Stretch Goals

On Sunday afternoon, my cat brought a mouse into the house, which sounds really hilarious and Seussian, I know, but which was in fact totally disgusting. The mouse wasn't quite dead—actually, it wasn't even nearly dead; it was pretty much just, like, a normal live mouse that my cat had picked up in her mouth in the backyard and decided to transport into our living room, as though the mouse had heard I was watching this particular episode of House Hunters in there and wanted to see which property they chose in the end—and so it was squeaking and squealing and at one point it managed to escape from the cat's mouth and RUN AROUND MY LIVING ROOM, and yes, I know, I am sorry, I am well aware that writing in all caps is something of a blogger cliche, but come on, A LIVE MOUSE. 

What do you suppose I did in this situation? Well, I will tell you: I screamed a few times and then I jumped up onto an armchair and then I jumped down from the armchair quickly to grab my cell phone, and then I called Sean and said something like oh my god, I can't believe what a cliche I am, standing up on this armchair like this, but also mouse in the house, mouse in the house, when are you coming home? 

Yes, I was a real paragon of capability and bravery.

In the end, I got down from the armchair long enough to chase the cat—mouse, at this point, firmly restored in her mouth—down the stairs and back out into the garden, where I unceremoniously slammed the door shut and didn't open it again until I was sure she had disposed of the mouse in some way or another (look, I won't ask any questions, cat, just don't let me see it again), and then I let her back in again and grounded her for a week. Also, I took away her phone privileges and wouldn't buy her that Abercrombie & Fitch shirt she'd been begging me for. 

Speaking of shirts—well, sort of—I wanted to thank you for all your advice on maternity clothes, and especially for the swift kick in the pants to go get some elasticated pants, which I did after the twentieth person had extolled the virtue of the stretchy waistband, and lo, they were wonderful for about three hours (so roomy! no zippers! like sweatpants that look like jeans!) and then I regretted them deeply because I had bought them from the Gap and they started to bag and sag and generally look really awful and shapeless, and by the time I got home, I am convinced they were a full two sizes bigger than they had been when I'd bought them, which is not a good look for anyone, but especially not a woman who is five months pregnant and is already feeling sort of frumpy. And so I called the Gap and asked about the return policy, and they were sweet clothing angels from heaven and gave me a full refund on them and were genuinely just really charming and lovely, which was great and everything, but the upshot of all this is that now I still have no maternity pants.

But oh, it was a brief and wonderful taste! I have since ordered the dark wash skinny jeans from Old Navy, upon the advice of several people, and have also made a list with all your suggestions about Japanese Weekend and H&M and A Pea in the Pod, and now that I know exactly what I've been missing, I am eager to get back into that elasticated heaven tout de suite.

In the meantime, however, I have added another clause to my No Leggings In Public rule, which was already modified a year ago to include "....unless you're taking an international flight" and has now been corrupted even further to feature "....or unless you're pregnant, in which case, girl, CARTE BLANCHE." Luckily, this Wednesday I will have cause to invoke both clauses, as I am off to London for a work trip—where it is also mercifully cold enough to wear glorious, stretchy tights—and so if you see me at the airport or on the plane, please do not think you need to alert the Fashion Police, because I am well aware of my transgressions. The pile of trashy magazines I'll be reading, however? Okay, yes, you can feel free to call me out on that.

Mar 18, 2013

Finding a good pair of maternity pants is hard! I pretty much lived in two maternity skirts (both from kids clothing shop Pumpkin Patch) and three pairs of maternity pantyhose (which were thick enough to be tights) from Target through winter.

Savvy in San Francisco
Mar 19, 2013

Did you buy the maternity pants from GAP in your pre-pregnancy size? I never had an issue with their jeans stretching out. What I liked was that they fit the same everywhere else and just stretched in the stomach. Which waistband type did you try?

Mar 19, 2013

I've survived the British winter (still going strong) with these FLEECE lined tights! They're incredible- 100 per cent opaque and they look just like leggings on the outside nt they have a secret fleecy layer inside. The only problem is you constantly want to get people to feel the inside of your tights because they are just so yummy.

Mar 19, 2013

There is also some pretty good stuff on Asos- there's a draped grey jersey v neck shirt that I'm living in. I've completely relaxed my no leggings in public rule, so long as the dress/smock/whathaveyou completely covers my rear when bending over. Though we have an endless winter currently in London - and zipping up my boots is getting harder... there's a lot of 'oofs' being said around here. Bring on spring.

Mar 19, 2013

Maternity ponte pants from the Loft. The comfort of leggings with the appearance of pants (and a nice full belly band to boot).


I realize this isn't a post about the merits of dogs over cats and I also realize that you love your cat, but one time I picked a towel off of the floor and a spider fell out. A LARGE spider. I live (not by choice) in 'The South' and the spiders here are abominable. My husband was out of town and the spider started running around and I screamed and one of my two mutts - just a puppy at the time - looked bemused for a second and then just kind of stepped on it. Very deliberately. And then she looked up at me for approval and I knew at that moment that I was, unequivocally, a "dog person."

I have nothing to add to the maternity pants discussion except that maybe instead of London you should just fly to south Florida or - oooh! Andalusia Spain for the duration of your pregnancy where you can where nothing but sundresses and NO PANTS. I'm pretty sure I'm going to write that into my pregnancy clause should I ever decide to let my husband try to knock me up.

Mar 19, 2013

Once I came home to 8 dead mice hidden all over my living room. I had been away for a week and left the cat in the care of a friend. Apparently what lured all the mice to the house was 100lbs of chicken feed being kept on the floor below me. And no, they don't have any chickens that I'm aware of. At least none in the backyard. . . good lord I need to stop renting.

Mar 19, 2013

I actually got both pairs of my maternity pants (only have 2 pairs) from Topshop and so far they've lasted well through 2 pregnancies. They just have elasticated sides rather than the frumpfest which is that weird elastic band. They're miles better than any other pant out there. Plus you can wear them post-pregnancy during the pizza-dough tummy stage and not feel like a moron

Mar 19, 2013

Don't know if anyone has suggested this line yet, but when I was pregnant two years ago, I lived in my Heidi Klum maternity jeans. I had no idea she had a maternity line until a friend recommended it to me when I was three or four months along. The jeans were about $40 and I found them for 25% off, bought two pairs and basically wore nothing else until summer when I bought three maternity dresses from Old Navy.

Also, my cat once brought a mouse into the apartment. My husband — then boyfriend — was overseas in China at the time and I had a full-blown panic attack at the thought of trapping and disposing of the cat on my own. I'll spare you the gritty details and just say it all ended fine. And then I went to China, far away from mice in my apartment.

Mar 19, 2013

This entire post made me laugh out loud. I am talking about the embarrassing snort through your nose kind of laughs. "...then I let her back in again and grounded her for a week. Also, I took away her phone privileges and wouldn't buy her that Abercrombie & Fitch shirt she'd been begging me for. " Seriously? Fantastic.

Mar 19, 2013

Sorry, this actually makes me a little sad! Not meaning to be a downer, but couldn't you have caught the mouse (or at least gone back out with the cat and made it drop it?). I know I might sound like a bit of a peace loving vegetarian hippy, but that little thing would have been petrified and really suffered.

Anna Louisa
Mar 19, 2013

Ha! I have a friend whose (very large) cat brought a still living POSSUM into the house one time. Their reaction probably made you look incredibly composed.

Mar 19, 2013

When I was right out of college I lived with a wonderful, composed, able roommate who took care of things like rodents and insects. And then she went and got married and I had to move out. A year or so later she was taking care of my cat while I was out of town, and she texted me "What's under the cup in the bathtub?" It was, of course, a spider I had freaked out over, trapped, and then forgotten about, which she got rid of for me (once she was able to stop laughing, of course).

Mar 19, 2013

At 35 weeks, I still wear my Bella band with my Gap maternity jeans (full panel -- there is no other way), and that prevents some of the inevitable slump and frump. The band acts a bit like a belt, and it also creates a smoother silhouette, I think, as you're rounding out.

Since you mentioned tights, I do hope you're aware of maternity tights. Non-maternity tights will make you feel just like sausage in casing, or rather, really uncomfortable. The best brand I've found is made by Assets, an off-shoot of the Spanx brand, and they are carried by Target (definitely online, maybe in some stores) and Motherhood Maternity. Unfortunately, they only come in black, but they are really good quality, don't sag, wash well, and have this little panel in the front which will make your life so much more comfortable, trust me! Not sure about size, but I'm nearly six feet tall and size 4 is plenty big/long for me. I'd guess you're a size 2.

Good luck! By the time you're ready to have another kid, you'll be a pro at all this. :)

Mar 19, 2013

I am currently 4 months pregnant so not quite in need of larger pants, but still. So my suggestion and what I am doing is the belly band (I think it's called) A sort of very large belt that goes over your belly and conveniently hides the fact that your umhm pants are umhm open :) tadaaa. My idea came from here and my MIL already made 3 for me.

Nothing But Bonfires
Mar 19, 2013

Savvy in San Francisco: Nope, definitely didn't buy them too big -- thanks to Gap's weird vanity sizing, I actually bought them in the lower of my pre-pregnancy sizes (I have a range!) and they fit just perfectly then. The issue was more that the denim just totally stretched and bagged out all over the place -- in the legs, thighs, and even the CALVES, which was weird! Have since read that Gap denim does this a lot, which is a shame. I had a pair with the demi waistband (all they had in store) but I may still give the full waistband a try online.

Bellie: I'm sorry this made you sad. If it's any consolation, I'm pretty sure my cat dropped the mouse as soon as she got outside. I did follow her downstairs and the last thing I saw, through the glass, was the cat's empty mouth. No carcass ever discovered, so pretty sure the mouse got away.

Ioana: Am a BIG fan of the belly band! Have been wearing it with my regular jeans (the Uniqlo skinnies are particularly stretchy, which is helpful) and plan to continue until I can't anymore!

Mar 19, 2013

I will shamelessly admit that the first time one of our cats brought a mouse (alive, unharmed) up from the basement (yuck!) at 6:30 in the morning, I yelled "Dan-mouse-Dan-mouse" over and over while hopping from one foot to the other until my husband rolled out of bed, captured the mouse (which had been dropped and was being chased around the kitchen by the cats...both of them at this point) in a plastic container. He poked a couple air holes in the top so that he could release it to nature after he got up for real (yes, he went back to bed).

I hope for your sake that your cat doesn't pull the same stunt on the first night you're home with Hamish, while you're nursing him in his room...not that anything like that happened in our home...

Mar 19, 2013

I have 3 kids, so have been buying and giving away lots of maternity clothes over the last 5 years. I would highly recommend getting "full panel" pants, if you go with pants - it might feel weird now, as the panel comes up right below your chest, but in the third trimester that is all I could wear. Alternatively, I would suggest buying a few dresses, much more confortable than pants and more figure flattering.

Mar 19, 2013

ok, on the leggings thing. express (where i hardly ever shop) makes these jean leggings but they are more heavy legging material vs jean material and they come with pockets and a zipper so you don't feel bad wearing them because they are more like jeans than leggings. good grief, i just read that and don't know entirely if that makes sense. but what i'm trying to say is that they are like one step above leggings and one step below jeans. so i dunno if they will fit for maternity needs but you might want to seek them out. they're like inexpensive ponte pants.

Mar 19, 2013

Loft also has great dark, straight-leg maternity jeans. These were the only pair I bought and I wore them all.the.time.

Mar 19, 2013

Hey, if you're coming over to the UK check out Topshop's maternity jeans. In fact, check out their entire maternity section. I got a wonderful pair of black skinny jeans from there - I think the style is called 'Leigh'. They might be slightly more expensive (£38) but they were wonderful to wear and made me feel more human and less watermelon.

PS. They are predicting snow for the London/SE area... Just a heads up.

Megan @ Mama Bub
Mar 19, 2013

RUN to Japanese Weekend. They have the best maternity pants in all the land.

Mar 19, 2013

Having never been pregnant I can make no valuable contribution to the pants discussion but I must tell you the mouse was a gift from your kitty and there's more where that came from. Also: birds, moles, voles and a possible baby duck from the neighbor's 4-H project but we don't discuss that because the neighbor still thinks the other neighbor's dog did it.

Mar 20, 2013

Gosh Holly you are so sweet trying to console an over-sensitive stranger on the Internet. Re-reading my post, I really need to get a grip and chill out!

Debbie W.
Mar 20, 2013

My cat (he has never been outside) came out from behind my couch with a live mouse in his mouth - FROM BEHIND THE COUCH! I damn near died. I hopped on a stool and screamed like a little girl. Then I went and got a pot from my kitchen - I guess to look more cartoonish - and trapped the mouse under the pot when my cat let it go. I had no idea what I was doing. I was able to scoop up the mouse in the pot with a paper plate (I'm still screaming like a girl) and let him go in the woods, the pot I threw in the trash. ugh. Good kitty.

Mar 21, 2013

I highly recommend James Jeans maternity jeans ( I bought a pair of the Twiggy style off Gilt, and they look great, and not at all like maternity jeans. I've gotten compliments on them from people who had no idea they were maternity jeans, and they're soooo comfortable, I think all jeans should be stretchy in the stomach!

Mar 21, 2013

I hear you sister! I tried I think every brand of reasonably priced maternity jeans until I finally got AG Maternity Jeans, full panel, tons of stretch but don't stretch out, and stayed up! I spent full price on those bad boys but I was desperate. I finally figured out that I had to go try stuff on in person so I hit Macy's maternity section and lo it was good. Also, now that I'm in the home stretch, I find the low band stuff does not work, I feel like I'm being severed when I sit down, so aim for full panel if you can as it will carry you the whole way through. Good luck and congrats!

Mar 22, 2013

If you're going to be in London, have a look at Blooming Marvellous. They do - or did do - really nice, simple trousers, wide leg, not stretchy as such, but with adjustable waist... I quibbled over the price tag (which really wasn't all that excessive) and then bought them and wore them every second working day and am sitting in them now on my 3rd pregnancy! They have been worn by 2 other pregnant friends, worn HARD, still deep black, look really nice, plain, simple, ideal.

Also, they do really nice t-shirts in quite nice colours like duck egg and muted tones, nicely and generously cut, also quite plain, can be very casual, can be a bit more business-like.

Mar 22, 2013

Never been pregnant so no help there. But trying, so the advice I have been given is:
Leggings are good, just cover your special bits. Leggings and a dress is the word...

Mar 22, 2013

Oh, I am 100% with you on the leggings. When not pregnant, I'm like "Leggings are not pants!" However, when pregnant (which I am now with my second), I'm like "Leggings are totally pants." I would also highly recommend maternity leggings. I know regular leggings are stretchy, but that darn waistband...Maternity leggings are so wonderfully comfortable. And just so you understand how passionately I feel about this, you should know that I have never commented on a blog post ever about anything in my whole life, and here I am breaking my silence for maternity leggings. So. There you have it.

Mar 23, 2013

Pretty much the opposite of a helpful comment about jeans, BUT - I saw the cutest maternity outfit on a gal at work - a MATERNITY PENCIL SKIRT. She looked divine and ever-so put together. She also looked terribly comfortable. I think she's a bit further along than, maybe something for later?

P.S. You have to be one of the most-charmingly, beautiful pregnant ladies ever. You just look so glamorous. I'll bet you 10 candy bars* that you'll look that way all the way through.

*Please note, in pregnancy math, 10 candy bars = one dainty bite.

Mar 24, 2013

Soon it will be warm and you can wear dresses! So comfortable!
My twins were born in March (years ago now) and all I wore for months were leggings and an enormous sweater from Ross in XXL or something ridiculous. I was a fashion monstrosity but I had this annoying rash and that was the only outfit I could handle. You'll get no judgement from me!

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