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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Boys and Schools


Phil and I always discuss, as we are parents to six boys, how school seems to be geared towards girls.  We are not the only ones to think this.  Seriously.  We look around the top kids in our high school, the top kids in the elementary school my kids attend, and it's overwhelmingly females.  Girls seem to be "built" better for schools.  More able to sit still and concentrate, more motivated by attention from good behavior, more likely to excel at language and reading, which makes them more likely to succeed overall.

I remember clear as day when Maggie was not even three years old, we went to a bridal shower, and she sat at the table and colored for the majority of the party: 



The other little girls there did the same.  I remarked to my sister that I had never seen one of my kids sit and color for so long.  She, being the mother of two little girls, couldn't believe my astonishment.  My boys would color for maybe two minutes before they were running off destroying something to figure out how to put it back together.  Having a girl seemed so much easier!  I can imagine that teachers who are trying to get kids to focus in a classroom would find girls easier too.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Warriors

This was such a wonderful weekend, with perfect weather in the low to mid sixties, sunshine, and lots of family time.  Just what the doctor ordered!

{Oooh oooh oooh!  But first, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to give some advice on my last post.  I am looking into everything you recommended..you guys are the best!}

On Saturday morning, I woke up feeling ready to get the chores done, so I left Phil and the boys snoozing and took my two early birds to the grocery store.  It doesn't open until 7, but that really means that you can't check out until 7.  You can do your shopping starting at 6:30 while they are stocking shelves, etc.  It was gloriously empty and by 7:15 we were headed home with a whole bunch of groceries.  


We unpacked the groceries and Phil and the boys woke up so we headed out  for a run.  Later that morning, the big boys served a funeral while I took the littles to the playground and Phil stayed home with a napping Brendan and mowed the yard.  Alexander practiced his pumping on the swing, and Declan went on the tire swing for the first time:



Friday, May 19, 2017

7QT: Advice Needed

Help a Mother out!  I have seven questions that need advice, so spill it! Linking up with Kelly on this beautiful, sunny, warm Friday morning!

1)


Maggie needs shorts that aren't short, aren't button/zipper, and aren't tight.  She's very heard to please, which should bode well for her dating years, but when it comes to clothing it's really hard!

2)


Lucy Doodle Martin pulls on the leash...how do we stop this?  She's not always horrible about it, but still too strong for my kids to control her.  Also...she scratches herself a lot - what could that be?

3)


Has anyone gone dairy free?  Is it worth it?  What are some good substitutes for yogurt and cheese (I use almond milk in smoothies)?  Or are good cheese substitutes an oxymoron (as my husband believes) and I should just not even try?

4)


I need a new bathing suit because I wore my last one through pregnancy and now it's stretched out.  Whoopsie.  I want to hide my belly the most, and I also need a skirt or shorts because I won't wear a bikini bottom.  Any suggestions?  Maybe Maggie gets her difficulty in dressing from this apple tree?

5)


For anyone with a wide family like mine (lots of kids with a big age range)...when can you start leaving a 14 year old with an almost one year old?  I don't mind him being in charge of the rest for little pockets of time, but leaving the baby is a big deal, and I'm not sure when a teenager can handle that?  Truth be told, I'm overwhelmed when I have all the kids by myself for too long, so I'm not a great judge.

6)

Can anyone recommend any great summer reading?  I used to think I liked fiction, but I can't seem to get through anything lately unless it's nonfiction.  One day I'll be able to take the kids to the beach and sit and read a book, right?



7)

Last but not least, can anyone give me one great tip for incorporating more prayer time into my day?  The getting up early thing isn't an option for me at this time in my life (we are all out the door by 6:45 am as it is) and I can't stay up late either, so I need a practical daytime tip.  Future me in the next life thanks you :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone - we've got a pretty uneventful one coming up besides the big once a year track meet!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits

If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May showers bring?

The blues.  (May flowers, however, bring Pilgrims).

Today we are finally getting some sunshine and warmer weather.  Hoorah, we all need a weekend in the sun to make up for this rainy spring.  I always think about spring and summer weather in relation to growing up, owning an ice cream shop.  This spring would have been bad for business! 

I am reading this book currently, after hearing Candace Cameron Bure recommend it.  And she looks amazing:



  Phil doesn't like it when I read diet/health books because it always impacts the food in the house ;)  Anyway, I don't think I can ever eat quite like the author, but I wouldn't mind trying to go off dairy for a little bit to see what changes would occur.  I don't drink milk, but I eat yogurt everyday and I love cheese and ice cream and half-n-half in my coffee.  The struggle would be real.  It just stinks to reach your mid-to-late thirties and realize that you have to change the way you eat in order to fit into your clothes.  I really, really don't want to be obsessed with my weight, and I barely ever weigh myself, but when the clothes are all tight and we don't have funds for a new wardrobe, something's gotta give, and it's usually the carbs.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mama Bird

My friend Michelle, who babysits Brendan while I’m at work, sent me a photo of him the other day eating some cheerios.  I was so surprised he was handling them okay because he gags to the point of puking on whole puffs, so we have to break them up for him.  She said he was doing fine with them.  I felt a little like a mother bird who chews the baby bird’s food for him and spits it into his mouth.  He’s 8 months and can handle a cheerio, step back mother bird.



Normally, this isn’t even my mothering default.  I’m more like the mama bird who pushes her babies out of the nest to teach them how to fly.  Come on, I whisper to the toddler, you’re a big guy now, you can do this, as I watch him struggle to put his shoes on the right feet. Grow up, grow up, grow up.  Nudge, nudge, nudge.


John-Paul just recently landed a job at a homemade ice cream shop (like mother, like son!) as a bucket washer.  If he does well at that, he’ll be able to work his way up to making waffle cones, serving customers, etc.  He just turned 14 and we’ve been encouraging him to find a job because in two short years he will want a car to drive, a car that needs to be insured and requires gas to run.  All of those things cost money and he needs to start saving his dollah dollah bills y’all, instead of spending it on candy.  When I was your age, I remind him, I was already managing an ice cream store, working at least 36 hours a week in the summer, and depositing paychecks into my own bank account.  Nudge.

Our pumpkin head, JP.

Friday, May 5, 2017

7QT: The First Week of May in the Month of Mary

Happy first week of May and a very Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  Let's see what's been happening this week at Casa Martin...

1)
We celebrated National College Acceptance Day, and lined up our four Franciscan alumni with Steubie's newest addition who will be heading there in the fall.  I think it's so great to have this little Franciscan bubble alllll the way in New England working at the same Catholic high school.  They must have a really hot smart Head of Theology to hire awesome theology teachers.

Betcha can't guess which one is the high school senior ;)

2)
Andrew and Eamon ran their 2nd 5k this spring and both improved their times.  Andrew won 1st place in his age group with a blazing time of 21:11.  I'm trying to keep up with Eamon, but he's getting too fast for me too at a time of 26:33.


Eamon was reminiscing over all his 5k's run, and he said "My first race was my worst one."  Andrew quickly replied, "Of course it was, it was also your best one."  Having kids is fun :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Born to Run - Are We?



It's taken me a couple of weeks, but I finally finished the book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  It was seriously entertaining, not at all what I had envisioned about a running book.  The reason it took me so long to read?  Well, I like to sleep pretty much more than I like anything else, and I would drift off each night after a few pages.  I once fell asleep during The Passion of the Christ in a movie theater...so don't confuse my slumber with boredom.

Moving on.  Or should I say running on?

There have been many people in my life, upon hearing that I like to run, remark that they "only run when being chased".  There have also been others who try to convince me that running is bad for me "your poor joints!" or claim that they just weren't built to run "shin splints!  hip pain!  too slow!"  and it never sat well with me.  To me, it always seemed like moving our bodies was a natural thing.  I can understand not liking running, I can understand not running if you have a physical problem with it, but I just can't understand when people thought it was crazy to run.

Well...this book proved me right.  And wrong.