Archive for January, 2009

Here We Go Again

January 30, 2009

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Yep, the washer is broken AGAIN!  And, of course, the repair company can’t visit until Monday.  This means that Monday they will come out, look at it, decide what part it needs and then leave to order it.  The ordering process will take a week or more.  Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson and went to the housing office, yesterday and they will bring a machine in either today or tomorrow.  This machine STINKS!!!!!!

If you haven’t been along for the washing machine ride, you can catch up here oh, and here and HERE!  As you can see it’s been a journey!

Have a great day~

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Uh Oh!

January 29, 2009

Yesterday, I took Gabi and Lex to run some errands.  We had finished the produce shopping at Henrys and headed to the check out.  They usually have balloons ready to be handed out at each check stand and the kids were excited to see them waiting.  They each picked their color, I paid for the groceries and we headed for the car.  Both the kids have had enough balloons disappear into the wild, blue yonder to know to hold on tightly to their strings.  They were very careful to keep their balloons close while I loaded the groceries.  We successfully got ourselves buckled in with a balloon at each child’s side.  Happy kiddo faces!  It was a beautiful San Diego day and we were ready to go home and unload those groceries.  Happy, happy, happy!

Hmmmm…….that blue sky sure is pretty! I think I’ll open the sunroof!  

Whoosh!  In one moment I undid all the happiness and hard work of my 2 year old.  

Good going, M.O.M!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #56: Moms and New Babies

January 25, 2009

This week I talk about being a new mom who’s made the decision to breastfeed.  Even though there are a ton of books that have been written on the subject and a wealth of advice and knowledge that comes to new moms from family and friends, I find that there are still some basic questions that go unanswered.  A wonderful resource for all breastfeeding questions is La Leche League

Thank you for visiting the site and for listening to the show.  You questions, comments and show ideas are always appreciated.

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

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The Dance of the Pants

January 24, 2009

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The Story of Tristan’s School Pants

When Tristan and Max were getting ready to go back to the Catholic school, I took out all the uniform pieces that I had kept and determined what we could use for this year and what needed to be bought.  All of Tristan’s pants from last year fit Max perfectly and we had plenty of shorts for both of them.  Shorts are what’s worn most often because of the weather and even on the “cold” days they put a sweatshirt on and are still happy with shorts.  But boys are required to wear pants on the days that the school attends mass.  So, I made a note that all uniform pieces were accounted for, except a pair of pants for Tristan.  This meant that a trip to the uniform store needed to be added to the calendar.  From that point I continued to get the boys ready to get back to school.  Many school supply items needed to be bought because the public school provided all the necessary pencils, paper, markers, glue and folders.  Shoes were on the list because sandals (which are what Max was wearing on all days except PE days) are not allowed and shoes must be either black, blue or white.  So, the list was long and getting them ready was time-consuming.  

They were finally ready and it was the first day back to their old school.  Uniforms on, backpacks packed and lunches in tow, they walked into their new classes.  We jumped back into the routine of the school.  Then, Friday rolled around and Tristan woke up in a panic.  ”I need pants!”.  Yikes!  I calmed him down, apologized for not buying the pants yet and told him I’d write a note to the teacher explaining that I forgot about the pants and that he’d have them before the next mass day.  Everyone accepted my excuse and apology and everything was fine.  Until yesterday…….Yesterday was 2 weeks since my note AND the next mass day.  Yep, M.O.M. had dropped the ball!  I knew I couldn’t send him with another note.  I quickly got online and looked up the uniform store’s hours and realized that if they opened at 10 am and mass was at 11 am, that I could send him to school in shorts, have him tell the teacher that I was going to the uniform store and would be back with the pants.  A great plan!  Nope!  Tristan was mortified at the thought of showing up, yet again, in shorts.  We agreed that he could stay home for the morning, go to the uniform store with me and then show up, in pants, for mass.  Whew!  I got everyone else to school and came home to get ready to run the errand.  By 9 am, I realized that he was needlessly missing class work and called the office for advice on my silly situation.  The lady in the office actually went to see if they had a pair of pants that he could wear for the day.  There was nothing in his size.  So, we agreed that I should drop him off at school, in shorts, go to the uniform store, buy the pants and drop them off for him in time for mass. Done!  I swear I’m out of breath just recounting this story!  

So, I loaded up Tristan and the 2 youngest kids, dropped him off at school, drove to the uniform shop (actually arriving 15 minutes before they opened which led me to the conclusion that I should use that time to find a Starbucks….and did!) ran in, grabbed 2 pair of pants, one in each of two sizes, drove back to the school, ran to the classroom, headed to the bathroom with Tristan and had him try on the pants.  Whew!  So, off he walked with his class, properly dressed and ready for mass.  His teacher was chuckling at me and the situation.

Dance of the Pants, done!

Have a great day~

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I Should Have Known!

January 22, 2009

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I really should have seen it coming!  Anytime I’m on-the-ball enough to have dinner in the crock pot by 9 am, I really should expect a disaster!  

The day went along very smoothly and I was feeling GREAT!  I patted myself on the back for how well things were going and for having dinner planned out and the little kids happily, helping in the kitchen.  We went through most of the day without a  hitch.  Then, as I was coming back from the afternoon pick up, I got a phone call from Arianna that the floor felt slippery and she didn’t know how to clean it up.  ”No problem, I’m almost home and I’ll see what it is and take care of it”.

2 hours later, I was still in my grubbies, on hands and knees, scrubbing doors, walls and floors.  Luke-Xavier had found a spray bottle of orange oil that I use for the dinning table and had liberally sprayed it on any surface he came in contact with.  Really, who can blame him?!  It smelled SO good and made everything all shiny!  Ah, the mind of a 2 yr. old.  Well, you’re all invited over, ’cause everything is sparkling clean and smells like fresh, squeezed oranges…..even me!

 

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Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #55: New Year’s Changes

January 19, 2009

Finally!  

I’m so excited to have a new show up!  There have been some hurdles that have kept me from getting a show done, but it’s finally here.  Thank you for visiting the site and for listening to the show.  Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.  Have a show idea?  Let me know!  You can use the contact link to email me.  

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

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The Lemon Tree Story

January 16, 2009

This story has been years in the making.  I believe it’s been about 6 years since it started.  It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that it was not just a tale of a tree’s growth, but a tale of community.

Years ago, we had a wonderful neighbor, “Miss Casey”.  She was always willing to loan the neighborly cup of sugar, sandwich baggie or tsp. of vanilla.  She also lent in the nurturing of my kiddos’ imaginations.  It was not uncommon for her to help them bake a special treat, throw a pretend wedding or even help put together a neighborhood circus.  One day Mariah took lemon seeds to Miss Casey and together they planted each one in it’s own pot in the hope that they would each become a beautiful lemon tree, full of ripe, yellow lemons that could be used for lemonade stands that would bring in lots of summertime $ to be spent at the ice cream truck.  One by one the lemon seeds sprouted and grew and one by one they died.  Except one. After about 4 years, it looked like this

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We realized it needed some room to grow and decided to make it a family project to replant it in a larger container.  So 2 years ago we put together “How to Make a Lemon Tree Happy” in words and pictures

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Scrub out a large container

Drill holes in the bottom for drainage

 

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Break up old pottery in the bottom of the container for even better drainage

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Add soil and miracle gro

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Carefully remove the root bound tree from it’s old pot

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Add LOTS more soil

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Pack it down and pose with your tree

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A happily repotted lemon tree with lots of room to grow!

Now, fast-forward 2 years-

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Mariah’s little lemon tree heavy with lemons

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Gabi and Luke-Xavier getting ready to pick the lemons.  They weren’t even born when this all started!

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Some of the lemons weren’t ready to be picked, but he didn’t let that stop him from working REALLY hard at it!

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Our basket full of lemons, all because of a little girls’ idea and a wonderful neighbor who took time out of her day to show Mariah that dreaming is worthwhile and can produce some sweet fruits (even if they ARE lemons!).

 

Community, dreams, time and love…..all such wonderful things~

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Conversation and Thought

January 15, 2009

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A couple of nights ago I had carpooled to a meeting with a neighbor.  We both hold small positions on the board of the NOSC (Naval Officers Spouse Club) and enjoy being involved.  We’d had a great meeting, done a little visiting and were in conversation as we headed to the car, when she said something that struck me.  She said that it’s our husband’s SSN’s that are asked for from us and not our own.  This stopped me in my tracks.  Even though I know this and can rattle off Clay’s SSN without thought and sometimes trip over my own, I had just never put it into a solid thought.  It led us to a discussion on identity.  There are so many strong, successful, brilliant women who are military spouses.  They’ve started businesses and written books.  There are so many amazing military spouses who have quietly followed their husband’s careers and patiently and lovingly set up each house, gotten the kids settled into new schools, joined the local social groups that keep their families feeling connected to their communities, even though they are dandelion fluffs who will be blown into a new place the moment someone takes a deep breath. They find the best restaurants, best neighborhoods, best schools, best boutiques and best friends.  And yet, there is, often deep down, the knowledge that we are following.  Our identity takes second place.  This is an interesting thing to dwell on at this time in my life.  

As military spouses, our identities can so easily become second to our husband’s career.  Where we live, where we shop and who we know is all wrapped up and determined (in some part) by what orders our husband’s have.  It can be difficult to carve out a piece of life that is just ours, just about who we are.  I was amazed at how much thought this one statement provoked in me. I remembered that it was WHO military spouses are that made me start the Women and the Military series of shows.  I think I only got through 4 of the amazing women I had planned on interviewing.  Hmmm…..I think I need to dig out that list again and get in touch with some of the other women I had thought of.  Truly, military spouses are deeply amazing.  I’ve known women who actively support their husbands, raise the kids and run successful businesses.  Truly amazing!

Here’s to military spouses, who we are and what we do!

Have a great day~

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Gabi Strikes Again

January 12, 2009

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While Clay and I were gone this weekend, one of my sisters was good enough to come be with the kids.  She dutifully dressed, fed and loaded them up for church on Sunday morning.  They must have been pretty good because afterward she let them stay for coffee and donuts.  One of the moms we know approached Gabi as she was quietly eating her donut and asked her where her mom and dad were.  

Gabi-They are away, learning to be good parents.

Lady-Oh, you mean they are learning to be better parents because aren’t they already good parents?  

Gabi-(shaking her head) No!  Oh, no!

Thanks Gabi!  

I’ve warned before that she and Luke-Xavier are our “free-range” children.  I just didn’t know she was so free with speaking her mind.

Another blow to keep me humble (and working toward better parenting!)

 

Good night~

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A Quick Get Away

January 9, 2009

Alrighty, the break is officially over.  Kateri and JJ headed out this morning.  Clay and I are taking a couple of days to regroup and get back to “normal” life.  One of my sisters was good enough to agree to fly in and be with the kids until Sunday night.  So……..off we go!  

Starting Monday it will be back to business as usual and I promise that my shows will be back to their usual schedule of once a week.  I miss it!

Have a great weekend~

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Keeping M.O.M. Humble

January 9, 2009

Kiddos often say exactly what’s on their mind and in exactly the way they see it.  Until they are about 10 or 11 they seem to completely lack any thought that their ideas and feelings shouldn’t be shared.   Over the years, I’ve been the lucky recipient of countless, heartfelt and scathing remarks.  The other day, Gabi wanted me to know exactly how she felt and was willing to back up her feelings with proof;

Gabi-”Mom, you have a big bottom”

Me-”Really?  I don’t think it’s so big” 

Gabi-”Here, come to the bathroom and you can look in the mirror”

I decided to just take her 4 year-old word for it.

 

:-)

Have a great day~

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Show #1 Back up and Running

January 7, 2009

A few days ago I asked for some patience from everyone while I get everything back up to speed with the shows.  When  I changed servers, only about half of the shows moved.  This means I have  A LOT of manual work to do.  It’s going to take me awhile to have it all going again.  Shows #32-#54 should be fine, but the first 31 need my attention.  BIG JOB!  And of course I will be doing it in my spare time.  Yes, you can laugh now.  

However,  most people come looking for the first show, so I’ve made sure it’s back up and going.  Looking for it?  Just click here

It was funny for me to go back and listen to it.  Dang, Kateri’s almost 20 now!  Time sure flies.  Maybe it’s time for an update show.

Thanks for your patience and for coming in search of the show!

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Back to School

January 7, 2009

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We are 2 days into the Back to School routine and things are running smoothly.  We’ve had a warm “welcome back” at the old school.  Max was SO excited on his first day!  His new schools supplies made him very happy.  He’s in class with kiddos that were in his preschool class and all welcomed him back, happily.  Tristan seems like he never left.  He’s fallen right back in with old friends and his work habits are on track.  I’m  so proud to see him get back into his old routine; after-school snack, chores, homework, dinner, reading, bed.  There was so little homework at the public school, that I was seeing his work-ethic fall away.  He started asking to be on the computer, play with friends, etc.  My kids stay on-track best, with a full and solid routine.  

Max is having to learn what homework really means and the importance of sitting down each night and getting  it done.  This class is quiet a bit farther along than the class he was in.  He has a spelling test on Friday, which means, handwriting must be in order, letters must all be recognized, sight reading has been covered and letter blends are recognized.  This is a far cry from what was happening in his last class.  Luckily, our biggest challenge is the handwriting.  He’s able to sound out words and recognizes his letters and their sounds.  He’s got to learn organizational skills and responsibility for his work and things.  It’s just truly amazing what’s instilled at the private school versus the public school.  I know that this isn’t the case everywhere and that many of you can stand up for your schooling choices and talk about the good things your kids are getting and learning.  All I can talk to is what I have seen having had my kids in both places.  All of my kids have gone to public school at some point and when they’ve moved to the private school, the very same skills were lacking in each kiddo; handwriting and spelling, responsibility and organization.  I’ve had kids move schools in kindergarten, 2nd grade and 5th grade and no matter the age, it was those same skills that were lacking.  

So, I’ve got my work cut out for me in helping Max get up to speed.  I have no doubt he’ll do just fine.  But, it all makes me a more hands-on parent with the homework.  Its’ good! 

Have a great day~

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Come Blow Your Horn!

January 5, 2009

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Sometimes you just have to stand up and blow your horn.  We all do things we feel good about, that make us remember who we are.  We are more than any of the labels we each wear, even though our labels are important and help define us.  Every once in awhile you get a moment to grab onto and live in that makes you beam.  Yesterday I was the lucky owner of one of those moments.  I was able to buy the January issue of Military Spouse Magazine which happened to contain my very first, published column in it.  Buying that magazine and remembering that I do something other than pack lunches, wash clothes, wipe noses and bottoms, drive kiddos in a million directions, etc. gave me a feeling I wish I could harness.  It’s easy to forget that my daily grind isn’t who I am.  

Today, I’m hoping you can each find a moment to remember that even though your labels are important, that somewhere (often deep-down) inside, there’s YOU.

Have a great day~

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The End of The Holiday Break

January 4, 2009

Here it is, the last day before we hit the grind again.  I’ve enjoyed the time off and have even had the opportunity to follow the wind a little.  The day after Christmas, I got in my little car and drove the few hours to my sister’s house.  I spent the night, visited with my nieces and nephew and then headed to Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada foothills.  I haven’t made that drive in years and I’ve never made it completely on my own before.  Talk about climbing out of my box!  It was an easy drive full of great music (Elvis and I had a moment) and lots of quiet thought.  I discovered that I enjoy driving in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes up.  But given my normal wake-up routine, I suppose it’s no surprise.  I was able to spend a little alone time with my dad, who I hardly ever get to visit with and I even had one night where I got 11 hours of sleep.  After a few days, I answered the phone to a tearful call from Max and I knew it was time to go home.  The drive home was just as easy.  It felt good to get back.  Of course, I walked in to a mountain of laundry and a note on the fridge that said, “we need food and lots of it”.  I looked through the cupboards and freezer and concocted a meal.  Then it was back to the Dance.  

Now, Clay, JJ and Kateri are on a trip.  The older kids haven’t seen their grandparents in quiet some time, so they are all enjoying a little family time.  

The other kids all start back to school tomorrow.  Tristan and Max are going back to the Catholic school and I’ve been busy getting them outfitted with their uniforms and school supplies.  Today it’s time for haircuts!  I’m really happy to think of the kids back together at that school.  We have had kids there for 8 years and it feels like going home.  Next year, Gabi and Lex will both be in preschool there and I may even be working there.  Talk about change!  But for now, I will just enjoy going back to a routine that I’m used to with people who know us well.  

Kateri and JJ head back to school at the end of this week.  We will see them again at Easter.  I know the time will go quickly.  However, that also means that the rest of the time that Clay has at home will pass quickly.  He will be deploying again in May.  It’s good that the kids will be able to see him again before he goes.  

I hope each of you had a nice time off, that your holidays were peaceful and that this new year is full of opportunities that are realized and taken!

To life~

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