Since starting the fertility process, I've taken more medication than I could count--HCG, Ganirelix, Gonal F, Lupron, Estradiol, Vivelle, Crinone--is your head spinning yet? Mine is, but maybe that's from the meds. Kidding. Unfortunately while they do their job of helping me make a babe--which I'm grateful for--they are also royally fu*king up my hormone levels, landing me with some extra unwanted pounds...specifically seven. While I pride myself on eating a strict, clean diet (some may argue to a fault), not being in control of my body during this time in spite of that is something I've had to contend with and ultimately accept. Staying consistent with yoga has been difficult too because of the countless times my doctor has advised me to stop. And I really haven't felt up to it either. I've tried to make further adjustments to my regimen, but while on this cocktail of medications, the scale is not budging. It actually may be continuously going up. Did I mention my boobs are also a size bigger? It feels like I've been pregnant since January already without actually being pregnant. Good times. When your hormone levels are out of balance, so is your metabolism. Simply put, all the estrogen I'm getting pumped with to prep for a fertility cycle causes estrogen dominance and weight gain. Add on an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's (which is what the DNA gods have predisposed me with) and it makes things even more complicated. If you're struggling to lose weight and not on fertility drugs, this article by Dr. Amy Shah breaks it down, as does this one by Dr. William Cole and this one from Natasha Turner, N.D. naturopathic doctor). Despite all my complaining, I truly have surrendered to this process and to my current shape, which I believe is half the battle, but that didn't happen overnight. It's been a slow-building process to ultimately reach a place of acceptance, and I finally decided that instead of getting caught up in my head about not maintaining my weight, I would pour that toxic energy into other areas of my life that I'm passionate about. Our bodies are constantly changing and while I spent many months ruminating over the loss of control, I have released it. I give it back. It held me hostage from truly embracing the beauty of this magical journey. We are making a baby! Letting go has been a very positive step and a breath of fresh air, and it has allowed my focus to remain on maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle from an emotional, mental and physical perspective. I've learned to see my life through a new lens--one that involves gratitude, patience, humility and acceptance. And that I'm holding on to. I won't give that back--ever. I will carry these valuable lessons forward with me into motherhood and do my best to pass them on to the soul we bring into this world. What I've gained in numbers, I've also gained in infinite wisdom. Worth the trade off. What's also really helped is working out a few styling tricks along the way--choices which have made a huge difference and allowed me to find an ease within this new body. Here are 10 styling techniques for dealing with those unwanted pounds, whether it be pre, during or post a new babe. 1. Go Deep. Pay attention to the necklines of your clothing, which can create an illusion of a slimmer frame. A lower neckline, such as a v-neck, balances proportions and helps eliminate looking top heavy (if you’re fuller in middle or have a big bust). 2. Size Up. Do not put on the pants that dig into your stomach. Let me repeat this: DO NOT put pants on that dig into your stomach. It is masochistic to wear clothes that are too tight so while your body is in a different phase, and possibly a little bigger - size up. Don't pretend to be the same size you were and squeeze into your clothes. Purchase the size you are. Just like age is just a number, so is size. Be comfortable! You exude way more sex appeal (and confidence) when you're not squirming to adjust your muffin top. 3. Skip the Brights. While I realize that not everyone loves the color black as much as I do, wearing darker colors such as navy, dark grey, burgundy and army green will help shade the areas you’re self-conscious of. Also, darker colors are most flattering in photos and during this cultures current obsession with social media (me included), you know your friend is going to request a selfie at Saturday night's dinner. Be subtle. Skip the brights until you're back at your comfortable weight. 4. Boyfriend Bestie. My skinny jeans are on a sabbatical. I want to be comfortable so I stocked up on boyfriend jeans (in blue, white and black) that are slouchy and relaxed. I would even recommend sizing up. Add a shoe like a black pointy toe pump or bootie to elevate the sexy. Paired with a top that has a deep v-neck of course. 5. SuperSize It. Remember when I discussed bigger being better this season? Well, oversized sweaters, dresses, coats and bottoms are all the rage so if you're not at your comfortable weight, embrace the sh*t out of this trend. 6. Fashion Tuck (or half-tuck). Do you know what a fashion tuck is? Here's a photo for reference. While this may be a silly little tweak, it goes a very long way. Especially if you're wearing items that are baggier and need more shape. This clever little maneuver will create a waistline, and add the perfect amount of scrunch to conceal the mid-section. 7. Shoes. I am not much of a heel-wearer, however during this time I've decided to bust mine out. Because truth be told, they add height and length to provide an overall slimmer appearance. For all the non-believers out there, comfortable heels DO exist, you just need to find them. The ones I wear here are from Banana Republic and I think they've got some of the most walkable heels around. But every person's foot shape is different so make sure you find the designer that works for you. Here's an article from Who What Wear that provides some great pointers. And as always, I'm always here to help out if you need guidance. 8. Silhouette. The shape of a garment is half the battle and strategic draping can provide ruching in your desired "problem-areas", for me, my mid-section. Pay attention to the silhouette of a garment because as your body's shape continues to change, so should the item you're wearing. 9. Highlight your Assets. Sexy doesn't always mean tight and skimpy. There is more to sexy then butt, boobs and belly. Shoulders are sexy, as are backs, chests and most importantly personalities! Put on your relaxed boyfriend jeans with an oversized sweater, sexy shoes, a bright red lipstick and smile! 10. Acceptance. Accept that you work really hard at living a balanced and healthy life. Accept that your body is beautiful no matter what shape it is. Accept that your body will change throughout life contingent upon circumstances. Be grateful for having the ability to grow a life inside of your body. Be empowered by that. Accept that we have one body to love, honor and respect. Accept. SHOP IT: dress: Zara, old (similar) // shoes: Banana Republic, old (similar) // moto jacket: Sfera, old (similar) // clutch: Just Female Get more of Jenny's style tips at Your Soul Style.
Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.
That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.
As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.
"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."
Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.
"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."
The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.
It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.
And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.
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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.
But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.
Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.
The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.
An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."
This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.
Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.
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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.
A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.
She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.
"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.
"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.
Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).
Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.
This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!
Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉
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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.
As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.
Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.
Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.
"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."
Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.
But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."
So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.
As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."
It sure is cute though.