Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Toadstools for B

I've been off the computer for a few days, dedicating my time to observing the "flow" of our family and finding our daily rhythm. It has been absolutely amazing and I've learned a great deal about our family in just a few days. It is amazing what we miss when we are so absorbed in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I have A LOT to say about our daily rhythm, but that is for another post. This post is about toadstools, so on to that....

My toddler is smart. Not that your child isn't, or anything...I'm just saying mine is. He surprises me daily, as little things that I've said or done, show up from him in his own little way. Whether it's singing the ABC's in near entirety, telling me that the baby gate is made up of kite shapes, or saying things like this big old phrase (about his toy turtle), "Him's Honu. Him's my green turtle. Him live in Ocean. I'll rock him. Him's my favorite." That's a lot for a two year old to spit out! Holey Moley B, when did you cease being a baby and turn into such a big boy!?!
Since he is doing so well with colors and shapes, I made him a little set of color sorting toadstools, somewhat following the tutorial from Beneath The Rowan Tree. They are made from wooden drawer pulls that I bought at the hardware store and painted with non toxic paint. I have yet to seal them, since finding a non-toxic sealer around these parts, is proving tricky.
How darling are they!? I love it...and so does B. I set them out and intentionally mixed them all up. I expected him to play with them, perhaps trying to stack them something. I really did not expect him to immediately separate them by color. It only lasted a moment, but he really did that! Then he moved on to something much more fun....a toadstool choo-choo.
This was such an easy and fun activity. I have a feeling that there will be many more posts like this. As we get into our rhythm, I'll be introducing Tot-School activities geared for my little 2 year old. It isn't going to be anything terribly structured, mostly just little games and a lot of play. I'm very inspired by Waldorf education, which is so simple and nature based. I also love some elements of Montessori learning, such as teaching practical life skills. Stay tuned for more fun.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Very Busy Day

Oh the projects I line up for myself! Why do I do it?! Perhaps I should take a step back and forget about sewing diapers, sewing clothes for the boys, cooking complete meals daily, blogging, canning, baking, striving to be more "green", providing montessori and waldorf inspired activities for B, and so much more. You know what though, as much as I complain about being so busy, I like what I do. I love filling my day with domestic activities. There is never a moment of my day that I am not working on something. Literally from the time I get up until the time I fall asleep, I am busy. It baffles me how certain people think that as a SAHM I have so much free time floating about.

Enough babbling on. Today's very busy line-up included grocery shopping (with all 3 little ones), making beet and peach puree for the twins, making peach butter and processing 4 pints of it, cooking dinner (I should get on that soon), and stripping diapers (we've got the funk). Talk about a full plate. Of course the little one's decided that they didn't like my plans and so this is how I managed to get my things done:

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my fabulously sweet husband, who puts up with me so well and is such a fabulous daddy.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Machine of My Dreams

This morning I was browsing one of my favorite sewing sites Sew Mama Sew. Unless you've been living on the moon, I'm sure you too have spent countless hours browsing on this site browsing the beautiful fabrics, looking at amazing projects, and adding to your never ending list of to-do projects. I noticed today, that as part of their Back to School promotion, they are hosting a giveaway for a brand spanking new Husqvarna Viking s21 serger. Holy Moly, do I need this machine. Today's blog post, explaining why I need this machine, is my official entry in their contest.

Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start...yeah I'm a dork). About a year and a half ago, we started cloth diapering B and I fell in love with fitteds. I spent a pretty penny on some very fabulous, yet high priced diapers. Then one day I had a thought, "I can make these!". I thought about it more and decided that starting a diaper sewing business could be my way to afford to stay at home with my kids. I put together a business plan, put my measly savings into a business account, and received a small loan from my very supportive in-laws.

My first order of business was ordering a serger. Since I didn't have a lot of money to work with, I went with your bottom of the line 4 thread overlock machine. Don't get me wrong, this baby works alright for me. However after minimal use, she is starting to make some clunky mechanical noises from time to time. The big big downfall about Bertha (I like to name my machines), is that she doesn't offer a coverlock stitch. For those of you not in the know, a cover lock stitch is very common in clothing making.

I have made my little Bertha work for me thus far, but let me fill you in on the rest of the story. About the same time that I was starting my business, we found out that I was pregnant with the twins. I realized that it was even more important to find a second source of income, as our family was growing rapidly. However, a difficult pregnancy and loads of bed rest proved to be a great set back for the business. Since the babies birth, we have been struggling with various issues, including L's failure to thrive. My business has been nearly non-existent, until a few weeks ago. Little L started to gain, and the boys have started to take lengthy naps. I decided to go at it again at full force. In the last few weeks I've worked very hard at sewing up perfect samples and have successfully completed the process of joining the Very Baby seamstress club, meaning that I am now able to sew and sell diapers made from the Very Baby patterns.

Now that I am taking the dive to make my business a success, I could really use a reliable machine to help me on my journey. I am dedicated to making my work at home mommy business work out for myself and my family and this machine would help out a great deal. I would be happier and more confident in my work, and I believe that with a quality machine, I would be able to put my diapers together faster.

On another note, I am also making a lot of my sons clothing now, as it is a fabulous money saver. Being a mommy of three little ones on one income, has me utilizing every money saver I can think of. As I said before, my machine does not have a cover stitch. I've looked into it and the Husqvarna does have one! Boy would that make sewing my little one's clothing go faster and come out with a much more professional look and save time to boot! As a mom of multiples, I'm all about saving time. You can't see it very well, but in this pic of baby B, he is wearing a shirt that I made for him. Despite tucking in my serged tails, the hem is coming undone, and looks terrible because of the lack of cover stitch. Also, the neck piece was over stretched because of the feed of my machine and looks a bit off.

Also, since winning this machine would do wonders for my business and my home sewing, if I win I will be doing a couple of things.
1) Bertha (the current serger) will be donated to someone in need of one.
2) I will sew and donate 10 Very Baby fitteds to a charity, or charity auction.

Thank-you Sew Mama Sew for the chance.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

15 lbs!

I've got some great news! After months of having weight gain difficulties, little L is gaining weight! The little man is finally on the chart! He's in the 0.23 percentile...not even the first percentile, but I'm still thrilled. He gained two pounds in two weeks, which is the biggest weight jump yet. After a few visits to see the OT, he seems to be nursing a little bit longer and stronger too. Hooray for my teensy, tiny, 15 lb, 9 month old.

Keep gaining L! Mommy loves you!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Monday, 2 August 2010

Wrap-N- Mat Review and Giveaway *ended

It's no secret that I am on a mission to reduce our household waste. One big thing on my list of major offenders in this battle, are plastic baggies. I won't bore you with all of the reasons that one-use plastic items are bad. I've been over it many a time before. So, for this post I'll just say, plastic baggies are no good.

I was given the opportunity a while back to review Wrap-N-Mat sandwich wraps and snack pouches. Now that the craziness is starting to die down around here, I'm finally getting around to posting this. Oh, and about that craziness; I'm pretty sure a lull is temporary, but sure as heck, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.
So, back to the product of interest. The Wrap-N-Mat has a great concept: it's a sandwich wrap and a place in one. You use it to wrap a sandwich by placing the sandwich in the center of the mat, folding in the left and right sides, then folding over the top and bottom. There is a piece of velcro to keep it in place. The snack sack works the same way, but is more generously sized and shaped.

They are made of a cotton and polyester blend and the lining is water proof. I am also pleased to tell you that they are BPA free and they comply with CPSIA lead and phthalate regulations. They are however made in China, but they assure customers that they are not made with child or prison labor. *Edited to add, the ones that I reviewed were made in china. They do offer a made in the USA version. Be sure to make sure you order according to your preference.

They work very well. They are a great size and their sandwich wrap is actually big enough to hold a sandwich, unlike others on the market. I love that they are easier to clean, as the whole thing unfolds to be flat and you aren't left trying to dig crumbs out of creases. My husband has been using these to take his lunch to work for some time now and they are holding up fabulously, even the velcro! I like them and have been using them in the diaper bag as well to cart toddler snacks around.

***Update! We have a winner! #22- Amanda. I'll be emailing you shortly and you have 48 hours to respond, or I shall have o draw again. Congrats!***

Thanks to Wrap-N-Mat, one lucky Once Upon a Baby reader has a chance to win a set of one Wrap-N-Mat wrap and one pouch in the Eco-Print fabric. Here's how to enter:

Visit Wrap-N-Mat and comment here telling me one other thing you like about Wrap-N-Mats or a tid bit of info about the company. Make sure to leave a contact email address. This comment is mandatory, and if not included all other entries will be void.
Extra Entries:
Leave a separate comment for each entry.

Open to US residents only. Ends on 8/09/10. Winner will be determined by random.org. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving product to review. In this particular giveaway, the item will be shipped to the winner by me, rather than the company. All images used in this post, were copied from wrap-n-mat.com and are the property of their company.

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