Tag Archives: apple pie

A Day in the Life of a Freelance Aunt

[Originally posted on The Freelance Pinoy, August 17, 2012. ]

I’m a single, 27-year old writer who spoils my nephew (a.k.a. Pumpkin Pie) and niece (a.k.a Apple Pie) rotten… or so my Mom says. I don’t get to see the Pies everyday as they’re staying with my mom (their parents work abroad) in the province while I’m living independently in the city. But despite the distance—or maybe because of it—I make it a point to call them as often as I can just to have a five-minute or less baby-talk with them.

You see, I’ve been told several times that I’m a workaholic. When I start writing or editing articles, my concentration is so spot-on that even eating on time takes a backseat. I tend to stay away from this juvenile habit when I go home to visit my parents. In fact, as much as possible, I don’t bring my work when I’m with the family.

But as a freelancer, there are times when I can’t pass a writing opportunity—an abrupt yet challenging topic, a sudden but prolific writing gig, or a recently-concluded, blog-worthy experience. And so with Frappie, my ever loyal laptop, I write, I edit. But unlike when I’m alone in my apartment, I take breaks when the Pies are just within my kissing distance. These are numerous breaks that sometimes result to an all-nighter because the morning was well-spent with the Pies—giggling, playing, singing, giggling, dancing, reading, and more giggling.

I welcome their distractions. And truth be told, I seek their distractions. Five minutes after starting an article, I’ll leave my table, go to their room and just smother them with hugs and kisses. Three-year old Pumpkin Pie’s scent is addictive; while one-year and five-month old Apple Pie’s heavenly. I always think that if we can bottle baby’s distinct and aromatic smell, we don’t really need expensive perfumes. We’ll just go around sniffing each other! Hah!

I’m so into seeking the Pies “interference” that I’d even check on them during siesta. It doesn’t matter that I have a full conversation with myself in my head, listing why I should just finish my work and leave the sleeping babies alone. I always give in—opening their bedroom’s door as silently as I can, tiptoeing to avoid unnecessary noise, and just look at them for a minute or two. If I’m feeling friskier than usual, I’ll touch their hair or kiss them soundlessly.

And the “distractions” don’t end there. Sometimes, I’ll playfully banter with their nannies so I can feed them. Pumpkin Pie and I will then make it a ceremony—choosing the right plate (Are you going to use McQueen or Spiderman?), picking the color of his plastic utensils (What color is this? Yellow. Correct.), and so and on and so forth. Other times, even a few characters away from finishing my article, I’ll stop working and play Lion King for Pumpkin Pie or Happy Feet for Apple Pie on my laptop.

As I write about my work and the Pies, I realized that my “challenges” as a freelancer and an aunt is not as tumultuous as those of freelance moms. They’re not even close.

But then again, considering them as challenges isn’t apt. My nephew and niece aren’t challenges, they’re not even distractions. They’re my sources of happiness, my additional drive. They’re the reasons why I smile when I work at home and eat on time. They’re the inspiration, the reason for writing this 600-word blog even when I’m supposed to just write a couple of paragraphs.

“Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.” (Unknown)

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UPDATE: Well, since this was posted last year, I’m a year older now, so I’m a single, 28 years old, “occasional” freelancer. And more importantly, the Pies aren’t babies anymore. They’re the most awesome (yep, I’m their aunt, so no contest here) toddlers! Meet my superhero Pies: Pumpkin Pie as Spider Man and Apple Pie as Bat Girl!

bat girl
Apple Pie, 2-and-a-half
spider man
Pumpkin Pie, 4

* Visit The Freelance Pinoy for information, tips, and resources about freelancing.

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LOVE and LIGHT to all! X

Apple Pie as Rapunzel

UPDATE (Halloween 2013!)

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I’m one of those “Pinsters” who gets easily distracted by DIY/Crafts albums over Pinterest. I’m just in awe of how talented craft-makers are since ranking myself as a “mediocre DIY-hobbyist” will probably land me a “you’re so full of yourself” comment from serious crafters (?). Ironically, I don’t normally pin what I see/like. I read the instructions, ooohh-ahhhh over the photos, but I rarely make an effort of pinning them because; 1. remember, the “M” word:  mediocre crafter? ; and 2. I just don’t have the time to pull anything off.

Well, until I came across these unbelievably adorable Rapunzel DIY-wigs: the “tangled” version, and the “braided” one.

rapunzel diy wigs
check links above for credits.

So, of course, I have to make one for me my uber-cute niece, Apple Pie. I bookmarked the sites hoping that one day I’ll have enough time to do a version of mine. After months of hectic work schedule and series (TV and books) marathon, I was able to carve some time last weekend! 

Let me just say this upfront so you guys won’t have any serious expectations (yep, a disclaimer if you wish), I did the project with gusto but with the realistic notion that I’ll probably screw something up. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! I did! 😀 But hey, that’s why I dubbed it as my “prototype” wig – at least, I’ll still have room for improvement. 😉

For the tutorial, I combined and followed both blogs.

You’ll need:

  • Yellow Yarn (make sure you buy the big roll because I stupidly bought just a handful of small ones and I had to ask my cousin to run to the bookstore to get me some more!)
  • Bonnet/Hat/Tights (preferably yellowish or nude in color and NOT the white-and-black-combo that I used! :-p) – will serve as wig cap
  • Needle and Thread or Sewing Machine
rapunzel diy wig supplies
supplies

Instructions from sewlikemymom:

I put the hat on her head and folded it up until it fit her skull pretty close. Then I marked it with a pen, and stitched it down with a wide zigzag.

Then I put it back on her head, with the folded part in front (to make sure it didn’t stick out funny), and marked the side part, then the drew a line from ear to ear. I used a yellow crayon so my marks would blend into the hair.

I placed 2 of my ladder back chairs 39″ apart and wrapped the yarn around them. I did one skein at a time (and only used about half of the second). If you don’t have 2 things to use, get your husband, mom, sister, someone to hold their hands the desired length apart and wrap around them. I cut one end of the yarn to give me 78″ length pieces.

Then I threaded a needle with regular sewing thread and starting at the very front of the hat, started placing hair and sewing it onto the part. I put it over my knee to sew.

To give it a little more volume, I placed anywhere from 2-4 pieces of yarn together for each stitch I made. It took me about 15 minutes to do the part.

Then I moved onto the crown. Once I started this point, I was having a hard time keeping it on my knee, so I put the hat on a ball. I didn’t want the stitches to show, so starting in the middle of my line, I laid the yarn pieces diagonally and stitched them down 1 at a time, so the top of the yarn would fall over the thread hiding it.

I stopped at the top of the ear, where my line stopped. Then I did the same thing to the other side, creating the back of the hair.

Then to fill in the top of the head more, I started at the part and moved diagonally towards the eye on each side. I did this second row down to the same point as the first.

It now covers the back of the head when all the hair is down.

When I put it on Sofie at this point I realized that as she moved the yarn moved and I could see big spots of the hat. So I decided to sew some of them down so they kept the hat covered and the top layer of hair could move freely.

I started on one side of the part, I pulled up half the hair and moved it out of the way. Then I found where the crown pieces met the sides and started there. Using my same needle and thread, I just quickly whipped across the yarn, attaching it to the hat.

I did the same across the other side, and along the back. Then I pulled two pieces from the front on each side and secured them in the back with a little piece of yarn.

Rapunzel Wig

You may use the other set of instructions here for the braided version.

My version, in photos!

rapunzel diy wig
Apple Pie. Again, I urge you to use a yellow/nude hat. 😀
rapunzel diy wig
Mita. Apple Pie. Pumpkin Pie.
And round and round we go. 😀

I had to use the doorknobs to sort the yarn. My little helpers were ‘tually playing more than helping. 😀

rapunzel diy wig
My poor needlework. Don’t judge! :p *cringe* To my previous Home Economics teachers, S O R R Y!!! :-p

After spending a little less than three hours with my project, the “prototype” is done!!!

rapunzel wig
Apple Pie and her uber yellow Rapunzel wig.

My niece’s love for me knows no bounds because she won’t allow anyone to pry the wig away from her head (awww! Love you, too Pia!!!). In fact, she’s so in love with the wig that the following day…

rapunzel diy wig
Apple Pie as Khaleesi. 😀

she rocked it as Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones! I need to find her dragons! 😀

I wasn’t able to produce the perfect Rapunzel DIY-wig for her (because, really, I need a sewing machine! and talent :-p) but it was a fun project/activity to do, especially with the Pies running around and squealing with excitement.

Up next, Apple Pie as Merida. I wish. 😀

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LOVE and LIGHT to all! X