Friday, December 31, 2010

Weaning Party

I didn't set out to do extended nursing. In fact, I only planned to nurse for a year because "once they can ask for it, it is weird." Of course, I didn't know anything about breastfeeding when I made that comment. Once I learned more about the benefits of extended breastfeeding and child-led weaning, it just made sense. Still, I never expected that he'd nurse this long.

Ian's weaning was not completely child-led. He nursed a lot until he was almost 2 and then suddenly dropped down to twice a day due to my pregnancy. He stopped completely about 6 weeks before my daughter was born, but then wanted to start again. I let him, but only twice a day: before nap and before bed. Even those sessions were short. As he got closer to 3, I started talking to him about weaning. I thought I'd do it when he turned 3, but he just wasn't ready. By 3.5, he started all-day preschool and stopped taking a nap so he was down to once a day. A few months later, he stopped asking to nurse every day. When he did, I would say,"How about we just cuddle?" If he accepted that, we cuddled and did not nurse. If he didn't we nursed. When we traveled this past summer, he went two weeks without asking. Then, he asked again.

He turned 4 in September and for the past several months he has had many periods of going a week or two without nursing. I felt he was ready and chose New Year's Eve as his last day. We talked about it all week and counted down the days. I let him nurse a lot longer than I usually did.

The last time, I let him nurse as long as he wanted to and when he was done I thanked him for being my first nursling and told him I was happy that he was growing up.

Today, we had his weaning party. We made a cake and gave him a few presents: a new movie and two boxes of big kid Legos that Curt wanted to give him for Christmas. I held them back because I wanted to see how he played with the first set of big kid Legos. He did great, so we felt he was ready.

We sang,"Happy Weaning Day to You" and he blew out the candles, one for every year he nursed. Then, he opened his presents and put on his movie.

Eva, on the other hand, is no where NEAR weaning. Right now we are working on limits because she's nurse 24-7 if I let her!

Mountain Buggy Post: Resolutions

Find it here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Curt got this Quadrilla set for Ian last year. It has been in my closet for most of the year for frequent "failure to put away" violations. Eva kept putting the marbles in her mouth and Ian kept leaving marbles around the house.

We just got it back out and they are playing with it much better this year. Eva still put the marbles in her mouth, but after being removed from play, she realized I mean business and now is playing nicely.

Curt loves Quadrilla and I had to talk him down from buying lots of additional sets last year. I think this set will be fine until Ian's birthday when we can add to it.

Eva in her new dress:

No Bottles in This House

"I nurse!"

Fly Lady Step 1: Shine Your Sink

Habit 1 for Fly Lady: Shine your sink.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Eva was the first up. She is holding her pants up because they are too big and she has a thermometer because she is not supposed to have it.

Curt woke Ian up because he couldn't wait any longer. He probably would have sleot until 9am, but was happy to get up at 7am for presents.

Ian's big present was big kid Legos.

Eva had an Olivia Christmas with Olivia dolls, books and dvds.

Ian is still very happy to open any present even if it is clothes or wild rice (I put wild rice in their stockings). That is nice. Since we don't have commercials, he doesn't ask for much. Both of them have too many toys already, so we kept Christmas small. They still had fun, though.

Eva's favorite present was a pink dress with matching hoodie. As soon as she opened it, she starting ripping off her pjs and demanded to wear it.

Group picture.

Merry Christmas!

My Latest Post for Mountain Buggy

Traveling with Baby Pictures and tips from my travels.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good Housekeeping Parker House Rolls (Susan, Our Beginning Cook, Learns to Make...)

My mom makes this recipe at the holidays. Susan Flick, the wife of an Army Captain shared this recipe with my mom while my dad and her husband were attending German language classes in Monterrey, California in the fall of 1975. The rolls are awesome and even I can make them. I couldn't find the recipe and was searching for it online. Seems that others were looking for it. It is from an article titles,"Susan, Our Beginning Cook Learns to Make..." It is not on the Good Housekeeping website so I will put it up here.

6 to 6 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages dry active yeast
1 cup butter softened
1 egg

About 3 1/2 hours before serving:

1. In a large bowl,combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; add 1/2 cup butter. With mixer at low speed, gradually pour 2 cups hot water (120' to 130'F) into dry ingredients. Add egg. Increase speed to medium. Beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Continue beating 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl. With a spoon stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.

2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning over so that the top of dough is greased. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place (8-0' to 85'F) until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

3. Punch down dough by pushing down the center of the dough with fist, then pushing the edges of dough into center. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to make a smooth ball. Cover with bowl for 15 minutes and let dough rest.

4. In a 17 1/4" by 11 1/2" roasting pan, over low heat, melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter. Tilt the pan to grease bottom.

5. On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/2 inch thick. With floured 2 2/4 inch round cutter, cut dough into circles. Holding dough circle by the edge, dip both sides into melted butter in pan. Fold in half. Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other. Knead trimmings together, re-roll and cut more rolls. Cover pan with towel. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, preheat over to 425'F. Bake rolls 18-20 minutes until browned. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

No, not low calorie, but delicious. They get eaten every time and are still good a few days later, especially if you heat them up again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Defining Normal Birth for the Next Generation

A client of mine posted the pictures from her birth that I took on her Facebook. I was looking through them and Ian said,"Oh is that a baby right after it came out?"

Me: Yes, if we have another baby maybe we can do it here and you can see the baby come out.

Ian: Cool! But we need a pool, right?"

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Tree is Up

We are usually traveling at Christmas but since we were in the States for a month in August, we decided to stay home this year. Our first Christmas as a married couple was spent living in Egypt. One of the best things to buy in Egypt is glass Christmas ornaments. So we bought a ton and most of our ornaments are glass. With little ones this doesn't work out too well. I still put a few on the tree for sparkle, but try to use less fragile ornaments near the bottom for the kids. They still managed to break an ornament yesterday but it is still usable.

Curt made hot cocoa and Eva loved it. "My coke! More coke!"

They had fun decorating. I rearranged some of the ornaments because they clustered them.

Ian have extra Christmas stockings and the kids put them all on and danced around to the music.


Koreans love to make the peace sign in photos. Since Ian has started at Korean preschool, he makes the peace sign in most photos. When he turned 4, he started showing 4 fingers in photos.

Sometimes, he likes to really mix it up and show 10 fingers. Eva is trying to copy him here as well.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Bug in Beijing

So, Beijing in late November was perhaps an overambitious endeavor with small children. Yes, we knew it was going to be cold, but the timing worked out and we really didn't want any more time to pass without having set foot in China. The Saturday night before we left, Ian had a fever. He was sluggish on Sunday, but Monday morning when we left, his fever was gone. I, however, had a slight tickle in the back of my throat that I suspected was about to turn into a cold.

Our family was traveling with another couple. We were all greeted by the guide at the airport and taken to our hotels. It was sunny and much warmer than I expected. Our friends got settled in and then joined us at our hotel. We went walking to find lunch and decided on a noodle place not too far from the hotel. Eva promptly took off her socks and shoes. It is her current obsession. She refused to put them back on. After putting them back on about 20 times, we gave up and let her run around the restaurant bare foot.

After lunch we walked around and browsed in some shops. Eva took her shoes and socks off again. In Korea, hundreds of halmonis (grandmothers) would have dived rolled over to us to put them back on, but in China, we only got a few confused looks. When Curt was by himself with Eva, he was approached, but when I was there, no one said anything. Hey, I wanted her to wear her shoes as well, but after wrestling with her in the airport, on the streets of Beijing and at the restaurant, I realized I was not going to win this one.

By that night, I was sick. Curt and Ian started to cough as well. I had weakness, aches and a hacking cough. After a restless night, we pulled ourselves together to go see the Great Wall. Ian and I were cooked. We made it in front of the entrance to get our picture taken, but had to immediately retreat to the bus. Ian was crying just getting his picture taken. Curt put Eva in the baby carrier and hiked up with our friends. Ian and I huddled on the bus and felt like we were dying.

We stopped for lunch on the way back to the hotel. They made my boiled Coke with ginger to drink. I couldn't eat anything, but the spread looked great. They stopped at a pharmacy to pick up some medicine. The ingredients involved earthworms and dried human placenta so Curt skipped it. I am still breastfeeding and he asked if it was safe for breastfeeding and they said no. They finally gave him something else, but I didn't take it. Our friends continued on the tour and we crashed at the hotel.

By the time we got to the hotel, Curt was going down. We lay on the bed in agony while Eva skipped around the room and found things to destroy. Between the breastfeeding, nose-picking and her refusal to wear shoes, she seems to have built up quite and immune system.

The next day, we gathered our strength for the second day of tours. The guide told us to leave the stroller on the bus, but Ian was in no shape to walk, so we insisted on bringing it. I am so glad we did! There was so much walking in the freezing cold! Ian was bundled under a blanket sleeping and Eva was in the baby carrier. As the wind whipped around and through me, I started thinking that this was a bad plan. Still, we were determined to make the most of it.

The retired people gather in the park for exercises and gambling. Our guide said that the Chinese only gamble for fun, if there's no money involved, there's no fun.

Again, we bailed after part 1 of the tour. We ordered room service at the hotel for lunch. (I knew Curt must be really sick if he suggested that). Again, more lying around and more kid-destruction as Ian started to feel better.

We decided to have a much more laid back plan for Day 4, eating Peiking Duck to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Our friends were staying at the Grand Hyatt and the Peiking Duck at the Made in China restaurant there got very good reviews so we jumped in a cab and headed over.

What a great restaurant! The place is decorated with fresh ingredients, teapots and other cook wear. You can see the cooks pulling with duck out of the wood fired oven. Other cooks are making handmade noodles and dumplings in the open. We had ordered two ducks and an order of noodles for the kids. Ian loved the duck so we really could have finished 3 ducks without a problem. They carve the duck at the table for you and then make you soup out of the duck bones. The duck skin is supposed to be dipped in sugar and eaten. The soup was delicious and perfect for our colds. Thankfully, I was eating again at this point.

Our final morning in Beijing was spent freezing our butts off looking for treasures at an outdoor market. I picked up an iron Buddha head, some beads, brass door knockers and a metal fish lock. Our friend helped us bargain. I hate to negotiate, but I bought myself a bracelet and negotiated for it. My friend's perspective is good, just decide what you want to pay and as long as you are getting a good deal compared to Korea, then who cares? These people were going to be out in the cold all day so why squeeze them for the last RMB? It was too cold for how long it would take. We did, however, get their prices down a lot because the initial was almost always $100. I didn't have the energy to take pictures, but my friend did. They would have been great pictures with my camera. Again, Ian spent this adventure under a blanket in the Terrain.

We are back in Seoul, still recovering. We have a double entry visa so we might try to go back before it expires. In the meantime, we need to find a beach somewhere warm to go next!