Category Archives: Children’s things

I will now introduce you to the Pippa’s.

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” Pippa? Little Roo?” we all asked.” But Joy named her doll Pippa, must we have two dolls with the same name, Little Roo?”

Waldorf doll

Well, for yesterday and today it’s Pippa, she may meet someone else who makes her happy and re-name her but for now she will copy her sister.

I am thrilled with this doll and so glad that she’s  finished!!! She may develop  freckles one day, but for now she is as she is. Her inspiration came from  a child hood friend  whom I thought and still think is the most beautiful girl I have met to date.  I would’ve named her Pauline if it was my doll.

She is actually the third doll I’ve made. The second one is Joy’s and has has no hair yet. I am considering taking that dolls head off and redoing it entirely because I don’t like the nose…. I have not decided if I should or what’s the easiest way to fix her without  adding more wool, re-stringing her facial features and adding new “skin”.

Part of me thinks  we all have our blemished.  So,  so what that this doll has a small bump between her eyes, she’s still lovable and being loved regardless….. But I know  I can do better, and it’s for Joy.  This is her what do you think? Does she need surgery?

Waldorf Doll

These dolls have put my skills to the test, and my confidence to the brink. I have cried, laughed, hugged them, squealed with delight, bled a bit on each doll from pin pricks and it seems I have carpel tunnel( which I’m not blaming on the dolls but the dolls are certainly not helping matters) .  I have one more doll to make from scratch and Joy’s to finish.  They are made with a lot of love and time, but it’s worth it to see the girls excited about their new friend.

When Little Roo took  Pippa into her arms and said,  ” My dolly” the work was all worth it.

The next one is Sunshine’s.  She is much more particular so I left her’s to last so I had a better chance of getting it right for her.  She wants a dark skin doll and I don’t have the fabric for that yet so I have to decide if i will order some or if it will be the first of her disappointments.

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“Mine’s Molly”

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A few weeks ago little Roo had her second birthday, and I was at a loss of what to get her.   She’s the third girl and we have so many toy’s  from her older sisters  and  I didn’t want to go  shopping.

So I began to think about what I can make.  A few day’s before her birthday I decided to make her this  molly monkey.

Molly Monkey

Oh, isn’t she a darling? I just love her.  I had the pattern for a few months but the project looked too big every time I thought about it . I was right it was a big project, with all the hand stitching and having  to relearn how to embroiderer, but it was so worth it. Making Molly has been one of the best projects I have ever made. Hearing Roo looking for her ” mine’s Molly”  to tote with her on her travels has brought me delight over and over again. And like any project the hardest part is starting, once I started I could not stop.

The older girls were excited to see the progress each morning and gave some suggestions,” Molly needs real feet mom not these blobs. I’m just trying to get Ruthie  a good birthday”.

The pattern was incredible and I kept commenting to Jason how amazing it was   that this woman designed the monkey and then made it available on her blog. She’s  the one with the real talent I can only credited for the ability to read ( thanks mom). I added a buttoned pocket on the  skirt and a zipper, but no pocket behind the zipper,  it was my first zipper thanks to u tube.  I have wanted to get her a activity doll for a while so I added it to Molly’s skirt ,cool Ah?

My mom made my sisters and I a doll when we were kids and I have had the project in mind for my kids.

I want them to bring a piece of their childhood into their lives and remember the stories they made up with their sisters as I do.  And I hope that they would hold their dolls when I can’t hold them and remember I love them even if they are mad at me.    I’ve seen Waldorf dolls like the talented Miranda makes,  from time to time and wondered about making them for the girls.  I considered buying them but they are worth their price and I want to hand make them.     So this project has become a stepping stone for me. Since  I have recently bought the  doll fabric  from here I’m now committed.  That project will be in the new year.

Do you still have your childhood doll?

Make your own baby hammock

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I am very pleased with the result of my baby hammock!! It was so much fun to make and not at all difficult, once I figured it out that is. I hope that my tips that I am including will help save you time and be helpful.

 Sewing the baby hammock gave me an opportunity to think about my third baby and spend some time with him/her in my mind.   I am more excited then ever  to have my baby hanging from the ceiling beside my bed while I sleep the whole night through!!! Well, maybe not the whole night, but most of it?   The baby hammock is supposed to help them sleep because when they move they bounce and sway a  bit while the narrow base cradles their little bodies as though they are being held. This is supposed to help with colic as well. Not that I mind holding my babies but I prefer to sleep during the night and cuddle during the day!!

Of course I will not be hanging my baby from the cloths line but it was the best place I could come up with to take it’s picture.

 

 I will place a Kushies change pad over the futon as my sheet. I just love Kushies change pads as they are easily folded up with one hand, they take little space in my diaper bag, they are long, and they have a “water” proof backing and it will make for an excellent futon protector!

This is what you need:

*3 meters of unbleached muslin

*One 6 inch sturdy spring I found at, “Canadian Tire” in the section with ropes, chains and hooks.( Make sure the spring has a closed clasp at the top and bottom.)

*one steel ring 

*one to three carabiners  

*one or  two  quick links ( Jason just said it is used to attach two pieces of chain together)  (Note, the quick links did not leave a large enough opening to attach the ceiling hook so I ended up using carabiners instead) Quick links are cheeper so if you had the right size I am sure you could make them work.

*a pine board  1″X 3″X 4feet  Jason cut it in half so I have two boards for two hammocks. I sanded the edges and filed it to make it feel nice.  –  Jason drilled a 1″ hole at both ends then he cut out a piece to open the end up which allows the fabric to be pushed into the hole. ( Ties hold the board in place) If you look closely at one of the pictures above you will see how it was done and you will notice that there are also two holes drilled at each end as well. This is because I was/am thinking of threading the ties through the holes to hold it better in place. Right now the holes are not big enough to allow my bias tape to go through.  (Note  with very little effort I did thread the bias tape into my holes, amazing what can happen when I try.)

(One more thing to add  about the wooden board  is the actual measurement of the board is 2.3/4 wide, 3/4 thick and 2 feet long but the measurement at the store was 1x3x4. For some reason they don’t label wood with it’s actual true measurement.)

* A hook( I think it was close to two inches going into the stud ) to be installed into the joist of the ceiling by someone who knows what they are doing, like Jason!!

* and a length of chain so you can adjust the height of the hammock

 

 O.K this is what I did.

 I used 3 meters  of unbleached muslin because according to my friend who is American and lived in New Zealand where my inspiration came from Natures Sway Baby Hammock but is in Canada now, calico is the same thing as muslin in Canada. It is strong and has great ventilation. It was 44 inches wide and I did not hem it.

I put a steel ring on the fabric then made sure the fabric was not twisted and sewed the ends together with a french seam.  ( First I put the ring on then thought, “No I will use a carabiner instead of a ring that way I can take it off to wash and won’t have a steel ring banging in the washer”  So i took it off. I then  discovered that I could not thread the fabric through the  carabiner and had to  rip out my seams. This took me at least an  hour because I was careful not to cut the fabric and muslin is not fun to seam rip.  So while I took the seams out I decided to  use  coloured thread so any more seam ripping  would be easier to do and I was more cautious about sewing  to avoid the tedious task.

Then I folded it in half and measured 14 inches from the bottom, marked and pinned a line, and sewed two seams side be side ( a double needle would have been nice right around then),  then I folded the 14 inch flap over and sewed that seam down twice.( basically I sewed a 14 inch french seam) This way there are three layers of fabric at the base of the hammock.   It took me three day’s to figure out  the easiest way to do that. I wanted all the seams at the bottom so the seams would not interfere with the ring at the top and I did not want to do any more seam ripping if I made another mistake. So It took me some thinking.  I  also wanted it to look as close as I could to the Natures Sway baby hammock. 

After I had the bottom in, I measured again from the top 13 inches down each side marked and sewed a tie on the  outside center of the fabric. My tie is made from bias tape. I wish i had a nice colour tie to match my thread but all I had was white so… This is where the wood will sit and be tied onto.

Now for the futon.

It is made with cotton sheeting( sales woman at the store said it was factory cotton) It doesn’t matter what you use just make a 14 “x 34 ” casing and fill it with 1 inch foam. I used an old pillow that was not being used which worked perfect!!. Then I tied three rows of knots down the center so the edges of the futon will be higher than the center, cradling the baby better and making it more difficult for him/her to roll over.  Pretty smart, ah? ( It should be a quilters knot so the knots will not loosen or come out. I would love to tell you how to do that but I don’t think mine are right so you will have to find this somewhere else)

After I had everything in place I added two snaps to the head and feet of the hammock and one snap to hold the ring in place at the top to steady it. I am thinking seriously about adding  a button up there instead of the snap or adding another snap.

There you have it your very own baby hammock. And I think it looks very professional if I do say so myself.   What do you think? My moms reaction was,” So basically you have no space in your house so you’re going to hang you baby from the ceiling?”  

“Yup, that’s pretty much it”

I would love to hear about your own baby hammock that you make, especially if you use the method that I detailed. So leave a comment or add any sugestions to help others when making their own  hammock.

Flying with children

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  I live four provinces over from my family so consequently, I have been faced with the challenge of flying with children.  I have had a few good flights (meaning, one or two hours out of four that are reasonably peaceful) and a few flights which were challenging meaning it were moments of peace and one flight that haunts me still, you can read about that flight here and here and tomorrow I will add the last of that story then admit myself to the nearest psych ward for therapy to eliminate any memory of that trip. However, I have come up with a few things that swing the pendulum to my side since that haunts me. Here are my tips.

  1. The last time I flew I had Sunshine (2.5) and a child under 1. I had to pay for a seat for her so chose to bring my car seat on the plane for her and Joyful to use alternately. My problem was how do I get two children a car seat and a stroller through security and to the gate and then from the gate to the baggage claim by myself. So this is what I did, I put the car seat into an umbrella stroller (this worked because there was not tray in front)  then I brought my trusty webbing with a clip as shown here  img_3765_1_1.jpg   to hold the stroller to the car seat placed Joyful in the car seat and buckled her in with the car seat restraint. Worked like a charm and the personal at the airport where all commenting on the idea.  Then I had Sunshine wear a clever monkey back pack with a long tail for me to hold (I found this at Wall-Mart) I put my back pack on and off we went.  I had to take apart the stroller contraption at the security but it was completely worth having the car seat on the plane because: on to number two.
  2. The advantage of having a car seat on the plane is you have an extra set of hands so you only have to hold only one child. The thing about airplane seat belts is that children can get them off easily and they can so they do. It is my theory that the because children are used to being stuck in the  car seat they will stay there content longer then if they are in the airplane seat, besides they can see  out the window better because they are higher up. However, the air plane seat belts are big and pushing them through the back of the car seat requires effort. ( So Ask for help) Stewardesses are not always the most helpful but they will help if you ask them too so don’t be afraid to ask. They can hold a child; contain your toddler to the area while you get the seat in place.
  3. If the weather requires coats pack them when you get to the airport by leaving space in your luggage or what I do is pile them together and strap them into a car seat (I had two children remember so two car seats) The car seat will be put into a plastic bag so it’ll be contained, just make sure there is nothing in the pockets that you will need on the plane. This way you are not dealing with keeping track off all this stuff and the bulk of coats on the plane.
  4. Bring sippy-cups empty on the plane (less weight for you to lug around and have the attendant pour the water into the cups when you get on the plane. (I don’t choose sugar beverages less chances of them sleeping and more chances of making them hyper) and bring a few snack of course.
  5. Bring as little as possible on the plane but do bring activities, be creative I stapled a  4×4″  book of blank paper together for coloring  with a few crayons, a small book and small doll with a piece of cloth, remember if you have the monkey back- pack that is a toy as well. You are smart momma’s you know what your children will like.
  6. Have your luggage labeled before you get to the air port there is plenty of adrenaline rushing through your veins with out adding this simple task and when you get to the airport pick up the address labels for your return flight home and if you have not sworn off flying with children extras for your next trip.
  7. A child carrier is also a great item but if you are bringing a stroller anyway you might as well use it.

Well, these are the biggies; please if you have other ideas that I have not thought of, let me know. I will be flying again with children. And you happen to see a mother at the air port with her girls trying to keep it together think of how you might be able to help her it could be me.   This Works For Me and if you have a chance come visit tomorrow, I will be sharing the last part of my story, “The flight that Haunts me Still”

Monday’s Conundrum’s

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On Monday I try to organize, clean, and make banana bread, (the husband say’s he NEEDS banana bread every day). Last night however, I was given a few minuets of no children to complete the mountain of laundry. I was feeling pretty good this morning having all the children’s cloths put away and plenty of undergarments for “little accidents” roughly 20 undergarments that ought to do me a few day’s. So you can imagination my surprise when I opened the top drawer this morning to find all the socks and panties gone (O.k., o.k. I said the word, panties). Gone, where could they have disappeared to? There is a child safe clip on the drawer so Sunshine could not have taken them, could she? I began looking in all the logical places. “There has to be a logical explanation for this”, I thought. So I looked in the kitchen set, in all the tubs lying around the living room, my kitchen drawers, and the toy box, not there! I was going out this morning to visit a friend,  and I needed panties  for,” just in case”, it was then that I realized that the back door was not closing properly. I had to really push it closed several times to engage the lock. Now I began to wonder, no, could it? Was the door open last night and someone actually come into my house, creep into my bedroom and took her panties and socks? “This is absurd; I am totally loosing my mind” I chided myself. I have to stop watching CSI, and Criminal Mind. I left a message on my husband’s answering machine, “Where are all of Sunshine’s panties and socks?”  I asked, then hung up and went to my friend’s house. There was a nagging feeling of unsettlement which didn’t go away especially after she told me her house was broken into, not one but twice! “This is silly,” there is no reason why the my husband would take them? Losing, missing things gets on my nerves.

Finally, he called. “Oh, I took all Sunshine’s panties out of our room b/c we need them too many times when Joyful is sleeping. I forgot to tell you that.”   

 “Oh- that’s a good idea, I wasn’t too concerned.”

Organization and communication are two important keys to living together in harmony. My only strategy for communicating is eliminating arguments about where things are by working at organizing. One of my favorite tools is the shoe pocket.

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It is behind the door so when we come home the wallets, gloves, spare change, cell phone, spare H clip for car seat, mittens, socks well  anything that I might need to grab on the way out the door or to get out the door. In the summer the girls will put their shoes in the pockets.

I had to cut off two rows of pockets to make it fit under the light switch so….  img_3608_2_1.jpg

We have it beside the washing machine holding the cords for recharging the walky-talky, cell phone, electric piano, and it is the perfect fit for stain remover sprays like shout. What are your favorite organizing tools?  What strategies do you have to get out the door peacefully? Although, I have these items at the door, it is still a challenge to get the girls dressed and out. So tell me how do you get your children dressed and out. Please, I need your help.

My first sponsored GIVE AWAY

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 My first sponsored give away.

My first give away is sponsored by the brilliant, and highly esteemed, January Baby. She has given me a set of Smitten Mitten’s to give away. These smittens are one of the best baby products that I have come across they really are the, “no-escape mittens” like the package say’s. How many times have you said to yourself, “If I had a penny for ever time I picked up shoes, toys, or put mittens on  after they fell off in the snow I’d be rich”? I don’t have a solution for the shoes and toy’s but January Baby has the solution for mittens. I love these mittens all the time but I especially appreciate them when I do not have to untangle mittens on string in the car seat. These mittens are size small so recommended for 0-12 months. However, my sweet pea is 16 months and she fits them just fine.  And you, sitting at your computer anticipating the next outing could have the convenience of these mittens for FREE. All you have to do is make a comment to this post and introduce yourself. I love to get comments and I would like to know who is out there. So that is it. Easy enough I think. Oh right, I almost forgot how will I choose the winner?  Based on comment? The most smitten by the mittens? That definitely sound the best, but flattery about my blog and loyalty could get some points too? I do so love to be loved….augh!! What to do, what to do? …… well I’ll tell you what, if it is not obvious who the winner should be I will use a random number generator to choose the winner on Sunday Jan 20 and you can comment as many times as you want. I don’t think that the six of you out will crash my server!!  I will only ship to the U.S and Canada.  Let the games begin, the comments roll in and my  stats give me  perma-grin !!!

What’s up on the bottom.

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 I am talking about diapering, cloth diapering. When I was still pregnant with my Sunshine I received crazy looks from anyone who heard I was planning to use cloth diapers. Some would congratulate me, others would smirk, “let me know how it goes”. Their comments made me more determined to be successful. So I set out to find my diapers. And wouldn’t you know it, I found them under the table one Saturday morning at a garage sale, brand new and half price; Kushies.

Kushies, they were not my first pick, I would choose Mother-ease if given a choice, but my garage sale find worked with my student loan budget so I grabbed them and ran. These, and a few hand-me-downs from friends, provided me with a good supply and I was on my way to full time cloth diapering.

            I waited three months before beginning the cloth adventure. With my great intentions, pride and idyllic motherly homemaking attitude I placed the diaper on my child. I Looked at her large bottom and held my breath. Hmm, despite the bulk it looked…. well… “Do you think it will hold the mess? Look at those gaps at her legs?” I mused to my husband.  If it didn’t, that would to be some mess. Sure enough, there was an explosion. The yellow mess was everywhere, staining everything it touched. I spent too much time scrubbing, bleaching, and soaking the diaper to get it white again, along with all her clothes and mine. This was what those ladies were talking about. I was deflated.

Since that day I’ve learned a few things about cloth diapering. I was introduced to diaper wraps amazing inventions that come with snaps or Velcro (snaps will not snag in the wash) I also learned of the power of sunshine that will bleach your yellow stains to white. I learned that bleach and the drier will break the elastic in the diaper. And I learned what a great husband I have because if I did not have his help I would have given up a long time ago. He does most of the work involved with cloth diapering and makes it easy for me to choose my cloth diapers rather than the disposable ones.

Here is what we do with our diapers.

I have made liners out of white fleece to use as a barrier between the  wet diaper and the baby bottom. I do this mainly b/c it makes cleaning up the soiled diaper much easier than dipping and scrubbing the entire diaper in the toilet. I strongly recommend liners.

We hang dry the diapers. If my diapers were not made with Velcro I would probably indulge in using the drier once in a while but the Velcro never keeps to itself and the heat deteriorates the water proof shell. Also did I tell you my husband does the hangs them?  He is an environmentalist. I mean that is what he is taking at school, environmental toxicology undergrad and Biology masters.

We rinse the dirty diapers in cold water then wash with hot water and a bit of liquid detergent.

We use disposable diapers at night because they absorb more, no night time diapers, or bed changes means more sleep for us.

Do you use cloth diapers? What type and do you like them? How do you care for your diapers?