Our DIY Batman bicycle #diy #batman #bicycle

 My daughter had a bike rally in her school last week. The school's theme was "Super Hero" and her choice was Batman... well actually, it was Batgirl, because, and I quote:

"Mom, it's Batgirl! I am a woman, remember?!?" - Nunu'ism of the day. I tried so hard not to laugh because her facial expression was in absolute serious mode. I just nodded and said: "Of course".

Unfortunately for this exciting event, being the busy bee that I am, and the forgetful little girl that she is, we realized it was happening the day after she had informed me that she wanted a Batman..sorry, Bat bike for school. And by day before, I mean 16 hours from then. Yeah. I know! Luckily at the time she told me so, we were already at the mall, and figured I needed to get craft items quickly and cheapest possible. So we ran to the Dollar Store, put our head and a half together, and decided to look for things that we could use. At the same time, think of the other crafts we have at home. My goal was to make this as less expensive as possible while her goal was to make it as awesome as possible. Of course, in this case, her priority outweighed mine.

Another luck point, prom/grad season. Which meant, classic black and white part supplies were in stock. We immediately ran into the party supplies isle looking for anything BLACK.

Our first thought, how to make a FUCHSIA PINK bike, look epically awesome in BLACK.

Supercycle "Cream Soda" bike she got for her 8th birthday.

The epically awesome Bat Bike

I grabbed what I thought *could* work:

  • Serving plates (4 of them, 2 for each tire, as they will go on either sides of each tire).

  • Table cover. (I figured it would be used as a bandage that will cover the bike's frame).

  • Felt fabric. (for the bike seat, as it is WHITE with pink accents, and for flames [<- explained further below]).

  • Printed Batman symbol. (we went with old school Batman, because really, what is more awesome than old school Batman?) batman_symbol_magnet_2

  • Cardboard (thank you neighbors!)

  • 2 plastic 2L bottles (thank you neighbors!)

  • Aluminum cookie sheet

  • Zip straps/ cable ties (a lot of them)

  • Paint

*Note: most of these items were in BLACK.* - I know there were many different Batman(s) of different colours, but we went, like I said, old school. (except no grey)


 First thing's first: Nunu made a draft of what she had in mind for her Bat Bike:

With the table cover, I cut them into 5"-6" strips, and used them as bandages to cover every inch of the pink bike. I made the mistake (don't do it too!) of using hot glue to stick on the bike frame. I should have used electrical BLACK tape... (Thank you Lindsay Wilson for that). Now I know for a 'next time'. Or you can also use. Elasti-wrap cohesive bandage, which would have been a lot easier...Okay, I'll stop grumbling. But in my defense we had little time to do this all.

Felt fabric was used to cover her seat.

The serving plates. I drilled a hole in the middle of the platter: plate Hole drilled in the center tray, width of hole was roughly same size as the tire screws (1 1/2" in diameter). Placed the plate onto the screw, along with other holes made around it, that would align with the bike's frame, cable ties were used to tighten and secure the plates in place.
Cardboard was used to create the "Bat Fin" on the back of the bike frame. Cut out shape, and painted. Also, because she had a tire guard, I used the side flaps of the cardboard as the base of the fin to stabilize it.

For the "turbo fueling rockets", as my 8 year old would put it, we used two 2L bottles. I got the inspiration from Natalie, another mama over at Doodle Craft. She made jet packs out of the bottles and that gave us the idea to attach them with cable ties to the wheels.
Check out her blog post about how to make these awesome jet packs!

The cookie sheet was painted after it was molded into this triangular 3D shape that was used to be tied, like a basket, on the handle bar of the bicycle. And added a cutout print of the Batman symbol.
Then, the helmet! Don't worry, it wasn't altered aside from painting it black and adding felted ears to it. So don't get your panties in a her bike was only ridden in the school yard. So relax!

She was the coolest kid in school. It brought all the kids to the yard. And she was so happy.




And of course, the tyke had a need of me taking his photo as well. We got his run/balance bike last week, and at first he was not interested in the slightest. Glad to see that he is slowing getting the courage to ride it on his own.

It was a successful day!

yours truly

Halloween 2013

This was my second best year for Halloween.
And I have a feeling, the years to come will be even better.

After ditching decorating the house for the hollow holiday, I managed to hoard a whole collection (well, maybe not that many) of Halloween decor. I didn't go with a theme this year, usually I stick with a theme so I don't go overboard (who am I kidding? I LOVE decorating!) and load up on random items. (And yes, Christmas this year, we will go ALL OUT!)

halloween 2013

This year was also the first year my two year old and eight year old first trick-o-treating together. It was quite surprising how quickly they worked together and how the little one learned from the big kid. Except at the mall.
Trick-o-treating at the mall was quite hilarious.

The leopard cub found her relative.
Poor thing was unsure about the mall. For one, she hates shopping, unless it is for toys she loves. As soon as she saw how it works, she got quite into it.

First time trick-o-treating, learned by watching his sister; hands over the bag, and waits for them to stick the treat for him. I couldn't stop laughing.
I couldn't get over how many people went nuts (in awe) over his costume (And I only got it for $5!). I didn't think it would be that great of a hit. Man that kid looked adorable.

Trick-o-treating at the mall, Dash got quite the looks and fans. Mostly people from other countries, they asked to take pictures of him, one of them sent me this photo they took of him. He is now popular in Tokyo.

Before heading out trick-o-treating for the night, we got a very neat visitor... an owl. And he kept flying (ever so quietly) through the yard, from the swing set, to the roof of the car. It was freaky! Naima was quite taken by it.



My trick-o-treaters had a fun night!
 Hope you had a safe & fun Halloween!

Squeee ... Naima


A big congrats to:

Amanda Rossiter
Jewels Leavitt
Marjolaine Tindall

These are this year's winners of a weekend passes to Vancouver Island Baby Fair! [you all have been notified via email of which you provided in your entries]
Thank you to everyone who participated! Have fun mamas! :D
Squeee ... Naima

Frozen Yogurt Pops (or in our case: bites on a stick!)

It's almost time for back to school! And this mama was prepping.

After our last minute back to school shopping (which I prefer since there are far less people in stores, and usually items are on sale), it was time to make and bake lunch snacks for my soon to be 3rd grader (where has the time gone??!!)

So, for this week, I made banana bread and frozen berry yogurt pop bites.

Now this was my first time making it from scratch. And as I read the recipe, it's as easy as said.
I had a tub of vanilla yogurt, fresh berries that I had frozen, and honey. Mix it all together and you get this gorgeous rich creamy violet colour substance. Of which my 8yro called it: "Purple soup".

yogurt mixing check

I didn't blend the berries. I just mashed them by hand. I wanted to keep some berry chunks for texture and more flavourful in each bite.

Then, I poured the mix in a large measuring cup. Mainly, to make it easier for pouring into the molds.
I used two mini muffin tins, and two silicone molds (tins are for home treats and molds are for school). [Both thrift store find]

I like the silicone molds. They make it easier to pop those suckers out!

For the tins, (and I saw this on Pinterest), I placed seran wrap over them, and with a thumb tack, I poked holes. Enough holes to make the popsicle stick poke into the mix.

thumb tack

Let it set in freezer for about an hour or two.
And voila!
naima eating yogurt popa+
Child approved. A+ for me!

school divider
Cry me a river ...

I forgive you

I forgive you.

For not being there for me.
I forgive you, for not giving me another chance to make things better.
I forgive you, for letting me go, and moving on with our lives.
I forgive you, for attempting to take away the most important thing in my life.
I forgive you, for telling lies behind my back to pat yourself on the back.
I forgive you, for lying through out your life, to your own flesh and blood, to the superiors, to the ones you love, to me, to my face, to your child's face.
I forgive you, for making up fake stories of events in my life that were never true.
I forgive you, for not finding the truth, and for hearing gossips from other mouths.
I forgive you, for trying to make things better and end up making them worse for all of us.
I forgive you, for continuing to try and hurt me, in any malicious ways you can think of.
Try harder.
I forgive you, for giving me grief.
For giving me so many nights of  sorrows, for giving me mornings of waking up to puffy eyes.
For making me wish I were never born.
For making my life a living hell.
For making me think that I could not bare with it anymore.
For never being there to comfort me, when I needed you the most.
I forgive you. For who you are. For what you are.
It is all I can do.
Written by: Claudia Encina
August 28th, 2013

Baby gates prevented my children from learning

I'll be perfectly frank here. I have never owned one. Mainly because they are overpriced (IMO), and to me, they just seem unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the idea of safety for babies and tots. I am not trying to bash those who are using them, or believe in them for whatever the reason may be. That is your decision, and yours only to make. You made that decision based on your concern for your child. Immarite? Fair enough. That is something to be praised about: Your parental concern for your child's safety and well-being. <3

But here is why I just never bothered purchasing one: They prevented my children from learning and developing their ways of going up and down the stairs.. And you would think that I would have gotten one considering that I have always lived in places where there were staircases. Not that it didn't occur to us, but from going to one store to another, it just seemed like this gadget was just not for us. And then we thought that it wouldn't be a huge deal if we didn't get one. Even the steepest stairs were not a concern. I just figured my children were to find a way to go down and back up those stairs. And they did. With obvious supervision. I never left them alone to figure it out on their own, (okay, maybe a few times, just to see how they would do), I guided them, pointed out how to hang on, or where to place their hands and feet, and up and down they went.

Now it could be from pure luck, or they knew how; but they never fell, or hurt themselves from stairs. (When first learning how to)

Don't take my word for it, it is something that can be experienced differently. Like I said, I never bought baby gates mainly because we could not afford it, and it seem like one of those baby necessities that weren't a necessity.
And to this day (8yro and nearly 2 yro children), I am glad I didn't purchase a baby gate.

yours truly

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

My take on supporting breastfeeding mothers, milk donors, wet nurses, lactation consultants, lactivists, as well as a celebrating one myself:


On your left, my first born daughter, Naima, who is now 8 years old. On your right, my second born son, Atticus, who is almost two years old and still breastfeeds.