Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A handmade toddler back pack

His latest obsession: Basketball!
The other day I was chatting with my Facebook buddy Corley about possible ideas for my next sewing project for my sister's baby that's on the way. Just like me, she is in the toddler stage with her first born (she just had a precious new baby though, congrats momma!) so naturally the ideas were flowing for kids at this age. I've been meaning to make Eli a backpack for him to carry his own junk bring his toys to the park or grandma's house now that he's stable on his feet, and when she suggested that, I was all over it. I scoured the internet for tutorials of the style I wanted but couldn't find any one particular tutorial with all the criteria I needed. So I made up my own to include adjustable straps, (but ones that would stay in place and stay even), a pocket for a sippy cup inside, elastic around the front portion of the bag so nothing would fall out of the sides, (I wanted to avoid a cinch tie) and lastly, since I didn't want a zippered top (needing Eli to get in and out of this thing independently), I made it be a flap/velcro closure top.

Well I had my "drinky drink" (my creative necessity--a caramel latte. Hey did I tell you I found a way to make it a whole foods version with no artificial anything? **all organic**espresso, milk, vanilla extract, ice, and maple syrup to taste and voila! Tastes just like Dunkin's iced caramel latte. But I digress...) and drafted a pattern & constructed it in my head and on paper first so that I could avoid any major pitfalls with miscalculations or design errors and I'm happy to report that it turned out how I envisioned! My main plan was to keep the pattern simple with the ability to add stuff or make it customized down the road if need be (for those of you who know me, I don't sell my crafts as a business because I loathe mass producing the same project. I love the creative challenge of a new project and I just want to move on to my next conquest when it's finished). So here is the bare bones version so hopefully I won't mind making more for a few of Eli's buddies who have birthdays coming up:
Front and center view
Back view with adjustable straps with snaps ( 3 sizes to grow with toddler)
Cinched elastic front to keep stuff from spilling out, with velcro closure
Inside pocket to hold a sippy cup
In action, my poor kiddo longing to go outside
I interrupt this regularly scheduled program to give my son "huggies" when he asks. Excuse me for a second...
The only potential problem Corley pointed out to me was the straps possibly falling off the shoulders being placed so wide on the back. Dang it. Good point! I tried it on him and it fit fine but, with wiggling and moving, one strap did start to slide down his shoulder. Grrr, ***shaking fists in air**. To fix this, I just made a removable strap to wrap around the rings in the front like a hiker's backpack has and this forces my kid to keep the dang bag on solved my problem. Once he grows a bit and I move the straps to the longest setting, it should fit just fine on the shoulders and he most likely won't need the added piece anymore :)

Ta da!
Just thread the strap through the rings on each side
Make sense now?
Hey look what else I realized. It fits perfectly on the back of his wagon! Bonus!
When I find my camera and make another bag I plan to type up a tutorial so if any of my sewing buddies wants to try and make one of their own, just let me know.

**Update. Tutorial is done! Check it out on my cousin's blog if you want to make your own.

Alrighty, back to thinking of baby gifts. If you have any suggestions, please share! (But make that by email or Facebook so Steph can't see, she's a faithful reader of my blog, pleaseandthankyou)


Friday, April 12, 2013

Baby Liam is coming!

...And before the rumor mill starts that's Auntie Steppy's baby! As most of you already know from facebook, my sister is 23 weeks along (eeek!) and they found out it's a baby boy. I'm kind of partial to boys myself so this is pretty exciting news ;)

Well anyways. In anticipation of this big event come august, (august 9th to be exact) I've been working with Eli on how to be "gentle" with babies and proper handling of a newborn. Here's how he's doing:

Ok, so we have some work to do. But he's a fast learner so I'm hopeful he will get there come August ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An update on my bubbercakes...

Bubbercakes {Bubb-er caykes}

  1. A cool toddler who is the apple of his momma's eye.
  2. A small child who makes momma belly laugh multiple times a day.
  3. One who says "huggies??" with arms outstretched in the most pitiful voice possible, turning one to mush.
Well folks, Eli is more a little boy now than a baby. I wanna jump for joy and bawl at the same time. With his vocabulary exploding, he's more my fun companion during the day when daddy is at work than his former bump-on-a-log infant self. Don't get me wrong, he needs constant supervision or he'll scale unstable furniture or play with knives (although he sounds southern when he says "knife" because he says it more like "knaff". And have you heard him say "diaper" yet?? I laugh every time because he says "dapper" ha ha. I digress...) 

Anywho, I'll do my "usual" update at his 2 year mark (which is only 3 months away! Aaaahhh!) so right now I'll just tell you my favorite happenings:

  • He LOVES to be chased around the house. Make sure you've had a hearty breakfast for plenty of energy too because he's like the energizer bunny and won't stop until you wipe out plop down on the couch exhausted. You will know you are caught in a game of chase when he starts running away from you yelling "I getchu! I getchu!"
  • After an award winning performance of his half teary eyed "huggies??" I'll pick him up and he'll snuggle into me and lay his head on my shoulder and sigh like he's in his happy place, and before I know it, I feel a little hand patting/rubbing MY back. I melt.every.time.
  • He is unlike any toddler I have ever met in that he eats EVERYTHING. I am constantly grocery shopping! Some of his faves: cucumber, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, gag me plain yogurt, homemade muffins, broccoli, frozen peas, any & ALL fruit and anything I'm eating. In fact, if I want him to try something new that I'm worried he won't have any interest in, I don't bother putting it on his plate, but instead eat it in front of him and he'll baby-bird me (mouth wide open, leaning forward in his high chair, going "ah, ah, ah") almost instantly. Score! 
  • The other day Eli was engrossed in his show when I sneezed and without missing a beat or turning from the "tee dee" he says "bless you." I have been working diligently with him on "please" and "thank you" and had yet to teach him "bless you" so I was floored! Children truly DO learn by example because I say it anytime he sneezes. Nothing makes me more proud than when he says "pease" (please) or "thaaaank YOOOU!" (and he says it just like that) unprompted :D
  • Some of his favorite expressions: "oh MAN!", "uh oh", "oops", "I getchu", "oh daddy!", "I'm coming", "want it", and recently he started saying " I love you"
  • Lately when I walk into the room after having been gone for a few hours and he's been with daddy, he'll immediately go into show-off mode doing what looks like a touch down dance with his foot work, or dramatically playing with his toys.
  • I taught him "gentle" a while back since he's used to rough housing with daddy and this momma doesn't do rough housing, so now when I say that word, he very softly runs his fingers along my cheek. If its in reference to a baby, he leans in to give him/her a kiss. :)

His new favorite things: my tumbler and climbing up on chairs.

Thats all for now. My sister was giving me a hard time for slacking on my blog but really you need to see this kid in action. Words just don't do him justice.

Na night,