Monday, April 28, 2008

Here We Go Again

How do I start this post?  I know I have lost many of my blog readers because I am too controversial...I talk too much about race.  I am too straight forward.  Well, someone has to be...lol.  I've tried to be nicer (really I have).  I've tried not to talk about race so much and have conversations like Jungle Crud (you have to admit that was a good one though...lol), but after Friday I just have to bring this one up.  Sean Bell....I'm going to keep it short though.

The injustices of Sean Bell.  This young man was shot and killed by police officers in what is said to be a racially motivated incident then the police officers were found innocent after the young man who was not in possession of any guns was killed.  Where is the justice in that!?  This is so frustrating!  It is very interesting to note that even Tadias (an Ethiopian online magazine) feels the connection and injustice so much so they have posted an article on their website.  Although I don't think they know how to process what has happened because the article doesn't have any comments (like many others do), but at least they do know it is important to their community as well...I see this is a start for the Ethiopian and African American community. 

A note to parents: please remember, no matter the rich heritage your child has, the only thing the outside world will see is a chocolate face, they too can become a Sean Bell, Amadou Diallou or one of the Jena 6.  As I always say, and will continue to say, teach them about Ethiopia and being Ethiopian but also teach them about the US and being African American. 

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Baby Mama

As someone who has experienced fertility drama, I was excited to see the movie Baby Mama come to the big screen.  Yesterday I went to see it and let me tell you, it was a riot!

When I was told I was infertile and could not get pregnant without medical intervention (I thought it was the end of the world).  When I was going through IVF by myself, my friends and family thought I was superwoman to make those decisions and give myself those shots (but I did what I had to do).  I never thought I would be able to laugh about it all, but it is funny how you really come to the other side.  A little over two years later, I know it happened but I totally see the humor in it now and after seeing Baby Mama it is funnier than ever (you must laugh about it instead of crying).  I could probably add funnier parts to the movie or better yet write my own.  I wasn't really looking for a Baby Mama I was looking for a Baby Daddy (so to speak... although no contract or support was required). 

Anywhoo, if you want a lot of laughs go check out Baby Mama.  I left the theater very happy and with more thoughts of Baby I on my mind.  



Monday, April 21, 2008

Let's Get This Straight Now

Saturday I went to luncheon my church had for Women's Day.  It was held at the Ritz Carlton, meaning the service and food was impeccable.  The camaraderie was just what I needed and how can I forget we had Grammy nominated Ledisi (who attends our church) sing 3 songs. One of which was Alright.  If you listen to the song she is telling women that no matter what you are going through to keep your faith because it is going to work out for the best, it will be alright.  BTW...if you remember my post from the cruise she was one of the artists that was on board.  She is awesome, you will love her music if you have never heard of her, trust me on this.   


   

What a day.  But the highlight of my day was when my sister's mother said to me, "so Tami when your adoptive daughter comes and you become an adoptive mother..."  I cut her off right there saying...."whoa, what a minute.  When my daughter comes she will ONLY be my daughter and I will ONLY be her mother period."  Everyone at the table just looked kind of shocked and said "well, okay."  

I never found out what she was going to say when she began her statement and after my comment I don't think she remembered either and to be honest, I don't care.  

I have decided my way to deal with everyone's comments is to cut them off right before they even start.  I think people expect us (AP/PAP), to think about how we are going to be nice and explain when people say things to us because they don't really know any better.  Heck we are all adults, they should know when a comment is insensitive or not, if not I don't have any problem in making it clear for them.     

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Consign On!

Since my paperwork is at USCIS I'm feeling the pressure to start making baby preparations.  I mean, I don't want my kid to get here and she doesn't have a nursery, clothes or anything (yeah, I doubt that would really happen).  Plus, I need to start looking for bargains, so there is no time like the present.  

With that said, yesterday I went to my first kids consignment sale!  It was a blast and super popular.  It started at 7:00pm, I got there at 7:15 but could not find parking so I sat in the lot for about 15 minutes watching people carry out all kind of cool baby items.  I wanted to scream "hey save me something."  I seriously considered leaving my car in the lot or parking in the handicapped space so I didn't miss the sale (I didn't, don't worry).  Finally someone moved, but then someone tried to take my space.  I had to yell out of my window, "Hey, I'm waiting for that space!"  Did I mention this sale was held at a church?  Nice huh!  LOL   But, if I'm nothing I'm persistent!  I got into that sale and found Baby I some great items (almost all new or like brand new) all for $67!  I also saw I missed some great items, but there are other consignment sales in the city periodically and I'll be ready next time.   This sale is on my calendar for next year and for the fall!  Once I find out about a good sale I never miss it twice!  LOL  

So what did I buy?  I lucked up on crib sheets from Pottery Barn (there was a whole great pottery barn crib set and even rug there, but that just seemed way too easy, I feel like I need to suffer through my indecisiveness about colors and decor much longer!), blankets, onsies, a dress, Robez, a pair of Stride Rite Shoes for when she is 2 they were to cute to pass up (sorry Tracey), toys, a little chair for picnics or for her to watch Mommy play Flag Football, a little overnight bag pillow
for her to carry and a few other small items.  On Thursday the sale goes 50%, I plan on going back to buy things for the orphanage.  

Now, the big question is, will this make me move any faster with my dossier?  Probably not...but you never know.  LOL  

Sunday, April 13, 2008

IAMASLUT


Finally, someone has recognized me for the wonderful person I am.  I am officially a SLUT!  Yes, thanks to Tasha, she started an organization for women like us, where we are appreciated for our skills and talents!  It's about time!  

If you would like to be a member head over to Tasha's blog and send her a shout out to join IAMASLUT - International Adoption Mothers Association - Single, Lovely, Unique, and Talented.  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Saving Money & Cutting Costs

Yesterday’s post seemed to resonate with many people so I thought I would continue with the theme. I loved that people started providing ideas for saving money and cutting costs, maybe others can provide their suggestions.  I’m all about saving a dollar and getting the best for less, so spill it! Tell us all your tricks! Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine. Once I get everyone’s then I will keep an updated list on the right in my favorite posts. Okay here some of the things I do:

  • Shop off-season – buy summer stuff in winter, etc.
  • Make nice with salespeople – they will call you with big sales and give you extra discounts.
  • Consignment Stores – there are high-end consignment stores that sell only designer merchandise for a fraction of the cost. I find them in every city I visit. I have even gotten Gucci sandals for $30. There are even kid’s consignment stores. 
  • Vintage Stores – everything old is new again. Where do you think the designers get their ideas? Again, I visit in every city. I have one of a kind clothing and always get compliments. Try dresses from Lily Pullitzer, Pucci or vintage Neiman Marcus $30.
  • E-bay or Craiglist – you can buy everything on eBay or Craigslist! Clothing, kids stuff, expensive strollers, everything!
  • Estate Sales – Furniture
  • Auction Houses– clothing, furniture. I used to do this weekly and became addicted to it so I had to stop cold turkey so I haven’t been in over a year. I may start up again when I redo my house…but it is worth it.
  • Thrift stores – Furniture if you are in to redoing furniture or love the thrill of the find. 
  • Outlets
  • Shop sale racks only! 
  • Freecylce – people give away lots of things
  • Single Mothers by Choice – we share items and tips.
  • Trash or Treasure parties with friends – we all bring our stuff we don’t want and swap. We end up with stuff we want and get to socialize. 
What was said yesterday in the comments section:
  • Planned ALL meals 
  • Stopped buying ANY pre packaged food (this basically cut my grocery bill by 30% at least) 
  • Used cloth diapers (a saving of about $1500 per child) 
  • Used baby face cloths instead of baby wipes (a saving of about $200 per child over 2 years) 
  • Made all my own baby food and snacks
  • Remembered that our parents raised children without every gadget known to man, and apart from a safe crib, car seat, highchair and stroller (and maybe sling if you are adopting a baby) how many other things do you need? 
  • Started growing some of our own veggies 
  • Stopped buying gifts for people, instead made gifts or bulk purchased small unique items 
  • Asked friends and family to buy activity passes (zoo pass, swim lessons) instead of toys or clothes that aren't needed
  • Joined a toy library and public library to borrow toys and books each week 
  • Stopped eating out and getting coffee's out - even $25 a week works out to $1200 a year, after tax that's probably 10 weeks of only working 4 days a week right there! 
  • Joined a house swap vacation program, so we can do a yearly vacation by swapping houses with another family instead of having to pay for hotels etc.
  • I swapped to a very small, but safe car, the saving on gas and insurance alone made me see a difference instantly. 
  • Also pre fostering and adoption I rented out a room in my apartment, putting all the money in my adoption account,
  • I did yard sales, 
  • I got an extra job tutoring 2 nights a week. 
  • You could also look for other mom's in your area who'd switch 1 day free daycare with you, so let's say you are home Fridays, you take care of her child Friday and she takes care of yours another day, meaning you only have to pay for 3 days a week childcare, again this makes it much easier. My cousin does this with 2 ladies and basically her daughter has the consistency of 2 other playmates 2 days a week and then goes to daycare 2 days a week. 
  • I'm now looking at housing options, seeing if it would be possible to sell and purchase into a duplex with other single mom's by choice. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Work Decisions

A few weeks ago The Washington Post had an article titled After a Baby, Full Time or Part?"   It just reminded me that I'm still torn over the work full or part-time issue.  And as I talk with many of my friends, who have little ones at home or are still waiting for their children to come home, they are torn too.  We all would love to stay home, but there is the little issue of money. I think this is a never ending conversation. Who knew that we would go to school for umpteen years, get so many degrees then decide to take a lesser paying job to stay at home with our little ones?  Well, at the very end of the article this was said that made all the sense in the world to me:

"There's no perfect solution," Lippman said.  "When you have a baby, you kind of have to throw all of your preconceived notions of what you want out of your life our the window...In terms of career, you don't know what your priorities will be until you're in it.  She added that she was surprised at how much she wanted to be with her baby.  "I take it one step at time.  I feel like what I'm doing is trying not to worry about the long term and be happy right now."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Biometrics Completed!

I just got back from USCIS.  It took me 40 minutes to get there in traffic  10 minutes total to get my FINGERPRINTS taken and 90 minutes to get home in traffic!  I need some chocolate now! Moving on to the next step...does anyone want to tell me what that is?  LOL