Mama Doll, Dada Doll

I got my inspiration for this project when we were visiting various daycares. One of the daycare providers said that she asks all parents to provide pictures of themselves, so that the kids can look at their parents' pictures if they miss them. At that point, I knew I would include our pictures in Amelia's daycare bag, whether the daycare we chose asked for them or not. However, I wanted to give her something more durable than a printed photo (Amelia is notorious for tearing paper), so I decided to make a mama doll/dada doll.

I got printer fabric from the fabric store.

I printed out a photo of Marc on one sheet and myself on another sheet.

I ironed the prints to set the ink

I sewed the prints on duck cloth and then
sewed the prints together facing each other.
The bottom was left open so it could be stuffed.
.
This is what it looks like turned inside out.
It was stuffed with batting and the bottom was sewn close.

The finished product.


It's like I'm an action figure. Haha. Happy back-to-school!





Swim School

We spent a lot of time at beaches and pools this spring from Manila to Cebu, Boracay to Palawan, and Burbank to Bali. Seeing my 5-year old nephews Kai and Hoops swimming on their own was such a joy. I marveled at how quickly they learned and how much fun they had in the water. I figured it's time for Amelia to learn how to swim too.


We've been attending a toddler class once a week since June at La Petite Baleen in Atherton, where babies as young as a month old learn to swim. The first couple of session were very light. We were basically just in the pool to get the kids comfortable in the water and get acquainted with the swim instructor. We learned songs and rhymes that we've repeated every week since, in order for the kids to learn the routine and know what to expect. Kids and routines!

"Hold your ribbon, Amelia."
At the end of her first lesson, she got a ribbon officially declaring
her a whale and a "Save the Humans, Learn to Swim" tee.
Ready for swim class


.
Learning about propulsion with the "Kids in the Pool" song



Next we learned submersions, where kids learn to hold their breath and close their eyes and mouth when the go under water. Amelia was a natural at that. She mastered "textbook la Petite Baleen submersion" the first time we tried it, according to Teacher Kevin. She is a survivor. Haha.


Then the kids started to wear goggles and fins, which are part of lessons going forward. The theory behind the goggles is, if they can see underwater then they can orient themselves and learn faster. And the fins help their little feet propel. We skipped a couple of lessons because of a cold one week and then we were in LA the following week, and she regressed a little bit. She wasn't jumping in the water or swimming to the instructor as readily as before.

Going through the tunnel

Kids have to get comfortable being on their backs, which is their
most vulnerable position. If they know how to float on their backs,
they can keep themselves from drowning.

Sit jump


Swimming to the steps

All done

This week, I've started to let her go in the water and have her swim to the stairs. I think she was mad at me for letting her go. Haha. After 2 months of lessons at 20 months old, she is starting to swim. We're both looking forward to ongoing lessons as our endless summer continues.


La Petite Baleen
60 5th Ave.
Redwood City, CA 94063


Photo credit: Ricci Sylla


The Little Farm

My friend Han invited me to check out The Little Farm in her Berkeley neighborhood. In spite of the rain, we forged ahead with kids in tow and were rewarded with having the place to ourselves. We saw cows, goats, sheep, chickens, roosters, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and pigs. It was fun seeing the kids see animals outside of their books.

Hey, you. Yeah, I’m talking to you.


The red barn is where the baby goats, chickens, roosters, rabbits,
ducks, chickens and pigs live. This is Hilda Mae Heifer.

Baby goats playing. Big pigs sleeping and little Amelia peeking.

Old MacDonald had a farm and we went to visit it.



Eleanor's 1st Birthday Peach Festival

Eleanor turns 1 and celebrates with a peach festival!

How did we come up with the theme? Worth (Eleanor's mom) didn't want a prefab birthday party so Ricci suggested doing a color theme. Somewhere along the way we picked up that Sam (Eleanor's dad) likes peaches. Peach is a color. It's peach season. Voila! a peach-colored peach festival.

When I said I'll take you through my party planning process on a previous post, I meant I'll show you the plan and then the finished product. Haha. I really meant to show a little bit more of what goes into it but time just ran away from me and my event co-planner Ricci. It was something of a mad dash to get things done the morning of the party. Shhh, don't tell our "clients." Haha.

Nothing beats a grand setting. I think this peach festival turned out beautifully in large part due to Sam and Worth's gorgeous backyard, which is Sunset Magazine-worthy. Check it out.

I designed the invitation, Sam printed, and Worth mailed them.

Welcome to the party!
Here's the sign I made an hour before the party. There's Sam on the grill.

This garland was finished and hung right when the party started. Talk about 'behind schedule.'

newborn, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months,

6 months, 7 months, 8 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11 months,

12 months old

Sam's grilled shrimp with peach salsa. Peaches and teriyaki chicken on the grill.

Ice cold sparkling juice and peach sangria are perfect for a sunny day.

Worth made peach water for kids and peach sangria for parents. Haha.

the dessert table

The peach filled cupcakes with peach icing were baked by Ricci, iced and decorated minutes before the party.
Happy 1st Birthday!

pretty baby and pretty mom

Eleanor's first cupcake

We think she liked it.

Favors. Please take one. Worth assembled the jellybean-filled popsicles.

Ricci ordered the peach cookies and berry boxes online.

Thanks for coming to the party!


Photo credit: Ricci Sylla

Friday 5: Happy Meals

Providing a toddler with a variety of foods at every meal is easier with these Spuds plates. First, the plates are made out of reclaimed potatoes. It is manufactured with only organic raw materials, even the packaging. Reading all too often about scary toxins found in common products that we use on a daily basis, I feel better about using natural products for Amelia, especially the ones touching her food.

Additionally, there are 5 compartments that make me come up a balanced meal. I try to fill them with protein, grains, vegetables, fruits and, occasionally, sweets at every meal. Amelia doesn't eat everything. Sometimes she'll eat only the egg or corn, but I can say I tried.
breakfast:
pecan raisin bread, avocado, egg,
kiwi, mango
.
snack:
kale puffs, slice of lemon-filled cupcake, panda cookie,
raisins, string cheese
.
dinner:
mango, tilapia, squid ink pasta,
artichoke, tomato
.
breakfast:
apple, blueberry whole wheat waffles with almond butter and strawberry jam, egg,
strawberries, tater tots
.
lunch:
strawberries, mangoes, vegetable roll,
buttered corn, chocolate cookie because it's shark week
.

Sugarcane Toddler Dress

The colorful, indigenous textiles in the Philippines inspire me. I love that the fabrics support an ancestries old tradition; that they are made by artisans on antique wooden looms, not machines; and that those artisans are mothers supporting their families.

I bought several designs of fabric from Anthill Fabric Gallery in Cebu and a couple more from Silahis in Old Manila. I thought the bright, bold patterns would be perfect for Amelia. I couldn't wait to get home and start sewing!

This is me afraid to make the first cut

the first dress

the bib is reminiscent of tribal necklaces and pompoms add whimsy

I love how the 3-button closure on the back mimics the pompoms


To learn more about the weaving process, see Anthill's Weaver's Story.

A big thank you to Tita Annie Lim, co-founder of the Anthill Fabric Gallery social enterprise, for hosting and to my cousin Alessa Libongco, founder of Life After Breakfast and co-owner of Pipino Vegetarian, for taking me along!

Amelia's Little Girl Room

Amelia's room is finally finished! I used some old, some new, and lots of gifts to furnish the room along with a few things we picked up on our travels. It's bright, colorful, and a little wordly ;)

A1.gif
 The quilt was handmade by Aunt Remi in 
Seattle. Cool Bear was a gift from Uncle Roy in San Francisco. The silk 
elephant was from L'Indochine boutique in Manila. Lion was a gift from 
Aunt Julie in San Diego. Bedding from Serena & Lily. Table lamp and rug from Land of Nod.

The quilt was handmade by Aunt Remi in Seattle. Cool Bear was a gift from Uncle Roy in San Francisco. The silk elephant was from L'Indochine boutique in Manila. Lion was a gift from Aunt Julie in San Diego. Bedding from Serena & Lily. Table lamp and rug from Land of Nod.

 One of Amelia's first shirts, 
from when she weighed only 4 pounds, hangs
 with artwork from Uncle John and 4-year-old cousin Hoops. I'll let you 
figure out who made which. Haha. The Cordoba blocks were a gift from 
cousins Hoops and Winter. The wooden horsie
 was a gift from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Denise. Storage bin from Land of Nod.

One of Amelia's first shirts, from when she weighed only 4 pounds, hangs with artwork from Uncle John and 4-year-old cousin Hoops. I'll let you figure out who made which. Haha. The Cordoba blocks were a gift from cousins Hoops and Winter. The wooden horsie was a gift from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Denise. Storage bin from Land of Nod.

 play area

play area

 Our ocean friends turtle and seahorse were souvenirs from El Nido 
Pangulasian. Blabla mermaid was a present from Flola and the alphabet quilt was handmade by Grandma Judy from when we 
celebrated Amelia's 1st birthday with an Aloha Mermaid Party in Oahu's 
north shore. Quilt rack from Pottery Barn Kids.

Our ocean friends turtle and seahorse were souvenirs from El Nido Pangulasian. Blabla mermaid was a present from Flola and the alphabet quilt was handmade by Grandma Judy from when we celebrated Amelia's 1st birthday with an Aloha Mermaid Party in Oahu's north shore. Quilt rack from Pottery Barn Kids.

 A hand-embroidered ottoman serves as a table. It came from the Hmong 
Tribe in Thailand, transported to Manila via  L'Indochine  boutique's  inspiration seekers , and 
then flown to California 
specifically for Amelia's room. It's kinda the crown jewel piece of the room, right?  

A hand-embroidered ottoman serves as a table. It came from the Hmong Tribe in Thailand, transported to Manila via L'Indochine boutique's inspiration seekers, and then flown to California specifically for Amelia's room. It's kinda the crown jewel piece of the room, right?

 
 Lots of people to thank on this wall :)  Grandma Joyce, Aunt Ricci, Aunt Rizza, Uncle Nicco, Aunt Julie, Uncle Clifford, Aunt Jan, Uncle Sriram and Aunt Vasavi. Book ledge from Ikea.

Lots of people to thank on this wall :)  Grandma Joyce, Aunt Ricci, Aunt Rizza, Uncle Nicco, Aunt Julie, Uncle Clifford, Aunt Jan, Uncle Sriram and Aunt Vasavi. Book ledge from Ikea.

 Dolls from Bali, Kyoto, Shanghai, Los Cabos, and Cebu. Sales of the Sara doll (far left) from Bali benefits the non-profit  Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak  , which provides shelter, care, and education for street children. The Isabel rag doll (far right) from  Anthill Fabric Gallery 
 in Cebu is made from scrap fabrics. Its proceeds benefits the 
Handcrafters of Mary Enterprise, which trains mothers how to sew in 
order to provide for their their families. Saltwater sandals from J. Crew. White garden stool from Ross Dress for Less.

Dolls from Bali, Kyoto, Shanghai, Los Cabos, and Cebu. Sales of the Sara doll (far left) from Bali benefits the non-profit Yayasan Kasih Peduli Anak , which provides shelter, care, and education for street children. The Isabel rag doll (far right) from Anthill Fabric Gallery in Cebu is made from scrap fabrics. Its proceeds benefits the Handcrafters of Mary Enterprise, which trains mothers how to sew in order to provide for their their families. Saltwater sandals from J. Crew. White garden stool from Ross Dress for Less.

 tutu from Aunt Ricci

tutu from Aunt Ricci

 Hi, Ameles! 

Hi, Ameles! 

Thank you to everyone for making Amelia's room so special! And a special shout out to Uncle Tom for installing the book ledges and baby-proof gates!