On Kisses, Smiles and …

Yesterday, I was having one of THOSE days. The kind where my house feels small and dirty (it was definitely dirty), I was bored with myself and life, and I felt useless. Those kinds of days are the worst. Tyler was having a rough day because it’s been raining here and that includes not a lot of outside play so when I talked to Mr. S at 2:30, right in the middle of Tyler skipping his entire nap, I told him that he had a wife and child on the edge and that he could maybe think of something for us to do.

So! He did. We went to Dave and Buster’s with our friends and their three kids. We spent the evening eating and playing games and Tyler was so content, and probably overstimulated, by all of the lights. When I was playing skee ball, Tyler was passing me the balls to throw. It was so freaking cute. It was a great night and I definitely needed it.

When we got home, Mr. S and I started in on a movie, Tyler woke up coughing and crying. He did the most cuddling he’s done since he was probably 4 months old and although it sucks that he’s sick, I was loving it. At one moment when I comfort Tyler, he was holding his favorite stuffed Pooh bear toy.  I pursed my lips, noisily sucked in air and delivered a loud, smacking kiss right on Pooh’s nose. I wanted to see his reaction.

It was a smile, of course, but not an ear-to-ear grin or an open-mouthed laugh. It started in the middle of his mouth, then the corners slowly stretched outward and up into something so sweet and special, I’m not sure I can capture it here. Even his eyes twinkled. A magical moment between mother and son.

This morning when I woke up, I had a sore throat. The sickness has finally been passed to me. And you know what? I don’t even really care. I have a family that I feel grateful for every day and I can’t wait to see how Tyler grows and how our love for each other grows. I have a job that I am passionate about and I can’t wait to see what happens with it in the future.


Sally Huss Bibs

Ahhhhhh… those bibs! A toddler needs a godzillion bibs. Like many toddlers, Tyler makes a mess when he eats. Foods are escaping from his bowl and lands on everywhere! The worst of them all, I think, is rice. Small grains land on fabric, hair, and skin… you name it. They are sticky and dry up quickly, which makes cleaning more difficult.

As every parents try, we use bibs in the dreaming of a clean place except the bib. However, you quickly realize it is not much of help. Foods are still landing on wherever they want and you now have bibs to wash/clean unless you have godzillions of them.

You naturally think cotton bibs would be good for your toddler, so you use them but they wet easily and you have to wash and dry them a lot.  Well, maybe I can handle it at home. When we go out, those wet bibs are real problem. One day I found wonderful bibs! They are Sally Huss bibs that my friends gave. They are compact and their pocket miraculously well catches foods, which makes my life a lot easier. I LOVE them!

Turns out, that’s basically Sally Huss’s philosophy, too. The artist and author (and tennis champion/instructor to the stars!) is all about happiness. Her artwork is colorful and whimsical. One of her paintings was even on the wall in the White House, according to her Web site.

The bibs come in two sizes: Stage 1, for 3-12 months, and Stage 2, for 6 months and up, and are available at her e-store, fittingly named, The Happy Store. Tyler has two Stage 2 bibs.

“I’ve done over 100 designs in all the time I’ve created the art for the bibs,” Sally once told. “Each line is replaced by the next. So at any time there are 6 designs in the small size and 6 in the larger size. All are fun and happy like all of my art.”

I love Sally’s bright and cheery artwork on the front of the bibs, but I also appreciate the logistics of how these bibs work. The front of the bib is slick, the back is matte and soft. They are made of a non-toxic vinyl, so as safe as cotton ones. I’ve found that almost no food sticks to them. Not rice, not spaghetti, not even Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Food that doesn’t quite make it into your child’s mouth simply slides down into the pocket.

But this is not your average bib pocket.

Please excuse me to complain about bib pockets. Just for a sec. In my experience, most of the pockets on bibs don’t stay open and the food falls into Tyler’s lap anyway. Or, the food gets in the pocket and then I have to stick my hand in there to clean it out later. Or, I can’t get it out and there’s a nasty build-up of old, dried pieces of hot dog and macaroni. I’ve seen some hard plastic bibs with pockets that stay open, but I never purchased one because they seem bulky and difficult to store.

The Sally Huss bibs have a patented button closure that creates a pocket. The buttons turn the fabric into what I would describe as an upside down triangle so that the pocket opening does what it’s supposed to do: stay open to catch food.

This is why we didn’t have to pick sticky rice off of Tyler’s jeans after meal. Instead, I took the bib off, walked to the sink and simply unsnapped the pocket to let the rice fall down the drain. Then I ran the flattened bib under the hot tap. I set it on the counter and dried it with a towel. Voila! Done! No extra laundry, no disgusting food remnants all over my hand.

Because it’s so easy to clean, I don’t need the 20 cloth bibs that I was rotating from kid to laundry a bazillion times a day.