Tag Archives: memories

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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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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Filed under Educate/Adovocate/Make Change

LPA Fashion Show #lpaSD2014

While we enjoyed all the workshops that the LPA National Conference had for us, we also loved participating in other events- like the Fashion Show! Check out Addie in her first appearance in the LPA Fashion show at #lpaSD2014!

LPA Fashion Show #lpaSD2014 #aisforadelaide

#aisforadelaide LPA Fashion Show #lpaSD2014 #rehearsal

#aisforadelaide #lpaSD2014 #firsttime LPA Fashion Show

#aisforadelaide #lpaSD2014 LPA Fashion Show #cuteasabutton

#aisforadelaide LPA Fashion Show #runway First try!

#aisforadelaide #lpaSD2014 #finalrunwaywalk LPA Fashion Show

#aisforadelaide #addiandjack ##lpaSD2014 LPA Fashion Show

#aisforadelaide LPA Fashion Show #addieANDPayton #lpaSD2014

#aisforadelaide #LPASD2014 #life LPA Fashion Show


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Filed under Community, Travel

Keep Pushing

I was unable to find anyone who recorded (or even took a picture!) of the LPA Speakers’ Night, but I wanted to share my piece with you. I plan on recording me speaking it, but wanted to share it with you (written) in the meantime. So, without further stalling, here is my LPA Speakers’ Night Piece entitled: Keep Pushing.

#lpaSD2014 #LPA Speakers Night

As I embark upon the birth of my second child, I find the title of my piece ironic.

Keep pushing.

While that’s not my birthing mantra- that one is just breathe- Keep pushing is my mission in life.

Letting ourselves be defined by anything, even things that are so apparent, like our gender, sexual preference, race or disability is no way to live. It’s no way I will let myself or my children live, so why do other people expect me to allow such behaviors from them?

The answer is simple. The answer points a finger. The answer stings. The answer is me.

People treat others as they are allowed to. Sad? Pathetic? Lame? You bet. But it’s the truth. We love to take advantage of life- be lazy where we can be. We often, as humans, forget the implications of our language.

We let people call us homo, fat, crazy, midget, whore. Because as a culture stopping these things is too “politically correct”. We fear that we are being “too sensitive”, we aren’t raising tough kids, or we ourselves do not have thick skin.

“Good luck this time!”
“Good for you- trying again.”
“Sucks you didn’t know before she was born.”
“Is there anything they can do for her when she’s older to make her taller?”

Fellow humans have said these things to me. Why does the world view dwarfism as something to be cured, rather than embraced as a difference?

We don’t want to question what others say. We give up our right to know about ourselves when we don’t ask the hard questions.

“I don’t know.”
“We will learn together.”
“Let’s come back to that.”
“This is my first one.”

Doctors have said these things to me. Why is the education about dwarfism so slim that many medical professionals fear the diagnosis of dwarfism- offering patients little education and less options.

My mantra, Keep pushing. For respect, for knowledge.

Do you see it yet? Do you feel the need to push?

There is change that can be made. There is change that needs to be made. There are generations coming up behind you and me, behind the children being born today and the children following them. There are millions of people yet to be born, and thousands will have a form of dwarfism.

But they will not be dwarfs.

They will be painters and doctors. They will be writers and scientists. They will be political leaders and dreamers and veterinarians. Those born with a form of dwarfism will love and be loved. They will change lives and shape the world for future generations. The way we need to now.

There is a need to define ourselves by what we want as a community and let the masses, not the few, lead the way. Television shows that pigeonhole this community, media misconceptions, movies and comedians are things of the past when we push- and keep pushing- to be defined not as little people, but as people. Height doesn’t make someone smart, or happy, or better than. Average height just makes you average.

Be spectacular regardless. Keep pushing.

When a doctor tells me they do not know, I ask, “how will you find the answer?” When I am given news about a health concern and then that same medical professional attempts to leave the room, I ask for further explanation. I ask what our course of action is. I ask what their medical opinion and experience are. What is the timeline. How do we proceed? I push to know more. I push to make them answer. To make them accountable for their diagnosis. I refuse to let Google do my doctoring. I refuse to leave not knowing.

Too many parents email me with the same story. It goes like this: The doctors told me my baby would be a dwarf. They gave me a packet of papers and told me to make appointments for these things. They told me to be prepared, but not for what.

More often than not, I offer my telephone number. I spend hours each week calming mothers-to-be and new parents. Not giving medical advice, but offering an ear and listening to questions that are left unanswered. Unanswered concerns from a doctor who left their patients with a handout and maybe a few people to call.

This is not OK. This is not how patients should be treated. Dwarfism is not unknown. Specialists exist!

In my hours on the phone I’ve looked up local hospitals with clinics, referred many to our own team in Delaware, and always given out the LPA’s website. Hours spent giving the same basic information that needs to be readily available to all patients with a diagnosis of dwarfism. Support, love and most importantly, knowledge.

Keep pushing.

Keep pushing so that when someone sees a person of short stature they smile, the same smile they offer any other human on the street. Why? Because a person of short stature is any other human.

Keep pushing to make changes, because if there is such an uprising about a professional football team name change, then there should be a change across the nation of high school sports teams named The Midgets. Because other people do not decide what offends you. Because other people don’t control our emotions. Because being sensitive, caring, respectful people is what defines a civilized culture. That is what humanity means. Because even doctors need to learn something new every day. Because bedside manner isn’t dead (and neither is chivalry, if you were wondering).

There isn’t a facet of our culture that doesn’t need advocacy from our community, so be that voice. Never stop pushing because it doesn’t bother you anymore, or because you think one person can’t make a difference. One voice. One community. One change at a time.

Keep pushing because letting ourselves be defined by anything, even things that are so apparent, like our gender, sexual preference, race or disability is no way to live. It’s no way I will let myself or my children live, and I won’t being defined by anyone but myself.

 

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Filed under Achondroplasia, Community, Educate/Adovocate/Make Change

Marvelous Monday

Last Monday was not my ideal day, but I woke up- and that, in and of itself, made it marvelous.

After we got news that Addie’s MRI wasn’t crystal clear, my heart sank, heavy in my chest. Friends reached out- sending love, prayers and hugs. I am still feeling those- thankful that so many who love our sweet lady and are standing behind her, no matter what the outcome. And then, there was an article.

My best friend was in a fit of worry. I could tell, as she’d called me about 4 times and sent some texts- everything from asking if I was OK to pictures and memes trying to get my mind off the news. And then she sent me an article, THIS article and I read it through tears of knowing, because all those late nights and stressful times that have come, I’ve never felt a moment of anything but thanks. This line resonated with me, heaving a sigh through my body as though I was reading something written about me from a total stranger: “You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.”

I know it is hard, this thing we refer to as parenting, but more than that? It’s rewarding. I’ve partied… a lot. I’ve celebrated, had girls’ night, gone on dates. And now, my nights are home. My friendships often get nourished through Skype chats and play dates of chasing babies. Some friends have come and some have gone.

But I have the love of my life and the sweet baby (almost babies!) we’ve made… and I have this.

Bath Time

A small body laid curled over my leg.

Yotion, she asked. The L adorably replaced.

How could I resist her plea?

I started with her neck.
Parting her hair to the side- her golden curls still wet from the water, leaving marks on my shorts.

I moved down her back, as she swirled her body around.
Her belly rubbing my skin below, her feet meeting below the bowing of her legs.

She was round where God intended.
Her perfect limbs curled in just that way.
With small fingers tucked neatly under her chin.

I massaged her soft skin,
between each roll and over every muscle.
Watching her eyelids grow heavy as she drifted to sleep.
Repeating the same songs my own mother sang to me as a child.

These are the moments in between all the other moments that I remember best.
Long summer days filled with gardens and sprinklers.
Bug catchers and pinwheels.
Laughter that the neighbors stop to enjoy.
A bath that leaves a ring of dirt- the telltale sign of a good day-
and the minutes that follow.

Just me and her.
Lying together under the fan.
A mother and child.

Love redefined in memories that are mine to remember.

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#JustForLove

I received a t-shirt (that you can get, too!) in return for a blog post about Baby2Baby. All opinions are my own and are not swayed by the sponsor.

I’d never heard of the #JustForLove campaign Séraphine was running, but if you know Jessica Alba, you know Baby2Baby. As it turns out, Séraphine, the leading maternity fashion brand in the UK and US, kicked off their Mother’s Day celebrations by beginning this campaign to celebrate Mother’s Day this year to help raise as much money as possible for Baby2Baby. To do this, Séraphine is hosting a fundraising app HERE and are personally donating each time the app is used! So far they’ve raised $1184 (my photo submission was number 1,184)! It’s super easy to upload your own image to the site- and in an effort to spread the love as far and wide as possible, for every image uploaded to the site, Séraphine will donate $1 to the organization Baby2Baby. . Seriously, it’s that easy and more than worth it! The app works just like an Instagram feed, inviting everyone to post an image that represents their own personal moment of love- whatever that means for you. A picture of your baby bump, your child, a hug with your mother or your partner… it can be anything truly meaningful and symbolic of a loving moment.

AisForAdelaideSeraphone #baby2baby upload

If you don’t know what Baby2Baby is…
Baby2Baby provides low-income children, ages 0-12, with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. Supported by a board of influential women, including celebrity moms Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie, Baby2Baby will serve over 70,000 children this year by collecting and distributing donations of new and gently used children’s essentials.

#Aisforadelaide #JustforLove #baby2Baby #shop #makeadifference

See that gorgeous shirt I’m wearing? It’s a beautiful white top, scoop neck maternity tee produced by Séraphine. Around the belly is #justforlove… and every single time I wear it I get compliments. It’s not only gorgeous, but this day and age everyone wants to know “what does it mean?”! My answer is simple, It means I can give #JustForLove to another family.

For me this means that my wearing my shirt, wrapping my unborn in the phrase, is spreading the word about this important project (that’s coming to a close at the end of the month!). My favorite meaning of this whole project, why I am involved, why I think every city needs a program as selfless, is this:

#JustforLove #amotherslove #aisforadelaide

 

For any moms-to-be out there who want some beautiful fashion (I do love when fashion meets charity!), please consider visiting the site and ordering yourself a t-shirt HERE! They’re $20 each and 100% of the sale price goes to Baby2Baby, helping to increase support for the mothers and children they serve.

#aisforadelaide #shop #baby2baby #justforlove Make a difference

 

“To become a mother is to experience love in one of the strongest and purest ways imaginable, so we fully support Baby2Baby’s mission, helping mothers and their children in desperate situations,” said Cecile Reinaud, founder of Séraphine.

Please join me in the campaign and learn more by watching this moving video. Let’s help families… all by sharing a favorite photo!

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Filed under Pregnancy/Birth, Reviews

As weeks go by…

Wow… I remember taking weekly pictures of myself when I was pregnant with Addie and posting them with the phrase: Week x, Baby is the size of a lime, avocado, watermelon (JK)…

Now… I just try to take a picture within the right week. It’s never the actual date (does it gross you out that I know we conceived New Years Eve?) of the week, but I’m always close- and, as a seasoned second born, I know this is just gonna have to be good enough for Millie.

What IS really cool, is that this pregnancy is a bit more documented than Addie’s because I have this blog which reignited my passion for writing and squelches my desire to over-share… so, for those who are wondering where the heck the belly pics are, here’s a bit of sisterly combat already starting in the womb: Weeks by Sister!

The sisters are belly for belly early on...

The sisters are belly for belly early on…

Here, they begin to express their differences. Addie stayed rather low, while Millie moved up into the vital organs.

Here, they begin to express their differences. Addie stayed rather low, while Millie moved up into the vital organs, like the lungs…

I

...and there she is! Halfway there and Miss Camille Thea's incubator is far larger than Miss Adelaide's!

…and there she is! Halfway there and Miss Camille Thea’s incubator is far larger than Miss Adelaide’s!

 

I love being pregnant… even if I cannot breathe well and the impending summer is looming over my already sweaty body like a threat. I’m excited for sisters. I’m blessed to have more children. Bring it on third trimester! This mama is ready!

How was your body different each pregnancy?

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Marvelous Monday

It’s been over a year with the thankful dwarfism random format… and after tonight, I think to myself life is too damn marvelous to share it. So every Monday will be just about how marvelous this crazy thing is blessed to us for whatever length of time we get… Life. However that comes out- Life is too awesome to have constrictions on how we celebrate each marvelous week!

Memories

We drove all day.
This family of mine.
We crossed borders, walked parking lots, filled tanks and bellies and hearts with memories.

We succumbed to the life we’ve grown to love as we stepped inside our house.
Our home.
We stripped down to the skin we only bare to each other.
Sandals strewn across the hall floor,
clothes in a sweaty pile waiting to be washed.

The youngest naked with hand-sewn flowers covering her head…
Her small body- perfection in each movement.
Each curve and roll.

His muscular legs carrying his tired body,
remarkably chiseled from beneath his boxer briefs.
A reminder of his youth-
His bike.
Before us.

My belly,
full of movement one can feel and now see.
A reminder  of youth soon to be born.
What will be.
What is us.

We climbed into the small bed as I recited a book from my own childhood.
Her body arched back as only a toddler would find comfortable.
Her small arms wrapped around my neck,
her chest pushed into my face.
The salt and heat from her skin startle me.
The smell of dirt and sweat is somehow sweet against my nose.

I feel her grip loosen as she falls asleep.

 

We traveled many miles.
We filled tanks and bellies and hearts with memories.

Memories.

June Fete 2014 #AISFORADELAIDE #motherslove

Have a beautiful week, Reader.

 

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I prefer “24 Months”

I can’t believe it’s here.

All the weeks that  have passed. The laughs that have filled our home and the tears that have followed. The hugs and subsequent falls. The meals we’ve shared around the table and the bags of popcorn passed around the bed. The many silences that gently filter through her newly forming sentences.

All of these things have brought us to where we are.

Two.

Happiest of birthdays to my sweet Adelaide Eileen.

#aisforadelaide #happybirthday #seondbirthday #two #2


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Filed under Dear Adelaide

Marvelous Monday

What a wonderful weekend- jammed packed with all I am thankful for and all things dwarfism! I have mentioned LPA about a million times, and all the support they offer to the LP community, but there is so much more than that.

There are lifelong memories made by friends who see each other a few times a year. Parents who lament all the silly things that we get that no one else truly does. Not life-altering stuff, but finding shoes that fit, are cool and also comfy. Why moving a faucet can make life easier for your child. How to hem jeans. It’s the same old parenting things we all think about, but rarely do we encounter so many seemingly minuscule things over and over and over.

The best part? When Addie gets into a large group of kids, there are no worries because this community is watching over her- everyone.

This mama may be suffering from serious pregnancy hormones, but when Jackie and Avery (two fabulous young ladies) took Addie’s hands and walked her to their dance circle complete with other girls, and encouraged her to dance, laughed with her and never let her out of their sight, I walked away, took my seat, gripped a cup of ice water and swallowed my tears. My face was hot. My body felt cold.

#aisforadelaide #firstdance #lparegional #2014

My daughter already has an amazing life.

I watched what her Spring and Fall would bring each year, as our District regionals pass by. I saw middle school dances and girlie laughter about things that us parents would just never understand. As I sipped my water, surrounded by women I’ve grown to love in our brief, but powerful 21 months as LPA members, we laughed at my verge of crying.

#aisforadelaide #ladiesnight #LPAspringregional2014

I have an amazing life.

These moments are not forever. We have our struggles. We have some of the happiest moments of our lives without the LPA, or anything related to dwarfism. Being little, or big, or average does not define us. Having such fabulous friends, regardless of distance, giving my child the opportunity to live her life and being guided by those around me. That defines me. There is nothing like knowing that your life changes shape when you let go of the reigns and just live.

With $100 in our pocket and a cooler full of fruit, bread, peanut butter and tuna, we went to Cape Cod. It was our first regional with our LPA district. We got to ask questions. We got to answer a few. I shared a conversation with men and women. Some were my height, some were not. But the conversations were the same. Our kids were being crazy, they all needed to sleep, we all enjoyed the sunset at the banquet, our clothes seemed to be getting tighter as the New England winter ceases to end. I joked with my ladies about this and that. We all ragged on each other, shared hugs, high-fived the  kids.

Being members of the LPA has allowed us to NOT define our family by dwarfism, but to learn in a safe, well educated environment for ourselves, our daughter (and future baby!) and those who will learn from us. To balance our lives between doctors and normalcy, because at the end of each day, I am doing the same as any parent… reading 102 books before bed, watching my child guzzle more water than they consumed the entire day and praying they don’t spring a leak in the night, kissing her cheeks and watching the monitor (sure, I’m also listening for snores and leg movements, but that’s neither here nor there). Addie? She’s just like your child. And me? I’m just like you. Tired, stressed and loving every minute of this crazy, fast-paced thing they call Parenting.

#aisforadelaide #swimming #capecop #seacresthotel #lpaspringregional2014

And my random  of the week? If you missed it before, don’t forget to check out this awesome video below <3 <3 <3 (Yes… I’m a bit excited to share after holding it in for 13 weeks!!!!!)

Happy Monday, Reader!!!

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Filed under Achondroplasia, Community, Marvelous Monday