After the tears subsided and the sadness of seeing our parents off wore off, it was quickly replaced with an overwhelming sense of responsibility and slight panic. I can still remember that first night home. We were giving Jimmy his bath and Robert was videoing it. Jimmy was screaming the entire time and it's as if the video embodies new parenthood. You can see my nervousness as I try to bathe and dress my distressed child, and you can almost feel the emotions through the video~ we love this child more than anything and yet the responsibility is just plain scary. We no longer had our moms here to tell us what to do or our dads to give us helpful tips on how to calm a crying baby... it was just us and our little baby boy. That night seems like ages ago. Sometimes it feels like Jimmy is an entirely different baby from back then. It's shocking how much they change in these first few months. I am no longer scared and I have a deep sense of peace in my role as a mother. No, I don't do the right things all the time. I get tired and frustrated and then hate myself for feeling that way towards my little boy who can't communicate any other way but through his cries. But even on the "bad days" I still absolutely love being a mother. It is my calling. From early childhood when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always "I just want to be a plain old mommy."
It's amazing how much your life changes with a little baby. While I tried to stay away from phrases like "When I have kids I will never..." or "I will be like this or that...", I still had a few preconceived notions in my head about parenthood. Other than the fact that I will raise my son to love God, his family, and to treat everyone with respect, all other plans flew out the window. I have quickly come to realize that parenting is one of the most polarized forums of discussion! Pacifier or no pacifier; co-sleep or sleep alone in a faraway dark scary room; feeding on demand or schedule feeding; formula-fed, pumping, or breastfeeding... you get the idea. And not only are people passionate about the individual debates, but they are equally passionate about the very fact that there is a debate! I soon realized how easy it is to become one of the defensive parents that I used to get so annoyed at. It feels like people are questioning your love for your child because you are not doing things the right way. However, when someone
attacks offers you parenting advice, more often than not, it is entirely with a good heart and usually from experience. The great thing about the whole situation is it's completely up to you whether you heed their advice or not, so is it really that big of a deal if they speak their minds?
Believe me, I'm preaching to the choir here...
Ok, moving on from my little rant...
Life with our newborn baby
One of the huge bonuses of exclusively breastfeeding was that Robert took over the kitchen in order to feed me good quality food :) I got breakfast in bed and tons of amazing Jamie Oliver dishes and such like. A-mazing!
Because Jimmy was born in Korea, there is a list of required vaccinations, the biggest commonly referred to as the "dragonball" because it leaves a grid of dots similar to a game board. While it is very noticeable now, it will fade as he gets older to become almost invisible. While I was not thrilled at the prospect of my son being "branded", being that it is required, I had little to say about it and we simply refer to it as Jimmy's tattoo for being born in another country. Perhaps when he's older he will proudly show it off. Who knows... one thing I do know is they should really have a shot ready for the mom too because it is torture watching your child be struck with needles and not be able to take the pain away.
In the first few weeks, Jimmy did not approve of EVER being put down. While I absolutely loved all the cuddle time, it was both exhausting and a tad inconvenient at times :) The ergo came in handy for just such times.
Jimmy's first Daegu shopping trip :) We did Costco and then Little Italia for dinner.
Robert was still getting adjusted to having a baby in tow :)
While the weather was still nice, we headed out for a lovely Sunday picnic with some friends. This was Jimmy's first time to be "out in the elements" and he seemed to be pretty chill with the whole idea.
Auntie Sooyeon getting her Jimmy time :)
The days of very little sleep...
Daddy's solution to watching Jimmy while playing a game :)
One of Jimmy and my favorite things to do during the day is meet daddy for lunch and coffee. It gets us out of the house and gives us a change of scenery and sounds. Also, daddy likes it quite a bit too!
Jimmy is the king of funny faces! I love this kid so much. It's kind of hard to not stick a camera in his face at all times because he does the cutest things!
Our little Calvin...
A family outing to Nearby Cafe
Love his little squished up sleepy face and bed hair! :)
Jimmy's first church service... boy was he a hit with everyone!
Despite the fact that I am usually a bit groggy from the night before,
I absolutely love my mornings with Jimmy!
Gramma saved a few of Robert's baby shirts so Jimmy wears his daddy's shirt sometimes:)
The hospital gave us this album. I love that it says "man". In Korea, they celebrate a baby's 50th day, 100th day, 200th day, and then 1st birthday. This album is for the pictures that you take on each day. The birth pictures were free and then they gave us a coupon for the 50th day ones too.
Will you look at that scrawny little boy!? Mommy was trying to grab some pictures but Jimmy had other ideas about that!
Getting to see Auntie Michaely! She's a very special auntie because she got to be with mommy through her entire pregnancy and the birth!
I decided to get the classic "mom haircut" and opted for an A-line bob. In the past I have gone to an amazing hairdresser in Daejeon which is about an hour away. This time I thought I would try to find an equally amazing place right here in town. I took a Korean friend with me, thinking that would help ensure that I got what I wanted style-wise. I showed the lady pictures of exactly what I wanted and motioned the angles of my hair to her and said, "Do you know how to do this style?" To which she responded with vigorous head nodding in agreement. In 15 short minutes, she had done an entirely different haircut that did not resemble the pictures at all! So I had to live with it for awhile and let it grow out a bit before I could visit my usual hairdresser to have him fix it. Lesson learned.
I took Jimmy into school to show him off to my one English department class. I loved seeing their expressions! Priceless.
Finishing up my Master's degree...
Still working to get those eyes to focus like he wanted them to!
We went to have our first playdate with Charlotte and Isaac (who is 8 months older than Jimmy). It was so cute to watch Isaac gently touch Jimmy's face. He was so curious and yet cautious.
We loved having visitors come and see Jimmy whenever they got the chance!
It's amazing how quickly you adjust to your new life and it is as if you have always had this little child. I love this new chapter in our lives! It is such an honor to be Jimmy's mother and I don't ever want to take that for granted. Yes, there are rough days when all I want to do is dream of crawling under the covers and sleeping for hours or visiting a spa getting pampered, but at the end of the day when my baby boy snuggles up against me and drifts off to sleep, there is no better feeling in the world.