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Archive for May – 2008 – Mommy of Many®
Luke-Xavier is going through the stage where he LOVES to be naked. He’s also ready to be potty-trained and is constantly taking his diaper off. This poses a problem at bedtime. After a little brainstorming, I came up with this;
And what about the feet of the pj’s, you ask? No problem! Simply cut them off!
He’s been fully pj’d and diapered for the last 2 nights! Genius I tell you!
Well, having all my kiddos home meant that I needed to get the grocery shopping done. So, yesterday I set off to Henry’s and Trader Joe’s to get all of the produce and the stuff I like to get at Trader Joe’s (it’s the least expensive place that I’ve found to buy jam and granola bars that don’t have corn syrup in them). When I go shopping I get inquisitive looks because of the amount I buy. At the commissary or Vons I use 2 carts and they usually have at least one child in each of them, along with groceries from top to bottom. I do my “big” shopping every two weeks, so it can really be a lot! I get asked things like, “are you having a party?” or “how many people you feedin’ over there?”. Yesterday when I pulled my cart up to the register at Trader Joe’s with 3 bags of each frozen entree I had chosen and 4 boxes of ice cream sandwiches, just so everyone can have 1 and 4 boxes of granola bars, in the hope that they will last for at least a few lunches, the cashier looked at my wine bottles and asked for ID! God bless him! I decided that his was the most intelligent question of the whole shopping trip.
Ok, here’s a little tip;
I drive a 15 passenger van with side doors that open out. So, I’m always looking for a parking spot at the far right of a lot so that no one will be next to me. But, those are few and far between. So, usually I end up in between 2 cars, trying to get as close to the left line as possible. So many times, I come back to the van to find that someone else has taken the place of the original car to my right and that they’ve taken advantage of me being over to the left and that I can’t open my side doors. SO FRUSTRATING! So, if you see a van next to you, be mindful of the fact that those side doors are the only way to get the groceries into the vehicle and the only way to get toddlers into their car seats and scoot to the right.
Today’s the day that I get to have all of my kiddos back together. I know I’ve talked about how this first year of having kids away at school has gone and the different changes in family dynamics, but today I get to shout with happiness that all my kids are home! JJ’s plane will be here in a few hours. The boys are SUPER excited! They have been counting down the days for the last 2 1/2 weeks. They’ve made all sorts of plans about what they will do with him, show him, tell him. In my last podcast, I talked about the excitement that families feel when their deployed mom or dad is coming home. I have to say that the little boys are just as excited to have JJ coming home.
Honestly, I’m a little nervous. I am not getting back the same boy that I sent off to school. I was able to visit him in October and I remember that there had already been some changes in him. He came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we could see that he was calmer and more introspective. I have not seen him since January but in phone calls I can hear changes in his voice and his tone. He sounds like he’s comfortable with himself and with life and tuned in to the ways that God is working in our lives.
I am bursting with pride! I’m also very excited that the little boys will have a male role-model in the house for the summer. It’s going to be so good for them to have someone to play games with them, take them on walks and bike rides and to instill some of his calmness on them.
Alright, alright, I’m not expecting miracles! They are going to get riled-up and play too roughly and yell more loudly than I want. But underneath it all, I’ll know that they are learning from their brother who has gone away and learned about himself, his faith and how much his family loves him.
With 2 months of this deployment behind us, I thought it was a good time to brush up on the ways I can keep my kiddos feeling connected to Clay for the rest of the deployment. Here are some great ideas on how to help your kids feel that their deployed parent is a daily part of their lives.
Have a great idea for a show? I’d love to hear it! Go to the “contact” page or leave me a comment.
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I could feel myself getting snappy and short with the kids (because they were snappy and short with me) and decided I better do something about it, before we ended up in a shouting match. So, I thought of my options and knew I didn’t have to make a big dinner tonight because all the older kids were going to a friends’ house to watch the American Idol finale. So Kateri put some soup on for the little kids and I headed outside to “de-stress” through yard work. I took time to trim some bougainvillea and cut all the old blooms from the roses. As I was working, I thought of all the little tricks I use to take a breath and get a new perspective on what’s happening when I feel stressed. There are certainly times when I can’t just stop everything and go outside to work in the yard. You know….those times when you have to keep plowing forward through the craziness, hoping to come out the other side with a smile on your face. So, I put together a list of ways to avoid the end-of-the-day overload;
Take a big breath!
Say a little prayer
Decide to speak softly (it really throws the kids off).
Don’t answer the annoying questions that your kids are asking you-sometimes silence works wonders.
Do a little yard work (being outside can change your whole mood)
Take a quick walk
Lock yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes
Sit the little ones on your lap and read a quick story
Put the kiddos in the car and take a quick drive-the change of scenery can be enough to get everyone out of the mood they were in.
Think of something funny
Call someone who makes you laugh (yes, even with the kids screaming in the background)
So, after I cleaned up the rose bush and the bougainvillea I decided to cut the flower pictured above. By the time I was done (about 40 minutes), the yard looked better, my mood had changed, the kids were eating their soup (having someone to lend a hand makes a HUGE difference!) and I had freshly cut flowers to decorate the table with.
What are some of your de-stressers? I always love getting new ideas! And hey, if you don’t ever need any of these tips because you never feel like the day has gotten to be too much….for goodness sake, start writing a blog, because I need to read what you have to say!
A boy and his dog are always a cute pair. I missed a great photo opportunity of Max and Lilly (our dog) yesterday. Lilly is definitely “low-man on the totem pole” at our house. We all love her and walk her and pet her etc., but she knows that she’s #12 in line. From time to time we get her treats to let her know we appreciate her, barking-up-a-storm, whenever someone knocks on the door. Yesterday we gave her a “bone” for being good and she immediately ran to the back yard with it. Max followed her. I wish I would have had the camera when I looked out again, because they were working together to get that bone buried! Lilly was digging furiously on one side of the hole and Max was digging with equal ferocity on the other side.
It was brought to my attention that my first show wouldn’t play. Bummer! Good news! It’s fixed. So, if you’re new to the site and you want to hear a little about each of the kiddos and why I started this adventure or if you missed the first few shows and want to catch up, click here. It’s a good place to get started!
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Wow! The School year flew by! Kateri arrived home Saturday evening and JJ will be here soon. The whole year was a learning experience! We will do some things better next year, but it’s been good for all of us. There’s no question that both kids are in the best schools possible. They’ve met wonderful people that will be a part of their lives forever.
We’ve made it past the 2 month mark for this deployment! So far, so good! We are still waiting on a return date, but if it keeps going the way it has, we’ll all be fine.
This week’s show is sponsored by Aveeno Baby! Please take a minute to visit our sponsor.
It’s good to be home. It was nice to have a little trip and to visit with Kateri, one-on-one. The family we stayed with is so wonderful! I had a great time.
I can’t believe the school year has come to an end for my two oldest! The year flew by. Kateri got home tonight and will be with us for the summer. JJ will be here in another week and 1/2. I really can’t wait to have all the kids together again. Of course, Max has reminded us that we won’t be a “whole family” because Clay is deployed, but it’ll be nice to have everyone here to pray for him and be thinking of him.
It took some prep to be ready for Kateri because we had to shuffle kids around. We didn’t gain a whole lot of space when the 2 kids left, but it was enough that the kids spread out a little and now we had to figure out how we made it work before. I’ve also realized that there were things I wanted to make sure were done that I didn’t worry much about while she was away. It’s funny how different kids expect different things from you, as “Mom”. But, now that she’s back, it’s starting to feel like summer and I can’t wait!
We took the time to enjoy the beautiful San Diego night and went for a walk and enjoyed the smell of the ocean and the feel of the breeze. I really love it here!
Because of my trip and all the prep for returning kiddos, this week’s show will come out on Monday. I’m sorry for the delay but there just haven’t been enough hours in each day to tackle each task. Thank you for continuing to visit the site and listen to the shows. I look forward to talking to you on Monday.
I haven’t been able to watch a whole movie, start to finish, without getting up and taking care of something or folding laundry or taking a phone call, in a long time. But, because I’m on a little trip, I had the luxury of watching an entire movie last night. I wanted to share this beautiful movie and it’s story with all of you.
I had not heard of Bella and am really happy that the family I’m staying with shared it with me. Check out the website! The movie is out on DVD, now. With so many crazy movies and messages available to our kids, that often conflict with the family values we are trying to convey to them, I think this movie deserves to be seen and shared.
I’m doing a quick last-minute assessment of all that should have gotten done before I get on a plane today. I really should have started a lot sooner, but I didn’t really start prepping until yesterday. So, I suppose, what gets done, gets done and what doesn’t, can’t matter. My sister will be here with the kiddos, keeping things running smoothly and in order (ha ha ha ha!). Poor thing! I’ve hardly prepped her for success! But, the important stuff will get done and no one will be any worse off for it.
So, I’m heading out to be with Kateri to help her tie up some loose ends before she heads home for the summer. It’ll be a nice chance to have some one on one time with her. This first year of having kids away at school was a little challenging, but has gone very quickly!
So, keep my sister in your thoughts as I pass my dancing shoes on to her.
I’ll write a little while I’m away.
Have a great day~
BTW-the picture above is what I found on my bed on Mother’s Day! Great kids!
Happy Mother’s Day! I hope that each of you moms get a special day. If you don’t have any special events planned, be sure to spend a little time remembering some of your special mommy moments.
Since it’s a Mother’s Day show, I decided to talk about a couple of “Mommy issues” I’ve encountered over my years as a mom. I give you permission to chuckle at me as you listen. Sometimes the things we end up doing as parents can be funny!
Thank you for visiting the site and for listening to the show. You can always email me at Jen@MommyofMany.com or use the “contact” button. Please take a minute to visit our sponsor, Aveeno Baby.
This morning I woke up to an email that I wanted to share part of-
In 1984 President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother’s Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
This year, that day is Today, May 9th.
In that message, he stated the following:
“Our navy ensures the security, stability, and prosperity of our country…
…While it is our privilege to serve our Navy and Nation, we could not do so without the steady support of our spouses.
…We can be out and about focused on the mission before us,
because of the Love and Support of our spouses”.
I truly feel like this morning was yesterday, if not the day before. It was a good day, but packed with so much, that it’s hard to sort it into place and still keep it all within 24 hours.
This morning, Tristan jumped out of bed and unwrapped his new shirt and tie and pulled on his new and spiffy, cuff-bottomed slacks. He was so excited to get all dressed-up, cut some flowers from the yard and participate in May Crowning. So, I also got a little fancy and took him to school. Then I left the little ones with a sitter and headed off for a monthly coffee that I host for the Naval Officer Spouses’ Club. I love planning a new cafe for each month. This month we stayed close to where I live. It was a small gathering this time, but great, just the same. Then, off I ran to make it to the May Crowning. All the kids were dressed up in their best. The second-graders were all in their First Communion clothes (the girls always look SO pretty!) and the 8th grade girls always have on new and flowery dresses. After May Crowning, I picked Maxi-boy up from preschool and met the bus coming in from 6th grade camp. Maddi and Arianna got off the bus with big smiles on their faces and dirt on their jeans. They had a great time. I drove home listening to stories of new friends and fun experiences. They are my 4th and 5th kiddos to have gone to 6th grade camp and all the experiences have been equally great! After getting home, we had lunch and cleaned up a bit. The poor playroom has been a mess since Clay left. So, we finally sorted and put away all the fun! After I left instructions for dinner with my sister, I got to go for an, over-due, hair appointment. That is definitely the way to end the day! So, I get to go to bed with a new and sassy hair cut!
So, even though it was a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGGG day, it was all good stuff.
Tomorrow is scheduled to be just as full, but just as good.