Archive for November, 2009

Shame On You…

November 30, 2009

Shame on you Melissa & Doug.  I trusted you and stood up for you.  I believed you and raved about you.  I am disappointed in you.  I shouldn’t be surprised though.  My husband questioned you and your China made toys.  I defended your honor.  No more!  I purchased some of your toys for Christmas.  They are wrapped, but not for long.  They will be returned on Saturday.  I deleted you off our Christmas Wishlist.  I have deleted you from my toy memory.

Here are some recent links on Melissa & Doug toy recalls in Canada.  Yes, they are not being recalled in the U.S. yet, but I rather like Canada’s standards compared to ours in the U.S.

http://www.growingyourbaby.com/2009/11/21/health-canada-recalls-3-melissa-doug-toys-for-exessive-barium-in-paint/

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-23788-Minneapolis-Attachment-Parenting–Examiner~y2009m11d22-Three-Melissa-and-Doug-toys-recalled-in-Canada-for-barium-in-paint

http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/pr-rp/recall-retrait_e.php?langCd=eng&searchTyp=1&re_id=889&searchstring=&searchyear=2009&searchcategory=&StartIndex=1

Will you still purchase Melissa & Doug toys?  You can guess what my answer is.  There are plenty of other options out there.  Melissa & Doug I hope you clean up your act!

Sewing Sunday On The Fly

November 29, 2009

I really did not have anything planned to sew this morning other than patching my husband’s pants (again), so I really did not expect to get done what I did.  I pulled out some fabric and made a pattern and here is what happened…

I made a dog bone for our daughter’s wooden dog friend, Snoopy.

What dog doesn’t need a bone, right?

I also made her this Lazy Days Skirt.  This is a favorite pattern of mine and the more I use it the less time intensive it is.  It usually takes me an hour or so to make one, so not too time consuming.

The fabric is a heavy corduroy material I bought months ago, but didn’t have the heart to cut up.  I have been trying to use more of my favorites out of my fabric stash lately, so that was the inspiration for this one.  I think this will make a nice Fall skirt for our daughter.  I love the patterning of the fabric…yummy for sure!

I really need to make some drawstring bags to store all of my fabric scrapes, but not sure when that will happen.  We have a busy weekend coming up with a shopping trip and evening dinner (okay, so a work banquet for my husband, but still dinner without the little one) on Saturday and then on Sunday, I plan to take our daughter to the Children’s Museum.  We missed the whole second floor last time we were there and it is a free family day, so I figure why not.  Maybe the weekend after I will get to the drawstring bags…still deciding on fabric for them anyway.  I’d really like to use some of what I already have here, but not sure which fabric to pick. 

Any fun sewing projects your way?

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

November 28, 2009

We went to get our tree today.  It was a beautiful sunny day!  We had a fun time talking with the owners of Cedar Creek Farm.  It was quite the coincidence when I asked my husband the name of the owners of the farm and when he responded, I was surprised because they are my friend Emily’s parents.  My husband is familiar with them through his work and I am familiar with them through Holistic Moms.  Small world indeed. 

We really enjoyed our time at Cedar Creek Farm.  We enjoyed the scenery and the quiet of the country.  You can tell they really care about their trees and the environment.  The trees are replanted each year too! 

It took us quite a while to find ‘the tree,’ but after lots of walking and laughs, we found the perfect tree for us.  We kept saying, “I like that one do you?”  My husband or I would reply with a small reason why it wasn’t ‘the tree,’ or we would say, “that one looks nice, but what about that one there,” just to end up forgetting which tree was which and moving on with our search.  Our daughter wanted to be carried most of the time.  It was near lunch and nap and she’d say, “my legs are tired.”  After cutting the tree down my husband found a bird’s nest on some of the lower branches.  We hear this means good luck for a year!  My husband and daughter pulled our tree to the “tree checkout” (a two-year olds reference) on a blue sled.  We had our tree measured (7 ft) and then paid, packed it in the back of my husband’s truck and came home. 

Once home, we were all hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat, then our daughter and I enjoyed homemade hot chocolate and decorated the tree while listening to Christmas music.  (I always decorated the Christmas tree with my mom and siblings, so this may just be tradition for the children and I to do together.)  My husband was off to work at the duplex again (at least it is now that he is away so much tending to that, instead of when our baby arrives into this beautiful world) and we finished up decorating and then took a very late nap. 

(I finally figured out how to insert a picture that was once horizontal…yay for me.  Only thing is that the image is flipped…couch is actually on the left and kitchen on the right, but no one would know but me.)

Our daughter and I read two Christmas stories when we woke from our nap, ate supper and played.  It was a great day!

So Thankful

November 28, 2009

I’m a few days late, but better late than never, so…

Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving activities we did throughout the month of November…

Our Turkey…each day our daughter picked out a feather and added it to the Turkey.

Many colored turkeys with wiggly eyes (what more could a little girl want than wiggly eyes).

We are thankful!  Each day we each said something we were thankful for.  Here are a few examples of what our daughter was thankful for:  “girls who make good choices”  (this was a theme for a while),  “mommy’s presents”  (she made out like a bandit on my birthday), “Milwaukee Zoo,”  “Elephants who clean themselves with dust,” “Daddy coming home”  (he has been very busy lately),  “My baby”  (the little one in my tummy),  “Mo & Jo”  (local donkeys), “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way” (can you tell we started listening to Christmas music fairly early), “Snowmen,”  and “Daddy being in the tent.”

I hope you all had a great November and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sewing Sunday

November 22, 2009

Let's Play Mail SetThis is what inspired Sewing Sunday.  It is a Let’s Play Mail Wool/Rayon felt mailbox by Giggle.  I already made our daughter some felt mail for Christmas, and there was no way I was paying $50 for the mailbox.  I thought there was a chance that I could make something similar, and with a little thought, I did!  Yay!  I’m pretty impressed with the results.  There are a few things I would change, but overall, not bad for putting it together with just an image in mind.  I’m actually a little more creative then I give myself credit for (at least that is my feeling now).

I’m not too thrilled with the front door, but overall…a great victory for me!

Sorry for the poor photos!  My lighting is bad and I was trying to squeeze in a shot or two before the little one saw it.  Nothing like making Christmas gifts for her right in front of her.

Holistic Moms

November 19, 2009

I attended my first Holistic Moms meeting last night.  It was so very awesome!!  I felt so inspired and energized when I left (and, really within the first 2 minutes of being there)!  Finally, a group of moms that eyes don’t glaze over when you talk about nutrition, chemicals, breastfeeding, natural cleaners, not vaccinating, herbal remedies, etc.  I was totally in heaven!

These ladies set up a ‘Lacation Station’ at a recent Fall Fest, and received overwhelming support and rave reviews for it.  I would love to be a part of the next one and to help in any way I can to empower women.

Thanks to my super fantastic friend, Emily, for inviting me along.  Her mom is actually one of the co-leaders and a ‘retired’ midwife from the same team of midwives we used for our daughter’s birth and will use for this little ones birth. 

It is so moving to get a group of women together that share the same concerns and to be able to have sharing conversations with each other in a non-judgemental way.  I’m so looking forward to next month.

We meet once a month, with a different topic each month.  There is also a  play group too.  Yay, no more worrying about donut holes and other random food being served.  It is empowering to decline that stuff, but also a little awkward.  Empowering because I know I am making the right move for our daughter’s health, but awkward because I don’t want them to be offended. 

It is definitely a tough road to be an advocate for your children, and not one that is paved either.  It seems informed moms are having to pave the way themselves, and it can be a bumpy ride.  I actually had someone tell me today that they thought I was ‘silly’ researching all this stuff, but now, she is realizing that there is a lot of nasty stuff out there and wants information.  She thought I would be offended…not in the least.  I’m actually extremely honored and humbled when others ask for advice and direction.  I figure why should they have to reinvent the wheel, if I already have some starting points for them.  I definitely don’t know everything though, so I try to encourage some research on their own as well.

It is hard to swallow what you may or may have been exposing your children to unknowingly.  I think it would be harder to swallow knowing the information I know and still choosing not to make informed decisions.  I am more than happy to help anyone at any time find the information and answers they are looking for.  I know I have a support system that would do the same for me.

Well, this mama had better take my own advice and take care of myself…time for a little R & R.  I’ll leave you with this though…if you have a Holistic Moms Chapter in your area, check it out and see if you’d like to become a member.  You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

Kid Safe Chemicals Act 10 Americans

November 18, 2009

With this little one growing in my belly, I can’t help but post this video.  Please take the 20 minutes to view the video.  I guarantee, unless you are made of steel, that you may cry, become really pissed, or may even get scared.  I did all, but knowledge is power.  Inform yourself and take action.

A Little Oompa Love

November 16, 2009

I love, love, love Oompa!!  I love their products!  I love that there are two local stores!  I love that they play with our daughter when we go shop there!  I love that they don’t mind the mess we make either (we do clean up what we can).  I love their customer service and smiling faces when we walk through the doors!

We recently purchased this made by HABA.

[Haba Cash Register]

It is a Christmas gift for our daughter.  I have been unpacking everything before wrapping.  I want to check out the quality of the toys (less surprises later) and also make sure no pieces are missing or broken.  Plus, less after Christmas recycling. 

Well, I unpacked this toy one morning last week and was removing all the packaging, or what I thought was packaging (Note:  HABA is a Germany based company.  Most of the box is written in German and it came with no instructions.).  If you lift the lid where the buttons sit, there is a piece of foam underneath the buttons…packaging, or so I thought.  Once I removed it, I realized that it was not part of the packaging, but a very important part of the toy.  Once removed, it is virtually impossible to get back in place and the buttons are not functional once removed.  I was instantly sick to my stomach.  You see, this is a $40 toy.  Something I debated about getting our daughter because of the cost.  (Another side note:  I actually had a 10% off coupon I used and if you spent $50, you received a $10 gift card, so really I paid $26ish for it).  I called Oompa and the customer service rep told me I’d have to speak to a manager on Sunday.  I hauled my unhappy hinny into the store yesterday, only to be told that she could email the company and hopefully get a replacement part for me, but that she couldn’t refund my money.  I left her my information and left feeling a little defeated, but hopeful.  Well, I got a phone call from the Oompa manager before 11:00 a.m. today.  She had wonderful news:  HABA is going to send me a brand new register and a mailing labeling to mail back the non-working register!  Yay!!!  Thank goodness for great service!

Okay, so it was probably my fault, but again, the foam did look like packaging.  I will know this time and not remove it!  I think I may try to figure out something too so that our daughter doesn’t remove it while exploring and playing with the toy as the foam is exposed to little fingers.

I’m so grateful for the great service!  It is one of the stores I have fallen in love with and would be disappointed if I was left with a toy that didn’t work.  I will definitely continue to recommend the store to others and tell them about my experience and how it was resolved. 

Any stores you love? 

 

Scenes From Today

November 13, 2009

Today for me was, well, a bummer.  Overall though, looking back at some scenes from today, I need to remember what is important and what is not.  Our little girl definitely brightened my day!

Here are some scenes from our day together…

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I heard this tractor pulling around this very squeaky wagon most of the day.  Her little cars fit in it so nicely!

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This little bear (a Maple Town bear of mine from childhood) all tucked in!  So cute!

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Her new HABA butter and wooden toast were definitely a favorite today!  I reorganized her wooden food and she really paid attention to a lot of the food items she had abandoned for so long.  We had lots of fun playing grocery store today and eating buttered bread.

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‘Snoopy’ came along on our shopping adventures today.  She named him after her best friend Katie’s cat (Katie has a dog too, Sydney…somehow Sydney did not make the cut for naming her dog).

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Our turkey.  He is a part of our everyday routine now.  Everyday our daughter picks a feather and adds it to the turkey.  We will do this until Thanksgiving, then we will start our Christmas decorating and countdown.  Yay!

Word Art

November 10, 2009

I plan to sew this on Sunday morning…

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It will hang in our daughter’s room.  I used a thrifted pillowcase and just folded the raw end over.  I’ll sew it shut along with attaching the ribbon on Sunday.  The letters are ironed on and at this point, I’m choosing not to bother sewing them.  It really did not turn out how I thought it would / planned it to.  It was originally going to be framed, but that idea got tossed out when I couldn’t fit the fabric into the frame.  At least I can return the frame.  Not really loving the blue and brown letters either, but it is what it is.