WIWS - A Baby-Free Mass

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Do you notice something rather strange about my attire this week?

Check out that neckline!  That is NOT a nursing-friendly dress!  

But I was able to wear it this week because I left the babies at home with Andrew and took John Paul and Cecilia to the 8:30 on my own.

See, the babies wake up anywhere from 5-7.  Which means by about 8 or 8:30, they're exhausted and ready for naps.  But the only Mass we can make is the 8:30, since Andrew has rehearsal for his noon Mass at 10:30.  So this week, instead of trying to placate fussy babies the entire Mass, we just let them sleep.


Dress:  Newport News from college - it's a lot snugger than it was back then, but I can still zip it up so it's a win!
Shoes:  DSW repeats
Belt:  Kohl's
Blazer:  Benneton (also college - can't button it but who cares?)
Jewelry:  A gift from a sweet sweet student (I could wear dangly earrings to Mass because I had no babies pulling at them!!!)


I promised the big kids sausage biscuits at McDonald's if they were good.  For once, we had NO yelling, NO fighting, NO need to threaten to take either of them out.  And while they didn't necessarily pay attention or pray the whole time, they were far less distracting than they usually are!

John Paul:  B+ - had to yank him away from the priest after Communion because he was trying to convince Father that it was time for an impromptu first communion...
Cecilia:  B+ - started to inch out of the pew while looking at me, daring me to scold her.  Came right back in when I threatened her with a loss of her treat.

One of the prayer intentions was for couples to be willing to have large families - that was the one time that I wished we had the twins with us, just to be a witness to the whole large family thing.  But I think at this point we're a less-than-ideal witness at Mass, since we're usually so frazzled and snappy at the kids because they're craaaaaaazy!

Now off to cook all day for a party this afternoon - hopefully the rain holds off so we can grill!

Tomorrow begins the first day of July, my pants-free month - want to join me in the challenge?

Check out more lovely linkers at Fine Linen & Purple!

My Mom Style

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Laura got me thinking about my style (or lack thereof) and how important it actually is for moms to make sure to GET DRESSED every day, and not just in yoga pants and nursing tanks!  And we all know ANMJ is all about finding your own personal mom style.

But this was really tough for me - what IS my own personal mom style?  I like a LOT of things.  I like a lot of trends, and I can't seem to commit to one look in particular...

Then I started to think about some of my favorite outfits, the ones I would wear ALL the time if I didn't think someone would notice...

Do you sense a theme?  I realized I prefer how I look in skirts and dresses.  And they're more comfortable for me - with my ever-fluctuating measurements, skirts and dresses are a whole lot more forgiving than the pants I'm either struggling to button or pulling up for the 10th time because they're too big...

Then I read Simcha Fisher's hilarious "Pants Pass" article and had to ask Andrew (because I already knew the answer), "Would you prefer it if I only wore dresses and skirts?"

I was right.  He would.  And could I blame him? After all, I'm always complaining about how pants don't fit me, and they're always falling down, and I'm just soooo uncomfortable!

So I'm going to challenge myself to an entirely pants-free July.

What does this mean?

1.  No pants in public.  Dresses and skirts only.
2.  No pants at home unless I'm in my pajamas.
3.  No pajamas outside (I've taken to gardening in my pajamas because I get so hot at night that I take my pants off to sleep anyway...  TMI?)
4.  If the kids are all dressed, I better be dressed too!
Am I the only one who gets the kids dressed and realizes that I'm still in my pajamas?  I need to stop being the last one dressed...
5.  Everything must be nursing-friendly, and specifically tandem-nursing-friendly, since there are still times when both twins need to nurse simultaneously.

I'm 7.5 months post-partum.  My measurements are fairly stable at this point.  And while I'm not particularly happy that my waist and chest are both 6 inches larger in circumference than my pre-baby days, I think it's time to figure out how to dress my body! 

Mom Style 1

Stripes and polka dots - can I do that?  I don't have all these exact items, but mine are similar... 

Back in my skinny days, I could wear the low-slung pants and have zero pooch showing.  Now with my extra padding, I need the camouflage that a high waist adds!  Slouchy shirts really help hide the pooch, too.  I love the half-tuck, since my shirt ends up getting untucked all day to nurse, so the half-tuck is an easy way to look intentional about my fashion!

Mom Style 3

Again, not the same items I own, but similar.  I love my full skirts from eShakti (speaking of which, use my referral code ROSI55AS and you can take $40 off a purchase of $55 or more!  SO worth it for an adorable skirt or dress!) and they're actually really comfortable to play with the kids in.  Sandals are my default for home, but wedges are great for Mass or when I want to kick things up a notch, since they're comfy enough to babywear in, and easy to walk in.

The button-down shirts allow for easy nursing access, and I usually just throw on a scarf to nurse in public, it provides full coverage (I don't tandem-nurse in public - it's just too hard to stay covered with these wriggly babies!).

Mom Style 2

I hear a lot of people say they can't pull off the maxi dress trend.  I just don't think that's true!  I've seen TONS of different body types in maxi dresses, and everybody looks great!  These are great for layering, because a lot of the time maxi dresses have thin straps or are too low-cut for me to be comfortable in.  I love layering a button down, lace top, or maybe even a chambray shirt?

What do you think, does this work?

Because when I don't have a full-length mirror, I ask the internet for fashion advice!

I also LOVE the concept of this InfinityMOM Nursing Scarf , an infinity scarf that turns into a nursing cover! 

It looks wiggle-proof, comes in tons of cute colors and prints, and is so fashionable! 

I'm excited (and I KNOW Andrew's excited) to try this fashion experiment - anyone want to join me? 

You don't have to go pants-free for the whole month, maybe just pick one or two days a week where you break out of the yoga-pants-and-nursing-tank mom uniform :)  I'll be posting a link-up at the end of July, so let me know how you've upped your game!

7 Quick Takes - Anniversary Edition

Friday, June 28, 2013


Happy 5th Anniversary to my awesome husband!  5 years, 4 kids, not too shabby!

What's the 5-year gift?  If it's Costco Tiramisu, I think we've got it covered...

And to bring things full circle, it hailed this afternoon, just as it hailed on our wedding day!  


This was my first full (well, not really full!) week of staying at home with the kids.  It actually went pretty well!  I had time to bake rolls from scratch, do tons of laundry, wash tons of dishes, water tons of plants, push tons of kids on swings, nurse tons of babies...  I have a feeling this is pretty much what our entire summer is going to be!



Beans grow SO fast!!!  We planted them last Thursday, they sprouted on Monday, and here they are on Wednesday and Thursday (today they're even bigger but I didn't take a picture):

But there are already bugs eating the leaves.  Grr...  Gotta figure out some sort of natural deterrent.  Suggestions?


Okay, so it wasn't really a full week by myself - Andrew took today off and we went blueberry picking in the morning.  Then I learned that it's seriously dangerous to hold the blueberries on the 45 minute drive home, because of the two quarts we picked, Andrew and I (mostly me) polished off almost an entire quart...

Whoops?  They were pretty delicious, though.  I think we'll have to go back and pick again next weekend!


 Elizabeth has forward progress TOTALLY down, so no toy is safe now.  Current favorite?  The xylophone mallet.


Mary Claire still hasn't figure it out, though...  So she has to keep getting rescued from under the couch.

  Luckily, she's got an awesome double chin that her sister lacks.


John Paul is doing the summer reading program at Barnes & Noble - we're up to 5 books that he's read himself (of 8) and it's really only a matter of writing them down and making sure he reads in a loud, clear voice.  Last summer when I tested him he was reading at a 4th grade level, so I'll have to test him sometime this summer...

If you haven't already donated for Dwija's laundry room/bar makeover, do it now!  Seriously, you'll be amazed by the generosity of the Catholic internet community!

Go check out more punctual quick takers at Jen's!

PHFR/Theme Thursday

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Trying out some B&W photography (well, black and white editing!) for Cari's challenge :


Cecilia, contemplating the bean plants' astonishing growth - nothing I love more than a chubby toddler profile!

I had NO idea our hostas were going to flower!  Such a weird-looking stalk of flowers, kind of alien-like...

Heavily-edited in B&W

We have a scraggly tiny rose bush that has been giving us sporadic blooms that I thought were perfect for this challenge!


 I made a joke about a poopy diaper.  It was well-received.


"I'm a bawwewina cow!"



John Paul hurt his foot and wanted to be carried everywhere, so I put him on the couch with a bunch of books.  He chose to play with his clock...

He has been paying SPECIAL attention to the time because he wants us to have a very rigid schedule and stick to it...  So if I serve breakfast before 8 o'clock, he won't eat until then.  He reminds me when it's 10 o'clock and time for a snack.  And 11:30 and time for lunch.  Little weirdo...

Linking up to Like Mother, Like Daughter and Clan Donaldson - go visit them!

5 Favorites

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time for yet another round of completely disjointed Five Favorites!



I rotate our toys to keep things fresh, and this is one that almost never gets put away - I tried to put it away this past rotation and John Paul found it and immediately brought it upstairs!  

I put away the choke-able parts when I have babies in the house, but it's a favorite for all ages - the babies love chewing on any and all pieces, John Paul and Cecilia love using the tools, and it's always a HUGE hit with visitors on play dates!

They have it on sale in blue and pink on Zulily right now and you get $5 off if you sign up with my code, which makes them $13 and $11 plus shipping, a pretty sweet deal!  Normally the neutral set is about $23 on Amazon.

Do you use camelcamelcamel.com to check pricing?  It'll let you set your own price on Amazon and alert you by email when your item reaches the desired price!  Considering how often things fluctuate on Amazon, I find this feature really useful.


It's a grill!  It's a griddle!  It's a panini press!  It's amazing!

I use ours ALL the time - just this past week I used it to make pancakes, fry bacon, and make quesadillas.  The plates are reversible, so you can use the grill side AND the griddle side.  I love how it drains the fat off so nicely, so I can just pour the bacon fat into a bowl and use it in my cooking all week!


Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner

I was never a liquid eyeliner fan, and when I got this as a free sample with mascara, I didn't try it for quite a while...  But I got adventurous and LOVE it!  The tip is flexible, so it goes on really smoothly.  It's NOT waterproof, which means mistakes are super-easy to correct.  But it still lasts all day!


I try to do a lot of kitchen prep when I have my hands free, since I never know how many babies I'll be holding while trying to make a meal.  These are the perfect size for practically everything - a diced onion, a bunch of lemon wedges, a million cloves of minced garlic, a scoop of hummus, fresh herbs for tonight's dinner...

And they're only $2/each, or $20 for 12! 

goodmama diapers

These are kind of a huge diaper snob sort of diaper...  Ridiculously expensive, amazing prints, so gloriously soft, and wonderfully absorbent!  Back when John Paul was a baby, we got quite a few for a decent price, but we haven't gotten any since then because they're SO expensive.

Well, they just had a promotion where the diapers were cheaper than I've seen them in years, but you couldn't pick a print, you had to buy them grab-bag-style.  And LOOK at how cute they are!  The weird rainbow leopard-print one isn't my favorite, but the beautiful blue floral is!  And Cecilia LOVES the pink floral, and the ballerinas and music is SO cute.

These (and other snapping fitteds) are AWESOME for potty training, since they snap so securely that toddlers can't get them off, and you can change the absorbency so that they can feel immediately when they're wet.  I have no doubt that these are a huge reason Cecilia was potty trained by the time she was 18 months old!

Go check out more favorites at Moxie Wife!  Or at least click over to make a donation for the Race For The Laundry Room or whatever we're calling the "Get Mice out of Dwija's Laundry Room and A Dryer IN!" campaign!
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