The Summer of Bratitude and Other Assorted Thoughts

I read Jenny’s recent post with a lot of interest.  I think her point there and, even more, her point here, are basically what I was trying to say here.  I thought it then and I still think it now: we have a shortage of religious vocations because sex has been oversold.  Consequence-free sex.  And even those of us  who go into marriage committed to Church teaching probably still underestimate the consequences.  This makes me sound . . . um . . . frustrated and dissatisfied.  And I’m not, generally.  It’s just that the consequences of my sex life are still screaming at me at friggin’ 10 pm, as per usual the past few weeks, and the convent is starting to sound not half bad . . . .

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Seriously, the brattiness levels here have been off the charts.  I understand why some find the word “brat” offensive.  I’d never call my child, or any other child, a brat within their hearing.  Maybe they’ll read this in five or ten years and be offended but seriously . . . if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc.

I was so out of commission the first three months of this pregnancy, I must have let discipline slide a lot.  I generally did whatever was the path of least resistance.  I don’t remember many details.  But man, give them an inch. . . .  We still get fast food way too often, but I’m cutting back.  It got to the point (still is at the point) where, if they get nuggets and fries Chick-Fil-A, they whine because I didn’t also get them ice cream.  Ridiculous.  For Pat and me both, eating out was a huge treat when we were growing up.  And for my kids it’s no big deal.  And of course the only one I have to blame is myself

. . .  and the new baby.  Even now, at 18 or so weeks, I can’t stand the thought of cooking meat.  I cooked some bacon the other day, and I just recently started heating up those pre-grilled Tyson frozen chicken strips and can stand to eat them.  But thinking about them grosses me out.  I’ve been eating a lot of cold cuts, and beans.  But you can only eat so many beans.

My scathingly brilliant idea I just came up with this evening is to buy a bag of miniature marshmallows.  Tomorrow evening, I’ll set out 5 for each girl.  Every time they get out of bed or scream at me from bed, I throw away a marshmallow.  I think I got the idea from this:

I’ll let you know how it works.

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Y’all, I am just so tired.

This is the story of my life right now.

I’m mostly stopped trying to do any more than I can do.  It’s just what I can do is so pitifully little.

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We have a contract on a house, and it’s an emotionally exhausting process.  I remember–now–why we said, “never again!” when we did this seven years ago.

Basically, the house we’re looking to buy has everything we want: location, size, layout, yard, view.  It also has mold, radon, and bats.  Oh my!  And it’s at the tippy-top of our price range.  I have plans to write a post titled, “Kicking Dave Ramsey to the Curb,” because that’s what we’re doing.  So crazy.  We’re still in the middle of inspections and negotiations, so it may all fall through.

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I love Lisa’s summer momiform.  I’ve been shopping at LOFT a lot too, since Girl1 has a weekly vision therapy appointment in a professional/retail complex that has a LOFT at the other end.  I drop Girl 1 off, then mosey through the parking lot with Girl2, who has to balance-walk on every curb, inspect every blob of guano, and generally move at a snail’s pace.  Then I have about ten minutes to look through the store and hurriedly try things on before going back through the parking lot to get Girl 1.

Then walk back through the parking lot to try more things on while the girls scream and shriek at each other, fondle the jewelry, lick the mirrors, turn off the store lights, etc.

Then I maybe buy something, or maybe have a saleslady order a size or color not available in store through the website for me, because shipping is free if you order through the store.  Then we leave a stuffed mermaid in the store, just for the fun of returning for the third time in one day.

What mermaids wear to Mass

Then the next week, I bring 75% of my purchases to the store to return them (saving on return shipping fees) and repeat steps 1 through 1,000,000.

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After all that, though, I have no cute maternity outfits to show you.  Today, this was my #ootd and it possibly also was my #potnb*, embellished by the three-year-old with thigh sequins and a makeshift Frozen necklace.

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(*pajamas of the night before)

I bought these Lou & Grey linen “jogger” pants (in navy blue) at full price (ouch) and they were worth it because they are so comfortable.  The waist is huge, which works as my belly is expanding.  I don’t look really pregnant yet, but the belly’s definitely expanding in a slow, all-over spread.  The pants are really baggy and probably look awful but I don’t care.  I also got these linen pants when LOFT was running a 50% off in-store special; same deal: baggy, frumpy, comfy.

I’ve fallen into the trap of feeling fat and buying clothes that are too big, which makes me look sloppy and bigger.  I’ve fallen and I can’t get out.

But it’s an ego boost.  I made a huge order of maternity pants from Asos and nothing fit.  I ordered them all about a size bigger than my pre-pregnancy size.  I still have post-traumatic stress from ordering maternity jeans last go-round 1 and 2 sizes up from my pre-pregnancy size and still barely getting them past my knees. Oh the misery.  Never again.

So.  This time I ordered all these baggy, jogger-style pants a size up and they were ridiculously, ridiculously huge.  Like these:

IMG_8792 IMG_8793

During her first pregnancy, my sister Martha ordered a bunch of maternity stuff from Asos.  She mentioned to me that she returned everything because “nothing really worked.”  And I remember thinking, “Seriously?  Do you really need to be that picky?”  (Don’t you wish you had me as an older sister?) And now . . . .

Also, I ordered some maternity shorts from Target (these and these).  They’re all fine, but my legs already are retaining water like you would not believe.  This happened with my prior pregnancy, too.  I felt like such a fat cow.  “omg! I’m eating so much my legs have gotten visibly fatter!”  But now I realize it’s just water.  And there’s not much I can do about it.  Except to drink more water (trying to), eat more protein (trying to, but see meat problem, supra), and (supposedly) wrap wet cabbage leaves around my legs (nope).

So I’m returning all the shorts. There’s no need to expose my legs to the world.  Except I might possibly keep this linen pair, again non-maternity, again from Lou & Grey.  Because it is summer, after all.

And if only my dimples were on my face.

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Whew!  Okay, the girls finally have fallen asleep. . . .  Thank you for anyone still reading through to the end of this ramble.  I’ve missed writing here.  I wish you all the best for the rest of the week, and I hope to post again soon.

Stitch Fix #2: Maternity Edition {June 2015–early second trimester}

Stitch Fix#2-  Maternity Edition, early 2nd trimester, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

One win and four near misses.

Oh Stitch Fix, it’s not you; it’s me.

I asked for some casual maternity wear for this summer–some tops, plus some shorts, linen pants, or casual skirts.  No jeans.  No dry clean only.

They delivered!  They really did!

It’s just their casual isn’t my casual. And I should have added “no hand-wash only.”  And sometimes things just don’t fit.

stitch fix, Pale Sky blottie Pleated Maternity Blouse, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Robbie Jogger Pants, Linen/tencel/spandex blend, size large (non maternity), by Level 99 (similar)

Lottie Pleated Maternity Blouse by Pale Sky, size large (similar) (similar in purple)

[ Also: Stefano Furiani ballet flats from Crocs]

Verdict:  Returning both.

Love the look of this outfit, but the blouse is 100% rayon and hand wash only.  I just wasn’t feeling it $68 worth.

Also love the look of the pants.  But they are uncomfortably snug in the legs, don’t stretch much, and are too low in the rise.  Too bad.

stitch fix, LA made maternity Kaitel boyfriend tank and Level 99 Robbie Jogger Pant, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Kaitel Maternity Boyfriend Tank, by LA Made Maternity, size large

(because this is just exactly what my boyfriend wears when he’s pregnant)

Robbie Jogger Pants, size large (non maternity), by Level 99 (similar)

Verdict:  This looks better in the picture than I thought it did in person.  The colors are too pale for me, and the tank is $58 –too much for this style.  It’s rayon/spandex blend . . . hand wash only.  Wop wop.  Made in the USA though!  Click on my link above to get a similar style from LA Made Maternity, via Amazon, in solid colors, for much less $$.

stitch fix, Daniel Rainn Carrieann crochet detail tie-neck top, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Carrieann Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Top, size large (non maternity) (similar) (similar . . . even better)

Verdict:  Return.  This top is lovely.  Not my usual style but lovely.  It has an attached cami underneath, though, which is too fussy and hot for the summer everyday for me.  And I don’t need a dressy blouse.  Also . . . hand wash.  😛

Stitch fix Gilli Alina Geo Print Maxi skirt ~ thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Alina Mixed Geo Print Maxi Skirt by Gilli, size large (non maternity)

Cap sleeve linen tee from LOFT, size large (non maternity)

Necklace from Amazima Ministries, gift from my sister

Verdict: Keep!  It’s weird because, looking at the pictures, I realize this is the least flattering outfit of them all. The loose and flowy thing isn’t my favorite look.  But I feel put together, if not especially attractive.

However, the skirt is versatile and comfortable.  It has a foldover panel that makes it pregnancy-adaptable, even though it’s not a maternity item. It also has an attached half slip, which is nice because the fabric is a little see-through.  . . . I’ve already worn it at least three times in the six days I’ve had it.  And the $58 price tag is reasonable enough.

Takeaway:

When I think casual wear, mentally I always ask, “Will I feel comfortable wearing this at the playground on a hot and muggy day?”  Only the tank top (and, just barely the skirt) passed the test.  But the tank is too expensive and not a great color.

I wish more items worked out, but trying on these pieces helped me clarify what I’m looking for for my summer maternity “uniform”:

I feel an online shopping binge coming on.  Right now, for hot weather wear, I have just a few tops, the maxi skirt and dress, my now-too-snug Athleta skorts, and some yoga pants. . . . I’ve been wearing yoga pants way too much.  And anyway it’s too hot for yoga pants.  So some more shopping is justified right?  That’s right.

I’m thinking when the weather cools down, I might order another Stitch Fix to get some maternity long pants and long-sleeve tops and sweaters.  For now I’m heading to the wilds of internet commerce on my own. Stay tuned.

And thanks to all of you who have ordered through my referral link to Stitch Fix!  The credit I’ve earned has paid for my skirt and will pay for future items.  I truly appreciate it!