Monday, March 31, 2008

Bigger Troubles than ADHD

Okay, so what's worse: ADHD or a 9-month-old who's already a Drama Queen? I mean, bring on the Wichita Children's Theater, people, because Sophie is ready for the spotlight! Here's a video of her favorite performance.

Last night was our going-away ceremony at Capitol Hill. They honored us and Brian & Kristen Stroud, who are also moving (they're headed to Alabama). It was so nice. Especially the touching words we received via Heather (Hartman) Roberts. If you know Heather, you know that she is skilled in the art of witty and sometimes sarcastic banter. But last night, she only had nice things to say, and it was very moving. Of course, I am very proud of my husband and the way he loves the Lord's people unconditionally. So I thought it was cute when Heather called Ben the "battery" of Capitol Hill. Although I enjoyed her metaphor, we are full of gratitude that the Lord's wisdom is so high above ours, and there are many servants working together to breathe life into this ministry. We know and believe God that He has great plans for Capitol Hill Church of Christ - plans to bring every member hope and a future!

Our open house went well yesterday - there were a couple families very interested in the house, and we're trusting the Lord that one of those families will be the new owners of our great little home! We'll keep you updated!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Strangers in the House

We are having an Open House tomorrow... if you read yesterday's post, you can laugh along with me as I ask for prayers. Let's sell this house!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Mustard Seed

James 1:6-7 "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Am I the only person who is not ready to be honest about everything that comes to mind when I read this verse?

How do you merge the faith that God CAN do something with the faith that he WILL? When we pray, should we always have faith that God WILL deliver, or is knowing and believing that he CAN, should he choose to act, enough?

I have friends who say that if something I desire doesn't happen, my faith wasn't big enough. I can't believe that this is always the case. If I pray with all my heart that a friend be healed of cancer (and I believe that God can heal her), and she's not, was my faith too small?

These reflections lead me to another contemplation. The study I'm reading right now claims that the "righteous" prayer is seeking God's glory alone. How do you separate your personal desires in prayer from truly praying for God's glory to be made known? I know that if my house sells quickly, it would be a great testament to God's plan for Ben and I to be in Wichita. But personally, selfishly, I want it to sell quickly for our own comfort and ease of transition.

Does anyone out there have an extra mustard seed?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blood, Guts & Nolan Daniel

Nolan Daniel Baker made his official debut this afternoon, March 25th, at 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 20 inches long. Here are pics of our sweet new nephew and his proud parents, Katie and Troy.

If you were to ask me what time Nolan arrived, I could tell you he came into this world a little after noon. Don't expect anything more specific, because I was still rapidly snapping pictures of that wriggling ball of cute and ogling as they stapled my sister's stomach shut. Yes, that's right, I was in the room during Katie's C-section. And they actually used real staples, along with a real "human-ized" staple gun, to seal her incision.

Although we've known for months that we'd be coming to Nebraska for Nolan's birth, I never had any idea that I would ask Katie at the last minute if I could go into the room during her surgery. She was all for it, as was Troy, and the doctor quickly agreed to let me join the party. I have never witnessed anything so amazing in all my life (just to cover myself, I am not counting things I experienced myself, such as the birth of my own daughter). As they made the first incision, I was standing up by Katie's head and could not see anything the doctor was doing. I slowly eased my way past the sheet they were using to block her view, and wound up down at Katie's feet for a completely unobstructed view of the entire operation. I watched as they cut through her outer stomach, then her muscles, then her uterus, and then the amniotic sac (I could be missing a layer or two here). I never became ill, but I did sympathetically grab my own stomach at one point when the incision wasn't big enough in her muscle wall and they grabbed onto the sides, ripping it the rest of the way open. It was incredible to watch as they made the puncture in the amniotic sac, and after the fluid spilled out, this tiny dark head came into view. Then suddenly, they were pulling Nolan's head out of Katie's stomach. Astonishing, extraordinary, remarkable, GOD. How can anyone believe otherwise??!

Sophie and Delaney have had fun together. Here is a pic of them watching a Baby Einstein DVD together. Such sweet girls. I also included a pic of Sophie with Katie (and Nolan) last night, while Nolan was still nestled snug-as-a-bug in his Mommy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Survival of LTC

Sophie's first Easter was not spent at a church building or with family hunting Easter eggs. Before you begin to think we're sacreligious, we did have an Easter dress on her today, and we were at a church service (because those are the things that make us good Christians). It just happened to be at the Anatole hotel in Dallas.

On Friday we packed up and moved out for the Lone Star State for the weekend to support the teens from Capitol Hill as they participated in Leadership Training for Christ (LTC) , performing in various events that they've prepared for over the past few months. Some did drama, some Bible Bowl tests, some song leading, some preaching, etc - they did an AMAZING job and we are so proud of them. This picture is of some of the kids during their drama. It really was so good that I became teary-eyed. Call me a "bragging mom," but it was awesome.

Leave it to my opportunistic daughter, however, to choose this as the most propitious few days to begin cutting her very first tooth. For experiencing the excruciating pain of a razor-sharp piece of bone slowly pushing through the leather-tough exterior of the gums, she far exceeded my expectations. By Saturday evening, however, after a day of hurting, coupled with being passed from teenager to teenager for hours on end, Sophie made it very clear that she would not put up with any more. She had a little baby breakdown. We were broken hearted for our little trooper. So, she slurped down some Tylenol, took a stroller ride around in the warm spring sundown, and had a quick visit to the awards ceremony, before being whisked away to bed. In a strange hotel room and with kids cheering and shouting in the next room, Sophie quickly met up with Mr. Sandman and was down for the count. I always said she was a great sleeper, but this really proves my theory.

Despite Sophie's Saturday evening episode, the weekend was fantastic. God reminded us why we've spent the last decade (9 years for me, 10 for Ben) with these kids. We really love them so much and have watched them grow into amazing young adults, far beyond what our feeble minds could've anticipated (God constantly reminds me of Eph 3:20). Wow, we're going to miss them. Another perk of the weekend was the kids getting to spend some bonding time with Sophie before we go. They all love her, especially one of the high school boys, Josh, who won a little award for "Best Baby Caregiver" because he always wants to see her and help with her. Please pray for Capitol Hill as they're going through lots of transitions right now - we pray for God to continue to work in ways "beyond what we can ask or imagine!"

One other fun little thing from this weekend was that Ben took Sophie swimming for the first time. She was so sweet in her little suit and loved the water, just kicking around with her legs.

Our poor little traveler was so excited to be home this afternoon. Little does she know, we're headed to Lincoln, Nebraska tomorrow for the birth of her new baby cousin, Little Boy Baker! My sister, Katie, has a c-section scheduled for Tuesday morning at 11:30.

On Wednesday evening we'll come back, and Ben will work two more days. Then next week, we're both done working here, and we'll be packing up and getting ready for the big move on Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th! If any of you are really anxious to help, or just need some exercise, please head out to our house for free pizza and a moving party on Friday night the 4th after work!

I hope to post more on Tuesday after our new nephew arrives! Please be praying for Katie and the baby that all goes well and both are healthy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our Little Ball of ADHD

Well, we're in trouble. Sophie definitely takes after her Daddy in one main area - her attention deficit. This must be the reason she doesn't have any teeth yet. She seriously can't concentrate on one thing for more than 60 seconds (unless it's Baby Einstein), so how could her poor little body concentrate long enough to push a tooth through? Case in point: no matter how hungry Sophie is, she will not sit still long enough to finish her bottle or her baby food. Even in the distraction-free land of our home kitchen, she stares out the window or plays with her hands long enough that I have to call her name multiple times, coaxing her back to earth with the enticing view of her squash-laden spoon in front of her mouth.

What really makes us laugh, though, is her recently-formed habits for bottle drinking. Picture with me, if you will: Momma and baby sit down in the glider for a nice, relaxing bottle. Momma pulls baby back into a partly reclined position, baby reaches for bottle, and the scene is set. For the next 20 minutes, baby will lay comfortably on Momma and drink calmly from her bottle, enjoying the sustenance and love provided to her by this woman who always seems to know what she needs. Yeah, right. This is a beautiful picture. But unfortunately, this is a fairy tale bedtime story in our world.

Now go with me to Tysonville, where Momma/Dada sits down in the glider, reclines Sophie back, and Sophie reaches for the bottle. In goes the bottle for about 30 seconds, where she happily suckles while grasping the bottle. Aaah, life is good. But wait, what is this? Sophie is pushing the bottle away and straining forward to sit up. Up she sits, and now she's reaching again for the bottle. So, in a full sit-up position, in goes the bottle. Here again she happily suckles, grasping the bottle, until she realizes that her hands aren't doing anything that she considers useful. This time Sophie drops the bottle, expecting her sucker parents to pick it up, and when they do, she's able to use her hands to bang the bottle, grab Momma's nose, or, her most favorite thing, play with her feet. All this while still sucking away at her bottle. And don't you even think about trying to make Sophie hold her own bottle again. She's already proven she can do this, and she's not wasting any more time on it. In Tysonville, you must make full use of your bottle time by getting in lots of recreation.

One thing's for sure: she didn't learn this from me. Unfortunately, I don't have any trouble focusing on what I'm eating. This one we can definitely blame on her Daddy.

Below: Some of Sophie's Easter pics - she'll be nine months on the 26th!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Genius of Baby Einstein

If you had asked me last week if Sophie liked to watch Baby Einstein, I would've told you no. Her Daddy would occasionally put it on for her and she would watch it for about thirty seconds before she was bored and looking for something else to do. But on Saturday when we needed to do some work around the house, I began thinking how nice it would be if she would do something that didn't require Momma or DaDa for a little while. I know that sounds horrible. I do not plan to sit her down in front of the TV for hours on end while I do what I want. But you moms out there know that it is nice to have something to divert your child's attention off of you at times.
So, seeing as she was at least a month older than when we last tried Baby Einstein, I stuck in "Baby DaVinci" and plopped her down on the floor in front of the TV. The scene that unfolded was priceless. She was absolutely enthralled. For the next twenty minutes, Sophie sat in front of the tube and stared with wide eyes at the screen. She especially loved the scenes with the puppets, and would intermittently bounce and wave her arms at the television screen, proclaiming her love in little babbles.
This is a short clip of Sophie's video session. My favorite thing about this video is the sweet little picture of her CHUBBY face. Sophie has the best cheeks in the universe of babies (sorry to my friends who have their own little butterballs)!!

In other Tyson news, we had our first viewing of the house today. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to bake something before the viewing so there would be a "homey" aroma hanging about. But, alas, we didn't find out about the viewing until about 10 minutes before we left for Capitol Hill. There has also been another person who has contacted our realtor showing interest in seeing the house.

You can see our house on by going to this link:

Please be praying for us that one of these families would fall in love with our beautiful house - it would be so great to have this taken care of before we move or soon after!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ahhh, the Power of Orange Oil

Can you get high off of orange oil? The robust frangrance aside, orange oil ROCKS MY WORLD. I've never used the stuff before, but I have this memory painted in the recesses of my grey matter... I was a young college student, carelessly enjoying a beautiful afternoon at my parents' humble abode (the summer? a weekend trip? I can't recall). I entered the kitchen to find my father scouring the cabinets with this bottle of orange liquid in hand. The most amazing part of the memory - he was ENJOYING the cleaning. He kept proclaiming the wonders of this miracle solution, calling me over to witness for myself because if I didn't see it, I couldn't truly grasp the phenomenon. And yet, I DID see it at that moment, but didn't grasp it until THIS moment. As I sit here writing and gaze off at my own sparkling cabinets there is only one question that comes to mind: Is it too late to call Dad and tell him how right he was?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Uncle Jeremy, here we come!

Sophie loves her Uncle Jeremy. Yesterday we had a quick visit in Wichita, and Sophie got to spend a little time with her Grandma and Granddad, and of course, Uncle Jeremy. Sophie was so funny. I couldn't even feed her while Jeremy was in the kitchen, because she kept peeking back over her shoulder trying to find him. This makes me elated! I really want her to know and love her Uncle Jeremy, and I'm so excited that she'll get to see him so much once we're in Wichita. Hopefully he won't get too tired of us!

For those of you who don't know, Sophie has very mild hearing loss in her right ear. Her left has tested with mild loss in the past, but appears to be getting better (even though her audiologist said it probably wouldn't)! Well, one of the ways that God reassures us through her hearing loss is that she's incredibly verbal. My little baby doll LOVES to talk. She whispers, she shouts, she squeals, she screams, she babbles many different sounds of the alphabet (and even makes up some of her own). What a loving God we serve to use her verbosity as a reminder to us that He is in control!

The video below is a game we play with Sophie when she's practicing one of her favorite passtimes: talking!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lazy Days of... Winter?

I believe the correct term is "Lazy Days of Summer." But right now, Sophie and I are longing for the Lazy Days of Winter. Up until we knew we'd be moving (less than a month ago), Soph and Momma enjoyed our Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays by doing whatever we wanted. We would stay at home in our pj's all day, maybe get out and run an errand or two, read books, play on the floor, etc. Oklahoma City (and our house) was our oyster. But since deciding that we would be moving, many of my days off are spent dragging poor Sophie around town, attempting to get things done for the move. There have been quite a few days where she hasn't had a real nap in her bed, but just little short snipits of a nap in the car. She also has had more than one meal of pureed carrots or beans at the food area of Target, or believe it or not, sitting in the trunk of the Highlander with me. (Wow, I didn't realize how bad that makes me sound until I wrote it down).

Well over the last few days, Sophie has decided she's had enough of this nonsense. Overall, she's actually been really happy and so much fun. But every time we go to get in the car, she throws a fit. Mind you, fussing isn't unusual for Sophie when we're putting her in her car seat. But lately, it's been a full-fledged, arching her back and stiffening her legs, screaming and babbling at the same time, hissy-fit. The screaming and babbling together really cracks us up, because we know that she's chewing us out in Baby-ese.

So, as I said before, Sophie and I are longing for those lazy days when we can just truly enjoy each other again, and do things on our own time. And in many ways I'm glad she can't understand me yet when I say it's gonna get worse before it gets better.

Yesterday we had more strange men in the house. This time it was cleaning the carpet and tile. Went off without a hitch, everything looks great, and I can't really believe it but the house is ready! Also, our realtor came over last night, we signed papers, and she took some pictures. When she left, there was a "for sale" sign in our front yard. Amazing that with how excited I am for this move, the for sale sign kinda gave me a teeny twinge of sadness. Our little house has been so good to us. And for that matter, so has Oklahoma. If you'd asked this Kansas girl or Utah boy ten years ago, we probably would've said we'd never miss OK. But, dear old Oklahoma, with your wavin' wheat, honey lambs and die-hard Sooners and Cowboys, we salute you!

No pics today; check back next post!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Confessions - I want your comments!!

I've thought all day about what I'm going to blog about. That makes for great speech therapy, let me tell you. "Oh, I'm sorry, you were telling me about your dog. I could've sworn you were the first 80-yr-old I know with a blog." Does this mean I'm addicted to blogging?

There are two important things I want to cover today. First, my daughter's new accomplishment, because she is, afterall, the Headliner of this blog. Second, I'll get to my profession of guilt, which is the title of today's blog (see section two for the part I most want your comments about).

Sophie started "pulling up" last night. I've thought for awhile that she might pull up if we had good furniture for "cruising" (who knew we would ever consider our furniture in this way?!). So Ben and I got out one of our boxes from moving and sat her down in front of it. Sure enough, she grabbed onto it and began to strain upward until she was stuck in a half-up position. She stood there looking at us as if we were going to help her. But just like any good parents who want to see their child reach the next milestone, we did nothing. So she heaved and hoed a little more until she was at the top!
Once she'd reached the summit, she stood there flashing her big gummy grin at us as if she'd just climbed Everest. Needless to say, future attempts proved much more efficient and less effortful for our little monkey. Way to go, Soph!

Item number 2 looms. BLOGGER POLL: How do you stand up for yourself and still act like a Christian? I need major tips here. Confession time: Last night I had a talk with the man who owns the painting company. Yes, the same company I was thankful for just yesterday morning (and overall am still thankful for). The guy who had been painting left many things, well, haphazard, if you will. On top of that, he still needed to come and finish today, when originally we'd been told probably Tuesday, but definitely Wednesday. So on the phone I kindly but firmly told the owner that I was frustrated for X reasons. He in turn basically said there was "nothing he could do about it now." Now I have to say that staying calm in situations like this has never been my strong point. However, after being married to the most patient person in the entire universe, God has begun to mold me into some semblance of tolerance, if not patience. At this point, therefore, I continued to calmly yet firmly reiterate my point. Now is the point things got a little hairy. The man began to yell at me. He yelled again that there was nothing he could do. I was getting more frustrated, but remaining calm. Then he said it: "Well then just don't hire me next time!" (Really a shout, not a statement). So I in turn, a little more forcefully than I had been before, said, "Okay, we won't! And we'll make sure to tell our realtor not to recommend you to anyone else!" Now I truly cannot say I kept my cool. Even though this is astoundingly better than it would've been 5 years ago, I cannot be proud of this. HELP!!! I need your tips for situations just like these. And I just have to praise God that he can forgive me! Here's to many future chances to practice and succeed!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A thanks-filled morning

Today I'm being thankful. Sophie and I are sitting in her nursery, which has lots of extra things in it right now because of the painting. In fact, as she sits on the floor playing, she's in about a 3x3 ft space due to 2 extra dressers, a shower curtain and lots of old yearbooks that have been added to the "decor" of her room. I guess it's good that she's not crawling yet.

So back to being thankful. I was sitting here this morning getting frustrated. The painters had originally hoped to be done yesterday, but they're back today. Sophie and I are not about to have another day like yesterday, where we tried to stay gone most of the day. She was cranky which in turn made me feel bad for her and cranky myself. So I was feeling sorry for myself that we were "stuck" in our own house when God reminded me of so many things. One: we're having this painting done because we're moving to Wichita! Yipee!! Two: we can afford to have painters come paint for us instead of having to find the time to do it ourselves (and the energy). Three: God has never failed us - EVER - so why should I complain about a little inconvenience in my life?

The fourth thing I'm thankful for is the health of sweet Baylee Banning. For those who don't know the Bannings, we have some friends whose 11-month-old daughter is fighting a tough cancer and WINNING. All because of our awesome God. All 6 of her tumors are now gone, and they're off to Fort Worth this week for her bone marrow transplant, the last stage in her recovery. PRAISE GOD! He truly does more than all we can ask or imagine.

We met with our realtor on Monday night. She walked through the house and gave us some suggestions for how the house can show better. We made an appointment for next Monday, when she'll come and do all the paperwork and take pictures, and hopefully get the house listed within 2-3 days after that. We're in a "time crunch" here, but we know God has worked everything out so far and He'll continue to do so! Please pray that our house sells quickly. Which leads me to the fifth thing I'm thankful for - we can stay with my mom and dad once we get to Wichita instead of having to find a place right away (and possibly having two mortgages if our house doesn't sell immediately).

The sixth, but not the last, thing I'm thankful for today is my sweet, precious, beautiful, healthy baby girl. She is so smart and fun and makes us smile and laugh all the time. The video is of her signing "more" while eating. She doesn't do it exactly correct, but she knows to bring her hands together and she definitely uses it when she wants something! Ben says she doesn't think it means more, she thinks it means "give it to me." I feel so much better after writing about our blessings today!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Fumes of Realty

I had to go to work today, unexpectedly, when another speechie called in with the flu. My choice; I could've said no. It was a debate because the painters started painting in the house today to get it ready to put on the market. I didn't really want these random men in my house without me here. But, alas, I succumbed to my husband's chant of "money" in my ear and called Sophie's day care lady who was more than happy to have her an extra day. It was really a blessing in disguise, because I didn't have Soph in the house with all the fumes. I already felt like a bad enough mom putting her to bed tonight with my own lacquer-infused headache on the horizon. So tomorrow, we'll be off to Super Target, the big baby-clothes consignment sale at the Norman fairgrounds, and the grocery store. We might even stop off at the park for a nap for the little one and a little Harry Potter for me (in the car of course; it's cold out!).

Of course the "mommy guilt-bug" also hit last night as I was telling Sophie that I had to go to work today. I told her how much I'd miss her when her Daddy decided to remind her that she'd get to see Emma, her little buddy at day care who is one month younger (she seriously loves Emma so much that she cries when Emma leaves). That made me feel a lot better, being replaced so quickly by a 7-month old.

Well, even though she got to happily spend the day with Emma today, at least she's mine tomorrow. Along with all the people at Target and the fairgrounds.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Our First Blog!

Well, at the advice of Sophie's Aunt Katie, we decided to start a blog so everyone can keep up with our sweet little Sophie Kathleen (and sometimes her mom and dad). The address is aptly named "Sophapilla" for the nickname given to Sophie by her Daddy (it sounds like Sofa-pea-ya, or rhymes with sopapilla, the Mexican dessert).

Sophie is 8 months old now and learning new things all the time. She is signing "more" when she wants more to eat or wants to play with a certain toy, she claps her hands when she's excited, and she talks ALL the time. Of course, being a speech pathologist, I think that the reason she's not crawling yet is because her brain is so consumed with making new sounds that she can't focus on physical development. I know, mommy excuses... but it IS valid. I learned it in my language development class in grad school.

If you haven't heard, we are moving Sophie to Wichita the first week of April to live near her Grandma and Granddad Eroh. We're sad to leave behind OKC but very excited to be in Wichita. You can be praying for our family's new adventure to go smoothly!
Pictures: Sophie as a newborn getting ready to leave the hospital in June '07, and Sophie at 7 months (last month)!