Google "mom jeans" and this is pretty much what you get!
It's official, I have finally bitten the bullet and went shopping for new non-maternity pants. I managed to go all summer either in dresses or my one pair of maternity capri jeans. I could not being myself to try and go stuff my bigger-than-it-once-was ass into god only knows what size of jeans, so I refrained from doing so. I was actually considering wearing my old maternity jeans all winter, but a funny thing about those pants is that shirts and/or sweaters tend to stick to the elasticised, stretchy waist material. This didn't bother me back when I was pregnant, but it became a real irritation recently. Seeing as I had to go on a shopping spree to buy new winter clothes, since last season all mine were maternity clothes and my previous pre-pregnancy wardrobe just doesn't work yet with my larger chest and butt size, I decided to go ahead and take a look at new pants, jeans to be exact.
I've literally been dreading having to try on new pants. I have been wearing jeans from the juniors department my entire life, and I knew that those pants aren't exactly cut for women who recently had children. So I blocked all the images running around my head picturing "mom" pants, and made myself quit prejudging the experience I was to embark upon.
This is another infamous mom jean pic, yikes!
Just so we are all clear on the front end, I am not a fashionista, although I am not a total slouch, either. I never have been and probably will never be. I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, although I do love dresses, but comfort is my main goal when it comes to clothing. So my main goal for finding new pants was of course comfort. That and not having a muffin top, ugh! Before embarking on my shopping trip, I pulled out all my old jeans and braved trying them on. Most, of course, didn't come remotely close to fitting. One pair, however, I was able to get zipped and buttoned, woohoo! Believe it or not, these were size 7/8 from my juniors collection. Funny thing, none of the other 7/8's from the same collection even came close to fitting. So I checked out the label, and wouldn't you know it said the style was for curves, and those I definitely now have. I then checked to see if this brand made these style of jeans anymore, and of course they did not. I then went and did research on other jeans made for curvy women.
I new I was going to be shopping at Kohl's, remember how I said I wasn't a fashionista? I can't afford really expensive clothes, so I shop at Kohl's quite a bit. I can get a lot for a lot less, and they have some very cute things here and there, so I make it easy on myself and always plan a trip there when shopping is to be done. Yes, I wish I could afford Gucci and Prada, but I can't, so Kohl's it is. Anyways, I got online and checked out what style of jeans they had in the women's department. Low and behold, Jennifer Lopez has a jeans line. I'm not a huge fan of hers, but she's okay, and I do know she has curves. After reading the reviews on her jeans line by customers, it seemed that other women were very happy about how her jeans for a "real" woman's body. After perusing the reviews, I knew I had to go see if her jeans would work for me.
How could I go wrong with a 5-star rating?
Low and behold, Jennifer Lopez does know a bit something about curves! At first glance, I thought the jeans were not going to work. I'm usually pessimistic about jeans fitting, so this is no surprise. But I sucked it up, grabbed what I thought was going to be an appropriate size, and headed to the dressing rooms. She had several different styles available, but I chose the boot cut and straight-leg style, just and FYI. Once in the dressing room, I prepared my pessimistic self to not get angry when I looked like a muffin-topped fat cow and/or a flat-butted mom. I was genuinely shocked and pleased that these jeans made me look like neither.
These jeans cut just below my belly button just at the right level on my hips, so I had enough stomach-hip-ass coverage not to show my crack when sitting down and not to have a muffin top when standing up. They had some stretch to the fabric, which allowed my curves to fill the jeans rather than the jeans try and suppress all my womanly goodness. And I do like my curves, don't get me wrong. I've always had a butt and I like it that way. The stretch accentuated my curves rather than humiliating them, and that is hard to come by in a lot of pants. Besides the cut at the hip/waist area, they also fit fantastic in the thighs, and they were the perfect length. I have relatively long legs and have always run into a length problem. Usually regular jeans are too short and long jeans are just a tad too long. These jeans, both styles, were exactly the length they needed to be.
As for the sizing, I know a lot of women besides myself have had issues with one size in one style of a brand of jeans not being the same size in a different style by the same brand. For instance, I expected Jennifer Lopez's straight-leg and bootcut jeans to completely fit different if tried on in the same size. Well I was completely wrong! Both styles fir the exact same in the same size. They even fit the same when tried on in different washes. This in and of itself was a miracle. I actually feel confident enough in the fit that I could order them online, without trying them on, and they would fit when they arrived. I know you women out there know what I'm talking about! I'm telling you, it felt like a miracle! Oh, and they don't stretch out during the day to the point their falling off. I've had this issue with just about every pair of jeans I've ever owned, so this little blessing is worth checking out.
So in a nutshell, I am very pleased with Jennifer Lopez's brand of jeans. I'm not sure how they would work for women without curves, but if you have a butt, hips, and thighs on you, then you definitely need to try them out. They were also quite stylish. My typical idea of "women's" jeans is cut way too high, no ass at all, and generally dumpy as hell! Not these jeans. These were flattering in every which way. The pockets were even in the right place, amazing!
Dang mom, yo butt look smokin' in those!
Okay, now on to the best part...they were inexpensive! They were on sale for $36 and I got another 20% off using my Kohl's charge card, which I always pay off before any interest can hit, I just use it for the additional savings. Basically, they were around $28 before taxes. Now that is a price I can live with, especially when it come to temporary sized jeans. I still plan on losing the rest of the baby weight once I'm done breastfeeding, so I definitely needed some jeans that wouldn't break the bank if I shrunk out of them in a few months or so. With those prices, and the awesome fit and look, I can actually afford to go down size by size until I get to where I want to be, woohoo!
You know I always have to throw in random Piper pic, right?
Well there you go, good jeans, good fit, good look, and good price. What more could a woman want, besides getting back into size 3/4 juniors jeans, which will never happen! I am super duper happy with the Lopez line of jeans, and she had some nice sweaters at Kohl's, too. Actual sweaters with sleeve which seems to be hard to find these days, and I cannot fathom why because winter is still damn cold!
I hope this review helps some of you curvy women out there, especially you who may be like me and don't have $200 to spend on one pair of pants, and hopefully will give you a direction to look when searching out some new duds. I am particularly picky when it comes to my pants, and I have tons of jeans just sitting in my closet never worn or worn once because they didn't fit the same after the first wear or even after the first couple of hours wear, or after I started and/or got off my period...you know what I'm talking about, right? So, if any of you curvy gals are looking for some new jeans that will fit your curves the way they should, then do check out Jennifer Lopez's line at Kohl's. I didn't try on any other brands, since I don't believe torturing myself when I find something that works, so I can't speak for any other jeans sold there, but the JLos are terrific as far as I'm concerned. Sorry I didn't have a pic of myself in them, but I felt awkward asking someone to take a pic of my ass in my jeans, so you'll just have to trust me on all this.
How could you not trust a woman whose daughter is this dang adorable?
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I am titling this entry the six-month catch-up because that is exactly the way it feels. The past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind full of growth spurts and time seemingly flying by at unprecedented speeds. I'm not sure if it's Piper's abandonment of her babyhood for a more pre-toddler like self, therefore keeping me busy and on my toes,or if I'm just becoming less organized; but either way, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done that I want to accomplish.
She keeps getting cuter and cuter!
In order to get things more back up to speed, I'm about to throw out all things I've got on the back-burner, and front-burner for that matter, and get my slate clean and tidy so I can once again let it get filled to overflowing and rinse and repeat this whole scenario. So let's get this party started before even more time goes by and she ends up 7 months old.
How could anyone resist this face?
Piper had her sixth-month check-up on the 17th (she turned 6-months on the 10th). She has once again surpassed all the typical milestones and impressed the hell out of her doc. At her 4-month visit she was said to be on a 6-month level, so I knew she was already ahead. I was shocked to hear the doc say Piper was now somewhere around a 12-month level or maybe even a little further along than that. Wow! I knew she was a smart cookie with pretty good physicality for a 6-month old, but a yearling? Then again, I was also shocked when the doc told me she didn't usually worry about a child's advancement unless they couldn't say 5 or 6 words by 18 months. Piper has already got that whole 5 or 6 word thing down for the most part. She started saying "hi" a couple months or so back. Just in the past few weeks she has solidified "mama" and has been throwing out a few others at whim such as "bye-bye," "boobie," "nana," and "uh-oh." She has also been saying the typical "dada," which baffles me as she doesn't have one of those around and doesn't hear that word. My best guess is that I have a co-worker named David who she absolutely adores, we call him uncle David, and I'm presuming she is trying to say his name.
She's got crawling down now!
Speaking of, she has actually said David as clear as a bell before, and threw all us witnesses for an absolute loop! Had I been the only one who heard it, I would have thought it was my imagination. However, David had just walked into the room, and my cousin was also present, and Piper looked straight at David and said his name. All of our jaws dropped and we questioned each other on what we'd just heard and all agreed. She has yet to repeat that feat, but it happened, I swear it! It's not the only time she has thrown out a surprise word, either. Just the other night she repeated the TV and said "animal." I guess if she's going to start the random mimicking thing, I may want to curve the f-bombing! ;)
She's still a messy eater, lol!
As for saying "mama," that one is a no-brainer. I read somewhere that children often begin saying this one without knowing the meaning, they just repeat it after hearing it so often. I would say that was true if she didn't always look directly at me when saying it. She will even say it in surprise and joy when I walk into the room, or crawl right up to me, look me in the eyes, and say mama! She has never addressed anyone else as mama, so I take that as knowing it is a word meant for just me, regardless if she knows the scientific definition and magnitude of it's meaning. I do know it is the absolute sweetest, most beautiful sounding word I thought at one point in my life I would never hear. Of course it makes me tear up with joy at times, as it did my parents the other night when it flew out of her mouth as plain as a fully talking child had said it. My dad was holding her and I was sitting across from the couch in a chair not paying attention, and she was trying to get my attention, and believe me she did. She'd said it before, and has said it since, but there was something special about that one, you'd just have to have been there.
I wish I could sleep this good!
So why the dramatic pause? Because that is right after where I left off six days ago! Yes, I've been that swamped and tired! Work has been kicking my butt still, and after a long day of it, I've just been too damn tired to do much more than try to unwind after the workday has ended. My intentions have been to write, but the brain gets tired, the words get jumbled, and next thing I know I'm heading to bed. Today was particularly rough, but I'm determined to quit delaying everything outside of work. Where's the fun in that, right?
Yes, we sleep with a giant sock monkey!
Anyways, let me get back to updating everyone as to Piper's current development.
Let me restart with her current growth stats as per her 6-month check-up:
I was very pleased with her stats this go-round, especially her head circumference. If you remember, she was in the 5% range at her 4-month check-up. Knowing that her tiny head is catching up gives me quite a bit of relief. In that regards, however, I will say that I think the head circumference averages are a bit skewed since I've noticed back sleeping babies tend to have much wider skulls than the tummy sleepers. If my observations are correct, then the norms for this feature are not relevant to Piper. It hasn't been a secret that I let her tummy sleep, as I am against back sleeping (to each their own, though), so I didn't put as much weight on this figure as my doc may have.
She's got the cutest head in the world, as far as I'm concerned!
As for her height and weight, the doc said she was perfect. Having those two numbers in relatively the same percentile range is a very good sign. It just simply means she is the right weight for her height and vice-versa. I want her to be on the taller range, so I am very happy that she is already above average for her age. All the women on her daddy's side that I know of were 5'10" or above. I think she has a pretty good chance of being on the taller scale, and I suspect taller than my 5'7". As for her weight, I know she is going to be slender like I was, and probably actually more so, being built more like her Nana than me. This is only a guess based on her current build, but I'd wager a pretty penny that I'm right. I hope that I'm right since I want her to take ballet. Slender helps for sure when it comes to the world of dance!
So cute I had to add another one!
On a brief side note, she did have a bit of reaction to her vaccinations and flu shot this go round. She felt fine right after, barely even cried after her shots, but by the early evening she was feeling pretty icky. The next morning we woke up and she was burning hot. I took her temp and it was at 103.2 degrees! She wasn't complaining at all, just a bit glassy-eyed and melancholy. I gave her some Tylenol, took the day off, and we spent the day cuddling. By that evening she was perfectly fine. She did run a very slight fever off and on Saturday, but has been fine since.
Our day of cuddles while she wasn't feeling well.
She did a lot of nursing that day.
Okay, besides her stats and current vocal abilities, her mobility has been off the charts! She started true crawling at 5 months and 2 days old. However, she was still quite wobbly. She would crawl a few steps and then collapse, pick herself up and restart. This went on for a few weeks. All of a sudden, however, on her actual 6-month birthday, she started speed crawling with no missteps or shakiness. I had dropped a dime on the floor at work that day, and she saw it's shininess, rolled from her butt to her knees, and just took off! She reached the dime almost before I could get to her and keep her from putting it in her mouth. Once she figured out she could crawl without taking a break every few steps, she was unstoppable! Now she cannot be left alone at all unless she is in a safe-to-play zone. If I leave her in her play area in my office at work, I will come back and find her cruising in the hall looking for me! She is still relatively good about not getting into too much mischief, but she is expanding her horizons and testing new limits everyday.
Besides crawling like a seasoned vet, she has also been pulling up to standing on any object that offers her relative stability. Because of this I had to lower her crib mattress down, and now she stands in it all the time. She also can no longer sleep in her co-sleeper. Once she began the speed crawling and standing, she immediately started crawling into my bed from her sleeper. Needless to say, she is now sleeping in my bed. I tried moving her to her crib, but she stood staring at her bedroom doorway, in the dark, until after about 10 minutes she started sniffling, then I started crying watching her on the monitor, then she started crying wondering why she had been abandoned, and then I caved and let her be my nighttime snuggle buddy. What can I say? We haven't been separated more than an hour since she was born and I don't have the heart to separate us now...nor do I want to as I waited so long for her. I want her in my bed, and I'm not afraid to admit it!
Caught her doing this in her swing instead of sleeping the other day at work!
Oh, and remember that tooth I said she sprouted while at the pumpkin patch? Or did I remember to mention that in a previous entry? Anyways, that tooth has turned into two teeth. They are so dang adorable, and I imagine that some of the low-grade fever she ran Saturday had to do with that tooth still slicing it's way through the gums. Both of those bottom incisors are now fully exposed above the gum line. I think they're the cutest teeth I've ever seen, and yes I know how ridiculous that sounds. With those teeth has come her introduction to teething biscuits. Her favorite right now are the Baby Mum-Mum brand. It's so nice that she can sit and have a self-serving snack while the rest of enjoy our meal. As a matter of fact, we went out to dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in a bit, and Piper sat in the big-girl high chair at the restaurant, while we chatted and dines al fresco for close to four hours. She enjoyed her fruit punch and rice biscuits and was perfectly behaved the entire time. Everyone at the restaurant had to stop and compliment her, especially her eyes, so once again proud mama status was achieved! Needless to say, I was very proud of her behavior in public. I've seen absolute tyrannical children at restaurants, and have had my fair share of moments wanting to choke the living shit out of them and/or their parents, so having Piper act like a civilized human being in public makes me oh so very happy.
Thank goodness she doesn't act like this in public! :)
Piper also has a new favorite Halloween toy. We went to visit her great grandmother a couple o f weeks ago and I had to run into Walgreen's for a couple of items. While perusing the candy aisle, I ran across a very cool Vampire-in-a-Box. It's like a Jack-in-the-Box, but much scarier! Of course I had to buy it for her. I am a huge horror genre buff, so I want to get her introduced to all things fun and spooky early on so she won't be a scaredy cat later on in life. Well, I thought she might be a bit frightened by the toy, but she absolutely loves it! It's her go-to toy whenever she is playing on her blanket at home. She has even learned the shortcut switch to make it pop open without having to turn the handle. She is learning to turn the handle, but she still doesn't quite have the manual dexterity to make it go all the way around over and over. Now don't take the following video wrong. Yes, she does complain about it at first, but now she is to the point of batting the vampire around and smiling at him. It might be because mama pointed out that he has jazz hands. Who can possibly be scared of a vampire with jazz hands?
It's the delayed reaction that makes it so dang funny!
Okay, what have I left out? I'm thinking I'm going to just quit here and get this post published. I'm sure I'm definitely forgetting something, but I can always put whatever that may be into another post, right? This one has taken me almost two weeks to get together, and that to me is unacceptable. I know if I don't just go ahead and wrap it up, something else will happen that delays me, like the need for sleep. So, basically, that's where Piper stands at 6.5 months. She's still in this growth spurt she's been going through the past few weeks, the one that seemed to start while watching the pig races and the pumpkin patch, and I'm beginning to wonder when it'll pass. I secretly hope soon since it's making time fly by too quickly. I want to keep her little for just a wee bit longer.
Aw, she looks awfully cute in mama's bed!
I hope you all have enjoyed the post, pics, and videos. Sorry it took so long between posts this last time, I'll try not to let that happen again. For now though, if you could please show your forgiveness by dropping me a vote over at top mommy Blogs and Top Baby Blogs, that would totally make my month! Then drop on by my other social sites, especially Facebook, cause the action happens there daily!
I know I'm running just slightly behind on getting these three weeks posted, but alas Piper has been developing so quickly these past few weeks that I've barely had the time to absorb it all, which I am trying to do so I don't miss a single moment, and that's where my priorities have been focused. This growth spurt she's been going though has been astounding! Crawling at top-notch speeds with no more wobbles, pulling up to standing on anything that gives her even the utmost of support, cutting two teeth, and saying mama and what sounds an awful lot like boobie. (She also, since I first started writing this post, has also been trying out Nana, bye-bye, and uh-oh. She hasn't perfected these as much as she has mama, but they're close enough to count). And that's just a smidgen of her developmental milestones she's been pummeling through in the past week, yes I said week! So as you can see, I've been bombarded with capturing baby moments rather than focusing writing on my acts of kindness. Even though I've been otherwise preoccupied, that doesn't mean they haven't been accomplished.
To cut down on much needed time, I've decided to do a combo post which will cover weeks 10 through 12. Normally I wouldn't, but this time I think I need to give myself a much needed break and just go with the flow. So here goes...
Week 10 was a bit odd. I had pledged to support someone in a charity event, but that fell through due to me not being contacted in the end. I was kind of disappointed, but oh well. It was probably a good thing as Arkansas Children's Hospital called seeking donations. I've had a pledge page set up for them for a little over a month now, and I need to get back hounding people to offer their support, but I had not recently contributed my own donation to them. Since my other pledge had kind of vanished, I decided to take that money and offer it to Children's. It was nothing astounding, but every little bit helps. If you want to help out by offering a small donation yourself, here is a link to my personal fundraising page where I'm trying to raise $1000 for ACH. The money goes directly to them, just an FYI.
Now I'm going to jump to week 12, just to mix things up a bit.
I had another busy week and hadn't really had much time to seek out a deed. Luckily for me, the universe presented me with an opportunity. This past Tuesday a little boy came into our offices looking for donations to help support his youth football team, the Arkansas Avengers. He was so dang adorable and shy. Of course I had to help out! For a rare change I actually had some cash on me, so I gave him what I could. He was very polite and let me know he plays running back for the team. I encouraged to keep working hard and dreaming big. And then he left the building with a huge grin on his face...priceless!
So there you go, week 10 and 12 over and done. It's probably best I decided to combine the posts of these three weeks just because week 10 and 12 don't really merit any huge write-ups on their own. Not all deeds deserve pomp and circumstance, but they are all appreciated regardless of the hoop-la associated with them. Week 11, however, was a combined effort that tied into the giveaway I hosted on my Facebook page. It needs some good old fashioned hoop-la, so here it is!
Week 11 began several weeks before it's actual official 11-week status was decided upon. You may have seen my previous blog about a little local mother/daughter team who began their own business handcrafting baby goodies, such blankets, burp cloths, binky holders, bibs, and other such awesome stuff. Their tiny yet totally terrific shop is called Shaybee's Babies, which is named for Shay, the rockin' mom who manages to create amazing baby items while still handling a myriad of other responsibilities in her life. After having the pleasure of communicating with her, I'm amazed at not only her crafting skills, but also her gumption and practically superhero momness! Funny enough, her mom was my lactation consultant at the hospital when Piper was born, and I can see where Shay gets her awesomeness from. Her mom is also terrific and I couldn't have asked for a nicer person to help me get my lactation in gear from the get-go.
Anyways, Shay has been following the blog for some time. Once I started the 52 random acts segment, her and her daughter got inspired and wanted to help. She contacted me privately and wanted to offer some items for me to use for one of my weekly acts. How amazing is that, huh? She asked me to decide on an item for either a boy or a girl, and I asked if she could do one of each and I would pay for the second item. Then I would giveaway one item to a needy mother and the other I would giveaway on my Facebook page. This second item would be given away contest style and would be used as a way for me to help drive my fan base towards her business. Let me state here, I would never push a product I didn't believe in. Having seen her craftsmanship, I so knew she needed to get her name out there because her products are second to none!
The dachshund minky blanket for both the NICU baby and my friend's baby shower gift.
The boy binky clips!
Shay, being the awesome person she is, decided to give me both the boy and girl items instead of having me purchase them, wow! She also made Piper a minky Razorback blanket and two binky clips, one red with black polka dots and one Halloween one that is purple with black bats on it! I was seriously surprised, flabbergasted, and so appreciative of her generosity. Piper adores her blanket and clips, she uses them daily and they go everywhere with her!
Piper loves her blanket!
For the giveaway items, Shay made a minky blanket and two binky clips, one set for a girl, and one for a boy. As she finished them up, she sent my photographs. I fell in love with the boy set that had dachshunds on one side. I was getting ready to go to a baby shower of a girlfriend whose husband and her are huge dachshund fans. So of course I had to order a matching minky blanket and binky clip as my baby shower gift. I also ended up purchasing some burp cloths, one of which went to the baby shower, one I used as the second prize in the Facebook giveaway (along with a binky clip) and one I gave to Piper because I just had to have on myself!
The girl minky blanket and binky clip for the giveaway.
I was going to let the Facebook giveaway entrants choose whether they wanted the girl or boy set Shay made, but then I got wind of a mother who had a 28-week-old NICU baby boy in the hospital. I then chose to go ahead and give the boy set to him and use the girl set for my grand prize in the Facebook giveaway. Sometimes the universe steps in and makes decisions for you, and this was one of those times.
The Halloween clips. Left one is Piper's and the right one was for the contest!
In the end, Shaybee's Babies and I gave an awesome minky blanket and two corresponding binky clips to a needy mom and baby boy in NICU. We then gave a girl minky blanket and corresponding binky clip as the top prize in the Facebook giveaway. Then I decided to offer up two more prizes for the giveaway, a burp cloth and binky clip combo that I had purchased, and a Halloween themed binky clip which Shaybee's Babies donated for the cause.
The burp cloth and binky clip for the second giveaway prize.
It was many weeks coming to actually get to this post about week 11, and it was well worth the wait. I was so thrilled to be such an inspiration to someone that they wanted to help out and become a part of my random acts. It allowed me to give more than I could normally, helped me discover an extremely talented woman and her amazing baby products, which I am totally obsessed with now, allowed me the opportunity to host my first and hopefully not last giveaway, and gave a small gift to help a woman and her tiny baby boy, a little boy who is oh-so-young to already be born. I hope the gift let's them know someone is thinking about them, which I do everyday now, wishing for his speedy growth and wonderful, full life ahead of him.
All the giveaway products in one pic. Please visit Shaybee's Babies and check out her other items!
I hope you all didn't too much mind the wait over the past few weeks while I was busy with Piper's stupendous growth spurt! I so wanted to get these out quicker, but dang life can go by so fast! She is now sleeping soundly beside me, recovering from a high fever brought on by her 6-month vaccinations and flu shot yesterday. This weekend I am going to get her 6-month blog post written that will catch everyone up about what all she's learned this past month and what all the docs said about her current stats and stuff. Believe me, you don't want to miss that one when it comes out!
Piper says you best pay attention! :)
For now, I will leave you with the usual spiel to drop me a vote over at both Top Mommy Blog and Top Baby Blogs. Then come join me on my other social sites. Remember, Facebook is where all the daily action happens, so I highly recommend that one for all things Piper all the time!