Archive for September, 2009

Tooth Fairy Tales

September 29, 2009

tooth-fairy

Yesterday Tristan came to the van after school with a tooth in his hand. He was very excited, saying that the loose tooth he was working on had finally come out. Then he said, “Mom, don’t forget to call the Tooth Fairy”.

This sentence has become a staple in our house when one of the kids looses a tooth. Too many times M.O.M. has, indeed, forgotten to call. I make a mental note on the pad of paper in my head and often I find that I go to sleep with out checking the list! This has made for some interesting Tooth Fairy adventures.

There have been times when a sad child will come out of their room in the morning, holding a small baggy with their tooth in it,saying, “She forgot”. This is when I get to say, “No! She tried but she couldn’t find it. You must’ve had it in the wrong place under your pillow. Move it to the other side tonight and I’ll call her to let her know you still have it”.
OR…
A kiddo will come out saying, “I put my tooth under my pillow but it’s not there and the Tooth Fairy didn’t leave me any $”. This is when I feel lucky because I know that the tooth must’ve gotten pushed off the bed during the night and I can sneak in, put some $ under the pillow and then say, “Are you sure?! You better go check again”. I just have to make sure I find the tooth and get it out of there before it’s seen on the floor or under the bed.

Once I sent Clay on Tooth Fairy duty and he put WAY more money under the pillow than I EVER would. I leave .50-$1, unless there was something special about the tooth or the way it was lost. On this occasion he put loose change and bills under the pillow. The ecstatic child came running out in the morning declaring the amount of their Tooth Fairy loot. I had to explain that the Tooth Fairy must have tripped and spilled her bag or that amount would never have found it’s way under their pillow. I had to think fast so that the next time, this would not be expected!

The Tooth Fairy was called last night and when Tristan awakes, he’ll find his tooth gone and $1 in it’s place. But I have to admit that I DID fall asleep without making the call. Luckily, I get up early enough that I was able to remember and take care of it!

When I put out the word that I needed help remembering, people shared some great stories! Take a minute to share your Tooth Fairy story here. Not only are they great to read, they make me feel better about my Tooth Fairy shortcomings!

Have a great day~

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Morning Moments

September 28, 2009

Many of you know that I get up at 4:15 every morning so that I can get some time that’s just for me and to get things started before I have to wake the kids. It gives me time to think in the quiet while I pack lunches, fill the crock pot, etc.

This morning I had a few minutes left before waking the kids when Luke-Xavier came walking into the kitchen. I cuddled him a little (I love that he’s still little enough to scoop up and cuddle on!) and set him on the counter. He asked me for chocolate milk and I had to explain that we are out of chocolate but that I could make him vanilla milk with whipped cream. He wasn’t too sure about it, but he let me get started anyway. I pulled out the container of whipping cream and he giggled at me and said that that wasn’t whipped cream, it was for coffee. Oh! A moment for magic! I told him I would turn it into whipped cream. He smiled at me like I was the silliest mom ever. So, I poured some into a bowl, added sugar and took out the hand-beater. He still thought I was silly. Once I turned it on and started mixing he watched closely. Pretty soon he yelled, “it’s whipped cream!” and clapped. I scooped up a finger full and put it in his lil mouth. He was so happy! Then I warmed the milk, added a little vanilla and plopped some cream on top.

Happy boy. Happy face. Happy morning moments!

Have a great day~

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Deployment Update

September 27, 2009

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Clay left in May for training and prep to head over to Iraq and spend a year hunting IEDs with the Army. He came home for a few days at the end of June before going over. He’s been in theater since the 1st of July. I never know whether to count from when he left in May or when he left at the end of June but either way, he’s been gone for a few months now. This deployment has been so different from others. First of all, I usually have a good visual, in my head, of what’s going on out there and what his job and missions entail. This time his job is so different from what I’m used to him doing, that I just really don’t have a basis to pull from. He also doesn’t talk much about what he’s doing or what happens in each day. But, at the same time, we’ve had more contact during this deployment than during any other. With Skype coming along, things have changed greatly! Not only do the kids get to have face time with Dad, he can actively help parent. Gone are the days of the weekly letter or the monthly in-port, late-night phone call. The kids are really enjoying this perk of technology! When they get excited over something they immediately ask if they can “tell Dad”.

With year-long deployments, there is the opportunity to come home at some point around mid point for a short visit. Clay’s hoping to make it out here for Christmas. This would be truly amazing because it would mean that after 22 years of military service and many deployments, that he would have NEVER missed a Christmas at home. This is almost unheard of! I don’t know when he’ll have the word on whether or not his time is approved, but wouldn’t that be amazing?!

All in all, the deployment is moving along quickly for all of us. Our days are so full and busy that each one rolls into the next without any dragging.

Onward we go!

Have a great day~

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M.O.M. is exhausted! Maybe it’s old age~

September 25, 2009

I’ve been in constant motion for the last few weeks. While everything is still getting done, I can definitely say that I’m feeling it! I’ve been going to bed a little earlier (I know that will make my oldest children, who live away from home and are always on me to get more sleep, very happy), but still feel pretty worn out at the end of each day. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older. I just had my birthday and each year is stacking up on the last to form an ever-growing chain of years. I decided to spend the day with the kids and let them do what they would. Max made me a Lego car, Maddi made me a cake and Gabi drew me a picture. All very nice! The preschool gave me a little special treatment at snack time and now I have pretty flowers for the dining table.

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Me and Allie, the teacher I aide for

My big “Birthday indulgence” wasn’t an extra large piece of bday cake or an extra glass of wine. Nope! It was an individual sized bag of nacho cheese Doritos. What was I thinking?! While I DO crave these from time to time, I am sure that they are sent straight from the devil himself! I spent all day with a terrible headache. While there are ways to counteract the effects of alcohol, there are simply no ways to counteract the effects of MSG. Someone please remind me that I am no friend of the Dorito! Maybe I forgot because I’m beginning to forget all sorts of things. Old age?! Here I come!

Thank you to all who sent me beautiful and heartfelt bday wishes and many wishes to my sister, my aunt and my cousin who also share that special day.

Good night~

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Fired By a 4 yr Old

September 21, 2009

All these years I’ve heard my share of funny things come out of my kiddos mouths. When making the decision to go to work with a group of 4 yr olds, I hadn’t thought of the funny things I was going to hear from other people’s kiddos.

I’m learning that even kids know that it’s Monday and they’re a little off their game when they come back into the classroom after the weekend. This morning it was a chore to get them on task. One little boy was particularly upset with me when I tried to get him to settle down with his worksheet.

Me-Come sit down and we’ll get started on your worksheet.
Boy-I don’t want to!
Me-This week we’re learning the letter ‘b’ and you can find all the buttons and circle them.
Boy-I DON’T WANT TO!
Me-You’ve got to do the worksheet so that you can go play.
Boy-You’re fired!

Have a great day~

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Today

September 19, 2009

“Slept in” till 6

Get dinner into the crock pot

Kids to kayaking by 9

Find ride home for kayaking kids

Run to Target for bday gift

Soccer pics

Soccer game

Take child to bday party

Second round of soccer pics

Take child to friends house so he can get to his soccer game

Run home to get ready for the HSC Ball

Get picked up for the Ball

Have a night of fun with people I haven’t seen in awhile

Have a great day~

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Learning Lessons #9:Fits

September 17, 2009

Fits. I’ve been dealing with them for the better part of 20 years. I’ve seen my share! I can remember being a new mom and trying to give choices to lure the child out of the fit. I can remember being a little more seasoned mom and trying to be stern and give NO choices to lure the child out of the fit. As time and children have gone on, I’ve tried different methods, only to find that what works with one child on one day may very well not work for any other child (not even that one) on any other day.

Now that Gabi and Luke-Xavier have started school, their days are full of routine and they are getting used to authority figures other than me. They don’t like this! They’ve each put in their fair amount of effort to try to be in charge in the their classrooms. I work in the preschool through lunch and when nap time comes, I’m off. So, each day, they line up to be ready to nap and I grab my purse and go. They’ve caught on to the routine and have decided that nap time doesn’t seem so great because Mom won’t be there anymore.

Yesterday I got a call from the preschool director saying that Luke-Xavier had been having a stubborn fit for the better part of an hour and did I have anything that I normally do to help him stop a fit. I snickered a little, because I know how VERY stubborn he is. I know that when he throws a fit, it goes until he’s finally exhausted and falls asleep. We’ve tried many things with him, but I didn’t have any thing I could give her that would make him stop right away. I felt bad because I knew he was disrupting all the kids that were actually trying to sleep. I knew he must be really tired because every other day of school, he’s fallen asleep quickly and slept like a rock. But I also knew that if I went to get him that the fits would go on each day and he’d learn that if he throws a fit for long enough, Mom will come get him. So, we made the decision that he couldn’t win or we’d be done for the year! We decided to just let him finish the fit on his own and that when he was finally tired enough, he’d crash. I gave her permission to just leave him asleep, wherever he may land and to keep up the regular routine with the rest of the class. The last thing I wanted her to think she had to do was wake up a child that had finally fallen asleep 5 minutes earlier and then have to deal with the aftermath of his sleepiness.

He did, in fact, fall asleep on the classroom floor and he woke up feeling much better. Let’s hope that he learned the lesson that throwing a fit doesn’t bring me back to “rescue” him from nap time.

So, I guess this lesson in the Learning Lessons series is actually 2 lessons, one for the parent and one for the child. It’s about sticking to the routine and standing firm so that the child learns that they can’t be in charge of controlling the it. It’s a hard lesson!

Have a great day~

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I Love This Little Guy

September 15, 2009

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Yes, I’m a mommy of many and yes, I love each of the kiddos for all of their talents and potential and all that each one brings to the family dynamic. But sometimes I get a little burst of lovey-doveyness for one kiddo or another. This week it’s been Luke-Xavier.

He’s been such a lil trooper since starting school. He’s become a boy overnight, instead of my baby. He runs around with all his new friends, making up games and being all tough and rowdy. He sings me “silly” songs that he learns at school but will still come and cuddle up and say, “I love you so much”.

I took the above picture, a couple of days ago when he insisted that he needed to wear the goggles. He said they helped him see people and clouds better.

Just gotta love him, in all his 3 yr. old cuteness!

Good night~

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Some Unexpected Quiet Time

September 13, 2009

This week has been a nonstop flurry of activity. The weekend was taken on with determination and endurance. After yesterday’s schedule of sports and friends, I fell into bed, setting the alarm for 6, which meant “sleeping in”. I knew that getting up at 6 would give me enough time to get everyone going for church and still allow me to feel like I’d gotten some extra sleep. We powered out the morning with Liturgy, getting set up with books and a beginning-of-the-year blessing for Eastern Christian Formation classes. Then I brought the girls to a friend’s house where they are learning to make fondant and to decorate their own cakes. When I got in the van, I realized I only had 3 kids and they were all boys. I can’t remember the last time that has happened. We headed to the Back to School picnic at the school and met up with friends and enjoyed lunch. While we were there, Tristan and Max were invited to catch a ride to visit the tide pools in Point Loma for the afternoon. This meant that I walked away from the picnic with only Luke-Xavier! So he and I left in the very empty, 15-passenger, van together and headed home. When we got here, I realized that he was ready for a nap and that I would suddenly be in a quiet house all afternoon. HOORAY! I’ve needed a little quiet time after the schedule we’re keeping. So, I’m off to clean and organize my room, get some laundry going and spread the paperwork out on the dining table. I know that none of that sounds exciting or fun, but I’ll be doing it ALONE! I’m putting the iPod into it’s dock, getting some music going and tuning out the world.

Sometime unexpected things are the best!

Have a great day~

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Back to School Back to Work…The Scoop

September 10, 2009

We’ve made it through the first 2 days of going back to school and me working at the school. Several people have asked how it’s going, so here’s the scoop-

Whew! I have not know busy like this ever before! Every minute of the last 2 days, from 4 am until 10:30 pm has been spoken for. I have woken up to a to-do list so that I keep myself on task and don’t forget important items and I go to bed at night adding to the list that I’ll wake to for the next day. Yesterday’s list looked like this-
Send 3 important emails
Get gas
Get $ for kids’ daily planners
Shower
Pack extra clothes for Gabi and Lex
Pack lunches for Gabi and Lex (the other kids weren’t eating b/c it was a 1/2 day)
Fill out and deliver volleyball forms
Get crock pot loaded and going
Switch laundry
Cover books

That was the list of to-do’s that had to happen before I got myself and everyone out the door. They got done and the day was successful. However, if even one item hadn’t gotten done, things would have started to fall apart.

After we actually got to school/work, things went pretty smoothly. The older kids know the school and the teachers and are comfortable there. So there weren’t too many back to school jitters. The 2 little ones were heading to preschool for the first time and they both did great until about 10 am. It was like an internal clock went off for both of them! All of a sudden they both came running from their classrooms to the class I”m working in and clung to me with big, sobbing tears. I know they were both tired from getting up early and that they’re not used to me not being 100% available to them. After some coaxing by each of their teachers they went back to their classes and finished the day without problems. It’s really an adjustment for both of them and for me.

I know we’re going to have a great year and that the schedule will settle out once all of the initial busyness of the first week is done. But for now, I’m tired!

I am, however, looking forward to getting to know all the kids in the classes and to be better at putting names, faces and siblings together. We’ve been a part of this school for 9 years now and I often have trouble making those connections. It’s going to be good to feel better connected to all the kids that my kids are spending each day with.

So, onto this morning’s list-

Blog

Cover 2 books

Sign Tristan’s planner

Finish emergency cards

Pack lunches (8)

Shower

Start Comfort Bags

Gabi’s school supplies packed

Lex’s school supplies packed

Switch laundry

Unload dishwasher

Plan dinner

Gabi’s soccer gear set out

Ok, I think that’s it! Onto day 3!

Have a great day~

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Much Appreciation!

September 8, 2009

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting everything ready for school and the busy schedule that comes along with the school year. Today’s the big day and all the loose ends are finally tied up. Everyone’s uniforms are in order, new shoes have been purchased, the required school supplies are labeled and packed in bags and backpacks and everyone’s been signed up for sports. Whew! After catching my breath, I realized what a big part many people play in making it all happen for me and the kids.

Being a military spouse and a Mommy of Many means that there are a huge number of variables at play on any given day. With Clay deployed, going to schools or flying crazy hours, making the kids’ schedules happen is my job. Piece by piece it all falls into place. But this couldn’t happen without the many people who step in to fill the gaps.

I really wanted to take a minute and say thank you to the great neighbors, friends, coaches, teachers and fellow moms and dads that make the Lang Clan successful. Without your generosity of time and caring, we wouldn’t be able to make it all happen.

Thank you!

Have a great day~

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So Frustrating, But I Had to Laugh

September 3, 2009

It’s been a really long and frustrating afternoon/evening of cranky kids and soccer practices. I really got worked up into a mess of tense anticipation over what the next unfocused antic was going to be. I thought I was going to snap, so I packed up my chair, the snacks, the toys and all the other stuff I lug around all afternoon and changed my focus. I decided to watch Luke-Xavier run around. Honestly, being able to switch from the “organized” play of practice to the free-spirited energy of a 3 yr-old made me feel better.

We got home and it was time for baths and showers. Max headed to my shower but came out surprisingly fast. I ran through the check list;

Me-Did you wash your hair with shampoo?
Max-Yes
Me-Did you scrub your body with body wash and a scrubby?
Max-Yes
Me-Come here and let me look at your hair.
Me-Hmmm…It doesn’t look like you had any shampoo in here (6 yr-olds usually leave a little residue that needs help getting rinsed out. The total lack of bubbly residue made it difficult to believe that he had lathered and rinsed).
Max-To tell the truth, I couldn’t get to it.
Me-What about your body?
Max-No, didn’t do it.
Me-So really all you did was get wet?
Max-Yeah, but wasn’t it a good start?

~sigh~

I’m counting on being able to look back at these moments and smile. It’s what keeps me from snapping!

Good night~

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The End of Summer

September 1, 2009

Even though I still have 6 kiddos home for another week, summer is truly over for the Lang Clan.

Mariah started her Junior year of high school yesterday. This means my whole schedule is now about school. We spent yesterday getting haircuts and buying all the needed items for the rest of the kids. I’d just like to say that buying school supplies, new shoes, haircuts and missing uniform pieces for 8 kids (yes, we did JJ’s shopping a week ago, but it still counts) is a budget buster! Yikes!

So, today I will spend time writing kiddo’s names on new items and sorting them into bags that will be lugged to school next Tuesday. Sharpie and I are good friends.

Between now and next Tuesday it’s all about loose ends. I’ve got to make sure that the kids remember that we DID have a fun summer even though Mommy’s in work mode now. I need to find missing paperwork, reorganize the house and start to get everyone back into a good bedtime routine.

I can’t believe how fast the summer went. It seems like Kateri and JJ were here for mere moments. In Kateri’s case, that’s almost true. We only had her here for 2 weeks! 2 weeks! JJ did such a great job of spending quality time with his younger brothers and keeping them active. I’m so proud of all my kids, but especially the 2 oldest, who are starting to seek their own paths and grow into amazing adults. It was wonderful to be able to have them here, even for just a little while.

It’s been a great summer! I hope you can each say the same.

Have a great day~

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