Archive for October, 2008

Mommy of Many Show #49: Boxes

October 29, 2008

We all have our “Boxes”. These are the things that make us uncomfortable and make us want to hide from what we must face. Sometimes having a box is a good thing. But, as parents we need to be careful of trying to place our children in our boxes. We should not put our fears and unease on the kids. I’ve been forced to learn this lesson over some of our schooling issues. It’s a good lesson! Through parenting and watching my children grow, I’m being forced out of my box and am learning to see my children’s strengths.

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Frustration!

October 27, 2008

I am writing out of sheer frustration right now! I’ve spent ALL DAY on the next show and every time I think I’m done there’s an issue. AHHHHHHHH!

Show coming soon!

M.O.M.~

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What’s Been Happening at the Lang House

October 24, 2008

Yesterday we celebrated Gabi’s 4th birthday. I can’t believe she’s already 4! Maddi, who’s very thoughtful and loves to plan special things, set the table for a party and then made a nice breakfast. We got to celebrate for Gabi from the moment she woke up. She was pleased!

After a full and busy day, we celebrated with a “pink, princess” cake.

Clay has taken some leave so that he can focus on being back home and spend some time with all of us. He took the 2 little ones to the park for a little “Dad” time. They had fun!

However, Dad being home also means work. Clay built this gravel box before he left, but we didn’t have time to line and fill it. While he was gone, the weeds took over and I turned a blind-eye to it. He got the kids rallied to clear out the weeds and get it ready for the gravel. I can’t believe how hard they worked! Sometimes I wonder if they realize we don’t live in the country! They were filthy and happy by the time it was cleared out.

It’s been a productive and happy time. The kids are really taking in as much of Clay as they can. It’s nice to have all the things that I didn’t take care of (clearing weeds, changing the battery in the truck, etc.) looked at and fixed!

Have a great day~

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Something Cute

October 22, 2008

My boys have always crept out of their beds and found interesting places to sleep. Too many times I’ve walked into a dark room and stumbled over a little boy who has drug his blankets off the bed to sleep on the floor, under the bed, in the closet, in the hallway or even, in the laundry basket. Yesterday we put Luke-Xavier down for his nap and when Clay went to check on him we found him asleep on the desk top, next to the window.

After yesterday’s overwhelming list, I decided we could all use something to put a smile on our faces.

Have a great day~

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A Mommy of Many List

October 21, 2008

THINGS THAT ARE OVERWHELMING ME

Thanksgiving is around the corner
Christmas is around the corner
My washing machine is STILL broken
The sock basket is out of control
4 am is really early
Packing 7 lunches
The dog has fleas
The paperwork is piling up
Some number from Ohio keeps calling and I’m afraid to know why
I have to go to the DMV
I have to go to Costco
I have to let one school know the kids aren’t coming back
I have to sign kids up at 2 new schools
There are thank you notes to be written
The playroom NEEDS to be cleaned and organized
Things need to be bought and sent to JJ
This house is in SERIOUS need of a scrubbing
The vacuum needs to go to the repairman
Luke-Xavier needs to be potty-trained
Mariah saw a mouse on the back patio
My computer needs to go to the shop

I’m hoping that writing this list down takes the edge off of it! Let’s all face our lists of overwhelming items and Dance our way through the day!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #48: The First Week Back

October 19, 2008

As detailed in the blog post below, we are readjusting to having 2 adults in the house again. Clay has done a good job of looking around and seeing what worked well while he was gone and also what could be changed to help the family work more efficiently.

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Thank you for visiting the site and for listening to the show. Have a show idea? Let me know!

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The First Week of Having 2 Parents Back in the House

October 18, 2008

Clay’s been back for a little more than a week now. He’s done a good job of sitting back and watching. As the days have passed, we’ve discussed how to change some of the things that needed changing and the merits of some of the things that have been put into place in the time he was gone. He’s watched as I dance my way through the day, going from place to place, trying to lay out the educational plan for the girls who are home, juggling the 2 littlest ones and watching the laundry pile up as the broken washer sits quietly, waiting for Repairman to finally get her new part so she can get back to work (we’ll save that for another post!). The biggest observation he’s brought to me is that I’m spread a little too thin. This is not news. BUT…..being a man, he brought an observation AND some solutions. Men are natural problem-solvers.

Problem-I drive a 15-passenger van that getls 8 mpg and many times, I’m only driving 3 or 4 children. Heck, sometimes it’s just me in there!

Solution-We are in the process of test-driving VW TDI Jettas and Passats. Clay’s a number-cruncher and the $$ we save on the ridiculous amount of gas I put into the van, will pay for the new car! Whoo Hoo! I’ll put up pics once we get what we’re looking for! We will be keeping the van for the times that we need to take everyone places.

Problem-Homeschooling is NOT working well with our lifestyle and the time I have during the day. We have had a successful 6 weeks and are working hard, but it’s going to be best for the girls to be in school.

Solution-One of the girls will be starting back to the school the kids were at, come Monday. She is SO excited! She had been there for 5 years and really misses her friends. Now the biggest challenge is going to be finding the best school and program available for the other one. She has some challenges in math that can’t be worked with in the private school system. But, once Monday comes, I can spend my time and effort finding the best place. Prayers and good wishes please!

Problem-This house is OUT OF CONTROL!

Solution-Get those girls back into school so I can get back on a routine of housekeeping! I know that there are plenty of homeschooling families out there who get it all done and have beautifully kept houses. Kudos to all of them, because they are better at juggling than I!

Anyway, that’s a good example of how this time has gone. I must admit, I’m looking forward to getting things back in order and to driving a smaller car!

Have a great day~

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A Mommy of Many Question

October 16, 2008

Even Mommies of Many have questions about child-rearing!

What is it that makes a toddler, who has had a perfectly good bedtime routine, suddenly decide they are afraid of the dark?

It’s driving me nuts! Luke-Xavier had been going to bed without ANY problems. Suddenly, about 2 weeks ago, he decided to start screaming about it being dark. It is by no means, DARK in that boy’s room! We leave the hall light on and the door open! However, he has spent enough nights standing at his gate screaming about it being dark, that I bought a nightlight and put it at the head of his bed. No luck! Now, the ONLY way to get him to sleep without him screaming for an hour (no joke!) is to have someone lay with him. It’s not that we mind laying with him, it’s just the mystery of the whole thing. You could say that he did it so that someone would lay with him, but we didn’t start out laying with him, so I’m ruling out that he’s a mad, genius who planned the whole thing and could see 4 steps into the future.

Seriously,
those of you with grown children
those of you with a degree in psychology
those of you with a degree in early childhood development
those of you who know how to make it appear “light” when it’s nighttime and you have 2 other boys in the room who need to sleep,

suggestions welcome!

Have a great day~

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An Exciting Opportunity!

October 15, 2008

October is the anniversary month of this site and of my show! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I, excitedly, sent out a zillion emails to anyone I could think of, letting them know I had started Mommy of Many! I can’t forget the feeling I had after putting together the first show and then wondering if I’d be able to find things to talk about (silly me!). Now, it’s been a year and I feel like I can’t shut up!

One of the most exciting things to come of this site and the show just happened 2 days ago when the editor and co-founder of Military Spouse Magazine emailed to ask if I’d be able to offer up a few tips for large, military families. Now, if you follow this site AT ALL, you know all about our exciting adventure, this summer, with having Mariah on the cover of Military Spouse Magazine and my stress over getting all 9 kids photo shoot ready for a family photo inside the mag. It was a lot of fun and the pictures ended up GREAT! Anyway, offer up a few tips?…….yeah, I think I can do that! So, I told her yes and then told her about Mommy of Many. Hey, you’ve gotta shout about yourself sometimes! She graciously came over and looked around and OFFERED ME A MONTHLY COLUMN in the Family section of the magazine! Yes, you just read that correctly! So, naturally I had to think it over, for about 1/2 a second! So, starting in the January issue (providing I don’t suddenly become struck with stage-fright) my writing on various “How do you do it” topics will show up INSIDE the magazine!

Whoo Hoo!

Can you guess what everyone’s getting as Christmas gifts from the Lang house this year?

;-)

Have a GREAT day~

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Mommy of Many Show #47: Homecoming!

October 13, 2008

This week marked the end of Clay’s deployment! He and all those who were with him returned safely. The kids got to watch the helicopters come into the squadron and run out onto the flight line to greet him. Now our family is in a period of readjustment as the kids get used to having 2 authority figures in the house again and I deal with handing over some of my workload as well as some of the control. I think we’ll make it through this phase smoothly because of all the practice we’ve had with previous deployments. :-)

Thank you again for all the support and encouragement that was sent out during the deployment and all the kind words of congratulations now that he’s back!

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A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

October 12, 2008

It’s beginning to feel like fall, even in San Diego! The last couple of days have been crisp and beautiful and have made us want to think about Halloween and Thanksgiving. We decided it was time for a trip to our favorite pumpkin patch. We loaded up the kids and headed out to Oma’a Pumpkin Patch at the Van Ommering Dairy Farm. We’ve taken the kids out there for several years and have always enjoyed the fact that it’s not only a pumpkin patch, but a working dairy farm. If you’re in the San Diego area, check it out!


Lang Kiddos and a friend at Oma’s Pumpkin Patch


Clay and Luke-Xavier in the petting area


Max and Tristan petting a calf


The Lang Clan and a friend on the hay ride, ready to tour the dairy


Twins had been born just before our tour. They were still trying to stand when we went by. Very cool for the kids to see!


Tristan really enjoyed the cotton-seed slide! It’s one of the kids favorite parts of our annual trip!


A couple of cute pics of the kids enjoying their day!

Have a great day~

P.S. Thank you for all the wonderful “Welcome Home” messages and comments that have been left! They are greatly appreciated!

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Homecoming in Pictures

October 8, 2008


Last night I painted this banner. My original plan was to have it say, “Welcome Home! Your kiddos, far and near are SO happy you are here”. Guess what?! There are too many names to paint to worry about room for a phrase!


The kids and I arrived at the squadron about 15 minutes before the birds came in. I had planned on picking the boys up from school and taking them for haircuts and then out to the squadron. We are SO lucky that we were out the door because I got a call as I was picking the boys up that the Det was an hour ahead of schedule! We rushed straight to the squadron.


Earplugs were handed out and Max thought he should try some.


A happy Max, earplugs in place, waiting for the helos to arrive.


Here they come! It was a BEAUTIFUL day! Check out that blue sky!


Clay, getting out of the helo.


Maddi was the first to get to him. The other kiddos followed close behind.


All the kiddos (minus Kateri and JJ who are away at school) with Daddy. I’m stunned at how much some of these kids look like him!!!!!!!


Gabi clung to him!


Home and in front of the banner.


Within 2 hours of the helo coming in, Clay was home, changed and playing Dad. The kids were SO happy to have him pushing them on the swings (yes, the poor hill will get some attention now that he’s back).


Enjoying a movie with Dad.


These happy kiddos did a silly dance for Dad.


Clay is exhausted and trying to rest while the kiddos cuddle and climb on him.

As you can see, homecoming has gone well. The kids are SO happy! Clay and I are exhausted, me from working for the last 4 days to get things “in order” for his arrival and him from little sleep over the last few days. Starting tomorrow morning, it’s back into the routine with both feet!

Thank you for all the happy thoughts, prayers and well-wishes for today and all through the deployment! Your support makes a HUGE difference!

Have a great day~

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Homecoming!

October 8, 2008

It’s an exciting morning around the Lang house! These kiddos are jumping with anticipation!

Pictures and stories to follow soon.

Have a great day~

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Can You EVEN Believe This?!

October 7, 2008

As you might be able to paste together from different shows and posts I’ve done recently, Clay’s deployment is coming to an end. We’ve had our sign making party and the kids made their paper chain and for the last few days it’s been time to get down to business in the house and the yard. I’ve been very proud of myself with all I’ve accomplished (though, with a small house and all of us living in it, it’ll never ACTUALLY get done, but it’s the trying that I’m going for). My list of things to get done is getting shorter. BUT, of course, the list of things that have begun to go wrong is starting to grow.

We had to have our neighbor come over to help coax the lawnmower into action. The same neighbor had to come back within the hour because I had hot water shooting out of the back of my sink. Of course it was the weekend, so I couldn’t just pick up the phone and call maintenance (if you live in military housing, you have the luxury of being able to pick up the phone and call in, just about anything…..even burnt out bulbs! It’s a handy feature for spouses with small children and deployed spouses!). I’ve had to move everything out from under the kitchen sink because there’s an unexplained and random leak somewhere. For the last few days I’ve been periodically opening it up to ask, “wet or dry?”. But here’s the kicker. I’m not sure you’re ready for this. I know I wasn’t!

My washing machine stopped working!

Luckily I knew just where to find my warranty paperwork and the company had all my info, still fresh, in their computer. I’d like to point out, again, this machine is ONLY 1 1/2! I NEVER had issues like this with any other machine I’ve owned. When the machine started beeping at me and flashing a “code” on her sassy, digital panel, I grabbed the paperwork that I’d seen the repairman refer to and looked up the code. I checked to make sure the hoses weren’t “kinked” as suggested by the paperwork and pressed power. Nope, still flashing the code. I grabbed the phone and prepared to sit on hold for the rest of the day. Luckily I was answered fairly quickly. They tried to assure me I could have an apt. for today, but I was having none of that, not after the fiasco of being sure I had a next-day apt. last time. I have an apt. on Friday that I won’t expect any trouble with. The really fortunate thing is that whatever is wrong with it this time, still allowed for me to spin out the load that was in it. If you’d had to deal with the stench of the load and water from last time, you’d be jumping for joy right now. So, no laundry until Friday and that’s if Repairman doesn’t have to order parts from Timbuktu that take 3 weeks to show up.

I’ll keep you updated.

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #46: Learning Lessons #8-Saying “I’m Sorry”

October 5, 2008

Saying “I’m sorry” can be a powerful tool. There are those days when parenting can get the best of us and we raise our voice or put the kids off or become unfocused. Going back to the kids and simply saying, “I’m sorry” and “I love you” can make all the difference.

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Click HERE to leave a review for Mommy of Many at iTunes.


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