Thursday, January 31, 2008

that's not what I meant...

Today was a great day! I went for a great 45 minute run, came home and made plans to meet a friend at the special science center, showered (even got to straighten my hair!), and loaded baby girl up to go. We were having a great time in the car, with Emory pointing out EVERY SINGLE CAR on the road :). Judy Rogers was belting out a song from the radio about how God is a spirit, and Emory began to chant "God! God!" instead of "Car! Car!". Like a good reformed mommy, I decided to use this teachable moment wisely. This conversation was my pitiful attempt:

Emory: "God! God!"
Mommy: "God? Emory, who made you? Can you say, 'God'?"
Emory: "God! God!"
Mommy: "That's right Emory! God made Emory. Let's do it one more time. Emory, who made you? Can you say, 'God'?"
Emory: "Ruff! Ruff!"

Now, how do you suppose her toddler brain interpreted my last question?

have you ever...

changed a diaper that was so gross and messy that you had to clean out your child's belly button too? That's what greeted me at 6:45am today!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a good friend...

Ok, so I do think I am one of those lucky people who has lots of relly great friends. My own little gift from God, I should say. And those of you who I would consider close friends, think of what a wreck I would be if God had not given you to me as a friend! There is one friend, in particular, though, who always stands out as one of my closest "in town" friends. She knows who she is, cuz' I already told her I was posting about her.



I often find it quite funny that we are friends because I think we might fit into the category of opposites attract. She pays very close attention to details - likes and dislikes of people around her, potential hazards to children, what colors people use in their home. I, on the other hand, just complimented her last week on her "new" curtains, to which she reminded me that she had shown them to me 2 years ago when she made them. When we were "new" friends, she had me into her home several times a week when her firstborn was only 3 weeks old. I was averaging a week just to return calls when my firstborn was that age. She is properly concerned with keeping her house clean, my husband just asks that he be able to get the front door open.



Anyway, she is that great friend who knows when you're stressed without you having to say it, asks about the new sleep routine you are trying in order to lengthen your toddler's naps, and won't let you keep her kids for her birthday dinner because she thinks you have too much on your plate.



I'm so glad you're my friend!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just wondering...

Does it take everyone else 5 days to get a load of laundry from the dirty clothes hamper, into the washer, into the dryer, folded, and back into the drawers? Or is it just me?

ways to tell you are "really" 30....

1.) You aren't familiar with any of the music that the Junior High Youth Group at your church lists as bands they listen to.
2.) You find yourself calculating how, if you wash your hair Friday morning, you won't have to wash it again this weekend when you are away from home.
3.) You think going to bed at 9:00, on Saturday night, is exciting.
4.) You think the 23-year-old married couple at church look soooo young.
5.) Your mom tells you that Christmas shopping for you is easy because your taste is not that far removed from hers.
6.) You feel completely out of place shopping for a bridesmaids dress with your sister, and you've only been married 3 (almost!) years yourself!
7.) You lick your thumb and wipe grime off your daughter's face before you head into Wal-mart.
8.) You can't remember to tell your friend Happy Birthday, even though you saw her that day, on her actual birthday!
9.) You can't sleep past 6:30am.
10.) You've lost all ability to nap during the day, or sit down without folding a load of clothes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I stole this from Nancy Wilson...

but it was published in a public blog and I am not even attempting to take credit. So, hopefully that absolves me from any wrong doing, at least in this instance. I was reading her post on self control and it contained the following little nugget:

"Sometimes we don’t have self-control because we are not defining it biblically, but in a worldly way. We think that if we had self-control, we would all wear a size 6 and be in great shape because we were getting in an hour of exercise everyday after having our two-hour quiet time and a bowl of granola. And since very few of us attain to such things, we all think we are pretty pathetic, and we look with envy at the woman who is wearing the size 6, and think to ourselves, “If I only had self-control, I could look like that. But I don’t, so I am a big loser.” And then we go on to confess our lack of self-control, when what we should have been confessing was the envy, the discontent, the self-absorption, and the melodrama.

Self-control begins in the heart, and it works its way out in our thoughts, words, and actions. James says that if a man can control his tongue, he is perfect. The tongue is a pretty unruly animal and requires a strong hand. This is a great place for all women to begin to acquire self-control. We can begin by listening to ourselves. Do we need to tighten up? How do we talk to our husbands? Children? Do we confide too much in friends, and do we excuse one another for our indiscretion? If so, then we should pray for God to set a watch at the door of our lips and make restitution when we sin with our tongue. We easily excuse ourselves when we sin with our tongue, attributing to ourselves the best of motives. But we beat ourselves up for imaginary sins, like having chips with lunch. And you can confess false guilt all day long, and it does not go away."

Pretty good, huh?

5 days and counting...

Until our church's annual women's retreat this weekend. I served as coordinator this year with the help of some awesome friends on my "committee". Anyways, this week will be a busy one and I am already feeling overwhelmed ( a constant state of mind for me, actually). So, pray for me if you think of me. Guess I should go hit the shower and get started...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Which Skocelai female is tougher?

Contrary to popular belief.... IT'S ME! I'm happy to report that my precious monster gave up her hunger strike and decided to eat what was offered at dinner - spaghetti! That was something I'd made her for lunch yesterday and she had refused, spawning the aforementioned tug-of-war. Now, let's see if this trend holds true tomorrow... And, yes, I must confess there was one call to my dear mother (my own personal medical consultant) to ask how long I should let her go before getting worried about her. But see there is one thing Emory doesn't know about her mama... that strong will started here. In fact, I'm pretty sure Dobson's book was written to my mom about me when I was little. So, Em has met her match. I don't like to flaunt it with her, but it's there, in the holster, ready for use when needed. It's just convincing me that it's needed that's tough.....

Thanks for all the encouragement!

My monster...

And to those of you who know me well, I ain't talking about ET! I'm actually talking about my little toot. In my effort to avoid food battles, we (and by that I mean, me) have really given in to Emory at mealtimes. I've even been known to fix her more than one meal at any given mealtime. My mommy heart just wasn't sure she would get it if I stood my ground and refused to fix her something else to eat... until the other day. I can't remember what I had fixed her for lunch, but she wasn't interested in it. So, my sweet little angel shakes her head "no" when I put the undesired item on her highchair tray, and points to the kitchen. It finally dawns on me that she is telling me, "No thank you. You may fix me something else to eat today." Want to know how I know that? When I ask her if she wants a snack, she runs into the kitchen. So, I figure she's just pointing me back to the drawing board. How gracious of her. So, guess who is in highchair bootcamp? And guess who hasn't eaten since morning snack YESTERDAY? (It's already after lunch in my house.) All in all, I'm happy to report that there have been no tears, for either me or Emory. And, she's sleeping fine. If she doesn't mind, why should I? I'm really more curious to see how long she'll hold out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

this is why I don't buy lingerie...

Mostly because I just find it too darn embarrassing! I can just hear the laughter behind my back as I waltz in, 20 pounds heavier than I'd like to be, pushing my well-worn stroller, and perusing the slinky nightgowns. I usually lose my nerve and end up buying a nice set of flannel pj's. Well, I got a giftcard for Christmas, from my mother who obviously feels sorry for my husband, and I decided to use it about 2 weeks ago. We had a nice little family outing. We ate dinner in the food court, looked at some clothing sales for Miss Priss, and used Mommy's giftcard. Emory was close to total meltdown by the time we had made it to "THE" store, so her daddy was strolling her in the heart of the mall. When I came out of the store and found them, he asked me (a little too casually, I might add...) what I had decided on. You got it! A robe and a nice pair of flannel pj's that were on sale. His reply? (Picture puppy dog eyes and a forlorn tone) "When are you going to buy something with less fabric?"
Well, the flannel pj's have sat on my dresser for two weeks, unworn, because somehow I made it out of the store with the security tag still attached. So, today, the tot and I struck out to get my pj's fixed so I can wear them. While I was in "THE" store, I felt several pangs of remorse for dear hubby. Since the month of romance is coming up, I relented and bought something with "less fabric". I literally ran out of the store, keeping my head down so that no one I know would catch me, and went to pick up the watch I was having repaired at a jewelry store in the mall. While I was paying, the attendant helping me asked Emory, "You didn't feel like wearing both shoes today?"
You have got to be kidding me! The only time my eyes were not on her was while I was "selecting". So, I swallow my fear, and I am sure there was a little bit of pride there with it, and head back to get the #$%@ shoe. As I walk in the lady spots me and says, "Are you looking for a shoe?" "What gave it away?", I wanted to ask? So, she speaks into her headset (what do they need those things for, anyways?) and says "Cancel that Code Adam." Are you serious? A Code Adam? Over a lost shoe?
Moral of the story? Don't buy shoes with velcro for your toddlers. The shoes that I thought would make my life easier...

Monday, January 21, 2008

life changing...

So, I am a big believer in learning how my friends do things so that I might find something that works better than my method. I'm no original thinker - just ask my friend Aimee - but I am a quick study. I guess that is my saving grace and the reason why I am still around. I have an uncanny ability to emulate the ways my friends do things, or the attitudes they have which make life easier. Some of you may not even know the amazing contribution(s) that you've made to my life. Here is some of the ways you've all helped a fruitloop like me:
  • Aimee taught me to freeze my meat in 1 pound baggies so that all I have to do before dinner is thaw out one baggie of meat to prepare. She also taught me to pre-cook chicken for casseroles, etc.. and freeze those in 1 cup portions. Aimee you may do this also, but I've taken it one step further and freeze my chicken in 2 breast portions as well (since there are only 2 adults in my house).
  • Beth taught me to clean one room a day. No, I don't get to enjoy a clean house all at once, but I also don't have the burden of having to clean all day one day a week.
  • Mara taught me that you can still do housework when you are on the phone.
  • Robin taught me to let it all go on the Sabbath and enjoy my God-given day of rest.
  • Sally taught me to figure out what's for supper in the morning to cut down on the bewitching hour chaos. (Those of you with children know what I'm talking about!)
  • My husband is teaching me to rest.
  • Jennifer taught me how to ask questions to figure out what someone is trying to really say.
  • Renie taught me the 5, 10, 15 minute trick when you are listening to your child wail themselves to sleep and you just can't bear it.

I am sure there are others that I have forgotten. As they come to me, I'll post them. Thanks to all for making my life easier!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

random thoughts on depression...

So, no, I don't need an intervention. I just think about depression often because there is a person God has placed in my life who has been depressed ever since I've met her. And, she regularly calls me for support, and to criticize my family for not being able to fix her. But that's another story...

I've been on a mission to love others better by trying to really understand where they are coming from. And I mean, really trying to get inside their head and see what makes them tick and so better understand why they struggle in ways I might not understand otherwise. I mean, let's face it, there are a lot of things that bother people (and I mean REALLY bother people) that we just don't get unless we know where it stems from. Like today, I cried when I realized that I couldn't rake my yard because of the rain. Now a bunch of you just chuckled and probably even thought to yourselves, "what a freak!", but if I went into all the specifics as to how long (MONTHS!) I've been trying to get to the yard, the schedule my husband has which has kept him from being able to tend to the yard, and the plethura of reasons from my childhood as to why a messy yard bothers me, you might just get it.

And before I go any further, I need to give credit where it is due. My very wise friend, Aimee, is the one God used to open my eyes to see this need of mine. This need to understand others better rather than just taking things at face value. So, in the spirit of trying to understand this individual who God has placed in my life, I bought a book called When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper. I was so impressed by some of the things he has to say that I wanted to share. Here goes:

In response to the question "How long O Lord, how long?" Piper references several Psalms. If you know anything at all about King David, you know that he was frequently depressed. Psalm 40:1-3 was particularly noted and Piper makes a couple of observations:

  • There is no statement about how long David waited on the Lord. Only God knows how long we must wait.
  • Just because we are waiting on God in our times of darkness does not mean that we make peace with the darkness.
  • We don't know what caused David's depression. This makes it easier for us to identify with David and fill in our own blanks in the Psalm.
  • If we want to experience the joy of faith, we must not focus on our faith (morbid introspection). We must focus on the greatness of our Savior.

And then on the question of assurance of salvation during what Piper so aptly calls the "dark night of the soul" he quotes Philipians 1:6 "He who began a good work in you, will carry it on until the day if completion."

Just some thoughts that I was encouraged by today. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

you know your kid's tired when...

she actually falls asleep on the changing table while you have her legs hoisted in the air by her ankles, changing her diaper.

What other great sleepy moments have your kids had?

Friday, January 11, 2008

peas in a pod...




So, no, I don't have two children. But Jackson's mommy works part-time as a nurse practitioner at our Children's hospital. So, a couple days a month, I get to play like I'm the mommy of more than one child. There are pros and cons to having more than one kid in the house. Those of you with multiple children know that. But one of the really big pros is multiplied joy. Those moments when everyone is happy and enjoying each other's company. During lunch yesterday, the leaf truck came to FINALLY get the leaves from the street. I just thought this made for a very picturesque moment.

remember the post about toddlers?




Emory decided to perform a taste and smear test on her Arbonne Baby Care sunscreen and this is the result: ocstinlinate converts to aspirin when ingested and sunscreen wipes up nice and easy with a baby wipe when smeared on hardwoods. I do highly recommend this brand of sunscreen, and obviously Emory does too. We did get a little in our eyes, which was not fun, but I really think had it been a more harsh sunscreen formula, it would have been much worse. And another just so you know, she did not flip open the top, she actually unscrewed the top. Yeah, didn't know she could do that yet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

second chances...

Now, I have been terribly convicted that all I do is post about my daughter and myself. But there is another person who lives in this house. He is the hairy one in the profile picture, and around here he's known as "daddy". As I was crawling into bed tonight (yes, I got out of bed to post this!), I had the pleasure of asking my husband to "scooch" over. Why pleasure? Because he gets in bed first to warm up my side so I am not cold when I get in the bed. I know... aaawwwwww. Some of you may even be vomiting now from all the sweetness. However, I remind you that I've been given a second chance at this marriage thing, and if I do say so myself, I did much better this time around! Or, maybe it is just that God delights Himself to give us second chances. After all, isn't that just what our salvation is?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

toddlers...

So, it has been an interesting few days here. As Emory breaks out of infancy and we begin to see shades of who this little girls is apart from us, there have been some very funny moments here recently. However, there is also a lot of the proverbial "pulling my hair out" at the antics of my independant, strong willed child. Now, just so I am not misunderstood, if I had the choice between a naturally independent child and a child who is content to let me do everything for them, I will happily take the independent child. And it is not lost on me that it is a gift that my oldest is so very independent. Having said that...
TODDLERS ARE HARD! ESPECIALLY, if you tend to parent in a way that sets limits. I do try very hard not to be whimsical about the limits. To take a thought from Nancy Wilson, the Garden of Eden only had one "no". We don't tend to make rules just because I am afraid of mess or inconvenience. I really do want her to try to do things for herself. BUT, she is still physically unable to do a lot of what she wants. So, in an effort to keep from breaking the spirit of my toddler unncessarily, I got online today to see what makes a toddler tick. This is the best I could find:

Toddler Property Rules

If I want it, it is mine.
If its in my hand, it is mine.
If I give it to you and change my mind later, it is mine.
If I can take it away from you, it is mine.
If it is mine, it will never belong to anyone else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
Not to mention...
Toddler’s Creed

If it is on, I must turn it off. If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.
If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
If it is closed, it must be opened. If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest.
It must be pushed by me instead.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.
If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it is paper, it must be torn. If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If the volume is low, it must go high.
If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.
If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.
If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.
If it is not food, it must be tasted. If it is food, it must not be tasted.
If it is a carseat, it must be protested with an arched back.
If it is Mommy (or Daddy), it must be hugged.
Mothers of toddlers, UNITE!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

lost and found...

I love a good lost and found story, mostly because I am always losing things but rarely finding them. My husband is usually the finder which makes me, well, the loser, I guess. When I was pregnant with Emory it only got way worse. I once lost my keys when I picked Eric up at work for an Ultimate frisbee game. Where did he find them? In the very busy street that runs in front of the clinic he works for. Not the parking lot, not inside the building, not anywhere that I had physically been outside of my car. I still have no idea how they ended up there. I have talent for sure.
Well, it seems that Miss Priss has inherited her mother's knack for losing things. Emory got a set of musical instruments from us for Christmas. Her favorite piece is the triangle. You know the little thing that you hold on a string and play with a small metal rod. She was playing with it this morning and when I went to pick everything up, it was no where to be found. We turned the house inside out to find it, to no avail. Just now I have located the triangle. Where was it? In the dryer! How in the world?

Holiday photos



So, I haven't shared any Christmas photos yet because I had none. I was so busy just trying to get out of town that I forgot the camera! Fortunately, we were headed to a home that delights in purchasing all the latest and greatest techno stuff there is. So, as photos are shared with me, I'll share with you. Here are two I got this morning. We had a post Christmas lunch this post Sunday with my aunt, uncle and cousins from my mom's side. They had not seen Emory since she was 4 days old. This is the photo record of that gathering.

Friday, January 4, 2008

what have the skocelai been up to?

So, I've gone a record 3 days without blogging :). Turns out that prayer really does work, and Emory has completely stopped giving us any trouble at all about going to bed. Not only is there blissful silence after placing her in the crib, but she has also been sleeping until 9:00am. That is unprecedented for her! Here is a very quick update on what we've been up to:
- Emory is now using a fork to eat most meals. I can't believe that is where we are now! This also means that she is eating food she previously boycotted. I'm guessing its the novelty of the fork and the way she can do it all by herself! The first time I gave her a fork, I put the bite of food on it and then laid it on the highchair tray for her to pick up herself. Now, if I hand her the fork, she will put it down on the tray and then pick it up again. I LOVE how ritualed toddlers are!
- Emory has yet another cold. Yes, I know that it is common for this time of year, but that doesn't make it any easier for her.
- Emory has mastered the concept of "hot" and will blow on her food if she sees us doing it. This is yet another novelty which facinates her and there have been meals where she refused to put food in her mouth unless I blew on it for her. Day before yesterday, I blew on each piece of her peanut butter and honey sandwich before she would eat it. I don't know who was laughing harder - her or me.
- My peanut also knows "cold" and will touch the glass door after daddy leaves for work in the morning and say "co, bbuuuuhhh" that is Emory speak for "cold, bbrrrrrrr"
- Our animal noises that we can successfully imitate now are: monkey, elephant, cow, cat, and dog.
- I've decided that my favorite lie ever is "scrub free soap scum remover"

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

at least there's not a truck on blocks in the yard...




This is how we, the Skocelai, choose to protect our pride and joy from dangerous chemicals... with a rubberband intended for one's hair. This is truly one of the more whitetrashy things I've done in a while. But, in my defense, the kitchen of my nineteen-sixty something house still sports the original cabinets which are too thin for normal child locks. To my benefit (and I'm not being sarcastic) my house is tiny and keeping track of my rascal is not real hard, unless I am trying to have a phone conversation. In which case, all hell breaks loose... but you all know all about that, right?

back to the basics...

Ok! So there are a few of you out there who are aware of how very traumatic letting Emory "cry it out" for the first time at 4 months was for me. Well, let me tell you, it didn't get any better with age! Since Thanksgiving, my child who had been sleeping soundly through the night (even when sick with the croup) and never made a peep once put in her bed, has become a raving lunatic come bedtime. I know that I have dug my own hole by giving in to her, but what's a momma to do when there is a houseful of people Emory doesn't remember ever meeting, when Emory gets a nasty cold, when Emory doesn't eat dinner well and might be hungry... well, you get the point of what a softie I've been. And it cost me 3 hours of up and down, "what do I do?", and finally just letting her cry for the last hour and fifteen minutes last night between midnight and 3:30am. This is after it took almost 2 hours of in and out of her room, rocking, offering milk, and letting her cry to even get her to go to sleep last night.
After sending her daddy to the guest room at 2:00am (there's no reason for the guy who has to perform surgery on people's pets the next day to be low on sleep!), I just gave up on trying to sleep despite the noise and read a good book until Emory got quiet. I couldn't get the visions of my child being irreparably emotionally damaged out of my head anyway, but John Grisham did the trick. So what's the point of this post? Is it to complain? To brag about how hard it is for me to be tough on my kid, so I must be a truly compassionate mom? I don't think so, although I'm too tired to really search my soul on this one right now.
My point is to plead with my Sisters to pray for me in this! I HATE not going to my baby when she cries. It goes against every fiber in my being. Mostly, I just need wisdom and perseverance. There are other behavior issues going on at the moment that lead me to think that little girl just needs to be reassured that her parents are still in charge. So, I am desperately pleading with you, if you think of me at all after getting up from your computer, pray that we will have wisdom to do what is best for baby. And then, pray for Emory, that her heart will be soft and teachable, even in this. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Head and shoulders, knees and toes...

knees and toes.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes."

Is what you will hear the Skocelai singing at the top of their lungs, over and over again these days. For some random reason, this is Emory's favorite song as of late. It all started on the way home from Christmas at my folks. About the last hour of the trip, Emory, who was barely hanging on anyway, really began to fall apart. And she can really hit that high note at a decible that most toddlers find effortless and opera soloists spend years training for. So, in a panic, since the car was so full there was no way I could sit beside her and play, I pulled the headrest off my seat (not by a feat of strength, it is made to be removed in just such occasions) and proceeded to sing this song to Emory for the first time ever. She loved it, and we spent the last hour singing this song ALL THE WAY HOME. Since then, any time I start singing any song she will pat her head with both of her hands and say "head, head?" If I don't stop singing whatever song I was singing and sing hers, she continues to ask until I sing it. It's really cute. We even sing it instead of the usual lullaby before bed. What songs did your toddlers love?

Happy New Years!

As I move into 2008, my resolutions for the new year are as follows:

1.) Delight in my daughter and husband more.
2.) Have a messier house.
3.) Pet the dogs more often.
4.) Not eat after 8:00pm.
5.) Discipline more consistently, even if it is incovenient.
6.) Be more available to others.
7.)Beg God that my desire for all the above be for His glory and not mine!

What are your resolutions? I'd love to hear them!