Saturday, May 24, 2014

8 and 31 = two happy kiddos

Well it is this time of the month again! Today Phenix turned 8 months while his sister turned 31 months! This last months has been very very busy for the entire family! It started with Mommy and Phenix flying to Vancouver. While mommy attended a conference at the University of British Colombia, Phenix spent some awesome time with his awesome aunt Coco! 


He also got to meet his cousins, great aunt and uncle and one of mommy's past life friend. Some of the highlights of the trip was seeing Ama quickly at the airport before she left for the Philippines, seeing some contestant racing for the amazing race, feeling what summer feels like for the very first time (he was NOT impress by the heat), seeing his first cherry blossom and the Pacific ocean!


Hudson stayed behind and had a sleep over at Grand-ma. It was her first time not nursing for more than 3 days. She did great. Mommy hoped she was going to wean... but at last no... she is going as strong as ever.

While we are talking about food... Phenix slowly started solids. Very slowly. He really only started ingesting it about two weeks ago. He seems to like asparagus and carrot best! His fine motor skills are not quite was his sister were at this age but otherwise he is meeting most milestone at the same pace she did! (except that he has 2 teeth already with 2 more cutting, while she only got her first at 12 months). Oh and I should add... Mommy has not had to change a poopy diaper since may 6th!!! Phenix has gotten very vocal about asking (specific grunting)... 

Otherwise, the whole family has been working on our gardens, harvesting fiddle heads at our local parks and trails and doing some small renovations around the house.

Today Hudson officially inaugurated the swimming season with the first jump and splash in the pool (70C not bad) and Phenix who has been army crawling and standing up with furniture finally figured out how to go from belly to sitting! 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

End of May! You know what this mean?

Fantine from the broadway production of Les Miserables

It is the end of May, and in this house, it has typically mean 3 things... School is almost done!! (We are all teachers or students!) hockey and basketball playoff is full own! AND the most important of all.... time to start thinking about Halloween!

Hello Kitty (can't see the tail in the picture)
Yes! I know, for most of you, it is way to early to start thinking about this "one day" step out of the routine at the end of October... but for me who loves to sew, Halloween is the focal point of every year (that and the few "con" we attend). And off course, with Hudson's birthday being just a few days before Halloween, it is now EVEN more important!!!

Unfortunately, last year, with Phenix being just born, I ended up *gasp* BUYING costumes.... (that was a really sad day for me...) Still my sister rocked a homemade Mary Poppin outifit!

So, as I scavenge around for ideas... Here are pictures of past costumes I made (most wigs and accessories, were made by my sister)

 Our most notorious round was without any doubt 2007-2008 as a full assemble "Bleach" group! We even won some prizes! I know I have somewhere laying around a great professional photograph picture of all of us...


 We also had all the Eito Rangers in 2009! (Yellow is the one taking the picture!)


 And a bunch of Ouran Host school girls! (Also in 2009)

This one is near and dear to my heart... Made in 2007 from an actual pattern from the 17th century!!! (Most of it was hand sewed with hand embroidery (which you can't see on the picture)

In 2010 Marie and I painted our own Zukkoke Otokomichi outfit! This was a labor of Love!!! As it was grueling!

Then there was the Naruto crochet outfit for Hudson! I spent close to a year (or more precisely my whole pregnancy working on this!! I had never crochet before! I am particularly
proud of the hat!

These are just some of the many many costumes from the past few years!!!! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Toys from your garden! Part 1

Last year, a good friend of mine, through a special playground, introduced me to Waldorf style (education? parenting?). Although in all honesty, I never went back, and although our daughter very happily attends a Montessori school, many aspect of the Waldorf philosophy caught my eye! Nature, nature and nurture are really important to me! So it was not surprising that I fell in love with all the wooden toys, felted animals and organic material. (In a way, not so different than the tactile material used in a Montessori classroom which not only takes on household items, but also features many wooden activities, water, rocks....)

Needless to say, as a two and a half years old, my daughter LOVES playing timber! You should see her and grand-pa! It can get loud and wild! At home, I often let her built tower taller than herself in toilet paper roll! I call it, my quiet version of timber (although if you heard her laugh... you would say "doesn't sound quiet to me").

In the last 2 weeks, my husband and I have been working our garden (still working on becoming produce sustainable through permaculture). Last year, a strong wind storm took down big branches from near by trees, we also had to prune our plum trees, and therefor ended up with lots of branches! Some of which will be used in our fire pit, and some of which we decided to turn into toys! Wood toys! We already have a few Melissa and Doug toys (but I don't like the fact that they are made in China) and even fewer Hape toys (who can afford those???), so my husband decided to turn into Ghepetto and here are some of the project we are currently tackling!

- Timber pieces to play timber!
- Numbered disk
- Fine motors pieces for Phénix
-And old fashion buttons! 

In the next few days, I will be posting individually about these projects!

First up today is "Numbered disk" Now I am not going to lie... this is taken straight out of Pinterest! A branch cut into 1/2 inch thick disk with numbers from 1 to 10 painted on! They can be used as a counting tool, ordering tool, timber toys or even as a memory game.

To do mine, and because I have no artistic skills, I used a "pochoir", but if you have a nice handwriting, the sky is the limit. I also decided to not paint "10" on one disk. Instead I painted an extra "1" and an extra "0". This way, the set can be use to teach beyond the first 10 digits. Another variation possible would be to paint letters, or 2 each of a picture to use it as a memory game.

If you have older kids, this can be a fun rainy day project! Provided you have a branch and a saw and are reusing left over paint, this project is free! Eventually I plan on having the kids "pochoir" the letters to their name, so then we can use it as a spelling puzzle!

To finish it off, I sew a bag out of canvass on which I painted with the same pochoirs "number". Instead of using a drawstring (which could be potentially dangerous as it could strangulate a playing kid, I used a soft elastic, which leave the opening wide enough for a hand when unstretched and wide enough for a wood disk when fully stretched.