I do love this picture, now. At the time, I remember thinking WHAT THE H$LL? The jelly belly is completely out of control. Yes, I am only 9 days postpartum, so a more experienced mom might excuse the enormity of the jelly belly, but as a first time mom, it was quite a shock. There was just so much...skin? Fat? Fluid? Uterus? All of the above? Just so much JELLY BELLY. It was from that point on that I eliminated the lift-the-shirt nursing technique from my repertoire. Call me crazy, but the site of a naked jelly-belly is enough to bring on some postpartum blues.
So instead, I invested in tops that would accommodate nursing, namely, the henley. I am now a total henley convert. Not only are they perfect for nursing, but they are a cool update to the t-shirt & jeans mom uniform.
You’re a mom now.Let’s face it,
much as you may love your stilettos (or maybe just the idea of them), unless
you’re going to be a sitting-on-the-sidelines, too-cool-for-school mom, you need some sensible shoes from time to time,
and that includes toasty winter boots with good traction.You can’t stay inside all winter long, so how
else are you going to safely frolic with your sweet potato in rain, sleet and
snow?Well sister, you’re in luck,
because sensible doesn’t necessarily mean sickly anymore.Whether you’re looking for boots that will get
you through three-foot drifts or help you hail a cab without losing your toes
to frostbite, you can pull this whole winter look off and still maintain your
sense of style.We’ve found a bevy of
cute and toasty winter boots, all waterproof, that fit the bill. All links lead to Zappos, because they carry almost every shoe on earth.
Out of Town Boots For a day spent packing snowballs, digging snow forts, pulling your
peanut in a sled or braving the short but oh so bitterly cold walk to the
grocery three blocks away, you’ll need some serious winter boots.The KEEN Betty boot is a bit loud, but with 200
grams of KEEN.WARM, which is a bamboo/polyester insulation, it’s going to get
you through the drifts and its fun western take is on trend for the
season.The Ugg Meridian has the company’s
trademark sheepskin lining; removable/replaceable sheepskin foot bed and the
pom-pom zipper can’t be beat for snow bunny fun.The
North Face Nuptse boot is a hardcore winter boot at a very affordable price point.With 700 grams of down insulation and Ice Pick
temperature-sensitive pods that increase traction, no one can possibly doubt
your commitment to winter fun, and, as Shana noted, they still manage to look
cute with her much-touted skinny jeans.
We are attending a wedding this weekend in beautiful Cambria, Califonia. And the rehearsal dinner. The catch? The rehearsal dinner must be in costume. We are also flying to this wedding, so the costumes must be easy to pack. After much deliberation, we settled on a Harry Potter theme. Mike is Harry, I'm going as Hermione, and the little man is Harry's owl. I bought Gryffindor ties, and we're just wearing white shirts, gray sweaters, ties and black pant (skirt for me). And yes - we will wear these outfits to the opening of the next Harry Potter movie!! Too bad the little man is too young to be embarrassed by his parents.
Crafty I am not, so I searched for a store-bought owl costume. The only one I could find is pictured.
I apologize in advance if you have purchased this costume for your child....but seriously. It is quite possibly the stupidest costume I've seen. It's as though an owl is perching on your child's head. An owl with huge eyes and no body. As if toddlers aren't top heavy enough.
So needless to say, I ended up making the owl costume. Which actually turned out really well.
I followed these instructions from bhg.com and basically glue-gunned a white boa and various brown feathers to a hooded sweatshirt. It was easy and cute. However. By the time I bought all of the supplies, I was out at least $40. I am certainly not sold on making costumes. Only in dire circumstances will I attempt it again. (NOTE: I do believe that the owl costume pictured above does constitute dire circumstances).
I was about to round up a list of my very favorite store bought kid's costumes, but then I found Parent's article on the Best Store Bought Costumes for Babies and Toddlers and realized that they have already listed most of my favorites (the lion costume from OneStepAhead, the cupcake from Pottery Barn Kids, anything by Tom Arma like the flamingo OMG). Thanks, Parents!
NOTE - You can find a bunch of Tom Arma costumes on Ebay for a fraction of the cost. Remember our Ebay buying tips!
Yes, I know. I trashed 2009's Fall trends pretty good in my post, The Uninspired, The Unflattering, The Trends of Fall 2009. But the truth is, while the runway does influence trends, it certainly doesn't dictate them. At the end of the day, stores stock clothes, shoes and accessories that people want to buy. Which is why, YEARS after the return of the skinny jean, you can still find amazing boot-cut jeans in stores. We like 'em. We buy 'em.
So. Despite all of my 2009 runway hate, there are some new-ish Fall trends out there that moms can take advantage of. The trends below are ones that I've deemed "mom friendly" because they can be worn everyday (with the kiddo around), there is a good selection in stores, and they come in a wide range of prices.
Ruffles have been making an appearance for the last few seasons, and this fall is no exception. I love that you can find ruffles on everything from comfy cotton shirts and cozy sweaters, to silky date night tops. My favorite picks for moms are pictured above.
I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist. However, when I was attempting to furnish our house with all necessary kid-gear before the little man was born, I decided, at some point along the way, that SOMEONE (maybe our government? maybe the French government?) must be conspiring to Keep America Fugly. The super-secret Keep America Fugly campaign was the only possible explanation I could come up with as to WHY WHY WHY all of our easily accessible baby items were covered in patterns with names like "Jungle Jubilee" or "Sleepy Safari". Even the plaids were insipid. In order to come up with acceptable baby gear items, one had to launch a massive research project worthy of a doctoral thesis, and then, be willing to shell out majorly BIG BUCKS in order to get a pack-in-play not covered in smiling animals.
For me, the highchairs were the worst. Not only were they, IMHO, the pinnacle of the Keep America Fugly campaign, but unlike other baby items, they weren't hidden away in the nursery somewhere. They were out, in plain sight. Shudder.
So two years later, the landscape has changed somewhat. The Keep America Fugly campaign is still out there, but losing steam. The good news is that there are now a plethora of super-cool looking baby gear items (especially highchairs), but the bad news is that most are still pretty pricey. If you are concerned with good design, a highchair isn't a bad place to put your money, considering that it is arguably the most visible baby gear item.
Now, here are my picks for the coolest modern highchairs:
Pure Eye Candy - Fleurville's Calla Chair
At left is Fleurville's Calla Chair, which retails at MyUrbanChild.com for $575. No offensive to Fleurville, but these guys are out of their minds. Don't get me wrong - this chair is positively drool-worthy. However, it takes up a decent amount of floor space, there's no mention of how long kids can reasonably use it, and the price of $575 is hardly justified by the claim that it's "easy to clean!"
However, if you are a total design freak, must have something that fits right into your sleek mid-century modern, like to make all of your friends jealous, and think nothing of dropping $575 on a highchair, than this is your chair. Own it, rock it.
Honestly, I don't know WHAT had gotten into Glamour lately, but I love it. LOVE it. Pictured at right is Glamour magazine's November cover, featuring all plus size models. And they look beautiful.
Why all the focus on plus-size models? Glamour ran an article this summer, featuring a beautiful women with a (gasp) poochy stomach. She's Lizzie Miller, and her photo garnered tons of comments. So Glamour, realizing that a movement was afoot, ran with it, and hence, November's cover. Well done, Glamour. Read the feature story, These Bodies Are Beautiful At Every Size, or the editor's take.
Furthermore, it's a rare day indeed that I see a national fashion magazine (other than a parenting related mag) showing outfits that are actually practical for running around with a toddler. However, Glamour's 10 Weekend Outfit Ideas are pretty good! I don't like all of them, but there are a ton ideas for us moms to glean. And you know I love look 10 - it's all about a scarf.
Glamour, how refreshing. It's so nice to see a serious fashion magazine embracing what we've known all along: Poochy stomachs, c-section scars, a little extra on the arms, hips and butt doesn't prevent one from being beautiful. It's all part of the package.
Let's hope that our culture's obsession with unhealthy thinness is, like stirrup pants, an awkward trend that's on it's way out.
Babies don't make very good trick-or-treaters. They fall asleep
just as you'd want to start out, they don't walk by themselves, and
unless it's freezing, they have NO interest in wearing the cute
hood/footies/mittens that come with their costume...but on the
upside, they will most likely be ready to do the circuit at 2AM, should
you really hate your neighbors.
Nonetheless, last year I
bought no less than 3 costumes (3!!!) for my little man. Two of them
were Ebay mix-ups (a lion and a chicken - long story)...but I
still went ahead bought the third costume due to the sheer perfectness
The lion and chicken costumes were the usual fleecy, hooded, hot style
of Halloween costumes. And they did come in handy for some adorable
fall photo shoots on a chilly day. However, if it hadn't been
roughly 40 degrees outside, zipping my son into this costume would've
resulted in a stiff leg kicking, back-bending, arm waving screaming
fit. Also known as Mama's favorite.
In any case, most of our actual Halloween
activities with baby consist of just a photo shoot or indoor parties. The hot fleeces, for us, are not practical. Enter my
new favorite Halloween costume for babies: Noo Australia.
you live in warm climates, Noo also has two-piece sets (onsie and hat).
Sadly, Noo only makes these cute animal outfits in sizes up to 2T. It's a bummer, because I think these could really take off with toddlers. "Honey, do
you want to be a BEAR or a TIGER today?" Right?
10 Muffin-Top-Hiding Looks Under $50.00 (half are under $30!)
Unless you’re Heidi Klum, in most cases, a postpartum body is a colossal disappointment. After nine long months of carrying the apple of your eye, you’re left with hips that have spread, back fat, muffin top, and usually a saggy pooch where your once-taut belly used to be. It’s sooo unfair. After all that hard work, what you really deserve is to grow two inches and drop two sizes, but I’ve never heard of that actually happening. With this kind of blow to your self image, the last thing you need is to be walking around in ill-fitting, unflattering garments to boot. But, given that this is a finite, while depressing, state of being (truly, first-timers, you will bounce back), you don’t want to drop a lot of coin on clothes that may not even fit you in a few months as you lose your baby weight.
I come to these conclusions after scrutinizing my reflection several times this week and I describe the postpartum form so accurately because (ack!) I myself have a four-week postpartum body. For my part, considering it’s a stellar day when I can get my newborn, my 20-month-old and myself out of the house in under two hours (minimum requirements: my hair has to be brushed, and no one can be sitting in a poopy diaper or smelling of sour milk and/or baby pee--easier said than done), I need to admit to myself that my plans to pull off a Klumian post-pregnancy recovery are probably not going to come to fruition. I dunno, maybe I'm just making excuses, or maybe it’s my lack of a staff, like a chef, personal trainer and multiple live-in childcare providers (sigh). . . It’s so hard to find good help these days.
At any rate, whatever has thrown a wrench into my delusional postpartum-recovery plans (like, um, reality), I’ve been on the hunt for some things to wear that camouflage my muffin-top and flabby belly. Here are 10 budget-friendly options that can be dressed up for the office or down for play dates and will be kind to the après baby bod.
I’ve included only tops because I’m of the mind that it doesn’t make sense to spend money on the more costly wardrobe items (pants and skirts involve more sewing and finishing, driving up their cost) when they definitely won’t hang right in a few months. These tops may or may not, but you won’t be kicking yourself for spending a ton of money on them (seriously, you could buy every item on this page for about $300.00 total). So bite the bullet and keep using those belly bands and wearing your maternity denim for now. You’ll be back into your skinny jeans (or into new ones when you’re satisfied with your progress) soon enough.