Saturday, March 22, 2014

Utah Coalition Against Pornography Conference - I am Getting Educated

Fight the New Drug

I am getting educated
I was fortunate to be able to spend the day becoming a more proactive and informed parent at the Utah Coalition Against Pornography Conference today. 

Beyond Filtering
I have always advocated filtering, but there is so much more that we can do to protect our families. Our children need to know what our values are and they need to understand why Pornography is dangerous. 

My Favorite Speakers
I listened to 4 speakers and one of my favorites was Clay Olsen of Fight the New Drug. And the medical geek hiding in me enjoyed the lecture by Dr. Donald Hilton. He talked about Neuroplasticity and it's relationship to pornography. Wow, I loved learning about brain function. I also heard Jill C. Manning Ph.D talk about our family media habits. 

Great Resources are available
Over all I left feeling encouraged that this is something we can fight against as a community.   I you hope you'll check out Fight the New Drug. I challenge you to talk to another person about it the dangers. If we talk about this we can spread the word about why pornography is harmful to society.
Where do I start? 
Teach your children about your values, and don't stop there. Teach them why Porn is so dangerous. If they understand the science they are more likely to decide for themselves that Porn is dangerous. We can empower ourselves and our children through knowledge.  And don't worry you don't need to be a science geek to teach the science. 

When do I start? 
Ask your children questions about what they know.  Have lots of little conversations about this topic along the way.  Be gentle and careful to nurture a loving relationship with your children.  Working to open the door to communication is important.  They need your support.

Be their ally. 
Kids need parents in their corner who will not just talk to them, but listen to their thoughts about this issue.  You may feel squeamish about talking to them, but gather courage.  We must teach them about this topic.  The pornography industry never sleeps and puts a lot of effort into reaching them from an early age.  If you do not teach them, the industry will.
This is a challenge that we face in our society today. 

But, we are up for the challenge. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Our First Missionary Comes Home Tomorrow - No Thank You Deer

Drum roll...
Our son will return tomorrow evening after serving his two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Mormons in the Eastern United States.
We are so excited!  We have talked to him and our daughter twice a year and emails on Mondays.
We are so excited to see him in person and hug him.

We have moved the kids around a bit and chosen a place for him when he gets home. 
Next the kids car needs a few repairs and registration.
He will go back to work quickly when he returns, even though I would love to have his undivided attention for a couple of weeks.  He is so used to being very busy that it will be best for him to come back and get to work.  I know his life will change a lot over the next year. 
We are so excited to watch him as his life unfolds and he begins his schooling.

In addition to being fun loving our son is a hard worker.  I am so excited to get to hear his mission stories as time goes.  We have communicated every week, but to get to hear his laugh and see him again.  I am pretty excited!  I have heard people say they miss the letters when their missionaries get back.  I can appreciate that.  But, I am so happy to take each new on stage as they come.
Our daughter is also a missionary in the Eastern United States just a state away from her brother.   She and her companion hit a deer this last week!  Our poor daughter was driving.  They were where they were supposed to be doing what they were supposed to be doing, so it was considered no fault. 
But, the deer was doing what deer do and cars and deer do not mix well.
The damage to their car was pretty extensive for hitting a deer.   They have been doing a lot of walking since then.  Hopefully their car will be sorted out soon.

Tomorrow evening I will be the Mom of just one missionary again.
Though I am so glad to see my son again, I am so thankful for the opportunity and blessing that this has been in my life.  When I rocked my son in my rocking chair those many years ago, I sang "I hope they call me on a mission."  I had hopes for him to go and serve others as he served the Lord.  I had hopes for him to go and act upon his faith and belief in Jesus Christ our Savior.  I had hopes that he might help others to find joy and happiness.  I feel so blessed to have been the mother of two missionaries at the same time. 
Having these two gone at the same time has been a challenge at times.  But, the challenge has a huge silver lining.  The amazing example that these great kids have set for their younger siblings is significant.  We have cheered for them and prayed for them as a family.  We are so happy for them and for their desire to do good in the world. 

One day to go!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bootie of the Day - Basic Bootie Assembly and Pattern

Two layers Reclaimed Wool with a layer of thin fleece sandwiched between for body.
Fleece and Flannel
Sandwich the shoe laces before sewing

Tack the elastic to the seam allowance. 
See the elastic is sandwiched
Set your machine for a large stitch length and width on the Broken Zig Zag Stitch.
Stretch the elastic fully and then sew over it.  Feel with your finger and follow the line of the elastic.

Trim back the fleece between the layers and then Zig Zag the fleece together to finish the seam and reduce bulk.
Before Trimming
After Trimming and zig zagging the edge.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Today's Baby Booties - Pattern

Use buttons for newborns at your own risk, and surely not for razor toothed teethers. :)

I was so pleased when I found these vintage buttons in my stash.   Ready made unifier. 

The first pair I made from this pattern.
I recommend cutting on the outer line.
You choose, but the inner line produces a very tiny bootie that is less fun to work with.
  You can choose which bootie back you would like to use.
I have done a tutorial on the bootie back that is tied with ribbon or shoe laces.  I hope to get back to this one soon and do one for the one you see above.
Published originally on 11/18/10

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

3 Seam Footies - PooPockets Free Pattern -Check out the Boy Variation

If you looking for a quick pair of baby shoes, booties, footies, slippers or whatever you want to call them... They were designed for babes, but I get a lot of hits for American Girls Dolls.  If you are looking for a free pattern this might just fit the bill. These are a very quick sew and they are cute as can be. I no longer have any small people to put them on, so if you make them I'd love to hear if they stay on. (The only pair I ever had were preemie sized and my preemie did not wear clothes until he was much bigger than they were.) They are low on the ankle, so without socks they may be quick to kick off.

Today I added a simple button down addition to these little shoes. 
Remember, whenever you put clothing on a small one with razor sharp teeth, you need to keep an eye on the buttons.  I would feel so bad if someone's baby choked on a button.  Use buttons at your risk.

Side strap pinned in and folded over out of the way for sewing.
I made a simple little pattern and you can make one too.
Make two copy of Kimi's Footie Pattern (read on below.)
Take one of the patterns for the Upper and make a piece like this out of it.
Use the full width of the pattern piece. 
After the seam allowances the strap will not cover the whole toe of the Footie.
I made this piece the same width as the Upper Pattern. 
Cut 2 right side up and 2 bottom side up.
You can easily make a pattern piece too. 
And if you'd like it to be wider make it wider.  Your imagination is the limit. 

If you make your strap out of the pattern piece you will have a better chance of making it fit well.

During my diaper sewing years I corresponded briefly with the owner of New Conceptions Patterns. I like her patterns and liked her too. The Poo Pockets diaper pattern is one of the diapers types that I had in my stash in those days. It is reasonably priced too. I made them turned and top stitched, and did not care for them serged. (Here is the Footie Pattern, but visit her site first.)

My teen aged daughter saw these and said, "Oooh, those look comfy. I want some."

Originally published Dec 27, 2010

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Preemie Birth Story

Look how tiny he is in comparison to that Soothie.
At 29 weeks my water broke.
My husband put me and our then 5 born children in the suburban and we drove past the brand new small town hospital and headed for Salt Lake City.
I knew we were in trouble.  I had read Maternal and Newborn Nursing cover to cover during that pregnancy.  I was pretty quiet and introspective during the first part of the drive. 
After the choice had been made to go to a big hospital with a NICU as a walk in my attention turned to my other children. 
I explained that my water had broken and so I would not be coming home until the baby was born. 
A little voice came from the back seat, "Mom, why can't they just patch the leak and send you home."
I chuckled and explained that was not how it worked. 
We had previously had a friend stay an extended period of time prior to having her baby.  But, as we drove I got wetter.  By the time I got into the ER I was wet to my ankles. 
There was no turning back. 
When I walked into the ER there was a Policeman standing there outside of the locked door to the ER.  I told him I was 29 weeks pregnant and in active labor.  I have never seen a man drain of color and run so fast.  He ran in a frenzied circle around the podium he was standing at and then disappeared through the double doors. 
A cheerful, but hurried face appeared in the circular window in one of the double doors.  I was scooped into a wheel chair and we were off and running.  We ran through the quiet corridor for an elevator in the other part of the hospital and before I knew it, we were in labor and delivery. 
I labored all night and then things calmed down.  I was moved to postpartum.
At this point the steroid shots started.  I managed to get all of the doses. 
I felt like I did not belong there.  It was really strange.  There I was hearing my neighbors baby coming back from the nursery, and I was still pregnant with ruptured membranes and a sick baby.
I contracted lightly for 2 days after my water broke, so no one was getting excited over my contractions anymore.  But, I was taken for a non-stress test.  The promised tour of the NICU was no longer going to happen.  The girl pushing me ran me back to my room.  No one would say anything, but I could tell from the faces of those treating me that my little boy was not doing well.
I made a choice.  I knew I had all of the doses and I was perched like a parked car atop a hill just waiting for a tiny tap and things would get moving. 
I knew my body.
I got up and showered, I was told I could.  And then I put a movie in after my shower. 
About the time the movie was over I realized we were ready to go. 
I called my nurse and she brought a monitor in.  When she saw the tracing everyone began to ricochet off of the walls.  Soon, I realized he was coming so the floor nurse pushed me down to labor and delivery.
When we got their the very young resident came in in disbelief and said everyone is acting like you are going to deliver.  I felt like saying "stick around for a minute." 
This was after all not my first rodeo.
In disbelief, he asked me to do a small trial push. 
I asked him, "Are you sure?!"
I explained that this was my 6th baby.
He said "Yes."
And, our tiny son was born.
No team in the room, no oxygen set up, no preparation.
We were so blessed, this could have been such a bad situation...
He said, "Get NICU on the Phone, they are gonna kill me."
Apparently the room where I was to deliver was being prepped still.
It was complete with a pass through window to the NICU and a team.
The next thing I knew he was whisked away over a nurses arm and she sprinted with him to the NICU.  I was lucky to catch a glimpse of him as a NICU nurse left the room with him.
My husband said it was strange to run down the hall behind the nurse as she sprinted with our new very tiny baby, stopping along the way at an oxygen station in a closet and before she continued on to the NICU.

Our 3 pound tall, little boy was born.

Our NICU stay lasted for what seemed forever to me.
9 weeks, so many have had it so much harder than we did.  I saw babies that struggled while we were there.  But, our baby did pretty well.  He shocked everyone.  He managed to never be intubated. 
I hated having him there. 
To me this was not the norm and I struggled feeling torn between wanting to be there with him and needing to take care of my other children at home so that my husband could work.
Soon the day came when we could go home.
He was there about 9 weeks and weighed 5 pounds when we got to go home.
The next 9 months were a battle. 
Our little son had bronchitis, bronchiolitis, RSV and every upper respiratory bug you can imagine.
We fought with feeding issues and anemia and general poor health.
This sweet little boy was very quiet. 
He did not complain much, but just clung to me like a weak little monkey clings to it's Mom.
I carried him with me always as I went about my daily routines.
Our sweet little buddy at 9 months old
 I remember once hearing through the gossip chain that he was not crawling because I had never let his feet touch the floor.  (Of course the gossip had not made the adjustment for his age and had not considered his lack of immune system being a good reason not to put him on floors...) 
Though it was not meant in a complimentary way, I took it as such. 
I had given this baby every ounce of strength that I had.  He knew he was loved.
And I was exhausted, wrung out and had nothing left.
And then slowly, the clouds began to part and he began to do well.
 Our precious little boy began to develop a darling little personality and a smile that lights up a room.    He had felt so poorly that he was mellow and quiet and just loved to be held.
I held him and cherished him.
Rewinding the story a bit, I managed to teach him to nurse after I got him home from the NICU with the help of a great book and some very good advice from a great NICU nurse.  I had pumped for nearly 3 months and he had only had a bottle for a very short time before he came home.  Against the odds we made it work with some really good help.  My body was not sure for a long time if we had a baby to take care of or not so the going was hard at first. 
As he grew we faced food problems.  He was very wary of new foods.
We kept a poster on the front of the fridge and on it we would draw a picture of the new foods that he had accepted to help him to remember that they were acceptable to eat again. 
We would face meal times by looking at the poster to see what foods he was "willing" to eat.
I say willing loosely.  But, the poster helped. 
Slowly we added new foods to the collection. 
We struggled with feeding issues until he was 6.
As he got a bit older he told me that he wanted to meet a Preemie who had grown up.
He wanted to check this whole thing out.
I told him about the fire fighter we had in our neighborhood who had been a preemie back when many preemies were less likely to survive.  He seemed satisfied.
I feel so fortunate to have had our preemie at the end of our family instead of the beginning.
Reading about the survival rates from the time our first was born to when we had our little man born was chilling.  His odds were great because of the time when he was born.
We are so thankful.
I know many have much more dramatic stories than mine. 
But, this is my story.
My little boy and my part of my heart. 
Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Free Fleece Slipper Pattern - Adjust Size with a Copy Machine

Hello and welcome to my blog.
I have been searching for a copy of this pattern for a very long time.
I was so sad when the link to this pattern disappeared, but
I have finally found it for you!

 Cold feet? Slippers to the rescue.
This is a great Free Fleece Slipper pattern that used to be available on the LDS humanitarian website.
The slippers are on the discontinued items list now. They are no longer accepting them. But, the pattern is a very good one for keeping my families feet warm during the winter months.

The only part about sizing that is a little bit tricky is remembering to size it up enough to allow for a seam allowance. Trace your foot and head for a copy machine or scanner that will allow you to enlarge or reduce. I plan to add a casing and elastic to the next pair I make like this pattern.
These slippers have become a Christmas tradition at our house.
New slippers all around!


Originally posted 12/28/10

Slippers/Booties for Little Man.

I gambled and did not size the pattern up and made these tonight for Little Man.
I made them with the pattern as it printed.  I was sad that they were too small. 
I cut a third and fourth back and wrapped it over the edge and clipped it to make fringes. 
I put elastic in the casing also, but underestimated how big the piece should be.  I used a 4 " piece and ended up clipping through the casing to cut the elastic and then I whip stitched the slit closed. 
I will try again.  :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I am Thankful for "We" - Our Family of 9

Our Wedding Shower
I met my sweetheart on a blind date. 
His Aunt and my mom tried to set us up off and on for a couple of years.
I just was not interested in blind dates....  Until I talked to him on the phone.
He was adorable. 
Our first Baby

We hit the ground running and we were 3.
Our first baby came just a week after our first wedding anniversary.
Life Came at us fast. 
We spent our newly wed days as young parents.
We grew together as our numbers grew.
Our Second Baby

Our first son came as quickly as our daughter did.

Our second daughter made three children!
Our second daughter came and now we were 5.
We had become a busy family of 5 in 3 years 4 months and 2 days.
We know the Lord has a different plan for each family.
And this was his plan for ours.

And then two years later we were blessed again with another baby daughter.
My husband's parents with our 4
We were up to our waists in little people.
Our children were happy and busy and so were we.
For us, the definition of we was not a group of 2.  It was 6!
And then our second son came.
We was now defined as 7.
Our oldest son had a brother, tipping the scales his and Dad's way a bit.
My Parents and our 5.
 On this day, we visited my Dad where he worked.
Playing with Grand Parents and Great Grandparents!

Finally home from the NICU at 5 pounds looking like a tiny newborn.
And then, Heaven sent us our 3rd son...  All 3 fighting pounds of him born at 29 weeks.
We were now 8!
At this point our family was balanced.
3 boys and 3 girls a Mom and  Dad.
Until the tie breaker...
My Family minus my brother his wife and his daughter.
We welcomed our 4th son, the tie breaker.
All 8 pounds 5 ounces of him.
"We" had become 9 in just
14 years and a half years.
We are so thankful for this journey.
It has not been a fashionable one and at times we are misunderstood.
But, we are so thankful for our 7 children.
We are thankful for "We."

Thanksgiving Month Day 1 - My Parents

I am thankful for my parents. 
My parents are great people who have made a beautiful life together.
They have set such a great example for my brother and I.
They started life in the military away from home a family. 
My Dad has always worked so hard to take care of our family.
And my Mom has always been a faithful steward in her home.

I love you Mom and Dad.
I am so thankful for both of you!