Continued from here

No, really, we just stopped. Right before that, we had had a rash of really hot weather, and especially at night, nursing for 30-60 minutes seemed like the worst idea ever. Then I got a cold, and I took copious amounts of cold medicine simply to function, and bottle-fed Seth instead of trying to research if what I was taking was okay to pass along in my milk. One bottle led to another bottle, and then another…

I really beat myself up about it for a while. I had pictured Seth’s and my nursing relationship lasting longer, or, at the very least, involving some sort of weaning. A few months later, I read a story by another mama in the La Leche League magazine, who suddenly stops nursing her son while being pregnant with her daughter. It sounds dumb, but when I read that, I was so relieved to know that I wasn’t the only person who just suddenly stopped nursing their child. Fortunately, Seth never seemed too torn up about it, and we were already firmly attached. And, for better or for worse, I didn’t have to deal with any of the issues that come up nursing an older baby/toddler — ooh, like biting! I have been bit many times and in many places by Seth, but am pretty happy with my chest not being one of them.

As much as I make it out to be a roller coaster, I cherish Seth’s and my time nursing. I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to try adoptive nursing again; next time around, I’ll have a better idea of how to get my supply going, and can practice not feeling awkward about nursing in public.

I’ve mentioned nursing Seth a few times in the past, but have been meaning to write a big bare-all (har har) post for a long time. So now, before I forget everything entirely, here goes. (You can read about the preparations and first days here, here, here and here, so I’ll pick up around then…Remember, this may be TMI)

Seth had been getting Aria’s, my and even some of Grandma Gale’s, milk, along with homemade goat-milk based formula, via the SNS and bottles in California. Aria’s willingness to give Seth her milk, and put up with some awkward hassles during the whole thing, was a truly amazing, and not the easiest, gift for her to give him. I’m pretty sure he drank the last of Aria’s milk on the plane, so when we touched ground in WA, we were sans breast milk. We mixed up a new batch of goat formula, and I don’t know whether it was the stress of travel, or going from a lot to very little breast milk, or what, but Seth had super weird poos the next day or two (if you could even call them poos – they were basically brown liquid). Upon learning that goat milk can sometimes be tough on newborns’ kidneys, we made the switch to store-bought organic formula. It was kind of annoying to mix up, as we mixed it up as needed, and then had to pour it into the SNS baggie to give to Seth. So we still had to wash bottles, the SNS’s, and throw away plastic bags. Once Seth and I got the hang of it, though, I realized that I could simply stick the end of the SNS that would normally go into the baggie, right into the bottle. As long as he wasn’t too squirmy, we were set! I did spill a bottle’s worth a handful of times, but this cheater’s method saved a lot of prep time, as well as cleaning.

At some point (I wish I could remember exactly when!), Seth and I really hit our stride. Todd or I could mix up a bottle lickety-split, I’d plop boppy and baby onto my lap, latch Seth on to me and the handy SNS straw, and we would be off to nursing bliss. We also comfort nursed in addition to feeding, and that was wonderful too. Seth and I had learned how to do this as a team, and he was patient with me as my learning curve was a bit more steep :] We also received loads of support and encouragement from Todd, Gale, Heather, Aria, Brandy, Holli, and our moms, among others. It really does take a village…to adoptive breastfeed!

I was still pumping occasionally while Seth napped; and pumping + nursing Seth every once in a while, though that was quite a lot to juggle at once. I checked on the girls in the shower nearly every morning, delighted with being able to produce mama milk. I could even squirt wee little streams of milk! I also got blocked ducts — not fun. But, in comparing notes with other nursing mamas, as well as pumping for twenty minutes only to get maybe .25 oz, I couldn’t help but be discouraged about my supply. I drank Mother’s Milk tea, took herbal supplements, and co-slept – what else could I do? I could point to three possible causes for this — Seth slept almost through the night (due to formula filling him up? or just being an awesome sleeper at night?) so we weren’t nursing around the clock, and/or I hadn’t been aggressive enough building up my supply before he was born, and/or my everloving hormone imbalance. Fortunately a number of people reassured me that he was getting more milk from me than I would be able to pump, and besides, it was more about the closeness than nutrition.

I got a really special present that first mother’s day from Auntie Heather that is a heart of my milk and a heart of Aria’s milk, cast in resin, and made into a necklace. A friend also helped on the nutrition front. A nursing mama had time and abundance enough to give us a number of bags of her “boob juice” (on top of tandem nursing – whoa!). Every time I defrosted a bag and gave it to Seth, I imagined it being such a special treat – like only ever eating fro yo or ice milk or something, and then getting gelato!

Despite all this good stuff, it was still hard. Maybe I was suffering a bit from post-adoption depression (sounds made up, but it’s totally a thing :/), or maybe feeling isolated as new mothers sometimes do, or whatever, but when Seth was around 7 months old, I started feeding him from a nippled bottle more and more. Todd or a grandparent had given him these, but I rarely had to this point. We had nursed and nursed and nursed, and then…stopped.

To be continued! Soon, I promise!

Here’s what a typical day looks like for us, during our first week back at home:

7:00am – Seth starts fussing a little bit. Betsy starts nursing him while Todd goes to the kitchen to prepare a bag for the Supplemental Nursing System. When Todd returns, Seth starts getting the mix of formula from the SNS and a bit of milk from Betsy, and Todd lies down and tries to sleep a little more. Seth finishes eating, and Betsy tries to sleep a little more too. Seth is awake! Neither Betsy or Todd are allowed to sleep any more. Diaper is changed.

8:00 – Todd takes a shower, and starts preparing breakfast. Betsy is walking around, holding Seth, while he coos contentedly (hopefully) or fusses and whines a bit (more realistic). Todd eats his breakfast, and then takes his turn holding Seth while Betsy eats her now cold breakfast. Diaper is changed.

10:00 – Todd logs on to his laptop and starts his workday. Betsy prepares another SNS bag, and nurses for a while. Seth pretends to fall asleep. Betsy puts him in his little recliner in the bathroom so she can take a shower. Seth is awake! Betsy soothes him a little longer, and he falls asleep for another five minutes. Betsy tries again to get in the shower. Seth is awake! This is repeated for an hour before the shower actually happens. Diaper is changed.

12:00 – Seth wants to eat again. Or maybe he’s hot. Or cold. Or bored. Or excited. Or trying to use baby sonar to map his surroundings through echolocation. Whatever the cause, he’s crying. Betsy tries a dozen different things, each of which makes him stop crying for about 30 seconds before he kicks it back into gear. Todd is trying to focus on work, but it’s proving rather difficult. Finally, the secret combination is found, and he quiets down for a while, maybe sleeping up for 5 minutes before waking up again. Diaper is changed.

2:00 – Todd finishes his workday. He’s working only 4 hours a day during the first two weeks back at home. Seth is immediately put into his arms by an exhausted Betsy. There’s a little bit of contented daddy snuggle time before Seth is awake! And hungry! And Daddy doesn’t have the appropriate equipment for nursing! Seth goes back to Betsy, and Todd works on putting together lunch for the adults. Diaper is changed.

3:00 – Seth settles down somewhat (but is still awake), and the family gathers on the couch to watch a movie. Diaper is changed.

5:00 – After some more nursing, Seth finally settles down for a nap, and is asleep for more than 5 minutes for the first time all day. Todd and Betsy wearily crawl into bed to nap as well. The doorbell rings, and we have guests! Seth sleeps really well during the entire visit, and everyone comments how mellow he is. Diaper is changed, but he hardly notices.

8:00 – Guests leave, and Todd and Betsy try to decide if food or sleep is the more dire need. Eventually, they decide to eat some delicious food that an extremely kind guest brought over. Meanwhile, Seth has been sleeping peacefully for the last 3 hours. If he goes too long between eating sessions, he’ll wake up really hungry and angry, and it’ll be difficult getting him to nurse. So, we try to wake him up, and cross our fingers that he’ll wake up just long enough to eat and then go back to sleep. Diaper is changed.

9:00 – Nursing is done, but he’s still awake. Todd and Betsy would like to go to sleep now. They try to make him go to sleep.

10:00 – Seth is awake! Todd and Betsy would really like to go to sleep now. They try to make him go to sleep.

11:00 – Seth is awake! Todd and Betsy would really like to go to sleep now. They try to make him go to sleep.

12:00 – Seth is awake! Todd and Betsy would REALLY, REALLY like to go to sleep now. They try to make him go to sleep. Seth finally decides that he is good and ready to go to sleep on his own terms, and drifts off to sleep.

4:00 – Seth is a very good sleeper once he finally gets to sleep. He would sleep through the entire night if we let him, but as mentioned before, we need to wake him up or he’ll get too hungry. We hope and pray that he wakes up just long enough to nurse and fall back asleep again. This works about 90% of the time, which is not bad at all.

7:00 – We start all over again!

In short, the first week has been somewhat tiring (late to go to bed, early to rise, no naps during the middle of the day), but since he’s such a good sleeper at night, we can’t complain too much. His naps are weirdly timed, and almost always happen at the times when we can’t join him in sleep…

Having guests come over is the highlight of our day! Let us know if you’d like to come over for a visit. This is my last week at home before returning to work full-time, so this would be a good week to come over.

And here’s some pictures! Our blog is acting as our guestbook for visitors:

Aaron and Gina, Tues 1/6

Naomi, Doug, Ben, Landon, Hillary and Cory, Sat 1/10

Scott, Bobby and Liam, Sun 1/11

Also, we’re going to be posting more pictures to our Flickr than we post in actual blog entries. If you want to see everything, there’s a link to our Flickr on the right side of the page.

Well, if you were hoping to see Seth with his umbilical cord stump still attached, you’re too late! The rest of him is still quite adorable, though, so it’s still worth the visit to come see us…

Sunday afternoon was spent doing Christmas with my immediate family. With 6 adults and 3 children under 4 years old in a 700 sq ft house, it was a bit chaotic, to say the least. I was very happy to see everyone, though, especially Annika and Saben, who were extremely cute as always. Every time I see Saben, he blows me away with how much he has grown up.

I cooked dinner, along with some help from my Mom, and my parents did all of the dishes afterwards. I told them that them doing the dishes was the best Christmas present I could have hoped for. I think they thought I was kidding.

Todd’s family over for Christmas

On Monday, we relaxed most of the day. Seth didn’t want to sleep, and was nursing or looking around or sucking on his hands or waving his hands around all day long. In the evening, Betsy’s parents and brother came over, bringing dinner with them (and also doing the dishes after dinner). It was a pretty laid-back evening as well.

Grandpa Gordon and Seth

On Tuesday, we went to our local doctor for the first time, and introduced her to Seth. The check-up went smoothly again, and there were no concerns. After the appointment, Seth reversed the previous day’s trend and ended up sleeping almost all day long. We had to wake him repeatedly to make sure he ate frequently enough.

Here’s a few pictures from when he was awake:

The evening ended with a visit from Aaron and Gina. It was great to see them, and it was nice to have a conversation with Aaron about something other than babies, one of my first such conversations in the last two weeks.

Today, I started working again a bit from home. I’m easing back into my work – 4 hours today and Thursday, working from home; 8 hours in the office on Friday; 4 hours Mon-Wed next week, working from home; Thursday off; 8 hours in the office on Friday. It’s been a good trial run to see how Betsy can manage without my assistance. Seth was on another of his “stay awake all day” trends today, so it was somewhat difficult for her, but they survived with minimal assistance from me during that 4 hour stretch.

I’ve got a pile of dishes calling my name, so I better get to work on those. I’ll post another update as soon as I can!

A wee little TMI story (feel free to skip over this — it’s part of our story, but not a crucial part):

Monday: I get a physical. This was pretty okay until they asked when I had last gotten my girly bits checked out. Oh, dang, it was gonna be one of those visits. The exam goes lightning fast, though. Then they ask if I have gotten a flu shot. A ho-hum check, and a shot? Double dang.

Tuesday: Nursing my sore arm, I go to the dentist for a routine teeth cleaning. I tell them I’m concerned about one of my teeth that’s been slowly graying over the past six months. We take x-rays, proceed with the teeth cleaning, and they’ll call me in the morning with the x-ray results.

Todd gets a flu shot, too.

Wednesday: Turns out the nerve in my tooth is dying, the dentist tells me the next morning. I need a root canal and crown. They have a last minute cancellation that afternoon, so I go in for the root canal. Through some miracle of mother nature, my tooth has partially healed itself, so I don’t actually need a root canal, but he has already drilled 13mm into my tooth to find out this interesting fact. The dentist plugs up the hole, and I’m good to go. That night, my tooth twinges a little after the novacaine, and I have to switch sides between sleeping on it, and my Still Sore arm.

Thursday: Todd gets a filling. We V’s must have bad teeth! He comes home aching, and regales me with his adventures in laughing gas: The dental assistants started him on the gas, but then refused to give him more even though it was having no effect. Finally they noticed there was a kink in the hose, and the gas hit him all at once. So much so that Todd had to literally suppress giggles when he thought of a brilliant plan to lick all of the dentist’s instruments and freak him out…

(Remember when we mentioned in passing that I’m going to try to nurse? Who knew that there’s a whole adoptive nursing camp out there, and they have all sorts of stories, nursing aids and advice and, um, protocols, for starting and succeeding at it. Soon after meeting Aria and her family, I got the ball rolling. By ball rolling, this means pills 4 times a day, pumping every three hours (I confess that I’m really bad at getting in that many a day), oatmeal, and when I drop one kind of pill in a few weeks, I get to start taking up to 2 kinds of herbs. Woof. Even with all that, it’s not guaranteed that adoptive mothers can produce enough milk to breastfeed exclusively. I’m eager to produce as much milk as I can, but will be all right with whatever happens…)

Back at Thursday: I’m kind of dragging my feet to pump in the evening. Being poked and prodded half the week is getting to me, so getting pulled is not high on my list. But pump I do, and for the very first time something happens. A single drop of adoptive mother’s milk comes forth from my bosom. I yell for Todd, and show off the teeniest shimmer of liquid. It’s a nightcap fit for…well, maybe not Eelfang, but certainly Tom Thumb.

I go to sleep Thursday night so pleased and proud of this body God has graced me with; achy tooth, ouchy arm, at least halfway-working girl parts, and all.

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Brandy commented the other day about wanting a better look at the moon print we have hanging in the nursery:

We bought it in Japan, from a shop that carried mostly French and European-styled items. Yoshihito Takeuchi does children’s art and picture books. We think it’s super cute!
And while we have you, I also want to show off this other print currently hanging in the nursery:

Titled “The Thumb War Battle of 1496″, it’s by Sarah Neuburger of the small object. We also think it is both awesome and clever, but will probably relocate it when the nursery is actually inhabited. I don’t want Eelfang to be upset by illustrated thumb violence!

It’s been a ridiculously long time since we last posted here. So much for “try(ing) to aim at at least one post a week“, I guess.At least we have a good excuse – we’ve had a really busy summer. Here are some of the things we’ve been doing over the last few months…

Betsy got dreadlocks put in! Don’t worry, they were only standing up in full Sideshow Bob mode for the first day or two – they’ve since relaxed and laid down nicely (as you’ll see in pictures below). She’s been talking about getting dreads for a very long time, and I think she was finally inspired to do so after attending…

… the Erykah Badu / The Roots concert at Marymoor Park. We also made it to the Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings show at the Woodland Park Zoo, but that’s been about it for concerts this summer. We’re thinking about trying to make it down to White Center, though, to check out some of the local bands that play at…

…Full Tilt Ice Cream and Pinball. In addition to a gorgeous array of pinball machines, the real attraction is the amazing ice cream flavors hand-made by the owner. Flavors range from semi-traditional (Mexican chocolate, coffee toffee) to experimental (mango chile, horchata, Thai ice tea) to the just plain weird (“The Memphis King” with banana-flavored ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate-covered bacon, or “Homer’s Odyssey” with chocolate-flavored ice cream, sprinkles and chocolate-covered doughnuts). We’ve been there about once a week since they opened (about a month ago), and we made sure to bring our friend Heather and her boyfriend Mike when they visited from NYC. But first, we had to work up an appetite by…

… canoeing on Lake Washington. It was a beautiful day for canoeing, and I think we were lucky enough to get out of the water before the mosquitos came in full force. The weather has been nice for much of the summer, with the exception of today, and…

… the weekend we went camping down near Ocean Shores. The beach was extremely windy and rather cold, but still, Betsy and Mandy (pictured above, on the left) went swimming out in the ocean. It was impressively brave. Apparently, salt water is supposed to be good for dreads – helps them tighten up and collect some of the loose ends.

The wind also wrecked havoc on some of the shelters we brought with us, and at the end of the weekend, our friend Doug told us to just throw away one of the cheap ones that hadn’t worked very well. But throwing away things is boring. I think it’s a lot more fun to…

… smash all of the pieces and tear the thing apart! While breaking down camp, Matthew (pictured above), Mandy, Adrian and I took the poor shelter and threw, hit, crushed, bent, batted, battered, and utterly destroyed all of the pieces. It was a fantastic stress release, especially since I knew that we had to come back to…

… a broken water heater. On the right side, you’ll see a big burst in the seam – that’s where all of the water was pouring out of the heater when we came home from work on Friday. We were supposed to leave for camping within an hour of getting home, but that emergency delayed us quite a bit. All told, though, it was probably the best case scenario for a epic failure like that – it was before we went camping, rather than during; it was in a room with a cement floor and no insulation or dry-wall; and based on the amount of water I saw, it had only been spilling for an hour or two. Still not the most fun in the world, though. Fortunately, Adrian had installed a water heater with our friend Eric recently, so he was able to come over and lend assistance when we installed…

… our new water heater. I had never had to do any work involving hacksawing pipes, using blowtorches to melt solder, teflon tape, or any plumbing work at all, really. It was a bit tiresome at the time, but I’m actually rather proud of the fact that we installed it successfully ourselves. And it’s a good thing that we had hot water, because…

… we always have some dirty dishes to do. (Okay, so maybe this isn’t as exciting of a picture as the previous ones, but hey, this is a big part of why I haven’t been updating the blog recently – priorities are priorities, after all.) We’ve had to work extra hard at keeping the house clean these days, as we already had a small house, and we essentially “lost a room” in order to put together…

… Eelfang’s nursery. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re up to a point where I feel pretty confident that we would have much of what we would need for Eelfang when s/he shows up. Which is a good thing, because…

… I love me some babies.

So, my new goal is to try to take at least one picture a day. I can’t promise that they will be particularly exciting (for example, the dishes picture and the nursery picture above are from the first two days of this project), but it’ll get me more familiar with my camera and general principles of photography. And it’ll also give me an easy thing to post and write about, if I’m not feeling up to a long words-only post. While I’m not going to promise “one post a week” again, I’ll do my best to stay on top of this. And if I don’t… just bug me a bunch.Photo credits

Betsy’s new dreads – Lish D

Pinball, Canoeing, Todd’s huge eyes – Heather M

Erykah Badu – some anonymous Flickr dude

The rest of them – Todd & Betsy

Last Friday I was really excited to be headed a girls only party (appropriately named “Girl Party”) at Hillary’s house. Todd had arranged to hang out with guys, and they had the table saw out when we rolled up to prove the point that they were going to be doing Man Stuff all evening. I fetched Naomi and Mandy and after a tearful goodbye from Naomi’s oldest boy, we sped on over, ready to gourge ourselves on candy, chips and celebrity gossip magazines.

It was quite a surprise, then, when we climbed the stairs and there were balloons, a pile of prezzies wrapped in yellow, and a roomful of wonderful girls yelling “surprise!” in my direction! It took me a few minutes, and indeed the whole night, to wrap my head around being thrown a surprise baby shower. Hillary and Cerra had planned unique shower games and yummy food–eating a lot at showers is key. It was truly special (and super sneaky!).

After a few hours and a few early birds taking off, the rest of us spent another long night playing Rock Band (also key at showers, right?) and talking about parenting, adoption, etc. I swear, beware when you ask me about “how it’s going,” because I inevitably go off for thirty-seven hours!

But back to my friends: they’re the awesomest.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working really hard on being as prepared as possible. I’ve studied magazines and books, highlighting and circling relevant passages, searching out helpful blogs, organizing my work in spreadsheets, and just doing some real heavy soul-searching to figure out what’s important to me. They say you can never really be prepared, but for every day that passes, I feel more and more comfortable with my decision – that drafting a top tier wide receiver is a priority in this year’s fantasy football draft due to positional scarcity and a relative parity in running backs after the top eight.

Meanwhile, our “what eelfang needs” list remains untouched…

For whatever reason, our enthusiasm and momentum fell off shortly after getting in the pool. I guess it felt almost like we had reached the finish line of a long, long voyage, and now we got to take a break. The odds of getting a call in the first few weeks are so small that it felt like we could take an evening off to watch a movie, or work on projects around the house, or study fantasy football stuff, or whatever it is we wanted to do to return to a “normal” life after a busy past few months. But then one evening led into the next, and the next…

It’s not like we haven’t done anything, per se – Betsy sewed a baby sling for us, we’ve started to gather together some furniture, and we have a few supplies gathered. We’re slowly making our way down the path towards preparedness – but at the pace we’ve been going, we’d be ready for The Call some time early next decade.

Which is why the call we got on Friday evening set our hearts racing.

We were out with some friends, hanging out and talking in a loud and busy bar when Betsy’s phone rang. She took it outside to talk to whoever was calling, and I just kept socializing and having fun. She returned back to the table, grabbed her purse, and whispered in my ear, “We’re getting a screening call right now.”

A bit of terminology – a screening call is very different from The Call. With a screening call, a counselor at the agency is determining what families would be open to having their profiles shown to a potential birthmother. This call is usually triggered by some sort of extraordinary circumstances – health issues, difficult birthfather situation, substance use during pregnancy, etc. The screening call goes out to everyone who expressed openness for similar situations (you express that openness on the Screening Tool, which deserves a post of its own) – if your openness range roughly matches up with the intensity level of these circumstances, you get a call to see if you are open for the specifics of this particular case. Depending on the situation, a screening call could go out to 50 families and they’ll all say yes, or it’ll go out to 5 families and only two of them say yes. The call itself really means little about whether or not you’ll be getting The Call soon – if the 50 other families also say yes, you’re at only a 2% chance of getting The Call as a result of the screening. Of course, you never know the numbers of the people who also said yes, and it’s hard to remember those when emotions are running high, but that’s the way it is.

I mumbled some sort of excuse to leave the table, and rushed outside to sit next to Betsy while she talked to the counselor. Fortunately, Betsy had paper and a pen in her purse, and I was able to follow a lot of the conversation from the notes she was scribbling down. The baby had been born on Thursday, and was ready to be released from the hospital on Sunday or Monday. There were a few (seemingly minor) health complications, and the birthmother had her own set of requests about the adoption process that would have been an adjustment to our expectations.

But it wasn’t our baby. After hanging up (and excitedly hugging), we talked to each other briefly, and both of us felt and quickly agreed that this was not our baby – not our time to say yes, not our time to be chosen. The baby will be going to another family (the right family) who will love them deeply and raise them, and I wish all the best for them. Even as I write this post, I know the new parents are holding their child and filled with love and amazement, and it’s awesome for them. Our turn will come soon enough, but it felt very clear that night that it wasn’t the time for us.

The counselor wanted to hear back the next morning, so we agreed to sleep on it just in case we were rushing to a judgment. “Sleeping on it” always seems like a weird way to think through an issue, as I rarely get good thinking done while unconscious, but I guess just the fact that I slept soundly with no nervousness proved that I felt really comfortable with our decision.

(Since I’m between jobs, the insurance situation was also extremely dicey, and it could have been financially ruinous to have said yes. (The counselor had overlooked the note on our account saying we were not open to children born before July 1st). But that wasn’t what made our decision – it just made it a little easier to help keep wild emotions in check and make the right decision.)

But for as much as I felt comfortable saying that this was not our baby, I feel equally comfortable saying that this was our message baby. I think God arranged for the counselor to overlook the note on our account and give us that call, and to help wake us up that we really are in the pool and that we need to get ready. That it’s more important right now for me to compare pediatricians than it is for me to compare quarterbacks, and that it’s better for us to be working on setting up the nursery than it is to work on setting up summer parties.

Because next time we get that call, it might just be our baby on the other end of the line…

(Note: This will probably be the last time we write about getting a screening call – we’ll probably keep those private, if for our own sanity more than anything else. And yes, I realize that some people might scoff at the idea that it will be our baby at the other end of the line, but you haven’t met Eelfang yet – he/she is going to be so smart, he/she’ll be calling us up from the hospital to make his/her own screening calls.)

A little over two months in the pool. Still bobbing about. But to rewind a bit…

A week or two after getting in the pool, Todd and I decided to register for baby items. We’d already gotten a bunch of awesome things from Todd’s sister, and a whole room’s worth of furniture (dresser, handmade cradle, rocking chair) from my parents. I checked out The Expectant Parents’ Companion from the library, which has really great lists of essentials, nice-to-have’s, and lists for breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. After pouring over that and some other online resources, we compiled a list of around 30 items, and walked the couple blocks to Target to take the plunge.

Sadly, Target’s baby department was lacking. They had lots of cute clothes, but didn’t have any changing pads nor the cotton receiving blankets I had been hoping for. So instead, we drove over to Babel–, I mean, Babies R Us.

I’ve heard folks say that all babies need are a boob and a blanket. While I am not in a position to be that hardcore (unless there is such a thing as spontaneous lactation!), nor even necessarily want to be, there are also many opportunities to go overboard with Baby Stuff. We checked into BrU’s registry, and an employee gave us a pep talk that registering was going to take about 1-2 hours, and the result would be about 150-200 items. What?! I couldn’t decide if I should feel smug that we/our baby can get by with so much less, or simply inadequate.

We knocked out almost our whole list in one corner of the store, and of course caved to a few impulse items. It should be noted, though, that even though it seems like BrU has everything, they did not have any Sonic Youth onesies. We did register for a few other clothes, but it was odd not knowing size (preemie or Michelin-size like I was?), season, and gender. I’m totally going to be that parent who dresses their little girl in dresses and dinosaurs, but it’s a little harder to adapt girl clothes to boys…Plus we got a good tip later from other adoptive parents that clothes often get discontinued, so anything more than basics is something we’ll wait to register for until we know more.

So that was that. Now we’re to a comfortable pausing point on Baby Stuff, which frees me up to dwell on…well, more Baby Stuff. But that’s only because Eelfang totally needs a (insert cute handmade thing I saw on XYZ blog yesterday), right?

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