Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lucy's first prayer

I know I already posted today, but this can't wait 'till tomorrow! At dinner tonight, Lucy said her first prayer ever, and it was so adorable...

We had already prayed to begin our meal, and shortly after, Lucy said, "Pray, pretend pray." So, we said okay, let's pray, and she said, "Thank you God for juice!" (lots of emphasis on "juice"!) We asked her if there was anything else she wanted to thank God for and she repeated, "Thank you God for juice!"

So there you have it...lucy's first prayer, and she's thankful for juice. We tried to explain to her that you don't ever have to "pretend" prayer as she called it; that every prayer, big or small, is real and God hears it. :-)

Lord, I thank you for my blossoming Lucy and gentle Jack, and for the countless smiles they bring to my face and heart each and every day!

I love Lucy!

Oh my gosh, I just love my little girl! Just lately she seems to have lost that "toddler" look and is definitely more a "little girl." These pictures of her yesterday just crack me up:

She had just woken up from a very long nap...the hair!!! Love it!

We got it under control before heading over to the Lamy's for supper club, though :-)

And here's little Jack at Supper Club, just hanging out and being good as always :-)

But back to Lucy...some new things of hers...let's see...

*She loves singing and sometimes she wants you to sing along and sometimes NOT. She'll tell you, "No, no, mommy, no singing!"

*In the car, if we're riding with the windows down and she decides she doesn't like it, she says, "Turn the wind off."

*Loves her school class and talks about Mrs. Debby and Jesse B. all the time. (If I decide that something is off limits, all I need to say is, "It's Mrs. Debbie's rule!" and I get no more lip from little Lulu! :-)

*She's becoming very aware of her friends and social aspects...Every morning when we're getting her dressed, she asks what we're doing and then starts listing through her friends to see who will or won't be there. Audrey seems to be her best little girlfriend and I'd say Gavin and Cameron get the most shout outs for her boyfriends :-)

*I've saved the best for last...this story comes from our sitter, Carolyn, who watched the kids Friday night so Jason and I could go celebrate Dawn's 30th bday! Carolyn said she was feeding Jack his bottle on the couch, and Lucy climbed up to snuggle in with them. Toby (our dog) walked up to the couch and tried to nuzzle in his head too. Well, Lucy said to Toby, "No no Toby, this is MY brother. Jack is my brother. This is my brother..." over and over. Carolyn said all the while Lucy was saying this to Toby (surprisingly in a nice tone of voice), Lucy was tracing her pointer finger around the curve of his face, up and down, up and down. She ADORES Jack!

Consequently, Lucy and Jack are beginning to play BEAUTIFULLY together! This lovely cooperative play was something I kept hearing parents of closely-spaced children say was a huge positive, and boy is it! Of course there are a few arguments that come up between them, and Lucy loves to sit on Jack's back and pin him to the floor, but for the most part, they play and play and play together! It's WONDERFUL and heart-warming to see. I truly have the best kiddos around! Hearing Lucy talk is always a huge highlight of my day!

Tomorrow, we're off to The Eldredge's wedding in Lake George, NY. Lucy is super excited to be going on a plane, "Just like the Super Readers! (insert high-pitched SQUEALS!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baby Deals!

It's been a very fun weekend! Had a great time Friday night celebrating Dawn's 30th Bday at her party, and Saturday night we did it again celebrating April's 30th Bday with a fun college/sports themed party! (You had to drink what you drank in college...that brought back fun memories!)

Here's a picture...not quite from all the way back in college, but close...it was soon after graduation. I feel like we look twelve :-)

Quick update on Jason: he's doing much, much, MUCH better today! The steroids he's been plopping into his eye are really doing the trick (and boy is he watching the clock, counting down the minutes awaiting the first moment he can drop in a new dose :-) In his words, "there's no pain anymore, it's just blurry." Sucks that he can't see well in one eye, but I guess it's better than the pain he had been feeling. I suggested staying home from work tomorrow, but he's eager to get back to the office...

Quick blog today...I've got a mere twenty pages left in the book I've been trying to finish FOREVER...It's called The Ten-Year Nap, and I haven't really liked it all that much, but I've got to finish it because it's always a let down to start a book and not finish...even when I don't like the book. Anyways, I plan to finish that bad boy tonight so I can pick up a new book from the library for our trip to Lake George, NY this Thursday. (Not that I'll be reading on the plane or anything, what with Jack likely to be nursing the entire trip. See that's my plan for keeping him entertained: Jack-here's a boob, Lucy-here's a DVD player and movie, be good! :-) I'll let you know how it goes :-)

Well, it's that time of year again for the Fall kids/baby consignment sales, and it's what all the moms are chatting about at the juice-box cooler (bad joke, I know...what's the equivalent of the "watercooler" for SAHM's?)

Anyways, in the spirit of saving a few bucks, here are two cool websites my friend Tiffany showed me:



As if you don't have enough websites to shop, blogs to keep up with, and whatever else you do on the computer, here are two more websites to bookmark :-) It's a cool premise: these sites feature one awesome deal a day, and apparently they sell out fast. Happy Shopping!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

what can we learn from this?

It's been an interesting Saturday...a Saturday with events taking place that one would never expect to take place at the Martin Household on Gamedays:

1) early morning visit to the eye doctor

2) stop at the Pharmacy to get steroids for Jason's infected eyes

and most shockingly,


This can only mean I must take pity on my poor husband, for it MUST be serious if football is being sacrificed! :-)

Poor Jason. Here's what happened over the last two days that caused this mess: Jason wears his glasses most of the time, although he does have contacts. Well, it's been about two months since he last wore contacts, and they've been sitting in contact solution in a drawer. Because he was playing in a golf tournament yesterday, he put his contacts in so he could wear sunglasses (not sure why he was figuring sunglasses into the equation -it's been raining all week and rained yesterday, but whatever-). His eyes started bothering him while golfing, and by the end of the evening, I was convinced he had been drinking way more than he said he had, for his eyes were super bloodshot and red and awful looking.

Well, this morning, he was up out of bed super early looking for an optometrist that might be open Saturdays -he was in severe pain and unable to keep his eye open, although when they closed it was unbearable pain, he said. Turns out Schaffer Eye Center is the only place in Huntsville open on Saturdays (we asked why out of curiosity, and they said, "because everyone else is closed on Saturdays"...SMART business plan :-)

Anyhow, the doctor said there were two things wrong:

1) Jason's an AU fan (the ENTIRE staff was decked out in Bama gear :-) and

2) he has a severe infection in his eyes, which was treated with first, some morphine in his eyes (he really liked that!) and he's now on steroids and some sort of "goo" he gets to put in his eyes several times a day.

He's in bed right now, shades drawn, all lights and sounds off, wearing sunglasses (chuckle :-), looking pitiful. :-(

You may be wondering why contacts would cause this...Well, we learned today that if you store contacts in solution for an extended period of time, you still need to be cleaning them EVERY DAY. Taking them out, rubbing and rinsing them in solution and placing them back in storage, every day. Oooooohhhhhhhh... yes, you really do learn something every day...

Today we learned that some Bammers are even capable of becoming doctors...

Was that mean? :-) Just poking fun...WAR EAGLE!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Jack and Lucy at the same age

Let's have a little fun today with the post...here are some pictures of Jack and Lucy at corresponding ages:



NEWBORN (Jack pictured first)

How the time flies!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jack in the Spotlight

People always quip, "You won't have nearly as many pictures of your second child as you do your first..." Well, when I had Jack, I made it a mission of mine to not allow that statement ring true for my family, and I'm happy to report Jack's scrapbook is fat and happy (and up-to-date) just as Lucy's was at this age.

We focused some attention on Jack this afternoon, and took him out in the front yard to snap a few pictures of him. Lately, pictures of Jack have been taken as we're out and about somewhere, and I don't have enough pictures of just him. And, as Jack is nearing 10 months old, it's a good time to catch what he looks like for the traditional "nine-month" benchmark.

Here are some favorite of my oh-so-sweet little guy, Jack.

Lucy was not happy about Jack getting the attention -- that face!

Since we're focusing on little Jack, some "Jack Facts" for you:

*At his nine-month well checkup, he weighed in at 20 lbs 4 oz

*He can pull up without difficulty and he cruises around the perimeter of coffee tables and ottomans with ease :-)

*He can balance standing up on his own for about 4 or 5 seconds. I think walking isn't too far away.

*He remains a very happy baby.

*Still eats and nurses very frequently :-)

*Eyes are still very blue and his hair is a reddish-blonde.

*He has 5 teeth.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Way We Learned...

Today has been a great day! Both Jack and Lucy enjoyed Mom's Morning Out, and I began a new volunteer position as a tutor at New Hope Elementary. I was placed in a 4th grade class and so excited to get a chance to be back in the classroom. (I thoroughly enjoy tutoring from home, but it's even better being in an actual classroom, surrounded by colorful educational posters on the wall and seeing lots of kiddos leaning over their desks, trading pencils and sharing ideas.) I couldn't wait to find out what novel the kids might be reading, what mode of writing they'd be working on, or what period of history they were learning about.

A reading basal was placed in my hands. The teacher recommended using the pre-determined questions listed in the margin (in case you aren't familiar with these, they're generally the most boring, rote memorization type of questions possible). Finally, there was a worksheet the students needed help with at the end listing main ideas and supporting details. My heart sank a little...

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand the reading basal is the curriculum decided upon by the state government and the teachers have very little say in the public school system. Basals can certainly accomplish some objectives regarding teaching children how to read --it's likely the way most of us learned to read. However, the problem is, there are so many more EFFECTIVE ways to teach reading, so many more AUTHENTIC texts that will engage children in fun learning. And really, how often in our adult lives do our bosses ask us to organize a paragraph's main ideas and supporting details? :-)

Despite the lackluster reading text, I had a great time reading with the students, and it felt great to interact with them and help them, and I'm very excited to return next Thursday. Little kids are so great...one of the little girls got frustrated the teacher sent a certain boy to join our group...she leaned over and whispered to me, "He likes me and he's ALWAYS bothering me..." Love it!

So, today, I thought I would share a few children's books that I think fit the bill of being fun to read with your kids, engage them in texts filled with rich vocabulary, a purposeful plot, and authentic writing. Happy Reading!

Little Kids:

Dog Heaven, Cynthia Rylant (ANYTHING by her is wonderful!)
My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother, Patricia Polacco (You can't go wrong with any of her books!)
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn *Sequel, A Pocket Full of Kisses, is WONDERFUL to read to your child if you're about to add a new baby to the family!
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst

Upper Elementary:
Out of the Dust, Karen Hesse
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
Pink and Say, Polacco *Great Civil War story
Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan
The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman
, Jerry Spinelli *This is being made into a movie!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP Johnny...

Lucy at 6 months old...my parents gave me this onesie before we were even pregnant...they knew it would be a perfect outfit for a child of mine! :-)

Sad news about Patrick Swazye passing away. My favorite movie of all times, Dirty Dancing, of course featured him as "Johnny," the love interest of Jennifer Grey's character, Baby. So, today, I thought I'd blog about a fact that is probably an unknown tidbit about myself.

So, when this movie came out, I think I was eight years old, and Vikki Locke - my dad's cohost on the radio-took me to see it in the theater. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Looking back on it, it's funny because so many of the movie's topics went right over my head...like, Penny being "knocked up," (what, did she get beat up or something :-), why baby needed $250 from her dad to give to Penny (for the abortion), and because I had never even heard of an abortion, I was thoroughly confused as to why Penny was sick in bed and Baby's dad had to go take care of her...oh yeah, and when Lisa, Baby's sister, said, "Tonight's the night I'm going to go all the way with Robbie," yep-clueless. Oh yeah, and then there was the jerk waiter, Robbie, who was talking about how he was saving up tips for his "alpha romeo" (I'm probably butchering that spelling), but I take it that's a car or something. That one is still a little lost to me...Come to think of it, this movie was totally unappropriate for an eight-year old. LOL!

But, despite most of the movie's central conflicts being over my head, I did completely understand and LOVE the dancing! And most of all, I absolutely coveted Baby's pink dress she wore to the "Last Dance of the Season" at the very end of the movie. I was in love with how pretty that dress was when she spun around and the layers would puff up and fall like sheets being fluffed.

I loved the movie so much in fact, that for my birthday that year, my parents actually took me to the place where the movie was filmed (and I can't remember where that was) but I got to walk across the white bridge where Baby practiced her fancy footwork, and I saw the lake where they practiced their lifts. I got to see Johnny's cabin, too. It was probably my favorite birthday celebration of my youth :-) Good going, Mom and Dad!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In your face...

Okay, this is pretty cool...it was just a mere FOUR DAYS ago that I was downcast, frustrated, and somewhat at a loss for why things had to be, well, difficult...If you've been reading this blog frequently, you may remember Wednesday, I blogged about how when I was at the Elmo show with Lucy, I saw lots of parents struggling with their kids, and this led me to ponder a broader question... in general, why life has to be so difficult. http://justkeepinthingslively.blogspot.com/2009/09/question-for-big-guy.html

Like I said, that was just a few days ago, and today God totally began a conversation with me and I think he's leading me to discover the answer...

Jason and I are part of a C-Group that meets through our church. In lieu of a traditional "Sunday School" kind of set up, the adult ministry through our church, Cove United Methodist Church http://www.covechurch.com/ takes place in small community groups of four to six couples meeting weekly together in a home. It's a great arrangement for people to fellowship together, study God's word, be accountable, and grow in our relationship with Christ in a personal manner. Well, our CGroup is beginning a new book tonight, Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge, and I just finished reading the first chapter for our discussion tonight.

Here's what I read that stopped me in my tracks:

"What is really going on here? Good grief-life is brutal. Day after day it hammers us, till we lose sight of what God intends toward us, and we haven't the foggiest idea why the things that are happening to us are happening to us."

First thought I had was, phew, at least I'm not the only one who's feeling like life is taking a bit of a toll on me, I was worried I was being overly dramatic perhaps... :-)

Eldredge goes on to suggest that we are at war...At first I thought maybe he was the one being overly dramatic, but after reading more, I think he's dead on...check this out...he writes,


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10)

Have you ever wondered why Jesus married those two statements? Did you even know that he spoke them at the same time? I mean, he says them in one breath. And he has his reasons. By all means, God intends life for you. But right now that life is opposed. It doesn't just roll in on a tray. There is a thief. He comes to steal and kill and destroy. In other words, yes, the offer is life, but you're going to have to fight for it because there's an Enemy in your life with a different agenda. There IS something set against us. We are at war...Where DID you think all this opposition was coming from?"

There, that last sentence was the light bulb moment for me. Of course! It's not God that's creating challenges to my day (not that I thought God sat around and threw events into my dad to make it difficult or anything, I guess I just assumed since He was all powerful, He could allow my days to be good or bad). It's easier to play "victim" isn't it, than to be proactive and accept responsibility for controlling how our days will be?

See, me, I much prefer to pretend that I don't have control over how "good" or "bad" my days are, because it's much easier to just be in a bad mood because the kids acted up for 20 minutes, or because it took 30 minutes to actually get out the door, or because Jason's running late getting home from work and that means I have to get dinner started without extra hands to help with the kids. Yep, it's much harder to change my attitude to a positive one and focus on NOT letting those small challenges ruin my day or affect my outlook. This is why it always makes me so irritated when Jason challenges me to shake off what's bothering me (when it's a small matter), and realize that I can control how I respond to whatever situation is bothering me --I know he's right... :-)

I'll leave off with a quote from C.S. Lewis the author uses to clarify our situation:

"One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe-a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death and disease, and sin. The difference is that Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees...this universe is at war." -Mere Christianity

I'm eager to see what I'll learn from this study; I know God will continue to fill me in and answer my question of, "Why does it have to be so hard?!?" And in the meantime, I intend to fight the battle and though my daily actions - in everything I do- bring glory to God.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dog Fair on Monte Sano

We headed up to Monte Sano Mountain to go to Huntsville Dog Fair --we've been meaning to go the past several years, but somehow we always ended up out of town the weekend it took place.
It was a beautiful morning and the kids did super! It was fun seeing all the dogs, and after seeing several Great Danes walking around, we're even more that a Great Dane must have had his way with sweet 'ol Ruby five years ago--Toby looks just like the Danes we saw! Here are some snapshots:

My sweet, sweet Jack - look at that face! He was absolutely perfect in the backpack, and we didn't hear one sound from him the whole hour and a half we were there!
Lucy was pretty mellow today...
Toby is 5 years old!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Question for the Big Guy...

Today was a rough day, actually, it's been a rough few weeks. I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread...

Not that I've thought about this all too often, but I do have several questions I'd like to ask God. And today, a new question came to mind, and it has taken priority at the top of my list...a visit to Elmo Live at the VBC brought all of this about...

I really wanted to make this experience with Lucy as wonderful as possible, so I thought ahead and scheduled Jack to go to mom's morning out so it could be a special time for just lucy and me. Lucy does fine during the show. She enjoyed it, for sure, but there were plenty of times that she was super fidgety, and on occasion she turned her back to the show and snuggled against my chest and sucked her thumb. (Which answered my question about whether or not Lucy was really old enough for this kind of thing...) :-)

So during the show, I observe the following things:

1) parents CONSTANTLY having to get up out of their seats to take a screaming, wailing, thrashing about child out of the arena (what do you do if you have more than one kid with you?!?)

2) one father was sitting down on the cement ground hanging on for dear life to his sons' backs of their shirts while they continuously lurched forward over and over again, trying to get away from Dad. He looked miserable.

4) there was a large daycare group behind us in our seats, where one adult was having to literally pin down one of the children ON HER LAP who, for whatever reason, was very unhappy about being there. This poor teacher was basically being attacked by a four-year old, and she just had to deal with it.

5) even my friend Tiffany, Audrey's mom, who went with us, found herself reluctantly leaving the show mere minutes after it had begun because her young baby was having a tough time nursing amidst all the noise and commotion. Fortunately, her husband Matt had taken time off from work to come to the show, so Audrey got to stay and watch...

6) and the woman in front of us scolded her obnoxious son Jackson, no fewer than 50 times, all the while buying him every balloon, light concoction, food treat, and t-shirt the production was selling! (Now, that lady was just plain dumb in my opinion, but whatever...I feel her pain...I would have been tempted to buy the world for my child at times if I thought it MIGHT improve their behavior.)

I looked around and wondered, "Are ANY parents in this whole arena actually ENJOYING this experience?" When the show was over, Matt and I were gathering the girls' things and he turned to me and said, "Well, that was...stressful." Yes, exactly, it was, wasn't it...that was no fun at all!

So, this all brings me to my question for God: why does it have to be so darn HARD having a young child?

My point is...regardless of whether your child is well-behaved or a terror, whether you plan ahead or not, it seems fair to say there is just no way around it...it's just difficult!!!!! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY?!? I mean, when it's good with your kids, IT'S SO GOOD! but when it's not, it's just heartbreaking and day-ruining all too often...

I was venting to Jason this evening and I asked him this very same question, and his reply made me take a step back...he said, God didn't make it this way...We've made it this way...think about how it was back in Jesus' time...parents weren't dragging their toddlers to Elmo Live, stressing over at what exact age a child is at the prime time for potty training, (and then crying to their pediatrician on the phone when things don't go the way you plan it--oh wait, that was just me :-) managing a million events, cramming them all into daylight hours...

then he joked and said, "I mean, come on, Jesus didn't even have children-what does that tell you? And God only had one!" That made me laugh! :-)

All joking aside, he really does have a point. And it's not like I'm not aware of how over scheduled our kids are these days...I taught for five years; I got plenty of notes from parents saying, "Please excuse Susie from her test today, for her basketball practice ran very late last night and we just didn't get around to studying for the test today..."I truly make a conscious effort to keep things low key, not cram too much into one day, etc. But still, most days I find myself just exhausted...

I just want...I just want, you know, those good days to happen more often than the frustrating days, and lately, that's just NOT how it is...and that makes me so sad, and I don't really know what to do about it...I don't know what I need to change...my perspective? my actions? I'm at a loss.

And to top it all off, the nurse at the pediatrician's office told me AGAIN that based on our experiences with Lucy in the last few days, we should go back to diapers, that Lucy just doesn't seem ready. UGH! (By the way...it was 4pm today before she let any pee or poop come out of her body, accident or in the potty! 4pm!!!!!!!! Holding it ALL FREAKIN' DAY! And when she does let it all out, it's on the babysitter while I'm tutoring.) But I've told Lucy, "We're NOT going back to diapers! And all the literature says, whatever you do, once you've started, DON'T go back to diapers...

To steal a line from my friend, Ashley, "Oh my soul!!!!!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Shopaholic and Baby

So today, Jack and I took a rare trip to the Mall while Lucy, blessedly, was in Mom's Morning Out.

(I simply refuse to take both kids to the mall by myself ever again...last time I did that, which was in June, a stranger approached me --while Lucy was running away, giggling, under racks of clothes and Jack was red-faced wailing in the stroller--and kindly said, "You know, there's something you might want to look into, called Mom's Morning Out, and I loved it with my kids." Wiping sweat off my brow, I looked up, smiled and replied, Oh yes, I know of it, my kid is enrolled, and I LOVE it too, but it's summer and the schools, unfortunately, don't meet.)

But, back to my story...so Jack and I headed to Belk to pick out a fun present for Daddy, a new tie for a big interview he has tomorrow with some folks in Colorado Springs. Well, I hit JACKPOT!

One great aspect of living in the South is that it does not even begin to get cool here until late October, possibly even November. However, all the stores slash prices on summer clothing end of August/early Sept. Those of you who know me well know that I am not much of a shopper, and I don't generally get excited about clothing purchases for myself (now Jason and the kids, I freakin' LOVE dressing other people!), but boy today, when I saw all those red dots, I got excited!!!!!

For some time, I have desperately needed some new "work out clothes." I treated myself to four new tops (lined with sports bra and all!) and one pair of shorts for $29(including tax!)!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!

We bought Jason two new ties they were so discounted, and I- reasoning with myself at how awesome my deal was with my new workout clothes-decided to update my pajama wear :-) Bought two new sleep tops (oh my gosh the material is SO SOFT), for $9 and bought a new "shower robe" for $10. (My shower robe dates back to junior year of college...yep, time for a new one). Not quite a whole wardrobe, but a huge improvement over the over sized t-shirts of Jason's I usually pull out of the drawer. Jack was getting fussy to eat, so I didn't really get to browse too much in that area, but maybe I can head back this weekend... :-)

Gotta wrap it up, Jack's not digging his exersaucer at the moment...But my thought for the day...if you need any kind of clothing, go check out Belk's...I think you'll be happy at how little you have to spend to get it. And one other point...shopping at 10:30 on a Tues. morning is a FABULOUS time to go...so quiet and sales clerks are just dying to help you out with anything...even holding your baby while you contemplate which shirt better compliments your skin tone :-)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fine Dining at Home

I wanted to make the first football game of the year even better for Jason, so I decided to cook a new meal we've never had: Sun-dried tomato pesto crusted chicken served over creamy polenta. Run to your kitchen and try out this awesome recipe! It's the best thing we've eaten in a long time!


Jason has been growing herbs in our garden and he just harvested a bunch of basil, so I wanted to put it to good use. My friend, Jamie, suggested making a pesto using pecans instead of pine nuts, and it was a very good suggestion. Here is the link for the pesto recipe:


For the chicken recipe, I made the basil pesto first and just added sun-dried tomatoes to a portion of the pesto I set aside for this recipe. Give the food processor another quick pulse once you add the sun-dried tomatoes so it's all the same texture.

I can't wait to have company over and make this again! Very simple, very tasty, very worth it! Let me know if you try it out and how you like it!!!!!

Happy Cooking!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

it's GREAT to be an auburn tiger!

It has happened...the happy sounds of TLC, HGTV, and Food Network (in our house, it's actually me that controls the remote :-) coming from our tv have been replaced by masculine commentaries of men in nice suits (hey Kirk, you cutie-pie!) and the constant din of cheering fans in the background...It's Auburn Gameday!!!!!

Unfortunately, I can't post a picture of Lucy in her little cheerleading outfit, as we have reluctantly shipped her off to Atlanta for the weekend to play with Papa and Lady. My parents have been begging to have her all to themselves for some time now, and the potty training just put me over the edge...the chance to get a break from that struggle for a long weekend, I'm sold! It's a win - win really. Jack is LOVIN' the attention and the break from all-to-present Lucy, and we're walking around saying, "The house is just so quiet, the house is just so quiet!" And Lucy is actually making great gains with my mom leading the potty training process...she's peed in the potty several times in Atlanta, and no accidents so far! HUGE PROGRESS!

Check out an Auburn video, introducing the new coach, Chizik. I'm stealing this off Turnbull's fbook page. I don't care much for the spastic-ness of the filming, but it is certainly appropriate for today!


War Damn Eagle!!!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Potty Training Pointers

Well, last night we had a huge breakthrough...Lucy told us she had to go potty, willingly sat down on the potty, and peed IN the potty! Of course it happened at 8:25pm, five minutes prior to bedtime, but we still awarded her with her promised rewards: 3 M&M's, her princess crown, her Cinderella high heels, and she got to watch her favorite nursery rhymes show...This but bedtime behind by about 20 minutes, and she was so wired after our huge celebration and excited praise, but I think it was totally worth it!

She was holding those little M&M's like they were gold! :-)

Today has been accidents all day, no surprise, but I'll take any positive experiences I can!

While Lucy and Jack were happily playing at Mom's Morning Out today, I was happily sipping a latte and reading a book about potty training. I'll share some of the notes I took for any of you who might be able to gain a tidbit or two. I found some helpful strategies to try...

*have your child demonstrate the entire process (pulling down pants through washing hands) on a doll

*dress them in very simple, easy to operate clothing (dresses work great for girls, elastic waists for boys, etc.)

*don't ask them too excessively, "Do you have to go potty?" This makes them question how much control they actually have, and we want them to be learning how to control their bowel movements. (This was particularly good for me to read, for I have been asking her all the time, "Do you need to potty!?! Do you need to potty!?!" in an attempt to hopefully "catch" her when she needs to go. Makes sense how that's actually counterproductive.

*Best way to handle nonperformance: 1) Don't pretend it's okay, but nicely say, "Oh, too bad! I know you wanted to use the potty. It feels yucky to be all wet." Then quickly move on to getting them in dry clothes and letting them help clean up their mess.

*Put cheerios in the toilet and tell them to aim for the holes! I loved this one!

Also loved this tip,
*Put food coloring in the water to make it more fun. (I'm going to try blue and make a science experiment out of it (she loves "Sid the Science Kid" on PBS :-) and encourage her to turn the water green. We'll try that after nap time...

Finally, this one is very helpful to me:
*Remember, it's not forever...When you find yourself upset over an accident or lack of progress, fix a date six months from now in your mind. Assure yourself that by that date, your child will probably no longer have daytime accidents. By remembering how short this hit-and-miss period really is, you can temper your reaction to minor setbacks.

Not that I thought potty training was going to be easy by any means, but I do have to say, I had no idea it would be quite this difficult! And long of a process! I sigh every time a parent tells me how it took their child several WEEKS, sometimes MONTHS (and I know a few people who have been working with their child for over a YEAR! to get this whole PT business down) before they got the hang of it! And the book has said that for at least 6 months after they've begun to successfully use the potty, you still need to bring extra clothes and necessities out with you when you leave the house; accidents are likely to still happen from time to time. GEEZ!

Despite it all though, I still can't wait to have another baby! :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oh, Sh*t!

Please excuse the profanity, it's just so appropriate -literally and figuratively- I simply can't resist.

I believe this incident warrants further explanation, since so many of my friends are apparently getting a kick out of it! Okay, okay, even I'm able to laugh about it now... :-)

A few months ago we attempted the potty-train-your-child-in-a-weekend approach with Lucy. Well, that's the biggest load of bull I've ever heard, and if you have succeeded in such a thing, please let me know, name your price, and I'll pay you whatever you want to do that with our Lucy! Our awesome pediatrician suggested holding off for a few months, and so we did. Well, last week, I just knew in my bones, "Lucy is SO ready for this now! We're doing to start again this weekend!" Dumb move #1: planning to do this on a weekend Jason was out of town...dumb move #2: having high hopes Lucy would potty train quickly.

(I won't even go into how awful my weekend was and the amount of tears shed by Lucy and myself...Long story short: in three whole days, Lucy peed in the potty one time, the rest of the times were all over herself, and no poops whatsoever...which leads to "the incident" Monday night...)

So, Monday night rolls around and Lucy still hasn't had a bowel movement since Thursday. I suggest to Jason, "You think we should give her a suppository? She's just going to be miserable and I don't want to have an ordeal with her during supper club?" Sure, he says. So, one hour prior to everyone coming over (6 families and their kids), we engage in an all out emotional and physical battle giving her and waiting for the suppository to work. Well, she is able to finally get some out! Phew! That was painful, but okay, we're all GOOD TO GO!

Everyone arrives, kids run outside and play...dads are outside drinking beer, Jason's working the grill cooking my "Blazin' Buttermilk Wings" YUMMY!, moms are inside gabbing away, it's all going great! Fast forward: the kids have eaten and so the parents are getting around to filling our bellies too. Someone knocks on the window from the outside patio to get my attention...I look outside, and my eyes are drawn to our yellow slide, which is now BROWN! "Oh Sh*t!!!!"

To my horror I realize the suppository must not have gotten everything out, for lucy has frozen at the bottom of the slide, where the trail of brown gloppy goo stops. So nasty, I know! I can feel my dinner rumble in my stomach!

I run outside, help her off the slide and begin to pull off her clothes, shooing Toby away who thinks this is the best thing that's ever happened! Mike, unraveling our garden hose, shouts, "You want this?" Sure, why the hell not? "Might want to turn the nozzle to 'shower' instead of 'jet'" Right!

Spray Lucy, who initially thinks this is funny, then falls apart into tears. (I mean , who can blame her, her mother has stripped her down and is HOSING HER OFF in front of all her little friends.) Oh yeah, and I can't forget to mention this...as if things can't get any worse, BUGS LAUNCH A FULL OUT ATTACK ON HER DERRIERE! I'm horrified and holding back tears.

I get it over with, run in to grab a towel, wrap her up, bring her inside, give her a bath, hug her and tell her I'm sorry and that it'll all be okay.

Okay, incident seems to be over. I return to dinner, sit down, contemplate taking a shot of vodka or something to calm my nerves...One of the dads walk in and chuckles, "Um...Toby is eating Lucy's underwear..."

And, oh yes, also during this time, our lovely friends Ashley and Adam -- also our backyard neighbors -- had a front row seat as all this unfolded. They were eating dinner on their patio. Bet that was JUST the ambiance you were looking for! Kate, I hope you were paying attention...that was NOT how this whole potty training thing is supposed to go, just so you know! :-)

A friend on Facebook asked me if I took a picture of the slide...Nope, I won't be scrapbooking this night in any album, but just so you can get an idea of how much poop was smeared down our slide --I'm not talking about mere "skid marks"--no, no, this was a tidal wave courtesy of the suppository, I did create a little image in Paint...

Ah, Lucy...you're one in a million baby girl!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

figuring things out

A very appropriate first title for my first post, I must say... :-) Right now, I'm working on figuring out several things: why I felt like starting a blog, how to set this thing up (I absolutely HATE computers and all things associated-it's a mutual feeling, computers seem to hate me and do bad things to me all the time), still figuring out this whole "parenthood" thing (I have a feeling that will never end), and most specifically, I'm currently trying to figure out the trick to this most awful ordeal of POTTY TRAINING!

Surprisingly, I hadn't been giving any thought to starting a blog. About a year ago, a friend told me, "You should start your own blog!" To which I thought, "WHY!?! What do I have to say that would be remotely interesting or important?" I hate computers and rarely do anything on them other than check email, facebook, and surf craigslist. I quickly dismissed the idea. But today, I woke up and for some reason thought to myself, I'm going to start a blog for our family, today. I like reading other people's blogs, just maybe someone would enjoy reading mine...??? :-)

I do love reading friends' blogs, and I love sharing our pictures with family and friends. Writing was my favorite subject to teach my students, and I do enjoy writing --I just never do it. But I think the real reason I decided to start a blog was because I think it will help me keep focused on all the wonderful blessings in my life, and really, how good I actually have it. And I hope family and friends enjoy keeping up with what's going on with the crazy martins!

When I feel down, and like everything's just a royal mess, I make it a priority to sit down and scrapbook. May sound silly, but when I thumb through photos of Jason, Jack, and Lucy, and get my hands "dirty" in pretty paper, fun embellishments, and sticky adhesive, arranging pictures of those most dear to me in fun albums, it really puts everything in perspective. So, I'm thinking blogging will be another way to look at the bright side of things.

If you're wondering why the title, I jotted down the letters of our family names (jason, jack, lucy, kelly, and toby - J, K, T, and L - and tried to come up with a sentence using those letters. "Just Keepin' Things Lively" popped in my head about four seconds later. "Lively" is just the start of it...we never sit still and there's truly never a dull moment :-)

So, now I must figure out how the heck to put this thing together. Of course this will begin with figuring out how to make my background super cute, like all of my friends' blogs are and adding cute pictures of my family. Oh yeah, and I love feedback, so if you feel like shouting something out, I'll LOVE getting little emails that tell me you did and what you said (is that how it works!?!) LOL! Jason will simply fall over in shock when he gets home and I tell him I started a blog today! :-)