Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nursery Tour

Well, two months after our baby is born, I'm finally giving you the tour of Elodie's nursery. Here it is...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miller Living

Hello, remember me? So, I had a baby and now my life revolves around taking care of this little creature. She's kind of a big deal around here, so I finally threw together a blog because of her. 

If you want your daily fill of baby photos, then check out our new site. It'll basically be where I dump my Instagram photos and upload things from my iPhone.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The best is yet to come

Think the fun is over once you hit 30? It might actually be quite the opposite! A recent survey came out stating that 33 is the happiest age of your life. The survey was conducted by the British social networking site Friends Reunited and has been all over the news. I found it very interesting and was excited that my best years are likely still to come! Click here to see the original press release.

Are you quickly approaching your 30th or 33rd birthday and need help planning your upcoming birthday? Here are a few party planning/entertaining websites for some inspiration. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Meet Miss Elodie

Yesterday, you might have seen a preview of Elodie's photo session with my talented photographer friend Elyse of Ely Fair Photography. Last Friday, Elyse was kind enough to drop us a visit and shoot some precious shots of baby E despite a little meltdown by the little one. Baby does not like to be naked and will not stay asleep when I really want her to, so there was much more crying and screaming than sleeping like a peaceful newborn during the photo session. Another takeaway from this shoot: Do not feed a diaperless baby unless you don't mind being pooped and peed on...twice. Even with all these setbacks, Elyse was able to capture some priceless moments that we will cherish forever. Check out a preview of the photos on Elyse's blog. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our New Arrival

Baby E about a week and half old. Photo by Ely Fair Photography

The blog has been quiet recently, but our house sure isn't. I'm sure you probably all know or suspect that our baby girl has arrived already (or else I would be waaay overdue)! Our sweet, little bundle of joy was born on Tuesday, February 28, at 9:15 p.m. (a few hours shy of Leap Day), weighing in at 7 lbs 12 oz and measuring 19.5 inches long. She had a full head of beautiful black hair and chubby cheeks. Although we are currently operating in survival mode right now, we feel so blessed to have a healthy, beautiful baby.

I have wanted to get back to the blog but have just been adjusting to this new life of diaper changes, nursing and trying to "sleep when the baby sleeps". Hopefully, I'll get around to blogging about my crazy, complicated birth story, give a tour of the nursery and get around to non-baby things. I've been thinking of starting another blog - all things baby and family related, so family and friends can keep up with us and I can document our new life with baby... but we'll see how motivated I am the next few months.

Here's a weekly photo I took of our baby at one week old. I don't have a two week photo because I sold my camera, but my new one should be coming tomorrow!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Preggo Update: 40 weeks

I'm beginning to detest due dates and wish they didn't exist.
(I actually was supposed to post this yesterday but didn't have enough time)

So, here's my story this week. Tuesday was my regularly scheduled OB appointment. Baby's heartbeat was still healthy, but still hasn't dropped and no dilation or effacement. The bun is overcooked, just gaining weight by the day, but the oven door won't open! The doctor is worried that I won't have a chance for a vaginal delivery the longer I wait, so she scheduled me for induction Wednesday at 7 p.m. I was definitely nervous and worried about being induced from all the horror stories out there, but I trust my doctor to know what she's doing. So, Wednesday rolled around, and we were getting excited and anxious thinking that we'll meet our daughter soon! By about 8 p.m. or so, the nurses got my IV in, hooked me up to monitors and inserted the Cervidil, which is supposed to soften and open up the cervix. Our parents came by to visit and we just hung out for a little while before we went to bed. I started to get cramps and some contractions in the middle of the night, which made me have to pee about every hour and a half, so I didn't get the best of sleep. Also, my IV somehow got detached at some point in the middle of the night and bled all over my bed, so the nurse had to change my sheets, clean me off and redress my IV. Around 4:30 a.m., the nurse came in to take out the Cervidil, check my progress and prep me for Pitocin. I was dilated to a whopping...nothing still!!! What, how can that be? She said it was softer, but I think she was just trying to be nice and give me some hope. Now, time for the Pitocin, maybe that'll get this show on the road...Once I was on the Pitocin, I actually felt fewer contractions and could sleep for a while until my husband woke me up with all his shuffling about. That morning, the doctor came to check me out and see my progress with the Pitocin. Getting internal cervical checks were probably the most painful and uncomfortable part of it. My progress...unchanged, still the same, closed for business today! That's when she said that she would probably just send me home and try again another day if my cervix was still the same at noon. Status at noon...I was going home. We packed up our bags and left the hospital exhausted and deflated. It felt incredibly weird leaving the hospital with no baby in our arms and knowing we would have to go through this process again in a few days.The worst part was having to inform everyone waiting on this baby that there would be no baby and getting reactions like we were crazy people!

How far along? 40 weeks and baby won't come out! 
Total weight gain? Around 35 pounds
Maternity clothes?  I would just like to wear a sack now.
Stretch marks? I think I might be home free with no stretch marks! 
Sleep: Pretty restless these days - I think it's more mental and not physical though.    
Best moment this week: Best moment turned worst moment - finding out that I had an induction date set and would finally meet my precious child, and then having to go home from my induction with no baby. Also, very glad that the induction thing wasn't even that painful, I would just describe it as kind of uncomfortable.
Miss anything: Not having to worry about every little thing I put into my body and being able to work out as much as I want. However, I did actually go to a Zumba class today in hopes of dancing this little baby out of me! :)
Movement: Still nice and cozy in there, squirming about every day. Surely, there can't be that much room left.
Food cravings: I made my hubby take me to get frozen yogurt and gummy bears on Friday. 
Anything make you queasy or sick: Thinking about the whole labor and delivery thing.
Gender: A little drama queen who's on her own schedule.
Labor signs: If only I were so lucky! Weirdest thing I've ever wanted - please just let me dilate already! Still getting contractions everyday, but apparently they are doing jack squat. 
Symptoms: Heartburn has returned, swollen extremities
Belly button in or out? Out when standing or sitting, in when lying down
Wedding rings on or off? On when I feel like it, but they've mostly been off
Feelings: Definite anxiety and frustration about the whole induction thing, but also hopeful and relieved that there will be an end and a baby! I had a fairly easy pregnancy and felt great the whole time, but not so much the delivery and getting the baby out part though.   
Looking forward to: This delivery thing being over, so that I can just be a mommy already.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Preggo Update: 39 weeks

39 weeks and about to pop!
How far along? 39 weeks (+ 2 days) and still pregnant
Total weight gain? Probably around 30-35 pounds - I find out tomorrow; baby could weigh about 9 pounds now - yikes!
Maternity clothes? Yeah, even my maternity clothes are tight now. What do you wear when you outgrow those with only a week left? 
Stretch marks? I may have made it the whole time without one stretch mark...oh, glorious day! Come on, skin!  
Sleep: I could sleep all day if I really wanted to. More tossing and turning from side to side and peeing about every 2 hours in the middle of the night, but I feel pretty well-rested these days. 
Best moment this week: My husband asking me "Is it time?" every few hours or so! :) I'm glad he finally decided to pack a hospital bag this week.
Miss anything: I think I will actually miss being pregnant whenever the little one come out. I really didn't have it too bad and liked the feeling of growing a little person inside.
Movement: She's a little boxer this week. I keep feeling a foot or arm jabbing out on my right side. 
Food cravings: I'm trying to eat more spicy foods and other labor-inducing foods. None have worked so far. 
Anything make you queasy or sick: Can't really think of anything this week.
Gender: Oh, girl...come on out, please!
Labor signs: Contractions every so often, but she may be wanting to stay in there forever. I find out tomorrow if my body's made any progress at all.
Symptoms: Puffy and swollen sausage hands, feet and face. Preggo brain - why can't I speak and remember things like a normal human being?
Belly button in or out? Out when standing, in when sitting or lying down
Wedding rings on or off? Still the same - on when I leave the house, off at home.
Feelings: Anxious, nervous and concerned that I'll need to be induced or have a c-section. But I know that she will come out one way or another...I'm just praying that she does it on her own.  
Looking forward to: Holding little baby girl and knowing that she's healthy and happy. Becoming a family of three (plus a little pup).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Preggo Update: 38 weeks

How far along? 38 weeks (+ 2 days)
Total weight gain? Still about 30 pounds
Maternity clothes? Anything loose and baggy. Leggings, pajamas or yoga pants just about everyday.
Stretch marks? Still none...yay! 
Sleep: Getting to be a little more uncomfortable, but at least I'm getting sleep and can sleep in if I want to. It would be nice if I could sleep on my back and not wake up in the middle of the night though.
Best moment this week: Realizing that I am so close to meeting our baby girl! Enjoying the last few times I will be able to feel her move around in my belly.
Miss anything: Hugs without a belly in the way.
Movement: It doesn't feel so much like jabs and punches anymore...more so like a tickle here and there. Sometimes she'll fall asleep and freak me out, because I don't think she's moved for a while.
Food cravings: Food doesn't really appeal too much to me these days. But I still do want sweets more than usual. 
Anything make you queasy or sick: My pup's stinky dog breath
Gender: It's a girl! Do they actually announce that when you deliver the baby?
Labor signs: Still the occasional Braxton Hicks contractions, but no dilation or effacement. The doctor was planning on inducing me a week early for fear that baby was going to be jumbo-sized, but I just found out today that my body isn't ready, so I'm back to waiting. Come on, baby...come out.
Symptoms: Glad the heartburn isn't so bad anymore, but I have to pee more often.
Belly button in or out? Ever so slightly out
Wedding rings on or off? Still the same - on when I leave the house, off at home
Feelings: More anxious...just wondering when I'll go into labor. I'm really hoping that I make some progress toward labor within the next week or so.  
Looking forward to: Delivery day. I just want this day to come on it's own...hopefully before the due date. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Photography Workshop

creativeLIVE is at it again! If you've read any of my previous posts, then you probably know that I'm a huge CL fan. This workshop is perfectly timed and suited to what's going on in my life. They are offering a FREE, live, three-day workshop teaching newborn & baby photography February 24-26 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (PST). Sandy Puc will be the instructor for the class. Below is a video with more details.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps

We are pretty much prepared for this little bambino as far as baby gear goes...except for the baby monitor. It's been tough for us to find the right one and justify spending so much money on one of those things. The new ones with video can cost anywhere from $150-$300, so we've been taking our time doing research before shelling out the dough. 

Just this week, we finally found the one! It's not your typical baby monitor that you'd find at Babies R Us. It's the dropcam, which is only available online, and right now they're taking preorders and shipping in late March. Baby will already be here by the time we get it, but I figure I probably won't let her out of my sight in the first month anyways.
Here's a spiffy video giving an overview of the features:

Some of the cool features of this camera:
  • It's only $149, much cheaper than some of the other video baby monitors we considered
  • You can watch baby anywhere in the world at any time. So Daddy can check on baby whenever he misses her at work.
  • Watch baby from any Apple Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android phone or tablet. 
  • It has two-way audio and night vision.
  • If you leave it plugged in, it's always on and will give you alerts when it detects sound or motion.
Another gadgety gizmo thing that we got in preparation for baby is an ITZBEEN baby care timer that helps keep track of how long its been between feeding, diaper changes and naps. It also keeps track of which side you nursed from last and has a handy night light and is backlit so you can see the screen at night. It has a clip on the back, so you can attach it to your diaper bag or purse. It comes in three colors: blue, green and pink. You can buy one of these things at baby stores for around $25, but Amazon has them for around $17 if you can wait for shipping and order it online.

Now, a couple really cool iPhone apps...the first is one that I just recently came across and is baby-related. It's called the Grow With Me app, and I downloaded it a couple weeks ago for FREE. It keeps track of all your baby's feedings, diapers, sleep, vaccinations, growth, doctor's appointments and so much more. All this information can even be exported and sent directly to your e-mail. You can also send a customized birth announcement straight from the app. After searching for something like this, I thought this was the most comprehensive, user-friendly and sleek-looking app for this type of tracking. Here's a video demo of the app at work...

And finally, an app that I've been raving about for a while now. It's a family organization tool that we've been using in our household called Cozi. It features a shared family calendar, to do lists, shopping lists, a journal...and now meal planning. The tool our family uses the most is the shopping list feature. My husband can add what he needs to the list, even while I'm at the store. The best part is that it's free if you just sign up for the basic account with ads.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In the bag

Ever wonder what moms pack in their diaper bags? What are essentials that you can't live without when you're out with baby? I got the idea to do my own diaper bag reveal from the super cute baby site On To Baby and will show the items I have stashed away in my bag. I'm sure these items will change over time, but here's basically what I have right now.

The Bag //
It's kind of pricey, but I bought this a while ago when I saw it on sale on If you haven't heard of Baby Steals, it's a site similar to Groupon where they feature two pretty good sales each day. I liked that this particular bag comes with the stroller clips and it matches my stroller/travel system. It's not a large bag, but can hold the essentials and isn't too heavy like the other bigger bags I looked at. 

What's Inside //
5} Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket - Oh Girl
9} 2 Onesies

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Preggo Update: 37 weeks

Yay! We've made it..37 weeks! I'm officially full-term and can safely go into labor any day now. Come on baby, start making your way out so I can meet you! We have our car seat installed, all the clothes washed, bags are packed, nursery is pretty much done...we are ready for baby!

Smashed baby face on the 3D ultrasound. Look at those chubby cheeks!

How far along? 37 weeks (+ 1 day)
Total weight gain? Right around 30 pounds (I actually lost 3 pounds since my last appointment). But baby has gained a crazy amount...3 pounds in the past 4 weeks! The doctor said she weighed 7 pounds at her last ultrasound! I'm hoping she doesn't get too much bigger or I'll have trouble squeezing her out.
Maternity clothes? I'm wearing whatever fits at this point.
Stretch marks? Not one...yippee! I'll be sad if I suddenly get them in the next few weeks.
Sleep: Still waking up around 5 a.m. and can't sleep for an hour. I also get heartburn when I lie down on my side.   
Best moment this week: Seeing the baby at possibly our last ultrasound before we meet her in person! She is practicing breathing in there and already has hair!
Miss anything: Lying on my stomach. Hot tubs.
Movement: It's a party in there. I can sometimes see whole limbs sweep across my belly.
Food cravings: Unfortunately, junk food...chips and gummy candies this week.
Anything make you queasy or sick: The smell of rubber tires, strong chemical smells, the laundry aisle at the supermarket.
Gender: Girly girl! Not sure why I answer this every week; it's not like this is likely to change.
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions, they are now stronger up under my stomach. But the doctor said that she still hasn't dropped! She's still clinging to my ribs and finds it quite cozy in there. A little bit of the nesting instinct kicked in last week...I organized our master closet.
Symptoms: Heartburn, achy joints
Belly button in or out? It can't decide whether to stay in or pop out. I guess I would say that it's mostly out-ish now.
Wedding rings on or off? On when I leave the house, but they immediately get taken off when I get home.
Feelings: Excited that I'm now in the month I'll be delivering (hopefully, if she doesn't come too late). Relieved that we're all set for the baby's arrival. Getting a little more anxious now...wondering when the big day will come.
Looking forward to: Seeing the baby in person...I wonder what/who she'll look like!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Hunger Games

Woo-hoo! I'm done with The Hunger Games trilogy, now I'm ready for the movie...coming March 23. This will most likely be baby's first movie in a theater.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Preggo Update: 36 weeks

Another week has quickly flown by, and I have a feeling the baby will be here before I know it. I've been keeping busy with all my projects and still have plenty of things to accomplish before baby decides to make an appearance.

How far along?
 36 weeks (+ 2 days)
Total weight gain? 30+ pounds so far
Maternity clothes? Since I'm mostly at home now, it's been pajamas, t-shirts and stretchy pants most of the time. Leggings are still my best friend though. 
Stretch marks? Still holding out hope for a stretch mark free pregnancy.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well most nights, except for the two or three potty breaks I have to make. Also, I'll sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep for an hour or so.    
Best moment this week: Hearing the baby's heartbeat at my OB appointment this week and getting reassurance that she's healthy and happy in there.
Miss anything: Sushi, cold cut deli meat sandwiches, my pre-pregnancy waistline
Movement: Usually around meal times and before bed she tends to perk up.
Food cravings: Sweets, especially doughnuts lately...mmm, cake doughnuts or powdered doughnuts would be great right now. I may have to pick some up at the store. 
Anything make you queasy or sick: Really strong perfume or cologne. Even my husband's deodorant gave me a headache the other day. 
Gender: Team Pink! 
Labor signs: Still getting Braxton Hicks contractions every so often. But I have a feeling this baby may be a little late. 
Symptoms: Achy back and sore hips sometimes 
Belly button in or out? Still on the verge of popping out. Sometimes it sticks out a little bit, other times it's just flat-ish.
Wedding rings on or off? Off when I'm at home. On when I leave the house.
Feelings? Content and relaxed right now. It feels great to have freetime at home before our lives change forever.
Looking forward to: My ultrasound appointment on Wednesday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Diaper Days

If you were to ask me a couple years ago if I would even consider cloth diapering, I would probably say "heck to the no"! Ewww, who wants to deal with that mess? However, over the last couple years, I began hearing such great things about cloth diapering all over the Internet, blogs, friends, local stores, etc. This blog post by Young House Love really helped me cross over to the cloth diapering side.

Is cloth diapering making a comeback? I would say yes! Cloth diapers these days are much different from the ones in our parents' days. They are actually easier to handle than I had previously thought. The main selling point in our house is the cost savings. I learned early on in my pregnancy that newborn babies are likely to go through 12 diapers a day...craziness!

Our plan for our little baby's bum is to start with newborn disposable diapers and wipes and then transition to the cloth diapers and wipes once the little one grows up and mommy and daddy get better adjusted to baby's schedule. We have our small stock of Huggies Pure & Natural Newborn diapers that we still need to add to, and we also still need to get a supply of Huggies Natural Care wipes. Seventh Generation Free & Clear newborn diapers and wipes are another option we may try out during her disposable days. 

Once her disposable days are over (for the most part...We still plan on using disposables for vacations, overnight trips, etc.), we have decided on bumGenius as our cloth diaper of choice. Earlier this week, a lovely package arrived on our front porch...which contained nine colorful cloth diapers from Cotton Babies. We ordered six of the bumGenius Elemental Organic All-In-Ones and three of the bumGenius 4.0 One Size Artist Series (which are being discontinued, so I got a buy 2 get 1 free deal). We plan on buying six more of the new bumGenius Freetime All-In-Ones to round out our collection of bumGenius cloth diapers. I've been eyeing all the fun new vibrant colors. 

To hold all the dirty and wet cloth diapers, we ordered a large Planet Wise wet bag from Sweetbottoms Baby in the Pink Daisy Stripe fabric

Here are some other items that we intend to use throughout our cloth diapering adventure.
1) Itzy Ritzy Wet Happened? Medium Wet Bag in Avocado Damask for on-the-go changes to keep in the diaper bag.
2) bumGenius Diaper Sprayer attaches to the toilet and is used for when we switch to solid foods.
3) Charlie's Soap Powder doesn't leave a residue when washing and prolongs the life of the diapers.
4) GroVia Magic Stick is a diaper ointment that is natural and cloth diaper compatible.
5) Thirsties Booty Luster is a spray-on baby wipe solution.
6) Prince Lionhart Cloth Wipes Warmer to keep cloth wipes warm and toasty.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Maternity Leave

Going on maternity leave was something that I had looked forward to for months, and now it's actually here! As the date quickly approached, the more and more nervous I got that I would be bored for the five weeks before my due date. I have been gainfully employed full-time since college (almost a decade ago) and even though this is a welcome change, change can also be a little unsettling. I am now adjusting to a new norm that doesn't involve an office, coworkers, projects and deadlines. To ease into this transition and make the most of my precious time these next five weeks, I have assigned myself projects that I hope to complete before the little one arrives. And...guess how many things are on my list...yes, 30. 

  1. Wash and hang baby clothes
  2. Pack hospital bags
  3. Install car seat & get checked
  4. Write up a birth plan
  5. Purchase any last items off registry that baby needs
  6. Make growth chart for baby’s room
  7. Make clothes size organizers for baby’s closet
  8. Print photos for frames in nursery
  9. Finish decorating/organizing nursery
  10. Make freezer meals to last one month
  11. Clean/Organize master closet & donate clothes
  12. Deep clean/organize & stock fridge/pantry
  13. Clean/organize the garage
  14. Clean the entryway/patio
  15. Organize hallway closets
  16. Order envelopes and paper for announcements
  17. Design/Address baby birth announcements
  18. Check out and read parenting/childcare books at library
  19. Finish reading 3 classic books
  20. Finish reading all of the Lineage of Grace
  21. Read The Hunger Games trilogy
  22. Read Mark of the Lion trilogy
  23. Go on walks with dog/do prenatal exercises
  24. Plan our last Valentine’s Day without a baby
  25. Make a list of date night ideas for the upcoming year
  26. Finish media room/buy furniture
  27. Update contacts/mailing list and set up e-mail list for baby announcement
  28. Create Pinterest projects
  29. Catch up with friends/plan lunches & dinners
  30. Weekly preggo updates on the blog

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Preggo Update: 35 weeks

This photo was taken at 28 weeks by my friend Elyse of Ely Fair Photography.
I am much larger now at 35 weeks!
So, I've been quite absent from this blog and have neglected it for a while now. However, hopefully that will change since I am officially on maternity leave now...starting today at 5 p.m.! I will try to post weekly updates on how the pregnancy is progressing and post any other developments in my new life as a stay-at-home housewife for the next few weeks until the little one arrives. 

I had seen this pregnancy survey on other blogs (like Little Baby Garvin - who's due Feb. 22) and thought I would do the same so I can look back and remember my final weeks as a preggo.  

How far along? 35 weeks
Total weight gain? 30-ish pounds so far
Maternity clothes? Target Liz Lange collection, Target juniors clearance rack of “dresses” that are more like tunics on me, Old Navy & Gap – leggings are my staple these days
Stretch marks? None yet. My fingers are crossed though because my mom had them.
Sleep: Depends on the night. Sleeping on my left side is growing tiresome, and I’ve had a couple killer leg cramps in the middle of the night where I woke up screaming and scaring both husband and dog.  
Best moment this week: Officially starting my maternity leave from work today! Now I have time to do all the things I need to do before baby arrives! I'm hoping this nesting instinct really kicks in so the house gets cleaned and organized.
Miss anything: Bending over. Fitting into “real” clothes. Working out. Sleeping on my back.
Movement: Pretty regular - sometimes it’s just hiccups.
Food cravings: Tonight was pizza - had Marco's pizza for the first time.
Anything make you queasy or sick: Car exhaust, gasoline fumes and cigarette smoke – yuck!
Gender: All girl! We’re hoping all the ultrasounds are correct because it’s all pink around here.
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions since about 28 weeks.
Symptoms: Swollen feet and cankles at the end of the day. Heartburn when I lie down a certain way.
Belly button in or out? I would describe it more as flat, no belly button, just flat.
Wedding rings on or off? On, for the most part. Although, I will take them off now at night for fear of having to amputate a finger or having to cut my rings to get them off.
Happy or moody most of the time? Mostly happy and excited! I may have only cried about three times the whole pregnancy.
Looking forward to: Seeing my baby girl for the first time and holding her!