Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Finding Maternity Pants

Honestly, my only qualm with this sprinter (weather speak: winter that just won't leave quickly enough) is the reality of the maternity pants struggle. I have no idea how the few pairs I own have held up so well to the serious beating I have forced them to endure. Even though winter temps beat down upon us, you might be silently asking me why not having pants to adorn my baby belly is a problem, allow me to explain:

1. You say: Why not wear dresses with tights every day, Danielle?
 I say: If I have to choose between fighting with tights or pseduo zipper, pseudo-button-closure pants in the bathroom several times a day, the fake-me-out pants will win every time. Unless they're in the dirty clothes basket.

2. You say: Why not try a belly band so that you extend the life of your pre-pregnancy pants, Danielle?
I say: The belly band is called a band for a reason, but I do not yet know why it attaches belly to the descriptor. I find this rubberband-like torture device choking all other parts of my body (namely my ribcage) versus actually holding up my pants. If it does, indeed, cover the ubuttoned, unzipped part of my normal pants, I then must fight with it in the bathroom several times a day. I have patience with teenagers but not finicky clothing. 

3. You say: I have heard of this "rubberband trick" that involves letting a rubberband stretch the distance between the button and button closure of your normal pants. What about that?
I say: I injure myself walking down two steps. I cannot imagine what will happen when you stick me, a full bladder, and a rubberband keeping my pants together in a bathroom stall. That will be the day the rubberband breaks, I forgot to bring a back-up, and I have no way of actually buttoning my pants.

I keep reading all of these "avoid buying maternity clothes!" posts, which all suggest the belly band, the rubberband, or wear really low rise pants. None of these take into account that my normal low-rise pants still must cover my lower abdomen, which is where baby likes to reside these days. Neither baby nor I enjoy being poked by a button.

So, I have been on the hunt for pants. I plan to try H&M and have a pair of LOFT pants headed my way, so I will update you on them when I try them out for a day. I also scheduled a maternity stitch (my first Stitch Fix plunge ever), so we shall see if they send me pants that pass my test. Note: I refuse to pay full price on any item of clothing, especially maternity clothing. I tried to find stuff on thredUP, but came up empty on multiple occasions. I have scoured the internet for consignment stuff and etc., but that search is exhausting. Plus, I am getting so much wear out of the ones I bought (none full price, some gifts) that it's okay I spent $20-$40 instead of $10-$15.

Here are my results:

Full Outfit Posts: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

 Lavender Pants (Motherhood Maternity—also have in white)--Husband bought on BOGO promotion, but they're originally $44.98
I had to try on SO MANY pairs to find ones that did not make my butt look dumpy. These fit the bill, but the same pants in another color looked awful. Weird. Also, they are full panel, which I know will make me sweat in the summer, but everything will make me sweat in the summer.  

Black-wash jeans (Gap 1969 inset panel resolution slim straight jeans—also have in light wash blue jean and white)--I bought them at 40% off, but they are $69.95 original price

 Inset panel maternity jeans are by far my favorite because they stretch with my abdomen, the button does not jab me, they have real belt loops (not sure how that'd work really, but I still like feeling as though I am wearing real pants), and no belly panel makes me sweat. I do have to hike them up a little more, but I always have to do that with low rise, maternity pants or not.

Dark black skinny jeans (Motherhood Maternity--can’t find online—Mom bought them in store.)

 They are so dark that they don't look like jeans, so I wear them like normal black pants to work. I don't think anyone really notices. At least they're not leggings. They are full-panel, but the panel isn't too tight.

Charcoal gray pants (Motherhood Maternity--can’t find online—Mom bought them in store)
These are the best work pants ever. I really wish they had them in several colors. They don't sag, they hold their shape well, the full panel isn't too tight, they are as comfortable as leggings because they're a ponte-knit, and they go with everything. I am hoping the LOFT ones I ordered in bi-stretch are the khaki version of these.

Gap Flare leg jeans (1969 demi panel long and lean jeans--currently $69.95, promotion though) 
These worked for a little while until the baby decided to set up shop very low in my abdomen, which means the demi-panel squeeeeezes my lower back and abdomen, and I get the worst backaches. I thought it was a fluke until it happened more than once and with the Old Navy pair. Demi-panel is not for me, but it might work for you. (If I sized up, the pants would float on my legs.)

Old Navy Dark wash skinny jeans (Maternity Low-Panel Skinny Jeans--currently $28, promotion though) 
Same issue as the Gap demi panel: bad back pain. They just plain hurt. They cover my bum very nicely and look soooo good on, but dang, I think I cut off circulation to me and the baby. Again, sizing up would have made the pants fall down, so that wouldn't have solved the problem.

Maternity Side-Panel The Pixie Chinos (tried olive and navy--$34.94, promotion though)
I had the opposite problem with these, but I struggle to find pants when I'm not pregnant. Therefore, these might work for you. I found that when they fit in the legs, they were HUGE in the waist. Maybe I'll need to get these when I'm much bigger? I even got the smallest size, and I was swimming in them. Dude, where's the happy medium between these and the demi panel? These pants are also inset panels like the Gap pants on my good list, but I guess Gap does inset better than Old Navy. 

Yes, I want them in the light blue because I am becoming quite fond of this color. I watched a "maternity haul" video on YouTube, and the girl looked to be about my size with the same complaints about most maternity pants (dumpy butt). She posted the video last year, but these are the same pants from Old Navy. You know I got them on super sale, of course.  

I really want these to work because I love LOFT, and I have to pay the return shipping because you cannot return maternity stuff to LOFT stores. Dumb dumb dumb. I bought them on a 40% off promotion.
MAMA treggings from H&M (in olive—$34.95)

 The outlet mall near me has an H&M that also sells maternity. I am hoping they have this pair or the next pair in their store. We'll see. If not, I might be tempted to order them online. I wear a lot of pants to work, so it'd be nice to wear something other than a jean material.

MAMA Slim-Fit Pants (blush, navy, and black--$34.95)

 Recap of what I have kept:
1. Full panel Lavender jeans (gift from Jeff)
2. Full panel white jeans (gift from Jeff--bought on BOGO by him, with a coupon! Go, Jeff!)
2. Full Panel Dark black jeans (gift from Mom)
3. Full Panel Charcoal Pants (gift from Mom)
4. Inset panel, light wash, casual black jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
5. Inset panel, light wash blue jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
6. Inset panel, white jeans (Gap--bought by me on 40% promo)
**I got another white pair b/c I think the full panel will fit me better when I'm bigger, and the inset panel will fit me better now. 

Recap of what I will donate:
1. Gap flare leg jeans (I think someone carrying higher would appreciate the demi panel more, OR a woman earlier on in pregnancy. These were perfect for early pregnancy.)
2. Old Navy skinny jeans (same reason as #1)

Recap of what I'd like to add:
1. Super casual, comfy pants (light blue from ON)--I think these might work for the hospital, too.
2. Khaki pants (let's hope the LOFT ones work)
3. Olive pants (I did not realize how much I wore my normal olive pants until I stopped being able to wear them.)
4. Dark wash skinny jeans to replace the Old Navy ones that sadly no longer work.

 General Notes:
1.  I considered some DIY fashion for maternity, but I'd rather use my DIY efforts on a nursery, not pants for me. Plus, as evidenced by my increasing road rage, hormones have played games with my patience level.   
2. Between eBates rebates and money I've made through thredUP, that money has pretty much paid for the stuff that hasn't been gifted to me. 
3. Pretty much the only "maternity" things I buy are pants. I try to buy everything else in non-maternity styles that will fit me before, during, and after baby. 

Linking up with Style Sessions  

Thursday, March 26, 2015


This cardigan (and many other colors of the same kind) costs only $8.90 at Forever21. The color selection rattles my brain. If I actually needed another cardigan, I would buy it from Forever21. I bought this one and an orange one. Sure, it probably will not last forever, but with the amount I wear my cardigans, none of them is bound to last forever.

Also, these Merona flats from Target are extremely comfortable. They have just a bit of cushion in them, which makes them better than some of my higher-priced flats. I have these magenta ones, a pair of blue ones, tan ones, and then my black and white pair from yesterday's post. I always forget how comfortable they feel until I put on a pair for the day. Target, there you go doing it again.

The Look:
Cardigan: Forever21 (exact)
Top: J.Crew Factory
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Flats: Merona via Target (similar)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ten Things

I thought I'd join the Ten Things bandwagon with Danielle, Kate, and Fran. If you want to know ten things you might not already know about me, then stay a little while.

1. I went skydiving and dragged Jeff with me. I hate sitting in airplanes, but I love jumping out of them. If I had money to spend willy nilly, I'd go again. And again.

2. It took awhile (and a lot of heartbreak) to get pregnant with this kid. Even though I'm 18 weeks along, I keep waiting for someone to drop the bad news bomb on me that I don't get to meet this kid after all. All of the uncomfortable, painful, inconvenient symptoms (hey? Did my organ just move?) are absolutely worth it if I am blessed enough to be this kid's mom.

3. The only food I refuse to eat is fennel. That stuff tastes like black licorice, and I despise it. Generally, I live by the mantra, "if I can eat it, then I will," but I will never consume fennel willingly. Jeff snuck it into my pasta sauce one night, and I almost divorced him.

4. I played the saxophone in elementary school, but I quit when the band teacher made me first chair. I still feel stupid about having made this decision, especially since I was actually really good for a small tot. After all, my parents let me practice in the house, but they made my brother practice outside.

5. I don't like Will Ferrell as an actor. He annoys me. A lot. Surely he is a nice man; I just dislike watching him act.

6. My Mom Mom's eulogy. My Pop Pop's eulogy. Two maid/matron of honor speeches. I wrote them all the day/night before, and I brought the audiences to tears and laughter with my words each time. I guess you could say I write well under pressure. (I assume I cannot follow this same pattern of behavior for the speech I deliver at graduation this year....)

7. I don't like receiving cards for holidays because I never know exactly what to do with them. I feel guilty throwing them away, and I have never been one to hang them on the fridge/mantel. They confuse me more than they should.

8. I teach English, but I never have a chance to read anything other than students' papers. It saddens me, really. I chose English because I love to read, but my work life resembles Groundhog Day. I just keep reading and rereading the same books every.single.year. I plan to teach Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to my juniors during fourth quarter just so that I have an excuse to read it.

9. Jeff fixes most of the meals around these parts. I am the planner and researcher of all things (house projects, meal planning, etc.), and he executes my wonderful ideas. I guess you could say I'm the brains, and he's the brawn. Tonight, he fixed this recipe. He said that trying to wrap the ingredients inside the zucchini was NOT easy. However, my stomach would like you to know that the meal tasted delicious. 

10. Every time I buy a watch, the battery dies in record time (pun intended). I remember one time at college, I proudly held up my wrist to my friend Dave and said, "my watches always die, but this one keeps ticking." He responded, "Umm...it's dead." Yeah, that moment confirmed watches' distaste for me. I could replace batteries, but ain't nobody got time for that.

The Look:
Blazer (old): Old Navy
Top (on sale, recent): Francesca's
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Flats: Steve Madden

The Bump:
18 weeks today  (this picture is from last week; the bump looks a smidge more pronounced this week, or that could be all of the fiber I have eaten in the past three days. Who can be sure?)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Navy & Lavender

First of all, Jim Parsons (Sheldon of Big Bang Theory) turned 42 yesterday. HOW? I feel utterly befuddled. Remove Cindy Crawford from all of those youth commercials and replace her with Jim.

Second of all, my students amuse me. Sometimes, they do and say things that would be shocking, inappropriate, and unsettling if an adult were to do or say the same thing. For example, one of my juniors fist bumped (gently, fear not) my baby bump yesterday. I laughed hysterically because I am weird, awkward, and easily amused. If a four-star general from Jeff's work were to fist bump my baby bump, I might not laugh so easily. (I would probably do so nervously and walk away quickly.) About ten minutes later, another student crouched down and began talking to my belly and excitedly exclaimed, "It's SO CUTE. There's a THING in there!" Seriously, teenagers make me laugh every single day. Once this baby comes out, can't it just help me teach my classes? Let's all hang out and appreciate the English language together.

Third of all, I love these pants. Guess who picked them out all on his own? Yeah, Jeff. I'm still shocked, too. The first item of clothing he surprised me with was a pair of lavender maternity jeans. Remember that he would wear a "You Got a Purdy Mouth" shirt ever day had I not thrown it away on the sly. However, he managed to buy me a pair of pants I totally love. Good job, Jefferino. You've made your wife proud.

Let's just say she is singing to the baby, not screaming at Jeff for preventing her from jumping on me with her dirty paws. 
The Look:
Shirt: Target
Tee: Gap (Maternity)
Scarf: Handmade by Momma
Pants (gift): Motherhood Maternity
Heels: Aerosoles (also have them in burgundy--love 'em)
 Forgive Squirt as she nibbles her leg.
And now she's nibbling a stick. Oh, these dogs.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Maxi-mum Comfort

See this pretty necklace I'm wearing? It was fatally injured in a desk chair incident. I cannot count how many necklaces have died this way. Apparently, I drop writing utensils every time I wear a long necklace. Every time I bend to pick up said pen or pencil, my necklace wraps around the arm of the desk chair, and I simultaneously choke myself while exploding my necklace. I think I have developed quite a knack for this type of clumsiness. Hopefully, my handy husband can fix it with a pair of pliers; however, I will not disturb him while he finally works on building our headboard. Oh, you know, seven months later, no big deal. Maybe the baby room will get new windows before the baby actually arrives, too.

Mom tells me I am "nesting," but I think the warm(er) weather has uncovered the shame I feel over not having cleaned my house in an embarrassingly long time. Flushing after use keeps the toilet clean, right? Ahem. Moving on. My kitchen is now really clean: new spring table cloth adorning the table, reorganized countertops, weekly meals planned, and fridge cleaned out. Ahhh, so glorious to work in a clean kitchen. Of course, the cleanliness reveals our need for not-so-dark countertops and a skylight for more sunshine. Oh, and the walls might benefit from having some pretty art/mirrors/plates hang from them.

Anyway, I wore this comfortable outfit one day last week.

The Look:
Dress: Old Navy (old)
Necklace: Francesca's
Sweater: Express (clearance section recently)
Flats: Merona via Target

Thursday, March 19, 2015

On Point

Two days this week, two different students referred to my outfit for that day as being "on point." They even flashed me the little a-okay sign (which always makes me think of Buckwheat from The Little Rascals...ooooootaaayyy). I guess I'm figuring out this maternity style thing. Granted, it's a lot easier now that I'm not trying to hide it.

I did not do a bumpdate yesterday (this whole weekly thing is a bit overdoing it), so I am going to leave you with some random thoughts before I show you today's "on point" outfit:

1. I cannot stop craving barbacoa bowls from Chipotle. I have eaten three of them this week alone. If this kid becomes a vegetarian, you can color me surprised.

2. Because of my white gold allergy, Jeff finally sent my rings off to have a full rhodium coating applied. Hopefully, I will be able to wear them without suffering from an allergic reaction.

3. I experienced a prenatal massage today. My body is now made of Jell-O, and I feel glorious.

4. Yesterday and today, we held junior interviews in the media center. These two days rank as my favorite school days of the year (in sharp contrast to my least favorite day, Wacky Tacky Day) because so many students are dressed up for their interviews. Why can't students dress professionally every day, or even once a week? Who doesn't feel like a BOSS when they get all gussied up?

By the way, this outfit might be one of my favorite ones in awhile. I kept looking for a cardigan to wear for this outfit and realized a chambray would be a better choice. I can't believe I pulled this look together in the morning. Sometimes my brain surprises even me.

The Look:
Shirt: LOFT
Chambray: Old Navy
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Necklace: Francesca's (recent)
Flats: ModCloth (old)

Originally, we took this picture to show off the bump (HA...it's hiding), but I posted it simply because of Roxy showing off in the background. Those dogs entertain me on a daily basis. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Juggling Act

Any weekend that ends with seeing family and eating delicious food earns an A+ from me. I spend so much of my "off" time absorbed by grading, sending e-mails, and lesson planning that so little time remains for my family. It saddens me, really.  Spring break cannot come soon enough. I need to spend time with people I love and doing things I love. This kid is already highlighting the reality of how much time I spend either doing work or feeling guilty about not doing work. The one thing I cannot allow myself to feel guilty about is not spending enough time with this kid when he or she arrives, so my priorities have already started shifting.  I know all teachers understand the struggle to balance it all; in fact, I am sure so many other professions can empathize. After all, life is one big balancing act.

However, after nine years in the classroom and a childhood spent watching my father work an obscene number of hours to support us, I just do not know if I can justify the time commitment and sacrifices teaching requires. Also, why do we busy ourselves with so much that we feel overburdened instead of overjoyed? Why do people consistently feel the need to tell other people "oh, I am busier than you are"? How did overworking ourselves become a marker of accomplishment? Why do I allow other people's perception of "success" define my own version of it? Why do I buy into this ludicrousness that "doing it all" means you "have it all"? Frankly, my heart of hearts know that is a bunch of unfulfilling malarkey. I think when I achieve balance between doing something I love and spending time with the people I love, that will be my greatest accomplishment. I do not want to feel so rushed through life that I forget I am living one at all. 

These are the musings I type when I should be writing a graduate paper. I guess I should go hop on that. Quickly, come have a look at my outfit and my fun outing with my parents and Jeff.

The Look:
Top: Old Navy
Cardigan: Old Navy
Jeans (maternity): Gap
Flats (old): Target

Roxy likes to overshadow me. She's cute enough to do so.

My dad's smile makes me laugh so hard. Gosh, I love that man. His shirt is made of corduroy, and it is so soft. He proudly stated that it's from L.L.Bean. And doesn't my mom look pretty in pink? And look at that gorgeous smile of hers. They're the best.

I need to frame this picture. I really, really love it. It just brings me great joy.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Shout Out

I often forget that students follow me into this corner of the internet. Luckily (or not?), I write here pretty much the same way I talk in class with them. (If they did not silently stalk me here, then they would verify the veracity of that statement.) Yesterday, I told you I would not wear white pants so as not to explode one of my student's heads. She tweeted that post before class today and then proceeded to make me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. Everyone accused her of wearing white pants. She used the enormous pad of post-it notes to demonstrate the difference between the "champagne" color of her pants and the whiteness of the post-it notes. If you're reading this, my dear students, let me tell you and the internet how much you brighten my day.  I look forward to every class period with you all, especially you, fifth period and all of my style twins. 

Also, I would apologize for telling you all about the article I read that claimed farting extends a person's life. However, science is relevant, especially when it's funny and means your parents can "live forever" as I told you. Be sure to sneak your parents some cabbage and broccoli tonight. The next time you see your grandparents, sneak them some cabbage and broccoli, too.

I do, however, apologize to everyone for the UGLY color of my living room walls. The previous owners decided this putrid color would look good...on every wall.  Granted, they made a lot of other "design" choices that leave me feeling puzzled, so I can't be too surprised. Allow yourself to be distracted by the pretty flowers on my dress.

The Look:
Dress: PinkBlush Maternity 
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Made by my momma (of course)
Boots: Steve Madden

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

16-week Bumpdate: Ask and You Shall Receive

People at work keep asking about "the bump" and feeling disappointed because I inadvertently hide it under flowy shirts. Today, I really wanted to wear this shirt because I love the color (a light blue). The clingy shirt highlighted "the bump" effectively, I suppose. One of my fifth period students exclaimed, "OH! The bump is just so cuuuute!" My sophomores, whom I have yet to tell since my intern has been teaching them (it'd be awkward to yell randomly, "hey! I'm pregnant!" at them), kept eyeing my stomach today. I considered addressing the elephant in the room and then decided against it. Several colleagues simply pointed and said, "BUMP!" I feel as if I invented a fun game.

The Look:
Top (has cute sleeves you can't see!): Old Navy (exact)
Cardigan (old): LOFT
Pants: Motherhood Maternity
Necklace: gift 

Wearing: I bought a pair of white maternity jeans, and I cannot wait to wear those bad boys. I have a student who is vehemently opposed to white jeans before Memorial Day. The class and I argued with her about Easter being a totally acceptable start date. In fact, we all felt white jeans were fair game any season of the year, so several of us plan to wear white jeans tomorrow just to mess with her.  I don't really want to make her brain explode all over my poorly decorated bulletin boards (good thing I teach high school), so I might spare her. This time.  In other news, I cannot wait to wear dresses and maxi skirts!

Reading: Résumés. So many of them. My brain hurts. So much.

Eating: Frequently and whatever sounds appealing, which changes hourly. I haven't really stuck to one thing because I think diversifying my diet will benefit both baby and me. I do really love olives and apples; they have yet to "get old." Steak and sweet potatoes one day, pasta another day, and a salad another day. I also crave oranges, which I cannot eat because I am allergic to them. To cope, I stood by the man making fresh orange juice in Whole Foods today and took in a few big whiffs.

Feeling: My threshold for pain is impressive after three surgeries (appendix, gall bladder, sinus), two car accidents, and a host of health problems. However, back pain has begun to settle in the past few days, and my Sjogrens is flaring up. My threshold is being tested. Granted, I would like to blame work stress for the Sjogrens flare and not this sweet baby. Of course, work stress is not causing things to stretch and making my back throb so badly that I rock back and forth while sobbing. We two tiny humans are trying to coexist in the tiny space that is my body; we'll eventually make it work. After the kid arrives, it will take over the house. Right now, it feels satisfied just taking over my body. I'm totally cool with that arrangement and just thankful it wants to share some space with me at all. To cope with the pain, I scheduled an acupuncture appointment for Saturday (first ever, came highly recommended) and a prenatal massage appointment next Thursday. Jeff so kindly bought me a foam roller to stretch out my back. I'll make this work, kid. I always do.

Anticipating:  Spring break. I want to sleep in. Desperately. Mom, Dad, and I might take a mini trip in their RV. That would be exciting! 


Monday, March 9, 2015

Nice people

This weekend, Jeff and I made friends with several of the vendors at a Baby Expo near us because we soak up knowledge like sponges. I learned about another way to get tested for gestational diabetes (versus the drink 50g of sugar in one sitting method). I learned that car seats have expiration dates. I learned that a lot of what I have learned as a teacher, especially about kids and routines, applies to parenting. I learned what a doula actually does. (Jeff, of course, started quoting Billy Madison and said, "medulla oblongata!") I learned about which foods you should buy organic. (Sure, Jeff needed a whole lot of coaxing to consider attending said FREE event, but he ultimately found it valuable as I knew he would.) Don't worry. The next episode of "The Wife is Right" will air soon enough.

At the Verizon store, I decided I needed to replace my iPhone 4s because the poor thing just could not function despite still looking pristine. (I feel like my phone and I have a lot more in common than I realized.) I could have replaced it this past August, but I like to hold onto my technology until it becomes a glorified paperweight because...ugh...money. The salesman, Dave, pointed to a phone case that had me "written all over it," and it was actually the one to which I felt continually drawn. He gave the case to me for free and also knocked $10 off my screen protector. He also made sure we were on the best plan for the cheapest price. Before we left, he taught Jeff and me about The Trolley Dilemma, and we proceeded to have a profound conversation about ethics. (This conversation served as a clear reminder why I did not study ethics in college. They should just rename it "Rock and Hard Place.")

In line behind us at our favorite local, family-owned, fully gluten-free restaurant, a woman started talking to me about how much she loved the color of my cardigan, which I immediately admitted was $8.90 from Forever 21. She said she wears a lot of black and gray. Upon seeing my outfit, she decided she would wear this color with her black and gray to "brighten it up" and she felt all excited about the inspiration.  She is a sweet woman named Patti, and she didn't even mind that it took me five years to place an order at a place with a menu I've nearly committed to memory.

I guess the moral of the story is that it's refreshing to stop and actually talk to people. Treat every person as if they have something to teach you, and you will be surprised by how much you learn. I hope this kid of mine values relationships and learning as much as I do and as much as Jeff does (even though he might not freely admit it). I guess the best I can do is serve as a good role model. This strategy has served me well as a teacher, so let's hope it serves me well as a parent.

The Look:
Cardigan: Forever 21 (exact for $8.90--my color is "neon orange")
Dress: H&M
Boots: Madden Girl (similar)
Scarf: Made by Momma

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trunks up to my favorite animals

Pardon that little tuft of hair that's escaping the rest of my bangs. New hair keeps coming in, so I continually have this awkward phase where I these little sprites of bangs make me look as if I had to remove gum from my hair with scissors. Let's just call them endearing and move on, shall we?

Today is a snow day. Yahoo? At this point, I have resigned myself to the fact we will be celebrating the fourth of July together at school. I kid. Sort of. I guess wearing this elephant scarf yesterday was good luck (depending on how you look at it, of course)? However, the elephants' trunks are not up, and someone from India once told me that elephants with their trunks up are considered good luck. Since I love elephants (I am currently looking at four different elephants in my room--a figurine, a humidifier, and two lamps), I will not argue with such kind words about them. I should probably fact check, but why would I run the risk of disappointing myself?

My other favorite animal? The prairie dog. I find them wildly amusing, especially with those little heads that just pop up periodically. I hand-fed them at a zoo in Arizona several years ago, and it may have completed my life. About six years ago, they were renovating the prairie dog exhibit in Baltimore (near me), and prairie dogs started escaping! They were climbing walls and burrowing out. The zoo workers had to scoop them up with nets and put them back into their habitat. They had one little bugger surrounded, and he decided to make his way back into the habitat instead of subjecting himself to the swarm of zoo workers. I really wish I visited the zoo that day; I may or may not have scooped up a prairie dog to take home in my purse. I would have named it Houdini because who doesn't want an escape artist for a pet? Here's the article (which is hilariously written, by the way).

I apologize that the lighting leaves a bit to be desired. Jeff argued that the lighting was best here, while I argued for the opposite side, and I think we have another episode of "The Wife Was Right" set to air today.

The Look:
Cardigan: Forever 21 (a student remarked, "nice white and gold outfit today," and I laughed pretty hard. Kids are so witty.) 
Scarf: Gift from my sister-in-law :)
Chambray (actually short sleeves): J.Crew Factory
Jeans: Gap maternity 
Flats: Jessica Simpson (these bad boys are old)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hump Day Bump Day (15 weeks)

Usually, I do not complain about the weather because everyone else does it for me. However, my one complaint about this continual craptastic weather is that it forces me to wear pants more often than dresses (finally found tights that do not cut into my stomach), and the pant struggle is real right now. I have two "nice" pairs for work and a few pairs of jeans; I just cannot jump fully onto the leggings bandwagon, either. Last week, I had to pack up my pant collection so that it did not sadden me every time I tried to locate a cute outfit in my closet. Emotional crisis averted. Mostly. Also, does anyone remember Lampchop's Sing-a-longs? What about "This is the song that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on, my friends?" Anyone? Yeah, well, I think an appropriate word swap would be "winter" for "song."

The Look:
Dress: Old Navy (just got it and I love it, especially that it's not maternity AND that it is long enough. Glory hallelujah.)
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: made by Momma
Boots: Franco Sarto
Necklace: I think it's from The Limited

Yes, you might be looking at that bump and saying to yourself, "seriously, she can't wear her regular pants? She calls that a bump?" 


Wearing: On Monday night, I hunted for stuff that is not maternity but could work during and after pregnancy; Old Navy rarely fails me, so I found two dresses, two shirts, and a pair of jeans. I know my pants situation can be solved only by maternity pants, and I have surrendered to that fact of life. I found a great pair of skinny maternity jeans from Old Navy (bought them with this dress) that actually fit, and I scored them for 30% off. Boom. People keep assuring me that pregnancy makes leggings socially acceptable, but my brain still fights it. However, I will wear jeans every day to work until the weather warms up and feel zero remorse about it. Zero. Today, I also matched two of my students in fifth period.  Another student said, "If ____ and ____ had a baby, it'd be Ms. Wo." Kids say the darndest things.

Reading: I just started reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because I plan to teach it to my juniors during fourth quarter. I LOVE IT. I have made it four chapters into the novel, and I have fallen in love with the eccentric, adorable, endearing narrator. I know it will bring me to ugly cries, and I am okay with that.

Eating: Virgil's root beer is the bee's knees (I know it qualifies as a drink, not a food, but it bears mentioning here). Also, I want salads, olives, french-style green beans, gluten-free soft pretzels (SO AMAZING) and pink lady apples. I grow terribly, terribly sick of eating the same thing every day, so I mostly crave variety. Those old wives' tales about cravings are a bunch of hogwash for me. Salty is supposed to mean boy and sweet is supposed to mean girl. I crave both.

Feeling: The nausea has abated significantly. However, the one weird, disgusting, persistent symptom is a head full of snot. Not an "I have a cold" snot, but rather "let's see how many times I choke on my own phlegm just because my body cannot possibly stop producing it" snot. I blow my nose so often that the inside of it actually hurts. No Rudolph nose, so at least my face hides the snot. I can actually feel pulling and stretching and cramping, but compared to my monthly visitor? These growing pains are nothing.

Anticipating:  On April 6th, we find out whether this kid is a mini me or a mini Jeff; if we are all lucky, this kid will be a mini me whether it's male or female. I am not sure the world can contend with another ball of energy like Jeff. Okay, I am not sure I can contend with another ball of energy like Jeff. Just tonight, I was lying peacefully on the bed when he came upstairs and started blowing in my face. Earlier, he decided to play the "let's see how loudly and obnoxiously I can chew these cheeseballs." Dude kills me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Colors and an Unlikely Superhero

One day in the coming months, those walls behind me will not be the color of banana's rejected turd of a brother. (People tell me to call it "manila," but I love manila folders way more than bananas, so there you have it.) Instead, they will be a calming gray, just like our bedroom walls. Provided this wicked winter weather does not thwart my plans tomorrow, I shall have a new paint job on my hair as well. Thankfully, the doctor and my stylist, who has two boys of her own, say that highlights are safe for me. I fear I would crumble under the weight of this hair shituation if I could not fix it until September.

Also, I have a random thought for you today, which makes this thought no different from any other thought I share with you. I think that if asparagus were a superhero, then its tagline would read: Defender of Short Term Memory. We all know full well that it saves us from using the line, "I can't even remember what I had for dinner last night." Fear not, asparagus will not allow you to forget. Now, what would we name this superhero? Hit me with your best ideas.

The Look:
Tunic: PinkBlush Maternity  (same in light pink/black, similar)
Leggings: Target? Old Navy? I cannot remember.
Scarf: Momma
Boots: so old from Macy's