Chic-Fil-A and the salt of the earth

Chic-Fil-A and the salt of the earth

What it means that Christ calls us to be salt of the earth became much more clear to me the other day. We were leaving the Chic-Fil-A Escondido drive-thru and I realized we forgot to ask for salt for my french fries.

French fries are my favorite food. If I was stranded on a desert island and I could bring one thing it would be french fries. But french fries without salt are just potatoes and oil. Driving away, I tried to eat them, but I couldn’t choke ’em down.

Salt brings out the best in food; it brings out its true flavor. That’s why the vast majority of Christians are lay people. God placed us in the world (Jn 17:15) – in the midst of soccer practices and work deadlines and presidential elections – to bring out the good. He didn’t introduce us to our social media acquaintances or family members to win arguments.

He put us in our exact circumstances to love, and love calls forth love (1 Jn 4:19), just as salt calls forth the best flavors of those delicious fries.

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Maternity clothes when you have HG

Maternity clothes when you have HG

I am 6 months pregnant and not yet sick of the three items of clothing in my closet. That’s a good sign!

Everyone is different, but my pregnancies involving hyperemesis gravidarum complicate many things, one of which being my style. I know that sounds low on the list when I’m practically homebound anyway due to HG, but for my mental health, I need beauty. And my collection of baggy t-shirts paired with no pants and the extra Tinkerbell mumu from the kids clearance section was not cutting it.

You see, HG for me means not being able to handle pressure on my abdomen or chest. I can’t wear bras, or pants, or skirts, or dresses with elastic below the bust, or underwear that cover everything. TMI for some, but for moms who can relate, we need to hear that we are not alone! In the first trimester, I can’t shower without vomiting because of the water pressure on my chest and back. It’s a good thing I’m hot blooded and only like a sheet anyway because pulling a blanket over my belly makes me physically sick. So where does that leave my inner fashionista?

Dying on the side of the road.

Then comes this season’s off-the-shoulder peasant dress to the rescue! Normally, I wouldn’t wear these things. Off-the-shoulder means gets-messed-up-everytime-I-move-my -arms. And peasant really doesn’t fit into my clean and classic vibe. But, let me tell you, after months of pantlessness and Tinkerbell, I feel like a freaking super model in the three dresses I own! Thank you, Target!

One is denim with a flutter top that gives an extra layer to cover my non-bra-ed chest. That hem and the one on the bottom are unfinished, so that’s some fun fringiness for ya.

The other two are the same style as each other but have different patterns. Tjey don’t have the ruffle up top to hide my au natural shape, but they are made to look embroidered  so the detailing is distracting. The print is the plastic-y kind that peels off after too many washes (ask me how I know), but they don’t look too bad yet. One in black with a white design and and the other in maroon with white and pink. 

The further along in the pregnancy I get, the shorter my dresses become, but as those with HG know, when you’re​ puking out of your nose in the bushes of the Costco parking lot from your wheelchair, modesty gains a temporarily lower value and a meaning more open to interpretation.

I also have a beautiful, spaghetti strap maxi from Motherhood Maternity in a navy blue with blush, burnt orange, and green exotic flowers. That fabric, though, has no give, and only lasts half way through the second trimester. But at least it coincided with winter for me so my legs were covered!

The underpants that have brought me such joy I got from Amazon for Valentine’s Day. My husband is a true romantic. I picked the non-lacey basics in grey, black, and neutral. There is a band inside, but only in the back to keep them from slipping down so no pressure on my belly. I got a medium just in case, but if I had to order again, would try my normal small.

There you have it. Literally three dresses and some underpants. Talk about a minimalist wardrobe!

What to wear while breastfeeding

What to wear while breastfeeding

Agggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!

I have been wearing the same three dresses for 6 months (that’s not true, I wore that fugly mumu from the clearance section for the first trimester) and my beauty-loving soul is starving to death.

But the end is in sight! And what do I have to look forward to? It’s not my fav, but it’s better than this!

Some women love nursing. All their baby weight goes into making literal awesome sauce for the munchkins. I love nursing too, but my figure doesn’t benefit in the same way. I hold onto those extra pounds no matter my eating/workout regimen until we cut out the momma milk altogether, and then they melt away!

That leaves me with loose fitting clothes to hide said extra baggage, whereas my non-pregnant/nursing self wears legitimately only waist-defining items.

And some people might like cleavage, but to me it’s just a nuisance. When I’m nursing, I double in size, and I have to consequently double up on my sports bras if I want to jog or dance. Anything that doesn’t have a high neckline, has a too low neckline. Models and some people in real life don’t look too strange showing cleavage, but I feel absolutely exposed. And HUGE. And veiny. And not sexy.

What does that mean for me? That advice to grab a v or cowel neck top for nursing doesn’t cut it. And a scoop neck will give you a scoop of something! Wear a scarf you say? Obviously you don’t live in southern California in the summer time.

Ok. It has to be loosely structured, with a high neckline, in a lightweight material, that won’t show leaks or stains (so solid prints – my air – are mostly out, as are many lightweight fabrics)… What can I wear?

I’ve got four boxy, casual shirts and three short sleeve blouses that I wear with maternity shorts or pants (and no photography skills, so you’ve got to use your imagination). One tee in light blue, a leaf-printed one, a white guy with thin black horizontal stripes, and a white peasant top with navy blue embroidery. A royal blue blouse with subtle, flutter sleeves and two patterned Merona buys are my up-my-game, I was once in the career world too, tops. These I pair with a nursing camisole from undercover mama that attaches​ to my bra so I only have to deal with one set of straps instead of two. I’m not a huge fan of the double layering thing simply because it’s hot, but it provides dec coverage and isn’t ugly. Let’s top that off with one nursing dress in light grey from Dote Studio with a scalloped hem hiding my chest of plenty that gets worn to every Sunday Mass, every wedding, and every date night for the next year.

I’ve got my eye on a nautical, little number from Seraphine with cap sleeves, blue and white stripes, and appears to be linen. It is a dress designed for nursing, so I have high hopes. But don’t buy it before my birthday because if they are sold out I’m​ gonna be pissed.

I hear the advice all the time that you don’t need to buy nursing clothes, you can just wear regular clothes and make it work.

I call bull. We make it work because we have to, but I’d much prefer something designed to not flash the world, that takes into account my still present baby bump, my rather prominent and rather leaky chest, and the Bunsen burner often strapped to my hormonal, heat-flashing body. Even if it’s only for a year. Even if I might not wear it again. Even if it’s a chunk of change we could have put towards student  loans. Because, I’m not in the future. I’m here and now.

And right now, I want to feed my baby and feel beautiful.