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Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Few of a New Mama's Favorite Things

Everyone told me how life would change as I knew it. And they were right. Priorities, time management and the fact that the coolest thing in the world to me right now is a goofy, gummy smile is a huge mind-altering life change. But what I didn't expect was how my taste and preferences would actually evolve. Breastfeeding has turned my wardrobe inside out -- vintage shift dresses have shifted to washer and dryer-friendly blouses, skirts and pants (what tha - I'm wearing pants again?!). And I've actually had to get stuff taken in due to the deflation of the pre-pregnancy bod and the calorie burning this hungry little guy is causing. The diet also went through a hard-reset. I don't like pickles anymore. I can't get enough of coconut water, fruit and dark chocolate. I'm also drinking coffee (I mean, who isn't, right? Right?! Right?!! Okay, may need to slow that one down a bit). Sure, I had my fill of pregnancy cravings, but this is the stuff survivalist mentalities are made of -- I eat and drink hard, fast and would probably growl if you went to move my plate away from me. Even my Christmas wish list has taken a different tone. Sure, what I really want is peace, goodwill and a better world for my son, but I still can't help reminding Santa that even if I wasn't perfect this year, I pushed a 7-pound-plus baby down my chimney! Here are my current obsessions outside of my ridiculously addictive baby boy:

Robes: But Not of the Nursing Home Variety

I used to always wonder why my mom wanted a new robe for Christmas. It just seemed terribly boring. Who knew that I wasn't even a mama myself for a full six months before I started asking for one! My robes are either vintage, silky or ornamental. But now that winter is upon us and our mornings and nights are a little longer due baby boy's ever-changing sleep and feeding patterns - not to mention the time I spend pumping away and slightly shivering - I want an actual cozy, fluffy robe that I can throw on in a flash. But I can't - just can't - rock the whole tattered terry cloth / fuzzy slipper look. So, I asked Santa for UGG's Duffield Robe. If it's anything like anything UGG, I know it's going to be comfortable, cozy and slightly luxurious. And now I can count on UGG head to toe. 

Pajamas: Two-Piece, Please

Since I'm still breastfeeding, I need easy-access with just about anything I wear. This definitely includes what I wear at night. Gone are the days of my chic and sleek "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (portion of which was penned in Macon) vintage slips I used to wear to bed. Even the comfy t-shirt and boxer shorts couldn't cut it anymore. When baby boy arrived, I spent almost a month in vintage, zippered kaftans morning, noon and night. Next thing I know, they went from this glamorous notion to looking and feeling completely like Mrs. Roper moo-moos. So, I became obsessed with pajama sets. With a little one, there are so many mornings you are just stuck in the same clothes you wore to bed, and sometimes, especially if you are covered in spit-up or your Breast Milk No. 5, it just feels gross. At least in a put-together pajama set, I feel somewhat human and less farm animal. 

I am not a fan of loud patterns. Especially in the peace of the night. I want pajamas with a retro look and clean lines. From short sets to pant sets, I've bought them all since baby arrived. Material also matters - real silk can make some nasty moisture stains and you want something you can wash over and over again. My favorite pair are actually a fancy, affordable satin set from Target that miraculously dries quickly - the blush pink color with black trim is perfectly pink, and I couldn't believe the quality for the price. Flannel can be a little too hot for me, but I did find that it's incredibly absorbent and resilient set from Gilt with a nice, calming pattern. I'm especially pleased with the belled pant leg and shorter-style top that just grazes the hips. Finally, on those hot Georgia December nights (ha!), I absolutely adore this gingham short set I purchased from Amazon this summer. Just remember, after having a baby, this is the kind of two-piece you can wear anytime. 

Over-the-Shoulder Everything Else Holder

I love a purse. I'm not into jewelry. I do have a bit of a shoe thing, but nothing compares to the way a good handbag releases endorphins at hello. I thought that would change when baby came along. But it only changed the way in which I carry my handbag . . . and the diaper bag, the baby, the stroller and the half-the-house you pack on each outing. What I did find is it's now all about the cross-body strap. There is no better way to do it. I have a tendency to name my handbags and assign them gender. There is just no way I can let her (or him!) ride in the bottom of a stroller. So a cross-body allows me to secure my purse within visibility, throw the diaper bag in the stroller, gently place the baby in his seat and dash away to our hearts content (he usually lets me know that his is contented first). Jamie really wowed me this past birthday with a wonderful Kate Spade that I can not only wear as a cross-body but at the flick of a wrist, handle it as well, and go from the office to babyland and back without missing a beat. It also looks nice paired with my Kate Spade diaper bag that was a great consolation prize for the fact I now need to carry diapers with me. 

Your Mama Wears Badass Boots

Finally, back to the holiday wish list. I recently discovered Steve Madden's Freebird Boots line. Now, on a personal note, you would think "Freebird" would have been my first word with the way I was raised. My dad was Lynyrd Skynyrd's original manager back in the day, discovering a barefoot band of three-guitar hell raisers deep in the swamps of northern Florida. Fortunately, he was no longer working with them when the plane went down a month after I was born. But, he did hold onto publishing for some of their greatest original songs, including "Freebird" and "Sweet Home Alabama," for a couple of decades. So, yeah, every time someone held up a lighter and yelled "Freebird," they were inadvertently helping put me through college. 

Back to the boots! Madden's vintage-inspired Freebird is that perfect mix of funk and clunk that would make me feel like one tough mother the minute I slipped them on. And like many true cowgirl-cut boots, I speculate their comfortable, too. Since being pregnant, suffering a stress fracture and now doing a lot of lifting and hauling of this bouncing baby boy, I'm still just not there when it comes back to returning to the high, high heels. But boots - real boots - will make this new mama feel just as fashionable. I am loving so many of the styles in this line. But if I had to pick favorites, let's go with these thigh-grazers and these ankle biters. Huge props to the creative team behind these boots - from their well-worn design to their great names, I am holding up my lighter as a fan. What's that boot you wanna wear? FREEBIRD!   

What Every Baby Mama [and Daddy] REALLY Need

After a little sampling at our local downtown kitchen and home goods store Robinson Home, I have now joined the bandwagon that is convinced we need Nespresso in our lives. With the nifty foamer, pretty please with crema on top?? It's not that the Keurig we have doesn't cut it (in fact, I can't recommend it enough for new parents who ain't got time for beans, filters and things), but mama needs a shot every now and then. And if I'm steering clear of the hard liquor these days, then Espresso is the new buzz. Nothing sounds stronger than the Pixie Steel (that would be a great band name, btw!) -- it makes me want to hold a tiny 'presso mug with my pinky up and a menacing stare. But what I love most about Nespresso and its cute little pods and Pixies is they are committed to Fairtrade International, which benefits a global community of small-scale farmers. I'll feel good about drinking myself wide awake to that.

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