Saturday, April 29, 2017

Last of December 2016


First time running through raked leaves.


Apple just turned 5 years old and she's in the 2nd percentile for height and weight, meaning, the average three year old is the same size she is.


Throwback to March 2011 to Jie Jie's adoption. She was 7 yrs. old.

Doll Clothes Sewing


This little doll is a Corolle Calin doll. Many of us who have adopted daughters from China have this doll. I love this little sleeper on Calin. It makes her feel so cozy and snuggly and baby-like. I made it from scratch using a commercial sewing pattern. I used the zipper because it's something Apple can manage with the orthopedic situation of her hands. I use hook and loop fastener on everything else. Normally, I'd use snaps.


I saw this design on a website offering the pattern for free but it was too small a size for this doll. I free-hand drafted the pants and then altered the free pattern to fit this doll and be easier to sew. The diaper was my original quick draft.

This summery romper is my own design from scratch and I love it. It's easy to sew, pleats instead of gathers so fitting the pieces together is easy.

For $4.97 at W-mart, I bought these two sleepers, preemie size. I used an online tutorial explaining how to make doll clothes from baby clothes essentially by putting the outfit on the doll inside-out, pinning all around, then sewing over the pinned part. However, I did remove the sleeves and recut them in order to use the wrist binding and get a very nice fit at the neck and shoulders.

Doll Renovation


Look at the delicate detail on the fingernails.

This is baby Bella. She's an Adora 16" doll. Back in December, just three days after Apple received her new baby doll for her birthday, it started falling apart. An eyelash fell off and the arm was tearing at the shoulder. The doll joints were cutting through the fabric. It wasn't because anyone pulled the doll by the arm, but due to the fact that the fabric used to make the doll body was a knit and wasn't durable enough. I ordered another doll and when it came I stayed up all night remodeling the new one to prevent it falling apart. I disassembled it, traced off the body and made a pattern, reduced the girth, made a new body out of sturdy fabric and lined the old body with it. I also added just a little more weight to the doll. This helps strengthen Apple's arms. I also secured the eyelashes better to prevent them from falling off.

For the amount of money I paid for the doll, this should never have happened. Normally, I'd return something that fell apart so quickly, but Apple had already fallen in love with the doll and I had to agree, it was a very cute doll, just a very sweet expression on its face.


Arm tear.

Missing eyelash.

The original doll that was falling apart and got sent back is on the right. The new doll, that I remodeled, is on the left.

Amount of body filling removed.


Narrower, shaped bottom.


Much less fat.


A little belly button, which helps shape the bottom, actually.


More saggy like a baby and less like a heavy-bottomed made-to-sit doll. Without that huge bottom, this doll can now wear a diaper.


Christmas 2016

Long time in coming, but here it is, our Christmas post!

I have to say that I enjoyed every moment of life from November 30 through December. After not knowing what give the three older girls last year due to their lack of need and lack of development, all that I learned about intellectual disability and developmental delay since then gave me great ideas. We had what I call a very generous Christmas, the most ever in my entire life, actually, because I had a plan to help my girls (more on this in another post) and it involved a certain amount of equipment.

Then, near midnight, my neighbor and her daughters came over and brought a sleigh-full of gifts, too, adding to the bounty. They brought such lovely things as homemade play dough and accessories, art kits, and more. Most of my neighbor's children were adopted and have special needs so she knew exactly what to get us. Plus, a huge basket of homemade Christmas treats, our only ones, since I didn't have a second to do any baking.

On Christmas Eve, I read of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and then showed the girls a movie video clip online of what we'd just read to help them understand to the best of their abilities what Christmas is really about.

I'd wrapped everything well ahead of time, little-by-little over the course of days, so Christmas Eve was not the horrific event of Christmas Eve's Past, but of private celebration, contentment and excitement. I enjoyed the sewing and construction I did, which involved a lot of designing. It stimulated my brain in areas that hadn't been fired up in so long I was amazed that they still worked and this must have released endorphins or something because I felt happy and good, even after working through several nights.

Selecting our tree took a bit of time since I wanted a full one that wasn't too tall.
Turned out, what made it so full was that it has a double trunk at the bottom and was already starting to grow into two trees


Flashback to selecting our tree for Christmas 2011 when Jie Jie was almost 8 years old.


Christmas bounty with our little foster kitten, Maisie-Mia, prancing by.
I designed and built the doll swing.


Stockings for all members of the household, regardless of how many legs they walk on, plus our "visitor" kitty and dog. I love the Christmas music and fake fire on our Black Friday sales deal TV that sits in front of our real fireplace. This was the first TV I'd ever bought in my entire life.


I love that our oldest cat, Rose, joined in the Christmas morning photo.
She's now 17 years old!


Getting ready to start opening gifts, which we did in a completely leisurely fashion.

They all received Backjacks, the better to sit watch our new TV without crowding and jostling their poor mother to death and getting in each other's way.

The biggest was saved for last and it was exactly what she'd been hoping for and wanting and talking about for a long time...

...a double stroller for her babies!


Jie Jie was thrilled to get "a big stroller just like a real one for her beloved doll, Bao Bao, who she fell in love with when I sent her pictures of the doll in the care package I'd sent before adopting her and still loves to this day. Jie Jie bought gifts for Bao Bao for Christmas, too, new cloths and shoes.


With a little help, this was their gift to me, a doll that looks just like Jie Jie!

As we unwrapped, I had the girls toss the wrapping paper into the planter. When Blossom's Christmas money from Gong Gong went missing 2 minutes after she received it, I knew from past experience where to find it - among all the wrapping paper.