Tuesday, March 24, 2015

20 weeks

20 weeks down, 20 to go!

Just thought I'd give you a little glimpse into what this pregnancy is like for me right now, since I haven't really documented it at all and someone, somewhere might actually want to know (even if it's just future me).

Due date: August 11 (all my measurements have been right on for this, so it hasn't changed!)

Weight gain: Approximately 10 pounds. Possibly 11 since I just ate some In-n-Out for lunch. My belly has definitely perma-popped and my belly button is fighting to stay an innie.

Baby size: According to my tracker app, "Baby is now about the size of a Belgian endive." (And I'm like....riiiiight.)

Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty good. Not proportionately to how tired I am, but whatever. I already get up at least once to pee. On a positive note, I'm finally enough of a grownup that I can pee in the middle of the night without turning on the light! No applause necessary.

Sickness: The continual sickness has ceased --thank goodness-- but every once in a while I get a weird wave of nausea that hits hard and fast, and hangs around for a while. The best way to keep it at bay is to eat pretty consistently throughout the day, but I have to eat just the right amount. And if I start to feel sick, it's over. It's a pretty delicate balance. My body is pretty picky this time around.

Aches/pains: Speaking of my picky body, it's just not really capable of handling much this time around. Everything is apparently much looser and weaker when you're on your fourth pregnancy, which equals everything being much achier, much faster. I can't be on my feet long without feeling pain from the waist down. #everythingisawesome No back pain yet, though, which has been the bane of my existence during my other pregnancies.

Cravings: My two consistent cravings have been: (1) sourdough bread (lightly toasted with butter. YUM) and (2) sour candy (the sour-er the better. Most things aren't sour enough). But it's not like those things taste good all the time, and there are plenty of other things that I want pretty badly, pretty often (helllllo, dark chocolate). My big anti-craving has been pizza. Ugh. No matter where it's from, it's always too greasy and while I can stomach eating it, it makes me feel so gross afterwards. Not cool, since pizza is obviously delicious and convenient.

Random: We just found out last week that we're having a baby GIRL, which the girls are both thrilled about, since, according to them, "We already have a baby boy." Baby girls are so fun in so many ways, so we're excited! She mostly cooperated during her ultrasound, but apparently the tech was unable to get very good angles on her head, so we're having to schedule another ultrasound in 6 weeks to hopefully get a better look. Also, she's a total wiggle worm! I feel her move way more often than I was feeling Parker at this point. That's easily my favorite part of pregnancy, so I'm loving it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My first Stitch Fix Maternity box!

{about stitch fix}

You've probably heard of Stitch Fix by now, but in case you haven't...

Stitch Fix is basically an online personal styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces chosen just for you, based off of your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can then choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and return what you don't love in your return bag (prepaid postage provided). AND your $20 styling fee gets applied to anything you buy! So that's cool. And if you happen to get a slam dunk of a box, you get 25% off for buying everything in it.

Pretty cool, right?

{stitch fix and me}

I signed up with Stitch Fix several months ago, but didn't actually commit to having a box shipped to me. I was turned off a bit by the higher prices of the items. Plus, I usually actually enjoy shopping -- so why would I want someone else to do it for me?

So what changed?

Well, a few things.

(1) I got sick of my Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions. That may seem entirely unrelated, but let me explain. While I decided that the whole sample-sized-beauty-product-with-the-occasional-full-sized-eyeliner-which-I-never-wear thing wasn't for me, I loveloveloved getting my boxes every month. It was so fun to have something special show up just for me -- something that I didn't have to put any effort into finding or choosing. It was such a special treat. So basically, canceling these subscriptions left a $20-for-a-subscription-box sized hole in my heart.

(2) I got pregnant. With my FOURTH baby. FOURTH babies make their presence known. Quickly. They make you too big for your regular clothes. They make you too tired to shop. And the very fact that it's your FOURTH means that you basically have to make any and all buying decisions on the fly in the store, since your existing three children have the patience of your bladder (i.e. zero. Zero patience).

(3) I discovered how many of my old maternity clothes are worn out or have changed shape or whatever since being washed. I've also been trying to adjust my style just a bit -- making it a little more age appropriate and sophisticated, while still keeping it comfortable and casual. Those things, plus the fact that I was desperate to just feel cute instead of bloated, made me much more amenable to the idea of spending a little bit more on my clothes.

(4) Stitch Fix announced that they were now offering maternity-specific styling.

Well, all those things combined made Stitch Fix look pretty darn attractive. So I updated my style profile and scheduled my first fix!

{my maternity stitch fix}

So, finally...my box came yesterday! I probably don't have to tell you that I basically starting ripping the box open before the front door was even shut after I picked it up. And then I started trying things on! Here's what was in my box:

LA Made Maternity Laina Maternity Knit Top ($68)

first impressions: pretty color, super soft fabric

styling suggestions: 

on me: 

thoughts: I love the neutral color of this top, and the fabric is super soft. But...it has a weird tank top layer underneath it (I'm guessing to make it a nursing top also, which is cool) that made the fit weird and created some weird lines on the fabric. That, especially for the higher price, equals RETURN. 

Mur Mur Carlie Hooded Vest ($58)

first impressions: This is something I would never, ever buy for myself, but love the look of when it's styled into a full outfit. Nice that it's something I could wear after the baby, too. A little bit edgy, which is fun and different. 

styling suggestions:

on me:

thoughts: Honestly, I didn't give this vest much of a chance, so I just threw it on over the casual dress I was wearing yesterday. I'm sure it would look better all styled up like on the card. But the truth is...I'd never wear this. My style is a lot simpler than that. Plus, it's already over 90 degrees here, so adding even half of another layer is just out of the question until October. Sorry, vest. You're cool. It's not you...it's me. RETURN. 

Loveappella Maternity Davidi Button Detail Maternity Top ($48)

first impressions: Oh, yeah. This is definitely something I would have picked out for myself. Perfect blend of casual and put together. Oh, and stripes!

styling suggestions:

on me:

(and a close up so you can see the cute buttons on the shoulders):

thoughts: Very comfortable. 3/4 sleeve could get hot, but it doesn't need an undershirt and the fabric is super lightweight, so it should be fine even in the summer. Could be dressed up or down. Room for the bump to grow. Winner winner chicken dinner. KEEP.

Rune Porter Maternity Legging ($58)

first impressions: Ooh, these are going to be hard to let go of. I've heard so many people sing the praises of maternity leggings, and a single quality pair would get me through this whole pregnancy, I'm sure, since I don't wear them too often. 

styling suggestions:

on me: (ha, this is the worst picture ever. Don't worry, they're just black leggings.)

thoughts: Wow, so comfortable! They are even full panel (something which I usually hate) and I didn't mind at all. They feel like they're supportive but they don't make my legs look like sausages stuffed into casing. They're just...lovely. BUT, they're also expensive! Could I find similar quality leggings for significantly cheaper? Help me on this one, peeps! UNDECIDED. 

Octavia Chanelle Floral & Lace Infinity Scarf ($34)

first impressions: So pretty! And who doesn't love a great scarf?

styling suggestions:

(um, thanks?)

on me:

thoughts: Ugh, I love this scarf. Easily the prettiest scarf I've ever worn. It has the floral pattern on one side and the cream lace on the other. The colors are lovely and work well with my skin. Two problems: the price (this is way more than I would usually even consider paying for a scarf), and the fact that I wouldn't be able to wear until fall. But honestly, it's cute enough to have me still considering it. UNDECIDED. 


It was so fun getting my first Stitch Fix; fun enough to make up for the fact that there was only one thing that was a no-brainer keeper. I do take some responsibility for that: I failed to tell my stylist about the impending, debilitating heat that is already descending on my city. I think that would have made a difference. 

Also...the prices. I knew that was going to be an issue from the beginning. I think that's really going to be a matter of changing my mindset about clothes. I need to learn to buy nicer things less often, and to use key pieces in various outfits. I mean, if that gray striped shirt I'm keeping, for example, replaces two cheap $14 shirts I might buy elsewhere, then it evens out (with my $20 taken off). And if those leggings keep me from buying an extra pair of jeans that I may or may not ever wear because they only look so-so, then they're worth it, too! I just need to get into that mindset: quality and versatility versus more cheap stuff. 

So, help me out on my undecideds, por favor! And if you want to try this fun service out for yourself, check out Stitch Fix here!

Friday, March 13, 2015

I'm working on it

Wow, you guys. Just wow.

As you may or may not have noticed, the last thing I wrote on this little bloggy blog of mine got passed around, well, quite a bit. It was... new. And freaky. And wonderful. And validating.

And, ultimately... stifling.

Because, quite frankly, I felt pressure. Pressure to write something else that that many people would care to read.

And then you throw in the goings on of everyday life and it's like, "Not only do I have to come up with something great to write about, but I have to find the time to write it?"

And then you struggle coming up with a new routine when your daughter starts a new preschool year.
And then you get slammed with birthday season.
And then you travel a bit.
And then the holidays come.
And then you get pregnant.
And then you throw up (repeat this step often).
And then you start to feel the serious need to do something for yourself, because sanity may not be overrated after all.

And then your mind drifts over to that little blog you love but so often neglect, and you think "Gah, it's been so ridiculously long since I wrote anything. Anything I say is just going to sound lame."

Which quickly becomes "I'm never writing again."

And that makes you sad.

And maybe, if you're lucky, some random Thursday will come when you pick up one of your favorite books and you start rereading it. And you realize that those sadness-inducing voices inside your head just don't have to be there. They're just nasty little gremlins trying to convince you that you're not good enough.

And you'll say, "Gosh dang it, I miss writing on my blog."

And you'll want to write on your blog.

So you do.

And maybe no one will ever visit my blog again, or maybe someday I'll look back at that number of visitors I got on that one day in June and I'll laugh at how big I thought it was.

But it won't really matter either way, because this is for me.