Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dear Baby..

Dear Baby Martini,
   Well, well, well, it's finally come to this.  Action needs to be taken upon your obvious default of our agreement.  Over nine months ago, I happily agreed to lease you a prime womb in our house, with the understanding that you would only stay for 9 months or less.  At the time, you implied you would probably be out of there around 8 and a half months.  You were excited, we were excited and we all happily signed on the dotted line.
   You became a troubling tenant right away, what with your nauseating ways and tiring outbursts.  But we persevered and knew that our time together was short and tried to make the most of it.  You came around  after a few months and started treating me a lot better.  We had a great 4 months or so, and got along like old chums. 
But then you began to act up again.  Every night when I went to sleep, you would start your wild partying.  There was so much dancing and bouncing around that I thought you were going to break dance right out.  Your terrible drinking habits had me up all night running to the bathroom, checking in on you.  And the bonfires you started late in the evenings left me desperate for relief.
As my kind husband reminded me, this lease was only for 9 months, and we were almost to the end, so I was able to pray my way through all your trouble making.  But then your moving day came...and went...and you still remained. 
I told you to vacate the premises, tried anything to get you to leave, and you wouldn't listen.  That was a week ago.  You are still here.  You are now officially a squatter.
And so, my little squatter, I had to take some serious measures and get the higher-ups involved.  It's official, you will be leaving your comfy womb on Friday.  No more Mrs. Nice Guy.
Of course, if you want to truly make amends, and leave on your own terms, in a quick and peaceful manner before then, that would be happily accepted.  Better start packing.
   Your Tired Landlady

Thursday, March 27, 2014

And the Baby Is...

Because I'm still pregnant - waaaaahhhh!

A lady in waiting...and waiting...and waiting.
Thank you all for your kind support, prayers and well wishes.  This is the most stubborn of all my children, which is scary because I already have some pretty stubborn ones :)
John-Paul was born 1 month and 1 day early.
Andrew was born 5 days early.
Eamon was born 10 days early.
Maggie was born 5 days early.
Alexander was born 5 days early.
And Baby Martini is 4 days late, which according to my track record feels about 647 days late.  Everything is still looking good and healthy...low blood pressure, no swelling, heart beat is perfect, so I can't complain too much.  I am a really lucky pregnant woman times 6. 
I would love to pray for your intentions during this upcoming labor.  Even though I know I probably won't be in the right frame of mind to pray for everyone individually, I thought I could make a list and have Phil read it to me, or just tell God to refer to the list as I offer up any pain.  So tell me what your special intentions are, detailed or not, God knows!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Who's On First?

 I am sorry if the lack of posting has led anyone to believe that's.a.boy because we have not had the baby yet, but I'm still betting money on a boy.  So what has been going on over in the Martin house?  It's been a comedy of errors, that's what.  My mom had bought an Abbot and Costello DVD with their Who's On First skit to show the kids, and our lives have sort of morphed into a real life version of it...
Last week, my Mom went in for what she thought was a minor hand surgery, and it turned out to be a bigger deal than expected and she is still recovering from that.  It's fine now, she just had to walk around, pledging allegiance to an invisible flag for a few days and then keep her hand dry for a couple weeks, and slowly start to be able to reuse it over the next weeks.  Which of course will make it hard to take care of my children when we do go to the hospital, but she's a supermom and it really hasn't slowed her down too much. 
On Sunday morning, I woke up with the stomach bug and had a horrible, terrible, no good day of laying in bed and/or running to the bathroom.  I finally took some Zofran and was able to keep down some toast at dinner time.  Thankfully, all of that stopped by Monday afternoon, but it did keep me in bed and out of work that day.  I woke up on Tuesday morning, around 3 am, having contractions and thinking it was time to go have the baby.  But we timed them for 3 hours, and they slowly petered out and I stayed home again on Tuesday from exhaustion and thinking the contractions might start up. 

What I thought would be my last pregnancy photo...

Poor, tired Phil went into work in order to save his sick days for when the baby is actually born.  I called my Mom to tell her that contractions had come and gone and that we had almost called her the night before.  She told me that it was a good thing the baby had stayed put because my Dad was flat on his back after putting it out trying to move a couch.  He couldn't even stand up, much less drive over to our house in the middle of the night! 
 Since the hospital is a lot closer to my parent's house than our house, and since my Dad was now homebound, we decided to crash at their house so that we would be ready to leave for the hospital and the kids would already be settled with my parents.  We all went over on Tuesday and have been here since.  The kids are loving this extended sleepover with Gammy and Grandpa!  By Tuesday night, I started feeling sick with a sore throat and ear ache, so on Wednesday morning I went in for a strep test which came out negative, but turns out I do have an ear infection and swollen lymph nodes so they put me on antibiotics.  Once again, I had to stay home from work.  In the meantime, between my mom's bad hand, my Dad's bad back , and my 9 month pregnant state, it's been , shall we say, amusing, to all who enter the house.  Who's helping whom?  Who's On First?
Love, true love.
I went to the midwife today for my appointment and told her everything that's been going on, and she said, "Well I'll check your cervix, and if you're dilated, do you want me to get things moving?" to which I replied a hearty YES! before she could even finish the question.  So she checked me, found I was one centimeter (after days of contractions and pressure and aches and but very "soft" and the baby's head is nice and low.  She worked her magic and told me that I should be going into labor within 24 hours.  That was at noon today, so fingers crossed!!  I've been taking walks and drinking red raspberry leaf tea to see if it helps.
Two walks on the first day of Spring (see that very pregnant reflection?)
I'll be going to bed soon, trying hard to fall asleep, and hopefully the next time you see me it will be with a baby in my arms :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Lucky Charms

Alternatively Titled: If I Didn't Post, Y'all Might Think I Was in Labor.

(And I'm not.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everybody...

(Just kidding, everyone can be Irish on St. Patrick's Day!!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

7QT Friday, Family Updates

I'm feeling a little lot boring today, and also incredibly tired.  This baby is due a week from Sunday and if you could spare a prayer for the sleep fairy to sprinkle me hard before I go into labor, I would be so appreciative.  I think today I will do an update on the seven family members that currently breathe oxygen, since I'm hoping and crossing fingers that by next Friday there will be eight of us on the outside.

Let's do this youngest to oldest...


Alexander the Great

This 2.5 year old is so funny and cute.  Annnnnd so loud and challenging.  That pretty much sums up any toddler, right?  (Toddlers are still my favorite age group!)  He loves to shoot hoops and wrestle with his brothers, have Maggie read him books, and torment the cat.  Everyday when we come home, he asks "Can we play outside for just a wittle bit?" and every morning he asks "Where we going today? and "Who's coming over?  Who?  Who?""  He has to be included in the day's plans.  For a long time he thought he had a baby in his belly like me, but just the other day I asked him what was in there and he said "Nuffin."  He describes his day for us by saying things like "Eva, in my class, threw the football at the cat today, and Ba, my teacher, put her in timeout", which cracks us up because he's not in school.  He also has a penchant for talking for a minute straight and then at the end saying "and that's a story."  It certainly is, my wee one.  Speaking of wee, potty training is coming along fine, but he only remembers to go #1 if he's walking around the house "maked".  He does tell us that he has to do #2 on the potty, which is awesome, so we have not had to change poopy diapers in a while. Just in time for the newborn to take over that job.


Maggie Rose

This 6 year old Kindergartner is just the sugar and spice this household needs.  Sometimes the spice is a little more red pepper flakes than cinnamon, but her pretty face helps it go down a little easier.  She has taken after her oldest brother's love of books and is devouring all the Magic Treehouse and Junie B. Jones books she can get her hands on.  She loves to inform me of what page she's on every five minutes, and eats up my praise like her favorite dessert.  She has plenty of girlfriends at school and is definitely taking an interest in fashion.  She also has her main boyfriend Robby, but Robby goes to a different school, so her school boyfriend is Jack.  She's a sailor, with a boy in every port :)  She still hates having anything "fancy" done with her hair and can cry a river at the drop of a hat.  Phil has started to ask her if she needs to go to the hospital every time she cries like she's dying, to which she replies "No, why do you always have to ask me that?  I'm just crying a little!"  She is very affectionate and loves lots of hugs and kisses, and still wishes she was little enough to get picked up on the regular.  But little, she is not!  She's heading for supermodel status with her height, and wears size 7/8 clothes.  We are totally doomed when she becomes a teenager.  Off to the convent she will go ;)


Eamon the Meatball

(That's him in the orange shorts getting a basket.)

This 7 year old first grader is such a fun personality.  He is equal parts shy and the life of the party.  He loves to know we are watching him, but as soon as we praise him, he gets embarrassed.  He is the runt of my litter, but so competitive in sports that he makes up for his petite stature.  He scored 6 points in his last basketball game, and is seriously fast and always practicing some sport with Andrew.  He much prefers being active to reading, and when he does pick up a book to read it's usually Calvin and Hobbes or some kind of book filled with interesting facts (World Almanacs, Guinness Book of World Records, etc.)  He is best buddies with his cousin Tommy who is in the same class at school, and can't wait to be an altar server like his big brothers.  He pretty much always has a twinkle in his eye and loves to sit as close to us as possible without seeming like his love language is touch (it most definitely is).  As long as you don't try to feed him food he doesn't like (he's our pickiest and sloooooowest eater) he's a happy camper.  He still wants to be a Priest when he grows up, and maybe one day a Bishop, "like Bishop Eamon Martin in Ireland."


Drew Baby

Andrew is  9 years old, in 3rd grade, with an old soul kind of personality.  He has a great moral compass, is a natural leader, is likable to all, very athletic and very smart.  Some people get ALL the things.  But, like every good superhero, he has a weakness...his Irish temper.  Oh boy, look out for that ugly beast that comes out every so often.  He would much rather be doing anything besides sitting still and reading.  Every weekend, while the Mama and baby nap, the older kids have quiet time when they can read or do a puzzle.  Andrew will inevitably ask if there's any chores he can do because vacuuming down the stairways is much more fun than reading a good book.  I don't get it either.  He is a bit of a perfectionist and worries about getting places on time.  Last weekend, he was an altar server for the TV Mass they were filming, and he fretted for days that he would do something wrong (he didn't).  One of his best friends is a girl named Abby, and for the Mardi Gras celebration at school, they were King and Queen of their class - a foreshadowing, methinks.  I asked him why he got to be picked King again (5 years in a row!) and he said he doesn't know why, but he just keeps getting the cupcake with the baby in it.  Andrew also loves to hug and cuddle up right beside us on the couch, another kid who's love language is touch.  


John-Paul III

J-P is 11 and in 5th grade, and definitely an oldest child.  He loves to be the leader in the house, and is always letting us know about everything he learns about, even when it's sometimes not very accurate reporting.  He is sweet and sensitive and smart and artistic and prefers reading books over watching sports (Phil just doesn't get it, I totally do).  He seems so innocent and naive still, which we are so thankful for, and definitely tries hard to please us with his grades.  The other day, he was talking to an Aunt on the phone, and he asked her how the weather was, and what she was up to, and Phil and I were floored listening to him actually initiating conversations with an adult on the phone.  What a long way he's come!  He used to be so shy and insecure, now he is really blooming into a young man.  A few months ago, he was altar serving, and a woman had received the Eucharist in her hands, but didn't consume it by the time she had turned to walk back to her pew.  J-P followed her, and kindly told her to please consume the Body of Christ.  After Mass, I told him how proud I was of him, and he said "Thanks, it was my first time pulling someone over." : )  He is so caring to other's needs, and prays every morning in the car for a baby sister for Maggie.  We love reading his writing assignments from school, because he is a great and funny writer, and although he wants to be a CIA agent when he grows up, I think writing might be in his future.  Maybe he can take over this blog when I retire.


Mr. Martin

Oh how I love this man o'mine.  Saint Philip.  He has been so busy lately, between teaching, finishing his second Master's (his internship should be done in April!), coaching track club at the kid's school, helping lead a young adult group at our parish, and then all the family schtuff.  Yet he still makes sure I have time to rest when he's home and does the laundry, cooks dinner, cleans...he's amazing.  On Tuesday, I thought (wrongly) that contractions were starting (I was just dehydrated), and the excited look on his face was priceless.  He loves our babies so much!  Who wouldn't want to have six kids with a husband like this??  I thank God for him every day because marrying him was the easiest and best decision of my life.  I am so blessed.


Moi + Baby Martini

(That photo is for you, Micaela, which proves how much I like you because seriously.)

What can I say that I haven't already bored you all with already?  I'm still working full-time until this baby comes out (so come out baby!), still trying to walk 5 days a week (more like a slow waddle), and trying not to freak out that labor is really really close.  Just focus on the baby, focus on the baby, focus on the baby.  

Have a wonderful Pi Day (3/14) and weekend everybody!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Assumptions People Make

Hi everybody...Baby Martini and I are still here, in one piece, despite my best attempts to turn us into two pieces.  I would post a photo but I am definitely at the not-pretty-part-of-pregnancy and I don't want to scare anyone from having more babies :)

It's so fun to get people's reactions when I waddle out in public and they ask me when I'm due (it MUST be soon!), if it's a boy or girl (What?  you don't know?  I just HAD to know!), and if it's my first baby...which is when their replies get veeeeery interesting.

Is this your first?

No, my sixth.

Your WHAT?  

This is my sixth baby.

Mine only come one at a time.

And then come the assumptions....

1. You must be a saint.
(I'm so far from it, it's not even funny.)

2. You must have tons of patience.
(Nope, that's why God keeps giving me more opportunities to grow in that virtue.)

3. You must stay at home.
(I wish, but I work full-time.)

4. You must have lots of hand-on help.
(My husband does more than his share, but that's pretty much it.)

5. Your kids must all get along.
(No, my other job is referee.  I don't just wear stripes to be fashionable.)

6. You must have a big house to fit everyone.
(We have what we need, and are building an extra bedroom to accommodate them all.)

7. You must be saving for their college educations.
(Um, considering we just paid off our own student loans, that would be a no.)

8. Upon finding out we only have one girl:
You must be trying for another girl.
(Well, we would love to give Maggie a sister, but boys are awesome.)

9. You must love being pregnant.
(Nope, not at all.  But I love what comes at the end!)

10. You must be a good Catholic.
(I'm a practicing Catholic.  Emphasis on the practicing.)

Then the sweet ones start over-sharing with me, explaining that they would have loved a big family, BUT...

1. Kids are so expensive. 
(We're rich in love.)

2. My nerves couldn't handle it.
(Mine can't either, that's why I exercise.)

3. I have no family around.
(I do, but we are all busy raising our own families.)

4. I got bad morning sickness.
(Singing to the choir, sistah!)

5. I had a boy, then a girl, and they don't make any other kinds.
(This one kills me.  Spend one minute with any two of my boys and tell me they are not completely different.)

6. My husband/wife doesn't want any more.
(This one makes me so sad.)

7. We wanted to give our kids enough {time, love, attention, stuff}
(We try our best, and trust that siblings are the best gift.)

8. I wanted to get my body back.
(I'm relying on the promise of the perfect one in the next life, cuz this one's long gone.)

9.  I can barely handle my three children!
 (I could barely handle my three kids either!  It gets easier.)

10.  Our dogs are our babies.
(Blank stare.)

Here's the thing.  I don't think every married couple is called to have a big family, just as I don't think that everyone is called to have a small family.  What I really, really, believe is that we all need to let go our assumptions of the ins and outs of someone else's family choices.  It's between them and God.  

I hope that our choice to have a lot of kids isn't causing anyone else guilt or anger, because surprise! it's not about you.  Just as your family decisions aren't about me!  If there's one thing I've learned in this journey called life, it's that I'm so glad I'm not in charge because I would make a terrible god.  When we let Him change hearts and heal souls, then He can use all for good.  And hopefully we can be a willing and open part of His plan. 

 Until then, let's stop making donkeys of ourselves :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

7QT with Some of my Favorite Funny People

There are so many days that I don't have time to snack between meals, and even more days that I don't eat meat, but when Ash Wednesday comes and it's all of a sudden a requirement, I'm all "Gimme meat and snacks!":

It's getting a little bit overwhelming preparing for this baby and my maternity leave.  Mostly the maternity leave, the baby doesn't need much in terms of preparation.  There's notes to leave and people to train and lots of very important things to think about that need to be done by others while I'm away.  Oh and then there's that hospital bag and the kid's overnight bags that still need packing, and the house to keep clean, and the legs to keep shaved, and the fridge to keep full, and wow does my bed look super comfy...

As the due day is getting closer (16 days!), this is Phil's job:

Today is First Friday and it's also the 9th First Friday since my Pastor motivated/challenged us to complete the Nine First Friday Novena.  The promises from this novena are awesome and I can't believe we actually were able to accomplish it!!  The coolest part is that back on the 1st First Friday in July, I was pregnant but didn't know it yet, and now I'm about to give birth, so this novena completely lined up with these 9 months of pregnancy.  So amazing, it makes me want to do a happy dance:

My one and only craving this whole time has been cottage cheese, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could.  Then all of a sudden this week, cottage cheese tastes nasty to me.  Phil says "so you've come back to reality now" (because everybody else thinks cottage cheese is gross).  Is he right?

I got my first mean comment this week.  I don't mind comments that disagree or try to convince me of something, but this one was just mean, written by the oh-so-brave Anonymous telling me to get a tubal ligation because we had too many kids.  

I was mad, then sad, then all:

To everyone who is asking me if I'm ready, if anything is happening, if I have any feelings as to when the baby is going to come, if I have a premonition of the gender...I have to say:

As my midwife just told me at the last appointment "babies come on their birthday".

I do know everyone means well and is just being nice and supportive, truly I do and I do the same thing to my pregnant friends :)

Have a wonderful Spring Ahead weekend everybody!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Phat Tuesday

Giving a whole new meaning to Fat Tuesday...

Wow, where did THAT come from???

I don't even care, because only 19 days left!  19 days!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winning at Failing

When I heard about Jen's 7 posts in 7 days challenge, I didn't jump on the bandwagon right away because thoughts and speaking and writing have been a little more challenging lately.  So many times a day,  I say things like "What's the word for when you take in oxygen and then let out carbon dioxide"?  Oh yes, breathing.  That's what I need to be doing right now.  It's pathetic.   But then I thought, well I usually post about 5 times a week, so how hard can 7 be?  And so I signed myself up and then came Saturday and Sunday and I realized that I hate blogging on weekends because it's when we actually have good family time.  Time to be living in the moment and enjoying my real life peeps that I don't see enough of during the week.  So even though I feel kind of bad about failing the bloggy challenge, I sort of feel like I had a personal victory after all.  I would have missed all these small moments...

Eamon: Mom, everyone is going to see that picture and think I like to read about Dora!!

Xander needs "help on the potty" which translates to someone reading a book to him.

This boy has always been our puzzle lover.  So unlike his mother and father.

Maggie lost two teeth over the last 5 days!

On the way to Mass today, we passed a pink VW bug and I said, "Wow look at that pink car!" to which Phil responded "hastag midlife crisis" and we laughed.  John-Paul (newly turned 11) was listening in the back seat and told us that kids in his class were saying "hashtag" all the time and he didn't get it.  Do you know how hard it is to explain why we talk this way?  I think we got it through to him, although in our fumbling explanations, I realized exactly how silly it was.  "We're going to be early to Mass", I said and J-P responded "hashtag that never happens" so yeah, he got it.  And we've created a #monster.

MY PARENTS ARE BACK!  This means I can now go into labor :)  So I will be starting any and all natural induction techniques next weekend, once I'm 38 weeks.  Pineapple, reflexology, walking more than usual, and as my midwife says "visits with my husband".  I know babies come easier when it's on their own terms, but I like to pretend I'm doing something to help.  I'll never learn.  I just finished re-reading my Bradley book and blushing at all the photos in there, so I feel a little more ready to tackle this labor.

I went to Confession this weekend just to cross my t's and dot my i's before the baby comes, and it was one of those "easy" Confessions where the priest is so sweet and kind but doesn't offer any earth-shattering advice, and also didn't really give me a Penance.  I left hoping it was valid, and knowing that God would still provide the graces.  The one thing he did tell me was to listen carefully to the Gospel this weekend.  OK, easy enough.  Turns out the Gospel reading was actually the same one Phil and I chose for our wedding!  We chose it specifically because we were young (ahem21and23)and didn't know what the future would hold for us, but we knew how much we loved each other and how much we loved God and that it would all work out somehow.

Matthew 6: 24 - 34

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'  For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.  "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

What an awesome reminder for me who worries a bit too much over things I can not control.  So it turns out that the Confession was way better than I thought.  God is so good!