Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes, designers, fat chicks DO get pregnant.


It's been a really long day so far - and it's not even 4:00 yet. I have determined that shopping is the prefect way to ruin a gorgeous day for me.

It all started innocently enough. I woke up this morning to no screaming, and no one telling me I needed to get up for whatever reason. Sweet! Adron was (is) brewing beer today, so I got dressed then sat down to check emails/Facebook. Had a few graham crackers for breakfast, then printed off the mail-in form for my prescription meds. I had Madeline put Noah down for a nap, and I grabbed both of my sewing machines and left the house.

It was absolutely glorious outside! Sun out, 60 degrees, and a very light wind, not even enough to make it chilly in my jeans and tee shirt. I drove over to my favorite sewing machine repair shop - and they weren't there. Not the employees, the whole store! Gone! Ack! So, I drove about half a mile or so down the street to the other sewing machine place. It's more expensive, and in the past, they weren't terribly friendly, something I've come to expect living in the southern US. Sighhhh... Well, I went in, and was immediately greeted by a cute guy back in the repair area, then by an older gentleman who was walking from the back to help me. He came outside to carry my machines in for me, an incredibly generous touch that none of the other repair shops in the Memphis area have ever done. We discussed the possible problems with my machines, and the quote to work on the cheapie machine was nearly as much as I paid for the darn thing to start with. So I laughed and told him not to bother with that one. My good machine, however, was quoted as a $90-150 repair, if it was just something small. Great. Last time my machine was tuned up, I paid about $75, plus a bit more to cover the repair of a couple other things I had managed to throw out of whack. Ah well, it is what it is, I suppose, and they were phenomenally nice to me, so I said okay and left in a great mood.

Next stop was the mall. My wonderful ILs gave me cash for Christmas, and I've been trying to decide what to spend it on. Adron fussed about the cost of the machine repair, and I tearfully said I'd use my Christmas money on it. He said that was silly, and not to worry about it. I told him I needed to go to the mall to look for some maternity clothes. Poor Adron - his company has severly messed with payroll, and in the process of changing from paying him every other week to paying twice a month (on the 6th and 21st, no less :o/ ), his last check this month was about half its normal amount, compromising our ability to buy anything not strictly in the budget and still being able to pay the house note. I told him again that I would spend my Christmas money on the clothes, as I totally understand the timing of this isn't good. By this point I was in tears because I was really, really hoping to buy something fun for myself, not something strictly utilitarian. Anyway, I went in with high hopes of being able to find a few maternity clothes for myself. Yeah, right.

Ok, so when I had Audrey, almost 14 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity clothes that were cute, stylish, and for tall girls. Plus size wasn't really that much of a problem at that point, which was a good thing, as that wouldn't have even been an option. With Madeline, 3 years later, similar problem, PLUS the additional complaint of no plus clothes. 6 years later, with Max, there were a few plus sized clothes, but not many, and nearly ALL the jeans barely skimmed my ankles. I did manage to find some that fit well, and I bought 3 pairs. I've worn those 3 pairs of jeans with Max, Ellie, Noah, and now Jonah. By the time I had Ellie, I'd bought about as many maternity clothes as I would need. Since she was a summer baby, I didn't need a whole lot of winter clothes, so I just bought a couple of tees, 2-3 pairs of capris, and the one pair of shorts I had found that fit me. Noah wasn't a problem - I made a few maternity tops that were short sleeved and sleeveless. I also bought a couple more pairs of jeans shorts. The weather here isn't even THINKING about getting cold in October, so Noah was basically another summer baby. Sweet! Well, Jonah is due in April - with our only hope of real cold weather starting in mid January, and running through the end of March. April is usually chilly by my standards - most days are in the 50's and cloudy, so not exactly shorts weather for me. By the way, I'm normally "hot natured", happily wearing shorts year around, but being pregnant really messes me up and I'm cold almost all of the time. I'm fine with short sleeved tops - I only wear long sleeves when it's in the 30's or so. A tee shirt and light jacket or hoodie is perfect, IMO, for most of the "winter" here. Leaving me with a need for jeans. These poor jeans I bought 4 kids ago have just about had it! I've repaired holes in the knit maternity panels, and had to restitch the waistbands countless times lol! They were obviously made very well, and I'm truly grateful for that! However, I really do need another couple of pairs of jeans, both to update the slightly dated jeans I'm wearing now, as well as to replace them when they finally wear out. Then there is the shirt issue. I don't really like sewing with knis as they always wind up stretched out and wonky (yes, I've tried all the tricks - ballpoint needles, walking foot, stabilizer, etc), and I have never found maternity patterns that actually fit me. I do have quite a few maternity tees, but they aren't long enough to cover the maternity panel on my jeans. I won't wear them out of the house like that, since I percieve it to be sloppy, even for my laid back tastes. I have 2 tees, 2 long sleeved tops, and one nicer black top that are all barely long enough, plus a couple of non maternity tees that are long enough, but nearly too small around lol!

My *favorite* maternity tee is a pale pink, and has been worn so much (bought when pg with Ellie) that it is stained, has a few tiny holes beginning, and is discolored from all the washings. I've determined that I'm going to have to cut it apart to create a pattern for more tees that fit right. I am going to lengthen the pattern by about 1 1/2" to give me a little better coverage, too. I've found that my torso is about 3" longer than the average that pattern designers use. That would certainly explain why I've never been happy with clothes I sewed for myself, huh? I've known this for a few years now, but hated sewing mama clothes so much that I've not taken the time to make the simple modifications so the patterns would fit. Well, I'm desperate now! I have Ottobre's women's magazines, some of which do have maternity patterns in them. However, those patterns stop about 2-3 sizes too small for me. I guess that fat is so repulsive to Europeans that they don't assume that us fat Americans might have a need for plus sized maternity clothes? Ah well, I'm not patient enough, or at all inspired to create anything right now, so there's no way I am redrafting those patterns to fit. Now that I've got a plan for the tee shirt pattern, I think I'll be fine lol!

I ordered two patterns from Blessed Designs - I highly recommend her! I haven't managed to sew them up yet, but they look great, and her shipping was so fast! I bought the Florinda skirt pattern to make up some clothes for church, and I bought her lingerie pattern so I can make my own nursing bras. I have exclusively worn "sleep bras" to nurse the last 2, and they were all made with the same surplice styling she has used in her pattern. Adding to that, she gives pattern pieces to modify the bra into a camisole or a nightgown/slip, and additional instructions for a tummy cover :o) Let me tell you - I'm *all about* not showing my belly when I have a hungry baby LOL! And I am totally looking forward to making comfy pajamas that will hold my nursing pads in place, and be able to be worn afterwards. I don't do those typical nursing pajamas or nightgowns, I usually just sleep in a nursing bra and panties. After disecting my shirt, I think I'm going to so the same to my favorite pair of lounge pants - as all of those are about 6" too short, and it would be great to have some that fit right lol! I think my fave pair is worn out enough that I can justify the sacrifice right now. I'd better cut fast before I rethink it LOLOLOL!

Anyway, back to my day. I left the mall in tears after going to Motherhood maternity, JC Penney, and Sears. JC Penney and Sears were a total bust, and Motherhood only had a few things. However, they do have a v-neck version (in a slightly brighter pink) of my favorite pink tee, which I may have to buy, depending on how my pattern turns out. I tried on some dressier pants outfits that looked horrible, as well as a couple of pairs of jeans. I love them! They fit great, maybe even a little loose, meaning I get to try on the 1X's next time I go in. However, the problem I'm having with them is that they are almost $40/pair, and Adron is insisting that this is our last kid. The thought of not having more is depressing me pretty badly, and I am struggling to justify spending more than $80 for 2 pairs of jeans that I will wear for 3 months and then that's it. Yes, I can pass them on to friends, but my best friend is about 5'2" and I'm 5'9", so our ideas of "perfect jeans" don't quite mesh LOL! IF it's long enough for me, it's going to be way too long for her. Yes, I guess it just comes down to me being cheap and feeling like buying something that is only useful for the next 3 1/2 months of my life is a waste. Maybe it's that I feel like I'm not worth it? I dunno....

Ok, so I went by Starbucks and spent Fourbucks (actually almost 5) on a venti caramel frappucino. Yummy! I totally needed something horrible for me to make me feel a little better lol! Therefore, I ordered it regular instead of light, like I would normally do on the rare occasions I am willing to spend that kind of money on a coffee drink. Headed to the grocery store after that, nothing momentus happened there, unless, of course, you feel like I do about the way groceries get bagged. I only had a few things, but the girl bagged ALL the frozen stuff TOGETHER! And then put my meat in its VERY OWN BAG! And, to top it off, she put the bread on top of the rest of the stuff =D I was nearly giddy about that! I am so sick of having my ready to eat foods put in a bag with raw meats (strawberries with a touch of salmonella, anyone?), and having bread thrown in with canned goods, or frozen and refrigerated foods just mixed together in bags with shelf stable foods. It is a huge pet peeve of mine, btw ;o)

Drove home, walked in the house, turned the oven on to warm up, then sat at the computer. Wrenching my back and straining my abs in the process. My dadgum yoga ball was waayyyy underinflated, and when I sat down, I dropped much lower than I expected. Whatever. After the oven was hot, I put pizzas in, and walked back into the living room. And promptly stepped on a needle - that went right through the sole of my tennis shoes and into the bottom of my foot! I started crying, took the shoe off, and had to get Adron to pull out the needle with pliers. I sat back down on my pitifully small ball, and realized that it must have a hole in it. I'm assuming from the same needle that poked a hole through my shoe. Now, not only do I not have a comfy chair to sit in and relax, I don't even have a chair for the computer. I am currently sitting on the floor with my keyboard on top of one of Noah's toys to make it semi-comfortable to type... Ughhhhhhhh.

Add to that, all the kids are being difficult. Madeline is refusing to do anything we've asked - mainly cleaning her room. Ellie thinks that she's too good to help Madeline, and Noah is just getting into stuff, and dragging toys all over the living room. I normally love having the Christmas tree up and don't take it down until the Epiphany (Jan 6th), but this year I'm struggling to leave it up until New Years. Adron cleaned out the garage yesterday, and had me go thrugh about8 large totes of toys. I filled up 2 lawn and leaf bags, plus a few other things that were contained well enough that we didn't bag them, and Adron took it all to Goodwill last night. We still have way too many toys, but now it's so much better. One tote with blocks and legos to rotate with the cardboard blocks we have in here now. One tote with "Little People" stuff, divided up and contained in 3 gallon ziploc bags so that we can fairly easily rotate those without bringing ALL of them out at once. Plus the tote that isn't full-full of toys I couldn't get rid of (yet). We are left with a laundry basket full of toys they play with, plus a tote holding the cardboard blocks. Oh, and Ellie's play kitchen, and Noah's play work bench. Much better!!!

I guess I've got to quit whining and help Noah - he keeps coming over saying "Help me", and "'Pider Man wikes batteries", which is just pitiful lol! I sure hope we have some batteries to make Spiderman happy LMBO!!!!!!!

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