Steelers tried to Ruin my Date Night

So when you achieve certain goals, like marriage, great career, say like having 4 kids; you enter a world very people have lived. There’s no normal. You’re in a perpetual state of a “new” normal.

Fortunately (I think) our daughter’s volleyball tournaments take us all over the country. The boys tend to stay with my in laws, which used to mean the hotel room to ourselves. And you know what that means… Napping. Lots of napping. Except with the baby, since I’m still her food (aka I’m breastfeeding), we can’t “nap” and being by ourselves is just a lot more difficult. This one trip to Richmond, my mom went to and agreed to watch her for a few hours. Soooo, after a quick pumping, we were free to go. IMG_1388

I did not anticipate the Steelers sabotaging my date before it even started.  I mean they didn’t lose, they got destroyed. And being married to one of the biggest Steelers’ fan, meant my night was screwed.

He did try to act like everything was okay. He took me to CineBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park.

It was pretty cool inside. Dark though. Sorta hard to see your menu. IMG_0381I just had to get used to the ambience, obviously not your typical movie theater.  So you can eat while you wait for the movie to start; or once you’re in the theater they’ll be waiters/waitresses ready to take your order and bring you your meal before the movie begins (remember you must arrive 30 minutes before the movie)

While we waited 45 minutes for Jumanji (I love what the Rock is cooking), I decided to have my first drink since well election day (got pregnant that night while on a cruise lol).  There was definitely a lot to chose from.  The Berry Breeze would be my first drink in a year and a half, and it did not disappoint! We ordered some perfectly seasoned wings, which we devoured in minutes lol.

The movie theater wasn’t too big, all seats were great seats basically. The chairs lounged back and were very comfy.

I know when you go to an upscale movie theater, the last thing you order should be popcorn. But I’ve never seen a movie without eating popcorn, and I wasn’t about to start now.  I want to say more about the in theater dining experience, but it was pretty seamless, didn’t take away from the movie experience, which is surprising because everyone in the theater was basically getting their meals at the same time. You would think it would be disruptive but no, it was just well run. IMG_0393(Hubs order a hamburger which he said was fantastic.)

The movie was fun, you really can’t go wrong with the Rock and Kevin Hart, like ever. Afterwards, it seemed like Hubs spirits were uplifted, we played a little chess, laughed even held hands.

But then we turned our phones back on, reality set back in, he became a sad Steelers’ fan and I went back to being a Ravens’ fan secretly laughing inside (Boooo, Steelers !!!)

 

Naomi

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Face your Fears better yet, Embrace them!

Easier said than done, am I right? Recently I’ve seen this in action, from an incredibly strong black woman who you wouldn’t think feared anything… my beautiful mother-in-law.  In September, she married her high school sweetheart. IMG_0112
Their paths diverged while in college.  Both of them are succeeding in their careers. Both of them have personal achievements, he married for decades and had 4 children, now is widowed; she had an amazing child, Brent, who is now my hot and wonderful husband. IMG_0084 From when they were separated, they grew through their separated lives, to the confident people they are today. Despite fears of the past, future, potential judgment of others, they pursued their newfound love. IMG_0034

So Commendable!

As a woman, despite my parents doing the best they can (I mean my dad still calls me his princess) … I have insecurities. While my mother-in-law was branching into real-life unchartered territory, it actually made me realize my fears are so minimal.  I grew up an athlete, pretty much fit, even with previous pregnancies, my body bounced back pretty well.  My mother-in-law’s wedding was 5 weeks after having a baby.  Making motherhood look good is kinda my thing.  Fashion is kinda my thing.  And yet, I was nervous about how I looked. Knowing that no-one would even care, I just was quietly fixated on it.

I’m currently weighing in at 188lbs, but used to hovering at 160lbs,

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NYFW last yr

This meant my dresses no longer fit.  I usually encourage myself to workout and lose weight in an healthy way, by not giving in and buying a larger clothing size.  But obviously, my hand was forced in this event.  First, I can’t or shouldn’t really try to lose weight while breastfeeding, I fear I’d lose my supply.  Second, with four kids and now I’m back to work, I’m really struggling to see when I have the time or energy to workout.  Basically when I’m at work, my hubs has the newborn and when he’s at work, I have the newborn.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out. But for now, what to wear???

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At work the other day, a nurse said while looking at pictures of the newborn, “Don’t worry you’ll lose your belly… why arent you wearing Spanx?” Now, I consider work a safe place to be yourself, after all I’ve dedicated my life to medicine and taking care of patients.  My gut shouldn’t matter.  I definitely felt self-conscious, as everyone then looked at my belly.   I don’t own Spanx but I thought maybe I should invest, save myself from these unsolicited comments.

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As a great personal stylist, to myself lol, I thought, Bold colors, Patterns, the louder the better! I went to my go-to sites, I wasn’t sure of my size, I kinda assumed a 12.  I checked out Rue-la-la, Zara, Gilt, but it wasn’t until ASOS that I hit the jackpot.   Now that I had my blue dress, I had to dress my cute accessories, aka my kids lol.

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3 of the 4 kids

I tried it on, and it fit well! I’m 5’10” and it was perfectly below the knee, the color looked just like the picture, I mean when does that ever happen?!? IMG_0094

So, I felt I looked good, hubs approved, I got compliments at the wedding. All good right? But I looked at some wedding pictures and I was bit horrified.

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You could see the complete lower outline of my gut, and my belly button! (I’m one of those people with an outie, and am extremely self-conscious about it.) I was thinking Oh Why, didn’t I buy some Spanx.

Then I thought…

Motherhood is a blessing.  My body imperfections are a badge of honor. Like my mother-in-law, you got to not only Face your Fears but Embrace them.  And try your darndest not to be paralyzed by them.  Inspiration is everywhere, I hope this post gave you a little.

Naomi

 

 

Our Fantastic Fourth! Introducing, Sadie Jean…

Sadie Sweet Sadie Jean… On August 2nd at 0236, in glorious fashion, we welcomed our 4th kid, aka heavyweight champion, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz (largest of the 4) and 21.5in.

IMG_3633My ob/gyn so kindly followed my birth plan but young Sadie did not as much, you know how girls are, lol. I was induced early morning August 1st, was in labor 13hrs, not the tortuous kind (until the end). I had my lil one the same hospital as all the others, I like consistency.  Its nice because 6 people are allowed in the birth suite at the same time, which totally passes the time.

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My Dad and I

I waited until 4 cm dilated to get my epidural, even though I didn’t feel I needed it at the time, but I was too nervous to sway away from my birth plan.  Despite me telling the anesthesiologist, that this is my 4th epidural and I’ve had the complications of the others: spinal headache, spinal not epidural, and it numbing only the left not right, she didn’t really listen. So while she was putting it in, I felt a tingle in the right, so I told her.  Instead of her adjusting it, she asked if I had scoliosis, I mean God forbid she admits to not being midline in my back.

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My brother arrived around midnite!

So, I asked her to keep on the lowest setting, the contractions became a lot more intense at 11pm, lasting about 2 minutes about 2 minute apart, well thats all I was feeling, for the right side was numb and the left I could feel full blown.  This time I decided that I’m going to allow myself to feel it, it should help with pushing. I’m notorious for running out of steam while pushing mostly from not being able to feel it well and pushing ineffectively.  IMG_3651But not this time, I was a pro, I told the doctor when it was time to push, after about 8 min, the baby was out!!! I tried the immediate skin to skin thing since that’s hot right now.  Super gooey but super awesome!

IMG_3648So I gave my husband, Brent, his baby girl…

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Fantastic Four!

It was a little difficult in the hospital, since I kept her the entire time, and I was exhausted and barely able to walk the first few days, but hubs and my mom were super helpful.  Sadie Jean did have slightly elevated bilirubin, didn’t require Phototherapy or anything, but they told me its because I wasn’t breastfeeding enough. Wasn’t sure how I could breast feed anymore, it was every hour… And she latched on well!IMG_3663Since I had her early Tuesday am, my doctor had me stay til Friday.  Which I did not anticipate, fortunately my mom was super helpful with the other 3 kids…

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The 5 yr old finally a big brother or as he calls it “the Boss” of the baby

I’m not gonna lie, we are a bit nervous for we are in charge of 4 children, Four!!!!

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But we are so blessed. And with four, ages 17, 9, 5 and newbie; we dont have time to be anxious, we have one already committed to college for volleyball, 4th grade to get ready for, and the youngest boy gearing up for “big boy” school aka kindergarten.

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Can’t leave the Hospital w/o her 1st selfie!

Life feels like its moving rapidly, we’re holding on tight, enjoying the ride.

Naomi

Twas the Night Before Induction – 38 and 4th

Let’s see, tomorrow we will meet the newest addition to our family, my next obsession.  Everyone is excited, nervous, anxious… the last two is just me, lol…

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The 9yr old kisses my belly everyday!!!

So what’s it like to be a mother of 3, with one on the way… Busy Busy Busy… But in an amazing way! Lets recap the last 6 wks!

Last 2 weeks of June: Pre-K Graduation!!!

First, the then 4year old, graduated from pre-K, we were proud of him, but he seemed even more proud of himself! I love his confidence, he did an amazing performance of the  father bear in Goldilocks and sang his little heart out of You are my Sunshine!

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4 yr old turns 5 (three times, lol!)

As an aside, June is big birthday month for the boys… Now, I created a monster with the lil ones, because typically there’s a party at school, one where family/friends go to, and one on the actual day.  Unfortunately for my pockets, it was 3 separate days for the now 5yr old. So, the Friday before the trip to Orlando, he had a party at daycare. The next day, we had a big family Chuck E Cheese party…

Orlando!!!

Party #3 was on his real birth date, and he told me, he can not turn 5 with out cake on the actual day. So, since her games that day didn’t end till 8pm, he couldn’t turn 5 until after that. I googled and made a mad dash to a party store, so he could turn 5, for real, lol.

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He said, “Im 5, Im going to kindergarten tomorrow!”

So Orlando was the last family vacation as 5,  it was also the last club volleyball tournament, but of course, it was a much needed break from work for me. Plus, I wanted to bond with the kids and give them my utmost un-interrupted attention as possible.

Now, it was 90 degrees and as pregnant as I was… Processed with VSCO with a10 preset

… It was rough, but the kids had so much fun. We stayed at our usual spot the Sheraton Vistana Resort, which I highly recommend. There’s so much to do at the resort for adult and kids, and it’ll make up for the fact that you may not be able to afford Disney tickets, like myself.

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We Love Daytona Beach!!!

So, it was raining a decent amount, but one golden morning it was cloudy but 100 degrees and her games didn’t start to 3pm… so why not drive a hr or so to Daytona.  The fine sand is sooo soft and the water is amazing!

Birthday Boy #2!!!

Once we returned after a week of relaxation, fun in the sun, & college volleyball recruiting ending a busy 6mth club volleyball season, it was time for the 8 year old to turn 9!

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He only wanted a party at home (thank goodness!)

Entering July: Birthday Girl… Yay me!!!

Okay “girl” is a stretch, I know. But after my nightshift, I walked into the house to a ice cream and a beautiful birthday serenade.  A few hours later, the kids went camping… leaving hubs and I to our own devices for 3 days!!! Which of course we spent working, lol. But we did go to my favorite spot, Red Lobster…

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Never Disappoints!

and I know there are better seafood places, I’ve just love it here. I always went here for my birthday since I was 10!

We then went to see my favorite superhero of all time do her thing… Wonder Woman in 3D!!! IMG_3429

Kids 1st Camping Trip!!!

So I definitely did not partake in this activity, little too much nature for my delicate situation, but their great-aunt took them to Janes Island State Park.  But they fished and canoed, and ate Smores. Even the teenager had a good time!

Surprise Surprise…

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So, while the kids were day 2 of the camping trip, I waddled myself home from work, and hubs was like throw on some black leggings, we’re going on a trip. Now, of course, Im like where are we going… Trust me he says… I’m not the most flexible, and I’m a huge control freak, but I thought just relax, relinquish control, a bit. I fell asleep in the car and woke up 2 hours later in Philadelphia! And he bought a pirates shirt, which he knows I’m a fashionista, hence the black leggings, he had me wear.  Hubs is a huge Pittsburgh fan and it was so fun to watch Pirates vs Phillies. Such a wonderful surprise!

This past week, the Last week before baby…

So, this post is the last 6 weeks in a nutshell.  Despite working everyday (nightshifts on the weekend) for the last 6 weeks, I tried hard to take care of the bun in the oven, as well as focus on every aspect on the family,

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Yesterday’s Family Movie Night!!!

… before I know the newborn is going to take over my every thought/move. I only get a month off so I want to be able to focus on getting to know the baby, working on breastfeeding, all the while trying to continue my obsession on the other kids, after all this is the teenager’s senior year of high school, 9 year starts 4th grade, and the 5 year goes to Kindergarten!

Well, stay tuned, I’ll let you know how the induction and labor goes, I hear the 4th slides right out lol, we’ll see…

 

Naomi

Braxton Hickup-ing across the country@ 32 wks! – 38 and 4th

I know I’ve been a bit M.I.A. but when you work 70-80 hrs a week in medicine with 3 kids and a husband, everything feels like its going nonstop!  Fortunately I love love love a challenge. So, what’s been going on? Besides getting a Rhogam shot…

I’ve received a few TSA pat downs… I know that the body scanner is not supposed to cause any harm, but I have upcoming flights and I fear overtime the radiation could, but I know its all in my head.

Well, I flew with my teenage to Dallas for Nationals volleyball tournament! IMG_2621

While we were there, we went over to Fort Worth to check out the Stockyards…IMG_2378IMG_2436

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I took my mother to the Depository from where JFK was shot. Took this time to educate my teenager on his horrible assassination.  Although young, you could see how affected she was especially when hearing grandma recap her feelings, she remember exactly where she was, and overall sadness across the country.

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Let’s see… Mother’s day was perfect, went to a family cookout, had a perfect day with my 3.5 little perfect people…

Memorial Day weekend, was a rare moment when Hubs (aka Brent) was off work and could travel, I definitely didn’t throw a pregnancy hormonal fit until he figured out how to make this happen, lol…

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My daughter was invited to an academic volleyball camp across the country, where the top academic universities and colleges sent their coaches to evaluate the girls in a showcase.  Of course, I’m thinking, I’m almost 32 weeks pregnant, I should sit down somewhere. And I decided to sit on a flight across the country to Santa Clara, California! Never miss an opportunity… if you can help it 🙂

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Started feeling some Braxton-Hicks for the first time just before this trip… been noticing it occurs when I work non-stop which I did 14 days straight, before relaxing in Cali… They don’t hurt, it just gets tight. Forces me to relax, I try lay back, drink some water, and they usually go away in like 5 minutes.

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Believe or not, I still have been doing the best I can to eat well, take my prenatal vitamins… For now, I’m trying to do the best I can to do all I can to take care of the kids, because I know when the lil one comes, that’s where all my focus has to be, after all I only have a month off I for maternity leave.  My kids are used to having all of me… nervous but I’m sure everything will be okay. Stay tuned…

 

Naomi

 

 

Smurfin’ around Dallas – #StyleMuseMonday

Yes, I’m totally showing my age. But back in the day, everyone wanted to be Smurfette, she was awesome, all the dudes respected her… ahhh good times.

Anywho, when leaving the tournament in Dallas for a litle while to get a quick power nap at the hotel, we saw this crazy huge hat. So you gotta stop to take pictures there right??? IMG_2472

I so happen to have my Dorothy Perkins beautiful cobalt blue maxi dress on…


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Which is lightweight, soft silky type of material…

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I love the love the small gold statement piece at the neck, just a nice touch… 

You can find this perfect dress Here!!! 

Don’t forget to check out their 25% off Everything sale!!!



Oh and My shoes were from Chinese Laundry, but they are super old, I love these from                                       Saks Off 5th. Check out these Open-Toe Espadrille Wedge Sandals !

Well, Until next time….

Naomi

City girl in the Stockyards – #StyleMuseMonday

So, my daughter’s volleyball travels, brought us to Dallas, Texas this past weekend.  Typically, I try to take my mom to a few historical spots while we’re there. And she picks the Fort Worth Stockyards! IMG_2342               

Gotta see some longhorns if your in Texas, right?

Well, I can honestly say I did not choose an outfit fitting for my location, but excited to rock my lastest dress from Dorothy Perkins.



My Look:IMG_2336

My Dress is from Dorothy Perkins, strong material, but so soft, comfortable; with a hint of athe-leisure! You can find my Maternity Grey Wrap Hem Dress here, I wear a size 10 UK, 8 US…

My fantastic shoes is also from Dorothy Perkins. I kinda went out on a limb here, because I just was not sure how they would fit. But fit is true to size, so don’t worry! You can find the Black ‘Candle’ Pineapple Espadrilles here! IMG_2437

Other shoe options that I love, love, love!!! From Saks 5th Avenue OFF 5th which has a crazy shoe SALE right now, use code  SHOELOVE !!!

Frenchy Embellished Espadrilles

Dakota Suede Gladiator Espadrille Sandals

Such a simple look, but super pregnancy chic, am I right??? Well, until next week!

Naomi

Rekindling our love, Fogo-style… Our 5th Wedding Anniversary!!!

So it’s hard to celebrate when work schedules do not permit. On our 5th wedding anniversary (Shout out to us!), I was working 12 hr nightshifts and hubs was working during the day.  Since this is pretty normal us, usually happens once a month, we vowed to try to go out together soon.  We exchanged gifts when I got home from work Saturday morning before he went to work.  The theme was wood, as usual Brent, made my gift look just dumb. He got me a carved cutting board, and we’re just not even going to discuss my weak gift, lol.  IMG_2015

Hubs seemed pretty satisfied with yet again destroying me the gift department, and I felt bad vowing to do better next year.

*Just to give you an idea of how stellar he is; 6 yrs ago on Christmas morning, he proposed to me with build-a-bears, dressed with a wedding gown and tux; and I gave him UGG mocassins 😦 *

Apparently our lackadasical attitude was unacceptable to my mother-in-law, and rightfully so.  We’ve been bogged down with life stuff,  kid’s tuitions, baby on the way, new house search… Still as she said so eloquently to me,” that’s no excuse.” So she bought us a Fogo de Chao (brazilian steakhouse) gift card, which also so happens to be our 1st anniversary spot.

2 weeks later, despite the fact the opposite work schedules again, we went on a hot date to Fogo.  To maximize my experience of salad perfection, and fine meat galore, I only ate cream of wheat that morning, oh my stomach was going to be sufficiently empty to take it alllllll in!

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If you haven’t been, and even if you’re a vegetarian, I highly recommend Fogo de Chao.

It is an upscale experience, and somehow made fine dining and buffet synonymous.  In Baltimore, ours is located in the Inner Harbor downtown, right near the water.

How it works: Once you get seated, you’re served drinks of your choosing, then you can immediately start at the beautiful salad bar.

Everything looks so fresh and crisp, you almost dont want to touch it and ruin the display.

Then once seated again, you get a circular card, green on one side and red on the other.  IMG_2214If green side up, the “gaucho” will continue to bring various meat dishes  around, slice the amount you request, and move along. Red side up, means you need a break or you are incredibly full.

My favorite is the bacon-wrapped anything lol.

Delectable pork, lamb, chicken dishes menu here.  Steak options include: Beef Ancho (ribeye), Filet Mignon, Picanha (prime sirloin) and more!

Of course, made room for dessert!

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They were so thoughtful!

So, sufficiently full, we made a pact to do better, make time for each other. Then we rushed home because the teenager was watching her little brothers and had to study for a big test in the morn.

Naomi

Not so Slimming stripes, lol – #StyleMuseMonday

So continuing my pregnancy chicwear debut in Indianapolis with Stripes! Embracing the bump so for once I’m not using them for their slimming capabilities.

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I like how I look 9 mths pregnant, but I’m only 6 🙂

IMG_1676                           www.jojomamanbebe.com

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Still gray and black, I haven’t branched into colors yet, but maybe I’ll get a little Easter inspiration, lol….

My look is a stiped Jojo Maman Bebe a 
Side Gathered Striped Maternity Tops
Side Gathered Striped Maternity Tops which feels silky smooth on my occasionally itchy pregnant belly, is long sleeve which is perfect for a layered look and thick quality material, but not too heavy if you know what I mean.

My favorite Kimono cardigan also by Jojo Maman Bebe Knitted Charcoal Maternity Kimono

White sneakers: Puma from Off Saks 5th Avenue (super comfortable)  Puma’s Round Toe Lace-Up Sneakers

Okay, I promise to brighten up next week’s look even if the sky is gray… Stay tuned!!!

 

Naomi

 

Gray like Indiana’s sky – #StyleMuseMonday

Sooo my daughter’s volleyball journey took us to Indianapolis.  And it was time for my pregnancy chic debut, lol… Sike, more pregnancy bump acceptance, since for 4 full days I would not be in scrubs.

So, despite the fact we were there to cheer, encourage my daughter and of course assist with the college recruiting process (there were a lot of big name colleges there and some were actually watching her!)… I had to represent for those preggo fashionistas:

So I checked ahead and it was supposed to approximately 60 degrees but raining. And on a gloomy day, its okay to blend in with a little gray of your own 🙂

So I hopped on a London maternity and children’s boutique called JoJo Maman Bébé -with roots in French nautical style, I heard of from instagram! As I read more about this brand, it is right down my alley, “supremely comfortable,” “fashionable and well made, but still affordable.” (direct quotes from their website)

First, I wanted a nice cardigan like sweater, that was of great sturdy quality, heavy but free-flowing for those occasional pregnancy hot flashes.

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1st my outerwear … a Knitted Charcoal Maternity Kimono

2nd a maxi dress, with a little slit to show some of my nonexistent calf muscles, lol… this one is from Old Navy

…And if you want black I’d choose this Dorothy Perkins Black Jersey Maxi Dress !

3rd my rendition of the white sneaker trend, these ultra comfortable,  Puma’s Round Toe Lace-Up Sneakers

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Near Indiana Convention Center

I hope you enjoyed this look! Check out next week, for my pregnancy outfit journey… And any advice for tall pregnant folk like me, I’d appreciate!

Naomi

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