Archive for May, 2009

Sunday Strategy

May 31, 2009

I was grocery shopping yesterday, moving through the store (whinny 6 yr. old in tow), meal planning and thinking about what was already in the fridge, when I realized that I have a pattern of Sunday being the day when I clean everything out and start over again.  When we get home from church on Sundays, I take out all the leftovers from the week (though “week” means more like the last 4 days) and put it all out for lunch.  It’s really the only time I present leftovers and it makes Sunday afternoon easier because I don’t have to prepare a large lunch.  It also gets the fridge cleared out.  

With everyone’s busy, family schedules, I’m wondering what some of your “clean it up and clear it out” strategies are.  Share!

Have a great day~

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Alright Mamas, Tell Me What’s Going On

May 28, 2009

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Veggies!

Tonight, I saw a post by one of my facebook friends and she was talking about “hiding” veggies in the meals she makes for her kiddos.  Quickly, another of her friends chimed in with her own story of how she “hides” veggies in her meals.  Here is the chance for all of you mamas who are “hiding” veggies to help me understand this.  What’s going on that veggies can’t just be presented at meal time and enjoyed by the kiddos?  Are we starting too late?  Are we told as new moms that kids naturally don’t like veggies and so the hiding begins without even trying to present them alone?  Are we not being diligent about presenting and representing until the kiddos understand that veggies aren’t going away and they better figure out which ones they like and how they like them?  Isn’t that the key to many aspects of parenting?  If we have a child who likes to be naked (as many toddlers do), do we give up on clothes? Nope!  We keep dressing the kiddos until they understand that clothes are part of life. Yes, I know about the book.  I just never picked it up because I didn’t find it necessary.

I am NOT scolding any of you who have decided that veggies must be hidden to be eaten and enjoyed by the kiddos.  I just truly don’t understand.

When my kiddos start gnawing and chewing and teething, I hand them the fattest part of a carrot or fat chunks of cored and peeled cucumber.  They learn from the beginning of trying solid foods that veggies are a huge part of what they will be eating.  Green beans-yum!  Peas-yes please!  Butternut squash-requested.  Tomato and cucumber salad-More!  Carrots, cooked or raw-Daily.  Purple cabbage-Tristan used to have his lips stained by it.

So, here’s your chance to teach me something.  If you’re a mama who’s tried and tried and just can’t get the kiddos to eat veggies unless they’re hidden, tell me your story!  Help me get it!

Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Good night~

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Live and Learn…..

May 27, 2009

Last night I came into the kitchen to find bubbles pouring out of the dishwasher.  I knew right away that Maddi had put liquid dishsoap into the washer.

~Sigh~

This is one of those lessons that each of the kids seem to need to learn on their own.  So, I called her in, turned off the washer and handed her a bucket and a cup and told her to start baling out the bubbles and water.  To her credit, she did a great job of cleaning it all up and the dishes were extra clean by the time they got washer properly.

Had to laugh though because it was reminiscent of a movie scene.

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Maddi, keeping her sense of humor and blowing the bubbles

Good night~

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Mommy of Many loves-the new Colgate Wisp!

May 26, 2009

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It’s true!  I love these!  I came across them a few weeks ago and stocked up.  I’ve always been an avid gum-chewer because I’m phobic of my breath being bad, so coming across these was perfect!  But judging by the Colgate Wisp website, they weren’t counting on M.O.M. thinking they were so great.  The last thing I’m doing with them is keeping them handy in my evening bag so that my breath can be fresh on the dance floor.  LOL!  I DO keep them in my purse so that when we get to school in the morning and one (or more) of the 6 kiddos I have with me asks, “do you have any gum?” because they forgot to brush their teeth (or maybe they just prefer the gum), I can hand them one and feel confident that the time and $$ I’ve poured into dental care isn’t going down the drain.  Honestly, I think they feel better than a regular toothbrush.  

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I even got to declare my love of the Wisp at the Schecky’s Girls Nite Out, San Diego for a promo pic.  Whoo Hoo!  Got to keep that pack.  ;-)

Have a great day, but do it with fresh breath~

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Here I Go Again On My Own………

May 25, 2009

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And so it begins.  After some changes to the original plan of Clay leaving on the 17th, he has now officially boarded a plane.  He gave the kids his best “Dad” talk, grabbed his sea bag and began his deployment.  The kids are remarkably good with his coming and going.  I’m the constant in the house and always have been and they know that everything’s “ok” as long as I’m around.  People have asked, over the years, how they do with the deployments and other than a few bumps here and there, they just keep rollin’.

So, now it’s all me.  My head has been so crammed with all that needed to happen to get him out the door successfully that I left the airport realizing I didn’t know what my next move was.  I headed to Target to retrieve the bag of stuff I bought last night, but had forgotten to actually pick up and take with me (a good example of my scattered head) and realized that it’s time to get my routine going.  It’s the end of the school year, so that means lots of kid stuff and then summer is on us.  Judging from last summer (when Clay was also deployed), the summer will be jam packed and move quickly.  JJ will come home and the kids and I will get into a good routine of searching out the fun things around us in this beautiful place.

Alright, off the computer and onto the day! Day 1……..

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Ever-Changing Orders

May 23, 2009

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Well, even though we “found out” that Clay would be here during this week for daily classes and would then fly out this morning, it has, of course, changed.  I was suspicious of them putting him on a plane at the beginning of a 3-day weekend that celebrates a federal holiday.  And I was right!  Yesterday we were told that we would not be putting him on a plane this morning but on Monday morning instead.  I actually think they mean it.  The kids are SO over the idea of a good-bye.  Last week the girls turned down any plans to be with friends or to babysit because it was the last weekend with Dad before he left for a year.  Last night, they did the same.  I’m pretty sure no one has decided to cancel any plans for Sunday night.  But like I’ve said, you learn to go with the flow in this life.

Back when I was pregnant with Luke-Xavier, Clay was given a 36-hour notice that he would be replacing someone on an Air Ambulance mission in Kuwait, servicing Iraq.  They assured him that he would only be there for 3 weeks.  I had about 6 weeks left in my pregnancy and rolled my eyes at this 3-week time line.  Well, he got over there and even as the 3-week mark pushed close I was still “assured” that he would be returning.  I was still rolling my eyes.  Rightly so!  3 months later I greeted him at the airport with our 6-week old baby in my arms.

I hope you are each enjoying the long weekend and that it’s a chance to visit with friends and family and catch your breath before it’s back to the grindstone.  We are taking advantage of the extra days that Clay is here to tie up the lose ends on projects that were started and not finished.

To life~

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Tragedy Often Brings Perspective

May 21, 2009

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Yesterday we found out that HS-6, a squadron aboard NAS North Island, lost a bird and all that were on board.  These incidents are always so far-reaching in the lives they touch.  2 1/2 yrs ago, Clay’s squadron lost a bird and all who were on board and it took many months for things to feel normal again.  It not only touched the workplace, but each of our homes as well.  You find yourself examining your life and the life of your family.  It brings sharply into focus the fragility of this life we live and the imminent danger that our loved ones and friends are in.  Yes, both these incidents happened during training exercises but the training was for the purpose of the impending deployments.  While yesterday’s loss wasn’t as close to our home as the one 2 1/2 yrs. ago, we still knew people on board.  

While the loss of life is never a positive, I’m choosing to use this incident as a chance to be reminded of what’s in front of me and to cherish what I can of this life in the time I have.  

May you each find a moment to cherish the good in your lives and may the families that are touched by this incident find peace in the coming together of the squadron for their support.  

Lastly, may the Lord bless each of those who were lost.

~

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Why?

May 19, 2009

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Moments before these pictures, I had dusted the front room and moved onto the next task.  While passing through to the laundry room, I noticed the new box of tissue all pulled apart.  Why is this fun?!  When I asked Lex if he did it (granted, it’s only me and him in the house right now), he smiled the smile you see here.

~sigh~ 

Have a great day~

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Day 1 of This Year-Long Journey

May 18, 2009

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the military after all these years, it’s that you don’t actually know the plan until it’s being put into play.  

You’re probably wondering where the pictures of Clay kissing the kids good-bye are, or the pictures of him walking away.  Well, even though today is Day One, Clay will likely be home tonight.  So much for fanfare and good-byes!  We found out, yesterday that he would be checking into the program…..in San Diego.  So, while he is technically “gone”, we don’t yet know what day he will truly walk away.  ~Sigh~  You learn to go with the flow in this life!  So, we kept the day as normal as usual and everyone went off to school this morning, wondering what to expect for the rest of the week.

I guess we’ll all find out together.

Have a great day~

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Countdown to Deployment, 2……..

May 16, 2009

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I really thought that during all this prep time I’d be able to sit down and write about all the things we’ve had to think about and do.  Boy, was I ever wrong!  At the end of each day, I’d think of all we’d done or the lengthy list in my head and I couldn’t make enough sense out of it to write or talk.  So, I’d mentally check off what had gotten done and add and add and add to the list that still existed and crawl into bed thinking I’d lay it all out the next day.  Now, here we are, 2 days before Clay walks out the door.  The list is still just as long, my house is full of family and friends (which I love) and there are a million ways I could talk about the process of getting a large family ready for Dad to walk out the door for a year.  But the truth is that there are too many things to take care of in these 48 hours to spend the time to put a show together or write lengthy blogs about all we’ve learned or remembered to do.  So, the  process will be laid out in hindsight.  Truth be told, we’ve dealt with deployments from the very (VERY) beginning, so a lot of it is automatic.  But, there’s much to share, especially about prepping the kiddos and taking care of the needs of the kids who are away.  So, bear with me and I’ll be here to lay it all out in show and blog in the near future.  Until then, it’ll be these little snippets.

Have a great day~

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M.O.M. needs to catch up!

May 11, 2009

I’m realizing that sometimes I have so much going on that I stop talking all-together.  Once I realize it, it’s hard to know where to start again.

This time I want to start by sharing a great event that I attended last Thurs.  National Mom’s Nite Out.

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This event was put together in San Diego by Deb of San Diego Momma, Mel, A Dramatic Mommy and Charity and was held at Busters Beach House and Longboard Bar, in Seaport Village (love that place!).  It was a great event, complete with swag, great food, give-aways, $5 drinks and a silent auction who’s proceeds went to support the March of Dimes.  Way to go, ladies!  I had fun meeting everyone and networking with other, local moms who find themselves with an on-line presence.  

One of the best parts of the night was that this event was sandwiched in between 2 other events I had on Thursday (told you it’s been busy!) and Clay was a part of both the other events (HSC-23 Change of Command and the COC party), so we decided it made sense for him to tag along and then we’d head to the COC party afterward.  Hee Hee!  He was the only guy in attendance.  At first, he got some unwelcome glares, but as the evening moved on, he let the ladies know that he was just tagging along with Mommy of Many and would stay out of the way.  He ended up being a welcome addition to the evening and it gave him a glimpse into another part of me (the ladies night out part).  

Thanks to Deb, Mel, Charity and all the great sponsors for making this night possible!

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Charity and Mel getting everyone excited about a give-away

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Tonya, Anissa (also proud military spouses and busy mamas) and me 

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San Diego Mamas having a great night out

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Me and Deb

Thanks again ladies!  I hope to see more of you in cyberspace and at other great, San Diego events!

Have a great day~

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Our Final Winner!

May 9, 2009

Congratulations to Dara for winning the final pair of Famous Goodie Bag Tickets* to Shecky’s Girls Night Out in San Diego on May 14th. 

Lisa, Mary and Dara are our winners and I can’t wait to meet up with them and their guests at the event!  Thanks to everyone who entered and made the give away so much fun!

Good night~

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Military Spouse Appreciation Day AND Your Last Chance to Win!

May 8, 2009

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Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!  

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Ok ladies, I’m giving away my final pair of tickets to this fun event!  

Enter to win a pair of Famous Goodie Bag Tickets* for you and a friend to Shecky’s Girls Night Out in San Diego on May 14th. Indulge in five hours of cocktails, amazing fashion deals, fab freebies in Shecky’s Famous Goodie Bag, and the best time ever with your BFF’s!  Be the 3rd person to email me at Jen@MommyofMany.com with “Shecky’s Girls Night Out” in the subject box.  The winner will be announced this evening!  

Good luck!

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Overcoming Mommy Guilt….or, at least Trying

May 7, 2009

In all my years of being Mommy, I’ve  battled a constant tinge of Mommy Guilt.  When I only had Kateri, I felt guilty that I had to work and go to school so much.  When I had 4 kiddos, I felt bad that I was working around the house to keep things in order and running smoothly instead of spending more time playing with the kids.  When I had 5 kiddos, I felt bad that we’d moved so many times and that Kateri and JJ had to get used to changing schools and making new friends.  When I had 7 kiddos, I felt bad that I was so tired.  Now that I have kids that are away at school, I feel bad that I can’t fulfill their every wish.  Don’t misunderstand, they aren’t over-demanding, but there are many extra activities that happen and I can’t make all of them happen.  The same is true for the kids who are still at home.  They each come to me with needs, desires and ideas and if I said yes to each child, that would be at least 7 things, every day!  So, I have to look at our schedule, budget, and ability and say yes or no.  But it eats at me!  I WANT to say yes to everything.  And sometimes, the requests of one child will be more “doable”, more often than the requests of the other children.  THIS is Doing the Dance of the Children!  The guilt and bombardment can get overwhelming.  I’m determined to focus on what I DO and not what I CANT do.  

Now to try to get the kids to look at it like that!

Have a great day~

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Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for a chance to win the last set of tickets I have to Shecky’s Girls Night Out San Diego!

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What I Learned About Myself Today

May 6, 2009

With all the newness of our house, I decided it was time for new garbage and recycling cans for the kitchen.  While Clay and I were at the Container Store looking for new shelving (which, by the way, was WAY TOO expensive!), I decided to take a look at the latest in “waste disposal”.  While the push-button, stainless steel, cans looked amazing, I couldn’t help but draw on my inner, Mommy of Many, and choose the $11 plastic, push-button top, can.  I just could not find myself laying down $ 130 for a garbage can (let alone 2, one for garbage and one for recycling!).  REALLY?!  Is this what people are spending for “waste disposal” in their homes?!  

I guess I found out I’m cheap….or maybe just practical!

Good night~

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