August 20, 2012

Baby gear for sale

Posted in Evan, motherhood, Uncategorized at 9:14 am by bethmillett

Now that Evan is  “big boy,” I’m trying to clear out my garage for the bigger toys he uses, like a big wheel, wagon, push toys, etc. It’s a never-ending cycle!

If you or a friend is in the market for some very gently use, very clean, very nice baby gear, please let me know! Post a comment here and we’ll figure out how to go from there (I think you have to provide your email address but only I can see it.)

All photos are of actual items, and I’ve tried to link to manufacturer sites for all the specs on items. I’m happy to arrange a mutually convenient Indianapolis area for you to check things out. My home is smoke-free, and everything is in outstanding condition. Only the Papasan chair was previously used (my sister’s two girls).

FAO Schwarz diaper bag: Brand new — tag still attached! Five interior pockets, two insulated interior bottle pockets, easy access key fob, eight exterior pockets, back panel secure zipper pocket, cross-body adjustable strap as well as non-slip stroller straps, matching changing pad with pocket for diapers and wipes. $30

Baby Papasan chair, with vibrating seat. Folds flat for easy transportation. The dangling toy is missing, but you can clip or tape one on yourself. In good condition; machine washable. $40 (used by my nieces and Evan)

Graco Silhouette swing: quiet, with adjustable reclined positions, six speeds, songs and nature sounds, and removeable mobile. Laguna bay pattern, machine washable. Includes an supportive insert for newborns. Pristine condition. For more information see Graco website (not the same pattern):  $60 (Used by Evan)

Ergo Baby Sport carrier, rated the best, most comfortable carrier by Baby Bargains, and I agree! Can be used front, side or back. Includes a sunshade in a front pocket. Black. Also included, the infant insert (cream), required for babies who are less than four months old. In great condition; machine washable. For more info (not the same color): $70 (Used by Evan)

April 24, 2012

And then my heart exploded…

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:35 am by bethmillett

Never mind that my car smells like spoiled milk (from sippy cups tossed aside), or that I can’t stay awake past 8:52, or that I now have to lock my toilets… when he discovers something fun and exciting, my heart just about quadruples in size. This is why I wanted to be a mom!

April 14, 2012

Dinnertime music

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:10 am by bethmillett

Evan is eating pretty much anything I put in front of him these days. He’s very good at feeding himself, though we’re still working on not dropping the sippy cup over the edge of the high chair tray. He loves carbs in particular and will go to town on a slice of toast, crackers or pasta.

Here’s what a typical meal sounds like!

March 5, 2012

Revised Turquoise

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:20 pm by bethmillett

I mentioned when sharing my latest needlework completions that I didn’t like one of the colors I chose for the Turquoise piece. I went back to Persnickety Stitchers and picked out something else. Last weekend, while in Chicago with one of my best friends, I ripped out the old stuff and put in the new. I’m much happier with the results!

June 22, 2011

I’ve been kinda busy…

Posted in motherhood, Uncategorized at 3:44 pm by bethmillett

I’ve been so delinquent in updating the blog, but I promise I’ll get better (like every other time I’ve promised this). Evan is four and a half months old, and we’ve returned to work together. Right now, he’s in his swing, sucking his thumb and trying to fall asleep.

He continues to be a great baby — a good eater, not very fussy, sleeps through the night (most of the time, for about a month now) and is generally a delight to play with. Here’s a photo snapped today:

April 15, 2011

Happy Tax Day!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by bethmillett

Technically, taxes aren’t due until April 18, so you’ve got one more weekend to work on them. Thankfully, I got mine done in February, just before my 2011 tax deduction made his early appearance.

April 7, 2011

For Aunt Brenda

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:13 am by bethmillett

She’s the only one I know who regularly reads this blog, so this video’s just for her! (But I guess I’ll let everyone else watch….)

Evan is eight weeks old and growing and changing so fast! He’s more awake during the day and definitely making lots of eye contact and smiles. As you can see, he is starting to reach for things, though it’s really just waving his arms around to make contact. I think he will be a traffic cop or an orchestra conductor!

March 20, 2011

Breastfeeding ups and downs

Posted in motherhood, Uncategorized at 11:51 am by bethmillett

Photo courtesy The Indianapolis Star, Danese Kenon

I’ve been breastfeeding Evan exclusively and hope to continue for 12 months. I’ve started giving him breastmilk in a bottle, though, to give me some flexibility for feeding in public or having someone else feed him if I’m busy.

How I’d feed Evan was never a question for me — I wanted to breastfeed for all the health benefits and a few selfish ones. He gets all the nutrition and antibodies he needs, it reduces my chance of breast cancer, and it helps me burn extra calories to take off pregnancy weight (I’m now within four pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. Granted, that is still 20 pounds over my pre-fertility treatment weight, but I’m taking it one success at a time.) Plus it’s a special bond Evan will never have with anyone else, and it’s free! (And the dirty diapers hardly smell!)  I know there are lots of reasons that moms (and dads) choose to bottle-feed, and it’s totally up to each family. There are lots of healthy formula-fed babies and adults (my sister and I are both formula-fed) out there in the world, and lots of extenuating circumstances that lead to formula-feeding.

Because Evan can come to work with me at Borshoff until he is six months old, I know I’ll be able to breastfeed easily until then. I hope that I will be able to pump sufficient milk to keep him on breastmilk until he’s a year old. But it’ll be okay if we have to stop at that point, just like it was okay that I had a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery, and like it would have been okay if I hadn’t had enough milk to sustain Evan to this point, or if we had other problems that led to formula feeding. I think too many moms beat themselves up for too many things that they think are “failures.” The only thing that matters is a happy and healthy baby, and a happy and healthy mom.

We were off to a slow start for Evan’s first couple of weeks. I met with the hospital’s lactation specialist about 18 hours after he was born, and I was still so tired and groggy from lack of food and sleep and the long-lasting effects of the various pain meds, that I’m not sure how much really sank in. Breastfeeding was one of the few things I was nervous about — I had done a lot of babysitting, which meant a lot of diaper changes, a lot of soothing, and a lot of playing and reading books. But breastfeeding isn’t really something you can practice!

Because he was a preemie, Evan was really sleepy and would rather do that than just about anything else, even eating. The lactation consultant set me up with a pump so I could start getting my colostrum flowing, and I used a needle-less syringe to shoot that down his throat to help him understand that yummy nutrition was close by. With that, and a nipple shield, I was able to get him to suck a little but it also required a lot of work on my part to keep him awake long enough to get a reasonable amount of breakfast, lunch and dinner into his tummy. I stripped him down to his diaper, tickled his feet, ran a moist washcloth down his arms and legs, and blew on his tummy to try to keep him stimulated enough to keep sucking.

I was nervous about keeping him fed when we left the hospital . He had lost about 8 percent of his body weight (very normal for newborns — they can lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight by the time they are discharged, and it can take about two weeks to put it back on), down to 5 pounds, 6 ounces. But this was Saturday, and I had a breastfeeding support group to go to on Monday morning. I figured we could handle anything for less than 48 hours. When we got there on Monday, I got lots of individual advice and help from the lactation consultants, and the fact that Evan had put on about half an ounce since we left the hospital was encouraging as well.

Evan put on a few more ounces by his two-week checkup. In his third week, he put on 10 ounces in eight days, and in his fourth week, he put on 14 ounces (for a total of 7 pounds, 4.5 ounces)! So, clearly he’s getting enough overall nutrition and with that first big weight gain, I was really able to relax about feeding. I bet he’s over eight pounds, but I’ll get to weigh him tomorrow at the breastfeeding group. Now, we need to focus on getting more into each individual feeding so I can hopefully spread the feedings out (especially the night ones).

For me, it’s been pretty easy and pretty painless, except for that first second when he latches on. But then we both relax and it amazes me to watch his little jaw work as he feeds. Even at three a.m., when I’m exhausted and ready to go back to bed, it’s an awesome experience.

To any mom considering breastfeeding, I remind them that (for me anyway) the first week was the toughest because of so many other overwhelming changes, visits from family, etc. Get away from the hubbub and focus on feeding. It’s a nice break from everything else that’s going on and you really do need to pay a lot of attention to get breastfeeding off to the right start. Then, don’t be worried if it takes a few more weeks to really get the hang of it. Take advantage of support groups, where you can talk to experts and commiserate with other moms. I was also registered for a breastfeeding class at the hospital, but canceled that since Evan was born so early and we had it pretty much mastered by early March when the class was.

I was recently interviewed for an article about breastfeeding that appeared in today’s Indianapolis Star. Read it here.

Evan’s waking up from his latest nap, and I can feel my milk coming in (a bizarre tingly feeling), so it’s time for me to go to work!

March 14, 2011

Today is — I mean was supposed to be — the day!

Posted in motherhood, Uncategorized at 12:37 pm by bethmillett

March 14 was Evan’s due date. Instead of eagerly waiting for his arrival (and at this point, probably trying all kinds of old wives’ tales, like spicy foods, car rides on bumpy roads, etc., to induce labor), I find myself with almost five weeks of motherhood under my belt. It’s been the most amazing experience, and in many ways, I’m glad he came early.

  • My parents were able to be here.
  • I was getting crazy excited about meeting him, and I know the last five weeks would have just dragged by. (Who, me, impatient?)
  • I was starting to second guess all my decisions, like name, nursery decor, ability to be a single mom, etc. Having him early immediately put all of that out of my mind.
  • I was just about done with all the home improvement projects. (While Dad was here right after Evan was born, he spent some time on finish work on the new staircase.)
  • The nursery, clothing and major supplies (diapers, wipes, car seat, etc.) were all in place.
  • The new car was in the garage. (A car seat and stroller just wouldn’t have fit in the Cabrio.)

So, while it was certainly a surprise to have Evan arrive on February 9, it has, I think, worked out just fine.

In the last five weeks, I’ve settled into the concept of motherhood and am loving it. His needs come first, and the fact that he’s so helpless and so reliant on me for all his needs and comfort makes it easy for me to set aside my own needs (like a full night’s sleep) in order to take care of him. Of course, it helps that I’m on maternity leave and not worried about getting myself ready for the office, or tired after a full day’s work on a partial night’s sleep. While I feel pretty well recovered from the surgery, there’s a huge benefit to taking off as much time as possible, just to continue bonding with Evan and being able to take care of him without a 40-hour a week “distraction.” He and I will never be able to get a mulligan on the first three months of his life, so we’re making the most of it. I have tended to be focused on the destination, not the journey, but from here on out, it is always the journey that I have to learn to sit back and savor.

Here are a few other things that I have learned/experienced/observed many weeks earlier than I expected I would:

  • Evan gets the hiccups just as often as he did before he was born (at least once a day), but it seems to bother him a lot less than it did me before he was born.
  • While there were a few times just after he was born that I was flashing forward to his high school graduation and wedding and freaking out, I now think about my life in two-hour chunks. That’s about the amount of time I get between feedings, so it all boils down to what I can accomplish while he’s asleep. For those who know my list-making, task-completing mania, this is a pretty big change in my life.
  • There is still plenty to learn, and Evan changes the game every once in a while. I’m not focused on making anything perfect, but instead on just learning what works and what doesn’t and moving forward. This is another pretty big change in my approach to life!
  • The generosity of friends and family is truly astounding. The gifts of time, food and support are priceless and exceed my expectations. And we have so many wonderful clothes, toys and gear from friends near and far!
  • Nothing elicits a smile from a stranger like a tiny baby. When I am out with Evan, everyone loves to comment on how precious he is. I can’t help but agree!

March 7, 2011

My chance to be a supermodel

Posted in pregnancy, Uncategorized at 9:08 am by bethmillett

One of the things I wanted to do during my pregnancy was have some maternity portraits taken. I wanted to be able to document this awesome part of my life (better than the iPhone self-portraits I’ve posted here), and I also wanted to give my mom some nice photos for her collections. She has lots and lots of pictures of our growing family on the walls, and her birthday is in late February, so it would be a great birthday present.

My friend Zach Dobson is a professional photographer, so there was no question about who to ask. I was about 30 weeks pregnant — late enough to look really pregnant, but not so late that I was bloated or super tired. (And of course, now I’m really glad we didn’t wait until, say, 36 weeks!) And I’ve set up a portrait session for late March, when Evan is about six weeks old. I’m already excited about it!

Here’s a link to the gallery of photos he took. Mom hasn’t decided yet which one(s) she wants for her birthday. Contact him today for your own chance to be a supermodel!

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