Friday, January 30, 2009

Catholic Schools Week

This week has been "Catholic Schools Week", and the boys have been having a lot of fun!
On Monday, they got to wear sports shirts. Tuesday was Pajama Day and a field trip. Wednesday was Red, White, and Blue day - very patriotic. Andrew said they had to wear those colors because that's the colors in the "Grand Old Flag", which is the only way he refers to our flag (so adorable!). Thursday was Career Day, and today (Friday) is Mismatch (or "mixamatch" as Andrew says) Day.
The boys are wearing CRAZY outfits today; two different socks, two different shoes, crazy hats, and outfits that don't match at all (pretty much how they normally look when Dad dresses them!)
As for Career Day yesterday, Andrew (age 4) wants to be a priest, and we had a St. Francis costume from All Saints Day last year, so we dressed him as a Franciscan priest. At school, he got to lead ALL the prayers and gave his friends a blessing in the chapel!

John-Paul (almost 6) wanted to be an astronaut, but I was no way crafty enough to figure out how to dress him for that, so he said he would dress like a builder (my Dad is a contractor, and the boys always think it's so cool that he has so many tools and can fix anything). During the day, John-Paul said he liked being a builder, but he had to take his tool belt off when he sat down because it hurt his bum! Then he told me that he has a long time to think about what he wants to be when he grows up, and he can still change his mind.

And I'm sure they will - many, many times!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me!

Today is my one-year blogging anniversary! Yippee kay-yay :)
To celebrate, here's a picture of me and Eamon dancing (taken by the local paper at a children's event). Who says white people can't dance? We're tearing up the floor, baby!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My suspicions have been confirmed...

...he actually DOES have a chip on his shoulder!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


(I stole Gratituesday from Laura...thanks for the idea!)

Today I am thankful for my kids' sleep schedule.

We have finally (knock on wood) made it to a point where everybody sleeps through the night. Unless someone is sick or teething, we are getting uninterrupted sleep.

Sleep is one of those things in life that you take for granted before you have kids. But oh man, after babies, it is a much sought after treasure!! Since we had our four children so close in age, except for a brief few months between kids #3 and #4, we have not had a good night's sleep in 6 years!!

But now, we have seen the light...or actually we see the inside of our eyelids ;) Our kids all go to bed between 6:30 and 7:00, and don't wake up until 6 or 6:30. I swear we don't medicate them, either!

This schedule gives Phil and I some quality time together each night, and although the mornings are early, Phil and the boys have to get out the door for school by 7 am anyway. So it works perfect for us, and I am extremely grateful for it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

How about taking a vacation to Boston in April?

So you can go to the Boston Catholic Men & Women's Conferences. Jim Caviezel (a.k.a. Jesus from The Passion) and his wife might be speaking!!

Take a look at this link and notice the hot guy on the top left of the page ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pro-Life Video

Phil made this video to help get through to his students...I think he did a great job!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And speaking of bellies...

Hmmm, how wrong of me to be focusing on myself, when today there are a whole bunch of people marching to end abortion. Please pray and fast to end this horrible, immoral law.

Remember, slavery was once legal too...that doesn't make it right.

If I were to put bumper stickers on my car, here are some good ones:

Thoughtful Thursday

Today I am thinking about my belly. I know, I'm so deep, aren't I? Here's the thing with my belly...I hate it. There, I said it and I meant it. My hubby gets sad when I talk about my disgust for my tummy, but I can't help it.

I never had a great relationship with my stomach. Even when I was young and fit, I always felt like I had a little more padding around my middle than I should have. Once I had kids (especially having 4 in 5 years) I officially have a muffin top. But not only does it stick out, it also has stretch marks and dimples and scars from my gallbladder removal surgery.

I exercise a lot, but no matter how toned my arms and legs get, or how much weight I lose, the belly is there to stay. When Maggie was 5 months old, I had someone ask me if I was expecting again. Ummmm, nope, that's just my leftovers from the last pregnancy, but thanks for asking. If I had a kazillion bucks, I think I would definitely get a tummy tuck, or lipo, or whatever the stars are getting nowadays.

But, you know what's cool? That no matter how much I dislike my stomach, it's a constant reminder of my greatest achievements; John-Paul, Andrew, Eamon, and Maggie. It's my "mummy tummy", my battle wounds from 35 months of pregnancy, and my daily humility checkpoint. I would never rather have a thin stomach if it meant giving back my kiddos, so I need to gladly embrace this body God has created for me, and appreciate His work of art.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This is great!

Thanks to Michelle for sending me this picture of a mural painted on the ceiling of a smoker's lounge. What a great idea!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"You've got to be kidding me" Monday

Krispy Kreme Celebrates Obama with “Freedom of Choice” Donuts
January 16, 2009 11:40 am
SBrinkmann Breaking News
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDSStaff Writer

The popular donut company, Krispy Kreme, has decided to celebrate the anti-life beliefs of President-elect Barack Obama by offering a free “doughnut of choice” to every customer on Inauguration Day.
“Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20,” the company said in a press statement. “By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet ‘free’ can be.”
While many are claiming it was just an unfortunate choice of words and that the pro-life crowd is over-reacting, Krispy Kreme has not responded to calls for clarification.
“As of Thursday morning, Krispy Kreme Communications Director Brian Little could not be reached for comment,” said Judie Brown, founder of the American Life League. “We challenge Krispy Kreme doughnuts to reaffirm their commitment to true freedom – to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and to separate themselves and their doughnuts from our great American shame.”
Brown goes on to say that it was indeed a bad choice of words. “The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that ‘choice’ is synonymous with abortion access and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.”
President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history, she add, with millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.
“Celebrating his inauguration with ‘Freedom of Choice’ doughnuts – only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion – is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.”

To respectfully express concern to Krispy Kreme go to

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fantastic Five Meme

Here's how it works:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by e-mailing you 5 questions.
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You include this explanation and an offer to interview others.
5. When you receive the comment from another, you will send them 5 questions.

Audrey, my awesome blog buddy over at Prosapia Vita, sent me my five great questions, which I have answered below. Please let me know if you would like me to interview's fun!

1. What is your greatest triumph?
This one is EASY! Giving birth to Maggie on 12/1/07. Although giving birth to all of my lovies can qualify as my greatest triumph, I have to say that Maggie's birth was special because it was my only labor without drugs/medication. It made me feel so empowered, so proud, so strong, and so thankful for what my body can do.

2. When you treat yourself, how do you indulge? (For example, I love Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccinos but don't get them very often because they have 6000 calories per sip--your answer doesn't have to be a food item, though!)
Okay, this is hard because I love to shop and I love to eat. SO I guess my indulgence would be a nice meal with my hubby and then shopping (not with the hubby, he is too practical!)

3. If you were giving an address at a graduation, what advice would you give the students?
Since I have a HUGE fear of public speaking, I would just have my husband give the speech, and he would probably figure out a way to incorporate Pope John Paul's II Theology of the Body into the advice :)

4. How did you meet your spouse?
Ooooh, great, a love story!!! I went to Franciscan University of Steubenville and in January 2000, I spent a semester at their campus in Gaming, Austria. At the time, I was dating my boyfriend from back home for almost 3 years.

One night, my roommate, Annie, and I went to knock on a friend's door in the dorm (he was a student from Hungary that we had just met) and his two roommates answered in their pj's, brushing their teeth. One of them was Phil (also from Franciscan University of Steubenville) and we all introduced ourselves. The next day, he and his roommate sat with me and Annie for all three meals! Since I was dating somebody else, I wasn't even thinking of Phil in any way other than a friend, actually I assumed he kept sitting with us because I thought his roommate liked Annie.

Later that week, all the students attended a meeting about safety while travelling throughout Europe, and they warned the girls (especially the blond haired, blue-eyed girls) that they should NOT travel to Eastern European countries by themselves. They suggested we travel in a group with guys as well. Since Annie and I were both blond girls with blue eyes, we got a little nervous and asked Phil and two of his friends to travel with us that coming weekend to Poland. They wholeheartedly agreed and so we planned our departure.

The night before we left, Phil asked me to go to the Valentine's Day Dance with him that would be on the Monday after our Poland trip. I agreed to go, but I told him I had a boyfriend back home, and he seemed okay with that, so then I wasn't sure if he liked me anyway.

We left for Poland that weekend, and it was on the overnight train rides and walking through Europe that Phil and I were able to talk a lot, and I realized how much I liked him. I had a tough decision to make, because while I knew Phil was more like the type of guy I wanted to marry, I wasn't sure how he felt. But I knew I had to break up with my boyfriend before anything could potentially get serious with Phil, and I felt really bad doing it on the phone from Austria.

I let Phil know I had broken up with my boyfriend, and the next day when Phil "picked me up" at my room for the dance, he had a dozen RED ROSES for me. I still make fun of him for that, RED roses on a first date!! He didn't know anything about what rose colors signify, he just thought red was for Valentine's Day...too cute!

We went to the dance, and danced on the balcony in Austria to "Amazed" by Lonestar. SO romantic! We hung out for a couple more weeks and then he took me out to dinner for my birthday and on the walk home, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

He still didn't kiss me until three weeks after that!!! I was his first kiss, and it was beautiful, innocent, and super romantic because it happened in Assisi. We really loved spending that semester together in Europe, getting to know each other on all those long train rides, and taking classes together which never happened back in Steubenville since I was an accounting major and he was a theology major.

Wow, that was a long story, but I am an uber-romantic!!

5. As a mother, what really makes your day?
So many things: hearing my kids pray, seeing them share/play together, the random hugs and kisses they give me without asking, the "I love you's", the giggles, the fact that right now Mom and Dad are still the coolest people on the planet (which I know is about to change!), and playing HiLo at dinner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The First One Has Fallen

J-P lost his first tooth! We knew it would be soon because it was loose (duh) but also because his adult tooth was already growing in behind it.
Last night, Phil fiddled with it until it came out. John-Paul was SO EXCITED!!
He talked about which coins the tooth fairy would bring, and what he would buy with the money.

This morning he came running downstairs at 6 am to tell us the tooth fairy had left a whole dollar! He then decided to use it to buy himself and his brother a treat at the snack counter at school. So warms a mom's heart :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today I am thankful for friends.

I am thankful for all of the people who called and texted and emailed asking how we were all doing while Maggie was in the hospital. I am thankful for those friends that came to visit her in the hospital and made our stay much less lonely. I am thankful for my "blog friends" and "facebook friends" who commented with sympathy and empathy. I am thankful for my siblings (also my friends) who picked up kids to bring to school, watched kids during appointments, and stayed at the house so we could be at the hospital. I am thankful for our friends who live downstairs who took the monitors and made sure the boys stayed asleep while Phil and I relieved each other at the hospital.

For all of you, I am eternally grateful. Thank You!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm just wondering... it possible to get vomiting whiplash?

Because my neck is sooooo sore after all that puking.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The week from down under (and I don't mean Australia)

This has been a very rough week (to say the least) at the Martin household.

Let's start on Monday evening when we discovered our heat was not working, and we needed a new part, but it was too late in the day to get it. So the next morning, a plumber came and "fixed" our heat, and then I discovered two hours later that it still wasn't on and another guy had to come back out and fix it again.

So we finally had heat, but then John-Paul started throwing up. It seemed he finally came down with the stomach virus that Phil, Andrew, Eamon, and Maggie had over Christmas break. He stayed home from school and I took care of him, all the while praying that I wouldn't get it.

In the meantime, Eamon and Maggie had colds, and Maggie had started coughing and was very clingy. By the time Wednesday rolled around, she was wheezing a lot and I called the doctor who said to bring her in later that day. I had to go to work that afternoon, so Phil took Maggie and the other kids to the doctor's appointment.

As soon as the nurses saw Maggie, they rushed her back into the doctor's office and realized she was in distress and started a nebulizer treatment on her to open up her bronchial tubes so she could breathe easier. They had to do three treatments at the doctor's office and then finally decided that she still wasn't getting better fast enough, so they wanted to admit her to the hospital.

I rushed out to the doctor's office and took the three boys home to get them to bed while Phil took Maggie to the hospital. After I got the boys to bed, our friends S and K stayed home while I drove back out to the hospital with clothes and dinner for Phil and Maggie. Phil decided to sleep at the hospital so I came home and slept here. Maggie got the treatments all night long, and her oxygen levels had fallen low, so they had to give her oxygen in her tented crib.

In the morning, I got the boys ready and brought John-Paul and Andrew to school, then went to the hospital with Eamon. We stayed at the hospital, waiting for the news about Maggie, when they said she would have to stay ANOTHER night there because she was still in distress. So, Phil brought Eamon home and picked up the boys from school, went to the dentist appointment, and to swimming lessons, got them to bed and then came out to the hospital to relieve me.

I went home Thursday night and fell exhausted into bed. At 3 am, John-Paul was in my face telling me he had just thrown up in the upstairs toilet...and on the seat of the toilet...and on the floor...and on the shelves, you get the idea. I got up and cleaned all of that, then settled him down in my bed, where he proceeded to throw up every 15 minutes for 2.5 hours. So we were awake from 3 to 5:30 am. Andrew and Eamon were awake and ready for the day at 6:30, so I got Andrew ready for school and his Uncle picked him up and brought him for me.

Phil had to go into work on Friday afternoon to prepare his students for midterms, so my sister came over and stayed with John-Paul and Eamon while I went to the hospital to be with Maggie. They finally discharged Mags about 4 pm and our family was finally all home together Friday night.'s over, we thought. Not quite.

Friday night around 10, Eamon vomited in his bed. Aaargh, we just cannot catch a break from this awful virus!! On Saturday morning, I wasn't feeling too good, but decided to go to the gym anyway since I hadn't been in three days. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, then headed over to a weight lifting/toning class, but about halfway through felt very nauseous. I left and picked up the cake for my goddaughter's Baptism that day, and when I got home I fell into bed, sick to my stomach.

I began throwing up and had to miss the Baptism, luckily my mom stood in for me as the Godmother proxy. I continued getting sick for about 5 hours until Phil called my brother, the ER doctor, and he prescribed an anti-nausea medication that really worked wonders. Last night I was crampy and I tossed and turned in bed, but at least had some relief from the nausea. Today I am resting and trying to get some strength back. I have managed to keep down half a piece of toast and some fluids.

Let's hope this next week is much better . At least now I can say I have learned to never take my family's health for granted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My little devil ;-)

(She was standing on top, but I made her sit for the picture...what a troublemaker!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I'm borrowing this "Gratituesday" idea from her. Hope she doesn't mind!

Anyway, today I am grateful for household machines. This morning, I ran my dishwasher, put a load of dirty clothes in my washing machine, transferred them to the dryer, cut up a bunch of vegetables and placed them in my crockpot to make a yummy and healthy corn chowder, and my bread machine is generating the most mouth watering smells from the Honey Oatmeal Bread it is baking.

I can't believe women used to have to do all of these chores by hand...I am so blessed!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Four is the best.

Ok, so I know I don't have a lot of experience as a mother (yeah, I do have 4 kids, but I've only been doing this mommyhood gig for about 6 years), however I must say that I have determined my favorite age.

It's FOUR years old.

It's the bomb-diggity and I'll tell you why.

When my kids (only two so far) have turned four, it's been like they become this brand new person. While they still have all the same physical cuteness of toddlers, they mentally and emotionally develop as little human beings. They are fun to bring places; everything is exciting and new and fascinating. They are potty trained and are (usually) less-picky eaters; so no diaper bags, sippy cups, or trips to McDonald's only (hurray! we can stop somewhere and get a real sandwich now). They can sit through a movie in the theater, attempt to ice skate and roller skate, have fun at arcades, behave at restaurants, and make great conversation.

When they start to act up, they can easily be reasoned with ("If you eat your veggies, you can have dessert...") and understand consequences so much better. They are compassionate and have the ability to think about others before themselves, they love to show-off their big kid skills to their little siblings ("Here, I'll help you open that snack"), and absolutely adore being treated older than the 'babies'.

Andrew is four right now, and he is just so sweet and fun to be around. He gets super excited about everything (like yesterday when I let him take a nap in my bed), says thank you and sorry every single time it's appropriate, and is the first to remember to say grace before eating.

When Andrew was sick over the break, he would actually throw up in a bowl (couldn't make it to the bathroom fast enough), and then get out of bed, take the bowl to the bathroom, dump the contents into the toilet, rinse it out, wash his hands and then come back to bed...all while feeling like crap. What a sweetheart!

Oh, I just adore four!! Five on the other hand is a different story...

Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm wondering...

...about short-sleeve sweaters. If it's cold out, you wouldn't want to wear short sleeves, and if it's hot out, you wouldn't want to wear a sweater, right?

So when exactly is it appropriate to wear one?