Friday, January 30, 2015

Glitter, Prunes, & Naughty Children {7 Quick Takes}

--1--

The only homeschool-y stuff I've gotten this year was signing John Paul up for this Magic School Bus science club - it comes once a month and is great because he gets a bunch of experiments that he can do with relatively little help, but with fairly satisfying results (if you look it up, DO NOT pay full price - I got it for 50% off on an Amazon Local deal, so it comes out to $10/month.  The deal has been repeated at least twice since I got it over the summer).  

One of the "experiments" we did yesterday was basically just putting glitter in a bottle of water and shaking it up to show kids how the liquid in their inner ear keeps moving when it's shaken, which is why they get dizzy:


And then I remembered seeing quite a few ideas on Pinterest for "calm down bottles" and I've been having John Paul use this for the same purpose and it's actually working somewhat!  

But it's been a day, so take that with a grain of salt...

--2--

Speaking of calming that kid down, I've got a whole stack of parenting books to read in order to help find some strategies to make life more pleasant for all of us. But I'm really bad at actually *reading* those parenting books when I have them...  So Shannon suggested doing some sort of online book club/accountability group or something - would anyone be up for that?  Right now I've got:

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk (which might be #1 on my list)
Parenting With Grace
Have a New Kid by Friday
Love and Logic

And some others on hold at the library...

Have you read any of those?  Did they help you?  Want to read one with me?

--3--

Prunes.  Who actually likes them?

John Paul and Cecilia do, and I have no idea why.  Well, probably because they're sweet.  John Paul has taken it upon himself to make snack these days (I was trying to phase it out because then they barely ate lunch, but it was leading to rather cranky kids so as long as he's taking the reins, I'm okay with it), and requested a Costco-sized bag of prunes a few trips ago (when I wasn't with them).  So I have to make sure he does NOT give any to the twins, because I don't want to deal with those diapers.  And he and Cecilia are limited to no more than 5/day.  

Blech.


--4--

Speaking of diapers, we had a lovely incident last week that I considered blogging about but decided not to because, well, I didn't think anybody wanted to read about all that poop.  Suffice it to say, Mary Claire's shirt was cut off her body, and the entire incident was similar to Abbey's girls last year.

Twin naughtiness has been at an all-time high, and the tantrums have been nuts, too.  I finally decided that it MUST be due to sleep deprivation, because they haven't been napping due to Mary Claire climbing out of the crib and into Elizabeth's so that they can play together...  And John Paul and Cecilia were fighting way too much during that same time, so I've implemented a new nap protocol (everybody in separate rooms, basically) that has gone REALLY well the past few days - both twins have slept and John Paul and Cecilia have been quiet and things have been SO much more peaceful during that time in the middle of the day!

Although I'm pretty sure poor Mary Claire ended up asleep on the floor in front of her door today because she was so annoyed that I wouldn't let her out of her room...

--5--

Obligatory cute baby shot:


He's just as fascinating as you can imagine a 2-month-old would be - sucks his fists a lot, is just starting to grab toys when they're handed to him, super-smiley during his awake time.  I don't know what it is, because he doesn't *seem* like a remarkable baby, but he makes me so, so happy even though he's rather a lot of work...


And I've really never been a baby person...  I always looked forward to the toddler years & beyond, but goodness I'm enjoying this baby stage!  And, in turn, appreciating & loving the other kids a lot more - is this why people keep having babies in big families?  Does it just keep getting better?

--6--

I used PicMonkey to make our Christmas cards and finally mailed them out a couple weeks ago - honestly, it didn't come out to much cheaper than using the card designs they have on different websites, but nobody had a layout that I liked, so I just used the basic version to make our own.


And honestly, that might be the way I go in the future too, just because I spend WAY too long every year searching through every. single. card on Shutterfly, Snapfish, Tiny Prints, etc...

--7--

Battery's about to die on the computer, plus I'm tired!  Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes - go check out more bloggers!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cecilia, Age 4

Last night Cecilia asked me, "Mom?  When I wake up in the morning will I still look like a regular 3-year-old, even though I'm 4?"  This morning she assured me that yes, she does still just look like a regular 3-year-old.

At the ripe old age of 4, Cecilia...


Still asks me why she's not allowed to marry her brother (picture from about a year ago - look how much she's grown!!!), but has "settled" on a longtime friend who she would like to marry because "He makes REALLY cool Lego creations."


Adores any and all clothing I upcycle for her from old women's clothes...  No matter how atrocious!


Is always wowing us with her amazing dance moves.


Is beautiful.  So, so beautiful.


Is infectiously joyful - she knows exactly how to make us laugh when we're in the middle of reprimanding her...  And she knows when I'm about to snap and just bursts out with, "Mom?  I love you!"


Has the BEST laugh.


Is an amazing big sister - she adores her younger siblings (and "mothers" John Paul a little too much for her own good) and hates it that she doesn't *actually* get to be in charge of them.  She's incredibly helpful, usually of her own volition - I don't even have to ask, she's always choosing new outfits for Peter or fetching diapers, or helping Mary Claire to the bathroom, or getting Elizabeth in and out of her crib.  I don't want to give her too much responsibility, but she really craves it and begs for it!  Thankfully her new baby doll satisfies some of that maternal need.


Can also be so serious - I think she desperately wants to be a mystic, and is sometimes overly dramatic about the fact that SHE hasn't seen any Marian apparitions (those CCC movies - the St. Bernadette one and the Fatima one - convinced her that she should expect Mary to appear to her one of these days).  She's always telling me about Heaven, and asking questions too.  Just yesterday she spouted off, "Mom, will we eat in heaven? WHAT will we eat in heaven? Mom, does heaven have a floor? Where will we SLEEP in heaven? Mom, can I take flowers to heaven? Mom, can skeletons walk?"

John Paul researches questions like this in his books, but Cecilia...  Well, she just HAS to ask everything right as it comes into her head!


She's wonderful.  I hope YOU have a Cecilia someday - I can't even express how sweet and joyful and adorable she is.  To be honest, one reason we thought the timing for Peter would work out so well was that we were expecting at least one of the twins to be like Cecilia, in terms of independence and temperament.  

Well, we were VERY wrong (spitfires, both of them, and naughtiness that I thought I would never see!), which goes to show you that kids are different (DUH) and you can never predict what they'll be like in 9 months (DUH again), but that heck, it's worth taking chances because Peter's pretty awesome so far!

She's really grown up in this past year - she was so accommodating all the time that I was worried she'd be a pushover for the rest of her life...  But no, she has VERY strong opinions, she just knows how to be diplomatic enough to get her way without drama most of the time (gee, wonder where she gets that...).  It's hilarious to see her using the exact same tactics with Mary Claire and Elizabeth that I do with them, right down to calling them Honey and gently convincing them that they really want to give her the toy they're playing with.  Her temper does show every once in a while, and it is TREMENDOUS.  Generally because of something John Paul has done...  Best frenemies, those two.

I sat down with her last month to do the survey I've *tried* to do with the other kids on their birthdays (and John Paul's and the twins' are sitting in draft form because I haven't finished those posts...):

1. What is your favorite color?  Pink and purple and all the colors of the rainbow.
2. What is your favorite toy?  Bitty Baby!
3. What is your favorite fruit?  Grape!
4. What is your favorite television show?  Veggie Tales!
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  What? Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
6. What is your favorite outfit?  This one!  (Striped dress with pink t-shirt over it)
7. What is your favorite game?  Stratego? (I doubt it)
8. What is your favorite snack?  Crackers, cheerios, and cheese stick, and banana chips.
9. What is your favorite animal?  Zzzzz...  Dogs!  
10. What is your favorite song?  Immaculate Mary!
11. What is your favorite book?  Princess Gabby Girl!
12. Who is your best friend?  Katherine (a much older girl at our old church who she only sees when my sister visits and takes her to Mass there)
13. What is your favorite cereal?  Cheerios and milk.  Mom, Audrey helped me put the tray back when I was done cleaning up the table!  Cuz it was a little hard.
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play on the swing set.
15. What is your favorite drink?  Milk.
16. What is your favorite holiday?  What's a holiday?  A special day like Christmas, or Easter, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving...  Halloween!
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Floofy dog.
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Cheerios and milk!
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Pizza! (She took my suggestion of bacon and eggs, thankfully!)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  A nun who works in a hospital. (Despite the fact that she's SO maternal to all the other kids and plays with baby dolls 24/7.  And wants to get married...  Good thing vocations aren't set in stone at the age of 4!)

I wish I had a good picture of her in her birthday glory - I swear I took some this morning but they got erased from the card somehow :(  Here's a blurry instagram shot if you want it:



Edit:  Andrew got a picture!  Here it is:


I made her and her bitty baby matching tutus (tying tulle onto elastic - so easy!), made her the purple cape I promised her months ago (cut the shape of a cape out of fleece and tied it...), and made her a birthday crown that she designed herself (purple and pink).  Oh, and gave her the new hooded towel she picked out (um yes, that was her birthday present...).  I also ordered her clip-on earrings from this etsy shop that should be here soon and she's going to DIE of excitement when she gets to wear them, considering she's been making "earrings" out of hair clips and elastics for at least a year!

Dying for more about Cecilia to waste time?  Here's her 3-year post, her 2-year-post, and her 1-year-post.  Oh, and her birth story, if you're into that sort of thing...

Happy Birthday Cecilia!  We love you!

Monday, January 26, 2015

What I Wore Sunday: Nose-picking Photobomb

I'm not a huge fan of this week's Mass outfit, but I'll show you anyway because that's how I roll!

I just...  5-year-olds, right?  I offer him tissues and he uses them and then goes right back to picking his nose, even in the middle of Mass :/

I like the polka dots and stripes together, but I think the belt placement and proportions kind of make me look...  Squat?  In any case, I love this polka dot shirt because it's nice and flowy and belly-hiding when I employ the half-tuck (and it's button-down, so nursing friendly!) BUT I couldn't do a half-tuck because I was wearing a maternity skirt...


I knooooow, I said I'd put most of my maternity clothes away...  But you really can't tell this is a maternity skirt except the rise is high, which means no tucking.  It might be time to retire it anyway, though!

Outfit details:

Hat: Zulily
Scarf: Forever 21
Shirt: Ann Taylor via Twice
Cardigan: Banana Republic via Twice
Skirt: Motherhood Maternity via ThredUp
Leggings: American Apparel via Twice
Boots: DSW

But more importantly than what I wore, here's what everyone's favorite carrot top wore:



Cutest, I know.  You're welcome ;)

Linking up with Fine Linen & Purple for What I Wore Sunday - check out some other styles!

Friday, January 23, 2015

What They Said, January Edition

Because I'm 99% sure the "funny" part of this blog is solely the stuff my kids say...

John Paul:  Oh!!!  Peter!!!  I have something to tell you!!!
Me:  What?
John Paul:  There are three persons in the Trinity!



John Paul, reading about the reproductive system: How many eggs do you have left?
Me: Um, I don't know... I think girls are born with about 400000?
JP: *puzzlingly* So... There are four of us... So... Maybe... Threeeee.... Threeeee hundred and... Ninety nine thousand... Oh, there are FIVE of us... So maaaaaybe... Three hundred and ninety nine thousand and ninety five?
Me: Could be.
JP: Yeah, I might be right!



JP, dancing around:  Mass in the morning, Mass at noon!  Mass in the evening, fly a balloon!  I made up a poem!!!


Me: John Paul, you're really good at spelling!
John Paul:  Oh, I can only spell short words.  Not long words, like... Metatarsophalangeal.

Yup.  Me neither.

Overheard during naptime...

JP: No, don't call me baby!
Cecilia: What do I call you, then? Bighead?
JP: YEAH!!! Bighead, bighead!!!
Cecilia: 'Cuz you have a big head?
*wild giggling*

John Paul and Cecilia are playing a heads and tails game on the calculator...

JP: Heads!
Cecilia, about to cry: I wanted a tail!!!
JP, reassuring her: You had a tail when you were in Mom's tummy!
Cecilia: *giggles, completely fine now*



Me: Cecilia, why are you dressed in that outfit?
Cecilia: Mom, it's my armor.
Me: And why do you need armor?
Cecilia: Mom, because dere are always wars.
Me: Oh, and you need to fight in them?
Cecilia, sticking a plastic sword down the front of her leggings: Yeah.  And Mom, where's da scabber?
Me: You mean the scabbard?  

Apparently she and John Paul were fighting in World War I and World War II.  With swords.  Wearing armor.  We may need to have a history lesson one of these days...

Undershirt and leggings: Perfect January attire.
Cecilia: Mom, I don't want to live on a farm. I just want to live on a... *dances around wildly for several seconds* FAAAAAAAARM!!!

Um... Okay?

Me: What would you do if you met a dinosaur?
Cecilia: If I met a baby triceratops I would be VERY happy because I have been always looking for a baby triceratops!




Cecilia:  Mom, John Paul's da bravest kid.  But God's braver than him.  God's da bravest grown-up.



Me: Be careful Mary Claire, I don't want you to get hurt!
Elizabeth, cheerfully: I'm hurt!
Me: You are? Where?
Elizabeth, looking down: ... My skin.  But... My yeggings are warm!



Mary Claire, lining up toys on the windowsill: Dat's Elizabeth lion cub, and dat's Mary Claire lion cub, and she wants chocolate. And dat's mom lion and she ate all da chocolate!


Yup.  She's probably right.

Mary Claire, carrying a tower of mega blocks: And here's my fun castle dat I made!
Castle falls
Mary Claire: It fell down! It turned into guacamole!

Of course?



Mary Claire: Iiiiiii'm...
Me: The cutest?
Mary Claire: NO, I'M not the cutest!!!
Me: Then who is?
Mary Claire: LIZABETH is da cutest!

Obviously.


I start singing Rudolph, at Cecilia's request...

Mary Claire, incredibly angry:  NO Mom!!!  Rudolf is from BUSYTOWN!  DAT doesn't even make SENSE!!!


I don't know why even I try.

Monday, January 19, 2015

You Like Me? Really?

I hope this doesn't come across as me being falsely modest, but I was really genuinely surprised when I clicked over to Bonnie's blog today and saw that this little old blog had been nominated for not one, not two, but THREE Sheenazing categories (funniest, lifestyle, and miss congeniality)!


And my sister's right there under "most inspiring!"

Last year I made a push for "most underappreciated" because I thought it was the only one I had a chance for! And after my shocking defeat I realized I really don't *feel* underappreciated. Honestly, I feel just the right amount of appreciated, and maybe a little bit over appreciated (because miss congeniality? Really? I'm so flattered, but I'm pretty sure every single other nominee is probably more deserving than I!)?

I just thought you might like a smoldering baby thrown in here... 
I started this blog to stop inundating Facebook with the constant "my kids are the cutest and most hilarious" status updates, and so I could stop emailing my mom (and sister) 75 times a day with the latest John Paul-isms. (Also I didn't really want to write all these posts on the same old livejournal I used in high school - remember those? Yikes...)

Along the way I discovered the awesome community of Catholic bloggers that's out there, but more importantly I got to connect with you awesome readers.

I know I'm not always the best at responding to comments, but I get so happy and excited to hear what you have to say every time you comment.  If you're a fellow blogger, I love being able to keep up with you and build a friendship that way - I wish we could get together in person to chat! I know I follow a lot of you on Instagram too, and I love seeing those daily glimpses of your lives. So many of you are right here in the trenches with me and I love our camaraderie! Or maybe you're a more experienced parent who has shared your own experiences and offered advice and words of encouragement. Or heck, maybe you're just hoping to start a family of your own one day and you like seeing what you're in for... Thank you!


Thank you for reading, for taking the time to chat, for sharing your life with me and the other wonderful people who are a part of this somewhat nebulous community. Even if you feel like a lurker because you've never commented, that's cool too - I like having you here!

I honestly think that the people who read this blog are the coolest, sweetest people I could possibly know, and I'm thankful that you're willing to spend a little time in this place! I would invite you over to our house, but I might spend the entire visit breaking up fights and nursing the baby... So for the time being, I'd love to chat with you here! Or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... Or there's always good old email!

I know many of us are in that season of life that necessitates a lot of time at home and not a lot of social interaction with the "age-of-reason-and-up" crowd, so thank you for providing me with enough adult conversation to maintain my sanity! And thanks for continuing to read even when I write about poop ;)
You're the best - really! Thanks for being here :)

I'm not expecting your votes, or asking for them - I know the bigger blogs have this all wrapped up and that's cool!  I just like taking a moment to reflect sappily on how much I like you!  And you don't even judge me for my overuse of exclamation points!!!

!

!!!

Now off I go to check out all the new-to-me blogs who made the list (like Mary Big Hair, the ONLY "funniest blog" nominee who wasn't already in my feedly, and um...  She's hilarious and I love her.  You should read her blog!)

Seriously, this is how I feel right now!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stranger Talk {WIWS}

Oh, John Paul.  He did NOT want to stop building his train tracks to leave for Mass, but he also did NOT want to be left home and miss Mass.  It's tough when you can't have things both ways...


Do you see those giant purple mittens?  Cecilia insists that she MUST have them to keep her hands warm on the 15 foot walk to the car and the 50 foot walk into Mass...  And I didn't realize just how huge and ridiculous they look until I saw this picture!

Bitty Baby stays in the car during Mass, don't worry...  Heaven forbid we leave her at home, but leave her in the cold car?  Totally fine.


Scarf & Hat: Zulily
Shirt: ThredUP
Skirt: Old Navy (similar)
Boots: DSW

Anyway, pretty much every week after Mass there's at least one old lady who exclaims over how adorable Cecilia is.  Because truthfully, she is just about the cutest thing in her chapel veil, and when she gets her holy water on the way out of Mass, halfway skips down the aisle to genuflect, and claps her hands Amen?  

It's amazing.  So she was being fawned over in the vestibule by somebody new, and was being shy as usual.  But never fear!  John Paul answered all the questions the lady was asking, and more!

Lady:  How old are you?
Cecilia:  Ducks her head and hides in my coat
Me:  She's almost four.
John Paul: And I'm five and a half!
Lady:  Well, you're getting very big!
John Paul:  Yes!  I have a big head, big hands, and big feet!
Lady:  Tries to think of the appropriate response...
John Paul:  It took me 2 1/2 days to come out of my mom!
Me:  Ooookay, I don't think she wants to hear about my labor with you...  Hey, let's go to the car now!

Poor kid - he never got fawned over the way Cecilia does and I don't think he minds, but I do feel a little bad that everybody pays attention to her in public and ignores him...


This scarf with the chunky knit - how long do you think it'll last?  So far it's gotten snagged on quite a few things, and I put Peter down after he was done nursing this afternoon and had to untangle his fingers since he was grabbing it!  Too bad, since it's the only neutral-colored scarf I have...

Linking up with Fine Linen & Purple for What I Wore Sunday - go check out more outfits!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Life Happenings {7 Quick Takes}

--1--

John Paul has been sleeping on the top bunk for almost two years and had never fallen out until two days ago, when apparently he leaned too far out while trying to read his saints poster. The poster with the exact same images as the book.



Which we own. 

And which I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have fallen out of bed to get...

#smartestchild #hesfine

--2--

The other day we heard the telltale thumps from above in the morning that meant a child or two had gotten out of bed for the day. This is usually followed by them coming to get us in our room, because they DESPERATELY need to see Peter. So imagine our surprise when it was not John Paul, not Cecilia, but Mary Claire! 

(This is less endearing when it's 3 AM.  Hopefully THAT never happens again with Mary Claire...)

It took John Paul until he was 5 to start leaving his room on his own in the morning (glorious, I know!). It took Cecilia until she was 3.5. And Mary Claire? 2. At this rate Peter will be getting out of bed on his own when he's 6 months old, and the next child will be mobile before conception.

--3--

Did you read Micaela's Gold Star Baby post? I don't want to jinx anything, but we may or may not be experiencing a similar phenomenon with Peter.  It's glorious, but who knows if it'll last...  In any case, I'm enjoying his infancy more than with any other baby we've had!



--4--

And now I'm typing with Mary Claire on my lap.  "Can you tell a picture of Peter?  In da bouncy seat?  In da playroom?"

So here you go:


These sayings drive me a little nuts - "Daddy's All Star" seriously?  Kid couldn't catch a baseball if you threw it at his head...
Because everybody was playing happily in the playroom without me, which is why I started working on this post.  But two children have sought me out so far, sooooo it's going on hold.  You understand, I'm sure!



--5--

11 o'clock!  Everyone is dressed AND John Paul made snack for everyone (including prunes soooo that's gonna be fun with diapers later).  And Peter's happy on the play mat and the dishes are in the dishwasher and lunch doesn't have to be made yet and dinner ingredients are prepped and the house is relatively clean - this is crazy!


Okay, I promise his hair doesn't look this red in person, but the camera makes it look SUPER red.  It also hasn't been washed in 3+ weeks so that might be part of it too...
Also, this play mat?  Has survived 5 children so far (with slight issues that I fixed in the past few weeks because when your children constantly flip it over and drag it around the house, things are going to get torn).  And everybody has loved it!  And I'm not going to tell you just how much time I spent researching THE BEST PLAY MAT when John Paul was a baby...  But this was it, and it was totally worth buying (minus the music part, which we got rid of long ago because uuuuugh it was annoying even though John Paul adored it).

Flashback to when the twins were babies!  Ah!!!
--6--

We had fresh bread with dinner not once, not twice, but three times this week.

"But you have FIVE CHILDREN!!!" You say.

Ah yes, five children.  But also the absolute easiest recipe for nice crusty bread!


Here it is - if you've never made bread before, this will convince you that you CAN, indeed, bake your own bread!  I made the dough on Monday & stuck it in the fridge, ripped off a chunk a couple hours before dinner to let rise and bake on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and am still enjoying the last of the final loaf today.  Sprinkle it with a little kosher salt before you toss it in the oven, and consider getting a huge roll of parchment paper because it's the best and nothing will ever stick to it!

--7--

Did you see Mary's list of things she wishes she had for the first baby?  I totally agree with her choices!  One thing I *really* wish we had had when John Paul and Cecilia were babies is a fabric covered ottoman (like this one) - we finally had space for one when the twins were babies and it was AMAZING being able to let them cruise on it, because whenever they fell (which was frequent) and bonked their heads, they just bonked them on a cushion!

Oh my goodness the twins had so little hair...
So yeah, if you're planning on having multiple babies, ditch the coffee table and get an ottoman.

Also on my list?  The Nosefrida - WAY better than those bulb syringes they give you in the hospital!

Okay, it's time for me to go parent my children...  Go read more Quick Takes at Kelly's!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Mom-Uniform: Nursing-Friendly Dresses!

I've finally settled into a pretty predictable groove these days, and have managed to get dressed in real clothes every day for the past few weeks!  No small feat for a mom with 5 kids, including a 2-month-old. 

 So I spent a lot of time thinking about what was going to work to nurse in and hide my belly during this awkward post partum phase, and while I love the outfits I can make with skirts and the like, what I find myself reaching for most often are my dresses.  It's so much easier to get dressed in the morning when it's just a matter of throwing on a dress (and belt, leggings, and scarf because it's chilly!), rather than actually have to match a top and a bottom.

Not to mention the fact that my hips are a good 6 inches larger than their "normal" size (and my waist and chest are also 5-6 inches larger), so anything fitted doesn't *actually* fit, and anything stretchy isn't flattering.

Putting Me Together

One of the only fashion blogs I read is Putting Me Together, and Audrey's hosting a style challenge to wear a dress this week.  Done and done!  When I had my first baby I thought I could never wear a dress again, because I had no idea what could possibly work to accommodate a nursing baby.  Along the way (now that I'm on my 5th nursing baby!) I've figured it out - shirt dresses, wrap & faux-wrap dresses, anything with a front opening is perfect for nursing in!  

I always always accessorize with a scarf because it hides the inevitable cleavage and functions as a makeshift nursing cover.  Oh, and it's something for those grabby baby fingers to hold instead of scratching at my skin!

Patterns are a HUGE plus for me, because somebody is always spitting up on me, or rubbing dirty hands on my skirt, or wiping a nose on my hem...  Patterns really hide that part of life, so I rarely find myself purchasing anything that's just a solid color these days!

Scarf: Amazon
Boots: DSW
Belt: Forever 21
Leggings & Dress: Twice

And the same dress at 35 weeks pregnant!
I do still have some solids, but I tend to pair them with multiple patterns to liven up the outfit!


Scarf: H&M (old)
Belt: Banana Republic via ThredUP
Dress: Ralph Lauren via Twice
Sweater: Banana Republic via Twice


And the same dress & sweater last year, as a reminder that eventually I *will* get back to a more normal size for me!

The dress below works better with a wide belt, but I was taking these pictures during naptime and the baby woke up before I had time to find the right accessories!


I absolutely adore sweater dresses, but they're nearly impossible to find in a nursing-friendly style.  So I was really excited to find this one on Twice, since it has a front zipper to make it SO easy to nurse in!

Dress: J.Crew via Twice
Scarf: ThredUP

  

And the same dress at around 20 weeks pregnant?  Do you see how magical those stripes are?  Camouflage, friends!


And if you're a regular reader you saw this outfit on Sunday - the "pixelated zigzag" dress, according to my 5yo.

Dress: Gap via Twice
Leggings: American Apparel via Twice
Hat: Zulily

What do all these dresses have in common?  Generous waistlines, openings at the front for easy nursing access, and cute enough to make me feel put together even when I'm not leaving the house with my whole brood!

What's your "uniform" this winter?  

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