Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Man

For those of you who don't know my husband, let me tell you a little bit about him. Eric is 36 years old today. Out of those 36 years, we figured out last night that we have known each other for 25 of those! When this was realized it produced a "Holy Shit!" and lots of belly laughing. We are getting old.

Eric is the kindest, most selfless, dedicated man I have ever met. He truly embodies servant hood. Examples of this are many. Eric can be know to go out in winter storms to get me a french fries or wake up with sick kids in the middle of the night. He deprives himself of small treats, records or shows, so we can buy groceries for the kids. And gurl, let me tell you about around the house! Vacuum maniac, world's best picker-upper of toy crap, and he can find a missing Lego with his feet! Ouch! Eric is the official dishwasher of the Scobie house. (Well, this is his fault. When we moved into our first house I begged for a dishwasher. He replied, "You married a dishwasher." That was the nail in the coffin. I haven't touched a dish since.)

On the inside, this man loves deeply.  If you could have been a fly on the wall yesterday when, at Elijah's pre-IEP meeting, tears of pride were rolling down his cheeks, there would be no doubt. His words are just as powerful as his nonverbal actions. Eric problem solves with me about parenting strategies that are just and fair. His tactics at calming am upset child are awe-inspiring. He takes care of us. Physically sick or mentally, he cares for us.

I could go on and on about him. About his passion for those who have less than us, about his fire for social justice, about how amazingly smart he is, about how is solely provided for a family of 6 for years on a teacher's salary, about how extraordinary he is in bed. Oh, too much information there, huh?

I am so blessed to have a partner in life who is this amazing. And I am blessed to have had him in my life for a quarter of a century. Happy Birthday my sweet husband. I love you more.

Dada with Elijah and Bumpa at Elijah's first Tiger's game

Our growing family...Manny Day was born!

Judah James stormed into the world

Last, but not least. our family of 6 was complete with Asher. 

Eric looks better than me in every picture! HA! Happy Birthday love. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Vacation" Part 2: Miracles Do Happen

Day 2--Cedar Point

Elijah and I wake up at 6:30, sneak out of the room, and find the coffee shop in the Kalahari lobby. He is migraine free and happy! YAY! Today will most certainly be a good day, right?

*Brief pause*  If you know me or have read any of my blog posts, you will know that I am an eternal optimist. Sometimes to a fault. All of my blog posts start off this way and then they proceed with something like this...


We amazingly checked out of the hotel, packed up all the kids with all the crap, and entered Cedar Point (CP) at exactly 11:00. We are amazing! We wait in the line to park, our spot was pretty close and dead center to the entrance. While Eric and I are getting out the supplies, snacks, and stroller, Elijah and Asher are going PSYCHO. Seriously. I think people thought we were torturing them. Lots of tantrumming, thrashing, and screaming coming from this car.

But we forged on. Everything is packed,  stroller ready, kids walking, almost to the gate where our family is waiting... wait, where's Elijah's cochlear implant? He already lost his glasses last week so he is kinda blind. Where is the implant?

Are you fucking kidding me? Kill me now. Someone, please?

Turn the (still) screaming stroller around to go back to the car to look. Eric and I hound each other with questions; Did you have it on your walk this morning? Where did you see it last? Think it's at the hotel? I hope it's in the car!

After 20 minutes of searching, no luck. The kid will be deaf for the day. Not a bad thing, but just one more thing out of his norm. But where was this little device worth THOUSANDS of dollars? We already lost it a few years ago and I wasn't sure if the warranty would cover another loss. Anxiety up, I didn't want to think about it.

All in all, the day was pretty good. Elijah was able to get a pass that allowed us to step to the front of the line so he didn't have to wait. He went on the Sky Hawk, the Maverick (I can't believe Eric took him on that), the Mine Ride, the Iron Dragon, and a few other rides. He loved them! I signed all day long (no one else except Eric knows ASL).  But, by 5:00 he was toast. My sweet in-laws offered to take him back to Troy for the night. He was ready to go.

My mom and Skip took the kids to dinner so Eric and I got ice cream for dinner and had a short cry. So many emotions. So many times counting to 4 to make sure I didn't lose one. So much focus on Elijah to help him have a good day.

The day ended with my crazy Middle boys going on the Blue Streak in the front cart, arms up the whole time. The kids all had a blast and all the adults were beyond tired. Except Skip. He really wanted to go on the Dragster. :)

Here's where the crazy, miraculous, inexpiable part comes in.

We finally found our car (after searching for 30 minutes), loaded the kids, and drove home (first stopping by the hotel to double check for the implant). We got in at 1:30 a.m. I came in, took off my sweatshirt that I had on all day, took out my pony tail, and went to bed in the clothes I was wearing. Asher woke up screaming at 3:30. I went in to calm him. As I bent over, I felt something fall on my shoulder. I instinctively knew what it was. I knew that shape like I knew my own hand. As I grabbed the cochlear implant off my shoulder, I thought to move my hand behind me, to feel for someone. I didn't. You can't touch angels.

I jumped in to bed and said, "Um, Scob, the implant just landed on my shoulder." My sweet husband hit me in the head and told me I was dreaming. I shook him a little to wake him fully. "Nope," I said, "I have it right here." We immediately thanked God for His providence and fell asleep, still in awe.

I cannot rationally tell you how that implant landed on my shoulder. I can't tell you why or how or anything. But, I can tell you that my God hears our prayers. His timing, 3:30 a.m., would not have been my preference, but I'm glad He knows better than I do.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Pool

This was originally written in August 2014. I must have forgotten to publish it. 

My mom took the middles to the pool today. "The Pool" is at a local golf/country club place that doesn't allow tee shirts or jeans. It is intimidating to me and Eric practically breaks out in hives when we go there--only because it is totally not us. But, my parents have a membership and really, it is a cool place that has cool programming. And a great pool.

Asher and I met them up there to swim for an hour this evening. Asher was in the shallow side with Grampy, the middles were jumping off the diving board, my mom taking pictures, and I was finishing off an adult beverage while people watching.

I saw very slim, perky boobed, athletic mamas and dads playing tag with tag with their kids. I also saw a fellow cellulite-dimpled, mistakingly assumed pregnant, flabby armed mama walking around without a wrap or cover. I thought, "Wow! She is really brave!" And then I did something that I rarely do--I through off my bathing suit cover, ran over to the diving board, and did a big jump in with my boys.

Truth be told, I was scared and thought that everyone was staring at my big butt. I had read a blog post about a mom in my similar situation and how she basically said "fuck it" and was able to slough off the negative aspect of swim suits and look at it through different eyes: her children's eyes. I don't ever swim with my kids. Ever.  As I took off my cover up, I was channeling that. My kids were sooooooo happy when I jumped in. We dove and played. The 2 year old jumped into my arms and kept yelling, "One more time, Mama!"

I would have missed that if I was still sitting on the chair in the other side of the pool.

My mom (who recently had major foot surgery) was hobbling along taking pictures of the kids jumping and swimming. She took a pic of me, in my suit, diving into the pool. Whether the angle of the camera, the tummy-tucking suit I was wearing, or the aerodynamics of my flying through the air, somehow the picture turned out AMAZING. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life (including being pregnant) and I looked at this pic (that she already posted to Facebook) and thought about how to make this photo-shop-looking picture a reality.

 I want to be fit and keep up with my 4 boys. I want to fit into my pants again. I want my tee-shirts not to be so tight.  Life has a way of reminding me...maybe this time a photo of me in my swimsuit was Facebook was a positive reenforcer. I'm trying hard to make the online me and the real life me line up evenly. I will never be one of those twiggy, gym rat, perky mamas, but I will work on being comfortable in my skin. Or bathing suit. :)

P.S. Full disclosure: I know NOTHING about diving. I told the boys to stream line and make sure their fingers touch the water first. Like I said, this is a miraculous picture.

"Vacation" Part 1--Kalahari

Our good friend, Marla, offered us a SWEET deal on five tickets to Cedar Point (CP). Since this would probably be our one chance with a family of six to go, we jumped on the offer.  Somehow we scammed both sets of grandparents into going to help too. We planned how to sneak snacks in and where the healthiest places to eat were. On top of CP, my mom and step dad took us to Kalahari the day before! Talk about BLESSED. My kids were excited beyond words.

Friday morning was spent packing clothes and organizing the gear (Elijah's special food, Elijah's meds, Asher's meds, etc.).  Asher went to the doctors on Thursday where we found out he had a double ear infection. I thought we had totally dodged a bullet. Whew, we got that out of the way!

Not so fast.

The middle kids rode down with my mom and Skip. They had to pull over for a Vernors because Judah felt a little sick. It was at that point I realized Elijah was starting a massive migraine. It came on super strong and super fast. Good thing I packed the meds! Unfortunately, it was too big for any meds we would give him.

Meanwhile, I get a phone call and this is what I hear, "Stephanie, Judah threw up everywhere. Like, everywhere. Well, he did get some in the bag. AHHHHH BEES...". Then I hear a man's voice (my step dad) yelling, "STOP MOVING THE BAG!" Apparently my mom, who is highly allergic to bees, was using the barf bag to shoo the bees away from Judah. The barf bag had a hole in it. She was spraying barf all over their car. Their Cadillac.

We eventually made it down to Kalahari. Judah must have just been carsick because he was totally fine after that. However, poor Lij was miserable. Sometimes water helps, so we suited up and went to the water after lunch. He did have a little fun. He went on some water slides, splashed a little in the wave pool, and played in the basketball pool. But the migraine started up even harder. I took him upstairs for a warm bath and some more meds.

The migraine lasted 11 hours and only ended because I gave him some sleep meds.

It is SOOOO incredibly difficult for us to take a vacation. First of all, we are teachers (well, 1 full time and 1 less than part time); we don't make enough money to ever take a vacation. Secondly, there are 4 small people in a family of 6. There always is a chance they can man-handle us, tieing us together so they can do nefarious things, like eat candy or watch SpongeBob. Thirdly, Elijah. Autism is always hard. Autism in an unfamiliar place is just plain crazy. So for the first time in forever, all the stars aligned and here we were.

I think the reason why Eric and I were so upset about the day was that we knew Elijah would LOVE Kalahari. CP was a crap shoot, but this was a for sure win. And he couldn't enjoy it. It was so unfair. Elijah would have liked it more than those little boys. I know it. He didn't have a chance; his body prevented him for doing so. And there was nothing I could do about it.

By the end of the night, Eric and I were spent. We all were asleep by 9:00 trying to put the barfy, migraine, super fun at times, day to bed too.

Then the morning came. Folks, you won't believe the story I have about that. Really, won't believe it. I'll write about it tomorrow though. Football is on now. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


After an incredibly busy past 5 days or so (which included things like prepping for school stuff, making firework hats, and Elijah flooding our kitchen while Eric and I were "talking" in the bedroom), I finally sat down to think without any kids around or anything. On the toilet. People think grand thoughts while sitting on the toilet. Maybe that is why men take forever in there...

I was thinking about my phone interview that I have for this morning. My friend, Jodi, took Asher this morning (and I took the morning off of work) so I could have some quiet to prepare. 

What questions will they ask? What are my weaknesses? What literary techniques will I bring to their school? And on, and on. 

Then a thought popped into my head. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 

Thanks God. I needed that. 

In faith, we have signed Asher up for full day childcare starting in the fall. In faith, we have prayed that God would lead us to the right job for me. But maybe God wanted to reassure and remind me of that second half of the verse. The end say “seek me with all your heart…” .

So as I do some more research for great answers to “What are your weaknesses?”, I am reminded to do a little more research in the Bible and prayer part.

Thank God. I needed that.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Costco Stole My Grace This Christmas

It was the week before Christmas.  All the stores were a mess, but I thought that Costco would be a good place to go to get gifts for my ESL folks. WRONG.

We got there and the car next to us was parked like a total idiot. For real, it was parked at an extreme angle. Well, I parked and started getting out the 2 year old when the driver and passenger came to their car. The passenger obviously could not wait the 3 seconds for me to get my kid out, so she opened her door and smashed me in the back. No apologies, and yet I withheld the verbal lashing that was running through my head.

When we walked in, I realized what I had gotten myself into. The store was JAM PACKED. But it wasn’t until a fellow shopper rammed me with her cart that I told the boys “Let’s go to Target.” We slowly made our way to the door and to the parking lot. I can honestly say that I saved Judah’s life by pulling him out of the way of a hurried driver taking a turn too quickly.

We got in the car and I felt drained….like someone sucked my Christmas joy away. Fuckin’ Costco.

This Christmas was the worst too. I have been feeling very disconnected to my community as it is, but we had to miss 3 family Christmases due to bronchitis, fevers, ear infections, migraines, throw-ups, and coughs that wouldn’t relent. Well, except Eric, my husband. He was spared which was a blessing because he took care of us! Our Christmas morning consisted of waking up late, opening gifts, singing happy birthday to Jesus, then half of us going straight to bed. Eric carried around our 2 year old for 3 straight days. He was limp with fever and pain.

We lost track of days. I couldn't do anything over the break because I was the sickest. We didn't go out of the house until the last Sunday of break.  All those laid out plans of visiting the DIA, the historical museum, the Detroit Puppet Theatre, etc.—all gone.

So I am writing all of this because every time something crazy or stupid happened (me getting a flat tire on the way to work, or a million other examples), I dug deeper in a pit of self pity. The pit did its best to suck me in. I was talking to a good friend (something that I started to shy away from) and she asked if I was depressed. I think I was. So being aware was something good.

Church was a mixed bag. The feelings of disconnect are almost worse there…which is soooooooo weird because our church is a huge part of our lives and we are fairly involved;  but this season of our lives we have been pulling away a bit. The good part of church has been the message. Today in particular.

Today Beau asked the question “When do you know you have arrived?” Like, when do you know life is great? My answer was something like “When we can pay all of our bills on time and we can buy groceries without worry about the bill.” We have low standards. J  There’s a focus on the self. I have made it! Me. I.  The flip side of the question was what does your ground zero look like? Your Zero?  Your weakest point? This is the point that Elijah and I went out to blow bubbles. Which was fine by me because I didn't want to think about that answer.  At all.

We came back in for the last song. That’s when the Spirit was like, “um, Stephanie, you need to answer this.”


And the song that James sang was a vintage Genesis song, “Your Love Never Fails”.

I had memories flooding back to signing this song 8-9 years ago to Elijah at the end of church. Signing it so that he could understand.

The line in the song that I still can’t sign to this day (without bursting into tears) is: “There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.”

Sweet friends, the word pain brings up SOOOO much. That’s my ZERO. My weakness. It’s my son Elijah. It’s the non-stop ‘just being too short on money this week’. It’s the disconnect from friends because we are the only family I know that has to hire 2 babysitters in order to go out.

But the redemption that I need to keep reminding myself of is THERE IS JOY IN THE MORNING. Seasons come and go, some longer than others, joy comes back. Even at my ZERO. This season of ZERO started at Costco but ended today with the reminder of Joy and the promise that my Father makes ALL things work together for my good.

“Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.” Man, I hate being weak. But I’m so thankful that at those low, weak, humbling times that I have a Father who picks me up and cares for me. 

Thanks for reading. 
Peace to you.