Tipsy Tuesday: What Not To Wear, Maternity Edition

I’m well into my second trimester and am heading back into my pregnancy clothes piece by piece so I though I’d share some advice on buying maternity clothes.

Buy as you grow – I made the mistake of buying lots of on-sale pregnancy clothes last time and never used some of them because they didn’t work for me at any point.

Leggings! – Thank god they’re back in style cause they have been my best friend at every point of my pregnancy.

Borrow and Share – Maternity clothes can be expensive when you start to add it all up so borrow when you can and share when you’re done.

Pregnancy Bands-They work well to get you through the growing out of your regular clothes stage.  They also smoothed out bumps made from my bulging belly pushing buttons against shirts.

Give in to Granny Panties – Invest in pregnancy tights and panties or buy up a size in regular ones.  You don’t want to spend all day in the bathroom pulling up your underwear.

Trust Fellow Pregnant Moms – Read the customer reviews and be careful with sizes. Old Navy Maternity clothes run big while Gap is pretty spot-on.

Some decent places to buy– Most of them are in the United States but almost all of them ship internationally.

Ann Taylor Loft (U.S.) – Great selection of some of the classiest maternity clothes out there but they aren’t cheap.

Gap – I’ve had lots of luck buying basics and jeans from them.

Old Navy (U.S.) – They have a pretty big selection, but some of it is way too cutesy for me.  I have lots of luck with their basics and jeans.

H&M – They have a small selection, but you can find some good tops.  I haven’t tried their bottoms and I haven’t been too impressed by the quality or styles in general, but I did like the tights and leggings I bought there.

J.C. Penny’s (U.S.) – Surprise, surprise I found some good tops here for almost nothing.

Sears (U.S.) – Aly recommended it and asked me to add it on.

Happy Shopping!



November 27, 2012 at 7:48 am 1 comment

Anticipating Baby #2

My first post back was going to be an update on Paddy but he has a NICU follow-up appointment next week so that might as well wait.  The short update is that Paddy continues to be a rock star and an awesomely funny kid.  This morning he dragged his little upright piano into the living room and then pushed it back into the dining room by actually playing the piano with his butt.  I failed to capture this morning’s performance but here’s one from a few week’s ago…

But in other news, as Kate mentioned in her “We’re Back!” post, we are both expecting again.  I am due December 28th but will have my very anticipated repeat C-Section a couple of weeks earlier.  With Paddy I had what is called a Classic Caesarean Section which means that the uterine incision is vertical rather than horizontal.  VBACs, vaginal birth after caesarean, are only recommended for women with horizontal uterine incisions.  This is a completely non-PC thing to say but my favorite part of my pregnancy/delivery with Paddy was my C-section and I am so relieved to not need to make a decision with this delivery.

This pregnancy has been the exact opposite of my pregnancy with Paddy – and that is a very good thing.  Most days, even now, I forget I’m pregnant for hours at a time even when I feel movement it’s become second nature and I don’t pay much attention.  That might sound like I’m not excited for this baby or about this pregnancy but that’s not how I meant it.  With Paddy from the very start everything was a roller coaster but that was all I knew.  This time everything is just so laid back – even with all the extra monitoring being done by my high risk obstetrician.  My blood pressure is normal and I am not showing any signs of pre-eclampsia so far.  My husband even remarked last week how quickly this pregnancy has gone and that it feels like I was pregnant much longer with Paddy than I have been with this baby.  I’m actually 7 weeks and 1 day past Paddy’s delivery point (I’m 33 weeks, 5 days pregnant).

Friends and family have asked what I need for the new baby and I honestly can’t think of much.  My husband ordered a dozen white onsies the other night and I’ll grab a box of newborn diapers.  I’m washing Paddy’s infant clothes, car seat lining and the bedding for the rock n play.  Nothing terribly exciting and I love how low-key it all is this time around.

The other question I get is “Does Paddy know about the new baby?”  Sort of.  We tell him about the baby and he likes to pat my belly (and the belly of all other females) and slobber my stomach with raspberries but I don’t think he really “gets” that his world is about to be rocked.  While I’m not looking forward to that adjustment, I am looking forward to him finally understanding that the world does not fully revolve around Paddy.  My husband and I are both first-born kids so we do feel a tiny dose of sympathy for the end of Paddy’s primacy.

And that wraps up the known world of this pregnancy and now we wander into the vast unknown – a more typical delivery and hopefully  an average hospital stay.  My husband and I are pretty much clueless about how the 88% of deliveries that don’t involve a preemie go.  Last night we even took a tour of our hospital – the one Paddy lived in for 128 days – simply because we wanted to know what to anticipate when your route through the hospital isn’t Triage to High Risk Maternity to Operating Room to NICU.


November 14, 2012 at 11:15 am 1 comment

Tipsy Tuesday: Peace Out, Pacifier

My daughter is 25 months old and I promised myself that we’d give up the pacifier by her second birthday. That didn’t happen and a month later I decided it was time to take action. She sleeps with it and will look for it during the day every now and then and asks for it when she’s upset sometimes, she uses the Spanish nickname tete from the word for pacifier chupete.

Tete had to go for several reasons, but mostly for the sake of her teeth. I sucked my thumb until I was eleven and my parents paid for it in expensive orthodontistry bills while I suffered through years of hardware implanted in my mouth and I still wear a retainer at night.  So the pacifier jig was up for Nora and I had a plan…

This past Saturday morning I informed my husband that I wanted to take Nora and her pacifiers to the store to “trade in” her pacifiers for movies.  My husband was skeptical but decided to go along with my plan.  We put Nora’s pacifiers in a transparent bag and told her where we were going and why.  She was happy to carry the pacifier bag, but shook her head when I told her she had to use them to buy the movies.  However, the metro ride there helped distract her a little bit and when we got to the store she enjoyed choosing her movies, which were  Finding Nemo and Toy Story.  As we approached the counter to pay I reminded her that she had to give the lady the pacifier bag for the movies which, to my surprise, she did with no fuss.  The attendant was kind and made a big deal about Nora being too big for pacifiers and movies were better.  While Nora and my husband walked away with her new movies, I ran back to get the pacifiers just in case my plan failed and we had a 3am emergency.

On our way home we stopped by my in-laws so everyone could make a big fuss about what a big girl she was and how great it was she wasn’t using pacifiers anymore.  So far so good, but it was now time for a nap…

We took Nora home, put her down, she asked for her tete once and we reminded her that we traded them in for the movies.  She then asked to sleep with the movies which she did for three days in a row.  I took out the DVDs and she placed one box on each side of her head.  (I never said she wasn’t a weirdo.)  The first few naps and bedtimes were rough, she had trouble falling asleep and called for us a lot, but each day has gotten better.

I would recommend this trick to anyone in our position and I’ve also read about having your child take the pacifiers to the doctor’s office to leave them for the new babies or having a Bye Bye Pacifier Party.  Not sure about the idea of cutting off the end, that sounded a little cruel, but desperate times…

Anyway, our next step is changing to a toddler bed, but for now we’ll enjoy this little success.

R.I.P. Tete

14 October 2010-10 November 2012


November 13, 2012 at 7:45 am 2 comments

Our Return Day

Any Delawareans out there who read our blog might like the significance of us re-inaugurating our blog on Return Day

Aly and I took a little break last year from the blog as our lives seemed to get a bit busier.  We both found ourselves trying to add on to our families while working, studying (me) and fundraising for March of Dimes (Aly).  Now we’re both happy to announce that we’re pregnant again!  Aly is due in December, I’ll let her tell you all about that, while I am due at the beginning of May.  Our firstborns Paddy and Nora are doing great, again Aly will fill you in on her son’s progress, but I’m loving Nora at age two.  The tantrums suck, but she’s so much fun now and I love the verbal give and take (bilingual update coming).  Besides being completely exhausted at the end of the day, we’re both having enjoyable second pregnancies and are excited about what the future has in store for us and our family.


November 8, 2012 at 1:15 am 2 comments

Friday Faves: Shoes Made in Spain

I have to admit when it comes to buying most things baby related I tend to do my shopping in the States. You get much more bang for your buck, but I think Spain takes the cake when it comes to children’s footwear.

The Spanish are a little obsessed with proper shoes for children and lots of ankle support as babies learn to walk. At first I was skeptical and I’m still not 100% convinced that the shoes were solely responsible for my daughter’s easy transition to walking, but I did see the importance of wearing sturdy shoes outside as she learned to walk.

Not only are Spanish shoes extremely well-made, they’re also super cute, especially if you love the classical look (think Mary Janes and boat shoes galore).

The only major drawback is that they’re not cheap. An average pair run about $30, but my savvy in-laws always seem to find deals and keep us well-stocked.  For those of you in Madrid, one place my in-laws find great shoes at bargain prices is at a shop between Puerta de Toledo and Calle Mayor.  It’s called El Ferrocarril and it’s so popular that you have to take a number when you get there.

If you’re stateside you can buy Spanish made shoes online from websites like the one I posted above or even carries some.


April 27, 2012 at 1:28 am 2 comments

Team Paddy Power

For the last few years I have supported my friends’ Team Mackrelita in their fundraising efforts for the March of Dimes. Little did I know that one day my immediate family would be using the services provided by the March of Dimes in the Christiana Hospital NICU.

When Kevin Paddy was born fourteen weeks early a good friend suggested I have my family get in contact with the local March of Dimes coordinator. And I upped my involvement in MOD’s March for Babies by joining Team Mackrelita as a walker. Through generous donations from our family members, friends, colleagues and matching corporate donations our team took top honors in fundraising for the State of Delaware, over $13,000!

This year, Aly, Pat and I started Team Paddy Power and we are looking to give Team Mackrelita some serious, good-natured and fun competition for the fundraising crown!

To kick-off our efforts, we decided to host “Team Paddy Power’s Pancake Breakfast” on Sunday, March 4th. Our family loves this date as it is the only day of the year to give a command March Forth!

Our total fundraising goal was $10 for each day that Paddy was in the NICU – 128 days x $10 = $1,280.

Hosting a pancake breakfast sounds simple, right? Plan menu, go shopping, make pancakes, have drinks available. Well when you get the Quinn girls involved it isn’t. We chose to offer more on the menu besides just pancakes – quite a bit more…sausage, bacon, hash browns, scrambled eggs, coffee, juice, milk, mimosa and bloody mary’s. We also decided to have a kids’ game plus a baked goods table filled with cookies and homemade Irish Soda Bread. And don’t forget the decorations! Balloons, coordinated table cloths, novelty hats, and display tables educating about the March for Babies Campaign including the various size clothes, diapers, ID bands that Paddy used!

The day before the event, we setup in Aly’s house to bake, cook and finalize plans. Her kitchen will never be the same! Pat must have known what chaos was pending as he took Paddy to NY for a visit with his mother. Smart Man!

That evening we ran up to the VFW Hall-Burke Post 5447, where we were holding the event to begin our setup and we were pleasantly surprised as we had many volunteers from the Post help us cover the tables, blow up balloons with candy inside for the game and make napkin rolls in addition to showing us how to work the kitchen appliances. (They were industrial appliances – not your normal kitchen grade – so we did need some instruction.)

The day of Team Paddy Power’s Pancake Breakfast dawned way too early but we got ourselves moving up to the Post to finish the cooking, decorating and setup. A big thanks to our dad for manning the door, the game and the baked goods table; to our Aunt Patty, Uncle Tommy and Mom for all the hard work in the kitchen; to Nancy & RJ at Kool Beans for the great balloon centerpieces and early morning delivery; to Jen and Pat for their multiple runs to the grocery store as we ran out of eggs and bacon; to everyone who helped in the cleanup afterwards and especially to all who came on the day or made donations in lieu of coming.

After many hours of planning, prep work and execution, Aly and I reconvened the night after the event to take stock of the day. While we have some adjustments to make in our food estimates (more eggs and bacon!) we raised over $1,600 which blew away our goal of $1,280!

We are in the midst of planning our next fundraising event – Team Paddy Power’s Wine Tasting at Penss Woods Winery – for Friday, April 13th. At this point, we are keeping it simple…$25 entry fee will give you 5 tasting tickets, a Penns Woods Winery tasting glass and nibbles. But again, it’s the Quinn Girls so I’m sure we’ll add something to add a bit more pizzazz! Our new goal is to raise $20 for every day Paddy was in the NICU: $20 x 128 days = $2,560.

Wine Tasting Details

In addition, the New Castle County March for Babies
is scheduled for 10:00 am on Saturday, April 29th at the University of Delaware’s Main Campus. Please consider joining our team – come out and walk with us!

Our campaign wrap up is also in the works. We hope to hold a Post-Walk Recovery event at Dead Presidents in mid-late May.

We’ll post updates on Team Paddy Power’s progress and upcoming events. Once again we’re extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received so far from our friends, family and local community for Team Paddy Power, for Paddy himself, and for Aly and Pat during a challenging first year as micro-preemie parents. The best way our family can show its gratitude is by paying it forward and we look forward to doing just that over the next few months.


April 11, 2012 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

Round Two

Lately my husband and I have been discussing plans for a new addition to our family. Although we both want to have more children, we’re not as gung-ho as we were the first time around, but we both have different reasons for our reluctance…

He’s worried about money, with the economy going the way it is, the cost of living going up, a recent reduction in pay from his government job, and me not working full-time, we’re just not real flush right now with mad money. My point to him is this: Who ever has extra money and thinks wow, let’s have another kid?  “Gee thanks Boss for my bonus. I’m gonna spend it on a new baby.” No way. It doesn’t work that way. Not many people are ever in an ideal economic position to have more children. I’m willing to do some home haircuts, buy more store brand food, and shop for second-hand clothes. We’ll make it work.

My reason for reluctance is (and I may sound like a terrible person): I don’t want a newborn.  There, I said it.  Ladies, I know there are some of you out there that LOVE the newborn baby gig. Late nights don’t bother you and you’re happy to sit and snuggle all day with a little baby, but it just ain’t for me. Sorry, but I prefer when they walk and talk. I told Aly the other day that I would like to have the option to deliver a six month old baby. I know it goes by fast and it’s a special time, but it just wasn’t my favourite part of motherhood.

All that being said, when we tell people we’re thinking about expanding our family the most common reaction we get is:  “Are you going to move?” or Where are you going to put them?

Let me explain, we live in a small, two bedroom, one bathroom flat.  It’s lovely, but it’s COZY if you get my drift.  However, we have no plans of moving in the immediate future.  We can’t afford it and we’re not ready.  I don’t see anything wrong with children sharing rooms, especially when they’re little.  My husband never had his own room and it didn’t bother him.  I, on the other hand, always had my own room, but I slept with my sisters or my mom when my Dad worked nights.  My mother, who is one of eight children, grew up sharing a BED with her sister and my father, who is one of fifteen children, shared a room with three of his brothers.  They grew up to be cooperative, hard-working, generous adults.  Point being, no one NEEDS their own bedroom as a child.  If you can afford it and you have the space, good for you, but we can’t and we don’t, so we’ll be stacking them babies up in dresser drawers.


March 30, 2012 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

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