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Saturday, December 30, 2006

I never thought I'd see the day: our sweet, little Matthew's got a very devious streak! I watched in horror (OK, total amusement) as Matthew set our laundry basket hamper on its side and said, as if calling a dog, "Here, Zachy. Crawl into here. It'll be fun." Then, to really bribe his brother, Matthew had the adeptness to chuck ALL of Zachary's baby toys that were out on the floor INTO the hamper basket to truly entice him. I put an end to the charade at that point.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas has come and gone. We had a great day, though as always I greet the post-Holiday season with a mixture of relief and sadness. I'll be glad to have life settle down a bit and get back into a routine (and on top of the laundry situation-- how dare I take a vacation from clothes-washing!), although I'm always bummed when Christmas is over. I HATE the taking-down of Christmas decorations; the house looks so naked (and yet uncluttered and cleaner) once everything is back to normal. They say that the holidays is the number one time of year for people to be depressed, but for me, it's the post-holidays that get me down. And very sadly, we have another reason to feel a little bit down this year. Yesterday, December 26th, we had to put our beloved Christmas kitty, Mistletoe to sleep. I can't get over the irony that our last day with her was Christmas Day (our 7th with her). Neither Mike nor I have ever had to put an animal down -- it's obviously a hard decision to make and an unbelievably sad thing to experience. But it was very evident that she was ailing quickly. She stopped eating, could hardly walk, couldn't jump up on the bed and she didn't purr anymore. It was time to put her out of her misery. We both felt guilty for not being able to give her more attention the last couple of years, and sadly, some of the attention that she did get was toddler attention -- not always the most feline-friendly, gentle lovin'. But alas, we all loved her and will miss her. We know that she's in a much better place -- Matthew thinks that she'll be very happy in Kitty Heaven, and we quite agree.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Well, there go my potty breaks as my only quality alone time of the day. Now I don't even get those! Zach is a mobile baby unit. He decided after days of frustration trying to do the 'traditional' crawl (i.e. on knees), that he'd fore-go it and stick with his more successful -- and very speedy -- army-boot-camp-commando-scoot-on-the-tummy method. And man! is the kid ever quick! I turned my back for a few seconds, and next time I looked at him, Zachary was playing with the outlet and plug for the lamp. Oye. He also knows what he wants and is no sucker for the tom-foolery of distraction. He'd much rather have one of Matthew's big boy toys than an old baby toy. So much for potty breaks. So much for a little peace of mind.

And of course, no surprise here, it's two days until Christmas and we have colds. 'Cuz, you know, Thanksgiving wasn't even a month ago yet and we were sick for that holiday, so why not do it again?! Grrr.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's sad, really. I just feel a little bit disconnected from the world when our internet is down. What, pray tell, did stay-at-home Moms do PRE-world of wide web?! Our cable (as well as our power) has continued to be a bit spotty since [TO BE READ IN THE MOVIE TRAILER DEEP MAN'S VOICE] WIND STORM 2006. Thankfully, despite freaking us out a bit every time the light's flicker, the power's not gone back off for good.

And another sad confession: it is 5 o'clock in the morning here, and while I was just up changing Zach's diaper and feeding him I couldn't stop composing blogs in my head. So, I thought I better come see if we were back on-line so I could type this up, get it out of my system and head back to bed for hopefully a couple more hours of sleep! That, and I'm still on such a high from the soon-t0-be-told experience, that I just couldn't wait to write about it.

On, Sunday afternoon we all went Christmas caroling at a nursing home in Seattle with several other of our friends from Engaged Encounter. It was amazing. I wore Zach in the front-pack while Matthew walked up and down the halls with our group for nearly two hours. Not only did the boys tag along but, of course, they totally stole the show. Matthew carried a shaker in one hand and one of my jingle bell bracelets from music class in the other and kept a steady beat the WHOLE time. At one point, Sister Beatrice (of our group) had given a resident (a dapper, older -- well, OK, they're all older -- fellow) a maraca to shake along with us. He came up with a fancier rhythm (not too crazy -- but something like: shake, shake, rest, rest...shake, shake, rest, rest). Matthew immediately picked up on it, and the two continued that way for the whole song. So, while Matthew was focused on being the heartbeat of our group (he really was very focused -- didn't smile much but delighted the residents with his percussion-skills none-the-less), Zachary was focused on being the heart-melter of the group. I finally had to take him out of the front-pack and let some others in our group carry him because I couldn't sing whilst wearing him for two reasons. One: Any time we'd stop to let a resident see him up close (and they'd tickle his feet and chat to him or whatever), he'd be kicking and leaping so much it was hard for me to sing. And Two: Any time we'd stop to let a resident see him up close I'd get so choked up with how happy he was making them that I couldn't sing!
It was an amazing experience and definitely made us full of Holiday cheer!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

We have not blown away -- though it sure did seem like a possibility. The winds whipped up to about 60 miles an hour in our area on Thursday night (so reported the news). Our electricity flickered on and off all evening but was still on when we went to bed. The wind was howling, shaking the house and rattling the windows. I had just said to Mike, "I'm a little nervous...about the trees in back," when THUMP! (and I JUMPED about a foot) -- a tree grazed the house on its way down. We immediately got out of bed and moved the boys into the family room downstairs. Looking out our upstairs window we watched nervously as a tree behind the neighbor's house across the street kept lighting up as it blew into power lines. (We called the fire department though we never saw them show up, and thankfully, we lost power before the tree really caught on fire). A HUGE tree fell across the road two houses down from us, so that part of the street was blocked for several hours (though the neighbors got out there pretty fast to take care of things). First thing in the morning I went out to make sure that my brother Chris was alright (he was home alone since my parents were staying at a B & B in snowy Leavenworth -- they got a foot of snow dumped on them while they were there). I found myself trying to get dressed in the dark and thinking, "hmmm, what does one where on a rescue mission?" We were all worried about Chris since he REALLY gets nervous during storms especially when the power goes out. After trekking up to Bellevue (which was treacherous as there were downed trees and power lines -- and therefore roads closed -- everywhere), I walked into my parents' condo only to discover that Chris wasn't there. I had a moment of serious panic until I got a hold of someone at the grocery store and they said, "oh yeah, he called in and said he'd be a little late, but he's on his way to work." So here we'd all been worried for nothing. Chris had just gone to bed (and he's the heaviest sleeper I know though Matthew might give him some competition), slept a little late since his alarm didn't go off, and got himself out the door as always. What a guy!

Anyway, in the end we were without power for less than 24 hours (after hearing to expect up to 8 days of darkness!). We're SO thankful to have power and to have the reminder to stock up on supplies in case of longer, more serious natural disasters. The blackout also provided a good excuse to eat a fair amount of ice cream.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

So, the Mistletoe, our cat, does not have an STD -- which is sure is a good thing 'cuz if she did, Mistletoe the Catholic Christmas Kitty would have a heck of a lot of explaining to do -- especially since she hasn't been outside...ever. At the vet today we were informed that she doesn't have AIDS, but it is very likely that she has Cancer. We're back on the force-feeding regiment for a while, but if she doesn't get better and stay better than in all likelihood this will be our last Christmas with Mistletoe. She's not old (only 6), but she is a Martin, so I guess there's no surprise that she has to have some unique medical issues. She's been such a good kitty (despite peeing on my wedding dress and my being allergic to her which isn't her fault), and it'll be hard when we do have to say goodbye.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Matthew's dictated letter to Santa (and I quote):

"Dear Santa,

Can I please have a crane for Christmas? A crane for worker men. I don't want a crane, I want a fire truck.

Can Zachary please have a baby ducky toy?

Daddy wants a sled.

Mommy -- she wants a green farmer hat.

Santa wanted a sled.

Daddy wants a digger for digging in the snow. I want a digger too. I want a crane too. I want a roller truck from Santa. I want a boat from Santa -- in my tub for playing.

A good Santa. Thank you, Santa."

~ Matthew, 3 years old
Nov. 27, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

After nursing ZJ this morning, Matthew approached and demanded that I feed his special teddy bear, Green Bear as well. I declined this request, so Matthew proceeded to nurse Green Bear, himself. What a special little boy!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

IT'S SNOWING!!! Which means I'm like a cow to a salt-lick...just can't get enough of it! And boy does this just fuel the fire that is Jenny and the Holiday Season!! Mike said yesterday that he actually feels 'sorry' for Thanksgiving -- no carols, not too many decorations, sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, it totally gets the shaft. I feel on the other hand, that Thanksgiving is wonderful because it's the kick-off for the holidays! In case you were unaware, I'm just a wee bit of a Christmas nut. It is a part of myself that just cannot be denied; my Christmas-obsession plays a vital role in making up the essence of Jenny, the Jenessence. And Matthew, I am happy to share, is beginning to experience this excitement for himself. Yesterday, Matthew practically drooled with anticipation standing at the gate in his room during 'quiet time' while Mike and I were out in the living room putting out decorations. Matthew kept calling to me, "How 'bout I get on my apron [that he wears when helping in the kitchen, you see] and come and help? It's OK with me. I'll be all done with quiet time now and help? It's a good idea? It's OK with me!" He is my kid, after all.

Zachary expresses his excitement in a different way -- howling like a howler monkey. Now, I've never actually heard a howler monkey, but I imagine it would sound something like our excited (rather vocal and teething) nearly seven month-old. It is not uncommon for Mike or myself to break out into applause in the middle of a meal -- Zachary will stop screaming mid-howl if someone starts to clap; it's the funniest thing. We had some friends over for dinner the other night, and apparently Zach was not receiving enough attention [the kid LOVES a crowd...focused on him, and him alone. He is my kid, after all.], so conversation was sporadically interrupted by a cacophony of spontaneous clapped cadences. Never a dull (or quiet) moment in the Martin household.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We've joined a gym, and I'm FREAKISHLY excited about it! In case you aren't quite in-the-know (or live in a cave sans la television) it's been a bit rainy in Seattle lately, and therefore I haven't been able to run outside for quite a while. Now, don't think that joining a gym was just an impulsive commitment, we've been planning on it for some time -- that it would actually be my Christmas present. But we realized that to really make it worth it (and to help my mental stability), we'd join sooner rather than later. Thankfully, we got a great deal and I couldn't be happier about it. They have a phenomenal Kid's Club too (definitely a selling point) -- complete with a separate baby area, a huge padded play structure, pretend play kitchen, etc., and of course lots of great trucks (a requirement). And this is how impressive the childcare people are: I set Zachary down in his car seat and put the diaper bag on the floor next to him while I got Matthew all settled in with the trucks; upon returning to Zach, the diaper bag was gone. I asked Lisa, one of the child care peoples, where my bag was, and she said, "Oh, we moved it up on to the shelf since the shoulder straps are a strangulation hazard." Yeah! That's what I say -- you TELL me I'm being unsafe! Anyway, I'm (obviously) just a tad excited about the whole scenario. Perhaps, the most exciting aspect of this whole situation is that our memberships come with five sessions with a personal trainer for each of us. Mike mentioned that he'd be prefer if I had a female trainer if possible (while I really don't care either way just want someone who will be good for me). Anyway, when I sat down with the manager to schedule our first training sessions, he recommended that we get matched up with a trainer based on personality and time availability. So, here's the irony: I've been paired up with a large dude DeShaun and Mike was paired up with a petite little gal Rachelle! Now, apparently because Mike played varsity football he knows everything there is to know about fitness and weight-lifting and (I roughly quote), he 'doesn't think a personal trainer could push him any harder than he pushes himself.' I've been assured that Ms. Rachelle will kick his butt, and I can't wait to hear about it! :) I met DeShaun and he's AWESOME! -- super nice and funny. I have my first session with him on Monday, so we'll see how it goes. This past Monday, I got up at 4:50am (what was I thinking?!) and attended my first ever hour-long spin class (again, what was I thinking?!). About 20 minutes into this intense stationary-cycling class I thought I was either going to hurl or pass-out and tried to determine which would be less embarrassing. At any rate, I survived and somehow was, thankfully, still able to walk afterwards.

Friday, November 03, 2006

We've got us a big-boy-underpants wearing boy!!! Matthew has stayed dry for the last several days, so we finally took the plunge and went underwear-shopping. I'm sad to report that Matthew was fairly disappointed with the selection of truck-themed unmentionables. He eventually settled on some Bob the Builder themed but without much excitement or enthusiasm. In the end, he has been pleased with his selection. He put on a pair and, walking backwards up to the full-length mirror in our room, exclaimed, "Bob on my bum!" with a pat-pat on his rear to solidify the deal. So far, we have remained accident free; though I'm sure it's only a matter of time. We haven't ventured too far from home just to be safe. His latest response when I ask him (100 times a day) if he needs to go potty is, "No, Mom. Not yet....not yet." He's doing very well though and it's very exciting!

Poor Zachary has not had such an exciting week. His first tooth did cut through on Halloween (more of a trick than a treat), and at his six month check-up yesterday, the little pumpkin received five shots plus his flu shot. Ouch! He took it like a champ and pretty much slept the day away afterwards. He weighed in at 14 lbs. 10.5 oz. (10th percentile for weight) and is 28 inches long (90-95th percentile for height)!! He's one tall and thin boy. The doctor was pretty amused by how active he is (jumping on my lap and giggling away while he was examined, not really holding all). The doc. wished me luck (oye!) and said that he wouldn't be surprised if Zachary is crawling and cruising by his 9 month check-up. He also surmised that this little kiddo's going to keep us plenty busy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Well, we survived Halloween with only one major incident of scarring-for-life trauma. As we were leaving a house where we had just trick-or-treated, another crew was coming in and Matthew looked up into the face of a very scary monster-mask-wearing boy. Our poor child let out the most horrific scream and just started to sob and shake all over. We got him calmed down and reminded him over and over 'it's was just a boy in a costume' etc. Once Matthew could talk again he said, "that monster boy really freaked me out. He was totally freaky." Dr. Phil is now on speed dial. Anyway, he came home and went poo-poo in the potty...guess he literally got the crap scared out of him! Poor sweetie. He's been doing well on the potty front though and got to pick out some big boy underpants at the store today. He went with Bob the Builder though he was disappointed they didn't have a more truck-themed selection to choose from.

Zachary is a nonstop drooling, teething machine. He celebrated Halloween with his first little dagger tooth finally breaking through his bottom gum. What a treat!

Monday, October 30, 2006

I received an email from one of my fave PA's (personal assistants...nurses) from my extended stay at Spa Overlake (Hospital). Turns out they received a patient survey form back stating that the patients should be offered the opportunity for a bikini wax during their epidural and should be provided with better [non-chafing and exfoliating] towels. Those surveys are shared with the nurses and this particular survey got everyone's attention. Apparently it was taken quite seriously (as it should be) until someone pointed out that it was from patient Jennifer Martin. ha! I don't know why that should change the seriousness with which my suggestions were taken. I would like to know if they also added TiVo to the hospital rooms as well as mini fridges, bigger beds, and daily massages for the Labor and Delivery Nurses. I'm serious, people. Before I even consider checking into Spa Overlake for an extended stay, I insist on some changes. Other than the above mentioned ideas, the service (with a couple small exceptions) was exemplary, and I highly recommend it for your anti-partum bed rest needs.
Zachary is working on cutting his first tooth. There's a little hole on his bottom gum, but no little dagger of doom sticking out quite yet. (ooh, how fun the nursing will be)! Who'd-a-thunk that something like teething could throw an entire little person so outta whack?! He's turned into a vending machine of body fluids; poor guy.

Mike and Matthew are currently carving a pumpkin. Matthew chose to do a skeleton. Mike attended a jack-o-lantern carving contest on Saturday night and won. (Surprise, surprise). The man carved a picture of a John Deere tractor into his pumpkin. Pretty impressive! And boy, was our little farmer Matthew excited about it!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Apparently the Martins and the pumpkin patch just don't mix (view yesterday's blog update for strike one of the pumpkin patch outing). We officially give up! We're done! We can take a hint!
Today, despite the sinister dark sky and gusty winds, we headed South to meet up with friends at the pumpkin patch. After stopping for a quick bite for lunch, we pulled into the mud-soaked parking lot at the Carpinitos Brothers Pumpkin Farm. Our friend, Rebecca was in their car (wisely so as there had just been a down-pour of hail) and informed us that her husband had gone ahead to pick up pumpkins for all of us and we'd just head to their place for the carving festivities. We thought this was a swell idea, however Matthew seemed to disagree. He commenced to cry and within moments we realized the crying was not actually due to pumpkin-related sadness but another much worse malady -- he proceeded to vomit all over himself, the car seat, and the floor of the car. Again, I declare unto the Universe: you win! We won't attempt another pumpkin least not this year. We did come home with a pumpkin (thanks to Jason for stashing it in our trunk whilst we used paper napkins to clean-up mess 'o vomit). Needless-to-say, there will be no pumpkin patch pictures with the latest on our site.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where has the time gone? Ahh, yes, I know -- wiping noses. I think that's all I've done for the last week since we've all been sick. 'Tis the season. And we've really kicked off the Cold and Flu season with a bang this year! Despite downing gallons of Airborne before Mike, Zachary and I flew to Houston last weekend [for the National Engaged Encounter Convention -- which was great!] we still managed to pick up germs from flying -- surprise, surprise! Mike came down with it first (darn him!) and then shared it (how sweet) with the rest of us. Matthew woke up one morning totally stuffed up and said, "Bombby, dere's someting wrog wid by dnose." Translation for those of you not fluent in snotty toddler: "Mommy, there's something wrong with my nose." So, sure enough, as predicted (perhaps a self-fulfilling prophesy), Matthew followed in the footsteps of both his parental units (most be genetic) and stayed home sick instead of attending the first field trip of his school career -- a trip to the Pumpkin Patch (tractor ride included). At any rate, he didn't seem too devastated as the day we were to go we were not only coming down with the cold but it was pouring rain. He even looked outside and said it was too rainy to go. So, we're making up for it and taking the whole fam to a patch with some friends tomorrow.

Zachary is six months! Can you even believe it? And to celebrate this milestone, he had his first taste of "solids" -- also known as "totally runny, breast-milked-down, with yucky vitamins mixed in baby rice cereal. " He's a fan though -- totally chowed down. Also, today we all dressed up and went to the Halloween party of some friends. Matthew is a farmer (how appropriate with his latest John Deere obsession), Zachary is a cow (the cutest calf, you ever did see!), I'm a pig (huh! funny, I still feel like one!), and Mike is a horse. Now, Mike and I have a very strong relationship, if I do say so myself, and "Openness in Communication" is a topic that we teach to the engaged couples on the retreats that we lead, so I was sad to have to openly communicate with him that we did not see eye-to-eye on what kind of horse he should be. (A stallion, of course....) I had pictured a very Fabio-style flowing mane (of black fleece attached to the hood of his white sweatshirt) but what he made was a more stiff and short Trojan war-horse style mane. Not at all the look that I felt he would have should he be a horse -- a horse one would find on Farmer Matthew's farm, none-the-less. In the end, we managed to agree that he was a well-groomed show horse. I'm saddened to report that despite arriving at the party with a farmer, a cow, and a pig, some people still couldn't figure out what he was. (But maybe people are just a bit slow). [I'll work on Mike to get pictures up on the website soon.]

I just finished taping up the boxes of 0-3 month and 3-6 month baby boy clothes. Hmmm...don't really know how I feel about that. Sad, I guess. I really don't know if we'll have more kiddos or not, and I think about it every single day. I certainly had every intention of being a baby carrying machine (3 at least), but that whole hospitalized bed rest, preemies in the NICU thing followed by bed rest recovery with postpartum depression, taking care of kids and infant, sleep deprivation and nursing issues is...pretty lame. HOWEVER, with that said, God has blessed us with two AMAZING and healthy, BEAUTIFUL boys and both of them are totally and completely worth any and all moments of suffering that I may have endured.What mother wouldn't lie in a bed for seven weeks if it would help her infant? Well, sadly -- many. But I'm the kind that would do it (obviously), but I certainly know that it would be extremely difficult to do it again.

Then there's that whole girl thing. Now, I wouldn't trade my two boys for the world, but (there is a but and I wish there wasn't, but everybody has a big but -- or butt -- in some cases) going through a pregnancy being told that you're having a girl (by two doctors -- 90% sure and 95% sure, just to remind you), becoming attached to this little person (Abigail Madeline, to be specific) not to mention her cute wardrobe (which was already hung categorized by size in HER closet and included some of my puffy little party dresses), and then having to box it all up and know that it's in the garage, definitely leaves a person feeling like, "Gosh! It'd sure be nice to have a daughter in addition to our two amazing and wonderful strapping lads. " After all I was the girl in a 'two boys and a girl family' and I turned out exceptionally well -- it seems to be a great combo. It should hopefully go without saying that if we do decide to have a third bebe, I wouldn't even consider it until I knew that I'd be just as happy with a third boy as I would with a girl. AND I wouldn't ideally get pregnant again until I could hire a full time nanny and housekeeper to take care of my family while I lie in bed and finally get around to writing my novel.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I've been teaching my toddler music class -- "Little Ditties Music Academy" -- for a few weeks now. There's nothing like teaching the toddlers of today, the Mozarts of tomorrow. Two and three-year-olds have a whole other kind of attitude and energy than the puberty-stricken seventh graders that I used to teach. Both ages come with their own sets of issues and challenges, that's for sure. There are similarities though: both groups tend to sing off key and you do have about a one minute attention span in which to pack as much information and music as possible.

I'm only teaching two back-to-back classes right now (45 minutes each), and when I'm done I know I'M ready for a nap who knows about the kiddos! It takes a lot of energy to maintain the interest and attention of ten two-year-olds for 45 minutes. I always enjoy the "classes" -- which could always be referred to as 'somewhat organized musical mayhem' -- but it's always nice to be told (or shown) that the kids are really enjoying them too. I have one two-year-old boy, in particular, that I was a little concerned about. His mom, like me, is a teacher-turned-stay-at-home-Mom (which adds a little pressure), and he is a VERY active little boy. She had hesitations in signing up for the class as she wasn't sure he'd be that interested or able to sit still for that long. Well, thankfully, little Colby, showed us both how much he's enjoying class by bursting into tears at the end of our goodbye song one day. I was concerned that there was something wrong, but soon found out that he was just giving me the toddler version of a rave review. He was devastated that class was over for the week. It's a funny thought to imagine a toddler's recommendation: "The class is so good, I cry when it's over!" Never thought making a toddler cry would be a good thing.

Our boys are doing well. Matthew LOVES his one-morning-a-week Preschool and is currently very interested in the whole concept of Halloween. We've been listening to our "Halloween Howls" CD over and over (he sings along) and we always notice "Halloween Houses" (those with decorations) on our runs. He often asks "where is Halloween? Where did it go?" I'm trying to explain that it's a day, not a thing but I'm not sure he's totally catching on.

Zachary is such the mover and shaker that he's toying with a new move we like to call "The Inch Worm." He lifts his bum up in the air and scootches his torso forward, slowly inching along the floor. He's not even six months old yet! Much to my horror, Mike got down on the floor with him and was giving him instruction in the art of crawling. "What are you doing?!" I exclaimed unto him, "He's the easy one right now -- he doesn't move! Once they're both mobile, then I'm totally outnumbered!" And that's just plain crazy talk.

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's official. Since day 1, we knew that Matthew was just a little "Mini-Mike." But now word out on the street is that Zachary is "Jenny Junior." Ha! Poor kids. Well, we each left our mark on at least one little human.

Zachary is already five months old! Can you believe that? I can't. We have to start actually feeding him [solids] in a month. Man! But I think he'll definitely be ready for some extra nourishment the way he moves around. It's amazing that even at five months I can see such a difference between the boys. Zach is our mover and shaker. He always wants to be facing out, watching the action (especially whatever big brother is doing), loves being flown around like an airplane, usually wants to be standing (with help of course) and loves to jump. In the last week, we've introduced him to both the Excersaucer and the Johnny Jump-Up -- LOVES them. He's also found his voice and can now yell at the top of his lungs in a very happy but very loud voice! Matthew thinks it's pretty darn funny when Zachary does his 'baby talking', so our house is often filled with loud -- and yet happy! -- noise! Music to my ears.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm not sure if I should even share this one. It's definitely one for Dr. Phil. My disclaimer: I claim no responsibility for the behavior of my children -- they have free-will and creative, little, inquisitive minds and are no reflection what-so-ever of my parenting skills (exluding when their behavior is exceptional, of course, in which case, it's all my doing).

Zach was down on the floor doing tummy-time in the living room when I heard Matthew talking to him, so I stuck my head around the corner to be sure there was no overly affectionate brotherly bonding occuring. Unfortunately, there was. Matthew was lying down in front of Zachary, holding his shirt up, and saying, "Do you want to eat Zachy? From my nipples?" Oye. My three-year-old son was trying to nurse his baby brother. Not OK. Not at all OK. I'm sure Dr. Phil's expensive, but probably worth it. Better start saving now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I didn't know that I signed Matthew up for a 'Children of Over-Achieving Moms' Preschool...or maybe all moms are like that and I'm just the only slacker mom out there. So, last week, was Matthew's first 'official' day of Preschool. To me this meant, you leave your child there and let him...uh...experience Preschool. Let me expand: We arrive on time, and Matthew runs right in and starts playing with his new pal, Theodore (also a truck-lover; they had an immediate bond). All the parents linger around for a little while (five minutes or so) and watch as the teacher, Ms. Susan attempts to pull the kids away from the toys and over to the painting table. I waited to see what the experienced parents would do (the ones who have already had older children go through the whole preschool process). Finally one of the other Moms says, "OK, Ms. Susan, I'm going to go...I'll be out in the hall if you need me." Huh? For two hours?! The whole time?! Then, the second experienced momma: "Ms. Susan, I'll be out in the hall." I watch as both moms file out and stand on the other side of the window watching their little ones from the hallway. I took a big breath, readied myself and said to Ms. Susan, "OK, so I'm going to go." Ms. Susan, "Great. You'll be out in the hall?" Me: "Uh, no, I'm going to go...go." Ms. Susan in total surprise: "Oh! Go...go? Do you think Matthew will be OK?" Me: "Yeah." (Also known as: "Later!"). So, it's official, I'm the slacker mom...ditched the kiddo and went to run errands instead of standing outside the hall watching my child through a window. Time to cut the umbilical cord and apparently neither Matthew nor I had any issues with it!

Now, confession: I did return a little early for picking Matthew up and watched from the window as he and Theodore established themselves as class trouble-makers. Theodore opened a storage cupboard and found a whole hidden stash of trucks which he proceded to hand out to Matthew as quickly as possible before Ms. Susan could put them back faster than they could take them out. Then, a bit later, all the children marched over to the corner for circle time...all the children except for Matthew, that is. Matthew discovered a fire truck up on a shelf and took it upon himself to get it down (which required climbing precariously up on a stool). While reaching for the much sought-after truck, Matthew lost his balance and slipped off the stool, scraping his leg in the process. He was about to cry, looked around to see who would give him attention, realized that all the other kids were in circle time with Ms. Susan, rubbed his leg and joined the group. In the car, on the way home, Matthew told me he had gotten an owie from preschool. I asked him how and he said, "I fell off the stool." I asked him, "Were you supposed to be on the stool?" And he confidently replied, "No, it was circle time. I made a bad choice." Oh well, at least he knows when he makes them, even if it doesn't necessarily stop him!

Monday, September 11, 2006

On Saturday, we celebrated down at 'Newcastle Days' -- our little town festival. We got Matthew all pumped up for his first pony ride. We attempted it last year and he backed out at the last minute, so we were anxious to see if '06 would be our year. And I'm happy to report, indeed it is. Matthew hopped up (with Daddy's help) on Snickers, the dark brown, somewhat rebellious pony. When I called to Matthew to look at me (camera on the ready) and to see if he was OK and not about to panic, he raised one arm up and said, "I'm the farmer!" When I went to take the picture, he did get briefly side-tracked by the pony in front of Snickers who was taking care of business before getting back to work. We had to talk about it a few times that evening, that "the pony went pee-pee."

Speaking of pee-pee (sorry, but this is my blog and I am the mother of a hopefully-soon-to-potty-train three-year-old, therefore, you must be willing to read a fair amount of potty-related stories. Also, as you know, we do tend to have a body-function curse on our house, so it is a common theme with the Fartin Martins)...Matthew has been totally anti-using the potty lately until Mike decided to treat Matthew like the little man that he is and let him attempt standing for his business rather than sitting. Potty time has turned into 'Target Practice Time' and Matthew gets to shoot Cheerios in the toilet. I'm just concerned that someday we'll be out in public and instead of saying, "Mommy, I need to go potty," he'll say, "Mommy, I need to shoot my O's." Just sounds a little bit odd if you ask me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Today we went to the zoo for Matthew's birthday outing. There is no greater sound than the belly-laughter of a three-year-old while watching the antics of a sea otter! We had a great time.

Yesterday, both boys got to have check-ups with the Pediatrician. As a three-year-old, Matthew weighs in at 37pounds 6ounces ("solid boy;" 90-95%) and is 37 inches tall (75-90th%). As a four-month-old, Zachary weighs in at 12pounds 15ounces (10-25%) and is 25 inches long (50th%). Both boys did great in wowing Doctor Benda with their age-appropriate skills. Phew! All that cramming paid off!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Today was just another day in the Martin household: Matthew turned three, went to his first day of preschool, got his lampshade stuck around his leg during naptime, rode in the stroller during a run, played at the park and got his first bee-sting, choked on snack, laughed out loud at Curious George, ate some cake, opened presents, had a bubble bath while using his new bathtub crayons, and went to bed. Nothing like being a three-year-old. All in all, he reported that he had a good birthday, his favorite part of the day was "cake" and his favorite gift was the "big red truck."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New pictures for July and August! at

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why is our entire house slowly being taken over by bodily fluids? Sorry for the details, but we've got some serious issues going on that need to be worked out. Last Friday was CAT PEE 2006 -- (Mistletoe urinated on my wedding dress and in Matthew's closet, for those of you not in-the-know). Yesterday was kid vomit all over a bed, the walls, table and floor. And today -- whew! What a doozy! The morning started with a toddler pee puddle on the sofa and carpet, soon to be followed by baby explosive, blow-out-poo TWICE, and then I had the pleasure of baby spit-up dripping down my shoulder, arm and back. I have gone through almost an entire bottle of Kids and Pets Odor and Stain Remover in just a week! Buy stock now, 'cuz sales are sky-rocketing thanks to the Martin Household 'o Body Function. Somewhere in the middle of this I started thinking that it's time to double my dose of Zoloft -- for some reason I'm just feeling a tad overwhelmed, but thankfully I had a couple of great friends [love ya!] and my mom [love her too] reassure me that ANYONE would be ready for a pity party with all of that. Party on, friends.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mike is a little concerned. Matthew's new favorite movie and his current obsession is one of my personal favorites: The Little Mermaid. I figure that it's good for two reasons: 1.) Matthew will hopefully pick up on the subtle moral of the film (obey your father or the sea witch will try to turn you into a weird little worm thing. Although Ariel still gets her way regardless of her parental disrespect and the risk of eternity in the mutant merpeople garden). And 2.) Now that Matthew is into The Little Mermaid, my dreams have finally come true -- someone actually asks me to sing Ariel's songs! At last!

We had one heck of a day today (and it ain't over yet)! I took the kiddos down to Mike's office so that his coworkers could finally meet Zachary (who's already four months old!) and see Matthew. We then went to lunch with Mike, dropped him off and went to Babies R Us to get a free birthday portrait of Matthew. Well, it would have been a two hour wait for the next available time, so forget that. We got back in the car at which point Matthew totally lost it -- full on toddler tantrum complete with abusing the mama and screaming at the top of his lungs. This tantrum continued all the way home, into the house, up the stairs, on the potty and into bed for naptime. The kid has stamina, people; there was no letting up. Zachary was starting to fuss due to that whole feed-me-every-two-hours thing, so I left Matthew to scream it out to his bears in his bed. Well, pretty soon I heard a sound which clearly indicated that he would soon be pushing his lamp and fan off of the bedside table in his fit of toddler rage. In order to stop this occurence, I quickly ran to his door and yelled for him to stop. He startled, stood up on his bed, and with fury in his eyes proceded to vomit all over himself, the bed, the safety bed rail, the floor and the wall. OH...MY...GOSH. We both just stood there for a moment transfixed with shock. Then Matthew realized that he was covered in grossness, so he picked up where he'd left off and howled even louder. Before I could get to him he worked himself up again in a serious sob and vomited some more. I repeat: OH...MY...GOSH. My first thought: Children really are a grandparent's revenge. I don't even know how many nights my parents spent washing sheets and cleaning carpets after I'd gotten sick before making it to the bathroom. Back to me though, 'cuz it's all about me, right? So, I've got a crying toddler covered in el puke-o and a baby in the other room crying for el boob-o. Thank God for Zoloft, people. Thank GOD for Zoloft! Oh well, gives me some material for my Blog.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mistletoe the Christmas Kitty gave us a real swell thank you today for all of our love and support... She peed on my wedding dress. I thought that the urine situation was simply puddled on the plastic bag, but apparently during some of her stay in Matthew's closet (her new favorite hide-out since getting sick) she made herself a nice, cozy little spot by getting into the plastic bag and nuzzling down into the folds of the fabric back surrounding my dress. Anyway, pee soaked through fabric into wedding dress fabric, and we've got ourselves a cat-pee wedding dress, people. Now, the whole keep-your-wedding-dress-forever thing was a bit of a dilemma for me. See, I don't plan on ever wearing it again, chances are slim that any daughter of mine (should we have one) would want to wear that cheesy-so-outdated-thing, it takes up a lot of room in the closet, and quite frankly, my wedding day was not the most stress-free, magical, amazing best-day-of-your-life day that some people have. So, in the end, I think we're just going to have it dry-cleaned but not all sealed and boxed up. We'll either donate it or sell it and another bride can enjoy its cat-pee-free-quality.

Now, whilst on the topic of natural body functions. (Sorry). We had a break-through in the potty-training department! Matthew did his first poo-poo in the potty! Woohoo for the poo-poo! It only took an hour, seven books, and a perma-ring around his bum from the potty seat, but it happened! To give true celebration to the event, Matthew got an immediate prize from the Potty Bag -- a truck, of course. All day he was saying, "Do you want to play with my potty prize truck, Mommy?...See my potty prize truck, Mommy?" Hopefully this post-poo-poo proudness and pleasure do not pass and we continue successfully with the potty training process.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Zachary was baptised on Sunday, and thankfully he didn't pee in the font. Phew! That's always a worry with these nudey baptisms. I think it's appropriate that he get dunked the way that God made him. The water was a little chilly so he did let out a small complaint, but other than that he was the perfect little saint/angel baby that he always is. He was also a serious crowd-pleaser at our post-Church celebratory lunch, providing big smiles to all who held him.

On a sadder note, our wonderful Christmas kitty, Mistletoe is not doing very well. She hadn't been eating so Mike brought her to the animal hospital. She has liver failure and they're not quite sure what's causing it. They know that she also has kidney stones but don't know if she's not eating/has the liver failure because of those or something else. Unfortunately, we really couldn't afford to have her stay at the hospital any longer and they weren't going to do an ultrasound until Thursday. Even if they did determine that she has cancer we wouldn't be able to pay for Chemo and don't know that putting her through that would be just. Another possible issue could be Pancreatitis or Pancreitis...whatever. the end, we decided to bring her home and medicate for that, force feed her with a syringe and 'water her' (insert an IV needle between her shoulder blades and pump 100cc's of water under her skin once a day). So far, things look promising. She's gotten a little better each day, has started eating on her own occasionally and has stopped hiding in the closet so much. She's sleeping on our bed again and getting back to her old, purring, affectionate-seeking self. We're to give the vet an update on Friday and go from there. Neither Mike nor I have ever had to make that kind of a decision -- what kind of medical treatment you can and should pay for and at what point do you decide it's time to put the animal 'out if its misery'. Mistletoe's only six, so she should have plenty years left of lovin'. We'll hope for the best.

I should provide the update that I did decide to start the Zoloft perscription for postpartum depression. I struggled for so long with the decision and especially with feeling like I was a 'failure' if I couldn't handle things on my own and needed chemical assistance. In the end though, I am SO thankful that I came to that conclusion. I feel like a different person -- I feel like me again! I was so scared that the feelings that I was experiencing of being completely overwhelmed and not in control would never go away, so it's so unbelivably reassuring that it is just due to a hormone imbalance. Now when things get crazy at home, I feel like I can handle things in a healthy way. Someone who took Zoloft for postpartum depression described it as just 'taking the edge off,' and I'd have to completely agree with that. So, while I am sad that I did need the help, I'm happy that it should be a temporary problem, that I can cope now and that I won't spend the first year of Zachary's life miserable. I can enjoy it rather then just try to get through it. So, cheers! Here's to Zoloft!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Sit down, Sweetcakes." Matthew said this to me the other day. Huh! I've never called him 'Sweetcakes' in my life, so who knows where he got that one! This little Sweetcakes of ours had a very exciting day -- we signed him up for an "Almost Three's" preschool class that will meet Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 starting in September. I don't know who's more excited about it -- him or me. I think it'll be a win-win situation for all Martins involved. Matthew will get the good learning experience (which at this age is really learning to socialize with other kiddo's in a more structured environment) and time away from home, Zachary will get to have one-on-one Mommy time and I'll get to have one-kid-less break-time. It sounds horrible to be excited about that, but I suppose it's a bit like the Moms who say they're a better Mother for working full-time. Since they have less time with their kids it's more quality time when they are home. Besides, absence makes the heart grow fonder; a two hour break will be a very life-giving thing!

When I told Matthew we were going to go see his preschool classroom he got so excited. He assumed that the kids would be there and he started naming all of his toys in the car and saying that he would let the other kids play with them. He's also thrilled about riding the school bus. I've tried to break it to him gently that he's not going to get to ride the bus for some time. Guess he's just ready to grow up on me.

Mike had his yearly check-up with his Oncologist yesterday. We know that when our Anniversary rolls around it's time to visit Dr. Hersman. He loves to see our expanding fam as do the Chemo nurses. They, of course, were not entirely surprised with our "exciting" pregnancy experience. By spending our wedding night in the ER, I guess we started a bit of a trend. I told them that I'm REALLY ready to have a boring life for a while. They laughed at that. Hmmm...apparently there's no such thing as 'boring' with two little boys.

So, back to our Anniversary -- we just celebrated our fifth! We've done a lot in five years: a major illness, new careers, buying a house, a few more ER trips, two pregnancies -- neither of which went without all sorts of surprises, not to mention lots and lots of good times. Anyway, I finally figured out why I had both of our boys five weeks early -- to score on the birthstones. Matthew's is Sapphire and Zachary's is the Diamond. Not bad, huh? And Mike REALLY scored big on the Anniversary gift this year giving me some jewelry that had both of their birthstones. Diamonds and Sapphires may sound a little dressy for playdates, but I don't care!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oh, loyal readers of mine (i.e. my phenomenal family and friends), you don't cease to amaze me with your support. I shouldn't have hesitated so long in coming out with my tails of woe as a postpartumly-bummed mom of two. Since I decided to answer the "How are you?" question honestly, I've gotten nothing but love (except maybe from the grocery store clerk who would have preferred the anticipated "Fine, thank you"). And here's the thing, really I AM doing fine, and I know how blessed I am and how much worse things could be ('cuz honestly they aren't bad); I'm just not quite me. But I guess I'm also realizing that maybe I need to better figure out who 'Me' is.

I was telling the girls at Book Club last night [Hi! And I still think that we should allow a new member to join, and I'm willing to write an entire blog session on why, if need-be and it's not just because our new potential member is a friend of mine and she's great :) ] that a few years ago, a much wiser (and yes, older) friend asked me how old I was. When I told her 22 or 23 (whenever it was), she said, "Oh! So, you don't even really know who you are. You haven't reached that mid-to-late-twenties-read-Self-Help-books stage yet." Of course, I immediately got defensive: "Please! Like I would ever need to read Self-Help Books. I have a totally, clearly defined sense of self." Um, so now that I'm the ripe old age of 26...anyone know any good Self-Help books? I'm in the market for one.

Part of it, I know, is the whole struggle of the Mom thing. I wouldn't change it for the world, I'm so glad that I get to stay home with my kids, and it's what I've always wanted to do, so then why am I not better at it? Man, it's hard. And people always tell you 'being a Mom is the hardest job in the World' and 'it's harder to go from one to two kids than zero to one," but until you live it, you don't actually know what they're talking about. Now, I knew that I wouldn't be the fresh, all organic ingredients, home-made meals on the table every night kind. Or the slippers waiting for Mike at the door type either. And I can't tell you the last time that I ironed. I also know that I'll never sew a Halloween costume. But, still! And then we (Moms) have all this weird self-inflicted mom-guilt if we do make or take time for ourselves. Although, I am willing (sheepishly) to admit that I think I do a pretty good job of getting that me time. And Mike is certainly great at helping me get those much-needed breaks too. I just keep thinking about the Oprah a few years ago when Mom's were finally 'telling it like it is' -- how much nursing can hurt and how (as one woman put it) "no one told me that being a Mom would suck 80% of the time."

Matthew and Zachary are both supposedly napping right now which means that I automatically SHOULD turn into Productive-Mom (picture a cape clad Mom -- home-made, of course, with duster in one hand -- I don't even own one -- and cookbook in the other so that meal menus can be planned out weeks in advance...all the while folding the mountain of laundry with feet or the magical extra limbs that all super moms must grow). BUT instead of being Productive-Mom, I'm 'self-medicating' with a fudgesicle (sugar free, at least) and my blog. I was thinking that I'd even try to squeeze in some Pilates before I release Matthew from his anti-nap naptime. And maybe I'll even do some self-helping by researching self-help literature.

Better sign off before I'm completely out of my Me time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's been a LONG time. I don't know if anyone even reads this anymore, but in case you're still out there -- thanks for visiting! We're doing...well. For a while there I really thought that things were getting easier, we were out of the foggy haze that is the first couple of months with a newborn, Matthew seemed to be settling down and adjusted to his baby brother, and I felt like we were starting to establish a bit of a routine. All of those things are true, but I guess I've also realized that it's OK to admit that I'm not doing as well as I'd like. We're thriving and surviving and all, but deep down I just don't feel like myself. I'm sure it's hormonal, blahblahblah, I even talked to the doctor about postpartum depression, but I really don't want to go on a brain chemical-altering drug that I'd have to be on for six months to a year and can cause 'suicidal thoughts' when coming off of it. I'm not suicidal now, so why would I sign myself up for the potential?! The thing that's reassuring -- and yet scary -- is that now that I'm talking to friends and family about my struggle and I'm hearing the same thing. Basically, "Yeah, life with two...especially in the IS that hard." Not really what I want to hear. I was hoping that there would be a magic happy pill to make things easier, but I guess I'm out of luck. So, in the meantime, I'm trying to do the things that help me feel like ME; that bring me back to the Essence of Jenny, the 'Jenessence', if you will -- read, talk to friends and family, and exercise (even if it still isn't running), and drink a cup of coffee with a dark chocolate kiss every morning. Chocolate really can cure all ailments.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Zachary has had his first solid food. Yes, typically you wait until about 4-6months, but he's just so darn advanced we thought, why wait? And what did we feed him you ask. A gnat! We were having a picnic dinner at our local park (they have live bands every Wednesday night through the Summer) and a little, tiny fruit fly started buzzing around. I thought that I had successfully swatted it away, then a moment later I look down and see a small black thing in the corner of Zach's mouth. He was already hungry, so every attempt I made with my finger to pull it out just caused the kiddo to smack his lips and move his tongue (thus propelling the poor, unsuspecting insect further back towards its inevidable demise). Zachary was thoroughly unfazed by the whole experience, so apparently he's not a vegetarian. I think now that he's gotten some extra fiber, we'll go ahead and wait a few months before we start him on tamer rice cereal.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New pictures at: and a new blog update yesterday!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh dear. You know it's been too long since I last blogged -- the website didn't automatically sign me in; I had to remember my password!

We, Martins are alive and well. Mike had all of last week off (got the 3rd and 4th and took vacation for the rest of it). On the 3rd, Mike and I had TWO weddings to go to. We really enjoyed our first night out (sans enfants) since December 28th, 2005. Hmm, that's a little sad. We've had beautiful weather, so we spent a lot of time outside going to the park, the beach, and playing in the sandbox. We also officially commenced Martin Family Fat Camp. The Couch to 5K training program is well underway (week one: complete). I am a little concerned though that my bed rest legs aren't quite ready. They seemed OK at the get-go, but the last couple of times that we've gone out for our walk-jogs I've been pretty sore the next day (especially my shins and knees which are the last places a runner wants injury). I guess I better slow down and run at Mike's pace. Ha! Right. Seeing as his legs are twice as long as mine, he usually runs in front of me a little bit. He claims this is so I can check out his rear. I told him it's like dangling cheese before the rat.

Matthew's favorite new game is Hide and Seek (which he calls "Hide and Secret.") In 'Hide and Secret' Matthew tells you where to hide, runs to his room to count (not always with numbers in the correct sequence), shouts "Here me come!" and then proceeds to be very pleased with himself when he finds you. My favorite version is when he tells me to hide in our bed. I always attempt to catch a couple Z's between his finding me, but he's pretty quick, that kid.
Zachary is enjoying life as a Martin boy. His favorite pastimes are: sleeping, eating, being held, swinging in the Graco "Swyngomatic", and watching big brother Matthew. He's still trying to master the art of smiling. When he does manage to pull back those now-chubby cheeks and flash those dimples it sure melts your heart. He's worth every minute that I laid in a bed.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Zachary had a good two-month check-up yesterday. He weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds 2 ounces. He's in the 5th percentile for weight (that's up from under the 3rd at his one month check-up) and he's 20 inches long putting him at 10-25% for height. He looked a bit jaundiced so in addition to his four shots, the poor kid also had to get blood drawn for a billiruben test. Thankfully, the results were fine -- he has a low amount of safe, breast-feeding related jaundice. So, an all together good check-up.

No time to write more...he's asking for attention.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Happy two months to Zachary today! I can't believe that he's already two months old. I also can't believe that last Friday marked seven weeks that I'd been home from the hospital. It's hard to compare the 'length' of the seven weeks that I'd been home to the seven weeks that I'd been in good 'ol rooms 645 and 644. The whole experience -- hospital stay and post-hospital life -- still seems strangely long, surreal and sort of out of body. I remember with Matthew the first couple of months being a bit of a blur, so I try to realize that I'm in that weird newborn baby transition blur time right now. I do feel that the last week or so has gotten better. Life seems to have settled down a little bit. Nursing is definitely going more smoothly, Matthew has been so good with Zach and has really mellowed out quite a bit, and sleep is pretty good. I'm surviving well without naps, though I wouldn't complain if I could still get them occasionally.

I've been taking the boys out for walks pretty much everyday in my beautiful jogging stroller. I'd say my relationship with the Dreamer Ditto is a bit like that of a man and his hot rod. I take a lot of pride in it and enjoy telling people how smoothly it drives and filling them in on it's special features (even if they really don't care). I even had a guy at the store comment on it and ask where I'd gotten it. Yeah, it's pretty sweet. It's been great walking so much and really the only time I still feel the impact of bedrest is when I squat or kneel. My knees definitely are still suffering the bedrest aftermath. But for the most part, I'm feeling good and can't wait to start running again. This Saturday, Mike and I will commence the 'Couch to 5K' training program together. Should be interesting!

I take Zach in for his two month check-up on Friday, so I'll have details then on his stats. (weight, height, where he falls on the growth chart, etc.). We know he's doing well since he's filling in his 0-3 month clothes nicely and is outgrowing his newborn-size diapers!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So, Project Fat Camp Jenny is underway. Man! All of my running weight-loss was very much undone by pregnancy-meets-bedrest-meets-bulk-up-baby-101. So, I'm back where I started. I've got a good 40 pounds to lose, people. We'll get there, it'll just be slow-going. It's hard to find time to make healthier food and to get my walks (hopefully soon runs) in, but I'm bound and determined, so hopefully I can start shedding all those protein shakes that the nurses were feeding me...I do kind of miss those though. They chocolatey and fairly tastey!

Zachary is growing in the opposite - fatten up - direction! He now weighs approximately 8 pounds and is definitely nursing better...still room for improvement in that area, but at least my Mastitis issues have gone away. Thank goodness. Zach gave Mike a very nice Father's Day present -- his first big on-purpose-non-gas-related smile. He also cooed for the first time later in the day. He's also given me the gift of being a good sleeper at night. We get to bed around 11:30 usually and sleep for about five straight hours before his next feed and then we usually get a couple more hours before we're up for the day. So, while it is interrupted sleep, I'm getting about seven hours which is way better than a lot of people get with young ones. Zachary achieves this incredible sleep by pretty much non-stop nursing from 5pm-11pm. Matthew did the exact same thing from a month-old on. It's apparently their way of making up for lost time in the womb. So, my evenings consist of sitting, nursing, getting about a fifteen minute break once he's been burped, and then starting all over again. I don't mind it though if it means we only get up once during the night.

Matthew has been such a good big brother. When Zachary starts crying he tells him, "It's OK, Zachy. It's OK. Mommy's coming," and gives him little pats on the head or tummy. His toddler-'tude has also mellowed down a bit (or we really have gotten better at dealing with it). He's also been using the potty more. We have a Potty Chart where we put his well-earned stickers and once he gets a certain amount he picks a surprise from the Potty Bag. The surprises are, you guessed it! Small trucks and cars!

I've been teaching a four week session of Little Ditties toddler music class which has been fun. Mike took last Friday off and got to attend class for the first time . After that we (the Martin fam) went to the movie theater and saw 'Cars'. Matthew, of course, loved it and has been talking about it nonstop. Zachary, on the other hand, most have been bored, 'cuz he slept through the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why is there a crazy lady working at the Peditrician's office? That just doesn't make sense to me. I brought Zachary in yesterday for a weigh-in and Hep-B vaccine. (He weighs 7.9 which is the least amount of weight gain he's had in a week yet, but that's probably due to my illness slowing things down). So, he gets his shot and as soon as he's done, I'm about to pick him up to comfort him (he's pretty much done crying by the time she's got the bandaid on him though), when the Crazy Lady picks him up and kisses him on the top of the head....???? OK, I know my baby is very kissable and all, especially the top of his head as it is the best location for a whiff of his natural 'eau de bebe', BUT first of all she's not family or friend, she's a crazy lady nurse, second of all...WHAT WERE YOU THINKING KISSING A BABY IN THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE, LET ALONE A PREEMIE? So, she does this kissing, I stand there shocked, and then she says, "I haven't held any babies yet today, so I shouldn't have too many germs." Um. Uh-huh. To which I responded, "I hope not as you just kissed my child," and reached out to take Zachary from Crazy Lady. So, the doctors and nurses always tell you to keep your infant -- especially Preemies -- from germs and from strangers' touch, but how do you keep them from Crazy Kissy Lady nurses in the doctors office?!

Monday, June 12, 2006

OK, so God just really likes to challenge me (because apparently I can handle it even if I don't want to). So things went from bad to worse and yesterday (Sunday), I had a temperature of 103.5. It's amazing what a difference a couple of degrees can make. 101.6 felt like I'd been run over by a semi, 103.5 felt like the semi decided, "Oh wait. No. I'm not quite done. Better back over her a few more times." Thankfully, that was the fever spike, as this morning I had no fever just the aftermath -- sore all over, dizzy, and fatigued. Anyway, I am on the mend and am so glad that those antibiotics finally kicked in. Now we just have to hope that Zachary and I can successfully nurse before it's time to wean.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Just when you think things can't get any harder, you get Mastitis (or at least I do). For those of you lucky enough to not know what Mastitis is, I'll educate: Mastitis is a horrible-bad terribleness caused by breastfeeding issues, and I have it. Symptoms include: a lot of soreness in the nursing regions (trying to keep it non-gorey here, people) accompanied by body achiness, a fever (101.6 for me), dizziness, headache, chills and then hot flashes, etc. So after a six week vacation, I was back on bedrest today as that's all I felt up to doing. Luckily I was able to get the on-call OB to phone in for antibiotics. Hopefully, they'll start working REALLY soon. My temperature's already down to 99, so I'm sure I'll be feeling even better tomorrow. Thank GOD that today was Saturday and that Mike was home to take care of all of us. I even felt too weak to hold Zachary to burp him. Matthew was also a REALLY good boy today -- like a different child! -- so that was helpful. He was looking out the window tonight and said, "Woah, it's pretty. Look at all those pretty houses." Zachary has been a good boy too -- eating, sleeping, doing tummy time, and being all around very cute.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Today was a musical day. I played my flute for the first time in months. I love that, while I am rusty, it's definitely like riding a bike -- especially my concert and competition pieces that I worked up so much in high school. I'm sure it would not be an easy task for me to conquer a new Concerto today, but the ones that I know come back fairly easily, and I love that!

So, I taught my first toddler Music class today (not first ever, just first in quite some time). I decided to teach a four week session because: a. I miss it, b. I was very bummed when I had to cancel the last session due to bedrest and c. we could use a little extra money with all of our incoming hospital bills. Since my decision, I've gone back and forth between being excited to teach again and asking myself, "what the heck were you thinking?!" It may only be a 45 minute class once a week for four weeks and that sounds very reasonable, but come on! Somedays it's an achievement just to get showered and dressed!

Anyway, class did go well despite having an interesting morning beforehand. I was attempting to nurse one child (which is not going very well) and trying to calm the other during a meltdown-tantrum; I do believe that at one point we were all in tears. Oye. But we got through and class was good. Zachary cooperated by sleeping through class upstairs in his crib and Matthew did...OK with sharing me.

Speaking of our eldest. In a fit of toddler rage a few days ago (whilst he should have been napping), Matthew ripped apart a picture book from the bookcase in his room. Now, this was not just any book and, I'm convinced, this was not just any random ripping. The book our son chose to demolish was 'Will You Still Love Me' [I don't have an underlining option for the book title]. This book tells the sweet story of polar bear Polo who is wondering if his parents will still love him when his new sibling is born. (Sorry to ruin the surprise ending for you, but yes, they will still love him). We got the book for Matthew for Christmas and it pretty much makes me cry every time I read it (along with 'Guess How Much I Love You' -- another tear-jerker classic). When Mike hesitantly told me what Matthew had done to the book, I exclaimed, "he hates us!" So, is this little man trying to send us a message?! Loud and clear. Is it time to call Dr. Phil, I ask unto you?! :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Zachary is a whopping 7lbs.4oz! Look out, Sumo baby! I was anxious to see how much he weighed today since we've been pretty much nursing all feeds for the last six days. Looks like he's eating and gaining just fine. (7lbs.3oz. was the minimum goal weight for today). Nursing has been getting a little bit easier though we're still having some issues (I'll spare you the gorey details). It's frustrating but I know it'll get better. Just seems a bit cruel that after you go through pregnancy and then childbirth you still have to go through the pain and frustration of figuring out nursing, which is not necessarily the instinctual process you think it might be. Oh well, such is life. Moving on...Matthew has been getting a bit more back into his mellow marvelous self (either that or we're just getting better at handling the tantrum-meltdown Matthew). He's still recovering from my whole hospital bedrest stay and gets very upset every time I leave. I went for a walk the other day and could hear him crying through the open windows three houses away. Sorry, neighbors.

By the way, be sure to visit our website Mike will get new pictures up tonight or tomorrow.

I caught my boys having a very sweet moment today. Zachary was down on the quilt for tummy time and Matthew had joined him (as he often does). Matthew was softly rubbing Zachary's head and whispering, "I love you, Zachary. Love you," and then kissed him on the top of the head. Life just doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I wish to share a cute anecdote with you all. Here goes:

So, the other day we had a thunder and lightning storm. Matthew was a little freaked out, so without thinking I told him what my Mom used to tell me when I was little which was that the thunder was just the angels bowling up in heaven. (Yes, I'm Therese and can't even help myself. Slowly, but also freakishly fast at the same time, I am turning into Therese! OK, it's not a terrible thing. FYI, 'Crashing their garbage can lids' is also another good answer to the thunder question). Anyway, Matthew spent all afternoon asking questions about the angels "booming" [the thunder]. At one point he was looking out the window at the pouring rain (or so I thought), I asked him if he was watching the rain and he said no, he was watching the angels flying. Huh. I said, "but we can't really see the angels, right?" To which he responded, "Nope they're too far away." And then he asked where they were, and I said they were up in heaven with God. Then later in the day he asked where they were again, I repeated the afore-mentioned answer. And then he said "Where's Jesus?" (I gave the same answer) and then he said, "Where's Rachel?" [Rachel being my best friend from childhood and one of Matthew's absolute FAVORITE play-buddies.] "Uh...Rachel's at work, I think" [at a State Park]. Then Matthew said, "with Jesus?" So, MY question for you is: Is Jesus a park ranger up in Bellingham and we just don't know it?!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Happy my Due Date to one and all! So, now that Zachary can 'officially' be here maybe we'll start taking care of him and feeding him and stuff. Right. I celebrated my due date today by bringing little Zach back to the 6th floor to visit my amazing Labor and Delivery nurses. Those gals really were like family to me for seven weeks and while I don't miss rooms 645 or 644 I definitely miss them. They're like chicken soup for my soul -- phenomenal women -- and it was so great to see them. I thought it was very fitting that I spend some time on the L & D floor with my nurses on my due date! They were thrilled to see Zachary and how much he's changed since he came home with us a month ago. In four weeks he's gone from 4lbs.12oz to about 7 pounds. It doesn't sound like much but when you're that little, every ounce counts!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ha! And you thought that I'd slack off on the Tuesday-blogging! How dare you doubt me and my commitment to blogging.

Zachary had his one month check-up today. Pretty nuts, huh? He's already a month old and he's not due until this Saturday, June 3rd. He had a tremendous weight gain which is great news since we've started to nurse more. So, despite the fact that he still seems to sleep-eat through a lot of his feeds, he's doing well and weighs 6lbs.13oz. The man is a giant! He's also grown an inch in the last two weeks. We saw a different doctor today (not my usual best friend!), and she called him "Chicken Legs". How dare she! Obviously she didn't see him when he weighed 4.12 since now he's more like "Thunder Thighs." Anyway, he looks great and since he's been gaining so well we can start increasing nursing until it's all but one feed. He'll still get a bottle once a day with multi-vitamin (and I'm going to plan it strategically, you see, so that I get to sleep through that one -- Mike's a night owl anyway).

I'm continuing to recover from bedrest and have been trying to get out for a walk every other day. I'm up to 25 minutes around the neighborhood now. I hope to keep recooping through June, gaining strength and walking. If all goes well, on July 1st I'll start the 'Couch to 5K in 9 weeks' training program that I did post-Matthew's birth to get running. I can't wait to break in that jogging stroller though it'll still be a while before Zach can fit in it.

Matthew continues to adjust in a rather toddler-not-handling-the-change-so-well kind of way. We think he won't need too much therapy though.

Gotta go feed the wee one!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I never thought that for my birthday I'd want nothing more than to stay in sweats all day and get to take a long nap. But, alas, here we are! My wishes were granted and I haven't been disappointed. I rang in the big 2-6 just the way I wanted! Mike made me breakfast in bed. Well, he didn't make the food in bed, he brought it to me in bed. And of course, my present -- my dreamy jogging stroller -- arrived a couple of weeks ago at our doorstep! One of my dear friends and her daughter came for a playdate and lunch from Matthew's favorite restaurant -- the five star establishment that is McDonalds. Zachary gave me the gift of nursing very well twice today (so far!), and Matthew blessed me with a fairly tantrum-free day and taking a long nap! Hooray! What more could a Mommy ask for?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Blogging Day! Tuesdays, apparently, will have to be my official Update Blog Days as that's when I tend to have news.

Zachary is an enormous baby! Well, maybe enormous isn't the word quite yet, but he's doing very well! As of this morning, he weighs 6 pounds 2 oz! We've passed the six pound mark -- woohoo! He gained 8.5 ounces in seven days which is excellent. He's been eating well (obviously) and we've been able to nurse a couple of times a day though it's still a challenge. Dr. Benda, our pediatrician, was so great today. I really do love her and want an 'I heart my Pediatrician' bumper sticker. She's so down to earth, supportive, she's a runner, AND she frequents our grocery store, Blockbuster and Starbucks (she lives pretty near us, you see). For all of the above reasons, we really should be great friends. She was expressing today how impressed she is that I'm sticking with the whole difficult and frustrating not-quite-nursing, pumping, and bottle-feeding dance. I don't know why but having someone state that they really know how trying it is gave me permission to feel really frustrated by it. I just want to be able to nurse! Is that asking so much?! And now that I am nursing more (2-4 times a day), those feeds are sometimes the most frustrating. Zachary gets so sleepy that he usually doesn't do very much. So, I spend an hour trying to nurse (spending a lot of the time trying to wake him up), then since he didn't do much I still need to pump (an additional 10-15 minutes plus clean-up of supplies), and when that's all said and done he's usually ready to eat OR we need to really try to force him to eat, therefore getting a bottle ready and spending another 30ish minutes feeding and burping him, and then cleaning up. When all is said and done it can take an hour and a half and by the time you're done it's almost time to start up again. Now, yes, I am complaining, but all the while appreciating our baby and his health and the fact that I can nurse even a little bit, that I only have ONE infant, that I've had my Mom and many friends to help out, etc., etc. MEANWHILE I'm so focused on trying to get kid #2 (Zachary) to eat and pack on some pounds that kid #1 (Matthew) is REALLY trying to express his unhappiness, confusion and general toddlerness into the scene in a very toddler-meltdown-tantrumy kind of way. And THAT causes me guilt because I know he's just behaving that way to get our attention, and THAT makes me feel bad since I can't make up for all the attention that I couldn't give him when I was in the hospital and still haven't been able to -- and won't be able to -- make up for now that I'm home. Hmm. Am I going in circles here? Anyway, I know that providing Matthew with a sibling, a playmate, a buddy for life is a very good and healthy thing. I also know that his behavior is perfectly normal and it's way too early to ship him off to Juvie....these are just my thoughts for the day, you see. Scattered, yes, but honest and true. Watch for the book: "The thoughts of a sleep-deprived, bedrest recovering, maternity-clothes-are-too-big-but-regular-clothes are-too small-and-therefore-I-just-feel-fat, why-do-I-have-to-have-a-sore-throat Mother" coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

With the risk of writing a vague blog (I've got a bit of a nap hangover, but I happily got a good nap!), I've got to to do it while I have the time. We're all doing very well! Zachary weighed in today at 5 pounds 9 ounces....though I think he probably lost a few ounces when he peed on me after being taken off the scale. I really need to start packing extra clothes for me! He's such a big, strapping boy now that we may have to graduate to the 'big boy' diapers (Newborn Size). It would probably be a wise move as the Preemie diapers I think are just for show as they seem to do us no good what-so-ever. We still have to pull the tabs WAY over and they tend to absorb pretty much nothing all the time. Zachary continues to eat well (thus the excellent weight gain, you see), and we're hoping to gradually start increasing the number of times we nurse (still only once a day).

Matthew continues to amaze us with his increasing verbal skills and mischieviousness. He's gotten very good at removing his diaper at naptime and bedtime (uh oh!). And successfully got up and over a gate during the night because he wanted to go 'visit' Zachy. Luckily Zachy was downstairs with us at the time or who knows what kind of extra-special brotherly-lovin' the kid would have received.

At Church on Sunday we watched triplets get baptised. Three boys! I feel I'm never allowed to complain about fatigue or doing too much laundry ever again! As some of you know, we have twins and triplets on both sides of the fam. Scary thought. Can you imagine how much bedrest I'd be on if we were 'blessed' with multiples?! When I told one of the doctors that when I was in the hospital she said, "I don't even want to THINK about that pregnancy." I don't even want to THINK about that post-pregnancy! God bless 'em!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I climbed Mount Everest today. Meaning: We walked all the way to our neighborhood park and back! That's by far the longest trek I've made in a couple of months. I was feeling so good afterwards that I proceeded to pull some weeds in the flowerbed, do the dishes, clean the toilets and then vacuum the whole house. Yes, I went a little nuts, and I'm sure I'll be paying for it the next couple of days, but oh well. It needed to get done, it felt good (at the time) getting it done, and tomorrow is Mother's Day and therefore I believe I have the right -- nay, the obligation -- to do absolutely nothing. Mike also got the grass cut and fertilized, so I had my first trial time with two kids on my own. I thought things were going swimmingly well; Matthew was playing quietly whilst I fed Zachary. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that Matthew was playing so quietly because he was playing behind the couch in the fireplace. Doh!

Friday, May 12, 2006

New pictures up on our website!!! The diaper picture is a comparison between Matthew's and Zachary's. However, keep in mind that Zachary is wearing Preemie diapers which is the smallest they sell, and they're WAY too big for him. We have to pull the tabs back over his opposite hip and he pees out all the time since they're just too loose.

Zachary weighed in at our Lactation appointment today at 5 pounds 4 ounces. He's passed his birth weight at two weeks old today! Our appointment was good although frustrating. I was really hoping since he's been eating pretty well and gaining weight that we could start nursing more, but it looks like I'll be married to the pump for a while longer. He's just still not strong enough or big enough to nurse more. I know I need to be patient, that technically he hasn't even reached 'full term' yet, but it's still frustrating. I don't know how some women never nurse and only's amazing! One very interesting thing that the lactation consultant (the 'nipple nazi' as my friend calls them) told me today is that she has seen that babies who were kept cooking with the help of the Magnesium Solfate IV (remember, the loopy miserable drug I was on?) tend to be weaker and just not as robust as their non-Magged baby peers. Isn't that interesting? All along we were wondering what, if any, effect all the drugs would have on us, and really who knows about the long-term still. She said that, while it's good that it keeps the babies in the womb for longer, it really appears that the Mag tends to zap out some of the strength and energy of babies, especially when it comes to the ability to nurse right away.

Matthew continues to adjust to life as a big brother. He has certainly caught on to one thing though. Pretty much anyone who comes in the door is asked, "You have a present for me? A truck?" It's probably a good thing that the last few visitors have come in empty-handed or we'd have a very spoiled, truck-happy big brother! He's also woken up the last two mornings saying that it's Santa's birthday. Hmmm...yesterday he also was convinced that it was Christmas and that we should get presents. Is that my kid or what?!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Slowly but surely we're helping Zachary pack on the pounds (well, ounces). He weighed in today at 5pounds 1 ounce. We're over the five pound mark! He's gained 4.5 ounces in the last three days which is really great. (One ounce a day was the goal). Yesterday was a bit of a crisis day. Zachary had two major choking incidents. He just doesn't pace himself well when drinking from the bottle. He choked and started to turn purple before sputtering and breathing again. Once we'd all recovered from the scare he proceded to vomit up everything that he'd eaten. Yikes. Our pediatrician said that it's nothing to be too alarmed about. That's definitely a preemie thing -- not pacing. Figuring out the breath, suck, swallow skill is tricky for the little guys. So, we just need to force him to take breaks and to burp him a lot. We had a much better day today though, thankfully. He was very alert for part of the afternoon and even had big brother Matthew join in on the floor for his first 'tummy time'.

Matthew is doing as well as can be expected with his life in total upheaval. He's gotten fairly whiney and has truly mastered the art of the two year-old melt down and tantrum. (Although, let's face it, that's a skill that most toddlers are good at). But all things considered, he's doing well and had a good laugh today when Zachary sneezed several times in a row. (It is a very cute and amusing sight). He's also done really well in the 'big brother toy and gift department'. I think we'll need to be sure not to mention to Zachary that with his birth came lots of gifts...mostly for his big brother!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment at the Women's Clinic for Lactation Consulting and Zachary's Newborn Hearing Screen test (he passed with flying colors). Mr. Zachy weighed in at a whopping 4 pounds 13 ounces. Crazy! Have I mentioned his butt wrinkles? Yes, it sounds strange to discuss such a thing, but just to give you an idea as to how tiny he is, I must discuss his derriere wrinklage. The peanut just didn't have time to chub himself out in the womb and so has all this loose flesh on his little bum and thighs. We're doing our best to pack it on, but he's often tired at feedings, so it's a lot of work to get him to take the whole bottle. He's still too little and gets too fatigued to nurse much, so it'll probably be another month or so before we can really start doing that more.

I had a big day today. We went to church this morning, and then I went to the grocery store this afternoon. My first time in a store in two months! (While the hospital bills certainly did rack up, Mike was a little glad to have me locked up and kept from shopping). It was good to go (and nice to have the shopping cart to lean on when my legs got tired). I was feeling so normal that I even vacuumed a little when I got home. Yes, all of the above activities probably fall under the description of 'over doing it in bedrest recovery' but it sure felt good at the time. Who'd a thought that vacuuming could be so exhilerating?!

Matthew was pretty good around Zach today. He wants to see him a lot and was very intrigued (but mostly disturbed) by Zachy's 'yucky belly button' (he still has his umbilical cord stub). I tried reassuring Matthew that his was like that as a baby too and that Zach's will turn out fine, but I don't think he bought it. Oh well, just another thing he can discuss in counseling years from now.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

HE'S HOME!!! We brought Zachary home yesterday in the early afternoon to a very excited (and wound-up) big brother Matthew.

We all had a big day. Zach's began with a circumcision; poor kid. The doc said he fussed a little when placed on the table but then didn't cry at all during the procedure. What a champ! I still can't believe that they let us take this little tiny thing home. He's SO unbelievably small that preemie clothes just dwarf him. Matthew was very eager to hold Zachary ('Zachy'), however within about an hour he was saying things like, "don't like that baby boy." Ahhh, yes, now the fun really begins. This should be interesting.

Right now, Mike and Matthew are out doing Matthew's 'Big Brother Surprise Activity" -- Build a Bear. Hopefully Matthew won't be too disappointed that it's not truck-related. If he's not impressed, Mike will can the bear theme and head to ToysRUs where Matthew would probably be happier getting a $5 truck.

We had a good first night with all of us at home, though the sleep deprivation has really begun. I woke up at 5am in a panic that we'd slept through Zachary's 2am feeding (we have to get him up every three hours as he's gotta start packing on the chub), only to be reminded by Mike that we had, indeed, fed Zach at 2. Mike had weird tornado dreams during the night. Huh. I wonder what that means...stormy weather ahead?!

So, now that we're in the beginning of life with two boys, blogging will be more sporadic. But do keep checking in occasionally. (I know some of you will go through serious withdrawals from your daily ‘Jenny's Thoughts’ fix, but please try to hang in there). Also, check our website for new pictures. We'll probably get them posted once a week or every couple.

Love to you all!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Unless there are any major set-backs, Zachary is scheduled to come home tomorrow on his one week birthday! I can't believe that we'll have a five-pound wee one home with us in under 24 hours. So much to do and so little energy to do it! I've stayed up too late tonight already and have done too much, I'm sure, so must sign off. Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My 2nd blogging session in one day! Pretty impressive. I just had to share the good news: Zachary got his feeding tube taken out and is due to have his IV taken out tonight. He nursed for the first time today at both of the feedings I was at. He did so well this afternoon that we didn't have to supplement with a bottle afterwards. The nurses are saying that he's quite the over-achiever and that he's sure acting like a bigger boy than the under-five-pounder that he is now. If he continues doing as well as he is, he might come home as soon as Friday!!

We received one of many medical bills today. Thank God for insurance. One ultrasound in the hospital cost $188. (I had at least one every week I was there). And an under five minute consultation with one of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists cost $150. That's $30 a minute! Maybe I should start charging that for my toddler music classes. I think if I call myself a Music Specialist instead of a Music Teacher that must entitle me to charge a ridiculous amount of money.
Hello! What a busy, busy time we're having with all the trips to and from the hospital. I've been able to make it for two of Zach's feedings a day (11am and 5pm), but I wish I could be there more (all the while having guilt when I'm away from Matthew now that he has Mommy back...ahhh, life with two -- a balance that it'll take a while to figure out, me thinks).

Zachary continues to do well. He's been too sleepy to eat at some of his feedings, so they use the feeding tube to let him rest. His jaundice level has continued to creep up but so far hasn't been high enough to require time in the tanning bed. He was fairly alert for me yesterday afternoon and we even successfully nursed for, mmm, about a minute. That's a huge accomplishment for such a little guy though.

Matthew LOVES to visit Zach and likes to call him Zachy. He rubs his head and tells him 'Shhh, Zachy, shhh' if the wee one starts to fuss. Very cute!

My legs are slowly starting to regain strength. They're really sore when I first stand up from sitting or lying down, but they gradually loosen up as I walk on them. I managed to take a shower this morning without feeling like I was standing on spaghetti noodles.

I had a good nap yesterday afternoon at my parents' house (they've continued to help watch Matthew for us most days and chauffeur me around). So, I had a lot of energy last night and attempted to clean up the kitchen a bit. I was on my feet for all of two minutes when I needed to sit down and rest. It's a bit frustrating that when I do have the time and energy to do stuff around the house, I just physically can't!

An early birthday present arrived for me yesterday. Mike bought me my dream double jogging stroller!!! I'm thinking if we put it together soon, we can have a trial run around the block (Mike pushing Matthew and me, of course). I was going to have a baby shower at which the plan was for people just to pitch in for the stroller, but now I think we'll just need to raise money for a shed/2nd house for the stroller as there's no way it'll fit in our already-too-crowded garage!

My friend Katherine (hi!!) accidentally called my hospital room. Turns out there's a man named Gary living in my old quarters. Hmm, how the labor and delivery floor has changed since I left! (I imagine that Mr. Gary is the significant other of an el preggo mama).

It's off to the hospital now!

Monday, May 01, 2006

My sad, atrophied chicken legs HURT! A year ago today I ran a marathon. I think I might be in as much pain today as I was then...well, maybe not quite as much. There's no epidural for running a marathon, that's for sure. (Or you know I would've gotten one!)

Zachary is doing really well. He's completely breathing on his own and has been moved back into a crib where he has successfully maintained his body temperature for about 24 hours now. He's a little bit jaundiced and therefore pretty sleepy. If he's more jaundiced tomorrow they'll put him under the bili lights (little mini tanning bed). We had a rough time getting him to eat much today, so unfortunately he had to get a feeding (NG) tube put in. Pretty standard for his age/size.

Mike's going to try to get pictures up on the website tonight or tomorrow. The address is:
I'm home! It's weird and wonderful all at the same time. Not much time to write (yes, reality has caught up with's hard doing the back and forth to the hospital so much especially as my legs are starting to feel like rubber). We're about to head out to Mom and Dad's and then to go see Zachary. He's doing great. Off oxygen, totally breathing room air on his own, and got moved out of the incubator back into a crib where he'll need to prove he's a big boy and can maintain his body temperature. He's lost a little weight, but that's normal. And he's really starting to chow on his bottles of pumped milk/formula (to fatten him up). We're hoping to attempt nursing again today.

We'll keep you posted as best we can!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So, who says just 'cuz I had a baby yesterday I have to stop blogging?! Well, it's only a matter of time 'til the whole toddler, infant, post-partum, nursing, bedrest recovery, sleep deprivation catches up with me, and then maybe, just maybe, I won't be quite the avid blogger that I am now.

We are all doing really, really well. Zachary is just such a cutie! He was doing great this morning. They turned off the oxygen in his tent, so he was breathing room air, and they even moved him to a crib. However, it turned out to be too much too soon. He had his pacifier privileges revoked as he was too busy sucking and not remembering to breathe all the time. So, he was given a CPAP nasal tube to help and was also moved into an isolette to maintain his temperature (he just doesn’t have enough baby chubs to do it on his own). Our nurse this morning kept making comments about how he got ‘very grumpy’ when the pacifier was taken away and ‘really mad’ when his diaper was dirty and ‘pretty upset’ when…whatever whatever. I don’t know if it’s just her opinion or if he just didn’t like her much, but I’m SURE that no child of mine would be impolite or difficult! We do like a spirited fellow, but I’m sure that any trouble-maker traits will be taken care of before he comes home with us! J

Before Zach was put into the isolette, I was able to hold him for a bit this morning. For the first time, he opened his eyes, turned towards my voice and looked at me for the longest time. It was amazing, and we got a fantastic picture! (Hopefully Mike can get the pictures up on the website sometime soonish). Since Zach wasn’t hooked up to too much machinery, Mike brought Matthew in to meet his baby brother. Matthew got a huge smile on his face, gently patted the hat on Zach’s head and said, “I love you ‘Zach-ry’ and ‘Silly baby Zach…sleeping on Mommy!’ Later today, Matthew and I had a really good talk about Zach. He said that Zach was born and is not in Mommy’s tummy. He’s sleeping in a little bed.’ He also said he wanted to see him again. Very sweet!! (Yes, ignorance is bliss. Matthew has no idea how much his life is going to change once this little Zachy joins us at home).

Mike held Zachary later today too and reported that he had the hiccups. We’ll both spend the night here tonight and then head home tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will mark my 7th week/49th day of being in this hospital, and I finally get to check outta this joint! I’m excited to go home, though I know that the back and forth to the hospital will be challenging...especially with getting my land legs back. Walking to and from the NICU has been good exercise for me today, and I’ve done surprisingly well. My legs start to feel really weak and shaky if I stand still, but otherwise, moving around has been OK.

Best sign off and get some rest.

Thanks again for all your love and support. We couldn’t have gotten through without you!

Friday, April 28, 2006

ITS A BOY! Zachary James Martin was born Friday, April 28th, 2006 at 7:05 PM. He weighed 5 lbs 2 oz and was 18 1/2 inches long. He is half an inch taller than Matthew was, but quite a bit smaller. Contractions started to pick up a bit up around 1:00 PM but they weren't too bad. I received my beloved epidural around 1:45 PM, however only my left leg got numb, and when they examined me I could still feel it. As we all know, I LOVE that epidural, so I was pretty upset when it wasn't working. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist came back and readjusted things. I was delightfully numb in no time. Around 3 PM Dr. Anton came in and broke my water. Shortly after that Zach had a big drop in heart rate and I ended up wearing the oxygen mask for the majority of the labor. At 6:45 PM things really began to pick up. It took 3 big pushes and out came Zachary with a good hearty cry. It turns out that I had a freakishly long umbilical chord that was draped around his neck and around his arm. We wanted to donate the chord blood but Dr. Anton wasn't sure there would be enough to do that and have some for pathology to analyze, but then she saw we had more than enough so it worked out. Zachary looked really good and is unbelievably cute. He started doing the little whimper/grunt cry that is common to preemies trying to breath. So after getting to hold him for a couple of minutes he was taken into the NICU accompanied by Daddy. He is doing pretty well. He had a chest X-ray that showed some fluid in his lungs, but they look good he just needs a little bit of help breathing, so he is in an Oxygen tent. He also has an IV with some antibiotics and will most likely start feeding either with a tube or bottle of my pumped milk in the next few days. Just like with Matthew, we should assume that he will most likely be in the NICU for at least a couple of weeks. He is tiny, beautiful, and a fighter and we look forward to introducing him to all of you someday. Time to sleep.

We're going to have a baby....soonish! They've just started Pitocin through my IV, so it's just a matter of hours. After weeks of trying to keep me pregnant, they're now being really proactive to get things a-moving. Zachary had some pretty scary decels in his heart rate last night. At one point it lasted for a couple of minutes. The nurse had me roll to the other side, started pushing on my tummy to try to get him to snap out of it, and even pulled out the oxygen mask (to put on me to get more oxygen to him). Luckily he did pick his heart rate back up on his own, but it was really scary. This whole incident happened again at 6am. So, when I told Dr. Anton about it at 8:30 this morning she was very concerned. She called over to the specialists to see if we could do an Amnio today, but they all concurred that at this point that was neither necessary or appropriate. Even if his lungs aren't 100% mature, he's obviously telling us that he's had enough and needs to come out. While he looks great most of the time, we really don't want to wait until things get too scary too fast. SO....we're making things happen. We're still hoping not to have to do a C-Section, but it's always a possibility. I have been promised an early epidural though!!! I love having seniority at this place. I also get to pick my nurses as if there's a buffet of assistants laid out before me or a police-type line-up. Wouldn't you know though that all of my 'regulars' are off for the evening shift, so I'm having a gal that I've only had once, but she is really great. I know I'm in good hands no matter what. So, contractions are starting to pick up a little bit, but still aren't bad. Who knows how long this will all take, but we'll be sure to post/call people with news as soon as we're able!