Saturday, May 31, 2008

We have a winner!

In the contest of strange but true, the following comment was made during lunch today:

"Hey, you've got cheese on your nipple."

Any guesses on who the participants in that conversation were?

And on a much more "serious" note... isn't it amazing that children do not have to be taught how to obey just enough to not receive any consequences? Or so my beloved toddler is inclined to believe. However, I am a card carrying member of the "partial obedience is no obedience" club. We meet right after the "slow obedience is no obedience" alliance on Monday nights. Anyhoo, in response to being reminded that we do not tell mommy "NO!" when she asks for Emmy's cup, Emory turns around and begins mumbling "nnnnn" to herself. That's right! In her own little toddler fashion, my little Pharisee is obeying the letter and not the spirit of the law.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the irony of being a woman...

I am in a Wednesday night Bible study with a group of women in our church. In this study there is a woman about to give birth to her first child. She is two weeks away from her due date and is getting "that look". You know the one. She just looks miserable. And, I feel for her. I went 12 days late with Emory and was finally induced, so I well remember waiting and being soooo miserable. I think I would have actually eaten pig's feet or something else equally disgusting if someone had told me that it would induce labor. Those of you who were around in those days missed a wonderful opportunity to get me to do some really wierd stuff. On a side note, one day I will post a couple of classic pregnant Sarah stories that I think still get told at parties.

Anyhoo, as I was watching Wendi shift her position every 30 seconds in an attempt to dislodge the foot that was caught in her ribcage, I had this thought. There is nothing that is more feminine than pregnancy. It is completely and totally something that defines us as a woman. It is something we can do that men can't. So, one could say that there is nothing more feminine than pregnancy. But, is there anything that makes you feel less feminine than pregnancy? When I watch Baby Noah with Emory and see the walrus wallering about on the ice, it looks strikingly like how I felt like I looked those last 6 weeks. And, there is nothing feminine about a walrus wallering about on the ice.

Toddler Antics...

Here is a sampling of some of the conversations that took place in our home today:

Overheard from the den..
"Stop pulling my hair!" (Jackson, age 2 and a half)
Emory (19 mths.) with two fistfuls of hair, giggling, is sitting behind Jackson on the couch. "Yehaw!" (any guesses on what she was pretending Jackson was?)


Getting the kids out of the tub for lunch (don't ask):
Me, "Em, let's go get lunch and a vitamin!"
Emory, "No!"
Me, "We're having corn on the cob. Don't you want to eat corn like a big girl?"
Emory, "Uh huh, like daddy!" (apparently daddy fits into the category of big girls Emory would most like to imitate)

Emory refused her afternoon nap today and daddy had his first Ultimate Frisbee game of the summer season so he didn't get home until late and I was mentally fried when he arrived:
Eric, "Hi Babe. I'm going to go get cleaned up and then feed the dogs."
Me, "The dogs are here?
Eric, "No, wait. Where are they? They're not here."
Me, "The dogs aren't here?"
Eric, "The dogs aren't here."
Me, "The dogs are here?"
Eric, "The dogs aren't here."
Me, "Where are the dogs? Are they here?"
Eric, "They are not here. They're at the clinic."
Me, "So, they're not here."
Eric, "The dogs are not here.
Glad we got that one settled.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Photography...






We have a good friend, Emory's Ms. Sara, who is a skilled amateur photographer. Every so often she will meet us at home or in the park for a photo session. I love candids but I am no good with a camera and as yet unwilling to pay for a professional to meet me at the park to take pictures of our girl. And why should I when God has provided a friend who is willing to share her talents with us? Here are some of my favorites from this past Saturday's session. I now see a big girl when I look at Emory and not so much baby any more. Makes me sad. And very ready to begin adding another blessing to the Skocelai abode...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day...

Typically, we would have been driving back from the beach today, but we are one of the thousands of Americans who opted out of our travel plans because of the price of gas right now. So, instead, daddy used his day off to give me a day off. He loaded Emmy up bright and early this morning and they took off to the zoo. I enjoyed a morning of uninterrupted cleaning, blogging, and chatting on the phone. Emmy and her daddy enjoyed loads of animals, a train ride, and water play in the fountain at the zoo.

When they got home we all had a quick lunch and then off to bed for a nap. Because Emory is boycotting anything that resembles sleep, that nap only lasted for 45 minutes. Oh well! She and I ran some quick errands while daddy finished his nap on the couch and then it was off to our friend's house for a BBQ and homemade ice cream. Yum! I have the world's best cooks for friends!

Emmy had a blast going up and down their stairs and just generally being the center of attention. She also kept us in stitches by announcing, "Oh my gosh!" every few moments. And, no, I am not responsible for that one. I say "Oh my goodness!". I have no idea who says, "Oh my gosh." But it's really funny when she says it because she says it real serious like and looks you dead in the eye. Sometimes she shortens it to just, "Oh Gosh!" which makes me laugh until my sides hurt. So, while the actual phrase is not my fault, the fact that she continues to use it is my fault since I think it is hysterical. Her daddy, on the other hand, is not a big fan of the new phrase, which makes it even funnier when she says it at completely random times.

After our BBQ and homemade ice cream (which Em had 2 helpings of and then went around the room to all the adults present begging for "some!") we came home and put the little one down to bed. Tonight there was no crying! Amazing! Could it be that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel? We'll see come 4:30am tomorrow.

I'm thankful for...

- washing machines (can you imagine washing clothes by hand?!)
- blogs where you can read of cheap beach escapes and great recipes
- husbands who take the toddler who refuses to sleep to the zoo (on his day off!) so you can catch up on some much needed cleaning and resting
- the discovery of deoderant
- washable mop heads (mine gets so gross!)
- dads who share their grass fed cow with you so that you have the best ribs for a Memorial Day BBQ
- toddlers who are still cute even after keeping you from sleep all week
- friends who are willing to give of their Saturday afternoon and evenings to share their photography talent with you
- realtors who do all the dirty work
- beautiful, sunny days to spend with your family
- clean sheets, clean showers, clean floors
- friends with great swing sets who let you drop by barely announced when your husband is working late and you are all out of ideas of how to amuse a cranky toddler
- sweet, elderly neighbors who share the beauty of their garden with you by bringing you a bouquet of fresh flowers
- a great CD to listen to while you blog
- a heavenly Father who created all of the above for His glory and my enjoyment

Thursday, May 22, 2008

they're going about it all wrong...

If someone really wanted to torture an enemy, they can forget the electrical shocks and cutting off fingers one by one. All they need to do is put them within earshot of a toddler's bedroom while the toddler is screaming, "Hold you, mommy. Love you, mommy." while crying hysterically. I'd take needles in my eyes over what I endured after putting Emory to bed tonight.

Emory has recently endured a scare in the form of a really loud individual dressed up as a superhero. Since said scare she has not rested well and is afraid even during the day. In the car on the way to Walmart the other day she begged to go home, and while we were there she refused to stay in the buggy. We are praying with her and singing lots of hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs during the day in order to keep her thoughts focused but I just don't know what to do about easing her fears at bedtime.

We've tried rocking her for a while, but she takes forever to fall asleep and doesn't stay asleep once you put her in bed. She refuses to sleep with us in our bed. So, all I know to do is go back in her room every couple of minutes and reassure her that we love her and that God is with her and pray with her again. Any suggestions on how to handle the fear of our toddler?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No ice for the Skocelai...



Not by my design, but ice is a rare treat in this household. Last year we purchased a new fridge for a dirt cheap price. It came with an ice maker, something we've never had. I had always filled ice cube trays and kept ice that way, but this time last year all my trays were filled with baby food cubes. And I never could remember to buy more at Walmart or wherever you buy ice trays. So, I was ecstatic that we owned a fridge with an ice maker. I LOVE ICE! But alas, there is not a water line for which to hook up to the fridge in order to get the water which is oh so necessary for ice. And, I've never gotten back into the habit of keeping my trays filled so I could have my Diet Coke on ice during naptime.

Today I discovered another good use for the ice dispenser. It entertained Emory long enough for me to vacuum my house without pulling her out of the toilet, getting her out of the kitchen sink, or chasing her to get daddy's glasses back. A blessing in disguise!

God's goodness to a toddler...

Life in the Skocelai household is a little topsy-turvey right now. Emory has an 8-week-old covenant sister that she is learning to share mommy with, VBS is coming up, our house is on the market so we're never here, and Emory is boycotting food and sleep. The food boycott is because she is getting her last 4 teeth (not molars!) and the sleep boycott is because she had her first major scare Sunday night. It's a long story and another post.

Soooo, I bounce between expecting high things from my little girl and extending loads of compassion. After a crying "storm" on Monday when Emory had to learn a much needed lesson in waiting on Mommy, we headed out to the bank to make a deposit (thank goodness!). I had told Emory that we would get a sucker there. All the way she chanted, "Blue sucker. Red sucker. Blue sucker. Red sucker." When we pulled up to the window, I rolled down my window and asked the teller for either a blue or red sucker making sure she knew she would be making a toddler's day. I was promptly informed that they were fresh out.

Keep in mind that there is a happy toddler with a tear stained face in the backseat chanting, "Blue sucker. Red sucker. Blue sucker. Red sucker." My heart sank and cried out, "Lord! What am I going to do? Come on, throw me a line here and tell me how to avoid dissappointing this little girl again." I remembered that I had a few actual dollar bills in my wallet we headed over to the dollar store for a bag of suckers. Dum Dums was all I was looking for. God had better plans for Emory. In the candy aisle there lay a bag of cotton candy (I know, eewwwww!) flavored suckers. Blue and red swirl. Ain't God good?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quiet Time Tips

And these are not original thoughts. I am not at all a person you want to come to for advice on how to have a quiet time. I have been attempting a daily quiet time for the last 15 years and have yet to feel as though I ever remotely accomplish what I imagine others enjoy during their own quiet time. On the topic of moms of young children and their time in the Word, I like how Nancy Wilson put it, something about having a quiet time on the run. We might not get to feast, but we can certainly attempt a little snacking.

As an aside, I also like what good 'ole Nancy had to say about the stamina it takes to be a mom of really young children. She is constantly reminding her readers that God created us as body and soul, so we are not to neglect our physical needs. She says a lot of times mothers find themselves praying for more patience, love, compassion (or whatever fruit of the spirit you feel you are currently lacking in with regards to you children) when what we really need is a nap, something to eat, or caffeine! So, the next time you feel yourself unraveling make sure you're not just in need of something to eat or drink. Think about it. It makes perfect sense that our physical self has an impact on our spiritual self.

Ok, back to quiet times... this is actually from a recent reading in Elisabeth Elliott's Keep a Quiet Heart. Here are her tips:

1.) Plan the time.
2.) Make up your mind to stick with it.
3.) If this is new to you, make it short, about 15 minutes or so.
4.) Take a single book of the Bible.
5.) Pray for the Holy Spirit's teaching.
^.) Read a few verses, paragraph, or a chapter.
7.) Ask yourself: What is this teaching me about God? Jesus? Holy Spirit? Myself? Sins to confess? Sins to avoid? Commands to obey? What Chrisian love is?
8.) Keep a notebook. Write down special prayer requests and record the answer when it comes.
9.) Tell your children, spouse, friends what you are learning during this time.

This is not meant to be a list of what you must do to have a good quiet time. I was wondering aimlessly during my times with God and this just gave me some direction. It made such a profound difference in my time with God that I wanted to share. If you have any other tips, please pass them along for us to all benefit from. I'd also love everyone to share exactly when during the day works best for them to have a quiet time. I personally have to start my day with it or it won't get done at all. So, I get up at 6:00 when the household is still asleep and no one needs anything from me :).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Emory's gonna be a big sister!

At least a couple days a week for the next 4 to 6 weeks at least. Our friends, the Mosses, have an 8 week old (baby Helen) and need some childcare off and on while Mommy Moss finishes up her last few weeks of work before entering the SAHM world. Yeah Renie! At any rate, I get to practive having multiple YOUNG children since Emory is only 19 months old. It will be fun to see how Miss Priss handles sharing her mommy with another. We probably won't be getting out much, so I will try to post lots of pictures of the days we get to play with Baby Helen.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Top 5 least fave household chores...

Here ya go, Renie, in order of ascending importance:

5.) grocery shopping
4.) bringing in the groceries
3.) putting up the groceries
2.) putting away the clean, folded clothes (do we see some sort of pattern here? Maybe this is why it has been miserable to have a house on the market... I hate to put things away!)
1.) washing dishes

There you go! I usually wait until these things can't possible wait any longer. Like, when all of the laundry baskets are sitting around the house with folded clothes in them and the washer and dryer are waiting to be relieved of their contents. Let me know what your least favorite chores are, too.

things I never thought I'd see in my lifetime...

5.) 911
4.) Oklahoma City bombing
3.) Hilary Clinton running for president
2.) Internet
1.) My daughter dancing and singing along to NKOTB (as they perform on the Today show)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life lessons...

Below are some life lessons that I have learned, all of them by experience! Enjoy.

1.) Your mom really does know what she is talking about.
2.) A soft answer turns away wrath, even the wrath of a toddler.
3.) Don't get so mad at the person who runs a red light. They might just really have to pee!
4.) God's way is always best.
5.) Never say never unless you are prepared to prove it.
6.) To get good friends you must be a good friend.
7.) A kiss really will brighten your hubby's mood at the end of the day.
8.) It's hard to be grumpy if you're singing.
9.) Smell fast! Babies don't stay fresh long after a bath.
10.) Don't pull weeds in front of your toddler unless you want her pulling up your pretty flowers.

What are your life lessons? I'd love to "hear"!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Momma's Day!

I hope all you mommas out there had a great day! Mine started out slow since Eric was duty deacon today which meant he was gone by 6:45 and I was flying solo to get ready for church. No big deal, just like a regular day, ya know? Then, Emory had a small tantrum at lunch that require a "firm reminder" that we DO NOT slap the plate out of mommy's hand if she takes it before we are finished. After only napping for an hour I was about to ask her daddy to take her somewhere for some daddy-daughter quality time. But I got over it by reminding myself to delight in her rather see her as a burden and we loaded up and headed to our neighborhood park. There she enjoyed meeting two new friends just her age and size. Must have been a lot of short nappers around here today.

After the park some of our good friends came over for a Mother's Day feast. Daddy grilled my favorite meal ever - hamburgers - and I baked us up some crinkle fries. I had a Diet Coke and my dream meal was complete! Before dinner the kids could not resist splashing around in the wading pool we had out front. After flopping like fish for about 5 minutes, the kids decided they were cold and ready to eat. For dessert the girls enjoyed popsicles outside with the daddies while the mommas visited inside. Since everyone was sticky and cold we tossed them all into the tub for as long as I could stand it. The evening was capped off by a "accident" that left my friend with wet underwear that she was not responsible for. What a great evening! It was honestly the most enjoyable evening meal we've had with friends in a long time. Emory has really grown up into a very enjoyable stage and I actually get to eat now when we sit down to a meal.

I've put together a montage of Emmy's life so far. My mother has always told me I was special because I was the one who made her a mommy. I feel the same about Emory. From one first born to another - "this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!"

Here's lookin' at you, kid!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wigglin' Water Sprinkler



Looks like fun, right?
Should also contain the following:
Warning! May scare the crap out of your toddler.

At least she was wearing a swim diaper.

laugh if you will....

I'm a sucker. At least I can admit it. Emory has new diapers. With Elmo on them. Because she got so excited when she saw them in the store. I couldn't bring myself to say no. We needed diapers anyway. They're the most expensive kind. Sick, I know.

the mark of a daddy...

I've always considered a daddy something different from a father. To me, a father is a biological term meaning one who has sired offspring. As we all know, that don't take that much talent, time, nor self denial. However, a daddy is someone who invests time and himself in his children regardless of his biolical connection. I have always considered "Papa Bear" (Emory's new term for her daddy) to be a great daddy, but it really hit home last night. He cheerfully and without hesitation put down what he was doing and dressed "Baby" when Emory presented her - to her daddy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

start 'em young...

Emory's new favorite activity is to open our DVD cabinet and look at all the DVD covers. She will requently remark on what she sees on each cover. I sit close by in order to monitor her so that she remembers not to open the cases, but also because I like to hear what catches her eye on the covers. As she was sorting through, she came to one that she lingered on a little longer than most of the others. She turned to me and said in a completely enraptured voice, "Eyes." She had pulled out our copy of Mel Gibson's The Patriot. Girl's got good taste!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the cutest flower girl EVER...




as I get wedding snapshots from the family memebers who remembered cameras (guess who forgot hers?) I will share them with you. This is a picture of the bride (my sister) and me with Emory. I'm not entirely sure what I am doing or saying but I am entirely sure that is has something to do with not paying attention to what I'm supposed to be doing. The photographer was fantastic, though, and was able to keep good humor despite the enormouse family she was trying to corral for pictures.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Relating...

Because I find myself drowning in a sea of uncertainty, I am trying to find the humor in being the mother of a toddler. It always helps me to find quotes that have an off the wall explanation of motherhood. Here are some of my most favorites:

"Cleaning your house while your children are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk while it is still snowing."

"Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens."

"You don't scare me, I have teenagers." (or toddlers)

"I take my children everywhere but they always find their way back home."

"Before I was married, I had a hundred theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have three children and no theories."

"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease."

"Parenthood, the state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage."

"There are only two things a child will share willingly - communicable diseases and his mother's age."

Can you all relate?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Week in review...

My younger sister is getting married tomorrow. Hooray, right? I guess. I was asked at the Bridal luncheon today if I'll cry but the asker did not know that we just aren't that close. There are 6 years in between us which means we are almost in 2 different generations. And, we've always been in very different life settings. She's always been a single, college student and I've been married, divorced, married again, and now mother of a toddler. She works and I do laundry. She has extra money to spend on hair products and wonders whatever will she do when she gets married and has to cut out the tanning sessions. I wonder if I have enough left this month in my grocery budget to buy bread. See, two totally different lives. Sometimes I miss living like her (way back when), but then I remember dear hubby and the wee one and I am totally over it.

Anyhoo, we've been busy this week.. Not only have we had the mandatory bridal luncheons, family dinners, and general drop bys that go with a wedding week, but I've shared hostessing duties for a baby shower this week, put a contract on a house, listed our home with a realtor, run tons of wedding related errands, worked on teaching the wee one to WALK down the aisle rather than run at break neck speed (she's the flower girl!), and fielded tons of phone calls as to who is arriving when and who's staying where (?). Tonight we have the rehearsal dinner with tons of out of town family that have never met Emory. None of them have brought their own kids, so she is center stage and doesn't have to share the spotlight. I'm kind of excited about showing off my girl and all her lastest tricks. Tomorrow we have a birthday party in the morning and then it's off to the church for pictures and the actual wedding. What a week! Can we possibly fit anything more into this week?

Next week will seem down right boring comparatively. Oh no, that's right. We have the house inspection, viewings of our house, laundry, mopping, changing of the sheets, and the list goes on and on...

Have a great weekend!