I am what I carry: The Bag Tag

Bag_tag_001_2Like Dawn, I love Vera Bradley bags. They are just so Happy! Between babies, I had several Veras for different moods and seasons. They are all medium size totes, suitable for wallet and checkbooks, keys, and cell phone and the occasional spare shin guard or two. When Karoline was born, I switched to a black microfiber Vera--quite the chic over-forty mom bag. With the springtime though, came the opportunity to indulge in a fanciful Happy! bag of epic proportions. It makes me smile just sitting there, all pretty and pink and well-organized and ready to go at a moment's notice. And it's so incredibly big and heavy, it does have its own designated space in the house, kind of like furnishing.

So let's see what's in it.
Bag_tag_003_2 In one of the many pockets: my cell phone, wallet, and a charger for the van, because I have a tendency to forget to charge until we are out the door and I might actually need to use this phone. I don't like cell phones. I'm hard of hearing and these babies are hard to hear.  My cell phone doesn't ring, it sings. It sings Let them cry, them giggle, let them sleep in the middle. Let them be little. Totally embarrasses my kids. I love it.

Bag_tag_013 The interior pockets are full of all those don't-leave-home-without-it things that make life out and about so much more pleasant. There are some samples of colored pencils sent to me from Julie when I ordered a little wooden rattle for Karoline. Colored pencils are much preferred to crayons as the weather warms here in Virginia. My children are happy as long as they can draw everywhere we go. Though I'm not the purist I used to be, I much prefer wooden toys for my babies. This makes a soft noise. Karoline doesn't like loud noises, bells, or whistles. This rattle does, however, make quite an impressive noise if dropped from a height of say...six feet... onto the church pew in front of us. I know. So does my husband.

I'm actually kind of bummed about the pencils in the picture with the sticker. These are all remnants of our ortho-ortho week. The orthodontist has pencils on his checkout desk. They used to be blue triangular pencils that were our very favorites for handwriting. We picked them up at every visit. What a bargain! Spend five thousand dollars a year for orthodontia and you get FREE ergonomically correct pencils. Now, they're just normal pencils. I want a fee-adjustment. The sticker is from the cast room at the orthopedist, where Patrick is a frequent flyer. When they know we're there, they all come to see the boy who can wear through the bottom of a cast a week. They applaud. They think he's cute. They don't have to figure out what to do with the other seven kids while we sit for hours in the cast room.

Bag_tag_014_2 Every well-provisioned soccer mom is a hottie has Hotties in her bag. These are little sacks of charcoal that warm when the package is opened--very handy for warm hands and toes a when watching soccer games in snowstorms in March. I'm afraid to purge this item. Just as soon as I do, it will hail for the Memorial Day tournament or something. There is also sunscreen; we go through about one of these a week. The yellowish stuff is antibacterial gel, necessary following trips to porta-potties at soccer fields all over the East Coast. Need to go potty? Just ask me. I know where they all are! Finally, this pocket holds arnica.  It's the remedy of choice for bumps, bruise and all injuries which might find us back in the cast room for another sticker and a round of applause.

Bag_tag_018_3 The "tea pocket" holds an assortment of tea bags so that I can have a cup of whatever I need, whenever I need it. I notice I'm low on caffeinated teas. I'll have to replenish those. There are also two packets of Emergen-C.  Add these to bottled water at the first sign of a sniffle and you'll chase that cold away. And then, there are Ginger Altoids--excellent remedy for motion sickness and  morning sickness. I keep an extra tin of these hidden in the car as well.

We're still going through the pockets, friends. Lots of pockets in this here, bag.                                             

Bag_tag_017 Lipgloss! You can have your makeup, your hair dye, your manicures...just leave me the lipgloss. I love lipgloss -- and I'm a bit of a lipgloss snob. Here, we see Aveda Lip Shine (Grapefruit Pulp is my favorite, though it's not pictured here), Origins Lip Shimmer (with Aloe and Vitamin E and a hint of peppermint--all about smells I am), and  Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers (Guava, matches the bag). In the little round tin is homemade healing salve. This works for diaper rash but it's coveted by a certain U-12 soccer team which has been known to go through an entire tin after a particularly rough game. Then, there is a Aveda blush that I always forget to wear. And my miracle wand--Tide to Go. This got red Jello out of an Easter dress and we never even left the table.

Bag_tag_011_2 In another pocket are church contribution envelopes and my checkbook. The picture I took revealed way too much information for the web. That about covers the pockets.  In the main compartment is a church bulletin, an empty holy water bottle that I keep bringing to church and forgetting to fill, my rosary case (the rosary is in my bed), and a copy of my favorite rosary CD. I've stopped leaving this in the car. It gets mighty hot in the car in Virginia, better to carry it everywhere I go.

Bag_tag_016_2 For a recent trip to the fabric store, I tossed this pattern into the bag. It's a vintage apron pattern and I'm hoping to stitch up an apron before Monday, which is National Wear an Apron Day. It's very convenient that this great holiday falls just after Mother's Day.One could, theoretically, wear a new Mother's Day gift apron for Apron Day. But, if someone who looks like they have been cut from this family's cookie cutters just happens to be reading this blog (highly unlikely because why would they care about a post detailing the contents of my diaper bag? They rifle through the bag regularly.), skip the apron. Just clean up the craft room and make it look something like Heather Bailey's studio. But don't paint it pink unless Daddy helps you. End of hint.

Bag_tag_015 Oh, these are handy. I have to have sunglasses outside--in the dead of winter, at twilight, all the time. My eyes are super sun sensitive. I'm very proud that I've had the same sunglasses for two years now. Love, love, love them. And keys are good, too. Actually, I've had the same set of keys for quite some time as well. St. Anthony and I are on very good terms.

Bag_tag_019 Also in the main compartment: my planner (got to love that shade of pink). The planner was a gift of Sean Covey himself. He called a few years ago to ask permission to use a couple of my articles on time management in his training materials. And he sent me a new planner as a gift. Believe me when I tell you that it's quite a shock to receive a phone call from Sean Covey. Believe me also that it's still a joke around here that I had anything to contribute to the Franklin Covey discussion of time management. Incidentally, inside the beautiful Covey cover is a hybrid of Covey Simplicity pages and Michele Quigley's Catholic Woman's Daily Planner. I still haven't found my ideal planning system. But I keep trying and life does run much more smoothly when I apply Seven Habits principles to the liturgical year and family-centered living.

And there's a claw hairclip in this shot. Whenever the little cherub starts to eat my hair, up it goes!

Bag_tag_002 We also have a change of clothes for Karoline and an extra sweater for chilly, air conditioned places. Note the roses on the clothes. We've got lots of rose covered clothes in our house this year.

The sunhat is an absolute must for my bald baby. This one is in the diaper bag; there's one in the stroller, one in the van, and one in the house. No one wants this baby's head to burn. Ever.

Bag_tag_004_3 Hey! This is a diaper bag, after all. There is a fresh diaper and some ziploc bags for the dirty ones, and a couple of cotton wipes in another ziploc bag. I've gushed enough about diapers. I think Ill leave it alone for this post:-)

Bag_tag_020 Finally, the bag does tricks. Not a boring bag at all this one. Now that I've emptied it, I can show you what happens when I turn it inside out. Tah-dah! Isn't it too cute for words? Of course, I can't use it this way, because I've just decreased storage space significantly:-).

That was silly and sort of fun. Bags really are an important part of our lives, aren't they?

Bluebell_055 Boy, I am so glad that you didn't ask me to detail the inside of my van. A locker room it is. Not pink. Not cute. Smells like cleats.

I tag Rebecca, Kim, and Katherine.