Pregnancy 2015

3 Super Easy Maternity Outfits (That Anyone Can Wear)

Maternity clothes. They're the worst, right? I've written about them before and my feelings are, obviously, clear: maternity clothes are awful and horrendously expensive. But as much as I'd like to say "you can do without them!" I know that isn't true. At a certain point, your jeans aren't going to be able to button and your belly band can only hold so much in. Your comfort comes first and sometimes, that means full, stretchy panels that go to the top of your rib cage. 

However, it doesn't mean you have to break the bank to stay cute while pregnant. I like to think I did so (even as I took to wearing leggings everyday after around 32 weeks). Here are three outfits, and suggestions, for keeping yourself cute and comfy during the hardest 9 months of your life. 

1. Stretchy Long T-Shirt, Jeans, & Accessories

This photoset is courtesy of KaseyoftheFields on Polyvore. I'm pretty sure she never intended it to be used as an example of a maternity outfit, but let me tell you, it totally works. Stretchy, extra long t-shirts and tank tops from Target, Forever 21, and Old Navy saved my butt (or, uh, belly) during my pregnancy. I am personally not a fan of flowy maternity tops: I thought they made me look huge. 

Instead, I invested in a good pair of maternity jeans (mine were these Liz Lange jeggings from Target) and then a variety of t-shirts and tank tops for layering. With this basic uniform, you can add scarves, jackets, cardigans, and accessories to keep your look fresh as the days pass. 

2. Maxi Skirt with... Anything

You know what saves pregnant women? Maxi skirts. They don't even have to be maternity (as this outfit set proves). If you have any belly sensitivity, which is incredibly common, jersey knit maxi skirts are sometimes the only thing you can wear. The bonus? They are incredibly affordable. I bought a plain, black maxi skirt in April that I have worn so much that it is pilling--but it was only $15. I've also found great maxi skirt options at Rue 21, Target, and Old Navy for less than $20. You can wear the skirt under your bump or you can pull it up over if you need to alter the length. 

Just like a great pair of maternity jeans, you can pair maxi skirts with essentially anything. I'm partial to layered tank tops and a great cardigan or jacket, but you can go with flowy tops or sweaters as the weather gets chillier. 

3. Basic Maxi Dress + Tops

If you're going to drop a ton of cash on anything while pregnant, I recommend a great maxi dress. Like maxi skirts, they are incredibly versatile and help with belly sensitivity. As well, wearing dresses while pregnant keeps pressure off of your bladder, which can reduce trips to the bathroom. (This is a win-win.) You might think a maxi dress has limited options, but think again. 

My favorite way to wear my basic black maxi dress during the summer was with a chambray top tied over my belly. This helped keep me warm in chilly air conditioning (without having to lug around a separate sweater or jacket) and it looked super cute. I also experimented with belting t-shirts over my maxi dress and belting a variety of cardigans. There are tons of ways to layer a maxi dress, so pick one in your favorite color and play with your options! 

For more great maternity outfit options, check out my maternity style board on Pinterest or view my past pregnancy outfits on Instagram!

No (Bed) Rest for the Wicked

I never would have called myself necessarily "active" in the past. In fact, I would have argued that, despite all appearances, I'm relatively sedentary: my day-to-day job consists of me sitting and working on a computer (hence the carpal tunnel) and when I get home, it consists of more of the same. I wrote blog posts, I read the news, I work on my NaNoWriMo plans. I'm not out jogging. 

However, bed rest changed things. 

I started to realize just how often, and how much, I am up and around. I clean the kitchen every night; I vacuum and Swiffer as much as I can; I put away clothes, fret over Forrest's room, and generally spend a lot of time walking back and forth. Being unable to stand at the stove and cook, or stand at the sink and wash dishes, made me realize that even though I am, yes, kind of sedentary, I also spend a ridiculous amount of time on my feet. 

And so, when I can't be on my feet, I get antsy. I can't wash the dishes or clean up the living room like I'd like. I can't do the laundry I'd been planning to do or the reorganizing session I'd planned for Forrest's closet, the laundry room, or the pantry. I can't shampoo the carpets or wash the baseboards or anything. In prime nesting mode, I can't do any of the things I'd wanted to do. 

I don't want to say "bed rest sucks," because, honestly and truly, it doesn't. It can be annoying to have other people cleaning my house (it makes me feel lazy) and it can be annoying to not be able to cook the meals I want to cook or go for a walk or anything like that. But bed rest really isn't so bad. It's annoying and it's disruptive to my daily schedule, but it's actually really awesome to be able to stay in bed all day. 

That being said, I obviously get bored easily. I like to switch between tasks to prevent my own personal boredom and I like to have lots and lots of things to do at all times. Considering that my options with bed rest are "computer," "read a book," "watch a movie," or "play on my phone", that makes things a little, well, dull after a while. Not unpleasant, but just dull. 

Luckily, I'll only be on bed rest for two weeks at the absolute most. Some women are put on bed rest early in their pregnancies (shout out to my sister's "couch potato rest" from 20-ish weeks on), which would probably get really, really boring after a while. 

The thing that tends to strike me the most, as I lay in bed, is loneliness. It was my number one problem when I was in the hospital: when my mom and Danny left on the first evening, I cried for hours (but didn't tell them). Watching hospital TV and asking the nurses for snacks was boring, but I could deal with it. I couldn't deal with how alone I felt, especially since I was worried and anxious. When I was released from the hospital, the thing that hit me when I finally got home and curled into bed (my spot for the next few weeks, unless I migrated to my desk or the couch), was that I was going to get really lonely. Despite being a relatively solitary person, I do like talking to other people; I do like having people around. Being able to clean the kitchen while Danny played video games and we talked was a nightly ritual. Instead, I was stuck upstairs, feeling isolated and very alone. 

If someone you love (me) is put on bed rest, the number one thing you can do is be there for them (and the people who love them, like my mom and Danny). The cleaning is great and so is making food. But mostly, it's nice to just have someone to talk to during the day--even if it's via text. 

I Cut All My Hair Off (Again)

My anxiety has two settings: I don't care (at all, not even a little bit) or I can't stop thinking about it. 

Strangely enough, one of the things that I don't care about at all is labor and delivery. I can't be bothered to think about it. I know it's going to happy. I know I'm supposed to be scared that it will hurt or be awful or whatever. I know those things. But I just cannot care. 

Instead, the thing I compulsively worried about was this: what am I going to do with my hair when I'm in labor?? 

This is a truly ridiculous thing to worry about when it comes to having a baby, but it's what my brain decided to fixate on. Would I remember hair ties? If I told Danny to buy me hair ties, what kind of atrocities would I end up with (rubber bands? the ones with the metal clasps??)? I'm a hair twirler too, especially when I'm anxious, tired, or in pain. In labor, I knew I'd be tearing my hair out of a ponytail every few minutes, only to put it back in the ponytail, and repeat. 

The solution was obvious. It was staring me right in the face: I needed to cut my hair off. 

Once upon a time, I was just a college hipster living in Idaho. 

Once upon a time, I was just a college hipster living in Idaho. 

For having had a pixie cut for so long, I've become strangely attached to long hair. My long(er) hair has become part of my identity, even though I mostly just put it in a bun most of the time. Having gained weight in the last few years, and gaining more since getting pregnant, I felt afraid that if I cut my hair, it would betray the changes my body had gone through. I was really, really scared that I wouldn't look as cute as I used to with short hair and that people would clue in to the fact that I had gotten, well, considerably larger than I used to be. 

My long hair was a security blanket: I used it to hide, to hide the reality of what I look like and what I feel I look like. Even though I knew I look really good with short hair, I was terrified that this time, I wouldn't. 

However, as time passed, it got harder and harder for me to do my hair every day. I knew I looked disheveled. I knew I looked like a mess. I knew I looked like I'd just rolled out of bed (in many instances, I had). Something had to be done. Something drastic. 

At exactly 35 weeks (last Friday), I cut all my hair off. 

Ok, maybe not all of it: most of it. 

And you know what? 

I didn't look awful. I did have a terrifying moment, post-haircut, where I walked into Target and saw my reflection in the sliding glass doors: do I look like a tick?????!!! You know, big body, little head? I became paranoid, rushed through Target, and drove home... only for Danny to tell me that I looked amazing and, in his words, "more put together." 

Which, really, was the goal. 

My fears were unfounded. I'd been terrified that, without my long hair, my much fuller face and burgeoning double chin would be revealed. However, I've found with a pixie cut, those things are actually less obvious: instead, people focus on my eyes or my features or, best of all, my belly. 

My Top 5 Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Depending on what your doctor says, the 3rd trimester starts at either 27 or 28 weeks (there is some debate). However, the real slog doesn't seem to really start until about 30 weeks. This seems to be when the exhaustion starts in. If you've known about your pregnancy since very early on (3 or 4 weeks early), you've been excited and mentally preparing for a very long time. By 30 weeks, you're ready to have the freaking baby already... and you're not even full term yet!

In my case, by the time I was 30 weeks, I experienced a few things: none of my shoes fit; none of my tops fit; my back hurt, I had heartburn, I cried all the time, and I just wanted to spend all day eating chicken strips and chocolate cake. Who could blame me? 

When it comes down to it though, my 3rd trimester has been relatively smooth sailing (so far). I have days where my feet aren't bloated (although my carpal tunnel means me hands are pretty permanently puffed up) and I haven't had any pregnancy-related health problems. I'm not plagued by extreme symptoms like some women... but that doesn't make for a "pleasant" 3rd trimester by any means!

Here are my top 5 essential for surviving the last few weeks... and hopefully, the last four.

1. My Kindle

Where would I be without my nightly bath-and-reading session? I'm pretty sure I would have ran away forever by now without having the escape of a good book after a long day at work. Plus, holding a Kindle is much easier on my carpal tunnel plagued wrist than a book. It's lighter and I don't have to worry about turning pages. Win-win. 

2. Camisoles.

Remember that bit about none of my shirts fitting? It's not that they're too small... it's that they have gotten too short. My solution to this problem was long camisoles. I can wear them under tee shirts and sweaters to lengthen them and cover the three inches of belly that sometimes show. I can also wear them plain under cardigans and scarves for a somewhat lighter fall look (since I get overheated super easily these days). My favorites are from Forever 21--and at $1.90 a piece, they are a steal. (They also come in v-neck, which I love as well!) 

3. My "Husband" Pillow.

I don't think the technical name for these pillows is "husband" pillows, but that's what Danny and I call them. I got mine from Target for $14.99 (and you can get it for 10% off with a code!) I use it to prop myself up at night to prevent heartburn, to read in bed, to elevate my feet when they get mega-puffy... It's soft. It's cuddly. I love it. 

4. Faux-Uggs... or Fuggs.

I bought a pair of Faux-Uggs for $15.00 at Wal-Mart. They are two sizes too big and seasonally inappropriate, but I would not have made it through the last few weeks without them. Why? They fit my feet even when they are dramatically swollen. They support my ankles. They are easy to take off and put on. They are extremely comfortable when my feet hurt. They aren't the most attractive option... but at a certain point in pregnancy, you have to give it up and accept whatever you can to be comfortable. 

5. Water Bottles.

I keep a water bottle with me at all times: at work, in the car, at home. I also try to keep one or two extras in my fridge, full of ice and water, for the middle of the night (so I don't have to use the ice maker and wake everyone up). Staying hydrated during pregnancy is insanely important. Basically, most unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (Braxton Hicks, back pain, swollen feet) are given the advice of "drink more water." Drink more water! Drink it! Water has also helped my heartburn in the middle of the night: when I just can't bring myself to eat another Tums, I take a big swig of water... and it calms my heartburn enough to let me sleep. It's the little things. 

Have your own pregnancy essentials? Share with me on Twitter or in the comments below! 

It Took Three Tries, but I Love Stitch Fix

I cried when I opened my second Stitch Fix box (referred to as a "Fix"). I'd harbored suspicions that my maternity status and my size was limiting my options since my first failed Fix, but the second Fix confirmed it. Nothing jumped out at me as "young" or "stylish" or even "cute." It was just frumpy, boring, plain basics. Things I could get cheaper elsewhere and didn't need to hire a specialty service to find. 

After my first Fix, I'd emailed Stitch Fix customer service to inquire as to how, exactly, things were picked for my box and what had went wrong. I'd spent a stupid amount of time answering the Stitch Fix Style Profile; I'd even dedicated time to pinning things on Pinterest to a board that I included in my Style Profile. I'd written long paragraphs on my favorite patterns, my favorite styles, my hesitancy towards anything "boho," my dislike of how frumpy all maternity clothes are. I'd put in effort. But that first Fix didn't seem to return the effort. In fact, it felt like they'd wandered through a warehouse, grabbed the first five things in my maternity size they could find, and shoved them in a box. 

Stitch Fix was obviously sad that I hated what I'd received (minus a dress, that I love and wear at least once a week, but was admittedly out of my budget). They offered me a second Fix for free. 

What does that mean? It meant that the $20 "styling fee" you pay to receive your fix was on the house. If you decide to keep any items from the box, you'll receive a $20 credit towards those items, since you already paid that amount. (However, if you decide not to keep anything, you lose that $20; you don't get it back and it isn't applied to a future Fix.) So basically, I was getting a new box of stuff and $20 credit. 

I was impressed with their Customer Service response and excited to receive a second Fix, hopeful that whatever had gone awry would be solved and I'd love everything in it. 

It wasn't meant to be. I received my second Fix and it was the same, or potentially worse, than the first Fix. Everything was blah, boring, and, of course, frumpy. One shirt, infamously, had a knot in the front that made it look pretty obscene on my baby bump. 

This time, I wasn't just disappointed. I was hopping mad. I'd expressed my concern that it felt like someone was just flinging whatever they could find in my size in a box and now I was convinced that was true. I received a three pack of one-size-fits-all camisoles. Seriously. I read a lot of reviews and I've read a lot of Stitch Fix and no one, no one, that I can remember has ever received a three pack of one-size-fits-all camisoles. That just doesn't make sense. I can buy that at Target or Wal-Mart. 

I fired off an email to customer service, again, mentioning my previous ticket numbers and my disappointment that nothing had been done to improve what I was receiving. What was the point of a "free" box if the stuff in it is just as bad as the first box that caused me to get that "free" box?? 

The emails I received in return from Customer Service were disappointing. I suspect that the person responding was relatively new. It wasn't the same person as before, as I'd hoped, but was instead someone who seemed to be typing right out of a script--a dead giveaway for a newbie who is overwhelmed by a complex customer service issue. I requested someone else answer my emails and received a third response from her, apologizing and using the exact same canned language as the first two emails. Cute. 

Then I received a phone call. 

It was from Julia and I was in the bathtub, nursing my swollen feet and swollen face from crying over my swollen body and disappointing fashion prospects. Julia is a stylist at Stitch Fix. She assured me that it wasn't my specific size or maternity status that was preventing me from receiving good items. However, she just wasn't 100% sure what had gone wrong; she admitted that, looking at my Style Profile and my Pinterest board, my style was crystal clear and the items I'd received were not in line with my style at all. She agreed they were boring and bland, and could understand why I was so miffed by them. It felt good to hear someone agree with my concerns and thoughts, because I'd begun to wonder if I was just hard to please. She did say that my request to not receive synthetic fabrics may have contributed, so I agreed to try out some alternate fabrics to see if they agreed with my itchy preggo skin. 

Julia offered me one more "free" Fix (remember: $20 credit) in a week and a half. She offered to style this box herself, personally, and would take extra time to send me stuff she knew I would love. She couldn't promise to keep items in my desired budget, but I agreed that if something was exactly what I wanted, I was willing to pay more for it. 

That was 10 days ago. I received my third Fix. As I nervously carried it upstairs, I wondered whether I would love it or if, for a third time, I would open the style card showing all the items I'd receive with dread and disappointment. 

In every fix, you receive a tissue-wrapped bundle of clothes and a teal envelope. Inside the envelope is a note from your stylist and five cards showing the items you've received and two different ways to style them. This is a great way to see what all is in your box without tearing open the bundle (although you can do that too, I guess). Also inside the envelope is an invoice that lists the price for all five items, as well as the discount you will receive if you keep (and thus, purchase) all five items. 

Looking at my style cards, I liked every single item I received. This was a first for me, but it's the best kind of first. 

I received a pair of leggings, three tops, and a dress. The leggings I knew I would keep immediately (if they fit right) because they were made of a sturdy material that is higher quality than the cotton leggings I normally buy. As I started putting them on, I had a moment of nervousness that they would be too small--but they weren't! They have a zipped detail on the ankles that I love. 

Of the three tops I received, I ended up deciding to keep one: a black and white striped tunic with a pink detail at the top. It's basically what I've been looking for since getting pregnant. It's lightweight and very flattering. If you want to see what it looks like, I posted it on my Instagram

The other two tops were a boho-esque white lace tunic that was a little too tight on the bottom and a little too big at the top, and a blue sleeveless top that was just a little too long on me. They were both really cute on, but the fit problems meant I couldn't justify keeping them. 

The dress I received looked like a t-shirt dress on the styling card. In reality, I'd called it a 70s-reminiscent skater dress with a slim top and a-line bottom. In orange, it was quite cute, but it fit too tight across the chest, which make the skirt not fall right. 

I packed up the three items I decided not to keep, checked out on Stitch Fix, and sent probably the nicest email I've ever sent in my life to my stylist, Julia. She couldn't promise she would be my stylist whenever I get my next Fix, but I'm satisfied enough with this Fix that it doesn't really matter. I've officially gotten what I wanted out of Stitch Fix: a decent outfit that makes me feel like a million bucks. 

Despite my first failed attempts at Stitch Fix, I think I can ultimately say it's a valuable service, to the right customer. If you're tired of shopping, don't like it, or just plain don't have time, it can be valuable to try Stitch Fix; if you have a clear idea of what kind of styles you like (and those you don't), it makes it that much easier. But the casual shopper, who loves to hunt for great deals or genuinely enjoys shopping, won't get much out of it. Under normal circumstances, I don't think I'd like Stitch Fix... but being in the midst of maternity clothes that I hate, it felt like a great way to get some things that actually look decent and don't require me to spend hours searching for them myself!

If you'd like to try Stitch Fix, you can sign up here. (In full disclosure, that is a referral link; if you use it to sign up, I'll receive a $25 credit.) 

Oh No, My Shoes Don't Fit

On Monday, I put on my plaid print maternity dress (not my favorite) and a denim jacket. Minimum effort for maximum effect, which is really all I can ask from maternity clothes these days. For the past few weeks, I have found myself wearing the same pair of shoes every single day: my blue and white striped loafers that I impulse bought from Old Navy. They are already worn in, with embarrassing prints on the inside, and scuffed up somewhat badly. I made myself promise that I wouldn't wear my striped flats again. 

Instead, I put on a pair of strappy, studded, flat sandals that I've owned since the summer of 2010. They have served me well as a go-to, slip on sandal in the summer months... and they've always been a smidge too big, flopping away from my foot on the inside.

Monday morning, I slipped on these old, trusty sandals as not my first choice, but rather my last one. I would have preferred to wear a wedge, but my sore feet can't really handle walking even my 1-block walk in them. I put them on, drove to work, and worked 8 hours. 

Throughout my workday, I kept noticing my feet feeling, well, number. Especially the toes. But my office gets pretty cold, especially with air conditioning, so I moved my feet around and told myself to ignore it. The feeling got more and more intense until I left around 3pm. 

It wasn't until I was standing in the elevator and looking down at my feet that I realized the straps of my sandals that travel across the base of my toes were, well, nearly imbedded in my foot. I wiggled my feet around, pushed my sandals back a little. They moved, but my toes were horribly constricted and looked like fat little piggies, perfectly bright pink. 

As I walked to the parking garage (and thus, my car), my feet started to ache, the constricting strap cutting into my toes and making every step painful. 

My stupid feet. My stupid, fat feet! I wanted to scream. When I got to my car, I loaded my purse and lunch bag into the passenger seat, then promptly tore off my sandals and threw them on the floor of my car. I was mad. 

It was a foot betrayal. 

I drove how barefoot, feeling excited and free with my feet less constricted--and really happy that the feeling of numbness quickly disappeared from my poor toes. But I also found myself thinking: This can't happen. 

I can handle my clothes getting smaller. We all expect that in pregnancy, right? You can't wear your normal jeans or your favorite t-shirt or most of your underwear drawer. 

But you can always wear your shoes. 

My tiny shoe size has always been a comfort to me. Wearing a size 4-6 reminds me that my body has the potential to be small. No matter how unhappy I might be with my size 8 or 10 pants or my size L top, I knew that my feet were small. Society could suck it--I have small feet!!

Realizing, with a sudden and painful stab (like that of constricted toes), that my shoe size is changing. Is it swollen feet? (They're puffy, but not that puffy.) Is it the tendons in my feet shifting? (Maybe? Is that a thing?) Are my feet just growing with the rest of me, rebelling against what I've done purposefully? 

I can't fit into any of my favorite kitten heel shoes (my high heel of choice is, hilariously, a teeny tiny kitten heel). I can't fit into some of my smaller, more narrow flats. And most of my sandals cut into my puffy little feat. 

But I can wear my loafers. Trusty loafers. They never fail to disappoint, do they? Except that loafers don't go with every outfit and, come fall, it would be nice to wear other closed toe shoes. 

As soon as I got home Monday (and stopped hyperventilating), I found myself staring into the hallway closet where I store my shoes. Flats and boots and sandals and heels. I have so many shoes. So many teeny tiny shoes, size 4s or 5s, 6s, a few 7s. So many that I can't fit into, that make my feet look like bread that's proofed too long. 

In times of distress, I find that reorganizing always helps. So I did that. I looked at all my shoes; I counted them (don't ask how many, please don't); I organized them into two piles, too small and fit ok. I organized them by the mere fact of whether I could still wear them or now. I found myself comforted by the number that I could still fit my foot into (comfortably). More than just a few pairs of loafers: most of my non-pointed toe flats, some heels, my boots. 

It's hard to let go of an old fact about myself. I feel defined by the things I've always thought myself to be: a writer; a reader; a good student; a girl who wore a small size of shoe. It's hard to tell myself that there are other things that define me, more important things than my feet, and that a few pairs of too-small shoes aren't that big of a deal... but then I remember, I really love my shoe collection. 

All the Things I Just Can't Wait For

Sometimes, I worry that I sound too disappointed when I talk about having a boy. As I've written before, my disappointment is not really "this is a disappointment" and more "that was not what I expected." I'm less disappointed, actually, and more sad. When my friend from college, Bek, was visiting, I managed to convey just why I wanted a little girl so bad: I love my mom. That's it, pure and simple. I love my mom; I talk to hear at least once a day by text and visit her as much as I can. I love our relationship. I love that when I was 14 and just about to go into high school, she took me shopping and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was beautiful and would always be successful because I was smart and that I would really enjoy high school. (That last bit was wishful thinking for both of us.) I love going to Portland with her, running errands, looking through old photos. I love my mom. And I wanted a little girl so I could have the same kind of relationship, because the relationship between mothers and daughters is vastly different from that between mothers and sons. 

I realize now, after a lot of time having passed between finding out little Forrest's gender and now, that that kind of expectation can be really damaging. By trying to force a certain kind of relationship on my child and I, I would undoubtedly be disappointed over and over again. I don't know what Forrest will be like and, even if he was a girl, I have no idea if we would connect and bond the exact same way my mother and I do. 

Thanks to the relationship between my mother and I, I know exactly how to be a great mother to a daughter: I know the things I want to say and the things I don't want to say; I know what to do, how to act, how to talk. What I don't know is how to be a mother to a son because, well, that's just not my experience. 

For now, all I can do is focus on the things I'm excited to do with Forrest and hope that he enjoys them to... and that I learn, somewhere along the way, how to be the best mommy I can be. 

Here's a short list of all the things Forrest can be assured I will drag him to: 

  1. Disneyland. Thanks to my friend, Meghan, I have a set of Mickey Mouse ears for him already. Several people have asked me what I'll do if Forrest doesn't like Disneyland. But really, does anyone not like Disneyland? It all depends on your experience. And I'm going to make sure he has the best time. Mainly because we'll go in the off season. 
  2. Halloweentown. Did you know the classic Disney Channel Original Halloweentown was filmed in St. Helens, Oregon? And did you know that every year they recreate the set of the movie in St. Helens, Oregon? Did you know I grew up obsessed with Halloweentown and did not know this fact until just two days ago? Did you know that literally nothing will stop me from dragging Forrest there next year and maybe this year?  
  3. Countless posed portrait shoots. Gotta capture the cute... while forcing him to wear a tiny suit. 
  4. The Newport Aquarium. And I will make him take a picture with the shark jaw, of course. 
  5. The High Desert Museum. One of my favorite places around Bend, I don't think I've ever heard anyone talk about it. It's not as exciting as an aquarium or drive through safari, but I loved visiting as a kid and teenager. They have foxes, owls, and more, plus a replica of a central Oregon pioneer town. It's a mix of natural history and Oregon history, all wrapped up in one. 
  6. A million different pumpkin patches. You will love Fall, Forrest. You will love it!

How to Make a Baby Planner

For months, I had a spare Filofax cover floating around. I ordered it last year and promptly realized that it was too small for my handwriting and I didn't like any of the available Filofax calendars. (I know, I know, I'm picky.) I dismantled it and waited to use it for something useful. I follow a lot of #plannergirls on Instagram, which has given me lots of ideas for how to use spare planner covers and more. (Although, I don't see myself scrapbooking my planners so intricately anytime soon, although I love looking at the creations of others!) After I got pregnant, I knew that it would be a great idea to make a planner for my pregnancy and the baby. 

I'd looked through Pinterest trying to find a good tutorial or at least rundown of how another mom made a baby planner... but I couldn't find anything quite like I wanted. I decided to rough it and ended up making 5 tabs for myself: Basics (for to do lists, contact information, etc.), Hospital, Baby, Post-Partum, and Notes & Questions. 

I used a set of tabs that came with my original Filofax diary to trace onto some scrapbooking paper. After cutting them out, I used a hand punch to punch them for the Filofax cover. I used some stickers from a Simple Stories Baby Boy set to make the tabs, although they look a little wonky on the first one (it was my first try, what can I say?). 

From there, I separated each tab into some separate sections.

Basics includes a page of basic information about Danny & I (our birthdates), my doctor, my hospital of choice, and potential emergency contacts (my mom, Danny's parents). Then, I have sections for To Do lists, both pre-baby and post-baby. The basics section is basically a place for me to jot down things I need to remember to do or write a list of things Forrest really, actually still needs (a changing table pad, a carseat, a stroller) without having a million post-it notes floating around my house. 

Hospital has further information about my choice of hospital (including any notes I write down from my hospital tours, since my doctor delivers are two totally different area hospitals), as well as my birth plan, a packing list, and notes for Danny. Basically, I wanted to make sure that I have all my medical information and wishes written down in one place because, while I will remember them, Danny may not. 

Baby has a section for first stats, medical information, and any other notes I might need to write down and keep track of. This section also has a feeding log (to keep track of feeding times and breastfeeding concerns), as well as a diaper log. (If you're wondering why the "Name" section of Baby Stats is blank, it's because there is always the minute possibility that the baby will be a girl and therefore, not named Forrest. Gender determination is still sometimes incorrect.) 

Post-partum is a pending section: mostly, I'll use it for notes from the doctors, any instructions I might receive, and questions I might have. 

Notes & Questions is my most-used section right now! Whenever I think of a question for my doctor, I write it down here. Whenever I notice Forrest kicking more than usual, I write it down (as well as anything that preceded it, such as drinking a soda or eating ice cream). It's basically where I record anything that might be important for my upcoming appointments. 

If I hadn't had this Filofax lying around, I probably would have used a plain notebook (with dividers) to make a working baby notebook, but I'm glad I decided to repurpose a Filofax. It's the perfect size to carry around and I don't have to worry about buying diary refills for it... I can just cut down notebook paper or other loose leaf paper to use in it. I've found a lot of ways to keep myself organized lately, and this is just another way that I keep my memory in check.