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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Full Moon Madness

It’s been a full moon, right?  That must explain some of the crazinesses that have been going down under our roof.  First of all, Monday night was Zachary’s last basketball game.  I’m bummed that the season is over – especially because Zach has just been getting better and better! – but I’m also completely relieved at the same time.  It was pretty frustrating to watch the other teams’ coaches actually coach their kids while ours couldn’t keep track of our players.  My mom and brother Chris made it to watch the last half of the game.  Ironically, we were playing the team that we’d played very first – you know, the team that’s apparently comprised of the semi-professional seven year olds.  While we still got our butts handed to us, you could tell that (despite the lack of coaching) our boys had come a long way. 


Zachary had the ball to pass it in to a teammate.  Most of the time he goes for a bounce pass rather than a chest pass.  His bounce pass involves taking one enormous step forward and then dramatically dropping the ball (often way too far away from his teammate). For whatever reason, Zach suddenly decided against the standard bounce pass and in front of all the players, family members and friends, he turned around, bent over, stuck his butt up in the air and passed the ball between his legs behind him.  The new patented ‘Zachary Martin Pass.’


Later that night, Matthew came down to talk to me in private.  And whew, sheesh, did I narrowly dodge a bullet!  He started to tell me how some kids were talking inappropriately at school – body parts talk especially about how boys and girls have different parts.  Matthew kind of asked some questions but then sat there waiting for me (I thought) to ‘lift the curtain’ so to speak.  Now, Matthew’s only 9 ½.  We’d planned on having The Talk (the birds and the bees one, yup, that ‘The Talk’ – as if there’s any other) this summer before he starts 4th grade and turns 10.  I had my first sex ed class in 4th grade and we definitely want to explain things to him our way – ideally before some kids on the playground beat us to it.  But we really didn’t want to tell him during his third grade school year.  I told him as such. 


I basically said, “You know, there’s a lot of stuff about body parts and why boys and girls have different parts and about relationships that we’re going to explain to you.  We were just hoping to wait until this summer.”


I asked him if kids at school have talked about sex.  He answered, “Well, yeah, I mean, they say ‘sexy.’”


“Riiiight…and do you know what that is?”


“Well, it just means like cool or hot.”  (Funny how those words are complete opposites).


Anyway, I tried to get back to the BIG topic here.  So, Matthew’s understanding was: there’s this big TALK we’re going to have this summer about sex (whatever that is!) and boys and girls and body parts and why they’re different…


“Yes,” I said, “But, are you going to be able to wait for this conversation?”  We had already talked about how this isn’t something we want him asking friends about or talking about at school, etc.  Obviously, he knows that body part talk isn’t appropriate but… “Do you have questions?  Are you very curious?”  I asked.


After a LONG dramatic pause (gulp), he said, “Well, yeah.  I’m super curious.  I have all kinds of questions.”


Deep breath.  OK.  Here we go.


“Like, I wonder about math equations.”


Huh?  “You wonder…about math equations?” I asked.


“Yeah, like I’m really curious about how the tricky ones work.  There’s a bunch of stuff that I don’t understand.”


And that was pretty much the end of the prelude to The Talk.  It reconfirmed for me what I already knew: he’s a NINE year old boy.  One moment, he can be enjoying the endless humor in farting, the next moment he can wonder why boys and girls have different body parts, but before we’ve even delved into it he’s moved on to…math equations.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21st

It’s a funny phenomenon – the memoies that come flying at ya sometimes.  I’ve had the stomach flu for going on two days now.  Two days, in the big scheme of things, is not that long of a time...however, when the time is spent curled around the toilet or lying in bed whimpering and shivering because you’ve never been so cold in your life and then two minutes later, you’re sweating and cursing ‘cuz holy dooty, who turned up the heat?!...Walking hurts....Breathing hurts...Your brain aches like feels like longer than two days.  It especially feels long when, not to toot your own horn, but you’re pretty sure the world (or at least the world of your family) revolves around you – or in the very least relies on you a heck of a lot.


Thankfully, I’m married to a husband-father rockstar.  Mike has totally rocked at taking care of the three mini-Martins.  Getting the boys off to school, entertaining a toddler who lacks any reason what-so-ever (and is still slightly disturbed by the shadow – of herself – that constantly follows behind her), making sure that I have everything I need, etc., etc.  He’s even somehow managing to work in and around all of this.


Hmmm, kind of reminds me of March, a few years back – seven to be precise – when I did a lot more than lie around for two days.  In fact, I laid around, in a hospital room for 49 days.  I told Mike this morning, that there’s no way I could’ve done bed rest at home.  It’s just too hard to chill on the sofa having to watch Mike take care of everything.  It’s too hard!  No wonder I was whisked away and essentially locked in a hospital room!    


Anyway, my current (and very brief, I pray) reminder of bed rest had me curious.  What was I doing seven years ago on March 21st?  Well, lying in a bed, yes.  I’d been in the hospital for six days already, completely unaware that I still had six weeks more to go (not just 3 weeks as the doctors were saying at that time).  I also depicted an episode of the boys’ brotherly interaction (yes, Zachary was still in utero, cooking away in me, the mama oven).


Let’s take trip down memoy lane, shall we?:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:44PM “Life without an IV is bliss! Who knew how easy getting up to go to the bathroom or taking a shower sans plastic covering and arm apparatus could be?! I'd certainly forgotten! So, that's the big news today -- I'm off the Magnesium IV drip (woohoo!) and have been put on oral meds that I'm given every six hours to keep those contractions down. Dr. Anton came to see me this morning and said that she definitely agrees with Dr. Walker that I need to be here on monitored bed rest at least until/through week 32. They'll be monitoring me along the way and if there are any changes, then obviously the plan will change. On average my graph/monitor reading shows that I have four contractions an hour (though they're very little and I don't usually feel them). The doctors said that they'd be OK with up to six an hour as long as they weren't getting painful or long. It's interesting to have the nurses explain my graph though. They can look back along the squiggly line and say, "Ahh, yes, and at 12:23 you had a contraction that lasted for 17 seconds." When we monitor Zach, they can look at his graph and tell me when he is in a sleep cycle, when he's awake, when he flips over thus accelerating his heartbeat, when he settles back down, and when he has the hiccups (which they don't need to tell me as I definitely feel those)! He's a very active little guy, that's for sure. Today Matthew had a good time bumping my tummy monitor (that was tracking Zachary) and making a big thumping noise come through the speakers over the sound of Zach's heartbeat. So, poor little Zachy is already getting abuse from his big brother! When Matthew first heard the baby monitor the other day he looked so confused. I said, "That's baby Zach in Mommy's tummy. It sounds like horses galloping, huh?" Matthew responded, "Yeah, horses in Mommy's tummy." So, now the already confused little man, thinks that I'll be having a horse-baby! As if this whole ordeal wasn't weird enough already. Guess we better start saving up for therapy. Who needs college, anyway?!”


Little did I know that my cute anecdote was, in fact, a very realistic foreshadowing.  Zachary is very active. Matthew does still inflict abuse upon him (though Zach dishes it back, for sure).   And, really, we should be saving up for therapy for all of us.  I bet even Suze Orman would agree that therapy would be a more sound investment than college!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cheers and fears

A few weeks ago, we got a phone call from the principal.  I wasn’t all that surprised…it was only a matter of time.  And I’ll admit that I REALLY wasn’t surprised that she was calling about Zachary.  To my utter amazement, she went on to congratulate us on sending such a great kid to their school.  Zach was the recipient of a “Great Kid of the Week” award.  He got to have lunch with the principal where he received a school keychain.  And his teacher wrote the NICEST note about him.  (Totally a keeper).  One of the things that Ms. C. wrote about Zachary was that he is an “eager learner.”  Zach has taken these words to heart and we’ve been reminded repeatedly when he factually states, “Well, I AM an eager learner, you know!”


Ironically, we just got a phone call this morning that Matthew has now been selected as a Great Kid.  Woohoo!


Matthew, last week, told Zachary and I, “So, it’s not like I have crushes on all the girls in my class, but I really like to make them laugh.”


“Oh really?” I asked. 


“Yes, I just really like the sound of girls’ laughter.”


Kayli, unfortunately, has been a little bit less girly-laughter lately.  She’s dedicated herself 100% to the terrible two’s.  Holy Majoly, her tantrums are something to be seen and heard (or not, if you have the option).  She’s also decided to go nap-free about 99% of the time which only fuels the cranky-fest fire.


She’s had a new issue lately that we really need to work through. Let’s say a piece of fuzz is on the floor or a little bit of hay got out from Scout’s cage.  Someone walks by causing a slight breeze and the little object then moves on its own.  She screams and shrieks in such terror you’d think that something seriously horrific was occurring.  (Apparently, to her it is).  So, we’ve taken her over to the fuzz or hay and pointed out what it is and maybe blown on it to show how it can move.  (This usually results in her just clingy to us all the more).  Well, this whole phobia has taken another turn: the child is now literally scared of her own shadow.  For the past couple of hours she’s refused to walk across the hardwood floor where the kitchn ceiling lights cast her shadow about.  She will just stand there completely frozen in terror refusing to move.  It’s a little funny (at first) but then also kind of sad ‘cuz she’s genuinely scared but then also annoying and frustrating because we can’t get anything done!


Mike’s the one who’s been dealing with this fear factor this morning.  He’s working from home as I’m sick.  Like sick-sick.  Yesterday afternoon, I started to feel not awesome.  Thankfully, Mike was home in time to be the awesome back-rubber that he is when I’m puking.  He can tell you (if anybody really wanted to hear the details) that I am an AWFUL puker.  It is not one of my gifts.  Our family in general is a puking people.  The boys handle it like champs.  I’ve always been a puker myself but I’m SO terrible at it.  I freak out.  Actually, I’ve looked into it and there’s a fear of vomiting – emetophobia.  My fear is more that I feel like I’m choking and can’t breathe so then I freak out.  Puking, to me, is seriously, the Worst. Thing. Ever.  And I was so (oddly) proud that I’d made it many months without throwing up in this house.  I was hoping to keep my puke-free streak going for as long as possible, but shoot, I didn’t even make it a year!


So, now with my fear of vomiting and Kayliana’s fear of things moving on the floor, maybe we can get a group rate for therapy!    

Thursday, March 14, 2013

White smoke!

Yesterday, the smoke turned from black to white.  We have a new Pope!  I’d turned on the Catholic radio station on my drive home from running errands.  It was late evening in Rome and they were reporting from their spot right above St. Peter’s Square.  Sistine Chapel chimney-a-watchin.  They anticipated smoke at any moment.  They were speculating – would it be black again (for the fifth time)?!  Could it possibly be white?! Who might the new Pope be?!  It’s actually pretty entertaining to listen to people try to kill time when you know everyone is dying of anticipation and just wants to hear the news!


When I arrived home, I quickly ran into the house and turned on the station so I could continue listening.  I hadn’t listened to any of the other coverage live, but for whatever reason, I just could NOT miss this. if I knew something extra exciting was abouts to go down.


As the commentators were talking you could hear a dull roar building in the crowd below them.  I ran over to the TV and turned it on so I could not only hear what was happening but watch as well.  I set the manual record up so I could show the coverage to the boys when they got home from school. 


Pope Francis.  First Francis, first Jesuit, first South American.  Humble guy.  I’m pretty pumped about him!


I couldn’t wait to tell the boys when they got off the bus.  Matthew told me, “I know!  Mrs. K. told us after lunch.”  Mrs. K is awesome and, oh, also happens to be Catholic.  So, despite teaching in a public school she thought it news-worthy (which it obviously was as it was all over ALL the news) and announced the news to her class.  Matthew said, “I was so excited that they elected a new Pope, I jumped up from my seat super quick and knocked my water bottle off my desk by accident!”


That is SO awesome. I’m totally proud that my kid is the Nerdy Catholic! Mrs. K. sent me an email saying that she was so amused by his thrilled reaction. 


Later in the afternoon, I had the boys watch what I’d recorded.  Turns out, Matthew thinks the fact that the Pope has his own guards is definitely a draw for that as a potential career path.  Who knows? Maybe my own kiddo will someday be Pope Matthew the somethingth!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cirque du Martin

Sporty-Sport-Sportums.  We’re those people.  For a little while anyway, we will be those people.  What people?  The multiple sports practices/games-a-week people.  Last night, Zachary had his fourth basketball game (where he scored at least thrice, thank you very much)!  Wednesday and Saturday, Matthew has his first baseball practices of the season.  Our neighbor has asked Mike to be his assistant coach which will make the season just a little bit extra cray-cray for us.  Until basketball’s done, it’ll be a three-ring circus, getting to all of our events.  In terms of baseball though, I’m hoping – as much as I’m able – to assistant coach the assistant coach.  Mike and I would make a good team as he has the baseball knowledge and I’ve got the herding-kids gift from years of teaching.  It also turns out that I have secret mad baseball playing skills that no one ever knew about and I can pretty much school anybody out there.  (Or I like to think so, anyway).    


Lenten Update.  We’re on week four of our six week Lenten journey which for Mike and I means week four of being Vegan.  Not that it’s all about weight loss, buuuut…I’ve lost about five-eight pounds (depending on when I weigh in) and Mike’s lost around ten.  Just this weekend Justin Timberlake danced as a piece of Tofu on Saturday Night Live singing a medley about “Veganville.”  Apparently, Mike and I are very cool and sexy hopping aboard the Vegan train. “Hey, eat some kale, it’s so much fun!...Ahhh, Veg out!”  Anyway, it’s going well.  What’s most amazing thus far is how my taste buds have changed.  We’ve gotten rid of the super sugary cereals and the most sweet/treat cereal we have is “Oatmeal Squares.”  I don’t eat it for breakfast, but mix it in a little snack mix for the kids (with raisins and a few chocolate chips).  The Oatmeal Squares definitely still have a little sweetness to them, but now when I eat one, I can’t believe how sweet they are – they’re like candy! 


This Saturday, we’re going to the school auction where we’ve given ourselves special Lenten Dispensation (I’m sure the Pope would be on board…oh wait…we don’t know who that is yet!) to eat the expensive (and cheesey-meaty) meal that we’d paid for pre-Lent. I wonder how we’ll be feeling afterwards!


Cirque du Martin Memories!  On Saturday, we took the boys, my parents and brother Chris to Cirque du Soleil’s show AmaLuna.  If you’ve never seen Cique du Soleil, you should put it on your bucket list.  Yes, it’s ridonculously expensive, but the memories WILL last a lifetime and is such a fun experience.  Our cirque experience was a little more stressful than would be ideal for sitting back to enjoy the spectacle.  The boys, when we first arrived, were both pretty freaked out and nervous after seeing the poster of the mutant-serpenty guy.  Then, at the beginning, the place goes pitch black, the kinda-different-sounding music starts and this piece of red fabic stats levitating in the middle of the spotlit stage floor.  You can imagine the little fingers that were digging into my arms.  Thankfully, once the lights all came up, they relaxed and sat back thoroughly entertained.  It IS funny how not entirely stunned they were by what those performers can do with their bodies.  The rest of us sat there with jaws on the floor as people did the most crazy contortion-y things and the boys didn’t seem to really ‘get’ how impressive some of that is.  They both, however, now want to work on perfecting certain skills.  Matthew wants to work on his juggling.  Zachary wishes that he was still doing gymnastics and also wants to work on dumping popcorn on people’s heads like the serpent guy did.  Ha ha ha, mr. clever. 


The second half of the show was made stressful, by Zachary’s writhing in pain from a ‘tummy ache.’  The poor child has suffered occasionally from serious bouts of constipation in the past.  Last spring, it had gotten so bad on a couple of occasions we nearly took him to urgent care not knowing what was causing him to be in such agony.  After going through some tests with the peditritician she determined that he was suffering from the painful but common-for-kiddos issue of constipation.  Our ‘perscription’ was to start giving him Miralax everyday.  Zachary calls this his “Poopy Potion.”  We’d been doing it regularly (ha! Get it, REGULARly) and he’d definitely gotten better, so we’d cut back – still giving it to him some but not as often.  Then, recently, it was starting to become an issue, so we HAVE been making sure he gets his Poopy Potion.  However, on Saturday, DURING the show, he got one of his super bad tummy aches.  And, unfortunately, there’s really not a whole we can do about it (especially if we’re not home – where he could try a warm bath)…we just have to wait until he can go.  Anyway, sorry for the details, but all joking aside, Zachary is a tough cookie and these issues have caused him seious pain!  So, sadly, we spent the last half of the show trying to help him stretch out a little and nimble on a granola bar that was in my purse (just to give him something to try).  In some ways, it was maybe a good place to have it happen, as watching the show definitely distracted him a bit.  AND, he did enjoy it and has talked about it nonstop for the last few days.  For the time being, anyway, we’ll be stepping up the Poopy Potion and upping the fiber intake (though I don’t know how that’s possible).  As we know and JT so eloquently rapped, “We got the cure for constant constipation — fiber.  It’s a dope ingredient. The thing you want to make your bowels expedient.”