Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How I Wear LuLaRoe {My Sunday Best #7}

I know it is Tuesday and not Sunday, but it was my goal to have this written and published on Sunday, but today is the first day that I had a few minutes plus enough sleep and coffee to finish all of my thoughts in a way that (I hope) makes sense.

Since the birth of Mary Rose, all of my Sunday outfits have included at least one piece of LuLaRoe. 

I first became aware of LuLaRoe about a year ago. Originally, I was not interested in the clothing. It all seemed to be made of stretchy cotton and included items that I thought would not be flattering on my middle aged chubby body. In March, a friend hosted a Pop-up in her home and invited me to stop by her place to touch and try on different styles. Being newly pregnant, I decided to try on a Nicole dress. I loved it. I bought it, and it was my first and only piece of LuLaRoe for months. As I got closer to my due date, I worried about having nice, comfortable clothes to wear postpartum, and my thoughts turned to LuLaRoe once more. Currently, I own many pairs of leggings, three Maxi skirts, one Azure skirt, two Perfect Tees, one Carly, and two Nicole dresses. I love all of them!

I am 5'4", overweight, apple shaped, and I am exclusively nursing Mary Rose. Deciding which pieces would work best for me in my current state of life took a little time, but I have finally figured out what works for me and what size I need in each style. Thankfully, I have been able to attend a couple of pop-ups to try things on before buying. Plus, I have a wonderful friend who allowed me to try on several pieces from her wardrobe. 

Below is a picture of the outfits I wore the mass the last two Sundays.



I wear a Maxi as a dress in size Large. With a cardigan over it, I think it looks cute, feels comfortable, and is nursing friendly. I wear a Carly in a size Small. It is nursing friendly as long as I wear leggings under it, like it is a large top instead of a dress with a slip underneath of it. 

Now, let's discuss wearing LuLaRoe every day for stylish comfort.




I wear LuLaRoe Leggings in One Size. I tried the Tall and Curvy, at first, but they were too baggy and bunched in my legs. I wear them with long tunics and cardigans that cover everything that needs to be covered. Originally, I didn't think that leggings were appropriate for someone of my age and situation, but honestly, I love wearing LuLaRoe leggings with the right top. The outfit is comfy enough to wear around my house but decent enough to answer the door in and to make a quick run to the grocery store. Don't worry friends; leggings can be modest!




I also wear leggings under nursing-friendly dresses that were part of my wardrobe already. It is fun to combine a bold pattern legging with a solid dress and tall boot for a pop of color! LuLaRoe sells several tops, but the only one that I like is the Perfect Tee. I can wear it in size Small or Medium. I think the Perfect Tee goes well with a cardigan and jeans.  

My Nicole dresses are not currently in my wardrobe rotation because I can not nurse in them.

You probably already know how to purchase LuLaRoe, but in case you don't I will tell you! I think it is best to find a consultant that is local (find here), but if you can't find someone local Facebook is full of LuLaRoe groups. All you need to do is request to join and start asking questions. A few questions that are helpful to ask are about tax and shipping cost, return policy, and about the fabric of the specific pieces that interest you. There are several different fabric types that LuLaRoe uses, and some are softer and stretchier than others. 

One more thing, LuLaRoe is a tad bit more expensive than I like to spend on my clothes, but some consultants do offer coupon codes from time to time, some offer a buy ten items get one item free special, and many consultants host giveaways. Half of the items I have purchased were discounted when I bought them. 

For more My Sunday Best visit Rosie. She just had a sweet baby girl, and she is hosting an online LuLaRoe pop-up tonight! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yarn Along 2016 {two}



Over the weekend I cast on another Ericka scarf. I knit two last year, and I love them (check them out here and here). I probably should not have cast on a new project, as I am already knitting a shawl for myself and a baby blanket for Mary Rose (you can read the details of Mary Rose's birth here if you like that sort of thing). The truth is that I have not been able to sit long enough with my hands-free to make it through one or two rows at a time of either of those projects. I want to knit, but I need a smaller, simpler project to focus on right now, and I also had this beautiful new yarn from Willow Tree Yarn that I was anxious to knit with, so I finally settled on knitting another Ericka scarf. 

After reading about it from several women that I trust, I started reading Hold On to Your Kids. I thought I was done reading parenting books, but having a baby reminded me that I am not too old to up my parenting game. I am enjoying it so far. The ideas that it presents about attachment and peer orientation are fascinating. My sister-in-law and a couple of friends are reading the book, too. I know that we will have a great discussion about it soon. 

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

I am not pregnant anymore! {7QT}

1. After almost two weeks on modified bed rest and then full bed rest at home, I delivered Mary Rose Elizabeth at 34 weeks and six days on October 11th by c-section at 8:09 in the morning. She weighed 6 pounds and 7.5 ounces. It was my fourth c-section, and it was by far my hardest to get through. My blood pressure kept fluctuating, which made me feel nauseated, and I ended up vomiting four times.


October 11, 2016, 5:15 am
Mary Rose Elizabeth arrived at 8:09 am

She weighed 6 lbs 7.5 oz and was 19" long

2. After Mary Rose was born, she had trouble breathing, so she had to go to the NICU. She was my first baby to go to the NICU, and it was very hard for me emotionally. Physically, I was out of bed within 9 hours after surgery and visiting Mary Rose in the NICU. According to the nurse grapevine, I was a show-off, insisting on walking to the NICU instead of being pushed in a wheelchair.


3. For two days Mary Rose was on a CPAP machine. On October 13th she came off of the CPAP machine, and she was put on forced air to help her breathing. Mary Rose was off of all air support on October 15th.




4. On October 14th, I was able to start nursing her. It did not go well at first, so I was encouraged to use shields to help her latch. I am a nurse on demand mama, but the NICU put us on a nurse every three-hour schedule because they wanted to monitor Mary Rose's blood glucose levels. I was told that once she passed twelve blood sugar checks in a row, they would start the discharge process. Well, most of the three-hour feedings would get pushed to three and a half or four-hour spacing because the nurse was not available right away to check Mary Rose's blood sugar. There were many times that Mary Rose and I sat together, both of us frustrated, watching the clock tick away the minutes. Despite the delayed feedings, Mary Rose did eventually pass twelve blood glucose checks in a row. About those shields I mentioned, they did help her to latch on correctly, but my certified lactation consultant mother-in-law made sure I knew it would be difficult to break Mary Rose of her need for the shields. It was difficult to get her to latch on without the shields, but every day I continued to try to nurse her without them. I am happy to say that two days before Mary Rose reached four weeks old, we were finally done with the shields!


5. Also on October 14th I was discharged from the hospital late in the afternoon. I didn't go home. I spent two nights in one of the Ronald McDonald rooms at the hospital. I am very thankful for the Ronald rooms. It was important to me to stay close to Mary Rose and be available for every feeding. Then our last night in the hospital Mary Rose and I spent the night together in what the hospital called a transition room.




6. We were finally home by 7:30 pm on October 17th. It took me advocating for myself with the NICU doctor to let us go home that Monday. She wanted Mary Rose to stay for another 48 hours because Mary Rose had one low blood sugar reading after passing the required twelve. I insisted it was because the nurses were not letting me feed her on demand. I explained to the doctor how the feedings were getting pushed well past the three-hour mark. I looked her in the eye and said, "Mary Rose has passed every hurdle you have asked her to pass. I have done everything you have asked me to do. I put my trust in you, and now you need to trust me. We need to be home so that we both can continue to heal and bond." I watched the look on her face change, and then she said she agreed with me. Then nine extra hours and several tests more, we were on the road home. I am very thankful for the all of the doctors and nurses that work in the NICU. It was apparent to me that they care for their patients a lot. Despite my gratitude, I can't help but look back on our time in the NICU as a sort of short-term prison sentence.


Waiting in the transition room.

Finally home!

7. Mary Rose is six weeks old now, and she weighs 7 pounds and 12 ounces. She is still little, but I think she is starting to look like a little butterball. Speaking of turkey, here is a picture of her in her Thanksgiving dress. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for this year.


Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope you and your family had an excellent Thanksgiving!

Joining the 7 Quick Takes Crew over at Kelly's.

Monday, September 12, 2016

About the Conference

Last Tuesday I promised to write a post about the CWBN Conference that I attended. Well, friends, this is that post! I had a splendid time. The speakers were excellent, the food was delicious, the babies were cute, and my fellow attendees were friendly and encouraging. There were door prizes, swag bags, and delicious homemade fudge. It was such a pleasure to see several friends from last year's conference and make new friends.



It was nice to spend time with Rita again!


Fudge!

I have read several conference recap posts that are excellent and summarize the day beautifully. This post is not that kind of post. However, I will link to all those lovely posts at the end.

During the talks, I only wrote two things down on my paper. The first was from Mary Lenaburg. Her talk focused on three mothers - the Blessed Mother, Mother Teresa, and Mother Angelica. It was an excellent talk, and I didn't want to miss anything by continuously jotting down notes, so I just sat and listened. Near the end, I wrote "humility, mercy, grace, and fortitude." The three mothers lived lives full of those attributes, and that is how we, as Catholic wives, mothers, and writers, should be living our lives, too. It may seem difficult at times, but the good news is that we have these wonderful mothers to intercede and pray for us.

The second thing I wrote down was "live and love your life." That gem of information came from Elizabeth Foss. She encouraged us to step away from our computers and smart gadgets, to spend time with our family and friends, doing things that make us happy and helping those around us that need care. Only through living the life that God has called us to live are we able to write the stories that He wants us to tell.

Good stuff, right?

Now I want to share with you some more good stuff. Our conference was blessed by many wonderful artisans and sponsors, many of them small businesses run by busy Catholic mothers. As a crafter, I understand the amount of time and money it takes to create beautiful, useful items. I appreciate the dedication these women have to their craft, and it would be remiss of me not to highlight them here. Check out their shops and websites, and please consider supporting them during the upcoming holiday season and treat yourself and those you love to handcrafted items.

A huge "thank you" to all of our sponsors.




Little Praying Hands donated a Rosary Chew (I am excited to tell you that I won it)

Rakstar Designs donated a necklace or print (to be determined by the winner)

Faith and Fabric Design donated a necklace

Annerys Handmade donated Rosary Roses 

A Blog For My Mom (Rosie) donated an item from her Lilla Rose shop




Mary Lenaburg, writer at Passionate Perseverance, donated two lovely Saint quote prints

Colleen Duggan donated a copy of The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion

Jenny Ryan, writer at Mothering Sunshine, donated a copy of her book Love With All My Might

Our swag bag was full of lovely items and coupon codes from Call Her Happy, Dovetail Ink, Tiny Saints, Holy Heroes, and Tan Books (if I am missing anyone, please let me know so I can add them to the list).

Rachel, writer and photographer at Three Little Cupps in a Cupboard, donated her time and talent to taking headshots for any of the attendees that were interested. Initially, I was not going to have my picture taken, but I am so happy that I did because I think it turned out well. Plus she also took a lovely pregnancy picture of me. 






I think the group picture turned out nice, too. 





For more conference recaps please visit Not So Formulaic, Open Window, Laundry, Learning, and Liturgy, and Joy in the Morning

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