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


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.