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!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lucy is 4!

My darling Lucy turns 4 today!

The celebrating began last night with a trip to Brusters for ice cream. She was twirling before we even ordered!

Sweet, so sweet! Thanks, Lady, for the "Birthday Princess" dress. She's wearing it at school right now ;-)

"I'm 4!"

"I'm 2!" (No surprise his "2" is the same way he uses his hands to represent a gun - LOL!

And this morning, we celebrated with Birthday Pancakes! (which neither kid would eat; i did mess up the texture a bit;-)

Now dressed for school, it's time to open presents!!!!

opening her present from Daddy:

long, formal gloves, dress up heels, and a cupcake purse

"Shoes!!!!" There was an appropriate squeal to go along with it! ;-)

And now mommy's present: glitter shoes! Oh how I wish they were in my size too ;-)

She loves her new cupcake purse from daddy! She took it to school filled with suckers to share with her classmates at lunch. (And no lie, Jack broke the purse strap literally three minutes after she opened her present. But nothing a little hot glue gun can't fix ;-)

And a look back over the past four birthdays!

turning 1!

turning 2!

turning 3!

Our big, grown-up 4 year old!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's not your mother's...way of discipline

Any parent knows that the "grandparents" are unlikely to discipline your child in the same way that you would. Specifically, they're not usually as firm or likely to make consequences stick, right? And with good reason; there's no need for them to be as firm, and I do think to a mild degree, it's good for kids to be a little spoiled by their grandparents. Makes for great memories and a special bond between grandkid and grandparent.

With that said, I have a story that is still making me laugh when I think about it. It has to do with the difference between what a grandparent and a parent consider "appropriate discipline." And the characters in this story are me and my mom.

My family loaded up the van for our first trip out of town since Connor was born. We were heading to Atlanta to 1) pick up Lucy who had been with my parents for almost two weeks! (She had a blast visiting Colorado for Spring Break and then spending some time alone with Lady in Atlanta. A million thanks mom and dad!) and 2) to celebrate Easter with my brothers, dad, and mom in Atlanta.

My mom has a friend, Jill, who lives on a beautiful piece of land, complete with a chicken coop, lambs, coy pond, and LOTS of chickens walking around. Lucy had already been to see this before we arrived in town, but Jack wanted to go see the chickens too.

Before heading out, I was feeding Connor and Lucy and Jack were playing outside on top of the hot tub, running across the cover and swinging on some sort of bar that stretched across the top. My dad kept telling them to get down, and no surprise, they weren't obeying. I encouraged my dad to be a bit firmer and tell them to "get down now!" As is always the case, it was hard for him, but he told them. Tails tucked, they staggered back inside; Jack moved on immediately, but Lucy took on quite an attitude. She put on a sour face and threw herself on a chair while I scolded her for not listening to Papa. And she started with those three-year-old retorts, "No...no...no!"

Me: "Lucy, you're being disrespectful. That's not okay."

Lucy: "No!"

Me: "Papa told you to get off the hot tub, and you should have done what he said the first time he told you."

Lucy: "No!"

Me: "Say 'no' again and see what happens!"

(Now, I realize that was not the best thing to say; provoking your child isn't going to end up being productive, but that's what came out of my mouth... ;-)

Lucy: (no hesitation) "No!"

Me: "Fine, you're not going to see the chickens. You will stay here while we go."

Thrashing about begins immediately. Fortunately, Connor is done eating, so I get up and begin to load up my boys in their car seats, ignoring her antics.

Meanwhile, my dad is looking at me like a lost puppy, sad that Lucy won't be coming with us. "Are you sure she can't come," he quietly says to me. "Absolutely not," I reply, "She was being completely disrespectful - to you and to be."

While Lucy's tantrum is reaching new levels inside the house, my dad and I get in the car with Connor and Jack. I turn on the car, and as I begin to back up, my mom stomps out onto the driveway, approaching the car with a determined look on her face.

my mom: "Are you really going to make her stay home!?!"

My dad has already heard the explanation for the punishment and why I feel it's just, and now I explain to her.

mom: (arms crossed) "Well, you better be sure to punish Jack when he does something like that! (Spews out some more things, but I can't remember exactly) to which I reply...

Me: "And if he did, mom, then he'll not go see the chickens."

Mom: Well, Lucy is inside just sobbing."

me: "I'm sure she is..."

(I think my dad chimes in at this point, agreeing with my mom...)

Mom: (practically seething at me by now) "This. Is. EXCESSIVE. ABUSE!!!!"

me: I fall toward the steering wheel in laughter. "Excessive abuse? Is she kidding?!?" I can't hear what she's saying anymore I'm laughing so hard.

As I recover, I realize we're not going to even come close to a compromise. So, I decide to give in. I'm mad that I've been put in this position, so as I go inside to talk to Lucy, I shout, "I'm going to talk to her; let me talk to her!"

I walk into the house, and it's SILENT...there's no crying, no hysterical sobbing whatsoever. I throw up my hands, turn right around to my dad who was following me, and I tell him to get back in the car...we're leaving...obviously, Lucy was not very upset. But then my brother Brendan says that she was crying really hard...apparently, Lucy was just catching her breath. ;-)

Ugh! So, I turn around again, heading toward the den to go talk to Lucy.

Me: "Lucy, come here."

Lucy: eyes are red and rimmed with big tears, face streaked and pink

Me: "You misbehaved and were disrespectful, Lucy, and I think you should stay home and not go see the chickens...But Papa and Lady are mad at mommy for doing that, and because I love them, I'm going to let you come see the chickens with us."

Lucy: smile reappears as this information soaks in..."Papa and Lady are mad at you?!?" She giggles.

Me: "Whatever...Come on, let's go."

And thus is the story...One for the books. And I didn't hesitate to make sarcastic remarks the rest of the weekend regarding myself as an "excessive abuser!" LOL! ;-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

"Oh praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead."

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lucy's Colorado Trip

Lucy has been with my mom and dad -in COLORADO! - for the past 9 days, and as you may have noticed from the lack of posts, me and "my boys" have been super busy enjoying our Spring Break in the South.

And, from what I've been told, Lucy has very much enjoyed her trip out West! My dad is working in Denver for a while, and my mom offered to take Lucy out there for a trip. (Originally, my mom wanted to take Lucy AND Jack, but I told her that she would surely go crazy if Jack were out there with her ;-)

The few times Lucy did want to talk to me on the phone, I could hear such excitement in her voice: Papa and Lady had so many fun things lined up for them to experience each day. They went to the zoo, visited the circus - which happened to be in town - went to the butterfly museum, played with the ponies at my mom's cousins' houses, shopped for new clothes and shoes, and visited Diary Queen frequently (my guess is probably every day ;-).

We certainly missed her here, but I have to say, this was a "win-win" for everyone. Before the trip, Lucy was in the throes of a whiny spell, it was nearly impossible for me to spend much quality time with Jack, and I felt like it was 9pm before I was ever able to just hold Connor and soak him in. But, with Lucy gone, Jack received attention, other than being told to go to time out or stop touching Connor, and he has really been a pleasure.

One new thing that has started happening - that had NEVER happened before - is that he'll say, "I love you, Mom" after a hug or kiss. (Notice, I'm "mom" not "mommy"...I have no idea why, but he's called me mom for quite some time now.) And he lays on the sweetness often, too. He loves having Connor on his bed for nap and bedtime stories, and he'll be sure to kiss and tell Connor he loves him before going to bed. And Jack has started taking showers with Jason, which he loves.

My aunt Karen was able to visit us again, and she was really great to have around. Jack loved playing outside with her, not to mention receiving all the gifts she gave him. She bought him a tee-ball set and two guns that shoot darts. One time I returned from a jog to find both of them on their bellies in the driveway, playing with a new car I bought Jack at the Hampton Cove yard sales (another fun thing my aunt and I did). And I haven't done laundry since Wednesday, so another major THANK YOU to Karen for all her help!

So, here's a look at Lucy's trip:

sweet Lucy, who turns 4 next week! (April 26)

just gorgeous - I love Denver!

LOVE this picture! (I'm holding this one ransom ;-)

Now, perhaps Lucy gets a free pass, being that she can't read that sign, but Uncle Brendan?!? LOL!

Lucy and Papa...sweet picture ;-)

Look at Lucy's face smiling up at him... awww

Lucy 'n Lady (Mom, you look so great and YOUNG in this picture! ;-)

I'm sure that's candy in Lucy's mouth...she'll probably need a detox period when she's back in Huntsville ;-) (But, hey, spoiling is what grandparents are for, right ;-)

She and Brendan were fast friends with all the time they got to spend together. My mom told me that when Brendan left to go back to his home (an hour north of Denver) after being with her for several days, she cried really hard. So sweet...

Trip to the circus...Before the show Lucy and my dad rode an elephant!

Visiting the butterfly exhibit. Cute backstory: Before Lucy went out there, every time I'd mention the trip, Lucy would obsess and focus on Papa giving her a butterfly net so she could try to catch the butterflies at the exhibit. I called my dad and gave him a heads up about how this was not something Lucy was likely to let go of, and he might want to actually make sure he had a butterfly net ready to go ;-). Well, my sweet dad tried to arrange to have butterflies fluttering around his house when she got there so she could catch them in her net. Well, after investigating how to accomplish that, he discovered the only way was to order them through a wedding service...for $450 they told him they could deliver the butterflies the next day. Now, I know a grandparent's love knows no bounds, but I have to say I'm glad my dad didn't pay that... ;-)

Lastly, click on the link to see a few more that are on our Shutterfly page:

We can't wait to see our Lucy again and hear more about her trip! What a special time she's had with Papa 'n Lady! (I feel a Shutterfly photo album project is in order! ;-)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Connor in pictures

Connor is over seven weeks old now! He has just started giving us big smiles, and we are lovin' it!

This is his grumpy face:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guess Who

So, my idea was to have a game where you could guess which baby was in each picture and then I'd provide the answers at the end. Only problem was, lucy was always adorned in pink, very girly outfits, and I couldn't find any pictures that weren't obvious.

But, I think you'll still enjoy seeing the striking resemblances between Lucy and Connor. Amazing!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There's no such thing as Super Mom

It just doesn't exist...the whole notion of a Mom achieving "Super Mom" status.

In my opinion, we may reach that status temporarily - pulling off an awesome birthday party celebrating a child, baking the best dessert your kids have ever tasted, finding time for your kids, your pet, your husband, and yourself all in one day - but it never lasts. At times, we break.

So, while I'm on the subject of parenting stories I'll never forget, today I present another one. (yesterday's was a good one I've been told ;-) And oddly enough, my friend who said it was reading the post while waiting at her OB's office, debating whether or not to remove her IUD which would potentially lead to child #3 ;-) Bet that post shed an unflattering light on the subject of "So, how is it with three kids?!?")

Anyway, this happened last week, and for a change, does not involve my two-year-old. Instead, Lucy is the antagonist in the story...

So, I'm picking up the kids from Mom's Morning Out, hauling around Connor is his carrier. It is a feat in of itself just getting Jack and Lucy to the car, let alone getting all three buckled in to their respective carseats. Well, on this particular day, Lucy was absolutely refusing to cooperate and get in her seat. And let me be more specific...she had turned into a demon-possessed child, thrashing her body about, swatting her hands in front of her - hitting me in the face, her wispy hair matted to her face, thanks to the mess of snot, tears, and saliva that was all over her. She was absolutely out of control!

And after three calm attempts on my part to force her into her seat, I simply snapped. I very quietly addressed the spawn of Satan, saying, "You know what Lucy? You don't want to sit in your carseat, I don't care."

I walked around to the driver's side, got in, and pulled out of the parking lot. (Lately, it seems like nothing works when dealing with my young toddlers, and at this point, I decided to take a risk - a huge one I do realize - and see if it would do the trick.) I said a prayer as I pulled away from school, and hoped that the next three miles would prove to be uneventful, that we'd make it home fine.

Shocked and bewildered by my actions, Lucy starts screaming from the back, "But I'm not buckled in, I'm not buckled in!!!!" To which I replied, "Lucy, you wouldn't let mommy buckle you in."

Then, she starts screaming, "I wanna be safe; I WANNA BE SAFE!" It was at this point that I hesitated for a moment, contemplated pulling over and buckling her in. My heart was literally splitting apart, and I was questioning my ability to parent, wondering if I had become one of those insane mothers (answer: probably so). But, I decided to follow through with what I had said.

And so, she screamed the whole way home. And once in the neighborhood, I even took the turn to our house slightly too fast so as to make her fall over a little bit - on purpose... Just to make sure she got the point. Isn't that just terrible!?!

And, let me just tell you, I dealt with such guilt, such guilt...At bible study the next morning, I told my story and added myself to the prayer list, as clearly I was loosing it and needed some serious help. And it was then that most of the women chuckled. I was dumbfounded...they were chuckling???? They weren't calling the police on me for my illegal actions (it was illegal, right? I'm not sure)????

And then there was a chorus of "I've been there and done that."

Now it was my turn to be dumbfounded and bewildered..."You mean, you've all done that before - driven with a child not in their carseat?!?"

"Oh sure" was the reply. One mom even said she was in such a hurry to get home from the grocery store, she just didn't buckle her kid in.

So, I did find comfort in the fact that I am not the only mother who has acted in such a way, and praying has helped too. And how did pick up go the next day you may wonder? Did she transform into the spawn of satan again? No, she was a perfect angel! And -cross your fingers - we've not had an incident since; in fact, just today she was able to buckle her own seatbelt without my assistance. Imagine that!

So to all my awesome, not-quite-super-mom friends out there, take heart. We've got the hardest job on the planet, but the rewards are unmatched...

Monday, April 4, 2011

If not for the grace of God...

I've remarked to friends and family on occasions - usually ones that involve a difficult jack as of lately - that "I'm just surviving; I'm just surviving..."

Well, based on the events that happened yesterday and today, I need to change that pronoun use. I'm now saying, "We're just surviving."

And I mean that literally this time. Grandparents may want to stop reading... ;-)

It's as if Jack is on a mission to self-destruct...yesterday he tried to jump through the small opening at the very top of our swingset, not stopping in the least with every "No Jack! No!" I screamed from the porch where I was nursing Connor, watching Jack and Lucy play. By the third scream, I realized that he was not going to stop his effort to ensure a fall which would no doubt involve a broken neck. I had to pop Connor off, run down to the swingset, and literally grab hold of Jack's foot and pull him down. Heart pounding, I burst into tears; this being the most scared Jack has ever made me. God and His angels were surely looking after us yesterday.

And ironically enough, this morning I was having a conversation with my mom about how difficult "parenting" has been lately, and she remarked, "Yep, along with parenting goes a certain amount of praying because sometimes that's all you can do." She was referring to my brother Brendan who, when he was little, survived a critical 24 hours in a hospital only to crack his head in the waiting room while he was being discharged. They had to be readmitted and sent back for an MRI...

And wouldn't you know, after my mom's wise words, Jack cheated a horrible accident yet again today...Jason and I were in the den, talking about or day with each other - enjoying a quiet moment while the kids were quietly playing together without fighting ;-), when Jack walked into the room, holding a pink razor...which was smeared with blood. Oh...my...God. Lucy follows him, announcing, "Jack was shaving; we were shaving." Jack's lips and cheeks were scratched, but amazingly, not gushing blood. And he wasn't even crying. I can hardly believe Jack was taking a razor to his face, and yet, we're not in the emergency room tonight. Yet, again, if not for the grace of God...I truly believe we'd be so much worse off that we are.

Not that I do, but I will never take praying for the safety of my children lightly...

So, in all seriousness, praise to God for His protection over my family.

And God, if I may ask...would you please send some extra angels our way...Jack is unpredictable at best ;-)