Rosie's Ramblings

A full review of KiwiCo

For over a year now we've been receiving a subscription box from KiwiCo each month (except for March, when we took a break while moving). I thought it was about time to write a short (unsponsored) post on it, since we really do love it, and I want to share that love with all of you!

KiwiCo is a monthly subscription box, and there are seven crates, ranging from ages 0-14 (and older!) years old. Each box is geared toward a different age range (we get the Koala Crate, which is 3-4 years old, but I'm thinking of moving Adri to the Kiwi Crate).

So, the details on why we love KiwiCo.

1. It's affordable. Only $20 a month (I think it's a little under that) and that includes shipping. I don't have to think about it, and it comes to our door every month.

2. The projects are STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). This means that it's not just a "fun" box (it's that too), but Adri is also learning about something educational with each crate.

3. It comes with everything. Okay, so this was the part that I was a little skeptical about. I'm not a huge crafty person, and the thought of finding a project to do, and then going to the store to buy all the parts for the craft is overwhelming. Each crate comes with EVERYTHING that you need (even things like tape and glue), and it's so easy. I never have to disappoint Adri by starting something and then realizing we are missing a vital part in making it.

4. It's fun. Did I say that already? It is though! I'm not sure about the crates for older children, but Adri's comes with three projects (all along the same theme) each month.

5. You can cancel at any time. This was helpful when we moved and got a bit behind on our crates. I simply stopped our subscription for a month. You have the option to "pause" for one month, or if you need more time, you can cancel and then start up when you want to start receiving the box again.

A couple of tips for using your box:

It's tempting to breaking into it right away, but I found that it works best if I let Adri look inside when we first get it in the mail, and then tuck it away. We save it for a boring weekend, a rainy day, or (my favorite) a rough day when she needs some distracting.

If one of the projects are time-consuming, or I feel like one of them was a big deal (like the finger puppets that she made), I'll set the rest of the crate aside and let her just play with or use the one that we made. It spreads them out, and I find that Adri's not at all disappointed.

Like I said above, the first time Adri got her box a was a little worried, because I was sure that we would start a project and then find that something needed to complete the project would be missing and then all hell would break loose. But nope, everything was there, down to the very last piece of tape. So, you can break into your boxes with no fear!

If you'd like to try KiwiCo for yourself, you can get 50% off your first box here. You can also cancel at any time (like I said above). So there's really nothing to lose! If you do decide to try it, let me know what you think! 

Happy Wednesday!

It's the middle of the week, and I feel like it should be the end! Is this the longest week ever, or is it just me? 
Either way, I'm looking forward to a long weekend coming up (hello, Memorial Day), and maybe it not raining. 
Last Sunday we went exploring in New Hampshire (not saying much, since it was only about 10 miles away) at a really neat gorge. We had so much fun, the kiddos walked almost the whole way, and we splashed in the water afterward. 
Tomorrow I'm taking the girls to a local museum here in town, and we are pretty excited about that (Adri LOVES museums). 
Yesterday I moved almost all the house plants to our sunny back porch, and they love it. This weekend I'm planning on getting some tomatoes plants and herbs to plant in pots, and see if we can't figure out how to grow a bin of potatoes (has anyone ever done that before? If so, do you have some tips for us?).

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 


Weekend in Connecticut

Last Friday I packed up the kiddos and we went down to CT to visit the fam for the weekend. One of my favourite things about working from home is the flexibility it gives me to organize and plan my days and weekends in a way that works for me (namely not having to keep a super strict schedule and travelling when I want to).
We had a nice time (Sunday was a strange and a bit emotional day) and then came back home Monday morning.
This past week has been a rainy one and we are trying to get back into some sort of routine. I have a bad cold and that's throwing a bit of a wrench in the works ("when mama ain't happy, nobody's happy"), but I'm hoping with lots of rest and hot tea I kick it by the weekend. 
In the meantime, we are reading books, taking things easy, and finding lots to occupy us indoors. 

Happy Thursday! 


Spring Bucket List 2019

Before anything else, thank you so much for all your sweet words and messages about Sunday's post. Each holiday presents different challenges, and I know that's what happens in the first year of experiencing loss; however, some holidays are more challenging to navigate or are more complicated/painful ones. Anyway, all your kindness, thoughts and prayers meant the world. Thank you.

I can't believe that we are already half-way through May! Despite all the rain that we had the month of April we are still really loving Spring here in Vermont! I almost missed posting our Spring Bucket List simply because time is going by so fast. At this rate, it will be Summer soon (anyone else can't wait to go swimming?!).

Here is our little list of Spring goals and plans: 

+Lots of playground trips. I'm soaking in every bit of living in town, and one of the benefits is having two great playgrounds within walking distance. The kids love playing, and it's nice for me to let them run around and get all their wiggles out.

+Walk every day. I find that when we get out of the house every day and get some daily exercise our mornings go SO much better. Just taking a short walk down around the block helps set us in a better mood for the day.

+Plant a garden. While we don't have a lot of space, we do plan on planting some stuff, and also planting pots full of stuff in the driveway (it's beautiful and sunny there).

+Celebrate Adri Rose's birthday. Someone is turning four at the end of the month, and true to her type A nature, she has the entire party planned out: princess balloons, with a dinosaur cake, hot dogs, and mac and cheese. 

+Finish all my half-read books. I have way too many books that are half read, and I really need to just find some time to sit and read for the afternoon.

+Swim. Adri is going to take swimming lessons this year, and she's been talking non-stop about going swimming in the ocean. We also have some lovely rivers near us to go swimming in as well.

+Take lots of hikes. If you've been around us at all, you know that Adam and I love hiking and exploring the great outdoors. We can't wait to check out some of the new (to us) places around here. 

When Mother's Day Doesn't Have Your Mother

sometime around 1995ish, with sister Julia and my mom. 

My mama, with her mama. This must have been around 1964.

I'm going to be honest here. This is another "first" for me, and something I hadn't put too much thought into, however as we got closer to today, I realized that, yes, in some ways it is painful, and yet, in other ways not.
It is Mother's Day, and while I am a mother myself now, I haven't really ever thought about that fact much. For me, Mother's Day always has been about celebrating MY mother. I always got my mom a card, chocolate,  and flowers (more often than not it was a house plant or something to plant in the garden).

my mom and dad.

This year is different. So very, very different. It's the first year without my mom. And for a little while, I was kinda down about it. Simply because I could feel that it was yet another thing that I have to celebrate without her (her birthday on February 25th was another tough day).

And then I began thinking. So what, she's not here. For me, the day was/is more about remembering her and thinking of all the ways that I'm happy that I got her as a mom.

my mama and two of her sisters, 2017. 

My mom was an incredible person. She was super talented, a true extrovert, and a highly sensitive person, with a great, great capacity to love. She picked out people that were suffering, lonely, or needed a friend (often to the dismay and awkwardness of us children), and that sometimes meant just stopping on the side of the road to talk to someone, and inviting people home for dinner from the grocery store. She loved books, and music (she had a beautiful voice), she loved plants and learning, but more than anything in the whole wide world, I can say with true confidence, she loved her children.

My mom loved being a mom. From the time that she was small, all she wanted to do was be a mom, and that's what she lived and breathed. And, what's more, she didn't just want to be a mom, she wanted to be the BEST mom. Something that, even with a tendency to overdo it, she did very well.

with my brother on his graduation from college. 

This might be Mother's Day without my mom, but there is still so much that I have to celebrate. I get to celebrate each year and remembered that the mother I did have was the very best mom in the world, and even with her gone, I wouldn't trade her for any other.

Happy Mother's Day, Mama. I love you.

Friday Favorites

We've had a pretty easy and laid back week. I feel like we are finally getting into a grove and it feels good. I plan on doing a full Day In The Life post sometime soon here, but in the meantime, each day is pretty consistent; wake up, work, head out for a walk (with morning snacks), stop at the playground on the way home, home again, breakfast, work, naps, read books, play, clean, work, dinner, baths, and bed. And everything filled in between with the variables of life. 

So, on to a few favorites from our week! 

1. Stopping at the playground. One of the highlights from our week has been taking our morning walk and stopping at the playground for about 30-40 minutes on our way home. 
2. Listening to Miranda's podcast. It's my all-time favorite podcast and I listen every week, usually on my 2-hour drive to my dad's house in CT.

3. These books that we read this past week were another favorite. We need to go back next week and find some new reads. These were great to have a bit of discussion starter with the kiddos about the seasons and what happens in Spring (Adri's all about learning days, weeks, and months right now).
4. Having Adam home each day for lunch is another wonderful thing. He works right here in town and has a long lunch, so we are able to see him in the middle of each day and it's pretty great. 

5. This book. I found it for free at our local Swap Shop, and so far I really like it. A little bit like my beloved Beany Malone books. 
6. Lastly, I'm also really, really loving this parenting book. I plan on finishing it this weekend, but so far it might be the best parenting book I've ever read! 

Also, in case you missed it on the blog this week: 

Have a great weekend!

6 Spring books for children

At our weekly library trip last week I grabbed a few Spring themed books to read to the girls. These six books are delightful and easy to read to small children (even Piper enjoys them!). A great way to introduce and educate them on the changing seasons and Spring's arrival.

Spring Hare: Cute pictures, with no words. A little girl has adventures with her friend while hopping on the trampoline in the backyard. We usually don't like books without words, but this one was good and the girls liked it.

Finding Wild:  I was super excited about this book, and I did really like the illustrations, however, I have to admit that I'm not really a fan of the storyline. While it's kinda dreamy and descriptive (all about what is the wild outdoors), it wasn't very engaging, and Adri got a bit bored.

Lola Plants a Garden: This book, on the other hand, is perfect for little readers. It's about a little girl that plants her own garden and then has all her friends over to celebrate. Very good!

A Gardener's Alphabet: I love Mary Azarian's woodblock books, and this is one that we had growing up. It's a charming book, with the letters of the alphabet for different garden related things.

The Garden in the City (not pictured): I love, love this book. It follows two siblings that each plant a garden in their backyard in the city. This book is a little longer, but still SO good. If you've never read it please check it out! I highly recommend it.

In The Garden: Piper picked out this little board book. With single words that rhyme, it shows a little boy planting his garden and waiting for the seeds to sprout. A very sweet little book.

Piper Mae: 20 Months Old

Our sweet little love bug is already twenty months old. Just four short months until she's TWO years old!
Miss Piper Mae is talking a lot more now, and as we figured, she has lots to say. She's quite the little busy body, and still the sweetest little cuddle bug.

At 20 months old Piper has a lot of favorite things to do:
  • She loves playing at the playground and can go down the slide on her own, like a champ.
  • She's a big fan of reading books, and bathtime. 
  • She loves animals, especially dogs. 
  • She's a really big eater and loves food of any kind. 
  • She can climb like a monkey, loves to dance and sing, and is still obsessed with Baby Shark. 
  • I'm still her favorite person, with Adam coming in a close second and Adri following close behind. She also LOVES her Auntie Nal.
  • She takes one short nap a day and sleeps almost 12 hours a night, only waking to nurse. 
  • Oh, and she's OBSESSED with brushing her teeth!

Just recently she figured out what "No" means, and she says it all the time. If I ask her if she wants something, or if she can say a word the answer is 9 times out of 10, "NO!".

Sweet, stubborn, loveable, and with the cutest little laugh, Piper Mae, we love you so!