Monthly Archives: April 2012

Virtual shopping trip!

Remember how I mentioned that, after an afternoon of feeling my pants cut into my miserably bloated stomach, I decided to take the leap and buy some maternity jeans?

And remember how I said that I imagined I was taking you all with me? Well, I’ve finally put together the pictures I took of myself in the dressing room at Target.

Wow, that sounds really . . . narcissistic.

But it was really more like Let’s Play Pretend–instead of shopping alone, I just pretended to be shopping with all of you! You lady-types, that is. I even had a couple imaginary conversations with you. In one of them, you kept me safely away from an XXL top that I really loved but . . . well, as you may have guessed, was just a leetle too baggy on me (thanks by the way for saving me the $15!).

So let’s set the scene: there I was at work after eating a lot of fries, and my stomach was not feeling very happy. “These jeans are really giving me an edge!” it whined. “Isn’t there a way you could make me happier by just . . . you know. Spending a little money? For a good cause? Make that a great cause?”

It all seemed to make sense (stomachs have a lot of persuasive power over the pocket book–what can I say). And at that moment, all plans of waiting until Rummage to buy maternity clothes on the cheap just seemed ridiculous, like a completely foolhardy fantasy. The time to shop was clearly now.

So as soon as late afternoon hit and things had calmed down at work, I locked up the office and hit the road. Hopped on the bus, hopped on the train . . . (fast forward 25 minutes) . . . and walked into Target! Once inside, I sped like a madwoman towards the maternity section–but not too fast to grab a few flowy tops off the clearance rack on my way over, mind you. I never go too fast for the clearance rack. Securely hidden away in the dressing room, I whipped off my clothes, put on a striped maternity tank, and pulled on the first pair of maternity jeans.

(by the way, I wish I could say that little belly is the little baby . . . but no. Just fries.)

Why have I heard so many negative things about maternity jeans?

They are sooooo fine. And by that I mean . . . sooooo comfy. Why doesn’t everyone wear them, pregnant and non-pregnant alike?

Well, it might be because of this:


It’s frightening. I know. In fact, some of you ladies in the dressing room let us small yelps of shock.

But just pull down your top and the frightening part goes away. And the comfy part comes back. And all is well again.

Let’s see how they adjust when I really pooch out my belly big time.

Yes, I make a duck face every time I pooch out my belly. Why . . . don’t you?

At this point, I was pretty much sold on the pantalones. I have to say, I do prefer pairs with the shorter maternity band (that doesn’t cover the whole stomach), which is what I went for with pair #2. But later on, I discovered you can also just fold down the extra long stretchy part, and if the bottom of it peaks out, it just looks kind of like a navy blue tank.

Pair #2 unfortunately didn’t get photographed very much. But I really love them. In this picture they look a little baggy around the top–and they do scrunch a little–but for some reason that doesn’t bother me. Maybe because they’re a very tapered dark wash, which makes them look skinnier overall. And if you’re doubting, don’t–because at the time, you totally approved.

Trust me–I was there.

Then it was time to move on to the flowy tops.

I know this an XXL . . .

 . . . but it’s supposed to be flowy and oversized, so it might work, right???


Not even with the belt tied on? I wondered, trying to hang on to one last vestige of hope.

Not even with the belt, you said firmly.

Thank you for being the voice of reason in my head. Sometimes reason flees in the dressing room–but this time it prevailed. I should always shop with you guys.

Moving on!

This little number–not a success.

Not even picture worthy.

Next item! A flowery thingamaging, part dress, part shirt.

I love it (and I’m still sporting the 2nd pair of maternity jeans here–love those too).

Love it, love it, love it. The print feels a little retro, and the fit is spot on.

It made me grin my dorkiest of grins. And it might even be able to accomodate the growing Little Wa-Wa. Put ‘er in the cart!

Next: a cheap black miniskirt with a very stretchy waistband, perfect for my needy belly.

Not bad! Especially when I add my favorite find of the day, this jacket.

One of my favorite parts about the jacket? The lining in the sleeves.

See? No, I’m not just awkwardly hugging my torso–I’m trying to show you the sleeves. They’re polka dot on the inside.

Last item up! A flowy printed blouse with butterflies all over it.

It’s so drapey and lovely.

And the little braided belt is the perfect touch.

I love how everything is going together: the shirt, the skirt, even the jacket . . .

Walking out with a complete outfit is always much more fun than leaving with rampantly individual pieces that refuse to be combined.

Finally, as I left the dressing room, I asked the attendant with a longing voice “You wouldn’t happen to have this one flowy dress/shirt thing in a small? I only saw it in an XXL on the rack . . .” I let my voice trail off and radiated my most hopeful expression in her direction.

She reassured me she would check in the back.

A couple minutes later, I had the small in my hand.

Yeeessssss! It fit great. Being a nincompoop, I didn’t take a picture–but I promise it worked.

By the way, is that how you spell “nincompoop”? It looks kind of . . . odd. Too many n’s and o’s and p’s, or something.


Thanks, friends, for shopping along with me! On the upside, it was fun to record the shopping experience on purpose so that I could ‘take you along’–but on the downside, there did end up being a lot of images of my mug plastered all over this webpage. And I mean a lot. Possibly more than in any other post ever written. So based on the pros and cons, is this experience something you’d like to repeat some day? Or will you run the other way as fast as possible when I utter the word “dressing-room”?

Hugs to you all!

16 Weeks

How far along: Week 16 completed 4/24/2012

Weight gain: Still a big ??, but I’m seeing the midwife group at Swedish for my second appointment tomorrow. I’ll update you all next week on the exact scale reading. I have to admit I’m very curious–between the morning veggie juice (healthy), the lunchtime French fries loaded with mayo (not so healthy), the nausea, the yoga, and the recent return of popcorn, I have no concept of how many calories I’ve been consuming or burning each day.

Clothes: With my maternity jeans in hand for bloated days and my normal jeans in hand for the others, I’m pretty set. I also recently rediscovered a pair of ultra-soft, stretchy black . . .well, I don’t exactly know what they are. They have pockets like jeans, they’re slim fitting like leggings, but they’re definitely not cinched to the body either like actual leggings. They’re pretty much the perfect pant right now. I found them on a Plato’s Closet trip years ago and am so glad they’ve resurfaced. They had only one problem: the metal button to close the front was way too heavy for the soft fabric, and pulled at it awkwardly. So I cut off the button and sewed them closed, since they’re stretchy enough to just pull on with no fastening or unfastening. I would like to live in these pants, please.

Purchases: A friend of mine ended up with a duplicate baby swing from a consignment sale for dang cheap that I’ll be retrieving at some point for a mere $18 (yipee!). Other than that, no purchases–but I started a registry at Target for my own organizational purposes and talked to my sister Heidi for over an hour to get all the details on what brand of bottles, pacifiers, and carseats is best. I knew there was a reason I let her go first with this baby thing–it’s saving me tons of time and research.

Currently the registry is a hot mess, with at least 3 different high chairs in there and multiple strollers–I need to make some decisions. Keep the good stuff, cut the fat, etc. And dangit if I know how I’m going to do that. So many of these baby objects are just so . . . mysterious.

Oh, and I’ve put together a post about my maternity jeans shopping trip that I’ll share with you guys on Monday.

Body: Very little nausea! (can I get a nice loud “hoobedy-habbidy!” from all y’all out there?) I had one 15-minute episode of dry-heaving into the trash can at work, but I think it may have been caused by the war that some delicious Chinese food had been waging with my intestines since the previous night.

That Chinese food, courtesy of our friends Julie and Zane and a fun trip to Chinatown, was amazing. And spicy. And despite the 15 minutes of trash-can-hugging misery, I’d eat it again. Right now. I have two words for you: Tony’s Chicken. And two more words: spicy cabbage. I die.

A second episode of nausea happened one day on my train ride home, and I focused all my energy on not hurling on my fellow El passengers. I succeeded. I made sure to inform them that they can all send me thank you cards at either my home or work address. Target giftcards = optional.

That’s about it on the sickness front! Woohoo!

Sleep: Still great! This week, for some odd reason, though all the pregnancy books and websites tell me I’m supposed to be peeing less frequently, I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve been waking up 2-3 times per night to pee–ridiculous! Thankfully I just go right back to sleep, so it’s not really too bad.

My dreams have mostly centered on recording with my band (singing and realizing I sounded like a muppet; not having the necessary equipment; forgetting about the booked studio time until it was too late; being lost on the South side of a city that had a marvellous ocean-front boardwalk, and knowing I could never get to the studio on time). I asked myself why I haven’t been dreaming baby dreams more often, and then finally, one wonderful night, I had a beautiful baby dream. I had given birth to a little pudgy baby girl with the thickest, softest dark brown baby hair imaginable. She had a squishy face with the roundest cheeks, and blue eyes the color of Heidi’s. When I woke up I was in love. I want no other baby. Really guys–this is the one I want.

I’m holding on to some hope that it was a prophetic dream, and that this is indeed the exact baby that’s being knitted together right now inside me. We’ll see . . .

Best moment(s) of the week: When my husband said, “wow, I really feel like I have you back.”

Apparently the real Jenna went missing for a few weeks there and a really pathetic girl took her place who cried a lot and just wanted to sleep and throw up all the time and then sleep some more. My husband loved this girl and did his best to accomodate her . . . but let’s just say that it wasn’t a boatload of fun times, laughs and high-energy cavorting.

Thankfully, he reports, his wife has now returned with her usual silly, obnoxiously bouncy, mischievous energy. And there was much rejoicing in the city.

Movement: I’ve been aggressively probing for it (read: stuffing my fingers into the soft flesh of my lower stomach as hard as I possibly can and shouting “HELLO IN THERE!?!?” at the top of my lungs) ever since thinking we felt some tap-taps in Week 15, but . . . nada.

And just kidding on the shouting part. Though sources tell me that the Little Wa-Wa is supposed to start hearing things soon.

Food cravings/aversions: Good news on this front–I love popcorn again! One day I just knew I wanted it. I popped it on the stove with a hefty dose of canola oil. And I ate it. It was amazing. “I AM Jenna! I really am!” I cried to myself in happiness. Yes, this was serious proof that I am not a completely different person.

I also reduced my French fry intake from the 4 occurences in Week 15 to just 2. Are you proud??

Still can’t quite look Thai noodles straight in the eye, but I’m starting to have hope.

Symptoms: At the time, just bloating, getting up to pee lots in the night, and a little queasiness from time to time.

Emotions: Pretty happy and peaceful! I don’t think I cried about anything baby-related or out-of-character this week.

Hopes and dreams: I want that blue-eyed baby girl of my dreams. And I want her bad.

What I miss: Wearing cinched belts. They can really bring an outfit together, man.

What I’m looking forward to: At the risk of being totally repetitive, having a baby belly. It’s bound to happen soon. And I can’t wait to hear the beartbeat again at tomorrow’s appointment!

Husband update:  My poor husband–it took 4 or 5 spurts of photos to get the shots in this post. He would snap away, I would review what he had done, and as I scanned his efforts I would say things like “oooh–blurry. Blurry. Blurry. Make sure to press down halfway on the shutter release button and don’t let go until the picture is snapped. That one . . . well you can see here that it has a lot of wasted space on top–think about composition.” After round 4, it was just more “blurry, composition, blurry, too dark.” Poor chap! I was feeling pretty guilty at this point for even making him endure these weekly pictures. Make that really guilty.

I tried to instruct him to fill the frame with my body like this:

But he was having trouble seeing–really seeing–what was in the viewfinder. He felt like the image he saw in the viewfinder didn’t translate to what the picture looked like in the end. I was kind of at a loss as far as how to nudge him in the right direction. “Well . . . just try to look carefully?” I suggested rather unhelpfully. “Just like . . . you know . . . look at what’s there, what’s at the edges, what’s in the middle . . . you know, look at what you’re seeing.” I didn’t know how else to explain it, and I think I just ended up sounding redundant and potentially facetious.

I guess one of the first steps in photography is just learning how to look. It sounds basic–but it’s an acquired skill. Poor little dahlin’–and thank heavens for his sense of humor.

By the end I was feeling guiltier than ever, my babycakes was feeling stressed, and I realized what an obnoxiously picky customer I am when it comes to pictures. BUT! I settled for what we had in the end (with hopes for improvement as time goes on), we worked through our mutual distress (mine for putting him under pressure, his for not ‘getting it’), my husband acknowledged he wants to continue to learn since it’s so important to me (not because he has a natural desire or inclination), I recognized that I need to learn how to communicate and teach him without being an annoying know-it-all, and embraces were given all around.

Ah, marriage. It’s a wonderful, beautiful thing, and it involves a lot of talking about your emotions. A lot of listening. A lot of apologizing. A lot of hugging. And what’s not to love about that?

And here’s a kinda cool blurry shot . . .

. . . followed by an in-focus shot when I was teaching him how to adjust shutter speed to beat the blur:

Good job, babycakes. You’re a photographic champeen in my book (kinda like a champion but more cute and lovable).

And back by popular demand, here’s the Babydaddy himself in his update shot:

No sympathetic baby bump there–but I’m totally cool with that.

I like your man-abs, you ridiculously hot thang.

I’m so excited about my appointment tomorrow–hoping to hear that steady, strong little heartbeat . . .