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Outfits Not Just Clothes ...
Bump Type
By bernadette Ulsamer

Just as each person has her own body type—most typically defined by “fruit” shapes, i.e. apple, pear, carrot, etc.—pregnant ladies have a range of “bump” types.  Although not as prevalently categorized as non-pregnancy silhouettes the maternity form has four basic modes depending on the way you’re carrying your little of bundle of joy, which makes certain maternity silhouettes more flattering than others.  Basically, just like before you were expecting there are certain cuts/shapes of clothes in maternity styles that are best suited to the different “bump” types.
  For myself, I’ve noticed that as my pregnancy progresses and my body changes, so does what looks flattering.  And, each trimester has its own set of fashion challenges.  But, overall there are four kinds of bump types and some general guidelines on how to dress to flatter each.
  Big All Over—Many women find that not only do they gain weight in the bellies, they also experience swelling in the limbs and face. And while this extra increase can be uncomfortable it doesn’t have to be unstylish. First off, look for pieces made out of soft fabrics, it can already be a chore to get dressed each morning, why add to it with scratchy, tight material.  In terms of silhouettes go for longer lines that lengthen your figure, but also show off that beautiful bountiful bump!  Knee-length knit dresses and long cardigans are not only great for this time of year, but also help you achieve that long and lean effect. For more a casual look bust out a black pair of maternity leggings and top them with a breezy tunic. Use accessories to add your own personal flair.
  Carrying Low--If your baby is sitting low, as in your belly is just above your hips you’ll want to be on the lookout for “below-the-bump” cuts. This can be tricky depending on whether or not you’re petite and/or taller than the average inseams and torso lengths. So, be sure to try on pants and jeans to get the best waistline fit.  You may even be able to get away with non-maternity bottoms like joggers and dressier drawstring pants. Either way, opt for a tapered, as opposed to a loose or wide leg for you bottom half to create a sense of proportion to your bump.  And even though it may seem kind of silly, look into jumpsuits, which can be surprisingly versatile and slimming. Again, a tapered leg will elongate your silhouette, while a looser mid-section gives your belly room to breathe and grow.
  Carrying High—If your belly is popping up and out you’ll want to want to find pieces that will help separate the bust from the bump. Think high belts, ties, and colorblocked separates. High-waisted knit skirts are comfy and stylish option. You can really show off the bump by tucking in a tee, or play off the more fitted silhouette of the skirt and pair it with a breezy sweater or belted blouse. Maxidresses also work well for this bump type. But, be sure to utilize a belt or sash to create the line between bust and stomach for the most flattering look.
  Small All Over—For the already petite ladies with an “all up front” bump you may not even need maternity-wear till the very end of your third trimester (lucky duck) but regardless you should still try to keep things proportional to your bump. So, keep rocking those skinny jeans and fitted knit tops, just make sure your bump is fully covered. Visible pregnancy midsections are not cute. As for dresses, lean toward straight shifts. Empire-waisted, while great for the Carry Highs above, will come off as oversized on you, while fit-n’-flares aren’t really good for any pregnant silhouette.  
  Of course, you may be a combination of these four types, big all over and carrying low, or carrying high and on the petite side. OR you may find you’re high one day, and low the next! For myself, I’ve definitely experienced bump “fluctuations”, regardless the key for complimentary look is to keep proportion in mind. You want to emphasize leaner limbs, a separation of belly and bust, and showoff your baby bump at its best!
  And lastly, think about the back view, which everyone should do whether or not you’re expecting.  It’s always a good idea to double check to make sure you don’t have underwear lines. No one wants to see the outline of undergarments, as they can render a chic look cheap really quickly if visible.

Planet Mom
You Might Be a Band Parent…
by Melinda Wentzel

 Fall is upon us. Time for corn mazes and jack o’ lanterns, flannel shirts and apple cider, football and marching bands. But let us not forget, ‘tis the season for band parents, too. In the spirit of identifying with the tireless role that they play in support of their music-loving, instrument-lugging progenies, I’ve made a handful of keen observations so that others might avoid entering the future ranks without first knowing what’s in store.
  You might be a band parent if…
• You shop for vehicles based primarily on their capacity for cramming large and unwieldy musical instruments within a given square footage—as well as additional band members of varying size who may need a ride home on occasion. Having the extra cargo space for a six-foot color guard flag also comes in handy when your daughter announces she’d rather flip a flag than march around on a football field while playing a clarinet. Hello…that’s marching band, dear.
• You come to expect desperate phone calls and/or texts following drop offs, informing you that an item of vital importance was somehow forgotten (i.e. money, dot sheets, guard gloves, Under Armour, sweatshirt, socks, nude-colored strapless bra, etc.). Naturally, you’re expected to come to the rescue. Every. Single. Time.
• Your car knows the way to the band room, to every football stadium within 300-square miles and to the beloved concession stand—where you will spend an estimated quarter century of your life. Or maybe it just feels that way, since you emerge from each of your eternal shifts there totally spent, smelling much like a French fry and reflexively responding to dietary requests with, “Would you like cheese on that?”
• Forget singing along like a banshee to Sam Smith tunes on the radio. Instead, you find yourself drumming out the beat of Seven Nation Army on your steering wheel and chanting its hypnotic mantra because you’ve heard the band play it roughly SEVEN MILLION TIMES. Why do you engage in such foolishness while cruising around town? Because it now inhabits your subconscious mind. And you love it. Almost as much as you love the marching band as an entity and the kids who embody its spirit.
• On the eve of band competitions, you lose precious sleep and become all but consumed with performance anxiety—despite the fact that the performance in question isn’t even yours. Which makes no sense at all.
• Never mind your career, hobby or favorite sitcom. You now spend the bulk of your days and nights either engaging in or thinking about fundraising for the marching band. If you could train your dog to help you achieve your financial goals for the season you’d do it in a sixteenth note (translation: almost instantaneously).
• There have been great multitudes of discussions in your household that begin with the words, “One time, at band camp…” and not once have you freaked out. Well, maybe one time; but that’s because you couldn’t stop thinking about that line from American Pie and you were paralyzed with fear over the issue of having to discuss the topic of sex at the dinner table.
• It’s barely October and already you’ve spent enough money on the concession stand to fund a mediocre political campaign. But if you’re the one running for office (based on your track record of providing hot, nutritious meals for your family during marching band season), don’t bother. Everyone’s grabbing dinner featuring soft pretzels and chili dogs an average of two nights a week. At least it’s hot. Probably.
• You hate to admit it, but you don’t really care much about watching football anymore. The team is undoubtedly great, but now it’s all about THE BAND. And HALFTIME. Or the PREGAME SHOW that happens prior to kickoff. Heaven forbid you’re still in the parking lot loading up like a pack mule or stuck in line for cheese fries when your school performs. Your kid will NEVER forgive you. So if that happens, be sure to lie well and don’t miss it next time.
• You witness something special every single day—namely the warmth and acceptance with which the band welcomes one and all into the fold. You recognize the band director and his associates as gifts from above and you look on with wonder as your child blossoms in an atmosphere of positivity and inspiration, ever so grateful that you heard the words, “Mom, I joined the marching band!”
  Planet Mom: It’s where I live, loving my experience as a second-year band parent at Loyalsock HS, despite all my whining. Visit me there at www.melindawentzel.com and www.Facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

The Bookworm Sez
By Terri Schlichenmeyer

“The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives” by Theresa Brown, RN
c.2015, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
$24.95 / $33.95 Canada
272 pages

Nobody likes being poked.
  Nobody woke up this morning and said, “Cut into me and make me hurt for a month.” No one asks for misery, nausea, aching pain, bedpans, stitches, needles, or risk. But there it is: it happens. And if it does, after reading “The Shift” by Theresa Brown, RN, you’ll know exactly who you want by your side.
  It’s often dark when Theresa Brown leaves her Pittsburgh-area home to bike to work, using her commute to clear her head in advance, to think about her family, and to prepare herself for the twelve hours ahead. She’s an oncology nurse who will most certainly face a full load of four sick patients at the hospital for which she works, and that preparation is essential.
  Her workday starts at 7 a.m. when she learns that, on this particular morning, she’s been assigned an empty bed and is first in line to receive any new admits. With that in mind, she collects information about her days’ patients, taking notes, understanding that no detail is unimportant.
  One patient had recently arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night, with abdominal pain and blood issues. Another was going home soon, six weeks post-chemo, with a stronger immune system. A third, an elderly man who seemed to be near death, was prescribed medication that might prove too strong for him; that it could kill him was a foremost concern. Brown’s final patient, a Johnny-come-lately last-minute admission, came with a reputation for being demanding and unnecessarily controlling – reactions, Brown sensed, to the woman’s fear.
  For Brown, and for many nurses, mealtime, if they get one, lasts mere minutes. Bathroom breaks are sometimes nonexistent. Twenty percent of all nurses don’t make it past their first year; it’s a hard job, complete with a cacophony of phones and beeps; lights, charts, urgency, personality clashes, body fluids, and death.
  “This is nurse’s work,” says Brown. It’s what happens until “Another nurse, another good-hearted overworked soul in white” takes over for the next shift.
  No doubt, you’ve recently heard the howl of national support for nurses from every corner. No doubt, especially after you’ve read “The Shift,” you’ll know it’s justified.
  Just reading about the pressure-filled day that author Theresa Brown, RN describes made me awe-struck: the thousand things to remember (many of them, literally, life-or-death matters), the emotions (hers and her patients’) and maintaining a delicate harmony in doctor-nurse relationships while doing her job in the midst of hospital cut-backs, fiscal scrutiny, changing rules, and other frustrations.
  I’m addled just typing that. Thankfully, Brown balances any negatives with moments of levity and a firm sense of control, which is obviously as soothing to patients as it is to readers.
  I absolutely couldn’t get enough of this book. I raced through it, knowing that it would be satisfying but that the ending might not be rosy. If you’ve ever been a patient, I think you’ll like it too, so look for it. Missing “The Shift” would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Paper Strip Pumpkin Craft

Turn construction paper and a toilet paper roll into a fantastic homemade decoration for fall with our paper strip pumpkin craft. This craft uses materials you most likely already have on hand, and goes together quickly once you get the hang of it. We made a few of them to put on our mantle! This is a great fall craft for an older child - a younger child may get frustrated with this one!
What you'll need:
• Orange and green construction paper
• Toilet paper roll
• Scotch tape
• Scissors

How to make your Paper Strip Pumpkin Craft:
• Cut the toilet paper roll in half. Cut a strip of orange construction paper that will wrap around the toilet paper roll completely and tape the paper into place.
• Cut the orange construction paper vertically into strips that are approximately 1 inch wide. You will need 8 to 10 strips. Cut approximately 1 inch off of the length of each strip.
• Work with one end of the toilet paper roll at a time. Stick a piece of scotch tape onto the end of one of the paper strips and tape it inside an end of the TP roll. Repeat with three more pieces of paper, so you have strips at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock.
• Once you have the initial 4 strips down, add another 4 strips of paper so that they overlap the initial 4 diagonally (at 2, 5, 8, and 10 o'clock). See the picture at right.
• Now you need to tape the other end of each strip into the other end of the TP roll. Do this just as you did before, only starting with the second set of strips first.
• Once you have all of the orange strips of paper taped into place, cut a leaf out of green paper and tape it into the hole to complete your pumpkin.

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