Spend More Time on the Floor!

As most of us parents know, toddlers and kids LOVE the floor.  At least my kid does.  Erin probably spends 80% of her day on the floor.  She does puzzles, colors, paints, reads books, pretends to swim, plays with her Lego’s.  Me, personally, I find the floor a bit uncomfortable. Probably because it’s all hardwood and we have no carpet, not even a rug. Hardwood floors are a huge trend right now.

As Erin has gotten older, she has resorted to tossing pillows from the couch and beds, onto the wood floor and playing with them: sitting, jumping, bouncing, etc.  As a loving parent, I felt there needed to be a pillow that a child can call hers.

A certain cute little girl’s first birthday was approaching and I wanted to make her something that would last a long time, have a lot of uses, and be a great addition to her home.  So, I made a toddler floor cushion:

98095D86-08CE-11E3-8D44-A118F3A8AFB4I was a little nervous about how it would turn out and fit together.  I don’t have tracing paper or “pattern paper” to draw my patterns on, so I just stuck 6 pieces of 8.5×11 paper together.  Without a compass, I was fearful I wouldn’t get a perfect circle, but using my ruler and some magic, I was able to get the job done!

C1C29E94-08E2-11E3-B7B6-C5BB67B082C3Now for the “Toddler Test.”  I let Erin have at it.  I didn’t want to give a gift to someone if there was a possibility she would not like it.  Apparently, Erin knew exactly what to do with it:
20F0D750-08E8-11E3-93D0-C5BB67B082C3Erin loves it!  (Now I need to make one for her- maybe when we move to our new house)

I also decided to add some personalization.  I added the sweet baby girls initials along the side:

E07CB908-08E9-11E3-8E66-BDEC132E2704I really like how it came out! It’s plush, lofty (can be less lofty if I wanted), has a handle to easily carry it around, lightweight, and super duper easy to make!

This fabric is SO adorable, I went to order some more and found that it has been discontinued! I bought it a few months ago with other plans for it in mind, but decided against it back then.  I spent HOURS scouring the internet looking for some of this fabric, PANICKING!  I FINALLY found some and now have enough to make 4 more cushions!

I have added this item to my Etsy Shop. You can view this listing here.  Or by visiting my Etsy Page on this blog here.  Fabric can be changed, and an option to not personalize it is available upon request too!  If you want your cushion made with this fabric, better jump on it since the supply is limited!

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Memorable Moments for Her and Me

sesame-place-logoEvery holiday my husband and I disagree about taking Erin certain places or doing certain things for her.  His argument: she’s too young, she won’t fully appreciated it, and she won’t remember it, so what’s the point? My point of view: She may not remember it, but they are memories for the family, and experiences for her.  For example, we never got professional newborn photos done (sorry Amanda Anttila-Oza!), Monthly professional photos were out of the question too.  I did win the battle with some one year photos/family photos (A big thanks to Amanda Anttila-Oza Photography, you can see some by visiting her blog. You can see her photography site here.  If you are a Seattle area resident, THIS is the woman to book!!!  But, don’t be surprised if she pulls up on a road bike…with some flowers….road biking and gardening are some of her passions as well! Okay, I’ll get off my soap box of my childhood friend now. 🙂 Back on track: I finally got some professional photos of our daughter and our family.  At two years, we didn’t….we were in Seattle and I regret not booking Amanda again.

Difference two: Any significant outings.  Ping has never taken Erin to the zoo.  He finally took her to the aquarium last May during Memorial Day.  He was totally impressed by all the free stuff we get with our Membership: free parking, and free admission to all zoos and aquariums in the five boroughs on New York City.

So, when I received a text upon our return from Asia this spring from my brother in law, I know this next excursion was going to take some big convincing.  Uncle Peter and Auntie Arianne wanted to take Erin to Sesame Place for her 2nd birthday gift.  I was, of course, so excited and knew she would love it!  Ping, well, let’s just say I got the normal three arguments: too young, won’t appreciate it, won’t remember it.  C’mon! Not ALL activities are made or adults!  How old do you think she will have to be to appreciate and remember it!?!  He finally agreed and we finally went the beginning of August.  Here is a run down of what happened to my daughter on that day:

1) When I told her we were going to Auntie Arianne’s and Uncle Peter’s to pick them up, her only excited response was “See Kitty!” (They have a cat)

2) When I told her they were taking her to meet Elmo, Abbie, Grover, Big Bird and everyone else on Sesame Street, she replied in excitement, “See Kitty!”

3) Upon arrival of the beloved Aunt and Uncle’s house, all she was concerned about was, “See Kitty!”

4) Snacks were scarfed down in the car ride to Langhorne, PA.

5) Upon arrival to Sesame Place, Erin pointed out all of the pictures she saw of the characters in the parking lot (You park in areas marked, Elmo, Abby, Big Bird, etc.)

6) She enjoyed eating at a table with Elmo on it during lunch and getting a free Elmo plate, and Elmo cup

7) We took her to one of the many shows offered (Abby’s playdate): I believe this is where Erin experience her first real heart attack (hopefully her only) as all the characters jumped out on stage at once. (I had tears well in my eyes to see such joy on her face for the first time) She stood still when asked to repeat the dance moves taught to her.

8) a non stop grin was on her face the entire day.

9) She loved the rides, had a hard time waiting in line, and wanted to try the next seat right after her turn was over without waiting in line.

10) she wore her brown and pink animal print swim suit excitedly as she jumped in Count’s Castle with her Daddy.

11) Had NO FEAR taking her picture with Grover 2.0 and Zoey.

12) Helped her Dad finish his Dove ice cream bar while waiting for the parade to begin.

13) Excitedly grabbed and played with streamers at the end of the parade while sitting on Mommy’s shoulders.

14) Got a free sticker at the First Aid booth when she skinned her knee for the 4th day in a row.

15) Crashed upon buckle up in the car ride home. And as I instructed her it was time to put her jammies on when we got home, her response was to break out in the dance she learned that day.

All in all, I’d say this was THE BEST amusement park for a 2 year old EVER! Not all rides were age appropriate.  That was nice for older kids.  Dry and wet ride options, many special shows to choose from, a parade that wasn’t too long, or too short, and great memories!

Don’t forget to get the “Elmo Tickets.” A two day pass (does not need to be consecutive) for the price of one in the same season.  Great deal if you are a day trip away! I’ll end with some photos from Sesame Place:

New Business Adventure

Only a few people know my stories of adjusting to New York life.  When I first moved here 7 years ago, I wanted to take a class at the local community college. Upon registering in person for non matriculated status, I was asked by the registrar’s office to show them my passport. Luckily I had this on me and I didn’t think it odd since there are so many immigrants here.  What became odd was she flipped through my U.S. passport looking for an entry stamp…..to the State of New York…..from Washington State….two states in the SAME country! This woman was seriously convinced that your passport must be stamped upon entry and exit between states! She accused me of “illegally entering New York!” The worst part, her supervisor even backed her up! Yeah….I never took a class.

Over these past 7 years, there have been less odd things that I’ve noticed New York does, not as much as that moment…until recently:

ImageAfter doing some extensive research and reading, I had learned the proper steps to register my new business as a sole proprietor in New York State.  Apparently, this was one thing you cannot do online.  It had to be done in person at the county clerk’s office.  All I could hope was that this office was not like the DMV.

So, I had my babysitter come over and I headed down to the County Clerks office to file my DBA (Doing Business As) certificate. The website stated that I could obtain (purchase) the proper forms at a convenience store, they needed to be notarized and then filed at the clerk’s office. I thought, convenience store?? Really?? Odd. I figured they just had the form at the office as well for free.

So after my GPS taking me on a wrong turn (we really need to update that thing) and through some scary parts of the county, I found the Clerk’s office, headed in and asked for the forms. The Clerk says this, “Okay. You need to go buy the forms at the candy store on the corner, get it notarized there (meaning the candy store notarizes the form) and bring it back along with $120 cash (apparently this county does not accept credit card).  Just head out the building and turn right. The candy store is right there.” I had her repeat this about 3 times, making myself look stupid, just to make sure she KNEW she was telling me to BUY A GOVERNMENT FORM FROM A CANDY STORE!

Really?? A candy store!?! I walk to the candy store.  Upon entering, the place looked normal.  It was a corner candy store, with a counter, display racks, etc.  I figured the forms were sitting on a rack somewhere, but no forms.  I slowly move further back the store looking carefully for a rack of government (think tax) looking forms.  Nothing!  At the back of the store I notice the display racks situated in an interesting manner.  There were two racks facing me making somewhat of a walkway in between them.  I hesitated moving further thinking this was the candy store’s “storage room” in there.  I cautiously take a step between the display racks, look right, then left.  On the left side was an office desk, computer and an Indian guy in a suit sitting at the desk.

“May I help you?” asks the man.

“Yes, I need to get a DBA form. I was told to come here.”

“You’re in the right place. Have a seat.”

All the while I’m thinking this is SO SHADY!!!!!!!!

After asking me some questions about my business and entering it into the computer, the guy prints off the forms notarizes them and hands them to me and I give him my $20.

I head back to the clerks office FULLY expecting to be given some lecture by a born and raised New Yorker (think full fledged New York accent AND attitude) about these papers being totally fake.

I step up to the window, hand the three DBA forms (yes you need three) over bracing for the impact of embarrassment. Instead, she looks at them, stamps them and says, “Great! Congratulations! You are now in business!” I said, “that’s legit…I mean it!?!” She chuckled and said, ‘Yes. Good luck! Pay at the cashier over there.”

I swear, just when I think I am getting used to the New York way of life, I am reminded that I will never quite understand this place!