Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas Eve!

Jingle Bells! Baby Smells!
Ethan's laid an egg
The diaper couldn't catch it
It's running down his leg!

Jingle Bells! Baby Smells!
And, Folks, I'm just not lyin'
What kind of kid poops this much?
I guess he must be dyin'!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

rethinking our methods...

... Something isn't working when your three-year-old appears at your side while she is supposed to be taking a nap, lays "the spoon" on the desk where you are working and announces, "I just really don't want to take a nap." Either that, or she really does have buns of steel.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Immanuel!

From the squalor of a borrowed stable,
By the Spirit and a virgin's faith;
To the anguish and the shame of scandal
Came the Saviour of the human race!
But the skies were filled with the praise of heaven,
Shepherds listen as the angels tell
Of the Gift of God come down to man
At the dawning of Immanuel.

King of heaven now the Friend of sinners,
Humble servant in the Father's hands,
Filled with power and the Holy Spirit,
Filled with mercy for the broken man.
Yes, He walked my road and He felt my pain,
Joys and sorrows that I know so well;
Yet His righteous steps give me hope again -
I will follow my Immanuel!

Through the kisses of a friend's betrayal,
He was lifted on a cruel cross;
He was punished for a world's transgressions,
He was suffering to save the lost.
He fights for breath, He fights for me,
Loosing sinners from the claims of hell;
And with a shout our souls are free -
Death defeated by Immanuel!

Now He's standing in the place of honour,
Crowned with glory on the highest throne,
Interceding for His own belov├Ęd
Till His Father calls to bring them home!
Then the skies will part as the trumpet sounds
Hope of heaven or the fear of hell;
But the Bride will run to her Lover's arms,
Giving glory to Immanuel!

never mind...

Remember that cool new milestone I thought we had mastered? The one where the baby knows that he is supposed to stay in his bed, quiet, until daylight? Well, scratch that..... Come to think of it, the big girl doesn't seem to know what night time is for either.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

know what I'm sayin'?

Emory has hearing problems. We've joked for a while around here about how sensitive her hearing is, but at her 3 year check-up my quips intrigued her doctor. So, we're being sent to an audiologist for evaluation. Our concern is not that she is hard of hearing. Oh no, my over-achieving first-born may hear too well! Sounds may be distorted to her because they are overly-loud to her. I thought that this might be a joke, except that today on the way to church we splashed through a REALLY BIG PUDDLE (for B'ham folks, it was the Altadena dip). This puddle is always there in the same place after a hard rain. After driving through aforementioned puddle, Emory looked at me wide-eyed and said, "That's the first time that didn't hurt my ears!"

Y'all, she currently has a nasty ear infection that is probably muffling sounds to her! Could it be that this poor kid has felt as though the world is hollering at her for the past 3 years? Was this the first time she heard the splash at a normal decible?! Oh! the mommy guilt abounds.......

lesson learned...

The man of the house learned a very important lesson this afternoon: If you tease me enough about how dirty the bathroom is, I will bat my eyes at you in a way you can't resist and seductively suggest that you clean the bathroom yourself!

Friday, December 11, 2009

celebrations!

We are overflowing with opportunities to celebrate 'round here! I am attempting to be super-dilligent to remind myself of why I am doing all of this stuff every time I am tempted to feel overwhelmed by the extra work this holiday causes. It is for joy that we bake like mad, run around finding the perfect gifts, and stay out late several nights a week to party. It is because we have a joy that can not be kept silent, that must overflow and be shared with others. So, instead of grumbling when I want to be sitting instead of baking, I sing and praise God that I have a reason to celebrate! When I hand someone a baked good, I want it to be done in a spirit of someone whose joy bubbles up and cannot be contained and therefore expresses itself in providing a treat for others.

This year I am making granola to give to our church staff and various other friends from small groups we are involved in at church. Granola seemed like a great idea since everyone seems to get burned out pretty quickly on sweets. And, granola keeps for a while, so you don't have to rush to eat it. I'm almost finished with purchasing and wrapping gifts. Emory has been helping me and now one of her favorite activities is to "wrap" presents, which are actually random toys from her room. She's really pretty good! Lately I've been noticing she has incredible problem solving skills. She did not get that from me.

We've been consuming homemade chex mix at snack time, as well as the Christmas cookies Emory and I made last week. I think daddy finished those off at lunch today. She's asked everyday since we made them if we could make more! Now, we finally can. She's actually "into" everything Christmas this year. She wants Christmas music on as soon as we are up in the morning, asks every day if she can open her gifts, and heads straight for her Advent calendar. The first 2 weeks of December have been relatively quiet with our only outing being our Cantata at church last week. However, the next 2 weeks will be hopping!

Tomorrow we have a brunch with the music team my hubby is part of at church. Then, in the evening is the yearly Small Group Christmas party sans kids! Last year we began a dirty Santa tradition with a $5.00 limit and it was such a success. I came home with the most awesome re-gifted pasta pots. This year we will each contribute one $5 gift and one re-gifted/recycled gift. I'm pumped about mine!

Sunday night is our annual Zoolights expedition with Emory's buddy, Jackson. This year the number of kids have doubled since both me and Jackson's mommy were pregnant this time last year. After the train ride and visit with the big guy, we head to Dave's in Homewood for some pizza.

Next Friday we will celebrate Festivus with the best bunch of friends one could ask for. This year we are playing dirty Santa for the adults and we drew names for the kids. The only rule is that the gifts had to come from the dollar store. Again, pretty pumped about what we're contributing. Then, the following Monday the dearest and I are getting yet another adults only evening out to party with the deacons and their wives. Should be fun!

Tonight we had a treasure hunt after supper. Buddy the elf visited the house today during naptime while I was busy in the kitchen and left clues to a special treat he had left for the kids. Emory had a hoot figuring out the clues and following the trail to her treat. The hunt led them to the dryer where a copy of The Polar Express book was waiting. What a silly elf!

I leave you with some Christmas images of the Skocelai home. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year.














Sunday, December 6, 2009

when Emory grows up...

.... she wants to be a doctornarian, a doctor who gives shots to children, a nurse, an elevator man, a skyscraper, and a whale trainer.

I personally predict a career in music based on her reaction to tonight's cantata at church.

Or, first female president based on her fabulous abilities to break rules and declare war around here. (If we have one more show-down before Christmas, I'm gonna puke!)

Either way, we're so darn proud of her. She's one awesome kid!

P.S. Yes, I realize how contradictory those last two paragraphs are, but such is the fate of motherhood, eh?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

two new milestones..

Ladies and Gentleman, I am pleased to announce we are officially sleeping through the night and rolling over back to front. And, by sleeping through the night, I mean my definition, not the candy-ass definition of the AAP. Five straight hours of consecutive sleep when it is dark outside does not constitute sleeping through the night at my house. No siree, I want you to sleep from the time I put you to bed until sometime after 6:00am.

And, Ethan will have something he did better than his over-achieving sister! He rolled over at 15 weeks, 5 days. Emory delayed her back to front adventure until she was 16 weeks old. Go Ethan!

one loud baby!

video

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the baby bunch...


L to R Ethan, Coley Ann, Isaiah

I have some great friends from church who both had babies around the same time Ethan was born. We've been getting together on Tuesdays to have coffee, beginning back in the days of 'round the clock feedings. Isaiah is the oldest, having graced the world with his presence 10 days before Ethan and Coley Ann. The latter 2 babies were born the same day, at the same hospital. And yes, it was great having a friend down the hall!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

just call me Betty....

but not really because my culinry pursuits are nothing compared to Betty Crocker's. However, I have had the best day in the kitchen playing around. I pulled rank today and joined the throngs of mothers from the centuries that have tossed the big kids outside in the backyard to play and put the wee one down for a long winter's nap. Currently, in my crock pot is some beef stew for tonight's supper. My mother-in-law is due in some time during naptime, and she'll be greeted by the most amazing aroma. I'll post the recipe another day because my time here is short, but rest assured, it is good! It calls for over a cup of red wine, so you know it is killer. And there are no less than 6 fresh veggies in there.

Emory and I made some bread this morning that was super easy, kid friendy, good, and healthy. Where did I find this recipe? Where else, but Femina. Just trot on over and type "childhood bread" in the search box. You won't be dissappointed. I mean, y'all, look how pretty it is:





and my beautiful helper:


Nothing makes me happier than a holiday centered around baking! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

why oh why...

... is it that in my effort to protect the 2 dozen eggs I need for all the Thanksgiving baking that will commence today, did I place them in the car last so that they would be the first thing to fall out when I opened the hatch?!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the difference a Y makes...

... I think I've nailed it! The difference between boys and girls and their mommmas. Old wives will tell us that boys love their mommas, leading you to think that girls and their mommas are always at odds. However, I don't think that has to be the case. Boys and girls are just worlds different in how they relate to their momma. And here it is in a nutshell:

Ethan is just happy with my mere presence. He needs to know I am nearby and loves to be as physically close to me as possible.

Emory is most happy when she knows I approve of her. She needs to know that I think she is great, that I want no other little girl, that she is worth something.


At least in our household, that is how it plays out. I have a feeling Ethan won't need to be told his block tower it the tallest and that I am proud of him for building it all by himself, as long as he can sit in my lap to do it.

Emory would rather be alone to create her block tower, but when she comes to get me to show me, I'd better drop what I'm doing to look at her creation. And, she needs to know that I think it's pretty cool that she was able to do it all by herself.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

some random Emory stuff...

just for posterity's sake...

Her favorite color used to be blue, but now it is red (just like momma).

She loves the wind (just like momma).

She loves raspberry yogurt (just like momma).

I feel this incredible pressure to be an amazing woman because all of the sudden I feel my daughter's eyes on me ALL THE TIME. She needs my attention all the time. She seeks my approval all the time. She wants to know what I enjoy all the time. She wants to tell me what is on her mind all the time.

We've hit a growth spurt, and for a while this momma was forcing a precious girl right back into clothes that are too small. Til I read this, and it all became clear. I no longer do things FOR her but WITH her instead. This slows me down and is cramping my style. I feel like we are at an important crossroads. I can either brush her off because I have more on my plate than ever these days, or I can embrace this new stage of development in our relationship, pray like mad for the physical, mental, and emotional energy to meet her new needs, and draw her closer to me.

And, I can't do this well at all. I realized I've been praying for God to make me sufficient in and of myself to meet her new needs so that I wouldn't need Him anymore. But, things were getting worse instead of better and we were finding ourselves in a place where we didn't even like each other. Til I read this, and cracked down a bit - on her and me.

In my busyness, I no longer look for the easiest way to get her pacified. I stop what I am doing to train her. Sometimes this looks like fun playtime or helping mommy with a chore, and sometimes it is actual discipline. The kind where we take a trip to momma's bed for a come to Jesus meeting. This is taking incredible self discipline - not to react emotionally, to either sin or childish antics, to put off my "to-do" list until naptime, to let getting the laundry started take a half hour because she is helping me, to be willing to finish up after kids are down for the night, to never really be done with the housework for the day. I am thoroughly convinced that I will not say "I wish I had done more laundry" on my deathbed. However, I was on a fast track to saying, "I wish I had been kinder to my daughter and enjoyed her more." in my last days.

Here's to soaking up the blessing of my girl. She blesses me by making me laugh until my sides hurt, by renewing the way I see the world, by causing me to let go a little bit more of my own rightgeousness and claim Christ's all the more. I am so thankful for her.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

isn't it sad...

that I can't order Ethan's stocking from Land's End until I make Eric get the Christmas stuff out of storage because I don't remember what we already have?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

I'm dying to idols all around me. My idol to have clean children, a clean house, and to be clean myself. I think I took a shower on Sunday, but it might have been Saturday, I can't really remember. And I know I didn't participate in any hair removal during that particular shower, so who knows how long it has been since I have shaved. When I woke up this morning, I actually put the same clothes back on that I wore all day yesterday. Why not? I'm really hoping I can get to the gym today is what I tell myself to make it seem okay. And somehow I made it to 6:00pm yesterday with only consuming 3 cups of coffee and an apple. How is it that I still have weight to lose?

Emory slept without panties last night because there was not a clean pair to be found. I would have just turned the pair she had on inside out and put them back on her, but there were (ahem) good reasons not to. And, if I had put her in one of her brothers diapers, which I actually think would fit her, I would have added another year to the therapy I already know she'll be undergoing when she is 30. Hopefully the way I pulled her hair back for school today disguises the yogurt in her hair from breakfast yesterday. And the syrup smell from breakfast today might cover up any B.O. she has from not getting a bath after playing in a playplace and sweating profusely last night.

I'm pretty sure Ethan dirtied his diaper on the way home from dropping Emory off at school, but he was asleep and I have things to do (like blog!) so he's in the bed with an unchecked and unchanged diaper. I would have never done that to Emory. He'll be ok. Arbonne makes a great diaper cream.

For now I'm off the take care of the penicillin growing in the bathroom, make the beds, locate all the dirty burp clothes to wash (along with some Cinderella panties!) so I can stop using paper towels when I feed Ethan, and maybe, just maybe eat something.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

waking Emory up from a nap...

...never bodes well, unless we are headed out the door. Today she refused to sleep at a reasonable time and finally crashed at 4:00. Now the dilema is when to wake her up so that she isn't up until midnight. I chose 5:30, thinking that she should have had sufficient sleep by then to not be "hung over". WRONG! After almost half an hour of tears, we finally got her calmed down enough to eat dinner... in my lap. Afterwards she perked up a bit and even "let" her daddy give her a bath. She helped me bathe Ethan and then cheerfully retired to her room for books with daddy.

She had asked if I would make Ethan's bath a quick one so that I could read stories with her and her daddy. I tried, I really did, but we were about 30 minutes out from Ethan's bedtime and he is always cranky and somewhat inconsolable at that point. Too tired to be a part of the family happenings, but not yet tired enough for bed. Being a baby must be so hard....

I had told Emory while we were bathing Ethan that I thought it best not to look at books after lights out tonight since it seemed she might need some extra rest. At the time she seemed to accept this pretty well. However, when daddy was turning out the lights and putting the books back on the shelf she tearfully asked why she couldn't have books. He reminded her that I had said she needed extra rest. "But, I thought you said I could.", she tried. "No baby, I agree with mommy." She tried another tactic, "But you said yes to something!" Poor, poor little girl. Being three-years-old must be awfully hard too... Come to think of it, 32 ain't no walk in the park either!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

the manners jar...

... I am so sick of reminding Emory to say, "yes ma'am" or "please" or to get her to answer a question the first time I ask it. Or to give me an answer other than "I don't know." We've been kind of hemmin'and hawin' around here as to what the best approach to this would be. I'm terribly uncomfortable with some sort of discipline because it is not really outright defiance. It is a preference for me that my daughter have good manners. But, I am sick, sick, sick of reminding her of what her manners should be. So sick, in fact, that at lunch I had to walk away lest I lose the ole' temper.

Sooooo, after talking to my husband, we've decided to take a positive approach to this issue. Emory potty-trained in a week because we used M&M's.... this kid has a serious sweet tooth! So, I just happened to have a bag in the house that were originally destined for Uncle Wayne in Afganistan. We'll get him another bag, this one has a different purpose. We sat Emory on the couch and explained that every time she is caught using good manners she will get 1 M&M.

Every time I call her name and she finds me with a happy heart and a "yes ma'am" she gets an M&M. Every time she answers a question the first time it is asked she gets an M&M. Every time she uses a polite word - please, thank you, yes ma'am, no ma'am - she gets an M&M. We practiced a couple of times to show her what we were talking about and she was all about this new idea.

Ahhh... I feel a burden lifting off my shoulders already. This gives her the responsibility to remember her manners on her own and I am freed up from the broken record of reminding her - I simply won't do it anymore. Yet, I get to rejoice with her in a tangible way when she does remember. Now, the goal is for me to remember to catch her using good manners so I can rejoice with her. How long will she get a reward? As long as it takes for this to fully become a habit - just like potty training.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Corinithians 13 - Mommy style...

1 If I can understand the needs of my infant, but I meet those needs begrudgingly, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I crack the code of what the kids will eat for dinner tonight, and trust that they will clean their plates, but gripe in my heart about the extra work, I am nothing.

3 If I share my Cherry Coke Zero, and cuddle the tired three-year-old, but am irritated by the interruption, I gain nothing.

4 Love answers that question one more time with a sweet attitude. It does not wish for what it thinks other kids act like, is does not flaunt the time spent planning cool art projects for the kids,

5 it does not demand in anger to be respected, it willingly plays hide-and-seek one more time, it does not flip it's lid when the toddler spills an entire box of Frosted Flakes while playing store, it truly forgives when the three-year-old asks forgiveness for disobedience yet again.

6 Love does not give that extra swat just because it is tired of disciplining for the same thing over and over, it is grieved for their child's struggle with sin.

7 It always removes temptation, always gives the benefit of the doubt, always assumes the best, never says it is too tired.

And because this is such a tall order for us frail, exhausted mommas... thank goodness for Philippians 4:13 - I can get up at 5:30, change one more diaper, fix one more bottle, read one more book, build one more tower, play one more game of chase, fix breakfast, fix snack, fix lunch, fix snack again, fix dinner while holding a baby, smile at my husband when he comes home, engage in conversation at the dinner table, chase the kids to the bathtub, giggle at silly books before bed, and get one more glass of water just when I was about to sit down through Him who gives me strength!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

a few Emmy-isms

Tonight during family worship:

Dear God, thank you for Jesus, God, frogs, and candy. Especially all the candy in the world.


And, as daddy was leaving for music practice tonight:

Emory - I love it when you have deacon duty, Daddy.

Daddy - I don't have it this week, baby.

Emory - On Monday?

Daddy - No.

Emory - On Tuesday?

Daddy - No.

Emory - On Threeday?

the original...

Around here my husband is known as the original. In my previous life, when I was a crazy woman, I was married to a man (also named Eric) whose character was sorely lacking. For any possible new readers: that was not the reason I divorced the guy, it was his pension for other women and falsehoods that split us up. During a brief, insane attempt to patch up the irreparable damage done to our marriage, the elders in our church found my former husband single guys to live with.

You guessed it! My dearest was one of the guys. Wierd, huh? I never spent time at the guy's house (which is now our house) and I never called over here. I felt so bad for this single guy who was trying to help us out, and I didn't want to subject him to our drama. This is odd because the person I was at the time could have cared less what drama others witnessed. I firmly believe it was God's protection that we have no relationship at all. I think we didn't even exchange hello's at church because I was so ashamed at the whole situation and this guy having to be involved.

Anyway, I knew of this guy's character becasue he'd been at church for a while. And, the night we moved my former husband in he'd made the comment that he'd chosen a career specifically so that he could be around when he had a family. Any single guy who was thinking that far ahead amazed me. Secretly I hoped and prayed that this guy would rub off on my then husband. I even started praying for a wife for this guy, specifically a God-loving, child bearing wife.

Does God ever have a sense of humor. Less that 6 months after I signed my name on the dotted line dissolving my former marriage, it was clear that this new guy was the man God had for me. I had hoped this guy would mentor my ex, never did I dream I would get the original - which is far better than a copy! And, I had been praying for myself all those months. God is a master at writing terrific screenplays!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

this is funny, i don't care who you are!

Our daddy does the dinner table training. This enables me to enjoy my meal, sometimes at his expense. Tonight Emory got a piece of Halloween candy for finishing her meal. She chose a package of extra large Smarties. She then proceeded to wedge them in between her extremely dirty toes. I have no idea why. This grossed her daddy out and her asked her not to put her candy in bewteen her toes. To this she replied with a "No."

Of course, as you can imagine, this got the "Oh no you didn't." look from her father. He asked her to hand him the candy, intending to take it away for the evening. She must have suspected as much because she promptly popped the candy into her mouth. I have never seen her father's jaw drop so quickly or so far before. What Emory didn't count on was that her daddy would still make her spit the candy out, even though she had already begun to chew it. Thank goodness for napkins, I was able to hide the laugh that was threatening me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

we have some new friends!

and their names are Inky, Pinky, Dinky, Doodle, and Da. We've been without a working radio or cd player in our car since mid-summer, going on 6 months now, so we've had to create our own entertainment while in transit. I've actually drug my feet a little to get it looked at because I've enjoyed having to talk or entertain. It's been a good practice for me to not go to my happy place and ignore the kids in the car.

For a while we would sing songs. Then Ethan was born and hated the carseat, so we endured crying for a while on the road. Now, he is much more content in the car so Emory has begun asking for stories. Incidentally, this practice has come in handy anytime I want her still while I finish a task - feeding Ethan, cooking supper, you get the idea... Inky, Pinky, Dinky, Doodle, and Da are 5 clowns that live in a big-top and have a ringmaster who is also their dear friend. They get into all sorts of scrapes and each story has a moral to it. They've become such fixtures in Emory's life that she has actually referenced their antics during our morning Scripture reading at the breakfast table.

So there you have it, the Skocelai version of Aesop's Fables. I wonder what those crazy clowns will get themselves into next?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the bubbles take a spill...

Emory recieved this as a favor at her preschool Halloween party:


Today, as we were waiting for daddy to get home from his weekend in the woods, we were enjoying blowing the bubbles outside. The wand is very small, as is the container, and is not the most ideal toy for tiny fingers. Sure enough, the bubbles were spilled when Emory dropped the container on the ground trying to jab the tiny wand into a tiny hole in the top. She promptly snatched it up off the ground and inspected it for harm. "Hey! The face fell off!" was her reaction, since she had picked it up wrong side up. Since I was laughing so hard it took me a minute to reassure her that the face was indeed still on her jack-o-latern bubbles.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

top ten...

.... things i love about being a momma:

10. the fab dark circles under each eye
9. getting to pick out adorable outfits for 2 of the cutest kiddos
8. that early morning smooch from the big girl before she is wisked away by her daddy
7. seeing reflections of myself in other beings
6. the look of adoration from the baby boy as he eats
5. the feel of sticky fingers on my face trying to get my attention
4. the late night feedings when I really get the baby all to myself
3. the way the baby thinks everything I do is totally awesome
2. watching the big girl discover the world around her
1. hearing young voices call for "Mommy!" and realizing they are talking to me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

i ate bacon once...

Apparently, according to some, I have the habit of occasional random comments. I guess I am so arrogant, that I believe you all should just always know what I'm talking about. I dated a guy about 9 years ago who was 7 years older than me (and at 21, that was something!) and was a good date planner. Weird at the actual relationship, but he knew how to plan a good date. Don't get me wrong, he was a really great guy, just not for me and I wasn't the gal for him either.

On one of our dates, he took me to a drive-in movie in Argo. It's always stuck with me because it was kind of cool to go to a drive-in movie. Anyhoo, there is a police station close to our home that was under renovations around the time Eric and I had just gotten married. It had to be early in our marriage (like we've been married that long!) 'cuz there were no carseats in the car. The company responsible for the construction was Argo Properties. Every time I passed the building I would think of my drive-in movie experience.

One day, when we were in the car together, I thought I would share my experience with my new husband. So, I stated, "I've been to a drive-in movie." This might not strike you as the most random comment made, but it was out of the blue and I think I interrupted my husband. Since we had not been married long enough for him to understand how my mind worked, the only reply he could think of was, "I ate bacon once." He thought we were just sharing random details from our past. It took me some time for me to explain the connection to the building to him.

So now, whenever someone makes a completely random and unexpected comment, either Eric or I will say, "I ate bacon once." It's our code for, "What?! How does that relate?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

I love it when...

the baby catches sight of his hand, opens his mouth, begins to bring the beloved fist to his mouth for a taste, wiggles those legs in anticipation, gets distracted, bops himself in the eye, and then looks at me for an explanation. What a treaure it is to be watching another little person learn all about living in this big world we've been given.

I'm feeling fulfilled these days. It's crazy strange. I'm so distracted that I'm forgetting to put cat litter back in the box after changing it and I'm running out of gas in the neighborhood causing me to walk home lugging an infant in his carrier, but I'm at peace with my world. These things aren't really undoing me, they are making me laugh at myself. And I am so stinkin' tired since this big boy has regressed back to 2 night wakings again.

Now that we are out of the most difficult first few weeks, and I think I can say we are actually adjusted, I feel so much more relaxed and can enjoy this kid. I'm still trying to figure out how to enjoy them together instead of just one at a time, but I haven't mastered that one yet. But, it really does just keep getting better all the time...

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's a lie!

It's a dadblame, bold-faced lie, yet everyone of us believes it every single day. What lie? This lie: "Everyone but me has it all together." Now this lie actually comes is several forms... "Everyone else's child obeys the first time every time." "No on else's house ever looks as nasty dirty as mine." "No one else has this much trouble getting out the door on time." "I'll bet no other couple has the same two arguments over and over." and my personal favorite "I'm the only woman who is not back to pre-prego weight before 6 weeks."

What a sneaky little trick that Satan plays on us. He has everyone of us believing that we are the worst wife, mother, homemaker, friend, what have you. The reality of it is this... we ALL struggle with sin. Yet, we believe the devil, or ourselves, when our heart whispers, "It's just you." And why is this lie so stinkin' dangerous? Because it leaves us believing we must hitch up our belts once more and get crackin' at being a better person so that we can measure up to some arbitrary standard that we created.

This lie does not encourage us to run to the cross, to run to Jesus when we see our lack of measuring up. It keeps us convinced that we are responsible for ourselves. In reality, we are so incredibly helpless that we are not to be left to ourselves. Which is why we have been adopted by a heavenly Father, bought by the blood of His only Son, and given the gift of the Helper.

There is no lack of wisdom in our comparison to sheep in Scripture. Dearest says that all sheep are good for is to run and poop. They lack any ability to learn anything, they constantly get themselves into situations that they are helpless to get out of, and they naturally distrust anyone and anything. Which is why they are the only animal that needs constant supervision through a shepherd.

Quit believing the lie. Trust your shepherd. And call me when you think you're the only one who can't get it together. Chances are, it's been days since I've showered.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pure joy...

It really is easy to make a kid happy. It's the small things that matter most. Sounds so very sappy, but it's true. There's a reason a cliche is a cliche. It is a tried and true truth.

Aunt Grace's birthday was this past weekend. Now while I did remember a gift for her, I did not bake anything to commemorate the day. I know, I suck. But, she dropped by with cupcakes for us. It kind of shamed me a little. But, to be fair, I was growing a whole new person in my body no less than 6 weeks ago. And, yes, I get to play that card for another couple of weeks. Having another human inhabit your body is a big deal!

Today after lunch I told Emory that I had saved the last cupcake for her. This involved fending her daddy off and baking cookies for him late last night to satisfy his urge for something sweet. It must have seemed to good to be true, because she pulled down the pan the cupcakes lived in for a peek. She lifted the foil off the top, a huge grin spread across her face, and she shouted, "HALLELUJAH!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a great husband...


- Rocks the over-tired infant to sleep so that you can give your big girl some undivided attention.

- Changes the pooped on crib sheets without being asked.

- Doesn't complain when his dinner is not only late, but still frozen after baking for an hour.

- Microwaves not only his own late, cold dinner, but yours as well.

- Spends one of his only 2 Saturdays off working hard to keep the house in good repair.

- Takes the big girl out for a date after having worked all morning on the house, when you know he really wants to be watching football.

- Makes fun of your sleep deprived delirium, thereby helping you not to take yourself so seriously.

- Schemes how he can get away with you for a long weekend once the baby is sleeping through the night.

- Schemes how he can get you to take a girl's trip once the baby is sleeping through the night.

- Gets up with the two-year-old in the middle of the night and in the morning, without complaint and without expecting favors.

- Takes you out for an ice cream dinner.

- Still finds you beautiful, even with a 6 week post-partum body.

- Is your biggest cheerleader, confidant, helper, and best friend.

I have a great husband!

Thank you for all you're doing to help our family adjust to our new blessing. I love you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

one smart cookie...

Emory and I attended a birthday party this weekend. When we took our leave, we were handed a goody bag with the name "Emily" written beautifully in glitter on the front. Without being obnoxious, I gently tried to probe as the the whereabouts of Emory's, and not Emily's, goody bag. I was quickly informed, without a real explanation, that I was in fact holding Emory's goody bag. I'm the only one who seemed to notice that the bag had the wrong name on it.

I shrugged it off, thinking Emory won't care because she won't know the difference. And, it happens more than you think, people confusing her name. We usually have to correct people from thinking her name is Anne Marie, but we get Emily sometimes too. On the way home, she was happily checking out her loot when all of the sudden there was this question from the backseat, "Hey Mom! Doesn't my name have an O in it?" I laughed and told her it did. She handed me the goody bag and informed me that this bag was not hers. Drat!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

it's an epidemic!

There is something strange happening these days around the Skocelai household. We have, what I've coined, "spill-itis". Every day, and I kid you not, either Eric or I will knock over a completly full glass of water. This never happened until we brought the man-child home. I'm guessing it is a secondary infection brought on by the primary infection of ain't-nobody-gettin'-no-sleep-around-here fever. Now, the boy is sleeping better that we deserve. He seems to have now dropped down to one feeding in the middle of the night, and is easier to talk into going back to sleep after eating. But, someone has forgotten to tell the big sister.
Last week she was waking up at 5:00 to poop. That was quickly rectified by eliminating all juice boxes she was getting out of the extreme mommy guilt I feel for having added another child to the household and thereby decreasing the amount of time she and I have together. Then, it was bad dreams at 12:00am, 2:00am, and 4:00am. And then last night, at 3:00, she was hot. Then, she had to pee. Then she was thirsty. The fourth time her door opened, I didn't even ask her what she needed/wanted. I just threw her back in bed and dared her to get back up again. She didn't. She really is intelligent.
I was so worked up because I felt robbed of precious sleep, that it took me a long time to settle back down myself. Just as I had drifted off, the baby finally called for his meal. Now, this precious boy slept from 10:00 until 4:00ish. And then went back down until a little after 7:30am. I can taste it - we're inching towards a full night's rest. Now, if someone would just tell the almost three-year-old who slept wonderfully until we gave up the paci and moved to a big bed. Curses!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

shells and cheese...

Emory and I have been on a quest to find a really good box of easy mac and cheese for me to whip up at lunch time. Sadly, we are spoiled by my usual home-made mac and cheese and nothing measures up. The problem with home-made mac and cheese is that it is not easy to whip it up if you decide you have a hankering. My recipe takes about an hour to prepare and I don't usually have the ingredients on hand. Let's just say it is a heart attack in a pyrex dish.

Today we were eating our Aunt Annie's shells and cheese and Emory posed this particular question to me:

"Mom, did there used to be turtles in these shells?"

I may have really dumbed down my standards for the time being but I promise I have not sunk that low. Yet....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

look what we did after nap today...


Ain't she pretty? It was time. It's been on my list for a while now and I finally got up the courage to do it. Emory really didn't want to cut her hair, but conceded after I promised her a diet coke of her very own, and she wouldn't have to share it with me. This is her big girl haircut, she's no longer a toddler and it was time to let go of the toddler-ish hair cut and get something a little more mature. Her daddy is not too happy with me, but in all fairness, I told him it was coming. Maybe I'll be more sympathetic when it comes time for Ethan's big boy cut.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

some great Emmy moments...

On Tuesday, I picked the big girl up from school. Daddy was home with the little boy, so I took advantage and ran some errands. Not only were the errands done more quickly with just one kid, but I also got some quality time with my first born. Anyhoo, she spotted a fish on the back of a car that was in the lane next to us.

"What is that on the back of that car, mommy?"
"It's a fish, Emory. People put those on the back of their cars to tell others that they love God."
"Mommy! We need a fish!"
(Glad to see she's gettin' it!)

And tonight she got out of bed needing to potty. The television, to my husband's great delight, is in full view from our potty. It's just the way the house happens to be laid out. Well, Emory insisted on the door being closed while she went tee-tee. I asked her why and her reply was, "I don't want the people on the TV to see me naked." I guess all those modesty talks have been taken to heart as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

more babies?...

At dinner, as I was balancing a bottle and trying to eat my dinner at the same time, I asked Emory if we should have any more babies - a question I always seem to be asking myself when we have a newborn in the house. Her answer was "YES!". Daddy asked her her how many more and she said, "TWO!" He looked at me and said, "That would be 4!" Eyes wide because neither one of us can contemplate that right now in our sleep-deprived state. I asked her what we should name them. "Kiki and Doody." was her witty answer. Kids...

Monday, September 7, 2009

living with a newborn...

... yes, everything in this household revolves around that very fact. Our schedule, our play, and even our moods are affected by our tiny bundle of joy. Now, our bundle is easy, as far as newborns go, but he's still a whole lotta work! It's exhausting! But, it's fun too. The novelty is wearing off a tad and I'm really ready for some interaction with my son.

My friend, Renie, sent me this great link to a blog that has a terrific description of life with a newborn: http://www.dooce.com/2009/09/03/house-adorable.

And on the sweeter side of things, here is Femina's latest post about a Father's love for His children and our reflection of Him in our lives: http://femina.reformedblogs.com/2009/09/07/look-again/.

Happy reading!

Friday, September 4, 2009

a whole new way of life...

... and it totally revolves around catching some Z's whenever one can. I cheerfully pull Ethan duty and Eric has taken over the big sister who is an early riser. Let me tell you, this is an act of service on his part. The man still routinely sleeps until 8:00 every day. And, he thinks this is normal! He's a true night owl, while I am not. I have a hard time sleeping past 6:30, unless I have a new baby in the house. Then, I can sleep whenever I get still.

Ethan is up at least twice a night. Once around 2:00 and again at 5:00. He is usually down for the night sometime between 9:00 and 10:00. So, he is giving me a good stretch at the front end. It's just hard to get to bed when he does when that is the only time hubby and I have together with both kids down.

Even though I am up more and my sleep is slightly more disturbed than Eric's, no one but Ethan is truly well rested in this house. Eric has an incredibly hard time getting to bed "on time" in order to get a good 8 hours before his 6:00am wake-up call. And, sometimes that wake-up call comes at 5:30am! So, he's sluggish too. Once or twice this week, since I was already up feeding Ethan at 6:00, I pulled double duty and let daddy sleep in until his normal wake-up time. I figure there is no need for both parents to be strung out. One of us needs to stay sane and rested.

I had no idea how quickly Emory was adjusting to this new way of living until this morning. When she came out of her room and saw me in the living room, instead of her daddy, she matter-of-factly asked, "Is it daddy's turn for extra rest this morning?"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

stolen...

Completely and unashamedly borrowed from Wonder Girl's blog:

Reading: Baby Wise (never say never!)

Drinking: lots of coffee

Listening: to the chatter of a two-year-old

Feeling: tired, so very very tired

Watching: re-runs of The Office

Snacking: who gets to eat?

Humming: Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

Wearing: what I slept in

Cooking: not yet, still receiving meals from church! what an awesome service!!!

Paying: for 2 day a week preschool for the two, almost three-year-old

Dreaming: of a full night's sleep

Smelling: like I need a shower

Loving: having a baby boy

Anticipating: that first grin

Saturday, August 29, 2009

overheard...

at dinner Daddy informed me that Emory had frogs in her dream at naptime.

Me: You did? What were they doing?
Emory: They were wearing me out, man.

After Emory had hopped down from dinner and daddy and I were still visiting at the table. She was in the living room.

Emory: Mom, help me, I've got this balloon.
Me: What do you need help with, Emory?
Emory: It's freakin' me out!

I think I've been quick to tell you our woes, so she is due some positive attention too. She really is so very funny. Today was a better day. Since tomorrow is our special day of rest and worship, it will be even better, right? At least we all get orange juice with breakfast!

what is it....

...about a baby that is so ever-lovin' enjoyable? Maybe it is just this baby and not all babies, but I am totally and completely having a blast with him! All he really does is eat, sleep, poop, and occasionally pee on me, but he's a trip to have around the house already. Maybe it's 'cuz I'm no longer a newbie at having a baby and I'm more relaxed? Maybe it's because he's a boy and momma's are notorious for favoring their little men? Who am I really kidding? It's totally because this kid doesn't sass me, is thankful for the small things I do for him, and actually seems to like me. I really need one of my kids to like me right now.

On another note, the big girl and I are in the midst of having to forge ourselves a new way of relating to each other. After a hideous 24 hours around here, during which I treated her and was treated in ways I never imagined possible in my relationship with her, I finally sent out my S.O.S. to the ladies in my Bible study group. What a great group of girls. Within hours I could literally feel the prayers. I got e-mails lifting me up, reminding me of things I was having trouble remembering, and offers of actual physical help. So cool to be a part of the Body of Christ. Once again, I ask, how in the world do non-believers even get up in the morning? If it were not for Christ and His family, we would never make it around here.

If you pop in unannounced these days you find Emory in mismatched clothes she chose herself, me in my pajamas, Ethan dressed to the nines and sleeping in the swing, and old glamor shots of me at age 15 that Emory discovered yesterday and has insisted on distributing around the house for her viewing pleasure. She calls them pictures of crazy mommy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the joy of a boy...

Sorry to be gone so long. I actually would have blogged sooner, but our internet has been down. So far adding a baby to the fam has been a walk in the park. He's an incredibly easy baby and we are praying that it stays that way :). He is such a delight to have as part of our family and he has a look about him that makes me think he might be a very content and laid back boy. He even looks like he really wants to smile at me already, but just can't quite figure it out.

One glaring difference between having a boy after a girl? When you change their diaper you must either wear safety goggles or prepare to duck!

Well, time to feed the boy again. Nine pounders like to eat and often.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ethan Benedict Skocelas





the birth story...

This is a G-rated version, but if you would rather not know any details of Ethan's arrival you may exit the car now.

After a little bit of an emotional struggle, we decided to induce labor rather than wait it out, mostly due to the terrible itching I was suffering. When we walked in yesterday morning, I was actually 2 centimeters and almost completely effaced. This was exciting to me because it was what we were praying for and it told me that my body really could do this. When I had Emory she was 12 days late and I had not dialated or effaced at all. But this is not her story...

Dr. Mac broke my water at 6:45 and the Pitocin drip started at 6:50. At 7:10 I felt my first contraction that "pinched" a little and by 7:45 they were 5 minutes apart and getting more insistent that they be noticed. The real blessing is that I had no pain in between contractions, which is completely different from my first delivery.

By 8:15 I was having a hard time remebering to breath during contractions, which were now 2 minutes apart. And let me tell you, those 2 minutes roll around fast! I made a deal with the nurse that I would let her check me at 8:45 and then we could evaluate what I could have for pain. Fraiser was due to come on 9:00 and I wanted to be able to enjoy it. I NEVER get to watch TV in during the day! I was only hoping for a bit of Nubane, but when she checked me I was already at 4 cm. So... guess who got her epidural at 9:15?

It took a while for the anasthesiologist to get there, and when he did get there the pain was almost unbearable. But, bless his bones, he was so fast I didn't even have a contraction while he was there. I missed the first episode of Frasier, but thanks to the joys of TNT and syndication, another episode was on right after that. However, I was not to enjoy Frasier as I started having all the "strange" reactions to the epidural. I saw strange only because my labor with Emory was a walk in the park after the epidural but this time my labor took a different kind of difficult turn.

My blood pressure dropped significantly after getting the epidural and I began having trouble staying conscious. We finally got me settled on my left side and I began to itch all over. But, it was ok since I had been itching all during my pregnancy. It just felt normal. At 10:00 I was already at 6 cm and from that point on I gained a centimeter every half hour. We began to get excited, thinking we would have our baby boy by noon.

I began pushing at about 11:45am and the nurse was completely surprised that he wasn't delivered with the first push since I only pushed 3 or 4 times total with our girl, who was my first baby. However, after some investigation she discovered Ethan was turned on his side, facing my left. I was going to have to work for this kid to get him to turn. The "extra exertion" combined with the nasty effects the epidural was having on me lent themselves to less effective pushing too, I'm sure. I began to pass out after every other push and getting the energy to push was quite a struggle. I have to say there is nothing like "coming to" and being told to push hard. My reaction was almost one of "does no one else see what is happening to me?" but I'm sure they see this often, so it really is no big deal to them. And, I was in no real danger, I just felt really, really crappy.

Dr. Mac came in at 12:30, assessed things, and told the nurse to call him in 45 minutes for another assessment. When I heard that he thought we'd be doing this for another 45 minutes, I began praying really hard that I would be able to get this thing done! The second push after Dr. Mac had left, either I got more effective or Ethan finally turned, because all of the sudden my nurse got a little frantic nurse, hitting the call button and calling for help. She barely got her gloves on and had to sit and hold Ethan's head in while someone else raced down the hall to get Dr. Mac. Thank goodness he hadn't gotten far. He had left the room at 12:45 and Ethan was officially delivered at 12:54pm!

After Ethan was delivered it wasn't hard to see why my belly had been so big. He was a big boy, weighing in at 9 pounds even, and 21 inches. Emory was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 21 inches as well. Ladies, let me tell you, those 8 ounces make a difference! His head is an inch and 3/4 larger than Emory's was as well. So, already he's looking like a regular boy. He's a good nurser, though he seems to be a bit gassy. Emory was never gassy, so this will be a new experience for us. After a cranky day yesterday, he seems to have settled down a bit and is a little more accepting of this world. At least until this afternoon when he goes for his rites of circumcism.

Thanks to all those who have prayed for us during the journey of getting Ethan to join the outside world. However, the fun is just beginning! As Emory was leaving yesterday she had a meltdown when she realized I wasn't coming with her. Ethan was crying because he was hungry. Dr. Mac walked in and laughed telling me, "You are officially the mother of many when both kids melt down at the same time." Fortunately, this being baby #2, it was easy for me to see the humor in the situation as well. For now, that is. Ask me again in a month.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

well?

We have a 9 pound, 21 inch baby boy! Pictures to come soon (we forgot the USB cord to get the pictures off the camera tonight). Emory seems to really love her little brother and gave him lots of love when she visited this afternoon. All in all, a good day...

Monday, August 10, 2009

for the love...

After much waffling and debating on my part, we have an induction date: this Thursday, August 13th. Although I am beginning to get a little anxious over the idea of meeting the demands of a two-year-old and a newborn, I am ready to be done with this pregnancy. I think I'd have a million kids if it weren't for this pregnancy deal. But anyhoo, mom is finally here and we are anxious to meet this little boy. Emory thinks he will have "yellow hair" like her. I hope so, since she is pretty stinkin' cute.

Bear with us, we'll try to get photos up quickly, but neither one of us are picture people. We take 'em but forget to get them off the camera. Here's to the wonders of modern medicine that can command your body to give birth!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

a fun rainy day activity....

or, waiting-on-baby-number-2-but-i'm-convinced-he's-never-coming-so-let's-pass-the-time-with-fun-stuff activity! This is not my original idea. It came from my friend's blog and we just took it one step further. Visit her site to get the "recipe".


our shaving cream creation...

after we mixed all the color combos we could, we headed to the tub to "clean up", however, we got the cool idea to paint the wall instead


then, we thought it might be fun to see what happens when you spray water on the creation


then, we tried cleaning off the wall by scooping the shave cream off


and rinsing our hands!

All in all, this activity occupied Emory for almost a full hour. Nothing ever does that! This gets my stamp of approval. Thanks, Sarah Z.!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

and the hits just keep on comin'...

On the way to dinner Thurday night, this is the song I heard Emory singing in the backseat:

"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me no..."

Ummm.... not exactly what we are trying to communicate here!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Emory's little brother...

... last night, due to the generosity of some great friends, Eric and I got to sneak in one last date before we are the parents of 2 children. We had a Firebirds giftcard, so we headed over to Patton Creek for a night of dining and window shopping. After dinner we headed to World Market to torture ourselves with all the things we'd love to own but can't afford right now and we found this for Emory:

We left it until this morning since she was so very tired when we picked her up and we really wanted her to be able to enjoy her surprise. After breakfast and Daddy was finally up, we told her that we had a treat for her in the kitchen. We left it sitting on the counter and told her to pull it down and take a look.

She pulled the package down and stared at it for a moment and looked at us as if she were unsure as to what she was supposed to do. We asked her, "Who is that?" (side note: this kid is crazy about the movie Monsters Inc. so we thought this would be a great treat for her.) Breathlessly she turns to us and says, "Is it Ethan?"

I WISH!

Monday, July 27, 2009

another great conversation...

At dinner Emory decided her Daddy needed to go to time-out. She instructed hime to go sit in the corner. Since we've never put her in time-out in any place other than her room I was curious as to where she might have picked this method up. I asked, "Emory, who puts you in time-out in the corner?" She replied, "You know, that new lady prophet."

WHAT?!?!

a strange conversation...

Well, I actually think most conversations with a two-year-old are strange, but I believe this one to be our strangest so far. We were on the way home from Wal-mart this morning and Emory announces to me:

"Mommy, Sam is the only one allowed to go to BooBoo Chicken." I have no idea which Sam she is referring to since there are several in our life.

"Emory, what do you do at BooBoo Chicken?"

"It's a place to shoot arrows." Oh, that makes total sense.

"What else do you do there?"

"You get your hair cut."

Curious now as to which Sam gets such a privilege I ask, "Which Sam is it that gets to go there?"

"The one who hits me." Hmmmm, interesting since the Sams in our life are either barely 1, in a different Sunday School class at church, or live in Bay St. Louis.

What creativity!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

before and after...











Somethin's in the water...

A couple of my friends have recently gotten a weekend (or longer!) to themselves without kids. Today, Emory has decided she wants her daddy all to herself, so they've headed off to get a donut and explore the McWane Center together. I'm a little jealous that I was not included, but her affections tend to be limited to whomever gets up with her on any given day. Eric let me sleep in today since it may be the last Saturday I can do that, and I ended up forcing myself out of the bed at 9:00! I NEVER sleep like that, unless I am 37 weeks pregnant, of course.

So, I will be using my unexpected free morning wisely. I need to locate the dust ruffle for the crib. I have no idea where it is and it is the only thing that keeps the cat from getting into the drawer that holds all the blankets and crib sheets. And, there is a couple of Kids Market stuff that needs to be tagged. And, I am trying to keep the house up to par since once a baby comes home getting things done will be next to impossible for a few weeks.

On a happy note, I was strep B negative, so I can come home earlier than I was able to with Emory. I HATE, HATE, HATE being in the hospital and having nurses check my vitals every 4 hours and taking my baby in and out of the room. I think it really is more of a control thing, that baby is my kid and I don't appreciate being made to feel like I "need" them to tell me what to do. Plus, there is the natural anxiety over how this is going to change our lives and I'm ready for it to just happen already so that we can get busy adjusting.

Here is my list of tried, yet sadly untrue, methods of at-home labor induction:
Maternity accupressure
Pineapple
Davenport's Pizza

There are more to be attempted, but they are more for comic relief instead of actually inducing labor:
Raspberry tea
A bumpy car ride
Spicy Mexican food

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Report from the doctor's appointment today...

Nada. Nuthin'. Zip. Zilch.

I'm gonna be pregnant forever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nostalgia...

Maybe it's because we are so very close to welcoming another member to the family, but lately I've been enjoying perusing some baby pictures of Emory. How does this cute baby...


become this big girl...


The great thing about having a second baby is that you've grown up a little more and are less likely to sweat the small stuff and just enjoy your baby while he/she is still a baby. The thing I am looking forward to the most (besides running again and fitting into my favorite clothes again?) is smelling Ethan's head! I love the way a baby's head smells...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stages of pregnancy...

While the medical world might divide pregnancy into trimesters, I think the following stages more aptly describes my personal experience:

Stage One (Weeks 1 to 8): Woohoo! I'm finally pregnant!

Stage Two (Weeks 9 to 20): I'm never gonna survive this morning sickness. This is definately our last child.

Stage Three (Weeks 21 to 32): This ain't so bad. It's kind of fun feeling that little guy rolling around in there.

Stage Four (Weeks 33 to 36): Is is hot in here or is it just me? And, has anybody seen my shoes? Oh! I'm already wearing them?

Stage Five (Weeks 36 to 40): Lord, please deliver me! Or, at least let me deliver tonight!

Stage Six (Immediately following birth of the child): That wasn't so bad. I'll definately do that again.

It's amazing how we forget, ain't it ladies?

And yes, I am "still" pregnant!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How we did the 4th of July...

The started out with Eric running to the clinic to do rounds and Emory and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Robin Hood. Actually, she watched while drinking her juice and eating a cereal bar and I caught a little more sleep! When Daddy came home we got busy emptying out the kitchen of all the furniture and appliances to get ready for the new floor and counters we are getting this week! Then it was off to the pool and home again for naps.

After naps we hung out and played and then headed out to watch fireworks. We had been prepping Emory for the event for a couple of weeks, but once we were actually on our way we faced an onslaught of anxious questions:

Will they be loud?
Will they be close?
Did I like them when I was a baby?
Do other children like them?
Will I be afraid?
Did you like fireworks when you were little?

And on and on until I told her she would just have to trust us not to take her somewhere that she would get hurt. She ended up really enjoying the fireworks and actually losing interest half-way through. After I made her take her hands off her ears, that is.

And then it was home again home again and off to bed. It was the first time in a long time that we spent the majority of the day together as a family and it felt so good! Next year will be interesting with a 11 month old in tow. Can't wait!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When you're 2...

You really shouldn't get to make judgements about the sizes of others. Of course, everyone is bigger than you. You're not even 3 feet tall yet and you only weigh 27 pounds! Today the sweetest contractor in the world was standing in my kitchen outlining for me what will happen next in "Project Laundry Room and New Kitchen". Emory was standing there looking from him to me. I could tell some wheels were turning but I had no idea what was about to come out of her mouth. This gentle soul, our contractor, paused to catch a breath and Emory saw her chance to make herself heard, "Mommy! His tummy is even bigger than yours!" Rats! I hope his hearing is going bad from all the hammering he endures...

what he used the internet for...

My hubby is not computer savvy in the least. Don't get me wrong, he's an absolutely brilliant man. Probably has more smarts than anyone else I've ever met (sorry Dad!), but computers just ain't his thang. So, I was mildly surprised to discover that he used the internet to order my birthday gift. I know he used it before I knew what I was getting because he asked for instructions on how to use Paypal. After getting instructions he still opted to send in a check and let the delivery be a little past my big day.

Anyhoo, he had ordered some Indelible Grace cd's that have some of my favorite hymns on them. I've really been wanting some "grown-up" music that Emory would also enjoy. She loves what we sing in church and asks me all week to help her sing whatever we sang that past Sunday. Now we can have accompaniment! One of my favoritest songs ever is "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken" and while I won't post the whole thing, I will share my favorite portion with you:

Think what Spirit dwells within you
Think what Father's smiles are thine
Think that Jesus died to win you
Child of heaven canst thou repine?


I mean, come on! If you are a friend of Jesus, reconciled to God by His own Son's death, how those words not give you the shivers and cause you to renew your commitment to Him once again! If you are a Christian, the God of the universe calls you His very own. AWESOME! Thanks, Baby, for a great gift!

out of the mouth of babes...

This morning, Emory and I were indulging in some water color painting at the table. Emory, who had been treated to purple dino ice cream Friday, asked me to paint a picture of a purple dinosaur. I am no artist, but I tried my best. What I actually created was a disproportionate purple brontosaurus.

Emory: "What is that?"
Me: "It's a purple long-neck."
Emory: "Is this the tail?" pointing to what I had intended to be the neck.
Me: "No, that's the long neck, here is his tail. He just has really big buns."
Emory: "Like you?"

Monday, June 29, 2009

PHEW!

Since it has been 72 hours and no one else in the Skocelai household has gotten sick, I think I might venture to say we're in the clear! Praise God! I have never prayed so hard for my family. That was one virus that really took it out of me, but I'm glad to be done with it and moving on... Because I was out of commission for a few days there is much to do today. But, props to the daddy for a terrific job taking charge and caring for the tot and the house while I whimpered and slept for almost 2 days straight. What a great guy! And, Emory had so much fun between going to a friend's house both Friday morning and Saturday evening, a birthday party Saturday morning, a date with daddy on Friday night that involved a Krystal just-her-size cheeseburger and purple dino ice cream from Bruesters, and then an ice cream social at church last night and lots of play with good friends.... I think she's ready for me to be out of commission when Ethan comes! Thanks to everyone who helped us out this past weekend!

So, off to the weekly Walmart run, do all the laundry that accumulated while I was sick, pick up belated b'day gifts, pick up baby shower gifts for next week, and prepare more freezer meals for when baby boy gets here. And, I just heard the tot's door open. Monday, here we come!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

adventures...

Friday, for the first time in Emory's life, I was sick enough to be unable to care for her. I had a nasty virus Thursday evening which left me out for the day on Friday. Our original plan was for her daddy to take care of her, but after putting a call into the clinic he discovered that not only were there several procedures scheduled, they had also double-booked appointments. So, we had to call in re-enforcement's. Since neither of us has any family in town, or even remotely close, we called a close friend to see if she could keep Emory. True to her selfless nature, Renie gave up her only day off this week to keep my kid. AND, her hubby has been out of town most of this month, so you know she is exhausted!

Emory came home with a picture she had painted, beautiful fingernails and toenails, and a rotten attitude that we had spoiled her fun by picking her up. I think she enjoyed herself immensely. Thank you, Renie! Here is a photo of the kids enjoying their time together:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Serving God and mammon...

Emory and I were playing "drive-thru" while outside today (do not judge what this might say about our lifestyle!). I was the customer and she was the cashier. I needed some money in order to be able to play and she told me I couldn't have any. I pretended to pout (what a great example!) and she replied, "You don't need money, Mom. You have God!"

Reading Bible Stories...

Emory has a series of Bible story books that were given to me at my baby shower when I was pregnant with her. She loves them! Our original intent was to use them for family worship, but we've really struggled with how that should look for our family when our oldest child is only two-years-old. We don't want to embitter our kids with boring family devotions and cause them to dread the time the family spends reading God's word together, but we also don't want to cheapen the reading of God's word and allow it to become a frivolous activity.

While I think there is definitely a place and argument for an organized family worship time, my husband has decided it is to come later when our children are a mite older and can communicate what they would like to study with us. I happily acquiesce to his leadership on this matter! But, the problem still remains of exposing our children to the Word before they are "ready" for a sit-down family worship.

Here is our solution(s): We've always offered her Bible story books as an option for her bedtime reading and she has usually chosen one to be a part of her reading. When we moved Emory to the big girl bed she had a bit of a freak out that we never anticipated, so my mom suggested reading Scripture at lights out to help calm her fears. It worked immediately and is still part of our routine. We have a read-the-Bible-in-a-year that breaks the readings down for us. There is an OT, NT, Psalm, and a Proverb reading each night. (We've actually been skipping the OT reading because it has been the wars of Joshua and it is actually pretty gory. Not that we're opposed to exposing her to such reading, just not the wisest thing right before she sleeps!) This takes about 10 minutes and we do it after we turn out the lights and her sleep machine is already on.

As she gets older and more verbal, we are actually having conversations about what we are reading. Add to that the great CD's we have from Jamie Soles, and we've found that we have fallen into family worship all day long, which has been such a blessing. We are constantly discussing God's word, His requirements, His blessings to us, and our responsibilities to please Him with our behavior. And, it is so pleasing to hear her reading Bible stories to her baby dolls and praying on the potty. I really need to get that one on video, but I can't figure out how to do it without ruining the moment.

Today she read me a Bible story and here is how it went:

"This is from John 2. John the baptist was walking up a hill and saw Jesus in a tree. He said, 'Jesus, you come down. I want to come to your house.' And Jesus said, 'No, I can't do that. That would be disobeying.'"

I love it! At least seeds are being sown for her heart to recall later.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Seriously!

Why do all things seem to converge on the same day? It is unbearably hot here, I am 2 days away from being 33 weeks pregnant, and my air conditioner has worked hard all day and has yet to get the household temp. below 80 degrees. We headed out to Walmart and my darling daughter decided to act every bit of her 2 years. Blissfully, she has been down for a nap for almost 2 hours now, so she may get to keep her life today.

Today is my busiest day of the week, catching up from the weekend and all and then getting ready for a new week ahead. There has been much to do and of all days, I can't seem to catch a deep breath. Guess that happens when you've got a kid punching your diaphragm every few moments. I really can't wait to have Ethan here!

On the upside, I turn 32 years old this week! While I do not relish the thought of being older, I love a good excuse to party. My annual Johnny Ray's lemon icebox pie is residing in the fridge. I can't wait to get into it! My wonderful friends are planning a girl's night this week in honor of mine and another gal's big day. My hubby has been ever so secretive about my gift, but I do know he had to use the internet because he needed instructions on how to use Paypal, so I am deeply intrigued. And, I don't have to cook dinner one night this week!

Tomorrow I get to go (BY MYSELF!) to pick out my new flooring, counter tops, and cabinet hardware for my kitchen facelift. What gal doesn't love to do that? The eletricians were here and done early today, the plumber finished Friday, so all that is left to do this week is the sheetrock, painting the exterior and interior of my new laundry room, and hopefully next week my kitchen gets torn apart! Eric goes tomorrow to pick out our new dishwasher. Why him and not me? Because he's way better at that kind of stuff and I really don't want to have to think about it. I'm completely fine with deferring to what he thinks would be the best dishwasher for our family.

My life feels like one of extremes right now, but I'll take it. It's my life and I really am lovin' it. Except the part from 11:00 to 12:00 today when Emory acted like the kid we all swear we'll never have in public. That I could do without. But, at least I got a "good" opportunity for some training, right?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beloved...

I'm priviledged to be a member of a church where there are some incredibly Godly and wise women. One of these women is leading a short Bible study this summer. I've also been priviledged to be meeting with her one-on-one this past year on the day Emory was at "school". After many, many years of praying for such a relationship. God has answered and my soul has become rather fat this past year. Make that obese. I've been fed so well in so many ways and I've recently been convicted to stop hoarding all this good stuff I'm getting fed and to start sharing a little of my feast with others, primarily my family.

Back to the Bible study... we are going through the book Her Name Is Woman, and it focuses in some key female players from Scripture that we can definately learn from. Some is the how to kind of learning and some is the how not to kind. This past week we started with Eve, and the following was a quote at the beginning of the chapter:

"The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made of his head to rule over him, nor of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved." (Matthew Henry)

I love this description of what we think was God's intention when He chose the rib and not another part of Adam's body. Of course, it is Father's Day, which has brought reflection on the father God chose for my children. At one point, I was under the impression that the father of my kids would be someone else entirely, mainly because I was married to someone else before God brought me my Beloved. However, I am constantly amazed at who and what God had in store for me when that first marriage went straigh to hell 2 years in. And I am so glad it did!

The man with whom I've begun a family is AMAZING! Seriously, I don't know when I've ever known a more selfless man. Even on a day when I completely expected to pick up a little more slack so that he could relax a bit, and maybe thinking that meant keeping the tot out of his hair a bit, his perspective was a bit different. Because it is Father's day he wanted to spend his day being that - a Father and not a lazy bum :), which really would have been fine and I would have never faulted him for it. So, I ended up getting most of the day off instead of him. He's a pretty cool guy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quote of the day..

Setting: Emory is seated on the potty, legs a swingin'

Quote: "Look at your big belly, Momma. It's AMAZING!"

Yes it is, Baby Girl, yes it is.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Works for me Wednesday...

HEY! It's been a while, so you're gonna get a two-fer today.

First up is post-partum freezer meals. I so did not even consider doing this when I was pregnant with Emory, but you live and learn. Our church very graciously provides what adds up to almost 3 weeks of meals after your baby comes. And this ministry is headed up by one terrific gal to boot, who really knows her way around a kitchen. We all know that your need for meals post-baby extends for another couple of months, realistically. Especially since you never know if you are in for a wild ride or not in regards to colic, gas, and general evening baby fussiness. We never had any of that with Emory, so I figure I got it coming, right?

Anyhoo, starting this week (which is week 31, I would suggest starting this a week earlier at week 30), I am making one casserole part of my weekly meal planning. On whichever night I decide to prepare this casserole, I plan to double it and freeze the extra half. I even bought a ton of those throw-away roaster pans from Walmart. And instead of using the stupid plastic tops that they come with, I am chunking those and just using foil to cover it and thereby cut down on space wasted in my (extra) freezer. I even have labels and am writing the name of each casserole and cooking instructions on each one.

This has really not created any extra work for me in a trimester when getting out the recliner to answer the phone is a chore. I'm looking forward to not having to think about dinner for a while once Ethan gets here and not having to send Eric out quite so often for take-out on those night when dinner, much less a shower, just doesn't happen!

Next up, wedding gifts and prayer. What? I really don't think this was an original idea, but I can not remember who to credit for this. If it was you, please speak up so that I can thank you. Anyways, I tried to remember who gave me what when we got married. Granted, I had the added benefit of being older and already been there once before. Whenever I use a gift or admire a pretty thing someone gave us, I try to remember to pray for the gift giver. This, of course, can be used for all gifts you might receive, but typically those who give me Christmas and birthday gifts are already those that I routinely pray for. Praying for those who gave me wedding gifts means I pray for a lot of people I otherwise might never pray for.

And there you go. Just a couple of things that work for me!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

beach photos!

maybe this will make the rehearsal dinner montage one day?!

a little bit of beach dancing...

what delights a kid more than feeding wildlife?

happily digging in the sand...

extreme concentration, notice the tounge...

this kid really doesn't go anywhere without making a friend...

what beach trip is complete without flying a kite?

snugglin' and watching cartoons in bed, something she NEVER gets to do (but only because there is only one TV in this house and it is not in a bedroom!)...