Saturday, February 20, 2010

Your New Best Friend-- Baby's Pediatrician!!

You will probably see more of your pediatrician in your baby's first year of life than at any other time. The baby's first examination takes place immediately after birth at the hospital. After that, typically your pediatrician will want to see your baby sometime within the first two weeks of life, at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and at 12 months. This may not seem like much, but these in conjunction with all the additional visits you'll make because of your concerns as a new mom (ie. freaking out about something that doesn't really matter, but matters to you) definitely adds up! Since you're going to be spending tons of time at the office, you ought to make sure that you really like your pediatrician.

We started going to the practice we chose because of a few things:

1. referrals/reviews. Almost all of my colleagues with children who live in the area go to this practice. These are some of the best moms that I know (super-mommies) so I trust their judgement.

2. scheduling convenience. Our practice decided to start using an all online system for making appointments. I can't tell you how amazing this has been. It's as easy as logging onto your email account. After searching through the available time slots and checking to see which times work best for you, you simply click on the time slot and bam... you have an appointment! No more having to be put on hold for minutes while listening to boring elevator music. I hate that! Plus, the office has weekend hours so if your newborn gets sick, you won't have to wait till Monday to see the doctor.

3. location. Our practice is conveniently located 4 blocks from our apartment. It doesn't get any better than that! If you have a sick child, the last thing you want to have to do is worry about getting there and back home.

4. options. The practice has several participating pediatricians, so you have the option of choosing whomever you wish. If you don't particularly like one, you can choose another one so you're not locked into having one person.

5. board certification. It was important for us to find a pediatrician who was board certified because my sister-in-law, who is also a ped, told us so. End of story.

During our first visit after being discharged from the hospital, I chose one of the peds at the practice because a friend of mine said that she liked her. During our second visit (because of Ben's jaundice), we ended up going to another person because we had to take the next available appointment because it was urgent and she was the only person who had an opening.

On Monday, we took Ben to his second month well-visit and saw ANOTHER pediatrician! By the time we realized that we had forgotten to schedule this appointment, it was already the week before his two month birthday. I felt like a bad mommy for forgetting, but it ended up being a good thing because we met Dr. F.

Once you enter the examination room for any appointment, the nurse requests that you undress baby except for his diaper just in case of an accident and when the ped comes in, you're directed to take the diaper off. The nurse took the typical measurements: weight, height, head circumference, rectal temperature. She asked us whether or not Ben had reached developmental milestones such as tracking and holding his head up at a 45 degree angle. We felt so proud when the nurse clicked the boxes for YES on the list. Dr. F. then entered and did her thing. We put his diaper back on as we spoke to her about Ben's progress. Some of the things we discussed included a list of questions that I brought such as feeding, vitamins, sleeping, cradle cap, bump on head, his jaundice, etc. She asked us a few other things while typing away on her computer. At first, I was wondering why she was typing as we spoke, but when I looked over at her screen, I saw that she was typing everything said in our conversation for her records. Wow! This made complete sense. How would she be able to remember each of her patients if she didn't take copious notes?

I prepared myself for what was to come. Now, call me sadistic if you'd like, but I really enjoy getting shots and having my blood drawn. But after our experiences with Ben's endless heel sticks and his blood getting all over Joon's clothes, I can no longer stand the thought of him getting a shot. Ben got his vaccinations at this visit, 3 of which were in the form of a shot and 1 of which was oral. Dr. F did it so quickly that it felt as if it took less than a minute to do everything. Of course, Ben cried, but after the first shot, his cries weren't as intense. I'm proud that I didn't have to leave the room. I'm getting stronger, or at least I hope so!

After the vaccinations, I reminded Dr. F about Ben's jaundice and that we're still concerned about it since he still looks a tad bit yellow. Although she commented that he "appeared to look fine", she said that she would absolutely do another heel stick to confirm that his bilirubin level has decreased to a normal level to ease our anxiety. She proceeded to say that she understood the importance of our peace of mind.

What we appreciated most about Dr. F was the fact that she too is a mom of an infant and she was able to empathize with us. She completely understood why first time moms worry so much because she knows what it's like. She made us feel good during the entire appointment and she didn't rush us--lots of doctors do that, so beware!. Never did we feel as if she were judging our parenting skills, which also tends to happen often or so I hear. She asked us if we had any questions and she answered each of them thoroughly.

Plus, it helped that when we were talking about Ben's sleep patterns/habits, she said very emphatically, "You know what? You know those moms who tell you that their newborns are sleeping through the night?... They're lying!" HAHA! That ultimately sealed the deal for us. We were in love... with our pediatrician!

Advice to First-Time Mommies from a First-Time Mommy:

1. Set criteria on what's most important to you for determining who will be your child's pediatrician. Remember to consider location, convenience, availability of appointments, etc.

2. Have an ongoing list of questions you may have to ask your pediatrician at the next visit because if you're like me, your memory won't be as good as it used to be. Also, if you don't have a list with you at the appointment, you might forget to ask a question and then hit yourself over the head for not having done so when you get home.

3. Remember that you should feel comfortable during your appointments. If your ped rushes you, makes you feel like a bad parent and/or doesn't answer your questions, get out of there and find someone else. There's no reason for you to become more stressed. You already have 4873984 + 1 things on your mind. You'll feel so much better when you find the right one. Trust me.

And for your viewing pleasure... more photos!! (This blog is the only way my relatives in Korea see pictures of Ben, so there may be random photos that don't necessarily relate to the post. Sorry!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Embracing My New Life As a Mommy

Joon and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day as parents. It ultimately was an awesome day, but only after breaking down and accepting the reality of being a parent.

Every year, Joon has planned a romantic evening for us which always involved fine dining and a show or something new. I know how some people don't particularly enjoy Valentine's Day, but I love it! This year was very different though. I had been dreading it in a way because accepting it would mean that I needed to deal with the fact that it's no longer just the two of us. It's the three of us. We no longer can go out for a nice dinner without having to worry about another human being-- Ben. Forget about spontaneous dates. Forget about going out to eat. Forget about random trips. To add to this, forget about anything you used to do when you were childless.

I know what you're thinking. Shouldn't you have thought about this before deciding to have a child? Yes, of course, we thought about how our lives would be different after having a baby and we knew the choice we were making. And, don't get me wrong. We never regret the choice we made to have our little man either. But the thing is... when you are finally in a situation, like say Valentine's day, where you've been doing it a certain way for the past 9 years, but now can't, it's kind of like a smack in the face. It's hard when something that has become almost ritualized changes.

Joon really knows me well. Even though I didn't say anything, he already knew that I would be completely bummed out about V-day and had anticipated another meltdown from me. All week long, he kept on telling me that he was planning a surprise. Little did he know that saying this made me feel worse at the time!

Earlier Sunday morning, we went on our first trip to my parents' house, but Joon insisted that we get back home early because he had to prepare for the evening. While I tended to Ben, Joon banned me from the kitchen and was in there for about 4 hours! Yes, 4 hours! When he finally came out, he placed a piece of paper on the coffee table in front of me and there it was... a printed menu of what to expect at "Cafe Joon". (No, he didn't name it that. I did!)

He topped it all off with macaroons from Sucre, my favorite. This was extra special because it reminded me of our last trip before having Ben to New Orleans.

Joon really out-did himself. Not only was the dinner a huge success, but he showed me how much he actually understood what I've been going through and how well he knows me.

Our lives will never be the same as it was in the pre-baby days. I still miss those days terribly, but I'm loving my time as a mommy also. I know that it'll just take some time for us to adjust to this new life.

Advice to First-Time Mommies from a First-Time Mommy:

You may or may not miss your old life. If you do, just remember that you now have a "slightly-altered" life and that with time, you'll get used to it and learn to love it.

What helps me deal with this is by looking at Ben and thinking to myself, "What would my life be without him?" I can't imagine it. Look at him... my little man.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Navigating the City

Those of you who know me know that I have lots of anxiety. I've been scared out of my mind to take Ben outside!! I'm completely envious of mommies who've been able to do this since day one and have mastered the art of taking their babies out!

Perhaps this all stems from the Korean "one month rule", which many different Asian cultures have variations of. During pregnancy, my mom would constantly remind me that I was so lucky to be having Ben in the winter since according to the rule, both baby and mommy are not allowed to leave the home for a month. (To my non-Korean readers, YES! I'm not kidding. ONE MONTH of being stuck indoors! ) She explained that it had something to do with allowing time for the baby's immune system to build up and for mommy's body to completely heal. Since it was too cold to go out anyway, she believed that it was in my favor. I wouldn't feel badly about not going out.

Unfortunately, this backfired. During the first month, I became restless and claustrophobic. Talk about a bad case of cabin fever! Winters are already hard enough to deal with in the city since it's so gloomy out which causes one to become more and more introverted. Imagine being confined in a tiny apartment, not by choice! It was just Ben and me for 8.5 hours where I'd be having one-way conversations. Ben wasn't smiling yet, so it really felt like I was talking to myself!

Anyhows, if you've read my earlier post, you know that Ben and I finally went out on his 1 month birthday on a short trip 3 blocks away to the 86th Street H&M. I thought that I'd be dying to get out since I'd been stuck in the apartment for what seemed like an eternity. I thought that this day would go down in the books as a day to remember! I found myself, however, scared out of my mind to take him out! My mom had instilled the fear of GOD in me. "It's too cold to take him out. He's going to get sick. Taking care of a sick baby is the worst. etc. etc..."

In addition to these fears, so many other things crossed my mind. What if this and what if that? The scariest thing then and now has been worrying about feeding and changing Ben. Where would I be able to do these things? Fortunately, while surfing the net, I found something that hopefully will come in handy.

Where can I find a changing table when Ben has an accident and needs to be changed? Where can I find a kid-friendly restaurant nearby?

Well, there's an app for that!

Introducing...... the iKidNY iPhone application!! Navigating the city just got easier! The iKidNY iPhone app was developed by a NYC mom who just wanted to make her life a little easier. Features include the following:

- super easy one touch navigation
- interactive neighborhood map for searching anywhere in the 5 boroughs
- one touch auto connect to all phone numbers and websites
- detailed directions to any location
- and much more!

I'm not going to lie. Has this changed my life immediately? Absolutely not. Have I left the house yet? No, but I know that once I get over my fear of stepping out into the world, I'll have access to this information at my fingertips and will have one less thing to worry about. For a mere $2.99 on iTunes, I think it's been a godsend. A huge shout out to the mama who made this app. You've made my life a whole lot simpler and less worrisome!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Documenting Ben's Life

During pregnancy, I thought long and hard about how I could best document Ben's growth and progress. I knew immediately that I would take tons of pictures like any other first-time parent. I've seen the idea of using a sheet of paper with the child's age printed onto it which is placed next to the child in the photo. I thought that it would be clever to use building blocks instead of having to print things off the computer or write it out. I love this idea! I just wish I had Ben in the same position for each of the photos wearing something similar each time like a simple white onesie. Too bad!

I'm amazed when I look at how big Ben has gotten... Enjoy!

Week 8

Week 7

Week 6

Week 5

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Do you have any unique ideas for documenting your baby's growth?

My List of First-Time Mommy Must Haves

My Personal Must Haves: (I've put the brands we use in parenthesis)

1. Diapers (Pampers Swaddlers)-- you'll need TONS and TONS of these
2. Wipes (Huggies Sensitive)
3. Changing Pad
4. Nursing Pillow (I swear by the Boppy)
5. Carseat (Graco Snugride)
6. Stroller (Bugaboo Cameleon)
7. Diaper bag (Hop and Skip Dash Deluxe)
8. Baby Carrier (Baby Bjorn Air)
9. Bathtub (Fisher-Price Precious Planet Whale of a Tub)
10. Drying Rack (First Years Spin and Store Dry Rack)
11. Bottles (Born Free)
12. Swaddling Blanket (Miracle Blanket)
13. Diaper Pail (Diaper Dekor Plus)
14. Camera (Canon Rebel xsi)

For nursing mommies:
1. Nursing Pillow (Boppy)
2. Double Electric Pump (Lansinoh)
3. Breast Milk Storage Bags (Lansinoh)
4. Breast Milk Storage Bottles (Lansinoh)
5. Nursing Wrap (Hooter Hiders)
6. Baby Vitamin-Trivisol

Advice to First-time mommies from a First-Time Mommy:

We've spent lots of money of our own and were gifted things costing tons of money that Ben hasn't particularly liked. Not only have they been a waste of money, they're creating more clutter than our apartment can hold!

Some parents swear by bouncy chairs, for example, and their babies can't live without them, but others find that their babies hate them. Ask a friend if you can borrow these for a few days before making the purchase. You'll save yourself money and you could buy something you need with that money... like more diapers!!

What are some of your mommy must-haves? Has anyone used any of these items?

A Few Words on Baby Clothes

Prior to the pregnancy and during it, I'd imagine how cute my baby will look in this outfit and that outfit. I found myself at baby clothing stores wanting to buy everything based on how adorable they looked. I could picture myself playing baby dress up with the child growing in my tummy. Little did I know that this wasn't going to be the case.

When I finally got to hold my little man in my arms, I ended up thinking that he was more fragile than he really is. Because of this, when I had to change his clothes, I worried that I would break his frail bones or do something that would harm him. My husband still, after 8 weeks, is scared to change Ben when he's wearing a shirt that needs to be pulled over his head. During baby's first wardrobe change, we quickly found that he doesn't particularly like being changed and sometimes might even protest with tears. Then we ended up tensing up and just wanted the experience to be over. By the time I was done doing what should have taken no longer than a minute, sweat rolled down my forehead and I wondered why it took so long. I was angry with the clothing makers who haven't taken into consideration the fact that you're changing a newborn and they haven't made their clothing infant-friendly.

During the first three weeks of Ben's life, I've dressed him exclusively in one piece sleepers simply out of convenience. They're very easy to put on compared to two piece outfits (one less thing to put on him!!). Since I was changing diapers from anywhere between 10-15 times a day , it allowed me to do it easily and quickly because of the easy access to the diaper area.

The only bad thing about this was the fact that when I finally went through his wardrobe, I found that he had already outgrown some of his clothes! I was so upset about this but then realized there was nothing I could do about it. Even now, I still would choose convenience during the first few weeks. One-piece sleepers were cute enough for when visitors came and they got the job done.

Every now and then, we have "photo-shoot sessions" when I dress him up in a bunch of outfits that are just one size too big and take tons of pictures. This way, I can send photos to the person who gifted the item to us. (People love receiving these.) Plus, it eliminates the possibility of him outgrowing an outfit and never wearing it.

Advice on Clothing to First-Time Mommies from a First-Time Mommy:

1. Resist the urge and don't buy every cute article of clothing that you see. Purchase only one or two things that you can't live without!

2. Think comfort over cuteness! Imagine having a newborn crying hysterically who just spit up all over himself needing to have his diaper and outfit changed. The last thing you want to have to do is unbutton his shirt, take it off, and then take off his pants. You get the picture.

3. Don't buy any newborn-sized clothes because baby won't get to wear it for very long!

4. Wait to buy any clothes. People will be gifting clothes for baby. Buy them when you stop getting gifts. You can't predict when this will happen and by then, baby will be bigger so hold off.

5. Invest in several one-piece sleepers! I recommend the ones that cover their feet. (Look at the photos below)

6. Consider the time of year/season when your child will be born when purchasing any clothes. Your experience might be completely different from mine. Since Ben was born during a terribly cold winter, we haven't had many opportunities to take him out. So, we haven't really had the need to dress him up in nice "outside" clothes.

One of Ben's drawers is filled just with sleepers.

I really like these kind that cover their feet.

This is the kind that I don't like as much because it requires that I put socks on him. I'm lazy... I know!

Can anyone relate to my experiences with baby clothing or do you have any other advice for first-time mommies on this?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Savor Every Moment

Look at him puckering up those tiny lips. I love him!

Every time I look back at this picture, my heart melts. As I leaned in to kiss Ben, I remember wishing to have the ability to freeze time. At that moment, my mind was completely focused just on "Ben and mommy time". Nothing else mattered.

It's moments like these when I remember the advice that I most received while pregnant. "Try not to sweat the small things and enjoy every second with the baby." It sounds pretty obvious, but it's really tough keeping this in mind when you're "on-the-go" every second of the day and still have so much to do.

I try my best to focus just on Ben when we have our time together. Sometimes, it seems as if time is so slowly passing by. But then I realize it's already been close to 8 weeks since he entered this world. I don't know what my life would be like without him. Time really has flown by.

Advice to first-time mommies from a first-time mommy:
Try not to sweat the small things and enjoy every second with your baby.

Yes, your home might not be as clean as it used to be. The laundry might not get done as often as it used to even though you have an extra load of baby related items. And, lots of things won't be the same. You'll have to adjust to this, but trust me... it's worth it.

Man of Many Hats

Ben and I went on our first trip after our month of isolation in the apartment to H&M! When we got to the children's section, I was surprised to find the cutest little hat. Knowing that Ben has a relatively big head, I opted to buy it in a size for 4-6 month olds. I knew that the hat would go perfectly with a lambskin coat that was gifted to us by my aunt.

Here are the photos. Joon and I can't stop laughing when we look at these. Enjoy!

We also received another cute hat from a family friend, so we had to take tons of photos of him with that one on too!

Two more hats that are so cute.

My mom recently shared some stories from my childhood and she mentioned that when I was a little girl, I wouldn't leave the house unless I had a purse to complete my outfit. This is quite ironic considering how tomboy-ish I was growing up.

Anyway, my mom said that she wants Ben to always have a hat on when he leaves the house to complete his outfits. Hope these photos temporarily satisfy her desire. We'll see what happens when we start taking him out more often.

Different poses captured

It seems like every few seconds when Ben is asleep, he is in a new position. Here are some I've been able to capture thus far.

doing martial arts in his sleep with his binky in his mouth...

boxing.... put up your dukes!

walk like an Egyptian...

fencing....en garde!


I wonder if any of these pictures are predictive of what the future has in store for Ben. My husband, Joon, wants him to become a lefty pitcher for the NY Mets. I, on the other hand, want him to do something that makes him happy and that will make a difference in the world. If we could only predict the future... But then again, I guess that's what makes life fun-- not knowing what the future has in store for us.

First Birthday Party/Family Outing

One of our few married friends, Jacquie and Jason, were married 11 months before us. They had a beautiful daughter, Jasmine, 11 months before us. Ben and Jasmine were both born in 2009, but as you can see from the photo above, Jasmine looks like such a big girl compared to little Ben. Jasmine can hold her head up, can sit up, has a reaction to situations, can walk with guidance, and can crawl really, really fast. Ben can't do any of these things yet (and that's okay). Thing is...I just can't believe they're the same age! When I look at the students in my class, I view them as all being 9 and 10 year olds. I've never thought about how different they are developmentally and in terms of their maturity based on their birthdays. Malcolm Gladwell knew what he was talking about in his book "Outliers".

To celebrate Jasmine's first birthday, we gathered together at Jacquie's parents' house in Long Island and had so much fun. It was the first time that Joon, Ben, and I have gone out together for a family outing. This was not only our first outing, but was also Ben's 2nd car ride.

Being the worry-wart that I am, of course, I had a long list of concerns. What if Ben needs to be changed while we're driving? What if he doesn't stop crying? What if he gets hungry in the car? These were just a few of my worries just for things that could happen while we were en route to LI. Then, some of my other concerns were: Where would I put him down when he falls asleep? Where would I feed him? Since I'm exclusively breastfeeding him, I always worry about this. Some bf-ing moms feel comfortable feeding in public, but I still haven't tried it nor do I think I could do it. Joon even bought me something called a "Hooter Hider" which is basically just a piece of beautiful fabric that's used to give you some privacy from the world while feeding, but I still haven't used it. I'll eventually try it sometime when it gets warmer, but I'm dreading that day.

Ben slept through most of the drive there and when he started getting fussy, his binky came to the rescue. When we got there, Jacquie told me that I could use one of the bedrooms to feed him, so that's what I did. I fed him and changed him there. He did so well that day. Just a few cries here and there, but other than that, it was a good outing. I worried for no reason.

I'm sure things will get easier and I'll be less anxious as we do this more often. I'm hoping to be a pro by the time the weather gets better since we'll be able to go out more. I'll get lots of practice. I can't wait!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ben in the Box

December 22, 2009 could possibly have been the scariest day of my life. Ben had his first pediatrician appointment scheduled for the day and it went just as expected. At the conclusion of this visit, I mentioned to the doc that Ben appeared to look a bit yellow. She said that he "didn't look so bad", but would still do a bilirubin blood test just to be sure. Now, when a doctor tells you that it doesn't "look so bad", you believe them.

Later that night, at around 11pm, we received a phone call from the doctor's office. It had taken them time to get the results of the blood test. We were told to get ready to rush over to the hospital because Ben's bili level had been a whooping 23!

The thought of having to take a two week old infant to the hospital can be overwhelming. Upon receiving the phone call, I began crying hysterically and couldn't breathe. Joon had to remind me to take deep breaths and that everything would be okay. I couldn't believe what was happening.

When we arrived at the hospital, they put Ben in an incubator with phototherapy blue lights. They put a biliband around his head to protect his eyes from the lights. If you know infants, you know that they don't stay still. The biliband kept on shifting every time he moved so his eyes were constantly being exposed to the potentially eye-damaging lights. We had to readjust every few minutes. Needless to say, we did not sleep those two nights.

Ben's blood was drawn every six hours from his heel. Each time, I had to step out of the room and walk down the hallway because I couldn't take the sound of him crying at the top of his lungs. Joon held him close to his body while the nurse pricked his skin and squeezed blood from his heel. This process took at least 15 minutes each time.

When his bili level was finally below 17, we were discharged and hallelujah, we were on our way home.

It's very common for newborns to be jaundice, especially Asian babies. I understand that. Everyone keeps telling me, "My baby was jaundiced too. Just get some sunlight and he'll be fine". If I have to hear one more person telling me this, I will scream. There is no sun in the dead middle of winter and little do they know that Ben already went to the hospital for phototherapy. He still has jaundice now as I type this. The doc said that he has a kind of jaundice that'll take about 3 months to go away.

I'm trying to keep things in perspective though. The jaundice doesn't hurt him and his bili level is low so there's no risk of brain damage (which is what I feared most when we found out that it was at 23 at one point in time.) His skin is just a little more "yellow" than your typical Asian baby.

Advice to first-time mommies from a first-time mommy:
As hard as it is, try not to let what other people say get to you, even if they have the best intentions. Easier said than done, right? Just try to remember that you are doing everything in your power to care for your child and do what's best.
Otherwise, you'll end up feeling worse about yourself and you'll think that you're a terrible mom. That's how I felt and it's not a good feeling.

A Week of Smiles

When going through training to become a teacher, one has to take classes in psychology and child development in addition to those in education. Everyone told me that having this additional knowledge would be great especially for when I had kids. I never thought that having this knowledge would actually be detrimental!

Whenever Ben reaches a milestone in his life, yes, we celebrate with hugs and kisses! We feel as if he's accomplished something huge each time. But, when he doesn't do something that I think he "should" be doing according to child development, I worry. What if this... what if that... And those of you who know me, I worry too much to begin with. Plus, having recently attended an autism workshop while on maternity leave hasn't helped either. They always say, " Every child is different in his/her development" and I'm so used to saying that to parents during conferences, but now that we're speaking about MY child, things are so different. (I'll have to dedicate an entire post about my shift of perspective on dealing with parents of my students. More to come later...)

I had been worried for some time (5 days) because Ben wasn't "socially smiling". There were those subtle ones like that little smirk on his face after a good poop. You know exactly what I'm talking about! Those worries, however, quickly went away when I realized that he had been smiling all along. Ben smiles with his eyes. For some reason, I had expected those smiles to look differently. Maybe a bit more exaggerated with giggles and such. Don't ask me why!

Ben smiles randomly throughout the day. The best is when he spots one of us early in the morning. He tries to make eye contact. Then, he looks straight into our eyes and greets us with the best smile. As every new parent can attest to this, this makes our hearts melt.

What's especially rewarding now is the fact that there is something being reciprocated. Up until now, he just stared into space, ate, and cried when he needed something or was uncomfortable. It was hard having one-sided conversations all day while being alone with him for 9 hours from about 8 am-5pm. Although he is still unable to have a spoken conversation with me, he's able to contribute to our conversations with his smiles and coos.

I admit that I do still feel lonely during the hours when it's just Ben and me, but I have to say that things have gotten much better. He shows me that he loves me his subtle ways. I just have to be on the look out.

Let this be a source of strength and inspiration to newer parents who are feeling lonely and anxious. Your child WILL reciprocate some form of affection and it'll feel SO good! Hang in there.

I Can Do It!

Look at how ridiculous Ben looks in his snowsuit. He no longer fits into his adorable newborn sized one, so we had to make do with what we had-- a 6 month one. I think he looks cute in this too, but that's my opinion.

A few days ago, we received a notice under our door stating that the building was going to be without heat the following day from the hours of 8AM-8PM. Of course, I was freaking out because the thought of a 7 week-old infant in an apartment with no heat in the dead of winter is not okay.


Earlier that morning, we decided to turn the heat on at full blast while we were still able to. At exactly 8am, the warm air switched to being cold. I put layers of clothing on him and blankets, but his cheeks continued being cold. Eventually, I decided to take him out to Barnes and Nobles because it was unbearable!! Now, you need to understand that I've been petrified to leave the house alone with Ben. I worry that something will bad will happen while I'm out and I won't be able to deal with it. But this was ultimately a turning point for me because I had to do it and I did it. And, I'm proud of myself for facing my fear.

I couldn't believe how many other strollers I saw at BN. The place was packed with mommies/nannies and their babies. The children's section was filled with people with toddlers either perusing or throwing books and the cafe was filled with those who had younger infants. One mommy caught my attention immediately as her child, who looked not much older than Ben, began crying. She didn't stop from reading her magazine as her baby cried. Only after at least what seemed to be a minute did she use her leg to push the stroller back and forth as she continued reading. She did this for about 2 minutes until you could no longer hear the cries. She didn't need to glance at her child for a second. "Wow!", I thought to myself. She's a pro at this!

I'm constantly amazed by so many moms. They're the moms who take their infants out even when it's freezing outside because they want their child to see how beautiful it is when it snows outside. I'd be too worried that Ben would get sick. They're the moms who put their infants into a baby carrier and take them on the subway to wherever they need to go. I'd be too worried that something would happen on my subway ride, even though I've been taking the subway since I was a child. These mommies don't let anything stop them from doing what they need or want to do. They're not scared like me.

I want to be like them.