Saturday, March 21, 2015

8+ months

It feels weird to say that I'm over 8 months pregnant because hello...we say pregnancy is 9 months long so I should be popping this baby out any day now right?!?  Wrong.  Pregnancy is actually more like 10 months long though you don't even KNOW that you are pregnant usually the 1st 4 weeks soooo....I guess it feels more like 9.  Ok, so it feels like 26 months can I get an amen?

So let's do a little pregger update shall we?!?

  • I am 34 weeks.
  • I have gained 30 lbs.  I gained 28 lbs with  Yup.  That's not happening this time around ahem.
  • Overall I feel pretty good.  I've had "mostly" non painful contractions on and off for the last week or two.  Every once in a while I get something that feels pretty sharp and ouchie.  This is all new for me.  I didn't get a single Braxton Hicks or anything the whole time I was pregnant with Jack.  When my water started leaking with Jack the doctor asked me if I felt I could go into labor on my own and I looked at her and said, "Not a chance."  Hence the induction.  :)
  • My appetite has basically taken a dive.  I am rarely hungry anymore and usually have decent nausea come 4pm.  Not much space up in this abdomen of mine for things like food.
  • I have a few regular stores I go to and the people there are starting to remember me as the big whale...ahem, pregnant lady.  They keep commenting, "You're STILL pregnant?!?"  Guys!  I have like a good 5 weeks left.  This baby is not going any where soon.
  • Speaking of the baby leaving my body.  So.  With Jack I could care less how he left my body.  Vaginal, C Section, whatever.  I just wanted him to be safe and whatever mode that ended up being was fine for me.  I also had never HAD a baby before so I was just plain open to whatever.  While I was aware of the fact that one could tear I didn't reeeeeally know to the degree that could happen, nor the recovery time.  Completely na├»ve to that.  So now we have baby #2.  Guys.  I seriously don't know what to do.  At. all.  I'm honestly okay with tearing again.  Even to the degree that I did with him but the doctors don't think I can handle a tear in the same place again...without serious consequences.  There is talk that if it DOES happen then I may have incontinence issues.  You know, that's every mother's dream to have to worry about her kid's diaper changes AND her own.  Also reconstructive surgery might have to happen.  They mentioned that they think these issues are a genetic thing.  The same reason some women don't get stretch marks or have no issues with their bladder.  Genetics.  Yeah, turns out last week I found out my aunt had major surgery after her second baby.  Completely ruined her and she had to have pelvic reconstruction...and in the end a hysterectomy  And my Nana, her mom...had trouble too.  So I'm typing all this out and I'm sure you're like UM...HELLO DUMMY get a C-section!!!!  But there is this huge part of me that is like...I don't want one.  I want them to flop baby girl on me like they did with Jack.  I don't want to stay in the hospital 5 days, be apart from Jack, and heal from a C-section.  And what if she IS smaller?!?  I feel pretty confident that I could get a smaller baby out with not too much trouble.  Gah.  But if something happened and there was permanent damage then I would be sooo mad at myself.  A C-section is just what it is.  A C-section...and then it's done.  I don't know.  We've thought about doing a size ultrasound at the end and depending on what they say deciding based on that info.  I guess there is a 1 lb "give or take" on those things so if she's measuring at 6 or 7 lbs according to it then go for the vaginal but if she's measuring 8+ then go for the C-section.  Who knows.  See.  This is my dilemma.  Help me decide.  Kidding.  ;)  Phew.  Ok, enough on THAT subject.
  • It's kinda weird/nice having had a baby and basically having everything that we need for baby girl.  All the things that I would like are basically extra things that would be "nice".  There was a consignment store that I liked in San Francisco that was great for things like wraps, toys, and etc.  It was just so-so for clothes.  Their clothes were like $6-$7 and they looked quite used.  I can get clothes for that price on clearance at Old Navy, Gap, and Target for brand new.  There is a consignment store here though that is awesome for clothes.  I basically got everything baby girl could need for the first 3 months or so for super $1-$2 a piece.  And it's all totally brand new looking and adorable.  Score I tell ya!  :)
  • I should buy stock in heartburn products because I'm pretty sure I will be keeping their business afloat single handedly this pregnancy.  I have had heartburn so bad that at points I thought I was going to throw-up.  Lovely.  Everything gives me heartburn...everything.  Even OATMEAL gives me heartburn.  I mean, come on! 
  • Overall I just feel...excited...and a little nervous to be bringing home a second baby.  I mean, my little buddy has been my side kick for almost 2 years and now there will be three of us.  I just kinda feel a little sad to think that this time we have will be...different looking.  There will definitely be more love in the home adding another little one and I'm not sad but I can get a little nostalgic thinking about change I guess.  This is probably pretty normal.  I'm actually not that nervous for Jack.  I think he will probably adjust pretty well.  I hope I'm right!  :)  ha!  I'm also still a little weirded out that we're having a GIRL!  Like I still don't totally believe it.  I don't have a sister...and most of my cousins are boys.  There are just a lot of boys in my family and so...a girl!  Crazy for sure.
  • And if anyone is looking for a super comfy pair of maternity shorts seriously THESE THINGS are amazing.  I wear them almost every day.  The panel is super stretchy and soft and not tight feeling at all.  The best purchase this pregnant woman has made this pregnancy...actually the ONLY piece of maternity clothing I've purchased this pregnancy, ha!  :)
Phew.  I guess that's it.  I have a picture buuuut...I'm too lazy to find my camera and upload it.  So...I'll add it tomorrow maybe.  ;)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Updates

It's Friday.
And what. a. week.

Let us do a little recap shall we?!?

  • So I got my first stomach 11 years!  Ha!  I actually can remember the last time that I got a stomach bug.  By God's grace I didn't get the throw-up version of it, but the ahem, "other version".  While it was awful...I've heard that it's pretty awful to be massively pregnant and heaving your guts out.  I also didn't have too many other symptoms so I was at least half way functioning...allowing me to take care of a certain little toddler who.......
  • then exactly 48 hours later came down with a much worse version.  The full monty...and a fever to boot.  Poor kid.  Between me and Jack being sick I basically have slept very little in 4 days buuut...what can you do.  Sleep deprivation is nothing new with little ones eh?  We are all on the mend now and slowly trying to regain our appetite.  I'm thinking I won't be hitting that 2 lb mark of weight gain at this two week baby appt.  ;)
  • Crocs.  Ok.  So these things aren't exactly the most adorable shoes...on adults.  But on little kids.  Totally cute.  I have no idea why I didn't buy a pair a long time ago.  Oh wait, because they are like $25 for a pair of plastic shoes!?!  Anyways, Jack is growing out of a lot of his shoes.  And apparently I'm all stocked up on shoes that are too big for him (ie sandals and tennis shoes).  I finally broke down and bought him a pair and they are pretty amazing.  He likes to go in the backyard and run through our wet grass...and "water" the plants with his watering can...which involves more water on his shoes and the ground then it does water getting into the actual pots.  The crocs are rubber so they get wet and then boom...they're dry.  Apparently they are comfy too because he refuses to wear anything that isn't...that's for sure.  Also I would have bought the cheapo version of them but apparently they NEVER have his size's name brand for us this time.  ;)
  • We just got Wifi.  I know.  We are pretty much perpetually stuck in 1991 when it comes to technology.  Funny stuff.  All we need is a coffee pot...and maybe a TV and we might actually resemble the average family who resides in at least the early 2000's.  ha!
  • I feel like I've been a bit quiet on social media lately.  Too busy with flus and just...pre-occupied.  We have family staying at our house currently.  My cousin (who is 20) was just diagnosed with a very rare, scary liver cancer yesterday.  They live in New Mexico.  He went in because of pain last week to his local ER and discovered the mass, and that it had metastasized.  They came here last weekend for the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.  They have been going through tests and biopsies and got the official word yesterday.  Apparently God had us move here just in time so that they had a place to stay for free while they figure out their next course of action.  I have been hit with so many questions this week regarding faith and suffering...both from myself and my aunt.  And you know...I just. don't. know.  I don't know.  I don't know why God makes people suffer...or heaven forbid...takes a child.  The only answer I have is that SOME how it is for His good.  Some how.  Even though I want to yell, and kick, and scream out "Why are you being so selfish God?!?" deep in my heart there has to be a reason why...outside of the sheer fact that science says eventually we will die and that's that.  We have to have faith in a God who allows such a thing because's truly hopeless.  You read all the books on suffering and the problem of evil and pain and when you are outside of sorta makes sense.  And then you are thrown into the frontlines and all that logic and head knowledge goes out the window and your heart's pain takes over and you're left stripped down, sick to your stomach, and full of questions.  So please pray.  Pray for my cousin.  He's young and probably totally freaked.  Pray for my aunt who is a vulnerable, scared mother who loves her son so deeply.  Pray for Jason and I to be a support to them.  Pray for the meeting they have today with the surgeons that they will in fact attempt to do surgery.  If they say they can't/won't do it then that's basically the end...because chemo doesn't work on this type of cancer.  God DOES move and do miracles.  I believe it. 
Sorry to leave it on a downer.  I hope that everyone has an awesome weekend...and hug those babies of yours.  Even if they're 20+.  ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sedona Camping Trip

Oh hey there!
It's been a little while since I've ventured over to this space.  Been busy working, child rearing, growing a baby, and things of that nature.  Jason also had a one week "spring break" of sorts and so we decided to utilize it as a "last hoorah" before baby girl comes.  We went camping outside of Sedona and it was basically great.

We haven't been camping/backpacking since before I was pregnant with Jack.  We had every intention of going camping during his first year buuuut...he didn't start sleeping through the night until a year old and we didn't think it would be courteous to bring a baby camping who likes to wake up through out the night and cry.  Heh.  Honestly we haven't been a real campsite in quite a few years.  We've done a fair amount of backpacking and my how that is different.  The close proximity of bathrooms, trash cans, and water that you didn't have to purify yourself was mighty nice.  Especially being um, you know, 8 months pregnant.  Ha!

And Jack.  Oh my golly that kid had so. much. fun.  Seeing him camp was pretty much my favorite part of the trip.  He was sooo happy...and he's basically always a happy little guy.  He also slept great.  Honestly, it was just what the doctor ordered.  While Jason has enjoyed his new job it has been a LOT of work.  I think we just needed some time to check out and be together.

Oh, and the scenery of the place wasn't too bad either....

So most of these big red mountains are taken around Sedona the city.  It's really quite unique and beautiful.  We went on a hike where there were networks of mountain bike trails ranging from easy to difficult.  Jason was freaking out.  He wanted to ride so bad.  Instead he was stuck with a toddler and a pregnant woman.  Ha!  I don't think he minded it too much though.  ;)

Please note the little red butt on Jack.  The sand was super fine and soft and that was the first thing he did...plopped down on his bum and started digging his fingers through the dirt.  :)

You can't see all of Jack's face but my how I love this picture of my two favorite guys. 

Jacko was getting pooped by the end and so out came the binkie...and of course we carried him all the way back.  Kinda wish I could have traded places with him.  Honestly though I felt really great with hiking.  How I'm not sure.  Sleeping on that hard backpacking mat was basically torture.  The first night I basically didn't sleep.  Every time I moved and shifted searing pain went through my hips.  I think I slept the second night out of sheer exhaustion.  Let's just say our bed sure felt uh-mazing once we got home.  (I knew this would be an issue going into it.  I get achy hips while sleeping in our bed at home so camping...yeah.  I decided it was worth the pain.  And it was.  But it felt good to be home again...and 2 nights was my max).  :)

These photos are from around our campsite.  We stayed farther up the mountain passed Sedona, toward Flagstaff.  There was some old snow still on the side of the road.  We were probably at about 6000 feet elevation.  The temperature difference between Sedona the city and where our campsite was was dramatic.  At night and in the morning it was downright freeeeeezing.  Considering we haven't experienced weather under 70 in a couple of months it was a bit of a shock.  We bundled up though and survived it.  :)

I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to Jack being clean.  I mean there's a time and a place for filth but overall I keep his hands and face pretty clean.  If he spills on his shirt I will usually change it before we go out into public.  But there is something about a grimy, dirty little camping baby that just makes me smile.

Overall it was a great trip.  Lots of nature.  Lots of time together.  Beautiful views and hikes.  Good camping food.  We had a great time.  Jason has now been to the Grand Canyon and Sedona.  He said that the Grand Canyon is "big" and definitely worth seeing but that Sedona is just plain beautiful.  Maybe there is something to the saying that I've read, "God made the Grand Canyon, but He lives in Sedona."  ;)  Ha!

Monday, March 2, 2015


I think I remember right around this time when I was pregnant with Jack getting that strong urge to no longer wear maternity venture into the rest of my closet once again...and to maybe buy a new piece or two.  ;)

Being pregnant has certainly been good for the budget as far as buying clothes goes.  I worked through my first pregnancy and so had a decent wardrobe of maternity clothes to wear.  I haven't bought a single piece this time around and am trying my best to finish this last 8 weeks out with what I already have.

And then am I right or do you have the baby...wait a couple of weeks and think...I must CERTAINLY be at least CLOSE to my pre-preg self (because in comparison you really are so much smaller) only to pull on a shirt or pants and realize uhhhhh...yeah no.  I remember being shocked and thinking "I will NEVER fit back into my old clothes."  But I did.  It came in stages.  The pants fit first...then the shirts later (because of nursing).  But eventually yes...I shrunk back down.  Also weird side note.  Anyone else notice that they kept on that last 5 or so pounds until after they stopped breastfeeding?!?  Weirdest thing.  It's like my body kept the weight in "reserve".  When I stopped nursing I totally went back down to pre-pregnancy weight.  Bodies are strange.  ;)

The great thing about both pregnancies is that my birthday falls about 3-4 months post baby.  The perfect amount of time to start buying/receiving some birthday treats in the clothes department. 

So here are some things I have been eyeing lately.  Please note that winter coats, scarfs, and boots are NOT on this list.  Thank you Arizona weather. 

I have been eyeing a pair of these Birks for quite some time now.  A bit pricey for sure but I'm digging them.  Definitely liking the taupe.  I also LOVE these gladiator Birkenstocks.  I saw them on a girl and seriously...cutest thing ever.  For the price though I feel like they need to be worn all the time.  And I'm not so sure the gladiator ones are as with pants? 

THIS sweatshirt has been in my Etsy shopping cart for...well, since I got pregnant.  I absolutely adore it!!! 

There are a lot of things I can imagine buying...but most certainly never would.  I basically don't spend more then $20 on a clothing item unless it's with birthday money.  Ha!  I LOVE me some Free People though.  Well, not all of it.  Some of it is downright weird.  But THIS shirt.  Swoon.  So pretty.  And THIS tank (with a cami underneath).  But $92 for it?!?  Barf. 

Then there is Anthropologie.  Every birthday I usually buy myself an item from here.  I have about 3 or 4 Anthro pieces and adore them.  Like I take really good care of them because it feels like such a rare treat to own them  Ha!  :)    So I am a huge sucker for ruffles.  LoVe THIS shirt. 

Last but not least I am in some desperate need of GOOD sunglasses.  The sun here is killing me.  I had these guys (and lost them) and think I might like to get them again.  I have also been wanting a basic leather tote purse for a good 3 years but alas...that's a lot of money to spend.  None the less I do rather like this one

Alright.  That's all I got for you.  :)  I probably will never buy a single one of these items but it's fun to dream right?!? 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Week...

  • It's Friday.  Fridays are lovely.  It's the anticipation of two days home with my main squeeze...a possible grocery shopping trip alone while Jason stays home with a napping babe...where I treat myself to a nonfat decaf caramel macchiato...or mocha...depending on the mood (it's the small things you know?).  The last few Fridays we've hit the Chick Fila for dinner.  Jack eats his nuggets and then runs around like a mad-child in the play area while I flinch and get anxiety from the fact that he is by far the youngest (even though the sign CLEARLY says 3 and under ;) ) and will likely get pummeled at any second.  So far he has survived though.
  • Last night at around 9:30 Jack woke up crying.  I went in because he doesn't EVER wake up at that time...2 am sometimes, yes...but not 9:30pm.  He looked "odd."  I picked him up and I could tell he was straining to breathe.  Then he coughed a cough that was literally the craziest croupy, barky cough I've ever heard.  Scared the crud out of me.  Jason was going to call 911 but I stopped him.  Instead he started throwing on clothes and grabbing keys and we were about to speed off for the E.R.  As I held him I could hear the rattle in his lungs but he was getting better.  So I held him upright and he fell back asleep.  We don't even know where a hospital IS!  Yes, stellar parents.  Anyways, in sum we waited it out and his breathing got easier and he just sounded congested and a little wheezy.  I ended up making a 10 pm run to Wal Mart for a humidifier and needless to say he slept in our bed.  Good grief.  The weirdest thing about this whole thing...he isn't sick!!!  I mean, he had a small runny nose at the end of the day but no hint of a cough or anything.  I have no idea what happened.  He let off a few rattled/barky coughs in his sleep but overall slept well.  So today our mission is to find a pediatrician who will take us...otherwise we will go to an Urgent Care I guess.  The weird thing is...he seems totally fine today.  And his cough...rarely comes and it just sounds "normal".  Ugh.  Give me a crazy high fever any day...I can handle those but anything with airway issues...don't mess.   
  • So I think I've finally decided on a double stroller.  I really want this one.  ;)  Now to find $500...hmmmm.
  • We are forecasted (is that a word?) to get rain Sun-Wed.  There is something all together exciting about getting rain in a dessert.  On the flipside...rain makes the "grass" grow in our rockyard in the front and that is not so cool.  Yesterday we invested in a sprayer and bulk weed killer.  :)
  • I made Jack a quick little box fort and he was into it.  Then Jason came home and drew all over it...even drew a little train track all over it.  Now Jack points to it and says "daddy" and totally loves it even more.  He wants Jason to crawl into it when he gets home from work and play with him each day.  Darling I tell you.
  • If anyone is in the market for a toddler bed I found this one on Amazon and it looks pretty good.  Really cheap and great reviews! I think we are going to just go for it and conquer the bed transition before baby girl comes.  Or at least try...  :)
  • For Jack's birthday we are making him THIS collapsible tent.  I got the wood yesterday (while buying our weed killer) and a queen size bed sheet from Goodwill.  The cost...pretty cheap.  Wood was about $7, sheet $3, bias tape $8.  I went ahead and got some stain for the wood but that's not necessary.  Anyways, I wanted a little fort/tent that he could take outside that would provide some shade but also bring it in since the sun is a little harsh here and will probably fade it and weather it in no time.  I also am well aware of the fact that Jack's birthday is only a month and a half after baby girl will be coming so it's probably better to get this done now.  It will be more low key then his 1st but I still want to have fun and make a special day out of it.  :)
  • And that's all folks!  Have a marvelous weekend friends!!!  <3

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Winner!!! And other stuff...

So first off!

Let's pick a winner for the tote bag shall we?!?
So has chosen...


which is...


Hey now!  I'll shoot you message a Jeannett and snag your addy from you.  :)


So are you?!? 

I'm...fine.  I mean, I feel like I should be saying "great" because there really isn't anything that's been happening that would warrant just a plain old "fine".

I think though that this whole move thing has kinda sunk in.  Next week we will have been here two months.  I would say that the novelty of being in a new place has worn off.  There are things that I really like about living here.  For example...the space.  Our old place in San Francisco was about 500 sq ft.  This place...more then double that.  We have a nice, good sized backyard, a big garage, and etc.  The space is really REALLY great.  And I can tell Jack loves it.

Lately though I keep having this thought...what ARE we doing here?!?  You see, right after we moved here we actually got an offer from USC...again.  Now I don't really think we would necessarily be happier in L.A.  I mean, it's more expensive and it's a big city...not really our cup of tea.  I know San Francisco is a "big city" but it's definitely different then Los Angeles.  Still though I kinda wonder what it would be like to still be in California and not so far from family...and near some people who I actually know!  Maybe the fact that we are about to have a baby and I straight up have not a single person who I would call a friend here is just sinking in more and more.  It's easy to forget that we uprooted ourselves and moved states when a lot of your routine is the same.  Jack still has the same basic routine here...I still have to care for him...I still am doing the same work that I was doing in  San Francisco.  I think I'm just afraid that I might feel...lonely...once baby #2 comes.  I definitely struggled with feelings like that the first month or so of having Jack.  I went from being at work, socializing, to being at home...alone.  Not a bad thing.  And I adjusted for sure...and grew to love being home.  But I really hope it doesn't happen again because it will really and truly just be me...with two littles.  Nobody stopping by to say hi.  I can't call reinforcement if I'm just at the end of my line.  I mean, there's Jason but he's at work obviously.

It usually hits me hardest when I'm driving around.  Probably because I'm out and about and seeing things that are still not entirely familiar to me.  I often ask God...why here?!?  Not in a negative way but a curious way.  I mean, He must have saw some reason to bring us to Arizona.  The fact that I know this to be true...that there IS a reason brings a lot of comfort.  I guess it's just being patient and waiting to see how life pans out you know?!?

Anyways, there are some of my thoughts for you.

And I just thought you should know that TWO people today thought that I was due uber soon and when I told them, "Nope, two more months." They both gave me a look of surprise...and sympathy.  Ha!  Gotta love it.  This is what it looks like when a short/petite woman has a baby people!  :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Lined Tote Bag Tutorial...and a Giveaway!

So I think that I've maybe done a tutorial before but I'm not entirely sure.  If I did, it certainly wasn't very memorable.  :)  That being is a tutorial on one of my very most favorite things to make...TOTE BAGS.
There are a few reasons why I love making this. doesn't cost very much to make...especially if you utilize 40% off coupons like I do.  I basically never buy anything full price if I can help it.  Second...this is a really easy project that you can whip out in an evening, no problem.  Third, tote bags are just super versatile.  Gym, groceries, diaper bag, purse...whatever you want.  Fourth, I love mixing and matching prints and this gives you that option.  :)  Oh yay.

This tutorial will also reveal a few things about ME!  1) My belly is a professional photo bomber. 2) I have long toes. 3) I have amazing taste when it comes to ironing boards.  4)  I have very little photography skills.  5) My workspace is not always no tidy, ahem.  Continue on to see what I mean.  ;)

So...let me tell you how to make a bag that every woman should have least 5 of. 
Here we go.
By the way...this tute is a little long but dare I say...thorough?!?  If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section and I will try to answer you back.
Oh!  And do you WANT this bag?!?  Well, I'm doing a giveaway at the bottom so...make sure you leave a comment to enter! 

First you will need (or I used):
1/2 yd each of canvas fabric for the outside (you can do two different types or just one pattern...either way.  if you do one pattern instead then you will obviously need 1 yard of it)
1 yard of coordinating cotton fabric for lining
about 1 1/2 yards of webbing for the straps
3/4 yard of fleece batting (not too thick)

The great thing about this project is that you can make it any size that you would like.  I made this tote bag slightly oversized.  It measures 14 x 18 in.   If you would like a smaller or larger bag just cut your fabric accordingly. 
So first you need to cut two equal rectangles.  This will be the "top portion" of the outside of your bag.  I cut mine 18 x 13 inches.

Then you need to cut one larger rectangle for the bottom.  I cut mine 18 x 16 inches.  To give you an idea of how this works eventually this piece will be folded in half to create the "bottom portion" of the outside of the shown below.

So now you have 3 rectangle pieces of your cotton canvas fabric.

You are now going to line the edges up, print side facing each other and sew all three of them together.  The bottom portion (the print you only cut one larger rectangle for) is going to be in the middle when you are shown below.

Now iron those seams you made!   :)  (I am SUCH a lazy sewer but I have learned that ironing seams makes all the difference.  So don't be lazy.  Just do it!)

Ok, so now you have your three pieces sewn together with nice, flat, ironed seams, am I right?!?

Now it's time for the fleece batting.  :)  Make sure you have enough...good.  Now this is super confusing but I'm too lazy to go back and take another picture...and it's already made sooooo...yeah.  The picture above for whatever reason shows the print down.  You want the print UP!  So, I flipped my three pieces of sewn cotton canvas so I could see the print and then pinned it to the fleece shown below.

Now you are going to take your canvas that is pinned to your batting and make two seams.  One on each side of your middle canvas piece.  Right where my finger is pointing below.

And here I am sewing that seam.  :)

 And here is the completed seam.  Now you are going to do this on both sides of the middle cotton canvas piece (if you are totally confused scroll down a couple of pics to see what I mean)

Once you are done with those two seams you want to sew the ends closed of your super long rectangle.  As shown below.  And then do it on the other side also.

Now you have this long piece of cotton canvas that you have sewn to your fleece batting in these 4 spots...see picture below.

Now you are going to fold this in half as I am doing below so that you can see the batting.

Folded in half!  :)

With the fold on the bottom you will sew along each side of this so that you have an open top.  So looking at this photo above, the fold is on the bottom.  You will sew along the left and right edge of this rectangle...leaving the top open.  Sewing demonstrated below.  ;p

When you are done you basically have a big envelope type thing with an open seen below.

Okay, now I would say this next part is the most tricky.  So you have this flat rectangle envelope type thing but in order to have a tote bag with a flat bottom you have to create a box corner.  Once you get it, it's easy.  It's just kind of hard to demonstrate in a picture.  If you get confused I'm sure there are plenty of youtube videos showing it.
So this is one of the bottom corners of your "flat envelope" that you want to create a flat bottom from.  Basically I stick my arm into the bag with that seam facing me and then flatten it out so it makes a triangle-like corner as shown below.
Then you will want to sew a seam across that.  How far you sew from that "bottom point" will effect how deep your bag is.  If you wanted a really deep basket type container you would sew farther up.  If you want a bag I tend to make a seam about 3 inches from that bottom point.
Once you have done that you will cut off the excess as shown below. 
I keep that "cut off" triangle for reference because you will do the exact same thing on the other "point"...and on your lining.
Here I am using it as a reference...making sure they are about equal.  You don't want a lopsided bag.  :)
Okay, so you have done both bottom corners and created your flat bottom.  Now your bag should look like THIS. 
Now turn your bag right side out.  Hey, hey's starting to look like a tote bag!  :)  And please pardon the side ways picture.  I cannot figure out how to flip it worth beans.  Soooo annoying.
Now we are going to add the straps.  Cut your strap piece in half and pin it like so.  Make sure there is a little extra left at the top.  Also make sure they are evenly placed on both sides of your bag.  Also make sure that the strap is flipped the right way so that it will sit on your shoulder nicely.
Sew those bad boys on! 
Cut off the excess.
Now your bag looks like this! (again, the sideways pic.  grrrr.)
Now onto the lining.  So, you want one long rectangle piece that will roughly match that original rectangle piece that you made with the three pieces of canvas cotton.  So, I had two teal pieces measuring 18 x 13 inches each and the middle black dot piece measuring 18 x 16 inches.  Adding those pieces up I want my lining to then be about 18 x 42 inches.  Make sense?
So here is my long piece of 18 x 42 inch lining fabric folded in half. 
 Now this is optional but I love big bags as long as there is a place for things like keys, binkies, and cell phone.  Otherwise...big bags are not so fun.  Nobody likes digging for keys with a squirmy toddler in their arms.  So, next, I made a pocket for the inside of the bag.
I cut a square of the lining fabric.  I made it about 11 x 10 inches.  Then I folded over the "top" of the pocket twice and ironed it down...then sewed along shown below.
Next I made one crease (you can do a double if you are an overachiever ;) ) on the other three sides of the "pocket" as shown below.
Then pin the pocket onto the piece of the lining.  I like to do it towards the top edge.  Note:  the belly.  
Sew the pocket on!
 Now you have THIS...with a handy dandy pocket sewn on.
 Fold that piece in half so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing shown below.

Now you are going to make one long seam up one side and then a seam, leaving an open hole, on the other side.  Make sure you backstitch as you are going to use this hole to turn the whole bag right side out.  Basically the bag needs to birth itself through this hole kind to it.  I think I have birth on the mind.  ;)  This is demonstrated in the picture below.
 Next you are going to want to create that same box corner that you did with the canvas.  If you kept your little triangles you cut off you can use them for reference to make sure that you do about the same thing on your lining...since it needs to fit nicely into your bag.
Now turn the "outside" part of your bag with the straps and batting inside shown below.

 And make sure your lining is facing out so that you can see that lovely print.  :)
Now place the lining into your inside out that the prints are facing each other...and so that the straps are tucked inside the bag between the canvas and the lining.
So when you look into the bag you should see the wrong side of the lining.
Stick your arm in and make sure that the bottom of your lining is sitting/fits nicely with the outside canvas part of your bag. 
Then pin around the top edge.  I always have a little extra lining at the top which I cut off.
When it's all pinned around the those two layers together.  You made a seam a while back.  Sew just below that so that you can't see that first seam.
And cut off the excess fabric.
Now stick your hand in there and find that hole you made in the side of the lining.
And help your bag "birth itself".  ;)  Pull everything out of that hole.
When you're done it will look like THIS!  You are alllllllmost done!  Yay!
Now, sew that hole up that you left in the lining.
Another sideways pic...awesome.
Now these are the last two steps.  You don't HAVE to iron the top but I find it easier.  I also tend to iron the bag because that whole turning right side out thing kinda wrinkles it up.  You are going to now place one last final seam along the top of the tote bag.  This gives it a nice, clean, finished look. 
So that you now have THIS!
Congrats friend on your first tote bag!!!
So the giveaway!  Considering I have um...a few of these bags myself I thought that I would give the bag shown here to one lucky reader.  Yeah buddy!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite thing to do when you are feeling creative...or if you don't have a creative bone in your body...what your favorite color is.  ;)
I will pick a winner randomly on Thursday morning and contact you with your address to mail this bad boy off to you!
Good luck friends!