Korean custom has this wonderful tradition of celebrating the 100th day of a newborn’s life. In Korea this day is known as Baek-il (백일) or literally 100 Days. From what I have learned, on this day, we celebrate our baby’s 100th day of life with great joy. As 100 days is really a great milestone in her life. Before modern medicine, I believe infant mortality rate was higher, and one can understand why reaching 100 days is important as survival only increases in chances, where when reaching one year is a major celebration to look forward too as well.
Well, Baby Iris Ji Eun Bennett, has reached this day, and as we had it, we were also back in good old San Antonio, Texas visiting her grandparents. My mom had already planned ahead of time for a party in honor of Iris’s 100 Day Birthday. In fact, my mom finds it very nice that the 100 Days celebration coincides and roughly marks 1 year after conception. Perhaps this is why in Korea we are always a year older than the West? You know the whole “Korean age v.s. American Age” thing.
My mom, also researched about the entire thing on the web, and stumbled across Korean Tradition of giving a gold ring weighing 3.75 Grams to the baby. I didn’t tell my mom about that tradition, because gold is crazy expensive, but she went all out and insisted on getting the ring for Iris because it is after all tradition. The tradition goes, that the baby receive a gold ring, to be kept until time for college, in which the ring is cashed in, and the proceeds used for tuition. (Iris if you read this at that time, and you don’t know where your ring is, maybe I already cashed it in, and bought beer :p)
My mom made two cakes, while we were at her home, one for Iris’s party, and one of her own creations. Her birthday cake was so cute, and was perfect for the occasion. She had hand drawn a turtle design on the cake because I once suggested Iris is as cute as a turtle.
And then there is this great concoction my mom invented, and she calls it the Very Berry Berry Strawberry Cake, or something like that. Anyway, it was absolutely to die for. Topped with all kinds of berries such as blue berries, raspberries and a cake mix filling of strawberries. I’ll have to get the recipe for that one day..
All in all, Iris’s 100 Day Birthday was a complete success, and I am very grateful to my parents for all their care, love and support.
Iris has officially turned 50 days old. She is cute as ever too. We recently had some professional photos taken at a very nice study, called “Blue-Bebe” http://www.blue-bebe.com and had a great time as well. In fact, the studio owner, loved Iris so much, that he wanted our permission to make her a model on his front page. Sounds good to me ^.^
This past month has been a very important milestone for Iris on many fronts. First off, Iris is both Korean and American, and we had to take care of her passports. Yep, yep.. She has two different passports because of being dual nationality. That was the easy part. Very straight forward. Actually, we’ve read online of others experiences in getting the paper work done, and in some cases, parents would pay third parties gobs of cash to do the paper work for them. It is totally unnecessary in my opinion. Though the U.S. Embassy, does require quite a hefty fee, in the ballpark range of $200 dollars or so. However, it was very simple, and not that long of a wait. In our experience the U.S. Embassy was very professional and courteous. Just be sure to read through all their requirements beforehand and it should be a breeze. (Like ensuring you set up an appointment.) Check out their web site for more information: http://seoul.usembassy.gov/acs_service.html
On the other side of the coin however, the Korean Services, were more of a pain (as always). Just like with Immigration, their Citizen Services seem to also have different answers to the same questions depending on who you are asking. First off, Iris’s name is unique to the traditional way of naming someone in Korean. Her name is too long for one thing. So they didn’t know how to input it into the system. Thankfully my wife is very smart, and handled the situation very well. She was able to put them in their place and get the ball rolling.
So it’s all good.
As for Iris, she’s doing quite well. Next week we are going to go to the clinic for another immunization shot. This time around, I plan on taking a video of the whole ordeal to capture her reaction. I remember my baby sister, Summer, who also had an extremely adorable reaction to her first shot. The doctor, put the needle in her arm, and Summer, took one look at her mom, another look at her arm, and one more look at her mom… Ten seconds later, she started screaming! It was so funny. (At the time I was just ten years old)
Iris loves to drink (milk) a lot! Actually, she is still on a half/half diet of formula and breast milk. She averages I would say about 90 – 120 mL in one sitting. One very cool thing about her, is she only cries if; Hungry or needs a diaper change. And boy oh boy! Her diapers get wet! Imagine, Niagara Falls. So, here I am, changing her diaper, and as I’m changing it, and have the new one ready to strap, she just relieves herself on the fresh diaper. D’oh. So I change the new diaper and she does it yet again!! So I’ve learned, even after she has just did her thing, I should wait a little while longer to ensure she really is finished. o.O
Another fun experience is giving Iris her bath. I have to admit, the first few times was quite a learning curve. I’m afraid the only times I have ever heard her actually scream was while giving her a bath, and each time was because the water was way too hot. To put it in the words of my wonderful co-worker Rachael, “The only time when she screams is when you give her 2nd degree burns.” This pretty much is correct. Thankfully, Iris won’t remember this.. Though, when she is older, she will probably read this blog and won’t let me forget it. However, one really cute thing, is when she is taking a bath, she will cry if I am not holding her hand, while Lily, her mother is washing her. Her facial expression is sometimes that of shock, delight and contempt.
After she is all nice and clean, we dry her off, only to have her relieve herself again on the clean towel, almost like clockwork, so we have to rinse her off yet again. Very interesting that she always waits till after her bath, like on purpose.
We try to keep a schedule of events, so around 8:30 every night, we give her a bath, and shortly after, we make it bed time. As of these days, it seems to be working very well, with Baby Iris at times sleeping a solid 6 hours (sometimes more). Before, she would only sleep 3 hours and then stay awake during odd hours of the night. However, I know she is still very young, and this good sleep habit is bound to change yet again. No worries.
Interestingly, every time we travel outside of the home, she falls asleep. She is very good at taking naps when we need her to. On the bus, she will sleep, when we are at some office, she will sleep, but when we are home, she is wide awake. We are still putting her on her tummy, for 15 (or so) minutes a day, and it shows that she is learning to use her arms and legs more day by day. Even though she is only >2 months old, she is starting to have good control of her head movement. The Photo Studio we took her to was surprised that she had the ability to lift her head nicely, as most of their clients at that age do not.
All in all, I’ve learned so much and for the most part having a lot of fun with Iris. She falls asleep while I’m holding her to when she lets out loud burps that shake the house, to her little “pon`goos” 방구 (Korean for fart) ㅋㅋㅋ. Looking forward to the next 50 days! =^..^=
So today Iris went in to get some immunization shots. She did quite well too.
On the way home, we took the bus and had quite an experience. The entire bus full of people, wanted to see the baby, and talk to Lily about her. Drawing conclusions that Iris is a model and should be a star! Interesting. I think after our vacation in a months time, we will hit the local modeling agencies and see what happens.
Iris 2 months of life was celebrated this last Thursday! And in celebration for myself, I went ahead and got a tattoo in her honor. I went to a shop I have been to before in Seoul called Tattoo Korea. The main guy Aerok, is very cool and professional, so I was more than happy to receive his shops services again.
The design I got, involved Iris’s name in the form of Chinese Characters. In 3 blocks, where the top symbol signifies daughter/girl, and the middle is the pronunciation “Ji” also meaning “Wisdom” whereas the bottom block is “Eun”, meaning “Grace”. I will be curious in the future if Iris will demonstrate those virtues of Wisdom and Grace… Which I’m sure she will.
For the fun of it, I also did a little photoshop with a little Vulcan inspiration. I don’t know but something about Iris’s face screams Vulcan to me!
Oh. This last weekend, we went in again for more shots at the clinic, and she is drinking a good 90 mL of formula/breast milk, with the most now going towards breast milk in one sitting. Shes pretty healthy as of now, so its all good. She only goes poo about every three days now, which I have heard is normal, especially if most of her diet consists of breast milk, as it is mostly absorbed into the system. Another thing, is sometimes her left eye gets some gunk and redness to it. My wife was shocked a bit to see me put in a few drops of breast milk into her eye. I told her, more than likely it will help her, as mother’s milk contains many antibodies and will fight any infection quite well. That, and the fact that her mother to do the same thing, just confirmed my reasoning for my wife.
Now we are getting ready in the next few weeks for a vacation to the good ol’ U.S.of.A.! It will Iris’s first time, and my wife’s second time. Iris will get to finally meet her Grandparents, and Great Grandparents. Should be a trip!!
In Korea, the first birthday is very important. Iris just celebrated that moment! Traditionally, the baby is presented with a tray of items that must have one thing chosen from. Among the items are things that will predict the kind of life style the person will lead. I was asked what I would like her to pick, and I said a pencil signifying intelligence, and my wife chose money for wealth. Well Iris, she pick two things at the same time to our surprise. Both the pencil and a microphone. I guess she will be a K-Pop star who writes her own material. Tight.
It took a good while to get the hang of it, (an all 1 – 2 weeks) but she has learned to crawl all over the place. At first it was just a little movement here and there, but as soon as she realized what she was doing, she began to crawl everywhere. I do mean everywhere. Fortunately we are moving into a bigger new home soon, so Ji Eun will have so much more area to crawl around in. One word; Baby Proofing! Okay two words, but we are going to need to do that as soon as possible.
If I turn my eye and back again, I will see she has gotten into the trash, or banging on my keyboard, or slobbering over my wife’s laptop. She gets her teeth into everything that she can including paper, wires, and even clothes. I guess that’s not too surprising, as recently my wife discovered that she now has two upper teeth in the location you would expect to see vampire’s teeth! My wife saysVampire Baby! But its all good.
You know one day your baby is just waddling about in a area no bigger than a pillow. A week later, shes pulling herself in all directions! Everyday since she was a few weeks old, we have been putting Iris on her stomach for “Tummy Time” and you can tell it has helped incredibly improve her mobility and muscles. Well, she now has the strength to stand up. Not completely by herself, but with the help of holding onto something, she can support her own weight. Though she does look as my wife likes to put it, “A drunken baby” stance. (No she doesn’t really get drunk, but just looks that way haha)
So these days, I hold her hands while she tries to stand, and she has gotten very good at it at that. So to improve upon that, I’ve introduced dancing lessons for her, so that she can adapt to movement and improve upon stability as well as hand eye/feet ordination. She rather enjoys it!
So every now and then Ji-Eun loves to slobber. I mean sometimes it seams theres a waterfall of saliva drooling from her mouth. All cute and all, but at times, especially after a night of drool, she may develop a little bit of a nappy rash (new term I learned that means a rash around her neck). Came across a great product that is the miracle we’ve been looking for. Its a cream that goes by the name of “Sudocrem”, and from the label appears to be a product made for Australia. (For more information their website is, www.sudocrem.com.au)
Not only does the cream work very well for the rash on her neck, but also for diaper rash. After dealing with rash for a few days, we finally decided to try this stuff out, and by the next day all trace of rash has cleared up, and by day two, it was completely gone. So I was very satisfied with it. So to prevent this from occurring again, I’ve learned to always keep a handkerchief around to immediately wipe any saliva from her face, and to wash her neck area very well with soap and water everyday during bath time.