Author Archives: sylcell

But what about the children’s souls?

If you had to pick the single most important duty as a parent, what would it be? Your children’s health and well being? Your children’s education and cultivating their natural talents? 

In the midst of the secularization of our society, much time and energy has been spent obsessing over how we can send our children out into this world as paragons of human health and superior scholastic achievement. But the question must be asked: are they good people? 

This mentality pervades our thinking as parents from the moment we realize we are pregnant. How many times have we said, “as long as the baby is healthy?” When our children our older, we tend to brag about their good grades or athletic abilities with no mention of whether we are raising people of integrity or not. read more

Snapchat for Old Fogies

I noticed a rash of my favorite bloggers lately started using an app called “Snapchat.” I had heard of it, of course. It seemed to be all the rage with the young-ins a while ago. I didn’t pay much attention to it because between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, I really felt like there wasn’t any more room left for time wasters in my life. Because at some point the kids get really whiny when I don’t feed them. So needy.

But then yet another mommy blogger confessed that she was now addicted to it, so I decided to check it out. Maybe I could just buy some of those automatic food dispensers for the kids and leave some Cheerios and water in it. read more

Potty Training from the Trenches

Why yes, I am going to bore you with a post about potty training since I have potty trained a grand total of two kids now.  There is so much advice out there on potty training already, I figured I’d add to the noise. Because you can never have too much advice on potty training, am I right? 

Right. So, I do have to disclose that this will probably only pertain to girls, as little girls are the only thing I have experienced. I’m like that song from Annie. “Some women are drippin in diamonds. Some women are drippin in pearls. Lucky me, lucky me, look at what I’m drippin in, little girls!”  read more

Rhea is 3 months!

It kind of stinks having a baby at the beginning of the summer because come August when everyone else is talking about how they are so ready for boots and sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, you’re all: Wait, what? Where did the whole summer go? I thought it had just started! 

But I can’t really complain. Spending a summer inside snuggling with a newborn has its advantages. We love our happy Rhea-baby.

Milestones: Rhea coos and babbles up a storm. She will take any excuse to flash you a toothless grin and start “talking” to you. She is sleeping for longer stretches at night, mostly between 9 pm and 2 am. After that, it is pretty much a crap shoot as to how much she is going to wake up to nurse or not. Some nights, she only wakes up once. Some nights, it seems like she is waking up every hour. She holds her head up really well, and I am able to hold her on my hip in the typical baby hold. I remember it took Wren forever to have that much back strength. She hates tummy time and will not hold her head up while she is doing that, however. Stubborn baby. She isn’t rolling over yet, but all of my girls have been late doing that. (Must be something I am doing wrong.) read more

Weird Stuff my kids say

Our Mondays consist of barely surviving. I have been spoiled all weekend by Scott’s reassuring presence, and then that is abruptly gone come Monday morning. Hence, there is always a period of adjustment for me as I come to terms with the fact that this is my circus and these are my monkeys. I like to call our Mondays “Hot Mess Mondays.” So in honor of Hot Mess Monday, I think it is fitting for me to be blogging during nap time instead of cleaning the kitchen in the aftermath of breakfast and lunch. Here are some little pearls that have come out of my children’s mouths. read more

Hey Mama, when your husband tells you you’re beautiful, stop disagreeing with him

A woman’s worth, it seems, is measured in how attractive she is to the public at large. I never noticed it when I was young and unmarried. I knew a lot of women suffered from body image issues, but I couldn’t understand why. Who cares if you look like some stranger in a magazine or not? I shrugged it off and went about my business.

Fast forward to after I got married and had my first child. Body image issues hit me like a ton of bricks. What had happened to my youthful appearance?! I had stretch marks etched on my hip (just one hip, so it wasn’t even symmetrical) a dark vertical line running down my midsection, and I looked like an overstuffed sausage in all of my pre-pregnancy clothing. I panicked. What was my husband going to think? He is going to be so horrified and wonder what happened to the girl that he married! read more

Wren: 9 months

I’m going to do Wren’s monthly update a day early since Rosie’s birthday is tomorrow and two posts in one day sounds exhausting!

The little bird is nine months old! I know I feel this way about every age, but nine months is my favorite.


For this post, I gave up on trying for lovely photos with lots of white space. I am no photographer, and I knew I wasn’t fooling anyone.

Milestones: You are sitting up like a champ now, and sleeping through the night pretty regularly (Alelluia!) You wave, shake your head no, and clap! You also said “Ma,” today, much to your mama’s excitement. You are getting up and army crawling a bit, but seem to have no inclination to get up on your hands and knees. Every time I try to get you to do it, you fall on your face (sorry!) You are also honing your pincer skills while you are killing some puffs! You can hold your own bottle and fruit pouch (that is more of a milestone for me). If you are holding onto something, you can stand for a bit. My children tend to be more brains over brawn. You also cut two little bottom teeth! read more

How my mom lost the popularity contest but won at parenting

People talk about peer pressure among kids in middle schools all the time, but seldom talk about peer pressure among moms. Trust me, it’s a thing. Even though my oldest is only three, I am already feeling it.

I am certain that the older my children get, the worse it will be. Take my mom, for example. She was what one would call a strict parent. (60 years ago, she would have been an ordinary parent, but I digress.) We didn’t spend the night at friends’ houses until we were in high school, we never saw movies with a rating above PG-13, and sometimes not PG-13 movies, depending on the content. I am still proudly one of the only people I know who hasn’t seen “Titanic.” When I was in seventh grade, it was because of the premarital sex scene. When I finally could watch it, I was a history major who knew the historical inaccuracies would drive me crazy. An aristocratic seventeen year old flitting about the ship unchaperoned and risking an illegitimate pregnancy fathered by some penniless guy she had just met? Really?! I digress again (I tend to do that. Hence the blog). We weren’t permitted to watch TV on school nights and our curfews when we could drive were embarrassingly early. My first bikini I was permitted to wear I finally purchased at age 14, and makeup was forbidden until 15. And then the crimes against makeup I committed were unforgiveable. Glitter eyeliner for daily wear? Why?! My first high heels were also at 15, and I tottered around in them until college when I had to walk the campus too much for that to be practical. My first date was at sixteen, and the guys I went out with always had to talk to my father first and have me home by 9:00. read more

15 Things to say other than (ugh) “You’ve got your hands full!”

Once I had Rose a mere thirteen months after I had Ruth, the common refrain that seems to be the soundtrack to my life these days began. “Looks like you’ve got your hands full!” Now that I have two toddlers and a baby, I can’t leave the house without at least one person saying it to me. I don’t think it is usually said with malicious intent. I just think people feel the need to say something when I start to notice the fact that they are staring at us, mouths agape. At this point, I am so dang tired of hearing this, I just thought I would offer some alternatives to this expression. If you see a mother with more children than is considered socially acceptable, feel free to use them. I am certain she would appreciate the refreshingly new comments. read more

Our Epic Candler Park Adventure

Now that I have slept on it, I feel much better about yesterday. I can laugh about it, even. But yesterday, I was feeling very angry at myself for overdoing it. We just get so bored being cooped up in the house all the time! But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

There is a really fun group of moms that my good friend Christy introduced me to. Christy has since moved to Boston so that her husband can get his MBA (nooooooooo), but I seem to still be attached to her mom friends’ email list for play dates. Not sure if this was intentional or not, but they are so much fun and so kind, I always show up when they plan another play date. So far, they haven’t seemed to mind me crashing their play dates and we get to get out of the house and do something fun with people we enjoy, so win-win! read more