Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Oh Blog March 30, 2014

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:44 pm

I seriously write the best blogs… in my head. Throughout the day, I blog. I come up with deep insights, funny stories, witty remarks. I am real, honest and vulnerable. I say exactly what I’m thinking and I don’t worry about how people might take it. I just know they will understand and appreciate my authenticity.  In my head, my blogs sound a lot like Shauna Niequist and Sarah Bessey, which of course, means we should be friends. In fact, if I write like them, I might as well be famous like them too. But I’m not. Most of my thoughts stay unwritten, unshared. And that is mostly because unless I write these thoughts down in the exact moment I think them, I lose them. I can never recapture their true greatness.

I’ve been reading Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton and she had this chapter about do what you want to do because you have something worth sharing and worth offering to the world. If you want to write then do it regardless of how great you feel as a writer. Everyone has a story and you deserve to have your story heard and who knows how your story might effect someone. Don’t hide because you might think you’re bad. Very inspiring stuff. I like to think that I could write like that. Just throw it all there and share my story for the sake of having it known. Glennon’s story is very dramatic. Lots of drinking, drugs, sex and an eating disorder (before coming to Jesus with her mess). I feel like people who have dramatic stories like this can talk about how hard life is because legitimately their life has been be a mess.

But what about me? I’ve always been a “good” girl. I have no horrible back story to recover from. Regardless though, my life feels a bit messy. It always has been messy, but being a mom really kicked that up a notch. I often filter what I write on this blog because I personally know the people that read it and I don’t want to be seen a whiner. I know that I have a good life. But life is hard and good at the time. It’s not one or the other. It can be good and hard at the same time.

Parenting is hard. From the very beginning it’s hard work. Even pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park. Choosing to have a family changed everything for me. There are days where I’ve been on my own a little too much and I just wish I could be selfish. I wish Owen didn’t need me. I wish I could just lay in bed and alternate between sleeping, reading, eating and watching television. Sometimes my spirit cries, “Can’t life just be about me for a while?” But when you’re a mom, nope. It’s not about you. It’s about your family. It’s about the little face staring at you that definitely needs a nap but has somehow avoided one for the last four hours despite your best efforts.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed. I look at my life and I get overwhelmed. Apart from keeping myself alive, I must keep Owen alive. I clean the house. I volunteer at church. I attempt to work in the office a couple times a week. I try make the dog happy. I try to make my hubby happy. I try to keep in touch with those who matter the most to me. All the while, I feel like because I am in ministry and because I am a good girl, I must come across as “put together”. Of course, no one is perfect and no one would buy it if I said I was perfect, but I feel like all I am allowed is a few minor flaws. Other than that, I should be nearing that mark of perfection any day now. Hmm… It’s not working. When people ask me how I’m doing, I don’t want to be a downer, but sometimes I want to be really honest. Scary honest. I want to tell them about how I’m not thrilled my son has decided not sleep through the night anymore or how I’m really tired of him pulling out my hair and me finding Amy hairs all over him and the floor of my house.  I want to say that I’m tired and that I’m trying really hard and how even my best efforts don’t seem like a enough. I would tell them about how I’m trying to love people better and not be so absorbed in my own world, but it’s challenging. My world shrunk when Owen was born and pulling myself out of the mommyhood haze to engage people can be difficult. I feel the tension when I’m at church especially because I want to be there for the people I’m serving but at the same time, parenthood comes firsts. I’m still not used to this conflict of interest.

Anyway, there are a lot of things I could continue to say, but I think instead I am going to go have a doughnut for dinner. Yep, you read that right. Right now Owen won’t know how terrible a role model I am in the food the department. I better enjoy these days while I can. Which does lead me to one last random tangent. I’ve been pondering the fact that little eyes are watching me through all this and they are taking in my every move. I know right now Owen doesn’t understand it all, but someday he’ll clue in. What attitudes will he see shining through me? It has me worried. I don’t want him to grow thinking “My mom acts like she has it all together, but I know she doesn’t.” Ugh. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Can you be too real? Too honest? How do you be honest on a level that is age appropriate with children? I don’t know. I guess I’ll learn, but I’m wondering. I know those little eyes are watching me and it kind of freaks me out in “I’m responsible every second of every day” kind of way.

Sadly, this blog is not as brilliant as the blogs in my head. Sorry you can’t read those. They are good. Hope this snippet of my story was worth sharing. Maybe someone is wrestling with life being good and hard all at the same time. I’m there. I understand. You are not alone.

 

March So Far March 21, 2014

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 10:41 am
Somebody loves to stand!

Somebody loves to stand!

March has been a month for sickness in our household. We had our first cycle of family sharing when it comes to germs. Jeremy got a cold and he gave it to Owen and Owen gave it to me. Being sick was never “fun” before, but now as a parent it’s certainly not. Before I could nap whenever I wanted and just lay around watching TV. Those days are long gone and I missed them this last week. Jeremy came home one day so I could rest and he ended up coming down with a bad flu bug. A very bad flu bug. Later that weekend I got a touch of a tummy bug as well. However, this last week has been pretty good for us health wise. I think we are coming out of the germ filled hazed and we are ready for spring! Jeremy has been out and about in the yard. He’s mowed a couple of a times and have planted flowers again our front beds. The yard seems to be coming to back to life. The tree in our front yard is starting to show it’s pink blossoms. After months of gray, it’s great to see some color popping up.

 

Owen continues to grow and change daily. He loves to stand up now (with support, of course). He also enjoys sitting up and playing with this toys. He doesn’t quite have his independence yet in the sitting the department, but he is close. Owen continues to be a mystery in the world of naps. While I was sick, I tired to take a nap while he took a nap numerous times. Without fail, I would lay down and he would wake up in about 10 minutes of me falling asleep. When I couldn’t take a nap or didn’t take a nap for some reason, he would sleep for 2+ hours. Oh the mind games babies can play!

 

Trying to keep the play mat interesting!

Trying to keep the play mat interesting!

Owen continues to be a thrasher in the bathtub. I have decided giving Owen a bath is a like sitting in the splash zone at Sea World. Ponchos might be necessary! In our ever constant quest to keep Owen a happy camper, we have made a couple of exciting purchases this month. First, would be a set of black-out blinds for his room. It seems that Owen wakes with the sun and that will continue to get earlier as we move toward summer. We’ve had two days so far of him sleeping in later than usual and today he was back to a more normal get up time. We also added a new baby contraption to our front room. Owen is now the proud owner of a jumperoo. He was getting bored with his play mat and with his new love of standing, it seemed like time. He really loves the noise and lights on the jumperoo. He can barely touch the floor right so he tilts and stands on one foot. I’m sure once he really can jump around, he’ll love it even more.

 

New toy!

New toy!

In other March news, I’ve been back to reading and I love it. I just finished The Poisonwood Bible. It was an intense read. I’m not sure that I enjoyed it, but I wanted to find out how it ended so I kept reading. Books like this frustrate me because while the family were “missionaries”, I felt like they had no real relationship with Jesus. Their struggles were only intensified by the fact that they really didn’t seem to know the God they were claiming to bring to Africa. The book is very political and goes into great depth on the government changes in the Congo. I like historical fiction for the most part because it opens my eyes to an era gone by.

 

Other than reading, another highlight for me this month, was making my first Pioneer Woman recipe. I made her baked French toast for MOPS and it was super tasty. Jeremy and I were already talking about ways we would tweak the recipe, so I’ll have to make it again for sure. We also purchased Frozen this month and have been singing the songs throughout the day! So much fun stuff going on as you can tell! March isn’t over though and there is still a lot of fun yet to be had. Jeremy is taking a group of kids up an awesome kid’s conference tomorrow. It promises to be quite the event. Jeremy’s birthday is coming up next week and I’m excited to celebrate another year of my amazing husband. March as certainly been full and is certainly flying by!!!

 

Back to the Books March 15, 2014

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 9:40 am

The Pioneer Woman jump started my desire to read again, so January must have been a fluke. Yay! Over the last month, I’ve hit the books again. It’s been a mix of using my Kindle app and hard copy books. When Owen was first born, hard copy books just seemed to complicated and eBooks came into my life and saved the day. Nowadays, it doesn’t really matter which format I use. If I’m buying a book for myself, I download it so that way I don’t have to wait for it to come in the mail. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading lately and what I hope to read soon.

Recent Reads:

  • Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist – This was a reread from my bookshelf. Shauna’s essays about life and food are amazing, plus she includes some of her favorite recipes. I’m not as big of a foodie as Shauna, but it’s still comforting to know that someone else thinks about food as much as I do. I haven’t developed taste buds for fancy food yet. Maybe in my thirties I will… when I’m officially an adult…. maybe. Shauna writes about body image and doing life in community and motherhood. I love her writing style so revisiting her books is like catching up with a good friend.
  • The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins – I am one of those Hunger Games fans. I really love the books and have started reading them about twice a year. They are a good story and I love getting lost in a different world for a while. They are also an easy and exciting read so it’s a nice brain break. My goal was to reread the series before Catching Fire (the movie) came out. I was successful in my goal. I finished Mockingjay the day the movie arrived.
  • Growing Up Duggar By Jana, Jill, Jessa & Jinger Duggar – My fascination with the Duggar family is no secret. I in no way plan on having 19 kids, but I am very interested in how their large family operates. I love that they share their faith in everything they do. I will admit that I was a little disappointed with this book. I’ve read the two books by their mother, Michelle, and really liked them, but this book seemed to lack the same level of voice that Michelle’s books have. The girls shared their own personal stories but a lot of it came across as “This is what our parents have set-up and we agree with it and accept it.” Whereas, Michelle’s books have more depth because of the process involved with making these decisions for their family. The four oldest Duggar girls are exceptional people with a passion to make a difference in the world. I applaud them for writing a book and sharing their heart.
  • Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute – I’m going to be honest and say I’m a little over leadership books these days. Especially ones that take place in a corporate setting. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many in the last decade or so. Anyway, this book was handed to me on Tuesday as a staff read at work. The upside of this book is that the leadership principle is conveyed through a story. The story format helped it to be a quick read which I was grateful for. The concepts in this book are best explained by just suggesting you read the book, but let me try to break it down a bit. The whole premises is about if you are “in” or “out” of the box. When you are in the box, you see people as objects. There is a lot of blame and self-justification. You are thinking selfishly about your world and what is best for you. When you are outside of the box, you see others as people. You are selfless for the good of the whole group and you have a better self-perception all around. The concept in this book about seeing people as people and breaking the cycle of self-justification were good, but like I said, I’m having a harder time swallowing the corporate America pill these days. As I was reading this book, I thought to myself, I wonder what Jesus would think of this book. What points would he highlight? Would he recommend it? Hmm. Just wondering what his take on the book would be if we were in a book club together. Random, I know.

Next on the List:

  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – I’ve had this novel recommended to me by a couple people over the years so I decided to go for it. This is also the first book that I have borrowed from the library in eBook format. Very exciting! It’s a story about a missionary family in the Congo. I have no clue what I’m getting into, but I am excited to find out.
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown – This comes at the recommendation of my friend and mentor, Vicki. The title certainly has me intrigued!
  • Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton – This book came by the recommendation of my favorite blogger, Sarah Bessey. The book description on Amazon.com has me excited for this one. Sounds freeing!
 

5 months of Owen March 8, 2014

Filed under: Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 11:46 am
5 months old!

5 months old!

Owen is officially 5 months old today. It’s strange to think that in just another month he will already be half a year old. I always felt like time was racing by me and the addition of Owen to my life only seems to add to that feeling. Every time I blink I feel like he is bigger. There are some mornings where I pick him up out of his bed and ask him if he grew in the night.

Owen has been exploring the world of solids food over the last month. He has tasted squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, prunes, rice cereal, peas, green beans and applesauce. I think that carrots and sweet potatoes are winning in the favorite category. I now have the joy of cleaning baby food off of bibs and outfits. Rice cereal makes everything so crusty! Owen is getting baths almost daily thanks to solid foods.

The whole purpose behind starting solid foods was so that Owen would have something to eat while I was away at work. Bottles are long gone in our house. Owen will have nothing to do with them. Solids have given my mom an option while she watches him, but sadly, this hasn’t solved our “Owen needs Mommy” situation. It seems that Owen can handle about 3 hours away from me before his mood takes a drop into unhappiness. I would be lying if I said the situation didn’t frustrate me. After some consideration, Jeremy and I have decided to change my work schedule. Instead of working in the mornings, I am going to try afternoons and see if that makes a difference. Right now, Owen wakes up and I feed him and leave all in about 20 minutes of time. Our hope is that by having more mom time in the mornings, he’ll be better with being left in the afternoons. I have no clue if this will work, but I am willing to try tweaking things to find something that works better for Owen.

I never expected to have a mama’s boy. I assumed that by having a son I would be the odd one out while Jeremy and Owen shared some special manly bond. Maybe that is still yet to come. While I love Owen dearly, the constant attachment has been draining and flustering. I’ve been told by a few close friends and family members that I am a perfectionist and that I have unrealistic expectations on myself right now. I had my life organized in such a way that I knew what I wanted each day to look like and what the timeline should be. Owen has his own agenda and it doesn’t always match up with mine. I’m definitely being stretched right now. My prayer is that God uses this difficult time to grow my character and make me a better person than I was before. I don’t want to waste this season. I want to grow in it.

When people ask me if Owen is a good baby, I want to say yes, of course, because I honestly think he is the best baby ever. But just saying yes to that statement doesn’t feel like the whole story. There is a whole lot more to Owen than just being good. I was rereading Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist a few weeks ago and I came across this great quote about her children – “…They are very real, very normal children, not angels or devils, just children – difficult and sweet and exhausting and wonderful in the same moment, all the time.” That sums up Owen! He isn’t an angel or a devil. He is just a baby boy figuring out this crazy world he lives in. He is difficult and sweet and exhausting and wonderful. This quote took the pressure off me to have a good baby because in mind that means a perfect baby and Owen is not perfect. None of us are.

Here are few more random things about Owen before closing this blog. Owen is snugly fitting into 6 month clothing. I might have waited a little long to transition from 3 months to 6 months. I already have 3 boxes of baby clothes packed up in his closet. These boxes are another indicator that Owen is growing and changing quickly. Owen loves playing with his toys and grabbing his feet. His thumb/fist is often in his mouth. Teeth have yet to make an appearance, but my guess is they will soon. Owen still loves bath time and he is a great splasher. Each month with Owen brings new memories and exciting experiences. It’s been such a joy to watch this little guy grow and daily discover things about himself and his world. Life with Owen is certainly an adventure.

Skunk jammies for our little stinker!

Skunk jammies for our little stinker!

Tummy time can tucker a baby out

Tummy time can tucker a baby out

Watching a movie with Auntie and sucking his thumb

Watching a movie with Auntie and sucking his thumb

 

O Canada! March 2, 2014

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Travels — Amy Scott @ 1:57 pm

I’ve been wanting to visit Canada for a while now. It’s been a decade since I’d been out of the country and I was getting the itch for some international travel. Since I live in Washington State, the Canadian border is about 5 hours away and with my enhanced driver’s license, I didn’t need a passport to cross. Jeremy surprised me for my birthday with a trip booked for Vancouver BC. I went to Vancouver when I was almost 5 months old for the World’s Fair in 1986. Now I got to take my son when he was about 5 months old to Vancouver. Weird timing or what? This was first time spending the night away from home with Owen. Most people might pick a laid back vacation for their first trip with a baby, but Jeremy and I chose a 5+ hour car ride, a border crossing into a different country and a big city to explore. I had my doubts about how the trip would go, but it went great. Owen is a great travel. He slept a lot of the car ride. We made a couple of stops along the way so he could eat and have some time out of the car seat. We got to our very fancy hotel in downtown and then we took it over instantly with baby stuff! We set up Owen’s Pack’N’Play and made the breakfast table a diaper station. We laid a blanket out on the floor for play time. We seriously moved on in. I brought less stuff than I originally planned on packing, but I still ended up over packing. I brought too many clothes for myself and Owen. I figured he could spit up or poop on multiple outfits a day. Better safe than sorry. However, he was a relatively clean kid for most of the trip and the extras weren’t needed.

Jeremy and I are the masters of the Thursday through Saturday trip. These long weekends fit around our church schedule really well. Thursday we got into the hotel and set up camp. We roamed around downtown and I realized that Vancouver BC is a lot bigger than I thought. For dinner we went a little shack on the water called Go Fish. We ate the best fish & chips outside under a heater with the city view at sunset. Friday, we drove out to Steveston where our favorite show “Once Upon a Time” is filmed. It was so cool to see buildings that I recognized from television in person. We explored a few filming sites before heading back to the hotel to regroup. Back at the hotel, Owen and Jeremy hit the pool. This was Owen’s first time in a pool so it was a bit of a big deal to us. Owen enjoyed it a lot! We spent our Friday evening at one of the largest malls Jeremy and I have ever been to. It had over 400 stores on 3 levels. We spent 2 solid hours there just walking around and we still missed about half of it. On Saturday we went to the public market and had brunch at a place called Edible Canada. It was all fresh local foods. I had the most amazing waffles with a mascarpone cream, blackberry sauce and ground hazelnuts. Jeremy had a crab cake and eggs benedict. It was very fancy food and felt like a splurge! After we explored the market, it was time to head home.

This trip was truly an adventure. I didn’t realize that I would feel so “out of the country”. I assumed that BC would just feel like the northwest, but it really felt like we were in a different country. They said things a little differently, the money was different, the metric system was fun to navigate, we tried new brands, things are spelled differently (example: centre, colourful, busses). Our doorman asked us if we were on “holiday”. Because of roaming charges, we couldn’t use our phones unless we were at the hotel on their wi-fi. That was strange! It made me realize how attached I am to my phone. We are used to using it for GPS, so Jeremy had to breakdown and actually buy a map to get around! We commented on how often we would have googled something, but it wasn’t an option! It was fun and crazy to get out of the country especially for our first time away with Owen, but it was a great trip and I glad we took the chance on doing something a little out of the ordinary!

Baby in the big city!

Baby in the big city!

Trying a new candy bar

Trying a new candy bar

Visiting Storybrooke

Visiting Storybrooke

Visiting Storybrooke

Visiting Storybrooke

Water Boys!

Water Boys!

Edible Canada

Edible Canada

Taking over the hotel

Taking over the hotel