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This year went by extremely fast for me just because I had so much to do every single day. Although I got up earlier every morning the days just seemed shorter because I spent hours feeding the little guy every single day. In the beginning he ate around 12 times a day, and yes, I was After I went back to work in January I started to pump milk to send to the babysitter, and at home he still drank my milk. I did do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and although it took a lot of time, I felt that it was worthwhile because he did not get sick at all during that time period.
When he was around six months I started to make baby food for him, but soon we started to just let him self feed and stopped with the purees. He was still getting most of his nutrients from breast milk but he learned to self feed quickly. Now he eats a wide variety of foods by himself as long as I cut it up into small pieces. He still drinks breast milk now, but he is slowly weaning himself so he isn’t drinking nearly as much breast milk as before.
I also starting at 4 months, and he was doing really well for a long time. It got to a point when he would just poop at home during the morning and evenings in his potty and his babysitter rarely had to change poopy diapers. Now he turned one and he is starting to stand up while he his on his potty, and much to my dismay, there has been more accidents just because he is less inclined to sit there and do his business.
In short, it has been a best prices generic viagra of work, but watching him grow has been quite rewarding, too. I guess I never understood why moms posted Facebook updates of their kids’ every little development until I started doing it myself. I think every parent has that unexplainable joy and pride in their babies’ achievements, no matter how small and silly it is. All this work is worth it to me because my child is absolutely amazing in my eyes. My husband said to me once that my baby is probably my biggest accomplishment, and my mom actually said that I am doing a better job than she ever expected with my child. That is a huge compliment coming from a critical Asian mom like her.
After having my baby, I am even more deeply convinced that being a wage slave for your entire life is not the way to live. It does not make sense to pay someone to be away from my child just to earn money, but that is the dilemma so many working moms face. My son makes me want to retire early even more because I want to be able to take him to the beach any day of the week. He is changing so quickly that I just feel like that I would miss something if I wasn’t with him. Although I have very little time now to write, I am still working on increasing my side income, and we are still saving very aggressively so perhaps we will be able to get out of the rat race sooner than planned. I do have a target for my side income. Basically if I can earn 50% of my current salary in side income for 6 months, then I would be ready to quit because we would actually come out ahead economically in that case. The main reasons are that we would pay a lot less in taxes, and I would not have to pay for childcare. Additionally, I will have more time to build up even more side income. Right now my side income is up to 20% of my salary, so I am hoping to reach my goal by the end of next year.
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Today the baby is actually officially six months old, and he is still getting cuter in our opinion. I am still breastfeeding and it is really the most effortless way to lose weight. I have lost about 50 pounds since my peak weight during pregnancy, and now I am about 10 pounds lighter than my weight on my wedding day. Breastfeeding is also saving me a ton of money on formula and I really love it. I will try to continue feeding the baby breastmilk until he is one, but lately he has been increasing his appetite quite a bit.
I am starting to feed the baby some pureed fruits once a day, and he is eating from the spoon pretty well. I am making my own baby food after I read the wonderful website It does take more effort, but the cost per serving is quite a bit less than the store bought baby foods. I am not doing it just because I am cheap but I am just a bit wary of the jarred babyfood on store shelves. Some of them have preservatives and some of them have added sugar and I’m not sure if that’s the best thing for a little baby. I think making my own baby food is also positively impacting how we eat since I am shopping for fresh produce more often now. I definitely would like to cook more for myself and the hubby, too, but it is hard to find the time.
As to our finances now, we are still saving around 40% of our gross income even with the kid. The biggest new expense is just childcare. My husband has deemed my a success since the baby consistently does his business on the potty now. This allowed us to save a lot of diapers and also a little bit of money. When I think about it, if there are no childcare costs, then a baby is really not that expensive if you feed him or her breastmilk. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are “cheap” ways to raise a kid if you put in the time and effort, and that is not necessary a bad thing.
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All I can say is:
1. Have a child.
2. Teach them to potty as soon as they can walk.
3. Please blog about your results!!
Just for the record . Canadians do the same thing.
This post is for you, Mike.
Now I have a baby and I just started potty training him this week and it has been quite exciting. He is 4 months and a week old now so he can’t walk yet, but he certainly can communicate. I bought him a little(affiliate link) from Target, and he can sit on it with a little bit of support. The method of potty training I am employing is called Elimination Communication in America, but in China it is really just a normal part of childcare. Basically, you take your baby to the potty when it seems like he needs to go. For my son, I take him when he wakes up from a nap, or when he suddenly becomes fussy.
On the first day I tried this my son peed into the toilet just once, and that was extremely exciting. The next day I tried he pooped twice and peed once in the toilet. Today he did extremely well and peed into his potty a total of nine times. I missed his poops because he was outside and not home, but he was wearing his diaper. Each time it took around two minutes for me to get him in and out of the bathroom and every time he peed into his potty I felt like telling someone like it was the best news in the world. I have found that he is a lot less fussy since I have started taking him to the bathroom, and every time he finishes a poop or pee on the toilet he lets out a huge satisfied smile.
In hindsight, I really should have started this earlier because my son used to give a very clear signal when he needed to poop or pee. Our whole family knows it as the “O” face and we have many photos of this phenomenon. Basically he shaped his mouth into a very tight little “O” before he peed and pooped. Now he no longer gives this signal because I think he got used to pooping in the diaper and this is a behavior that needs to be unlearned.
Currently I have cut down the diaper usage from seven or eight to three or four a day because I managed to keep his diaper clean and dry for hours. Hopefully by the time he is mobile he will just know to go to the toilet. My mom said that when I was a baby I carried my potty around to do my business. Many people have told me that I have to wait until the baby shows interest in the toilet to start training him, but how would a baby show interest in the toilet if he doesn’t know what it is? Anyway, potty training takes a lot of effort no matter what age your child is, and I think getting it done sooner is better than getting it done later.
I really believe that toilet training a baby early is the way to go for families that want to cut down waste and save money. If you think about it, people routinely toilet train puppies that are a couple months old, so why can’t human babies be trained to recognize that the bathroom is the proper place to eliminate waste? Anyway, if you are interested in toilet training your baby early, I highly recommend the site. It clearly explains the way infant potty training works, and it is the way billions of Asian babies are toilet trained.
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I tell my husband constantly that time is flying by for me and he replies to me that he feels like we have been married for ten years because to him it feels like time has been passing by really slowly. He said that the six weeks he took off for parental leave felt like it was especially long because he hasn’t had such a long break from work in a very long time. He enjoyed his break quite a bit and wanted to retire after that, but alas, we are not quite set for life, yet.
This year we are facing some new expenses and challenges with the baby, but so far it has been going quite well. I think one reason the days are going by so fast for me is that I am always looking forward to see how the baby has changed each day. Both my husband and I feel like we are now officially adults because we are now parents, and I feel a lot older than I was just a few months ago. I also find it funny because many of my friends and family have said something along the lines of “I can’t believe you are now a mom”. To be honest, if someone told me ten years ago that I would have a son and I would enjoy being a mom, then I would have laughed in that person’s face. Now I am one of the few people I know from high school that has a kid, and I guess that is somewhat surprising.
The more I look at the baby grow the more I think about the trade off between money and time. Now I am sure that I don’t want a job that pays a crapload of money but requires me to work 14 hours a day. I rather work the hours I have now and be home with my son at a reasonable hour. By now I am also sure that I need time away from my kid just to stay sane, so I pay for childcare so I can work. My husband and I also want to retire as soon as possible so that we can have some time with the kid before he is an adult, and we will reach that goal much faster if we both worked. Basically, we do trade our time for money, but eventually enough money will allow us to have more time to spend the way we want to spend it, and that is the ultimate goal.
Anyway, hopefully our kid will learn to appreciate time with family and friends more than random plastic stuff, because I will not be buying him action figures.
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First of all, my parents still want me to get a masters degree and they actually offered to pay for it. It is very generous, but I think I will pass for now. If I wanted a master’s degree I can pay for it myself, and I would have done it a long time ago. I think Asian parents do give their children too much financial support and I would not be supporting my child if he were 27 and had a family already. He should be independent by then. There are too many Asian parents that I know who are supporting their adult children financially, and I will not do that to any of my kids. I really think that this endless financial support stunts children’s ability to be independent adults. Although I only have a college degree, I think my parents are proud that I am independent and don’t need their support. They often tell me stories of other people’s children who are still living off the bank of mom and dad. They are also happy to be grandparents, and being Asian, now they are bragging to their friends that they are the first to be grandparents while their friends brag about their kids’ advanced degrees.
Next, I would let my kid choose whatever career he wanted as long as it’s not criminal. As long as he could survive on his own and is happy then it is fine. I don’t really see a point in comparing my kid to others. When I told my mom that she just kept on saying that I have to tell my kid to aim high and that if I don’t do that my son would accomplish even less than what I did. I have no idea what she means because I am a pretty well compensated engineer. In fact, I make more money than my mom now even though she has a masters degree, but that’s a whole other gripe she has. I guess what she means is that I don’t have an advanced degree, and that I should tell my kid to aim “high”. The truth is, many of the most successful people in the world do not have advanced degrees, and if my kid doesn’t want an advanced degree but have a passion or talent that works for him, then that is great, too. If you get an advanced degree just for “face”, then it is pretty useless. One thing I will try to teach my kid is that he has to work hard for whatever he wants, because his parents will not be around forever and inherent talent can only go so far.
Ultimately, I want my son to be happy, healthy, and independent. He doesn’t need to be an engineer or have a PhD, but if he wants to do those things it is fine, too. I will love him and raise him the best way I know how, but I will not support him once he is an adult. We will see how he turns out in twenty years or so.
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