Baby Body Wardrobe Trauma

Everyone knows being pregnant changes your body.  You can lose all the baby weight and your shit’s still probably not going to be in the same places.  At least not all of it.  It’s fun.  Ok, it’s annoying, because I kind of liked where things were before, but whatever.  Still, even knowing this, moms are definitely at risk for some wardrobe-related trauma.

I’m currently the same weight and dress size I was pre-pregnancy.  While I overhauled my wardrobe when I decided to stay home with my babies, I kept some of my favorite pieces of “professional” clothes, which have literally been hanging in my closet since sometime in January 2015, when my baby bump outgrew them.

Moving on. Now, my twins are almost three.  It’s not like I’m just now emerging from the months of maternity clothes post delivery.  I started wearing regular clothes almost immediately, because unlike a lot of women I know, I fucking hated maternity pants and missed my skinny jeans. Anyway. Yeah, I’m a SAHM/WAHM. I spend quite a bit of time in running tights or similar stretchy apparel. If you chase toddlers all day, you get it. BUT. I’ve had several occasions to get dressed up. My husband and I have had a couple date nights, holiday parties, a wedding, a funeral, etc. But none of those events required me to wear anything from my old work wardrobe.

Then, last Friday [ominous music playing], I had to attend an event at my husband’s very conservative employer. First of all, it’s hard for me to look conservative. I have weird colors in my hair and tattoos all over me. I wear unusual jewelry. Most of my clothes are black and tend to either be tight, or low cut, or have holes (ex: ripped jeans), and they almost all show at least one tattoo. This is all fine and good for the vast majority of my life. Case in point, it’s been three years since I’ve needed my old professional wear.

And guess what. It all looked like shit. Like, it looked so bad that it caught me off guard. I zipped up my old favorite black trousers and looked in the mirror and just…what the fucking fuck? If only it had just been the trousers. My pencil skirt, my wrap dress, my silk blouse? They all betrayed me. I was shocked that things that used to look great could still fit and look so goddamn awful. Just how? Blame the c-section tummy that still won’t go away? I don’t know, I’m sure it doesn’t help.

closetI ended up digging through the rest of that mess and improvising.  But I mean, seriously, HOW is there nothing in that closet to wear to a fucking work event?? I mixed some old professional pieces with new shit that fits right, and it worked, IMO anyway. (Pro tip: always own solid black pants that just kill it with heels.) Anyway, why not just go shopping like a normal person? Well, I didn’t know about the event until the night before, and I doubt I would have found much at our 24-hour Wal-Mart to improve my wardrobe situation. That said, I will for damn sure be picking up some new trousers in the very near future.

XX Nic

Migraine Hell Help

Hi, I get migraines. If you’ve had one, you know they’re awful.  The fun thing (lol) about migraines is that everyone has a unique migraine experience. There are tons of different triggers and symptoms and if you want more info on that, start with the Mayo Clinic page here.  I usually get intense stabbing/throbbing pain on one side of my forehead, sensitivity to light and loud noise, and nausea, all of which typically last a day or less, and my triggers include barometric pressure changes, stress, hormonal birth control (the Depo shot was murder), dehydration, and a few food-related things (like sage). I think right now, I’m averaging about two per month, but I’ve had periods of time when I was getting a migraine every other day or so.

I started getting them when I was 18, and here we are 13 years later, still going strong. Back in the before time, ya know, before kids, I would pop a pain reliever and crawl into the darkness of my bedroom as soon as possible.  Of course, I’ve always had jobs that weren’t super accommodating about taking time off for something that wasn’t contagious, so I’ve worked through plenty of pain, which sucks, but I guess I should just thank my stars that I don’t completely lose all ability to function. Anyway, I’m now a work-at-home mom, which is worse than the most oppressive boss about allocating sick leave. Also, while I, once upon a time, took prescription migraine meds, I stopped when I was pregnant and, even though they worked, never bothered to get back on them because they’re fucking expensive. Anyway, over the years, I’ve found a few things to help deal.

  1. Drink water. Yeah, caffeine helps with migraines, but so does hydration. I drink a glass of water when I first notice symptoms, and I swear it reduces the severity.
  2. Excedrine Migraine. Or the off brand. I honestly can’t tell the difference. Their magic formula is acetaminophen + aspirin + caffeine. This one probably isn’t news. A Again, I take it as soon as I can after I notice symptoms. It doesn’t work as well as the prescription pain reliever I used to take, but it definitely takes the edge off forme. Plus, it’s cheap.Excedrine
  3. Migrastick. I kept this in my desk and used it all the time when I had a “regular” job. It’s a little roll-on tube of mint and lavender essential oils that you apply to your temples. The smell helps with my nausea, and the cooling/soothing sensation of mint oil distracts me from the pain. I personally don’t think it does anything to help my migraines go away faster, but it does help with the symptoms. I buy it from a little local supplement store, but you can get it on Amazonmigrastick
  4. IMAK Compression Mask. I can’t lock myself in a dark bedroom anymore because I have kids, but this is kind of the next best thing. It’s like a soft, knit face mask for sleeping, but it’s full of these little balls that you can kind of mush around on your face so absolutely no light reaches your eyes, plus the pressure and weight of the mask helps with the pain. Also, you can keep it in the freezer, and the cold mask feels amazing if I have any kind of headache at all. I have been known to wear it pushed up on my forehead so I can have the cool pressure and still be able to keep an eye on my sweet little demon toddlers. I found it on Amazon, and it was worth every penny IMO.

IMAK

I honestly hope you don’t get migraines (of course if you don’t, you probably didn’t read this post), but if you do, maybe something on here will help. Share your own go-to fixes in the comments.

XX Nic

Showing Love in Weird Places

Hey guys.  My husband works. I stay home with the kids. Just recently our schedules were completely different and he spent a semester at home with me, taking grad classes, not working, and it completely threw our dynamic off. I think it’s me. I guess I need to be able to define the role I need to fill to do it well. We were both stay at home students, which to me, meant we should contribute equally. Alas, that was not how it played out. Honestly, there was some serious tension in our relationship by the end. But, thank the gods, that situation is NO MORE, so I’m just going forget about that.

Now, I am the domestic goddess with my toddler minions, and I shall reign supreme over the realm of the home and fields and forests. It’s my world from the time he leaves before sunrise until he comes home late at night, and I am going to make it fucking beautiful, all with two wild little pixies in tow.

While I’m working on building some income from my freelance work, my husband is busting his ass so I can stay home with our girls: teaching math in a charter school, finishing his math ed. master’s, and tutoring for his university between teaching and class. He loves it, but during the week, he’s gone all the fucking time. Oh, he’s also working on his competition level heavy weightlifting.

I like to say “thank you, I love you” for working so hard out there so I can work hard here.  My ability to stay home with our children and homeschool as they get just a bit older is as, or more, important to him as it is to me. We’ve turned our lives upside down a couple times now so that I could stay with the kids. This last big change, with his new jobs this week is amazing. This kind of came out of nowhere, and it could not have happened at a better time. Regardless, we’re still adjusting.

Anyway, I digress. He’s gone long hours and his body, because of his weight training, has pretty strict nutritional needs. He needs a ton of protein, especially on workout days.  He needs some high-quality carbs, some high-protein dairy, some fruit, and usually some vegetables. He will make his own lunch, but it’s really, really sad. Or, he goes to Subway and pays like $12 for a roast chicken salad that leaves him hungry.

Therefore, I, like many women before me, do what I can to take care of my man with food. I’ll talk about breakfast in a separate post, but I handle that too. Brief summary there, though: eggs, vegetables, maybe bacon, coffee.

Tonight, as he was going to bed, I started making his lunch. I coudn’t find his lunch bag, which I assumed was in the car, but he says “Oh, just put it in a grocery sack, I can get it.” Which was nice. I was really happy for about 5 seconds, because it is cold as fuck out here tonight. Anyway, it hit me that I was trying to infuse this daily, mundane task with love, and that stuffing it in a grocery sack did not feel like a love-infusing task. I drug my crazy ass out to the car for the bag, and grabbed his coat for in the morning, and felt better about it.  I then marveled at the beauty of a clear, cold southern night, far out enough in the middle of fucking nowhere that the stars are beautiful. And tonight there’s the full moon, the blue moon, the supermoon, and the blood moon. This, a happy witchy woman doth make.

Back inside. I made two of his favorite sandwiches: fuck tons of turkey and swiss, on 12-grain bread, with dijon and mayo. I washed an apple. I bagged up mango slices and grapes. I sacrificed a beloved black cherry greek yogurt. I added a homemade blueberry muffin, which he probably won’t eat, but could, idk, trade for something? Whatever, it’s a fucking muffin.

I don’t want him to feel like it’s a big deal. I don’t want him to think I’m going out of my way. I’m really not. All I have to remember to do is buy the right stuff at the grocery store, wrap it up, and put it in a bag. I do hope he feels a little bit taken care of though.

Should I put a little note in the top? We’ll see.

XX Nic