Tuesday, May 27, 2014



According to a report from the International Labour Organization, only three countries do not mandate paid maternity leave: Oman, Papua New Guinea, and ... the United States! 

This is a constant topic of discussion, as I work with a fair number of European and Australian colleagues who never fail to point out, with a look of pity as their eyes sweep over my expanding midriff section, that US maternity leave sucks.  "Oh, no, " one German colleague recently said, lips puckered in dismay, "I guess you'll be back working in the fall.  In Germany, my colleague x has been on maternity leave for almost a year."

I'm baffled by how women in America balance it all.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A weekend in Baltimore

A quick train ride to Baltimore to celebrate Stu's birthday: oyster festival, roller derby hijinks, and just generally, slowing down.

Documenting a Walk: Graveyard Grub at Historic Congressional Cemetery

Life has been busy this month.  By the end of the month, we'll have spent three out of the four weekends in May out of the city.  We welcomed a weekend in the District - and it's Ethan's birthday! - so we did what we do best, which is to explore (and eat).

I feel like, at one point in my life (in my childhood or teens, perhaps), my cultural upbringing would have made me turn up my nose at an event like Graveyard Grub, a gathering of food trucks at a historical cemetery in the Eastside of the city.  But thank goodness I shed those kind of feelings and associations with cemeteries and sacred places as vacuously solemn long ago.  

Over the years, my favorite visits to hallowed/sacred buildings are often those that involve life mixed in - people sleeping in the corners of a red-stoned Burmese temple, attempting to escape the dry, unbearable heat outside; children playing outside of, and Hispanic vendors peddling queso fresco and sugary drinks on, the steps of the church in Mount Pleasant, DC; the birds chirping loudly and flying in and out of windows in a Catholic church in Saigon, Vietnam. 

And I was reminded of this cycle of life at this old, stately cemetery, where children ran around, dogs and their owners sunbathed on the green grass, couples explored the rolling grounds, looking for famous gravestones, and late 90s music and Pabst Blue Ribbon were served along with fare from DC Empanada and Captain Cookie and the Milkman.

One of the visits I had - to Wisconsin a few weeks ago, to attend the funeral of Ethan's grandmother - came to mind as I was sitting next to a giant stone obelisk.  Having lost yet another wonderful female in our family and anticipating the birth of my daughter in late July, my thoughts were wrapped up in this idea of cycles, of birth and death, and the lives we live in between.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Muumuu fever

It's partly due to my growing belly (I can hardly fit into anything else I own these days), but I can easily find a reason to wear a loose, flowy dress.  Ethan's been murmuring that I look very "Earth Mother" lately, not quite a compliment in his book. But I don't care.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

March/April Acquisitions: failure, utter failure.

Here I go trying to keep myself accountable again.  March and April were plagued by some very impactical, emotionally-driven impulse buys, some of which I regret.  I'm not even going to list everything I purchased, though I'll note a few.

But first, a word on my crazy emotions these days: I blame the pregnancy. It's exacerbated a vicious buying cycle. I see something I like. I order it online. I try it on.  Ugh--not great on me.  I'm left unsatisfied.  I see something I like. I buy it. I try it on... and this repeats and snowballs.

I didn't realize how difficult it could be to dress in the morning, particularly on those days when I have a meeting and I need to look semi-put together.  For the past 6+ months, I was able to get by with my trusty, old DVF wrap dresses and a blazer, but even those pieces are now too short and ill-fitted. 

Some of my purchases -
  • I was given birthday money by my lovely mother-in-law to buy maternity clothes, so I bought "maternity boots," the IM Dickers to be exact. (Ethan calls foul.) I've been reluctant to purchase these boots as they had such a cult following and are super expensive. But the heel is low, the shape is sleek, and I can see myself walking around the city in these shoes. I also bought them discounted. I do love my Mars boots, but I want less of a heel these days.
  • Sézane jacket.  I like being able to touch fabrics and try on cuts before purchasing, but I took a gamble with Sézane by Morgane Sézalory, a French line I'm obsessed with.  I purchased a jacket (pictured above), fully ready to return it if it was of shoddy quality.  Alas, it was gorgeous - of high quality and a nice, sleek cut. Nevermind that pregnancy has caused me to gain weight in strange places (hello, meaty shoulders); I do think it's a piece I'll cherish.
  • Ace & Jig tea dress and the domino check reversible robe.  The practical buy was the reversible robe, which I wear several times a week, including right now actually.  I want to wear the tea dress (pictured above; I am a sucker for open backs), but again it's one of those pieces that, while I can squeeze into it, is not the best fit for my current state. 
  • Hatch maternity airplane dress - This was a practical buy.  It's massive on my frame (or once was), but it's a piece I can throw on as my belly grows. 
  • Emerson Fry caftan -  I know I must stay away from muumuus, but this piece makes the California girl in me happy.  Plus, I have a trip to California later this month and some days in Malibu, so there.
What I should have bought:
  • Storq pieces.  Despite the pieces being reasonably priced, I'm nonetheless relucant to spend $65 on a tube skirt.  Also, I wonder about the quality.  But then I see images like this and I realize I could easily use this piece.  Same reluctance about the Storq dress.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...