(Not) Out of Print

I am going on an imaginary shopping spree and imaginary-buying myself the following things with imaginary money. Such fun!

Although, I want them all to wear to work. So maybe they would be a tax exemption? Haha!

Out of Print Clothes

I can see it now. The friendly middle school librarian rocking her hyperbole t-shirt (also comes in plot, doppelganger, and bildungsroman; the latter is probably the one I ought to have, being a youth librarian, but I just liked this design) with a date stamp fleece over it, accessorized with library card socks, bag, and coin purse. (That’s a wonderfully big tote bag, by the way. Would hold a great many books and back issues of School Library Journal.)

And of course, H needs this Little Prince t-shirt, don’t you think?

forhenry

And I can polish it off with my book-lover necklace that Meredith got me, or maybe switch it up with this beautiful fairy tale necklace.

398.2

More Consignment Clothes

Kate the consignment shopper strikes again!

First, if you remember, last time I was making fun of the crazy expensive baby pants people buy — well, I found myself a pair for $3!

corduroy pants

These pants, or similar ones of the same brand, are selling for $45 new, and this particular pair looks like it’s been worn about twice… goodness.

Here are some more:

moose overalls

adorable lined moose overalls

gray fleece jacket

gray fleece jacket

shearling lined flannel shirt

shearling lined flannel shirt

Children's Place dress shirt

Children’s Place dress shirt

thick orange sweater

heavy orange sweater

striped zip-up sweater

striped zip-up sweater

argyle cardigan

argyle cardigan

red hoodie with helpful kitty

red hoodie with helpful kitty

turquoise hoodie (I know it doesn't look like it)

turquoise hoodie (I know it doesn’t look like it)

orange REI fleece vest (pre-laundering)

orange REI fleece vest (pre-laundering)

black velvet dress vest

black velvet dress vest

d'Artagnan likes the monster booties

d’Artagnan likes the monster booties

Two kitties

Two kitties

 

There’s a cute dragon sweatshirt, too. I don’t have a clear idea of what H is going to be for Halloween, but we’ve got a couple of cute things to play with, anyway. 🙂 He makes a very cute black kitty cat!

Dressing my Little Dude

So, I guess there must be people out there who can pay $155 for a pair of pants that their infant son will outgrow in a matter of months, but I kind of hope I don’t know them, because seriously. Heck; I’m not going to spend $20 — or $12, on sale — for a baby sweater, not unless it’s a special occasion.

Fortunately, there are plenty of people out there who can and do buy more expensive clothes for their kids, because thanks to the magic of our throwaway society, those clothes end up in like-new condition at thrift stores and consignment shops, just waiting for people like me to come along and give them a second round of play.

Here are the highlights from today’s treasure hunt:

fleece lined orange flannel

blue & green flannel

blue & green flannel

blue and green sweater

blue and green sweater

zip-up fall sweater

zip-up fall sweater

moosic maker shirt

moosic maker shirt

fleece sweatshirt -- new with tags

fleece sweatshirt — new with tags

a bevy of sweater vests

a bevy of sweater vests

dragon play suit

dragon play suit

 

All of these were $2-$5 each. Can’t wait for the weather to cool down so we can break out the cute warm clothes!

Virtual Shopping

For some reason, I’m having a really hard time organizing my thoughts into blog posts this summer, so instead of getting to read about the various fascinating things going on inside my head, you’re getting a heaping dose of “things I thought were adorable when I saw them on Zulily.” Hooray for window shopping! Just about as fun as real shopping and a lot easier on the bank account.

First off, how precious is this? Definitely a must-have for every one-year-old’s back-to-school wardrobe, don’t you think? [link]

Orange_Bow_Tie_Polo

 

In love with this sweet little t-shirt. I’ve seen camera shirts before but this is by far my favorite that I’ve seen. [link]

camera

How completely sweet are these personalized wooden buttons? I’d have to figure out something I could sew to use them — or since they’re 2″ across, maybe they could just be keepsakes/playthings. [link]

personalized_buttons

What’s the best part of these pajamas? Is it that they’re superhero pjs? That they’re orange? Or is it that they have Daddy’s initials on them? Would be pretty awesome when he’s big enough to understand. [link]

superhero

I’m fascinated by these magnetic wooden blocks. They cost a ruddy fortune but they seem like a really wonderful idea, don’t you think? [link]

magnetic_blocks

A fair-isle-style sweater with robots. What’s not to love? I die. [link] (I’m also pretty crazy about the gray and blue version, gotta admit.)

sweater-robot

Choo-choo pants. What’s not to love? [link]

RR_Pants

I’m a complete sucker for hoodies with critter ears. [link]

Bear_Hoodie

I love this bear so much that I’m pretty sure this is at least the second time I’ve shared it. I love the texture of it (baby crack!) and the facial expression and the cute color (H’s favorite word right now is “blue”). Kind of pricey but hey, imaginary money, right? [link]

Fuzzy_Bear

H has a tool belt and a workbench, so he probably needs this, don’t you think? Just wish it were a t-shirt instead of a onesie, though. [link]

tool_belt_onesie

More fantastic onesies that I wish were t-shirts: his favorite song, his parents’ favorite way to respond to essay questions, and awesomeness. [link]

3cuteshirts

And finally, come next Halloween, H’s Daddy is going to need a Halloween costume, don’t you think? [link]

Coke

 

Okay, I’d better return to the real world now. And yes, I know there’s nothing on here for me (unless you count enjoying baby clothes “for me”) but that’s because everything I want right now is on Zillow, not Zulily…

 

 

Zulily Can Be Dangerous

When I had H, several friends told me that I had to sign up for Zulily, so I did. I’ve never purchased anything from their daily emails, and there are times when there isn’t a single thing that I’d even want to buy — but today was not one of those days. Holy cow, are there some cute things today. In lieu of buying them, I’m just going to put them on my blog and pretend that I did. 🙂 Seems like an excellent thing to do on my pumping break, don’t you think?

BTW, if you want to buy any of these things for your own cutie pie, you can click on the picture to go to the product page — but be forewarned that you need a (free) Zulily membership and that the deals only last a day or two.

Firstly, all of my friends who joke that I put too many pictures of H on Facebook will appreciate this onesie:

famous_on_facebook

It is just as well that this pair of PJs is almost too small for H (it only goes up to a 12 month, and he already wears that size of PJs) and wildly expensive, because it’s exactly the sort of luxurious nonsense that I’d love to waste money on. Really? $70 for a pair of baby pajamas? What universe do some people live in?

pjs

H hates having things on his head, but he might just have to deal with this cute hat:

headphone_hat

And then, once the weather warms up a bit, with these, because H is obviously going to be friends with Quinoa:

fedora2

fedora1
(Man, seriously, I’m imagining him in that brown hat and just dying. The cute!)

I love the way these fake dress-up onesies look. 🙂

argyle

Like this!

suspenders

These two are silly but just tickle my funny bone. Alice in Wonderland reference, what?

crocodile boys

As long as we’re on the subject of green onesies, he’ll probably need something along these lines before long (but we’ll be able to find it in town, I’m sure):

greentux

Goodness, what a cute sweater:

dinosaur

We’re a big fan of superhero garb around these parts:

batman superman

And I kind of fell in love with this sweet, tactile green bear and the crinkly soft “lovey.”

greenbear

lovey

Are we even entirely serious right now? A child-sized steel drum? Do you have any idea how much H would love that? ALL THE CRAZINESS.

steeldrum

These little leggings are totes adorbs and exactly what a little boy needs in this cold weather:

leggings2

legging1

This is cute, too. It would suit him. Ha ha.

stripes

Ah, the ridiculousness! Good thing this one doesn’t come in a size large enough for me to waste money on. 🙂 It’s a tiny velour marching band uniform! Sorta!

band

Awww.

sunshine

He doesn’t need one of these yet, and when he does he’ll need a warmer one, but still. Cute.

sleepingbag

And heck, that doesn’t even get into the things I’d like that aren’t necessary for my little buddy…

sunshine_001

signs

sleep

Shoes for My Stocking

I used to try to write a “December wish list” (my birthday is in December as well), for the fun of window shopping if not to provide actual shopping inspiration. I’d gotten away from doing so in the past year or two, but I actually have a few things that I’d love to show up in my stocking now — or rather, that I’d like to stick my stockings into — so here we go! Santa Claus, take note! 😉

I love shoes, but not like most women; you can keep your Manolo Blahnik wearable sculptures (okay, I like looking at them just fine) but please, keep my closet well-stocked with Alegria and Dansko! What can I say; I’m a teacher. I’m a big fan of comfy feet, and these brands are actually really cute and quirky on top of being kind to my toes. The only problem is that, at around $100 a pair, these are definitely special occasion purchases… or, this time of year, the perfect thing to request from the North Pole.

teva

I live in Teva Tirra sandals from the earliest hint of warmth in the spring until the last possible moment in late fall. And when I say “live in,” I mean it doesn’t matter if I’m at work, church, a mountain trail, the shopping mall, or wandering around my house in the middle of the night; these are my warm-weather uniform. Currently I have a pair of black and a pair of red; I’d LOVE a pair in Chocolate Chip. These are an awesome investment for me. If I had these, I would wear them until they fell apart three summers later — which, incidentally, is what is about to happen to my black ones.

The Tirra sandal is also apparently available in green, and I’ve been hunting for a pair of green shoes forever… just sayin’…

Speaking of green shoes:

_alegria greenIsn’t that beautiful? Perhaps the crown jewels of my shoe closet are my three pairs of Alegria Paloma mary janes. I love these not only because of how they feel, but because they come in such delicious colors! My existing Palomas are patent leather pink, yellow, and metallic red; I would dearly love to add this pair in Forest Magic to their ranks.

On those rare occasions when I actually acquire a pair of good work shoes, I tend to go for fun colors (hey, I work with kids, and besides, I’ve always said that life is too short to have boring feet). The consequence of this is that I don’t really have good shoes in black and brown — and as fun as school bus yellow shoes are, one doesn’t necessarily want to wear them to an important meeting, y’know? So if the elves were feeling like putting something practical under the tree, they could not go wrong with any of the following. (I especially lack brown shoes for some reason.)

_alegria black

The Alegria Abbi Oxford (shown above in Black Emboss Rose, but there are two other black versions that I like just fine) is a great shoe. I have a pair in blue that I adore and wear all the time, once it’s not Teva season :). The only sad thing is, I think the Abbi may no longer be in production, so it may be unobtainable.

_dansko brown_dansko black

I saw the Dansko Ainsley on the display table at Dillards and fell in love with the floral-ish detail and name, so despite the price I tried them on and really loved the fit (most Danskos are really wide, but these fit like a dream). They come in Dark Brown and Black, as well as some less practical metallic shades; honestly, in this shoe, I wouldn’t want the sheen. They’re pretty enough as is!

Others I like:

Just in case you are Santa Claus and actually want to spend $100 on a pair of shoes for your favorite blogger… Post-baby, I am a pretty solid 9.5, or a 40 in European sizes. No petite tootsies here! By the way, I’m linking to an online shoe emporium, but sometimes there are better prices on Amazon or other places.

Minutia

My belly is finally distended enough that my belly button is  pooching a bit. It had been getting a little outward-bound when the baby was in the right position, and now that seems to be more the default look — but it still hasn’t completely popped, so I’m guessing that’s as far as it’s going to go.

Yesterday, I managed to splash burning-hot cheese soup INTO MY EYE. (Thank goodness for that eyelid reflex, and that it wasn’t any hotter — my eyelid hurt for a few minutes, but no damage done.) Then, while brushing Sophie, I provoked her into biting my hand almost hard enough to break skin. (Sophie is a cat.) I was clearly on a roll.

In the past two weeks, my heartburn issues and low appetite cleared up almost entirely. Then yesterday, I started getting… indigestion, maybe? Belchy, and kind of yucky feeling in that indigestion sort of way. Not even in the same universe as the earlier heartburn, though. But it leads me to believe that something is shifting in my body chemistry or structure… either he’s so big that he’s squishing things despite having “dropped,” or the hormone cocktail is changing again.

I have some tiny little skin tags. Such a weird thing. Why does this happen?

On Saturday I got my toenails all prettied up. The nail lady was massaging my lower legs and commented on how strong and tight my calf muscles were. “You must stand a lot — are you a nurse?” she asked. When I told her I was a teacher, she said that was just the same. You’ve got to love a career that shows up in your calves!

On Sunday I got a prenatal massage, which was very nice. It didn’t put me into labor or anything, obviously, but it made my back and hips feel a lot better. I think I’m going to make Ryan go to massage therapy school… 🙂

I have definitely lost weight (in the parts of me that don’t belong to [REDACTED], that is). I put on a non-maternity bra the other day that fit me at the beginning of the pregnancy. It was too small around the band, of course, but at least one cup size too big. I have been carrying weight in that area, and wishing I could cut some of it, so — other than the whole “now I’m gonna have to buy new lingerie” thing — that’s pretty awesome.

Re-reading some Piers Anthony (his Bio of a Space Tyrant series) for the first time as an adult with an education in literature. I’m distracted, not in a bad way, by his approach to female sexuality as a pragmatic tool to be used to manipulate men. A person could certainly argue that Anthony is a Heinlein-brand sexist, and there are unquestionably echoes of Heinlein in this space opera, but I actually think there’s a lot of respect there… just in an unconventional way. I do find myself wondering what I felt about all this when I first read these books as a young teenager… I don’t remember thinking much of it at all…

One day, I’ll wake up at 6:45 and be strong and alert all day long… the next day, I’ll sleep until 10 and feel tired all day… body does not know what it is doing. 🙂

Today, if I were throwing money around on presents for myself, I would buy a mint-green Timex watch (with Indiglo!), hot pink patent-leather Alegrias, and a sparkly bluebird necklace. Apparently I am in a colorful mood. 🙂 What I really need to spend money on is a pair of baskets or hampers or bins or something to manage my ever-growing collection of blankets and afghans (not baby blankets — I have those organized — I have an addiction of my own!)

6 Great Gifts for a Pregnant Friend

Let’s say your friend or relative just told you that she’s pregnant, and you’d like to give her a congratulatory present. What is the perfect gift?

There are five things that, looking back on the past nine months, were absolutely indispensable to me. Individually they’d make a pretty funny present, but they’d make a kick-butt gift basket!

In increasing order of cost:

Calgon bath beads

Calgon Ultra-Moisturizing Bath Beads: $2-4

Calgon, take me away!

Despite some alarmist advice you may have come across, it is NOT harmful to take a nice bath while pregnant. The thing is that you don’t want to raise your body temperature too much; hanging out in a hot tub or hot springs can be troublesome because the high temperature stays constant. A bath, on the other hand, gets cooler as you sit in it, so you’re safe.

Baths are relaxing, both physically and emotionally, and a pregnant lady’s skin can always use moisturizing. I’m a big fan of a bubble bath, but when you’ve become bulbous, it can be hard to get all those suds off your feet when it’s time to get out. Bath beads are a pretty lovely compromise; they smell lovely, turn the bathwater pretty colors, and don’t get you all bubbly. Calgon beads don’t stain the tub, and they come in waterproof containers so they can hang out in there when you shower.

Potential downsides: A container goes pretty quickly, and they can make the tub slippery. Solution: buy lots (they’re cheap) and be careful. 🙂

TumsEnormous Bottles of Tums: $5ish

I am not sure any pregnant woman can have enough Tums. I’ve had a big bottle on my desk at work, another big one by the bed, a third one downstairs in the living room, and a smaller bottle (but by no means a “travel-sized” — I’d empty that in a day) in my purse.

In my case, the mint flavors were intolerable; it was Assorted Berries all the way. But different people will have vastly different tastes….

double-walled travel cup

Double-walled travel cup with straw: $6-15

I have become so attached to my cups that they may have to surgically remove them at some point. I like the bigger ones that will hold a large quantity of ice and water. They keep the ice from melting very quickly, and you can keep hydrated in style. The ones in the picture are pretty boring; I’ve gotten most of mine at TJ Maxx, and they’re pretty stylish! My current cup has freezable goop between the walls to keep it cold even longer, and an insulated sleeve to keep your hands from getting too cold. The double walls also keep the cups from condensating, which is very nice at work.

body butterThe Body Shop Body Butter: $20

(Whoa! They’re on sale for $10-12 on the Body Shop website right now!)

When I first started getting stretch marks, I knew that there wasn’t really anything I could do about it (they’re genetic and, if you’re gonna get ’em, inevitable) but I wanted to keep my skin as elastic as possible just in case it would help. I read somewhere that body butter was the way to go, and ultimately cheaper than all the fancy products especially marketed for stretch marks, so I went to the Body Shop. Got lucky — hit a buy 2, get 1 free sale. 🙂

Each tub of body butter from The Body Shop costs about $20, although I’ve seen their products at other stores (Ulta, Nordstrom Rack, etc.) for about half that. They last quite a while; I’ve gone back and forth between two containers and haven’t emptied either one, although I don’t use it every night either.

At the time that I got mine, I was extremely sensitive to smells. Some of the body butters have very strong fragrances; the “baked good” scents in particular really turned my stomach. I ended up getting two with very light, benign scents: Vitamin E and Olive. I also liked some of the lighter citrus scents.

I don’t know if I can credit the body butter, but I haven’t had any problems with itchy belly skin — and since I always get itchy, that’s pretty miraculous! If nothing else, some luxurious lotion is always a nice gift for someone who isn’t feeling top-notch.

snoogle pillow

Snoogle Body Pillow: $40-50

Okay, so this might be a funny sort of present, depending on what kind of relationship you have, but it has basically saved my life. You can coil it into several different shapes to support whatever part of yourself needs supporting. The C-shape you see above gives you back support and hip support, and if you can coil it around you tightly enough it also supports your belly when you hug it. But you can do lots of different things with it, and there have been many nights that I don’t think I would have had any sleep at all without it.

And finally…

gift-blue

Something that is for HER, not for “Pregnant Her” or “Momma Her”

Once someone is pregnant, people want to talk about that a lot. You get lots of baby-related conversation, lots of baby-related gifts. Think how meaningful it would be for her to receive a gift that says, “I am happy for you, the person who is still herself even though she is incubating another human being, and this made me think of you.”

Trust me — she’ll love that.

What do you think? What are the things that made your pregnancy survivable? Share your suggestions in the comments. 🙂

36!

As of yesterday, I am 36 weeks pregnant and can, I believe, officially lay claim to the “nine months pregnant” label. Or thereabouts!

At this point, Kermie is hypothetically a six-pound bouncing baby boy. (Well, he probably doesn’t do a lot of bouncing, but he has been doing a lot of rolling and stretching, and the occasional kick or punch.) Depending on which website you ask, he’s between 18.5-20 inches long; I wouldn’t be surprised if he were on the longer end of the scale.

My doctor/hospital will no longer take extraordinary efforts to stop labor if it begins at this point. As uncomfortable as this last month is proving to be, I hope Kermie stays put for at least another couple of weeks. There is still some work to be done at home, and quite a bit of work to be done at work, before I’ll feel quite ready to install Parenthood 1.0 and reboot my world.

In the past several days, I’ve noticed that my walk has changed. If I consciously think about it, I can walk more or less normally, but I’m much more comfortable rocking slightly side-to-side as I walk, which I suppose is that “pregnant lady waddle” one hears so much about. I also don’t have a whole lot of walking in me, and find it much easier if I have a cart or husband to hang on to — just to take some of the weight off my back and pelvis. This, combined with the slightly increased frequency of bathroom trips and the slightly decreased severity of heartburn, makes me wonder if the baby has dropped… I was expecting something a little more noticeable, if so, but whatever!

My back is definitely finding this whole thing to be an ordeal, especially the fine art of finding a comfortable sleeping position. No combination of pillows and squashed-up blankets really seems to do the trick, although if I get the nest just right I can get about 2-3 hours of sleep in before my back starts to strain or my arm falls asleep.

boppy bolster pillowYesterday we took some coupons and a gift card to Babies R Us and filled out the important bits of our registry. I ended up adding a little treat for myself: a Boppy bolster. It’s a firm little sausage-shaped pillow with a removable ice/hot pack, and it turns my glider into a much more comfortable place to be. You can obviously use it any number of ways (neck roll, between the knees, etc.) but the small of the back is where I want it lately. So much better!

Well, I have a full day planned so I’d better stop blogging and start doing. Laters…