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Archive for October, 2008

Pumpkin 2008

We grew a few pumpkins this year…a few small pumpkins, not like Dave and Lesley’s gigantic beastie! Pip and I picked our biggest this afternoon while Milly had her nap. It was just big enough for her chosen pattern. She thoroughly enjoyed scooping out the “brains” and separating the seeds, which she wants to cook and eat while watching a movie. Last year we did a spider and this year’s choice was this lovely witchy lady:

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I am sure you have been waiting anxiously (!) for pics of the girls in their costumes. Here you go…

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I have a very dear friend who likes to have a laugh and loves to give my children toys which she thinks I will hate and would never buy for them myself. For instance, a roller-skating, scantily-clad, busty wench and Dora socks. In a way she is right, I probably wouldn’t buy these things myself, but I don’t hate them at all and I love that we are close enough friends that we can do this sort of thing without risk of offending one another. The singing, talking chair my brothers gave us is an example of the “let’s bug the parents” mode of gift-giving. The important thing is that the kids like them and will play with them or wear them. My hubby and I are quite like-minded in many ways and agreed, more or less without talking about it, that we wouldn’t buy “licensed character” toys etc until or unless our child / children expressed their own preference. This is not entirely because they usually cost more. We did not want to drip-feed our little ones with mass produced, highly marketed and expensively advertised toys and teach them that these were the only things of value. I believe toys don’t have to be gimmicky or battery-powered or come from a TV show to be enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of toys and they are not all of the hand-crafted, non-toxic, educational, multi-sensory variety. We allowed our oldest daughter to watch a variety of TV shows, on channels with no toy advertising, and find the shows that she liked. The proviso was that if we hated it, she couldn’t watch it anymore! As my dear Dad always said “This is not a democracy!” (Good-bye shrieky voices, adults pretending to be children and anything large and purple.) So far, so good. She loves Toopy and Binoo, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast and Harry & His Bucketful of Dinosaurs, among others. Two Christmases ago, all she asked for was a green dinosaur and a blue dinosaur. For her birthday she wanted a clean white feather. Last year she asked for a Little Mermaid suit and some Little Mermaid shoes and a pretend reindeer for her baby sister. She has definite likes now, but they are based on her own choices, not ones we have imposed (except by omission).

I must make this clear, each to their own. I don’t have a problem with what other people do in their own parenting or what they buy for my children. Buy whatever toys and books you like – we do what we do and it works for us. It may not be entirely logical or sound parenting, but it suits us.

I am not-so-secretly pleased that Pip wants to be a home-made super-hero for Halloween and not another Disney Princess. However, I wasn’t so thrilled when I discovered this was because she didn’t think I was up to making a princess dress!

On another note, Pip might not know what McDonalds is, but she recognized the Pizza Hut logo long ago!

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Have you ever started something…and then wished you hadn’t? Have you ever gone ahead regardless? How often has someone suggested one path, you choose the other and then realize that you should have listened?

We are going to a Halloween playdate next week and I said that I would make fabric goodie bags for all the children, despite the fact that I have a moderately-sized list of to-do projects to complete. I did this because I do try quite hard to avoid many aspects of our throw-away, one-use, disposable society. The thought of all the mums buying individual plastic goodie bags for each of the children seemed unnecessary and wasteful, so I decided this would be my contribution. I knew it would have been easier – and much cheaper – to just go to the dollar store and grab a pack of bags, but no! In the middle of cutting, pressing and seemingly endless sewing, I was seriously regretting my decision, however environmentally conscientious it might have seemed. Hours later and the bags are finally finished and my irritation at myself for sticking to my guns has started to fade and I am now happy with my choice. It may have cost more to produce the fabric and ribbons and transport them here and then make the bags, but I avoided one trip to the dollar store – and a bin full of plastic bags to boot! Now I can be quietly pleased that I have done my bit to give each child something unique and re-useable, and my husband can still say “I told you so”! But next time, I just might listen…

Trick or treat bags
Trick or treat bags

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Milly as FPPP

Milly as FPPE

Milly woke up and saw Gromit in her costume…not happy! She wanted to wear it herself, so here you are! Full costume next week. Hope the eye survives the four dress-up events we have…

I have changed the size of the eye, as the deeley-boppers couldn’t support the weight. Now I may have to alter the horn, as my husband said all along. Must be nice to be right all the time!

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Here is a wee little teaser of little M’s costume this year. DH came up with the idea and left me to execute it. I like a challenge, so instead of re-using the scarecrow costume I made for P a couple years ago, I decided to go ahead and try to make a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater costume. This photo is obviously the head part – will save pics of the whole ensemble for next week. In case you are wondering, yes, that is Gromit under there. He is quite often dressed, usually in purple trousers or a pair of jammies for preference!

part of Little M's costume for 2008

Gromit, almost ready for Halloween

I can hardly wait to get photos of the girls in their costumes. I may well be more excited than they are! That would be true, if it weren’t for the promise of sweeties…

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Lovely new bag!

I just finished this bag, a first attempt at sewing vinyl. As much as I love the bag, it was not the easiest thing to sew, so it may be a little while before I try again!

I used a soft black vinyl for the exterior and a gloriously blue and green floral print cotton for the lining, as well as a plain blue cotton for the zippered pocket. The zippered pocket “Eureka” moment came when I found this tutorial, for which I am forever grateful!  http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2007/02/dont_fear_the_z.html As usual in my bags, I included a key clip, which I forgot to take a picture of tonight. I made it quite long in this bag so that you can open the door without having to unclip your keys. Very handy when carrying baby on one hip and trying to stop the stroller/shopping trolley from rolling away across the car park with one foot…. I know I am not the only one this happens to!

Bye for now!

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