Words of a Messy Jessie

Let’s talk style!

Some of you have asked for tips and tricks on how to style the Joy! This long lined vest comes in lace, knit, and polyester material.

Tips: With generous arm cutout and flirty side slits, the Joy is a perfect layering piece. You can get away with your true size and a size up! Wear over a top to dress up the whole outfit. Wear over a dress to for a classy feminine look. Wear under a Sarah cardigan for a peek of color or lace!

Tricks: Knot the front slits for a low-hi look, cross the slits in front and belt over, or knot the slits in the front at the rib cage. You can also wear a laced Joy backward over a Maxi skirt with a belt over for an elegant look. The ideas are endless!

Leave a comment »

What is LuLaRoe?

First and foremost- there is no sales presentation! *Phew* A LuLaRoe pop up is a relaxed shopping experience in my home or a host’s home. That’s right- I can bring the clothing to you!!

LuLaRoe makes amazing affordable clothing for women, men, and children. The clothing is both fashionable AND insanely comfortable. Over 500 new designs are created EACH DAY. You can wear these pieces to the office, girls’ night out, or just hanging at home. Everyone deserves fashionable clothing that can be worn all day, every day – no matter your day’s agenda. You can be sure your pieces will be comfortable, stylish, and unique! Sizes go from children’s 2T all the way up to adult 3XL!

I have an Open House each month, where everyone is welcome to come and explore the clothing. I also offer weekly online shopping over Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/lulajessllc/)

2017-02-12_23-50-36

Leave a comment »

My new venture with LuLaRoe!

lulabird-meI haven’t written in a while. Ok, I haven’t written in for-e-ver. Now a family of six, with four little ones age 5, 3, 1.5, and 2 months, our life is filled to the brim! Yet, I decided to begin a new venture- I became a fashion retailer for LuLaRoe in Nov. 2015. It has been a whirlwind of opportunity and growth and blessing ever since! I can hardly wait to share more often in this ol’ blog.

Leave a comment »

StitchFix!

I’m not a big fan of shopping. Never have been. I’m lucky if I shop twice a year (ya know- in October for fall and winter and in May for spring and summer?)  Now with two little ones, it’s difficult to get to the mall, let alone sift through racks of clothing or try anything on. So when I heard of Stich Fix- I was ecstatic!

I filled out an online fashion profile, detailing what I like and dislike when it comes to clothes. The website provides pictures, so someone with minimal fashion sense (ahem, me!) can still describe one’s preferred style. For example, I like classic and chic. I do not like glamorous or retro. Who knew? Then I chose a preferred price range and signed up for a one time delivery. (You can get a delivery every month, if you so desire). A stylist then studies my profile and complies a shipment based on my likes/dislikes. Once the shipment arrives, I can buy every item in the shipment or return it all.  I am charged $20 for the delivery, but that cost is credited toward the clothes I keep.

I filled out the profile in April and scheduled my first “fix” for May 9 as a Mother’s Day treat. I was eager but skeptic. How would an online profile tell a stlyist I had never met what I really liked? And what if nothing fit? On the other hand, if this saved me a trip to the mall- GREAT!

Turns out, I really liked 3 of the 5 items. And two fit beautifully!! Only one piece of clothing made me cringe… Take a look! (I apologize in advance- I am not a photographer and the quality of pictures is marginal at best. It was nap time and I just had to make do with poor lighting and zero skill!)

2014-05-09 12.35.11

Ah! My Stitch Fix box has arrived!

2014-05-09 12.35.23

Here are detailed forms that outline how each “piece” can be used and the price of each item. Very helpful!

2014-05-09 13.56.08

This floral blouse had pleats along the front which hid the post-baby belly very well. I also liked the spring colors and soft material. (Please overlook the massive amount of toddler handprints on my mirror. Cleaning was NOT my priority that day!)

2014-05-09 13.57.40

I liked the funky print of this henley tank top but it was too big and baggy for me (see next photo). By the way- I only know what “henley” means because the StitchFix order form TOLD me…

2014-05-09 14.00.44

Too baggy for my taste.

2014-05-09 14.01.59

Here’s the one item that had me thinking, “You’re kidding me, right?” Is this a sweater or a disaster of lime thread? Hard to tell…

2014-05-09 14.14.55

This “Indianan Graphic Tee” was my favorite top, but it was just too snug in the belly for me. Sad sigh!

2014-05-09 14.15.24

Here’s a back view of my favorite piece, if you can see despite the poor lighting…

2014-05-09 14.16.46

These cargo shorts were amazing! With slightly stretchy material and lotsa pockets, they were super comfortable and flattering. They also go nicely with my stark white “Minnesota winter” legs. Haha.

I bought the floral blouse and cargo shorts. They even go well together- so I just acquired a brand new outfit! The best part about this shopping experience was not needing to leave home. I’m currently at the mercy of the 9-10am and noon-3pm naps, so convenience and in-home shopping are important to me!

If you think this shopping experience will suit you, then please use my referral link:

http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3693512

I get a $25 credit if a friend uses the link and sets up a Stitch Fix delivery. I hope you enjoy your “Fix” as much as I did! Enjoy!

Leave a comment »

A successful VBAC

I am so happy and thankful to report that I had a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with my second child! In a previous post I wrote how I prepared for this event through reading, hiring a doula, doing daily meditation and positive affirmation, keeping active and stretching, and regular chiropractic care. See previous post: https://jessiepolzin.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/doing-things-differently-for-baby-2/

I am thankful for all my book and blog reading because it taught me that a woman’s body acts and reacts in different ways to the labor process. Knowing this, I wasn’t freaked out when my labor took a full 24 hours. I was tired, granted, and so SO wishing for the end, but I wasn’t freaked out. I wasn’t concerned when I had to shuffle through labor techniques because they stopped working, or when I felt extremely confused in each transition, or when my whole body started shaking – like an uncontrollable shivering- right before and after birthing.

Ben and I are both extremely thankful that we hired a doula. We look back at the interview process and the prenatal meetings as a worthy investment of time and money. Our doula, Natalia, perfectly suited our personalities and my need for a solid presence. She encouraged me and diffused my frustration when my labor kept staring/stopping. She guided me in decision making at every stage of labor. After the labor, I needed lots of repair but Ben was busy holding our daughter. So my doula again lent her presence and held my hand for the entire two hours of stitching. To intensify matters, the multiple anesthetics I was given during repair did not work and, as a result, I felt that this birth ended terribly and that I had somehow failed. In the weeks following the birth, my doula talked me through these emotions and encouraged me that the birth was actually a complete success. I now look back on the birth with thankfulness, pride, and utter joy. If you hadn’t guessed already, I would recommend a doula for each and every woman giving birth, no matter if natural or medicated, vaginal or cesarean.  Natalia helped to center me physically and emotionally and was essential to my VBAC success.

Chiropractic care was also key to having a successful VBAC. I began with every-other month visits in the first trimester, then increased to every month and every other week by the third trimester. In the last month of pregnancy, I visited the chiropractor every week. Some may say that exercises and stretching should be enough for proper body alignment, but my exercises and stretches just didn’t work their magic without the adjustments. Also in that last month, I had a massage before being adjusted. This helped immensely to relieve muscle cramps, decrease swelling in the legs, and hone the mind-body connection that is so important during labor.

The last important factor to my successful VBAC was hypno-birthing with music. I never intended to use this method but it turns out I prepared for it without knowing it. In the last month of pregnancy, I went walking alone with just my Christian music blaring from my itunes playlist. During my walks, I’d sing along to the same songs and let the happy emotions wash over me. Then I’d think about my dear baby and pray the emotions over her. It was a double whammy, because we also had the endorphins from the walk washing over us. So when labor became intense (at active labor, 17 hours in, 4cm dilated), I pressed play and just focused on the themes and emotions of the songs. The contractions were intense- don’t get me wrong- but they had the sense of washing over me rather than taking me hostage. This may not make sense, but I felt in control of letting go of control. I could accept what was happening even though my body raged. At one point when 9.5cm dilated and in transition, one earbud fell out, and I immediately felt panic and underwater. This is how I know the amazing affect my music had on me, because once that bud was replaced- I was “back in the game” and able to cope.

In closing- I am thankful for all the time I spent in preparation for the birth. So worth it to avoid a repeat c-section! I feel that my doula, reading, exercise, stretching, chiropractic care, and music mediation set me up for success.

Leave a comment »

Meal planning

I was asked recently what I do for meal planning. I believe making a plan is essential, and here’s why. It seems, in my household at least, that my children become the most needy at exactly the time I need to be making dinner. My husband and I were also prone to petty arguments over whose turn it was to make dinner (sound familiar?) So I thought, even if meal planning turns out to be more work, it HAS to be better than wanting to scream in frustration every day at 4:45pm.

I have made a monthly meal plan for 6 consecutive months and have found it incredibly helpful in relieving the aforementioned meal-time stress. Now I have a plan every morning, and can start meal prep as early as 9am (when the baby naps) if the meal is more effort intensive that day. In my present baby and toddler season, everything seems effort intensive… but really I consider thawing, marinading, chilling, or making dough to be “effort intensive”.

Without further ado, here’s my meal planning process:

1. Print out a meal calendar to keep on the fridge door. I use a simple Microsoft Publisher pre-made calendar and fill in the squares. To save my brain power, I have a recurring theme each week. Sunday is salad, Monday is leftovers, Tuesday is baked or crockpot, Wednesday is pasta, Thursday is leftovers, Friday is fried, and Saturday is new recipes. Then for a splash of variety, I added little changes, such as Soup and Salad for one Sunday, Pizza for one Friday, Breakfast for Dinner for one Saturday. You get the idea. I then compare my meal calendar to my master calendar so I know which days I don’t have to make a meal, such as “Birthday Dinner for So and So”. Writing out the meals is SO quick and easy now that I just have to tweak a basic outline each month.

An aside to #1- now that I’m looking ahead each month, I’m much much better about remembering birthdays and anticipating calendar conflicts. Just last week I was able to point out to the hubby that we both had a meeting on a particular evening. Thankfully we were able to change our agenda and avoided a huge “Oh crap!” moment.

2. My grocery shopping list consists of “the staples” such as bread and eggs, and the extras I need for my meals that week, such as mozzarella or cashews. Basing my grocery list on my written meal calendar helps me to remember key ingredients. For example, I don’t normally buy limes, but my pad thai recipe calls for them next week. Following my grocery list also helps me to not impulse buy. Ok, I’m still guilty of the chocolate grabbed at the last moment (Seriously, who can pass up Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups?!), but I am not buying everything that “may” end up in a meal or getting sucked into buying the product that just looks so yummy!

3. Choose one food item per week to prep ahead of time. This rule has allowed me to make wholesome, nutritious meals even on the days when I’m scrambling for time (or clarity of thought… just depends on the day). So what does this look like? My family buys in bulk, so I choose 1 vegetable in bulk at each shopping trip. Then I come home and wash, skin, chop, bag, and freeze that one item. Last week it was carrots, this week it was lemons. Having done this over the course of 6 months, I now have a great variety of ready-to-cook fruits and vegetables. This shaves off a lot of cooking time, as well as makes our meals healthier because I can throw an extra vegetable into a recipe or quickly steam a vegetable for a side dish. Voila!

An aside to #3- Going one more step to puree the vegetable before bagging and freezing has made baby-food-making a breeze. I thought making baby food this time around (with a toddler at my heels as well as a baby on my hip) would be a nightmare- but it’s actually easier this time around!

4. When life happens and I just cannot make the planned meal for that day, I have a list of “Meals in a Pinch”. These meals are easy to make and fan favorites. My list is: grilled cheese, fruit and spinach smoothies, frozen cheese pizza with added fresh toppings, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese.

5. Give yourself a break. Not every recipe will turn out. You may make a mistake, your ingredients may be stale, or the recipe may just disagree with you or your family’s taste. That’s ok! Think of it as a learning curve for trying something new. Remove the failed recipe from your monthly outline and don’t get down on yourself. Even seasoned cooks have meal failures. This just means no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, you are willing to try something new. Good for you!

If you do something additional or differently for meal planning- and it’s working for you- please let me know! I’m always game for new ideas that make meal prep a joy rather than a burden.

My February 2014 meal calendar is below. You’ll notice that I also include household chores every day. This is because I was getting overwhelmed with the idea of cleaning the ENTIRE house or doing TEN loads of laundry at a time. By consistently doing 1-2 chores per day, my house and my sanity stay clear from the “Danger Zone”.

Feb 2014 Meals

Leave a comment »

Placenta encapsulation

I’ve been dragging my feet with a post about encapsulating my placenta. I think because the general reaction to this process is “OMG, you’re not serious, are you?” But in light of recent news, (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/shots-fired-u-s-capitol-report-article-1.1475378) I think it’s important to outline its benefits, in the hope that it may help other people as it helped me. Some of the bodily details are specific, but bear with me- I have a point!

What is placenta encapsulation? Encapsulation is the process of cooking, dehydrating, and blending the placenta prior to putting it into pill capsules. This practice is not new, just new to modern society, especially western society. Read here for more info on the process: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2011/10/the-benefits-of-placenta-encapsulation-for-postpartum-healing.html

Despite being empirical evidence, I truly believe ingesting the hormones from one’s own body (via encapsulation) has multiple benefits. I began taking the pills 4 days after giving birth and experienced a significant increase in milk supply within a few hours. My milk went from thin and white-ish to thick and pure white. I was able to pump an extra two ounces after a feeding. To me, this supply was remarkable at just 4 days post birth. Following the birth, I needed extensive repair which resulted in a great deal of swelling  and the feeling that my abdominal area and lower body was “frozen” or in shock. But within a day of ingesting the pills, I had reduced swelling, huge pain relief, and increased gut motility (read: no longer constipated).

The last benefit, I believe, is the most important. Following the birth, I felt great- I had lots of family support, just enough sleep to get by, and had a positive outlook despite caring for a toddler and newborn. But a few times during the first month, I forgot to take my pills and the hopelessness hit me like a ton of bricks. I went from blissfully happy to sob-crying and wondering, “Is this all there is?” The first time this happened, I didn’t know what to think because nothing had changed… except I had forgotten to take my placenta pills that morning. So the next few times when I started to cry uncontrollably or had scary thoughts (like “What if I just jumped out this third story window?”), I traced it back to forgetting my pills- each and every time. I strongly believe I would have experienced depression if not for my placenta capsules. Even my husband commented on the night and day difference when I forgot to ingest them. He would sigh in relief and say, “Oh good, you’re back!”2013-08-25 15.51.26 2013-10-04 21.51.56

As an expecting mother, consider this option and how it may help you. Cost varies depending on the person doing the encapsulating (usually a doula or midwife). Cost for me was $180 for 180 capsules. You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s expensive!” But let me say, it was worth every penny to have clarity of thought, joy in the newborn stage, and safety toward myself and my children.

1 Comment »

Doing things differently for baby #2

My firstborn was born via scheduled c-section because of her breech position. So this time around with baby #2, I am trying to do everything in my* power to avoid another cesarean. I was not a fan of recovering from surgery in addition to bringing home a newborn! I also long for a large family and do not want scar tissue from repeat surgeries to limit how many children we could/should have. I also do not have a medical reason for repeating a c-section (e.g. anatomical abnormality, fetal distress). I understand that some women repeat a c-section simply because that was the process they went through the first time. Well, that’s not for me.

* I star the “my” in the above paragraph because I realize that my human power is limited.  Ultimately, God controls my method of birthing according to His purpose, which may or may not coincide with my personal desires.

As a result, we are planning for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with baby #2. My OB said that a VBAC is most often successful when a mother does not induce and does not use analgesics during the birth.  I knew then that I needed a team of support to prepare for a natural labor, which will also be my first labor experience. These are the ways I am preparing for a natural VBAC:

Reading: All of these books were referred by friends and our doula. The Christian Childbirth Handbook, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Active Birth. The hubby is reading The Birth Partner. For more info on these books, see: http://thedoulaguide.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-to-read-instead-of-what-to-expect.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheDoulaGuide+%28The+Doula+Guide%29   I also joined the VBAC support site at http://www.icantwincities.org/

Doula:  The word doula means “servant” but I like to refer to her as our “birth coach”. Basically, I want as much support as I can get for a natural birth. We considered doing training for Ben to be a birth coach (such as the Bradley Method) but Ben did not feel he had the time/skill/resources to be my coach. Enter: birth doula. 🙂 Around 20 weeks, Ben and I interviewed 3 doulas and decided on the one that most filled us with peace and assurance.  Her services include 1-2 prenatal visits, being present for the labor and birth, and 1-2 postnatal visits.

Meditation and positive affirmation: The mind and body are connected, meaning that what I think and believe will impact how I feel and function physically. Two passages have become my daily “mantra”: Matthew 11:30 “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” and Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” I found this affirmation from the Doula Girl blog and love it!: “I will have a good birth. My body is strong. My baby is healthy. I am the daughter of my mother and the product of all the women who came before her.”

Positioning: I’ve been doing daily stretches to help my body “widen” at the hips and promote a head down position. I’ve also been diligent about exercise, whether walking, swimming, or gardening. To see recommended stretches and exercises, see: http://www.spinningbabies.com/

Chiropractic adjustment: I increased my every other month adjustment to every month beginning at 16 weeks. As my belly grows and my hips get out of alignment more quickly , I increase my visits to every 3 weeks, every 2 weeks, and now every 5 days. At 38 weeks I also began incorporating trigger point massage- aimed at releasing tension in the hips, low back, thighs, calves, and ankles. These treatments together has made a huge difference in my ability to care for my toddler, keep up with my daily walking, and feel happier in general.

Placenta encapsulation: This process is actually to ease the hormonal swing AFTER the birth, but I thought I’d include it in this post since it’s definitely something new that I never considered for my first birth. For a definition and reasons for the process, see: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2011/10/the-benefits-of-placenta-encapsulation-for-postpartum-healing.html and http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/02/16/doula-consuming-placenta-can-help-postpartum-depression/ . My thought is, if my body provides this option and the price is do-able, why NOT try it?

Baby Girl in profile

2 Comments »

Playing outside

Siri is my outdoor adventurer. If I just say the word, “Outside”, she’s at the door with hat and shoes in hand. So of course we are outside every chance we get!

2013-06-27 10.07.17 so big! on her firetruck family on July 4th2013-07-22 09.36.36 2013-08-10 15.20.33 2013-08-10 15.21.17 2013-08-19 16.56.08 2013-08-19 16.56.19 2013-08-19 16.56.27 2013-08-19 16.56.30 2013-07-12 10.20.21 taking a walk with a friend mama's glasses Photo Apr 28, 15 12 53 puddles!

Leave a comment »

Garage sale

My neighbors and I hosted a huge garage sale in June. We boasted 8 sales on just 1 block!

It is always a lot of work to prep and set up, but we enjoy the time together and of course the profit!

too many margaritas? Kids love watching the garbage truck! 2013-06-21 14.47.25 2013-06-21 14.50.23

Leave a comment »