I am so in love with the fabrics I have for this spring & summer leggings collection. The new design of a more roomy bottom and less of a skinny leg works well for my (YES ALMOST 20 pound 4 month old) big little baby. You may also have a little lovie in your life that needs some summer leggings love.

Every time I release new fabrics, I hear this from you, kind friends: you are out of stock in the one fabric I love! To try to remedy this, I’m doing an instagram custom-sizing sale on Monday. This means you hop over –> to here –> my instagram account. Then you comment on the photo of the leggings you want, tell me the size you want, and I paypal invoice you so that it’s sold then and there and no one can snatch it up away from you!!

A few of them but not everything!

EEEK I kinda want to keep them all. But I won’t! I’m sharing the love, people.

See you on the ‘gram tomorrow!

Dead giveaway. If you crane your neck to look past the baseball cards, unfolded underwear, used tape, and assortment of half-colored workbooks, and those weren’t the signal we have kids, welcome to my bathrooms.

We live in a big ole house with lots of bathrooms. Some are rarely used. Some are frequent favorites. But nearly all of them have one of these fifteen characteristics of people-with-kid-bathrooms.

1) hand towel on the ground.

It may be clean; it may be dirty. You just don’t know and don’t dare risk using it. It literally could have been anywhere. It’s also slightly damp.

2) garbage can missing.

It was loaded with unmentionables and taken out to the kitchen to be tossed with the rest of the garbage . . . last week sometime . . . and hasn’t made it back. So meanwhile, there’s a pile of used q-tips, wet-ones, and hair balls in the corner.

3) toilet paper not on roll.

It could be behind the toilet, on the back of the toilet, or set in the shower. But it’s not on the roll.

4) stool near toilet.

If you’re an adult, please, do not use the stool. It needs to be wiped down. Just kick it with your foot out of the way so you can make it to the toilet, semi-unscathed.

5) suspicious crusting near toilet paper roll holder.

Someone may have tried to wipe himself while waiting for a slow old mama to get the wet wipes to finish off a number 2 job. So anything that’s remotely crusted looking needs to be hosed down. Don’t touch it. It’s not chocolate.

6) bath toys anywhere but the bath.

Why do we buy these? Why do we let them get moldy and God forbid you have the ones that keep water inside to squirt out? I had to trash them. The questionable length of time water sits in there is . . . ugh.

7) toothpaste out, half squirted.

Two flavors in our house: strawberry or blueberry. And sometimes people want a combo. It’s like I run a dairy queen.

8) about 43 small tooth flossing thingies on the side of the sink.

Floss your kids’ teeth, they said. It will be fun for them, they said. Half the time they use them as weapons on each other and the other half, I’m toddling after them with it in my hand insisting, just let me hold your mouth still for one more second. The packaging looks more appealing to me the buyer than them the consumer.

9) nearly three dozen hair binders, but none the color your daughter wants.

Pink, or purple. God help the yellow and tan ones. Nobody likes them.

10) a diaper that was on someone, but not soiled, but still crunched up, maybe going to be used tonight.

Hey, trying not to waste here, people! These are our favs and compostable, so I don’t feel as bad when it’s not soiled but just . . . worn too well.

11) baby soap that some people ahem, me, like to use that shouldn’t so it’s always running low.

The half second the older kids are alone in the bathtub (don’t leave your kids unwatched! remember they can drown in a 1/2 inch of water), they douse themselves in it. Thanks for making such a great product, Molly. So great, it is almost too great.

12) baby towels with hoods no one uses but everyone fights over.

The baby is the only one small enough to even contemplate using these but it’s the middle two who fight like roosters over them.


13) stack of mismatched towels precariously perched, ready to be pulled asunder by a tot.

Yes, I also used to have matching towels without holes in them. Yes, I do store them in a separate drawer and only take them out for the guest bath, right, Haley? So the rest of the crew gets what they get.

14) an inset toilet seat that the toddler insistes he doesn’t need, but was probably peed on regularly for a few years, hanging out near the toilet. Close enough to smell, far enough away to look menacing.

Tell me your kid actually can get up and over his or hers and properly use it? This third potty trainer basically skipped it and has only fallen into the toilet (wet bottom only!) once.

Any tell-tale signs in your house?

you may also enjoy:

S&*t My Catholic Kids Say

Parenting When You’re a Lawyer

7 Things Not to Say to a Very Pregnant Woman

Another 40 days and 40 nights (nearly) of Lent seemingly gone the way of failure. I sink into my hot cocoa mug, relinquishing the guilt that yes, our family gives up treats for Lent, that Jesus-diet guaranteed to break the monopoly sugar gut bacteria hold on my taste buds.

My hot cocoa desires are based in a coping mechanism. Coping with another long recovery. Coping with the broken sleep that even the best little side-nursing cosleeper still bestows upon me. Coping with mental juggling and a touch of postpartum anxiety. I’m no coffee lover, so cocoa caffeination is all I can cling to.

But this failure of really giving up treats brought me to another failure: my slow recovery. My pelvic floor took a number when I birthed this big baby and her shoulder dystocia. I’m healing on two fronts: internal pelvic floor and external SI-joints. My pelvis remains twisted and one side of my pubic bone is higher than the other. They’re called symphysis pubis dysfunction  and diastasis symphysis pubis and I know others struggled with this throughout pregnancy and into their postpartum.

While I bustled around the country for the Blessed is She retreats, stupidly not even asking for a ride from those carts at the airport, carrying my 18 pounder in the carrier, my ligaments continued to not heal. While I decided to tackle changing over their coats and clothes for spring, sitting unevenly for hours, lunging forward to drag a pile toward me, bending to scoop up stray solo mittens, my ligaments continued in their frail state.

A first visit to the chiropractor after months of physical therapy revealed my bones are still in the wrong place. While my adjustment was thorough and helpful, the days after turned into Nell-back-in-bed, sore soft tissue, sore spots all around my ole mama body.

More failure.

I hadn’t taken my recovery seriously enough, and tiring of my first month semi-bedrest, I had decided to just push through, just get going, just be in control again.

The other day, after a hot bath and my exercises, and laying in bed with a sleeping nursling, I sobbed to my mom, I’m like an invalid, a bystander in my own life. I can’t make a birthday party happen for my daughter; I can’t make a nice Easter dinner. It feels like from almost 7 years of pregnancy, birth, recovery, another vomit-filled pregnancy one after the other, I’ve been an invalid, a total victim to my choices, and a complete whining failure.

Her kind affirmation included words that stopped my tears in their rain gutters: it’s not a terminal diagnosis. Unlike people close to us who face cancer and other debilitating incurable diseases. I will heal up. I will look back and barely remember the inconvenience of a bad recovery. In the meantime, though:

What had I done with my suffering?

Had I whined and cried a lot. YES. Had I occasionally understood I could offer it up and bear it for the sake of my sweet friends who suffer with fertility challenges and miscarriage, infant loss and children differently abled? Yeah, sure. But had I really believed suffering to be a gift? Absolutely not.

Do you find yourself recoiling a little from that phrase? Oh, Nell, that’s so nice and Catholic sounding but let’s hope I’m not given the opportunity to live it out. That’s been me my whole life. I pray, “Give me suffering, Lord, but not very much.” Suffering means pain and pain is to be avoided at all costs because my life is a series of child-related-endurance races between netflix + ice cream binges.

This isn’t to say we’re not supposed to be happy and joyful and seek beauty and joy to have & to spread! Catholics aren’t masochists. We love a good beer, some serious dancing, and a celebration of the delights of our sexuality (read theology of the body, etc).

But what do I have to offer Jesus this Lent? I caved on the hot cocoa gift. But it’s not too late. It’s not too late to unite my suffering with those of my sisters & sisters-in-Christ to offer it as a paltry gift to Our Beloved this weekend. I may not be able to attend all the glorious liturgy. I may be in bed more than I’d like. I may sit idly by as my mom and sisters churn out a deluxe Easter feast.

But I can say, with my whole heart, this is a suffering, this is a gift.

Holding you & your intentions in my heart as we enter in, deeper and deeper, to know suffering is an inroad to hold more love inside us, greater empathy, and lasting peace.

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