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Bag Ladies

I’m not sure if it’s a toddler
thing or a girl thing or what, but Cora and Maddie both love purses
and bags, and have recently found a few they just adore.

It started in July – we were walking around for a July 4
celebration and saw a little girl with a water bottle carrier slung
diagonally over her shoulders. The bottle carrier was made to look
like a butterfly and was sized for a little person to wear, and
Maddie thought it was the coolest thing ever. I stopped the family
to find out where they’d gotten it, and the rest is

Maddie’s now got her own href="http://www.stephenjosephgifts.com/products.html"
target="_blank">water bottle carrier
, and as cute as it is,
the thing serves a much more practical purpose – freeing up
Mommy’s hands! Maddie happily wears it out and about,
especially since it’s pink and green and matches pretty much
everything she’s got, and I don’t have to constantly
stop to help with a water break. Cora’s got her own carrier
– a very cool giraffe – and isn’t as interested
in wearing it (why should she when she has Mommy at her beck and
call?) but the more she sees Maddie with hers, the closer she gets
to using it.

I had to dig deeper into the company, href="http://www.stephenjosephgifts.com/products.html"
target="_blank">Stephen Joseph
, and see what else they
have. Big mistake.

They’re a Texas-based company (love supporting local
businesses) with a totally cute line of bags, purses, you name it.
Maddie now has a butterfly Silly Sac – a small backpack
perfect for storing a few treasures, or Silky and a book –
and a butterfly quilted backpack. Apparently the quilted backpacks
are a big seller, and I can see why – very roomy, very cute
and well-made, and machine-washable. With Maddie starting some
classes this fall, I know where she’s going to put her dance
shoes/soccer gear/musical instruments. Cora’s got a totally
cute hippo backpack, which she thinks is just the bee’s

So far the backpacks have gotten tons of use and they haven’t
even left the house! The day they arrived, Maddie grabbed hers
excitedly and said, “Can we fill it and go somewhere real to
play with our things?” Mind you, the girl was naked but for a
diaper, and when I said she couldn’t go out of the house like
that she ran around stuffing treasures in the backpack, threw on a
pair of clogs, slung the backpack over her (still naked) shoulders
and announced herself ready to go. Dressed that way, I limited
Maddie’s trip to the back yard fort, which she accepted with
good grace. This meant re-packing, though, so she sat down and
emptied the bag before restocking. Filled up, she bid me a solemn
farewell and stepped out of the house.

Cora didn’t quite understand everything going on, but
she’s a keen observer and got the gist of her big
sister’s actions, so she spent the rest of the day filling
her backpack with toys, carrying it to another room, and then
unpacking it. Maddie suggested she fill hers and take it to church,
but I quickly nixed that idea, visions of small talking Elmos and
bouncy balls skittering across the church floor filling my head.
It’s enough that she uses her water bottle carrier on Sundays
and points out the butterfly design to Father Mike. Every. Sunday.

There are a few more things from the line we’ve got our eyes
on – they’ve got two lunch bags (one snack size for the
pool and such, one full-size), a very cool small purse, and even a
duffel bag for weekend trips. Maddie’s butterfly theme is
found in pretty much everything they make, while Cora loves the
flower pattern we’ve seen in some of their items. One of
their newest items, a nap roll with a small pillow, I could totally
see us getting for “sick days” and visits to other
houses. Boy-wise, I really love the dinosaur pattern and know my
friends would be happy to see they’ve got trucks and rocket
ships galore.

If we were heading into preschool this fall I’d definitely
let Maddie carry one of their backpacks – either the quilted
or the vinyl – to school, but as it is we’ll have to
stick with using it for her various upcoming classes. Just
something for her to look forward to in the spring, I guess, when
the bag will have permission slips and artwork and homework bulging
from its pockets.

And for now, we’ll keep filling it with the important things-
Elmos and Leggos and books. Oh, my!


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