This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 8 and 2 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between

Monday, July 29, 2013

Toddler Backpack Tutorial

Today I added another notch in my sewing belt--I successfully created a pattern for a toddler backpack and finished it! It was my very first time to use interfacing and to sew a zipper. I have restored faith in myself that I can actually sew more than just straight lines (or almost-straight lines). I took pics along the way to share with you....and if it didn't turn out then I would have deleted them all! HA.

I started off by looking at several different types and styles of toddler backpacks on the internet. Some had flap closure, some had drawstring, some had button.....some had a zipper like this but were lined on the inside with another zippered pocket. The cutest one I saw was a pattern to buy for $8 and I am too cheap for that. I found another one that was also cute but the pattern was soooo involved I got lost in the details--as usual.

I thought, you know what? It basically just has 3 pieces and they all pretty much go together the same way. Why can't I just draw up my own pattern? Worst case scenario I would have to buy some more interfacing. So I got to it!

I knew I wanted interfacing to make it stiffer, and I knew I wanted another layer of fabric on the inside to cover the interfacing and make it look more finished. I decided on the blue robot fabric for the front panel and for the zipper piece. The red is the back panel and the bottom piece. All of the green is my liner. I cut out all of my pieces and fused interfacing onto the bottom piece, the front panel and the back panel. I also decided to make a small simple pocket on the inside (the blue square on the green piece).

 ^^^^^Is this not the cutest robot fabric ever????

Here is the perfect robot ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. I chose to use this for accent and for the straps.

Here is the big part I was worried about--the zipper! Almost every newby sewer has a fear of zippers. Why? I don't know. They are intimidating. I have heard stories of needles breaking....and I've always wondered how do you make it the length you need? Well today I laid those fears to rest and conquered the zipper! There are several techniques to sewing one in, but the way I did it is cut my fabric in half lengthwise where the zipper would go, then sew each side (right sides together=RST) onto the zipper, then topstitch with coordinating thread. Done!

At the last minute I decided to sew a strip of the ribbon midline along the bottom piece. It turned out perfect! Finally I could sew the ends of the bottom piece and zipper piece together to make a loop.

Next I took that loop and matched it up to the front panel (RST) and pinned all the way around. I did have make an adjustment to shorten the length of the bottom piece about an inch on each side. Better too much fabric than not enough! After you pin the crap out of it, carefully sew with a straight stitch. Go back and zigzag the edge (or use a serger).

Before you sew on the back panel you have to get your straps ready to go. Turn it right side out then pin your straps where you want them on the top and bottom. I did a handle as well as shoulder straps. I went ahead and sewed them on just so they wouldn't move around while I was sewing on the back panel.

After that you turn it inside out and tuck ALL straps inside the project or else you will sew over them and mess everything up! No I didn't do that, but I have done it before when making baby shoes. Prepare your back panel for pinning (RST) and pin the crap out of it. Sew!

 *****VERY IMPORTANT****** Leave your zipper unzipped a few inches before you sew all the way around. Otherwise you will sew it shut and never be able to turn it right side out! I almost did this but thank you baby Jesus that I had left a little gap in the zipper.

Tada! Turn right side out and poke out your curves and corners. You are done! You can either make your shoulder straps one piece, or you can make it two pieces and use a D-ring or backpack strap to make it adjustable. I am going to use a D-ring....I just haven't gotten one yet.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Healthy Cookies?

Or should I say healthier? Yes, it can be done! I tried a new recipe tonight that I switched up a bit, and it was a big hit tonight with the family! My husband is notorious for his dislike of all things green and healthy so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Here is the original recipe, and here is how I made them:

Oatmeal Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 very ripe banana
3/4c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2c grated zucchini
1c oats
2c chocolate chips
1 1/2c flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat to 350°. Cream banana and sugar, then stir in egg, vanilla, and zucchini. Sift in flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on rack then eat!

They were super yum and I will definitely be putting this one into the recipe book.

In other news, we have had a plethora of wildlife in our backyard this year. Every morning we drink our coffee on the back deck and see the bunnies, mice, and birds stirring about. We have possums that live under our deck too, and occasionally will see those sneaking around. Nick has pulled (live) snakes and frogs out of our pool. The other day he saw this bird hopping around in the grass and he decided to bring it inside to show us....

I have no idea what it is....he said it was a baby and couldn't fly, and he thinks it's some sort of hawk or something....

In about 3 1/2 weeks my little baby boy will start Pre K! My sewing machine decided to mess up so I have borrowed my moms temporarily. I am bound and determined to sew him a toddler backpack! I found this tutorial online and *hopefully* I can make it with no trouble. I decided to use this ribbon for the straps!
I have some super cute robot fabric I've been saving up to use on his room (I'm still not done switching it from safari to robots) and I can't wait to see how it turns out!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kansas City Wedding Fun

Better late than never, huh? About a month ago I carpooled with a coworker Debbie up to Kansas City, KS for a wedding reception. The groom was an old coworker who married a girl from KC in Jamaica, and they had the reception afterward for everyone to celebrate at! We rented a car and a hotel and made a night of it. It was about a 5 hour drive each way.

The hotel was great and had a kitchenette in it!

 It was going to be a long night so I brewed some coffee and poured the strawberritas!

First we had appetizers and drinks, then headed into the main reception area for dinner. After dinners was music and dancing until midnight!

Gavin and Gretchen--the newlyweds!

 Chris (in the back) also works with Debbie and I, and we all stayed at the same hotel so we met up at the reception. Samantha and Grant (in the front) used to work with us, but they got married about a year ago and moved up to KC. They met up with us too and we all spent the evening together.



There was a photo booth there so we had a blast playing around in it! It was a fun evening out with friends and I'm glad I went--I don't get them very often!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday Fun with Family

I just wanted to pop in and share some pics from our July 4th celebrations. As always, we cooked out at my dad's and popped fireworks until late into the night! My Uncle Del was in visiting from California so he joined us, as did my brother and his friend. Everyone had a great time! Brad wanted to pop the big fireworks and I told him he had to get bigger. The rest of the night he kept saying "When I get bigger, I can shoot the sky!"

 My dad using a telescope to see fireworks in the distance.

 Brad kept his fingers in his ears most of the night, even when it wasn't loud....

 Nick was our volunteer firefighter! He was ready with the hose for any grassfires.

I worked the Friday and Saturday after that, then all day Sunday I was getting some new furniture situated! Since we most likely are not going to be moving right now, I decided to start making the house look prettier! I found a beautiful new bed frame and comforter, and also purchased a wingback hunter green chair (that is also a recliner!) for the bedroom. I also got a table and chairs for the breakfast area by my kitchen.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Everything is Growing!

Happy 4th of July everyone! A big thank you to all of the servicemen (and women!) past and present who have served our country to give us the freedoms we have. Have a safe and fun holiday!
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First I need to backtrack a bit to my little guy who just turned 4. I never posted his growth stats so here they are!

Weight: 34lb
Height: 40 1/4"

At 4 years old you:

  • sleep from around 9pm-8am
  • either take a nap or have quiet time in your room from 3-6
  • still need a pullup at night for leaks
  • get dressed on your own every morning
  • know how to work the Roku (TV) and bring up your cartoons
  • love to play with other kids
  • are a great eater and love fruits/veggies!
  • wear size 8-9 shoe
  • can still wear some 2T shorts but are mostly in size 3T
  • have funny little quirks, like cleaning in between each toe when your feet are dirty
  • love to play outside and ride your tricycle
  • like to sing "Jingle Bells" and "Let it Snow" still!
  • are very excited about starting preschool in the fall
According to his pediatrician, he tested on the eye chart with 20/30 vision in the L eye, and 20/70 in the R. If he seems to have trouble in school with reading or vision then we may have to get him glasses! Otherwise he is in tip-top shape and no more shots until 6th grade.

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Every morning I sit out on my back patio to drink my coffee. All of my plants are in full bloom and thriving in this mild summer weather. Here is my view from my chair......

This shepherd's hook was a birthday present from my mom. It has a solar light on top and came with two hanging baskets for plants. I took those off for now and put up my bird feeders!

I am still rockin' the patio garden. My lovely tomato plant is doing great and I have already gotten several off of it that were delicious! A lot more are in the works.

This is my first attempt at zucchini (from seed) and so far they are doing well! I have a lot of yellow flowers but no fruit yet. Hopefully soon!

This lovely plant is my basil. I really need to start using it before the heat gets to it! It smells divine.

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