Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Some vacations are better than others.

Today was only day 3 of my vacation, and I'm all vacationed out. From this point on, it's all gravy.
Is it because it's the first vacation I've really had since going back to work? Probably. And so far, it rocks.

Yesterday, I had the best day EVER with Sweet Pea. We did lots of snuggling, and singing, and playing. We went swimming (!!). We went to the park (!!).

We went grocery shopping. It was awesome! If every day were like yesterday, I would already have a slew of children. Days like yesterday make me sincerely yearn for more babies to share more love and fun with.

Today, I took Sweet Pea to daycare, and spent much of the day at the LYS fondling, sniffing, and finally purchasing some really great stuff. I have purples for a wee girl cardi. I have black for a mystery project. I have pinks for another sock monster (store sample - yay!!). I bought 2 new books. I am in a state of complete bliss.

I filled the mommy jones. I filled the me jones. Tomorrow Mr. Wonderful will be home, and I will hopefully fill the family jones. Ah, yes . . . life is good.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Sneak Peek.

Making dolls = fun!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A month late and $167 short.

This post is about Valentine's day.
Initially I didn't blog it because there was unresolved issues and I wanted to see how it all panned out first.
Then I didn't blog it because it was too late, and just weird.

But I feel like discussing.

Valentines day. Mr Wonderful and I always agree on not doing gifts for V-day. Then W goes and gets me a gift anyway. Every year I don't, so that he won't feel like a heel if he hasn't. You'd think I'd learn.
This year's gift, I'm still working on.

I am making that shit last! Oh Lush, how I love you. I take the bags out and sniff them every now and then. Sigh. It is pure happiness.

Generally, we make a big fancy V-day dinner at home. This year, we were invited to attend a friend's 30th birthday party at a ritzy, novelty-esque restaurant in Toronto. We went. Here is the letter I sent when we returned home:

My husband, daughter and I have just returned home from what we hoped would be a memorable and enjoyable Valentine's day. Unfortunately, our experience at *** was less than satisfactory, and certainly not even close to acceptable.

We knew going in that dinner was going to be expensive. We accepted that idea. We were meeting friends for a 30th birthday party and had arrived at the conclusion that certainly it would be well worth it. I asked the woman arranging the gathering to call and ensure that *** is a family friendly restaurant - our daughter is 1 and a half, as is their son. We were assured that toddlers would be most welcome, and high chairs provided. I asked her to call again and look into the children's menu - she did. We did everything we could to ensure that our children would not be a burden, or a bother.
Our party was split up over 2 tables - understandable in a small space. What I cannot understand is why the children and mothers at one table received our meals within minutes, while the remainder of our party waited one hour and forty five minutes between appetizers and entrees. No, I am not exaggerating. I wish I were.
Whoever you are reading this email - if you have children of your own, you can understand the difficulty in keeping a toddler engaged, quiet, well-behaved . . . for over 90 minutes. In a high chair. Eventually the children got restless. They started getting noisy. We let them out of the high chairs. This is where things really get aggravating for me. My daughter wanted to walk. There is nowhere to walk in this restaurant with the sole exception of the middle - the circle. So I took her up and let her walk. The wait staff and bus staff really need some lessons in manners. REALLY. Excuse me goes a long, long way. 'Watch it', 'behind you' etc is just plain rude. And when I was told that *** wasn't a safe place for my daughter to play, I had to really work to hold my tongue. I'm sure it isn't an optimal place for a child to walk - but she was tied down in a high chair for over 90 minutes while we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited for her father's meal to arrive. (He was at the other table - lovely Valentines for us.) You could have avoided this. Fairly easily, I might add. See to it that your patrons are served in a timely fashion, and their children won't need to stretch their legs mid-way through their meals. Simple.
When I returned to my table I was shaking with rage. I took my daughter down to the observation level and told her father to call my cell phone when his food arrived. He did, and we returned to our table for dessert and our bill. The bill and payment took over half an hour as well.
Our dinner reservation was at 5. We were prompt and punctual. We didn't leave *** until 7:35. And that was after advising the staff that we were in a rush and couldn't wait any longer to pay for our meal. (To that, I got a 'yeah, yeah'. Pleasant, right?)
I'm writing to tell you about our experience because after paying $168 for our meals, $27 for our elevation tickets (yes, they would have been refunded IF we were willing to stand in a line that exceeded the stanchions, and didn't move in the 10 minutes we stood there) $23 for parking and $40 for gas, we feel extremely . . . well, ripped off. And I can tell you right now, none of us will ever be returning to ***, or recommending it to anyone. The view from *** was lovely. And I didn't need 2.5 hours to take it all in.

It was a colossal waste of time, money and energy.
Take your staff, and train them in customer service. Please.

I got an email apology the next day, asking for some further info. I provided it. A week later, I got a phone call. A week later, I got a cheque for the cost of our meals. Sometimes complaining is really worth it. We won't get the lovely Valentine's dinner we were hoping for - but at the very least, the compensation took the sting out of the whole thing. I still won't recommend the restaurant to others, but I certainly won't smack talk them either.

I shouldn't have!

I really shouldn't have. I have so much sewing on the go right now . . but when saw this pattern online, and it was free - well, I just had to make one for Sweet Pea.

And she seems genuinely happy with her. Glommed on before I had a chance to sew up her leg holes, or make her a skirt.

Look at that happy, happy girl!

Here is her new monkey pal's face. Oh hey, I didn't get the ears finished either. Huh.

Oh yeah, it's love.

Sweet Pea and her new monkey pal did all sorts of things together today. I hope it's a lasting friendship!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Toys, toys, toys.

I've been making toys, of late. I've made a second monster!

Roary. She's always laughing at something. Sometimes it gets annoying. And she's only had her mouth for an hour now.
Roary just won't shut up. Even before she got her mouth, she would hum, and talk excitedly in a mashed up mumble for hours on end. I'm going to have to send her away. I should have known she was going to be trouble when she asked for the pink eyes.

I've also made an alligator.

This is for The Toy Society.
I'm a sucker for this kind of project. Something that requires minimal investment (time OR money) from me, and might just bring a smile to someone . . . I'm in.
My office building also houses our Passport office. I see all kinds of folks coming through the lobby - a lot of them have little children with them. Some of them are clearly in need of a gesture. This gator took me maybe 30 minutes to whip up last night. It's baby friendly, soft, cuddly -- and best of all FREE. I was going to package it and leave it today - but I don't have it all ready to go yet.

I mean, the alligator is ready. The packaging really isn't.
I have a few other drop locations in mind. The post box across the street from Sweet Pea's daycare. The fence for the construction zone across from the halfway house for women. I could be busy for a while yet making toys.
And in other toy news, I SOLD A DOLL!
I have a deposit for a custom mermaid Waldorf doll. I have the materials all amassed. I have the pattern (which is approved for commercial use). I have an incredible desire to get started right away! But first, I have to finish the order of bags for Shall We Knit? which is due for the 27th. I have most of it done. I'm about 2 or 3 machine sewing hours away from done, then there's the hand work -- buttons, toggles, etc.
And then I have a doll dress to make in pink.
But once those are done, I'm so cutting into this memaid thing!!
Then I have another order of bags for SWK?
And a quilt to finish for a friend.
And I need to make some dolls to go into an etsy store.
And some doll clothes.
I'm stressed. But it's a good stressed.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Doll # 7

Meet Rachel.
She still needs shoes, and her panties need some elastic. Then she might get a sweater or a coat. And then I'll be listing her on Etsy - unless she finds a home before then, of course.