Fuzzy Dice Bag

No, it’s not a bag for fuzzy dice, but a fuzzy bag for gaming dice. Though, Boo would love to have fuzzy dice, in a fuzzy bag. This is the same child who mismatching socks is a way of life and who is thoroughly disappointed with herself if her clothes accidently match. But I digress…

My daughter, ladies and gentlemen.

My daughter, ladies and gentlemen.

Boo was overjoyed to get gaming dice in her stocking this past holiday. (Mismatching patterns, as requested – no matching pink dice set for this darling.) Spookydad thought it was a rite of passage to give her a Crown Royal bag to hold said dice in, but the kid was not much impressed with this option (just wait until college, sweetie, it will all make sense). So, since I was going to be home for part of winter break, I promised to take her to the fabric store, so that she could make her own bag and practice sewing on the sewing machine to boot. The kid has been very excited about learning to use the sewing machine.

My heart literally groaned when she announced she wanted to make the bag with fuzzy fleece material. Backstory: My sewing machine hates me. It has hated me pretty much from the moment I got it back in 2000 for making historical garb. I don’t know how I hurt its feelings… maybe I insulted its mother or disagree with its politics. But it hates me, and refuses to work on material thicker than muslin or other cotton blend. The needle bars starts chunking and suddenly you have the thread from the bobbin doubling and tripling up on the bottom side and the bobbin thread all stuck around the bobbin compartment. It’s not a pretty sight. Then I start threatening to replace it and it just gets ugly from there.*

So I had to add a disclaimer to the project for Boo: That we will try, but I can’t guarantee that she will be able to sew the bag on the sewing machine, and might have to hand sew the bag, because the machine is a kindred spirit to the Grumpy Cat.

So off to the store we went. The selection for fuzzy fleece was huge, so it took a bit. But Boo knew what she wanted the minute she saw it – a hot pink and black zebra pattern. She also asked if we could make a skirt out of the same material, so we bought extra material and a pattern of skirts.

We got home and dragged out the sewing machine and prepped it, cut out the material for the bag pieces and had at it. Within two seconds I hear the clunking and knew that the machine was laughing at us.

“REALLY? You think I’m going to sew that material?…. um, NO.”

So I pulled out the thread and gave it one more try for Boo’s sake, though I knew it was game over.

Nada.

So I set her up to hand sew the bag, but saw there was going to be a problem for a novice hand sewer like the kid. The pink/black material made it very hard to see the black thread while stitching. So we switched over to thick embroidery thread of a contrasting color. (You can see she choose bright blue.) So the first day she sewed the fold overs for the ribbon casing and the second day she sewed the body of the bag, we added the ribbon (two different colors, of course.) And we had a functional bag!

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The skirt will have to wait until such time that the machine is replaced (I’m thinking maybe as a birthday present.) Any recommendations for a sewing machine that likes materials like broadcloth, girl scout patches and fuzzy fleece?

* I am willing admit that the machine might hate me because of user error. I kinda just went out and bought a machine without any knowledge of how to use said machine and still only am a novice myself. Really should take a class along side Boo.

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Boo’s behavior took a downhill slide over Christmas break. To the point that I wasn’t sure if she was going to make it to her 7th birthday. I’ll freely admit that parenting does not come naturally to me. So I have been looking for a behavior system that is effective for Boo and something easy enough that I won’t fall of the bandwagon after a couple days.

There were a couple of things I knew I wanted to incorporate into our system:

1) Boo’s “thing” is watching TV. And recently she has taken to using the computer to watch TV shows – actually one – Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. The system had to limit her screen time to a manageable amount.

2) To that end – the system had to both limit her screen time and reward with it at the same time.

3) I wanted the system to be a positive reward system, but to allow for negative consequences as well, due to the nature of the issues we are having with her.

Seems like a tall order, right? Well, a while back I had looked into starting a token ecomony system, but it seem a little extreme and complex to benefit us. But at the time I had bought poker chips and they were sitting in the cabinet unused.

So how I could I use these chips in a more simplified way? It finally came to me last week. It’s only been in effect for the last three days, but we are amazed how quickly she took to the system and how effective it is for us.

This is our little plan:

1 chip = A half hour of TV or computer time

Daily allowance of chips (red chips)–
2 chips on school days (one hour worth)
4 chips on non-school days (two hour worth)
(Red chips do not carry over to another day if not spent)

White chips can be EARN by:
Doing special chores as requested (not normal daily chores)
Reading for a half hour
White chips are worth the same as red chips but can be saved up and spent when desired.

This system does not require Boo to spend chips during our family movie time – right now we are working our way through the Red Dwarf series every Friday night.

Red chips can be taken away for negative behavior – if she has a red chip taken away, she cannot spend any white chips that day.

Three bags hang on our refrigerator:
“Elisabeth’s” bag of daily and saved white tokens
“Used” bag of tokens used that day.
Up higher I keep another bag of extra white tokens and the two extra red tokens for non-school days.

If has been amazing to watch my couch potato voluntarily turn the TV off and find other things to do. She’s aware of how she wants to spread out her tokens during the day and is willing to not spend them all in one sitting.

This from a child who would have a tantrum meltdown the minute I turned off the TV. But now it seems, by setting limits I have given her more power. Funny how that works.

Have you found a way to limit screen time that works for your kids? Leave a comment and let us know how it’s going!