Why I wanted cloth diapers instead of disposables

fuzzibunz cloth diapers

Fuzzibunz cloth diapers – aren’t they cute?

It’s not the most romantic of conversations to have with your fiance. “Honey, when we get married and have children, I want to use cloth diapers.”

Nevertheless, because I’m either extremely idealistic or a glutton for punishment (or maybe a mix of both), it had always been my goal to use them for my children.

It’s what my mom did for me, way before they were hip, and she used diaper pins instead of the handy-dandy snaps that come with today’s diapers (soooo much easier, and no risk of driving the pin into the fleshy part of one’s thumb!). So I really have no excuse for not using them. Continue reading

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6 ways to save money with store registries

buying gifts through store registriesRegistries historically had a bad connotation when I was growing up.

Family members often said things like, “How dare someone be so greedy that they actually tell people ahead of time what they want for their wedding/baby/birthday! They should be thankful that they even get a gift!”

I used to think the same way too, but over time my view on the subject has swung to the exact opposite.

Yes, I hope I’m still just as grateful for any gifts I get, but in today’s culture, registries have become so accepted that I don’t think there is much danger of people being offended when you do point them to a registry. People have even asked me, “Where’s your registry?” when they want to get me something.

My husband also came from a culture where registries weren’t very popular, but for a different reason: they just didn’t exist! 🙂 Continue reading

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Who will have the last chocolate? … uh, word?

Box of See's CandiesWe recently received a lovely box of See’s Candies for a gift, which has caused no end of joy and eager anticipation in our household.

Right now the little one should not have any nuts <ahem> because she’s too young, not to mention that we’re trying to limit her sugar intake <cough cough>, so the responsibility of eating these falls primarily to her parents. Ah … we’d better enjoy these days while we still can! 🙂

Before we were married, my husband would polish off a gift like this in a matter of hours. But I am amazed at the change that marriage has wrought in him! This gift has lasted for weeks because we are “sharing” it – I am trying to keep to a stringent limited-sugar diet, which means I’ve limited myself to one chocolate a day.

And – sacrifice of sacrifices – because of this, so too has my husband limited himself to one chocolate a day! Just to keep me company. Continue reading

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‘Regular’ vs. ‘irregular’ self-love in a multicultural marriage

Recently I heard that the missionary David Brainerd prayed to be utterly repulsive to the opposite sex. That was so intriguing to me that I borrowed The Life and Diary of David Brainerd from the library just to check it out.

husband and wife

I never found that quote, but I did find this passage:

“Took pains to describe the difference between a regular and irregular self-love; the one consisting with a supreme love to God, but the other not; the former uniting God’s glory and the soul’s happiness that they become one common interest, but the latter disjoining and separating God’s glory and man’s happiness, seeking the latter with a neglect of the former. Illustrated this by that genuine love that is founded between the sexes, which is diverse from that which is wrought up towards a person only by rational argument, or hope of self-interest. Love is a pleasing passion; it affords pleasure to the mind where it is; but yet, genuine love is not, nor can be placed upon any object with that design of pleasure itself.”

Now that’s something you don’t hear every day! 🙂

This is all well and good, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with multicultural marriage?

I think the natural tendency for single people, especially for girls, is to think that once you’re married, all sexual temptations and crushes on the opposite sex will magically melt away. I know that was my assumption. After all, you’ve found your soulmate and everything is going to be perfect, right? Continue reading

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Grandparents’ crown and children’s glory – Proverbs

crownI was reading Proverbs one day, and this jumped out at me:

“Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly, and the glory of children is their parents.” –Proverbs 17:6

Wow! Now those are sentiments you don’t often hear in Western culture these days!

Maybe this was so relevant to me because last Christmas, just a month ago, was the first time my parents specifically asked me for a gift wish list.

I was staggered! They’d never asked me for a gift wish list before. They always got what they wanted to give me, not what wanted them to get.

And why did they change last year? Not because of me. Because of the baby! (The wish list was for her, not for me. Sigh.)

It so reminds me of the first part of this verse. Seeing my parents as grandparents has added a whole new dimension to our relationship.

Yes, I knew they would want to be involved in their grandchild’s life, and so did we, but I was amazed to see how much they adored our baby daughter. They love to fawn over her, cuddle her, describe her every movement: Continue reading

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Dealing with cultural shibboleths, or so it ‘ap-pears’

My husband and I were coming home from church the other day and discussing groceries (yes, right now our lives revolve around such exciting topics as these! Those with young babies will understand … ).

pier “This was the first time I bought organic piers, and they haven’t been very good,” my husband said. “Very woody.”

I halted in mid-step and stared at him. But piers are usually meant to be wooden … and what in the world did this have to do with groceries … ?

Then it struck me. “Oh! You mean pears!” I said, giggling … pronouncing it “pehs” instead of “pee-ars.

Now it was my husband’s turn to stare. “But it’s pee-ars! Just like it’s spelled: ‘appears.’ ”

So then it was up to me to explain how, again, English words don’t exactly follow any sort of regular pattern. The upshot of it was my husband’s exaggeratedly exasperated sigh and the words: “I hate English.”

Continue reading

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The global love language of … breastfeeding

“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,

walk away from the baby she bore?

But even if mothers forget,

I’d never forget you—never.”

-Isaiah 49:15 (The Message)

Mother and child

This passage has taken on a whole new meaning for me recently. To think that it was written thousands of years ago, in the Jewish community, and that it has such relevance for modern-day me in the United States, is nothing short of astounding.

In the past few months I have received breastfeeding tips from all around the world: Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. They pour in from family and friends, acquaintances and others I follow online. Words like “latch,” “engorge” and “pump” have suddenly acquired new meaning.

“Make sure to offer her both sides when she nurses!”

“If you get sore, keep feeding her! It will get better in no time!”

“Drink lots of water!”

“Remember this stage is only for a short while!”

Indeed, already we’re beginning to think about weaning and introducing solid foods and such … yet a part of me is asking, What will life be like once my child is no longer breastfeeding? How can I give up such a precious, precious gift? Continue reading

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Pioneers of multicultural marriages: Singapore-Scotland

As multicultural and interracial marriages grow in popularity, I think it only fitting to honor those who were overcoming (and still are overcoming) cultural and stereotypical barriers in times before ours.

multicultural worldRecently I had the opportunity to sit down with someone I’ll call Maggie, a lovely woman of Scottish descent who married a man from Singapore in the 1990s. (I’ll call him John.) They have three beautiful children.

Through the years Maggie has encountered racism because of her marriage – mostly the indirect type. Like the time when they moved to a new house, in a different location, and she was meeting some of the neighbors.

“I noticed an Asian man clipping your hedge the other day,” one woman said. “Is he your gardener?”

Maggie hesitated. “Uh, no,” she said. “He’s my husband.” Continue reading

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‘Mommy’ vs. ‘Mummy’ and other familial terms of respect

Maybe it’s a little too soon to be thinking about it (since my adorable daughter has yet to speak a single coherent word), but how is she going to address me once she grows older?

multicultural family handsIn America we use “Mom” or “Mommy,” but my husband grew up in a country colonized by the British, and so “Mum” or “Mummy” tends to be more common there. We’ve started to call each other “Daddy” and “Mummy/Mommy” already.

So far Daddy pronounces “Mummy/Mommy” with an ambiguous vowel in the middle, almost halfway between “u” and “o,” so as to cover both sides of the cultural equation. 🙂

And Mummy/Mommy has started to follow suit!

This made me start thinking about other familial terms that differ from culture to culture. I had never heard of “Mimi” referring to grandmother until I met a woman of Italian origin. Our daughter has inherited an incredibly diverse set of grandparents across the globe – what is she going to call them? Continue reading

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After-baby help: Ways to cope during postpartum recovery

Check out my guest post! Thanks to Jana Johnston for sharing.

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