly know her.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Milo's first trip to the zoo

Milo's cousin and I took him to the zoo yesterday.

I don't think he was all that impressed with the animals.

"A giraffe? Oh, yawn."

But at least he let his cousin and me enjoy our time at the zoo.

My little marsupial

The only hiccup of the day was when, for some reason, Milo wouldn't take the bottle of breast milk I'd brought for him. I ended up having to feed him from the tap, so to speak. This is the first time I've breastfed him in public. Granted, I tucked us away in a corner of a mostly quiet cafeteria, and my niece sat next to/in front of us. I had left the cover-up in the car because I didn't want to carry a million things. I know I shouldn't be embarrassed to feed him in public -- everyone else was having lunch in there -- but I guess I'm shy about whipping out a boob when someone might see it (never was a Girls-Gone-Wild kinda gal).

But, you know what? It was fine. He ate and fell back to sleep. And with the large number of families there with small children, I'm pretty sure no one was judging me. And if they were, that's their problem. I'm sure they didn't want to listen to Milo scream.

It was a beautiful day at the zoo and an adventure for all of us.

Just not as exciting for some

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Family matters

Milo just met his cousin.

And I'm pretty sure they adore each other already.