Sunshine

We co-sleep. Meaning every night I get to cuddle up with the husband and E. I don’t talk about it often publicly because it’s still such a taboo thing (but for the record, almost every single parent I know has or is still co-sleeping). A friend told me before hand that I should and I laughed and said no. She was delighted when we ended up choosing that less than a week into parenting. It has created a bond with my child that has helped immensely after rough nights. We all sleep better knowing that those we love the most are an arm’s reach away. And the most amusing part of it is that G has snapped numerous photos of E and I in the mornings because we’re often in the exact same positions while sleeping.

Even better, I wake up to this face:

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She’s a happy child. She nurses half asleep first thing in the morning, so usually I am the one more awake. But today she said, “Hi, Mama!”  and giggling, smooched me. She’s very rarely grumpy when she wakes. She often jumps up after nursing and wants me to put on music (Pharrell Williams’ Happy being a current favorite) so she can dance.

She’s my sunshine. The face I love waking up to. I imagine even once she’s grown more, and has moved to a room of her own to sleep that I will still wake up with her smiling at me, ready to start our day of adventures. This co-sleeping thing has it’s ups and downs, but every morning is an up. Not a bad track record for nearly 2 1/2 years!

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Handmade Headbands

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Since before E was born I knew that I wanted to create toys and accessories for her. I started when she was in the womb by knitting her a baby blanket. And I’ve talked about making toys. But what I really enjoy is just sitting down and whiling away some time making her headbands and hair clips. She’s a girly girl for sure, and loves seeing that I’ve made her something.

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These fabric rosettes I’m still getting good at (mine end up either flat or super tall). I sat down during a movie the other night and just made a small handful of them to add to a wreath for spring/summer. E really loves pretend flowers and when I asked if she wanted a headband made from some she enthusiastically said “Yes!”. You can find tutorials for fabric rosettes all over the internet. I’ve had a friend explain it to me in person, and I’ve also checked out a tutorial or 10. Add some felt leaves and some soft elastic (I buy from Elastic By The Yard or Etsy) and you have a simple headband.

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The big teal flower was made for E’s first birthday and family photos. I had an old nightgown on my grandmama’s that I knew just wasn’t for me, so I cut into it to create several of these headbands (because I need one and we’d love more girls!). It turned out so soft and beautiful I was quite pleased. Here’s a beautiful tutorial for how to make this type of flower, though I never bother using a template and just cut out wavy circles.

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For the felt headbands I just cut out some random wavy flower shapes, stacked them, added a button and attached to elastic. For the heart I was in the middle of making felt cookies and just simply used some extra felt, sewed a blanket stitch around the outside, sewed them together and attached to elastic. Easy peasy and one she was so excited for!

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I’ve also made some delightfully easy flower headbands from old t-shirts.  This one doesn’t have an elastic added yet because I’m debating keeping it as a brooch for myself.  It’s about 3 1/2-4 inches large.

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Making headbands are super easy and a cute way to dress up a simple outfit.

Simple Sunday

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Today was just…lovely.  Palm Sunday at church followed by picking up bagels for the week.  Then came home, gathered up the picnic basket and bubbles and headed to a nearby garden.

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We spent hours just laying around, playing soccer and blowing bubbles for a gazillion kids.  G worked on some homework.  All in all, a productive lazy day.

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Morning Alone Time

I’m trying hard to be a person who gets up earlier in the morning (which is entirely different than becoming a morning person according to science). It’s been rough. We co-sleep, so E still shares our bed, and on nights that she tosses and turns, or if hyper, I’m up more.  But today, even though last night was a sobbing mess of an overly tired toddler, I am awake early. I’ve been up for about 2 hours, I’ve made myself coffee, and E is still asleep in bed 2 floors above me.

I need this. I need these little pockets of quiet and alone in order to be a better mother, a better person. With G hard at work on school work once he’s home, I’m left with a toddler to deal with all day and most evenings. This quiet gives me a recharge.  A chance to pray about my day, to prepare for the chaos that a 2 year old can bring. Don’t get me wrong, I love the chaos. I love the moments of coloring and dancing and snuggling. But the responsibility to be in the moment, to take so much of me to put into someone else is overwhelming at times.

It’s nearly 11, and I’ll soon need to wake her. But I’ve had this time, and I’m refreshed. Today will be beautiful.

Mary Poppins: Revealed

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My maman sent E a couple movies for Easter, including Marry Poppins.  G had only seen it once as a child, so tonight we sat down and watched it for family movie night.  In the middle G looked at me and said, “I have a theory, remind me to tell you.”

After it was finished he said he’d been working it out the whole movie.  I found his theory so amusing that I begged him to let me share it here.  He agreed that the world should know.

He believes that Mary Poppins and Bert were childhood friends, and then they went away to Hogwarts, only to discover that Bert is a Squib (child born to magical parents who is unable to do magic).  So while they clearly love one another, in 1910 England they cannot be together because they are in vastly different classes.  She works for wealthy families, and he is just barely above beggar level, taking whatever job he can to make money.  Ahh, love.

Speaking of which, I do love that my husband is a man who will sit down and watch Disney movies and even admit to really liking them.  He amuses me to no end with what comes out of his mouth after watching a children’s film.  Now I need to hunt down a pattern to sew E a Mary Poppins outfit! She really enjoyed all the music.

Do you love Mary Poppins?  Or is a Spoonful of Sugar just a little bit too much?

Egg-cellent Re-Use Craft

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We all get them.  Catalogs in the mail.  Not only are they a waste of paper, but their styling makes me really, really want to buy it all.  The new Pottery Barn Kids catalog came yesterday and flipping through it I looked at G and said, “I see really cheap craft paper.”  I always see all these crafts using pretty scrapbook paper, but at $.50-$1 a sheet, I can’t justify getting a bunch when I can easily use up junk mail that I get for free.

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All those pretty colors and patterns called to me.  I’ve begun slowly cutting out little paper hearts whenever I see some paper that I think is pretty, so that was the original plan.  But as I was sitting doing that today, I realized that the stacks of blankets in the photos would make awesome Easter eggs.  So I cut out eggs from the pages (freehand, though I’m sure a template would have helped).  Because I did it freehand it allowed me to cut different sizes from whatever small space I could get.

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Then, E and I carefully laid them out on the coffee table, arranged until we were pleased (she basically kept shouting “heart!” “egg!”) and then using Fabri-tac glued them to some white cotton yard I have.  I have some pretty washi tape from the after Valentine’s Day clearance and used that to tape the eggs to the brick of our fireplace.  We don’t have a mantle, and the white was calling for a little color.

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After seeing how empty the pics look we colored a little “He Is Rised” sign for above, but I still think maybe a spring-time wreath and some prints are in order.

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Educational Play Time

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I love Etsy.  I love all the cool vintage things as well as the homemade items.  But, my budget doesn’t always stretch enough for my tastes in toys.  So instead of buying them, I realized it was super simple to make some of them.  After a large order from Woodworks Ltd. and picking up some Delta Soy Paints from JoAnn’s (found in the aisle with bottles of craft paint), I went to work.

My first project was these bowls with acorns and the stacking/nesting flower pots.  They’re the perfect size for a child’s small hands, and they allow her to match colors and learn big to little.  The whole thing (split into 2 sessions) took me maybe a couple hours max, and that was with wait time to do several coats of paint.

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Now, Delta Soy Paint says it self seals.  Ahem, I don’t exactly buy that.  So I sealed it with some homemade beeswax polish that I always have on hand.  You can tell in this photo the difference, because the top of the acorns are different.  I seal the whole piece, and it helps not just with the sealing, but the flower pots slide together much easier.

Not only do I love these colorful toys, but they’ve been a huge hit with E as well.  She plays with them nearly every day and it has helped with learning colors tremendously.   The acorns not only go in the bowl, but they also fit into the medium sized pot (with their little cap sticking out).  And the pots can be strung on a shoe string, working on motor skills.

I’ve been working on some other things, so stay tuned for simple projects you can do yourself for the fraction of the cost of buying.