Tag Archives: Things

Miracle Underwear (Really) + Weekend Links

April 29, 2016

icon undies

Things that make me embarrassed: third trimester feet, my nail beds, chasing a wild two-year-old across a lawn

Things that don’t: talking about sex, postpartum pooing, periods, birth control, vaginal tears, thigh gap, anal fissures, vasectomies (all of which have been discussed about on this blog)

Today, a new topic to add to the list: peeing your pants!

Welcome.

Did you know 1 in 3 women experience light bladder leaks? No, this isn’t a Hulu commercial, this is me realizing that there are lots of other people who are afraid to sneeze.

It all started in the Spring of 2011, pregnant with my first baby and wondering why everything down there was constantly all wet. It wasn’t such a surprise the second time around. This third time I was just counting down the days until pantyliners, outfit changes, and mild swearing were all part of my daily routine.

For me, it’s mostly a slow leak throughout the day exacerbated (best word) by sneezing, coughing, laughing, jumping, squatting, and weirdly–using the bathroom. Beginning in my third trimester, whenever I stand up after peeing, more urine leaks out. I’m told this is because the baby is low and resting around my bladder in a way that doesn’t let it all out while I’m trying to go. Thanks darling!

This bladder leakage problem is not embarrassing to me, but it is very inconvenient. Which is why when I learned there are special underwear made for light leaks that does not involve pads, pantyliners, or constant showers– I went running.

I learned about Icon underwear when I was researching Thinx underwear for postpartum and period care because I really hate pads and tampons (yes I know about the diva cup, no I’m not doing it). That’s when Thinx put me in contact with their sister company Icon undies who make pee-proof underwear for women with bladder leaks. They actually aren’t specifically made or marketed for pregnant women, but they really should be because honey–they are amazing.

I ordered the high waist in my size and found them comfortable (even at 8 months pregnant), attractive, true to size, with zero bad smells or leaks after a 12 hour day. Everyone keeps asking me how they work. Honestly I have no idea. Let’s just call it a miracle.

5/5 stars. 

Oh, and they are easy to wash (you just throw them in with everything else).

10 bucks off your first pair here.

Other important bonuses:

+ They look exactly like regular underwear, so no one will notice in a locker room or sexy bedroom situation.

+ Have I mentioned they are really comfortable?

+ Made for women of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

+ Made at a family-run factory that has an outstanding commitment to providing supplementary education and training to its female employees, empowering
them to become leaders in their communities.

+ Through the Fistula Foundation, Icon helps address fistula, a problem that affects over one million mothers who too often give birth without access to medical care. What is Fistula? An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, and leaves a woman severely incontinent. A woman with fistula
is often rejected by her husband and pushed out of her village. 1,000,000 women suffer from this condition, but fewer than 20,000 are treated each year. Every Icon purchase helps fund treatment, recovery, and life-changing surgeries for these women.

Still wondering if it’s worth it? More reviews here.

Oh, and those period panties can be found here. Their review coming very soon (hold me).

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PS:

When You Become The Person You Hate On The Internet (loved this)

Baby Name Trends For 2016 (so you’re in the know)

Girl On The Train Trailer (hoping it’s as good as the Gone Girl remake)

How To Write (made me laugh)

49 Phrases To Calm An Anxious Child (really helpful)

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Happy Friday!

 

10 Things Moms Actually Want For Mother’s Day

April 22, 2016

No, she doesn’t want bath soaps and a Yankee candle.
Ten things she actually wants with plenty of time to get it right.

You got this.

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1. Food and sleep.

food and sleep

Austin likes to “joke around” that he’s never met someone who needs more sleep than I do, and I like to “joke around” that I’ve never met someone who feels the need to comment on other people’s sleep habits more than he does. Seriously though, moms need some serious horizontal time to feel sane all day long, and there’s no better opportunity than Mother’s Day to not bring her breakfast in bed at 6am.

In related news, moms also like to eat good food they didn’t make themselves! If this is groundbreaking information for you, I suggest taking a good hard look in the mirror and then making enough dinner reservations to last the rest of the year. Even if you don’t go out on Mother’s Day, may I suggest using the grocery store? That’s the place with all the ingredients you need to make a few of her favorite dishes. Tip: Don’t bother making something you aren’t going to clean up.

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2. Gift card for a massage or pedicure.

spa day

Cash is fine, too–as long as you designate where it’s supposed to go (not the grocery bill). Ways to find places to purchase spa gift cards: listening, observing, asking her, asking girlfriends, yelp.

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3. Acts of service.

service

Once upon a time in the mid 90s, a man named Gary Chapman wrote a book about love languages and a world of women sighed, nodded their head, and said THIS IS HOW TO LOVE ME. In his book, Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love called “love languages” including gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

I don’t know about you, but my love language has and always will be acts of service. There’s just something about someone taking out the trash and building a dining room table that makes me feel appreciated. This year for Mother’s Day, I’m asking Austin to help me finish a few projects around the house because a baby is coming and that means it is imperative we do rational things like clean all the ceiling fans. (More about love languages via this post)

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4. Gift cards for take-out.

take out

Ah yes, my second love language: take-out! The other week Austin surprised us with take-out from Panera and it was basically like renewing our vows. Even if your mom/wife/grandma/aunt/woman loves to cook, everyone needs a break once in awhile from meal planning and scraping the bottom of the crock pot (worst). As someone who does not enjoy cooking or baking or staring blankly into the pantry cupboard–gift cards for take-out to use throughout the year is an invaluable gift.

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5. Amazon Prime.

prime

For my birthday this year, Austin renewed our Amazon Prime membership after a nine month hiatus that had me making speeches at 11pm on the psychological importance of “two day shipping.” Let me tell you something friends, nothing says “I appreciate you” more than free movies, tv shows, music, and quick package arrival.

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6. Personalized necklace.

Looking for a sentimental but classy gift? Lately I’ve really been jonesing for one of these personalized necklaces with one letter charm for each of our (almost) three kids. Made by Mary on Etsy makes just that, with various options for lettering, charm size, and necklace length. Best of all, you are supporting a small business (and it’s fun to know all pieces are stamped one by one with hand held tools).

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7. Photobook subscription.

Another sentimental gift, except this one is only 8 bucks (a book) and gets you a little happy mail everytime you post 60 pictures on Instagram. It really is the cheapest way to print those pictures (and a small relief knowing there’s a real print of all your best phone pictures somewhere). How it works: Print your Instagram photos in a book series automatically. Every photo you share to Instagram creates a page in your book. You’ll get a notification each time you get close to 60 new pages. Excluding photos from your book is easy as a tap ( I usually exclude a bunch!). Curate as you go. Editing captions is also a snap, but I leave them out altogether. Don’t have Instagram? No problem. Just upload them from your phone. Order additional subscriptions so loved ones can enjoy your photos as well. Don’t ask Grandma and Grandpa to figure it out – just have them go to the mailbox. $8 dollars shipped. Get your first book free when you subscribe with the code KATEJBAER.

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8. An overnight trip.

airbnb

I love my kids. I also love being away from my kids, and I will always stand by the truth that there is nothing more important in motherhood than taking a break, recharging your batteries, and eating brie cheese on someone else’s sofa while you read a juicy novel or binge watch The Mindy Project. Sightseeing is nice too, but not all Airbnb stays have to be 100 miles away. I would gladly sleep over a few blocks away if it meant not waking up to demands for a banana and Caillou at 6am. Fact: We are our best selves when we allow ourselves time off to take a few deep breaths. Someone else planning it? Even better.

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9. The mother load tote.

TJM

My friend Candis makes the loveliest things. Find this Mother’s Day appropriate tote over at The Jones Market and fill it with love (bread) or things from her wish list (also bread?). Other bag filler ideas: books, flowers, new sandals, pens (why does everyone keep taking my pens), notes of encouragement from loved ones (I won’t hold my breath). Bonus: It makes the best library bag.

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10. Farm fresh flowers.

Things I used to say to Austin: “I don’t need flowers!” “Don’t waste the money on flowers!” “Look at me so low maintenance about flowers!” I don’t say those things anymore. Flowers are nice and mood boosting and for the love, who doesn’t love flowers? Bouqs offers especially gorgeous, eco-friendly, and affordable bouquets. Just make sure to order ahead.

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Choosing A Car Seat That Isn’t Garbage + Weekend Links

April 1, 2016

Do you know what I love? Finding matching swimsuits for my kids. Do you know what I hate? Researching things that matter like strollers and car-seats and finding myself 57 clicks into an Internet message board on how car-seats will give your baby autism.

Things we have bought for our kids that have ended up being garbage: cheap bottles, cheap strollers, cheap toothbrushes, cheap toys, cheap car-seats. Luckily when Waylon was two we finally found a brand we love and no longer have to read those message boards at 2am because a baby is coming and everyone needs to shift a spot in the minivan.

Still there are things to think about like which model and how it installs and will it even fit into the back of my husband’s 1987 Honda Civic? If you are like me and like to devote zero (and I mean zero) energy into researching baby gear, let me introduce you to babycubby.com

Worth mentioning:

  • They always price match, even Amazon, so you know you’re getting a great deal.
  • They only carry the best and safest gear so you can shop confidently (they spend hundreds of hours researching so you don’t have to).
  • They offer free Shipping everyday over $49.
  • They offer an ace car seat buying guide here.

Seriously, they really do make it easy. Practical tips, straightforward research, and everything you need to know about things like car-seats in one spot. It took me about ten minutes to find what I was looking for. Use the code KATEBAER for 10% off your order starting April 1st.

Happy shopping.

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PS:

10 Life Changing Tips To Make Your Life So Much Cleaner (made me laugh)

This Episode Of Morning Edition (got me good)

My New, Favorite 30 Minute Meal (made it twice in four days)

For Maternity Clothes And Irrational Baby Hats (please stop me)

April Soundtrack

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Happy Friday!

WT Carseat

I Need Nothing But Want Everything: 8 Things For The Third Baby

March 10, 2016

8 Things
When Austin and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, the first thing we decided is that we didn’t need much of anything. The second thing I decided is that we should probably get it all just in case. As it turns out, all babies are different and how about a round of applause for all the colicky infants out there who never used their multi-function swings, bumbo seats, or bouncy chairs. Thanks guys!

Every baby and every pregnancy offer an updated version of what you think you need. A few things that stuck:

From Waylon: exersaucer, boppy, boobs

From Eva: co-sleeper, ergo, rock n play, breastfeeding bottles 

Collage

The truth is you don’t need anything. The other truth is that it’s okay to want a few special things. For example, do you know what doesn’t matter at all? What your baby will wear coming home from the hospital. Do you know what I obsess over every time? What my baby will wear coming home from the hospital. It’s not so much that I ever care in the moment (I care about Percocet), I just like to look at it, fold and unfold it, and stare longingly at its smallness the weeks leading up to delivery. It’s part of the process.

Eight new things to add today. None of them necessary, all of them for the sole purpose of boosting morale and getting excited for another little life.

We can’t wait.

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1) Iviebaby Blanket.

Iviebaby

Truth: I basically had another baby so I’d have an excuse to order an Iviebaby blanket. Three things to note:

+ Elizabeth uses the softest materials for both the front and back
+ They look amazing wash after wash (pictured above)
+ The faux fur does not shed or stick on little fingers

Bonus: Iviebaby offers a ton of beautiful gender neutral options, but because I like to make things complicated–I had the ultrasound tech write down the gender in a sealed envelope to then mail to Elizabeth with my choice for a girl and boy. I can’t wait to open that box in June.

Favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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2) Natursutten Pacifiers.

Naturesutten(Photo source)

Babies will be babies and choose exactly if and what pacifier they’ll take, but this time around I’m starting off with Natursutten pacis if only because they are so cute. Seriously, how are they are so cute? Other fun facts:

+ They are made in Italy by a family business manufacturing rubber baby products for the past three generations
+ No BPA, nitrosamines, PVC, phthalates, chemical softeners, or artificial coloring are involved
+ They are really, really cute

I’ve had two kinds of pacifier babies in my house, and while there are pros and cons to both–I’ll take an addict any day over all the crying. Putting these straight into my hospital bag.

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3) Gender Neutral Swaddle Blanket.

Swaddle me!

This is the first time not finding out the gender, which has been really fun except when I’m at the store and there are around zero neutral options for anything. Luckily Etsy exists, which is where I found this swaddle blanket after scouring the Internet for a few hours. Kelsey of Addie and May makes a lot of beautiful things, including these soft swaddle blankets made of lightweight and breathable fabric, easily folded to fit into a diaper bag. Excellent for swaddling and covering up while nursing. Other favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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4) Coming Home Outfit.

Coming Home Outfit

When I contacted my friend Annette from LilNells about making a gender neutral outfit for my hospital bag, she was happy to oblige. Her shop is beautiful and simple and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Pictured above: the sweetest red baby girl matching sleeper and hat for d-day. Other favorites from her shop here and here. And a little throwback to Eva wearing tiny LilNells pants over a year ago!

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5) Sheepskin Photo Prop.sheepskin rug(Photo source)

Photo props for your baby are so 2000 and late, but I am not over sheepskin yet–especially when it’s only $24 bucks for the fake kind. It may not be classy, but it’s also not worth it to me to invest in the real thing–especially when it’s just a trend. Thank you Amazon for fulfilling all my needs.

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6) Matching Sibling Outfits.
Matchy Matchy

People call dressing their kids in matching outfits a guilty pleasure. Do you know what I call it? Enjoying dressing your kids in matching outfits. Guilty pleasures are for your 20s. Your 30s are all about finding what you love and going for it, even if it means fourteen dollar cheese plates, Justin Bieber, and dressing your kids like they came in a matching set. Checking the mail every day for these baby bloomers for the baby, these stripey pants for Eva, and this 5T/6T (yes!) romper for the oldest. Please excuse my hundred photos, I have no regrets.

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7) Carseat Cover.

Most of us just use a blanket to cover up the car seat, right? You know, that beautiful one your grandmother made that then gets drug around in the dirt because it won’t stay on the car seat unless you tie it (but then that doesn’t work anyways). I don’t need this, BUT I WANT IT.

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8) Video Monitor.

Monitor

Five years of parenting later and I was feeling pretty smug about never getting a video monitor until my toddler started crawling out of her crib, climbing up the dresser, and terrorizing Waylon’s wall decals (I never liked them anyways). This video monitor purchase confirms two things about parenting:

+ Never (ever) say never
+ Mama bears will do anything for the sake of sleep

They will also do anything to protect their newborn from the antics of a guns blazing two-year-old. Can’t wait to watch that sleepy newborn sleep in peace (and not worry about his or her older sister pulling any stunts). Technology, bless you.

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Nothing Fits And My Body Feels Like Sand: Five Pregnancy Essentials To Help You Gestate In Peace

February 18, 2016

As a side effect of working on some real, serious, pain-in-the-ass writing elsewhere, this blog has become a place for pure nonsense. It’s so relaxing, I love it.

You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of dressing a large, pregnant mammal with dignity—but alas, I have not. In fact, this may have been the hardest pregnancy to date in terms of finding things that fit over my couch-like body. Yesterday I went back through my online orders and calculated a total of $325 dollars worth of maternity clothing that I’ve bought and then returned because it was either unflattering, uncomfortable, or like trying to squeeze a sausage back into its casing. 325 dollars. That may be a tank top for Gwyneth Paltrow, but in this house that’s a whole lot of crappy Old Navy activewear.

Today I’m passing along five pregnancy essentials I’ve found through trial and error that make me feel more human during pregnancy (and coincidentally in real life too). Something for everyone.

Godspeed on your quest.

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1) MATERNITY LEGGINGS

Out of all the things, good maternity leggings are probably the most important thing I’ve bought to keep up morale. Not only are my Motherhood Maternity jeans uncomfortable (I don’t even want to talk about the Old Navy pairs I bought and returned), they just don’t stay up. Bad leggings do the same thing. Over the span of three months, I’ve bought and returned leggings from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Motherhood Maternity, and Kohl’s. None of them did their job. They either made me feel sloppy, itchy, weird, or like a sad sloth. 0/5 stars. Every single one.

Things were looking bleak until I found these Blanqi maternity leggings. Comfortable, flattering, and did I mention I never take them off? Dressed up or down, you can wear them for anything. I’ve worn them out to dinner, then to bed, then off to preschool drop off the next day. I have no regrets. They have a built-in belly support band and a moisture-wicking finish that makes them breathable and practical to wear in all weather. Best of all, they hold everything in. Worth every penny.

Tip: If you are in-between sizes, they recommend sizing up to keep your backside covered.

Another tip: They have a pair for after the baby, too.

These highwaist support leggings were made for mamas trying to dress a post baby body that just won’t cooperate. Same look, same breathable and easy material, but formed to flatten your front and make your butt look like Beyonce while you’re trying to care for a newborn. Win.

PS: If you’re looking for something with even more “support” (muffin top help), you can also try Ingrid and Isabel’s yoga leggings with the crossover panel from Target. I live in black Fabletics leggings when I’m not pregnant, and these are the same amount of compression to keep everything but the belly tucked in. Very flattering.

The search is over. RELIEF.

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2) COMFORTABLE SHOES

Birkenstocks

Social media and pop culture have led me to believe three things about women and their feet:

1) All women have small, narrow, beautiful feet
2) All women enjoy wearing heels if they just get used to it
3) The key to a woman’s happiness lies in her shoe closet

These facts may be true for some, but they are not true for me. Especially when I’m pregnant. Like many gestating females, my feet swell and grow with each pregnancy–making it 100% essential to stop walking around in hand-me-down Gap flip flops I got from my college roommate.

Enter Birkenstocks.

My love affair with Birks started with my pregnancy with Eva and I haven’t worn anything since. Some people might say they’re kind of ugly (me), but so are Uggs and Crocs. Two other shoes I’m happy to wear because THEN MY FEET DON’T HURT. And honestly, Birkenstocks have come a long way since the days of yore. There are so many different styles now that don’t make it look like you’re auditioning for a role in a biblical film that it’s hard to choose which to bring home. I’ll never wear anything else.

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3) FLATTERING TOPS

Pink Blush

I don’t have many clothes left over from the first two pregnancies, so when I found out I was pregnant this fall, I started from square one. Much like the leggings search, my quest for well-fitting maternity tops was mostly futile. I cannot tell you how many times I drove to and from Old Navy to return things I ordered online that didn’t fit or were poorly made. Department store and outlet shopping led to similar results. Apparently my particular body shape does not do well with anything that drapes or requires complicated zippers. I need stretchy pants, flowing cardigans, and form fitting tops to go underneath. Otherwise I might as well just wear a trash bag and call it a day.

Enter Pink Blush!

I first heard about Pink Blush Maternity when I won a giveaway on Instagram to their store. Imagine my surprise when my order arrived and everything was perfect. Not only were the clothes well made, they were flattering and affordable. I can now move on with my life.

Favorites include this kimono, this cardigan, this dress, and this gorgeous maternity robe I’ll be packing in my hospital bag this June.

Tip: They also have regular human clothes! I can’t wait to shop their non-maternity line this fall.

Another tip: Use the code “katebaer” for 15% off your first time purchase! Cannot be combined with other promotions or used on sale or clearance items.

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4) ALL THE PILLOWS

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 7.18.37 PM

You thought this was going to be a section about a ten foot body pillow, but the joke is on you. I don’t use one! I know pregos everywhere really enjoy wrapping those stuffed snakes around their bodies like a support wall, but I am just as happy with a few memory foam pillows. I like one under my head, one under my arm tucked into my chest (hey required side sleeping), and one in between my legs to support my back and cut down on round ligament pain. This system of memory foam pillows has worked so well that I sleep the same way when I’m not pregnant. Sleeping on a memory foam topper doesn’t hurt either. In fact, it’s pretty critical to this process. It’s like sleeping on a cloud. Experiencing a pregnancy with and without memory foam is like night and day…day being the pregnancy I never slept.

There are a million shapes and kinds of memory foam pillows, you just have to find one that works for you. Here is one with great reviews on Amazon. These pillows from JC Pennys look similar to what I use, too.

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5) BATH SOAPS

Do you hate baths? Does the idea of sitting in your own filth also disgust you? I get it. I never take baths when I’m not pregnant. But there’s something about growing a baby that makes me want to rip off my clothes and marinate in some hot, soapy water.

The key to a good bath is good lighting, good music, and a good book. None of which are pictured above. The other key ingredient is good soap, something I apparently have a hard time regulating. Right now my favorite is this bath soap by Dr. Teal. It smells really good and tricks me into believing its essential oils are going to give me the best night of sleep ever. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

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