Archive for September, 2007

Great Ideas

September 27, 2007

Alright, I’m no computer whiz, so I am hoping that I am going to add a link to this blog that will lead you to an interview of a woman, Trish Berg, who is the author of a book about supper swapping. I had never heard of her and found her link on another blog. When I listened to her interview, I wanted to share it. I think it’s so important for women to band together and share with/help each other. I know that I love to share baby clothes. It saves $ and it saves space. Plus, let’s be honest, we ALWAYS have too many clothes for one baby to wear. So, I call friends who have a baby who is the size and gender of the clothes that are in my garage and then they are put to good use, instead of taking up the room in my garage (or cupboard, drawer, closet, storage unit, etc.). When they are done with the clothes, they pack them up (free to throw away anything damaged or add anything they bought) and either hand them back to me so that I can pass them on again OR they can hand them to another mom who’s baby can use them, with the understanding that they will again be returned or passed on. The mom who starts the clothes sharing always knows who has the clothes and can have them back if she needs them for another child when the mom using them is done. I love it and I always like to see what’s been added. BTW, I have baby boy clothes from newborn to size 12m. that are waiting for someone to use them. Any takers?

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A Successful Day

September 25, 2007


I love this picture! This was taken yesterday evening, after each of these 2 monkeys had several time-outs in the corner. They look so peaceful here. I tell you, time-out in the corner is a good tool. I always tell them t0 take the time there to think about what they did wrong and why. I give 1 minute per year, so it stinks to be 8 or 13! ;-) Anyway, they ended their day of pushing each other, taking things away from each other and generally being yucky to each other, like this.
So, yesterday I drug myself out of bed at 4am to go to the grocery store to get all I needed to make the cupcakes for school. The store does not open until 5am. I was not going to wait around. I went into a 24 hr. drug store instead. Shopping at 4am is costly! I got home and quietly took everything out, so as not to wake the 1 or 2 yr. olds. Guess what…….no cupcake papers! I did, however, have some cute star-shaped tins and used those. It cracked me up when I got to the school that the teacher was all a-gog over the star cupcakes. I love it when my accidents turn into people thinking I am amazing. Hee Hee! So, I pulled the morning off. Even got the Morning Memo up and Tristan’s important papers for the week on the white board. Go me! But let me tell you, by about 3pm I was SO tired. I went to bed around 10 and got plenty of sleep. So much so, that around 4am, I was awake and thinking amazing thoughts. I had bright and brilliant ideas. Now, they are gone! I have been trying for hours to remember the funny story I was determined to write to Reader’s Digest. What is it about those early morning thoughts. They sparkle and then fade away. I need to have a notebook by the bed so I can jot these, pixie-dust inspired, things down! I’m sure Clay would LOVE that! “Honey, why is the light on”? No light, you’re dreaming. :-)
Today has already been a small adventure. When I returned from taking the kids to school, I discovered that the front door was locked and I had the wrong set of keys. So, I asked the 4yr. old to head around the back and come through to let us in. I stood at the front door with my purse, coffee and diaper bag while holding the dog who was trying to lunge for a neighbor and her dog (the dog has now started riding to school with us at the insistence of the older children), while shrieking at the baby (in my kindest, urgent voice) not to go into the street and then answering the phone that was in my pocket because the babysitter was calling. Then I had to wonder where Gabi was. Whew, stuck in the van. Good place for her! ;-) Max came through the front door and I rounded everyone and everything up and into the house (yes, I remembered to get Gabi out of the van). When I finally put everything down and got the kids sitting down, I found the right set of keys in my pocket!
To a good day!~

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A Loss

September 25, 2007


Yesterday, one of Clay’s friends, who was stationed on Guam, went down in a helo crash. He leaves behind his wife. This is the second crash, this year, that involved people Clay knew. Please remember the pilot and his family in your prayers and thoughts today.
Thank you~

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Happy Birthday to US!

September 25, 2007

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy, happy, happy birrrrrthdaaaaaay! A little note to my sister, Beth, my good friend, Kristine, my Aunt, Tammie and the lady at the local Starbucks. Oh yeah, also to the ex-husband of a lady I just met today. :-) We all share today as our birthday. What a great day for so many of us to share! My day was full of handmade cards from the kids, a lunch with my husband and a homemade, ice-cream cake from Maddi. Plus I received many phone calls, emails, myspace comments and in-person wishes. Thanks! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, I’m starting the week behind! I will be getting up around 4am tomorow and heading to the store to get the eggs, milk and cake mix I need for baking the 24 cupcakes I signed up to bring to Max’s preschool class. I’m just too tired to do it now. Plus, I had a couple glasses of wine with dinner and don’t think it’s best to be behind the wheel of the “White Whale”. Shoot! I just remembered I need to pick up a case of bottled water to finish the “comfort bags” that were due to the school last Friday. Man, I really am behind! Sheesh, I didn’t do a good job of promoting the annual fundraiser either. It was also due last Friday. I need to get into a better routine of posting the important stuff on the white board! So, my goal for tomorrow is to get the important stuff on the white board, finish the cupcakes and comfort bags and remember to look into the kids’ backpacks as soon as they get home. Tristan lost 2 important pieces of paper last week. I’ve got to get my head out of summer and jump into the school routine with BOTH feet! This is a busy week because I have 2 meetings, the podcasting convention and the Navy Ball. Big breath!!!!!! One day at a time. One event and deadline at a time. It will all fall together and get done. One more big breath AND a glass of water!
Good night~

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Juggling Life

September 25, 2007


Whew! The balls are all still in the air, but now I have to walk with them. That’s how I’m feeling right now. It’s all self-induced and I know it, but I’m still feeling overwhelmed. Wait! Didn’t I say I felt overwhelmed BEFORE I decided it was a good idea to start a website, blog and podcast? Hmmmmm?! Honestly, I can manage anything, but the thinking about it is what makes me anxious. If I break it all down into small pieces, I’m good. Clay says I need more sleep. More sleep?! Ok, I’ll try. I can work it in between 11pm and 4am. He’s not satisfied with that answer. Ok! I’ll try a new sleep regimen of 10pm to 4am. But not today. :-) So, the new website is coming along. I am www.mommyofmany.com. It’s not up and running yet, but soon will have the blog and a podcast. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It was a REALLY quiet day for a Saturday around here. It rained a little, so that canceled a couple of our planned events. The 3 older girls went to a bday party in the afternoon and Clay took the 4 littler kids to the park. It was SO quiet here! I got a little work done and later went down to the park to join them. Very nice! I have to put days like this into my “good memory” file to pull out when it’s a tough Saturday. Well, I hope it was good for all of you too.
Good night~

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What am I doing?!

September 25, 2007


I have been working hard to get all of this podcasting stuff in place. Some of that means that I am trying to move this blog to another site. You would still be able to access it here, but when announcing it to the public, there would be another website. So, yesterday I was working on doing that when, BAM! My whole site disappeared! I was sick! It took me hours to get it republished and lots of “on-hold” time on the phone. Anyway, it all made me realize that I haven’t got the slightest idea what I am doing. I just wanted to throw my hands up and say, “ok, you’re right, I’m in over my head and I quit”. But I didn’t and here I am today. I just really know NOTHING about how computers work and talk to each other and how moving things from one site to another works. It seems like so much to think about when all I really want to do is share stories and be connected. Ok, one hurdle at a time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, Clay and I are going to the ball (annual military function) next weekend. This means a new dress. So, I took the 3 little ones, while everyone else was in school and headed to the mall. You can imagine that I didn’t get very much accomplished. I grabbed several dresses and headed to the dressing room. Thank goodness the large one was open, because I had the stroller with the 2 little ones in it and Max following along. Now, I should mention that I wasn’t feeling the normal dread I feel, when about to try on clothes. The baby is getting older and I am busier since the oldest kids are gone (not as many people to delegate tasks to) and this all means less snack time for me (I’ve also found that since canceling cable, I don’t sit in front of the TV late at night with a snack). I’ve started to shrink a little. A couple people have even commented on it. So, I grabbed those dresses in a size smaller than normal. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!! The ones I did manage to get on had to be zipped by Max (4 yrs. old) and if you’ve read any of my other posts, you get the idea that he’s a straight talker. Well it was no different in the dressing room. When he was asked to zip one dress with a side-zipper, he tried with all his 4 yr old might and then stepped back and said, “There’s just too much side”. Point taken! I grabbed the matronly, black dress with an easy, up-the-back zipper and promptly checked out. Whew! I guess the accessories will have to speak of the beauty I hope to feel that night, ’cause the dress says , “there was just too much side”.
Good night~

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A pep talk

September 25, 2007


While there is no shortage of funny stories from the Lang home (I went department-store shopping with 7 kids for 2 1/2 hours yesterday) I’ve decided to use this little space for a pep talk to the ladies (gentlemen are welcome to read along) out there who are up to their eyeballs in life. It seems that everywhere I’ve been lately, I’m hearing requests for well-wishes, prayers and kind words for many a mother, friend, daughter, sister etc. As women we are stretched SO thin by the demands of our lives. And this is when sickness or lack of money don’t get in the way. Add either of those things and it’s enough to make you feel like you’re going to break. I know that in my life there were many times of the dollar being short and the weeks being long and sometimes I didn’t want to be the “strong” one anymore. I longed to be the poor woman huddled in the corner in need of great assistance from everyone. But we pull through those times, become stronger and then have something to share with others in the future. I’m so sorry to hear of the difficult pregnancies for various people right now and the scariness of having a family member who is ill or suffering or the stress of no money and expensive car troubles or stress over feeding a family for the whole 2 weeks in between each payday. I want to challenge each of us to hear one of those requests and either lift up these people in prayer and good thoughts or find the small way that you can make a difference for just one person in need that is close to you. We will make it! Keep your head up! These hard times will pass and you will be able to look back on them and breathe deeply knowing that you made it.
Have a great day!

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Learning something new

September 25, 2007


The other day I decided to take my kids for a “treat” and let them play in the McDonald’s play place. They were excited because I can’t even remember the last time I did this. When my older kids were little we used to do it all the time, but now I just don’t think about going to McDonald’s. Once we got in there and they had their shoes off and started scrambling up the tubes to discover what wonders lie ahead, I remembered why I don’t do this anymore. My skin was crawling and I think I may have even been twitching from the thought of what actually lie ahead in those tunnels. What sickness where they going to contract from the gunk that’s been left behind by countless other kids? I sat for about 10 minutes cringing, but looking excited for them, every time they would go to one of those little “windows” to wave hello and show me how much fun they were having. Finally I sent one of the older girls to buy ice cream cones for everyone so that I could entice them out of the germ-filled play place. I swear it was all I could do not to run for the Lysol wipes that were in the car. I had to think of what message the other patrons would be getting if they saw me stripping my kids down and rigorously cleaning them with Lysol? Either I’ve become a germ-phobe in my “old” age or I was too young and happy for an air-conditioned play place (we lived in the south for awhile) before. So I settled for cleaning their hands with baby wipes and made them put their shoes on (all the while, thinking,”yuck, yuck, yuck, I wonder what’s on their feet”) and handed them each an ice cream cone. This is when I learned something new. Tristan was contemplating his ice cream when he blurted out,”Mom, ice cream is a vegetable”. Oh really? “Yes, Mom. It has no seeds so that makes it a vegetable”.
There you go! The wisdom of an 8yr old.
Have a great day~

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Child guided house-cleaning

September 25, 2007


What to do and where to start? These were the questions on my mind this morning when I looked around my messy home. I was finally going to have a day at home to clean and organize but couldn’t decide where to begin. The dishes? The laundry? The dining room floor?……..I should not have worried so much. As the morning progressed, it became clear that my children were going to guide me through the house (and the yard) on my cleaning expedition. First stop; the dining room. After taking my older children to school I returned home with the 3 little ones and made them their second breakfast. The first one was cereal, this one was the, “make me feel like I’m a real mother and cook something” meal of eggs and toast. I sat them down and delivered the dishes. While they were happily eating a lovingly cooked breakfast, I decided to start a load of laundry. But just moments into the whole thing I heard a loud crash and the sound of a broken dish. What was I thinking?!!!! I had given Luke-Xavier a glass dish on his high-chair tray. Ok, obviously the message was, “not time to do laundry. Time to sweep and clean dining room floor”. Great! Thank you Lex for showing me where to start. Once that was cleaned up and everyone was done I let them go outside while I headed back to the laundry room. And soon I was guided to my next cleaning job……the back patio, followed by the bathroom. Lex, having not eaten the eggs and toast, was still hungry and decided that the dog’s breakfast looked more appetizing than the one I had prepared. But, the key to really good dog food is that you have to dunk it in the dog’s water first. MMMMMM! Gets just the right amount of flavor and texture going. So, out I go to sweep up the dog food and dump the water. But wait! I now have to bathe Luke-Xavier (Lex) because dog food not only tastes good,once it’s wet, it becomes a fabulous moisturizer. So, #3 on the cleaning list, the bathroom. I figured while he was in the tub I could get the rest of the bathroom wiped down. Mission accomplished. I dried him off and relished the fact that he now smelled like a clean baby and not a puppy. However, I had underestimated Max and Gabi’s need to show me where to clean next! So, off to the playroom! They both think that baking is great and like to help me or the older girls when we make something. This time, they decided to try it on their own. And why not?! After-all we have provided a perfectly good kitchen for them in the playroom They were just putting it to good use. Flour is hard to clean up (helpful tip of the day). Thank goodness I’d gotten there before the eggs were brought out. Well, by the time this was done, I no longer wondered where to clean. By now it was lunch time which meant back to the kitchen to start all over again. You’ll be happy to know that I did, finally, get that load of laundry done. And thanks to the guidance of my children the house looks great!
Child guided house-cleaning. Try it!
Good night~

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Fit-throwers beware

September 25, 2007

Gabi, fit-thrower
I almost feel sorry for my last 3 children. Not because they don’t get enough attention. Not because they are at the end of the line or because they have to run around strapped into their car-seats for everyone else’s’ errands. But because their fits just go unnoticed. They try so hard to make the fits REALLY big so as to shock me and break me down to a point where I just give in. Poor little kids! Take yesterday; Gabi and I drove to the post office to mail a package to JJ. She came along because she had drawn a picture for him and wanted to mail it. The package was already sealed so she was going to get a stamped envelope at the post office. Well, the place was crowded, blah, blah, blah. I won’t bore you with the details this time. By the time it was our turn she was screaming up a storm. I couldn’t even hear the postman’s questions (you know,”is there anything explosive”…..etc. Ha ha,”not other than my 2yr.old”). So ultimately, we mailed my package and she came home with her letter in hand. In the car on the way home she was screaming this high pitched, ear-splitting scream. I just kept driving. Finally she stops and says, “Mom, I am screaming!”. Yep, I know, but I’m not going to acknowledge it. I wish I had known this technique from the beginning of motherhood. My older kids reduced me to a pile of mush on too many occasions with their fits. The public outbursts especially made me break out in a sweat. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older or maybe it’s just experience, but I like this way a lot better!
Have a great day~

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Living under the water

September 25, 2007

Underwater livingIf it all keeps going the way it has for the last week or so, I am going to buy a Lottery ticket! God is GOOD! The planets are aligned. Or maybe it was the itchy palm I had a couple of weeks ago. Call it what you will, but things are just good right now. People are friendly, kind and encouraging/I’ve been treated to free coffee drinks on 4 occasions in the last week/our local Barista cleared out the pastry case into a HUGE bag for us to take home because they didn’t want to throw it all away……….so, if I show up with pastries to anything tomorrow, I’m not being overly generous, I am just sharing the goodness. Anyway, this little run of good luck/receipt of kindness has been nice to have and will be something to draw on in those times (that always do end up coming around) when you wonder if anyone is caring anymore.
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The kids’ imaginations have been flourishing recently and tonight they donned their Speedo goggles and Max buckled on his bike helmet (he doesn’t need the goggles because he has laser eyes) and they prepared for living under water. It’s the little snippets of the day like this that are important to grab. Sure, there was arguing over who sits where in the car or turned up noses at a lunch packed with the bits of stuff left in the fridge (ok, it’s the last few days before payday. You know, that LAST stuff) etc. But there’s always some little, good thing to find in the day to turn it around. Taking the time to write a little each night has been a good tool in helping me to find those moments. I mean, really, how interesting would it be to write about all the yucky or angry stuff?!
I hope you can each find one happy snippet to grab from today.
Good night~

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Note to self

September 25, 2007


Dear Jen,
In the future, when filling a travel mug full of your morning coffee, take a few sips before hitting the road, to make sure that the mug does not leak or drip. Coffee stains don’t go with any outfit.
Ugh!
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So, yesterday (without coffee all over my clothing) I did something exciting! I went to a friends’ house and learned a little about podcasting. There’s tons to learn, but I am planning on getting my feet wet soon! I will keep you all posted. I’m excited! OOOOOOOO, maybe I can slip the “song of the day” in now and then……….:-)
Have a great day~

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Grabbed by the giggles

September 25, 2007

Goofy girls!
This was an odd day at the Lang house. I had the unique experience of not leaving the house and not even getting properly dressed. We worked hard on many projects. The playroom took about 3 hours of our time. It’s, once again, a happy place to watch a movie or play with Legos. Then it was on to the bedrooms. With Kateri and JJ off to school, we’ve been shuffling beds and belongings. That took the rest of the day. I took the opportunity of being home to make a “good” dinner. We all sat around the table and ate on REAL plates. With the 2 kids gone, we can all pull chairs up to the table without adding the “extra” chair on either side that made people grumble about elbows and knees (however comfortable the table is, they are still sorely missed). At the table, the silliness started to be shared and we all ended up with a case of the giggles. Max had a wing of the chicken and found out that if you move one part, the joint makes another part move. Oh, the laughter that brought. Mariah let us all know that after dinner she thought it would be nice to take a “water bath”. Huh? I guess I don’t want to know how she usually bathes. Luke-Xavier is quite a character and decided to get in on the action by leaving a chicken bone in his mouth and blowing so that it seemed that he was smoking the chicken bone (we don’t smoke, so not sure where he got that one). I asked everyone to stop laughing at him so that he wouldn’t develop a complex about eating. Mariah found that particularly hysterical and said she would document the date so that some day when he has an eating disorder (no, we don’t find eating disorders funny!) she can point back to when they were all laughing about him smoking the chicken bone and have clarity on how his life was ruined. Geez! Anyway, it was a good evening with happy sounds around the table. By-the-way, you’ll be happy to know that my children talked me out of using my garageband application to record the, “song of the day” (a happy little tune about such things as diapers, dinner, the dog or laundry), each day and put it up with the blog. They reminded me that I would be the one singing and that people would hear me. Be thankful!
Good night~

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Happy Birthday?

September 25, 2007


This has been bothering me and Clay is still away so I can’t talk to him yet. Yesterday a friend of ours who is a single father of 2 and working on beginning a 3rd marriage (we’ve know him through the first 2) dropped off an invitation to his daughter’s 12th bday party. Again I say, his daughter’s 12th bday party. The girls were excited because they know and like this girl. She has been one of their friends for about 8 years now. Well, the party is going to start at 3pm on a Saturday with pizza at a hotel in downtown. Then the girls are to have formal wear for dinner at the hotel, and a swimsuit for swimming there. They are supposed to stay overnight at the hotel and dress for breakfast the next morning (Sunday morning, we go to Liturgy and then the kids have ECF class). I’m just having a hard time with why the standard has been set so high! REALLY?……a 12 yr. old’s party at a hotel, overnight?! What kind of present is expected for a posh event like this? I suppose my $20 bill would just bring looks of scorn from the other girls who will be attending and who’s parents think it’s a wonderful idea to show a daughter how very special she is by throwing this kind of party. Personally I think it’s over the top and unnecessary. What sort of message is it sending to the girls? I’m of the old-fashioned attitude that a bday party should be in the backyard or a park with cake, a pinata and some play time for the kids. A day at the beach is a fine way to celebrate a bday as well. I know I am not going to be popular with my girls for poo-pooing this party, but first of all, Liturgy on Sunday morning with the family needs to be a priority and second of all I don’t think an overnighter at a hotel is a good idea at this age. Once I talk to Clay, maybe they can go and enjoy, pizza, swimming and dinner and then be picked up, but that’s where I draw the line.
Please feel free to leave your comment on this one. Thanks~

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Max started Preschool

September 25, 2007


Where’s my lunch box?
“In the cupboard with the dog treats”.
And so started Max’s first day of preschool. He had a great time in Miss Allie’s class. I can’t think of a kid who wouldn’t. The classroom looks like she walked into Pottery Barn Kids and said, “I’ll take one of everything in red, please”. It’s a kids’ dream play place! It was super tough to get Gabi to leave! So, Gabs gets to be the big kids at home 2 mornings a week. And Max gets to join the ranks of the “school kids”.
I was able to talk to JJ yesterday!!!!!! He sounds great! After saying hello, he went right into his list of “needs”. So, off to the store I went. Does a day go by that I don’t have to go to the store?! It was so good to talk to JJ and to hear that he’s happy. He has hired himself a latin tutor. What a kid!
Once I had purchased the items of “need”, I headed to the UPS store. I had Kateri’s requested items and some ebay things that had sold (yea!). And the great mailing expedition of 2007 began! At the UPS store, they were very helpful getting me the correct sized boxes (thank you very much)but when they told me how much shipping would be (of course everything was already boxed up) I wanted to faint! They then let me know that a couple of my boxes were going to PO Boxes and that meant they had to go via the USPS and that they charge double for sending things to the USPS! STOP! Then I had to split everything up, tell them to charge me for the boxes, mail the stuff that wasn’t going to PO Boxes and hand over the other stuff. By this time the kids had started to call……”when are you coming home?” So, off to the post office. I managed to find a parking place (beach town, remember) and unload the armloads of items and got in line. I stood in line for about 10 minutes when I remembered that the addresses were on a piece of paper in the van. What to do?! I relinquished my spot and went out to the van. I swear 20 people showed up in that time! Back in line to wait for another 1/2 hour. And the kids just kept on calling…..”So and so dumped such and such/He’s running around outside in his underwear/She fed the dog cheese/Can I get on the computer?/When are you coming home?……..Of course I was trying to quietly answer these phone calls and juggle the items I had to mail…..”Ok, Honey, that sounds great. I’ll be home shortly.” Everything finally got mailed and I think I will have a couple of happy kiddos in a few days and happy ebay buyers (I can hope).
More stories later. Have to get the kids to school.
Have a great day~

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