In August 2003, Joe Maertz got romantic and scientific, so he swept me off to Reuben H. Fleet’s Science Center for our first date. Skinnier, more starry eyed versions of us sat down at a contraption that allows two people to look into each others’ eyes, play with light reflections on glass, and get a glimpse at what their offspring might look like. It’s a perfect first date, really. You stare at each other, giggle, and toy with the idea of whether you may actually like to make such babies together. Last month— 10 years later —we revisited the Reuben H. Fleet museum and stumbled upon this old contraption, but this time we fondly stared into each others’ eyes and into the eyes of our children. It was unreal. We smiled at each other through this window, not imagining our future, but holding it. Three little girls, pieced together from us. Here’s to more flirting with the future with my Joe Maertz.
Ladies & Gentlemen, it is with great joy and celebration, we introduce, our third daughter…
[ Juliet Mae Maertz ]
Hello Juliet! (one month): What do we say to our sweetest little wonder? Welcome to our family Juliet!! WELCOME! Our hearts exploded as you joined us on July 30th (due date was August 3), 2013. After I left your 39 week OB/GYN appointment, Mommy made a very big call to Daddy’s work. “Are you sitting down? Okay, now stand up, cause you need to get me to the hospital. My water broke.” We made our way to Palomar Hospital just before 5pm— and because I wasn’t experiencing any contractions, we prepared ourselves for a C-Section. Lo and behold, 12 hours later, through C-Section you came! God surrounded your birth story with angels, He really did. We loved your nurses and your Doctor was a dream. Dr. Cantu delivered you at 6:07am Tuesday morning. You weighed 8 lbs and were just shy of 22 inches long. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and with you in our world, the sunshine only felt warmer, brighter and more beautiful. It’s just one of those things… now that you’re here, it feels impossible to ever imagine our family without you. You belong with us Juliet. *You are a fantastic sleeper, except from the hours of 5pm-10pm, that’s when you’re a terrible sleeper. One particular evening was a doozy, so when Daddy came out from putting your sisters to bed, and he asked where you were, I surprised him when I told him you were at the neighbor’s house. They were beyond happy to hold our little noisy darling, and we were more than grateful to have twenty minutes of silence during our dinner. *You were born with fantastically long fingers and feet. *You do not like the car. And because you don’t like the car, neither do we. *For your first restaurant experience, we took you to Chick Fil-A. Here’s the best part, the Paschalls randomly showed up! You met your cousins for the first time at Chick-Fil-A. *You seem to be more fair skinned than your sisters, your hair looks lighter, and your eyes seem incredibly more newborn blue. *When your sister got admitted into the hospital, you came too. At three weeks old, I’m thanking God for the extra dose of sleepy dust He sprinkled on you that very long day. *At four weeks old you enjoyed your first airplane ride to GrampBill’s house! *You love showers, sometimes if nothing else calms you, a shower will. *You love to be held, so Mommy, Daddy (and occasionally the neighbors) hold you, a lot. Aria Ellen (2 years): *You are talking so very much! You say new things all day, and your sentences are so impressive! I believe your most favorite thing to say is “Eh Ah-E-ah Mahhz” (I’m Aria Maertz). You will say this over and over and over to any new “fens”(friends) until they understand you. *You love to help! Every time I go to use the microwave (after two years, Ama won, we have a microwave in our house), you will run to my side, pull out the bottom drawer as a step stool, close the microwave door and push the buttons to start it. You love this. You equally love taquitos. But hands down you love “fen-fy, nuggets, chetchup” the most. Without hesitation, you will ask for these items at every single meal. *You are a joke-ster. After we tucked you and your sister into bed, we heard crying in the room. I went back in the room, and in my best firm parent voice I said “Who’s crying in here.” You were sitting up, cheeks drenched, a total blubbery mess, but you still managed to hold your hand up and point “Eh Mimi! Eh Mimi! MImi cy-ing!!”(It’s Naomi, it’s Naomi crying!) But you couldn’t contain yourself. You broke into a huuuuge giggly smile, and exclaimed, “Ahya!! Ahya cy-ing! (Aria crying!) Two years old, and you threw your sister under the bus. You like to change songs up too. Here’s your newest rendition “Winnie the Poop, Winnie the Poop. Chubby little bunny all stuffed with poop.” You and your sister laugh and laugh. I really want to be that Mom that puts her foot down on Poop talk, but it’s just so darling to watch you girls giggle away. I tell myself, I’ll be that Mom tomorrow. *Daddy let you and Naomi pick out toothbrushes at the store. Naomi picked a pink princess, and you picked blue Monsters. You crack us up! *You have fallen in loooove with dresses and spinning around in your dress. Everyday, you want to wear the twirly dress, and everyday I hear “Watch me! Watch me Mommy! Watch me!” You want an audience to see you spin and spin and spin. So delighted in yourself! I could watch your joy all day. *Daddy found you in Mommy’s makeup bag! I will give you credit, you nailed the functionality. You had a huge glop of black mascara goop all over your eyelids. *Aria you’re a smartie! I watched you as you took Daddy’s 2 liter empty Coke bottle, opened the garage, and walked it right to the recycling pile, all by yourself. You learned by observing! *You are a fantastic Big Sister Aria! You love sitting with your sister, holding her, and Mommy’s favorite— singing to her. When she cries, it’s almost an automatic queue for you to cuddle close and sing to her “Baby Mine don’t you cry…” *We had a pretty big scare with you little one. On the day that Daddy returned to work, you spiked your fevers again. After two separate doctor visits, and many blood tests, the doctors were stumped, and you continued to spike ridiculously high fevers. Mommy did her best to be brave. Thankfully Ama came to help, as your fevers spiked almost every 3 hours. I’d hold you and just pray pray pray for the fever to break. Finally after another specialist appointment, and no clear lead, we talked with your pediatrician and we all agreed that Sunday morning would be time to admit you into the hospital. It seemed so surreal to be back in the hospital, now with our 2 year old and our 3 week old. After 8 days of high fevers, and talk of some big scary words no parent wants to hear, our hearts exploded with thankfulness as a simple urine test and ultrasound of the kidneys confirmed you had a very bad kidney infection. We were released later that evening. R E L I E F. It was a simple miss. The doctors asked the right questions, and we always said “She pees great, and there is no smell at all.” It was simply undetected cause you are one tough girl my love. One very tough girl. I am so thankful this round of fevers had a source, a very curable source. A quick 24 hours on your antibiotics, and you were a brand new girl. Your resilience is astounding my love. Naomi Mariam (3.5 years old): *You are very adventurous! You’ve been asking us, “Can we go see somewhere that we’ve never seen before?” This question got Daddy to drive past the local park, and take you and Aria to Dixon Lake! You guys giggled away as you fed the ducks and squirrels. *You love drawing, and we’re adoring the little people you draw, you’re really good. *You’re a smartie! Shocking Daddy and Mommy as we see your magnetic letters spell GRACIE. You spelled Gracie! Thank you Boz! You are so interested in telling the time, and every once in a while you nail it! We love watching you stand up tall, grin that beautiful big smile of yours and be proud of yourself! *You love being Minnie, Red Riding hood, or Ariel. And you equally love telling Aria that she’s Mickey, the Big Bad Wolf, or the Prince. You either have an easy going sister, or very convincing skills, as Aria complies almost every time. *You called Mommy’s name from the back of the car, “Mom! Mom! You’re beautiful.” You sure know how to make Mommy smile. *In your prayers you ended by saying “Thank you God for the whole wide world.” I love watching you understand prayer, you come up with the sweetest prayers. *You are such a wonderful big sister to Juliet! When we park the car, you can’t unbuckle yourself fast enough. You run to Juliet’s side and start “shhhhh shhhh shhhh”-ing her and telling her “It’s okay sweetie, I’m here. I’m here.” You ooze with kindness and care Naomi. Another time I asked you, “What did you do to get her to stop crying?” You responded, “Loving her.” I love the love you have for others. Another time, you clasped your hands together on the side of your face, “Isn’t it just wonderful to have Juliet be in our family?” You are a dream Big Sister Naomi. Mommy and Daddy are completely smitten with you!