Monday, October 20, 2014

Maternity Fashion in the Third Trimester: What Still Fits?

So yesterday after Mass TWO old ladies stopped me to remark (really, in the kindest way possible, and I appreciate that they noticed) just how large I am and how this baby will be born any day!

Well, to the 37-week-pregnant mama whose singletons have NOT been early, it doesn't exactly feel like things are coming to a close...  Heck, we may very well be hanging on for another 5 weeks!  FIVE WEEKS!  That's a long time.

(37 weeks already?  That's right.  Time passes WAY faster on the internet than in real life!)

So looking at the new (or "new" - most of this was purchased via Twice or ThredUP) items I've purchased this pregnancy, what has actually worked all the way through?


Stretchy striped dress?  Soooo comfy, although a bit clingy...  But free with ThredUP credit, accommodates a growing belly, and the neckline is stretchy enough that I can bum around in it and nurse the baby in those first couple months post-partum. 


Great picture, right?  This dress/tunic is a little too short right now to qualify as clothing under my normal standards, but...  I'm a million weeks pregnant, so I'm kind of past caring?  It's non-maternity, as are the leggings (American Apparel via Twice - really nice and stretchy!), so I know I'll get a lot of use out of them post-partum.  And patterned tops are fabulous for hiding spit-up stains, plus it buttons and has a veeeery generous bust and waistline that works well with belts.


This sweater has been one of my wardrobe staples forever and ever.  It's H&M, super-slouchy, and apparently still fits...  Although not super-flattering, it's comfy and works great post-partum.


The skirt is new-to-me, Motherhood via ThredUP, and actually a GOOD maternity denim skirt - I've found those are really hard to find, because either they don't have enough give, or the panel's awkward, or the pockets end up scrunched awkwardly...  This was free with credit, but definitely would have been worth the $13 or so that they were charging!


Everybody needs a little black dress!  This is me as of today, so yeah I kind of get what those old ladies were talking about...  I'm definitely MUCH larger than I was in the pictures from above, which are all from around 34/35 weeks.  Both items are ThredUP, and a black jersey dress is SUCH a necessity for me that when my old one ended up with oil stains all over the skirt (I don't even know how...) I immediately found a similar one on ThredUP and ordered it.  Actually, it ended up even better because this one has a crossover neckline that I can nurse in!


The shirt is Gap non-maternity, also from ThredUP.  The kids ADORE it because it has little bicycles all over it.  Do you ever have items of clothing that your kids LOVE and end up loving them even more because of that?

Also, that dress...  Yes, I realize it resembles a tent.  Not a lot of things DON'T at this point.  But when Elizabeth started hiding under the skirt this morning, I realized I might need to make leggings a constant until this baby is born ;)


This Gap skirt (one of my only NEW purchases this year) is still on heavy rotation, and that cardigan from Twice is part of my morning uniform and will continue being worn aaaaall the time because of the flowiness and bum coverage.  Hurrah!

And with that, I find it unlikely that I'll be taking that many more "fashion" pictures this pregnancy!  Because, let's face it, nobody needs to see this ginormous belly anymore ;)

One last thing!  I just got a coupon in the mail from ThredUP to share with you - 40% off your first purchase!  So if you've signed up through my link and haven't made a purchase yet, I'll give you the code if you're the first to comment with your email!  Just let me know :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saints, Paper Priests, Fall Photos {7QT}

--1--

My sister got this Happy Saints card set for John Paul to celebrate his upcoming feast day, but they're an even bigger hit with the twins!  Oh my goodness, it's adorable - they just want me to flip through the cards and they'll fire off the names in the most adorable little toddler voices.  They did it Tuesday night when we had a priest over for dinner (and we'd had the cards for...  4 days?) and named every. single. saint. correctly.


So you might want to get your own set!  It comes with an e-book and tons of printables too, plus free shipping so the $25 price tag doesn't seem quite so steep.  And for those of you with kids who are SERIOUS about gender equality, there are 13 girl saints and 13 boy saints.  Cecilia was VERY pleased about this when she was lining them up!

--2--

And while we're talking Catholic stuff, this:


Father Peter 1943 Catholic Extension Cutouts Booklet

If you click the link, you'll find 8 printable pages of old school paper dolls complete with EVERYTHING necessary for a pre-Vatican II Mass, old-style vestments, etc.  It's AMAZING.  Our printer is out of ink right now or I'd print the whole set out right now because I KNOW John Paul and Cecilia will adore it.  Can someone please assign this as a project for your kids and blog about it so we can see the finished product?

--3--

Bucket list update!  We made it to our favorite Fall Festival!


She did NOT want to wear leggings under any of her proposed outfits.  I finally convinced her of the necessity, and she understood why after she went down this slide!


This pose.  Kills me.  And those muddy knees?  Yeah, she was that dirty within minutes of us getting there!


She and Mary Claire are actually the exact same height, you just can't tell from the picture!


Really, really good at smiling.  Really good.


So big!!!


This picture REALLY makes me laugh.  Those cutouts never work when it comes to scale, but John Paul's expression combined with Mary Claire's confusion slay me!


And once again, Cecilia proving that she has Miss Photogenic in the bag once her pageant days (ha!) begin.

We got rained out before we had a chance to hit everything, sadly, but they're AMAZING and we got rain checks so we'll go back for a (hopefully) quick trip sometime before the end of the month.  Which will be exhausting, to say the least...

--4--

And a week-old picture just to contrast with next year's picture at the same Fall Festival when this little one is EX-utero:


35.5 weeks in this picture, 36.5 weeks now!  

I used some ThredUP credit to round out my maternity wardrobe with a jersey dress, a denim skirt (which is SO comfy) and a scarf (okay, not maternity) and feel like I'll make it to November without completely giving up on actual clothing!  As a side note, their mobile site has really grown on me, and you get free returns if you order from a mobile device so if you've been holding off on ordering, it might be worth a try!  Shipping was a lot faster for me this time around, so I wonder if they've done something new to improve upon that?

--5--

John Paul has been...  Something else this week.  

And not in a *truly* naughty sense, but he's doing stuff like getting out slices of bread and punching holes in them so that he can use it to celebrate Mass, but then he leaves crumbs EVERYWHERE.  

Or he decides to get himself a tea cup and saucer and make some tea with elderberry syrup because that's apparently his new favorite drink, but then he opens up the teabag and ends up dripping pink tea everywhere...

And he's convinced that he should have access to EVERY shelf in EVERY cabinet so now nothing's safe (including my secret candy stash) because he gets it down and tells me THAT is what he'll be eating for dessert tonight.  

Francine suggested hiding candy in coffee mugs, and I think that's probably the best possible solution.  But seriously - what the heck?

Oh, and today?  Today I noticed it had been quiet for too long, and found him in the basement with Cecilia, playing a game on the Xbox.  I'm actually surprised this hadn't happened before, but once again he's been banned from electronics.  Adolescence can't be worse than this, right?

--6--

What do you do to help keep things clean at home during the day?  We had a pretty good system down, including a 4 pm cleaning blitz, after which I'd send the kids downstairs to watch TV for an hour or so before dinner.  And TV time was conditional upon completion of any cleaning tasks.  But now they've decided that they'd rather just keep playing and NOT clean AND not watch TV.  Argh!!!  And they're actually mostly leaving me alone while I cook, so it's not horrible.  But then things don't get cleaned up ever...

What do you do to enforce a cleaning routine?  I've been TERRIBLE about it in the past, and I know it'll be better if we have an actual routine...

--7--

Go check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

Friday, October 10, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Pre-Baby Bucket List

While I keep telling myself that life will not be that different once this baby is born, there are also ALL THE THINGS that I want to accomplish before he makes his appearance because, let's face it, some things are just plain easier when you don't have a baby who wants to nurse every 4.5 seconds.  Here's what's on my list:

--1--

Get to Cox Farms with the kids!

This one I think will be accomplished soon - hopefully next week!  Just remind me not to go on a hayride.  Or the slides.  Basically I'm going to sit around watching the kids enjoy the slides and drinking as much apple cider as humanly possible.  Yum.

Tiny Cecilia was actually brave enough to touch the goats last year!

--2--

Organize my closet!

Thrilling, right?  But right now it's STILL full of regular clothes, out-of-season clothes, maternity clothes that have pretty much been outgrown at this point...  Oh, and my wedding dress is still just kind of hanging there from when I tried it on over a year ago.  I need to put stuff away that isn't going to be worn for a while so that the closet is a little more manageable once we get home from the hospital, even though I'll be wearing little besides leggings and yoga pants in those early weeks...

And...

Organize the kids' clothes

Cecilia's drawers are full-to-bursting with things that she has outgrown but keeps wearing...  And they need to be passed down to the twins, who ALSO have drawers bursting with stuff they have outgrown.  Elizabeth keeps demanding to wear a very short strappy floral dress because it keeps getting put BACK in her closet even though it's way too small and way too "July" for her to wear right now.  And John Paul's clothes range from size 4T-7 in his drawers so yeah, this needs to be fixed.

--3--

Cook all the things!

Okay, I don't really like freezer cooking that much, and I've never done ginormous batch cooking sessions, because I really enjoy *actually* cooking dinner every night (except right now when I mostly don't have any energy left by about 1 pm...).  But some things, like making pizza dough and freezing it, or cooking a bunch of rice and freezing it?  Those are really nice shortcuts that I need to take advantage of NOW, or else what's the point?

--4--

Get a hair cut?

My hair is long.  So, SO long.  Like, almost to my butt...  And it's ridiculous, and I need a real cut and I need to get it done BEFORE baby but it's not an attractive prospect to sit in a chair for more than 15 minutes to get it done...  At the same time, it's a far less attractive prospect to try to find a time when the baby WON'T be nursing every 4.5 seconds and get a cut.

Want to know the last time I got a cut?  Before the twins were born.

Whoops.

I cut my own layers a while back, which did nicely to prolong the gap between cuts.  But there's just. so. much of it.

--5--

Get all the crafting supplies!



Last year I decided to make felt ornaments for each member of the family as a new Christmas tradition.  It was time-consuming but really satisfying and easy and fun, so I've been pinning ideas but I really need to get felt and embroidery floss and that sort of thing BEFORE the baby is born.  Because trying to find a place to stop and nurse in a crowded craft store during the holiday season?

No thank you.

Oh shoot!  Baby has no stocking!  But he also doesn't have a name, so I suppose there's no point yet...  Well, I think we have a "Baby's First Christmas" stocking he can use for this year.

--6--

Go on a date?

This is a tough one, because by the time the kids are in bed I do NOT want to go anywhere or do anything.  But at the same time, I think it would be really nice and relaxing to hit The Melting Pot or maybe a winery for one last hurrah before the baby is born.

--7--

Garden!

We need to dry the oregano, freeze butter patties with chopped sage & rosemary (perfect for roast chicken), pull out the rest of the tomato plants and beans, order and plant the garlic, harvest the rest of the carrots, etc. etc. etc.  So much needs to be done, but I just have no motivation.  Yikes!

Most boring post ever?  What's on YOUR bucket list before a new baby is born?  Oh, probably we should find all the baby clothes and gear, too...  Hmm...

Linking up with Conversion Diary - happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easy, Freezer-Friendly Cheesesteak Wraps

I had more pictures for this post.  Then a certain 5-year-old decided to erase all the pictures on the camera's memory card.  And replace them with about 100 out-of-focus pictures of the couch.

Anyway, this recipe was born out of desperation - I wanted cheesesteak for dinner and I wanted it bad.  There are approximately zero places to get a good cheesesteak in the DC area (do you know of any? Tell me!!!).  But I had the ingredients except...

No bread.

And no time to bake sandwich rolls.

But...  A lot of tortillas?

So I took a chance and made the filling like I would, wrapped it in a tortilla, and toasted it on our griddler (one of my absolute favorite appliances!).

The verdict?

Delicious!  AND less messy, and the kids actually eat the entire thing because there's not as much bread!

(I don't know what it is about our kids, but they mostly won't eat the hot dog bun or hamburger bun or sandwich roll or whatever.  They just want meat and cheese.)




Ingredients:

2.5 lbs thinly sliced ribeye, or one of those big old $10 packages of Steak-EZE at Sam's or Costco
2-3 bell peppers, sliced thin
1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
At least 12 slices Provolone and/or American cheese
12 large tortillas
4 tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Instructions (so easy!):

1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large pan.  Sautee onions with salt until soft, then add peppers and cook to desired softness (I like mine to stay a little crisp).  Set aside (if you have picky eaters who won't want these on their wraps)
2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in another large pan, add beef, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and cook until brown.  Drain fat.
3. Layer beef, peppers & onions (add mushrooms if you like those), and cheese.  I did 1 slice provolone and 1 slice of american for each.  Fold up wrap and cook until crispy either on a griddler, a panini press, a George Foreman grill...  Something to add those nice grill marks!

Slice and enjoy!  Makes about a dozen - 5 of them fed our family of 6 easily (with pepper strips on the side), and I wrapped the other 7 in foil and stuck them in the freezer for lunches for me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life, Uncropped & Unedited {WIWS}

Every Sunday I keep meaning to take a What I Wore Sunday picture, but I usually end up too exhausted to set things up for a picture by the time the kids are all down for naps...

Confession:  When I take my usual outfit pictures, I sweep away any mess on the floor, move the side table to hold the camera, and crop the heck out of it to make it less cluttered.

This dress was an AMAZING find and so worth the low price - perfect for maternity, post partum, and any stage! 
See?  That's my usual location, free of all distraction (and weeks ago, hence the much smaller belly!)

So yesterday morning I was VERY limited on time - we managed to sleep in a little bit, so by the time I had eaten breakfast I only had about 5-10 minutes to get ready for our usual early Mass.  And it was COLD, so my shorter maternity dresses weren't going to work because they would require tights and yeah, maternity tights take waaaaay too long to put on.

But my good friend the maxi dress came to the rescue!  This thing has been serving me well since I was pregnant with Cecilia - it's non-maternity but has the right waistline to fit a growing bump, and it's dressy enough to wear to Mass.  I threw on a slouchy sweater to stay warm and basically felt like I was wearing sweats.  So comfy.  So cozy!


And yeah, no pictures were happening...  But with the kids occupied watching a movie and soup simmering on the stove, I thought maybe I'd take off my apron and try to get a picture.

And then Elizabeth came upstairs and just wanted to snuggle and snuggle!

So I thought, you know, whatever.  Let's just do this.  Propped the camera up on a basket of dirty laundry and let the timer snap away.


Bare feet, train tracks galore, slipcover askew, Calvin & Hobbes book newly unearthed from its hiding spot (providing John Paul with all sorts of non-age-appropriate vocabulary), undressed toddler, muffin tin being used to hold magnets, Cookie Monster on the couch, and bins of toys hiding in the dining room waiting to be rotated out (or given away forever if it were up to the husband).

This, my friends, is life right now.  Normally we do a big clean before anyone goes downstairs for TV time, but it's been an exhausting week and the kids have decided they'd rather keep playing than watch TV, so cleaning just hasn't been happening.


The belly still seems remarkably small to me because I keep comparing myself to where I was with the twins at this point!  35 weeks, and when I was pregnant with them I only had 2 weeks left!  It's hard to imagine I've got 5-7 weeks to go, still...


And yes, these photos are now cropped & straightened because I can't *not* when they're so crooked!


Sweet Elizabeth always wants to snuggle into whatever scarf I'm wearing, and it's just the cutest!


But then she was offended that the camera timer was being weird...

So that's life right now.  I'm thankful for hardwood floors that let it all be swept up in minutes when I need to feel like things are a little less chaotic.  And I'm thankful that if need be, we can just let things get messy for a bit because that's just where we are right now!

Linking up with Fine Linen & Purple for What I Wore Sunday - go check out more outfits!

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