Friday, June 29, 2012

The wisdom of Will Smith

Not sure how I feel about Will Smith in general, but came across this quote this week and thought it was pretty much spot-on (regarding their tween-age daughter shaving her head):

"We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it's like how can you teach her that you're in control of her body? If I teach her that I'm in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she's going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can't cut my hair but that's her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she's going out with a command that it is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives."

In the terribleness of all the Sandusky trial lately, I have been reading stories here and there about adults who had experiences with assault as children or young adults. Not an on-going abuse situation, but having an inappropriate experience with a friend's parent or a trusted adult or a bullying situation that went just a step too far. What was striking to me is how many people never told their parents for fear of ruining a family or friend relationship, or feeling like they could handle it on their own, even as a 12- or 16-year-old. It was very surprising to me and so sad. I think (hope) that every parent wants their child to feel like they can tell them anything, but how exactly do you teach that?

There is some commercial on TV right now with two teenage boys and one of them wrecks their car and says, "My dad is going to KILL me." There is such a fine line between instilling fear in your children and making them too fearful to tell you when something bad happens or is about to happen. I want my children to learn responsibility and good decision making and when things are fun and when fun borders on dangerous. I also want them to learn that there are SO, SO many things worse than upsetting your parents. Hair grows back, cars can be fixed, tattoos can be lasered off (right?). There are many other things not so easily fixed. I want them to know that we will listen first, hug first, help first - disappointment and discipline have a place, too, but those things can wait.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dressing the bump

I've wised up this pregnancy. Or, at least, continue to be in denial about the clothing situation.

With my first pregnancy, I think I was fully in maternity pants by 17 weeks. I am now 19+ weeks and still wearing regular pants and I think I have a few weeks to go, which pleases me. There is something about the shiny appeal of "maternity clothes" in your first pregnancy that seems fun and exciting and cute. And then you realize that maternity clothes are rarely any of those things and you spend your second pregnancy trying to avoid them like the plague.

Further, my last pregnancy was fully 4 years ago and I pulled out my 2 boxes of maternity clothes and was appalled at what I wore. I borrowed lots from friends, and my bigger maternity clothes are for winter and still seem OK-ish, but my summer stuff was slim pickins and mostly dreadful.

I think this is my last pregnancy and I don't want to spend a ton of money on things that won't get any more use, but I also need clothes to get me to work 3-4 days a week and then some cute-ish weekend things and/or clothing appropriate for chasing a small child.

Here are a few treasures that have worked well for me so far, in case you are looking!

This is the Merona Women's V-neck Crossover dress from Target, non-maternity (though I think they have a maternity version online). I bought it one size up and it looks pretty cute with a tank underneath and a belt around the waist, pulled up over your bump a bit.

 This is also from Target, the Mossimo women's cowl neck tank, that I think is on clearance now. I also bought it one size up. It is really long on me and has room to grow, though the arm holes are huge, so it requires a cardigan.
These Gap pants are the MVP of my pregnancy wardrobe so far. Like, I've worn them almost everyday since about 7 weeks. They are the Gap slim cropped pants and I have two pairs. I ordered them on a super sale early in my pregnancy and a lot of the reviews said to order one size up generally, which I did. I also ordered two sizes up and just pulled them out last week, which will buy me a few more weeks of wear and probably postpartum, too. I have short legs and they are just about the right crop length on me and they sit low, below my belly.
I also hit some really good sales before Memorial Day at The Legends. I got three of these J Crew Factory cap-sleeve blouses, 2 in medium and 1 in large. They are the kind of shirt that will make you look kind of pregnant in regular life, but just keep people guessing if you really are pregnant. The medium ones are now a bit short, but I can get a little more wear out of the large one. Cute with the Jackie cardigan, too, for work.
Old Navy has also been a good source of inexpensive items for me. I've ordered a few cute maternity things, but still find that a lot of their regular skirts work. This one has a nice elastic band so you can have it sit lower on your waist, below your belly.

For me, this is the best Old Navy skirt so far. I don't really even know how non-preggos can wear it because it fits weird, but it's perfect for me. Sits nice and low with an elastic back.

I guess I was in a chambray mood the day I shopped, but got all of these on a good sale. This skirt is a little less forgiving, but still has an elastic back and sits low on your waist.
Generally, I like to find dresses for work because I don't need as many pieces to get dressed, but it's surprisingly hard to find work-appropriate dresses that have sleeves and are still pretty casual. I have an old one from Lands End that works great with a belt - it's just a straight shift kind of dress. 

I also ordered a few of the Gap essential v-neck t-shirts before I was pregnant in size large and they have always been a bit big and long for regular wear, but now work perfectly. (In contrast, my absolute favorite v-neck t-shirt is the Gap Factory version, which is thinner and cut slimmer, though now getting tight). 

Sadly, my favorite jeans crapped out and got a big hole in the butt at about 8 weeks pregnant, so I really don't have any jeans to wear, but it's getting hot enough that I don't want to anyway. 

Any good tips / pieces I'm missing? Send them my way!

Friday, June 15, 2012

'tis the Season

Did you hear .... it's summer! 

We have yet to get to the pool, or plan any swim lessons, but we are regularly slathering the girl up in sunscreen before school. I think she plays outside from dawn till dusk and, despite our best efforts, already has tan arms and legs. 

We are still using the SuperGoop sunscreen swipes and loving them. We also like some of their stick and lotion products. 

I came across this interesting graphic on sunscreen and protection factors and such - take a look. I know I never put enough sunscreen on, and I thought the tip about using 2-finger's worth and dividing your body in zones was a good one. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Only if you're doing it right

I know I've mentioned the Dinner: A Love Story blog many times before, but it remains one of my very favorites. I have tried, and had success with, many of their recipes. I love their philosophy on family dinner. They have great book recommendations for kids. They write a column in Bon Appetit! Consider me smitten.

Their book comes out today - you can read more about it here and order through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (I pre-ordered, thankyouverymuch).

Another blog that I really like, and may or may not have mentioned, is Momfilter. It's updated a few times a week and just has snippets about things you might care about - parties, entertainment, home, food, style - along with some great kid pictures and usually a feature or two about an "interesting" mom. If I'm honest, these features can almost border on making me feel like an inadequate human being, but then they often come around to the point where I can see that these (gorgeous / glamorous / smart) women are just moms like me and have the same issues.

Case in point: Jenny Rosenstrach, the author of Dinner: A Love Story, is the featured mother this week. She has some good ideas, there is a great picture of some hand-drawn recipes inside a cabinet door, and the clincher for me at the end: My daughters are close in age so when they were little I remember turning to my mother-in-law and telling her, “I had no idea how hard this was.” And my mother-in-law said, “Only if you’re doing it right.”

You can read the full story here: We Want to Know More About - Jenny Rosenstrach