Monthly Archives: May 2012

Headbands & Flowers, or Having daughters is so much fun!

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This post is actually about my most recent crochet projects, but since I was able to do them for my own daughters, & the projects are uber cute & feminine, they just remind me again how much I love having girls!

I’m certainly not knockin’ the boys. Quite frankly, I’m terrified to ever have any. hahaha With both girls, I was hoping for boys, but God knew my nerves probably couldn’t handle it. If God ever blesses me with a boy, I’m not sure who the joke will be on.

Anyway.

I haven’t worked on anything crochet in a few weeks, but here are some super fun, super easy, super cute head accoutrements that any little girl can be proud to wear. You might say, these projects are super.

First, since I crocheted the beanie for my toddler, I had to make something for my little baby to also show off her cutey style. I searched far & wide on Ravelry, & settled on Audrey’s Easy Baby Headband!

Yeah, I know…super cute, right?

The pattern for both headband & flower are included together, & both are perfect for a beginner. Thank you, Audrey!!!

This was easy to crochet & didn’t take a lot of time. The pattern is for babies, but I think it’d be really easy to add some stitches to make it longer for the toddler.

Two patterns combine for cuteness overload.

What you probably can’t tell is that the flower is all one piece. I was really intimidated to try it, but Audrey provided easy instructions that I was able to follow with minimal trouble. This was my first flower ever, & I’m addicted. I want to put flowers on everything!!!

So I am.

Remember I said I crocheted & attached a flower to the toddler’s beanie? Well, I did say it, & I promised a picture & a link.

My toddler LOVES it when Mommy crochets for her.

Again, I found the flower pattern on Ravelry while browsing. Thanks to Megan for this super cute flower & easy pattern! There are actually 10 flower patterns there, but the one above is the first pattern, Seven Pointed Leaf Blossom. I didn’t have a button with which to attach it to the beanie, so I just did a whipstitch, like the one on the headband. I also really loved Megan’s headband, but since it’s a for-purchase pattern, I’ll probably never do it. Who knows, though.

If you’re a beginner, like me, these patterns are great for practicing stitches & branching into new territory while reading a pattern. They’re challenging without being overwhelming. I’m planning on making another headband for a friend who’s having her first daughter. Hmmm…maybe purple?

So there you go. If I can do it, you totally can do it. Enjoy my baby’s stylish cuteness on your way out!

Behold! Uber, feminine, baby cuteness.

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Apps I Love: My First Words

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Electronic technology is part of my life. I use it for entertainment, for staying connected with family & friends, for education, & for keeping on top of current events, among other things. Whether it’s reading an e-book on my Kindle, watching a TV show on Netflix via our PS3, checking Facebook on my phone, or sitting here typing a blog post to you, I use something electronic every day.

I thought I’d share with you some of my most favorite apps because I like them, & I like to encourage people to cast their dollar votes for things I like. hehehe Other websites & blogs are far more authoritative on the subject because it’s their sole purpose. Not so here. I just want to occasionally share something I like.

Borrowed from Amazon.com

My First Words is a great little app I picked up for free not long ago from the Amazon app store for my Kindle Fire. It normally costs $1.99 for the full version (while a free Lite version is also available). It was the featured app of the day, so I downloaded it to give it a try.

The point of this app is to help teach children basic spelling, & it offers three difficulty levels. There are three different themes: animals, fruit, & colors. There are also three different letter versions: upper case, lower case, & cursive. When the word is spelled, it is re-spelled then read, followed by an animation with additional reinforcement (e.g. Black, like spiders). The app runs seamlessly on my Kindle Fire. I’ve not tried it on my Android smart phone. I have yet to experience a lock up or force close or lag of any kind.

Borrowed from Amazon.com

Level one is appropriate for toddlers & those just learning their letters. There, the player has to drag letters & drop them into the appropriate box to spell out whatever word is featured in the picture. Each time a letter piece is touched, a pleasant female voice says the letter. My toddler loves to play & enjoys snuggling up with Mommy while sliding the letters into the appropriate boxes. She’s always very proud when she completes a word, & her letter recognition has improved greatly in just the few times she’s played the app.

Levels two & three both eliminate the pre-spelled-out word, simply providing empty boxes into which the player slides the letters to spell out the word. While there are differences between the two higher levels, I cannot say what they are, because we haven’t played around with it much.

I thought some of the words were a bit long for level one (e.g. purple, monkey, rabbit), but since my toddler is focused only on matching the letters, it works out well. The animal theme features each animal’s sound, so she gets a kick out of that. The words repeat a little more often than I think they should, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Once the word is spelled, the app moves a little too quickly in re-spelling the word, & it caught both my toddler & me off-guard. We got used to it, though. When a word is spelled in the correct order, there’s a special animation of stars.

Overall, this is a cute little app that my toddler enjoys playing for several minutes consecutively. It’s a treat about which she’s gets very excited, & I don’t mind letting her play it as it’s also an effective teaching tool.

Check it out on Amazon:

If you would like to purchase the app, please considering purchasing it through my links below. The cost is the same, but I receive a small referral payment. Thank you!

My First Words – My First Words: The full app for $1.99.

My First Words Lite – My First Words Lite: The free version of the app for…free.

Kindle Fire – Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi: Love my Kindle Fire! Currently priced at $199.

To the New First-Time Mommies

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Dear New Mommy,

Today I’ve been thinking back to when my eldest child was newborn & all the helpful (& less-than-helpful) advice people would give me.

Quite frankly, I’ve forgotten most of it, which is probably just as well.

But there’s one thing I remember…& I remember it crystal clearly.

One day at some gathering of people from our church, a lady I knew (& still know) commented on what she considered to be my over-protectiveness of my newborn child. She laughed at me and told me that I was cute & funny (read “silly”) & would “get over it” with my second child. I was as taken aback by her callous comment as I was embarrassed for being “That Mom.”

Was I really so over-protective? Was it wrong for me to want my first & only child in my sight & presence as much as possible? Was the risk of a simple cold really worth demanding people wash their hands before holding my precious baby? Was the seizing of my heart whenever I saw her in a potentially dangerous situation (from my “over-protective” perspective) something that I should have better control over? Was I being silly?

As a new mom, you may have already been told something similar. If you haven’t yet, you will. It’s practically a rite-of-passage, I think. And it doesn’t always come from the cold, condescending acquaintance. I have friends who’ve heard it from their close friends, their in-laws, other family members, even their own mothers.

It’s as if being a new mommy to this incredible creature means you’re suddenly open to being condescended to & having every natural, protective instinct questioned or ridiculed.

I just wanted to tell you that, no, it doesn’t.

I just wanted to encourage you to keep listening to your instincts. You’re doing a good job.

Right now you’re starting a journey that, from what I can tell, has no end. The worry & concern & wanting your baby with you & need to protect. I’m a few years into it now, & it hasn’t gotten any easier.

In fact, it’s gotten harder! Because now that little baby who only went where I took her, who only went with whomever I gave her, has suddenly got her own agenda. SHE’S the one ready to take the world onto her skinny little shoulders without a second thought to the heart attack she’s giving her mother.

I’ve since added Baby #2 to the mix, & yes, that lady from my church was right…to some degree. But in some other ways she was wrong.

I’m still quite focused on my baby’s safety, but my natural instinct is tempered by my increased experience.

And that’s kinda how it works, you know?

With everything.

It’s so easy for mothers to condescend to those they see as “less than” them. But you’re not “less than.” You’re just new. And that’s beautiful & exciting &, quite simply, the bees knees!

Yes, if you end up with more children, it will probably be a little easier with each one. You’ll probably panic less. You’ll probably relinquish more control. At least in some areas.

But this new little one you’ve got? Well, honestly? She’s your test drive. She’s your “starter pack.” She’s the one with whom you earn your wings.

You’re learning as much, if not more, from her as she’s learning from you. Things that will make parenting the next precious baby just a tad easier. (Breastfeeding is a classic example of this in my life.)

And because of that, it’s quite possible you’ll always love her a little “differently” than the others. Not more. Just different. Because she’s your first.

Maybe it won’t ring true for you, but I know it’s true for me anyway.

So feel free to ignore all those other mommies out there who might scoff at your “over-protectiveness.”

They’re probably not really rooting for you, but there are plenty of other mommies who are. Surround yourself with those.

Keep your head up, & keep listening to your instincts. You’re doing just fine.

Easy Peasy Crochet Beanies

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I completed another project (actually a few more), so I’m gonna show off my second project.

This using-videos-to-learn-to-crochet thing is genius!

Check out this video on YouTube to get started on your very own crochet beanie:

Bobwilson123 has tons of great, easy-to-follow crochet videos that will help you make some cool projects while learning different techniques. So head over to YouTube to thank her & give some love.

Thank you, Clare, for your awesome videos!!! For more of Clare, check out her blog.

So for my second project (right after the lovely dishcloth we admired previously), I tackled this video with Clare to make a fun beanie for my toddler.

It went surprisingly well!

Clare is very clear & takes her time as she takes you step-by-step through the process. I simply paused the video if she started to move on to another row before I was ready.

In this video, I learned to double crochet, increase, & use a marker, among other things. And I got a cute hat out of it!

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

And, of course, the toddler was pleased beyond words.

The toddler was so pleased that Mommy made her a hat. It was my pleasure. :-)

I’ve since crocheted a flower & attached it to the hat. It’s very cute & easy to do. I’ll add a pic of it later, along with the link for the pattern.

Also, if you’re really loving the crochet thing, go check out Ravelry. It’s a hooker’s dream. hehehe