Tag Archives: celebrate

Make Your Celebrations Easy With Festive Holiday Tableware #review

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Move over… it’s all about me!

Is it that time again? I’m loving these Mom Before Mom posts and learning about all of my favorite bloggers out there. Thank you Carla at AllofMe…Now!

This prompt is: How did you celebrate your birthday? Do you have a favorite celebration? Worst? From the cake to the presents to the guests, invite us in to the party.

In the years prior to wifedom and mom, I was pretty cool :) I’d love to describe Worth before Martinka in the birthday zone… or at least my early, in which I knew a thing or two about life after 10pm. But, I’m not sure I can remember those times. So, here are my past few celebrations. They all mean something special to me and I have the best of, though few in numbers, no less mighty in love, friends a girl could ask for.

As a general rule, we don’t do physical gifts… at least not from friends. A drink purchased, a dinner, a movie. I love memories being made. My friend Tracey has taken me to see Twilight every year for my day… this year, due to no vampire flick, we will be seeing Catching Fire :) Another time, I was treated to a mini/pedi/massage. And, my best friend took me to a fancy sushi restaurant this past year one night and Dave took me to another the next!

Addie celebrating with me at Sakura. PVD, RI

Addie celebrating with me at Sakura. PVD, RI

Those are gifts- the memories that come and the times we will always share. My ever-generous Mom and mother-in-law always splurge on me, and my hubby has taken to getting me a beautiful charm for each occasion in life to add to my Kay’s Charmed Memories bracelet.

Mostly, my celebrations in the past few years have consisted of my gal pals enjoying drinks and the company of each other, or an amazing vacation. For these things, I am truly blessed.  Of course, I have a worst birthday (23rd), which consisted of me being kicked out of a bar, my boyfriend and I being publicly intoxicated and argumentative and my friends, who had driven over 250 miles from Philadelphia, sleeping in my rented portion of an illegal-to-live-in-warehouse with no heat and no bed (I didn’t have heat or a bed that entire winter, so they can all get over it). But, who wants to hear about that?!

There was 24… and it was awesome! I went home to PA to celebrate my engagement and my birthday, and seeing my mom is always a bonus!

Me and Mom!

Me and Mom!

Dave me and my Best, Nick

Dave me and my Best, Nick

Dave wore his ring since we got engaged <3

Dave wore his ring since we got engaged <3

I also got to spend my birthday night in the booth at Thee Red Fez in Providence (recently sold and bought by an awesome dude… I can’t wait to check it out). Friends came, much was laughed about, an Oreo cake presented itself to me, and there were drinks-a-plenty!
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Yep, 24 was great.

My 25th birthday fell about 3 months after Dave and I were married, so we decided to honeymoon then. Riviera Maya, Mexico!!! What a happy birthday to me! And my 27th birthday, with a belly full of baby, we made the incredible journey to Honolulu, Hawaii for my oldest friend’s wedding! (Hawaii travel tip, sans baby: book a year in advance AND get the cheapest place- you’ll never be in your room anyway!)

Happy 25th

Happy 25th

Happy 27th!

Happy 27th!

My 26th was your usual wine and dine… psych! Dave took me to breakfast. It was supposed to be to a place we went to while we were dating… a chain we joked we were bringing back, but only went to once… We found out it was closed when we got there, so we went to T’s (another favorite of mine). While there, Dave whipped out a game of hangman he had made for me (I love hangman!).

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The game led us to a beautiful, crisp day getting apples from a farm and walking our new puppy, Carter (now a beast at 70 pounds) in the woods. A wonderful birthday, marked by the experience surrounding it:

26 years!

26 years! (note to self: NEVER cut your own bangs!)

I guess I’m more of a visual person… I could not even begin to write about a traditional birthday for me because, since childhood, there has been no tradition. No particular place I go, or drink I drink or cake I crave- it varies by year, as I grow and change, so do my celebrations. What I do know is that I get to have experiences gifted to me; memories no material gift could ever replace.

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Time Marches On

… or crawls or walks. At 8 1/2 months, we don’t really sit up yet. While Christmas is in the air, I’m becoming more aware of the gross motor skill differences between Addie and other children her age. In some ways, I consider myself lucky to have a baby who doesn’t move much, yet. I don’t have to chase her around- she stays on her play mat and happily rolls from one toy to the next, but other times I feel sad. I want to wear her on my body. I want to have her sit up and look at me. I don’t want to worry every time she bumps her head that there will be some severe injury. I don’t want to feel the kyphosis in her spine. All good things in time… Sometimes, time takes a long while to come.

It’s Christmas Eve, and as people are tucked away in their beds, I am feeling Addie’s soft spot to check for a buldge. Like I do every night. I wait until she is asleep, then gently feel her head to make sure that there are no signs of hydrocephalus. Then I let her sleep. Just as Santa is making his way down our chimney, I will wake up to make sure Addie’s snoring isn’t getting worse. When the milk has been finished and the cookies all gone, and the big man is on his way to the next house, I will lay back down to pretend to sleep ’til dawn.

I love Christmas, but maybe my love for the season is rivaled with hate for it, in equal parts. I miss my Dad. I hate that we barely put up lights to save on an electric bill we already can’t afford. I wish my whole family could be together and not spread out down the east coast. And I wish I knew what the future held for Addie. There are a million things that can go wrong in life, I just want one wish for Addie’s first Christmas: A lifetime of happiness for my baby girl.

I remember last year at this time:

Christmas 2011

We were in Florida and I could not wait for Addie to arrive. My handsome nephew, Mark, had been born almost a month prior, and I could not stop snuggling on his little self. I couldn’t even dream of a human so small and fragile. But then, my Addie came.

Florida 2011

Brand new Addie

This face is wise and curious:

Addie

She is, as far as I can tell, the reason I am here in this world. But sometimes, I wonder if I am good enough for her. Am I willing to wait for all the good things? Will I show her the right path to take, but let her choose her way? I want so badly to live in the now, but it’s so hard when the past is always nipping at your heels.

My dear baby girl. You are the comfort and joy, the wondrous night, what makes me laugh all the way home where you snuggle into me and keep me warm, you’re my good cheer and you help me live in Heavenly peace. You are my miracle. Christmas, or not.

Happy holidays to all who celebrate. May we never know what God intended for our lives, just that He intended them for us.

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You’re Magic

It’s no surprise I think my baby girl is the most amazing human to ever exist. She is, to me, magic. In the days after Friday’s tragedy, I find myself feeling more blessed and emotional than usual (which is intense). I have the opportunity to hold my baby girl today. I have a million and one things to do before the 25th, but my priority is to hold my whole world and kiss her little face, tiny toes and hold her hands in mine.

Addie arrived after personal tragedy. She came in the wake of a lost sibling. She brightened my life from the inside. She is my first birth… and what a birth it was! I cannot believe we are going to be celebrating our first Christmas together as a family. I cannot say that I didn’t know love without Addie, as my husband is one of the most selfless, kind and loving people ever, but I didn’t know how my mom never beat me (literally), or disowned me, or turned me over to the state. I didn’t know the love my mom had for me until I had it for someone else.

And so, before we go caroling into the neighborhood (or just try to regain some normalcy), I wanted to celebrate another milestone: 8 months!

8 month Addie

Addie!

She’s growing more beautiful by the day, and she is looking more and more like a child and not my infant. I miss her eyes closing at the simplest movements, but I love how she laughs when we dance. Her gentle sighs have turned into deep breaths and her once small movements have turned into rolling herself into the middle of the bed and pushing Dave and me to opposite ends. She is growing up. And I am so proud of her How silly she is just kicking her feet brings a flutter to my heart:

Just two months ago we celebrated with cake (she didn’t have any) and candles and balloons!

She was like "woah!"

She was like “woah!”

6 Month Photo-shoot!

6 Month Photo-shoot!

I love that smile… and I love how silly it is to celebrate 6 months. But, in life, the big stuff is just all the little stuff piled together.

Just a few weeks later, it was her first Halloween…

Standing with some help

Standing with some help

I had asked lots of people to write a letter to Addie, but I’m the only one who did. I think it’s a mom thing, but I want her to know how much I love her- long after I’m not here to tell her:

My Dearest Adelaide,
From the very moment I dreamt of your existence, I felt so in love. Then you were on your way and thought my love could get no deeper. When you first put your head on my chest, my heart stopped. Each and every day I love you more. you are amazing, loving, smart, and so happy! How I got to be so blessed to be chosen by you, I’ll never know.
Happy 6 months!
love,
Mommy

And then she was 7 months…
7 Months

Growing curiosity

Growing curiosity

Next will be 9 months, and then 10. And then, before I know it, she will be walking, talking. Talking back. She will not like me for a while… but I hope she will come back. This brain of mine rattles off ever different circumstance that could pull her away, but she will always be my baby. I hope that I am blessed to be a mother like mine. To love unconditionally and let Addie fly, the way I flew away. But I never went far. I like to sit on the perch, close enough to home, but never back inside. I am encouraged to be on my own, but I know that my mom is always close by, even if that means a 250 mile drive in the wee hours of the morning. Yeah. That’s the kind of mom I want to be.

Happy 8 months to my beautiful baby girl! May you stay forever young at heart! Thank you to God, or whomever is watching over us, for giving me another day. Another milestone. Another month and birthday to celebrate this beautiful baby.

Inquisitive Addie

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Supporting District One!

As I hope my readers know, October is Dwarfism Awareness Month! I am so excited to be a part of such a loving, welcoming and diverse community. I think Awareness should be replaced with Celebration! I celebrate Addie everyday, and having a whole month to do so is great! I am here to educate and I would love questions. Please post them here, or privately on Facebook. Beyond that, I’d like to use this month as an opportunity to give back to my LPA district.

A friend of mine wrote a beautiful and educational blog and brought the idea to the table to donate the funds of her hair bow sales to District One. Sarah has a wonderful blog, Sweet ‘lil You and sells her bows at Sweet ‘lil You Boutique.

I have also been getting crafty… I have quite a few fabrics for our scarf-bibs and the cutest model!

I will be putting them up on Etsy, but until then, please write a post if you are interested and I will contact you! They are 2 for $12 or $7 for 1. 50% of the profits will go to the district and the other half to Addie’s appointment(s) in Delaware.

The fabric I have (so far)! All bibs are handmade, thus not created 100% equal in look, but with 100% love and care. Two snaps in the back to adjust for size. Knit and flannel available.  They’re absorbent and reversible- like more than one design? We can use two on one bib, as long s they’re the same fabric! Also available as a backing: terrycloth!

1. Brown with teal and white swirl, knit
2. Grey and white pattern, knit
3. Multi-color dots, knit
4. Patchwork peach and browns and creams
5. Black and white houndstooth, flannel
6. Sparkle teal, knit
7. Multi-color pattern, knit
8. Monsters Rock!, knit
9. Lime green with purple polka dots, flannel
10. Purple with yellow polka dots, flannel
11. Green, flannel
12. Pink houndstooth, flannel

I also have a navy with gold anchors fabric… not pictured!

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4 Months

What does 4 months mean to me?

4 months means:
A baby girl that has filled me with a joy, love and passion I’d never known existed. Compassion and empathy. Strength and courage.

These past four months of my life have been an amazing roller coaster. Sometimes I throw my hands up at the highs and sometimes my stomach plummets into turmoil at the lows. I don’t know where the next 4 months will bring us, not to mention the next 4 days… what day of the week is it anyway?

Having a child who is different can leave a parent feeling isolated, sometimes because it is isolating, and other times because a parent makes themselves feel that way. I don’t expect many people to understand. I didn’t understand until I was there. Achondroplasia is so rare, that there are not a million other people out there who know what Addie is going through, or Dave and myself as parents. As a friend, teacher, or therapist of someone who has a child with a difference, you are not living with your flesh and blood and all the questions that make us unsure. I’m scared everyday- I want to know she’ll be OK, but there are tests to be done and results to be read. It can be an isolating world out there.

I hugged her  last night and asked her to promise me she will wake up. Is that sick? Probably. I have a whole blog for you about that. I teared up and Dave promised me she would. Sometimes hearing what doctors test for make you more scared than not knowing at all. And in 4 months, this is a lesson I’ve learned.

I’ve also learned to love completely. Forgive wholly. It’s OK to let go sometimes. Other times, hold tight. I’ve learned that other people won’t get it, and what they say might hurt me. There will be days when what people say and do will hurt Addie. I’ve learned that when I’m upset, it’s because I’m upset, not because someone made me or someone meant to hurt me, and that’s OK. It’s OK to feel our own emotions, and express them how we need to. I’m not here to make you happy. I was put on this Earth for Addie and Dave. For my parents and family.

I look at Addie’s dimples, her infectious smile, a head full of unruly hair and I cannot help but be filled with joy. She coos and half laughs, conversing in her own way, making everyone who meets her melt with the love and happiness only she can bring.

As I celebrate my beautiful baby girl, I want to also celebrate all the parents out there who remember to cherish each day. It’s not easy to be a parent, especially when you feel alone. There are days ahead filled with sleep studies, x-rays, MRIs and miles of driving for doctors to poke and study our baby girl, but when I’m old and gray and Addie is there to take care of us, I know she will understand that’s just what we do for those we love.

Happy 4 months to Addie and to all the other April 17, 2012 babies! May your next 4 months be full of more wonder and awe. More community love and support and a little more understanding for the things that you may not ever be able to understand.

And so I present to you, Adelaide Eileen Martinka:

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Hallmark

Aside from all of the  heavy things there are out there to vent, pursue, educate and cry about, I thought I would treat you to some ridiculous, if not heartwarming, writing. A lighthearted piece, if you will.

For starters, happy 15 weeks to the beautiful Miss Adelaide Eileen! (And hello Aunt Jessie- we love you, clearly!)

Onto the meat of this puff piece:
I love Christmas. And when I say love, I mean I’m obsessed. I got on a ladder, perching  off the side of the columns in the front of my house at 18 weeks pregnant to put up Christmas lights last year and I cannot wait to pass the sickness along to Addie.

Every year we get a new Hallmark ornament. From childhood my mom made sure we had an ornament that was chosen specifically for us. My brothers have the Star Wars series, my sister the Barbie series, my Dad (when he was alive) got the penguin/snowman on ice every year, and we always got her something to do with gardening. (We also got her matching lipstick and nail polish and a cloth calendar for the year, which we can no longer find.) I have the Puppy Love series, beginning from it’s inception in 1991. I have many others, and I’ve attempted to wrangle every boyfriend and best friend ever into the love of the holidays by purchasing them their very own ornament for the tree, but the most important ones are the ones that my mom chose for me. I know that she loves the ornaments and decorations I made with thumb prints drawn into reindeer or a Santa and elves. But my favorites are each and every one that I placed on the tree with my mom at Christmas and opened on Christmas Eve. The small puppies smiling at me from a basket or wrapped in a scarf, perfectly wrapped in their original boxes, waiting to be taken out and hung.

And now, it’s my turn.  As I walked into the Hallmark store in Garden City, Cranston for the Christmas in July weekend, I was nervous. I wanted to get the right 1st Christmas ornament for her.

I looked at them all. Then I walked away and picked out Dave’s ornament (he gets the guitar one ever year) and checked out the baby ones again. Then I walked away to think.  Then I walked back and I saw it. Somehow I had missed it. lil’ peanut was staring at Addie, whom I fondly refer to as my baby beanut. Yes: Beanut. I don’t know why or how it began, but it did and it’s become one of her million names. And here was this ornament staring me in the face and making me tear up. The poor sales girl who watched me pace and compare for 45 minutes while holding Addie who was drooling all over me, must have thought I was crazy.

I know it’s just and ornament to most people, but to me, it’s the beginning. The first of many memories that I cannot wait to have with my beautiful baby girl. I can’t wait to light our Chanukkah candles and pass on the tradition of silly gifts: socks, headbands, gloves, scarves, a hat- eight silly gifts to pale in the shadow of such a beautiful story about the holiday. And to celebrate Christmas with midnight mass, opening her ornament on the eve of, and waking up way too early to eat a chocolate orange strategically shoved in the toe of a custom L.L.Bean stocking.

So here is her ornament:

If you’re in the area for the holidays, please stop in- we would love to celebrate with you- no matter what holiday you celebrate.

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