Friday, August 24, 2012

If you give a Whovian some sneakers...

For a long time, it seemed as though this blog would become a Harry Potter-themed craft blog.  It did not.

Now, I'm going to risk it becoming a Doctor Who themed craft blog.  Woo hoo!  Come along for the ride.

 I made TARDIS sneakers/trainers for my kids.  I pinned these a few months back.  I loved them and thought I could use them as inspiration.

A few months ago, I found 3 or 4 pairs of Converse sneakers at a children's consignment store for a quarter each.  They included these perfect blue ones.  There was a spot of purple paint in the upper left corner, but I just painted over it with blue paint.

 Using those pinned sneakers as inspiration, I did all the painting freehand (which I think it pretty obvious).  I'm just not much of a planner.  I'd rather get straight to work.  So the outsides of the sneakers have the TARDIS doors painted. I printed the telephone signs on fabric and sewed them on by hand (I used iron-on fabric, but it's too old and doesn't stay put on its own).  I thought the strips on the back worked perfectly for the "Police Pubic Call Box" sign, so I mimicked that.  I'm horrible at copying fonts, but I did my best.  I asked the kids what they wanted written on the white toe portion and they all agreed on "Bad Wolf."

I'd like to replace the white laces with blue ones, but the ones we had on hand were too short.  So I'll need to find longer ones.  Still, I'm very happy with how these turned out.  My kids love 'em.  They fit my oldest, so they can be handed down to all the others (assuming they can keep them in one piece).

These will go nicely with the whole collection of Doctor Who-themed t-shirts I've made them, but that's another post for another day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How have I survived without this?

We were lucky enough to find a house with a pool when we moved.  I'm a fish (both in that I love the water and I'm a Pisces).  My children are also fish (they all love the water, but only the youngest is a fellow Pisces).  The twins learned to swim years ago in day camp, so they're fine in the pool.  My son is timid and very careful, so he spends most of his time either outside the pool skimming it or in a tube in the pool.  My youngest, however, has no fear and loves the water.  Last year, that meant I had almost no time to myself because all my time in the water was spend holding desperately on to her in an attempt to keep her from diving in face-first.

A friend once posted to Facebook, pictures of her two children wearing these floatation devices I'd seen at the store, but just brushed off as any other device.  In fact, they were a little more expensive than most floaty bathing suit, so I never even considered them.  Then I saw her picture with a comment about how they were the "The best invention EVER."

So, this year, I sucked it up and bought a Stearns 3D Puddle Jumper and I agree with her completely.

We've used floatation bathing suits and they're just okay. They provide a wee bit of extra safety, but they were never great.  They still require watching like a hawk because they have a tendency to push your child's face in the water.

This, however, actually hold my daughter up and keep her face and shoulders up straight.  My 3-year-old is learning to kick and she feels completely independent in the water.  I don't have to hold her the entire time, so we can all have fun swimming together.  I could kiss whoever invented this thing.

I like that it's not attached to a bathing suit.  Have you ever tried to wash one of those floatation suits with the built-in styrofoam?  It's a pest.  It floats in the washing machine, so it doesn't come completely clean plus the machine can damage it.  Plus we swim A LOT and needing one specific suit is a problem.  We have a number that we use and then toss in the machine.  So being able to just put this on my daughter with whatever suit she happens to be wearing helps a lot.

This thing is awesome.  I can't put into words how much it saved my summer.  I've been able to actually swim in our pool rather than just drag my daughter around the shallow end.  I do wish they were cuter (we have that frog one and it's okay, but nowhere near adorable) and I sometimes worry about catching my fingers in the clip in the back, but those are the only drawbacks (and so far so good).  It's a little pricey too ($19.96 at Walmart and $18.99 at Target) which is the biggest con for me, but I found out in the end that it's so very worth it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Give me a head with hair...

There are a number of things you don't typically think much about until you have kids. Other people's haircuts fall into that category for me.
My twins didn't have much hair as babies. They were constantly referred to as, "Boys," because they had barely any hair. So when they got older and suddenly had some hair, I was thrilled. By the time she was 6, the younger of the pair (who was bald until she was a toddler) had a head full of gorgeous blonde curls.

 Now, my theory on most things parenting is, "It's your body. It's your decision." It was awfully difficult to hold to that, though, when my middle daughter came to me asking for a haircut when she was 7. I loved her hair. We had waited so very long for it to grow out. I desperately wanted to make her leave it alone. Yet, I had to remind myself that it was her body and her decision. So she got a few inches cut off. A month later, she asked for more. So she got it chopped up to her ears. She loved it. I preferred it longer, but I kept my thoughts to myself and reminded myself that it was her body and her decision.


A few months back, my son (who has always had a head full of gorgeous curls that makes people stop and comment on them) asked for his hair to be cut "Like daddy," (aka super short). I hemmed and hawed, but eventually agreed to it. I couldn't stand it, but he loved it. Again, his body, his decision.

This past week, both my big girls asked for haircuts and my son asked for a mohawk.

My girls had quite a bit of hair chopped off. I actually love their haircuts, but they look so mature. My son's mohawk suits him well. I still miss his curls, but it looks cute on him.

My shaggy-haired son

Mohawk boy

I want them to be able to express themselves. I don't want to be the over-bearing parent who forces her ideas on her kids. Sometimes, it can be tricky to find a balance between the two.