Family Movie Night: Little Mermaid

Yes, we got behind on these. The kids and I were in Iowa City one Wednesday night and so we didn’t have Movie Night that week. The next week, we watched Tomorrowland and I took zero pictures. Then the next week, we watched Howl’s Moving Castle and had awesome food, but I took zero pictures. But last week, we watched The Little Mermaid. And I took pictures.


We own no Little Mermaid things, but Genna generously provided us with these lovely decorations. Notice Ariel’s red drink. Genna accidentally got Ariel’s teeth with the red crayon, so she drew her a red drink to explain the red teeth. 🙂

I want to remind you that I’m Real Life Mom, not Pinterest Mom.

So for our Little Mermaid night, we of course ate – what else – fish sticks. 🙂 Because we’re evil. We were going to have stuffed pasta shells, but I was unmotivated and frankly, it involved buying a LOT of ingredients.

But fish sticks – yes, the processed ones – were on sale. (Usually I actually do make our fish sticks from actual fish but lazy + sale = I’m not sad we used the boxed ones. Also, the husband noted that making fish sticks always seems to put me in a bad mood. Evidently missing the generalized 5-6 pm “I’m tired and can’t deal with Crazy Hour” mood I have most days.)

Also clams and shrimp.

Sea Vegetable Salad – you could use actual sea veggies if you wanted, but we used land veggies and our imaginations.

Seaweed grapes – grapes on a skewer to look like long strands of seaweed.

Ocean Water for a drink – just water with a bit of blue food coloring.



Processed fish. YUMMY!

Family Movie Night: Wreck it Ralph and Lady and the Tramp

I didn’t make a post last week for Wreck it Ralph. I just didn’t take that many pictures! We have *no* Wreck it Ralph decorations, and both kids have outgrown their Halloween costumes from last year. But the food was amazing!!

The obvious food for Wreck it Ralph is Candy and Lots Of It. But I’m not about to stuff my kids with candy at 8 pm on a weeknight.

Our main course was Mini meatloaf “cupcakes.” I made meatloaf, cooked it in a muffin tin, then topped it with mashed potatoes and cheese. When they were all cooked, I popped each one into a silicone cupcake cup. They were yummy.

We also had Alien Egg Peas, which vaguely resembled the alien insect eggs in the movie, sorta, if you squint. But we needed a vegetable!

Then for dessert, we had banana splits (requested by the kids over root beer floats, a decision they regretted after watching Ralph down a float) and, of course, pie.

banana splits

 


 

This week was Lady and the Tramp, and its obvious and super easy menu. We decorated with all the stuffed and toy dogs we could find.

Now recruiting…

As a retailer for Wrapsody, I’ve been privileged to participate in Kristy’s amazing Brand Ambassador program. And it has inspired me to try something similar with Wallypop, but on a much smaller scale, and really nothing at all like the Wrapsody program, because I no longer have retailers. It’s something I’ve been mulling over for a while now, during those odd moments like the 8 seconds of shower time when no small children are demanding my attention.

I’m hoping to start small – and will probably keep it pretty small. What I’m envisioning is a few people, who are active in babywearing, cloth diapering, and/or special needs social media, who love Wallypop’s products, and who want to help families find affordable, handmade, legally compliant products while also helping a small business succeed. Physical location isn’t important, but ideally I’d prefer to start local and work my way out. Your role would be to, when appropriate, share pictures or information about your experiences with our products, offer advice, etc. – on your personal social media accounts, in groups you may be in, on Wallypop’s wall, etc. The content and frequency of posts is up to you. In exchange, we will do some cross-promotion of your own business/organization (if you havand you’ll receive exclusive discounts and promotions.

I know from experience that our customers are typically pretty thrilled with their purchases and not shy about saying so to their friends or to complete strangers. A large portion of orders from new customers come with notes, “you can thank X person for sending me here!” or “I’m so glad Y person mentioned your business!” And we sooo appreciate that! I’m hoping to leverage that excitement that our customers have in a way that helps to make up for my utter lack of social media acumen. (AKA, I’m on Pinterest and Instagram, but keep forgetting!)

If you’re interested, please click here and answer the questions. I’ll be in touch! Thanks so much.    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PhFhZh1R2KY1Mjg_sM1D3_UrTbKsh35lpKDKO1CicRA/viewform

Family Movie Night: Cinderella

Keeping with the theme of Movies The Husband Has Not Seen, we chose Live Action Cinderella for our next movie night. Genna and I saw this movie in the theater on Mom/Genna Night, but the boys hadn’t seen it yet.

Our decorations were pathetic, but remember: this is real life, we have a budget Family Movie Night. 🙂 We own few Cinderella toys. Just three princesses – a baby Cinderella which was a gift from grandma some years ago, a Bathtub toy Cinderella, and a small action figure Cinderella. And, can I say, baby Cindy is looking mighty fine these days

 

Oh, and, of course, Teddy contributed to the decorations, too. (It’s “The King” from Cars. Fitting.)

 

Figuring out a meal was kind of challenging. Do you go with the leftover bits Cinderella was allowed to eat? Quiche? (which I wanted to do, but I’m the only one who eats my delicious quiche) Food fit for a Queen?

We ended up with:

Cheese and Crackers (because of the mice, though Genna pointed out that mice don’t eat crackers, just cheese)

Royal Roast Beef (um… just regular roast beef)

Pumpkin Rolls (yeah… I sort of envisioned this working out better… they were supposed to look like pumpkins. They really just looked like strange tube-rolls, which is what they were)

GusGus Corn (because of the scene in the animated movie where GusGus tries to stack up the corn)

Royal Steed Carrots (because I needed a vegetable and horses eat carrots) (I made candied carrots)

Champagne (7 up and blue Koolaid)

 

 

I had a few pre-dinner activities planned, but then the evening got a little chaotic, and we didn’t do most of them. We were going to play “Where is GusGus” version of the three cups/which one has the ball game, for example. But whatever.

Genna did make and decorate a crown for herself, and changed into her ballgown for the movie, though I was sitting with Teddy on my lap at that point and didn’t get a picture. 😦

Randy thought the movie was too dark, but I liked it. Though I find the Prince’s eyes to be too unnatural of a color, it’s distracting.

Are you a Central Iowa Babywearer? We’ve got an awesome group for you!

Central Iowa Babywearers – a place for central Iowa babywearing families and central Iowa babywearing businesses to come together. Central Iowa Babywearers is all about keeping it local. Local events. Local Businesses. Local Sales. Local Families.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/542342775926079/

 

 

New Products: Tula Toppers, SSC Pouches, and SSC Cases/Bags

I cannot believe I delayed making these items for so long! Get yours on Etsy or on our website!

First, the Tula Topper.

I wanted to make a Tula Topper that was fully reversible, snap-on, and gave easy access to the snaps. I started with my Slipcover pattern, cut here, added there, and… I LOVE this pattern.

It turns completely inside-out, so you really get two Toppers in one. It snaps into place, so you can attach it even once you’re wearing the Tula if you need to. It has buttonholes on the inside to facilitate access to the hood snaps. It goes partway up the straps, giving them some protection, as well.

Our Tula Toppers are made with two cotton prints and a layer of absorbent cotton or hemp, but I can also add a layer of PUL upon request (same for our suck pads!). I plan to keep just a few of these as ready to ship, but will mainly make them as a custom item, so you can pick your own fabrics. Want a Topper that matches your Tula? Chances are good we can do that. Want one with Superheroes for your little superhero? We can do that. Want one in Doctor Who, Star Wars, or any other nerdy thing? You KNOW we can do that.

Then, the SSC Pouch. How simple and necessary.

It’s a slightly smaller version of the Clutch I make as a custom add-on for custom baby carriers, but instead of a wristlet-style strap, it features a belt strap that attaches it neatly to your SSC (or MT) belt or shoulder strap, with no dangling. It’s a handy place to store your keys, phone, and wallet. This size won’t quite hold a cloth diaper, though it’ll fit a disposable, but we plan to offer a slightly larger size, as well.

The SSC Pouch will fit on any SSC or Mei Tai.

The Pouch is made with a decorative cotton on the outside and canvas on the back. The inside is soft flannel. Similar to most of our other accessories, this will be offered as both ready to ship and custom.

And finally, the SSC Case/Bag/Cover. Yeah, I have no idea what to call it.

This handy little accessory wraps around your SSC to keep it clean and to keep it tidy instead of all octopus-like spread out all over your car, diaper bag, living room, etc. Though the pictures show it with the waist belt OUTSIDE, you can also tuck the waist belt inside if you want to throw your SSC into your diaper bag or for storage.

It will fit on any SSC. It will also fit around Mei Tais, but for most Mei Tais, it won’t make as small of a package as you could get just folding it up and wrapping the straps around it.

Look at how easy it is to use! Fold, fold, snap!

It can be left partially snapped around your SSC’s waistband while you’re wearing it.

boulevarddesigns.etsy.com
babywearing.wallypop.net/accessories.html

New Product! IV Bag Covers

I’m so excited to add these to our Lemon Drops line.

IV Bag Covers!

We heard from several customers who were using our insulated feeding pump bag covers on their IV bags, but it was less than ideal, as the snaps that work so well at holding an ice pack and allowing access to a feeding pump bag were confusing and unnecessary for IV bags.

So, voila – IV bag covers.

These covers are just one layer of cotton and they merely drape over the IV bag – no snaps, no closures at all. The bottom is completely open to allow easy access for nurses and caregivers, and the cover slips right off when it’s time to change the bag. The bags are sized to fit a variety of IV bag sizes – if in doubt, the Large cover should fit any IV bag.

Why an IV bag cover? Well, it’s more fun than an IV bag, for one. Some people can be scared or upset by the contents of their IV bag (particularly blood products) – this covers that up. (add one of our Cord Keepers to hide the tubing and you’re set!) And it helps protect your privacy – while walking from one place to another in the hospital, no need for everyone to see your name and your IV prescription. Just cover them up!

Get yours here: http://lemondrops.wallypop.net/IVbag.html or http://boulevarddesigns.etsy.com

Inside Out Movie Night


Sticking with the theme of “movies the husband hasn’t seen yet,” we chose Inside Out for our second movie.

The Menu included Broccoli Pizza, Sadness and Joy drinks, Anger’s Red Peppers, Fear Memory Orbs (grapes), Rainbow Unicorn Fruit Kabobs, and Emotions Marshmallows. We decorated with Inside Out toys we already owned.

The drink recipes came from this website. The marshmallows were just marshmallows dipped in white chocolate and covered in sprinkles. Actually sounds better than it tastes.

Broccoli pizza, we shortcutted and used frozen pizza plus frozen broccoli.

Genna got to draw the emotions using printouts from here.   She did not give permission to share her finished drawings online. Teddy slept through this part of the night, and Wally was too busy being a moody 11 year old boy to participate in the drawing.

Toddler Size Carriers

“Do you make toddler size Mei Tais?”  “Can you make this onbu in a wider body?”

I get asked these questions from time to time, and thought I’d write out a quick post explaining. The answer is “no,” but the explanation isn’t as simple.

First, I usually blame it on federal regulations. And that is the main reason. I *could* make toddler size carriers, but I’d have to have them lab tested separately, and lab tests are currently running about $1000 per item tested. Before the ASTM standard became mandatory, I did make toddler size carriers, but never made enough profit on them as a product line to in any way justify spending that kind of money. Yes, expensive regulations do tend to favor bigger businesses. We had to respond to the ASTM standard by cutting product lines.

But second, I don’t believe that most people really need a toddler size carrier. Most toddlers can be safely and comfortably worn in a regular size carrier. As long as a carrier supports a toddler’s thighs (so they’re not dangling from their crotch) and is high enough on their back to keep them from flipping out (about up to armpits), and they’re within the weight range of the carrier, it’s safe to wear a toddler in. The babywearing industry has largely created a nice market for itself in convincing parents that they need to upgrade to a series of ever-larger carriers, but for many (perhaps most) families, this isn’t really necessary. (And it makes me sad to know that some families choose to stop wearing their toddlers on the mistaken belief that they can’t wear their toddlers in standard size carriers, and they can’t afford a toddler-specific carrier.)

Certainly, you might want – or need – to upgrade to a toddler carrier. Absolutely, if your current carrier doesn’t support your child’s thighs, isn’t tall enough to keep them in, or doesn’t have a high enough weight range to be safe, you should NOT wear your toddler in it. Even if your big kid fits safely in your standard size carrier, if you wear him or her often, if wearing him or her is physically painful for either of you, or you just have extra money sitting around, you may just WANT to upgrade.

But if you’re investing in a new carrier for your older toddler or preschooler, chances are good (and experience certainly shows) that you’re going to lean towards choosing something with a much higher weight range and with lots of padding and buckles – and that’s probably a very good choice for carrying around a lot of weight for long periods of time. And if that’s what you want, you’ll need to look elsewhere anyway! There are some really great brands out there.

Family Movie Night – Big Hero 6

We decided to start a weekly family movie night. It’s a very Pinterest-y thing for me to do, lol. And while it might not seem like it has a whole heck of a lot to do with Babywearing, Cloth Diapering, and Medical Needs… hey, the common denominator there is that we all have kids. And probably most of us watch movies, and like to do fun things with our families.

I don’t have quite the budget that Pinterest moms do, and I also don’t have major movie companies sending me money and promotional items. So this is the budget (aka: realistic) version of Family Movie Night.

I decided to start with Big Hero 6 because my husband hasn’t seen it yet, and I’m tired of him not knowing what I’m talking about when I use quotes from the movie in a humorous way.

 

The only Big Hero 6 things we own are a “pillow” Baymax (plush – but Teddy calls it “pillow”) and he’s completely white – I wasn’t about to put Pillow Baymax anywhere near a dinner table, but I did prop him up with our desserts. And we also own small plastic Baymax and Hiro, but Teddy wouldn’t consent to using them to decorate.

During the day, Teddy and Genna colored pictures from Big Hero 6 that I found online (I’d provide a link, but honestly just Google). We also cut out and assembled Baymax from this website. We didn’t make him into a puppet, just assembled with brass fasteners. (OF COURSE I have brass fasteners – we homeschool. If you don’t, there’s no reason you couldn’t glue it.)

I decided our menu would be:

  • Hiro Sandwiches
  • Chicken Wings with the sauce that makes our faces numb
  • Sliced Apple (from when Wasabi throws the apple through the laser)
  • Gummy Bears (from when Baymax is training and Hiro yells Gummy Bears!!)
  • Banana Sushi (sushi seems like a San Fransokyo thing, and the banana variety seemed more palatable to my unadventurous 7 year old)
  • Baymax Marshmallows

After Randy got home from work, Genna helped me make the Baymax marshmallows while Wally finished up a school assignment he had inexplicably not done before moving on to free time activities this afternoon. We also assembled the Banana Sushi, sliced the apple, and put some gummy bears in a jar. And got the sandwich stuff ready.

Banana Sushi: Spread a tortilla with marshmallow fluff and then peanut butter. Wrap it around a banana. Slice. Yum!

After dinner, there was some level of chaos as adults and oldest kid cleaned up, middle kid pretended to help clean up but mostly ran in circles, and youngest lost both his left slipper and his sippy cup. “It gone! It disappear!” We settled in for our movie – Teddy with some more coloring pages and crayons and Pillow Baymax – and mom reminded the kids approx 18,000 times to stop telling dad major plot points.