I must admit that I spend many hours of each week poring over fashion blogs, websites, and magazines … in addition to visiting the mall at least once in an effort to stay up-to-date with the new shipments at each of my favorite stores … and, obviously, when my mind needs to wander, it is normally to thoughts of what the next best pairing of clothes in my closet would be.
(I have an excuse – I DO teach Fashion and what kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t make my content area a priority?)
So therefore, it’s safe to say that I love fashion, and even with the challenge of dressing a growing body and more specifically, a baby bump over the last several months … I wasn’t going to give up on my need for style.  It has definitely taken more effort – I had pretty much found my nitch in the fashion world prior to this new life stage – but if I gave up, what kind of fashion addict would I be?
So here are a few of my favorite maternity styles … so far, still 3 months to go and if the past month has been any indication, it’s only going to keep getting bigger, and bigger …

All winter long, which has also could be referred to as the entire first trimester and most of the second trimester of my pregnancy … I have been struggling in layers of fabric that seem to be getting tighter by the day.  As a fashion teacher and complete style addict, I certainly believe in the famous mantra “Beauty is pain” – but it has definitely become harder (by the day) to continue to place my emphasis on being chic above comfort.  In fact, as I can recall, the last few times I have squeezed into skinny jeans have been so brutal that I truly felt like a stuffed sausage.
So although I have been warned of the trials and tribulations of a warm weather pregnancy on more than one recent occasion … I have chosen to embrace the higher temperatures with open arms.  It certainly seems easier to get my constantly-growing body into a maxi dress or tank top and shorts rather than layered garments over a tight-fitting pair of pants and boots.  And believe me – I have done the research.  I have spent many minutes/hours poring over pregnancy style websites in an effort to keep up with my fashion sense throughout these nine months.  All signs point to the perks of warm weather with-baby …
And yes, I am aware of the downfalls as well … namely, the swollen feet, constant dehydration, and sudden feelings of a higher temperature at all times.  But for the sake of fashion, I can handle that.

It can safely be said that I don’t like to do many things the traditional way.  My wedding could hardly be described as conventional, my fashion mantra is to always stay innovative, and I strive in my daily lesson plans to keep the students excited with creative ways to teach the industry of fashion.  So it’s no surprise that I wanted to find out the gender of our future baby in a unique and special way.  In other words, finding out at the doctor’s office via an ultrasound technician I had just met simply wouldn’t do. 
Initially, I had said that I wanted to wait until the birth of my baby for the life-changing news.  Even though my husband definitely did not agree my idea for a birth plan, I was convinced that this was one of few surprises in life and that the best plan of action was to wait it out.
Well, my Type-A/”need for a constant plan” nature quickly changed any previous belief I had.  Within a week, I was already struggling with the fact that I had no idea whether I had a future of blue or pink.  So as previously posted, we decided on a “gender reveal” party … which seemed to be the perfect compromise between a creative, memorable way to find out the big news, while still eliminating the need to struggle without a clue for the entire nine months.

Our gender reveal party was held at my parent’s home, and thanks to my mom’s resourceful, imaginative, and artistic mindset … the party was a huge success, and a rather memorable event.  SO memorable, in fact,  that our story was picked up by the New York Times when a reporter called and asked for details on this rather new way to celebrate such an occasion.

Therefore, last Sunday, April 8th (Easter, 2012) … Little Miss Brickner had her debut – TO THE WORLD.  She now is officially a little lady, as an image of her parents reaction to the pink-hued cake was clearly posted in the famous newspaper.  (See below).

YES – Mom is elated and Dad a tad scared, but thrilled nontheless.

Just as I did last year for my wedding registry … yesterday, I completed yet another registry.  However, this time, it was a Babies’R’Us.  And rather than a focus on dishes, sheets, and tupperware – this time, all items were all about baby.
Registering for baby is certainly a little more overwhelming than scanning for products that we will place around the house.  In this case, the diaper genies, breast pads, and bouncing chairs are pretty much foreign to me.  I had no idea most of what I added to my list even existed before yesterday, although now I am informed that each product is so essential that I simply won’t be able to function without it.  So although the day was long and tiresome (as most tasks are becoming these days … ) – it feels good to have another to-do checked off the list and therefore to be that much closer to the arrival of our baby.

As I’m sure any fellow teacher would agree, one of the perks of the job is definitely the amount of vacation time.  Obviously, 2 months of summer is what we look forward to all year long.  And the week at Christmas, spring break, and other various observed holidays are pretty much the highlights of our year.  (Yes, we do it for the future or America, too … ).
Currently, I happen to be leisuring in the long-awaited spring break.  And now that I am officially 6 months, 1 week and 5 days preggers … it was needed more than ever.  While many of my co-workers traveled to Florida, South Carolina, or perhaps even more glamorous of vacations – my destination was right at my front door.  And the plan was to spend the week getting ready for Little Miss Brickner, who we are getting more anxious by the day to meet. 
I have always been one to hate clutter, and constantly strive for an organized and clean house … so when I heard about the term “nesting” even before I was with-child, I was convinced I had experienced it already.  But these last couple of days – I have officially become a “nester.” With the extra time on my hands to devote to preparations for baby, I have not been able to control myself.  I am fairly sure that at this point thus far, I have filled over 10 trash bags of used clothes, decor, make-up, and jewelry alone.
And I have a feeling that this isn’t the end.  I have an excuse – I HAVE to clear room for my baby girl and all that she is going to need.
(Which, by the way, I have learned is quite a lot! … More on my registry experience later. :))