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This weekend's yard sale finds! Jul. 11th, 2011 @ 01:40 pm
I found this little side table for $3 at a yard sale around the corner.

Putty curing. Decided to fill in the cross pattern on the drawer to give myself more options for drawer pulls when I'm finished.

After 2 coats of primer. Actual paint goes on today. The paint color is almost the same as the primer color since they tinted both for me. The paint/primer is left over from an office I had for a while.

I found this little beauty down the street. I didn't have time to stop by on the day of their sale, and luckily it was still there on Sunday morning. It had been calling my name all weekend. Picked it up for $5. Don't know what color it is going to be yet.

Linking up with Centsational Girl's Yard Sale Link Party

Product Photography Jan. 14th, 2011 @ 02:00 pm
Taking product photos are the bane of my existence. I'm getting better at it, but I feel like I spend so much time reading about taking good product photos, styling, etc. Recently, I built myself a lightboxCollapse )

Where did RainPuddles come from? Jan. 9th, 2011 @ 12:25 pm
A few years ago when I found out I was pregnant, I was already determined to keep our costs down as much as possible including doing things like cloth diapering. Disposable diapers are the number one landfill item every single day all over the world. Aside from purchasing a few different cloth diapers, I also wanted to explore making my own. I purchased a lovely pattern and got started.

I couldn't help but pick out the faux snake skin material already in our stash, and with the help of my bestie, Barb Shearer, made this diaper:

Boy, it was a lot of work, but isn't it just so cute! I haven't made a diaper since then, but I think of it often. I just haven't gotten the motivation to dive into it yet.

Then I decided that I'd make some wool soakers for our baby since we would be using old-style prefolds. If you lanolinize them they are waterproof. After some internet searching, I found some patterns for pants and shorts and made these:

I just couldn't get over how adorable they were, and easy to make to boot! I then figured that if I was going to be making these things for our kid, I might as well make them to sell. It wasn't until after James was born that the idea of stylish hats came to mind. My idea was that I would buy wool sweaters at the thrift store, felt them, and repurpose them into stylish baby and children's hats. This was the first hat I ever made, and it was for one of my best friend's daughters as a birthday present.

I was hooked and have created an entire inventory that now includes hats, pants, shorts, place/play mats, and wet bags. I'm hoping to add mama cloth at some point, but not until after things in my Etsy store get moving. The name RainPuddles just seemed to fit as I think of children jumping into and splashing in rain puddles.

For a listing of my currently for sale items in my Etsy store, visit Rainpuddles.etsy.com

Elizabeth Pantley's new book Apr. 21st, 2010 @ 11:40 am
The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution - Gentle Ways to Make Good-bye Easy from 6 Months to 6 Years


Does it break your heart to leave your crying child at daycare, school, or with a babysitter? Do you worry and wonder how to help?

Nearly all children experience separation anxiety-it's natural-but finding a solution can be frustrating. That's why Elizabeth Pantley, author of the bestselling No-Cry series-developed gentle, effective solutions for every separation situation. Whether your child is a baby, toddler or first grader, these tried and true techniques will help them to:

* Say goodbye at the door - with a smile and a wave-and no more tears.

* Conquer anxiety at daycare, school, parties, trips, and play-dates.

* Go to sleep peacefully-and stay in bed - at naptime and bedtime.

* Feel comfortable with caregivers, babysitters, and new people.

* Explore new places with joy and confidence.

Best of all, this step-by-step program INCLUDES A FREE MAGIC BRACELET that will help your child feel "magically" safe and secure whenever you're apart. It's just one of the many No-Cry solutions that will help you say goodbye to the stress of saying goodbye-and hello to a stronger, happier child.

Elizabeth Pantley is the author of the bestselling No-Cry series, including the classic book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution. She is president of a parent education company and a mother of four. Visit her website at www.nocrysolution.com.

Making Good-bye Peaceful
~ Tips from The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution

You've spent months finding the perfect daycare or preschool. It's a wonderful place with kind and loving caregivers, an abundance of toys, lots of new friends, and a great play yard. Then . . . your child cries and clings to you when you drop her off, and it breaks your heart. What can you do?

Understand the significance of the milestone

Heading off to daycare or preschool, and leaving Mommy or Daddy behind for the first time is a colossal milestone in a child's life. There is no way to predict which child will happily run off to play and which will take one look at the surroundings and superglue himself to a parent's leg. If yours is one of those superglue kids, here are some ideas to help him loosen his grip and enjoy his new experience.

Have a very specific morning routine

Children feel more assured when their life has a very predictable rhythm. Set up a specific routine for the beginning of his day, since how the morning starts can set a pattern to the day. Waking at the same time seven days a week and then following the same routine for getting dressed, having breakfast and early morning playtime can get your child started with a calm feeling that "today is normal."

Encourage friendships with home playdates

Set up a few playdates with one or two children from the group at your home. Plan ahead, and have a craft and a snack ready, since some kids will find a session of free-play difficult to navigate. Once you've had a few successful sessions at your home, branch out to a playdate at a friend's home. These playdates that occur away from school allow children to develop a more personal friendship. Having a deeper friendship with another child or two at the daycare center or classroom can create more security for your child when he's away from home during the day.

Coordinate arrival with other families

If you can, coordinate your daily walk or ride to school with another family. Set up a carpool and offer to drive the kids together. If you can't arrange to walk or ride to school with a friend, then set up a meeting place at school to connect. Try to meet at the front gate, flagpole or entry door so that you can all walk a short distance together. Having a friend to walk with into the building can change the dynamics of the drop-off routine dramatically.

Stay calm when your child is anxious

When other adults are waving goodbye to their confident children, and your little one is crying and clinging to you for dear life, it's easy to become flustered. It's that time, however, when your child desperately needs you to be calm and reassuring. Put on blinders and tune out the other parents and children so that you can focus on your child only. You can be most helpful when you convey your peaceful demeanor to your child.

Create a project for together-time

Some children resist going to school because they see it as the end of your days of playtime together. Show your child that it isn't the end - just a change in routine. Set up an ongoing project you can work on for a short time each day to help bind the two of you together. You can refer to this project when dropping your child off so she has something to look forward to. Spending even fifteen minutes on this when you arrive home makes it the focus for a lovely bonding opportunity. Good ideas for these projects are puzzles, crafts, hobbies, gardening, or reading a book series together.


Three Ways to Reduce Your Baby's Separation Anxiety
~ Tips from The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution

From the time that babies become aware of the world around them they begin to form important relationships with the people in their lives. They quickly learn that certain people are vital to their happiness and their survival. Babies don't have the ability to understand how the world works, so they don't know what makes these people appear or disappear. When their special people are out of sight they have no way of knowing if their beloved ones are gone forever, and they express their concern: usually by crying and clinging. Here are a few tips to help your baby learn to adapt to separations without the anxiety.

1 ~ Practice with quick, daily separations

Over the course of your usual days together take opportunities to expose your baby to a few brief, safe visual separations. This process is particularly useful for the little super-glue babies who need you to be within arms reach at all times. Begin by getting your baby started with playing with an interesting toy or another person. When your little one is happily engaged, walk slowly, and go briefly into another room. Whistle, sing, hum, or talk so she knows you're still there, even though she can't see you. Carry out these brief separations off and on throughout the day in a variety of different situations.

2 ~ Avoid the in-arms transfer

It's common to hand over a baby from one caregiver to another. The problem with this is that your little on is leaving the safety and warmth of your arms and physically whisked away to another less-familiar person. This physical parting is the ultimate separation-anxiety producer. To reduce the physical anxiety-producing sensations of an arms-to-arms transfer, make the change with your baby in a neutral place, such as playing on the floor or sitting in a swing, highchair or baby seat. Have the caregiver sit next to your baby and engage your child's attention as you say a quick, happy good-bye. As soon as you are gone is the best time for the caregiver to pick up your child. The advantage is that your baby's caregiver will be put in the position of rescuer and can help them with their relationship.

3 ~ Embrace separation anxiety as a positive sign.

It's perfectly okay - even wonderful - for your child to be so attached to you and for her to desire your constant companionship. Congratulations: It's evidence that the bond you've worked so hard to create is holding. So politely ignore those who tell you otherwise.

When you relax your expectations of independence you can actually help your baby be more relaxed and less anxious about those times of separation.

Grand Opening of Body. Birth. Bliss. Nov. 22nd, 2009 @ 07:42 pm
I'm opening an office in Fair Oaks, CA. I'd be so grateful if you would forward this on to anyone who might be interested in my services. Give me a call to make an appointment. Hope to see you soon!

Click here to view a full-sized version

Other entries
» Workshop on Maternity Care and Birth Options
I'm holding a Birth Options workshop in Elk Grove in February. Please pass this info along to anyone you think my be interested. Thanks!

For more information on my classes and services, visit http://www.birthmassage.com

Click on the picture for complete details

» Garden
The garden is planted, the grid is laid (though I wish I had the wood grid first. I used string). For anyone curious, here is my garden layout.

Pic!Collapse )

My layout was done using our nifty companion planting poster which has a grid on it that specifies which plants are beneficial together and which ones don't like each other. I took pictures along the way, so i'll post those when I have time. Bryan also built a compost bin so now we can use our countertop composter and I'll just empty it everyday into the big bin outside. I also planted a strawberry garden and peas along the chainlink fence. I have 2 artichokes to get in the ground today and maybe some sunflowers to plant.
» New hats!
ETA: Duh! You can buy these in my Etsy store at http://rainpuddles.etsy.com

"Little Bird" in blue stripe

"Braid" in brown and cream

"Spaghetti" in blue stripe and cream

"Flower Sun Hat" in teal

» Killer Bunnies
Anyone local to me play Killer Bunnies? We could use some help figuring this game out with these really crappy instructions
» CPSIA Blog Day
As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.
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