Sunday, August 18, 2013

Check 'ya in October.

So my writing this summer?  Sparse.  And I can't stand that.  It really gets under my skin.
And unfortunately--I don't see that being remedied in the next few weeks as I'm starting a new job at my school.  Still part-time, but still busy for the first month of school.
As all first months of school in every school are crazy.
Georgia is going to be in school more this year too--the last year of pre-school; she'll go to school on the days that I work--a truly amazing arrangement.
We need to give ourselves a few weeks to adjust to the new schedule....and to just enjoy September to its fullest--as we have the summer.

So.......all that to say........I'm going to officially close up shop here for the next month and I'll be back the 1st of October.  I feel better about packing things up in a neat little box like this instead of just writing once a week......or every other week with no regularity. You'll still be able to find me over at Mom Colored Glasses or you can find me on Instagram here, because heaven knows I'll never give that up!

To all you mamas getting ready for back to school.......I know it's tough.  I hope I never wish for Georgia to go back to school.  However........that might be a tad myopic.  But for now, I'm still all smiles when she says she's going to live with me forever.

See you in my birthday month!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to School Stuff.....for Georgia.

I think fall shopping is the best shopping of the year.  If I could only shop once a year (yikes!) I'd pick the fall every time.  And with a four year old entering her second and last year of pre-school back-to-school fall shopping is even better!

1.  J. Crew Crewcuts.....Besides this being so comfortable looking I love it because Georgia goes crazy when anything has a peplum on it.  She would wear the two shirts she has with them everyday if I'd let her.  "Can I wear my pep-a-lum shirt?," she'll beg every morning.

2.  Tea Collection......While I know that I could never talk Georgia into this backpack when shiny leopard print, unicorns, cupcakes, and Cinderella line the shelves I would consider it a real mom win if I did.  Maybe I should start carrying a backpack again because I love, love, love.

3.  Hanna Anderson.....There are no words for these other than, "Yes please."

4.  The Printed Palette....has become one of my favorite online shops.  G and I each have a shirt from them already and these leggings might soon be following.

5.  Hello...Not only do I love Hello's 'kid' shirt....I love their 'grown up' shirt too.  There's one for everyone in the family.

6.  Old Navy....If I didn't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these would cause fits of epic proportions to put on we'd already have them.

7.  Target....Ummm, awesome.

8.  Target also....When I found this last week I scooped it up immediately since I've seen them in other stores for way more than $9.99.

9.  J. Crew Crewcuts....As an educator, how could I not love this?  Teach for America is an amazing, this shirt is adorable.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Aboriginal Music Sticks DIY.

So, aboriginal clap-sticks, also known as rhythm sticks or music sticks, have been cropping up as little decorative elements in a lot of places.  You can spot them tucked into corners of living rooms in your favorite decorating magazines, in the background of pictures on Instagram of some of our favorite feeds, and here and there in between.  Some are painted and some are basically yarn-bombed--but with sewing floss.  All in all--the same idea.

And I love them.
So I made some.
Couldn't be easier.

The only tricky part is finding sticks that the bark has been worn off of.  Worn, not sanded is definitely key here.  A little bit of sanding is okay--but there is a difference in appearance on the sticks that have worn naturally and those that have been sanded down. We went on a hike the other day as a family and I found a lot of great sticks that fit the bill.  (And yes--for those that know me well--you did read that right.  A hike.  We went on a hike on same nature trails near our house.  I even wore tennis shoes--but in an uncharacteristic move didn't document it with a picture.  But I assure you--the hike happened.)  

So, in addition to your sticks you'll need a variety of acrylic paints, some brushes, and a sheet of sandpaper.

Sand the sticks ever so lightly just to get rid of any extra pieces of bark.  But no worries if you want to skip this step--so long as the bark is mostly gone to begin with.

And then?  Just start painting.  Stripes, bands of color, triangles, dots, and imperfect designs are best.

Let your kids help you with this--it's the key to a quality DIY in my book.  My daughter is more focused and engrossed in projects when we're doing them together and I think it's important to let little, little kids play with different kinds of art mediums.  Don't be afraid of the mess.  It's acrylic will come out of most things--especially when you're outside wearing paint shirts.  She's been painting with them for two years now.....she gets more precise and careful every time she does it.  

I laid my sticks in a low pot to dry as I finished each one.  I have to say this is one of my favorite DIY's that I've ever done.  I had this picture in my mind of how I wanted them to turn out.....and they did.  That happens about ten percent of the time--at least for me.

Have a great night!  And try this!  It's totally easy.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Is the "same page" all it's cracked up to be?

I can unabashedly tell you that Chris was ready to pursue adoption about a year before I was.  He drug me to the first adoption information meeting we ever went to.  I was not about all.  I was sick, it was a blizzard out, I'd taught all week, and I plain wasn't ready to think about growing our family in this, they had a birth mom speak about the open adoption she had with her sons family and for heaven's sake open adoption was just plain crazy as far as I was least the 2007 me thought that.

We left that meeting and I planted myself on the couch when we got home to grade history tests and told Chris, "Catch me in about......ten years......and we can talk about adoption again."  I was awesome back then.  Or something.

2008 rolled around and we started up fertility treatments again.  This time I was giving myself shots, going to the fertility doctor every other day one week a month and feeling pretty numb.  Deep, deep inside me I knew this wasn't going to work.  I just knew.  But I wouldn't say it out loud, or even in a whisper when I was by myself.  Whenever that thought would creep into my head I'd banish it with a, "You're being too negative," chide.  But I knew. I'm pretty sure I knew.

In September of 2008 I agreed to start looking into adoption in a semi-serious way with Chris.  To prove how "serious" I was I made the first call to an adoption agency.  He was excited, I was hesitant.  We weren't really on the same page.

But what I'd decided was that.........being on the same page isn't always all that necessary.  

Because by making a phone call, I wasn't bringing home a baby.

We were taking baby steps.  Granted, his bigger than mine.

And then later that fall I agreed to take adoption education classes.

Because by taking adoption education classes, I wasn't bringing home a baby.

And during those adoption education classes I agreed to get all of the necessary paper-work filled out and sent in.  And of was exciting.  It was hopeful.  It was chinking away at my uneasiness and that felt good.

Getting my fingerprints taken....Fall 2008.  Baby Steps. 

All this paper work....and this is about 1/8 of it.  And I'm sure I was annoyed with myself after this picture because I had to rearrange the pages into the proper order. 

Mailing in the paper-work.  I was taking strides at this point. 

But still, I agreed to all that paper-work because it didn't ultimately mean I was bringing home a baby.

And as we closed in on Christmas I agreed to start the home-study process.

Because by starting the home-study process, I wasn't bringing home a baby.
I admit I was getting closer.  But my baby steps had turned into strides after so many months. 

And so the story goes....step by step.  And somewhere along the line, my steps began to match Chris's. I had to run a little bit to catch up, but when there is something in front of you that you want, running, doesn't bother you so much.

So now, all these years later when I think back on that fall of 2008 and early winter of 2009 and I talk to people who are hesitating about starting the adoption process, either as a couple or individually, I say......being on the same page, about this, isn't all it's cracked up to be.  When you need to be on the same page you'll get there.  But don't let not being there stop you from starting to get there.

I recently told someone......When you're starting the adoption process, if you want to start the adoption process but feel hesitant,  don't think about what it means months down the line.  Think about it like the end result is just meeting with a social worker to see if adoption is really for you.  Then think about it like you're going to go to some classes to see if you're interested.  And eventually, if you're supposed to get will.  So many times taking the first step, that small first step that really means nothing of significance at the time, is what you need to convince yourself of what you want.

And that same advice?  You can apply it to other,

Starting the house-buying process or looking into a career change or looking into different schools for your child or starting your own business or, or, or.

You can't let what the end result might be scare you away from the first step.
So if you're thinking about adoption but you're not on the same page.....yet.......with your husband or your wife, it's okay.  There are many steps to adoption.  And you only have to do one at at time.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

For Georgia. At Four.

A while back I read about an idea on Pinterest (where else?) that described a mom who wrote an intentional letter to her son each year of his life....describing who he was that year; what he liked to do, the funny things he said, what he was interested in, and what she'd learned about herself and him that year.  When he was off to college she presented him with all these thoughts she'd tucked away in her heart for so long. These moments that she wanted him to know about.  And more than just moments--who he was in those moments. 

I'm smitten with that idea.  And so I begin for Georgia.  Unfiltered, mostly unedited, and just pure honesty. Plus, I'm feeling a little sappy tonight and a little reflective. you go. 


G, G-Money, Geege, Gigilicious, Gigerella, Sweet Pea, Cheeks,

This is your fifth summer!  Holy cow, that means you're four!  Whoosh.  How did that happen? It happened between living room shows, and Wizard of Oz viewings, and ballet classes, and lots of Noodles & Company dates, and fits about crooked socks, and rhyming games, and books read, and cookie dough eaten, and long lazy trips to Target laughing and picking out....anything, and pictures taken, and pipe cleaner crafts, and family movie nights, and hide and seek games, and Saturday morning donuts with daddy, and loving you.  Just loving you like a crazy person.

I read in a book one time, written by another mom, that she was like a middle school boy with a girl when it came to her kids.  She'd find any excuse to hug them, kiss their cheeks, hold their hands, smell their hair, and just be near them.  That's exactly how I feel about you.  And that feeling never goes away, or ebbs, or shrinks, or fades.......even in our most heated moments, fits, or battle of wills.

At four........

You have an incredible sense of humor.  But you can't stand it when people laugh at your jokes.  It actually makes you cry.  We're working on the laughing WITH you, not AT you thing.

You go.  You don't sit or relax.....ever. Even when you watch TV you are pacing the room.  When I know you don't feel good you laugh and live in the moment because it's the moment you've been given.  You make the most of every second and I am in awe of that.  I dare anyone to try and taper that quality in you.  Don't ever lose it.  It has the potential to make tremendous impact on your world.

You are loyal.  For a four year old you love your friends like I didn't know was possible.  You talk about them, pray for them, think about things you can make for them, wonder about things you I can buy for them, and you ask me over and over how you can be a better friend.  You feel things deep and process them until you can make sense of them.  I love that you're a thinker.

Your memory blows me away.  I've always thought of myself as having a good memory....and I'll claim that I do.  But yours?  One of the first things Tarah told me about herself was that she had a crazy scary memory.......and nature has delivered in spades when it comes to yours.  You remember what places smelled like, company logos from state to state--the most obscure ones, what you ate at someones house when you were two, what you wore on a random Tuesday a year ago, what I wore on a random Tuesday a year ago, and pretty much everything in between.  I mean, you quote movies and shows.....verbatim.  When I tell you that you have a memory like Tarah's you smile and laugh and say that it's why "I should always believe what you say." Your memory may be better than your logic.

Bugs.  If you're not on track to be an etymologist I can't imagine why not.  You cried when you saw we bought ant traps for the house.  You said, "Get the bees.  Leave the ants for me.  They love me."  You pick them up and let them crawl all over you, you laugh hysterically when you find a pile of them on the driveway, and you name them.  You wake up from bad dreams about someone hurting grasshoppers and you want to have a bug birthday party next year, although you are terrified of the movie, "A Bug's Life,"; one I thought you'd love for sure.

You're an artist.  You sit at your little black table in the kitchen for at least two hours a day. It's regularly covered in twisted up pipe cleaners (I think you're a pack-a-day pipe-cleaner consumer), scraps of construction paper, envelopes full of stickers, un-capped glue sticks, colored staples, hair bows, and watercolor paints. I think about cleaning it up ten times a day but usually only do it once; after you've gone to bed......because it reminds me that you've been there.  Creating, getting excited about something you've drawn, putting together an envelope full of paper for Fiona......and I love to watch you there.  Engrossed and focused like nothing else makes you.  Asking me if we can glitter some peas or a chair or the dishes.  No...............

And I could go on and on little G.  And there's no doubt I will--lots and lots.  But for now.......four is looking good on you!

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