Saturday, December 31, 2011

Microwaving the Mate

"We try to microwave our own answers instead of trusting God's timing... If you seek answers you won't find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you..." ~ Mark Batterson
This quote grabbed my attention. If you substitute the word "mate" for the word "answers," then it reminds me of what I often tell people that are yet unmarried. It also hits home for me.

Short and sweet --
I wanted to find the one God had for me. Every time I found someone that I thought would work, [guess what?] we did not work. Frustrating. But, when I just focused on knowing Him, He brought Ricky my way. And Ricky definitely did not fit the bill of what I thought worked for me; our Father certainly is humorous, huh?! {Not that seeking God is just a facade for trying to get Him to hurry up and give you what you want, in this case a mate, or that His will is for us all to be married.} Basically, I tell people that when I went looking for the right one, I only found wrong ones. But, when I focused on the Right One and stopped looking, He brought the right one to me without me even looking!

Bottom line: He just wants us to love Him unashamedly, pursue Him recklessly, trust Him securely, and know Him intimately. Bring to Jesus all your needs and wants. Lay at His feet. Hear His voice, follow His lead, and obey. Let Him do the orchestrating.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Festivities and Beginnings

This Mosaic is a little different as I am not going to write anything, but just give a glimpse of the past two weeks with pictures...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!


The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. ~ John 1:9

Celebrating that Christ, the true light, has come!

Ricky, Aidan, Aolani, & Micaiah DiMartino

Welcome Micaiah!

We gleefully announce the birth
of our son

Micaiah Oliver
on December 14th
at 4:51pm
7 pounds, 13 ounces
20 inches long

Quick q & a: I am wonderfully well -- healing quickly, emotions stabilized, peaceful, sleep-deprived but still bright-eyed (this is a miracle recovery). Micaiah is super healthy -- nursing well, gaining weight, but his nights and days are mixed up (so we are up all night). I will get back to blogging when I get caught up on my more urgent to-dos! My parents were just here for the past eight days (woohoo!), and Ricky's family comes for a visit later this week :) Our church here is helping with our meals and are a great support. I gave birth naturally again and will post this very different, interesting, and crazy birth story soon, I hope.

About his name... Pronounced as Isaiah, but with a Mc sound in front instead of an Iz sound.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


  • Due date was yesterday... still waiting... my parents are here waiting with us for bundle of joy #2 ;) I feel astronomically huge -- especially as I have pulled two muscles in my back just going about my daily routine!
  • We continued to rearrange our main room and finally found a pleasing set-up :)
  • Aolani's antics: learned how to unlock her new crib and bust out (added a second lock), nanni does mean "Mommy," scribbled on the white walls (and table cover) with a black ink pen... and she was proud of these accomplishments!
  • We were eating a meal she enjoys for dinner the other night, but she was freaking out and would not take a bite -- because there was sour cream on the table. She would only eat it with sour cream on each bite!
She put her shoes and bib on her best friend, a bunny named Buttercup.

In our bed, captivated with the alarm clock

    • Verse to memorize this week: Reviewing chapter 8 of Romans!

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Holy-days {Advent 2011}

    Since I did not know when Micaiah would debut, I planned our holy-day celebrations far in advance. This way I would not have to be in charge of it all during postpartum. I wrote it all down for Ricky, so he could handle it during December.

    Devotions: Advent is where I put most of our emphasis, because what is this holy-day about if we do not prepare our hearts waiting for the Christ-child to come? You can see our Advent wreath (carved out of wood, with 24 candle holes, and there's a movable donkey carrying Mary). We light the candle after moving it forward and read some selected Bible verses. Then, we read the history of a Christmas hymn from Christmas Carol's for a Kid's Heart and sing it (along with the soundtrack). Then, we pray and eat a treat :)

    Decorations: Most noticeably, we do not have a Christmas tree. We are not against them; we just chose (for several reasons) not to erect one. We have other items (ornaments, stockings, nativity sets...) hanging around. We have our Christmas books in a basket and keep the Christmas music playing. Also, I made a winter spice aroma spray (we replaced the ginger with nutmeg) that I spritz around our home for that warm, pleasant scent (or I run the diffuser). Also, we simply hang the Christmas cards we receive on ribbon with clothespins! Then, when the season is over and it comes time to take them down, we will pray for the person/family that sent each card as we remove it :)

    Treats: I picked out five desserts that Ricky (or my mom when she comes for Micaiah's birth) could make, one for each weekend in December and a Chocolate Coffee Cake for Jesus' birthday party Christmas morning. {Here are the recipes: Fudge (we add 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and walnuts to it), Cookies (we add pecans, cut recipe in half, and use rapadura in place of the sugar), Coconut Brownies (we add walnuts), and Peppermint Bark Popcorn.}

    Presents: As a family, we are not going to exchange presents amongst ourselves, but we did get small presents for our extended families. We are not against gift-giving amongst friends and family, but we chose to give a gift as a family to Jesus (see Matthew 25:45) for His birthday. This year, we donated money to Compassion International.

    CHRISTmas joy to you in your celebrations and preparation for the coming of the King,

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Weekly Bits

    • Sad to say that I have terrible pregnancy brain lately. Can't complete a thought or conversation. So, I forgot to take pictures this week :(
    • I am hoping to post the few ways in which we are celebrating Advent and this Christmas holy-day later this week.
    • Pregnancy: One week away from due date. My OB doctor said at last week's appointment that he thought I would be at this week's appointment. I have gained a whopping 32 lbs now, and I am 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. According to my belly's measurement, I am on track for a 7.5-8 lb baby. My echocardiogram was normal -- good heart :) Oh, and we do have someone to call that will come watch Aolani while we race to the hospital for labor and delivery. Once my parents arrive, they will get Aolani and bring her to the hospital to join us.
    • A really good article on vaccines and children: here.
    • Aolani's bedtime routine: We pick up toys, change diaper and put on jammies, brush teeth and wash hands, read one book, read Bible, sing one song, pray, and nurse (lights out now). This is what we strive for anyway.
    • Storytime: Ricky shouts, "Go Tebow!" to the jersey-wearing man walking by us in a parking lot. He laughs. Aolani quickly earns the attention. We start talking, for real -- not about the weather. He loves Jesus and is a fan of Dr. Mercola, too. Dr. Randy is a dentist about to move out West to go to school to become a Doctor of Naturopathy. He warns us of the horrors of mercury and fluoride. We tell him that we already got all of our mercury fillings removed and replaced (because the poisonous heavy metal can slowly leak into your system to cause severe damage) and that we avoid all fluoride (we make our own toothpaste and use a water-filter that removes fluoride). Anyway, he revealed how suicidal he had gotten from working with mercury fillings and how another dentist in the USA who did the same killed himself. He said the dental industry denied it all and tried to cover it up. Then, he realized he had to get out. Ricky and I knew this (knowledge-wise), but it was still shocking to hear someone's first-hand experience. All this from a Tebow jersey.
    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:37-9 ~ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Busyness and Babies

    "We could labor an be used to the full; but the Lord is not so concerned about our ceaseless occupation in work for him. That is not his first object. The service of the Lord is not to be measured by tangible results. No, my friends, the Lord's first concern is with our position at his feet and our anointing of his head."
    ~ Watchman Nee

    "A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."
    ~ Anonymous

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    A Bottomless Pit

    • Aolani got her first "haircut" from Grandma over the weekend. Basically, we just took an inch off the bottom because it looked like a mullet to me!
    • Aolani is into any and everything -- there is always something every day! I can hardly keep up. We had to remove her toy station, rearrange the family room, add locks to the refrigerator, laundry room, hall closet... She broke the bathtub faucet... It never settles down here ;)
    • Pregnancy: I am over 38 weeks... waiting... having my weekly OB appointments. I felt some minor contractions yesterday. Aolani has a new crib that she crawls into and swings out of -- so cute! The elevated crib is in the family room, so that Micaiah can nap and nurse out where the girls are during the day. He will sleep with us in our bed at night. The changing table is already out in the family room. Not crazy about the family room arrangement, but we are working on it.
    • Potty-training Update: I want to keep this brief. Basically, Aolani was doing well enough the past week, even with company. However, I had some realizations earlier this week that made me cave and put her back in diapers yesterday. I know -- it's sad for us to give up all that progress. While there are many smaller reasons, there are two big ones. One, she is just physically too small. Right now, when she poops (I hear her) and rush to the bathroom to wipe her little rear myself because she cannot reach either way. If I am caring for Micaiah when she poops, I cannot help her in the bathroom. I don't think she will grow longer arms in two weeks ;) Two, Aolani can pull her pants up and down now but refuses to if she has to potty. She always goes in her pants, despite the wetness and practice... So, she was still bottomless. I was watching her like a hawk, not really enjoying her, and stressing myself. Ricky emphasized the importance I need to place on my peace. Simply put, it's bad timing, and we didn't anticipate a lot of this. So, we will try this method again later on when she is bigger, more verbal, and listens to Mommy (if that day comes!). Someone asked me if Aolani was potty-trained now, would it help me? I don't mind changing two little ones' diapers at all; it was more a money issue. Oh well.

    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:34-6 ~ Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    To Like It

    "She did not ask, 'Do you do the will of God?' She always asked, 'Do you like the will of God?' That question goes deeper than anything else. I remember once she was having a controversy with the Lord over a certain matter. She knew what the Lord wanted, and in her heart she wanted it too. But it was difficult, and I heard her pray like this: 'Lord, I confess I don't like it, but please do not give in to me. Just wait, Lord -- and I will give in to thee.' She did not want the Lord to yield to her and to reduce his demands upon her. She wanted nothing but to please him."

    ~ Watchman Nee

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Bigger and Better

    • Happy Thanksgiving! This will be our first Thanksgiving in our own place, and we are thankful for that. My parents are coming here to celebrate with us and arrive tomorrow. One thing we are going to do to cultivate and express gratitude is place three corn kernels on each plate, then go around and share something that we are thankful for from this past year -- one at a time, three times around the table.
    • I have been desperate for my parents to get here before Micaiah does, so that we can do my massive "prepare-for-a-new-baby list." {I think my nesting instinct has kicked in :)}
    • Pregnancy: Well, technically, I am at full term (over 37 weeks) and so feelin' it. My skin is stretched further than I thought possible; I look like I swallowed a gigantic pumpkin. I'm exhausted but sleeping poorly. Peeing all night (Ricky's favorite part of pregnancy!). Back and hips hurt. His feet are crammed into my left hip, and he won't move them. No lap, Bending or leaning means no breathing. Gotta love the last month! Good news: I went to the OB doctor yesterday, and I am already 2 cm dilated -- YAY! Thus far, I have gained 28 pounds (and Aolani weighed 26 pounds). Also, I got to meet with my doula, get that "mandatory" echocardiogram, and go see a chiropractor this past week.
    • Great news: Within a week's time, we found someone who wanted to tackle modifying our second crib, took the crib, and returns it tomorrow morning! He goes to the church we are going to join. We are just so elated!

    • Potty-Training: Miracle story. Basically, I have been preparing for months to try this new method about potty-training in less than a day (supposedly works for most children over 20 months old, and Aolani is over 21 months). We did the training Saturday afternoon (should have started in the morning). While there are several things we will do differently for future children, the main problem was that there are pretraining experiences that we should have been doing with Aolani for two weeks prior to the big day and we just did not take them seriously enough, despite her passing the readiness tests. Anyway, Sunday and Monday were not showing much improvement, just much laundry! I was getting so discouraged, and we were contemplating giving up, quitting, and bringing out the diapers. But, she was showing some promise in that she had the sequence down -- potty, wipe, pick up pot, carry pot to toilet, empty pot, flush toilet, carry pot back, and reinsert pot. She just wasn't approaching her potty when she had to go -- because she could not pull her pants down. I don't know what happened, but suddenly, Tuesday was amazing. No accidents. She self-initiated going to her potty every time she had to pee or poo! [We're practicing pulling pants up and down but for now, she is bottomless.] We cannot believe we almost quit! Anyway, everything is not perfect, but we have a super foundation and highly recommend this method!

    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:31-3 ~ What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Harsh or Gentle?

    THE verse for toddlers (and husbands!):
    "Now which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of correction, or with love and in a spirit of gentleness?" ~ 1 Corinthians 4:21
    Note: Sorry so short -- in need of grace after a weary weekend of potty-training...

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    All Over the Place

    • I so meant to mention this before it happened! This past Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). If you did not know this, please spend some time interceding for our persecuted brethren and give them the honor of remembrance! Visit Voice of the Martyrs for more information.
    • We have finally found a home church, but we haven't made any commitment yet.
    • We just finished reading aloud as a family Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey and highly recommend it! It took us over a month to complete, but we only read it for five minutes most nights.
    • It's been 22 months since my last haircut, which is how long it takes for it to grow out long enough to donate to Locks of Love. So, to celebrate eight months of Micaiah, I whopped off a foot and the "Mommy 'Do" has returned ;)
    • Now that this pregnancy is almost finished, we decided we should at least take one picture -- better late than never, right :) So, here I am at eight months. I had a doctor's appointment last week. I have almost gained 25 pounds. We're good, but the DiMartino's opinions are conflicting with the doctors' at this clinic, so it is all a little touchy right now. I meet with my doula (birthing coach) for the first time tomorrow. And, I have to get an echocardiogram (a heart screening test) on Friday -- or else my clinic won't see me as a patient anymore (yeah, yucky).
  • Aolani's antics: closes doors behind her by pulling the door knob (she's a runt or she would've been doing this sooner) and two days later she figures out how to twist the knobs and open closed doors (not fun; now we have to lock the doors from the inside), unzips her pajamas, started bringing books to me to read to her and wanting up on my lap...
    • Storytime: We pulled in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant only to discover that Aolani had drenched her pants. Soaked through to her knees. So, holding my hand, we escort her by all the onlookers to the restroom, remove her wet bottoms, change her diaper, and... that's it. No backup britches. So, we proceed to our table and bypass the stares with a toddler in a coat, diaper, and shoes. We tried to keep her legs warm with a blanket (do I get credit for that?) while we ate. Sigh.
    • Verses to memorize this week: Romans 8:28-30 ~ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (see archived post on these verses)