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Archive for the ‘toddlers’ Category

I’ve finally found my groove when it comes to thrifting in Texas. It takes more work than it did in Washington, but I’ve found a few great stores. Yesterday I went thrifting with a friend and found lots of wonderful things. Also, some really, really terrible things. As in this:

Sorry for the crappy camera phone photo… who knew there would be something so wonderfully ugly that I would need photo evidence to show my discovery to others?

But as I said, I found a ton of great stuff, the kids and I both got new clothes and I got a bunch of items for my newest project. It’s an Etsy shop called Pecae, Love and Tickles. I am going to be devoting my shop entirely to items made with repurposed materials, mostly kids clothes but whatever I am inspired to make with what I find. I am super excited. I’ll update as I get set up. I am really excited about this as it not only gives me a creative outlet but makes old things new again and saves them from the landfill. If you’ve read this blog much you know that’s something I care about very, very much.

I’ve found some really wonderful materials to work with and I can’t wait to get sewing. I’ll have some really fun items made quickly. I am going to wait a bit before I post them on Etsy, but I’ll share them here as I go.

In other news, we’ve really started to love our local library. Well technically, it’s not “our” library. The one in our town sucks. But the one eight miles down the road is great. Totally worth the drive for ten times the kids books. Keagan and Eden love the place.  We went this morning, Keagan picked out 17 new books to read and we read half of them before lunch. Which I dubbed “rock star lunch” because Keagan said he wanted to have a rock star dance party. He ate those veggies up so fast just because they were “rock star” veggies. I am filing that one away for the days he won’t eat.

Off to enjoy what’s left of naptime 🙂

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We don’t own a television. Any time this comes up, after whoever is hearing this for the first time picks his or her jaw up off the floor they ask me “What do you do all day long?”

Another shocker to many is that my kids won’t be attending school and that, at least for now,  I am “unschooling” Keagan. *and Eden, learning begins at birth, right?

So I thought I would show what it is we do all day long and how we learn without any sort of formal curriculum or lesson plan.

Our day in words and pictures 🙂

We planted a tree.

We learned that even big things start small.

We planned our garden. We learned that food does not come from the store and that hard work has its benefits.

We played on the playground.

We learned the being flexible comes in handy in life and that patience is a virtue. (It’s hard to wait your turn for the slide!)

We explored.

We learned not all who wander are lost.

We looked at bugs. We learned that ants “go really, really fast.”

We played in the dirt.

Mama learned to let things go.

One of us napped in the sun.

We all got our vitamin d the old fashioned way.

We picked flowers. We made wishes.

We learned the world could use more wonder.

We hugged trees. Literally.

We learned to revere nature.

Keagan cut himself.

We learned a deep breath and a good snack make most problems feel smaller.

We met our neighbors. We talked. We learned that a smile goes a long way in life.

We played. Keagan with a doll. Eden with a truck. We defied gender stereotypes…

and realized how silly they are.

Some seriously window coloring went on…

and we learned that art comes in many mediums…

Sometimes even baby sister’s face.

We relaxed.

We loved one another.

We learned that the little things in life matter the most.

We played. We laughed. We colored. We sang.

We read books.

We learned that fantasy can help us better understand reality.

We played with pom-poms. We counted. We sorted. One of us learned what fuzzy tastes like.

We learned that some items have any uses.

We cooked. Okay. I cooked. Keagan “helped” and Eden snacked.

We counted, measured and timed as we did so.

We learned that sometimes hard work tastes really good.

We ate. We laughed some more. We played and sang some more. We tickled and loved. We lived.

We learned that your family is the people who are there for you at the end of the day.

All in all it was a pretty good day.

I don’t think we’re missing out on anything without the TV. I don’t think we’re missing out on anything without the boxed curriculum or preschool.  I think we’re doing just fine and making the best choices for our family.

What do you think? 🙂

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Slightly Confused

We don’t do a lot of movies or TV around here, but I found a pack of classic Christmas movies at Costco and couldn’t turn them down. Keagan has really enjoyed “Rodolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

But he’s slightly confused. He keeps calling the “Abdominal Snow Monster of the North” a baby doll.

I just don’t see the resemblance. Guess I should be glad it doesn’t scare him. Maybe he’s seen some ugly baby dolls somewhere I’m not aware of. Really, really ugly baby dolls.

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became one hat, one pair of pants and one pair of mittens last night 🙂

Eden thinks the hat is better as a toy.

Keagan, however, won’t take his mittens off.

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Keagan had a blast with this activity. I cut out four head shapes, several sets of eyes, noses, random shapes, mouths, hair etc in multiple colors and had Keagan create “monsters.” It was a great Halloween craft for him because in addition to being fun, it reinforced his knowledge of shapes (circle nose, oval head etc) and colors and also spatial reasoning. I was surprised how accurately he placed the pieces on the faces.(Excluding one upside down eyebrow, of which he was quite proud.)
I think we’ll repeat it again later… we could make silly turkeys, snowmen, etc.
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The past week or so has really been a blast with Keagan. I told you all before about Keagan’s Halloween Faeries. Well I’ve been having to come up with gifts for him each night ever since he decided that the Halloween gift exchange with the faeries was not just a one night thing. We were sick last week and I decided a few store bought (wood and made in the US) toys wouldn’t kill us. He really loved the wooden top and airplane. He did forget a few nights and that helped me as a tired sick mama. Last night, we ran out of store bought toys and were back to making them again.

I wanted to make him a plush monster as he’s really loved monsters lately and they don’t have to look perfect. I also wanted it to be small so I could use my scrap felt. My wonderful husband got in on the whole project. He cut and sewed the original shape and then told me how he wanted the eyes and mouth to look. I attached the eyes and mouth with sloppy (on purpose this time haha) embrodery.I was up into the wee hours of the morning finishing “silly monster” (as Keagan has been calling him) but the look on Keagan’s face when he saw it sitting under our “faerie tree” made it all worth it.

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So sweet!

I will be glad when Halloween is done so I can get back to my Christmas crafting. I love doing this, but I know I have so much to get done. Ido think I will have a helper for that now, as my sweet husband seems to have caught the crafting bug. How can you not love creating for the ones you love?

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So in yesterday’s post, I told  you that Keagan and I made a paper chain to count down to Halloween and that I’d explained to Keagan that when all the chains were gone, we’d put on a costume, go out and get candy for the faeries and we’d leave it under our “faerie tree” where he’s told me they live and the next day, he’d have a gift from them. Keagan seemed excited and it seemed like he understood (he’s 2.5 if you’re not a regular reader)

Well last night, we tore a link off the chain while getting ready for bed. Then Keagan’s eyes lit up and he said “Let’s go give the faeries their present!” and ran to the front door. I stood there, in that moment knowing that I could either a) crush is happy little idea and have a toddler who would be angry with me until Halloween when we would be giving the faeries their present (candy) in exchange for some goodies or b) Allow it and know that I’d have almost two weeks of small gifts to come up with, thus creating a tradition that puts Halloween in competition with Chanukah for holiday with the most days of gift giving.

I chose b. The world needs more magic. So Keagan ran out the front door gleefully and called out “Hey faeries! Look! I have present for you!” We placed his paper chain under a pile of pinecones and I told him the faeries would take it while he was sleeping. “And bring Keagan a present!” (this was a statement, not a question) “Yes and they’ll bring you a present,” I said, wheels turning in my head. What on Earth would I give him?

Hubby suggested the woodland elf hat in “Bend the Rules Sewing” by Amy Karol of Angry Chicken. We have the wool felt on hand for that.  But I’ve been planning on giving that to him the day after Halloween, when he was feeding the faeries his trick or treat candy. Plus, if I start with something that big,  it’s going to be hard to make it fun every day.  And I didn’t feel like sewing a hat.

So I thought about what we have laying around the house. Lots of toliet paper rolls. I save them compulsivly, because I think we can use them for craft projects. Probably because I feel guilty that we haven’t switched over to using cloth instead of paper yet. Anyway, we have a ton of those. Could I color it? Too cheesy. Make a necklace? Maybe.  Then I got the idea to make a telescope to see the faeries better.

We have a lot of felt from various projects I over bought for, so I wrapped the felt around two tubes (one stuffed into the other) and cut the fabric. Then I wanted to use fabric glue to make it stay, but I couldn’t find it. So I decided I’d duct tape it in place. haha. Then I decided to embroider his name on it. The embroidery hoop was dangerously close to the sleeping baby and I didn’t have time to wash off any fabric markers, so it was totally free form and pretty sloppy.  Oh well. Then I added the leaves because I thought it made it look more faerie like. All in all, I don’t think it turned out too terribly for a  tired rushed project with limited supplies on hand.

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Keagan seems quite pleased with it. Now I just have to come up with something for every night for the rest of October.

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Looking at him and thinking of the fun that we could have with this tradition, I think it’s worth it 🙂 I will, however, start the Halloween chain much later next October.

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