Thursday, 14 August 2014

How to dye canvas converse sneakers with rubber soles

Dying Converse and other canvas sneakers is super easy with Dylon Hand Wash Dye.

  1. Remove the laces from the shoes- these are synthetic and won't dye so don't bother. Wash your Cons thoroughly (I put these Toddler Sized Converse in a delicates bag on the delicate wash cycle in my top loading washing machines with a small scoop of washing powder, came out clean as a whistle). Leave damp.


  2. Using rubber gloves, dissolve dye in 500ml warm water

  3. Fill bowl, bucket or stainless steel sink with enough warm water to fully submerse your shoes (40°C). The packet said 6 Litres for a large TShirt - I used less than a third of that with excellent results. These toddler sized shoes fit in my largest saucepan perfectly.

  4. Stir in 5tblespn (250g) of salt. Add dye & stir well.

  5. Submerge entire surface of shoe fabric in water- don't worry about taping up the rubber or the Converse Logo- it won't dye. Mine was khaki green with a big scratch through it to begin with and remained unchanged throughout.


  6. Stir constantly for 15mins, then stir regularly for 45min.

  7. Rinse fabric in cold water. Hand wash in warm water & dry away from direct heat & sunlight (do not tumble dry after dyeing).


    Done.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Talking to toddlers about sex, masturbation and their bodies.

This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like

It happened yet again. As I was sitting at the table for dinner with my children, I noticed my daughter's hand fishing around under her skirt.
"We don't play with our vulvas at the table. Go wash your hands and finish your food," I scolded. She nodded, ran off to wash her hands, and resumed picking at her dinner instead.
Small children, they touch themselves. A lot. It's fascinating to them. And when you're a small child, you have no sense of shame or disgust or fear of your body. Your body is what it is. It does what it does. And everything that it does is kind of amazing, because you're not old enough for lower back pain. It's not sexual, it's just... fact.
The first time I caught one of my kids playing with their genitals, I said absolutely nothing. I was momentarily paralyzed with indecision. One thing I knew for a fact I did not want to do was to shout, "No!" or "Stop!" What good could that possibly do? Sure, I would be spared the awkwardness of catching my child playing with her genitals on the living room floor, but what kind of lesson is that? To fear or ignore your own vagina?
I thought about it almost constantly for two days, and of course she gave me a second chance to react.
"Sweetie, we don't play with our vulvas in the living room," I said. Which sounded ridiculous and strange, but nonetheless true. Why is everything with little kids "we" statements? "It's OK to touch your vulva, but people are private, and it's a private thing. The only places where you should touch your vulva are in the bathroom or in your bedroom. If you want to play with your vulva, please go to the bedroom."
And she smiled and did, without question, because compartmentalizing where you do certain activities makes sense to little kids.
"We don't eat in the bathroom, and we don't touch our vulvas in the living room," became the new mantra. And yes, eventually it became, "We don't touch our vulvas at the table."
I'm what some people call "sex-positive." That doesn't mean I talk with my 4-year-olds about how great sex is and how good it feels. It means I don't pretend it's something other than it is.
As parents, we lie all the time. About the Easter Bunny or Santa or the Tooth Fairy, about how long 10 minutes is, about whether or not we remembered they wanted to have grilled cheese for dinner again... We lie a lot. But one thing I never lie about is sex.
I don't want them to grow up ashamed of their bodies or confused about what they do. I don't tell them about cabbage patches or storks; I make an effort, always, to be honest about human reproduction. Every aspect of it.
I've had talks with lots of other moms about having "the talk." I don't think my kids and I will ever have that particular talk, because they already know. And we talk about it often -- kids are obsessive creatures. We read Where Did I Come From? and What Makes A Baby, which together cover every aspect of the subject. We can talk about IVF and C-sections, because both of those are part of the story of their births, and we can talk about the fact that yes, mommy and daddy still have sex regardless. And when they're older, we'll start talking about contraception.
Because lying to your kids about sex helps nobody. Telling them that sex is "only between mommies and daddies" is a lie that leads to confused, hormone-charged teenagers. Telling them that sex is "only something that happens when two people love each other very much" is a lie that causes hormone-charged teenagers to confuse "love" with "lust," or "obsession." It leads to leaps of logic like, "If I have sex with this person, we must be in love." Or worse: "If I love this person, I have to have sex with him or her." And how many teenage tragedies are based on that misconception?
The truth is that human beings, almost universally, like sex. It feels good. And it's supposed to feel good. If it didn't, the human race would die out. The truth is that sex isn't special and magical just because it's sex. The truth is that you can have spectacular sex with strangers whose names you don't even know. The truth is that just because you can, that doesn't necessarily mean you should.
And that's what sex-positive parenting really is. Not telling my kids lies about sex to keep them from behaviors I don't think are healthy. It's telling them the truth, the whole truth, and letting it sink in so they can make their own good choices.
It's telling them that sex is good, but that it's dangerous if you're not careful. It's teaching them to require their partners to use condoms, to buy their own condoms if they're planning on having sex. It's teaching them that while sex feels good, they can feel good on their own too. (Just not at the table.) That while sex combined with love is often the best sex -- transcendent sex -- that grows the bond of love and builds a closeness that is almost impossible to find otherwise, sex isn't always like that, even with people you love. That sex can lead to pregnancy, even with protection, so engaging in it is a commitment to deal with any consequences.
It's telling them they're not wrong, or sinful, or bad, if they have sexual feelings. Or even if they have sex. It's teaching them that sex happens, whether people always make good choices or not. And it's giving them the tools to ensure that when they're ready, they're smart and cautious and conscientious.
There's a lot of black-and-white comparisons when it comes to sex education. Some people think that once kids hit puberty, if they don't have a strong fear of sex they'll have as much as they can, as often as they can. There's a lot of abstinence-only sex education, based on telling kids, "SEX IS SCARY! DON'T DO IT!" and it appears to be about the least successful program anyone has ever invented.
Telling children the truth about sex isn't giving permission for them to have it -- and this is the most important part -- because when the right time comes, nobody has the right to deny them permission for sex but themselves.
And that's the thing I try to keep in mind when I say things like, "We don't touch our vulvas at the table." Sex is something that ONLY happens when both people WANT it to happen. And that means that the only people in the entire world with any kind of say over whether or not my daughters have sex is them.
I don't get to tell my daughters they have to have sex, but I also don't get to tell them they can't. They're in charge. Your body, your decision.
I never want to be responsible for setting the precedent that another person gets to tell them what to do with their bodies, and especially with their sexuality. I don't want to be the gateway for a manipulative, potentially abusive boyfriend.
So I teach boundaries. Appropriate places. Hygiene. I teach my children that nobody is allowed to touch their bodies without permission. When we get in tickle fights and they say, "Stop!" I stop.
And when we talk about pregnant friends, we talk about uteruses and sperm and eggs.
And most of the time, it's not uncomfortable. Most of the time, I'm verifying information and the conversation lasts 15 seconds.
And someday the conversation is going to be a lot uglier. Someday, we'll have to actually talk about rape, and explicit and enthusiastic consent, and contraception. Someday we'll have to talk about healthy masturbation and pornography and realistic expectations of sex and sex partners and body image and a lack of shame for their bodies. And those conversations are not going to be as brief or straightforward.
But I'm ready. Whenever that day comes, I'm prepared. Because the groundwork is there.
"We don't touch our vulvas at the table." It's absurd, but it's got all the important pieces. It's a micro-lesson in safety and consent and social propriety. I don't think I'll be able to say "We don't lose our virginity in the backseat of a car after a prom party" with a straight face, but I will be able to say, "We don't have sex without thinking long and hard about it first, and we certainly don't do it without being careful, and being safe, and being totally confident in the maturity of our partner and our ability to handle the repercussions if we get a disease or get pregnant."
Because it's true. We don't.
But I like that when that time comes, I'm part of the "we." Because if I can tell my girls, "we" have to be careful, they'll know that no matter what happens, I'm still in their corner. I've still got their backs. Even if "we" make bad choices, I'll still be there to help make things right again.

-Lea Grover

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cool unisex T-shirts for your little rocker!



Monkeys In The Kitchen is well known for gorgeous handmade clothes (sewn with the quirkiest, raddest fabrics!) for little lads and ladies - check out her Faceook page for photos - but now Maddy, the creative genius behind the brand has expanded her range to include rad screen printed raglan t-shirts for little hipsters, and opened an online store!

All the shirts are 100% organic cotton, designed and printed on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, and the entire range is under $25!

I personally love a raglan cut tee, it reminds me of all those cool photos of punk rockers from the seventies, so I am stoked that Maddy has chosen this style. Your kids will be happy, as the cut of a raglan top is perfect for active kids and being made of the softest interlock will be gentle on even the fussiest of bodies. Parents will be happy too, as the durable machine washable fabric will take anything you throw at it, and being organic it isn't dipped in formaldehyde or any of the other yucky chemical nasties those Kmart t-shirts keep getting recalled for.

These are a few of my favourite prints, check out the rest of the range over at www.mitk.myshopify.com


B.R.A.T. in Rough & Tumble in the Grass Raglan Sleeved Tee

$24.95

My Tiny Hipster in Rough and Tumble Raglan Sleeved Tee

$24.95

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Rainbow Art Craft Birthday Party Food for Toddlers

Hunter has turned three! Three amazing and inspirational years- he has brought so much colour to our lives we decided a rainbow/art and craft themed party was fitting.

Here are just a few photos of the snack table.







Saturday, 21 June 2014

Awesome designer toddler and baby clothes and Montessori toys on ebay

Hey,
So I'm ebaying some of Hunter's old stuff. Search for seller HuntersMummy82 and help me ensure our electricity doesnt get disconnected.


Friday, 6 June 2014

Cute things toddlers say

Hunter was singing the Bananas in Pajamas song yesterday and I realised he sings "because on Tuesday they all try to catch their underwear"!

Today Hunter was playing in the backyard, when I hear him say "I'm just outside, scratching my balls"- he was scratching a clump of dirt off his ball!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

More Game Of Thrones Fan Art

I did a couple more Game of Thrones portraits. I like The Hound the best (but Arya is my favourite character).

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Game Of Thrones Fan Art

I've been doing a bit of drawing lately, and have 90% finished these two Game Of Thrones characters- Arya and Khaleesi ��✨



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mobility for disabled toddlers and young children

Today I saw this video and cried- it makes me so happy when people have a brilliant idea and share it because of a deep love for humanity. 



Dr. Cole Galloway, scientist and founder of Delaware University was inspired to turn relatively inexpensive powered toy cars into safe and mobile vehicles for disabled children.

Galloway says the toy cars can be modified for around $200 which is a cheaper alternative to expensive electric wheelchairs- and more than mobility that $200 also buys freedom and inclusion. The manual on how to mod your electric car can be found at
Go Baby Go.

Go baby, go go!
Sandi D


Friday, 14 March 2014

Derptime

Hunter, you make me laugh. Today we realised instead of calling our cat by her name 'Turpentine', you call her 'Derp-Time'. 

Friday, 28 February 2014

Trust in the kindness of strangers.


A while ago you may remember I posted a photo of my son's most beloved KissKat asking if anyone had a body double in case of tragedy, and that I would pay good money. An Instagram follower @2sisler responded saying yes, she had the exact bear. She then blew me away by kindly sending us one as a beautiful gift- KissKat Ver2.0 flew all the way from wintery Canada to hot summer Australia.
OG KissKat on the left, shiny fresh "fluffy" KissKat on the right.
We have never met in real life, and yet @2sisler 's generosity has me crying. Thank you so much. I know that one day your generosity will help hold back heartache for my little man. In a world full of disappointments and heartaches, knowing I have one 'get out of jail free card' to help hold back a sad milestone for my son and keep his heart optimistic and open a little longer feels like armor.

Love your neighbor, we are all global citizens, one earth to share. Trust, share, ask for help, lend a hand- be a good role model for your kids and together we can build a better world.



Stranger than kindness,

Sandi D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A letter to my son age two and a half.



Hunter, you are now two and half.
You continue to amaze me! As I type this you are sitting beside me cruising YouTube for films about monster trucks. You are particularly fond of the made for YouTube cartoons that show monster trucks crushing the alphabet or counting to ten. Your grasp of the English language continues to develop at a rate of knots, so I begrudgingly value the role these short forays into tv-land play in enhancing your learning.



As you learn to talk more, we get to teach you more and more things. One of the main things you are learning at the moment is toilet skills. Another is being gentle and nice- you sometimes get very upset and hit me or daddy- or even other kids. We are making great headway with both. Both are equally exhausting. You are so sweet 99% of the time that your outbursts are minor blips. You still say some cute things, for example you mispronounce pillow (pee yo), and call milk “milky moo”.


You are really great at remembering people and names. You love going to hang out next door with Callum and Reb and ‘Niggit’ as you call their dog (real name Knight- pronounced the way Monty Python say it). You miss your daycare teachers and sometimes ask about them during the week when you are not at daycare. You love our friends. You especially love your Grannie.


Your favourite things to do include playing at the “planepark”, riding your balance bike (your little legs can finally reach the ground!), playing in your toy kitchen, helping me make smoothies, drawing and anything to do with being in the garage fixing things with Daddy.
Some nights you love bath time or shower time, and some nights you scream blue murder. There is no way of telling until it’s on. You love brushing your teeth. Daddy showed you his electric toothbrush so now I’m on the lookout for a battery operated one for you. You are equally hot and cold about bed time. You go to bed at 7pm now, but some nights you’ll push to 7:30. Despite how late you go to bed, you are still up at the butt-crack of dawn. 6:30 is a sleep in for you lately, preferring to get up 6am. Thank god for the long daytime nap. The days you miss it you are one stroppy little so-and-so. I fear you have inherited your fathers need for sleep. Generally you are a cheerful and thoughtful little guy who follows instruction well and loves to learn.

I love you so much I can’t even explain. Just this morning I was thinking about how my job is to teach you how to be a good person, and your job- is to teach me how to be a good human. We learn and grow together. Recognising that has helped your Dad and I too. Sometimes a marriage can be difficult, but remembering our commitment to love each other- and remembering that love is teaching and learning simultaneously- really helps. We make a great family.
 
 
One last thing before I forget. You found my lip balm the other day and asked Daddy about it. He told you it was lip balm, and you looked at him incredulously, and said “lip bum?!?” while pointing to your butt. SO CUTE.

Xx Mummy

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Ruin Your Day With Tits: Music Videos in Support of Breastfeeding In Public.


I love when people share a great message with flair, which is exactly what this music filmclip entitled "Ruin Your Day" by Sparrow Folk does. These two Aussie ladies set out to prove, through some delft use of 'turning the tables', that breastfeeding in public is not for anyone's "pleasure" (except that of a baby comforted with nourishing food).



"Everybody knows new mothers are exhibitionists/Taking every chance they get to ruin your day with tits."

Bravo Sparrow Folk, I just love it! If you loved this filmclip and are in Canberra between the 17-21 April 2014 you can see Sparrow Folk live at the National Folk Festival. I expect there will be quite a few mums chanting the tune like an anthem as children under seven are free.

Ruin your day,
Sandi D

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pre-writing drawing skills with chalk and trucks (or cars)



Lately Hunter has been really into chalk, and trucks. So this is really a logical end point: trucks that draw roads!

All you need is a toy car, a stick of chalk and some tape (may I suggest any broad tape, such as masking tape, gaffa tape or packing tape- Washi tape is not really sticky enough for this) and a piece of flat ground upon which to draw "roads".

At the Savage-Darling household we are in the chalk/truck business, and business is good.
x Sandi D.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Quick Break: Underwaterworld for Toddlers

To welcome in 2014 we visited Underwater World. I was unsure how Hunter would take it, I figured he would either really enjoy it, or he would be overwhelmed and clingy. Happily he really enjoyed it.


Hunter didn't enjoy the touch pool, but he did love the seals and the underwater tunnel. We spent $19 and got to meet a seal up close and personal! It was my highlight- closely followed by the Otter show. I just adored hearing about all the daring Otter escapes!



Since we've come home Hunter has spoken a LOT about fish and sharks. I think I might pick up some plastic figurines of water toys and make some of these lovely Pinterest ocean sensory tubs.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/217439488228817517/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/88664686384943610/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/50947039504135199/ 
If your little one likes The Octonauts, or sealife, or just hanging out in new places that arent 40degrees (how HOT has it been lately?!?) get along to Underwater World. We bought our tickets online via RACQ and found them to be the cheapest tickets available, however if you aren't in the RACQ you can also buy discounted tickets online through the Underwater World Website.

Underwater love,
Sandi D

Monday, 30 December 2013

Hunter LOVED Christmas!

I'm usually not a huge Christmas fan, but this year was different. Knowing our son is the perfect age to begin understanding the season made it that much more exciting for both Lee and I. We went a little overboard, getting him two big pressies, as well as a Duplo set.


The first thing we got him was this sensational Hip Kids Retro Kitchen set- however we were lucky enough to find this one on eBay- one of those rare times where exactly what you want is listed in the wrong category with spelling errors. So we scored this for minimum bid. Hunter already had a bunch of wooden kitchen things, and now they have a proper home. He was wild about it!

Hunter was also lucky enough to get a pedal car- a Jeep that Daddy plans to respray into something a bit cooler than a Police car. As soon as he saw it he put KissKat in the passenger seat and drove off singing Jingle Bell Rock which was rather cute. It was rather difficult to get Hunter out of it in order to travel to Pa's for Christmas breakfast and Grannie's for Christmas lunch. 


Apart from giving our son gifts, we also gave bags of groceries to The Food Bank, a charity that does amazing work feeding families in need. 

Better than giving though was the time spent with our families. The older I get the more I appreciate this aspect of the holiday season. 


I hope you have all also enjoyed a brilliant festive season too.

Jingle bell time, it's a swell time
Sandi D




Monday, 9 December 2013

Makes me happy: We went to Bribie Island

Not that long ago we went to Bribie Island for a morning. Since I'm finally backing up my iphone and transferring the photos to my PC I figured I may as well share some of them with you. We had a really great day.

It was the perfect time to take Hunter, and I don't just mean the weather. He was so engaged in the experience. He wanted to find shells, to spot sharks (there were none, be he kept pointing them out), to build castles and to feed the birds. 


Life's a beach,
Sandi D

Monday, 2 December 2013

Hunter's First Toddler Christmas Party

On Saturday we went to Hunter's first ever daycare Christmas Party. 
We got to see his class perform Jingle Bell Rock, and the nursery rhyme Open, Shut Them while dressed as bells. If that sounds like it was an orderly event I'm afraid I have led you astray. I would have been better to explain it as watching the care staff, dressed as Christmas Town folk, sing while simultaneously wrangling a crowd of unruly toddlers. For their part the toddlers mostly pulled at their costumes and occasionally mimed some of the song parts (Hunter only mimed the part  'give a little clap, put them in your lap' and later 'put them on your chin' before reverting back to stunned mode). It was an adorable muddle.
(That's Hunter, putting his hands on his chin, last red bell on the right).

After the performances we all got to go and play. The daycare put on a big show, with a petting zoo, miniature train, merry go round, jumping castle, sideshow alley and Santa! It was pretty fab :)
Lee was off to the petting zoo like a flash, he and goats have a weird synchronicity. He patted a cow until it fell into a hypnotic trance, and all the cattle flocked to be by his side, which meant Hunter got to pat them all while the other kids were stuck getting snapped at by a grouchy duck. 
Of course we had to ride the train several times. Hunter has recently developed a fascination with building train tracks, so riding in a real train was a timely treat. 
 
After a few more rides Hunter came face to face with the Jolly Man himself. He didn't quite know what to do, so he simply stared the man down until the gift was handed over. Hold your ground mate. Hold your ground.
After Hunter was well and truely exhausted we headed home. But not before we took a moment to thank my mum for being there with us. Four years ago to the day I lost my father, so spending the day with my mum was good for the soul. 

All and all it was a really fab day. 
Merry Christmas, 
Sandi D
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