Thursday, February 12, 2015

{Baby}: Maternity Fashion.

Maternity clothes.

I knew that having a baby would be expensive but one thing that did not cross my mind was that having to buy basically a new wardrobe would be expensive too!

At about 10 weeks I decided to get some "transition" pieces for my closet. Eager and excited, we hauled it out to the mall and went to a maternity store. I ended up getting two swimsuits (on sale) and two pairs of work pants but the biggest thing I got was sticker shock. This (frankly sub-par) maternity store was charging ridiculous prices for their clothes!

Then and there I decided to engage my inner frugalista. Over the next months, I learned quite a bit about maternity fashion - how to use your existing wardrobe, where to buy cute clothes at reasonable prices.

At first, I wore my regular clothes (for a good while - especially tops) - with jeggings and such in style, it made pants stretch with the growing bump. Here I am at my brothers' graduation party (plural possessive intended, as it was for both brothers). A flowy longer tunic over black stretch pants and a cardigan - my go to outfit for those early weeks.

With summer arriving, knit maxi dresses were a great addition to the wardrobe. I got this black and white striped one and a black one just like it from Burlington Coat Factory. Did you know they have a (small) maternity section? I didn't. It is very hit or miss but the prices were worth looking. I got several knit t-shirts, four maxi dresses, and a few work tops there.

The parentals at my gender reveal party:

Top from Burlington:

 T-shirt from Burlington, paired with TJMaxx sweater and my trusty knit black pants from Target maternity.. I wore those things all through my pregnancy.

Dress from Burlington:

T-shirt from Burlington maternity:

Another go-to was Sears - their maternity selection was a hidden treasure. This button up dress was great for work and will also be good for nursing.

Sweater from Sears with Target maternity black pants:

Dress from Sears maternity:

Cowl neck sweater from Sears maternity:

Top from Sears maternity:

Sears knit top and khaki skinny leg pants: 

I also got a few items from Stitch Fix that worked as maternity, like this dress I wore to my shower:

Stitch Fix started offering maternity clothes towards the end of my pregnancy but I was already well stocked by then - but super glad they added that service.

Here are the two swimsuits I mentioned at the start of this post - both from Motherhood Maternity.

Another favorite was Old Navy for maternity. Our location had a small maternity section but the best part was people could return their online maternity purchases in store and those were usually discounted. 

This Old Navy sweater is actually a regular size, I just put a maternity tank under it:

I loved this Old Navy maternity dress:

I got this maternity dress at Old Navy for something like $5 because it was an online return. I paired it with a vest from TJ Maxx for a wedding and an engagement party (pardon the bathroom selfie, you do what you have to do).

 I also wore the heck out of my Old Navy maternity knit tops. Here's one of my go-to's with my Old Navy regular size puffy vest.

Old Navy dress:

Another place I loved for maternity fashion was Target - I got two pairs of black pants, several long tanks, and this purple knit long sleeve tshirt that I wore legitimately every day at home for a while: 

 There are a lot of great maternity websites as well, but most that I found were pretty pricey. So if you're looking to be stylish while preggo without breaking the bank, my recommendations:

  • Old Navy
  • Target
  • Sears
  • Burlington Coat Factory
Hope this helps any frugalista pregnant women out there!

In saving money,

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

{Baby Jasper}: Nine Months on the Inside.

Now that Ruthie is here, it is fun to look back on her 40 weeks on the "inside." I'm very fortunate because I actually really enjoyed being pregnant! I did have morning sickness for about 16 weeks but luckily Zofran worked wonders and made it tolerable. I went through a period from about 8 weeks to 14 weeks where I didn't have an appetite really except for Mexican food and pizza and I definitely couldn't stomach eating chicken at all! Overall, I craved beef the whole time (I'm not normally a big beef eater) and oddly, Taco Bell's nacho cheese was the yummiest thing I had ever encountered in life during pregnancy.

I loved documenting the pregnancy and ended up making an entire photo book for Ruthie about her time "on the inside." Included in that are my series of bump pictures:

We're going to continue documenting Ruthie's growth over her first months and I can't wait to do an update a year from now!

In chalkboards and babies,
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

{Baby Jasper} Madeleine Ruth Jasper

Ruthie arrived in the world January 2nd, 2015 at 6:43pm, 5 days after her due date. We just celebrated her 2 week birthday and words cannot even express how in love we are with this little girl.

Jake took off work starting December 29th, so we had a good few days together just the two of us. We did a lot of waiting and spent time with friends, as well as getting some last minute things done.

Ruthie's due date came and went:

After a lack of progress towards labor, we finally reached our induction date and prepared to check into the hospital. We ate one last date dinner as a couple with no kids and then checked in to the hospital the night of January 1st.

Getting ready to go to dinner and the hospital:

The whole experience at the hospital was really great- the nurses and other staff were amazing, my doctor was on call and was there for me, Jake was able to stay with me the whole time we were there, and our family was ready and waiting when she was born.

When we arrived Thursday night, they were concerned about Ruthie's heart rate and so I was put on oxygen and given fluids, which led to a pretty ridiculous selfie:

After trying labor for the majority of January 2nd, we ended up going in for a c-section because of Ruthie's response to the pitocin.

While the c-section was an interesting experience, the end result meant I got to meet Ruthie!

Our family all came to our room on the recovery floor to meet Ruthie:

We stayed until Monday, January 5th and were able to spend a lot of time snuggling and loving on Ruthie in the hospital, adjusting to life as parents before venturing out into the real world:

It was bittersweet to leave our little cocoon and go home - we were glad to get back to our house but would miss the helpful nurses and all the visitors.

The introduction to the brothers and sister at home went well - they haven't really been too interested in her.

She had her first pediatrician visit the next day, Tuesday January 6th.

And we settled in for a lifetime of snuggles:

While in the hospital, we were able to get a few pictures of her to use for her birth announcements:

As I said... we are so in love. And learning constantly. Welcome to the world, Madeleine Ruth!

In diapers and feedings,

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