Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Miskabelly Shop: Sneak Preview

As much as we love sharing our mama and mama-to-be-stories on the Miskabelly blog, the actual idea of "Miskabelly" started as a sister store for our etsy shop, Miskabelle.  As you know, we have a love for all things vintage and Miskabelly will be a place to find vintage clothing for moms-to-be and babies.  We are also working on a line of baby toys/stuffed animals, handmade from our collection of vintage fabrics, as well as vintage-inspired paintings (which we shared on the Miskabelle blog).
The Miskabelly maternity line will include a wide range of dresses, tops, skirts, etc. for all types of mamas and the baby line will be of course, sweet little vintage baby clothes.
So without further ado, here is a glimpse at some of the lovely vintage pieces that will be in our Miskabelly shop launching sometime this August!
breezy sundresses

flashy 80's tops

work wear

casual bohemian pieces

...and some too-cute vintage baby duds

Hope that gets you excited...I know we are!

Jayme & Amanda

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week 18: Let’s Grow!

Let me just start by giving you a list of my frustrations for this week (yes, I have turned into a whiny baby):

Number 1-- While in an overly-optimistic state I declared “If I can’t eat all the things I love and am craving, I am going to learn to bake gluten free versions for myself!”  We all know the outcome of my previous attempts, but I decided to give it another go and bake some gluten free cinnamon rolls.  Um, yuck.  Just the thought of them now angers me!  After my first bite I found myself wondering who in their right mind would post this recipe online and say that it’s even edible.  Grrr… I ended up eating cantaloupe for dessert instead.  Cantaloupe?   What kind of pregnant woman eats fruit for dessert?

Number 2-- In my 18th week I have turned into a paranoid/emotional wreck.  I lay awake at night thinking of all the horrible things that could happen to me or to Andrew (the hubby) or the baby….pregnancy complications, birth complications, after we bring the baby home….yadda, yadda, yadda.  I’m sure it’s mostly hormones (and my normal-self’s tendency to be a worry wart anyway) but dang is it stressful.

Number 3-- Last but not least—I WANT A BIG OL’ PREGNANT BELLY ALREADY!  I have got some pretty shocked reactions from people when I tell them I am at 4 ½ months.  I get to hear stories of how “huge” they already were at this point in their pregnancy… and comments like “Wow, you’re lucky.”  But really?  Am I?  It’s not very fun to feel apathetic about food.  AND my wardrobe has become so limited because I’m constantly trying to hide the little bump I have (not only because I don’t want people who DON’T know I’m preggers to think I’m getting chunky, but also because I’m half embarrassed of my lame excuse for a baby bump in front of people that DO know).

But alas, I need to shut my pie-hole because today on one of my twice weekly trips to the post office to ship Miskabelle goods, I had my first real mommy-to-be moment.  As I put my packages down on the counter, the post office attendant asked “Are you expecting?”  WHY YES I AM!  Now, this is not the same post office attendant who watched me heave in a trash can a couple weeks ago (if you didn’t catch that blog, click here!).  But I did have a sneaking suspicion that she had heard through the grapevine about the incident.  But when I suggested  that was why she asked, she claimed she hadn’t heard (so yes, I had to relay it to her).  So jeez, maybe I DO have a “real” baby bump!  Needless to say, I shall remove Number 3 from list… NOW I just need a gluten free personal baker/chef and some kind of tranquilizer.

In these photos:  vintage head scarf, CC California ruched tank, vintage beaded necklace/jewelry, grey skinnies by Tyte (haha...yep, that's what you get when you shop at Ross Dress for Less!), vintage navy flats

22 weeks to go!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Post-Baby Body Challenge, Week 1

I've never had a washboard stomach and now it's guaranteed I never will--which is okay because I like curves and softness on my own body.  The thing is, I'm almost 6 months out, and I am seeing too many curves and too much softness on my body.  After pregnancy, my figure is almost unrecognizable to me.  You always hear that even if you get back to your pre-baby weight, your body will be different (except for those rare freaks of nature who seem to pop them out then head ot the gym the following day--I'm talking to you Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, etc. etc.).  My body is a little too different now for my liking, as are my habits.

Now, I know I wrote previously about giving your body grace.  I'm still doing that.  But I think I've been giving myself a little too much grace--or a little too much pasta.  And I sat up a lot of the night with a baby with an upset tummy and realized how much my eating habits affect her and how, when she's old enough, she will see and emulate my healthy--or unhealthy--habits.  I don't just need to get back into some semblance of shape for my own vanity, I need to do it for Aurora. 

We're going to the beach in 2 weeks. I'm honestly dreading it.  I can't tell you the number of cute coverups I have purchased so as not to be seen in a bathing suit.  I don't buy those Cosmo headlines of getting your "perfect beach bod" after a few weeks, but I could use a little tough love.  I also have a wedding dress to rock in about two months.  So here, dear readers, is where I've decided to bare my soul (and body).  I need some accountability and I also need a record of my goals and progress.  So welcome to the Post-Baby Body Challenge.  Each week I'll share a fun picture of myself (cringe) and a list of mini-goals for both my eating and exercise, as well as one self-love activity (to maintain that grace I referred to earlier).  Other hot mamas (with a little more to love), feel free to join me!

Here's where I'm starting (can't believe I'm actually sharing this, but (BUTT-hehehe), here we go).  Worse than I thought, but I suppose that's another strong motivator:

I'm not going to focus on "losing weight" because 1)there's no way in HELL I'd post my starting weight here and 2) we don't own a scale so I don't actually know (or want to know) how much I weight right now.  I'm focusing on getting toned up (I used to have fantastic arms and now they're so jiggly!) and energized.  Also, notice the fly pink and black sneakers:  I bought them to motivate myself (cute workout gear can't hurt, especially for a fashionista like myself).

This Week's Goals

Drink a glass of water with each meal(before drinking anything else)
No snacks after 8pm (Rora's bedtime)--a warm drink (tea or decaf coffee) instead.
Do two P90X workouts with Q
Take three walks with Aurora
Morning pages at least four days

It's early as I write this--I already had my first cup of coffee (and no water!), so I must make up for that.  It rained yesterday, so while the air is hot, it isn't humid--looks like a great day for a walk with my two loves.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Week 17: Milestones

17 weeks.  Kinda feels like when you turn 17 years old.  Exciting because you’re one step closer to good things to come (turning 18/being considered an ‘adult’/freedom to buy naughty things that you probably wouldn’t buy anyway/ability to cash in that lotto ticket and get back the 2 bucks you spent on it) but not any kind of noted milestone in pregnancy (end point of morning sickness/start of a new trimester/halfway mark/finding out the sex of your baby/HAVING your baby). 
But hey, I can’t complain!  Here are a couple of exciting things that happened this past week:
     1.  Pretty sure I felt the first baby movements.  It felt like tiny bubbles (not the gassy kind…) near the surface of my stomach.  At one point I even had Andrew (aka Hubby) put his hand on my belly and he felt it too! 
      2.  Had a doctor’s appointment today where we got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again (and I got to drink a large glass of what tasted like flat orange soda, for my glucose blood test…keep your fingers crossed—I have been eating a LOT of Skittles and Sour Patch Kids lately). 
It was great to hear the heartbeat but it’s still pretty strange having a little baby growing inside of you and not getting to see it for weeks on end.  After spending the weekend with my niece (Aurora, 5 months) I came home feeling sad.  I missed her and I missed my sister (her mama) and I missed MY baby….?  Yep.  I know it sounds so incredibly weird, but I just had this strange longing to see my baby, hold my baby, listen to my baby cry…. but alas I have 23 weeks to go before this will become a reality!  I’m trying to focus on the now--the last summer Andrew and I will spend as a ‘couple’ rather than a ‘family’.  But we have been married for 4 years now and dating for 6 years prior (eeks!  that’s 10 years together!) and are so ready to welcome this new little babe into our lives to form our own family. 
Not sure if it’s the heat or the hormones, but I’ve been just a bit down in the dumps lately.  I am certainly grumpy!  Poor Andrew had to deal with my complaining while he graciously took these week 17 photos (I might post some outtakes later of me scowling and being a brat—NOT cute).   Today I will spare you:  Here’s the bump at 17 weeks…and me being a proud mama-to-be—which I ‘spose is exciting enough for me…no milestone needed.

In these photos:  vintage silk print scarf, white tank from Target, vintage peach maxi skirt, fringe wedges by Sam Edelman (courtesy of hand-me-downs from sis!)


P.S.  Won't you pretty please click the brown box at the top of this page and vote for us on Top Baby Blogs?  We're hoping to crack the top 50!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend Update in Pictures (and words too)

I was anticipating Jayme and Andrew's visit all week.  I had a running to-do list up on our kitchen whiteboard so that everything would be perfect--it was their first time visiting our house in VA (and Q's and mine first time entertaining overnight guests!).  I could barely sleep on Friday night, and even though I am known for my late sleeping on Saturdays (since Q is home, he'll usually get her out of her crib if she starts fussing and let me sleep in, since he doesn't have to go to work.  They get special time together and I get special time...with my bed!), I was up with the sun.

They got in around 10am, and of course, while they were very excited to see me and get a tour of the house, they were EXTREMELY excited to see Aurora!  And she was just as excited to see them:
 Top:  Uncle Andy makes Rora smile.  Bottom:  Aunt Jayme gives Rora some cereal.

We played and relaxed for a while after their three and a half hour drive.  After that, it was time for a shopping trip!  Discounts, thrifting and vintage are some of our favorite things.  We hit up Loehmann's, then came home for lunch.  After lunch, we headed back out to Unique, a huge thrift store in Virginia, where we found some amazing vintage baby clothes (that I will soon share on a preview blog!).  It was hot and humid and what I simply call "gross" outside, so we came back to the haven of our central A/C and hung out for a while.  Of course, downtime always means "cool tricks time" for Aurora:

She'd really like to think she could drink out of a glass.  She loves gnawing on the edge, but if a sip of water gets in her mouth, it still surprises her.  We were laughing so hard at how excited she got over a little water glass!  I know I'm her mom, so I'm biased, but I swear she is the cutest and funniest girl there ever was.

We went out to dinner in the evening, once things cooled down.  Unfortunately, it took a little while for us to park, and then a little while waiting for a table, so we ended up sitting down just about half an hour before Rora's usual bedtime.  She started to get really fussy, so we had fun passing her around, trying to see who could keep her calm the longest.  In the end, it's always Daddy who has the best ideas.  Outside of the restaurant, there was a fountain/waterfall--Rora loves water (baths, showers, the ocean, her baby pool, bubbling brook sounds to fall asleep)--and this calmed her down for our ride home:

Rora, Q and me outside of P.F. Chang's in Arlington

We came home and put Aurora to bed, though not without more fussing (she was definitely overtired by this point).  Then we hung out in the living room, listening to some XM radio and talking while Jayme highlighted my hair (yes, she's my personal shopper, hairstylist, makeup artist, etc).  We were all pretty tired after running around all day, so we rolled into bed around 11:30pm.

The next morning, it was time for our favorite city breakfast spot, Open City.  It's a little bit of a drive from Virginia, but it's worth it, especially as it's become a family tradition:

 our little family

The place was pretty packed and a little stuffy. Jayme, Q, and I all got delicious frozen cappuccinos. Andrew had coffee (with animal crackers on the side, which Aurora had to sample--below, in pic with Q). We had egg scrambles and French toast.  Aurora was good for the most part, but we had to play hot potato with her once again toward the end of our meal:
from top clockwise:  Q & Rora, Uncle Andy and Rora, me & Rora and an English muffin, Aunt Jayme and Rora

After breakfast, we did a little driving tour of where Q grew up, then came home to chill.  When Aurora went down for her afternoon nap, Uncle Andy and Aunt Jayme decided it was time to go.  We were all sad!  But it was a fantastic weekend and I couldn't help but think how awesome our times together in the future will be when we have TWO babies to play and snuggle with!

We'll keep you updated on that progress, as Jayme hits the 17 week mark this week!  Yeah!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Adventures in Pregnancy: Volume 1

Pregnancy brings on all kinds of changes, emotions and oddities…some you read about all the time and some that might come as a surprise.  This morning was certainly interesting…and at Amanda’s suggestion I decided to share [with embarrassment] in a blog.

In prepping for my upcoming weekend trip to D.C./VA to visit the sis (see our other blog for more deets: I decided to take the day off.  We had a pretty great week of sales on Miskabelle and I saved all the wrapping/packaging for this morning.    I happily wrapped each box in brown paper then stacked them up and stepped back to admire, like a proud parent.  I snapped a pic with my phone to send to Amanda AND to my hubby AND to twitter. “Should be an interesting trip to the post office all by myself,” I tweeted.   Little did I know…

It was a queasy kind of morning (as usual) so as I sang along with my iTunes tracklist (rapping along with Drake, belting to Jonatha Brooke, grooving to some Elton John….), wrapping up our week’s purchases, I sort of only managed to choke down a couple bites of yogurt.  But….that’s not so unusual.  I finished wrapping, threw on my sundress and off to the post office I went.

I managed to get my stack of boxes into the post office without a hitch.  I stood filling out some international packing slips (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia).  I stood watching the post office worker weigh the packages.  I stood making small talk about vintage clothing.  I stood…..starting to feel a little queasy <’you’re fine….you’re fine….almost done…you can do it….’>  Nope.  Couldn’t do it.  I suddenly was seeing stars and grasping the counter for dear life.  “I think I’m gonna pass out.”  Sitting down on the floor of the post office I dry heaved.  Two sweet ladies in line behind me came to the rescue….one grabbing a trash can, the other holding my hair.  The poor post office worker offered me crackers in a panic and graciously brought me a glass of water.  What an adventure.  At some point I think I mentioned being pregnant and luckily this gets major sympathy points—especially from those who have been through it.  Mommies love sharing their battle stories.  I feel so thankful that us moms/moms-to-be have that connection!  I was truly embarrassed but felt comfort in someone else’s “I’ve been there” story.

Yeah….that was my first major adventure in pregnancy.  So next time we have a big week of sales….I will shut up and take my stack of boxes to the post office sans brag-y tweets and texts.  I have learned my lesson! #karma

Humbly yours,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Baby finally puts toes in mouth after months of trying!!!

I started back to work this week.  My work is online, so I get to stay home with Aurora (I get most of the work done during her naps or after she goes to bed), but I was still cranky after three discussion-board-free weeks.  It's still a month before we get a vacation and even then, my online courses will still be happening so I'll have to work while we're at the beach (albeit with a view of the ocean).  I've also been incredibly emotional/hormonal this week.  Only two things are getting me through:

1.  Jayme and Andrew and their baby bump are coming for the weekend!! (of course, this has provided the added stress of cleaning up the house but it's the good kind of stress).


2.  Aurora's toes finally found their way into her mouth!  She's been working at it (in the middle of the night sometimes) with much frustration.  She sucks her thumb to soothe herself, which is adorable, but the toes are HILARIOUS:
She's so proud!  And I love it when she smiles/giggles at me while her toes are in her mouth.  It's the best.

She's also very snuggly and affectionate these days (hmmm, I wonder where she got that from?).  It's my favorite, and as much as I don't want to think about it, I have to remind myself that it won't be like that always.  So even if I'm the middle of something, if she starts fussing, I'm happy to put down what I'm doing, pick her up, breathe in that baby smell, and smother her with kisses!

Someone else also likes to do this when he gets home from work...she gets kisses before I do (and I pretend to be jealous!):
Every day life gets better.  She's the best.  There are no more words.

But there are, of course, always more pictures...

That's all my doting for now--time to get some of the real thing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week 16 (4 months!): My Gluten-Free Bun in the Oven

In this photo:  handmade vintage sundress (a hand-me-down from sis!),  fringe sandals

I must say that before I was pregnant when I would read quotes from pregnant celebs like: “I LOVED being pregnant!” and “I thought it was really fun to get big…”, I would think “I’m TOTALLY gonna be like that.”  To imagine 9 months of eating what you wanted, when you wanted it and not have to stress much about calories sounded like bliss.  Well, I have finally reached the 4-month mark and I am still waiting for that blissful moment where I can give into a craving and experience a love for food again.  My first trimester has come and gone and I am still suffering from morning sickness (…more like morning, noon and night sickness).  To make matters worse, I am currently on a gluten-free diet.  I really hate to use the word ‘diet’ because it sounds weird for a pregnant woman to be on any kind of diet… but I am also having trouble coping with the fact that I should be saying  ‘gluten-free lifestyle’….which means forever….ugh. 
Gluten-free means it can’t contain wheat, rye, barley, and/or oats (NO, it is not a ‘low-carb’ diet…rice, quinoa, sugar, potatoes, etc. are all still fair game).  My body just can’t handle the gluten (almost like an allergy), which results in cramping, bloating, gas, and an uncomfortable stomach.  It can also lead to other issues such as inability to properly absorb nutrients (which equals weight loss and fatigue).  I wasn’t too familiar with the condition until Amanda and my mom saw something about it on TV and suggested I look into it (after years of improperly diagnosed stomach problems, an appendectomy, and a miscarriage followed by months of being unable to conceive).  The next day I went on the diet…and 3 months later I was pregnant!  Not to mention, my nightly stomachaches had disappeared and I finally felt like I had energy to get through the day.
Needless to say, dealing with my strict gluten free menu ON TOP OF being sick has been rough (saltines and toast are a no-no for us gluten free girls).  Unfortunately to give into cravings would mean risking my health and my baby’s health.  So that brings us to today….4 months pregnant and yet to eat a slice of pizza….a cupcake….a fresh slice of French baguette with butter….*sigh*.  In my quest to satisfy my cravings, this weekend I attempted to bake a loaf of gluten free bread…which turned out to be a solid rock crust with a doughy, dense center (i.e. GROSS).  So looks like the only bun in my belly will be this little baby who will certainly bring me more joy than any fresh baked goodie (but you will be missed, blueberry bagel from Panera).


P.S.  Any other gluten free girlies out there?  I would love to hear from you!  Any websites, recipes, advice you have would be lovely. thx!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mama Moment #2: I have nothing to wear (because nothing fits).

Despite considering myself a pretty emotional person, I did not suffer from post-partum depression after Aurora was born.  I had several weird crying fits a few days after I got home from the hospital, but that was about it.  I couldn't believe the joy she brought into my life--just watching her sleep was the most profound thing.

Babies are an amazing, life-changing gift, no doubt about it.  But sometimes, change takes a lot of getting used to.  And it's not always pleasant.

One of the most frustrating motherhood adjustments?  My body.  Never was I ever skinny (except prior to entering kindergarten perhaps).  Neither was I ever obese.  I'm tall for a girl and have always been on the curvier side.  I loved my pregnant body--because Aurora was in that big round belly.  But now there is no baby and the belly is still round, 5 months later.  I have been so tired and busy with Aurora and work that there is really no time to exercise.  On top of that, I grab foods that are easy because of the time and convenience issue.  I'm breastfeeding, but in no way is the weight "melting off." (I hate reading that on websites.)  I'm still up two to three sizes (depending on the store--which is another rant in itself) from my pre-pregnancy weight.  And at my pre-pregnancy weight, I was about a size larger than I'm comfortable at.  I keep making resolutions--to eat fewer carbs, to start working out after Aurora goes to bed, to avoid the ice cream section of the grocery store.  I love fashion and it's part of my everyday life with Miskabelle, but lately, it just makes me depressed.  I can't wear 75% of the clothes in my closets and drawers.  And the clothes I can wear don't make me feel all that special.  I've taken to accessorizing in order to ease the lack of creativity in my wardrobe, but still, I pine for my favorite vintage items--those skirts I can't button, the tops that now tug around my new bosom...sigh.

I was complaining to a friend about my weight (just a little pity party) and she asked if I was still breastfeeding.  I told her I was, and she said, "The weight's not going to come off.  You're still storing it."  I said, "I guess that makes sense."  Whether it's medically true or not, it was a sigh of relief and a moment of pause: my body is this way because of my baby.  My breasts give her food, my arms hold her, my lips kiss her, my nose nuzzles her, my hands soothe her, my legs take her on walks.  Why am I so focused on changing and slimming down (could it BE the media?  and celebrities and models who are shown fit as a fiddle only weeks after giving birth?) when it takes the focus away from the beauty of being a mother?

I don't think it's wrong to want to be healthier.  AT ALL.  I still need to lose some of the weight I put on.  I need to be exercising regularly.  And I need to stop eating the way I ate when I was pregnant.  But I also need to give my body grace.   Do you need to do the same?  I think many of us do (even many of us who aren't mamas!). We do a pretty powerful thing every single day:  we raise a generation! We can't do our best job taking care of our little ones if we don't take care of ourselves--mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This is for mamas-to-be as well!  You really need to take care of yourself when you're carrying around that little one 24/7.  And sometimes, with all of those raging hormones (and clothes that are getting tighter...and tighter), it's easy to feel unhappy about how you look. 

Here are some ways to love yourself that don't involve thousands of dollars and a personal trainer:
  • stretch for ten minutes
  • take a long, bubble bath while deep conditioning your hair
  • do your makeup--make it glamorous! Even if it's just to greet your sweetie at the door after work.  (Lately, I'm in love with a bold red lip.)
  • exfoliate all over and then moisturize! (it's the best, especially in the summer.)
  • give yourself an at-home manicure and pedicure
  • take your little one for a long walk in a pretty area of your town/city
  • with your morning tea or coffee, sit down and write or journal for fifteen minutes (it's an amazing way to start the day; I use Julia Cameron's morning pages from The Artist's Way as a guideline.)
  • instead of trying to "get it all done while" your little ones are napping, why not give yourself a little nap?  I am a huge lover of naps, especially when I'm frequently up at night!  "Sleep when your baby sleeps" is great advice.  The dishes can wait.
  • if it's the right time:  find a babysitter and go out on a date with your spouse/significant other and then maybe...
  • make love! 
  • meet a good friend for lunch--or if you stay/work at home (like me), have a friend over to your house for lunch!  (You don't need a babysitter and you can save money to boot.  I had an at-home lunch date this week and it was fabulous!  Truly, it made my day...and my friend's, who needed her "baby fix"!)
  • go to church/pray/meditate (for me, there's nothing like focusing on a power much higher than myself to bring peace and comfort and make me feel silly for being so worried about how I look.)  
  • have a clothing swap!  We ladies always seem to be up and down in sizes, so why not get a group of friends together and make some trades?  Turn it into a party!
What else do you do to care for yourself so you can better care for your loved ones?  I need more ideas to add to this list!

Stretch marks, love handles, spider veins, doughy thighs, jiggly bellies, saggy boobs...these are our "war wounds," ladies.  Let's wear them with pride.  We are beautiful and we are blessed.

 Aurora and me, June 2010

Curvaceously (proudly) yours,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mama Moment #1: Bedtime

Aurora is the sweetest little thing--always smiling and giggling and charming everyone she meets.  Most charmed are her mama and daddy.  So charmed that we were keeping her up with us late into the evening, watching TV shows in bed, thinking that the later she went to sleep, the later she would sleep in.

 Who could resist this face?  Aurora, 3.5 months @ Cape May

She didn't have problems sleeping a lengthy 6 hours or more until she turned 4 months old.  Suddenly, it was like she was the little infant all over again.  Neither one of us was getting any sleep.  She once cried for an hour and a half straight. She wouldn't nurse or let herself be comforted.  She finally just had to tire herself (and the two of us) out.  It was this night that I had to let Daddy hold her while I went into the TV room, cried, and started searching online for magic cures to make babies fall asleep.  What were we doing wrong?

I didn't find any magic, but I did find a lot of helpful knowledge and advice.  The first was this:  when babies are going through key developmental stages, they often have what is termed sleep regression.  Aurora really was regressing back to just-born infant phase! What's so interesting to me is that the sleep disturbances come from the fact that the babies are focusing on learning a new task.  They are trying to work something out, so they can't sleep--so adult, isn't it?

The second thing that jumped out at me was one word:  overtired.  I thought you didn't impose bedtimes until your child became a toddler, that sleep was just sort of freeflowing.  But it turns out there is a method to the madness.  Aurora definitely got very fussy and engaged in a lot of thumbsucking around 8 o'clock or so.  Sometimes she would have a total meltdown--nothing could soothe her. Another suggestion for bedtimes that I read about was to create rituals.  Whether it's a bath, a story, a lullaby, a walk, a feeding--as long as you do the same thing each night, your baby will come to expect bedtime.  Rituals are calming for baby (and parents!).  They're also signs to baby that it's time to wind down--when we do this, it means that it's time for bed.

The first night, we kind of did everything:  bath, diaper, pajamas, rubdown with baby lotion, nursing, story, lullaby.  She went right down, thumb in mouth.  We thought we'd hit the jackpot...until she was screaming an hour and a half later, and every two hours after that.  Check that ritual off the list.

The next night we didn't do a bath and eliminated the lullaby (since Aurora loves music, we thought it might have gotten her too jazzed up.  The ritual also took way too long, so she probably got overtired again).  Daddy read three stories from Frog and Toad while I nursed.  She was nearly asleep when we laid her down.  She woke up two hours later, but rather than think she needed fed (or allowing her to get to the point of screaming), we took her out and patted her back to sleep.  In a matter of minutes, she was back down.  She still woke up every two hours, but she also went back down more easily.

The third night we did a diaper change, rubdown with some Vicks Baby Rub (she has a little bit of a summer cold right now, thanks to me!), pj's, and one story while nursing.  She went right down, thumb in mouth, other arm wrapped around her "softie," light cotton blanket on.  And she slept for six hours!!  Granted, that means she still woke up at 2:30 in the morning, but we just patted her back to sleep, and she woke for her usual feeding at 4.  It felt like I got twelve hours of sleep! I was so proud of her--and of us for sticking with it.  We found our ritual and we're stickin' to it.

 No, she doesn't sleep with her bow in--just captured this as she fell asleep while playing.

Some of our favorite stories for bedtime so far:
-The Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel   (I love these books so much more as an adult!)
-Anything by Sandra Boynton, especially The Bellybutton Book
-Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (This was a gift from a dear friend--she said it contained her life philosophy for her made me cry the first time I read it to Aurora!  Highly recommend it.)
-One of Each by Mary Ann Hoberman  (one of Daddy's first presents to Aurora while she was still in the belly! Great story, fantastic illustrations.)
...and the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

What's your favorite children's book?  Let us know in the comments so we can add to our libary!

Speaking of bedtime, I have a fussy little girl who's ready for her morning nap...someday I'll write about naptimes, which are as essential as bedtime (if not moreso!).

Sweet dreams,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WEEK 15: Feelin’ Fruity

Ah, the joys of pregnancy.  When a woman finds out she is expecting I think the second most anticipated part of pregnancy (the first being the actual little baby that comes 9 months later!) is the baby bump—at least it was for me.  Now at 15 weeks along, I am finally seeing my belly grow a bit….but not to a point where anyone else  can tell (besides the hubby, who points it out with a smile and head shake every chance he gets).  According to the books, my baby is currently the size of an apple.  So my challenge now is to hide that little apple.  No offense little babe, but I’d rather strangers not mistaken me for a girl who likes to partake in excess of keg beer on the weekends. 
High waisted skirts have been a godsend (good-bye overexposure of hip bones and below-the-belly-button-midriffs…though I must admit I did hop on that trend back in my flat bellied high school days).  Both Amanda and I are undeniable pear shapes—small waists and round bottoms (I suppose Amanda could be considered more of an hour glass since she has more to offer on top…especially after the birth of Miss Aurora! *please God let this be my destiny as well*).  The high waisted a-line skirt accentuates a small waist and disguises a booty….the perfect formula for us pears….especially us pears trying to hide apples!

In this photo:  Vintage High Waist Chambray Skirt (altered to a mini), Vintage Pale Yellow Skinny Belt, Old Navy Lace Neck Tank, Vintage Red Flats (from

I must admit once I am home for the evening I like to let “the apple” show….so I wear snug tank tops.  I’m still not at a point where I feel okay wearing them in public, but if I did here is how my current 15 week baby belly would appear:

In this photo: Vintage Denim Vest (buy it a, American Apparel Tank Dress, Michael Stars Leggings, Forever21 Gladiator Wedges

Believe it or not ladies, these photos were taken on the SAME DAY!  So like I said before—hallelujah to high waisted skirts!  You do our bodies good…. at least while you still fit.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome to Miskabelly!

Hello and welcome--whether you're a mom-to-be, a mom already, a friend of a mom, or someone who plans to become a mom someday in the future, this blog's for you!

What is Miskabelly?  Our new sister Etsy shop, which will feature vintage maternity clothes, refashioned vintage maternity clothes (unique, handmade pieces to fit all yoru belly bump needs!), vintage baby clothes, and handmade nursery decor and gifts! We shared a little preview on our Etsy shop blog recently.

We're hoping to approach pregnancy blogs in a fun and fashionable way!  We're one mom (Manda) and one mom-to-be (Jayme), and we hope to share our journeys in pregnancy/motherhood, as well as a ton of fashion and beauty advice.  Sometimes it's tough to want to put energy into dressing up (or getting dressed at all!) or making ourselves pretty when we just want to stay in bed a few more hours and down another box of Girl Scout cookies.  But here's the thing, something true:  when you look good, you feel good. That's no shallow thing.  It's about transformation!  You know how a little red lipstick can change your whole attitude?  It's kinda like that.  Except with big round bellies.  And dark undereye circles.  And spit up.

Here are some blog features we're planning:
  • Jayme's week-by-week photo/pregnancy impressions
  • The Pregnancy Diaries, where J shares all the wondrous pregnancy milestones, peeing in cups, drinking disgusting liquids, feeling the baby kick, etc.
  • Hot Mamas, where we share our favorite maternity looks from friends and celebs
  • Dress the Bump, maternity fashion advice for the cheap and chic
  • Mama Moments, where Manda will share insights from life with little Aurora
  • Baby Decor, with handmade, creative ideas for the nursery
  • Baby Yourself, a list of weekly ways to pamper and take care of YOU!
  • Miskabelly shop updates/previews
We'd love if you'd share this link with your friends or any mamas you know!  There are lots of pregnancy blogs out there, but none as fun, creative, fashionable or bargain-conscious as this one.  We're excited to get rolling.

Miskabelly's shop will be opening in September 2010.  Keep checking here for previews of what's to come!

With love,
The Hot Mamas of Miskabelly