I can't imagine an occasion these adorable tea bags wouldn't perk up.
Definitely recruiting my stepdad to make one of these.
An interesting take on the redshirting controversy, although I'd be sad if my baby skipped kindergarten.
I was just complaining that all the characters were girls. Guess I was wrong.
As we approach potty training, I will definitely be filing this idea away.
- Sarah Stewart Holland
Image by Claire Curt via Curbly.
Hello ladies and gentlemen,
We’ve come to the part in our program where Sarah needs to let off some serious steam about the ridiculous things people say to pregnant women in their last trimester. Of course, I’m always gracious in the moment after someone uses the word “huge” or “miserable” or - God forbid - “twins” but here among friends there’s going to be a little less grace and a lot more honesty.
shut up shut up shut up I do not want to hear what you think about my pregnancy shut up shut up shut up before I kick you in the face for commenting on how giant I am shut up shut up shut up I don’t want to hear some unrelated and unhelpful anecdote about your brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s baby’s daddy’s niece and her fourteen pound baby shut shut up SHUT UP!!!!!!
I feel better. Don’t you?
Now, let’s take a step back for some take away lessons.
I know I’m huge. I know people see pregnant women as some type of community property that must be touched, smiled at, commented on. I get it. I really do. My belly arrives in the room before I do, so I know it’s hard to ignore. And in all fairness, I had four perfect strangers come up to me in a span of two weeks and exclaim, “You look adorable/so cute/precious!” and it made my day.
I’m not saying never speak to pregnant woman. I’m just saying let’s all agree to some ground rules.
- Never use the term “any day.” As in, “you must be due any day!” Well, no, I actually have two months left but thank you so much for inquiring. I think I got my first any day with Griffin when I was six months pregnant. It was awkward. It was unpleasant. So, let’s leave the due date prediction to the professionals and move on.
- Don’t reference popping, blowing up, or any other type of explosion. It’s come to my attention that there are some people out there fundamentally confused about how a baby is born. (This is particularly frustrating when it is women who have had children!) It is exciting but there is no special effects team. I am not going to blow up. My belly is not a balloon and it is not about to pop. If everything goes as planned, the baby will pass through my vagina. I’m sorry if this is disappointing for you. Deal with it.
- Leave your assumptions about how I’m feeling at home. I love it when I’m feeling good. Nothing aches or hurts. I’m not tired. I’m bending over with ease. Everything is going as planned until someone looks at me like I’ve just stepped off a Titanic lifeboat and says, “You must be miserable!” Nope, not miserable but now a little pissed you rained on my sunny day. I also hate, “You must be ready to go!” No, I’m not ready. I have a birthday for my two-year-old to plan and to do list a mile long so he can just stay right there, thank you very much. Not to mention, for my friends who have dealt with pre-term labor, they probably walk around in fear of the exact thing you assume they want most of all.
- Take your scary labor stories and shove them where the sun don’t shine. I got this ALL THE TIME with Griffin, particularly when people heard I was planning a home birth. It was like a contest to see who could tell the most frightening details of the birth that never ended/baby who weighed as much as a toddler/tear that started at your throat and went to God only knows where. (Funny how these stories seem to disappear once you’ve delivered one 9 lb 7 oz baby at home with no drugs.) It’s not helpful. It’s not supportive. If you have some issues you need to work out about your labor and delivery, I suggest you see a therapist and not take it out on the nearest pregnant woman.
- Treat others as you would want to be treated. This is an easy one. Perhaps you remember it from childhood? Before you speak, put yourself in her very pregnant shoes. Would you want someone commenting on your weight? Would it hurt your feelings if someone assumed you were having twins and you weren’t? Is your comment helpful AT ALL? Just because we are growing a human being doesn’t mean we stopped being a human being. Like anyone else, we just need a little kindness to get through the day. Perhaps instead of commenting, you could just hold the door, offer a helping hand with the groceries, or - I don’t know - buy her a milkshake.
No, seriously, if you live in Paducah and you see me around town, feel free to buy me a milkshake.
- Sarah Stewart Holland
I love clothes. I love shopping. I love shopping for clothes. And I love shopping for clothes for my daughter. I’m a stay-at-home mom now, and our belts are getting tighter every month without my second income, so I’ve had to curtail my spending and get creative. But it’s no bother because I’ve fallen in LOVE with secondhand kids’ shops, Craigslist, and sale racks.
I had never been fond of vintage shopping for myself. While I adore a vintage designer piece and treasure all of my grandmothers’ hand-me-downs, I hate sifting through smelly racks of hits and (mostly) misses, finally finding something worthwhile only to see it’s not my size, and then Purell-ing the sh*t out of my hands before feeling like I can touch anything again. Thankfully, most kids’ used clothing stores are nothing like this.
On a recent trip to my hometown, my mom took me to one of the many children’s secondhand shops that have popped up. Immediately, I felt like I’d hit the Mega Millions Jackpot! It was beautifully organized. Racks were separated and clearly marked by gender and age. The whole store was season appropriate, everything was clean, well labeled, and such a bargain! And the quality of clothing was incredible (this will vary visit to visit, shop to shop, and town to town). I scored three Janie & Jack dresses (two still had the original tags!), a gorgeous summer plaid Ralph Lauren dress and bloomers, Petit Bateau pajamas, Adidas sneakers, lime green patent leather UNWORN Trumpette driving moccasins (that I’d nearly bought for full price), a Baby Gap bathing suit, and a Bumbo chair with tray. The damage? $60.
Now, if you’re thinking this was an anomaly and couldn’t be repeated elsewhere, you’re wrong. My husband and I took the baby on an impromptu road trip to Phoenix and hadn’t packed enough clothes for her. We stopped into the local Goodwill, and again, hit the jackpot. Most things were just $1—we scored a few adorable Dwell onesies and Old Navy leggings.
Looking for a big ticket item? My first stop is always Craigslist, especially if you plan ahead and have some time to keep checking back. Plus, most sellers are happy to bargain a little bit, coming down $10 - $25 on their asking price. Here are some of the things we’ve snagged from Craigslist:
Dutalier glider and ottoman = $90
Chicco car seat + 2 bases = $60
Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair = $150
Like you needed me to suggest this, right? But my trick is to look for next year’s sizes—once the Fall stuff hits the stores and the summer goods get marked way down, I’ll be looking for clothes for next summer and even the summer after that...
Where do you find chic but cheap children's clothes and goods?
~ Stephanie Stuart