Did It Really Offend You?!

Last week I posted this picture on Instagram.

Holden happened to be naked because he had just gone potty and it was almost time for bed (I don't recall why he was shirt-less).  I didn't see the point of putting his clothes back on only to take them off a few minutes later.  Anyway, next thing I knew, he and Brantley were playing "cars" and Holden was the "tunnel".  I don't think either boy thought anything weird or funny about it, as being naked is no big deal to them, but I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever.  So I did what any mom would do and snapped a photo.

A couple of clicks later and there it was for the world to see {on Instagram}.

The feedback was very positive.  Fellow boy moms chimed in about this being a normal occurrence in their homes, as well, and it seemed many of my IG followers were quite humored by the photo.

The following day, I logged into Instagram only to be greeted with a message that I had violated their privacy policy.  Something about one of my photos being removed due to nudity.  It took me a minute to even remember the photo because, to me, it was no. big. deal.

I did a little research and came across the following "Community Guidelines".

We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.
People like to share photos or videos of their children. For safety reasons, there are times when we may remove images that show nude or partially-nude children. Even when this content is shared with good intentions, it could be used by others in unanticipated ways.
While I appreciate Instagram's policies and them looking out for my kids, I was  also slightly offended.

One, I hate feeling like I did something wrong.  It's a butt.  Of a two-year old.  I would never purposefully post a picture that would put my children in harm's way.  If I had questioned the appropriateness of the photo...or had thought it may be used in a negative way...or even thought it could offend someone, I never would have posted it.  But, in my #boymom mind, I truly don't see anything wrong with this photo.  I've always been the "good girl" who follows the rules 99% of the time--so to know I had been flagged as a "rule breaker" was a little disheartening.

Two, have you seen some of the things on Instagram??  Boobs, crotches, girls wearing next-to-nothing, curse words and words I've never once muttered in my life!  Searches of hashtags that are nothing but appropriate often yield photos that even my 33-year old eyes are embarrassed to see!

Yet, you're telling me my photo was inappropriate?

Three, and perhaps the most disappointing all...I confided in a few blogger friends, who told me that in order for a photo to be removed by Instagram, someone {a follower} had to have reported the photo.  Perhaps that person was just looking out for the safety of my child, but again, they're buns!!!

So while I appreciate your efforts, I just have to ask, did it really offend you?

Bandaids for a Cause

 My biggest fear used to be losing my home to a fire.  Or a tornado.  Things beyond my control.  Although I still worry about those things, they are literally just "things".  Now that I'm a mom, my biggest fear has shifted from losing something to losing someone - a child.  So when my blogger-turned-real-life friend, Brittany, reached out to me and a handful of other bloggers across the country asking for a little support with this amazing cause, I couldn't agree fast enough.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.  If you're a fellow KC resident, you may remember {then} 6-year-old Noah Wilson.  He was a big fan of the Royals who, unfortunately, lost his battle with cancer in June of 2015.  It's a heartbreaking story - a true nightmare for any parent - but there is a silver lining to his story.

Before Noah died, he started something called Noah's Bandage Project.  You can read all about it here, but long story short, Noah wanted to provide kids suffering from cancer the cool and fun bandages they deserved.  What started as a small drive turned into something much larger.  The Royals got involved, as did many local news stations, and although Noah has been gone for over a year, his project is bigger and better than he ever could have imagined.

 Back to my friend, Brittany.  How does she fit in to this story?  Well, she is a next door neighbor to Noah's parents.  And they live just a few miles south of me.  So although stories like this seem far away and it's easy to think "that will never happen to me", it's often closer than we'd like to imagine.

What's the point of this post?  Local or non-local, kids or no kids, you can help!  All you have to do is purchase some fun bandaids and send them to this address:

Noah's Bandage Project
119 N Parker Street Suite 110
Olathe, KS 66061

Because band aids are considered medical supplies, they cannot be sent directly to hospitals--so funneling them through Noah's Bandage Project (and the above address) is necessary.

If you have a blog, feel free to share this information and link up with my friend, Brittany.  However, blog or no blog, you can still participate online!  Snap a photo in support of Noah's Bandage Project and share on social media using one or all of the hashtags:


I, personally, can't wait for this cause to go viral.

And if you'd rather take the easy way out, monetary donations are also welcome.  Noah's family is currently working to increase the funding for pediatric cancer research.  Currently, only 4% of cancer donations go toward researching pediatric cancer.  Donations can be made on their website: www.noahsbandageproject.com.

Thank you for helping to support not only this local family (and neighbor to my friend), but kids and pediatric cancer in general!

    7 Months Pregnant with 3.0

    It's officially fall, which means we are really close to baby time!  Yesterday marked two months from Baby's due date and Friday marked 31 weeks into this pregnancy.  In a sense, nine weeks still seems so far away, but then again, nine weeks ago (the end of July) seems like yesterday!  Reality is also reminding me that this baby could come soon!  I was born at 34 weeks and I've known several people to have babies around 37!  Nothing makes me think this baby is coming early, but of course, the chance is always there.  As much as I want to enjoy these last few weeks, there are some days when I feel D-O-N-E.  I feel big and heavy and tired.  The pregnancy symptoms seem to have increased exponentially this past month, as has my belly size.  The leg cramps.  The constant peeing.  The sweating and loss of breath while teaching.  The acid reflux.  The exhaustion at the end of the day.  Don't get me wrong, some days I feel great, but most days, I'm just ready to be done!

    I'm also getting more and more nervous about things to come.  Long-term sub plans: I'm very organized at school (which makes sub plans pretty easy), but I'm also a huge control freak.  As much as I'm looking forward to 12 weeks off, there's a part of me that hates giving up control of my classroom, especially when I have to come back for 12 weeks at the end of the school year!  The labor/delivery process and all that that entails.  My previous labors have been very quick (7 hours with Brantley--after being induced--and 4 hours with Holden) and I'm extremely nervous about finding care for the boys and making it to the hospital in time for the epidural.  And of course, the newborn stage and life with three kids four and under!  There are definitely some rough days right now, but for the most part, our life is very comfortable so I'm nervous to go back to those newborn days that include a lack of sleep, breastfeeding issues, bottles, and a life that is not entirely my own.

    In other news, I passed my glucose test (yay!), got my Rhogam shot, and have started bi-weekly appointments to the doctor!  It's gettin' realer than real!


    How Far Along: 7 months (31 weeks and 3 days)

    Size of Baby: The size of a pineapple

    Gender: Baby BOY #3!

    Weight Gain:About 35 pounds

    Food Cravings: Nothing specific

    Food Aversions: No aversions either

    Movement: Frequent and often

    Sleep: Still sleeping pretty well!

    Clothing: Mostly maternity, but still some flowy, non-maternity tops and dresses.  I'm loving that loose is what's in style right now!

    Other Pregnancy Symptoms: Acid reflux, leg cramps, and sore feet are my biggest complaints.  We've also traveled the last two weekends and the car rides make my feet swell pretty bad (luckily that's the only time I swell).  Sore, achy hands in the mornings (carpel tunnel-like symptoms) similar to what I had in my previous two pregnancies.  And let's not even talk about how sweaty and out-of-breath I get while teaching.  The heat and humidity is not helping and I'm so ready for some fall-like temps!

    What I Miss: Mainly being able to sleep on my stomach and easily bend down to pick up something off the floor.

    Best Moment: Learning I passed my glucose test!  Give me all the sweets!

    Looking Forward To: The day off this Friday (after two really long days of PT conferences) that includes a doctor's appointment, a hair appointment, and maybe a little nursery shopping while the boys are at daycare!

    Here are this past month's bump photos!

    Potty Training Round 2

    It's been three weeks now, but our house is officially diaper-free!  For a few months anyway!  I never expected that potty training Holden would be as easy as it was.  He's always been a stubborn boy, very feisty, and tends to do things on his own terms.  And there are plenty of times that he refers to himself as a "baby", unlike Brantley who always loved any and all things "big boy".  On the other hand, Holden had been telling us for a few good months every time he "poopied".  He would also knowingly pee in the shower, both good signs of being potty-training-ready!  Still, I wasn't overly confident about the process.

    Like he did with Brantley, Craig took a Friday off of work.  For whatever reason, he offered with Brantley and did the same with Holden.  And I certainly wasn't going to deny him of the opportunity!  After all, I carried the babies for a good nine months; the least he can do is endure day one of potty training solo. ;)  We purposefully waited until I was back at work so that we could send Brantley to daycare and Craig could focus solely on Holden.

    And like he did with Brantley, he started the day with a special Daddy/Holden breakfast of donuts.  And fluids.  Lots and lots of fluids.

    Holden had a few accidents, but also had a number of successful trips to the potty--both #1 and #2!  Leave it to Craig to keep track of his successes and failures on the chalk board...and then take a picture!  I nearly died when I saw this pop up on Instagram!

    We made sure to fill our treat bowl - a few books from Target's dollar spot, stickers, and other junk, but his go-to reward was marshmallows.  This weird kid doesn't like candy so we had to get creative with his positive reinforcements.

    Saturday and Sunday brought a couple more accidents, but mostly just successes in the bathroom!  As the 3-day method suggests, one of us stayed home with Holden the entire weekend.  And basically didn't leave his side.  We didn't ask him if he had to go potty.  Rather, we gave him the power.  We reminded him constantly to tell one of us when he had to go.  Again, all part of the 3-day method we have followed with both boys and have had good luck with.

    On Monday, it was time to send him back to daycare.  I was pretty nervous.  Ms. Stephanie has six kids to watch, after all, three of which are younger than Holden!  To complicate the matter, she had an infant starting that day.  A 3-month old.  3-month old babies require a lot of attention!  Great timing on our part, huh?  The first day at daycare, he had two {pee} accidents, but both were en route to the bathroom.  And to our surprise (more like shock!), there have been no daycare accidents ever since!  

    At home, we've had maybe three accidents since our weekend of potty-training, but otherwise it's been smooth sailing!  He was never afraid to poop, like Brantley was, and he just seemed to take to the potty like it was his job.  I'm still in shock at how easy it was!

    (Side note: He wears a pull-up during nap and bedtime, though he often wakes up dry.)

    So now we have two kids in undies.  Two big boys running around our house.  Time really does fly!

    A huge thank you to my husband for being the awesome potty trainer you are!  If I'm being honest, I'm not sure I have the patience for day one of this business, but you, you seem to rock at it!  You have been very patient with the boys and have been such a great teacher, motivator, and reinforcer during the process.  Which means, we better stick with a similar plan with 3.0.  Obviously. ;)

    Although two kids (boys) using the potty has it's drawbacks (more laundry, sorting of underwear, pee on the floor, and more butt-wiping), I don't miss changing diapers in the least bit and I plan to enjoy these next couple of months without diapers before it starts all. over. again.

    Ten Recent Purchases + A Giveaway!

    Do you ever have those weeks when you're excited to check the mail each day because of all your recent purchases?  Yep, that's my life lately!  Craig may or may not agree, but he's made his fair share of purchases lately, too, so I can't feel too sorry!  Here are a few things that have found their way into my house recently (or should be arriving soon)!

    First up, this Fall is for Football reglan tee from Cents of Style.  Regularly priced $29.95, but I got it for a steal of a deal at $17.95 because of a weekend promo code.  You can customize the color of the writing and though I added a tee with gold writing to my cart, I ultimately decided on red writing (for Chiefs and KU) since I already have plenty of Iowa gear.  If you're unfamiliar with the website Cents of Style (as I was), check it out ASAP--I promise you won't be disappointed!  I may have also ordered an adorable scarf for an upcoming scarf exchange... ;)  P.S. Thanks Vanessa for passing along a great deal!

    Next, a diffuser for essential oils.  I bought a few bottles of essential oils nearly a year and a half ago, but I have just recently started using them more regularly.  I use a mix of lavender/lemon/peppermint before bed each night and I love how it makes me feel, so I decided I wanted to diffuse it into the air.  Per the recommendation of a neighbor, I bought this one--and my only regret is not buying multiples to use throughout our house!

    I received an email on Sunday informing me of a $20 credit to ThredUp.  If you've never heard of ThredUp, it's an online consignment website with tons and tons of clothing (all ages, all sizes), shoes, handbags, etc.  I  haven't purchased anything from there in a couple of years, but apparently I had a $20 credit waiting for me!  Since I couldn't let it go to waste, I found this maternity dress for $14.99 + about $5 for shipping!  And since I didn't want our credit card to be charged the less than $1 difference, I added a pair of 4T jeans for Brantley.  If you are interested in checking out the website, use my referral link!  By using it, you get $10 in credit and I get $10 for referring you!

    Next are these Old Navy maternity boyfriend style jeans.  I have no idea if I will like them, as all of the boyfriend jeans I've tried in the past are no-gos, but they are cute on the model and I would love a pair of non-skinny jeans to get me through the rest of this pregnancy.

    Next up, these InchBug Orbit labels.  If you recall, they were on my wishlist for Baby #3 back in July.  Well when a neighbor friend forwarded me an email with a 15% off back-to-school promo code, I couldn't pass up the opportunity!  I ordered dark blue labels for Brantley, green labels for Holden, and turquoise labels for Baby 3.0--that include his name!!!  Which I guess makes it official?!?!!  (And no, it is not Grant David like you see below.)

    And then there's Target.  Back story: Fridays are jean days at work.  Though my dresses are actually a more comfortable option these days, it's nice to be able to throw on a pair of jeans, too!  But I have very few maternity tops to wear with jeans!  Nearly all of the tops I have were purchased 4+ years ago when I was pregnant with Brantley--and they are all so tight!  (One, because that was more of the style and two, because I've gained more weight at 29 weeks than I did in all 40 with Brantley!)  Anyway, two weeks ago, I was frustrated with my lack of "Friday" options.  I had a doctor's appointment that morning, so before heading to work, I stopped at Target and picked up this non-maternity, but flowy-styled top (one in stripes and one in gray)!  And I've been loving them ever since!

    While at Target, I also came across this hoodie.  Again, non-maternity, but long/loose enough to fit my growing bump.  It's so, so soft and fits like a dream.  And I think it will make for a perfect post-baby-but-still-baby-belly transition top paired with leggings!  Trust me when I say you need this hoodie--it also comes in black, light gray, and burgundy!

    Next up, Christmas jammies!  I found these stripped Christmas pajamas on Zulily a few weeks ago and couldn't order them fast enough!  And then I remembered I'd have a third child by then!  Oops!  The smallest size they come in is 12-months so I guess I'll be on the hunt for a striped pair of newborn jammies--or at least something to coordinate--in the meantime!  Let me know if you know of anything!

    And finally, these leather earrings from A Pretty Pear.  They arrived last Friday and I couldn't be more in love!  They are not only adorable but lightweight and oh-so popular right now!  From left to right, I ordered the metallic gold in size medium, the rose gold in size long, the camo in size small, and the metallic bronze in the hoop shaped.

    And now for the most exciting part--I have teamed up with the lovely ladies at A Pretty Pair and we're giving away a $25 shop credit to one lucky winner AND her friend!  Enter via this picture on Instagram!  Make sure you:

    1) Like the photo

    2) Follow both @sarahbsides and @a_pretty_pear on Instagram

    3) Follow A Pretty Pear on Facebook

    4) Leave an Instagram comment with your Facebook name so we can verify you've liked their Fb page

    5) And finally, tag a friend (or multiples) for an extra entry!

    The winner will be announced on Friday!

    Disclaimer: I was gifted two pairs of earrings in exchange for a little social media promotion, but I can honestly say, I would pay the $16 for each pair of earrings I received!!!!

    A Rock Chalk Saturday

    We normally try to go to a KU football game once each fall.  We're only about 25 minutes from Lawrence and it's pretty easy (and cheap) to get tickets for our family of four.  (Translation: KU is not very good at football.)  We also tend to go during the month of September - before the weather cools down too much and the craziness of pumpkin patch season hits.  This weekend we packed up our gear, along with our KU-fan neighbors, and headed to Lawrence for some good ole fall fun.  Our normal tailgate spot is only a block from the stadium, with one of Craig's co-workers.  They are so welcoming to both us and our crew of neighbors!  And bonus: I'm a big fan of that spot because they usually play the Iowa game on one of their t.v.s!  (Although this year, Iowa played later in the evening and we were home by game time.)  The KU game this year left much to be desired.  Let's just say the best part was the $5 freshly-squeezed lemonade I bought.  Brantley didn't seem to mind though.  That kid is sports-obsessed, I tell ya.  Win or lose, we still had a great weekend, as we always do with our crew of neighbors!


    15 Years Later

    Tuesday, September 11, 2001.   

    I was a freshman in college.  I had just gotten back to my dorm room after eating breakfast.  Pretty sure I had a Belgian waffle that morning.  Probably topped with chocolate chips and pecans.  Because, you know, when you're a freshman in college, you can do that.  I turned on the t.v. to finish getting ready for my first class that morning - Sociology - and remember the confusion surrounding the event that had already taken place.  The first tower of the World Trade Center had been hit just minutes before.  I walked next door to see if a floor mate knew anything (she didn't) and returned to my room just in time to see the plane hit the second tower.  My eyes were glued to the t.v.  I was stunned at what I was witnessing and horrified at what was happening just five states away.  The reality really set in as I watched people leap to their deaths from the top floors of the WTC.

    From there, things are a blur.  Classes were being cancelled left and right.  Of course, my Sociology class wasn't cancelled because 1) the professor was kind of a jerk and 2) "we needed to carry on like usual" (his words, not mine).  I really don't remember much else from that day except that people were extra kind to one another.  We all had this horrible, horrible thing in common - our country was under attack.

    In the days to follow, I couldn't stop looking at pictures and reading stories from that day.  There were online tributes galore.  I specifically remember one played to Enya's Only Time that I may have watched fifty times.  I went home that weekend to spend time with my family (although I can't remember if it was planned before 9/11 or not).  That was the weekend of the big rivalry Iowa/Iowa State football game, but as were all college football games that weekend, it was postponed.

    People bonded together like I had never seen in my 18 years of life.  No one cared which area of the country you were from, which team you cheered for, or even the color of your skin.  Policemen and fire fighters were big time heroes and patriotism was at an all-time high. 

    Craig and I traveled to NYC in the fall of 2011.  (I had also gone pre-9/11--in 1999, as a sophomore in high school.)  We visited Ground Zero and paid tribute to all those who were killed in the attacks just ten years prior.  I had just learned I was pregnant with Brantley a few weeks prior and I remember how hard it was to read "__________ and her unborn baby" etched into the walls of the tribute pools.  The Freedom Tower was under construction as the time, as was the memorial museum, but we could see an original WTC beam through the glass windows of the memorial.  It was all very somber and surreal.

    I can't even fathom that it's been 15 years since that day the world was forever changed. Before 9/11, I had never heard of Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden.  Terrorism really wasn't an everyday word like it {sadly} is today.  And as as horrific as it was, I'm so glad I was a freshman in college and got to watch the event play out in front of my eyes.  It definitely gave me a greater appreciation for our nation and for this day now known as "history'.

    I saw this on Facebook last night and it nearly brought tears to my eyes.

    For the husband who phoned his wife to say I love you one last time before his plane crashed. For the wife who stopped in the stair well to call her husband and say I will love you forever. For the mommy's and daddy's who kissed their kids goodbye in the morning and died that day. For the policemen who rushed in to help the firemen only to die themselves. For the soldiers who have fought the battle ever since that day and lost their lives. We remember them all 15 years later and we will never, ever forget.

    I know I will never forget.

    Brantley's First Day of Pre-K

    For whatever reason, Brantley's preschool started later than most schools around here--but yesterday was finally the day and we got our turn at first-day-of-school photos!  I've been prepping him for these photos for days.  "All mommies take pictures on special days like this, so I really need you to cooperate."  (How sad is it that I already have to do that and it's only our second year!?)

    It was nearly impossible to get a real smile out of him, but I managed one thanks to some fart jokes. #boymom

    As for his career goal...clearly the summer Olympics made a pretty big impact.  Though I have low expectations (he's not tall by any means), I will encourage him to follow his dreams.  And hey, at least it's better than a snowman!

    This year, Brantley will be attending pre-K (or the 4-year old class) three days per week.  Like last year, he is attending preschool with two daycare buddies - Jace and Drew.  And like last year, our daycare provider will transport the boys to and from daycare every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I am so, so thankful we have that option!

    I'm also thankful for the drop off photos I receive from Ms. Stephanie since I'm not able to be there to do it.

    I was able to sneak away from work last week for "Hello Day."  Craig and I got to see Brantley's classroom and meet his two teachers, Mrs. Grau and Mrs. Larson.  Oddly enough, both of them have Iowa connections and one is even a Hawkeye fan...so you know it's going to be a good year!  

    And of course, I couldn't resist a comparison photo.  I can't believe how much he's changed in one short year!  (See last year's first day photos here.)

    We have yet to decide whether or not we're going to send Brantley to kindergarten next year.  He'll be 5, but a young 5 with a July birthday.  There are all sorts of pros and cons...but that's another post for another day!