Saturday, 29 December 2012

That awkward post . . .

I haven't blogged here since September. A lot has happened since September. I have considered, many a time, what this post might look like. Will I try to catch up? Will I just ignore the lapse and move on? And every time I started to think about it, it was just too much and the post was going to be so huge, and so I would push it to the back of my mind again. That sums up October, November, and December.

Here's what I think: let's hit the highlights, and just move on.

Sweet Pea wanted to be 90's Xmen cartoon Storm for Halloween. I over-thought it, but she wound up with a pretty fab costume.

Boober was a tiger. It was awesome!

This year, we opted to let the kids gorge on their candy. It worked. The candy was gone within 2 days.

November: there was a whole bunch of rain and crap weather in November. A few days were mild enough for fun of the following variety:

October and November were so jam-packed with doll-making and shipping that there just isn't much in the way of photography. 35 dolls and toys were made and shipped.

December: A certain little boy turned 2

This year, we chose to take the family to Great Wolf Lodge for Boober's birthday rather than deal with the hubbub of a big birthday party or two. (Even if we invite no one but family, we still have over 20 attendees for birthday bashes. It's just too much.) So instead we packed up and drove off with our little family. It was awesome! I would definitely do it again! Sadly, I have virtually no pictures becaue 1) being a first-timer, I was unaware of the photo opps at breakfast, tooling around in the lobby, etc, and 2) there is no way in HELL I am bringing my camera into a water park.

And then it was Christmas. I have 346 images on my memory card from Christmas. Here is a selection of my faves, from our home, Christmas morning.

I assure you, Mr. Wonderful was also there, but the photo I took of him opening his gift is among the least flattering photos I've ever seen of him. Out of respect for my husband, I will definitely keep that under wraps.

There was also some really great cousins time in there -- see?

My kids have some awesome cousins. The big boy you see here is 10, and far too old to play with toddlers - but he sat and played patiently with Boober for a good long stretch. The big girl in the above photo is 15. She played with the littles for hours. It's so wonderful when big kids make the time to show little kids that they're important and cool and fun to be with too.

We also had the younger cousins over this week, but I didn't think to take any photos. They were adorable, all playing together.

And finally - I found some retailers online that I really think are awesome, and fun, and deserve some attention and support.
Lil' Black Cloud - hand-made silver jewellery. Adorable, nicely finished, and the packaging is fab.
Odalee Fibers - hand dyed and hand painted yarns. Not just in fingering weight, either! Great colours - I had such a hard time choosing just one that I wound up with two.

And that is about how far I want to go with updates. Hopefully I can be better at blogging now that it's not stressing me out to catch up!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Sweet Pea Goes to School.

Sweet Pea is confident. Fearless. Ready for any challenge -- given proper prep time and steps. And school was no different.

In the spring, she started asking when she would go to school. It seemed so far off.
And then the pages on the calendar turned and turned, and it got closer and closer. And then the calendar said "SEPTEMBER" and all the markers I had given Sweet Pea for when school would start had been met. Then, the badgering began in earnest.

There were moments of abject terror where she insisted she would never go to school. There were moments of such incredibly poor behaviour that I just couldn't wait to send her off to school. There were moments of excitement, when she sat with me and shared all her hopes for school - new friends, a best friend named Kayla, colouring time, painting, water tables, her lunch bag, etc. And really, the excitement outweighed the trepidation. But when I found her last week, laying awake in her bed well after lights out, worrying her blankets, and she confided her fears . . . I knew she needed a little more prep. She was worried that after she got off the bus, she wouldn't know what to do.
"Well, you'll go play on the playground."
"With who?"
"I don't know. You'll have to make some new friends at school."
"And then what will happen?"
"You'll hear a bell, or a tone, and you'll line up with your class. Then your teacher will take you inside to your classroom."
Her questions became pretty pointed. So last Friday, we took a trip to her bus stop, and then to the school to observe. Since last Friday, Sweet Pea has been a bundle of excitement. This morning, she got on the bus all by herself and went to school. She insisted that she do it alone. I offered to drive her for her first day, but she declined.

A little pre-school playtime. 

 There was only a moment's hesitation as she got ready for school.
"Will I miss you, mom?"
"Maybe. You'll have lots to do, though. You'll have fun."
"Will you miss me?"
"Every minute of every hour that you are at school, I will miss you. But you will come home this afternoon, and we will snuggle and talk about all the wonderful things you did and the friends you met."

And then we headed outside for the short walk to the bus stop. It didn't take long before my Sweet Pea was thoroughly annoyed with all the picture taking. I only got 4 shots of her at the house -- and one of them has a Boober running through it.

 She still seems so little to me. Will I always be this nervous about letting go? I know she's capable, and there's no denying she's confident! But . . . that's my little girl, in this great big world full of danger.

Heart-melting moment at the bus stop. Hugs and kisses. These two love each other so much. In fact, Boober was the first one to break down when we put our girl on the bus. He misses his sister.

And this is my favourite shot. I think this will be her quintessential 'first day of school' photo. Bouncing with excitement as the bus approaches, happy face, clenched hands. She was so pumped to go that I didn't get a hug & kiss, or even a 'bye mom'. This is the curse of raising confident kids, right? It's hard to feel needed when . . . well, you're not. Not for everything, anyway. And I'm glad for it, I really am - I know she'll do great today and come home full of stories and excitement . . . and that parting was so much easier than the days when I would leave her crying in the foyer at daycare in the toddler years. But . . . 'bye, baby. Sob.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

2 months, 1 post

This summer has been busy, fun-filled, and remarkably active. Not much time for blogging, I'm afraid.

Boober fell off a bed and landed on his ear.


I made Sweet Pea a tarantula dress with one yard of fabric and my brain! No pattern.


Boober took advantage of the Ravellenic games to practice his mad knitting skills!


He also practiced being extra adorable!


There has, of course, been day-to-day business to conduct. Eating, playing, painting the fence.


I have about a zillion blog-worthy pics, but . . . overload.

There was also some out-of-the-ordinary stuff. The Children's Museum, a birthday party, daycamp for Sweet Pea . . . someday I'll catch up.

In the past 2 months, I have also made: 3 dragons, 3 sheep, 2 monkeys, 5 Waldorf dolls, 5 soft sculpture dolls, and 2 outfits without dolls.

See? Busy.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Boober's best day yet!

This weekend was unbelievably busy chez nous. Saturday was Sweet Pea's first ever public performance - a 10 minute KinderKids gymnastics demo. She did great! No nerves, no falls, one very happy little girl.

Sweet Pea and her medal. I've never seen her so proud of something before.

Ta Daaaaa!
Immediately following her demo, Sweet Pea and her nana packed up and took off for an afternoon of good times. She went to the movies, checked out ducks in the park, and hung out with her cousins.
Mr. Wonderful went to a friend's cottage for a big send-off.
This left Boober and I to our own devices. He was pretty okay with that - because he had the best day EVER!!






He painted with water, chased a bunny, messed around in the yard, went for a LOOONG walk up and down the street, pausing to stuff storm drains with vegetation and poke bugs whenever he wanted, for as long as he wanted. He really enjoyed himself.
I really enjoyed him too.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Recently, in the course of a trip to the local bastion of all things crafty I found something so pefect for Sweet Pea that it stopped me dead in my tracks. 
Lately our little girl has been all about wearing dresses and skirts -- but she has very few that fit her anymore. She is gigantic, and her dresses from last year barely cover her undies anymore. She's also been very interested in learning about new things, so we taught her a bit about BIG HAIRY SPIDERS recently, and let her watch a few informative videos, and since then she's been preoccupied with tarantulas. In fact, she would like one for a pet. (Hell no.) 

So when I saw a tarantula print fabric at the store, I bought a yard. I thought 'I'll make her a skirt with it. Easy, peasy. She'll be wearing it by tomorrow! And I'll have yardage left over to make doll clothes, too!' But then I showed her the fabric and asked her opinion on skirt patterns. And Mr. Wonderful suggested a dress, and Sweet Pea jumped on it . . . and now it's a week later, and I'm still working on it.

Fortunately, I have lots of fabrics on hand so I was able to find something to stretch that 1 yard of fabric and make a dress -- but I still have to finish the arm and neck hole, get some buttons and assemble the whole thing. 

She's very excited. I hope she loves it when it's done. 

I also made this over the past week:

This dragon is from a pattern by DIYFluffies called Yoki the Fat Dragon. It's a pretty finicky pattern - but so cute! This one is going to Sweet Pea's gymnastics club to be part of their year-end raffle. Hope he fetches a lot of raffle tickets and thereby, a good price.

Monday, 4 June 2012

When it all goes wrong. Painfully wrong.

This morning was terrible. Terrible.
It started out okay  . . . but it went to shit in very short order.

We had a play date booked with a friend that Sweet Pea asks to see all the time. Unfortunately, lately the mommy schedules have been incompatible. But finally the stars aligned, and today was the day! So I got the kids dressed, did the requisite diaper change, packed up snacks for the diaper bag, and stepped out the door exactly on time. It was then that I realized I did not have my car keys. They weren't on the hook by the door. They weren't in the diaper bag pocket where I always leave them. Where could they be? I stepped back inside to look for them. They're usually in one of a few places - on the stove, the kitchen table, the coffee table, or the bookshelf. They were in none of those places . . . but my lip gloss was on the couch. And then I realized Boober had been digging around in, and subsequently removing things from, the diaper bag pocket. My blood pressure rose a little higher.

"Boober, did you take mommy's keys?"
Nods yes.
"Where are they?"
Points at the fridge.
They were not in the fridge.

After 30 minutes of fruitless searching I decided I should probably call and let the other party know we were going to be late, or not present at all. It was then that I discovered that my phone was missing too. So I did what I always do when I can't find my phone - went to the internet to first send myself an email (I can sometimes locate the phone by the email alert) or to send Mr. Wonderful a 'please call me' message.


I started sweating, I was so tense. No phone, no internet, no car.

Okay  . . . so . . . bikes? Can't bring Boober along. My bike is the only bike in existence that can't accomodate a baby seat, and we can't find a bike trailer that we like that is a reasonable price.
Walk? I was going to, but the wagon was full of wet bits of tree and mud. And our play date was about 5km away, which is nothing by car or bike, but a serious hike with 2 littles in tow.

By now we were closing in on an hour late. So I went to a neighbour, and then another neighbour, and eventually I found someone at home and used their phone to call our play date, and then Mr. Wonderful.
And then we went back home.
The cell phone finally turned up (thanks to the ringing sound) down the side of the rocking chair in the nursery.
The internet problem was corrected. (I didn't know you had to turn on the modem and router in a certain order. Huh.)
And the car keys? It's taken all day, but the car keys have been found. In Burlington. A 2 hour drive away.
Sweet Zombie Jesus.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Baby's first . . . .

Monday was such a DAY! You know what I mean, right?
Uneventful. Nothing super exciting. And then it became a day of infamy! A day that will live in memory, and be dredged up over and over again throughout the years.
It was 2:45ish when Boober got a little whiny. Nap time! So I took him upstairs and started the process of attempting to get the little bugger to sleep. Boober hates sleeping, so after about a half hour of fighting him, I gave up and took him downstairs. Sweet Pea had fallen asleep on the floor of the livingroom. When Boober saw this, he went charging toward her, giggling and shreiking. He jumped on top of her and gave her a big snuggly hug . . . and then went on his way. Over the next 15 minutes or so, he returned to his sister over and over again to hug, prod, and poke at her. It was on one of these trips that he climbed on her back. He must have startled her, because Sweet Pea tossed him. He landed with a very loud WHACK! and spent approximately 75 seconds crying. There was no bump, no lump, no real mark except for some lines on his forehead.

Honestly, is this the face of a child watching his favourite TV show? (20 minutes before the issue became known)

 Since he was so easy to console, I put it out of my mind. Clearly, he was just fine. I turned on some Yo Gabba Gabba and let the kids watch while I started tidying up the kitchen. Less than half an hour later, Boober was tugging at my pant legs and whining again. It was just about 4 - traditionally his witching hour. I picked him up and sat on the couch to console him. He gave a mighty heave and barfed all over me and the couch. I had just barely cleaned myself and the couch off while Boober dozed on my shoulder when he went for round 2. It was about then that I made the connection -- when he was tossed, Boober had landed on his head. And now he was vomiting, and passing out, and acting all wrong. He hadn't been dancing to the tunes on his show. He was refusing to eat or drink anything. This was all very, very wrong.
Boober had a concussion.
Of course, due to Murphy's law, my car keys were in Mr. Wonderful's car. In Guelph. 45 minutes away. In retrospect, I should have called an ambulance - but it didn't seem all that dire at first. He was drowsy, yes, but he was concious -- and then suddenly he wasn't anymore, and it was almost impossible to wake him, and even when I could, he couldn't stay awake for more than a few seconds at a time. And he just kept barfing and barfing - everytime I changed his shirt (and mine) he would go again. I was absolutely terrified. Was my baby dying? Mr. Wonderful was only minutes away from home by now -- should I call an ambulance anyway?
So as soon as Wonderful came through the door (early and in a rush, since I had called him) I packed Boober into his car seat and drove like hell for the ER.
We sat in the waiting room for 6 hours. At first, Boober would only lay on my shoulder. He barfed a few more times. Then little by little, he started returning to himself. He sat up on my lap and observed the others in the waiting room. He walked over to the vending machines and pushed the buttons. He did a little colouring. He asked for yogurt and ate the whole thing himself. He did some more colouring. He started being friendly with the other people in the waiting room. He ate another yogurt. He ran for the door over and over. Just when he started loudly demanding chocolate bars, we got an exam room.


Long story short, by the time they got to him, Boober was completely back to his old mischievous self again. He was diagnosed with a minor concussion and we were sent home.

 Why will today be dredged up over and over? Because Sweet Pea gave Boober his first concussion. And because Mr. Wonderful was the concussion king as a child. He got one every year . . . and now it looks like Boober may be trying to keep up. So while I'd just like to forget about it and move on, that's very unlikely.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

She's crafty.

The days are getting warmer, sunnier, and definitely rainier around here. We've been spending as much time as we can out in the yard. Letting the kids run like puppies and get as dirty as they want is advantageous when it rolls around to time to go in again.
This year, the kids are both loving bikes, scooters, and the make-shift sandbox I put together for them. It's essentially a plastic tote the size of 2 shoe boxes side by side, with a few inches of sand in the bottom. It's good for them because they have a sandbox, and good for me because it can be put in the shed in case of rain, or cats full of pee/poop.

There's still much going on in the crafty realms . . .





And I finished my really colourful socks, but there was great disappointment there as the colour on the yarn was not fixed, and bled all over the place when they were washed. BOOOOOO! The dyer was contacted and offered replacement, which is great. I'll have to make something that will not be washed with it this time. Any suggestions? It's a light fingering weight.

My new-found skill: crochet. What is up with crochet patterns? If it's not amigurumi or a blanket square, it's just fugly. This is a gross generalization, of course, but . . . seriously! I'm having a hard time finding anything I want to make. Maybe this is why crochet hasn't come together for me in the past. I did find a hat pattern this morning, so I'll try my hand at that one, but after that?? I dunno.

And then there's this: this morning I logged on to Facebook and saw the status update of a friend. Her friend's 2 year old is fighting with leukemia and having a very difficult go of it. The little girl is losing her hair, so my friend is looking for donations of hats for the wee one. The call was quickly answered by LOTS of others. I didn't offer to make a hat. But all morning long, the thought of this poor little kid just ate at me. 2 years old and fighting a difficult, uphill battle. And apparently not doing so well with it. So I did something. I offered to make the little one a doll. Not a Waldorf doll - those are too expensive (time and materials) for me to be giving away like it's nothing . . . just a cloth doll. Every kid should have a cuddly buddy to hold their hand while they face challenges and frightening events, right?
But I really wish I could send her a Waldorf doll. There is something about the weight and sturdiness of those dolls that just makes them extra comforting.

I can't help everyone. But I wish I could.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Just what I needed. Another hobby.

Did I just take up crochet??


Yeah, I kinda did.Or at least, in this case, it was the thing that made the most sense. I'm pretty impressed that I pulled it off - although I did try another pattern and failed pretty spectacularly to really 'get it'. I just can't figure out what the pattern wants me to do, and if I'm in the right place to do it.

And then just last week I ordered 3 patterns from a great Etsy seller called WeeLittleStitches, so now I'm neck-deep in cross stitch again, because . . . let's be honest - these patterns are too great to just have and not stitch up.

So between those things, and doll-making (and doll clothes) I'm not getting any knitting done. And of course, the spread of materials around our already congested and cluttered home is getting really out of control, because I can't be expected to keep it all in one place, can I??

I think my husband's going to leave me. I'm not even sure my kids recognize me. It's bad. It's really, really bad.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Boober's new ears

2 weeks ago, Boober went to the hospital for his first surgery. He had myringotomy tubes inserted in his ears. In the days leading up to Boober's surgery I was going a little out of my mind with nervous energy. I started a million new projects. It will probably take me months to finish them all. And then it was 24 hours to the surgery, and I felt like it was all out of my hands anyway. I did as much prep as I could - packed the diaper bag with lots of diapers, spare outfits for everyone, snacks. Laid out all the coffee thermoses, set the coffee maker to do it's thing automatically at something like 5:20am . . . and then we went to bed.

My worry was that Boober (who was not supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight) would wake and demand to nurse at 2am. He didn't. In fact, we couldn't have planned it better if we had tried -- Boober woke at 5:30am, just in time to join us for our exit. With coffee, snacks, and a full diaper bag in tow, we made our way to the hospital, where we did a whole lot of waiting.


We waited to check in (we were 30 minutes early)

We waited for our call to the OR.

We waited for anesthesia to come get our baby (this was probably the worst part for me).

We waited while they did the surgery.

I comforted Boober in recovery while he came out of the anesthesia - he was clearly not impressed. Until we got the go-ahead to nurse. Then he was quite happy again.

We waited to go back to pediatrics.

We waited for the release approval and paperwork.

Then we went home.


There really wasn't much to it. Boober was only miserable when they were checking his stats, and when he was coming out of his anesthesia. Aside of those events, he was having a great time running around the halls of the hospital, playing with new toys, and exploring.

His recovery was just as uneventful. He's done really well all around. And through this surgery, we've come to understand that Boober really did have limited hearing. He's responding to things in a way he just didn't before. He's even got some new sounds, and words. He sings songs, and does actions. Seriously -- Itsy Bitsy Spider, Skinamarink, ADORABLE. I've definitely seen a benefit. I can even finally share a cute Boober interaction story with you now:

Boober is flipping through a book and sees a picture of a chicken.
Me: Hey Boober, what does a chicken say?
Boober: Duck, duck!
Me: No, no, baby. Cluck, cluck.
Boober: (gives me a look of 'what is WRONG with you??') Yeah, duck duck.

later - Boober sees a picture of a dog.
Me: What does a puppy dog say?
Boober: Baa, baa!
Me: No, honey. Puppies say bark, bark.
Boober: (nodding, very solemn) baa! Baa!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Stuff I made

There was this thing:


And there was this thing:


And then I made this for a swap:


And then I made this thing for testing purposes/fun/Boober:


And finally, I'm currently making these colourful things:


Also, I'm working on another doll . . . nearly done!

Monday, 5 March 2012

In which Gramps becomes modeled

I had to let him play with my phone to get photos, but I did it! And he wore the sweater all day.



This one kills me. If you're going to take my picture, I'm going to take yours!!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The hell you say? I finished something else?

Why yes, I did. Something that's been languishing for close to a year. And it took me something like 3 days to complete it -- which makes me mad I didn't address it much, much sooner.

Finally, it is my great pleasure to present -- GRAMPS!


Made with Debbie Bliss Stella - which has since been discontinued. It's a cotton/silk blend, and was total hell on my hands. Redeeming qualities? Well, #1 just LOOK at it! It's gorgeous and beautifully textured. #2 it's soft, soft, soft. #3 (and this one kills me!) machine washable, bitches!

The pattern is a little vague once it comes time to address the yoke, and I let that intimidate me for many, many months. Turns out my distress was completely unfounded. I am a competent knitter, and I let myself forget that when it came to this sweater. As long as you can read your knitting, and follow the flow of the cabling, you'll be fine with the yoke.


The most frustrating thing for me was the lack of images of the back of the sweater on Ravelry. Should I be maintaining the purl stitch, or ditching it in favour of a knit? The answer is let the purl stitch go - you're eating the rib with the raglan decreases. Maintaining the purl looks off.
If you look closely at the armpit area in this photo (especially on the right side of the image) you'll see what I mean.


The sweater looks totally adorable on Boober, but he was pretty unimpressed when I slapped it on him to check it out. Maybe I should have taken off his vest first . . . . modeled photos were not obtained.

AND, I finished something else too!


Fastener practice for a busy bag swap!
On this side, a button and a (super stiff, not at all easy) snap.


And on this side, a zipper to nowhere, and 2 velcro tabs. Thus far, Boober has really enjoyed the velcro tabs and fully ignored everything else. These will go into the post today or tomorrow and will hopefully be enjoyed by other 1 year olds.