My [belated] Valentine

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Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. James 4:13-14

That verse sums up my February so far. Wonderful plans! Things to do! Special Valentine’s photo shoots! And then more snow storms and cancellations, car repairs, and multiple illnesses. I’ve taken to answering people when they ask me if I will be somewhere or do something, “That’s the CURRENT plan.”

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Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:15

Well, the Lord willed quick late night pictures in the bathroom, after the new favorite dress has been worn multiple times (through multiple fevers) and is in need of an ironing. Complete with a runny nose and a smile that can’t be beat! I love this kid and her joyful heart. She may have gotten her Valentine dress late but it didn’t phase her even a little. And I love that even though I made this to be a holiday outfit, I am quite certain it will be worn whenever it is clean. Pink hearts are a little girl’s uniform.

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And it definitely is a new favorite dress! Favorite to her because it’s pink and she can put it on all by herself (oh, independence). Favorite to me because it’s super easy and a size 5. Just TRY growing out of that one, kid! I’ve had my eye on this pattern (the Music Box Jumper from Oliver + S) for months, but I just knew if I bought the smaller size range she’d immediately have a growth spurt. Because that’s what buying boutique patterns does. So I’ve held off patiently until I could buy the larger size set. Yes, it’s pretty big for the short term. But I guarantee you I’ll be making a stack of them! It may be nerdy, but I really really love the school uniform look. I’m planning 2 in khaki already, one for Grace and one for her friend who goes to a uniform-requiring preschool. That is, I’ll sew them…

“If the Lord wills.”

Details

Pattern: Oliver + S Music Box Jumper, view B. Size 5. Plastic snaps instead of buttons

Fabric: Twill hearts from Joann’s – I think it’s Doodles collection.

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Janey Jump Around Play Dress

I know I keep mentioning this, but my kid is growing like a weed. And I’m finally getting new play clothes made for her that actually fit. I’m so excited to share a complete WIN with you today! It’s the Janey Jump Around dress by Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop… which is…. wait for it… FREE!

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Easy to assemble the pattern. Easy to follow the directions. Easy to sew. Easy to wash. Easy to wear. I’m one happy mama with a happy little girl. And this is the 4th Peek A Boo pattern I’ve sewn up in the past few months and they’ve all be like that. Sometimes the PDF pattern world can be intimidating, but I’ve been really pleased with this designer. I’m still pretty new to knit fabric so I’m grateful that these patterns hold my hand and make it not so scary for me. (It’s ridiculous – I’m more afraid of knits than I am of chiffon and satin and such).

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The faux wrap is just the sweetest thing. I love the look, and it’s comfortable to wear. Plus easier to put on a wiggly little miss. I was so glad to find perfectly matched buttons in my stash – I really have no idea where these came from, but they were the last two. I hope I can find another set, because they’re perfectly hot pink and shiny. When she out grows this dress, I’ll probably cut them off and put them on something else.

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I made a 3t with only the smallest adjustments to the pattern – the sleeves are 3/4″ longer and the hem is just over 1″ longer. Just enough for some growing room. Maybe it will last her until spring! Seriously, kid, stop growing.

Details

Pattern: Janey Jump Around from Peek A Boo patterns

Fabric: Doodles collection, stable knit, from Joann’s. Pink is some random scrap that I’ve been cutting bits off of for years.

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Lemon Tarts Play Dough

I haven’t posted much about our sensory play lately. We’ve spent the past several months mostly stuck inside due to the weather – sub-zero temperatures and lots of snow (for this area at least). We are still doing lots of sensory play, but it hasn’t been terribly original or ground breaking. This activity turned out cute enough to share, though: Lemon Tarts!

 

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I whipped up a quick batch of lemonade scented play dough using my basic recipe (read more here) then turned the kids loose with various kitchen implements that Grace got for Christmas to use in her play kitchen. Plus glitter – there is ALWAYS glitter around here! The bowl full of lemons was just sitting there for inspiration.

Lemon Tart Play Dough at Gabi Sunshine

Aren’t these tiny tart pans the cutest?

We continue to use the play dough, but the glitter is a one-time thing. I put it away after our first use. By then the glitter is worked all the way through the dough and more just means more mess for cleaning up. These girls never get tired of playing Bakery. Every time the play dough comes out, they ask for tart pans or cake pans plus a handful of tooth picks and craft sticks for candles. It’s been their go-to game for about 5 months now.

In case you didn’t know, play dough is a great activity for developing hand strength and fine motor skills. I can tie a lot of learning in without any pressure. I offer simple ideas to direct their play in ways that work on the target skill. We used this activity to practice making balls and putting them on sticks – also known as cake pops! This reinforces shape knowledge, hand strength, and lots of coordination to actually make the balls, line them up, and get them on the stick in the middle without pushing too far.

Lemon Tart Play Dough at Gabi Sunshine

What are you playing this long, snowy winter? Without sensory play, I know we’d be going CRAZY by now!