a nursing mom at work

Having a baby is a life changer, and thankfully our life outside the US has been good for us. The social culture in SE Asia and my profession are both supportive of young families. Staff and diners here don't cringe when we walk into a restaurant or food shop; instead they fight over who gets to hold the baby while we eat, and he's returned to us with the bill. Second, we're lucky that my employer is so supportive of new mothers. There's a nursery at the office so nursing moms to bring our babies to work. My colleagues help make sure that I can pump on the days I don't bring the baby by scheduling me into the meeting rooms. I have an unofficial flex time. And on travels I can bring the baby (and his nanny) with me. My current work has to … [Read more...]

Brat bans

Kid-free zones seem to be increasingly popular over the past few years back in the US. Honestly, before I had a baby I'd have probably been in favor of the policy or at the very least indifferent to it. And now? We had our baby in SE Asia, where they take a completely opposite view towards kids and babies. When we walk into restaurants the waitstaff aren't cringing at the thought of a screaming child and bussing a messy table. Once they get over the shyness of approaching a foreigner they fight over who gets to take the baby. They pass him around. Even the cooks and dishwashers back in the kitchen get in on the fun. Keith and I eat in peace, and the baby gets returned to us with the bill at the end of the meal. … [Read more...]

Gender in Toys Advertising

This one's fun. H/T to Information is Beautiful. Most common words used in advertising for girls' toys, and for boys' toys: … [Read more...]

Living in Phnom Penh, Having a baby in Bangkok

Photo by Keith A Kelly CHOOSING THE HOSPITAL We work and live in Phnom Penh, and wouldn't feel comfortable with the specialists / facilities here in case of complications during delivery. The nearest city with internationally accredited care is Bangkok, so there we went at 35 weeks 6 days gestation, the latest we’re allowed to board a Thai Airways flight (with a fit-to-fly certificate from the doc). Most of Bangkok's well-known private facilities have high quality patient-oriented care and great customer service. They have translators, can take care of extending  visas, take the baby's passport photo (this isn't easy so do get this done at the hospital!), get the birth certificate officially translated and documented at the Ministry of … [Read more...]

Mom I Am

I love it! Poem is from the Mom's Online Breastfeeding Board: Little ones can squirm and pout, make a fuss and scream and shout. When hunger hits without a doubt, Sit right down and whip it out. I would nurse her if she cried, I could nurse her far and wide, Here and there or anywhere, Up or down or on a chair. I could nurse a teddy bear, For this fine milk is very rare!!! Would you nurse him on a train? Would you nurse him on a plane? Would you nurse him in a car? Would you nurse him in a bar? Yes, on a train, yes on a plane. Yes, in a car, yes in a bar. I would nurse him here or there. I would nurse him anywhere! I would nurse him in a booth, On the stairs or near the roof. Anywhere my … [Read more...]

Cartoon: Questions expats get every day

Too true! Via John Weeks' www.QuickDraw.me … [Read more...]

Tales from the bump

Google is not your friend if you’re pregnant and your hair dryer fries in your hand, briefly electrocuting you. Not to worry, he’s fine (says the doc, and yep he’s looking like a boy) – I can feel those momentous first movements. It’s like tiny little gas bubble rumblings :-\ He’s not packing much of a punch yet. We spent a week in Jom Tien, Thailand, to check out a hospital and the ob-gyn there. Loved the doc. Loved the seafood - here we're at a fisherman's village gorging ourselves on the fresh catch. About four weeks ago I started looking sufficiently femme fertile where people feel my tummy is public property and they can just reach out and touch the bump. Go away. This trimester's more interesting than the first. The little … [Read more...]

frequent flier? how to not shrivel up dry in that cabin

Life is a journey, especially for expatriates. Keep the destinations coming, but traveling takes its toll with dull lifeless hair, skin and nails, after being trapped in a tiny seat with a cabinful of people literally breathing down your neck in recirculated air (especially on our 15++ hours annual leaves, uggh!). Give yourself some TLC in-flight and look glam at the arrivals gate with these quick tips for gals on the go: DO PRE-FLIGHT • start / keep a list of must-bring items-- in purse, carry-on and checked luggage. save these lists so you don't leave important things at your destination. it's also a good record that can help with last-minute shopping when luggage got lost • ask for and save samples of your fave products for … [Read more...]