I Was “That” Mom

I was totally being “that” mom. You know the one everyone wants to eject out of the restaurant.

I didn’t mean to be annoying, but with a crying baby on my hip, I guess I kind of deserved it. Right as I was thinking it would be a good time to leave and go put Owen down for a nap, Elias did the unthinkable.

Gagging over his ice-cream, the little guy lost his lunch! About that time everyone in Chick-fil-a was looking at me, and for good reason. My baby was screaming and my two-year old was spewing ice-cream all over the table. Of course I wanted to sink into a big hole, and put a lid over it so that way no one could see me. I was even daydreaming about hiding under the booth until everyone stopped looking at me, but the glares continued.

This of course didn’t faze Owen whose high-pitched squeals were getting louder by the minute. But what was I supposed to do? Quiet the baby or tend to the messy child?

I stood stupidly grinning, trying desperately not to overheat from all of the pairs of eyes staring at me. Frantically grabbing napkins I wiped Elias’ little face.

Right about the time Elias was cleaned up, I began to think I was getting things under control. For a moment there was silence. There was peace. There was the hopefully thought that we might make it out of the restaurant in one piece.

Everything was good until Owen let out an unexpected warrior shriek. Having my full attention he decided to try out his new trick. With great vigor Owen jumped. He proceeded to attempt to launch himself out of my arms. I’m telling you the kid was trying to jump to the moon!

Of course this made my heart nearly jump out of my chest as I scrambled to catch my little Jack-in-the-box baby.

If only he had happy music like a jack-in-the box that would somewhat warn me. But oh no, not my Owen, he is completely random. And I have to be ready at any moment. After all I am responsible for catching him.

This of course calls for some incredible super mom skills which I normally don’t have. But somehow on that fateful day they magically come into play. Stop right now and pray for my super mom skills…for Owen’s sake.

Well about the time I had Owen securely placed back in my arms (a.k.a. my Kong Fu grip), he began to cry. I just saved his life, he should have been thankful to be alive, but instead he wanted to cry that he hadn’t successfully made it out of my arms.

Of course I was nearly sweating from that fact that I had nearly dropped my own child, and because all of the people in the restaurant were still watching me. So here is my public apology for everyone who was at Chick-fil-a that day. Next time I will monitor my son’s intake of ice-cream, and keep a tighter grip on my little Jumping Jonny.



p.s. Today I linked up with Rags To Stitches.


Unplanned Key Change

Why does this always happen to me? I should know better.

It starts when I am in my car and I begin to brag to myself about how I know the words to the song on the radio. Before I know it I am humming along. And then I find myself quietly singing. Soon I begin to obsessively belt out the melody while simultaneously trying to sing the harmony. Is that even possible?

Rapidly my voice invades the whole car. By then I am probably scaring my poor children who are sweetly sitting in the back seat, yet I proceed. When it gets to my favorite part of the song, I am so enthusiastic about the song that I pop up like a jack-in-the-box. Hands in the air, I make an unplanned key change all the while keeping my eyes to the sky. I let loose.

This leads me to my moment of horror. Why is it that when I am singing in the privacy of my own car, my phone decides to do a conference call with all of my contacts?

Have you every inadvertently called someone? Please tell me I am not alone.

Imaginary Facebook

Is it just me or does anybody else have an imaginary Facebook? I don’t know about you, but I’ll be going about life and then something will happen and I’ll starting thinking in statuses.

Take this afternoon for example. I plopped onto the couch and ate a Swiss cake roll. Owen was smiling at me as he sat on my lap, and suddenly I pictured him asking for a bite. Then I started thinking about updating my Facebook status to: Owen asked for a Twinkie.  #Isaidyes.

Does anybody else do this?

The ridiculous thing is I hardly update my real Facebook status, but my imaginary Facebook is out of control. My imaginary friends are probably so annoyed with all of my updates.



p.s. Don’t forget to vote for Pencilled Daydream on the Top 25 funny moms for 2012. Click the icon below. Once on their site, scroll down until you see Owen’s picture, and then click the thumbs up button to vote. You can vote once a day and no registration is required. The contest ends in 4 days. Thank you for voting!!!

*(Photo Source)

Today, I wanted to revisit this post because of Kelly’s blog. Part of being a wife of someone in ministry is the adventure of staying home alone while they go away for a week to take a seminary class.

p.s. I’ve been entered into the circle of Mom’s top 25 funny moms for 2012. If you’d like to vote for Pencilled Daydream you can click the icon below. Once on their site, scroll down until you see Owen’s picture, and then click the thumbs up button to vote. You can vote once a day and no registration is required. The contest ends in 11 days.

Thanks to everyone who has already voted! That totally makes my day.

Pencilled Daydream

“No pillow talk for a week!” This is the first thought that crosses my mind when Mark tells me about a class he has to take at Southern Seminary. To clarify “pillow talk” is the long conversation couples have once they are in bed for the night. As Mark proceeds to tell me his plan, I instantly begin to picture myself alone in bed, talking to a mound of blankets that I shaped to look like his body. As my imagination gives way to reality, a few days later I find myself all alone getting ready for bed.

I turn off all the lights and jump in bed. With nobody to talk to my mind begins to wander. As I lay in the dark, I am not like a normal person who would just go to bed. No, I begin to think, “Oh, I’ll probably have nachos for lunch tomorrow.”…

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I’d Rather Hug A Cactus…

I’ve decided that I would rather hug a cactus than go to the DMV. Alas! An expired driver’s license was my twenty-fifth birthday present. Thus I was summoned.

My plan was simple. Get in and get out.

As I pulled into the county clerk’s office, I breathed a sigh of relief that I made it. I hadn’t wrecked on the way. I hadn’t been pulled over and hauled off to jail for driving with an expired license. I made it. I was safe.

It was eight a.m. when I got out of the car. I slid the side van door open and prepared the troops. “Elias, I need you to hold my hand in the parking lot….Yes, you can bring your snack…no let’s leave your giraffe in the car.” “Owen, you can’t move so you’re good. Just don’t cry hysterically anytime in the next thirty minutes.”

I looped my arm underneath a ridiculously heavy diaper bag, as I helped Elias step out of the car. Grabbing Owen in his car seat, we began our long trudge across the parking lot. Even though I was hobbling with a car seat, diaper bag, important papers, and a toddler, I was ready to run ahead of anyone I saw coming and fight to be in the front of the line because who wants to wait three hours with two small kids? Thankfully I didn’t have to elbow anyone because as it turned out I was the only one there! I nearly burst into the Hallelujah chorus right then and there, but they were already asking me for important papers so I kept my song in my heart.

After all of the boring paperwork was done, the lady invited me to sit on a thin chair so she could take my picture. I willingly complied and plopped myself into the seat. With her prompting, I let a cheesy full teethed smile dance across my face for the picture. I’m sure it was a cute smile, unfortunately it was not captured. I thought the picture was over and was getting up when the camera went off. The flash blinded me and nearly sent me back into the seat. I must report that my eyes were drooping, my smile had vanished, my triple chin had emerged, and I was horrified.

My driver’s license picture that I will have for the next FIVE years is probably the worst picture in the free world! I stared at it on the way home snickering to myself because it was so bad. It wasn’t just a mug shot. It was worse. I would put the picture on here, but I’m afraid I am too embarrassed. Therefore I will end this little post with a few cute pictures of my boys.

Aren’t they precious just staring at each other?

Elias is in love with this Mickey Mouse hat that my parents got him at Disney World.

Owen is equally in love his the baby giraffe they bought for him. He has been showing him love by biting him and giving big hugs.

p.s. I’ve been entered into the circle of Mom’s top 25 funny moms for 2012. If you’d like to vote for Pencilled Daydream you can click the icon below and scroll down until you see Owen’s picture. You can vote once a day and no registration is required. The contest ends March 21st. Thanks!

The Day I Fell In Love

As a tall framed man with wet hair walked into a people filled cafeteria, I sat eating my lunch. I munched on a ham and cheese sandwich when my eyes locked onto him. My world suddenly began to move in slow motion. The voices that echoed off the walls just seconds before suddenly seemed muted as my eyes became fixated on the man entering.

I doubt if anyone else noticed the slender man in the midst of hundreds of others, but I did. My gaze couldn’t be broken. I watched as he made small talk with the grey haired cafeteria worker. He seemed to be one of the few people to notice her. His kindness was evident to me even through their small encounter.

Placing himself in line for lunch, He stood perfectly still until he picked up a tray. When he began to dish some food onto his plate, I snapped out of my daydream and at last confessed to myself, “I love that man.”

I finally let myself go there. For months I had suppressed my growing feelings for him, but on that fateful day I finally admitted it to myself, I loved him.

I am glad I was sitting down when I was hit with the realization of love for him, because love has a funny effect on people. I mean I probably would have tripped, started stuttering if asked to speak, or become so breathless that I would have passed out.

Instead I sat smiling like an idiot, as I realized I was perfectly and happily in love. With an eyebrow raised, I saw Mark Baker framed as one who was set apart for me. Amusement lined my eyes as I nearly giggled at this new found revelation. I had to suppress a laugh that nearly bubbled up. I wanted to giggle until I was breathless, but that would have drawn undo attention to myself so I held back. That was the beginning of my love for Mark Baker and since that day my love for him has only grown.

Since then a lot has changed in our lives. We got married and had a beautiful wedding. We graduated from college, bought a house, and had two boys. And the reason I wanted to share the beginning of our little love story is because the love we have for our spouses greatly effects our parenting. Author Gary Ezzo says, “Keeping this relationship a priority is your starting point for successful parenting.” Today’s parenting encouragement is simple: Invest in your marriage.

Some practical ways you can do this is by…

  1. Dating your spouse. Set aside a night each week to be together.
  2. Spend fifteen minutes talking on the couch about the day’s events.
  3. Continue to show your spouse love in the ways you did before baby came along.

p.s. I’ve been entered into the circle of Mom’s top 25 funny moms for 2012. If you’d like to vote for Pencilled Daydream you can click the icon below. Once on their site, scroll down until you see Owen’s picture, and then click the thumbs up button to vote. You can vote once a day and no registration is required. The contest ends in two weeks.

Thanks to everyone who has already voted! That totally makes my day.

*On Becoming Baby Wise, Page 21, 26

If Only I Had Sherlock Holmes’ Mind…

I just saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie on its opening night.  Whenever I see movies like that I always wish I was smarter. I wish I could observe things like Sherlock and solve all kinds of crazy problems. The trouble is I don’t even know whether to push or to pull when I come up to a door. Sherlock would never have that problem. He would know what the door was made of, where it came from, who had touched it in the last hour. I unlike Sherlock am clueless. Inevitably when I am at Target, I always try to go into the store through the exit, because I don’t stop long enough to read the door signs. And let’s not even talk about if there is a revolving door. Who invented those anyway? My question is why force people to walk in a giant circle when you could walk straight to your destination? People become like little hamsters running around and around in circles. Sherlock would never go through a revolving door. I’m sure of it.

If you had Sherlock’s intellect what would it help you do better?

Dear Diary… I Think I’ve Lost My Mind

I think I’ve lost my mind! I am actually wishing labor upon myself. Everybody knows that only a crazy person would actually wish something as hard as labor upon themself, especially when they’ve done it before. But here I am having thoughts of running marathons and jumping as high as I can on a trampoline in order for this baby to come. I’m telling you I’m crazy!

I first knew I was losing my mind when I found myself praying, yes praying, for contractions the other day. I think I desperately need help and should probably go see a counselor or something.

I am not only losing my mind because I want to go into labor, but because I truly believe that it will never happen. I have visions of eternal pregnancy. I believe somehow I will be the one person who stays pregnant forever. I imagine my family of three staying a family of three because number four will never be born. I think I’ll actually be shocked when/if this baby ever comes.

I am due in about two weeks and I shouldn’t even be thinking about labor, yet it is never far from my mind. Am I freaking out? No! I’m in denial/ temporarily insane. Have I packed my hospital bag? No! Have I mentally prepared for labor? Nope! I am stuck in limbo land as I wait.

On that note, I am going to go try to think about packing my hospital bag. I’ll probably end up checking Facebook, but maybe thinking about it is a good start.

A Swift Breakdown

Here is a letter I wrote to my mom after going to a doctor’s appointment without her help.

Dear Mom,

Have I ever told you how much I appreciate you? Well today I figured out how much I really do. Although you may think it is a small thing to come to the doctor’s office with me, it isn’t. I didn’t know that for months you have been saving my sanity and keeping me from wanting to jump off of a cliff head first.

Here is how my appointment went without you…

As Elias and I raced out the door, I grabbed last-minute snacks, toys, and water cups and tossed them into the diaper bag. He and I were going to attempt to make it through our first appointment without Nanny’s every present help.

Leaving way too early, because I was paranoid about being late, I had time to fly through a Starbucks drive through and get a coffee and some banana bread for Elias and I to share. We arrived at the Doctor’s office twenty minutes early. I wiggled my way into the back seat of the van and Elias and I enjoyed some banana bread together. This brought a giant smile to my baby’s face. Elias was very happy. When my appointment was supposed to start in ten minutes I started to unload Elias, and we made our way into the building. He wanted to walk, but there is a dangerous road by his office so I carried him, the diaper bag, my coffee, and my big belly.

Once inside I started juggling everything while trying to sign in. I scribbled my name and began to wrestle with my wallet to find my new insurance card. I practically threw them at the poor secretary while telling Elias where to stand. I didn’t know the information when she asked me about the insurance so I frantically started texting Mark who was teaching his class. He didn’t text me back right away so I started to sweat.

As I began to feel panicky, I began to smell something very disturbing. Yes, it was my son wearing a diaper that desperately needed to be changed. Trying not to let my eyes water from the terrible smell I asked the secretary if there was a bathroom with a changing station in it. She pointed down the hall.

I gathered up all of my things and trudged down the hall. When I got to the bathroom I found the tiniest changing table I had ever seen. It was probably big enough for a mouse. Placing baby Huey on the changing table, I found my worst nightmare. Let’s just say it was an explosive diaper that managed to creep up the back and down the thighs… It was crazy. I hadn’t dealt with this since he was a tiny baby and here I was trying not to become nauseous. You get the picture. BAD NEWS!!!!

After giving him a bath with wipes, I was tempted to put him in the sink for a real bath, but that is kind of gross for everyone else so I didn’t.

Trying to keep myself together, I put his clothes back on and snuck back to the waiting room. Let me just say they call it a waiting room for good reason. After one hour had passed, I thought I might need to check myself into a white padded room for my own safety. Elias did really well, but we were on the brink of a meltdown…at any moment. He was frantically asking to leave. We had looked at every picture, waved bye-bye to every car, played with all of his toys, looked at his books, and there was nothing left to do.

I finally asked the secretary how long it would be. Of course she didn’t know. I tried to remain calm, but they kept calling people who had come in after me, and when I was nearly alone in the waiting room tears began to swell in my eyes. One hour with a toddler who has nothing to do is enough to send anybody into hysteria. I was about to lose it.

Right when I was about to leave the building they called me. I am really surprised that I didn’t have high blood pressure when they checked it. Elias sat nicely on my lap while they did the usual checks.

When we went to hear the baby’s heartbeat Elias had to sit in a chair all alone, and quickly he began to cry. Of course I was laying on a table with my big belly in the air, and couldn’t help him. He didn’t like that the nurse was pulling out all of these tools and putting them on my stomach.  He didn’t move a muscle on the chair, but he really didn’t like that we had to be apart. There was nothing I could do. Tears toppled over his cheeks and I had to lay there. The poor nurse was trying to hurry but it takes time. Oh the drama…

After she left, I calmed Elias down and our second wait began. Thankfully we were alone and Elias could run around the room. He wanted to lay on the bed like I had just done. He thought that was pretty funny. When we were on the verge of our second meltdown, the doctor finally came in and talked to Elias in his Donald Duck voice. That cheered him up.

The doctor said everything looked good, but suggested I get physical therapy for my back. I think because I’ve been carrying Elias around I’ve really hurt it. After that he gave me the rundown on what would happen next time.

When I went to check out they had no appointment times that would work so she told me she would call me later.

Finally we got to leave.

On the way home she called me and told me I’d need to come back in a week! That was enough to almost send me into labor right there. I don’t want to go back in a week. I was tempted to tell her “no” and that I’ll call them if anything happens, but I complied and said, “ok, see you in a week.”

Anyway, I appreciate you mom. I never knew how much it helped to have another person watching Elias. Thanks for always coming! I love you and hope you are having fun on your trip…..please come home soon…before my next appointment…haha!


Mind-Bending Information

Self consciously I cleared my throat while trying not to choke. I had to suppress a giant roll of laughter that threatened to explode out of my mouth. I wanted to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming, but it was true. He said what I had just heard. He had made “that” comment about my pregnant belly.

Now as a woman who is thirty-three weeks pregnant, I am getting used to people staring and my rounding belly or snickering when I walk by, but this time around the comments are almost too much for me. I could fall asleep laughing every night with some of the things I’ve heard. Just this Sunday I was called the Ying and the Yang/ skinny-fat! SKINNY-FAT??? On monday I was refered to as a basketball with chop stick legs. Thankfully I stayed home on Tuesday, or I might have needed to get counseling.

Funny comments and questions have been a trend this pregnancy. A few weeks ago a teacher that Mark works with asked me if pregnancy really affected my center of gravity. After a split second of hesitation a smile zipped across my face as I giggled a loud “yes!” Yes, this stomach affects my center of gravity.

Questions have not only come from older adults but from kids as well. One of my favorite pregnancy encounters took place with a three-year old boy. He was sitting on my couch wide-eyed when the words popped out, “Miss Ashley Bako… why is your stomach like that?” Don’t you love the honesty and innocence of kids? I turned to him with a goofy grin on my face and explained that there was a little baby in there who would one day be able to play with him. He looked up, and in all seriousness politely asked, “May I please open it?” He was referring to opening my stomach. He really wanted to play with the baby. Sadly, I had to tell him “no” and that we’d have to wait until November.

With all of these mind-bending comments and questions, I have enjoyed much laughter. Pregnancy keeps me entertained!

This is a picture of me last week. Most of these comments were made at 32 weeks!