Friday, June 29, 2012

I am woman, hear me roar!

The temperatures have been rising here in our household, but nowhere near as fast as the ratio of females to males. The 1:1 of a month ago has swelled to 3:1, whereas the Koreanocity of the household has gone from 1:1 to 2.5:1.5 (or 5:3, for those who hate decimals). Of course, this is one of those areas where, lamentably, the numbers do a poor job of telling the real story. 

Changmonim (mother-in-law) and Ellie are now full-fledged members of the household, and each brings with her a fair share of changes.

Ellie's changes are probably fairly obvious, and include good times and bad times.



Although a bit of clarification there. The lost sleep, restricted activities, diaper changing, occasional screams... none of those really strike me as "bad times." It's more the worrying--usually on nights and weekends--when we find something "wrong" with Ellie and start panicking. Or unraveling the mysteries of breastfeeding, which has probably been our most persistent struggle of the past month.  

The next picture is randomly placed and has nothing to do with the preceding sentence.

We've taken the typical Korean route and adopted a "sleep-with-us" policy for Ellie. Or, at least, a "with-us" policy.

The changes accompanying Changmonim are more external in nature. They include a much cleaner house, a full spread of Korean dishes at each meal, some scolding and slapping, and a host of traditional remedies for post-partum ladies and newborns. For example, last night around 3:00 a.m., I stumbled out into the kitchen and noticed something boiling on one of the burners. I took a peek and saw some tentacles. Octopus juice; it increases breast milk production. (I can't be too skeptical; Joo pumped three times as much extra milk today as she did yesterday!) 


It has definitely felt strange for me to leave in the morning and go teach with Upward Bound. My arms feel empty.

One of the best developments of this first month has been that Ellie's eyes are open much more often, and we even get the occasional smile (although squeaks and grunts while sleeping are much more common).

JooYeon has a more reciprocal relationship with Ellie than most mothers do.

So that's life in the increasingly female Showalter household. Drastic changes, to be sure, but on the whole they're very welcome :) I may be outnumbered in terms of biological sex and ethnicity, but I'm feeling pretty good about the ratios.

And of course, regardless of how strong these women might be, even their roars subside now and then... 


  1. You go, baby girl!!! Auntie loves you!!!!!!!! :)

  2. How special that Joo's mum can be with you guys! I loved having my Korean doula give me lots of Korean advice after I had Finley. My mom stayed with us for 10 days and it made a huge difference. I love seeing all your pictures of the little one. Enjoy! It just keeps getting better!