DIY Hand Towel With Handle

There’s a lot of hand washing around these parts. I’m no germophobe but raising a toddler means you’re dealing with a variety ofΒ  known and unknown sticky substances on a regular basis. Not to mention that said toddler is obsessed with the sink and wants to wash her hands a million times a day. It’s gotten to the point where we’ve added “wash” to the list of words we spell so she won’t hear it!
When we do wash our hands, we’re inevitably searching for a towel with which to dry them, particularly in the kitchen. They get taken from their usual spot, hanging on the stove handle, and are used for any number of purposes. These days it’s a blanket for her buddy.
A while ago, A asked if we could get something that we could attach to the stove and my mind instantly popped to a link I’d pinned on Pinterest! It’s a pattern to adapt a normal hand towel into one that has a handle that loops over the oven handle and fastens.
I had fabric leftover from cushions I’d made for the living room.Β  I picked up a hand towel for only a few dollars at Walmart in a vibrant yellow that coordinated with my fabric. It took me a few days to make it, as I had to work around the kids napping schedules, but I’m really pleased with the results! My 30 year old Singer had some trouble with the final stitching that attached the towel to the handle, since it ended up being quite thick with all the layers (flannelette is used to add a bit of stiffness to the outside layers) and yo can see it’s a bit wonky where it was trying to get a grip, but I went slow and didn’t push the machine. I’m not the best seamstress in the world but I can hold my own I think. DSC_8007 copy (848x1280)
The button I chose was one from the box of buttons I have that holds the extra buttons, threads etc from clothes I buy that come with extras. It’s from a coat I bought years ago and don’t wear much anymore….I probably need a good closet overhaul but that’s a can of worms I don’t want to open right now.Β  DSC_8006 copy (1280x848) (2)

Baby/Toddler Apps

There’s a thread currently on my baby forum about whether or not to let babies/young toddlers play with smart phones etc. It’s not a heated debate but most of the moms think it’s a bad thing. Me? I lean towards the “it’s not that horrible” camp.

We let Molly play with our smart phones and even got an iPad for Christmas from my parents for that express purpose. That’s not to say that she plays with it all the time. She has a very short attention span and might spend five minutes on it before she moves on to something else. But it comes in handy for moments when I just need her to sit still for a bit or for first thing in the morning when A and I are trying to wake up. Our child literally pops up as soon as she opens her eyes. We need a bit more time to adjust πŸ™‚

I also happen to believe it’s a great educational tool and is helping her with coordination and communication. Her skill at moving her finger across the screen is growing exponentially! I thought it would be fun to share her favourite apps at the moment. It’s astonishing to me that she knows exactly where to find them on both the iPhone and iPad!

Molly’s favourite apps:

EduKitchen – there’s a free version that we’re currently trying out but I think we’ll purchase the full version soon, as Molly really loves it. This one has activities like setting the table, load the dishwasher, gather the vegetables, arrange from big to small or vice versa etc. The characters are a bit creepy but she’s so proud when she accomplishes the goal!

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Sound Touch – probably her most favourite app of all time! There is a free versions and a paid version but we definitely upgraded to the full paid version for this one. It’s basically flash cards with sounds. Molly can touch a picture of an animal and it’ll pop up with the sound the animal makes. She calls this app ‘cat’ because that’s her favourite animal. In addition to animals there are musical instruments, every day house hold items etc.

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Animals and Tools for Babies – we’ve had this one since she was very young. It was a lifesaver on those long drives to A’s parents. It’s similar to Sound Touch in that it’s like a series of flash cards, but in addition to the sound the animal makes, a voice also names the animal and you can choose from several languages. The best part is that the cards will play on a loop, key for just handing it back for them to play with while you’re in the front seat.

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Little Writer – I think A’s mom found this one and it’s quickly becoming a favourite. It’s a free tracing program, where a letter (or number or shape) comes up and using their fingers, they press a cute little icon and trace what’s on the screen! She needs a bit of help but really enjoys doing it.

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The Wheels on the Bus – this is a fave and worth it to pay for the full version. There are math games, puzzles, vehicle sounds and of course and interactive version of the infamous song! “Bus” Molly will say to play this one!

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Oh and if you weren’t already aware, there’s a cool feature on iPhone’s and iPad’s called ‘Guided Access’. If you enable this feature, you can turn it on while in an app and little one’s can’t escape! It’s located in Settings/General/Accessibility.

Have fun!

18 Weeks – Baby #2/Weekend Wind-Up

I was remiss with my pregnancy update over the weekend, so I’m combining it with my weekend wind-up to kill two posts with one stone πŸ™‚

Weekend Wind-Up

Our weekend was just grand!

The weather on Saturday was just miserable. It was cold and rainy. But there were a couple of events to brighten the day! One was the birthday party for my friend M1’s little girl who turned two! She held it at a local community centre in a gym that had all sorts of activities for kids around her age. It was awesome to just let Molly roam free, knowing everything was safe for her to play with. After play time we all headed to another room for food (we watched proudly as Molly ate a whole slice of pizza, without cutting it up!) and cupcakes. A fun time!

Event number two was a very much overdue date night for me and BFF B! She met me at my house to say a quick hello to Molly and A before we headed off to a really lovely restaurant down by the waterfront. I had a very tasty meal of duck confit perogies to start and grilled salmon on a bed of salad for my main. Dessert? Pumpkin creme brulee! We had an awesome time catching up. We’re in touch all the time but there’s nothing like chatting in person with your best friend πŸ™‚ We vowed to try and do it more often, especially now that I’m not needed to put Molly to bed.

Sunday we ran a few errands, including picking out the ever important pumpkin to be carved later on in the week. We mostly just relaxed, as both of us were feeling under the weather. But not enough under the weather to miss dinner at my parents! I brought a special dessert, which I’ll write about later this week.

I’ll leave this portion of today’s post with these adorable pics of Molly:

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In the second one I said “smile for Mummy!” and this is what she gave me. Such a cheeky monkey!

18 Weeks – Baby #2

I didn’t have an 18 week update with Molly because that’s the week A and I got married! Aw. This is my favourite shot from our wedding day:

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It’s just so perfect, in so many ways. I was 18 weeks 1 day pregnant. And here we are again. Life is surreal sometimes, isn’t it?

How Far Along? – 18 weeks (plus three days as I write)

Size of Baby – About the size of an mango, 6 inches long, around a half a pound.

Gender – We hopefully find out one week tomorrow!

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Maternity Clothes – Yup, and so happy to be wearing them! I went shopping last week and over the weekend to pick up some ‘winter’ staples: a pair of skinny cords and skinny jeans, some long comfy sweaters and a maternity winter coat!

Stretch Marks – No change

Weight – Seven pounds gained. We’re doing good!

Sleep – Meh. I’ve got some sort of cold/pregnancy related nose stuffyness that’s making it uncomfortable to sleep.

Movement – Absolutely! Little pops of movement now and then, becoming more frequent as the days pass.

Symptoms – Nothing major. Still in the second trimester bliss period! May have some serious pregnancy related sinus issues though. I’m so stuffed up! It could be a cold though. My eyes are watering too. I bought some saline spray to use to hopefully loosen things up.

Cravings – Iced tea, which I learned has less caffeine in it than chocolate…since I haven’t given up chocolate to avoid caffeine, I figure iced tea is a go!

What Do I Miss – Caffeine (coffee level caffeine)…and that’s about it.

Nursery –I need to hop on Pinterest and start gathering ideas.

Emotions – Pretty good! I woke feeling glum this morning but that’s because I had the kind of dreams that stay with you. I dreamed everyone was mad at me. So awful!

Best Moment of the Week – Feeling the baby move more. It’s incredibly reassuring!

Weekend Wind-Up

We had a pretty decent weekend, despite the fact that it started with A working Saturday morning πŸ™

But everything worked out! My mom was able to come watch Molly while I went for my much anticipated hair cut! The verdict: I love it! It’s just to my shoulders and my curls are much more defined. I’ll have to be careful with blow drying, even with a diffuser (POOF!), but all in all it feels so much lighter and fresh (check out yesterday’s post for a visual). I can still pull it back if necessary, which is great too.

The weather ended up not being so great on Saturday, so we deferred the pumpkin farm and instead once A got home we all went shoe shopping. Five stores later and we left with nothing. We were defeated! By shoes. If we even managed to find a style we liked, they didn’t have our size. Ugh. I HATE shoe shopping. We came home, Molly and I napped, we played for a bit and then had an early supper of beets and perogies. A and I had date night planned and needed to eat early!

My parents arrived just after six and we headed off to the movies, our first in a year and a half. There wasn’t much playing that I felt like seeing other than Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, so that’s what we saw! It was cute. We loved the first one, and though not as good, I was amazed by the imagination the creators had when thinking up the food world. Amazing! We saw it in 3D (sidenote: why does EVERYTHING have to be in 3D now?? Personally I don’t get the appeal, and with my horrible vision, I end up with a mild headache because my eyes can’t catch up to the change in depth and quickness of motion). We were home just after nine and asleep by ten. A pregnant lady’s dream date!

Sunday was just beautiful and we deemed it the perfect day to visit the pumpkin farm! Molly enjoyed seeing the farm animals and especially loved the tractors! We had a quick lunch of hot dogs (Molly and A) and pumpkin curry (me) and then headed home. We thought about the hay ride but I was concerned Molly wouldn’t sit still for it. We decided to head home, without a pumpkin, as there weren’t any there that suited us. Still, a great visit and Molly managed to hold off falling asleep until we got home.

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The rest of Sunday was spent grocery shopping and relaxing. Not a bad weekend at all!

Molly's First Birthday Party

And without further ado, I present to you Molly’s first birthday party!

There were just about 30 people that came (including 8 kids) and thankfully the weather was stunning. We were able to party in the backyard, which was my original intention (and the reason we shelled out the $$$ to get the patio finished in time).

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Since Molly is only just one (and yet holy cow she’s one!), she isn’t really into any particular show or toy. That left it up to me to choose a theme. I did some pinteresting and was inspired by some strawberry themed parties I saw. It seemed like a fresh and colourful idea, so that’s what I went with! I contacted my friend Leila (whom I’ve known since high school!) who runs her own shop, A Little Pixel, that sells themed party packages for children. She very quickly caught onto my idea and came up with something pretty and fresh! She sent me the PDF for various types of paper accents, that I was able to print out myself. I love themed packages like this, as they really pull everything together in an easy way. Some of the cute accents included:

Cupcake wrappersΒ  (I bought strawberries and cream cupcakes from a local baker):

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Thank You Tags (I bought a variety of strawberry flavoured candies for our guests to take home):Β  DSC_5962 copy (1280x848)

Napkin Rings:

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Water Bottle Wrappers ($2.85 for 35 bottles of water at Costco!!):

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I loved it all! And because of these easy accents, decorating was minimal. And minimal was the name of the game for this party! I let the backyard and our gardens do the decorating; I bought party platters from Sobey’s and salads from Costco. The only real effort as far as food was that I made a super yummy strawberry punch (with ginger ale, frozen pink lemonade concentrate, frozen orange juice concentrate, frozen Bacardi strawberry daquiri mix and frozen strawberries) and a strawberry-baby spinach-red onion-goat cheese salad. A little more effort went into little gift buckets for the kids that came, so that they would have activities to occupy their time. One of my favourite moments was watching my niece CJ and BFF B’s little dude J run around with magnifying glasses spying on things in the garden! I included things like skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk, bubbles for the older kids and shovels, balls and bubbles for the little ones.

Molly enjoyed her first real taste of cake, though my girl was a bit dainty. She picked at the icing and cake with her fingers at first. Eventually she braved the whole thing at once, but the cake didn’t really make it past her lips.

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My parents and sister and CJ stayed behind after the party was over to help open Molly’s gifts. I didn’t bother opening them when the guests were there; Molly really has no clue about anything right now. Maybe when she’s older it’ll be more fun to have everyone see her reactions.

CJ though, couldn’t WAIT for Molly to open her gifts; she is an old pro at it now. She is 3.5 after all!

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Once the gifts were open, the tidying up began and my little miss went down for a much needed sleep.

It was a really awesome day. I probably spent too much, but hey, your baby girl will only turn one once! It was worth all the time and money that went into it.

Happy First Birthday darling girl!

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Friday Ramblings

On the Baby…

Separation anxiety is still in full swing. Molly had some sad days at day care this week, poor thing. But as soon as I get home in the evening, she’s right as rain! Once I’ve nursed her she’s happy to go off and play. Sleep has been a bit better since one episode of pick up/put down we had earlier this week. I haven’t had to do it again (thank God…it took an hour and she screamed the entire time), choosing the peaceful nursing to sleep option when I can. She’s still waking up but settling back quickly most nights.

On Awww…

Last week when I went back to work, I walked into the photocopy room and was instantly drawn to the bulletin board where I found these pictures of Molly pinned up:

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Our little ladybug on Halloween

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After her bath, only a few days old

Awww! It really made my day πŸ™‚

On the Patio…

I cannot believe I haven’t posted a pic of the patio yet!! Going back to work has thrown me for a loop I guess. Well here it is, dining set and all!

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This was the space before:

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We quite like it. We decided to get a new BBQ. The one we had was ancient and falling apart. It was also quite big, with extra burners we just didn’t need. A found this adorable Coleman BBQ at Canadian Tire. It’s meant for smaller spaces and since we’re not elaborate grillers, it fit our needs perfectly!

On the Garden…

Last week my sunflowers started to bloom:

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Today I discovered a very helpful friend taking advantage of these bright sunny gems:

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Here’s hoping he’s doing his job and helping my vegetables produce!

Speaking of helpers, I have a budding gardener on my hands…

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Happily I’m a fan of kids playing in the dirt! In fact, I think it’s essential to developing a healthy immune system.

And that’s about it for this Friday afternoon! A is home early, which is a great start to this holiday long weekend!

Enjoy!

Friday Ramblings

On The Baby…

Last night was an off night for Miss Molly. She woke up several times in the evening, the last at midnight and she didn’t go back to sleep until 2am!! At one point, I was so desperate I let her cry for 10 minutes, but went in the second she went from fussy cry to hysterical cry. She hasn’t had an ‘awake’ period like that in awhile, so I’m guessing some sort of developmental factor is at work. Fingers crossed it doesn’t continue!

On Back To Work…

After a glorious year off with my little girl, I’m back to work on Tuesday. I have mixed feelings. I know Molly will be fine with my mom and at day care, but I’m going to miss her terribly. She’s such an awesome little girl to be with. Still, it’s the right move for us right now. It’s only three days a week! And hey, on the bright side, there will be less dishes for me to do!

On The Patio…

Work is scheduled to begin this weekend on our patio! Last weekend we met with the landscaper and picked out our stone. This is the main stone we picked (Unilock Brussels Block in Mahogany Ash):

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And this will be the accent between the edge and main patio (Unilock Copthorne in Burnt Clay, on the bottom):

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It’s going to be awesome!!

On Lights…

You may recall that months ago we did some furniture shifting, moving the dining room table into the kitchen and moving the loveseat from the living room into the dining room (making it a small sitting area). Well it’s taken this long to take down the chandelier! I decided it would look super cute if we put it in our bedroom:

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I think it adds an air of “elegant retreat” to our room.

And that’s all I have to say this Friday morning! I hope you all have a great weekend!

The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

It seems a little late in the week now to be doing a weekend wind-up and here’s my excuse: The heat has taken me down y’all! It’s 45 degrees Celsius with the humid-ex today and has been just as hot for the past few days. That makes for a lazy, tired C.

So instead, I thought I’d share some pics from our trip to the Oshawa Zoo and Fun Farm on Monday (A took a vacation day!). Molly LOVED seeing all the animals, even the lambs who nibbled her fingers πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

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Watching the baby chicks
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So cute!

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Babies taste gooooood
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Can we have some more?
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This guy was smart and refused to walk into the sun! He waited until we were in the shaded area to come visit
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At one point A bent down to pick up something Molly dropped, and I swear to God this guy almost jumped onto his back!!

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The eyes on this guy are amazing
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Hi
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Love him

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Weekend Wind-Up – Canada Day Edition

If nothing else, one thing was clear about this weekend: we have a walker!

We left for A’s parents place Friday afternoon. We arrived after a somewhat uneventful drive, plus a stop for A&W (big mistake. I had indigestion the rest of the night). Once we got there, we set about having Molly perform all her ‘tricks’ (Where’s Your Belly?, Clap Along with If You’re Happy and You Know It and the ever popular, Walk To Mama/Daddy!). During intermission (aka she started ignoring us) we were chatting when all if a sudden she stood up and walked across the rug! And hasn’t stopped since.

She walked while we relaxed at A’s parents. She walked when we were at the cottage on Saturday and Sunday (we were on alert to keep her from walking off the dock). She walked at the waterfront festival in Cobourg where we met up with A’s youngest sister and her beau (who seems quite nice J…yay!). Walk walk walk!

Side note: I have a renewed hatred for litterers and smokers. Put your freakin’ garbage and nasty used cigarettes in the garbage! They just call out to children ‘pick me up!’

It melts my heart seeing her adorable little steps. The uneven pitter pat is the cutest thing ever! And I have a renewed amazement at how our species has evolved. Walking is such an amazing achievement in evolution!

It was a lovely weekend, with not-too-hot temperatures but warm enough to be outside.

And now I’m on ‘vacation’! Three weeks until I’m back to work. How did that happen so quickly? Here are some of my favourite pics from our long weekend!

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