June 30, 2011

34 for 34

I decided to finally get my to do list in shape for this year. 34 is a daunting number of things to come up with, so I will totally be padding the list with things that are easy or maybe even already done. :)
  1. Update my blogroll
  2. Read at least 5 books that have neither pictures, nor rhyming verses
  3. Start getting to work earlier so I can leave earlier
  4. Exercise more
  5. Decide which Masters to start
  6. Start Masters program
  7. Sign Pie up for a dance class
  8. Be more social with neighbors so Pie has kids to play with close by
  9. Organize work/store area at home
  10. Re-launch HMH
  11. Start participating in The Red Dress Club prompts again
  12. Get published in some non-internet publication
  13. Finish some of the crafts that are sitting half done on my desk
  14. Try bangs...eeekkkk
  15. See a movie in the theater
  16. Take my camera off auto
  17. Have a proper date night with Husband
  18. Organize Pie's closet
  19. Finish guest room
  20. Organize my Pinterest boards
  21. Finish Pie's baby book
  22. Make book for Pie's Bios
  23. Help Husband organize his world domination plan
  24. Become more active in the adoption community
  25. Figure out the right way to take care of Pie's hair
  26. Ride a bike again
  27. Actually complete a craft/tutorial I have on my boards at Pinterest
  28. Clean out the linen closet. I'm thinking space bags will be involved
  29. Buy new, matching, towels
  30. Ride the skywheel when we go to Myrtle Beach
  31. Finish Pie's coloring table and find a good place to put it
  32. Rearrange furniture in bedroom
  33. Plant bushes on cul-de-sac side of the house
  34. Send friends/family more snail mail. Who doesn't like getting that?
Wish me luck...I'm hoping I can really accomplish all of these things. It seems doable right?

What's on your list for this year?

June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Spray Station}


June 27, 2011

I'm an Auntie!!

As of about 8:15 this morning I'm an Auntie for the sixth time!

Big Sister gave birth to the most gorgeous, amazingly perfect, roly-poly chunk. She is adorable and tiny and pink and round and loved beyond words already.

Big Sister, Brother in Law, Neice E and new Neice C are all happy, healthy and I can't wait to go back to the hospital and squeeze them all some more!

June 24, 2011

Paper Mama {Photo Competition: Your Best Shot! }

The Paper Mama

Late to the party as always...I had so much trouble deciding which pic to choose. For whatever reason I really wanted to use something SOOC. So I'm going with this one because I love the close-up, how you can see all Pie's gorgeous eyelashes, how you can see me in her eyes and the slight bokeh. Mostly I just love her little face...

TRDC: FLASH...ah ah...savior of the universe

Okay, so I'm dipping my toes back into the writing prompts. I'm not sure how this is going to go. Wish me luck!

This week's Red Writing Hood prompt comes from Carrie of Views from Nature.

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.

“It’s not the words,” she whispered, “I sort of knew that’s how you’d feel. It just sounds like…like you hate me.” 

Cory rolled his eyes and stalked to the other side of the room. He ran his hand across his forehead, hoping that if he rubbed hard enough he could erase this situation, this terrible day.

“I just thought we were being careful. I mean we’ve been dating for, what, 4 months?” Cory was really getting worked up now and his words started tumbling out, faster than his mind could keep up. He knew he should stop. He knew he should take a deep breath before he said anything else, but once he started the words just kept coming.

“I mean this wasn’t anything serious. It was just a good time. It’s not like we were going to have a life together.”

The instant the last letter tumbled over his lips Cory knew it was over. The air was sucked out of the room like a back draft created by the fiery rage he saw flash in Keri’s eyes.

“Wait. That’s not what I meant.” Cory rushed to explain as Keri grabbed her keys and ran for the door. “Wait, wait. I just need a second to think.”

“Don’t bother,” Keri snapped, “I wouldn’t want you to have to make a life with me. I won’t bother you again.”

“Just wait. What are you going to do about…”

“You’ve made it clear that you don’t care, so don’t start worrying now.”

And then she was gone, the door bouncing in its frame behind her.

June 23, 2011

The Expert Answers

My poor mama has had the most miserable time with her computer lately. So there was a little delay answering these questions, but the wait was worth it. And now the expert speaks...

1) Jackie at The Mathey Family
Your mom sounds like an amazing lady! Here's my question (which came easily since Jared and I were just discussing it last night): Does birth order affect personality? I'm interested in hearing your Mom's answer! :)

Birth order is a very interesting topic. I don't know if you have looked it up online but there is a great deal of information about it. It may be fun to do that. Here is what I will add to anything that you may read. As with all of the theories that are available to us there is still room for our own thinking. Birth order is certainly something that has merit as you may have seen as you were growing up in your own family. The oldest has advantages than the others, the youngest has others to learn from, etc. Treating each child as an individual is so important. Watching your children and seeing their individual needs is such an important piece of growing. I really believe that parents can help balance out the birth order by providing opportunities for them to shine. Just know that you probably won't get it perfect but you can absolutely get it right. Enjoy every minute of the children, they grow up way too fast.

2) Lisa at The O’Gs
 My son is nearly 27 months and he talks a lot, but we still don't understand a lot. He understands a lot and there's things I've heard him say once but he's not a repeater. If we go "say I love you" he won't say it. He says a lot of words, but I am not sure if he should be more of a repeater?

What you will find out about children is that they do everything on their time. As long as they get their needs met they are fine. They will do whatever is needed to make that happen. Remember that all of what they do is new to them. What makes sense to you may not be something that they need so they don't do it. You will just be surprised one day when it all comes together for your child. I do know that language is based on need. So I would say to be sure and give your son opportunities to let his needs be known. As parents we tend to jump in there and figure out what they want with out really making them try a little harder. Be sure to give him chances to say more. Even if you know what he is saying you can ask for more from him. Not to the point of frustration but you may be surprised at what he can do.

3) Cheryl at Mommy Pants
 You must be SO proud of your mother - what an inspiration!

Today I posted about wondering if my daughter is going to turn into a Queen Bee/Mean girl. She's entering kindergarten next year. What's the most constructive way to correct "mean" behavior, especially if we don't witness it but hear about it from a parent of the girl who came home in tears?

Interesting question. I would talk to her for sure about what you are hearing. You have a few things that can work with this. The first is the natural consequences of her actions which I would explain to her often. If she is mean to someone then they won't play with her. The other thing you might try is role playing. Set it up with her that you are going to treat her the way she has been treating other children and the talk about it. Then act out something simple like taking a toy without asking. Do it and then ask her what she thought and how did she feel. You can do a lot of situations like that without hurting her but definitely teaching her that there is a consequence to her actions. Once you show her the wrong way then be sure to show her the right way to do something and talk to her about the difference. She may not get all of the implications but she will get enough to make a difference. Hope this helps

4) Christina at And for Good Measure…
 At one point do you just have to let kids be kids...for example if my son (5) comes home from preschool and says that so-and-so was picking on him, at what point do I intervene? I don't want to be that doting/annoying/over-involved mom who is constantly butting in, in normal "child's play" but I don't want it to get to an unacceptable level to where Manuel is brought to the point of tears. He starts Kindergarten in August and I need to know at what point to step up and at what point do I just let kids be kids. He's only came home once and mentioned a school aged child (they have before and after care for K-5th grade at his daycare/preschool, so he was referring to an older boy), but I'm curious what your moms thoughts are. Any thoughts, ideas, etc. would be much appreciated.

Love your question. I work in an elementary school and this comes up so often. I would first say to always give credence to what your child is telling you. Find out as many of the details as you can and offer him a way to solve the problem himself. If that does not work them for sure ask for a conference with the teacher or the person in charge of the after school program and let them know what is happening. It is very possible that they may not even be aware of the problem. Children can be very clever is in when and where they are misbehaving so the teacher may not see it. Remind your son to tell the teacher if he has not been able to stop it on his own. The teachers are always walking that fine line between tattling and reporting. Bullying should aways be reported. What defines bullying is someone still do something to you after you have asked them to stop. The best you can teach your son is to stand up for himself but know that help is available whenever he needs it. Don't hesitate to let the teacher know when you need help with solving a problem. Your comfort is just as important as your son's

5) Heather at View From the Shoe
 Why is my daughter such a (lovable) pill? Is it because she is the 5th, or is it just how she is wired. Can I assume she will turn out fine since the rest of them have and I didn't know what i was doing with them either??

The odds are in your favor that she will be fine due to your parenting. Being the 5th is not easy so she may just be vying for a position in the family. Four older siblings can be daunting. I would say to always celebrate the children's uniqueness, it can be the best part of them. Actually, learning to appreciate all of yourself makes you so much stronger. It sounds like you are doing a great job. I love that you see her as lovable even when she may drive you crazy some times.


So there you go. My incredible mama. If you have any other questions, feel free to either post your it in the comments or email me at unofficialmom@gmail.com if you have a one but want to remain anonymous.


June 22, 2011

A Few Words Wednesday {Hmmmm}

Sometimes you just need to get naked, climb onto the window sill, and give mama a quick heart attack...

June 21, 2011

Oh Etsy...how you suck my bank account dry

A week or so ago, I asked you all for help thinking of a great shower gift for Big Sister. You gave me a ton of fantastic ideas and I will absolutely be following up on several as soon as the little madame has a name. In just 6 days, as long as she cooperates, I'll be meeting my her and I'm so excited!
So back to the shower...I needed to find something amazing. Of course I went to Etsy and found exactly what I wanted!

Lauri from Bound To Remember has the sweetest, most adorable silhouettes and monograms in her shop. I wanted to buy about half her store. And I can't tell you how much Big Sister and BIL love love loved it!

Right? Is that not the sweetest...sisters holding hands, running with their teddy bears?! In addition to being completely adorable and having what seemed like a thousand colors the silhouette could come in, Lauri was awesome. She had the print out to me the day after I ordered so I would get it in time for the shower. 

She completely saved my procrastinating butt! And now that I've got Big Sister taken care of, I can focus on what I want (hehehe). Like this sweet silhouette...reminds me of Husband :)

June 20, 2011

Monday Minute {6/20}

Monday Minute

1 - Redacted due to mom and brother reading this blog. Heh.

2 - What are you wearing?
Pajamas. Yoga pants and a t-shirt.

3 - How are you feeling?
Tired. And a little sore. I saw the chiropractor Saturday and always feel a little gross after the poking. And to make sure the sore stuck, I completely busted ass at the mall yesterday. Lots of bruises...good times.

 4 - How many and which languages can you speak fluently?
Just the one. I took Latin for three years and Spanish for another 3. I am a totally nerd and actually used to complete in foreign language competitions, but all I can remember is a little mythology and how to say 'my dog is small and brown' in Spanish.

and finally...

5 - Name at least one thing that you did as an adolescent that if you caught your child (or future child) doing, you'd get pretty mad.
Not that I ever did anything wrong...but if I had to pick one thing it would be lying about where she is. It's just way too dangerous. I'm a complete idiot and extremely lucky that nothing ever happened to me.

June 17, 2011

Another random Friday

I keep ending up with these little bits to tell you at the end of the week. So this is another Friday catch-all.
I have come clean before about watching 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. They're terrible and I can't look away. I just watched this week's 16 and Pregnant and really want to smack somebody. This week was a 15 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. Idiots both. Neither would consider adoption because they didn't "believe" in it.

I can't even process what that means. How do you not believe in something that actually exists? And to make things even more mind boggling, the girl's mother had a child in her teens that she did place for adoption because so was too young to care for the child. How do you have adoption in your family and still not believe in it?! I may or may not, and totally did, cry for that poor, sweet baby.

My expert has been having some serious computer issues, so she is just starting to answer the questions. I will have that sorted and up next week. And let me just say that her answers simply confirm her expert status. She's wicked smart.

I got some super duper prizes for my birthday. A spa day (oh yes!), some killer Etsy items, and the best of all...my little Pie choose my birthday to say mama and actually mean me. Yup, cried my eyes out. And get a little teary every time she's said it since.

And just so I end on the best possible note. Here's a little slice of Pie in the pool with her daddy...

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

June 16, 2011

Hiding Behind Anonymity

This blog is for the most part anonymous. Sara, which is my real name by the way, is super common so I have no fear using it. Husband, however, has a very unusual name. Very. Like we have never met, heard of, or read about anyone else who has his name. And my darling Pie has a name that is not unusual, but is certainly not common.

When I started writing here I didn't know if it was something that would last, I didn't know if it would do anything for me. All I knew was that keeping things anonymous was important. I never would have guessed what I would gain from this blog. I have gained a place to vent, a place to celebrate, a place to share the wonderful, absurd and heartbreaking. More than all that I have gained friends. Amazing people who I talk about in real life, who I tell stories about, who are a part of my life despite having never met most of them.

And it's that piece that has been bothering me lately. I feel terrible that I'm holding back basic information about my life from you. Granted if we chat offline I've shared names, places, etc. But I feel like it's unfair to hold out on you when so many of you are completely transparent. And that's where the problem lies.

For anyone who doesn't know, Pie is my daughter through domestic open adoption. Her biological parents know us completely...names, address, phone numbers, you know name it. For that reason I have tried to keep any truly identifying information out of my writing here. I wanted to have have a place where I feel fairly certain I can speak openly about anything. I really wanted to have a place where I could say things without fear that Pie's bios would be reading and judging or feeling anything less than confident in their decision.

I am really bothered by the fact that I hide a certain amount of my life in anonymity, but I think I have to keep it that way. I may change my mind in the future, but for the time being I think I still need to hold a few cards close to the vest. Pie still wants to give you kisses though...

What about you? Are you totally transparent or do you hold back? Why did you make that decision? Are you annoyed when people aren't forthcoming? Do you think I should put a few more questions in here? :D

June 15, 2011

Wordish Wednesday {Boo Boos}

Pie is a rough and tumble girl. She is constantly jumping, falling, climbing, falling...you get the point. And she is frequently the proud owner of bruises and scrapes. She never even seems to notice.

This weekend, however, she fell not once but twice and skinned her knees. She was not happy. Poor little Pie.
The she was distracted by trying to pull the bandaids off.
Yup...those are Phineas and Ferb bandaids. So cool. I keep waiting to get a paper cut or something so I can use one :) 
Thankfully she, and her crazy hair, recovered quickly. Both times. I swear this child is aging me prematurely! 

June 14, 2011

Holy sh*t I'm in my MID-30s

Yup. It's official. As of 8:13 pm yesterday, I am {cough} thirtyfour {cough}

To help celebrate the occasion, we got some goodies made by my dear friend Kristin of Kuppy Kakes by Kristin. And yes, for anyone whose been reading for awhile, Kristin is the same genius behind Pie's first birthday goodies which you can see here and here. And I've been craving them ever since. Can you blame me?

Margarita cupcakes. Yes...margaritas plus cupcakes. Just think about that a second.
 My favorite...vanilla/vanilla cupcakes. Simple but so yummy.
And red velvet. Another classic and Husband's favorite.
And look at all the amazing cake toppers that Kristin made. Yes made. Just for me. 

I say with all sincerity...if you are in/around Atlanta, do yourself a favor and get Kristin to make the goodies for your next event. You won't be sorry. And that fact that she's so adorable and I kind-of want to put her in my pocket and carry her and her kick ass new pink hair around with me doesn't hurt either!

June 13, 2011

Monday Minute {6/13}

Monday Minute

1 - In your opinion, rank the following in order of historical impact, 1 being the highest impact - Slavery in the US, the Holocaust of the late 1930s through mid 1940s or Women's suffrage?

I may lose my lady card for this, but I'd have to go: Holocaust, Slavery, Women's suffrage.

2 - Why did you select #1?
How could you not? The absolute, and completely senseless, destruction of a people is still beyond comprehension. The loss of life...the loss of potential...the loss of generations.

3 - To plan for something means that you are gathering information, planning ahead, getting ready, etc. What is 'pre-planning'?
Thinking about doing all that stuff?

4 - If you are a female, have you ever 'lost' a condom while having sex? If you are a male, have you ever broke on through to the other side?
Never. Acceptable answer number two is I've never had sex. (I swear mom).

and finally...

5 - Explain how one can slap the shit out of another person.
Depends on if you're going metaphorical or physical. Metaphorically I suppose if a person is talking shit and you slap them hard enough, they might stop, thus slapping the shit out of them. Physically I guess if you slap someone hard enough that they pass out....

June 10, 2011

Random random bo bandom

1) Don't forget to ask my expert a question. And for everyone who has commented so far...yes my mom is amazing, inspiring, awesome and every bit as good as I said!!

2) My little Pie was invited to her first non-family birthday party (awwww). I can't wait to see how she does with all the people and goodies.

3) I found an A.MAZ.ING present for Big Sister's shower, and will totally share after she gets it. And I have all kinds of your suggestions saved for #2s arrival. They don't have a name picked out yet, so I have to wait on that until I do some of the personalized things. Thank you for all your awesome suggestions!

4) Pinterest is becoming a real problem. I am completely addicted. If you want to follow, here you go...

Follow Me on Pinterest

5) This weekend is going to be crazy busy. I think just about every second is scheduled. But it's all fun and exciting stuff, so I'll be exhausted but happy.

6) Pie wanted to say, "Hey...how you doin?"

7) I don't really have a 7, but for some reason I just prefer odd numbers. :)

Have a great weekend all!!

June 9, 2011

Ask an expert...no...seriously.

It occurred to me recently that I have the most amazing resource on hand and I have been a greedy bugger by not sharing.

A mere phone call away, I have access to an expert in education, children, and family dynamics. And I don't use the term lightly. She has several graduate degrees (in both education and counseling), and by several I mean a couple of Masters, a Specialist and she's currently working on her Doctorate . She taught self-contained special ed for 15 years and was an unbelievable advocate for getting her kids mainstreamed and treated appropriately by the school system. She has been a school counselor ever since (another 11 or 12 years) and all the while has had her own private practice counseling children and families. Not to mention the fact that she raised 4 kids of her own while working and getting all those fancy degrees.

Granted, you may think I'm a little biased since this amazing woman is my very own mama, but I promise you I'm not. She is wicked smart and better at her job(s) than anyone else I've ever seen.

I asked if she would be willing to be my very own bloggy expert, and she agreed. So ask away. Anything you want to know about kids, family, learning disabilities, behavioral disabilities, developmental issues, school problems...you name it.

Feel free to either post your question in the comments or email me at unofficialmom@gmail.com if you have a question you'd like answered but want to remain anonymous.

If there's enough interest, we may make this a regular thing. I'm excited to see if this helps anybody!

June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Pillow Fighting Baby Style}

 What? You don't lick your arm when you're resting?