my reputation down the drain.


I had one of my most horrible moments as a mommy last month.  If you haven’t had your horrible mommy story yet, congratulations to you.  If you have, you’re not alone.  I hope you find solace in mine.

Here it goes:  Aria’s foot slipped down the kitchen sink drain while the garbage disposal was on.  Read it again, you’ll still see those awful words “the garbage disposal was on.”  Yes a horrible accident, but even the grace giving word accident doesn’t remedy that the accident was my fault.  She is okay, thankfully.  All her toes are attached, thank you Jesus.  After two weeks, her 9-10 mostly surface wounds have all but disappeared.  The first problem, we were on vacation.  Without any real statistics to back me up, I will say that 90% of accidents happen on vacation.  We had just arrived to Joe’s childhood home in Vacaville.  It was a gorgeous Friday evening.  “GrampBill” picked up lasagna, a perfect dinner to kick off the summer vacation.  Dinner concludes, and bath time is upon us.  Aria is more or less a lasagna monster, covered head to toe in a delicious film of Italian grease.  To get to the bathtub, it’s a long stretch of stairs, covered in off white carpet.  My eyes move to GrampBill’s sink.  A quick wash off should do the trick.  I flip the garbage disposal on, clean up the sink’s basin, and Joe hands me my sweet lasagna monster.  Aria is standing in the sink one moment, and falling into the drain the next.  This is the moment I wish so badly I could change everything.  How could I forget?!  How did I not hear it?!   Questions screaming in my head.  I completely unravel.   Grueling minutes pass, the blood finally slows.  Joe and GrampBill do their best to assure me she’s going to be okay, but I can tell, they’re saying it to comfort themselves too.  We are all worried.  I tell myself to slow down, and work hard to wipe tears aside.  And while I study her beat up little toes, his words calm my guilt wrenched heart, “It was an accident honey.  It wasn’t your fault.  It’s an unfamiliar environment, you didn’t know.”  It happened in his home, to his granddaughter.  I just imagine this same scenario, with a slightly less understanding father in law.  It could have gone a hundred different, horrible ways.  But, I got kindness and forgiveness.  He has no idea what his words mean to me.  Since that awful day, Aria has healed.  Thankfully, she is okay.  And I’m okay.  I will say two more things.  I will always remember the grace my father in law poured on me, and lastly, I’m forever convinced, the louder the garbage disposal, the better.

Naomi (2 1/2 years):  You are sweeter than sunshine!  *When Mommy checked on you after bedtime, you cupped her face in your hands, brought her nose to your nose, looked right into her eyes and sweetly whispered “I miss you.”  *You woke up from your nap and the first words out of your mouth, “It’s such a nice and beautiful day!  The sun is up!”  *You repeat a lot of what you hear these days.  One of our favorites is when you pat Aria on the back and come alongside her saying “I’m so proud of you sweetie.”  *You are kind Naomi.  You have a generous heart to share.  Without prompting, we’ll catch you in the backseat of the car, stretching your arm out to Aria to make sure she can have pretzels and cookies too.   *A little sass is surfacing.  I asked you to go turn off your sound machine, and you said “Why don’t you go turn it off yourself.”  I was so shocked, I fell over laughing!  *You picked a wild flower, and brought it to mommy saying “It’s the most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen!”  *You have a great imagination!  We were playing animal charades, and you asked daddy to be a monkey, cow dragon and snake!  He did all of them for you, and you dropped into a puddle of giggles.  *Every night daddy sits with you for 20 mins, reading you books, and singing songs with you!  You love singing Hosanna with daddy!  *Mommy took you to the doctor, and forgot your shoes.  She carried you and Aria in both arms to the 2nd floor pediatrician’s office.  Found out that you had another ear infection.  You make it hard for the nurses to believe mommy when she suggests you have an ear infection, because you never get a fever, you simply eat and sleep a little less and act a little funny.  It doesn’t help that as the nurses are checking you into your appointment, you’re so cheerful and sweetly asking the nurses “Hi, how’s your day?”  *Your favorite helping activity is sweeping.  Everyday we sweep the front yard sidewalks together.  You, Aria and mommy–we all have a broom, and together we save our sidewalks from every evil oak tree leaf.  You think it’s the best thing ever.  *You laid down on our patio swing, and asked mommy to push you.  Soon enough Mommy noticed you stopped moving, and for 45 minutes you laid there, face down, asleep on the swing!  *We tried potty training for a day, you are simply not interested.  *When you get excited, your eyes get huge, your mouth opens wide, your entire face lights up!

Aria (13 months):  Your little personality shines!  You’re busy, silly, social, rambunctious, independent, and fearless!   You love waving hello to anyone and everyone, and when your feet hit the floor, you’re gone!  You run off into all corners of the house!  You like to do things by yourself.  You do not like to hold our hands while we walk with you, and you do not like it when we try to feed you, you want to do it yourself.  *You’re obsessed with yogurt, relentlessly dumping the white goop all over your head.  *Mommy is so happy, you still love a good cuddle.  *You climb everything, and climb well.  It only took you a second, and you climbed over the back of the couch, falling smack into the floor.  This is your season of exploration!  You are running, and falling, everywhere.  Climbing, and crashing into everything.  Thank goodness you still have your baby chubs!  *You shake your head “no” in response to every question.  It’s super cute and annoying at the same time.  *You’re independent!  It’s quite challenging to take you and your sister places, I almost always bring the lady wagon to keep you guys contained and me, sane.  *You understand so much!  Daddy suggested that you and your sister play Ring a Round the Rosie, and you popped up and held your hands out to play!  *You love when we chase you, or being scared, you think it’s so funny!  *You have serious spunk.  Even the way you sit in your car seat–both legs completely sprawled out, like a sloppy queen.  *You love signing more, your big word of the month.  *Whenever you want to eat, which is often, you will run up to your high chair, throw your hands up to the tray, and hang.  We get the drift.  *You have a crown of curls around your head, they are darling!  *For months, you have been waking up with the roosters at 5:30am.  We are beyond thankful that you have found 6:45/7am more appealing.  *You love nothing more than to put bowls on your head.  With food, or without, it’s your thing.  *One of your favorite toys is a wooden knife.  Completely safe, but it’s oddly a favorite.  Everyday it becomes an extension of your arm.  *You can climb all the way up the slide, by yourself.  And you do.  Frightening really.  *You are obsessed with shoes.  You love putting them on your feet and prancing around the house!  *When you get excited your entire face scrunches up, squinty eyes, scrunched up nose, everything super tight and squinty!     Maertz family memories:  *Joe hikes San Jacinto with Mike Woodall, Eric Lehman and our buddy Mohammad fresh off the plane from Jordan!  *A surprise visit from Mohammad takes Joe deep into secret Arab pockets around San Diego.  *A great time at the Del Mar Fair!  Naomi is barely 36 inches, and it makes all the difference.  She loves the rides, and we love watching her love them.  *Last minute trip to Coronado, dinner with the Woodalls, pizza at the park!  *4th of July in Del Mar with the Torres’ and Drew Brees’ family, yes.  And a late stop by at the Paschalls, for loads of giggles with 19 toddlers and a silly Yankee Doodle song!  *Late night celebrity magazines with Anjuli and Ashley!  *Digging up the front flower beds, and planting a bright new look!  *Joe enjoys a Father’s day hiking Bernardo Mountain, and hiking himself all the way to the North County Fair mall!  *In a tiny little space with two little girls, I have this horrible idea of playing with a little puppy at the mall’s pet store.  The little puggle runs wild over us and we are running for our lives!  Quickly asking the worker for another, less rambunctious puppy, he brings a precious little puppy that sits still and lets little girls run wildly around him!  Seeing he was scared, I suggested she sing him a song. And near the top of her lungs, Naomi breaks out singing Jesus Loves Me in the middle of the pet store.  Too too sweet.  *Joe and I get a surprise date night at Hotel Del, for expensive warm drinks on their back patio at dusk!  *Vacation to GrampBill’s for a great time with the Peace Pals, and Relay for Life.  Naomi and GrampBill brave the pool’s cooler temperatures.  To ensure that Aria’s little toes are healing, we head to the Doctor, only to discover that her toes are fine, but that she’s suffering from a horrible ear infection.  Awful.  And she’s not the only one.  Naomi had one too, but we didn’t find out until after she complained about her ears on the airplane ride home.  *Running into the Galgans at the park!  Great time hanging out with their family later that weekend!  *Freddy brought us a feast from Ali Baba!  *Snow cones with the cousins, almost as good as Hawaii.  *Afternoon playdates with KY & Brooklyn help get me through those last few hours of the day!  *The girls go to sleep late this summer, and we have loved the extra outdoor time.  With nothing but the absolute basics, we dart to Del Mar Beach at 5pm!  Everyone jumped in, and 45 minutes later we were headed home.  It was fabulous.  Over and over again, Aria and Naomi run straight into the waves!  Pretty sure I heard their giggles over the crashing waves!  Naomi wouldn’t stop saying “This is so much fun!”  *JavaMama playdates with my blonde friends: KY, Priscilla, Brooke, Allison, Carrie, and Emily.  *Sawyers joined us for gelato and Habibi dinner.  When the guys picked up the food, the amount of food was one of the biggest shockers, the other one was the $80 price tag!  Joe laughed the whole way home!  *After our first trip to Vintana bombed, I called the comment line to share about our disappointing dinner.  Ten minutes later, my phone rings, and I didn’t quite catch her name, but she wants to talk about my experience at Vintana.  Confused about who she said she was, it hits me, “I’m sorry, did you say your name is Deborah Scott?”  It sure was.  She was amazing.  And her invitation back to Vintana, as her guest, simply divine.  Get the nut crusted brie, with jalapeno jelly.  I finished off the plate by licking my fingers, it’s that good.

               Setting up the stage at Flood Church with two girls, at 7:10am.  They’re troopers.