Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Psychic Abilities?

Today, my Mom watched Bianca while I was at work and Harry was at basketball practice. I received a text message from her around 12:30 PM that read, "Bianca only slept 20 minutes. Every time she hears a noise, she says that it's Daddy bringing pizza."

I forwarded the text to Harry, who called me not a minute later. "Damian and I just left Domino's two minutes ago!"

Perhaps our Little One is psychic! (...or Daddy eats too much pizza!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Looking for something fun and different to do this weekend? Why not fit in a shopping trip and fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child? National Collection Week runs from November 14-21, so now is the perfect time to get involved.





I have had the honor of meeting a recipient of one of these shoeboxes. She is a precious girl named Victoria who lives in Blantyre, Malawi, South Africa who happened to make the voyage to the U.S. in 2008, which is when our paths crossed. She had received the box a few years prior, but the experience lived with her far longer. In fact, I spoke to her mother yesterday and she again retold the story of her daughter receiving that box. To them, it was a great gesture.

To us, it may just be a box filled with small toys, gum, and hygiene items - things we often take for granted. But to the recipient of that same box, it is a gift of love and of hope. As you can see from Victoria's story, your gift may last far longer than you can even imagine.

Bianca and I will be filling a box for a very special child this weekend. Won't you join us?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Building Recognition

Bianca and I were driving eastbound on Route 40 yesterday. As we were passing some buildings, BiBi asked from the back seat, "What's that, Mommy?" The rest of our conversation went something like this:

Me: That's a restaurant, sweetie.
Bi: No, Mommy. That's church.

(Keep in mind that we attend a seed church that is currently located inside of a business park, so I didn't think anything of that response.)

Bi: What's that, Mommy?
Me: That's a motel.
Bi: No, Mommy. That's church. (pause) What's that, Mommy?
Me: That's a store where they sell tractors.
Bi: No, Mommy. That's church.

At this point I begin thinking, "Ok...every building is church to her."

So when we come to the red light next to the Toys R Us, and she asks me "What's that?" naturally I respond with, "That's church, sweetie," thinking she would be quite pleased that I finally caught on.

Her response? "No, Mommy. That's toys!"

Oy vey!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adversion to the Number 4

For an unexplainable reason, Bianca does not seem to like the number 4. When she counts, she says, "One, two, three, five, six...." She also likes to march and say "Hup, two, three, five!"

OK - in those cases, maybe she got a little confused....However, yesterday, my Aunt Dot called me at work to say that Bianca was counting in Spanish (thank you very much, Dora!) and said, "uno, dos, tres, cinco."

I can't explain why, but one thing's for sure: The number of the day in the Martin household certainly WON'T be 4!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Proof that My Brain is No Longer Functioning Properly

I just threw away a brand-new purple crayon and put a half-eaten pretzel rod away in the crayon box.
And to think I'm supposed to performing above par tomorrow at work.... Oy vey!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bianca's First Concert


Bianca was all smiles before the Laurie Berkner Band concert at the Pier Six Pavillion on Saturday.


We had great seats!
Bianca's ears perked up when she recognized the first song.


But then she quickly became a bit bored and grumpy. It was evident that Mommy was having more fun than the Little One was. Lesson learned: guess it was a bit too early to take her to her first show.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Too Much Dora?



I'm beginning to think that Bianca is watching too much t.v. - Dora the Explorer in particular. The other day, she took a dollar bill out of my purse and started to run. I chased quickly behind her. Just as I was about to reach her and my hijacked dollar, she turned around to face me, stretched her palm towards me and exclaimed loudly, "Mommy, no swiping!"

My response? Say "oh man!" and let her have the dollar, of course!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Could Win a Blog Makeover!



Traci, who blogs at Ordinary Inspirations and Graphic Designs by Traci, is giving away a FREE blog makeover!! If you could use one (I am right there with you!!), click here to read more about the contest. The winner will be announced on her due date - August 31st. Good luck!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

She's Decided


Bianca wants to have a Dora birthday party this year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Short and Sweet!

Bianca has been doing a great job with saying grace before dinner. Though most of the words aren't clear, her toddler-speak is usually right in rhythm with our "God is great" phrases. She also says "Amen" very clearly and loudly.

She must have recently realized that the final affirmation signaled the time to eat food. As soon as I put a plate of fish sticks and peas in front of her last night, she shouted, "Amen!" and dug right in! Guess we haven't fully communicated the importance of giving thanks yet!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rough Morning

I’ve tried my best to stay positive on this blog. Even though I have a terrible case of working-mom guilt, I’ve tried to keep my daily struggle to myself. After all, there’s only so much negativity one’s readers can take. But this morning I need to vent.

I was hoping to sneak out of the house before she awoke, but the minute I tiptoed into her room, Bianca stirred and open her eyes. I stood there next to her crib – motionless – hoping she would drift back to sleep. But as soon as her eyes caught mine, they opened wide. She answered my “good morning” with, “Good morning, Mommy” and a smile.

Though I had to leave for work within minutes, I took the time to change her, give her some milk, and hold her in my lap for a few precious moments. I told her that I loved her very much, but I had to go to work. And that’s when the tears started to fall. She cried, I cried, and I suspect that Harry was crying on the inside, perhaps questioning the ability to fully provide for his family.

I was a wreck as I walked out the door, and that all-too familiar pain in my chest and gut was stronger than usual. I had difficulty breathing, and driving to work was a real challenge. All I wanted to do was turn around and go home and cuddle with my daughter.

People have reassured me that being a working mom and leaving your little ones does get easier. My only question is WHEN? When will it get easier? Because my Little One is almost two years old, and I still have these days when I just can’t handle it.
All I can do is pray that one day our financial situation will change and I can be a stay-at-home mom, or at least work a part-time job that will allow me to spend more time with our children.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oh My!!

I just received a text message from my husband that said, "Your daughter just wiped poop all over her face and then said 'stinky!'"

My first reaction - LOL!!!

My second reaction - That stinky girl needs a bath!!

My third reaction - How was she able to do such a thing anyway? Where were you when this momentous event was happening, Daddy? Hmmm??

Gotta love toddlers!! (And their Daddies!!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ouch!

If you look closely, you will see a small bruise on the right side of my head, slightly above my temple.

The culprit? My beautiful daughter.

Her weapon of choice? This little guy....



Getting smacked in the head with a Smurf, no matter how small he is, is not pleasant!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chomp, Chomp!



Beneath this adorable, innocent little face is a problem that I haven't quite figured out how to correct. Bianca loves to bite. In particular, she enjoys chomping down on her Mommy. I've read that this nasty behavior could stem from the child's frustration, but her biting antics seem to come out of nowhere. One minute we are cuddled up, reading a story; the next minute, she is chewing on my flesh. She does it in the middle of play. She also does it when she is tired and doesn't like my requests. She does it whenever the mood hits her - which has been quite a lot lately.

I've taken the advice I've found online. Stated, "This is biting. We do not bite people." I've tried simply talking to her. For instance, "If you want Mommy to put away my book, please ask me. There is no need to bite." I've given her time-outs. I've smacked her hand. I've even given her a small bite back - all to no evail. I really don't know what else I can try.

Is anyone else dealing with or have dealt with a biter? Is there any corrective action you can suggest? As far as I know, she isn't biting anyone else. She doesn't bite her dad, and she doesn't seem to bite any other children when she is around them. I seem to be the main target.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not Quite Ready for Chuck E. Cheese

Over the past few weeks, every time Bianca saw a Chuck E. Cheese commercial come on television, she would excitedly exclaim, "Cheese too!" (which in toddler language translates to "I would like to go to Chuck E. Cheese, please.") We were finally able to grant her request this past Sunday, as her friend Logan held her birthday party there.

Our Little One was very excited to run around the building and climb on the jungle gym in the Toddler Zone, but that's where the fun ended. She was scared to go down the slide. She was too little to play most of the games. She started screaming when I put her on the Bob the Builder kiddie ride. She backed away from Chuck E. Cheese when he came out to interact with the children. She didn't like the pizza.

Lesson learned: We're not quite ready for the kiddie heaven ruled by a giant mouse.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This is What Happens When I Turn My Back...


Note to self: Don't leave Bianca unattended with paint while you clean the kitchen!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bubbles, Bubbles!

It appears that Bianca's latest obsession is bubbles. She simply cannot get enough of them. The minute I walk in the door from work, our Little One comes running up to me with a huge smile and says, "Outside! Bubbles!" (The days of being greeted with "Mommy!" are long gone!)

We take turns blowing bubbles outside for at least an hour most nights. Then when it's time to go upstairs and take a bath, bubbles must be blown there, as well. Her favorite book to read right before bed is "Bubbles Bubbles," and I think the real reason she asks to watch Spongebob (aka: "BobBob") so much is the fact that so many bubbles are created in his underwater world. She took her bubbles with her to Ryan's graduation party on Sunday, and she insisted on taking them to Aunt Dot's house on Monday.

Truthfully, I think it's adorable. And I suspect it's an indication of what her personality is going to be like as she grows older. When she decides to call something to be her favorite (fill in the blank), she will go crazy for it until the day she finds a new obession. The bubbles of today will be tomorrow's shoes!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oh My Goodness, It's A Shaky Egg!

I love Laurie Berkner to death (honestly, probably more than Bianca does at this point!) - but the song "I Know A Chicken" has been stuck in my head ALL MORNING! Oh, the gifts of motherhood! : )


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

18-Month Checkup

Bianca had her 18-month check-up yesterday. Overall, it went well. She gained two pounds since her last visit, putting her back in the 10th percentile for weight! We are very happy about that! Obviously, the PediaSure is working wonders.

She was supposed to get her second Hepatitis A shot at this visit, but apparently, I was two days early in scheduling the appointment. My choices were to either come back on Friday or wait until her 2-year appointment. Since Dr. Fireman assured me that it would be more beneficial for her to wait, that's what we decided to do. I was very happy to spare her from the pain this go-round.

The only concern we have is her eczema seems to be flaring up again with the change of the seasons. Dr. Fireman wants us to lather her in Aquaphor twice a day and use hydrocortizone cream on the really bad patches once a day until it's back under control.

After the appointment, we headed home. We got there right around 4:00 PM. It was SO WONDERFUL being home that early. We played outside for over an hour. I was also able to have dinner ready for Harry when he got home. (With our work schedules, that rarely happens.) It was a great night. One that had me longing yet again to be a stay-at-home mom. I really think the quality of all our lives would be so much better. (sigh)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking on the Bright Side

My Darling Daughter turned 18 months yesterday. 18 months! It seems so hard to believe that a year and half of her life has already gone by. I feel like I’ve missed so much.

It’s no secret that I long to be a stay-at-home-mom. I hate leaving for work each day knowing that I will only get to spend a precious hour or two with my Little One. I dislike the fact that after a year of living there, our house still doesn’t quite feel like home. I simply don’t spend enough time there, and the lovely touches of a true homemaker are missing.

But this is my reality I must accept. And now that my husband has recently added an expensive car payment to our plates, it won’t be changing any time soon. My heart is heavier than ever, but despite that, I need to look at the bright side. After all, being or having a depressed mom is no fun! And BiBi deserves my absolute best.

So, I will count my blessings for being a working mom:
~ Bianca is such a loving and fun girl. Because I am out of the house, other people get to experience the true joy she is.
~ I will use my current situation as an example and try to teach her the importance of staying out of debt.
~ Every moment I get to spend with her holds so much more meaning.
~ By working and contributing financially to our household, I am helping to make my husband’s dreams come true.
~ My mother worked and my sister and I turned out okay, so I know Bianca will be fine, too.
~ Harry and I both have retirement plans.
~ My higher education isn’t going completely to waste.
~ I can be an example that a woman can have both a family and a career if she chooses.
~ Bianca is growing up surrounded by family.
~ If I want to buy tickets to a concert, a book or a new journal, I can. I will also eventually be able to go to massage school.
~ I am surrounded by and have intelligent conversations with brilliant people on a daily basis.
~ When things get slow at work, I can catch up on my favorite blogs.
~ When my Little One hits the “terrible two’s” I will be grateful for the daily break.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Way To Go, Daddy!!


Daddy and his amazing basketball team are the 2011 Baltimore City Champions in Boys Basketball! Nice job, Clippers! We're so proud of you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I heart Nick Jr.

Bianca loves to watch Nick Jr. When the television is not tuned into that magical channel, she points to it and says, "show." (Which in her language means, "please, Mommy and Daddy, turn on Nick Jr!") I realize children under two shouldn't watch TV, but it's amazing to see her be so interactive with her shows.

She absolutely loves Dora the Explorer. Whenever Dora asks, "Who do we ask for help when we don't know where to go?" she responds with "Map!" When asked to say "Swiper, no swiping" she lifts her hand towards the television in the "stop" position. She also says something that resembles "backpack" when Dora asks her. (It's more like "baback.")

When Go, Diego, Go is on and she hears the music that plays when the BoBo Brothers are about to enter the scene, she immediately starts saying "BoBo." When she recognizes the opening credits of Blue's Clues, she says "Boos Coos." And when DJ Lance Rock says "Yo Gabba Gabba!" she responds with "Babba!"

She loves to dance during all of the musical shows, and now she's starting to "sing," as well. Tonight I ordered her a Laurie Berkner CD for the car, as she loves to watch her on Jack's Big Music Show.

And we can't forget about Ni Hao Kai Lan, The Wonder Pets, Miss Spider, Little Bear, Oswald, Franklin, Little Bill, The Backyardigans, Wow Wow Wubbzy and Team Umizoomi. She loves them all.

Quite simply, she is delighted by the shows on Nick Jr, and I am delighted watching her enjoy them!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Favorite Word

Bianca's new favorite word seems to be "No." And when she is really unhappy ("no, no, no, no, no!"), the exclamation is usually accompanied by a face that looks like this....
or this....

The "Terrible Two's" are still a few months off, but it looks like our fun is beginning already! : )

BiBi's First Haircut

Bianca's hair was getting a bit out of control. In fact, I was affectionatley calling her "Crazy Hair." Aunt Dot decided to take matters into her own hands and make an appointment at Brenda's in Canton for BiBi's first haircut. We went on Friday, February 11th.

Our Little Beauty was all smiles when we entered the tiny shop.


Things quickly went downhill from there. Denise sat her down on a booster seat and draped her with a smock - which she did not like. Here is Denise snipping the first piece of hair:


Because she was having such a fit, I had to sit her in my lap and hold her arms down. It still didn't go well. She cried the entire time.


Denise didn't want to torture her anymore, so the haircut was cut short (the time, that is - not the hair!) So, although it's somewhat shorter in some places, her hair is still pretty uneven and out of control. I tried to get an "after" shot, but she wouldn't cooperate. You can take my word for it, though. She is still my Little Crazy Hair!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Nice Article about Daddy and the Patterson Clippers

Click here to read a nice article about our favorite coach and his basketball team.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Proud of Daddy!

Bianca and I are so proud of her Daddy! We always knew he was a good and passionate coach. Now the polls agree. The Baltimore Sun has Patterson High School ranked #1 in basketball this week!! Very exciting!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who Can Resist That Face?




First Night Away

I'm feeling a bit blue because Bianca is spending her first night away from home tonight. I was working on a grant, so I didn't leave work until 7:45 PM. Since Harry had practice until 8:00 PM, we all decided it would be better to have Bianca spend the night with Aunt Dot. I just didn't know it would be this hard. I miss her laugh. I miss her hugs. I miss reading to her before bed. Hopefully I'm taking this milestone harder than she is.