Indiana / Elsewhere

Behind the drape: An interview with Project Runway's Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn

StyleIndiana Adams

Season ten of Project Runway has come and gone. A new winner has been named, and Season 11 is already in the works. I have loved being a part of the Project Runway Style Network of bloggers.
 [Severus Snape Dmitry Sholokhov, winner of Project Runway Season 10]  A few weeks ago I had the privilege of jumping on a conference call to interview both Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn the day before the season ten finale aired. Nina was well spoken, kind, and charming, and Tim... oh, Tim. He very well could be America's most beloved reality television personality (aside from Honey Boo Boo, of course). He was honest, thoughtful, and exactly how he appears on the show. You'll be happy to know that in the name of professionalism, I fought every urge to ask Tim to adopt me and to beg Nina for a job. While most of the interviewers asked questions about the particulars of the finale, I was more interested in the behind the scenes info and funny details of the show.

Now celebrating the wrap up of it's tenth season, Project Runway is an institution in competition reality television, but before it began, Nina wasn't so sure of the show's success. She says, "I thought it was a crazy idea. I thought nobody would be interested in fashion. I was a little skeptical." That is, until she saw the winning combination of Project Runway's judging trifecta of Heidi Klum's modeling perspective, Michael Kors' design perspective combined with her own editorial perspective. "When I really saw all that come together I thought, 'Okay. Fine. This makes sense.' And of course, let's not forget Tim Gunn who perfect and is a perfect mentor."

[Nina Garcia, fashion director at Marie Claire]

It's her editorial perspective that makes her particularly honed in to how a designer presents their garments. It's why Nina is known to critique a contestant's styling. "[Issues with styling] is something that designers-- real designers-- deal with all the time." Is it important? Absolutely, she says, "because they will turn out a more polished and concise message and it will make the presentation of the show."

Tim, on the other hand, says, "I'll just be blunt. I feel that [styling is] just an enhancement. For me it's all about that garment. Unless the accessorizing is an extraordinary distraction in a bad way, I would never comment on it at all, but the judges seem to have a very different take. There are times when it's all they talk about is the accessorizing, and I just want to say, 'Be quiet, look at the clothes!'."

[Tim Gunn, Fashion Chair at Parsons for over 25 years]

I think that sounds like sage advice, and it's because of his candor that I often wish that Tim were a fourth judge. In episode nine of this most recent season, Tim was called in to give his opinion for the very first time. When Ven mentioned he had scrapped his initial design per Tim's advice (who incidentally referred to Ven's first dress as an "homage to a menstrual cycle"), Heidi called Tim to the judges' row to weigh in. Of that experience, Tim says he never imagined that would end up on the show, but he did it because he had ulterior motives, "I had a very dastardly motivation and my motivation was 'oh good, I can talk to the judges and help Ven go home this challenge.' And it didn't work, and it ended up being Gunnar, and if I had known that I wouldn't have agreed to talk to the judges. I've never done it before although Heidi often says, 'I wish I had a red phone next to my chair so I can call Tim.' I mean, I'm always there. It's not as though they can't shout out to me, but my refrain is, 'Sorry, Heidi. Separation of church and state."

This deliberation process takes one quick commercial break on our side of the edit, but in real time, deliberations are much, much longer. They take so long that comfort is one of two deciding factors for what Nina decides to wear on the days she is on set. "I try to keep in mind what looks good on TV and what is comfortable, which not always goes hand-in-hand, but I try my best."  And just how long do the deliberations typically last? "The deliberations by itself takes, I think, a good two hours and you just see little snippets of it."

It makes you wonder what ends up on the cutting room floor. Tim believes the editing is done in an extremely flattering way. One such example is season eight's home visit with Gretchen Jones. "The editing on the show is kind to everyone. Kind," Tim says emphatically, "The home visit that was so dramatically edited was Gretchen, the winner of season eight. Her mother-- I mean we're playing crochet-- you don't see any of this in the edit-- her mother kept knocking my crochet ball across the street into the traffic so I had to run across the street to retrieve it. I'd bring it back and she'd slam it again. It was so hostile and angry I couldn't believe it and thought, 'Well, the mess doesn't fall far from the tree.'"

[Gretchen Jones and her nemesis Tim Gunn]

Tim has never swayed from his opinion that (my dear) Gretchen should not have won season eight, but Gretchen isn't the only one in Tim's cross hairs. "I have not been particularly happy with the outcome of the last couple of seasons, and I don't want to denigrate Anya [season nine's winner] but I thought Viktor Luna's collection was definitively stronger and I was stunned that he didn't win."

So what does make a collection a winner in the judges' eyes? For Nina, it comes down to creativity, authenticity, and wearability. She says, a winning collection "is creative, meaning that I haven't seen it before, it's [the designer's] own point of view, women will be able to identify with it, and retailers are going to be interested in buying it. At the end of the day clothes are meant to be in a store; they're not for a museum."

Tim says, "I always say to my students it's not about a pretty dress. Do we want the dress to be pretty? Well, of course, but it's about the larger context in which you're designing and creating."

If that sounds like a challenge you can rise to, both Tim and Nina offer their advice for auditioning for Project Runway.
"Be who you are because if you present yourself as someone you're not then the likelihood that you can sustain that on the show is unlikely. Just be who you are and be proud of that and don't be someone you think that the producers or judges will want to have on the show. Just be yourself," impores Tim.

"Put together a very concise collection and portfolio of your collection. Be very motivated and focused and articulate well when you present," says Nina.

Season 11 of Project Runway is already in the works. "I think you will enjoy it," Nina says, "There's not much to tell you that I can tell you right now-- just that there will be some twists and turns and surprises in store, but they're all good."

[Tim, Heidi, Michael, and Nina at the beginning of season ten]

So what's in store for the show after season 11? Nina (as well as fellow judges Michael Kors and Heidi Klum) and Tim have done every season of Project Runway so far. Will they be a part of the show forever?
"Well, we'll see," Nina laughs, "I'm not going to be out there in a wheelchair. I mean we joke about it that we're going to be like 20 years from now, 'Oh, hi, Michael. Please push my wheelchair'."

"As long as there is Project Runway, I'll be there, even if I'm in a wheelchair or an iron lung," assures Tim. And as long as Tim's there, I'll be tuning in, iron lung, wheelchair, or not.

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A walkthrough of in my new Toms wedges

LifeIndiana Adams

After hearing a glowing testimony by my college buddy Meg, I finally went out yesterday and picked up the Toms Desert wedges from Nordstrom (seen here). Because I've been in pregnant lady clothes for so long, I got them home and had a bit of a conundrum on how to style them. ShopStyle to the rescue!
cozy casual fall look
1.Toms Desert Wedges (Nordstrom) // 2. Daniel Wellington St. Andrews Watch (also seen here) // 3. Raven + Lily Zuriash Knit Scarf // 4. Holding Horses Patchwork Gable Boyfriend Jeans (Anthropologie) // 5. Amplified Buttondown (Anthropologie) // 6. Fossil Explorer Tote // 7. Alexander Wang Sheer Cardigan (TheOutnet)
ShopStyle gave their website a giant makeover and launched the new look today. In addition to being able to find pretty much anything style-wise and to create collages, I use it to find killer sales. For example: I already own items 1, 2, 3, and 5, but I wanted to find an affordable pair of boyfriend jeans, a bag, and a cardigan to complete the look. I thought I'd take a moment to show you via video how I did that using
[vimeo w=600&h=338]Since the jeans were only $20, I bought those this morning. The Fossil bag and the Alexander Wang cardigan will go on my wish list, and I've set a sale alert to email me if the prices drop.

It takes a lot to get me to sign up for a new website or service; I'm a bit of a curmudgeon, set in my ways. However, ShopStyle truly is great. I've been using it for years, and I'm thrilled with their recent improvements.

Get my cozy, comfortable fall look here:


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Most used products: one month after baby

FamilyIndiana Adams

A sweet reader named Rachael had a brilliant idea. She dug my maternity favorites post and asked if I could list some of my favorite finds for "healing, style, beauty, and baby " post delivery. I'm still using 1, 2, and 3 from this post, and delightfully, my Timi & Leslie diaper bag (seen here) is still going strong, but other than those, there's only a few things I use all the time. I did a quick survey of my bedroom (which is where Caroline will be crashing for the next couple of months), and here are the 12 products that I've used the most since she arrived (plus one more, #12, that I just ordered today that I expect I'll be using a lot):
1. SwaddleMe Organic Swaddles // 2. Moby Wrap // 3. Boppy Pillow // 4. TLCare Organic Nursing Pads // 5. Aden + Anais Cotton Swaddles // 6. Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Sleep Bra // 7. Gilligan & O'Malley Lace Nursing Bra // 8. Gilligan & O'Malley Wirefree Nursing Bra // 9. Belly Bandit Bamboo // 10. Shrinkx Hips // 11. Hulu Plus (on my iPad) // 12. Samsung EX2F // 13. Baby Connect

1. Jersey-knit swaddles // SwaddleMe Organic Swaddles: Caroline is using Jude's hand-me-downs, including these swaddles. I like these because they are thick t-shirt material (vs. fleece), so Caroline doesn't get too sweaty since we have her in a long-sleeved nightgown underneath. I'm impressed these have held up to near daily use through one child and made it to the next!

2. Fabric baby carrier // Moby Wrap: My Moby Wrap is my key to sanity. I've learned the hard way that most shopping carts cannot accommodate both my toddler and my baby (let alone the groceries, too!). When we're running errands, Caroline is in the wrap so that my hands are free to wrangle Jude, and when I just can't figure out why Caroline is crying, she goes into the Moby and instantly starts to doze. I don't want to say it's magic, but it's pretty much magic.

3. Nursing cushion // Boppy pillow: Again, I'm getting heavy use out of my Boppy as I breastfeed. I also like to prop Caroline up on the Boppy for tummy time. Before Jude was born I sewed a chevron cover for mine, and although chevron is done to death now, Pinterest affirms that people still really like it, so if you also want a chevron Boppy cover, you can get one here.

4. Washable (Reusable) bra inserts // TLCare Organic Nursing Pads: I highly recommend getting at least twelve pairs of these. I keep mine in my nightstand and an extra pair in my diaper bag. If I spring a leak, there's always a dry pair nearby. I simply toss the used ones in with our cloth diapers (which we wash daily) to keep the clean ones in steady supply.

5. Muslin blankets // Aden + Anais Cotton Swaddles: Truth be told, I attempted to make my own swaddle blankets when I spied some muslin at the fabric store. It was not at all the same. The Aden + Anais ones are the cream of the crop. They've stayed incredibly soft despite constant use and washing for 2+ years.

6. Nursing bras for sleep // Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Sleep Bra: Chris actually bought this bra for me! My chest is much bigger this time around so my nursing bras from last time didn't work. This meant I had to send Chris out to grab me some more. He came back with a couple of these, and they are as comfortable as they are cute. I loved them so much that I went back and got two more.

7. Pretty nursing bras // Gilligan & O'Malley Lace Nursing Bra: When I do get out and about, I do not wear my unlined, thin sleeping bras (um, hello, nipples!). While underwire isn't recommended for nursing mothers around the clock, sometimes the girls need a little oomph and you want to wear something pretty underneath.

8. No wire, t-shirt nursing bras // Gilligan & O'Malley Wirefree Nursing Bra: This bra is the happy medium between a sleeping bra and a lacy underwire. Smooth and seamless and lightly lined, these bras work perfectly under tees and tanks.

9. Abdomen binder // Belly Bandit Bamboo: I wore this starting the very next day after having Caroline. Something I never knew until I experienced it: the day after giving birth, your belly will feel like a deflated beach ball. The Belly Bandit helped things feel less loose and gave me the added benefit of supporting my back and causing me to have better posture as I established nursing.

10. Hip binder // Shrinkx Hips: Two weeks ago, I squeezed my booty into these jeans and I've pretty much worn them constantly since. I'd like to say it's thanks to Shrinkx Hips that I'm already back into (some of) my pre-pregnancy jeans, but I don't know if that's true. However, I will say that my pelvis hurt less when I wore the band.

11. iPad entertainment // Hulu Plus: For a significant portion of my day, I am tethered to the recliner or the bed nursing Caroline. We don't have cable or Netflix, so last month I decided to try Hulu Plus. Oh, man, I am loving it. There are a few ads (but I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't mind ads-- I get to learn about new products!), but I get to watch all my favorite shows (Parks and Rec, The Office, Once Upon a Time, The Mindy Project, America's Next Top Model, Parenthood) on my own schedule for about $8/ month. Plus I've been able to catch some new shows that I really like (Nashville, Emily Owens MD) as well as some old gems (Friday Night Lights and Felicity).

12. Point and shoot digitial camera with video functions // Samsung EX2F: Every parent needs a point and shoot camera. My Canon S90 died last June, and although I loved it, it wasn't under warranty anymore and wasn't a cheap or easy fix. I was looking at my Facebook account and my blog archives and I realized I take way fewer photos without a compact camera handy (my "main camera" is a two year old Canon T2i and sometimes it's just easier to grab the compact camera and go). Although I had earmarked some funds for these shoes, this morning I decided to get a new point and shoot camera, instead. I wrote down everything I wanted: a low light lens, 1080p full HD video, external mic input, and wi-fi capabilities. The Samsung EX2F was the clear winner. The main selling points were the f1.4. lens (which is what I use on my T2i to make the background blur in my photos) and the fact that I can upload photos straight to Facebook or my iPhone via wifi. I just ordered it today, but I imagine (and hope!) that I'll use it all the time.

13. Smart phone baby tracker // Baby Connect: I hated when our pediatrician would ask, "How many poop diapers does Jude have per day?" or "How often does Jude nurse?" I'd be sitting there saying "Uh?" a lot and then lobbing my best guesses. This time around I downloaded Baby Connect so I'm no longer stumped at the doctor's office. I'm pretty sure this will make me look like a contender for the Parent of the Year Award. Right?

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And three became four

Family, StyleIndiana Adams

Well, hello there! Apologies for the long and unexpected absence from the blog. I had a baby, y'all! All is well, but if you ask me if I've slept through the night yet, the answer is no and please don't ask me again until 2014.

We've been spending time with out-of-town family who have been a tremendous help while my pelvis heals. I feel 90% better, and I've finally been able to get out an about. One of my priorities was to get some photos done, so last Thursday I got to meet Kim, the incredibly talented photographer behind Coati Photography. She had my family over for session, and I just love how she captured us:

outfit details // Me- pants: Old Navy / blouse: Marshall's (similar) / scarf: c/o Raven + Lily / shoes: Minnetonka // Chris- sweater: Calvin Klein / pants: Levi's / shoes: Dr. Scholl's // Jude- sweater: Gap / jeans: Levi's / shoes: c/o Minnetonka // socks: Gap (similar) // Caroline- dress: Gap / pants: Old Navy (similar) / bow: Amazon

We'll probably end up using some of Kim's photos for our Christmas cards unless the kiddos give me a stellar Santa picture akin to Jude's 2011 Santa photo (one can only hope, right?).

If you're an Austin local and you're toying with the idea of having professional photos done either for your holiday cards or to document your life's milestones (new baby, pregnancy, engagement, etc), I cannot recommend Kim enough. Her work speaks for itself, and because she recently adopted a sweet baby boy, she is shifting to doing more lifestyle photography (versus events) so her prices are incredibly reasonable. Take advantage while you can!

For more info visit: Coati Photography website | blog | Twitter | Facebook

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[Updated!] The very long and very true story of Caroline's very short birth

FamilyIndiana Adams

It only took us three days, but Chris and I finally settled on a name. Meet Caroline Maple Adams.

Maple was chosen because my grandpa planted a silver maple for each of his grandchildren, and they're my favorite tree. Lucy was a very close second choice for a first name, but in the end I decided that Caroline gives me the freedom to name subsequent children names outside the Beatles catalog. Not that I'm planning on having subsequent children already. My crazy birth experience would probably give anyone pause when considering birthing again.

There are two reasons why I initially considered not writing down and/ or publishing Caroline's birth story. First, Chris cautioned me that any account of a mother having a ten pound baby... at home... without pain meds... in twenty minutes... could make the delivering mother come off as a braggart. Secondly, there was a major embarrassing mishaps that happened that my family would probably feel most comfortable if I did not share. It is this second piece of information, though, that assures that I will not come off as a braggart, so as embarrassing as it is, it is an essential part of the story.

It took me nearly two years to share Jude's birth story here, although most of our friends know all the nitty gritty details. I think Chris is still embarrassed that I shared so much private information with strangers, but in the spirit of sharing between women (and because you have already seen a rendering of me nearly nude), I have decided to go ahead and share the very long but true story of Caroline's very short birth. Again, do not read on if you're squeamish about birth details.

Chris and I really enjoyed our experience with our midwife, so we again opted for a homebirth with Julia and Laurie. Because Jude's birth was considered precipitous (a birth that is less than three hours from contractions to delivery) and because I didn't call Julia until I thought I felt Jude's head coming out, I was told to call IMMEDIATELY at the very first sign of early labor this go around (yes, with bold, italics, and in all caps). "Yes! Yes, I will," I promised. However, I wasn't counting on lighting striking twice. I was not holding out hope for a quick delivery again, and I was mentally preparing for a more typical labor of 12- 17 hours.

My due date came and went. On Tuesday I went to Marshalls, Central Market, and had lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant. I had an appointment with my midwife Laurie, and that night I quietly celebrated Jude's second birthday at home with Chris and my mom. I went to bed a little discouraged and sad that our daughter and Jude wouldn't be sharing a birthday.

The next morning, as Chris left to go to the gym, he said his morning prayers with me, and I asked him to rub my lower back. I drifted back to sleep as he prayed and rubbed. It was 5:20 a.m., and the day had begun just like every other day for us.

Warning: the TMI section begins now...

A little after 5:45, I got up to go to the bathroom. Since incontinence is somewhat common for pregnant women, I wasn't super concerned that I didn't quite get to the toilet in time or get my underpants down quick enough. Yes, I had wet my pants a tiny bit, and I didn't care.

That is, I didn't care until I noticed the panty liner I had on was tinged pink. I wiped, and my toilet tissue was tinged pink, too. Since I hadn't eaten an excess of beets, I concluded that perhaps I did not wet my pants like an incontinent octogenarian, after all. That may have been a leak of amniotic fluid. And that's when I felt the teeniest, tiniest of what I thought could be a contraction. It was 5:50.

Still groggy, I called Chris at the gym, mumbling, "Hey, can you come home? My water may have broken, and I might have had a contraction." He had trouble hearing me over the gym's way too early blasting of Carley Rae Jepson. He didn't hear me say I thought my water had broken, but he did hear me asking him to come home. He packed up his stuff and quickly made his way back to the house.

I stayed on the toilet while I contemplated all the things I should do before my real contractions began: Should I take a shower? Should I braid my hair? I texted my best friend Bee and took down a blog post I had scheduled that had said I hadn't yet had the baby. It was now 5:58.

Then... WHAMO! My first undeniable contraction. I opened the Baby Bump Pro app on my phone to begin timing my contractions. That one had lasted :34 seconds, and the next contraction came a minute and :39 seconds later and lasted :48 seconds. I thought, "That can't be right... could it? Are these real contractions?"

I got up from the toilet and hobbled half way over to the sink. I wanted to brush my teeth, but it took way too much energy to waddle the six feet to my toothbrush. I thought, "If I can stand and kind of walk, though, then this is not it. I am in for a long day." I waddled back to the toilet and sat back down.

Then I remembered that Julia and Laurie had a new office number and it was written on an index card on my vanity in the next room. If I couldn't muster up the energy to get to my beloved toothbrush, then there was no way I was going to be able to make it to back to my bedroom to get that blasted index card. Chris would have to get it and call when he got home.

At 6:04 I texted my best friend Bee again. "Pray. It is already painful." I stood up to put my hot forehead on the linen pantry door and thought about laying down on the linoleum. I prayed, "God, I cannot do this. I don't remember this being this painful this early." I took a deep breath to calm myself and recalled some of the relaxation techniques Chris had been going over with me for the past nine months. I relaxed my scrunched up shoulders, I shook out the tention in my neck, and I reassured myself that this was not it. I was able to think, text, stand, and pray. I didn't feel like I had lost my mind, yet. My contractions were under a minute each and irregularly spaced. The previous one was three minutes prior.

At 6:07, I called Chris to check on his ETA. He didn't answer, and I started to panic. Just as I hung up, he walked through the bathroom door. I was sitting down again, and he came over and clutched my hands. I had what would be my final contraction. "The office number is on my vanity. You have to call now. And... OH NO! I think I am pushing!"

Chris left the bathroom to get the index card. I stood up and pleaded, "No, sweet baby, stay in, stay in. Stay in until someone gets here!" And then my body pushed involuntarily... a horribly familiar feeing.

Chris made the call at 6:08. "Julia, the baby is coming. DeeDee says she is pushing." History was repeating itself... or was it?

He asked me if I could make it to the bedroom and the exercise ball. I wanted to laugh. Was he serious? "No way. No."

I stood back up. "I AM PUSHING! I CANNOT HELP IT!" I felt dizzy and nauseous. This could not be happening. Then horror of horrors: I looked down and her head was hanging out of me.

Then worse horror of horrors: Dizzy, I sat down and PLOP! Out she came. Into the toilet.

I'll just let that sink in for you a bit. Go ahead. Go back. Reread that part if you have to. I'll wait.

Yes, folks. You read that right. My newborn baby fell into the toilet!

Are you horrified? Or are you laughing?

I mean, I've read stories about women giving birth in banks and at the grocery store, and I've always been like, "What the heck? How is that even possible?" I've even read a tale or two about women giving birth in toilets, and I thought that was absolutely bat crap crazy and something that only happens to rednecks or idiots and/ or people on that show "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" (1, 2, 3).

But, people, it happened to me (and if I had to choose, I lean "redneck" vs. "idiot"). For the record, I am both horrified and laughing.

Thankfully Chris was right there. He immediately scooped our waterbaby up and wrapped her in a towel and thrust her into my arms so I could dry her off, hold her tight, and warm her up. She let out a glorious cry (no doubt not at all expecting that kind of water birth!), and I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that cry meant she was okay. Chris called Julia back, "She's here!" Julia and her assistant Nina were still en route but gave Chris some basic instructions to get me onto the bed and to keep the baby on me and warm.

In our Bradley class, our instructor emailed us this ridiculous video from 1966 called "Sudden Birth" in which we basically learned that if someone has an unassisted, sudden birth to just let it be until help arrives. Keep the baby warm, but really.... do nothing... just wait...

So, that's what we did. I stayed on the birthing throne in the bathroom while Chris put a vinyl liner on the bed and changed out our sheets for the Goodwill sets. He came back to check on me and had to deliver the placenta, too.

I moved to the bed, our baby girl pressed against my chest. She looked perfect. Big, but perfect.

Julia and Nina arrived, both with big smiles on their faces. Our new baby checked out great: great color, nice strong pulse and heartbeat, steady breathing, and a great body temperature despite her early morning swim.

Chris and I often remark that Jude's quick and early birth was a hint at what kind of child he would become. Jude is a quick learner, likes the routine of being early or on time, and enters into all his activities with gusto. If the same holds true for Caroline, I think we may have a child who is going to be full of surprises for her mom and dad... or at the very least a really great swimmer.

- - - - -

Was this the craziest birth story you've ever read? I'd love to answer any questions you have about home birth or my personal birthing experience or ... really anything. When I had Jude, I opened up a Formspring to answer questions that folks could submit anonymously in case you're a little embarrassed to ask what you really want to ask, and I thought it was really interesting to see and answer your questions (no matter how silly or serious).

If that's the case with you this time, since I no longer use Formspring, you have a couple options:

1. In the comment section below, simply type any name and any email address to leave a comment, or

2. Log into Disqus below using the following information:

Disqus login: adoredaustinguest

Password: adoredaustinguest

I'll do my best to get to every legitimate question or concern over the next week or so. It'll give me something to do while nursing.

- - - - -


[11:00 pm]: Because some have asked via email- Caroline Maple clocked in at an impressive 10 pounds, 2 ounces, had a 14 inch head, and was 22.5 inches tall.

- - - - -

Update 2 [10/10/12]: When I called Chris at 6:07, apparently, I did not hang up the phone. Chris just discovered that we have Caroline's birth on his voicemail! Isn't that crazy? We can clearly hear me saying "Oh my gosh. The baby's here!" as I see her head. When she plops into the toilet, I say, "The baby! Get the baby!". We hear Caroline's first cry, and as I'm holding her my voice turns from panic to amazed, "Hi. Oh, hi, sweet baby. Hi. Hi," I say. The voicemail ends when Chris calls Julia. Wow! Just wow. 

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Mother daughter fashion drama

StyleIndiana Adams

Ever since I was little, I have thought that my mom was one of the most fashionable people, ever. Now at age 55, she still rocks the skinny jeans, designer handbags, and oversized sunglasses like nobody's business.
mymotherGet her look: jeans // top // shoes // bag // glasses
I've mentioned this before but she hates how I dress (exhibits A and B). It blows her mind that some people read my blog for my insight into personal style. Just the other day, I was wearing a housedress she had bought me from Thailand, thrown together with a lace kimono and cutoffs and she was like, "Why you wear so many things? No one knows where to look when they look at you." It's called layering, mother, and Pinterest assures me it's a thing. When it comes to her own style, my mom likes to keep it simple... except for her quips and critiques. I swear, if she and Michael Kors ever got into a fashion insult battle, my mom would shame him to silence.

Out of curiosity and for big laughs, I showed my mom three of my favorite outfits from this year to see what she had to say about them.
top3These are actual quotes from my mother about these actual outfits (please imagine them in a thick, Thai accent and a deep voice not unlike Maya Rudolph's impression of Donatella Versace):
1. "Why that hat? You look like you work in the garden. Pink and yellow and the blue? Please. I'd be embarrassed to be seen with you."
2."I have that hat. I wear it when I go fishing. This jacket okay. That dress okay. Those shoes not okay with that jacket. Leopard doesn't go with everything, you know."
3. "I don't understand this. What did you do? It looks like you fell in your closet and just came out wearing what fell down on you. Cheetah and stripes and different stripes? The only thing that matches is the belt and the shoes."

As you can see, I love unexpected details and wearing at least one item that is so outlandish a stranger could use it as a starting point to begin a conversation with me. My mom, however, would prefer me to dress like this daily:
momoutfitIf my mother dressed me, I'd be wearing: 1. dark, designer jeans // 2. high quality but simple t-shirts // 3. strappy sandals // 4. designer, oversized sunglasses // 5. small, designer watch // 6. legacy handbag // 7. I'd carry a shih tzu.
In fact, I showed her the above collage and she said, "Oh, that my stuff! I love it all! That my bag and my dog and my glasses! Who makes those shoes? I want them. I love everything in this photo."

And this is why, even though I think she is incredibly fashionable, I could never, ever let her pick out my clothes (or dog). I have decided that she and I are just going to have to agree to disagree.

Thankfully I usually think she's hilarious and spot on. Sometimes I think we should have our own reality tv show. Certainly we're no ladies of Big Rich Texas (oh, man, talk about mama drama!). But if my mom and I had big money, big hair, big attitudes, and even bigger drama, we'd certainly fit in over there... if you could get past her thick accent.

I know it's uncouth to admit this, but I love reality tv. Combined with my love for fashion and my own mama drama, I think I could love Big Rich Texas and can't wait to tune in. I for one, am looking forward to checking it out.
BIGRICHTEXASBig Rich Texas premieres Sunday October 7 8/7c on Style.

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She is here!

FamilyIndiana Adams

This morning I had a post queued up that basically said, "Some of you may be wondering 'have you had that baby, yet?' with this outgoing link. But around 6:00 this morning, I deleted it.
familyBaby Girl Adams (who is still unnamed) was born at home at 6:10 this morning after a surprisingly quick, 20 minute labor. She came before the midwives could arrive, and Chris had only just returned from the gym... just in time for my last contraction and two pushes. Our girl weighs ten pounds, two ounces and is 22.5 inches long. I am still in shock, but I am doing well.

I have a non-baby related post queued up for tomorrow (it is a funny post about my mom) so we're going to spend tomorrow relaxing and recovering. Nursing is going well. Baby is doing well. Jude slept through her delivery, but upon meeting her, he whispered "I love you", his little voice full of wonder. I am not super sentimental, but that quiet moment was perfection for me.

Full birth story to come. For now we rest.

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