Apple Seed Boutique : Maternity Site Review

I was recently asked to take a gander at a new Maternity and Baby Boutique website and give my review.  I guess having four kids kind of makes me somewhat of an expert on things involving pregnancies and babies.  I gave the site a thorough visit and was quite pleased.
Apple Seed Maternity & Baby Boutique
From their site:

Apple Seed Maternity online is an extension of our flagship maternity clothing and baby boutique located just outside Washington, DC in the heart of historic Old Town, Alexandria VA. Our maternity clothing boutique is a charming destination with hip and classy styles for the expectant mom. Besides offering maternity clothes for work and play, we also carry baby clothes, nursing and transitional wear, designer diaper bags, fun and unique gifts, and gear including Bugaboo strollers.

Visuals and Navigation:
Have you ever stumbled upon a website that was so loud and flashy that it hurt your head to look? Or wandered onto a site that was obviously very 1999 with their html?  You will NOT have that problem here!  This store is classic and simple to view and use.  The earthy warm color scheme was pleasing to the eyes of this sleep deprived momma.  There were no annoying pop ups or pop unders and their contact information was clearly displayed on the front page.
After clicking thru to look at individual categories I enjoyed the professional photographs and the shipping charges were listed next to the price of the item.  I love knowing these charges up front!
Product Line:
From intimates to baby strollers, they have you covered.  I found maternity swimwear, nursing tanks, short dresses, evening gowns, and even business wear!  Many of the items stop at a size large, which was disappointing because I’m an XL Mom when I’m pregnant and for a while post partum.  The Japanese Weekend pants looked very comfy though, and they came in an XL.  There were over 40 different brand names available including Bella Band, Bravado, Diaper Dude and Earth Mama Angel Baby!
After scanning a few other maternity boutiques I feel secure in stating that Apple Seed’s prices are comparable to other boutique stores.  Many of the categories had links to sale items!
The Videos:
This store has a great section of How To Videos!  From how to wear your Bella Band to how to create new looks for the entire nine months.  Great information to help moms through the transitions of pregnancy and post partum.
This shop was a joy to browse through.  The layout was clean, chic and stylish just like their product line.  Take a look!  Check them out and put them on your go-to list for your next shopping trip!

Harry Potter is making me bald?

Telogen effluvium!!
It sounds like something Harry Potter would shout in a battle over evil in the newest “Harry Potter and the other jeweled mirror of evil controlled by that good guy that was really a bad guy” movie.
relax HP fans… I like the movies
I was starting to wonder if someone had put a spell on my head for rapid hair loss.  Then I remembered that it has happened before. Three times before to be exact.
I remembered that the birth of each of my children caused my hair to fall out in giant clumps and turn my showers into baths.
I also remembered that, while this is COMPLETELY NORMAL and will stop, it can be aggravated by poor nutrition and stress.  **insert sound of me googling “postpartum hair loss” **
While most of what I read was a “just wait and it will stop” recommendation I did stumble upon some suggestions:
From American Pregnancy’s Website:

Recommendations for Your Hair During Pregnancy and After Delivery:
There are a number of things that you might do to have healthier hair and/or reduce hair loss during pregnancy and after delivery:

  • Consult with your health care provider to ensure a proper balance of hormones
  • Avoid pigtails, cornrows, hair weaves, braids and tight hair rollers which can pull and stress your hair
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which contain flavonoids and antioxidants that may provide protection for the hair follicles and encourage hair growth
  • Use shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin and silica
  • Hair is fragile when it is wet, so be gentle; avoid fine tooth combs
  • If you need to use blow dryers and other heated hair instruments, try to use the cool setting
  • Supplement your diet with the following nutrients:
  • Vitamin B complex (Catergory A)
  • Biotin (Possibly safe; orally and appropriately)
  • Vitamin C (Catergory A)
  • Vitamin E ( Likely safe if amount does not exceed the RDA; possibly safe if it does)
  • Zinc (Likely safe when used orally and appropriately; likely unsafe when used orally in high doses)

Telogen effluvium is the excessive shedding following pregnancy that can last up to six months.

Sometimes you have to keep your goals simple

Now what are we s'posed to do with him?

Mom left.  The in laws left.  Hubby returned to work.
Just me – Mommy.
Just lil ole me. . .
and FOUR kids.
All by myself.
All day.
*insert panic here*
Monday’s goal was survival…  and we did.
Tuesday I got brave and took everyone out to have lunch with Daddy.  Then I went – WITH THE KIDS- to Target to buy my new stroller.  Bad idea with no big strong Daddy there to help pick up the heavy-as-all-get-out stroller into the cart, and up to the register, and into the trunk.  Followed by a trip back home so I could assemble it out of the public eye.   My sanity still being MIA, I took them to the library so I could look for once a month cooking books.   Tuesday must be “Glutton for Punishment” Day because I decided I wanted to actually COOK something and left the library headed for the grocery store.  I’ll skip ahead to the part where after resisting the urge to punch the nice cart fellow who offered to help me get my stroller back into the trunk (hormones anyone?), I proceeded to sit in my car and cry along with my children.  Taderbug was crying because I didn’t bring her a drink.  Doodlebug was crying because I refused to buy her a candy bar.  Bubbagirl was mad the I wouldn’t let her drive and Peanut was hungry.  I wondered what the heck I had been thinking.
We were two weeks into being a family of six and I was worn out.  I felt like a horrible wife, a mean angry mom and a useless member of my extended family.  I kept trying to tell myself that once the holiday weekend was over we could get back to normal.  My dad would come up Friday, my in laws would come visit on the 4th for my FIL and hubby’s birthdays, and then everyone would leave again and leave me to get my family back in order.   I just had to hold it together until then.
Wednesday and Thursday were awful because hubby had to work overnight AND during the day.  My backup help was either at work or trying to sleep, and very much needing me to keep the kids quiet.
I can remember, with our first child, my doctor telling me that the key to not feeling overwhelmed was to start small and keep it simple.  I was instructed to keep my ‘to do’ list to 3 things, and not to add anything unless the entire list was crossed off AND I felt up to tackling something else.
To Do:
1. Feed the little people
2. Don’t eat the little people
3. Survive the day
Some times that the best you can do.