It's been half of a forever since I did a Stitch Fix post. And if you'd told me I would break that streak with a pregnant fix, I dont think i would have believed you. This is because Stitch Fix doesn't carry dedicated maternity clothes, but if you've been pregnant before, you may have found that lots of cuts of non-pregnant pieces still totally work during pregnancy--even if it means going up a size. Plus, I wanted to have a firsthand pregnant fix of my own to be able to share with yall...so I ordered a summer box in the midst of my belly expansion AND the high-summer of Georgia.
In my notes to my stylist when I ordered my pregnant box, I decided to trust them enough to just say, "Hey, I'm gonna be HUGE, it's gonna be hot...do me right, if you dare," and then waited to see what those fashion geniuses came up with.
Just to save you the suspense, all of these items I am showing you are KEEPERS (Layla is thrilled)!
When opened the box, my eye was immediately sucked in by this awesome print. I was thrilled to pull it out and find that it is a flowy, happy, comfy maxi dress!
It was a deal at $60 since it makes me feel like $60 million! I saw a photo of this dress on a non-pregnant woman and it looked fantastic on her, so I am extra excited to keep this baby rocking for the long haul. God bless the maxi.
I posted this pic on my instagram with the hashtag #pregnantjumping, expecting to find a mid-air sorority of preggos to join...but mine was the first and only pic! That's okay. Imma start this show.
I'm pretty sure I would never leave my house while pregnant in the summertime if it werent for my trusty cadre of jersey skirts. I would just lie eternally pantsless in my house and order delivery (which isnt that far from my actual, after-work, reality ).
I have some jersey skirts that are true maternity and some that arent. It doesnt seem to make a difference because the jersey is so stretchy that I can just hike it up a few inches to get a wider waistband for my expanding belly.
This sunkist orange striped maxi from Stitch Fix cost more than I usually pay for a jersey skirt (at $40), but the saturated, summery color and the fact that it will definitely be a winner when I'm thinner made it a keeper. (the necklace is from the fabulous Jones Market and I adore it!)
I love how the stripes come together in a chevron at the hip seams too
Here was my first attempt at a Stitch Fix pregnant top:
It's white, it's jersey, it's flowy below the waist, it's long and--wait for it!--IT'S SMOCKED! Some of yall who know my violent aversion to smocking might be laughing in my face right now, but GUYS! This isnt the hive-inducing horror of the kiddie-smocked clothing that is so popular here in the deep south. CANNOT HANDLE.
This is COOL smocking that creates great texture and visual interest on the bodice of a staple white shirt sleeve top. And I feel good about being able to wear this piece after pregnancy as a more tunic-length top (which I love since my hips are the part of me I like to minimize).
How about an accessory? Those are friendly to everyone--regardless of what may or may not be in your uterus at the time!
I received a delicate gold layered strand necklace with two chevron details.
I am writing this post away from home and realize that I never got a shot of my necklace up close, so I borrowed this photo (though I think I could rock braids like this!) source
Here is where the necklace falls on me. I love it for sneakily making me look fancier in a simple tee top than I might without it.
And this grey top is actually piece #5! This shirt is a lovely heather gray that looks like plain t-shirt material at first glance, but is actually an incredibly light sweater-type knit. Like someone took a thick sweater pattern but knitted it with eensy thin, light thread. So it looks really interesting like a sweater, but feels so light and airy-cool like a summery tee.
A solid gray tee with some character is such a great go-to layering piece and again will be great even after baby girl busts out.
extra love for the extra long hem in back. I live in constant fear of butt crack exposure! also: Birks are back, baby! I scored a used pair off of eBay and I feel so hippie german chic in them while secretly pampering my pregnant footsies.
So there you have it-5 massive winners from Stitch Fix from a 31-weeks pregnant girl! They are warlocks who make me happy.
yeah, i havent been able to even cope with the possibility of doing anything else cabinet-related until now, a full year later. i might have mild PTSD about that whole affair.
here's where we've been for pretty much a year:
unbelievably better than where we started (and you can totally tell the blue hue to the cabs b/c we've repainted only the left half of them in a true white so far)
but now that i'm finally getting over my stockholm syndrome i am finally ready to admit some of my captors' flaws and fine-tune some things cabinet-wise. the first of these things was to make an exposed shelf from the stand-alone bank of cabs over the bar/counter.
we removed that weird sink ceiling thing (for another project i'll share with you soon) and were left with a sort of strangely independent little square of cabinets, perfect for being somehow different than the other modules since it was totally detached.
i had seen really pretty examples of all-open shelving on pinterest and other blogs but doubted i was neat or stylish enough to make it work in our house. i neeeeeed my secret mess caches of shame and come cascading onto my head when i open them, you guys.
but one pretty, open, organized cabinet? that i could do. definitely. probably.
so we took off the doors, patched the holes and i set to painting.
ugh, painting the inside, every side of shelving is not fun. so many dimensions to remember.
but after the paint dried i could see it was totally going to work. just taking the doors off made it seem like we added square footage to the room and gave it a nice open, accessible feel.
so i set about finding my prettiest, most display-worthy kitchen items.
i found this beauty in my trunk. a goodwill purchase from about 10 months ago. i painted it with white ceramic paint (just like my ombre cannisters here) and baked it to set it permanently.
i am using a mothers day card from jesse as a dropcloth because i am heartless...and because i took a pic of it to keep it forever, duh.
we threw the rest of our pretties up there, spent a ridiculously WASP-y amount of time feng-shui'ing them into just the right places and then sat back to admire:
ahhhh! love it. and nothing was bought just to fill this space up, we already had these guys already.
our black dishes are from our wedding registry and i am still so hard in love with them. the inverse colors are on the bowls and dinner plates (stacked) and having them right there in reach in the open has been a whole other benefit of this DIY that i hadnt foreseen.
that top shelf had been so hard to reach that it was just piled with junk that never got used (and threatened concussions daily), so i dont feel bad putting things up there almost exclusively for display. even if they dont get used too much, they are pretty and get ogled plenty...more than those free-loading squatter items living their before could say for themselves.
my pretties are from target (honey), goodwill (cake stand...walmart brand i think), west elm (dipped cork jar), pottery barn (salt cellar), marshalls (lidded candle) and anthro (milk jug stacking measuring cups & chalk board cannister).
and my pretty from jesus (hubface)
i lobe it!
moral of the story: dont be scurred. if a dirty little disorganized packrat like me can pull off exposed shelving (even just a tad of it), anyone can!
that would be vertical space...not jesse. you will never, even if i should live 1000 years, hear me refer to jesse by that mind-violating word.
you know i love maximizing vertical space. in a small house, you have got to do this if you want to make life work and not accidentally go on a stress rage rampage/fast food comedown binge every 31 days because your period is due and WHY ARE THERE PILES OF STUFF ALL OVER THE FLOOR AND COUNTER!?!?!
our previous greatest accomplishment in this milieu was literally conjuring up a pantry where before there was none. i love this project hard and it was worth it about 50 times over.
since that upgrade, the reigning holder of the esteemed title "biggest perpetual assache in the house" has for the past year belonged to the office closet. part craft closet, part guest closet, part room of requirement gone wrong = so much of yuck.
ugh. this is my secret monica closet that i never wanted anyone to see.
that stupid stand-alone shelf was something we already had and i was determined to make work by just shoving it in the closet and going, "here, little fella! be a closet!". it did NOT work.it was just a spindly little doo-dad that might be sufficient for holding pensieves, but not much else. it wasnt ready for the big leagues and so it earned my wrath.
additionally, it created these infinitely exasperating side margins of wasted space. THE HORROR.
thats a great place to store important things that you need to get to frequently...and the perfect size to get my head stuck EVERY TIME.
so last week i decided it was time to pantry-fy this bad boy. my etsy shop is going bananas lately and i need a way more organized system to support it without taking over then entire floor and tabletop space of the office. the closet would have to step up. what's hebrew for a closet boy becoming a closet man? it's certainly some kind of mitzvah.
vomiting it out to make it all better. i see you there, creepy frog sleeping bag eyes.
not a hellpit; not yet a haven.
with embarrassingly little effort (considering how horrible we let this ge for so long), installation took about an hour total we had our problem solved+. i say solved plus because in these situations not only is all the stuff that was previously in the shame-closet WAY more organized and better laid out, but there is all of a sudden TONS of extra space for new stuff that was lurking in other stupid places around the house secretly stealing my neurons.
almost there and layla approved.
added some cutesy labels and put all the little stuff in mason jars in the door shelf (SUCH a clutch piece)
the stuff that i want to be kid-accessible i stored in jars with no lids and on low shelves so they can get them in and out 100% by themselves. everything is washable and cheap so i'm not sweating losing tops or coloring carpets.
things that i would prefer them not to spill everywhere (like 2000 count beads) are up high and have tops on them.
with more treasures loaded in
and then small, topped, labelled bins to maintain sanity.
this closet is now a safe space for a rational mind and not a lunatic's horde cubby. the kids feel empowered by being able to start art projects on their own and love knowing where everything goes. they also are far more likely to come in and create with me while i sew now that their stuff is in their reach and visible rather than scattered and buried.
jesse wrote this song and blogged about it 10 days before our layla took her first breath. i just stumbled back over the post today, 935 days after her birth, and was brought to tears by how much she has lived up to and exceeded our wildest hopes for our little girl and what she would do to our hearts.
(seriously, if you havent listened to it...you need to)
we had never seen her, never touched her (those lucky OB's had), never heard her make a noise. all of the love and hope that went into this song and what we felt for her was an expectant one,a forward-looking one.
if you've ever been pregnant, you know how ENDLESS that time is after 37 weeks, when the baby is totally big and ready enough to come on out. i read the posts i wrote from early november, 2010 and i have to laugh sympathetically at that poor, bloated, beached seacow of a me who was just about to lose her mind with being huge and pregnant and wildly missing a little girl whose face she had never seen.
as frantic as she was to get that hummus out, so were we to get HER out
sitting here at 935 days ex-utero and knowing this child backward and frontward, i am just in awe of how she fulfilled our dreams of what adding her to the family would look like, and then blasted straight through them and into a whole other dimension of joy and wonder.
beyond hoping for...this little creature.
and what a miracle that this exact experience happens and has happened billions of times over...it's not just for us! except it kind of is, too. the most intimate and yet universal thing on earth: life!
everything about pregnancy is magical. looking back at the pure and expectant love that we had before meeting layla from the standpoint of today, where she has just always been here and been adored, is really special in its own way.
layla turned two and a half on may 14th. we decided back around march to make this date the end of the paci era. we told her weeks ahead of time that this would be happening and that we would have a "bye bye paci party" to usher in the new big girl era.
before this, when she turned two, we had scaled back paci usage to only in the car and in bed. this was mostly because at 2 years old she wasnt speaking very much or very clearly and we figured getting the big plastic thing out of her mouth all the time might help.
boy did it.
between two and two point five, this little chick exploded with language. it was great. so we figured, this is a big, talking human child, she's ready to sleep and ride and live the rest of her life without a paci. thus the bye bye party.
on tuesday, may 14th, layla took one last hit off of her paci
that is a big kid.
then we lit the candles on her half bday cake
and just like that: a new era. (thanks for the assist, judah)
it was rough.
those first few nights were brutal, as we had expected (i hadnt expected the sentimental wave of "i'm losing my baby!" that crashed into me). she was in full-blown withdrawal and was a grump-monster terror. we searched for paci-methadone to help her come off the hard stuff more gradually. no blankey, binky (soft burp cloths that are judah's comfort objects and which she has always enjoyed as an accompaniment to the paci), stuffed animal, or doll could fill the paci void (figuratively in her heart and literally in her mouth). jesse and i both later confessed that, in our weaker moments during our turns on layla-re-tucking-in duty, we had each secretly tried to get her to try sucking her thumb. neither of us had luck.
2 days clean. the face of recovery. talk to your kids about paci addiction today.
we wanted to turn back and call it off SO many times. i would find a paci that had survived the throwing-out purge and hide it away...just in case. but we knew that we HAD to stand by this since we had given her our word about it. if we relented, that would just teach her that she just needed to pitch fits about it for 5 days and then we'd give in. we didnt want to be setting that precedent.
so we did it. yesterday was 3 weeks with no paci, and i havent heard her even ask for one in 2 weeks. i had completely forgotten about my contraband reserved pacis. she was fully functional and 100% detoxed. if she encountered a baby with a paci should wouldnt even try to take it or ask for one. she had fully come to understand that those werent for her anymore.
but you guys, the BEHAVIOR lately! oh man, the attitude, the ear-melting car shrieking, the losing her mind over nothing, the getting out of bed 6 times a night, a crazy decrease in coping skills, the REFUSAL to even allow us to put her to bed without a massive fight....oh how i've aged.
this kid used to be a championship level sleeper. i would go to rock her and sing to her and she would point to her crib and grunt, "bed" before i could even get to the first chorus. that child had disappeared. it wasnt just that we were annoyed by having to exert more effort, it was that she legitimately wasnt getting the rest she needed and it was snowballing into the next day.
i dont think we ever linked the new behavior stuff with the paci-pull. i'm still not even sure that this isnt just a 2 and a half phase she's going through.
but the last few nights i had been thinking about the paci again. thinking about awesome older kids i know who had pacis into age 3, 4, or even 5. being nostalgic about her losing all of her baby-ness, but not wanting to baby her. then i tried to put aside the idea of a "right" choice according to the world and started thinking about layla and what is best for her and us as her parents.
on one hand, i did NOT want her thinking we dont keep our word and that she can break us. but on the other side of that, i felt like we were past that on this issue. when she has been pitching fits and disobeying at bedtime, she isnt even asking for the paci, so i dont think she would even link the two the way she would have if we gave a paci back to her at the beginning of this when she was demanding one.
i begged jesse one night as we marched her back to bed for the 9th time, and he said no, that sticking with it was most important. but this was wearing on him too. then we asked my mother in law what she thought. she has kept the kids a bunch this summer and has noticed layla's much shorter fuse and ability to cope with really silly little things. she said she has seemed tired a lot of the time and refuses to take naps at their house (and even asking for pacis during attempted naps...long after i thought she had forgotten them).
jesse and i talked about it again and decided that it might be better for layla to have the paci at bedtime again. (GROWLSCREECH! even typing that makes me feel like a total pushover doormat parent). that with all the help we get with people watching the kids, maybe it wasnt fair to ask them to manage a sleep-deprived toddler if there was an easy solution. maybe it wasnt fair to US to deal with that. and that it certainly isnt fair to layla to let her repeatedly be without sufficient rest.
i reintroduced it to her yesterday at naptime. i told her she had done a great job being a big girl and telling her paci goodbye, but that mommy and daddy had decided that she should have it at bedtime so that she would hopefully get more rest. i tried not to say we changed our minds or attach it in any way to the previous decision. this was a NEW thing, not going back on a previous thing.
her eyes lit up like she had been dusted with disney magic or ecstasy or something. i gave her a paci and put her in bed. she burrowed into her pillow and snuggled up under her blanket like i hadnt seen in almost a month. it was like i had shot a tranquilizer dart at her. dont call it a relapse.
i'm not sure if we made the right decision. i get worried about what people will think, i worry that we're stunting her maturity, that we're taking the easy way out, that we're just setting up a bigger battle later. that we are enabling an attachment that is unhealthy and that we had already beaten! (thats a BIG fear).
those thoughts have been pinging around my brain nonstop since yesterday. i'm trying to find peace in the "she'll do it when she's ready" mindset, which potty training is also firmly plopped into (pun) right now.
so yeah. blerg. this parenting thing is hard. even first-world problems like this one--with no real "bad" outcome-- can really eat up your heart and your mind and get you so twisted.
so, advice: have you ever gone back on a boundary or rule that you had firmly set up for your kids? was it the right move? is it ever?!?!
what are your thoughts on comfort objects, pacis, bedtimes and the "too old for" thinking?