Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Encouraging all Men

Last night after dinner, baths, homework, saying the Divine Mercy Novena, and putting the kids to bed (or rather, putting the littles to bed and constantly nagging the older kids to go to bed) Phil and I started cooking dinner for the next day.  I chopped onions and peppers and sauteed the ground beef while he mixed up some cornbread for our version of Taco Pie.  As much as I wanted to just sit down and drink my lime La Croix with a slice of lemon, I knew cooking that dinner would make our lives easier today.  So we cooked and cleaned and prepared lunches and talked and before we knew it, we were done.  Many hands make light work, and a good partner makes that work practically float away.  It was actually kind of, dare I say, fun?  I went to bed feeling so happy and accomplished that I chose the good over the easy.  In serving others, we really can find happiness and in working together towards a common goal, we really can find joy.

Phil cooking and me dancing.  Typical Martin kitchen antics.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

Happy Easter!!!  Or as Alexander shouted when he saw the candy..."Lent is OVA!!!"  Woohoo!  Start the celebrating :)

Good Friday

We ate our traditional Good Friday breakfast of "Bird's Nests" from the Portuguese Bakery.  A hard boiled egg nestled in some soft and delicious sweet bread.

Holy Saturday

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What Helped Keep Us Healthy This Winter

I have been waiting to write this post until the winter season was completely over, so I could accurately say that our family has been amazingly healthy this winter.  Now that I've typed that out, I'm knocking on my desk so hard that my knuckles are bruised.  Because you all know what happens as soon as you think or utter the words "The kids haven't been sick in a while..."  

Bam, drop the mic to pick up the puke bucket.

The winter previous, we were sooooo sick alllll the time, and it did a number on my mental health.  I never feel like I have too many children until the stomach bug passes through my house.  Not once, but twice.  And strep got passed along in two rounds as well.  And colds galore, Maggie had the flu, pink eye hit the older boys, Phil cracked a rib from coughing so violently, Xander and Declan need nebulizer treatments, the list just went on and on.  Many holidays and parties and playdates were cancelled and it felt like we would never all be healthy at the same time ever again.  

Calm down, Colleen.

Okay, so when we were prepping for this winter, I said to myself, "Self, what can I do to make sure the kids (the disease-spreaders)  are healthier this time around?"  And here's the plan I came up with.


When strep started making it's way through our house, the doctor would prescribe antibiotics, and tell me to throw away the toothbrush after 24 hours and replace it with a new one.  Easy peasy, except when I went to go replace the strep-infected toothbrush, I realized that ALL THE KIDS TOOTHBRUSHES WERE IN A HOLDER TOUCHING EACH OTHER!  I mean, I like knew this is how their toothbrushes were kept, but it didn't hit me how disgusting that was until the great Martin Winter of Disease and Doom.

So I bought this toothbrush holder for my kid's bathroom, as seen in the photo below:

It sanitizes the toothbrushes every time the door is closed, and the closed door also keeps toilet water from spraying on the toothbrushes.  (I don't know if that's factual but my best friend as a teenager told me that's what happens when you flush the toilet and your toothbrushes are sitting out in the open.  And it was gross enough to remember all these years later.)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish This Baby Had a Name

I hope everyone's wearing a bit o'green today!  Maybe this shirt if you're Irish or this one even if you're not.  And remember, 'tis no sin not to be Irish...just a terrible, terrible shame.

{Sorry, we Irish are a prideful people.  Kinda like Texans.}

St. Patty's Day Past

I am getting an awesome gift on this St. Paddy's Day because Kate from Sancta Nomina is helping us pick out a name for this sixth baby boy.  Go read it and tell me what ya think!  We need allllllll the help in the name game, or he really might turn out to be Enda Dunn.  Thanks lassies, Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Update and the Baby's Nickname

What a crazy busy weekend!  If only Tina and Amy were around to insert jokes as we lived it.  

The contractor finished our house remodel on Friday afternoon.  On Friday night, Andrew had his CYO championship game, and they won!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

All the Pregnant Ladies

All the pregnant ladies, all the pregnant put your hands up!  

Then immediately yawn because doing anything physical is exhausting :)

It seems like whenever I am pregnant, there's suddenly so many other pregnant moms too.  I think it's like that phenomenon that happens when you get a new car and all of a sudden, you see it everywhere.  Or when you name your child a unique name, then hear about a million other kids with the same name.   Yeah, it's not really that it's happening more often, but just that I'm more aware of it. 

So, how about a little prayer line for all the pregnant mommas?  Because misery loves company, I mean prayers love intentions ;)  I'll start by listing a few and you can help me out in the com box with anybody else, and I'll update the list as it goes on.

At the top of my current list is Dwija, whose water broke at 32 weeks and is in the hospital trying to keep her baby girl safe and healthy until delivery.  Dweej, if you only knew how many Hail Mary's I'm throwing up for ya!

Ana just announced her baby boy's name.  So cute!

Susan had a surprise pregnancy with Baby #7.  I can soooooo empathize!

Blythe also has surprise #7 on the way.  These sevens are sneaky!

Micaela is adding another member to her entourage (loved her rap music reference in this post).

Katie is already planning matching girl outfits for her bookend daughters, so cute!

Sheena is rocking her pregnancy and still DIY-ing everything.  I could use some of her energy!

Andrea and I are both due in the hot month of August.

Katie who just brought her adopted son home from China is pregnant with her baby girl!

Sharon is due really soon!

Amelia at One Catholic Mama is expecting again!

 Hafsa and I are pregnancy buddies this time around :)

Kelly at Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly are expecting their first boy after four girls!

Ginny at Small Things has a baby goat and a baby on the way!

Amy at PartyofTwelve is going to need to change her name to Party of Thirteen as Baby #11 is due soon!

Kallah is almost due too!

Ok, so who else am I missing?  They don't need to have a blog or Instagram or anything, just give me a name and we can get this pregnant prayer roll going!  

Keep the prayers going for:

Cammie at A Woman's Place

Emily at Mama Holi

Anne, Kelly, and Maria in Brazil.

Cathy and a not-yet-revealed pregnant mama :)

Carly and Denise

Carly and Janette

Julie and her older sister

Meredith and Jessica and Sarah and Kim

Eileen (due with #10) and Kari (due with #9)


Heather - in labor right now (3/10/16)

Mrs. M. and two of her friends

Our Lady of Hope, pray for us!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Halftime Report

Lent is halfway over!  Woot woot!

So how's everybody doing?  Is it time to buckle down and try a bit harder or are you just smooth sailing right towards Easter this year?  This Lent has been good for me, not that I've been particularly good, but I keep getting opportunities to grow.  This past Sunday's Mass, for example, was a huge lesson in humility as Phil and I could not handle our two youngest offspring at all.  So much whiny crying, fussing, moving around, asking for snacks, dropping pacifiers, going to the restroom, falling off the pew.  I just kept thinking "How are we going to handle another one when we can't even handle these ones?".   I bet that's what everybody around us was thinking too.

Our house is also halfway done (I hope!). We are still not living at home, and I'm honestly not in a huge rush to get back.  My mom and I are playing the roles of sister-wives, taking turns cooking the family dinners, doing laundry, and caring for the kids.  I'm gonna miss it!  
Declan knows I can't do it alone!
Even though I am thee worst at interior design and making decisions, I *think* everything has been ordered and I'm feeling pretty good about it.  After seeing Sarah's gorgeous kitchen remodel, I got serious about choosing the island, counters, lights, and computer desks.  I finally stepped foot into the house this past weekend, and the kitchen area looks huge!  Yay!  I can actually foresee gathering around with my six 6'2 sons and 5'10 daughter when they are all grown up (they all turn out very tall in my head).  I remember looking around our kitchen and thinking that sure, they all fit in here now, but what would happen when they were all grown?  Now we can fit forever :)

Basketball season is winding down.  Eamon had his last regular season game last night, and now has tournament games with his travel team.  Andrew's playoff games are scheduled for this week and then he's done.  Maggie finished her season a few weeks ago and claims basketball is her new favorite sport.  Sorry soccer, you've been demoted.

 She will be competing in her first feis (an Irish dance competition) in May and is totally bummed that I will have to curl her hair in order to compete.  My only girl is so not girly.  The boys will be running track in the spring, and I need to find some swim lessons for Alexander so we can remove the floaties as he will be five this summer!  Whaaaaaaaaat?  How is he that old already?  How does he not know how to swim already?

Time just keeps on moving, and while I complain about the business and speed of life around here, it's so much better than the alternative.  I am so thankful to have so many people to love.  We just watched The Martian this weekend (so good!) and I would have just curled up and died if I were ever left alone like that.  Relationships and people to love = happiness.

And that's been your halftime report, now back to the game of life!

P.S.  I have an Instagram giveaway going on this week.  You can win a saint charm and children's book from Tiny Saints in time for Easter!  Go enter here :)

Friday, March 4, 2016

7 Caveats About Blogging

Kelly wrote about seven reasons you should blog for fun, and she nailed it.  She nailed it so hard that I'm thinking a lot of people may be inspired to start their own blog, so I wanted to give a warning for some common blogger problems you will encounter on your new journey.

Well, you were wrong.


You will not have any readers or followers for awhile.  This is very disheartening as you have so much to say in the beginning!  And why doesn't everybody want to hear it?  And how do all these other bloggers seem to know each other, and how can you get them to know you too?

But don't worry, you will navigate your way around this Blog Land eventually!


You will question why you are doing this, what's wrong with your writing style, why so-and-so has a million followers and you basically write about all the same things.  You will remind yourself to relax,  it's supposed to just be for fun.

It is!


Receiving comments are gifts for the soul.  

Leaving comments can feel like a full-time job, but you know how much they mean to you, and you do it anyway.


You will start thinking about, praying for, talking about your blog friends as if everybody in your real-life circles know who you mean.  Then you will feel silly explaining that you "only" know them from the internet.  

Oh man, this has happened to me way more times than I can count!  But internet friends are real friends too.  Right?  Right?


You will write blog posts in your head as events are happening, making mental notes to remember cute kid quotes or funny stories.  You will have deep thought out on a run, or in the shower and tell your brain to remember that topic for the blog.

You will forget everything by the time you actually sit down to type.


You will tell yourself that you are just doing this for fun, but at some point you will wonder how you could make money, receive free items to review, grow your blog, advertise, etc.  You might think you won't, but you will. can be deadly.


You will want to quit many, many times.  You will worry about how much of your personal life you are posting and what's the limit.  As your kids grow up, you will write about them less, to protect their privacy.  Your kids will start hearing about your blog from their friends, and ask you to post (or not post) certain things about them.  You will second guess everything you write before you post.  You will worry constantly about hurting people's feelings.

But if you truly are doing it just for fun, just for memory's sake, then you will keep coming back.  When it's not fun and becomes a chore, it's time to peace out.  I have lost many, many good bloggy buddies for this reason, but I so get it.

If you think you can get past these little annoyances of blogging, and still want to start, then by all means, GO FOR IT!  Blogging has been such a blessing for me.  I'll never be hugely popular, but I love having my record-keeping here, and making blog friends really helped me after having my fourth child in five years and feeling very isolated at home.  It was so nice to meet so many like-minded people that truly got me and vice-versa.  If you have a new-ish blog to share with me, leave a comment, I love discovering new reads :)

Have a wonderful scone-baking, basketball playing, movie watching last chilly weekend of winter!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Knock, knock, it's Womb Service!

I've never actually ordered room service, but I've seen enough movies to know if I was rich and skinny and enjoyed travelling, I would be all over that menu like laminate!

But these babies of mine, they are so demanding when it comes to ordering womb service.  My pregnancy cravings don't get too weird but they are intense.  And god forbid this baby boy and I see food on tv, we just can't stop thinking about it until we have it.  Poor Phil.

Not only do I go crazy until I get those certain foods, but when I eat them I almost have to do it in private because it borders on slightly inappropriate.

And don't even think about asking me for a bite.  Step back.  Step waaaaaay back.

I also have to eat constantly all day long or I get hangry and moody and irrational.  Soooooo, pretty much like all pregnant women ever.

Here are the most current and most frequent womb service cravings of late..

Pickled beets or just pickles, and salad with blue cheese dressing.  They do not have to be consumed together, but sometimes baby boy wants that too.

Chips - specifically Ruffles Sour Cream & Cheddar or Cheetos.

Every once in a while, I need a baked good or chocolate, or better yet, a chocolate baked good.

Grapefruit is way high up on the cravings list.  Cottage cheese is another.

Vanilla greek yogurt with granola is a common breakfast.

I was craving a hot pastrami sandwich so bad, and this monster satisfied it, with cheese and yellow mustard.  Pickled beets on the side, of course.

Anything mexican.  This was a taco pie I threw together for last night's dinner, because I was looking for any excuse to eat sour cream.

Oh my gosh, sour cream is so delicious.

Not pictured are: caprese salad, lime anything, baked apples, gummy candies, cranberry juice, tuna, and chicken cutlet subs with tomato, lettuce, and extra mayo.

O my gosh, mayo is so delicious.

I guess I'm having a thing for creamy white dressings.

 What were/are your pregnancy cravings?  I could use some new foods to obsess over ;)  And now I need to go because:


Bon appetit!