Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Me and My Mini-Me

(Betcha thought it was going to be Maggie...nope!)

Eamon Philip has been my identical twin from the beginning. We look so much alike it is scary. I wish I had some good baby pictures to show you all what I'm talking about. The only difference (besides our gender) is that my hair was white blond as a child, and his is dirty blond.

(I'm on the left around age 5)

My mom just loves Eamon, and can't help herself to say that he reminds her of me growing up. Even my sister-in-law commented that our facial expressions are weirdly similar. We also both love to burp and occasionally let out a snort when we laugh (just keeping it real, people).

This boy started life with some serious colic, and it took me a while to really enjoy him. I loved him, but he was VERY difficult as a baby. Once he got over his tummy and ear troubles, he was like a completely different person. He is so enjoyable to be around, and has the.best.laugh.ever!

He walks all around his Catholic elementary school, and even though he is only in preschool, all the students (up to grade 8) stop to say hi to Eamon. His bubbly personality is irresistible! And I'm so glad he's mine :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of Second Grade

John-Paul begins second grade today! He was a little nervous, but very excited to see his friends again. He lost his 7th tooth yesterday (hence the gap in his smile) and got 50 cents to use at the snack counter today.
Size 1.5, where did those baby feet go?

My little man.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hi Lo: August 27th


1) Have you all tried these yet? Skinny Cow White Mint Truffle Bars. 100 Calories and so delicious!

2) GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic stores are having 30% off until August 29th. Get your coupon here.

3) With all the rain we've been having this week, we got a lot of cleaning and organizing accomplished. We cleaned our bedroom closet, the hall closet, the arts & crafts drawers, the Lego's, the food pantry, and the upstairs shelves in the play area. The older boys were great helpers, and all I promised was one gumball. They just adore gum.

4) Maggie is completely trained for peeing on the potty, that's the old news. The new news is that she actually pooped on the potty! But only twice, and then twice in her underwear, so that's fun.


1) This is our last week of summer because John-Paul and Phil start school on Monday.


We've had lots of rain this week, and the older boys were at camp, so they basically just watched movies all day :(

3) Phil had meetings all week for the beginning of school and CCD coming up. He had a meeting Monday night, Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, Thursday afternoon, Thursday night, and another one this Sunday night. Blech!

How was your week??

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Littles

Eamon (age 3 1/2) and Maggie (age 2 1/2) have a complicated love/hate relationship. They are 14 months apart, and the closest thing to twins we hope to have! Since Maggie turned one, they have been about the same height, wore the same size clothing, and love to play together. But sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between fighting and playing with these two :)
They "share" cotton candy at the Family Day held at the boys camp:
Let the sugar rush begin:

Eamon catches Maggie:

Awwww, give me a hug:

A hug? No way, how about a punch?:

Maggie apologizes while Eamon strategizes:

Because two can play at that game:

Watch out, Eamon...Maggie has perfected the reverse-flip-double-loopy-dee-loop-throwdown:

I'm gonna get ya:

Told ya!:

Just another typical day at the Martin house. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Go Pats!!

The offfspring of my brother, Sean and his wife, Lisa:
Liam, Caitlin, and J.P. (my parent's oldest grandchild of 19!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An Open Letter...

...to the people associated with my gym.
~To the gym owners - Would it be that hard for you to keep paper towels and sanitizer on hand? If you hang signs all over the place about how important it is to clean off our equipment, shouldn't you at least provide us with the supplies to do so?
~To the women who come in late to class all.the.time - I understand if it's hard for you to get here on time, really I do, but why do you insist on standing in the one foot area of free space I have around me? This is kickboxing class, and therefore I can't be faulted for kickboxing the back of your head.
~To the man who doesn't shower regularly and insists on working out too close to my nose - the gym provides showers for it's members. There's even free soap inside each shower stall. Use it. Frequently.
~To the lady in the kickboxing classes who moves in completely the wrong direction as everybody else - just do the opposite of what you think you should be doing. Then you'll be following along with everybody else. I know it's nice to march to the beat of a different drummer sometimes, but a synchronized aerobics class is not one of those occasions.
~To the guy who insists on working out on the treadmill right next to me - there's a reason I pick a treadmill away from everyone else, I enjoy the peace and quiet. I do not want to talk to you, I have plenty of people at home to converse with. And by the way, I am happily married. And he could kick your butt.
~To the little click of girlie girls who can't shut up during class - this is not a social hour. We are here to work out, and I don't want to hear who you hooked up with last weekend. Even the instructor is making fun of you guys, but you're too engrossed in conversation to realize it.
Someone who's been thinking these thoughts for way too long in her head and had to get them out.
P.S. Now I feel better.

Monday, August 23, 2010


We were *ahem* a little busy this weekend ;)

Which leads me to my list of updates:

1) We are trying for Baby #5 this month!! With our very rigid schedules (teaching and tax prep) we are trying to plan for the perfect timing. Of course, God's timing is best, so we'll see what happens.
2) Maggie's first backpack will be:

It will have Maggie embroidered on the front.

Thanks to Nana (Phil's mom) for keeping up the tradition of buying each of our children their first L.L.Bean backpack!

3) Eamon had his speech therapy evaluation and they think he does need a little work with his R's. His language skills are a year ahead of his age, so they are not worried about that, we just want to work on his (oh-so-cute) speech issues while he is young.

4) Comments - I am leaving them on for now. I really appreciate everybody's advice and I agree that they should be used as a way to form relationships, and I shouldn't take anything too personally. I'm working on it :)

5) My friend, Laura (and mom to Maggie's best friend, Robby) is 2 days past her due date...keep her in your prayers!

Now it's time to go read what's going on in your lives. (My favorite part of the morning!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August is a Great Month...

...for conceiving a baby.
Then the baby would be born in May, which is right after tax season ends, and right before Phil gets out for the summer.
I'm just sayin'.
And my hubby is so stinking handsome, all tan and in shape.
Again, just sayin'.
And Maggie would LOVE nothing more than a baby sister (she'd be fine with a brother too).
What? I'm just stating facts.
The problem is picking which August, because it does come once a year.
But man, a whole year is a long time to wait.

I think I've said enough.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Boy in The Striped Pajamas

Phil and I are enjoying our free month trial of NetFlix, especially because we can get movies instantly on our Wii. I love technology, I don't understand it, but I love it.

Anyway, one of the movies we had to chose from was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Phil had just finished the book. He needed to see the movie because the book was required summer reading for all the students at the high school where Phil teaches, and he needed to be able to "catch" those lazy students who only saw the movie and didn't read the book.

I had absolutely no idea of the story line, and was so thoroughly touched by this movie. I feel it is a must-see, but want to warn you that it is hard to watch. I can't stop thinking about it.

It starts off with a high-class family living in Berlin, composed of a soldier dad, a mom, a daughter and son. The "perfect" family living in the "perfect" house suddenly has to move when Dad gets a promotion. The family moves into a gated house where the boy is not allowed to go exploring, a tutor is brought in from the outside, and Dad has plenty of secret meetings behind closed doors. Bruno, the little boy, dreams of playing outside and making friends with the "farmers" he can see from his bedroom window.

There is a young soldier assigned to the house, who heavily influences the older sister's views of the Holocaust, and opens up the eyes of the mother to what is really going on in the camps. In the book, Phil said this soldier has an affair with the mother, but that is not portrayed in the movie.

On one day, when the mother (who is steadily entering a depressed state) is gone into town shopping, Bruno sneaks away from home and finds a young boy wearing striped "pajamas" playing in the dirt. They become fast friends, and without quite realizing why this boy is behind an electric fence, Bruno starts bringing him food and conversation.

Without wanting to give too much away, I'll just say that the boys' friendship is tested and Bruno fails miserably, yet seeks out and receives forgiveness from his friend in the Auschwitz camp. In order to make it up to him, Bruno decides to help him on a mission, and everybody's lives are changed because of it.

This movie is filled with so many poignant scenes and one-liners that make you think. The hypocrisy of what the father thinks is "okay" to do to the Jews in the camp and yet how protective he is of his own children is absurd. The brainwashing that occurs at the hands of the tutor was all too common back in the day. And when the mother finally realizes what is happening to the prisoners of Auschwitz, she gets mad, but then accepts it along with all the other people at the time.

More importantly, there is such a strong parallel between this movie and abortion.

Somehow in America, we have rationalized away every fear, concern, and putrid reaction abortion should cause us to have. Just like these innocent prisoners of war who were put to death based solely on their ancestry, millions of babies are dying based solely on their untimeliness.

Just like the soldiers who fought under Hitler made themselves believe they were doing what was best for their country, many parents of aborted babies fool themselves into believing they are doing what's best for their life.

In the movie, when the mother finds out what is causing the black smoke coming from the camp, she is sickened but does nothing to stop it. How alike are so many of us who are disgusted by the thought of unborn babies being murdered in their mother's wombs yet do NOTHING to stop it. While we may not be able to physically stop a woman from getting an abortion, we can try to change their mind, we can protest (peacefully) at abortion mills, we can vote pro-life, we can pray for an end to abortion, we can support young mothers in crisis, we can teach abstinence, the list goes on and on.

I hope that one day we will be able to look back on this time of legalized abortion with the same horror that we remember the Holocaust. And both events will be just shameful pieces in our history, a past that we will never allow to happen again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Coming Soon

The Tale of a Second Grader
A young boy, growing up much too quickly, finds friendships and fun amidst the chaos of multiplication, division, and cursive.

A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner
This handsome man enters the world of academia, complete with uniforms and recess, while trying to keep the peace among the girls vying for his attention.

A Preschooler, Part 2
Same boy, same classroom, but watch how his role as the big brother helps this little guy blossom into the independent man he longs to be.

Too Cool for Preschool
With potty training behind her, this wee girl begins her journey into the world of elementary school, and leaves behind her parents who can't recall how she got to be so old, so fast.
One thing is for sure....they are all going to be blockbusters! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hi Lo: August 13th


1) We had a fun vacation in Maryland. The kids swam every single day!! The family of Phil's best friend from infancy lives on the same street as Phil's parents and has a pool, which they graciously let us use.

2) While were were visiting, we had a surprise 30th Birthday Party for Phil and Andrew (the best friend). Andrew turned 30 in June, and Phil will be 30 in October. It was a TON of fun, and Phil was completely shocked :)

3) I had the chance to go shopping for the day with my mom and no kids! The kids went to camp at their school for the day (Phil was also there, working) and my mom and I went to Mass and then a day at the outlets. I got so many great deals ($5 jeans!!) and bought shoes for the kids, and school clothes for Phil. My mom even treated me to lunch - it was awesome!

4) We had a little goodbye party at our house last night for our friend, Sean, who is going to Chicago soon to begin work on his Master's. He was the photography teacher at the high school where Phil works for the past few years, and he's super talented. He's also super funny, nice, young, and single ladies!! I am so sad that he's leaving, but happy for him to be pursuing his dreams.

5) God works in wondrous ways, and He does it through the people He places in our lives. Within a week we had someone give us a gift card to Borders and another one to Barnes & Nobles. Then another generous soul gave us a gift card to the grocery store. Totally out of the blue. God loves a generous giver, and we are so blessed to know these people!!


1) We have a high EEE Threat in the area, and all the beaches, parks and outdoor activities have been closed/cancelled in the evenings for about 2 weeks now, with no end in site until the first frost.

2) Track club was cancelled due to Lo #1. The kids are very disappointed :(

3) My friend, Laura, has been having contractions for days, but she's not in labor yet. All you moms know that really hard time at the end of pregnancy when you would do just about anything to get the baby out? Yeah, she's at that part. Pray for her!

4) Poor Andrew has swimmer's ear. He's in a lot of pain, but we have him on motrin and anti-fungal drops. No swimming for a week for him!

5) I went to sign on to my blog today, and it said it had been removed!! I just about had a heart attack, and then I checked my email and saw that someone had hacked into it and sent out messages to my contacts. I looked around a bit and found that someone from Greece had logged into my account. I have changed my passwords and am about to send gmail an email. This is so scary!

How was your week??

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Comments on Comments

Comment is a weird word. Sorry, I just had to get that out there.
Anyway, I'm going through an internal battle with myself (duh, who else could you have an internal battle with?) about removing comments from my blog.
I've felt this way before, and my husband has always talked me out of it. He likes to read them and reminds me how happy they make me. But while I am so excited to get a comment, I also get hurt when I don't get them.
I love to know people are reading my little bloggity blog, and appreciate the encouragement/advice/support I get from you wonderful readers. Yet, sometimes I can be a little too emotional about the lack of comments. And it's so stupid because I read a LOT of blogs and don't comment every time, or not at all.
Then there's the whole egotistical thing. It's like I need to go to your blog, and leave a comment, so that you'll come to mine and leave one too. Commenting has become a part-time job. And I already have enough of those!
There are quite a few blogs that I love to read, and usually comment on, and then those bloggers NEVER comment on mine. I start feeling like I am the one trying so hard in this "relationship", and they are the confident, superior person who wishes I would just leave them alone. Then I make myself feel better by thinking that they must not comment on anyone's blog, and get even more upset when I see that they do comment on other's...just not mine.
The whole popularity contest is also an issue. Who wants to feel like they are back in high school again? Why do I care so much if someone follows me, or includes me in their blog list? There were blogs I used to read back when I started blogging that now have hundreds of followers and get so many comments on every post, I wonder how they handle it all. I want to be able to write down my thoughts, showcase pictures, and keep memories without wondering if people find it interesting. Who am I really trying to please? It should be God, my husband, and my family...not internet lurkers.
Then there's the fact that so many of the Catholic mom blogs I read don't allow comments. They have probably been in my place, and have seen the freedom that comes with removing comments all together. I truly enjoy visiting these blogs even though I can't comment to let the author know I've been there, because there's such a peace that comes with reading a post without the pressure to comment.
During Lent 2010, I did remove comments and it was hard for me, but it brought about such an awareness of how I spend my precious time, and how I waste too much of it. So I am really leaning towards taking the comments away. People can always email me if they want to get in touch, and of course I will continue reading (and commenting if I feel inclined to do so).
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this topic?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Tire Park

While we were down in Maryland, we went to a Tire Park. The "floor" is covered with pieces of recycled tires, and a lot of the play structures are made with tires as well.

What a great idea to reuse tires in this way!

Nana pushes our resident superstar in the swing.
Eamon hops right on the zip line thingie, and loves it!
John-Paul goes for a ride, and invites mom & dad to do the same.

Phil takes a try and stays on...

...and I completely fall off.

Good thing Andrew made the minimum age requirement!

King of the Hill

My knights protecting the castle.

Eamon getting his sugar-fix. Phil and I say he suffers from LBS (Low Blood Sugar) and needs to be fed every couple hours, or watch out!

Maggie hamming it up.

There was a nature trail that we "hiked".

And a small turtle pond and bird sanctuary at the end.
It was a cool place, and if anyone is in the Frederick, MD area, you should check it out!