Monday, April 28, 2008

by a landslide...

the grossest place in my house is not the toilet, the dog bowls, or even the litter box. It is most definately (drumroll please!).... under the highchair! Where is the grossest place in your house? Come on now girls, 'fess up!

I'm mad...

'cuz the "kid" across the street is playing his bass in his car so loud that my windows are rattling and I can feel it in my chair. And it's naptime! Normally I wouldn't have much of a problem trotting myself over and asking politely if they could refrain from playing their music so loud that I can hear it in my house. However, this family is frequently screaming at each other in the front yard (again, so loud that I can hear it in my house) and using such atrocious language that I have to bring my impressionable, learning to speak toddler indoors. You try explaining to an 18 month old that she can't play in her pool because you'd rather her not use the F-bomb in the church nursery. I think I counted at least 10 last week before I gave up singing so loud I was hoarse and just came inside.

So, yea, I'm a little chicken about asking my neighbor to be neighborly because I am in a wedding this weekend and would rather not be sporting a shiner. I'm not kidding, folks. I really think the mom would try to open a can of you-know-what and I am not much of a match for a 200 pound woman who doesn't seem afraid to fight dirty", if you catch my drift. I could probably outrun her , though. But there is more of them than there is of me and I'd rather not take my chances.

So, here I sit in a house I own(!), praying that Emory won't wake up early and I can get my budget finished. God is bigger than the booty bass, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Raising Godly Tomatoes...

Yes, you read that right. I found this great website the other day. It is actually a web book written by a mother of 10 children. There are some really great things about parenting in this book, and it has been an encouraging read. Encouraging, yet convicting, as she reminds us continually that before we can expect cheerful and prompt obedience from our children we must be giving the same to whomever it is that God has placed in our lives for us to obey (husband, church leaders, employer, whatever...). So, ladies, practice what you preach!

But I digress... she also gives this great list of what is reasonable to expect from a toddler. I have yet to find anything concrete that was written from a Christian viewpoint that spoke to what type of obedience was realistic for a toddler. I have to agree with her list. Some of what was on the list we were already requiring, but some were new to me. Look out, Emory! Momma's got a plan.

I also agree with her "opinion" that in order to properly train and discipline your children you must be spending lots of time with them. Not that all this time has to be time spent doing child oriented activities, but including your children in whatever it is that you are doing. And, yes, it is good for them to be able to entertain themselves, but maybe in the same room while you are folding laundry, washing dishes, or whatever. Don't get me wrong here. I am not attempting to bind any consciences and make a statement that this is what God requires. However, Emory's behavior gets away from me if I don't spend a lot of time around her so I can address improper behavior when it occurs. Maybe it's just me.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we are required by God to train up our children in the way they should go. I personally find that near impossible if I am busy, busy, busy all the time and always leaving her in another room to entertain herself. And we were struggling in knowing in what areas to require obedience without going overboard or being permissive. So, if you ever reach a point where you feel confused and dismayed and are rethinking the whole SAHM thing, check out that website. It helped me out a lot!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sure, I'll tell on myself...

I am not easily spooked, unless you start talking about aliens. Not just the movie, but the species of creature. Since I rarely see an alien around town, unless I am pulling out of my neighborhood, I'm not usually easily spooked. In fact, I used to run well after dark when I was single. Well, having a kid has changed all of that for me. All of the sudden I realize that my life is not my own and I am a bit more cautious. Apparently, I am getting extreme with my caution.

Eric was out last evening at church for "band" practice. I had put the tyke to bed and was enjoying the first Grey's Anatomy in a really long time. Emory has been taking a long time to go to sleep recently, and she is usually quite loud in her play. She never gets fussy, so we just ignore it and after about an hour we realize we haven't heard her in a while. So, I had the TV up so I could hear it above the shrieks and giggles coming from the back of the house.

About 8:30 I sense that she has settled down and I really begin to enjoy my solitude. That's when it started. There was this banging sound. At first I thought it had just been a false alarm, Emory was still awake and now attempting to pull her coat rack off the wall (she's done it before!). Then I realized that the sound was not coming from the back of the house but the front and that the dogs were going beserk.

I have quite an active imagination, which is a blessing and a curse. I immediately begin to imagine some psycho is outside, trying to get into my house. I was so freaked out that I also got the "weapon" from it's safe place to keep by my side just in case. Not knowing what else to do, I called Eric to ask him what I should do. Like any good husband, he fussed at me for calling him and told me to call the police if I was sure I was hearing something outside.

At least I called the dispatch and not 911. Once the officer arrived and had checked the perimeter he came to the door and asked, "Ma'am, do you have any cats?" Then it dawned on me what I had heard. Cats in the dumpster.


I told you I was uncannily random. Here are my thoughts right now to prove it:

1.) Emory has been invited to a dress up party for a friend's birthday and she is going as Strawberry Shortcake. I am so excited to see what she will look like. Maybe we'll do a dress rehearsal when she wakes up from her nap.
2.) I'm missing my friend Robin and I am schemeing of ways to see her. I've always wondered what BSL looked like she's not yet posted any pictures...
3.) I love that I caught Eric staring at Emory's hand in his as they watched cartoons together yesterday morning.
4.) I wish I was kinder to those God has given me to love.
5.) I can't wait to have a house with a garage to keep the dogs in and a dishwasher to keep dirty dishes in so I don't have to look at either one and worry about the mess they are creating.
6.) I wonder what it will be like to have more children.
7.) I am ready for summer to start and to take Emory to the pool. It is going to be so much fun!
8.) I hope we can sell our house in time to meet our contract with the "new" house.
9.) Emory sure is going to love the adventure of a new house.
10.) Maybe I should stop blogging and go fold laundry?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

a good use of my time?

I followed a link off a friend's blog and took some quizzes. Here is what I found out about myself...

What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You
You are sophisticated, modern, and high class.
Your taste is refined, but you are not picky.
You are often the first to try something new.

You are full of life and vigor.
You have an amazing amount energy, and you keep very active.
Some people feel like you can't focus on them. You do tend to be restless

You love to be the center of attention. You enjoy entertaining your friends.
You feel lost when no one is interested in you... You're too interesting to be ignored.

You Are 44% Open

You are a fairly open person, but you also like to maintain your privacy.

You definitely will tell all (okay, almost all) to your closest friends...

But strangers and acquaintances only get a peek into your life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

bumper sticker sighting...

"Get right or get left."

Get it?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Don't you just hate that...

We're getting older despite all of our attempts to freeze time. I read recently on a fellow blogger's profile that sometimes she still thinks she's in high school. That is so totally me. I bet it's each one of you too. I still think the music I listen to is cool and wonder why my 2o-something sister just laughs at me. I still think I should be carded when I buy beer at Sam's and then they don't even glance at me. I tell myself it must be the toddler in the cart. Anyone old enough to have a toddler is old enough to buy beer, right? Ha!

Remember when we all wanted to look older? It was a compliment if someone thought you looked 21 when you were just 18. Now all I want to do is go ninja on the cashier and take issue that she didn't ask to see my I.D.

Another sign that we are "growing up"? I get really irritated at the foolishness of others on the road. Don't they know they are endangering the lives of everyone around them? And then I remember that as a 20-something year old, I had my license revoked because of the sheer number of speedin' tickets I had. How quickly we forget what it was like to be young, even though we like to pretend we still are :).

All I'm asking is that someone stop me from aging before I utter that phrase, "In my day..."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

random thoughts...

Recently, Emory has been a lot of fun. She is almost (4 more days!) 18 months old and is doing all those fun 18 month old things. And since we are completely over our lastest cold, she's fairly compliant too. Although I am not typically a fan of "character clothing", she's been given a few pieces and I bought her one. She is the proud owner of both a Strawberry Shortcake and an Elmo t-shirt. She pronounces Strawberry Shortcake, "Berry Cake". It's really cute. So anyways, today she is wearing her Berry Cake shirt and she had berries for a snack in her Berry Cake bowl. The joys of discovering a child's favorite character. I probably pushed Berry Cake on her, though, since she was my favorite when I was little, too.

She has also discovered some new heights to scale in our home. Most recently I found her in the kitchen sink and on top of the changing table. Both times she was most proud of herself! Almost as proud as when she was washing the telephone in the toilet. What a hard worker.

And because I told you these were random thoughts... From Jerry Bridges Trusting God...

"In our trusting God, there is more at stake than experiencing peace in the midst of difficulties or even deliverance from them. The honor of God should be our chief concern....
Thanksgiving is an admission of dependence.... our problem is far deeper than mere forgetfulness. We are imbued with a spirit of ingratitude because of our sinful nature. We must cultivate a new spirit, the spirit of gratitude, which the Holy Spirit planted in us at our salvation.
The basis for our giving thanks is ... His soverienty, wisdom, and love.... it is the firm belief that God is at work in all things...for our good...It is the willingness to accept this truth from God's Word and rely upon it without having to know just how He is working it for our good."

Monday, April 14, 2008

more musings...

I'm discontent. I'll just flat out admit it. And, I'm not saying it so that everyone can either rebuke me, nor join me in my wallowing. Then I read this from Elisabeth Elliot this morning and it spanked my heart back into shape. Enjoy!

"The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Emory's vacation...

As mentioned earlier, Emory spent the weekend we were away with her friend Jackson and his parents. Here are some of the highlight...

Riding Thomas the train

Emory and Jackson playing in the train table tent. It is reported that they spent the majority of their time there in this tent.

Water play at McWane.

This what happens when you trust your child to the care of an AU alum... brainwashing! Emory doesn't look happy about what she is being forced to wear :).

Caught on tape, co-ed bathing!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

just a fun guy...

Apparently, I am up way too late blogging, checking e-mail, etc... once again. My dearest just snuck up behind me and, in his Gollum voice, "You make me happy." Since I have a serious aversion to ET, whom Gollum reminds me of, this got the blood flowing more than just a little bit. Once my heart slowed, I had to laugh at this fun loving way of telling me, "Get off the computer and come to bed or you'll be mush tomorrow." What a fun guy!

Good morning!

It never ceases to amaze me what a mother will do to make her child "happy". Emory does not care for the bland taste of water. I know, I know. It is her lack of training that has made her this way and I happily accept the blame. It has never been a problem, until now. She literally gets only enough juice to give the water a little bit of flavor. Well, anyway, yesterday we officially ran out of juice for the first time ever. Not a drop in the house. No big deal. It was late enough in the day that she was not going to need another cup and I was on my way out to a ladies function at our church so I figured I would grab some on the way home so we'd have it in the morning. Well, I forgot. Want to know what Emory drank this morning? I opened a can of mandarin oranges and drained the juice into her cup, added some water, and viola! Instant joy in the Skocelai household.

What crazy things have you done to satisfy your child's culinary preferences?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A wonderful weekend for all...

If you ever need a quick and cheap getaway, I would highly reccommend the B&B in Mentone that we stayed in this weekend. We were the only couple there, as the other couple who had been scheduled to visit had to cancel. We loved the solitude. This was a very traditional B&B. Our sheets were turned down for us every night while we were at dinner, complete with a sweet note and chocolates. There was a constant supply of hot water for tea, cocoa, or cider as well as coffee and homemade scones and other treats left for us on the dining room sideboard. While we were at dinner every night, little elves left us amazing desserts, which we enjoyed while sitting by the fire in the common living room leafing through magazines and just talking to each other. Each morning we were awakened by soothing music piped into our room via a central intercom system. This alerted us to the fact that we had 45 minutes until breakfast was served.

Breakfast was another amazing event. There was fresh fruit, homemade pastries, delicious egg dishes, and wonderful apricot french toast. Did I mention the coffee? Each morning I was treated to 2 cups of coffee that I didn't have to re-heat, even once! The Teverinos, the owners of the B&B, sat down and had coffee with us each morning. We were treated to stories of life as they raised their 2 boys, and what they do now to help out with their grandchildren. Mrs. Teverino, Eleanor, is Irish and still has a hint of an accent. It is just thick enough that you have to really pay attention when she speaks or you will misunderstand her. She is the 6th child in a family of 13 children while Mr. Teverino, Tony, was an only child. We enjoyed hearing how that has worked itself out in their marriage.

We enjoyed hiking, more good eating at the various mountain restaurants, taking long afternoon naps, and shopping for antiques (what Eric affectionately calls "crappola"). We came home with more than just a few pieces. One piece, a marriage box, has quite an interesting legend behind it. I'll share that someday soon. What we liked best was that there was no TV. We spend the whole weekend coming up with our own entertainment, and I am happy to report that we were never bored. We got to talk a lot about our families' respective histories, something I don't think we've ever discussed before. Mostly, we just enjoyed being together.

Emory was not especially excited to see us. We did get a grin and a quick hug, but then she was back to exploring life with the Cooke's. Can't say as I blame her. Not only are Keith and Jennifer terrific, but she had a constant playmate with their little boy, Jackson. She was more than a little sad to discover that we were bringing her home. I think she thought she was there to stay! It's good to know that she was so happy while we were gone, that she was almost sad we had returned.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of DeSoto Falls and Little River where we hiked. If you've never done a weekend getaway, I can't reccommend it enough. It doesn't have to cost you much in time or money, and it is worth whatever expense you incur. I feel like a new woman!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I've read several blogs lately where posts have been about favorite books. Since
I have nothing original to add to cyberspace today, but desperately feel the need to blog, I'm going to share Emory's favorite night-night book. She picks it out every night to read, while she holds her 2 pacis and her "wubey" (a.k.a. "lovey"). I read it at least 3 times, if not more, each night.

I love you like I love blueberry pankcakes.
I love you like I love strawberry milkshakes.
I love you like frogs love flies.
I love you like pigs love pies.
I love you like mice love cheese.
I love you like vines love trees.
I love you like wind loves blowing.
I love you like plants love growing.
I love you like boots love splashing in puddles.
I love you like bears love kisses and cuddles.
I love you like the moon at night: big and round and warm and bright.
I love you, good night!

Won't you please share with me your kid's favorite books, or ones you just like to read to your children? I'm always on the look out for a new fun book.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the girl's got that knack...

for making everything fun, that is. She even eats chips in a most interesting way. God must have had fun creating little Emory's personality. Of course, I am not the least bit partial to the cuteness of my little girl.

What's she done lately? Today she was messing with the DVD player, which is a strict "No touch, Emory Katherine!". We don't have too terribly many of those, but that is one that is generally followed with a "bottom reminder" (yanked that one of another blog!). Today as I prepared for the reminder, she grabbed both of my hands, fluttered her eyelashes, and grinned the cutest of all grins. I absolutely could not keep a straight face and ending up laughing hysterically and abandoning all efforts to remind her not to touch the DVD player. It was not long before she was joining me and we just had a good laugh together. I love that little girl.

Eric calls her my shadow as she is most happy "helping" me as I work about the house. She's quite adept at throwing laundry in the washer and she loves to wash dishes at the sink. It won't be long before she's making her own bed and vacuuming. Then, I can officially retire. Just kidding. But, I had her pegged a long time ago. I know, I know... this is typical toddler behavior. However, I think she will always be happiest by my side doing whatever it is that I am doing. It is the mark of a first born. We're all like that. Born workers.

Being a first born myself, I kind of get her in a special way. I know what makes her tick a little more than her baby-of-the-family daddy. And I feel really sorry that she won't get to be just a kid as long as her siblings since she'll be my little helper once there are others around to care for. So, I am trying to let her just be a kid and really soak her up as long as I can for now. She's the only one I'll ever get to have all to myself. That's a special bond; mommy and her first born. My mom always told me that I was special because I was the one who made her a mommy and now I finally get what she meant. Emory will always have an incredibly special place in my heart since she was the one who made me a mommy first.

April Fools...

I didn't come up with anything good to do to Eric this year. I can't fake an unexpected baby on the way since we both monitor things pretty closely and I didn't have the heart, 'er guts, to pretend like we'd had an offer on the house. Other than those two biggies, I just couldn't come up with something. For those of you who know Eric, it is a crying shame to let a day like this go by without capitalizing on some form of trickery. The day requires it, and his tempermant just begs for it.

Enter the wonderful front desk staff of the animal clinic Eric works for. Today was his half day. He is home, just having eaten lunch, baby is napping, and he is fuming because it has rained ruining all his plans to work in the yard. The phone rings and BPAC comes up on the caller ID. I answer the phone saying to Eric, "Hmmm. It's the clinic." Nichole says (sounding rushed and slightly breathless) "Hey Sarah. Is Dr. Skocelas available." Handing the phone over, I am curious as to what he left undone or which client has a question only he can answer, since this is usually the reason he gets a call on his day off. His side of the conversation goes a little something like this, "Really! Ok, well, I can be there soon. What? Yeah (little laugh) I'm glad you did or I'd have been really upset. See you tomorrow."

I could hear raucous laughing as he hangs up the phone. I ask him, "Did they get you?" He says, "Yeah. They told me that a clinic on Oxmoor Road had burned down and they were sending over some animals that had serious burns and smoke inhalation and needed immediate attention." The girls were originally going to wait until he ended up at the clinic before revealing the joke, but Doc strongly advised against it. Smart move, Doc. That's why you're the boss!