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Are you ready to trick-or-treat? My preschooler sure is. For the past few weeks she’s wanted to wear the same mermaid costume as last year. Then yesterday on the phone with Grandma she said she was going to be Snow White! So this morning I hemmed up her Snow White dress (a Christmas gift from her Uncle AJ and Aunt Aundrea) from her dress up bin . I was going to top it off with a simple red headband, but Chloe pointed out that Snow White wears a red bow in her hair. Right! So I whipped one of those up during nap time. Now we’re ready to rock.

Oh, have you seen this skeleton maternity shirt? I totally love it and wish I had seen it while I was pregnant. So funny! Leo, who is almost 17 months, will be wearing a similar skeleton shirt (minus the fetus!) that glows in the dark. Happy Halloween!


Basic Maternity

I know pretty much nothing about style and fashion. Either I like the look of something, or I don’t. It is that simple. What is most important to me is comfort. If it isn’t comfortable, I (likely) won’t wear it. My husband often laments that many of his favorite clothes on me end up in the Goodwill pile, because they don’t fit or feel right. And that causes another problem, because sometimes I feel guilty and end up holding on to lots of these things. Meanwhile, they just take up closet space in the hope that I might “someday” wear them again – which pretty much never happens.

Is it just me, or does it seem like there has been an explosion of pregnancies? I see pregnant people everywhere. I have pregnant neighbors, have several pregnancies within my extended family, have friends with pregnant friends, read blogs with pregnant moms… One particular maternity trend that I am seeing a lot of is the super-fitted pants known as “jeggings” (read Melissa’s post here, or Justine’s post here). However, I am firmly in the anti-jegging camp. Give me boot-cut or straight legs any day. Plus, they look better with my daily Danskos. It might be different if I wore flats or dress shoes, but I rarely do, so there you go.

Style aside, I’ll just say that my absolute favorite, most comfortable (and budget-friendly!) maternity outfit right now is the Maternity Roll-Panel Yoga Pants and the Maternity Wrap-Front Fleece Hoodie from Old Navy (shown above). I have a pair of the pants from the last stage of pregnancy with my first child, but I saw them on sale for $15 recently and decided to get another pair, this time a size smaller which feels more comfortable right now. I hesitated on getting the matching hoodie (even though it was also on sale for only $19), since I already own a nice maternity sweater-jacket (like the ivory one shown here, but in black) and a white zip-hoodie, but now I’m glad I bought it. The sweater coat always feels scratchy, and the white one gets dirty so easily (now that I have a toddler to help me with that). Of course, I’m lucky that the little work I do, I can do from home, and really only need to look presentable while running errands, or taking Chloe to classes or playdates. I can only imagine that outside-the-home working moms have it harder, but then again, maybe it is nice to have a reason to shower and get dressed in the morning. For now, I just consider myself lucky to get away with a limited maternity wardrobe.

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Maternity Session

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph a maternity session for a friend of a friend (see more photos). I tried to capture her gorgeous shape the best I could, but I know I have a lot to learn. On top of my list is focus, photo-editing, and how to better use my speedlite. This past week I attended a Canon Intermediate Discovery presentation and am excited to practice all I’ve learned. Sadly, it has already been several days and I haven’t once cracked open the workbook. Just where does all the time go?


The danger of online browsing

Somehow I fell into window shopping online tonight. So dangerous. I just love the fabrics and styles that are coming out right now for fall. Especially in dark or charcoal grey, one of my favorite colors to wear. Oh man. If I had a normal figure right now I would be spending so much money. First of all, check out the awesome dress below from Anthropologie. I hardly ever wear dresses, but I would find a reason to wear this one. Can you imagine? With some tall black boots? Oh boy, I’d feel like a million bucks. Love the shape and pleated asymmetrical details. If I was slightly less sane I would go wild and buy one now, with the hope that someday, after baby is born, I might have a defined waist again.

Echo, Echo Dress

Yes, some really nice things out there. And to be fair, there are some wearable and semi-reasonable maternity finds, too. Like this well-designed coat and sweaters from Old Navy. Quite a surprise to find them there, if you ask me.

From Old Navy Maternity: Wool-Blend Swing Coat, Cable-Knit Crossover Cardigan, Pleated Sweater Coat

I tried the coat on the other day, before David noticed the $88 price tag. Since I mostly work from home, I have no reason to buy a maternity coat that I’ll only wear for a few months. More likely, I’ll be wearing David’s jackets and coats, at least until I can fit into my own again. Sometimes I forget that my body won’t simply bounce back to its pre-pregnancy size the minute baby is born. Luckily I was reminded recently, that I will likely be wearing maternity clothes for at least a couple months after baby. So I guess that is a good enough reason to buy a few nice, warm pieces to supplement my borrowed goods, since there is only so much I can stand of looking like a sack of potatoes. 🙂


27 Weeks

I am now 27 weeks pregnant. So much has changed in the past 7 weeks since my 20 week post, almost all of it having to do with my body. Sometimes I forget how big my belly has grown. Then I’ll see a reflection in a store front window, or a shadow on the ground, and I’m like HOLY COW! And then there are the times I graze my belly on the counter top, or bang it against the dinner table before I sit down. Right. Silly me.

Other times, I’m very aware. Like when I was grocery shopping a couple days ago by myself. I noticed several strangers surreptitiously glance at my very noticeable waistline, then look quickly away. Fortunately, I have yet to receive any untoward comments, and never has a stranger tried to touch my belly, which I’m very thankful. Although, I guess anything can happen in the next thirteen weeks.

Beyond watching my belly grow, there is the anxiety I feel when seeing the numbers increase every time I step on the scale. I know it is normal and healthy to gain weight. I know the pounds are not just the baby herself, but also the fluid and placenta and blood all working to nourish and protect this tiny new life. But still, I’m nervous. Am I gaining too much, too fast? Not according to my mid-wife. Will I be able to lose it after the birth? Please, please, I hope so. How much more will I gain before the end…? My brain struggles to comprehend the changes, while my body struggles to support two lives. And I try not to get too frustrated by the accompanying aches and awkwardness.

On the flip side, our little girl is only a few months away. She is healthy as far as we know, except for her heart arrhythmia, which we don’t worry too much about. She moves around more often now, and sometimes when I look down I can see my belly jumping from her squiggles and kicks. I’m on hiatus from reading pregnancy books, but I’m sure I’ll start up again soon. Instead, I’ve been researching or making baby crafts, and starting to purchase a few necessities as I find them on craigslist or yard sales. Plus, our childbirth education classes start up in a couple weeks. I’m looking forward to attending them, especially with David, an important thing we can do together to prepare for our little girl’s arrival.


Plain & Simple Maternity Swimwear

Okay, finding a swimsuit is hard, but finding a maternity swimsuit is ridiculously difficult. And it doesn’t help that I am as picky as they come on this topic. As a matter of fact, my favorite pre-pregnancy two-peice is a red halter-style bikini top with boy short bottoms. It is a few years old now, but back then I drove to three different Targets in order to finally find my size. So you can see, during the rare times that I find one I like, I am willing to go the distance.

After doing a fair amount of internet searching and perusing the racks at a couple nearby stores, I saw a lot of ugly maternity suits. I really wanted PLAIN – no polkadots, animal prints, plaids, ruffles or hardware. It is bad enough that my stomach is becoming an ornament in itself. I don’t want to be baring it to the world either, so I’ll just take a one-piece (or a two-peice with respectable belly coverage), thank you very much.

So. I finally found three acceptable options. Each one simple (some would say boring) and no frills. Budget-wise they can be described as:

The extra fancy pro: gorgeous, con: expensive
Middle of the road
pro: somewhat more affordable, con: two-piece
The big cheapster
pro: cheap, con: not a very good fit

I deliberated for quite a while, but knew with the summer months ahead and a pregnancy swim class starting soon, that I had to make a decision. I’m kind of embarrassed to even admit which one I prefer, but it might just end up being my one big splurge. Am I just being crazy?

The extra fancy

Middle of the road

The big cheapster


Maternity Shopping 101

The morning after we shared our Big News with David’s family, Sandy (David’s mom) took me for my first foray into the world of maternity clothes. I had just reached my first trimester, and because I was still under my pre-pregnancy weight, I could still fit a couple of my largest pants with a rubber band through the button loop. However, even I agreed that it might be time to see what was out there.

The shop we ended up in was called Motherhood Maternity. It wasn’t a big place, but it had the kind of packed in feel that usually overwhelms me when shopping. I remember initially feeling lost without David there to help me “see” through the compact racks of clothes (I rarely shop without him). I shouldn’t have worried though, because Sandy stepped right in. She claimed us a dressing room and immediately began to sort through the possibilities.

In many ways, I’m not very fun to shop with because I tend to wear simple basics, and mostly stay away from prints or too much color. Sandy was great though. She didn’t get offended on the pieces I declined, yet continued to find me nice items I would have missed, like a good-looking pair of khaki twill pants, and a feminine printed top that I normally wouldn’t have tried, but ended up loving.

Each dressing room contained a cushion attached to a velcro strap that you could fasten around your waist to show what you’d look like 3 months down the road. Whoa! Seeing that pillow stuffed into my waistband really put things into perspective. My little pooch is downright petite compared to where I’ll be at the end of summer, and I’ll be getting even bigger throughout the fall. Knowing this helped me to decide that maybe the “secret fit belly” waist panel was not such a bad idea (even though I originally thought they looked weird). Turns out comfort and fit really does makes all the difference.

By the end I was pretty tired, but was rewarded with two simple tees, two nice looking and comfortable pants, and the printed tank top. All mix-and-matchable, nice enough to wear out, but comfortable enough to wear in. I am surprised to find how happy I am with each item. Thank you Sandy, for making it such a good experience!

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