A Dress was Reborn

Hi, sweets — Remember you told me that you no longer liked the orginal flower dress and wanted Hello Kitty drawn by me instead? So, I did the old trick. I took off the tutu part and cut a blank T-shirt. On the other hand, the yellow flower looked really good, so good that I decided not to discard the top entirely. Instead, I cut it out, sealed the edge, sew it to the back of the blank T, and drew a stem and two leaves. On the front of the T, I drew Hello Kitty in ballet leo and slippers with wings, a bow and a heart-shaped wand. This blank T is really good for transferring images from paper to its fabric. I just searched pinterest, found the image, laid it under the front part of the T, and transferred it on the fabric. The result? A comfy pretty little girl’s dress, reborn and loved again 🙂

You loved this dress so so much until you outgrew it. So, by your request, it’s another dress put in the ever-growing time capsule 😀

Little Mermaid Dress

Hiya sweets — This dress has been your all time favorite until you outgrew it a couple of months ago. You reluctantly said that I could put this dress in your “Time Capsule” for you to look at when you grow up.

I found adapting white T-shirts into dress tops and then add a skirt part a really fun way to make dresses for little girls. Sometimes the stores just don’t have what you fancy. And not all moms have time to make or are good at making dresses from scratch, yours truly included LOL.

So one day I went to Target and bumped into these simple basic T-shirts. They come in different pastel colors and are so versitile. This dress is a good example of what can be done 🙂

Basically, I just cut the bottom 1/3 or 1/4 from the bottom (depending on the design of the dress) and use another piece of same color cotton cloth to make the skirt part. For this particular dress, I just drew the designs with fabric markers. There are different types of coloring that can be used on fabrics. This particular set is for drawing on light colored fabric. There are also glitter glues for fabric. Many stores have them, for example, Target, Meijer, Michaels, etc. For the dark pink tie-die frills, I just cut from another dress that you absolutely hated and wouldn’t put on. The rest of the fabric from the unwanted dress can be stored away for later use. So this way, I not only created something new, but also revived something unwanted.

You were so proud of this dress and wore it very often. It looks really woreout now LOL. But that’s what makes me feel proud and happy, too! :)))

Love always,

Mommy

New Dress for a Doll

Hi, sweets — This is one of your first dolls. You like the original rock star dress, but would like a fancier look for this doll. So, mommy made this spring looking flowery dress. All hand-made, down to every stitch. It’s relatively hard to find Asian looking dolls or dolls with Asian elements such as black/dark brown hair. So, whenever I see an Asian looking doll, I almost always snatch it for you. Now you have quite a few Asian looking dolls, along with blonde dolls, African American dolls, red hair dolls, brunette dolls… You enjoy the multicultural feel of your little “tribe” of different colors and sizes.

I hope you grow up to be both comfortable in your own skin, well rooted in your own culture, and embracing a multitude of cultures. You certainly do now. My sweetest, keep loving who you are and then, and only then, give the world the same love you’ve been giving yourself. Your love is and will always be genuine.

Love,

Mommy

First Piano Recital Ever

Sweetie, this was when you were 5 and your first recital ever. We love our piano teacher! First time ever of everything is just so precious. Even though now you can play so much more proficiently, for me, this first recital piece is to be treasured forever.

Love,

Mommy

What a semester!

Or… What an academic year! Totally planned to update as much as possible, and then I (mommy) got a new teaching position at another university, spent last summer prepping lessons and the whole entire academic year busy teaching. As a result… our blog became slower than these turtles. LOL.

And on top a busy schedule working for two universities and a weekend program for little kids, Covid-19 happened. We had to switch everything online for the rest of the semester. It wasn’t too difficult on the technology front. However, it did take a much longer time — everything had to be uploaded to Canvas; simple things that could be done quickly face-to-face took much longer to accomplish electronically. I did enjoy using Zoom, though. Can’t imagine if this happened 10 or 20 years ago. We would have all been much more lost than now.

S started e-learning via her school Canvas roughly the same time that I started teaching exclusively online. We are so thankful to her teacher. She has been doing an amazing job, as amazing as her face-to-face classes. In fact, all the rest of her teachers, including her library teacher, are simply just amazing!

My semester has ended (I’ve got good reviews from students despite everything that’s happening) and S’s is going to end in a few days. So, now I have a bit of time (finally) to get on our blog again and start putting the long promised posts up here. There’s so much I’ve got to do together with S (we were not able to have much mommy-daughter time, given the circumstances; and she has been so reasonable and patient with us as far as a 6 yo goes). So… we’re still taking baby steps here, but we are definitely moving forward (just like everything else).

Hope everyone is well! Stay healthy and safe,

Ally

Let’s Change the Story!

Again, I’m going through our photos in an effort to categorize them in both themes and years. They sure bring back memories! Some of them are records of the creative works that I did for you, inspired by you, what you like, or what you need. You have no idea, sweetie, how grateful I am for having the honor to be your mom and how much I appreciate you for being my daughter.  My best creative works are done after you were born. And the creative ideas just kept coming, purely because of the love that I have for you, the love that has no condition, no time limit, no matter what.

Here’s an early creative little piece — changing the story, more accurately, the ending of a story, The Ginger Bread Bear, that as a two year old you found it cruel and couldn’t bear the thought of the ginger bread bear being eaten.  So, I thought, “How do I model turning the table around? How do I empower you, instead of letting you feel victimized?”  Because of this thought, my long forsaken talent started to come back to me. I decided to create and illustrate an alternative ending for you. I asked you, “I’m sorry the ending’s not the best. How would you like the ending to be? How would you like it to happen?”

“The bear will not die! He can turn into a teddy bear lovey!” You said.

“What a splendid idea! Thank you, sweetie!” I answered.

Then when you were at daycare, I started drawing. I was not planning to rip off the original ending — who knows, some day, you might realize that it was simply a cookie and might think it was OK. So I attached my illustrated ending at the end of the book as an alternative.

 

Turned out, you LOVED it and still do.

After feeling safe about the ginger bread bear having a good alternative future, you started wanting to hear the original ending together with the alternative. You savored both of them. Then one day you told me, “Mommy, I like our ending because that’s NOT an ordinary cookie that’s just a thing. It is ALIVE! No killing things that are alive!”  I embraced you and kissed your forehead, “You got it, baby. You have such a kind heart. Thank you for sharing what you think and how you feel with mommy!”

You loved and still love the whole process of turning a not-so-favorite story into one you like by changing it. You feel empowered by this. You love to own the stories you read by interacting with them on a deeper level. You love to think critically.  Since then, we’ve made revision to a few books here and there, although nothing as major as this one. You learned to read on your own, and you are keeping the great empowerment of being a critical thinker. Both you and I love the active reader that you have become.

What a pleasure and an honor to grow together with you! Thank you!

Love,

Mommy

Summer Fun T-Shirts

Sweetie,

I’ll drop a quick note tonight and go to bed, as we are all going to get up early for school/work tomorrow.  I was categorizing all our photos and came across three precious ones! They were pictures of summer fun T-shirts that you drew with fabric markers. One from when you were 4 years old, the other, more recent that you drew as a 6 year old. I am amazed how much you’ve grown in terms of fine motor skills and artistic expression.

You did this first one when you were 4.

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You did this one this summer:

 

Love, love, love all your work! So proud of you!

Love,

Mommy

Little Artist in the Making

Sweets — As you are sleeping so tight and it’s already deep into the night, I’m still gathering all pictures of your doodles and drawings. I love all your drawings and see how you progress throughout the years. It’s so much fun and such a privilege being able to witness your growth and look forward to more to come. I love the fact that you just plunge in and did it and that you’ve kept drawing, everything that you see, feel, think of and imagine. Here’s only some of them, from when you were one year old up to now. I am so proud of you, not just of your drawings, but of the passion and joy that you put into each and every picture. Keep drawing, keep the sketches going and the color flying, my ever-growing little artist! Love, mommy 💗

Lego Fan

Sweetie, you are a big fan of Lego!  Your first set was a birthday mega block from a friend when you were 2. Seeing that you liked it, I bought you more. Since then you were hooked. From very early on, you learned to read the picture instructions. You could do it all by yourself after a few guided practices! You also like to create your own free-style. What you have made always amazes me with such great imagination. I love watching you make these. I love playing with you.  — Love, Mommy

Recap: Preschool Graduation

Dear Daughter,

I have finally found the time to start (for real start) posting on this blog, OUR blog. It feels like I have years of the amazing you to recap before I could get to the present YOU. So, bear with me, sweetie. I’ll get there, maybe sooner than I thought. And let me start with last year, your Preschool Graduation.

It was an amazing 3 years at your preschool. You’ve grown so much and been enjoying your life at preschool. It was and still is such a proud moment for you and for all of us, hearing your name announced, watching you march on stage in full attire, and listening to you and your friends sing. It was such a sweet moment when you and your teachers hugged as you present them the flowers. We took a lot of pictures. And here are some of them. We were excited about your new adventure, too.

Remember these? And from here on, after a fun summer, you started your kindergarten year! Love you, proud of you, always!

Mommy