Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The First-Born

Today my little boy turns seven. I've been a mom for seven years. I can't help getting a little sentimental when I think about it. I just cannot believe it has been seven years since Owen came into our family! It seems like yesterday...

On December 13, 2003, Jason and I headed to the hospital because I thought my water had broken. After a few inconclusive tests, the ultrasound tech came in and gave me a quick ultrasound which revealed that my amniotic fluid was VERY low. So I was either leaking fluid or my water had, in fact, broken. Either way, this boy had to come out-soon. I had been having irregular contractions for weeks, but none that ever really got organized and worked. I started out at 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. The docs decided to give me some medicine internally to dilate me and hopefully put me into labor. They said I probably wouldn't feel much until morning, so I decided to rest. We had come to the hospital without eating dinner and by that point Jason was starving, so he WALKED through the GHETTO to get some tacos from a little Mexican place down the street.

At ten o'clock at night. NICE.

By the time he came back I was starting to feel a few contractions-bearable but noticeable. After a few hours, the contractions were getting more intense and I asked for some IV pain meds. I wasn't quite ready for the epidural yet, but needed something. I don't really remember what happened shortly after that, but from what I hear, I was quite amusing. When the loopiness wore off, the pain got even more intense and I asked for the epidural. The nurse told me it would be "a little bit", as the anesthesiologist was in a surgery. I did not want to wait five minutes, let alone however long she thought "a little bit" would be. She told me I could have another dose of the IV meds while I was waiting. As soon I I recieved the meds, they moved me to my labor room and the epidural GOD arrived. I was four centimeters dilated and the contractions were STRONG. In twenty minutes I told the nurse I felt some pressure. She checked me and I was seven centimeters. Twenty minutes after that I told her I thought the baby was coming out. She gave me a look that told me she thought I was crazy. She checked me again I was fully dilated. She told me to "practice push", which I FAKED because I really wanted my doc there and she had not yet made an appearance that day. She immediately told me to STOP pushing (really?!) and HOLD IT until my doc could get there.

My doc who was still at home on a Sunday morning. GREAT.

So, with Jason and Melissa there to help me, I breathed through the contractions until FINALLY my doctor came SPRINTING down the hospital hallway, STREAKED into my room, THREW her coat at a nurse and basically caught our little boy mid-air. It took all of three pushes and there he WAS! All pasty and slimy and screaming and BEAUTIFUL! 7 pounds 15 ounces of baby boy!

We could not have asked for a kinder, funnier, gentler, more thoughtful boy than our Owen. He is a wonderful son and big brother and we are so proud of him! Here's a look back at his first seven birth days:









It's not true what they say-you DON'T forget the pain of delivery. You just discover that all the pain in the world is worth that glorious outcome of a healthy baby in your arms.


Happy Birthday, Owen! We love you so much!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daily Scene

The kids were headed to Jason's parent's house on Saturday night so we could attend his adult-only Christmas party. NORMALLY Owen is BEGGING me to take him to Nana's house. But on this day he was dragging his feet.

Owen: Do I have to go to Nana's house?

Me: You LOVE going to Nana's house!

Owen: But do I have to stay the night?

Me: Why don't you want to stay the night?

Owen: She makes us change our underwear AND wash our faces before bed and I don't like it.

Me: Well I'll tell her you don't have to change your underwear.

Oh, the WOES of a six-year-old...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daily Scene

The snow has begun to fly here in Michigan. Today I was out running some errands with Emerson and the white stuff was coming down.

Emerson: I like to think that the snowflakes are God shaking sprinkles onto us.

Me: Awwwww...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

All About the Ears

Remember the virgin ears post?

Well, we've got some news. Yes, the day has come. Virgin ears no more. Jason finally relented, and decided Alayna was ready.

Ready for the world of pierced ears.


During: (wince)


I think the worst part for her was ME having to hold her still! As soon as it was over and the sucker was in her mouth, she was as happy as a clam again. All in all, it was an affair to remember.

Have you ever seen anything cuter?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness, Part One

I am a thief. I'll admit it.

But it's for a good reason this time. I promise!

On November 1, 2010, a friend of mine updated her status on Facebook. I stole her idea and RAN.

I had wanted to do something for the month of November, and I couldn't quite get it into words. I wanted to find a way to give thanks all month long-not just on Thanksgiving Day. After all, I DO have so much to be thankful for. That's when I saw her "30 Days of Thankfulness" post. It had a nice ring to it, so I stole it.

See? I told you it was for a good reason.

And then, as I started my daily posting of things I was thankful for, I found that a simple sentence each day wasn't enough for me to get my point across. So, I'm taking this blog post and elaborating on those Facebook posts.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 1: Today I am thankful for the great teachers my kids have.

Greyson goes to a Montessori here in our town. It's the same school Owen and Emerson attended, and all three of them had the same teachers. We really had a hard time deciding if we were going to send Greyson to school this year. He just turned three last month, and between just recently being potty-trained, his VERY limited vocabulary, and his COMPLETE AND UTTER OBSESSION with his mama, we weren't sure if he was ready. But I am proud to say that after just a few minutes of uncertainty on that first day of school, Greyson is SHINING at pre-school. Almost daily his teacher tells me something he did that leaves a little warm spot inside me. It could be something big, like leading the class in counting or saying The Days of the Week, or something small, like smiling for the camera on picture day. And you know what's almost as exciting as hearing these wonderful things about my boy? Seeing how EXCITED his teacher is that he has met these milestones. She just loves the kids and is so great with them and I KNOW it's the right place for Greyson.

30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 2: This day MYSTERIOUSLY disappeared...hmmmm

30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 3: Today I am thankful that I can be a stay-at-home mom.

I don't really think this day needs much explanation, so I'll leave this one alone.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 4: Today I am thankful for my husband, who dragged my sick butt out of bed this morning. I'm not sure I'd have gotten up if he wasn't here.

I've been battling some sort of sickness for a couple of weeks now, and on this particular morning, Jason had to PRY me out of bed. It might very well have been a family "sick day" if he hadn't been there. So even though I HATED him coming into the bedroom every five minutes telling me to get up, I really did appreciate it. I think.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 5: Today I am thankful for a lazy morning with my kids, spent lounging in jammies as long as we'd like.

The kids had a vacation day today and we all slept-in and lounged around for most of the morning. School days are so busy, jam-packed from morning til night, and it's always nice to have a day of NOTHING planned.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 6: Today I am thankful for my father-in-law who served in the Marine Corps. Tonight we're headed to the Marine Corps. Ball to celebrate!

I couldn't remember the last time I had the chance to get all dressed up to go to a REAL grown-up party. And what a better chance than to honor our military? It was a great night!

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 7: Today I am thankful for my parents, who are always there for love and support.

Again, enough said.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 8: Today I am thankful for my sweet Greyson who is FINALLY learning to use words instead of yelling!

Who ARE these kids who talk early? Or even those who talk on time? Greyson is taking his SWEET time and it's not always the easiest thing to deal with. Every new word is a milestone.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 9: Today I am thankful for my sister, who has always been my best friend, no matter what.

What can I say? She's a great sister. She has been there for all the important moments in my life and she's the reason I wanted a sister for Emerson. I think ALL girls deserve a sister.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 10: Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband, who is an awesome father and provider for our family! XO

This new job hasn't been the easiest thing for our family, but he's making it work-without complaint. And did I mention the kids are just crazy about him??

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 11: Today I am thankful for our US Veterans for their sacrifices and hard work yesterday, today and tomorrow. We wouldn't be here without them.

For me, Veteran's Day is right up there with Mother's Day and Father's Day. It might be one special day to honor our veterans, but I am so thankful for them EVERY day.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 12: Today I am thankful for this 70 degree November day spent playing outside in the last of the fall leaves.

It's rare to see the 70 degree mark in Michigan in November. I'm pretty sure we won't see that temperature until the spring, but it sure was a nice day!

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 13: Today I am thankful the health of my family.

I've been hearing about friends and friends of friends who are having very serious health issues in their lives. Sure, we get the flu or sore throats or runny noses, but I will take those ANY day over serious illness.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 14: Today I am thankful for my kids, who are all best friends. ♥

I'm not saying my kids don't argue and fight. They do. But they also LOVE each other and MISS each other when they aren't together. They crack each other up with their goofiness and hug each other when they get sad. I hope they always remain this close.

‎30 Days of Thankfulness, Day 15: Today I am thankful for all the experiences and challenges that mommyhood has given me.

Mommyhood isn't always fun. But I seem to find myself more and more enjoying EVERYTHING mommyhood has to offer. There is no perfect day. There is always a major meltdown from at least one of the kids-but that keeps it interesting. I can't imagine the boredom of a day without at least a few challenges.

This concludes the first fifteen days of thankfulness. The kids are waking from their naps and Owen will be arriving on the school bus shortly. Gotta get my game face on!

Stay tuned for the next fifteen soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

This week we celebrate Veteran's Day. We take time to thank the veterans we know for their service and sacrifices for our country and we take time to remember those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

My father-in-law, Steve Martin, is a member of The Marine Corps League, Flint Detachment. He served in the Vietnam War in Da Nang, Vietnam. He served in the Third Battalion, Eleventh Marine Regiment, a unit of The First Marine Division.

And he served with his best friend from grade school, Darrell Miller, who he is friends with to this day.


Last weekend we attended the annual Marine Corps. League Ball, to celebrate the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. I finally had the pleasure of meeting Darrell and quite a few of his family members. It was a fabulous evening, honoring the oldest Marine in their group, who was 94 years old, and the youngest Marine who was 28. There was also a table for one set, in remembrance of all of the POW-MIA who never made it home. The whole evening really proved what being a marine really means. And Steve was very proud to have his family and closest friends there to celebrate.



Yesterday, the kids had the off of school, and we headed to the VA Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. They hold an annual Veteran's Day Program there, and Steve was a part of the tribute. I had never been to this cemetery and was quite impressed. This cemetery is the final resting place of more than 10,000 veterans and their dependents. It's like a smaller, but still profound, version of Arlington.


I took the kids, not only to see Grandpa at his finest, but also as a learning experience. Their favorite parts?

The National Cannon Salute:


The Rifle Salute, which could be heard but not seen. (Grandpa shot his rifle and the kids just thought that was the coolest thing!)

And the Military Flyover:


There were hundreds of people there, honoring members from every branch of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, POW-MIA. It was quite touching to see the veterans stand as their branch was called. I'd wager that nearly half of the people in attendance were veterans or spouses of veterans.


It's easy to take our freedom for granted, or to forget the sacrifices our veterans and their families have endured and this week was a great reminder of those things.

Senator Debbie Stabenow was there, and perhaps she made the most lasting impression when she read this poem:

It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given us
Freedom of the Press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who has given us
Freedom of Speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the
Freedom to Demonstrate.
It's the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the
Right to a Fair Trial.
It's the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag and
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who gives the protestor the right to burn the flag.

~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC


Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Halloween Season

This year, Halloween wasn't just a day. It was a season. The holiday approached slowly, and I filled my days planning costumes, decorating with scarecrows and fall decor, visiting orchards and pumpkin patches.

The last week, however, has been a WHIRLWIND of activity. It has been quite some time since I have found myself so busy, often having that sinking feeling that I was forgetting something. Along with the Halloween festivities, also in the mix were doctor's appointments, birthday parties, and school fundraisers.

I could go on and ON about how crazy our week has been, but I think a little "picture walk", as they call it in Kindergarten, would be more fun for you and me BOTH!

Here we go!

First up: A sneak-peak at our Halloween theme this year:

The FABULOUS Queen Amidala:
Darth Vader, complete with realistic breathing sound machine, as requested:
C3-PO, who never wore a mask, not even on a bribe:
Yoda, the wise one:
And Princess Leia with Luke the Jedi:

Event #1: The Annual Tillier Halloween Party, where children HUGELY outnumbered the adults...

Event #2: Grandpa Steve's Birthday and Hayride

Event 3: Grandma and Grandpa treated us to a costume party at their Elk's Club

Event #4: Emerson's Kindergarten Halloween Party

Event #5: Owen's First Grade Halloween Party

Event #6: Greyson's Montessori Halloween Family Party

Let's throw in some Alayna spam right here-she LOVES practicing her walking skills. Any day now she's gonna go solo!

Event #7: A costume party with Alice and The Mad Hatter, who won second place!

Event #8: Halloween Brunch, celebrating my sister's birthday

Event #9: Halloween night, beginning with our yearly tradition of visiting Great-Grandma Lois before trick-or-treating
The Princess Darby and Yoda needed a break!

We sure did get our money's worth out of the Halloween costumes this year! I can honestly say that I've NEVER dressed up so much for this holiday before IN MY LIFE. I think the whole family enjoyed our STAR WARS theme this year...

I guess we did have a few minor glitches: Greyson wasn't going to put on that C3-PO mask for ANY reason, Alayna couldn't quite scoot in her Yoda costume, Owen's light saber wasn't the glowing beacon of light he had envisioned, a screaming fit ensued every night while scrubbing Queen Amidala's make-up off of Emerson's face, Jason couldn't exactly maneuver his cell phone out of Luke's pants in a sightly fashion, and my Princess Leia wig was SO itchy. SERIOUSLY.

But those aren't the things we'll remember about this Halloween season. We'll remember what you're supposed to remember: costume parties with friends and family, a hayride on a crisp afternoon, helping to blow out birthday candles (sometimes even before a wish was made!), awesome costumes, and TONS of candy.

I think there's only ONE thing left to say...