Marvelous Monday

Dear Summer,

You’ve been a bit of a cruel one. Two MRIs. Two surgeries. Countless days spent with fevers, in pain, tears streaming down her face. My sweet baby’s face. Watching my firstborn in pain I know I’ll never know. Pain I couldn’t heal.

But, here’s the deal, Summer. I won’t let you win. I choose to remember the best days this summer… I choose to remember Summer 2014 like this.

#Aisforadelaide #Summer 2014 She is Fierce

Have a beautiful Monday, Reader.

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What is work?

I get asked… what is work for you?

Work for me is finding, sharing, linking, SEO, pushing, asking (begging), repeated emails, on-call 24-hours, it’s coding and embedding and no-following, SEO, it’s commenting and hashtagging, it’s researching material, taking pictures, editing everything under the sun, being up-to-date, SEO (did I mention that, yet?), it’s hoping that you’ll like what I write/make/design enough to share it or see more about it for yourself, holidays spent at a computer and late nights drowned into early mornings. It’s Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook Fan Page, Klout, analytics, LinkedIn, groups, memberships, clubs…

More than anything, work for me is rewarding. Not in the classical, monetary way (for me), but in a way that lets me bring you, Dear Reader, things I want to share with you. Reviews and recipes I really love. Stories and snapshots of life that I hope inspire. And the truth about being your average family, even in a special needs world.

That’s work to me.

As I embrace this holiday weekend, thankful that Dave is home with us, I also take into account the blessings that include the opportunity to cultivate my mind, spirit and writing into something that I hope brings joy, knowledge and a respite to the day to all of the people who stop by! Thanks for being one of those friends.

 

… sometimes when I work, I play! Getting the chance to prepare to show off Camille’s soon-to-be arrival!

   

 

 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Parenting/Family/Lifestyle, Pregnancy/Birth

A Birth Blessing

A friend once gave me a beautiful blessing before my first birth, and I recently found it tucked away in a pile of papers from 2012. I wanted to share it with you, along with some gorgeous photos that were taken by artist Lisa Gendron of Agroterra Birth. You can read more about Lisa next week (her doula piece is coming out!!!!), but before that, take a look at some of these moments caught during my maternity photo session:

#aisforadelaide #maternity #Agroterra #photography #motherandchild Baby kisses

Maternity Photoshoot by Agroterra Photography #aisforadelaide

#aisforadelaide #motherhood #blackandwhitephotography Marternity Photos

Looking at what she was able to get on film, she truly captured how I feel pregnant and how I feel with Addie. There is just connection. Love. Deeply rooted in me, who I was meant to be: Mom.

#aisforadelaide #maternity #Agroterra #photography #motherandchild

These moments speak more than what I could write about- they’re more than an embrace in a picture, they’re my vulnerabilities about myself and motherhood and being a woman unfolding and melting away. They’re they inspiration on harder days. They’re the sunshine in the rain.

Thank you, Lisa, for your love, compassion and for sharing your incredible talents as a photographer and friend.

A Birth Blessing,
by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

 

Maternity #blackandwhitephotography Agroterra Photography #aisforadelaide

May your body Be STRONG.
Your womb Be OPEN.
Your mind Be PEACE.
Your support Be WISE.
Your birth Be WELL.
Your baby Be BORN in HEALTH, HAPPINESS and HARMONY.

…and if you can’t get enough of Lisa’s amazing work, check out her Birth and Photography sites!

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Dear Camille… heed this warning

Dearest baby girl,

You’re not even here yet, and you are so loved. I wanted to warn you of this before you are born. Before you are showered with love and affection. Before you grow up to be the little sister who will search for love from your big sister. Before you, yourself, may (no promises) become a big sister and get launched into the middle.

Before anything, heed my warning: You are loved more than you will ever know.

#aisforadelaide stretch marks #pregnancy #iloveyou

The other morning I looked in the mirror and saw what I’d failed to see before… stretch marks. Some were dark and deep, but mostly they’re just marks. They’re there and they will fade, but never disappear. I felt sad. I have not been feeling beautiful. I have been run down and stressed. I’ve had days where I haven’t eaten a thing and others where I’ve over indulged. The lack of sleep caught up with my skin and my long hair is in need of a trip to save the ends.

Your big sister walked up to me and kissed my belly. “You have beautiful belly, mama. I lotion.” She took a bottle from the nightstand and asked me for some. I pumped it into her tiny palms and she rubbed my tummy, talking about “my Millie” and repeating “I a big sister” again and again. Not once did she focus on my newly forming stretch marks.

#aisforadelaide #pregnancy stretch marks #thirdtrimester

You are loved.

I thought later that night I would tell Daddy about the morning Addie and I had, but instead, as I went to take her down from the dinner table, she asked to see my belly again. Begrudgingly, I lifted my shirt up. “Pretty mommy. My Millie.” Followed by a showering of kisses, her little hands feeling all  over looking for signs  of your kicks and flutters. For minutes we stood like that. Hands on my belly, kisses and her coos showering  you. “Baby sister,” she finally said, putting one more kiss on me as she signaled for my shirt to come down.

#aisforadelaide stretch marks #sisterlove #pregnancy

You are loved.

These stretch marks scare me. But they do not scar me. I am proud to be  your mother. To grow my stripes for you.

Heed this warning, and repeat it on the days that you feel like the angst-y teen I am sure to produce (I, myself, was quite the angst-y one):

You are loved more than you will ever know.

love,
mom

 

 

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Walking San Diego #travel

#lpaS2014 was such a great and informative time… but it was also a time we took to do some sightseeing! We had a lot of fun walking around San Diego, but there were some real highlights! I would post another 3,000 word post… only that wouldn’t be very fun for anyone. So here are some of the must-sees… and a friendly reminder that not everything has to be planned! One of the great things about San Diego (and travel in general) is that you can just explore!

I made the specific request to go to The Greatest Generation walk. To get there, we took a beautiful jaunt from the hotel (with Miss A in the stroller), and enjoyed one of my favorite things in the world… HISTORY! We would have loved to board the USS Midway, but it made more sense for us to see it from afar and get more city walking in! The area is just beautiful!

#aisforadelaide #thegreatestgeneration San Diego #travel

#aisforadelaide #USSmidway #GreatestGeneration San Diego #travel

Ralph’s Market… Just wanted to throw this in here. This market is awesome- from offerings to prices! I seriously never would have guessed that it’s a chain! There is a place to eat outdoors, a vast beer and wine selection, and lots of organic finds. Seriously… I’ve never actually loved a grocery store, but we actually talked about how this would be our place to shop if we lived in San Diego!

#aisforadelaide #RalphsMarket #Kroger #travel San Diego

The Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village and just spending time walking along the water and enjoying the many city parks was amazing. San Diego is unique in its city planning, with everything from street lights to water conservation thought about and done in a beautiful way. There were lots of small pockets of grass or random climbing places for Addie to take a break and run in, and because the sidewalks are often way bigger and separated from the road by some sort of gardens, I always felt safe letting her play.

#aisforadelaide #MLK #MartinLutheKing San Diego #travel

#aisforadelaide #travel San Diego #walking #tourist

#aisforadelaide #dole #citylife San Diego #travel

And… just to geek out a bit: The Hall of Justice!

#aisforadelaide #travel Hall of Justice San Diego

Where are your favorite spots in San Diego?

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All That Swaggers is Good

Dear Adelaide,

I love being your mom. I’ve been watching you these past few weeks and you’ve just grown leaps and bounds… even in your feet (they’re holding you up so much better since surgery)!

I teared up watching you walk the other day. The way you swagger like no other, the bow in your legs,and sway in your back offering me a comfort others may take for granted. Regardless of things so many doctors said, you’re walking and running. Your gait distinctly Adelaide Eileen. There’s no mistaking all that makes you uniquely you… and it is that which brings me to tears and laughter. All at the same time. This summer has been hard, but I know that whatever you face, we will face together- and it is your strength that will bring us through.

#aisforadelaide #amotherslove #swagger #strength

As we enter another chapter- you becoming a big sister- I’m excited to see how much you flourish!

I love you and your swagger,
Mom

 

 

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Marvelous Monday

This week is post-op follow up! I am excited for a marvelous Monday… and Tuesday (where we will be back in dance) and Wednesday (where we’ll be back in Rock-a-Baby), and Thursday (which is our appointment) and Friday (when we’ll get a chance to sit and relax and go to a big family event!). It’s been a roller coaster of a summer and now that we’re on the mend, I wanted to celebrate a little bit! We’re so thankful to have some celebration, after all!

#aisforadelaide Marvelous Monday #farmersmarket #weekend #endofsummer

BIG strides happened last week! and I wanted to recap it all as we embark upon another week, sure to show more improvement!
ONE: Addie was off ALL pain medications starting mid-week, and aside from some of the expected soreness and some itchiness, she is doing great!
TWO: We also got pushed out of speech therapy! Addie has been in it because of her ear tubes (we only had sessions once every 6-8 weeks), and we finally had our follow up to tube surgery with our therapist and she and I both agreed that we were done. Addie has wonderful speech, is using inclusive words (“Come with me, mommy. Daddy you come, too.”), is understanding the difference between different but similar emotions, and all-around just doesn’t need speech anymore. We discussed how when Addie’s tubes fall out she may have periods where she will stop doing things (she stopped singing when her ears filled with fluid these past few months), but that it will come back and the sooner we take care of it, the better.
THREE: We also talked about how we would transition her out of Early Intervention. A LOT to think about, but it gave us a great end to the last week- and a wonderful start to our marvelous Monday!!!

I am excited that we’ve come such a long way from where we were 2 weeks ago… and that we were able to enjoy our weekend together- with matching nails, almost finishing Millie’s room, sibling class and going to the farmers market. It was a full weekend, but certainly a wonderful way to start the close out of our summer.

#aisforadelaide #jamberry #julep #nailart Marvelous Monday

Addie went to her sibling class on Saturday, and while it was more for fun, I loved watching her carry around a giant, heavy baby doll, learn to change a diaper and read a book with Dave about becoming a big sister (one she’d read before from the library!). It was a lot of fun.

#aisforadelaide Marvelous Monday #siblingclass

With Addie enjoying a gumbo full of okra on Saturday night, we’re onto cooking leeks and purple potatoes this week… we will surely miss the market when it closes, but will take every advantage of trying all the local fresh fruits and veggies until then!

#aisforadelaide #famersmarket Marvelous Monday #veggies

With an amazing week ahead of us, we’re wishing you a Marvelous Monday and week, Reader!

lots of love,

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Breastfeeding Chart *printable*

Those first few days are hard… Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy to everyone (it didn’t for me), and to remember what’s going on when you’re exhausted is hard work! Before Addie was born, I made a chart and kept a pen clipped to it. By having this chart, I knew what was what those first few days, and I didn’t have to remember to move a bracelet, click a button or rely on my memory for which side she’d nursed from before. I am packing the same list for Millie’s arrival in just a few weeks!

#aisforadelaide Breastfeeding Chart #camillethea #pregnancy #birth

While breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone, making it as easy as possible is as simple as being prepared!

Breastfeeding Chart  <— the full PDF!

I hope printing this out helps you (or a friend) on your breastfeeding adventure!

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Listen to Your Mother… that’s me!

I am still full of awe and honor to have been a part of the 2014 Providence Cast of Listen to Your Mother….

Listen to Your Mother Providence Cast 2014 #aisforadelaide

(My intro written by the talented Carla Molina at All of Me Now):
Chelley Martinka is a Philly native with a little thing for Game of Thrones. A closet drummer, she’s a mom to one awesome kid living with dwarfism and is expecting her second daughter this fall. Chelley is up next with “Do It Ugly.”

Do it Ugly

Everyday, when I look at my planner, I see this quote, Dream so big you’ll look like an idiot if God doesn’t step in!

It’s a reminder to do it ugly. To get in in past my ankles, waist deep. To get dirty, cut- go full throttle.

Growing up, I was loud. I would sneak out. I smoked cigarettes and overly enjoyed cheap beer. I played a lot of sports and I was rough when I did it. I got injured. I suffered from depression. I liked a good party. I liked to study so much I graduated college with a 3.5 in 3 years with almost no friends. I got tattooed. And then got some more. I got dermal anchors before they were a trend. I dated. I over committed to people that needed “saving” and after they were saved, I moved on. I broke hearts. I uprooted myself a lot, took on a lot of jobs, was reckless with my emotions and other people’s hearts.

Doing it ugly was more about how low I could go. How many problems I could fix of someone else’s while ignoring my own needs- uselessly helping others chase their desires. I knew I’d never stick around long enough to see the ending. Like the friend who needed money for car payments… a loan I would never see the repayment of- I worked weeks of overtime. I’m not quite sure why, except it seemed like the right thing to do. I was a wild one with a sucker-streak- looking to take care of all the people surrounding me, and sleeping as little as possible while doing so.

But then it happened. I was approached by a lion tamer with the patience of a kindergarten teacher and heart of a saint. Some have come to call him Dave. So here I was married. A wife. Together we ripped apart the money pit and created a home. We both worked long ours and enjoyed uneventful hikes with our dog and nights by the firepit with friends.

Gone was the Chelley of the past, replaced with this woman who quit smoking, ran half marathons, was letting someone else take care of her once in a while, learned to enjoy wine over whiskey and, for whom staying up late lost its once alluring appeal. Who the hell was I, now?

Not looking for redefinition, she came- The reason I had to get all riled up again. My reason for getting my hands dirty- I was ready for parenting. Here I was, rolling up my sleeves and spending late hours burning the midnight oil- literally- we have oil heat. But I was more than prepared, I’d been practicing to parent this special lady since my days as a rebellious teen.

I knew everything I did from the moment I heard her cry would be things she would be proud of. My perseverance would be her life lesson. I would work hard, and when she was diagnosed with a high-functioning disability, I knew I would dig harder than I’d ever imagined. With letters, videos and a blog, I would educate about our life as a family. I’d take attacks and hard words and fight to change the stigma. I’d create a team consisting of specialists in Massachusetts, Delaware and Rhode Island. I don’t know the answer to that, would be an answer I’d never settle with.

I would allow no one thing would define my sweet girl, a lesson I’d learned from my own mother. Dwarfism, gender, religion or a favorite band would simply be aspects.

I would raise her to be generous, dignified and tough. A woman who could do whatever she pleased, in jeans or a skirt, at a bar watching the game or in the courtroom arguing her case. With my biggest dream being a world that truly sees no difference between my Adelaide and any other human. Recognizing her disability as something about her, not something that defines her.

I spent two days bringing her into the world… and I will give my life to give her dreams so big that she never knows what the ground looks like with her eyes closed.

And while most of my days are beautiful- I work hard to make sure they are. Everything in life that feels like it’s too much is all the more reason to get in there. To do it ugly. Everyday isn’t a fight, but when it is, I make sure it’s worth it, to go hard.

This life is my one shot to make it what I want and give that power to my future warrior woman- and no one will lessen my gusto or dampen my dreams- not even God, herself.

Listen to the cast:

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Hospital Bag for Mama and Baby-to-Be!

This is what I’m bringing in my hospital bag! I am excited to welcome Millie (yesterday I was 35 weeks!)… and I cannot believe how fast it’s going. I decided to pack a few weeks early so I would be ready to go! (Not seen, but packed: My Birth Preferences, BFing chart- which you can find in Friday’s post, as well as a list of numbers and names that are important- doula, OB, pediatrician, insurance company, newborn photographer, church, and, of course, Mom!)

Roll over each image to learn more:

 

 

 

I was not paid for this post… I just love these goodies! (I did receive a headband from Bzzyfingers… and I cannot wait to buy some more for my sweet girls to match!)

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August 20, 2014 · 7:00 am