Monday, June 30, 2008

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

*yawn*

These kids, I tell ya. They are awfully darned lucky that God gave them a mother whose patience runs deep. In the daylight hours I can easily say that nighttime parenting is just as important as the daytime parenting. But after three solid hours of eye-cracking, head-banging, toe curling baby and toddler crying...my patience is nothing more than a tattered, threadbare white flag of submission and the witchy, warty Mommy comes out. "Please God - WHY WON'T THEY JUST SLEEP!" I cry out at 4:25am as I shuffle to soothe one or the other. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!" I grumble as I throw the comforter back and slam it to the mattress, partly in complete anger at the situation and partly as payment to Scott who gets to roll over and fall back asleep three seconds after I get up. Every once in awhile, when he's not crunched to get up at 5am, he'll offer to get up with the baby (and usually he will get up with Zach) but I rarely let him. In my mind it's easier to just clenched my teeth and get through the next 15 minutes with our regular routine than to let him get up and hear Lilly wail harder b/c her savior of a Mommy didn't appear at her cribside. She really has a problem. I'll probably have to peeeeel her off of my leg when it comes time to take her to school. I guess that's better than having to peel her off my boob though, eh? Anyway...I'm rambling b/c I've had three hours of sleep, maybe four if you add up all the minutes I had in between Lilly and Zach's marathon of crying.

I tried to go to sleep at 11pm, but Lilly began her two hour sprint of sleep for 20 minutes, cry for ten. Then at 1am I fell asleep for three glorious hours. After which Zach woke up hollering "No Daddy! My trucks!" And so began his hour sprint of sleep ten minutes, wake up and cry, sleep ten minutes and so on. Then, not to be outdone, Lilly woke up at 5:30ish apparently for the day. *sigh* So while I still think nighttime parenting is just as important as daytime parenting...I'm here to say it sucks more.

Folgers, take me away!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eternal Rewards

Last evening my first baby girl made a public profession of her faith in Jesus Christ. She was baptized by immersion just like her own savior was sooooo many moons ago. She was so excited and nervous that she was literally shaking as we stood waiting at the edge of the baptismal. My own nerves mixed with hers in the air and it was palpable. I stood there knowing fully the magnitude of what she was doing and was both proud and completely scared for her. She has no idea of the real dangers that lie out there, the very real enemy who was aware of her and her decision to follow his maker. I had the chance to sit down on the edge of the tub and pray with her. Whispering my wishes to the Lord, I asked that He would indwell her and speak to her spirit from this day on. Then she took her own steps down into the baptismal tub, without me. I felt...like it was yet another step toward letting her go, letting her become who she will be. I'm suddenly realizing that these children I've been entrusted are not going to be like me at all. They won't be mini-Christy's no matter how hard I try. They will have their own ideas of what the world is and looks like, their own ways of expressing themselves. My job is to nurture them individually and allow them the safe space to drive down the roads of life...all the while maintaining the guard rails that will keep them from driving off course. Out there somewhere...just a few years down the road actually, I'll have to let the guard rails down and pray that what we've taught them and their faith will be sufficient. I know that Abby is going to have to endure hardships in her life in order to grow her in strength, faith and endurance, but it makes my Mommy Heart ache like no other. I thought of all this last night as I watched her take her own steps of faith and obedience.

Lord, grow me as a Christian woman. Refine me and show me who You want me to be. I want to be a solid example for my husband and children. Thank you for speaking through me to our Abby. Use me to help her grow in her own spiritual walk, and use us both to speak to the smaller children. Lord, till the soil of her heart...shape her into a loving, kind-hearted girl. Guard her and put a hedge of protection around her. I love you and look forward with anticipation to the day when you call us Home, the day or night when those trumpets sound and we meet you face to face. I'm overjoyed that Abby's name is written in the Lamb's Book of life and she knows you. In Jesus' name - Amen!




video

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Veggie Tuesday



So here's the stash we received this week. Baby red potatoes were especially delicious and here's the recipe I used. I added half of the green beans into the mix too. Super yum!




In the stash was:
A head of Romaine Lettuce
Ten red potatoes
A bag of string beans
A bag of snap peas
Half a portion of spinach
Small bunch of green onions

Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Feel Dirty

(cupping my ear) Do you hear that? Listen. No? Me either! That's the silence that is when Zachary is not around. Woohoo!!! Peace and quiet and rest. I can suddenly hear the birds chirping outside and the gentle breeze blowing through the lush bushes outside my kitchen window. *deep breath and sigh* It's lovely. Thank you, Gramma and Papaw.

So what's the plan today? How are the girls and I spending our day without the little tornado whipping around? Well, we went to Barnes and Noble bookstore to use Abby's gift card she received way back at her April birthday. We could never go to a bookstore for more than a few minutes because Zach would have all the books unshelved and the choler of the over-educated sales people raised to a new level. {ha! Like that use of the word of the day from several days ago? *wink* Yea, Christy!} We slink through the children's section like lionesses on the prowl. I try desperately to ooze my excitement over the books and huge selection all over Abby, but she was like Rubber and I'm Glue...you know the rest. She could not peel herself away from the racks of "kit books." You know, the ones that have pretty, sparkley things in them. The ones you pay $20 for and only get a few sheets of stickers or a dangle bracelet that would inevitably end up on the floor or lost in a box. So after I sufficiently got the point across that we were NOT buying crap, but rather books she could read, we surfed through the book series and ended up with two Hannah Montana books (of course.) I tried to get her into the Beverly Cleary or Judy Blume or American Girl section, but the rot that is television has scarred her too deeply. And in true Baker fashion, once she had what she needed, she was all about getting out of there. All I wanted to do was get lost in the racks. Please, please, please...let me look at all the book. But alas...Lilly wanted down (I forgot the stroller!) and Abby was already in major whine mode. So I relented to them, trying to console myself with the knowledge that we are in save mode anyway, I could always get these at the public library and I really had to poop so that'd kill my surfing anyway. Bah...humbug. .60 cents later (thanks for the other $10, Christina!) we were on the way to the next stop...without Zachary screaming in the backseat.

So then we went to Hellmart (aka Walmart) to get a few essentials: stamps, sunscreen, a toilet seat and diapers. And of course all of these items are on the four different corners of the store, so what should be a ten minute stop turned into twenty-five.

I get my booty home, snarf down some lunch and head toward the bathroom to unleash what was certain to be a healthy one...and I remembered the darned toilet seat was broken. Frick. So I run back downstairs to get the new toilet seat, run back up to figure out how to get the old parts off and realize I need a screwdriver. Frick. Run back downstairs for the screwdriver and back up, unsnap the snaps that hold on the toilet seat (or what would be the toilet seat if we hadn't broken it) and there I saw something that disgusted me. Now, by no means do I claim to be a clean freak or really even a super clean person. It takes solid work and dedication for me to do what I actually get done around here. I hardly have time for anything extra. So I unsnap these plastic flaps and there sits this brownish-yellow goo that screams at me"Aaaah, daylight!!!" I actually sat back on my feet with a disgusted look on my face, thinking what the hell is that!? Sick! So I go cruising for my rubber gloves b/c there is no way this side of Heaven I am touching anything else without some protection. Again I have to assume the hunching position over the throne...flashbacks of Aftershock liqueur and a bar toilet tearing through my mind...and begin unscrewing these huge plastic bolts/nuts that are also caked in the putrid yellow goo. After a few *gags* I got them loose and there sat two round quarter sized pools of what I assume is years old pee and poo mixed with poo water. Is what they call Eau De Toilet? *gag* Nasty. So I grab the Clorox and a rag...and of course right then my nose and inner ear itched simultaneously and I had to fight the urge to scratch. IGNORE THE ITCH, Damn it! There's NO WAY I can touch anything right now. Thankfully it subsided and I could finish the task at hand. I cleaned off the toilet and grab the new ring, assembled it quickly and got the heck out of there. I'm super glad I did it all by myself but I just feel disgusting now. And although I washed my hands twice...I still feel dirty...tainted, if you will. Yuck. Honestly, if Mike Rowe wanted to come do my job (cleaning up puke, poop, brushing my wretched dog's teeth, wiping mystery gunk out of the bottom of carseats, etc) for a week it'd make for good T.V. I think. I never did get my quiet time in the bathroom, but what's new!

The girls and I are headed to the pool WITHOUT Zachary. It's probably shameful to be so excited that my son is away from me (God help me, I am) and I do hope they are having a great time, enjoying each other, but we most definitely are enjoying our girl time! I haven't had to say "get your hand off your wiener!" once today...yet. He'll be back in two and a half hours...and counting. *wink*

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Monday....

Hi all! I hope you had fun dodging rain drops and playing in the sun's rays this weekend. It was pretty gorgeous here in between the showers. I went to my friend's birthday BBQ and we had to make a mad dash for lawn chairs and yard games as the wind whipped up and threatened to sweep it all away. It thought it was fun though - we even sat on their enclosed deck after the temperature dropped fifteen degrees in ten minutes. It seems like only in Ohio will it be near 90 degrees, humid and insufferable one minute...and within twenty minutes to an hour it's 70 something and you need a sweater.

So this last week our Abby asked Jesus to live in her heart and be her Savior. She's never actually prayed the prayer of salvation before and every time she asked about the commitment we'd tell her the basics of what would happen. She'd say something like "well I want to have Jesus live in my heart" or "he's already in my heart" and then the conversation would die down. This time she really, really wanted to go through with the prayer and all that goes with it (the baptism.) Before, it was always "I want to be a Christian but I DO NOT want to get in the water! Can I wait until I'm old to do that?" And the answer was yes. We don't believe that the act of baptism saves you, it's just an outward profession of an inward commitment, but it's also a very personal symbolic event. I remember my own baptism and get a little misty.

This whole thing really makes me realize how important my job as a role model is. She watches me day in and day out, and hears everything I say. I need to make my own faith and daily walk with Christ more visible for her and sincerely take the time to develop a prayer life with her. I think she is pretty darned mature and can handle a lot more than I give her credit for. Scott and I both have the awesome privilege of showing her what a real, working relationship with Christ is and it's gonna mean a lot more effort on our part, which is a great thing in itself. I'm excited to see how this changes us all!! So, if you're a praying person, keep us all lifted up and especially our Abby as she takes this step of obedience and accepts the best gift she'll ever receive.

Zachary has his first playdate with Gramma Baker tomorrow. So she and Papaw will need our prayers too. *tongue in cheek* But hey, don't forget...Gramma Baker raised Zach's father so she's no stranger to all the Baker Boy antics. She self-admittedly does NOT have the energy she use to though, so she'll probably need a shot of whiskey and a big nap to recover.
I gotta tell you, as I type this, Abby is desperately trying to get Zach to poop on the potty. She REALLY wants to have the party I keep telling Zach we'll have if he does it.

Miss Lilly's big news is that she's basically forgotten about my mammies. It's been three days since I've nursed and while I enjoy the freedom, a teeny, tiny back corner part of my heart is a little bit sad. Not sad that my breasts won't leak all over my shirts. Not sad that my boobs aren't going to be engorged or have mastitis again. Not sad that a baby won't be crunching down on my nipples with sharp, jagged, bony teeth, sending me shooting off of the couch again. Not sad that I have to be concerned with what I'm eating/drinking because it might be passed on to a baby. Nope...not sad about any of that. I AM a little bit sad that I won't have a warm, smooshy face against my breast. I'm a liiittle sad that the beautiful part of nourishing my child with the best that is available to her will be over. I'm a tiiiidbit sad that my baby is growing up and I cannot freeze her in this most adorably cute stage. But overall, I have to say, I did a very good job nursing all three children and did it for as long as comfortably possible for us. I leave this stage of our relationship behind with full knowledge that I did what was best for us and look forward to the future. Scott, for one, will certainly be happy that he can touch them without worrying about getting dripped on. And that's another bonus for me too!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I DO have a talent!

I can balance an infant on one knee, with a purse over my shoulder, hold my shorts from hitting the floor and hover precariously over a public toilet...all while restraining a three year old boy from running out of the stall door. I think that's pretty damned crafty! And...I can wipe, get upright, zip my shorts, flush with my foot and wash my hands all without allowing either child to touch any parts of the germ laden toilet/floor/doors.

You'll never see that on America's Got Talent, but it's a winner I think.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Hate the Blackberry Phone!

I do, I do, I do, I do...I hate the Blackberry. I hate how it has infiltrated my family life and has an invisible, non-spoken rank. If we're watching TV - it rings, he answers. If we're talking - it rings, he answers. If we're eating dinner - it rings, he answers. I've seen him sprint up the basement stairs like an Olympian or jump down a flight in order to get the phone before it stops ringing. And I despise how we'll be sitting together and he'll be texting someone or playing poker (he doesn't really play that much anymore, I think.) He even deals with it while we're in the car. You may be thinking that I'm just jealous of his phone or that he has so many peeps to talk to, but really...I'm jealous of the relationship he has with this phone...the fact that it seems to be more important than what I'm saying at the time or that we're eating dinner or watching a program. I TOTALLY get why people call them "Crackberries" b/c people who have these, they seriously look at these phones in awe and are addicted to punching the teeny, tiny Polly Pocket buttons. There are even commercials devoted to how people "can't keep their hands off of them." I love my husband, really I do...he's the light of my life. I'd take a bullet for him. But I really could gag when he asks me "isn't this phone slick!? Doesn't it look better without the blue rubber cover!?" *gag* Uh, yea hon...it's super cool! Can I hold it? *imagining me taking the phone and throwing it out the car window*


In fact, while I'm on a soapbox, does it bother anyone else when people have those earbuds on (the ones that look like a huge blue beetle has attached itself and is sucking their brain through the ear. These do NOT look cool, people!) in the store...and they'll end up RIGHT beside you just as they say something? It seems like they are talking to you, so you abruptly stop and say "Oh, excuse me?" only to find they have that darned phone in their ear and weren't talking to you at all. And not only are they being the goofy one, they give YOU a look like "I wasn't talking to you." Nice. *shaking my head*

There's no major point to this post, just a major vent. If you own a Blackberry (or other name brand interactive phone)...get your head out of your phone and be more aware of the PEOPLE in your immediate area.

Tuesday's Delivery




The veggies came again! We received half a head of broccoli, two green Kohrabi and one purple, a small bunch of green onions, a sack of spinach, a bigger sack of mixed greens and Christina gave us the whole share of snap peas. I think next week we get red potatoes instead of broccoli. The broccoli was FANTASTIC tasting. I steamed it with a little butter, then just lightly salted it (sprinkled with cheese for Abby) and we both ate it up! Scott's a broccoli hater and Zach spit it out immediately too. Eh - more for us smart girls!! Remember - what we get is only half the share, Christina and John get the other half. Scott says we should start logging everything we get so that at the end of the season we can tally what we think it would cost at the store and compare against what we paid to the farmer. That way we can decide if it's worth doing again. I agree and hope this blog will help me do just that.

Right now it's mostly all green stuff, which is good for us b/c Zachary is low in iron right now and we don't usually get enough greens in our diet anyway. Speaking of which, I'm gonna mix up a big salad for lunch. Mmmmmm!!

Oh - and now I have ALL the peas, which actually looks like the same amount as last time, but my pea salad failed miserably. So if anyone knows of a recipe I can make to use up these peas...let me know!

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Quietest Part of My Day

Ahhhhh...the swirl of the dryer, Kate Gosselin's voice soothing my mother nerves, counters are wiped down, toys are put away and I'm almost ready for tomorrow. All three kids are in bed (thanks, Daddy!) and I can finally clean up the house and know it'll stay that way for more than twenty minutes. Of course we're all sleeping and within ten minutes of us being up again it'll be torn up, but for now I can lay my head on the pillow and know I've successfully mothered all three children (how dare that school close it's doors for three whole months!!) to the best of my abilities and left the house in good honorable condition. I actually felt glee while wiping down the toilet this evening b/c I didn't have a baby crawling at mach speed toward the door or one of the older ones trying to dig in the cabinets behind me.

Actually...as I stand here posting this...I find it completely ironic that I even watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight at all. Don't I get enough whining, crying and talk about baby/kid crap in a fourteen hour period!? And yet I sit and watch this family of ten with admiration and hope, thinking "if she can find humor and happiness in the life she's living, I most certainly can do it myself with half the people!"

Speaking of humor...one of the best things about having children is that they are a captive audience. Abby was asking for a late snack (she said "surprise me with what you make!") and we kinda forgot about it. Then we remembered and joked about what we might bring her. Scott's idea was hilarious. He grabbed a Milkbone that the dogs had been batting around the house for a few days (would you believe the pizza man actually brought it with our pizza!?), put it on a plate and covered it with a saucepan lid. We sneaked downstairs and he says "Abby, I thought long and hard about what to make you, spent a long time preparing this and voila!" as he lifted the lid to reveal the bone. *laughing* Her face was priceless. It went from eagerness to questioning what the heck it was and then realization that it was a dog bone and she'd been the butt of a joke. She has a great sense of humor and laughed right along with our retardedness. I love that kid. WE love that kid...she's great.

Alright - that was a lame story. Sorry...I'm sleepy. G'night.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Every Parents Worst Nightmare

We decided to go to Alum Creek beach today and have some family fun. And fun it was! Scott manned Zachary while I handled Lilly, and Abby was her big girl self. I had my doubts about how smoothly this experience would go, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the beach was and how the kids took right to the water. About forty minutes or so into the fun, Zach decided he wanted to go over to the playground area so I took him over and Abby came along as well. Here's where the whole beach scene turns into a friggin' nightmare.

We're swinging, we're swinging, we're swinging and then he wants to go play with Abby on this big tugboat shaped jungle gym thing. So we go and he's in and out of the boat, up and down the stairs...I peek up over the edge and ask him if he's Popeye the Sailor Man (and of course he'll never know who that is/was.) Then I turn and walk around to talk to Abby, she and I were counting the stairs she had jumped down. A minute passed (seriously. I didn't even turn my back or talk to anyone else...I was fully engaged with my kids here) when I realized I hadn't heard or seen Zachary. So I call for him thinking he was inside the tugboat. No answer. I call again and start circling the tugboat. No answer. *panic mode is at level yellow* ZACHARY!? Where are you!? I start asking the kids if they see him and the lady standing nearby. No one saw him leave the tugboat, so we look inside again and call for him...no answer, no Zachary. As I think back, I'm pretty sure I couldn't hear anything at this point and I remember thinking "this is like a movie and it's not really happening" but it most certainly was. My child was missing. I'm frantically looking this way and that way, across the parking lot, over to our blanket where Scott and Lilly are, searching the crowd for his bright orange swim trunks. ZACHARY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Then I looked toward the beach, straight ahead from the tugboat and I spotted his shorts knee deep in the surf - no life jacket. I screamed "Oh F**K!!!", tore of my hat, sunglasses and flip flops and ran like I've never run before. I was like a F-ing gazelle - leaping over blankets and half naked sunbathers screaming my sons name and although it took me a total of fifteen seconds to run the distance it felt like I was running through marshmallow fluff in a dream. Zachary was happy as can be waddling his butt right out to a boat that had docked right at the beach. I got my hand on his arm and I've never been SO overjoyed and seeing red at the same time. I didn't know whether to jerk him around like a whale with a baby seal or to snatch him up into the crook of my neck and never let him go. I actually scooped him up and walked him to the sand, then leaned down to catch my wits and breath while I kept a firm grip on him. He knew he was going to be in trouble too b/c he immediately began chanting "No go home, Mom. No go home!"

I walked him over to the park to retrieve my things and Abby, whom I'd completely left behind in the dust. The mom who had helped me look for Zach said "I really feel for you" in a seriously sweet, sympathetic way that made me burst into an ugly cry. You know the one. That nasty can't stop your lips from curling back over your teeth cry and you heave loud cries that are neither cute nor controllable. I just stood there with my left hand gripping Zachary, my face twisted up in tears and my right hand in the air as if to say "please, I appreciate it, but don't say another word. I'm breaking down here." I was able to compose myself enough to thank her for her comment and concern, and walked back to Scott where I sat in the chair sobbing for joy that I hadn't completely lost my son to a stranger or drowning. And within a minute Lilly began choking on a Cheerio so I had to flip her over and smack her back to get it loose. I've had enough close calls with danger this week - enough for a lifetime. I'm really considering a life as a hermit. I've already got the chin hairs started (yea, it's some post 30 hormonal thing, but thanks to Sally Hansen hair removal treatments I won't have to change my name to Christopher.) I'll just stop waxing and let them grow until I'm too ashamed to be seen in public and have to stay in the house, away from that big, bad world out there.

So - Zachary is safe and not that I didn't know this before, but it's 110% concreted into my mind...when out in public with Zachary, my eyes are not to be taken off of him. This all happened within a minute or two. My son could have drowned within a span of a few minutes and it would have been my fault, and I'm sure that the Lord spared me this suffering. I am SO thankful and will not take the favor for granted.

I need a vacation.


Here are a few pictures of our beach excursion, which despite the emotional trauma was really a fun family thing we intend to do again. :)








The Mostly Immobile Child








The Runaway Kid









The Half Responsible One

Father's Day

Okay, so a blog is an online journal and this one was created so that I could express myself to myself and be honest, no matter who was lurking or knowingly visiting. I give the following expressive thoughts out to the Internet knowing full well that their content may sting certain individuals and stir emotions. My intent is to journal my true feelings so that I can realize who I am in a more visual way. I take the emotions and thoughts that rumble tumble through my body on a daily basis put them on a canvas and arrange them to make sense. These thoughts are who I was and am in the current - there is room for improvement.

Father's Day has become a mixed bag of emotions for me over the years. When I became old enough to recognize the holiday and feel about it, I was usually saddened by the fact that I didn't have a dad around the house to give gifts to or snuggle up with and appreciate. I ALWAYS recognized the father's strength in my mother though. And I'm sure it made my mom's stomach churn, but I always wanted to get my dad a card and/or gift. My parents were never married and to hear stories about their relationship, they were both somewhat in love with each other in the beginning, but circumstances got in the way. My Dad moved to another state for work when I was born and so began a long distance relationship that I never asked for. I pined for him for many years. I held out hope that one day they would realize they really did love each other and I was worthy of breaking up other marriages and uprooting jobs for them to be together again...and live happily ever after. The day arrived, no matter how I begged for it not to, when I did know that it was a fairly tale I'd created in my mind and would never be a reality. It wasn't until I was already a mother before my own Mom told me about her truest feelings of despair and defeat regarding my Dad. Oh, she'd make snide remarks about him here and there, but she mostly let me make my own opinion. As I sit here today thinking about the man I married, what a good and present father he is, I have NO IDEA how my mom raised three children all by herself.

And of us three kids, my dad was the most caring and available. His side of the family was always available to me too and they lived in the same city, so I was able to develop that other half of who I was. Whereas my brothers really did not. Hell, in fact, my youngest brother's dad refused to even admit he was his dad (uh, DNA test proved otherwise, the big jerk), let alone call him or spend time with him. I could always pick up the phone and talk to my dad if I wanted to, and he and his wife always sent cards and gifts on the appropriate holidays. It wasn't at all as it should have been, but that's life, right? Shit happens...families divide...other marriages, other kids, other cities...and we kids deal with it. My mom was REALLY strong, so I had a solid role model and a strict parent to keep me from going either way. She set the road before me and lit the way. I think it was easier for me than it was my brothers. I had the role model of the same gender to be like. They had to find fathers in other men and in our city - good role models were hard to come by. Our maternal grandfather didn't like us, never spent ANY time with us except what was forced on him. Our maternal uncle was a drug addict and a terrible father himself...no help there. So, I blame the fathers for their sons' lack of direction.

A father is irreplaceable. A mother can do her absolute best and raise awesome men, but there is something that men give to their children. I watch Scott with my babies and it brings my soul to the surface. I KNOW it's right and good that he's such a great provider, available daily to them. He reads bedtime books, tells Abby how beautiful she is, wrestles with the older ones, cooks their dinners, wipes baby butts, makes them feel safe. He's in there, in the trenches...being there for them. It's as it should be. It's especially clear when I watch Zachary with him. Sometimes Scott will lay on the floor to watch TV with a pillow folded in half under his head. Zachary will go get a floor pillow, tuck that damn thing in half just like Scott and lay down right beside him mimicking his every gesture. BOYS NEED THEIR DADS!!! I could do every single thing right as a mother but if Scott wasn't here with me, being the male role model...Zachary will not be the full man he should be. I'm convinced of it.

So - on this 30th Father's Day of my life, I really do appreciate that my dad was as available as he was while I was growing up. I still feel the sting of not having that half of my parents around (and that includes my step-mother whom I've grown to love and appreciate over the years. Her wart fell off several years back and I saw the woman she really is. *wink*) but as I said before...life is what it is and I have to deal with the present. I give honor to my Dad for being all that he could be, but my truest, deepest honor is held out for my husband, the greatest Daddy I've ever seen. Watching him be all the things I wished I had growing up somehow fills in the gaps for me.

And I'd be a terrible child of God if I didn't recognize today His holy influence in my life. I can look back through my history and see all the places where something happened, a decision, an event that I had no real control over and yet brought me to where I am today...safe, loved, comfortable...and especially becoming more of a whole person in Him.


Psalm 68 1 - 5

May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.

As smoke is blown away by the wind,
may you blow them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.

But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.

Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds [a]
his name is the LORD—
and rejoice before him.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.



Friday, June 13, 2008

Veggie-tastic

This year we decided to go together with our neighbor and split a full share of crops from a local farmer. Our garden has been a bit neglected recently since being pregnant through last Summer and having two little ones around this Summer (I can't believe Lilly will be ONE in August!). So we let the strawberries take over half the garden this year and only planted a few green peppers and tomatoes (basically b/c I found a guy selling them for $1 for four plants). I tried planting herbs, but forgot to mention that I did so to Scott and when he went in to plant the maters and peppers he thought the herbs were weeds and raked 'em all up. I actually found a few that survived while I was out weeding the other day, so I'm gonna try to nurture them. Our strawberries are producing wonderfully! I pick a big bowl each day. We've had strawberry salads, strawberry Jello, strawberry shortcake and I'm planning to try a recipe for Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins. I'll let you know how that goes.

So anyway - we get a delivery each Tuesday and this week was our second one. The lack of rain or early warm weather kept the crops a little late - we were suppose to start getting them in May. So the first week we got four radishes (which were so yummy), a handful of green onions and a bag of mixed green lettuce. This week though we got a BIG bag of shell peas, a handful of green onions, a larger bunch of radishes and two kohlrabi. Woohoo!!! I thought the peas were sugar snap peas, but one bite quickly made me realize that was not so. WAAY too stringy and hard to eat.

Scott - the pea hater - willingly shelled all the peas for me! This action is what they call irony, I think. I had a picture of him actually shelling, but it also had my right sink full of dishes in the shot and I can't have you all seeing that! I attempted to make Pea Salad with them (after cooking them of course), but it failed miserably and thankfully no one but me felt the sting of loss.

Is it weird that I am happily surprised on Tuesday when I know the veggies are coming? It's exciting! What WILL it be this week!? I wonder. I'll take a picture of the booty next Tuesday so you can all see what I'm getting. Hey - and you know what? Check out this farmer's website. Maybe this is where our community will be headed - buying from local farmers instead of from the too high priced grocery stores. If I could just find a banana and grape farmer nearby - I'd be set.


And completely off topic, but just to make you smile...here's Lilly in her tennis gear and cheer pom-pom. I could eat her face!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Our 9-1-1 Experience

Yesterday was SUCH a good day and then wouldn't you know it...it just HAS to get all rowdy at the end. Right!? Couldn't be anything else around here, for Pete's sake.

Scott had a late meeting, so I did everything in my power to wear the kids out (two hours at the pool, a late night walk/scooter.) We actually got home the same time he did - it was around 9:20-9:30. We go inside and settle the kids in the living room. Scott and I are in the kitchen talking and then Lilly started crying the "hurt cry." We run over and ask Zach what happened. First mistake - leaving him alone with her. Second mistake - expecting a real story of what actually happened in the previous twenty seconds. I scooped Lilly up and cuddled her while Scott shined the light in Zach's eyes. All we could get was that he pushed her and it's only funny b/c when we asked him in our serious parent voice he said he did so in half an "I think I did something right" voice and half in an "I might be in trouble voice." We didn't yell or spank him, just told him that was a big no-no.

Suddenly I noticed that Lilly's eyeball was bleeding!!! Not a lot, just a spot, but of course I couldn't get her to open her eye or even pry it open. Bless her heart! I sat her upright and her eyes started rolling back in her head and she wouldn't keep her eyes open. Scott and I looked at each other with this wild, panicked look and I know we were both scared but not sure what to do or what was wrong. I kept saying "SOMETHING'S WRONG! So we scattered to get our shoes on and go to the ER, but I figured calling 9-1-1 would be quicker. So I did. And here is how the conversation went:

911 Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?
Me (in a panic): I think I have a problem. I have a nine month old baby here and she looks to have fallen on a coffee table, but I didn't see it happen. Her eyeball is bleeding and her eyes were rolling back in her head and she wanted to go to sleep, I think. But she seems to be okay now. I'm not sure what we should do!
911 Dispatcher: Okay, please hold while I transfer you.
Me (confused): What!? Okay.
Sherrif's Office Lady: Sherrif's office. How can I help you?
Me (getting ticked off): I have a nine month old baby who seems to have fallen and her eyeball is bleeding. I didn't see it happen and she seems to be okay for now, but I don't know what I should do.
Sherrif's Lady (in a snarky, loud voice): Ma'am - where ARE you!?
Me: I'm at home, in my kitchen!
Snarky Sherrif Lady: OKaaaaay. Where is THAT? What is your address!?
Me (seriously pissed off now): Are you kidding me!? It's (address) off of (such and such Road)!!!! *throwing my hands in the air*
Snarky, Nasty Sherrif Lady: Are you in Reynoldsburg!?
Me (completely ready to hang up) YES!!!!!!!!!!
Snarky, Nasty Sherrif Lady: Well, that's the problem. I'm in another city. Do you need a medic? You need to call 9-1-1.

Uh - really!? I cannot believe at this point that this is happening. What if I had a super bad emergency? I'm still in shock really.

So she transfer me to some guy. I really have no clue who he was or if he was with 9-1-1 Emergency or not. I explained my situation A-GAIN and said "at this point I'm not sure if I need to go to the ER or have an ambulance come." He said he could dispatch a medic and it was our call, so we said "go ahead with the medic then." He said some inaudible things and then I thought he said to hold please, so I did. A few minutes later I realized that no one was on the line or coming to the line so I hung up. We waited for at least thirty minutes after that but no medic came.

I put Lilly to sleep and she seemed fine, except for the blood on her eye, which I know can be unsightly but is not usually too painful. Our intuitive diagnosis is that Zachary most likely scratched her as he pushed her down and her eye really stung, which caused her to roll her eyes around and water. She kept rubbing them too so that probably made her feel really sleepy. I'll keep a close watch on her and call the pediatrician this morning.

I guess the lesson learned is if you're in real danger here in my town - don't call 9-1-1 unless you're up for a multi-person conversation and expect no result.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wash Me, Lord

Last night I took this long walk with my friend Stacey and it was so cleansing. She and I talked ourselves silly and opened up about personal things and our passion for the Lord. I didn't even feel my legs walking most of the time because my mind and my mouth were moving at mach speed, letting out all the things I have been feelings and thinking. Thanks, Stacey!

So this morning I feel refreshed and really desiring for the Lord to wash away all the dryness in my bones. I miss Him and our intimate time together. I want to be in that place again where I can feel his heavenly hand reaching down into my life and opening me up. My life gets so fast paced and my mind darts in a hundred different directions daily, and the first thing that goes is my quiet time with the Lord. It's been awhile since I've felt really spiritually refreshed and I need it.

I was surfing this morning looking for some worship music to refresh me and these two songs ALWAYS open my spirit right up.

May they bless you today so that you feel the refreshing rain from Heaven soaking into any dry areas of your life. He is truly worthy and can fill ANY void you feel in your life.

Stacey sent me this one just now:







Neat Stuff

Yesterday was a pretty cool day!

I drove Abby and the neighbor kids to VBS and while parked there beside the building I got to see (or more HEAR) a big pane of glass fall to the ground from the second story and shatter just feet from me. We were in no grave danger at this point, but the guy in charge was REALLY mad that the church had decided to go ahead with VBS knowing full well there would be demolition happening. I definitely agree. Eep!

Then as I was driving down a major road I got trapped in between a police barricade. Apparently a telephone pole splintered in half and was hanging from the wires. Uh yea - mucho dangerous! I drove by cautiously, me and the other lady who was caught.

At this point I started to wonder if I should find a new route and go back home. The thought crossed my mind, "this could very well be the day that I die." *shiver* BUT, thankfully, I'm here this morning to report that the day did get much cooler.

The little ones and I stopped at Kroger to get some things. There was a fire engine sitting there in the parking lot, so I left sleeping Lilly lie in the carseat and took Zach over to check it out. The fireman in the drivers seat was SOOOO kind to Zach. He offered to let him sit in the drivers seat, but Z was too shy at this point. So the guy hopped out and started sweetly talking to Z, explaining all the details (in kid terms) of what he does and all the cool things the truck does. He flipped on the lights for Zach to see and this excited Z. Then he walked us all around the truck opening each cubby, explaining and even pulled the fire hose out and let Zach hold the end. It was truly C-O-O-L!! By the time we got to the other side Zach was ready to get down and go inside the truck. He stood there looking around with his hands on his hips and the side of his mouth all pinched up in a "Hmmmm?" look. Then he started to explore the big boots/pants, walkie talkies, headseats, buttons, etc. He was completely in a zone and loving it! So - big ups to the Reynoldsburg area fire department! We were truly impressed!

Then Abby and I caught a baby dragonfly in our kitchen window. We were both pretty amazed, but I made her take it outside immediately. As amazing as they look - they are crunchy and loud and I don't like insects! :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monogamy Rocks

Really! Is there anything better than being able to have it when you want it, with someone who's safe, trustworthy and clean?? There's no awkward questions or breath checks. You just give each other that look or crassly ask "You Wanna!?" Quick and dirty. Long and loving. Two A.M. rendezvous are THE BEST! And a little insight into my marriage - we can be totally not talking for days, giving each other those snitty looks and jabs, cold shoulder and all...and still crash into each other on a couch or floor or washing machine or whatever will hold our weight. Woohoo!!!

And to my parents...if you've made it to this point in the post you deserve a medal. No one wants to think of their little boy or little girl doing THAT!!! We understand...we're 100% sure that our parents are celibate. *wink*


Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. From the Song of Songs

Friday, June 6, 2008

Last Day of School!

I got those washable paint markers and plan to decorate the van for when I pick up Abby. Should be fun! I kept screaming "IT'S THE LAST DAY - YAY!!!!!" all morning, but she wouldn't buy into the excitement with me. She gets that from her Dad - such a reservist. We pulled up to the school and I said, for the twentieth time "HAVE A FUN DAY - YAY!!" and she looks at me real sober like and says "gosh, you act like it's a holiday or something, Mom." *shaking my head* Did I give birth to this child? Hee hee.

Whatever! It's a milestone for me too, so I'll be excited if I want to.

Where's My Talent?

Seriously - what IS my talent? I'm watching So You Think You Can Dance? and I'm in awe of these people's abilities. They have this awesome talent and way of expressing themselves...and I have to ask...What is my talent? Oh sure - I'm a good mom and friend and wife, and I can whip up a dinner (definitely NOT my strong point *wink*) - and I'm not fishing for compliments by any means (feel free to leave one). But really...Scott's a talented Architect, Tennis God, he has HUGE...green thumb *tongue in cheek* and can swoon a plant back to life with the flick of the watering can. It just makes me sit back and wonder...am I talentless or am I just a Jill of All Trades, Master of None? I can do a good many things well enough...ride a bike, make a person laugh, scrub a toilet, scrapbook, write a blog, wrangle a wiggly baby with poop creeping up her back, but I am not excelled or trained or great at any one thing. Does that mean I lack passion? I've never had that "sprint to the finish line and win" feeling. Never received a first place medal. Never won a contest. And for the most part, friends, I'm okay with that. Except when I see that flame of passion burning inside of someone else...or see them succeed to a finishing spot, like my husband. Bless his soul...he wins so often at tennis, that I just expect it out of him. But every match in his eyes is played to be won and when it's not won, he really feels it. I don't know what that feels like and it makes me wonder.

I know that God gives us all unique qualities and special Spiritual gifts when we become followers of Christ, so I know I have those things. I just wonder if I have ONE really cool talent that will drive me someday or if I am just meant to be kinda good at a few things and live contentedly with that. *shrugging my shoulders* It's hard to say I suppose - especially at this stage when my WHOLE life revolves around three little people who need me to be their everything and encourage them to find their talents. Hmmm...maybe being a well-rounded, healthy Mom is the best talent I can have right now? Would I be okay with that? Yes, most likely. Something tells me though that I really do have something bigger - I just need to locate it.

Whatever your talent is - be it that you are a great encourager, a fantastic artist, a person who loves to help others, a dancer, a runner, a cook, etc...use it. Use your talent to bring glory to the One who gave it to you.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What a Great Day!

My neighbor Christina offered to watch the two little ones so that I could go out by myself this morning. Wasn't that so sweet!? So I got to take Abby to school, run a couple of errands (two of which were a bust, but I didn't let it get me down) and then go back to Abby's school for Fun Day. What a blast that was! They had like ten stations set up with a different game at each one, a couple of them were water games to boot. Which was perfect for today b/c it was SO hot and humid you could slice the air with a knife. Ugh. The coolest set up was a game where they took a leaf blower and attached about ten feet of PVC piping to the end of and shot these soft balls into the air. The kids were all standing about five to ten yard away with baskets, trying to catch the balls. It was hilarious! How fun! We really like Taylor Rd Elementary. They go all out for their students!

Check my YouTube bar below for video of Abby doing the Wet Sponge Relay.

Then I ran to check the mail at lunchtime and lo and behold...what was there!? THE TEST RESULTS!! He passed, of course, but also included in the envelope was a letter of Certification making Scott an official Architect. :) Woohoo!! I quickly made up a banner for Scott and hung it on the garage. :) It's SUCH a relief to have this done and over with, especially for Scott. Another milestone met!

Oh, and I am planning to include on my upcoming website a Recipe of The Week. I made a really good marinated shrimp recipe as well as a strawberry salad. Our strawberries are doing awesome and we seem to be pulling out about two to three cups worth each day. SO, I had to find something to do with them all and this recipe was AWESOME. I loved it anyway. No one else would try it b/c it had healthy stuff in it. You know - lettuce and nuts. It's an uphill battle trying to get these people to eat a piece of multi-grain bread! I also tried Cous Cous yesterday and only Lilly and I would eat. Abby said she liked the first bite and then wouldn't eat another. *sigh* With Zachary needing more iron in his diet - we're definitely going to be trying to incorporate more nutritious foods. Whether they like it or not!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I came upon these verses this morning b/c I was searching for "peace" (the kid situation really has me nuts) and I thought others might benefit.

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

It tells me about who Christ is - gentle and humble in heart. This makes me want him to come to my house and sit on my couch so that I can lay my head in his lap. Wouldn't that be so awesome!? I do long for his second coming.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"The Plan"

Okay - so here I go again with another great idea. Who knows if it'll flop or fly, but I really hope that I can be consistent with it. In an effort to give Zachary more personal one on one time and stimulate his growing, hyperactive brain - I found this website with a preschool homeschooling curriculum on it. The idea is that each week he has a "theme" that we learn about, as well as a Letter, Number and Shape per week. So here's a picture of our lesson board that we hung up in the kitchen and it should be fairly easy to keep up with. That's super important - it must be easy for Mommy too b/c my brain goes in a hundred different directions throughout one day. Anything that wants undivided attention must usually be screaming, puking or pooping. I haven't printed out the nursery rhyme for the week (Hey Diddle, Diddle), but he already knows half of it. The vocab words will come tomorrow too. Should be fun! I'm already singing "the Daddy cow says MOO (in a low, booming voice)" to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell all day long, even when no kids are in my presence. It's just fun to sing! The Mommy cow says "MOO" in a prissy voice while fluttering her eyelashes. LOL See - I can be a fun mom too!

The plan for Abby is to do half an hour of reading per day and one math worksheet every other day.

We also are putting into effect a "downtime" each day from 1-3pm. It's basically been this way all school year with the two smaller ones attempting to nap during this time, so I think it's prudent we stay with this for everyone's sanity and health. Otherwise I might be nuts by the end of June. I may or may not have signed Abby up for every VBS within 30 miles of our house. :)~

Here's to hoping that a "plan", prayer and a pool membership will make for family fun and bonding this Summer of '08!

By the Light of Day

Lilly was awake all day yesterday (slept twice, twenty minutes each) and screamed for 90% of it. I can't tell if it's teeth coming in or if she's dealing with a bug (she has a runny nose and major grumpies), but either way...she's a total hag to be around, yesterday at least. And last night was no exception. She went to sleep at 8:30ish, woke up at 10:30, ate and went back to sleep 'til 12:30, fell back to sleep in my arms, but as soon as her head touched the crib sheet - the screaming started again. Then we were up until almost 2:00am. Got to watch more Dirty Jobs and Jon and Kate Plus Eight though.

Scott woke up and offered to keep her while I went back to bed, but I knew that it would take some jostling and just the right amount of firmness and letting go and such. You know that special routine that only Mommy knows. I wasn't too sweet either. I had just gone to bed at 11:30 and to be woken up one hour later REALLY sucked. My eyes were sticky and my head felt like lead. I was cursing the day she was born and ranting all the way. I am NOT a very sweet, gentle Mommy in the middle of the night - I admit it. But, by the light of day, I remembered how it is suppose to go and met my chubby baby with smiles again. Thanks be to God that each day is a new start!

Today Zach had his three year check up. We continue to selectively vaccinate him and this time, since we weren't doing all the "normal" vaccines, he didn't have to get any at all. I don't get that! They'll give mega doses of vaccines to a six month old baby, but once they hit two years old they don't need/get the same amount. Dr. Rogers did say that he could get Tetanus this time around, but I still remain firm that the DTaP is mostly unnecessary. Tetanus shots can be administered at the ER should he get a wound that is deep enough that he'd need medical attention. Diptheria is really rare here in the states and Pertussis is treatable. Plus, the accelular pertussis is the part of the vaccine that has higher risk for severe reaction. So today he only needed to get his finger pricked to have his iron level checked. Up until this point Daddy was more than willing to do whatever procedure it was before Zach (get on the scale, have his BP checked), to show him that it didn't hurt. What a good Daddy, right!? But this was as far as he was going - the rest was up to Zach.

They did have to check it twice and did come up as having low iron. They gave us lab orders to get his blood drawn and checked more thoroughly. But after asking more questions - he's barely off the normal range (they like them to be an 11 and he was a 10.2) and Dr Rogers said most often it turns out to be nothing more than a low reading that day and IF he was anemic it would just be a vitamin supplemented with iron. So we're just gonna go ahead and up the iron intake in his diet and get him an iron enriched vitamin. Other than that - he's a totally healthy little boy - 95th percentile on height of course. *wink* He did really well too, being at the doctor. He didn't want to do any of the things required (weight check, feeling the tummy, etc) but once he was pressed harder he relented and didn't balk too much. I did ask about his inattentiveness and hyperactivity, but all he would say is that it's not usually addressed until it becomes a hindrance to his functioning, like in a school setting. So basically, deal with it and hope for the best.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Quick Update

Goodness - it's been a few days since I've posted! Well, let me remedy that right now. It's time for a "kid update" right? What's going on in the FAB-U - lous lives of the Baker kids?

Let's see...

Abby will start her last week of First Grade tomorrow. *sniff* It's been a fast year, I think. I can't believe that we're already moving into June and beginning the Summer! She's reading nearly at a third grade level now and we hope to breeze through the public library's Summer Reading program this year. She spent four hours at the pool today (we went ahead and switched pools and now have a season pass here in town, as opposed to the Y pool 20 minutes away) and came home with a killer sunburn. She took her shirt off to shower this evening and my stomach fell to the floor when I saw that bright red back with a very light criss cross bathing suit mark. Even the small of her back has a red streak across it. YOWSER! I made her slather on sunscreen before we left the house, but amidst all the chaos I don't think I got her back at all. :( Bad mommy! So hopefully she can sleep tonight and it'll be better in the morning. We've doused her with Aloe Vera twice already tonight.

Zachary is breezing toward the finish line of potty training. He already has mad control of his bladder. We've had two full days of no diaper outings (we did put one on for church just in case) an NO accidents, and he even went to the potty once on his own. He has zero desire to sit on the potty still, so the pooping part will have to come on it's own. He just waits until we get the diaper on for nap or bedtime, quickly craps and tells us. We change him and move on with life. I'm happy with the progress at this point and will work on the dookie throughout the Summer. He does need to be potty trained before school this Fall though, so here's to hoping!! Zach is still a major tornado in our life. He wakes up at mach speed and goes to sleep hard, and everything in between is a blur of vivid color. I've heard people say (of their own children) "if I'd have had him {it's usually a boy, right!? *wink*} first, there wouldn't have been anymore." Well, that's Zachary for us. He's more than we can handle at various points in the day and it's often the fact that he's SO friggin cute that saves his life.

Lilly. Ahh...Miss Lilly. She's a roly poly tyrant. Miss Lilly has four teeth now, can crawl and pull herself up on anything she can get a grip on. She also has this really high pitched scream that she sounds off when she's super frustrated. I always come running b/c history tells me that that is a hurt cry, but when I get to her it's because she can't get to something she wants or because wants out of her crib or just plain is pissed and wants attention. It's really annoying. At the same time, she has this grin. All you have to do is say "Lilly! Whatcha doin!?" and she clenches her pearly whites together, squints her eyes, wrinkles up her nose and grins like "nuttin! Ain't I cute!?" It's freak-ing adorable! We are fairly sure she'll be walking within a month or two. She already gets on her feet and then just lets go. She'll have to be fast and fearless to keep up with the other two. Although, I must admit...I really want her to be slow and cautious. Can I have just one, Lord? Pleeeeease?

What else?

We're still waiting on that stinking test result...even though we already know the outcome. We just want the darned thing so it can be finished already. WHAT is the hold up? We had a congratulatory get together in Scott's honor Saturday night. It was fun!

I still love my hairdo - surprisingly. I keep getting compliments too, so that helps. OH, and Scott is right now working on a new official website for me. He just pulled together a homepage template for me and it's really nice. He's got da skillz, yo. :) I already have the website domain bought and waiting for something to be published on it. I'll keep you all posted as that comes along. Fun! A few things I'd like to add on my new site is a section for a weekly recipe that I've tried and a section for what's going on in my spiritual life. I feel like I have several areas of my life that are not all meshing into one. Maybe having a place where I can document what exactly in going on in each area of my life (kids, wife, spiritual side, house, friends, being silly ol' me) will help me to see more clearly who I am or who I am becoming. It's tough being this age...30. My childhood was all about growing to 18, then college was about getting to adulthood, then my twenties were figuring out who I was suppose to be, and now I feel like I am starting to know who I am, but my daily life is so crazy and shifting that I can't yet enjoy me in my own skin. It's all about being this "Mom" that I want to be and should be.

Okay - this post went way longer than I expected. G'night all! Who knows what these next nine hours will bring for me, surely at least one child will wake up. Better go grab some Z's while I can!



Hope the first week of June is awesome and your Summer plans are shaping up.