Sewing Pleasure!

Sewing has been a chore for me…until now. Not because I didn’t enjoy creating stuff. I did and I do. But, my creative outlets have always been oil painting, scrapbooking or even baking…never sewing…until now. Somehow, knowing that I was going to have a baby girl changed my perception and I have been so inspired by the talented artisans on etsy that I’ve actually started sewing or hand stitching…I’ve not invested in the sewing machine…yet!

First, I bought Bond baby singlets (6 to 12 months) from Australia and sewn colourful yo-yos and buttons onto them. Here’s an example of the one in Lavendar.

And I’ve just finished stitching a really pretty pair of felt booties (newborn to 3 months size). Adorable aren’t they? The free pattern is available at http://www.heatherbaileydesign.com/Booties.html so you can give it a try as well!

It’s a fabulous feeling creating something from scratch for your princess!

DIY PERSONALISED ONESIES

Iron-ons are really easy to use and absolutely fun for creating unique pieces for your baby. This is especially so if you can’t sew, like me. These are a couple of pieces I personalised for my baby last Friday. All you need is some plain onesies, iron-ons (which you can easily purchase from Art Friend or Spotlight) and some creativity.

Here’s a plain black onesie, now with golden embellishment.

And the common white onesie made unique with colourful letters and details.

My husband actually thought these were new handmade stuff I bought from the US!
I have so many new ideas and have been so inspired by handmade clothes that I shall learn how to sew and get myself a sewing machine one day. Create, create, create. Perhaps, one day I will be giving away some of my happy creations, just like Grosgrain. Spread some happiness around!

GROSGRAIN

I chanced upon Grosgrain, an impressive and inspirational blog by a mum of 2 lovely girls in the US. I’m totally in awe of all the lovely dresses she has made for her kids and even more thrilled that she is also giving them away on a bi-weekly basis! These include unbelievable costumes and beautiful casual dresses. Check them out at http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/ and be totally inspired! I know I am!!

FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS!

Since my son played more independently when he turned 9 months old, I started reading while he played. I suppose children truly love to imitate and within a short period, he started to show an immense interest in books. Kids love repetition and my boy will request for certain books every single day till he knows them inside out 🙂 When it comes to reading, I am definitely an advocate for it to be kids directed. To encourage his interest, I have acquired books on topics which he finds fun.

Below are some of his favourites:

All Around Us by Eric Carle was a gift from my friend Joanne and the first series my two-year old read aloud. While he is still learning to recognise words, the pictures help him with recall. My husband and I sit amused whenever he is going through each page with a serious look on his face and reciting “The sun shines”, “rainbow shimmers”, “bears hibernate”, “miners dig” and so on.

He also enjoys the Mr Croc series and some of the Lucy Cousins titles as they are so creative, imaginative and fun to read! He will sometimes think of the content while he is at play and says them aloud “Mr Croc, are you ready or not?” “Yes and I’m coming to eat you!” is his favourite line of the moment.

Boys will be boys! Books on vehicles have always been his hot favourites. I was impressed when he said “Nee naw, Nee naw, the big red fire engine is on its way. Splish, splash, hiss, fire is out!” when playing with his toy fire engine! These were part of the text from his Fire Engine storybook!

Karen Katz books are often on his request list too as they teaches about relationships, manners and even potty training!

My son adores What’s Wrong with My Hair by Satoshi Kitamura. It’s an immensely interactive book which engages the reader and invites participation as you can see below.

Reading has definitely helped in shaping an imaginative mind. My son made up his first story two weeks ago. He held his toy panda to my husband and said “Panda is sad.” He brought the panda over to his old crib where there’s a picture of another panda and said “Papa panda kisses panda and panda is now happy!”

I feel very blessed that I am living in the East of Singapore. There are often book sales by Times, Borders and Popular at the Singapore Expo where I bought most of these titles from and at a fraction of their original price!

BABY TV?

I have friends who totally banned their children from watching television programmes while others allowed theirs to watch anything on-air.

My son is allowed to watch only the educational videos I’ve specially selected for him. Between 6-12 months, he was allowed half an hour a day of programme viewing. Now 2, he can watch the programmes for an hour, twice a day. I would like to recommend the following videos which I found beneficial for the very young. I’ve also indicated the age group I feel these are suitable for. I must however emphasise that it is important to reinforce and revise the learnings from these programmes for them to be effective. I usually watch them with him and will sing the songs from the programmes to him at meal times. Now that he is older, he actually sings with me 🙂
Baby Signing Time (Suitable for 6-12 months)

The two volume series teach babies to sign with wonderful songs, actions, animation and images of other babies signing. My son signed and said ‘dog’ at 6 months of age and was able to communicate with us words such as ‘more cracker’, ‘more water’, ‘cold’, ‘hot’, ‘hurt’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and many more, first through sign language and very quickly both signing and saying those words. Off course, parents will need to know the signs too for communication to be effective.

The series is now available at http://www.terrifictikes.com/babysigning.html

Baby Einstein (Suitable for 9 months-2 years)

There are quite a number of titles under Baby Einstein series. In particular, my son enjoyed the following:
1. Baby da Vinci which taught him the various body parts. I also found it useful singing and naming body parts when bathing and changing my son since birth.
2. Baby Noah which taught him about animals in various parts of the world. Off course, our frequent visits to the zoo reinforced his interest and knowledge in this area.
3. Numbers Nursery taught him to count from 1 to 5 and to recognise these numbers. My son can now count to twenty as that’s the number of stairs we have at home and I normally repeat them to him while going upstairs.
4. Baby MacDonalds taught him about animals and produce found in farms.
With his growing interest in animals, my husband and I also read many books on animals to him. I will make some recommendations in my next blog.
These videos are available from most baby departments.

Leap Frog Letter Factory (2 years onwards)

This is probably the best way to teach phonics to your kids. My son only watched this twice and remembered most of the letter sounds. I revise it with him by repeating the songs which he sings with me. Now, he not only knows all the sounds letters make, he is able to tell me ‘The A says /a/, armadillo or airplane’, ‘The B says /b/, bird’, ‘The C says /c/, catepillar’, ‘The H says /h/, horse or hippopotamus’, ‘The M says /m/, mummy’ and so on. It also helps that he has just started his zoo toddler enrichment class at zoophonics. However, at this level, phonics is only a small part in the curriculum as the class also includes other activities such as singing, dancing and drawing. Available from amazon. Alternatively, you can email Tina at twister_1_8@yahoo.com (whom I got mine from) to check if she has any stock available.