5 Favorites about RAINYday Bibs + a GIVEAWAY

*Disclosure: RAINYday Bibs offered me a bib in exchange for this review. BUT, I had planning on writing about them anyhow, AND I already have purchased several, so I’m passing the bib along to you!*

 

puddlejumper

I have to admit something: I’m a lazy, lazy mom.

Well, I guess I should clarify: I think I have a touch of…how shall we say…distractibility…and by the time I finish chasing all the wild tangents of my brain, I’m too exhausted from my undisciplinedness to buckle down to the mundanity of sweeping the crumbs up off the floor and tackling the mountain of clothes.

Call me a thrill seeker. Who is a homebody.

If you will.

When Liam was born, way back 6 years ago, we were…clueless? I don’t think we had even really figured our highchairs. So when Liam was about 6 months ago, he + me went on his first cross-country (airplane) trip to visit all his grandparents in the Pacific NW.

And my mom brought forth both a highchair and a bib.

Good Grandma. Clueless Mom.

"Tell us something we don't know, Mom."

“Tell us something we don’t know, Mom.”


By the time Logan came along, I decided it was easier to just strip a baby down to baby skivvies for meals.

And all the time.  Unless we were leaving the house.

I dunno. Summers in South Korea. Hot. Humid. Lazy mom. It all adds up.

And yet. And YET. I sorta have always wanted to be the sort of mom that bibs up her progeny at all the appropriate moments. So I have tried out LOTS of bibs. And then cried over the extra laundry.

I’m still pretty clueless. And I still often subscribe to the Diaper Only Dress Code for Dinner.

BUT, when I DO Bib UP! I now, exclusively, bib up with Rainyday Bibs. (I know this sounds cheesy, but it’s 100% true and was way before writing this post!)

Bib and dirtI do this for a few reasons:

~1~

They are practical. The big ones catch messes. They offer great baby-coverage. (Ami is pictured in the Puddle Jumper-wipe off, and you can see how it covers her whole front.) The laminated cotton ones are wipeable for less-messy meals (ok, those don’t really exist in my house, because my kids can make an ordeal even out of Saltines). The Drizzle bibs are absolutely perfection for catching the massive amounts of drool. (Side note: Amélie drools so much that she actually would get wet and cold this past winter.) I think these make GREAT shower presents!

~2~

They are SO cute. I mean. Seriously.

there is this one…

…and THIS one…

…and just when I think I’ve found a favorite…

 

~3~

They are really well made, and they really have quality craftsmanship.  The snaps make the neckline adjustable, which is great as your little one grows.

snaps
~4~

The momma who makes them is pretty darn amazing. She is the mom to some lovely ladies I grew up with and my kids now play with her grandkids. It’s a small world when you are a Catholic homeschooler in the PacNW.

bibdetail

well-made, super-soft


~5~

You get to win one!!

The great news is that I’m offering your choice of a Rainyday bib to WIN! If you are a mom, enter. If you are a grandma, enter. (My mom and her friend keep these at their houses for when grandkids come!) If you know a baby, enter (this would make a great shower gift!).  Are you ready to Rafflecopter?!?!?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RAINYday Bibs has also graciously offered to reimburse shipping costs (to addresses within the US) for every reader ordering in the month of May – so remember to mention FromLittleHands in the notes to the seller! I also definitely suggest giving Rainyday Bibs the ol’ thumbs up on Facebook as it’s a great way to know when there are special offers and discounts.

Thanks to Hallie for hosting my favorite link-up!

Crickets chirp…

Mom and Girl

“I’ll take Crickets Chirp, Alex, for $500″.

“In this place, one can hear crickets chirp.”

“What is Maia’s blog?”

“That is correct.”


 

Sometimes you get to the point where you fall into bed at night and you just can’t be creative.

And there are so many things one COULD say, but one isn’t quite sure how much the blog world needs to know (wants to know?)

Or you take time to finish off Lent with a little more walkie and a little less talkie.

Or all of the above.

The natural ebb and flow of a blog. 

(Also, for the record, for the past week and a half, for some reason Bloglovin’ just WILL not work on my phone and keeps declaring “invalid hash” when I try to open it. And I don’t even have any clue what that means. So all my blog-reading and blog-lovin’ has been on a hiatus. Mea culpa, my blog friends. I’ll be back on the commentin’ wagon soon.)


 

In the meantime here is an interview update between me, myself, and a magic eight ball:

Are you still living in a studio apartment?

Without a doubt

 

Do you have plans to move soon?

Ask again later

 

How many bottoms would you say that you wipe in a day? 

Better not tell you now

insert happy sticker face here

I had this “stellar” idea to put accountability in the hands of my boys.  I tried asking the other adults in my life, but it turns out that everyone is willing to cut me too much slack.

So I sat the boys down at the table, and I said, “Ok, kids.” (Just like the Bob book.) I said, “Momma needs to start getting some more exercise around here so I can have more patience.”

They sat at the table and just kept drawing. This was not the motivational moment I was hoping for.

“Sooooo…” plunging forward “…I need YOU guys to be my coaches!!”

This was still not the warm reaction I’d been hoping for.  Logan arched an eyebrow. Liam batted an eye. Both kept coloring.

“How about,” I continued, “how’s about you guys remind me every day that I need to do at least ten minutes of exercise.”

nothing.

“It’ll be like this: YOU get to tell ME what to do.”

still nothing.

Desperately, “You can make me a sticker chart?”

“Oh, YEAH! Mom! We will make you a sticker chart! You will have to do what we say and if you do we will give you a STICKER!!”

So there you have it, folks.

I am now the proud owner of a homemade sticker incentive chart, complete with stickers from the back of the Bob book and stars for the rest days.

But you know what?
It’s working.

7 Things you Probably Could Skip Reading

I have approximately seven random odds and ends to talk about. So here I was thinking, “Well, I’ll just throw up a mashmish sort of post.” When I realized that it’s Friday. And there’s an app…erm…linkup…for that. Also, this sinus crud is making me dingy. No medicine required.  Read at your own risk. Or go click away to more edifying reading.

~1~

Polling the readership for teaching reading ideas.  We are pretty laid back here. Buuuuut…the 4yo taught himself to read. And the 5yo is sort of flabbergasted (as are we all). And after my voice gave out while reading On the Banks of Plum Creek, he forlornly requested his little brother to finish up reading. Early this am, Li was by my bed with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, asking if we could, “please do this today.” And I wanted to run for the hills screaming.  We tried this book and the hangup was all me. Halp!

~2~

Sorry, Kendra. I just HAVE to post about poop today.

After attempting to direct life, “from the throne”, as it occurred on the other side of the bathroom door, I instructed Liam that, “You may NOT run life while you sit on the toilet.”

Li: *pause*
Li: ok, then, but there are two sharks swimming in the toilet, and I might not make it.
Maia:
Li: *pause*
Li: oh, never mind. They are after my poop.
Maia:

it’s a whole new perspective on SharkTank over here…

next week on Shark Tank…

~3~

I had a dream that I looked absolutely amazing in hats. We are talking incredible.  I’m not sure that I’ve dreamt that something that farfetched since I dreamt, at age 12, that I could swim in air. I’m sure that dreams of this nature mean that one can achieve anything. Or that one needs more sleep.

~4~

How to Stir Peanut Butter

just kidding

I actually was going to write a whole post on that. (This sore throat/sinus thing is clouding my ok-judgement). But I’m just going to spare you the gory details and just boil it down for you:

  1. Stir (the natural stuff) by moving the knife up and down a bit to get yourself started and then pop it in the fridge for a half an hour or so in order to solidify the oils a bit and make it not so gloopy. Then pull it back out and finish the job.
  2. You didn’t need me to actually expand that into three steps for you, did you? Nope. Didn’t think so.
half-way stirred peanut butter is still ok to make a sandwich with

half-way stirred peanut butter is still ok to make a sandwich with

~5~

Anybody else happen to notice that The Blair Witch Project is “NOW on Amazon Instant Video”? I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around anyone putting energy towards even clicking on that, much less doing whatever it is they do to put it on AIV.

~6~

Our Ash Wednesday Mass was combined Spanish/English. One reading was in English, the other in Spanish. Our priest is from Colombia, and he flows in and our of Spanish and English beautifully. When the lector started reading the 2nd reading in Spanish, Li suddenly perked up and, loud enough for 3-pew-radius (3PRs for those of you who calculate everything your children say in Mass Volume), piped, “Is he talking GERMAN?!?!” (That’s the language, other than English that he gets most exposure to.)
Maia: *whispering* no, honey, that’s Spanish
Li: *NOT whispering* oh WOW! I can’t even BEGIN to understand what he’s talking!!

And, yet, this is the child who yells out “Vamanos!” when he wants his little brother to follow him on the playground…

~7~

I’m off to try ALL THE REMEDIES to get this sore throat/sinus crud gone.  I asked to be allowed to cantor for my grandmother’s funeral (Monday), and I would love to be partially-voiced if I can’t be full-voiced. So far I’ve been drinking ACV and honey, hot liquids, tried a little oregano oil this am out of desperation, steam baths, going to go gargle with salt and do a saline sinus rinse. Rest. Fluids. What am I missing?

other things I am capable of doing when I'm sick include burning the Ash Wednesday lentil soup…I call it "Let's See What Else We Can Turn To Ashes Soup"

other things I am capable of doing when I’m sick include burning the Ash Wednesday lentil soup…I call it “Let’s See What Else We Can Turn To Ashes Soup”

~bonus take~

(Yes, I realized I could have deleted any one of these, including this one. But I’m committed to the ludocrisy at this point.) (Yes, we are just going to make “ludocrisy” a word.)

During one of our many discussions on Lent and Ash Wednesday (which always seem to occur in the car, which might account for my children’s understanding of things), Li finally declared: Well, then, I’ll just give up picking my nose.

Maia: um…
Li: Yeah! Because I pick my nose aaaalllll the time. And I really need to stop.

So, back the drawing board we go. And by drawing board I DO mean the Lenten wisdom of Like Mother, Like Daughter. Although, I have to say that I support his efforts to stop picking his nose.

Also, my apologies to Kendra. I think I might have broken every single one of your rules. Which I didn’t mean to. Because I think your list is awesome.

How to survive 7X7

After posting every. day. last week (yes, I did, even if the posting times on my blog don’t show that I did), I thought this would be a nice week to post a-little-less-than-seven-maybe-closer-to-four times. But unless I post every day, that’s not happening. And that’s not happening. But I did want to check in and tell you:

  1. I started to write a post yesterday, and I was very nearly finished with a mediocre piece. I was going to post it, in all its mediocrity. It DID have pictures. So…aiming real high right here.
  2. Someone pressed the rocker switch on the surge protector.
  3. Jesus saves.
  4. I don’t. Obviously.
  5. If you decide to blog 7 posts in 7 days, for your own sanity, catch up on blog reading prior to starting. I’m just NOW getting to posts written 16 days ago, and I generally like and am able to stay current and commenting on the blogs that I love.

That’s pretty much all I got. Now, excuse me, I gotta get back to blog READING.

Réquiem Ætérnam

It’s been a long day.

It’s been a tearful day.

It’s been a blessed day.

Réquiem ætérnam dona ei Dómine; et lux perpétua lucent ei. Requiéscat in pace. Amen.

(Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.)

The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Breakfast: Tricksy Oatmeal

Bad blogger here, reporting in with no pictures. Bad blogger. Bad. Also rogue blogger as I’m posting from a remote location. We are all off kilter, but post I will. (Also, I just realized that my blog is stuck on Central Time, so if any of the 7X7 police are looking askance at my posting times, all I can say is that I am totally keeping up even if I get squeaky close to the daily deadlines, and I’m on Pacific Time.)

As we were getting ready to hit the road this morning, I realized that the kids needed to eat. They always need to eat it seems. Breakfast especially gets me. They just can’t seem to make do with a cup of coffee. And cereal just gets eaten too fast. Necessitating more frequent shopping. And before you know it, you are out of milk again. I especially dislike having my shopping habits held hostage by milk and cereal.

So. Eggs it is, if I have my way. Unfortunately, since breakfast happens before coffee, or at least is started before coffee has started, I often let these fatal words escape my mouth: ” What would you like best to eat?”

I do this because by this point in time I apparently haven’t graduated from Rookie Mom.

My kids smell weakness a mile off, and before I can back peddle, shout: “OATMEAL!!”

So. Oatmeal it is. *sigh*

But here’s where I get my revenge for them taking advantage of pre-caffeine stupidity. OR just ensure that they get some protein and, ideally, last longer until next required nourishment.

Tricksy Oatmeal

Boil water (I don’t measure. I eyeball everything. You boil the amount you need.)

While the water comes to a boil beat some eggs thoroughly. I use as few as one and as many as four (in oatmeal for 1 adult, 2 boys, 1 baby). Set aside.

Add oatmeal into boiling water (Again, I eyeball everything. Make oatmeal the way you make it for your crew.)

Using a ladle or measuring cup, spoon a bit of boiling water and oats into the eggs. I believe this is called tempering, but you might want to Phone-a-French-Chef before you quote me on that. Spoon a little, wisk a little, spoon a little, wisk a little, until the eggs are (slowly) quite warm. If they don’t get warm enough slowly enough they will just look scrambled.

Once they get warm enough you stir the eggs+oatmeal into the pot of oatmeal and stir until it’s thick and creamy.

Confession: sometimes I don’t get them warm enough, and you can kinda tell that this is basically scrambled-eggs-in-oatmeal but them I just tell the boys that they can read Lego brochures at the table, which means they won’t scrutinized their food. That works quite well. If I DO get them warm enough, then it makes the oatmeal all creamy and pudding-y. But I’ll probably still let them read Lego brochures just to keep them from walking me through the ingredient list before I’ve finished my coffee.

Add-ins that are good (bordering on great):
1) a swirl of maple syrup (honey or brown sugar are ok, but maple syrup is grand)
2) raisins or other dried fruit
3) chia seeds (these are GREAT for nursing mamas…energy, calcium, magnesium, fiber and all that)
4) flax seed and/or coconut

So far none of the troops have complained. Not that complaints would do them any good. Muahahahahaha.

fail to win

Today was not my proudest of moments.  Wanna hear about it? I know you do.

Before I begin, would you please join me in asking for Mama Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Pio to make intercession for a strong and wonderful woman who has loved God and also these three? I know they will comfort her as she turns her sights towards Heaven.

I’m not one to swear*, by nature. I’m hard to shock, so that’s not it. I sorta wish I was the sort if person who could pull off, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” You know. CLASSY profanity. Um, ok, so maybe that doesn’t exist. But, you know what I’m talking about? Some people turn the drop a choice word and you think to yourself, “*gasp* there are CHILDREN present!” And some people can turn the air a little blue and the effect is just different. Think Irish priest who has the room in stitches. I think it has to do with one’s mood and intent when said choice words are dropped? Maybe.

You know?

But me? If I use bad words it just sounds like a little kid wearing underpants on her head looks. A little ridiculous. Not as cute. But just as ridiculous.

I’d like to say I don’t swear because piety. But that’s not the reason. I don’t use profanity because vanity. *sigh*

TODAY I dropped a good “Son of a NUTCRACKER!” I was reminded last Christmas that is a good choice word for me. I can swear it with vehemence and it can help me to immediately laugh at myself.

I needed to laugh at myself.

All day I WANTED to write a good blog post so that I could complain complain complain.

“Everything happened wrong.” I wanted to write that…except that really only ONE thing happened wrong and I just decided to let it color my whole day. “Nothing happened right.” I longed to declare that…except that nearly EVERYTHING happened right, but I was just letting that ONE thing that went wrong color my whole day. I’m emotional. My kids were so sweet and wonderful today. And me? I was just frumpy and frustrated with every little annoyance. Every last bit. So I ranted and raved at nutcrackers. And reminded myself that there were children present.  And laughed at myself. Wryly. I then sat down on the stairs with my head on my knees to have a party. Of one. Pity style.

Then cleaned the apartment while my kids played outside.

engineerAnd the sun shone all day. And I STILL planned to write a whiny, complainy blog post. (And, in between the lines, apologize to every single person who is mired in snow.)

And then, in an instant, I realized I had to end my pity party. In a phone call I was reminded how nothing remains but love. Gratitude closed around me like one of those slap bracelets I used to love.

So I patched the pants I didn’t really want to patch. And I read the stories that I thought I was too tired and grumpy to read. And I reveled in my funny kids who love each other so much (in between fighting so fiercely) that it makes my heart ache because it swells so much. And we prayed our prayers for peace and comfort for my Nani. Even though I think I might have failed any and every “test” today, our little family ended our day in love. And that’s a win.

*note: I use “swear” and “profanity” interchangeably. Yes, I know the difference. Yes, I am pretty much referring to profanity. Yes, I will roll my eyes at you if you call me out. But you are good readers. I know you will not.

Do you hear the people sing?

I’m linking up with Cari’s Theme Thursday because I actually really need to talk about a fence today.

peeking through the fence

peeking through the fence

…FIRST…some backstory…

…we live with my in-laws.

They have a dog. We have a dog. Our dog, Doofy, is pretty big. We love him. He loves us. He hates thunderstorms. He likes snow. He’s from Alabama. He loves to dig.

That last trait is not earning him any love around here.

He and his partner in crime, my in-law’s dog, have taken to pacing the fence.  There is a dog who likes to hang out on the other side and taunt them with his freedom.

note the path worn along the fence from the dogs’ regular “beat”

So our two dogs have decided to share. His freedom, that is.

The fence? Well, the fence is old. It would be quite adequate for no dogs. Or even dogs who weren’t interested in getting out.

Over the past few weeks we have been in quick-fix mode instead of fix-it-right mode. And, so, the fence looks like this

We always find that the dogs have pushed through the board at the worst possible moments…when it’s pitch black out, when someone has to be at work, when it’s pouring down rain, when I can’t leave the kids. We keep grabbing whatever we can get our hands on in order to keep the dogs in.

I’m beginning to feel like we live next to The Barricade.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
WHOSE DOGS WILL NOT ESCAPE AGAIN!!!

Fence? Barricade? I’m losing the distinction.