Monday, August 22, 2016

Maternity Clothes Shopping for the First Timer

This past weekend I decided to embark on a new adventure - maternity clothes shopping... And I came to one conclusion: maternity clothes shopping is an evil little scheme. It can either make you feel gloriously skinny or like a beached whale. Rich but poor. Pick your poison based on where you go and what you try on. Check your ego in at the door for an emotional and physical rollercoaster ride.

  1. “Hello, skinny and sexy pregnant lady.” Pants. Full panel, side panel, inset panel. Which do you choose? You find a store to try them on at and drive there in excitement (this IS a rarity). So, you wander to the hidden, unlabeled corner of the store, where you find the maternity section. PANTS! You begin to dig through all the piles - too many to count (because why would the maternity area be neatly kept?). You grab different styles in at least two sizes (if they have any or something close to what you normally would squeeze into). And finally, you head on over to the fitting room. Fitting room lady looks at you like you’ve grown a 2nd head as she tries to see you through the pile of clothes in your arms. You deal with the debacle of “counting” how many items you have, and you turn red (you look a little too eager and excited about this shopping experience). Somehow, you survive and move into a tiny, overheated “room.” You begin to pull the jeans on and try to assess what panel, size, and/or style is right for you. You break a sweat. And then you start realizing, the sizing is out of whack. Some don’t fit, but the ones you like the fit for… are all a size or two SMALLER than normal. Hey now! You’re starting to feel pretty good. They even kind of fall off your butt (and after you buy them, they’re at your knees after two steps, of course). So, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. Hello sexy mama – you’re not that fat (yet). You walk out to show your husband (who’s bored out of his mind). He approves. So you select some to buy and hesitantly, proceed. You’re a bit confused because you don’t know if you are buying the right size. What if you can’t fit into them in like two months? Because who are you kidding, you’re growing a bowling ball. You begin to have anxiety that buying smaller sizes is like begging to turn INTO a beached whale that you just realized, you’re not quite yet. And then the ego kicks in again, and hey – how can bad can it be if you’re fitting in smaller sizes? Look at how cute my butt looks (despite the rolls on my stomach that are supposedly a baby)! You’re looking good mama – you will look pregnant instead of 10 pounds overweight.
  2.  “Warning: Beached whale ahead.” During the fitness routine called buying maternity clothes, you also have decided to try on tops. So, as you pull up the full panel pants to right underneath your boobs (which you realize is the most comfortable), you pull at one of the 10 tops you grabbed. And as you put your arms through and start shimmying the “shirt” down your upper half, the smaller pant size afterglow disappears as quickly as that frozen yogurt you inhaled the night before (and that you were hoping for as a treat later). You are trying to squeeze into a shirt that is “your size,” but you wouldn’t have squeezed into if you were 10 pounds thinner, pre-pregnancy. You look up in the mirror, and all you see are three misshapen lumps. You stare in amazement at how bad you look.  You’re having a baby, right? Because right now, you swear you look like you’ve put on a fat suit. Whoa. So you grab at another shirt, bigger size – phew! You don’t look bad, now it looks like you're pregnant, but this shirt isn’t going to last long. What the hell are you going to wear when you’re almost full term – e.g. *10* months pregnant? So, you sigh and waddle out to show your loving husband your potential new top – staring him down to make sure he only compliments you on your new “look.”
  3. “Hello bankruptcy.” Maternity clothing pricing can eat through your savings in one credit card swipe to buy… 4 items… that you begrudgingly purchase because what else are you gonna wear? You have to wear something for some of these next several days, weeks, and/or months – depending on how big you get, which you really have no idea to predict, because… Every pregnancy is different! And if you get bigger, you just go back and buy more, right? Money well spent. And heaven forbid, you want to get something that is "nicer" than Target or Walmart. You have to take out a second mortgage because a pair of nice designer maternity jeans costs more than 2 normal pairs of jeans. (And yes - I ventured into the "designer" world.)
  4.  “Good luck finding decent looking maternity clothes.” There are only like 5 stores that sell maternity clothes. Annnndddd best of luck finding the ones that carry maternity clothes IN STORE and IN STOCK! Because why would you want to try something on before you buy it? It has to be a marketing scheme. Maybe all these stores think that expecting ladies don’t sleep at night, so while housing a bag of chips or ice cream in the middle of the night, they're shopping online to feel better about themselves. They order online, and ta da, you didn’t even have to waddle to the store to get it. The stores are doing the pregnant ladies a favor! But of course, the “cute” outfit arrives, pregnant mama barely remembering she ordered it, and now, we encounter the sizing mess of before or worse, making THE decision. There’s this fine line to draw when you get into wearing maternity clothes – do you try to look cute or just find coverings for your 3-4 lumps on a log? What you’re buying isn't going to be flattering for long more than likely, if it even fits right now. And of course, if you order it online and decide to not keep it, you must return by mail. Waddling not avoided.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Double Down: "Alone Again, Naturally" and "Why Should I Care"

I've been listening to a lot of Diana Krall in the last week thanks to Spotify. I love that I can just play an artist's entire repetoire and discover both new goodies and oldies. Thanks Spotify!!! 

"Alone Again, Naturally"
Mrs. Krall recently released an album, Wallflower. It's a pretty good album overall - duets and covers of great songs. Welllll, I also discovered that she sang a duet of "Alone Again, Naturally" on the album with one of my ultimate faves, Mr. Michael Buble. Oh yes - you bet I did cartwheels when I found this goodie/oldie (in my mind at least). I discovered the original version of this song sung by Gilbert O'Sullivan driving to the airport one sunny Friday afternoon in Boise, Idaho, surfing the radio. No clouds - bright blue sky - and me driving some rental car. Road was empty, and I had the window open - a rarity for me. It must have been in the spring of 2008? I heard the voice and thought it was Paul McCartney, but maybe not? I'd never heard this song and kept wondering what album or time frame he would have sung this. So picture me, desperately trying to memorize the lyrics to the song that I'd randomly come upon as I scramble to get the airport (cause that's what consultants do - get to the airport at the last second). Needless to say - I figured it out and fell in love with the song. The song just reminds me of my time on the project in Boise. Lots of good and bad things happened on that project, but I'm better for it. This duet is gorgeous, and I've enjoyed listening to their voices recreate the gorgeous melody and story. 

"Why Should I Care" 
This afternoon, I was listening to one of Mrs. Krall's older albums. I listened to this album, When I Look in Your Eyes, a lot during my Senior year of highschool. Another trip down memory lane! And then, "Why Should I Care" came on. Zoom to March-April 2006 - the time during and right after the break up with my ex. I usually think back on that time around this time of year because it was probably one of the most emotionally painful periods of my life. I was hurt, betrayed, and angry on top of a lot of other emotions that I don't care to describe. I remember playing this song over and over again at the apartment that I had shared with him and oh man - I cried and cried. This song (and a few others) got me through that time. I know this may sound like a sad memory, and in part it is. Yet, nowadays when I look back on that time, or hear this song, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have the husband I have now. I know my love for him and vice versa is stronger than I had with any other person. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do you remember this one?!

How many times do you hear a song and the memories flood in? Pictures, scenes, smells, thoughts, feelings, conversations, decisions, tears, laughter, etc... you're back in high school in your first car singing your head off; or riding along on a bike with your mom to the mall; or running to yet another upbeat song that's popular for the moment? How many times do you think back on something that happened and a song pops into your head to remind of what exactly happened?

About a week ago, I emailed my best friend with a random memory from March 2004. She laughed at with me and confessed she didn't remember it at all. She did comment on my crazy memory. That night I was talking to my husband about the memory - and realized. Wait, does my memory work differently? Do others have many memories or visions from the past when they hear a song? My husband confirmed that although he had some memories, they were not as frequent as mine. "Blog about it," he said, so that night I started a list of songs and memories. And today, was my first inspiration when my brain randomly thought of this song. 

Who remembers Vitamin C's Graduation song? "As we go on we remember..." Here's a link to remind those that need a reminder...

Oh ya, this first brings me back to senior year of high school! Hell, it was released in the spring of 2000. I remember cruising along in the light blue Taurus wagon (my sturdy wheels throughout high school cause I was so uncool), windows were down, and I was jamming. "...we will still be friends forever..." Oh yeah... 

We were embarking on our real lives and the people I had known for 10+ years were not gonna be around (and at this I rejoiced sometimes). It's true I didn't plan to keep in touch with many people, but I wondered what would become of us? "...These memories are playing like a film without sound..." Who would do what? Who would end up marrying who? Who was gonna go away or who was gonna stay? What was I gonna really do in college? And after that, what was my life really gonna LOOK like? My best friend and I had all sorts of plans of getting the heck out of Austin (and ironically, we ended up being the only two that stayed put). "...Will these memories fade when I leave this town..."

I remember the graduation ceremony and the all night party thing. I am pretty sure it was at a bowling alley, but I don't remember what happened or what we did... I just remember the lights and being tired. "...And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives..." I still have a pack of cards from that night (somewhere around here)! 

Oh yes, I played this song on repeat (a common trend with some of these songs). "... all the times we had together... and as our lives change come whatever we will still be friends forever..."

One more memory for this song to share. When my youngest step-daughter graduated this past spring from high school, I heard this song. I can't remember where or why. I remember looking at her though and wondering what was going through her head. Was she building the same kind of dreams and aspirations I had for myself? Was she looking around trying to take pictures to remember some day? Was she excited, scared, and nervous all at once like I had been once? "...Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?..."

Today, the lyric that struck me the most was "...Where we're gonna be when we turn 25..."  In fact, it makes me giggle. Think back on yourself at the age of 18, think back on what or where you thought you'd be, and compare it to where you were at 25. Did you achieve everything? I'm 32 today and am not where I thought back then I'd be at 25, although I wouldn't trade my life for a second.