Anatomy of an Outfit

The Love Well Handmade Fox Bandana Bib

November 20, 2014

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I pretty much had a baby just so I could name him Fox and dress him in 100% organic cotton Love Well Handmade leggings. But these days just changing his diaper is like trying to change a diaper on a crocodile (he rolls with strength I did not know babies possessed) – so getting him into really cute leggings is nearly impossible. That’s when I pitched a bandana bib to my friends Jonathan and Candice – the masterminds behind Love Well Handmade. The idea is that it would be easy to snap on, catch all the excessive drool that comes with growing teeth, and would give my baby some instant style without a lot of effort. Love Well told me they would create it if I designed it – the only requirement was that I had to use the geometric Love Well Handmade signature heart in the design (challenge accepted!). And of course, the design was inspired by my little Foxy muse. This bandana bib is reversible – check out the fun flip-side here.

You can buy a Love Well Handmade Fox bandana bib for your little cutie too! My portion of the proceeds are going straight to the ASPCA to help save endangered animals worldwide, and another 5% will go toward providing clean water to kids and families in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua through the efforts of Second Mile Water.

WANT ONE? 
I’m giving away one of these bandana bibs! All you have to do is:
1. Repost either of the images from this blog post to Instagram and do the following:
2. Hashtag #lovewellstyle
3. Mention @lovewellhandmade and @andkathleen
4. Tag a friend that might like one too (who knows! maybe we’ll send them one too!)

We’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, November 28th.

P.S. This post is NOT sponsored or affiliated in any way. I just love collaborating and creating with my friends.

P.P.S. This bandana bib will be carried locally in Oklahoma City at Collected Thread, Stash in Norman, and Shop Good – they should be in stores by Thanksgiving. Please support handmade and local this holiday season!

Style Crush: Gwen Stefani

August 27, 2014

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When I was 9 months pregnant all I could think about was my postpartum wardrobe and how much I was going to rock it. Seven months and some change later I’m not really rocking it. I’m lucky to get out of my workout clothes most days. But the thing is … for the first time in my life I’m at a loss at where to begin. So I thought I’d start looking to my style icons for clues on what to wear. Starting with Gwen Stefani. I love her because she’s not only stylish but she’s a mama too – a nursing mom at that!

I know I love Gwen Stefani’s style but when I Googled “Gwen Stefani” what showed up was Stefani rocking impeccable makeup and 6-pack abs on stage wearing a belly shirt. I’m working on it, but I’m not quite there yet. So I Googled “Gwen Stefani Candid” and here’s what I came up with.

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Style Notes:
• Drop-crotch / harem denim or plaid pants
• Boyfriend jeans (got ’em) but always paired with heels or boots
• Plaid tops (fitted)
• Overalls
• Cute bras
• Leopard print skinny belt
• Minimal jewelry
• Camo skinny jeans or jacket
• Colorful accessories (like cyan sunglasses)
• A big functional (but stylish) bag
• Red lips (I’m lazy about this … so maybe at the very least polished nails)

I think I’m going to start with the drop-crotch denim and a new pair of shoes. I just invested in these halter peep-toe Sven Clogs – they’re not quite as fabulous as something Gwen would wear but I think they’re a good start to at least getting some height back in my game. If anyone has a good source for great harem pants holler at me!

The Story of a Robe

March 14, 2014

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My earliest memory is of my mom chowing down on my toes while changing my diaper. So now I smother Fox’s feet in kisses when I change his. On Sundays she would bake me biscuits from scratch and smother them in honey – I can’t wait to start a weekend breakfast tradition for my own family (once Fox is on solids). But etched forever into my memory of childhood is my mom’s blue robe. I remember cuddling in that space between sleep and awake, hypnotized by the terry cloth texture of that robe during our nap time together. That blue robe was the uniform for unconditional love. The kind of love I want to blanket my own baby in.

So I have this pink Canyon Group chenille robe with red lips. It’s super weighted, cozy, and warm but it doesn’t quite fit the badass post-apocalyptic aesthetic I’m going for (well, except that Brad Pitt, who we can all agree is pretty badass, rocks the coffee mug Canyon Group robe in Fight Club). Within the last year I’ve attempted to give it to Goodwill but it never quite made it to the ongoing “donate” pile I have stashed in the back of my closet. I’m glad because I found extra comfort in it while laboring with Fox … and then again after a particularly rough middle-of-the-night new mom meltdown last week. A meltdown in which I found myself crying in a bath with lavender oil, Epsom salts, and desperation – hoping that I could get my shit together before the next feeding. I was feeling anything but a warrior momma. So I crawled back into bed sporting my decidedly not badass pink robe with oversized kisses on it.

I picked up a fussy Fox and began to nurse him, hoping my sadness wasn’t tainting his food. The thought crossed my mind that I might be a shell of myself for the rest of my life. That’s when Fox in all his unsophisticated coordination, swiped his hand across my pink robe – the texture of it captured his attention and he grabbed on. In that moment I fell a little deeper in love. The unconditional kind.

40 Weeks | Hey Baby

January 16, 2014

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Hey Baby, 
As of right now you are 4 days past due and have seemingly decided to hang tight right where you are. As excited (read: impatient) as I am to see your little face and hold you in my arms, keeping you safe in my belly while you finish cooking is fine by me. A friend of mine told me that you were taking your time because you’re getting your final instructions from your spirit guides and finalizing your life map with the elders. That once you’ve confirmed everything you’ll be on your way. But if you’re anything like my nephews you’re probably getting distracted by thinking about Legos and Minecraft. Either way, you’re teaching me an important lesson in patience – one I need to learn. 

It’s hard to imagine what life will be like once you arrive but I’ve started day dreaming about all the fun we’re going to have together. Walks, books, museums, camping, hikes, world travel and backyard adventures. It’s going to be amazing. But I also dream about cleaning your poopy butt and holding you when you’re sad. Putting a cold washcloth on your head when you get sick and patting you on the back and saying “there, there” when life gets a little too hard. And trust, it will get hard. But even so, I can’t wait to show you how cool it is to live in this world. 

Love, 
Your Mom

P.S. I can’t wait to see the look on your dad’s face when you’re born. 

Field Notes & Other Observations: 
• I’m so impatient partially because my mom and sister both had their first babies a couple weeks early. So I just assumed I would too. I’m by no means late and am still within a safe window of being in term until 42 weeks. (I’ve even had a friend deliver a healthy baby boy at 43 weeks!)
• My midwife knew that I thought I would be early but admitted today that she had a feeling I’d go over. It was actually reassuring to hear.
• Everyone on Instagram is sharing induction techniques – I think at this point I’ve heard them all. Beyond eating spicy food and having awesome sex (things I normally do anyway) I’m not super comfortable with actively trying to get this baby out ASAP. My midwife and I have a plan of attack once I hit 42 weeks but until then I’ll hang tight. I’m curious to see what it is that I’ll be doing when I finally go into labor. I’m hoping it’s watching videos of red pandas playing in the snow.
• I’ve been going to the chiropractor for a while now and because I hit 40 weeks she gave me a more extensive adjustment where she loosened up a ligament under my tailbone. She said my tailbone was significantly in the way and did some other adjustments to get my pelvis and hips in the great alignment for birthing babies. She was also super encouraging about just letting the baby cook – that so much development happens in these last few weeks and inside my body is a good place for those things to happen.
• Sleeping is becoming more and more uncomfortable. From having to switch sides every hour (and rolling over is no easy task) to getting up to pee every two hours… I suppose it’s good practice for when baby arrives.
• I ordered the Dr. Sears baby book. I like what I’m reading in it which is mostly to go with your gut and not worry too much about rules and routines. I gave it to Jeremy to check out and he was disappointed that the “just for dads” section was all about sex and not pressuring your wife to get it on too soon. He thought that was a little ridiculous and sexist. I agree. I mean, what dude is all “Hey… I know you just pushed a baby out (or had major surgery) and are really tired and hormonal but wanna get it on?”
• I’ve become obsessed with Parks & Rec streaming on Netflix. It’s not really relevant to my pregnancy, but I bet I will probably always associate it with these final days down the road.
• Oh! The other day I had to food process some whole almonds. It was rather loud and when I started the food processor the baby jumped! It was really cute and definitely made him feel very much like a real person.
• He’s also developed sleep patterns that I can pick up on. For example, he stays pretty quiet through the night and I know he’s sleepy until about 9:00AM. His favorite time for a dance party is around 11AM and 7PM. I’m curious to see if some of these patterns hold over once he’s born.
• The baby moved from my right side, where he’s been hanging out for a couple weeks, to my left. Which is apparently a great position for him to be in for birthing.

Pooping and Birthing: 
Okay. This deserves it’s own section. Because everyone loves talking about the possibility of pooping while giving birth. Myself included. If you are unaware, when pushing a baby out, it’s very probable that you could poop too. Not only because all of those pushing muscles are next to each other but because the baby itself can act like a squeegee on your colon. So one of the “just you waits” I get is “just you wait until you poop while pushing that baby out!”. Here’s the deal. I don’t give a shit. (heh). If I’m pooping myself it probably means that that I’m also about to meet my baby. I simply refuse to be embarrassed about a poop and I really just don’t think it’s that big of a deal if it happens. That said… every time I go to the bathroom I think “This is a poop that I won’t be having during the delivery.”

And on that note. See you all at 41 weeks.

39 Weeks | A Waiting Game

January 9, 2014

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You guys. I really didn’t think I would be writing a 39 week update. I legit thought the baby would be here by now. Mostly because my mom and sister both delivered two weeks early with their firsts. So while I’m feeling a bit impatient (I can’t wait to see his little face! And butt! And feet! And knees! And! And! And!) I’m also trying to remind myself that it hasn’t even been 40 weeks yet. And if this guy needs a little more time to cook, develop his lungs, practice blinking – whatever it is he needs – that’s cool too. Pregnant Kathleen is all “Let’s get this show on the road!” but Momma Kathleen is all “You take the time you need, little baby. I’m here for you.”

So for now it’s just a waiting game. The day before yesterday I was having back cramps, period like cramps, lots of “practice contractions”. It was enough that Jeremy had me text our doula to let her know things were maybe progressing a little. Then in the middle of the night I had a legit contraction. It felt like a wave starting from the lower part of my uterus and growing up into my entire abdomen. My whole stomach became rock hard and misshapen with the contraction. And you guys, it was kind of awesome. I stayed awake waiting for the next one but it never happened. But then yesterday… I hardly felt pregnant. I felt like I was wearing a fake belly on top of my old body and found myself in denial that I will have a baby in the matter of days. And while everyone promised that things would get progressively uncomfortable I’m finding my ability to eat, breathe, sleep, and stand up are about the same as they have been for a few weeks now. In fact, the most discomfort I’m experiencing is mental. It’s a waiting game that opens up space for excitement and anxiety alike. It can be easy to partner with fear, but I’m trying to remain disciplined in visualizing exactly how I want everything to go down (orgasmic birth, please). And I lean on my dream team – my midwife, my doula, and my husband to keep me grounded, positive, and brave.

In these last couple of weeks I’ve learned to really trust my baby in this process. The last 9 months have been all about me, me, me. But this birth… it’s not really about me. It’s about my baby. So I imagine him in my belly trying to gather his courage too. He’s waiting for the moment when he’s feeling like a warrior who is ready to take on his birth day. We’re in it, and waiting it out, together – and that gives me a lot of comfort and courage.

Field Notes & Other Observations
• Vital stats: I haven’t gained any weight in the last two weeks but the baby (and my belly) is growing at a steady rate. Also my blood pressure is good.
• Speaking of weight… so far I’ve gained a total of maybe 25-30 lbs. I didn’t weigh myself for years pre-pregnancy so I’m not too sure. But I will say – I gained immediately and rapidly in that first trimester (before I was even showing). Then in this last half of my pregnancy the weight gain has slowed down significantly. I’m not sure if this is common but just thought I’d share in case anyone else has experienced this.
• Navigating pregnancy hasn’t been the most comfortable thing in the whole world but really I am beyond grateful that it has been so uncomplicated and healthy.
• I was asked yesterday at my midwife checkup if I’d like to be checked to see how dilated / effaced I am. For those of you who aren’t all up in the baby / pregnancy world dilated is how open your cervix is. As in the hole for the baby to come out of. 10cm dilated is where you want to be when you push the baby out, but you can start to dilate before going into labor. Effaced is how thin your cervix is … so not only does the cervix open but the cervix thins out to facilitate in that opening and allow the baby to come out. Anyway, I declined. I have friends who were at 0cm with no uterus thinning only to give birth later that day. And I’ve had friends who were 4cm dilated and 100% effaced only to give birth weeks later. So I figure knowing the status of my uterus right this second isn’t terribly relevant. But perhaps when I’m in labor I’ll want more regular checks to see how I’m progressing. The cool thing about going with midwives is that their pretty hands-off and only care to check upon request.
• As I get closer to the due date I am mindful of how each meal may be fuel for labor.
• You may have seen on my Instagram the birthing tub we got. So obviously lots of people are asking if I’ll be having a water birth – and the truth is I don’t know! I’ve never given birth before and I’m sure there are lots of variables involved. I’m open to having a water birth but am not attached to the idea. Just like I’m not attached to any sort of birth plan because I know anything can happen.
• We still don’t have a name for the baby! In fact, the short list is now growing the closer we get to the due date.
• I had a dream last night that I was holding the baby. He had just been born and was so little! I can’t wait.
• I’ve been asked who will be present for the birth. Pretty much just the dream team – my midwife, doula, and Jeremy. And probably my very talented photographer friend, Greer, who has generously offered to document the event.
• On a more emotional note… I’ve learned through sharing this pregnancy week-by-week that the whole ordeal is so personal. And it’s easy to take someone else’s birth plan, preferences, and stories personal. But there is no right or wrong way to move through pregnancy and birth a baby. Whether it’s at home, in a field, at a hospital, medicated, natural, emergency c-section, elected c-section … it’s all personal and none of it is right or wrong. At the same time – I’ve found myself taking other people’s opinions, questions, and stories personal too. I’ve never done this before so I feel challenged and defensive when questioned why I’m making the choices I am (or why my midwife is making the choices she is) – even when the questioning is coming from a place of genuine curiosity! Everything from flu shots, to vaccines, to pain medication, to internal checks and monitoring. I had no idea how personal it was prior to getting pregnant… So that’s my one big disclaimer for everything I’ve shared in these posts. I will most likely be re-evaluating my sharing boundaries once the baby is born.

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