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.

Welcome Lil' Man, aka Hoss, aka Peanut…

After weeks of tweeting that I thought it was ‘time’…. it finally was TIME.
What started out as just not feeling well a 8pm, turned into ‘gosh this is uncomfy’ at midnight.  Quickly followed by a 2:30 am nudge to hubby for him to wake up and make himself some coffee.  (His response:  “why?”   My response: “cuz I’m having a baby silly?”   His response: “no your not, you just have gas”)
At 3 am I ‘nudged’ him a little more forcefully as I had decided I did NOT want to be up all by myself and my good friend Rena, who had been chatting with me through the labor since midnight, had to go to bed.
I had called the midwife, who told me to call back when they were four minutes apart, and lasting over a minute.  I had called my mom, who had the longest drive, and told her not to panic or rush but that it was time to head this way.
Hubby made coffee, cleaned up the kitchen, got the tub out and the towels, hooked up the water hose to the sink, and then rented “The Road” off the playstation 3 and started watching a movie.
At 4 am we called hubbys parents so they could head up to our house.
At 4:30 I called my midwife back, in tears.  They were not a steady 4 minutes apart but I could feel I was running out of time, as so could she.  She made it here about 5 am.  I was already in the tub as I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Yea, it hurt…. alot…. more then it had with Bubbagirl.
I remembered to make low sounds.  I remembered to breathe through the pain.  I also reached deep into myself and remembered how to cry like a little girl, shake my head and tell my hubby I didn’t want to do this any more….
I can remember doing all of this and yet still laughing at myself on the inside for acting like such a baby when I knew that it wouldn’t last forever.
The midwife offered to check me, I accepted, and I was relieved to find out we were at 10 cm already!!
About 5:30 am, Bubbagirl came downstairs.  She stood in the doorway to the kitchen and stared, unsure of what was going on.  Then she asked Daddy to turn on cartoons.  He tried, then I cried, and he told Bubbagirl she had to wait.  So she stood there, staring at Mommy.
The very moment I could feel the baby’s head I started pushing…. HARD.  I grew impatient between the contractions because I wanted to push again.
The midwife told me later that as the baby’s head was appearing she started to get worried, it looked more like his bottom then the top and she was concerned he had flipped and was coming out breach….
At 5:49 am he was born, head first….  the confusion was because he was born in the caul.  What she saw was the ambiotic sac, still intact.  Then his little face with his hand pressed up against his cheek.
“Reach down and get your baby” she said.
And so I did.  Head in one hand, bottom in the other….  would you know I pulled his behind up first (had to check to see if we had indoor or outdoor plumbing).
“You wanna bring up his head honey?” she asked, giggling….
Yea, I guess I should huh…As I swiped his little face he started crying…  loudly.
Daddy turned and asked Bubbagirl is she wanted to some see the baby….

Bubbagirl meets Joshua

She practically tried to climb in the tub with us.
She was in love, and stayed close to him at all times.
Hubby called my mom, who was still on the road.
Then he called his mom and dad, who were still on the road.
No one made it here in time.  It was just myself, hubs, the midwife, and Bubbagirl.  The two oldest sisters slept through the entire ordeal.
He was 9 lbs 7 ozs, 21 inches long.
Our first and only son.  The only son of an only son as well.
My father had three daughters, my stepfather had two daughters and so far the only grandchildren born have been girls.  There are just a few happy grandpa’s out there right now not to mention a very proud Daddy!
Things are busy around here, running to doctor’s appointments (for Lil’ Man and Daddy) and getting things in order to go to my mom’s house this weekend to pick up the big sisters (they’ve been gone for a week).  When I get back I’ll look over the comments on the baby shower post and pick the winner!
Thanks to all my buddies, readers, and tweeters who helped me through and listened to all my whining in those final weeks waiting for Peanut!  HE was sooo worth the wait!

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If I seem a little cranky…

it could be because:

HOMESTEAD, FL - MAY 15:  Patsy the Manatee wai...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

1. After thinking that my water was leaking and having EVERYONE rush to STAY at my house because the baby could arrive ANY MINUTE…. I found out I was wrong… (That was WEEKS ago)
2. I’m now being jokingly referred to as the Manatee, the Whale, the Elephant (since they gestate for EVER!), and ‘big fat momma’
3. After I finally got the toddler drama settled the FLIPPIN’ Ice Cream Truck shows up NOW and turns my quiet time into a frantic squeeling rush to find $4 ! “NOW MOMMA NOW OR SHE’LL LEAVE!!!”
4. I’ve been asked 4 times in two days “are you sure you calculated the due date correctly?” Um, yep, purty sure…  but then again. I might be a total idiot who can’t take the first day of my last period, find it on the calendar and then count down 40 weeks…  ya know, without my PhD and all.
5.  I’ve been asked “ya think ya might have it by Friday? or no?”…. um…  thought I would have had it TWO Friday’s ago.. apparently I don’t know JACK!
6. I hate having to ask hubby to do things that I feel are ‘my job’ (not being sexist here, and we work great as a team, just wish he wasn’t having to carry so much of my load for so long….  not that he’s complaining)
7. I finally gave in.  I did the deed that EVERYONE set would get things going (even the midwife and my MOM told me to) and … well.. do you see a baby? me either.
8. Sleep deprivation from heartburn, gas, contractions, and general discomfort will do that to you.
9. My house isn’t getting any cleaner.
10. I don’t fit in the bathtub…. at all.
So please forgive me.  I have cried, pouted, jumped up and down.  I even went for a motorcycle ride in a dang thunderstorm.  I have begged God for mercy.  It is just not time yet.  I’m frustrated, and I’m tired, and I want to move on.  I want to get past the visitors and the pictures and the new routines and get back to business.  Until then…I’ll continue to whine on twitter and earn my Swagbucks searching for new ideas for things to make and sell once I get my old etsy shop up and running again (gotta fund my new fabric addiction).

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Breaking in a new midwife

Nothing like switching midwife’s 4 days before your due date.  I was blessed that hubby’s boss let him take an early and long lunch to be here at the house when she arrived.  Here are some tidbits from our first visit….  where hubby lets the midwife know exactly what she’s dealing with when she takes on THIS family.
Midwife to me:  How tall are you?
Hubby: SHORT
Midwife cracks up.
Midwife to me: Weight?
Hubby: Oh lemme get the scale for her! She’s scared, won’t get on, hold on, it’s right here, come on honey don’t be afraid…
Midwife waits to see if he gets hit… then laughs.
Midwife to me: So ya’ll are legally married right?
Hubby: Yep, can’t seem to get out of it.
Midwife to me: How often do you drink?
Hubby: only four times…
*slight pause while she makes the connection that this is my FOURTH pregnancy*
Midwife cracks up laughing.
Midwife to me: Any fertility issues?
Hubby: Doesn’t look like it huh?
Midwife to me: With your other pregnancies did they have to use anything like forceps or vacumm?
(I tried to answer first…BUT)
Hubby: Yep, they used the vacuum cleaner on Doodlebug and the Salad Tongs on Taderbug, but Bubbagirl just fell out.
I thought she was gonna wet her pants.
God, I sooo love that man!

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A Virtual Baby Shower

Nursery Rhymes Baby Shower Cupcakes
Image by abakedcreation via Flickr

In honor of FINALLY hitting 37 weeks, I’m having a virtual baby shower for myself.  It’s my blog and I can do things like that.
I can’t feed you cake (I made one for me, but it wouldn’t ship out too well).  But we can play games!  I’m hoping to send out little prizes of some kind to the winners, but it’ll have to be after delivery, for obvious reasons.
To play, just leave a comment with your answer/guess.
Game #1:
Guess the Due Date – Actual calculated due date June 6th (which is also my biggest little sister’s birthday). Our first two kids came late and were induced. Bubbagirl, my first home birth, was one week and 4 days early.  Just FYI, full moon is on May 27th, which happens to be my little brothers 18th birthday.  Also, our 13th wedding anniversary is June 7th…. just sayin’… God has a wild sense of humor.
Game #2:
Guess the Weight and Length – Our other kids have been between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 lbs and 20-21″
Game #3:
How big around is Momma – We’ll wait until the day arrives to grab the final tape measure… but most of ya’ll have seen pics so far… so guess how big I’ll be.
Just for fun:
We did this with our first born and I wish we had done it with the other two.  We had everyone write an acrostic poem using Samantha’s name.  Now, we don’t know if Peanut is a boy or a girl and we have really only settled on a boy name SO, I’d like to invite my shower guests to write a poem for Baby Baldwin.  They will be printed out and added to their scrapbook.
Thanks in advance to all my buddies who play along and help me make these last weeks a little more entertaining!

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