Quick Pacifier Clip

5 Minute Pacifier Clip

My son is addicted to his pacifier, but now he also likes to eat and be messy so one pacifier clip isn’t enough. Last night I needed a second pacifier clip so I whipped one up before bed.

I was lucky to have an abundance of lanyards from when we went to Nascar and they had nice clips on them. I also used some thin elastic, leftover from My Little Pony Headbands.

It was a super quick sewing job to make this pacifier clip with the sewing machine, but it was also be easy to hand-sew if you don’t have a sewing machine handy.

Directions:
1. Trim the lanyard to about 6 inches long. You don’t want it to be too long because it’s a safety hazard.

2. Trim the elastic to about 3 inches.

3. Fold the elastic in half and place it between the two sides of the lanyard. Sew it in place.

That’s it! Seriously so easy and having a pacifier clip for my baby is seriously the most useful baby item we have. Our first one we received as a gift and it was one of my favorite things ever!

Looking For More DIY Baby Neccessities? Try Some of These:

Clip on Strap for a Nursing Cover
Car Seat Cover
Car Seat Strap Covers

 

My Favorite Toddler Bedtime Stories {Gift Ideas}

Toddler Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

Before my toddler’s bedtime, we sit on his big bear and read books. I have a few favorites, and I think my son loves them because he can tell how much I love them. I try to only keep good books around, and “good” can mean many things. The main thing “good” means is that it doesn’t annoy me, or teach my son to annoy me. It also won’t usually bore him or bore me. These are a few of my favorites that are great bedtime stories for a toddler.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite in our house, we even based my son’s first birthday party off of it. It makes the list of one of our top bedtimes stories because it’s a very relaxing story, it’s easy to read (and follow along with) as well as there are plenty of things that my son recognizes and likes to point out.

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

Happy Birthday, Moon is a favorite bedtime story because it’s simple and cute. It is a conversation between the bear and the moon. It’s something that my son doesn’t understand yet, but when he makes the connection he will love the story even more. Right now there are plenty of little things that my son loves to point out while we are reading it, so it makes it fun for him but not overly-stimulating.

 

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear is my favorite. (I know, I say that everything is my favorite!) I love that my son loves this book now too. He didn’t get it at first because the Big Hungry Bear is talked about but never seen. He loves this book so much now that he mouths the words along with me, and sometimes will recite them for me. I love that this book is such a cute story but it also doesn’t take all night to read it to him. (All of these books are pretty short and sweet compared to lots of children’s books. Unless you ask my husband- he thinks they are all way too long.)

Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault, and  Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka ABC is a shorter and simpler version of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that I read in grade school. It is on our top bedtime stories list because it is so short and simple and because it has an awesome beat. I think it is my husband’s favorite book to read to our son because it is the shortest on this list, but really we both love it.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a story that is pretty much a pigeon throwing a two-year-old’s temper tantrum. Don’t let that scare you though, I don’t think this teaches kids to throw temper tantrums.The way this book is set up it shows kids how silly they are. Just from the title (and when the bus driver asks you) it makes the kids be the ones in charge so they are supposed to keep the pigeon from driving the bus. If you haven’t read this book you should go check it out at your local library and see why it has made our favorite bedtime stories list.

What are your favorite bedtime stories? Are there any I need to go out and read so I can add them to my list?

This post is not sponsored by these authors or publishers but if you click on the links and happen to buy something from Amazon you will be helping out Monzanita’s in a small way, so thank you!

Pregnancy Announcements for Facebook

With our first pregnancy I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, so as soon as we got the news we wanted to post it to facebook, so that we could avoid calling everyone individually to tell them (and having hurt feelings because we called one person before another and so on). We called the new grandparents and then took this picture and posted it with the clues to facebook.

It was a cute way to announce it until I got a few people telling me I really did look pregnant. I was 5 weeks along and shouldn’t have looked any more pregnant than before! So we decided to find another way to tell everyone for the second pregnancy.

I searched all of my pins and decided to do something a little bit more unique. With a second child our Jeep will be full, so we went out to our closest wash (aka dry creek) and took this picture. Click on the picture to see it bigger!

The idea was a little more confusing but still super cute! Once I explained it in the comments everyone got it. At least no one’s calling me fat this time!

Other Jeep Related Articles:
4 Jeep Sewing Projects
Camping on the Mogollon Rim
5 Reasons I Love My Husband

DIY Toy Hammock

My son is collecting way too many toys, but I have a hard time getting rid of any. I have to start finding ways to organize them better so that they fit in our house! I have a feeling that we will have to turn one of our rooms into a playroom soon.

My inspiration came from The Junk Nest, check out her toy hammock here.

Materials:
Fabric
Rope (aka “Clothesline” from the Dollar Tree)

Directions:
1. Hem the two long edges.

2. Hem the two shorter edges with enough space to fit the rope inside the hem.

3. Slide the rope through each side.

4. Tie rope to crib, bed or wall.

Super complicated, right? If you need help, refer to the drawing below on my super cool legal pad from NAU. (My souvenir from visiting my sister!) Also please pretend that I wasn’t drawing it while someone was tugging on my arm and throwing books at me. It is a pretty good drawing for suffering through all that though!

See Also:
The Nursery (that has never been completely finished)
Bathroom Organization
Closet Door Writing

A Valentine's Day Gift for My Child

In my family we always did a little something to give to everyone in our family for Valentine’s Day. It would be something put at their place at the table to let them know that we cared. Sometimes they were handmade, usually they were the leftover valentines that we had from giving them out at school. My parents usually gave us a box of chocolate or some type of candy.

Last year I wanted to do something for my (then) baby, but seeing as he couldn’t have candy and had more than enough toys I decided on a book that I had been wanting to buy for him. See last year’s Valentine’s Day gift here.

I decided to do the same this year, and keep the tradition going. There will always be a need of some sort of book! We bought him a book that I know I will enjoy reading to him, and this one he will enjoy playing with. I know that because he was already playing with it in the store. This book is a fun counting book, but it didn’t make my Top Toddler Bedtime Stories.

Do you give Valentine’s Day gifts to your children? If so, what do you give them?

Check out some other fun Valentine’s Day ideas!

Mustache Valentines Made by My Sister

On Travel Tips

I recently went to go visit family for the third time in a year with my little one. The second time without having my husband’s help. The baby is a little harder to run around with now, but I was prepared.

First off, here’s a new travel tip: Don’t play with fireworks the day before you fly.

Apparently I would have been fine if I took off my baby backpack when I went through security. But I didn’t and that means they test your hands for explosive residue. So they made me sit and wait for them to test everything in my luggage and then made me sit and wait while they got a higher rank female to do a full pat down. It was fine though, they had me wait in a closed off room and it was excellent for the baby to run around in. After the pat down I was able to go get on my flight.

Don’t do this 26 hours before flying.

I also learned to use the baby backpack, even if you don’t think you need it. I thought I would be fine (and I was paranoid about having my hands tested on the way home) so I didn’t put him in the back pack through security and he crawled under the table and around everything it was bad. I guess since he’s bigger they weren’t too happy with me having him sit in a bin for a minute. They yelled at me. 🙁

Allowed in April 2012 but not January 2013

Yeah, it just wasn’t fun and was very embarrassing without the backpack. Especially because my father-in-law was there watching from the other side of security the whole time. I wanted him to think that I had it together like every other time I’ve been not running around to grab my kid in my barefeet.

With the baby in the backpack, even though our plane was delayed I was able to run across the entire airport to make it to our next flight with no time to spare. It was a nightmare but I was proud that I made it, even though I thought I was going to pass out when I got there and had to have a flight attendant carry all of my stuff for me. That too was an embarrassing moment.

Atleast I was smart enough to wear the backpack at the Farm

I was glad that I had painted my suitcase, because they made us wait (when I needed to get to the second flight that was taking off at any minute) to get our suitcases on the ramp to get off of the plane. They set mine down further away, and because it was so unique I was able to see it and go run and get it to be able to run to the next flight, while everyone else waited for their bags.

My son behaved very well, I brought along a bunch of “hush-food” as one lady called it, so if he had plenty of fruit snacks and granola bars. He had new toys to entertain him and he was able to get his energy out at the play areas before we got on the flight. I was proud of him! One of the flights he was able to get his own seat, he loved it. Soon enough we’re going to have to pay for him to have his own seat, so I was glad to get one for free.

He loves his free seat!

Other Traveling Tips:
Airport Traveling Tips
Mom and Baby at the Airport
My Packing List

Toddler Army Uniform Costume from Daddy's ACU's

I hate calling my baby a toddler- how did he get so big??

I’m not going to give a tutorial because I messed it up quite a bit, and didn’t have a very good way of doing it. (I was so frustrated it sat on the floor for almost a month!) The pants we’re super easy though, I made them just like pajama pants, and from the very bottom of the legs on daddy’s ACU’s.

So just enjoy the pictures of my cute little man- they make me cry- and just know that making this is do-able but finding a tutorial elsewhere would be a good idea!

I also want to try putting together a rucksack for him to use as a goody bag and maybe a tan t-shirt for under his jacket. (He was wearing a standard-issue blue’s Clues shirt for some of the pictures:)

Edited: I have gotten tons questions about making this outfit, it was something I made without a pattern (or taking enough pictures) but I did take some pictures of the outfit just laid out so that you can see it better so that maybe they can help more than I can! I do try to take the time to respond to any questions so feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will try to help!
ACU Top
ACU Top Open
ACU Bottoms

Pinned It, Did It: Toddler Activities

My son is a young toddler (15 months) and has been needing some stimulation. It’s still a little hot to play outside all the time so I decided to try some of the activities I pinned.

Paper Tube Car Ramp

Time Spent Preparing:1 minute
Materials Cost: A few cents for Tape, tube was technically trash
Time it Entertained:10 minutes
Clean-Up:Painless

Ten minutes is alot for a toddler to spend on one activity, atleast for mine it is. He loved the car ramp. He played with it the first time for about ten minutes and then was bored and went to something else. I left it out and after his nap he came back to it for a few more minutes until he figured ripping it off the couch would be more fun.

Finger Painting Inside of a Zip Lock Bag

Time Spent Preparing:2 minutes
Materials Cost: A few cents worth of paint, paper and ziplock bag
Time it Entertained: 2 minutes
Clean-Up:Painless

I hate wasting my ziplock bags, I try not to use stuff that just gets thrown away. With that just as a side thought, this activity wasn’t very entertaining for my son. He may just be too young. I won’t be trying this one until he’s a bit older.

Cowboy Woody Infant Costume


I’m kinda weird when it comes to costumes (check out my Elastagirl Costume). I like to have everything be an exact replica of the movie or exactly like the picture in my head. It’s hard to accept not having them come out perfect because their handmade, but they are closer to perfect than the cheap store bought costumes.

The Shirt
Materials:
Yellow Paint or Dye
Red Paint
White Onsie (You can save time with buying a yellow onsie, but I couldn’t find any that were plain)

The baby didn’t wear this much, so I wasn’t spending too much money on it, so I used what I had. I had a white onsie and the paint. The paint dried very crunchy so I only painted parts of it, and I actually just used acrylic paint and washed it before he wore it. Anyway, paint or dye the shirt yellow. We painted the front down to the waistline, the arms, and a little of the back by the arms. We also left white circles for the buttons. After it dried we painted the red stripes. We just free-handed the lines. Before putting it on the baby we had to stretch it out a whole bunch because of the paint.

The Vest
Materials:
White Fabric
Black Fabric (Something that won’t fray, like from an old t-shirt or felt)

I used a sweater vest that someone had given us to use as a pattern, you can use a onsie or something else, and cut out where the arms would be. I laid the vest flat and drew around the entire vest and cut out two of those in the white. I then folded one of them in half and cut it down the center. I put those two pieces together and cut a v-neck shape and rounded the bottom. (I’m sorry I don’t have pictures of the process for you, I don’t feel that I am explaining this well without them but I’m sure you can figure out something!)

With the black fabric cut out cow spot shapes. It’s just like a cloud and can be whatever you want. This was the funnest part!

With black thread on the top and white thread in your bobbin sew on the cow spots wherever you would like. Since they won’t fray you don’t have to worry how pretty your sewing is as long as they are on there ok! I went with circle-ish shapes getting close to the edges. Ok, they were very rectangular circles, but you can’t tell!

Now you can sew the pieces of your vest together. Put the outsides together and sew the two top sides and the two bottoms sides. The vest was so easy and very cute!

The Boots

Materials:
Pleather (I should say vinyl, that’s what it really is but I scored at Goodwill and got it for just a couple bucks, you can use a cheaper plain brown fabric or something else if you want)
Baby Boot Pattern(I used McCalls M6342)
Embroidery Thread(Optional)
Sharpie

After the pieces were cut out I added design to the boots. There are little lines on the toe and a cactus on the outer side. I started embroidering, but then decided I liked the sharpie look just as much (it was more toy-ish) but I did a little of both and made the boots match. I also added tabs to both sides of both boots. The designs were copied from a picture of the character at disneyland but you can find other pictures online.

Mine were hand sewn because it is hard to maneuver the sewing machine around these tiny shoes. I took shortcuts with the pattern (pleather won’t fray so I didn’t do any unnecessary seams).

After the fact I realize that although they were cute the boots were the biggest waste of time, because they were quite a bit time consuming and the baby kicked them off every time he wore them and I couldn’t even keep them on long enough for the picture.

The Hat
Materials:
Pleather

You might want to go find some sort of pattern for the hat. Or if you are making this for a bigger kid you can find them cheaply everywhere. My dilemma was that my kid has a small head, so this is done kind of oddly. A soft lining would have been nicer for him too.

If you are making your own I used a dinner plate and a bucket hat that fit him to come up with a pattern. Cut out two of the dinner plate. Cut out one of the size of the top of the bucket hat plus an inch or two around. Cut out a rectangular shape that is the height of the bucket hat and long enough to go around the smaller circle (that you made from the top of the bucket hat) plus a couple of inches. Very exact, huh?

Sewing this gets kind of crazy too. If you have a better way, I would love to see it! First sew the rectangular shape to the smaller circle. Start with the right sides together at the edges and try to hold the circle as you feed the rectangle under the presser foot. Go slow and it should be easier than it seems. When you finish there should be ends touching each other. Sew those together with the right sides touching.

Next, put the right sides of your dinner plate circles together. Sew the outer edge. and then turn it inside out. Set the top part of the hat in the center of the dinner plate circles (this will be your brim) and mark where the top part of the hat is going to be. Now cut a small hole in the very center of your brim and cut a line to where you marked. Cut a few more lines from the center to where the top part will be. It should look like this.

Black is the dinner plate piece, the gray is where you marked where the rest of the hat will be, and the red is the cut lines.

Now you should be able to sew the rest of the hat to the brim. Fold the triangle shapes under the rest of the hat (trim them after) and sew the middle piece of the hat to the brim. Now you can trim those triangle shapes from the brim. I told you, it was kind of a tacky way of doing it but it worked.

The Bandana

Materials:
Red T-Shirt Fabric
White Paint Pen

I cut out a piece of a red t-shirt. I guessed on the whole pattern. I looked at a bib, but made it long enough that you could tie. I zig-zag stitched the edges and then my husband drew white X’s all over it.

The Belt
Materials:
Pleather
Belt Buckle

I was thinking about a cute “Woody” copy, but I was on a time crunch and couldn’t finish everything I wanted to do, so Grandpa’s belt buckle worked. I sewed a long strip of the pleather and stapled the buckle on. I wouldn’t do that for an older baby that gets into things but mine wasn’t doing to much of that then. I made sure the bottom of the staple was going towards the jeans so it wasn’t out to catch on anything. I punched a few holes in the pleather and called it good!

The Jeans
Materials:
Jeans

These were the easiest of all! I didn’t do a thing, we already had them!.

The Extras I Didn’t Do
If I had time I would have done these:
-Buttons to the shirt (I left some white circles when I painted but real buttons on the sleeves would have been cool
-A Sheriff Badge(I was looking for sticker that they give out to kids but never found one in time)
-Pull String (I had one of those retractable name badge things I wanted to rig up under the vest and just have a plastic circle showing)

Play Mat Bag

I saw this picture on Pinterest a long time ago, but I didn’t have internet access when I went to go make one, so it turned out a bit differently. I had also seen this lego playmatat A Girl and a Glue Gun, so my idea came from that one too. There is a better way to do this, but I didn’t do it that way this time, and who knows if I will make another one any time soon, so after I tell you how I did it I will tell you how you should do it (because I’m bossy!).

Materials:
Fabric for the “mom side”
Fabric for the “kid side”
5 Yards Bias Tape (Homemade or bought)
5 Yards Ribbon or Clothesline

My son’s little so I knew I would be the one carrying around his toys for him. Don’t worry, when he’s bigger he is doing all the work! But I wanted to make this bag cute-ish for me too. I seem to have an obsession with making myself bags, even if it is under the pretense of making it for my kid. So that’s why there’s mom side and kid side fabric.

I did as Kim did for her Lego Play Mat and used a string and pen to make a perfect circle. (I pinned the string down to the corner of the fabric.) I cut out one piece each of my “mom side” and “kid side” fabric, the same sized circle.

Then I made a ton of homemade bias tape. (Hi, I’m Monica, I don’t know if you know this but I’m cheap thrifty, and I am also too lazy to drive to the store) It took FOREVER mostly because someone wanted to be held the entire time and didn’t realize I was making *him* something. So anyway, I made about 15 feet worth of bias tape (the right way too, I usually cheat and don’t cut it on the bias) and pinned it around the edges.

I sewed on the bias tape, threaded the clothesline through it and then decided to add handles. So I made the handles with leftover bias tape and sewed them on.

I realized though using it (and through looking at the pinspiration closer) that it was hard to cinch it together and then to un-cinch it when the baby was ready to play. So I switched to ribbon and cut a few more holes in the bias tape so that the ribbon could be pulled out in a few more places. (Thanks for the idea, Kalli!)

Also, when using it at first I loosely tied the ribbon so that the bag wouldn’t undone, but I added cord stops. (And do you know how long it took me to google that word. I knew what they were but I had no idea what they were called until now!)

So when you make your own, here’s a better way to do it.

1. Cut your circles the way Kim shows us here.

2. Sew handles onto the “mom side”.

3. Make your bias tape. Or buy it. Sew four buttonholes into your bias tape.

4. Sew bias tape on.

5. String your ribbon or thin rope through the buttonholes, add cord stops and tie the ends.

I actually have to go buy two more cord stops before mine is completely finished but we used it for a few vacation days already with out them and I will be using it with just a couple for our next few outings. He never stays on the playmat for long but it is nice to have one small patch of the ground that is free from tiny things he can find. Thanks for suffering through reading about my mistakes have a great day!