Milestone Moments: I gave away my cloth diapers!

Joseph has not been wearing diapers for a few weeks now. He still has trouble remembering to go potty when he wakes up in the morning – hence the night time pull-up – but as of two months before his 3rd birthday, he has been wearing big-boy underwear full time during the day, with accidents few and far between.

At a certain point in these past few weeks, I had to decide what to do with my stash of cloth diapers.

Sweet Ride Diaper

Most of them were sewn by me: Mama made, Silly Bear Handmade fleece diapers made up about 90% of the stash. I couldn’t fathom trying to sell them on a swap site, since my WAHM diaper brand is not well known, aaaaand I’m pretty attached to some of them. . . not gonna lie. But I wasn’t sure if or how to give them away. . . because I spent so much of my time (nearly) perfecting the art or sewing cloth diapers, and all the memories of Joseph with his fleecy little bum are still so fresh in my mind.

But they had to go. I wasn’t using them anymore, and someone else could. But who?

Finally, I wandered into the perfect conversation: A friend of mine in the Kodiak community that has a large family (talking, kids from college-age to diapers) was talking about her youngest boy, who is a friend of Joe’s. He is nearly two, but she wants to hold off on doing any potty learning or training with him until they get back from a family vacation to the lower 48 this summer. Smart. However, she said, lately, J. had been pooping in several diapers per day, and she said that she just felt so wasteful throwing out diaper after diaper. I offered my stash of fleece cloth diapers, and she accepted – she asked if she could buy them off of me, but I told her NO.

“Enjoy them, take good care of them, and pay it forward to another family once you are finished with them” I said.

And then I packed them all up, handed them to her at the next play date, and that whole two-year period of Joseph’s life was absolutely over. No more diapers.

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What a milestone moment.

I have a second preschooler now, wearing underwear and the nightly pull-up. Not a baby, not a toddler: a kid. Nearly three. And I gave away my cloth diapers. Wow. Amazing how life just bulldozes forward and we all grow and grow and grow.

I was very pleased to have found a family to gift with my diaper stash. And I hope that they are pleased with their gift. And I am incredibly proud of my big boy Joe that just keeps growing as if there is no stopping.

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What did you do with your cloth diaper stash after your littlest was finished using it?

 

What kind of emotions did you experience as your children learned to potty independently?

Mamatography Week 44

We have finally started settling into a good, healthy rhythm here in our new home at Coast Guard Base Kodiak in Kodiak, AK. Just in time for winter to blow in!

Abbey Ballet 2013

Abbey has been enjoying preschool Monday through Thursday and dance class on Friday afternoons!

Joe Oct 2013

Joe has been busy doing lots of toddler stuff. . .

throwing birthday parties for Thomas the Train and taking pictures of his toes, to name a couple.

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We have also been busy with crafts. . .

I’m pretty sure I caught Joe red (rem, green) handed in this pic!

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Abbey LOVES the perler beads craft set Grandma sent her on her birthday!

Daddy and I have also been enjoying crafting with her.

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I have been getting crafty myself. . .

now that my college semester is over, I can focus again on my Silly Bear Handmade shop.

Pumpkin Carving 2013

Halloween found us carving pumpkins

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And trick or treating! Abbey was a Pumpkin Fairy

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Joe was Leo from the Little Einsteins.

Though lots of people guessed Harry Potter.

Mya October 2013

The week wouldn’t be complete without capturing some canine portraits. . .

POttery Painting Datesy

And I had to photograph the masterpieces that Hubs and I painted on our date-afternoon to the coffee house and painting’ place.

I cannot WAIT to see them after they are fired, all bright and glossy and beautiful! It was so fun to leave the kids with a sitter and go do something relaxing and creative with my love.

Joe's Apron and Chicken

I also made Joe his own apron for helping in the kitchen this week.

 I’m not sure how much he likes it. . .

. . . but he sure likes homemade chicken fingers and mac and cheese! Who doesn’t?!

That was our week – how was YOURS?!

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That was our August. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Another First Day of School

Everybody is talking about and posting pictures of their kids’ first days of school. Most of the chatter I hear amongst my friends is pride and relief – that they made it through another busy summer at home and are now ready to greet back to school time! Some of my friends with children Abbey’s age are musing about the feeling of sending off their little kiddos to Kindergarten for the first time.. .

Abbey was slotted to go to Kindergarten in Maine this fall, but our PCS to Alaska changed things. She missed the age cut off in Alaska for Kindergarten, and while at first I was unhappy about it, because she is really academically ready, I’m starting to realize that I would rather have her be one of the oldest in the class and more comfortable with school and emotionally/behaviorally ready before she enters kindergarten. So this works to her advantage.

All ready for school in the knit dress I sewed her - she picked the fabric out of my stash! She's got a good eye for fashion!

All ready for school in the knit dress I sewed her – she picked the fabric out of my stash! She’s got a good eye for fashion!

She’ll be nearly six when she starts kindergarten next year, but boy, will she be ready to learn everything they will have to teach! She started at her new preschool for 4-5 year-olds this week and LOVED it.

With no apprehension, and a calm, quiet energy, she waltzed right in and put her things away, chatting with the teachers about this and that

. . . and then, as if remembering that she forgot. . . she ran up to jump in my arms for a big hug. “See you guys after school, mommy and Jo Jo!”

Joe was NOT happy leaving his sister at school.

Joe was NOT happy leaving his sister at school.

Joseph was already throwing a giant tearful tantrum, and it went on and off for 30 minutes after we dropped her off. “I want Abbey! Where’s Abbey!?” he cried. “I want school with Abbey!”

We played ran an errand to the grocery store, and played mega blocks and animals and read some books in the quiet house. We made and ate lunch, and then I laid down with him to nurse him for his nap. We fell asleep together, and when I woke up, I made some coffee, retreated to my office area, and got some schoolwork and shopping done without Abbey coming to me every 6 seconds in boredom.

It was nice. But by the time it was time to leave to go get her from school, I definitely was ready to have her back. I’m sure the bittersweet lonesome feeling like something’s missing for a few hours out of the day will go away in time. It did last year when she attended the Child Development Center while I worked on my online classes at home with Joe.

But there’s something about the quiet house and the lessened need for mommy while she’s away. It’s both awesome and lonesome at the same time.

“Don’t put me on your back when we go get Abbey.” said Joe in his little toddler voice when he woke up from his nap. I had worn him in the Ergo when we dropped Abbey off to keep him from running into the classrooms to play with toys. . . and to make handling the tantrum (that I knew was coming) a little easier.

“I done crying. I walk on my own. . . we pick up Abbey. . . I a BIG boy. Okay, mommy?”

Okay, little guy. And he was a big boy when we went to go pick her up. It was amazing how he reconciled his emotions and informed me passionately that he was ready to get get her from school, but that he wasn’t sad anymore.

What a big girl she is becoming. And what a big little boy Joe is lately! I look at them and I have to struggle to remember Joe being tiny. . . Abbey – well, I can’t believe she was a ever a baby (but of course, I know she was)! Sweet Abbey, may all your school days be as effortless and joyful as this one was. And Joseph, my little man, may you grow into a little school-bug yourself someday . . . Mommy loves you both!

If you send your children to mainstream school, how do you feel on their first days? Tell me below!

Even if your kids aren’t in school, how do you feel when your child goes off to an enrichment activity, or to play with a friend? Proud? Relieved? A little lonesome? Chat with me in the comments!

Mamatography August 2013

Yep, it’s that time again: When Amy gets so busy that her Mamatography posts go from weekly to monthly.

That happen to any of you other mamas out there? I hope it’s not just me!

Since we finished our BIG PCS from Maine to Kodiak Island Alaska, I have been busy busy busy setting up our home, caring for our kids, meeting new friends, getting used to the island, training a new dog, starting my new semester of Public Health classes, and mapping out my classes left until graduation and cheering with joy that I’ll have a BS in Public Health in 2015! Yippee!

I have also been seeking out and enrolling Abbey in a preschool, enrolling myself in an online lactation conference (to continue my lactation-specific education for the IBCLC requirements), figuring out what toddler experiences there are available for Joe here on the island. . . and consequently remembering that Joe will be 3 this coming Spring. O – M – G. How is that happening.

What else. . .

I’ve also been planning Abbey’s birthday party, trying to wring out of the Silly Bears what they would like to be for Halloween (so that I can order in the required materials and get to planning and sewing) . . . oh, and I’m trying to set up a La Leche League meeting for the area AND re-establish my Silly Bear Handmade shop after the move.

And Hubs has been gone to school in VA for 3 weeks.

*Deep Breath*

But I have been taking pictures!

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I have now finished this knitting project – - – a cotton hoodie from Toddler Hoodie pattern on Etsy for a special family member who turns one in a few weeks!

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And this lovely project is now hanging in my kitchen window – - – used up some scraps on this one (that seems to be a theme with my sewing lately. . . you’ll see later)

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Aha! More scrap busting going on in this photo – - – see if you can spot what this eventually became in one of the other August photos as you scroll down!

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Abbey, who is turning 5 in September, has celebrated quite a few milestones recently: She weaned from the breast at the end of her full-term breastfeeding experience, she moved all the way across the country with us, and she started swimming lessons! I love this girl. So Much.

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Joseph wasn’t such a fan of Abbey getting to swim and him not being able to (gotta be four to take swim classes, buddy! His response: “I AM four!” LOL).

But his new love interest, one of my new Coastie Wife friends, pepped him up with a surprise visit during Abbey’s swim class one day. He was very pleased.

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Our handsome man modeling the fleece-crotched training pants I made him. Like Abbey, he is now having less interest in using the potty, but I’m hoping with gentle reminders, we’ll be out of diapers and potty learned around 3, like she was.
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They’re super cute though – the trainers. I’m loving them. His little knees and cinnamon roll belly button are to die for too, though.

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We’ve been doing lots of baking on rainy days. . . It’s easier to bake in our new kitchen. It’s about the same size as our kitchen in Maine, but not galley-shaped, and not a walk through area (unless you’re coming in the back door) . . . I like the space and Abbey likes being in it with me!

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Blueberry Biscuits. Yummy.

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Super easy (and sooooo delicious french bread)

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And on a sunny day, we have lots of park time and coloring with sidewalk chalk!

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Oh, and hiking.

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And salmonberry picking.

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Thankfully for my husband’s psyche, Abbey hasn’t dressed up Joseph as a girl in quite a few weeks. Glad I snapped this jewel when I did then!

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We love dress up, but we love coloring more.

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And we love our new puppy, Mya.

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Raven stayed behind at Nana and Papas house because we weren’t positive that we wouldn’t harm her physically or emotionally by driving her (or shipping her) all the way to Kodiak. She is enjoying being spoiled rotten by her “grand-people” and though we miss her, we know she is happy and healthy and that is all that matters!

Abbey constantly tells Mya stories about “our other dog Raven”

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I couldn’t help but post this picture of Joseph in a classic toddler moment. The “I refused to take a nap, so then we went on a hike to pass the time, and I fell asleep on the sofa when we got back.” One of many classic toddler moments. IMG_3671

Another knitting project. I can’t ever just do one thing at a time – - – can I?

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Mya again.

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Abbey being a puppy with Mya under my desk in my sewing room/office. Love my work buddies.

Have you seen the completed project yet? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, scroll back up the top. . .

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My human work buddy brought me her rainbow bear to sit in my sofa pin cushion. So sweet.

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Ah, there she is! My work buddy and my little mermaid!

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Joe lined up all the ducks he could steal from the lifeguard’s basket and set them all up looking out the window.

I wonder what he was wishing about while Abbey was having her lesson? LOL

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Oh yeah. . . park time!!!!!!!!!

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And my post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of wild-caught fresh alaskan salmon. One of the perks of being up here on this isolated Alaskan island! Yum!

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That was our August. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Mamatography Week 13 – Month of the Military Child (and projects galore!)

My week started out with a determination to start AND finish a chair re-uppholstery/refinishing project for our four dining room chairs. As you can see, I bought these really nice (but used and scratched/nicked) chairs. I paid $40 for all of them, and set out to make them my own!


IMG_2016Joseph was eager to help! Very hands on, this child!

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Watch out, screws! Joe is going to get you!!!!! LOL

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We had a couple days of sibling rivalry over the new Tag Reader books. You know you have a preschooler and a toddler when:

you are constantly taping the pages of tag reader books back together.

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But they sure do LOVE one another. They love to dance together – Abbey says “Joseph would you like to be the Prince, and we’ll dance!” So cute.

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This week I also made my own kolaches. So delicious!

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Some more dancing cuteness from the Silly Bears. . .

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And whoo hoo! The finished chair re-appholstery/refinishing project!

Finished ChairI love the way they came out. What do you think?

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On Friday morning, Abbey’s class had a parade on the Shipyard to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. We picked up daddy for a special break from work to watch Abbey march in her parade.

IMG_2084What are our favorite colors, Rainbow Friends?

“Red, White, and Blue! RED, WHITE, and BLUE!”

That was OUR week. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Sewing Leotards. . . a new challenge!

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Ah, today I ran into Dana’s Tutorial at MADE for sewing your own leotards. Oh my goodness, so PERFECT for my fear of doing so. She made it totally easy to understand. I’m definitely going to have to try this for Abs to make her some beautiful mama-made leos for the dance class she wants to take this spring and for Gymnastics, once we get settled after our move to . . . .

Yep, we found out where our next PCS (Permanent Change of Station) is taking us.

If you are a friend on facebook, you already know, but I’ll be writing about it soon here on the blog.

It’s exciting.

Stay tuned! And try your hand at making leos for your little one and let me know how it goes!

Mamatography Week 5

Lively Garden and SS WM

I have been sewing like mad this week. These fun and vibrant fleece pocket diapers (with snap down rise to make them one-size, fitting NB to Toddler!) have been, like, my life recently. I’m either cutting, sewing, or embroidering them this week. I’m stocking my Silly Bear Handmade shop with fleece pocket diapers and Hybrid Fitteds this Friday!

Shark Diaper WM

For the first 24 hours after I stock the shop, ALL diapers are $10 (Yep! you heard me right! $10). . . so, head on over on Friday and grab a diaper for more than 50% off!!!! You won’t regret it! :)

Joe at Desk WM

Joseph has been very focused lately, furthering his fine motor skills.

Sewing WM

And like I said, I’ve been sewing like a madwoman this week. But I haven’t JUST been sewing diapers. . .

Snow White Sewing WM

Abbey requested a Snow White dress for her dress up collection, and her wish became a reality this week!

Multitasking WM

I snapped this pic of me multitasking in order to finish her dress before I picked her up from preschool.

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She was super pleased!

Abbey WM

We had a fun week here, although we’re all hoping that it will warm up just a FEW degrees so we can enjoy playing at the park again soon! It’s been wavering between 22′ and 29′ this week. . . with a crazy wind chill.

Abbey and Joe Smily Faces WM

 

That was OUR week. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Wordless Wednesday: Joetography

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A little bit of Joetography with my iphone while he sat on my lap at the sewing desk.

 

Mamatography Week 49

It’s Week 49! Almost there! January is creeping up on us, and then we’ll start a New Year of fun, family, craziness, and I promise to photograph ALL of it!

Joseph and Abbey LOVE playing in the snow. Here they are catching snowflakes on their tongues! Yummy!

I have been hastily replacing Joseph’s older diapers (those that I sewed at the very beginning of my cloth-diaper sewing journey) with new ones.

While I’ve put the SBH Etsy Shop on Vacation for our Holiday get-away to Texas, I had a bit of extra time to whip up some new and adorable dipes for Joe Joe. The robot PUL print is one of my faves. Too bad I only had a small amount!

We’re saying “so long!” to the snow for a few weeks, as we travel to Texas to spend Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa and my brother, sis-in-law, and family.

Weeks 50-52 will come to you courtesy of my iPhone and Instagram, since we’ll be in Texas vacationing. . . and they actually may post AFTER the New Year.

But, what a fun journey it’s been, documenting the WHOLE year in photos!

Thanks to Luschka at Diary of a First Child for inspiring me to join in the Mamatography fun! And also to all of the other participants, and Courtney of Courtney Kirkland Designs, for inspiring teachings on photography and using my SLR camera!

 

 

 

Creating for the Family: Crafty Mama Monday

I have been a busy volunteer-Ombudsman, full-time-student mama lately. . . and crafty mama has not disappeared, but she’s been slowed down a bit.

Projects have gone on the back burner. Only the really vital projects that I’m creating for my family lately have actually gotten done. And I have a growing short-list of Silly Bear Handmade custom orders from friends. Plus baby and big sister/big brother gifts that I made for my family members that I have neglected to ship. Whoops!

I have, however, still been making progress at being crafty!

Here’s what I have been up to lately.

Knitted Wristwarmers

I have been enjoying knitting these wristwarmers (aka fingerless gloves) for about a month now, and they are finally finished! I started and ripped out the project three or four times before I chose a pattern that I loved and made the correct alterations to it to make it work for me.

I ended up using the Fetching knitting pattern to make these wrist warmers, and I added a few inches to the cabling portion to extend the length of them. I have long arms and none of my coats hit my wrist where they should. This used to not matter when I lived in Texas, but now that I am a transplanted New Englander, it matters so much! Cold wrists and blustery wind going up your coat sleeves . . . yikes! Not ok!

Next, I’m planning on knitting a coordinating hat for the winter ahead, using the same yarn that I used for the wristwarmers. Now, I am knitting a coordinating slouchy cabled hat. More on that in my next Crafty Mama Monday.

I’m also planning on knitting the Silly Bears and nieces and nephews some wool gloves using the Easily Adjustable Knitted Glove Pattern from They Are All Of Me.

But for now, $1 mittens from the Joann’s dollar section work just fine.

 

Night Time Diapers

This summer, I ordered some Maiden Mills Windpro fleece from a destash album on Facebook, with the intention of finally taking the advice of my fellow diaper sewers and making Joseph a FLEECE night time diaper instead of one waterproofed by PUL or using wool at night (neither of which were working for us).

 

The diapers I made work fabulously through the night, and I fully intend to make more and list them for sale in my Silly Bear Handmade shop. (Stocking is coming SOON and there will be a $10 diaper sale for the first 24 hours. . . so watch the SBH Facebook Page for sneak peeks and updates!)

Joseph used to wake up smelling like ammonia and having wet PJs and a red butt from contact with all the pee during the night. The fleece night time diapers I created for him eliminate these problems. It’s so wonderful!

 

I am in the process of writing a photo tutorial on how I made these fleece night time pocket diapers, so that those of you who would like to sew one for a Silly Bear in your life can do so with ease and enjoy the benefits.

They are wonderful! It’s one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner!?” moments. You can view a detailed description and all the photos of the diaper here –> Introducing the Silly Bear Handmade Night Time Fleece Pocket Diaper!!!!!!

I am so thrilled that I finally have a diaper that hands down works for nights. Wish I could have sewn it sooner!

Bedroom Curtains

Back in the summer, I made blackout curtains for Abbey and Joseph’s room, and wrote a photo tutorial to teach you how to make them yourself.

A dear friend asked me to help her with curtains for her 7-year-old’s room. She couldn’t find anything in the stores that thrilled her, so she gave me the free reign to come up with what I could to please her daughter’s taste and coordinate with the quilt that she had. She didn’t need black out curtains, so I sewed some simple cotton curtains for her that her daughter loves!

What have YOU been creating for YOUR family recently? 

Is there anything you have been eye-ing or keeping on a Pinterest page that you’d love to create, but you’re slightly timid to try? 

I’d love to connect with you about sewing, knitting, and creating for the family. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!