Archive for May, 2010

$14 of Good

May 27, 2010

Last night was the Sports Awards Banquet for the 7th and 8th graders. Maddi and Anna both played sports this year and were honored with their teams.

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Division Volleyball Champs

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Anna received Most Improved Player for soccer

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Kateri helped keep Max busy when he got bored of listening to the awards. They made up a game that kept Max happy.

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Tristan read the night away. Notice that he’s 1/2 way through that book. He started it after school THAT day!

After the banquet was over I made a quick trip to the grocery store that ended my evening with a smile and some sweet, fresh breath.

I’m an avid gum-chewer. I almost ALWAYS have more than one pack of Polar Ice-flavored, Eclipse Gum in my bag. When I was in line at the check out, last night, I was gazing through the gum selections and noticed Trident’s new line of Trident Layers. I am no fan of fruit-flavored gums, but noticed their mint/melon package. I pointed it out to my sister and wondered, aloud, if it would be any good. She suggested I buy it and give it a try, but I said I’d wait until another time. After I’d paid for my $14 worth of groceries, the woman in line behind me asked the checker if she could please buy me a pack of the gum I’d been wondering about. To my GREAT surprise, she handed the checker the pack of gum and some $. She said she wanted me to give it a try and that I should have it. What?! She handed me the pack of gum, with a big smile and I opened the pack and offered her the first piece. Together, we gave Trident’s new flavor a try.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter WHAT that gum tasted like, it was the BEST piece of gum I’d ever been given! After exchanging thank yous, names and hugs, I left the store with some sweet, fresh breath and the feeling that I lived in the best place on earth. It truly is the simple things that make a person’s day.

Let’s all remember Caroline’s little act of fun and kindness and find a way to spread it around today. And by-the-way, the gum wasn’t half bad!

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Wednesday

May 26, 2010

I’ve sat down at my computer, time and time again, to begin the post full of emotion and pictures that would describe JJ’s graduation and all it really meant to me. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. There’s so much emotion behind the amazing, young man that we’ve seen him develop into. It’s a hard post to put together.

So, here I am, one more day, a little speechless.

It’s Wednesday and the schedule is full and busy, as always. Tristan, proudly, received his Parvuli Dei medal last night and tonight Anna and Maddi will be honored, with the rest of their teammates at the school’s Sports Awards Banquet. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and I have 2 girls graduating 8th grade. There’s much prep to do! I MUST MUST MUST began their memory boards!

Yep, my head is full and scattered and my heart is heavy with joy, pride and even sadness.

One more day of Doing the Dance of the Children as time speeds on to each new milestone~

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The Travel Adventures of Mommy of Many

May 24, 2010

I promise that my very next post will be full of pictures and descriptions of all the great things surrounding JJ’s graduation. It was very touching and a truly wonderful experience. However, right now there’s an adventure happening and I thought you’d want to hear about it.

After checking my itinerary with today’s scheduled rugby game, I realized that it would be best if I left for the airport, right after mass. This way, Clay would be able to see the rugby game, even though I would have to miss it. I’d be a couple hours early for my flight, but I was sure the time would pass quickly. JJ and Kateri both urged me to miss my flight and take my chances on getting another, but I felt that it would be better (though sad) to miss the game and get home late tonight and have tomorrow to recoup and be ready for work on Tuesday. So I said my good-byes to JJ and wished him well for his big, biking trip through parts of Spain and France (more on that in the graduation blog) and headed for the airport. I passed the time with my phone and my computer and soon realized that maybe TOO MUCH time had gone by. “Why haven’t I heard anything about boarding?” I glanced at the board about 20 minutes before my plane was scheduled to leave and saw that it was now delayed by and hour and a half. “What?! I could’ve stayed for the game!…What about my connecting flight? Flights?!” I checked my itinerary, uttered a little prayer and waited for the plane. Once it got there and we were off, I really started to get nervous about the next flight. But they offered us complimentary adult beverages for our trouble and I decided I wasn’t so nervous after-all.

FINALLY-Detroit! I had 20 minutes until my next plane was to take off! EEK!!!!! I was in concourse C and needed to get to concourse A. I made it in 14 minutes flat-dress, 3 inch heels, 2 bags and chaffed thighs aside. Seriously, I am NO runner but I haven’t moved that fast since one of my toddlers ran into the road with a car coming. I was beginning to think I should register for the Rock n Roll marathon…Ok, now I’m getting all Walter Mittyish on it (“ta pockata pockata pockata”…no better movie for visions of grandeur!). Let’s just say that I was surprised that I made it as far as I did, under those conditions, that quickly. I made it to the plane and hoped there wouldn’t be anymore running when I got to Minneapolis.

My hopes were dashed! We got in and taxied to the other side of the airport. We were late and there was, indeed, running! I got to my gate with 2 minutes to spare. NOPE! The plane had left. “Um…I needed that plane.” I was told that I was rescheduled for another flight…TOMORROW. Tomorrow?! “Hey Delta, it was your plane that was late, that ended up getting me here late. How do you propose you fix this?” So, after my workout, I was rewarded with a night at a local hotel…by myself…with my computer…and a TV…and no one I have to wake up for tomorrow morning…hmmm…maybe all that running wasn’t so bad after-all.

So, my oldest has been gracious enough to agree to keep everything running smoothly, for one more day (boy, do I owe her!) and she suggested I do something unusual, like…relax, sleep-in, enjoy some uninterrupted computer time. I think I’ll take her up on it!

So tomorrow I’ll share all the wonderful things about my second oldest graduating and moving onto his next phase of life. Tonight, I’m signing off and forgetting about schedules.

Doing the Dance of the Children via Delegation to My Oldest…but just for one more day~

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Days 1 & 2 of my Trip to PA for JJ’s Graduation

May 21, 2010

I am so tired!

Right at this moment, that’s overshadowing the fact that I’m in PA for the weekend to be a part of my oldest son’s graduation.

Ok, tiredness aside…I can’t believe how quickly the last 3 years have gone! JJ left as a Sophomore and already he’s graduating! Then it’s off to Spain and France for a biking pilgrimage. He will be home for a couple of months this summer and then is off to the University of Dallas for school. College!!!!

Here’s a little of how this trip has gone so far-

I left on Thursday, after work. Kateri is home to take care of the kids and keep their routine running. I spent Wednesday evening writing out a plan to make life a little easier on her. It looked a little like this;

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Of course there was a backside to Thursday’s plan and Fri, Sat, Sun and the meal plan all followed.

After making my way across the country, I arrived in Scranton, PA a little after 11pm. Clay and Mariah had taken an earlier flight and met up with my sister, Bridget, who is out from Portugal to attend the graduation and then to visit family and friends in Ca. They all picked me up and we decided to get something to eat. We found an open Waffle House.

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Me and Bridget

We headed to the hotel, got some rest and then went out to the school. It was good to see JJ at school and to go to mass with all the boys.

Grad Weekend Schedule

JJ at mass

The Chapel

Me and JJ

After mass, we headed to lunch and to get a new shirt for graduation.

Now, it’s time to rest a little and then back to the school for the play that the Seniors are putting on.

Everything at home seems to be running smoothly. Thanks Kateri, Ted and Maggie!

You can bet there will be pics of the play from tonight!

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A Max Moment

May 19, 2010

This morning Max came into the kitchen with a concerned look on his face. This is the conversation that occurred-

Max-”rats and mice are endangered.”
Me-”No. They’re not endangered. There are PLENTY of them!”
Max-”but THOUSANDS of people have set mouse traps!”
Me-”Ah…you mean they’re in danger.”
Max-*tilted-head, eyebrow raised* “that’s what I said”

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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My Ever-Changing Household-

May 19, 2010

I’ve felt so scattered over the last month.

This morning I was thinking about all the change that’s occurred in the last several weeks. First of all, Clay returned from a year-long deployment. That alone changed the dynamics in the house. I handed over bedtime duties and bill-paying duties. But then a week ago, one of my sisters moved down from Northern California and lives less than a mile away from us and just a day later, Kateri arrived for the summer. It’s great to have so many people who can help with the kids’ schedules and the driving duties and even the errands. BUT, I’m not used to having so many people to help with everything and the part of me that is normally in control of all scheduling, errand-running and kid-juggling feels out of control. Even though it was REALLY hard to get everything done before all these helpful hands arrived, I did it. And I did it because I micro-managed every detail of EVERYTHING. All these wonderfully, helpful adults do not need M.O.M. managing their schedules, so I often wonder what’s happening, with whom and when. This is hard for my very-in-control being.

It’s not just getting used to having everyone help with the kids’ schedules, it’s getting used to having so many adult family members around. I’ve lived away from my own family for a very, very long time. Being a military family, we spent years moving around with orders. We’ve been fortunate enough to be in So. Cal. for a long time now, but I haven’t had a family member live nearby in several years. Now, I have Clay home, my brother living here, one of my sisters living down the street and my adult daughter in town for the summer. Such big changes!

Don’t get me wrong-I’m not complaining, I’m just explaining what a huge change it is for me to go from controlling every detail of everything, to having so many people who are here to be helpful and loving with the kids and even household tasks.

Within the next month JJ will also be home for a couple of months and the whole dynamic will change again. Then the Fall will come and Kateri and JJ will head back to school and again, things will change. Hmmm…I guess I better just get used to the “norm” of the house being “change”.

For now, I’ll enjoy the fact that I can ask someone else to pick kids up from school, or get them to an appointment and I’ll just keep adding one more portion to the meals I cook.

Good stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children and of Change~

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Skate Ramps & Scooters & Rock Climbing, Oh My!

May 16, 2010

Yesterday was full of lots of physically challenging birthday party fun!

Tristan and Max were invited to a party at a skate park. Neither one had ever been to a skate park before. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but they did great! Both ended up with war wounds to show off for the their morning of adventure. But even with the scrapes, cuts and crashes, I think they’d go back and try again.

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Then it was onto a party at Solid Rock Gym, an indoor rock climbing gym. I brought Tristan thru Lex and REALLY wasn’t sure how it would go. The last thing I expected was for Lex to do ANY climbing or for Gabi to get all the way to the top of a climb. All the kids had a great time and became more adventurous and confident as the afternoon went on. Maybe next time I’ll give it a try. For yesterday I stuck to belaying for the kids.

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Onto Sunday! I wonder what adventures it will bring.

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But I was Saving for a Tropical Squid!

May 15, 2010

Sibling dynamics…

A couple of mornings ago, Tristan came into my room, upset and saying things I didn’t quite understand. I asked him to calm down and explain. This is what I got-

Tristan-”Luke-Xavier got on my game and spent all my coins.”
Me-”I’m sorry. How’d he know what to do?”
Tristan-”I don’t know. He watches us play. I had 146 coins and he spent 123!”
Me-”I’m sorry”
Tristan-”He bought me a wooden llama!”
Me-*giggling*”I’m really sorry that he did that. I’ll tell him he can’t just get on other people’s accounts and do that sort of stuff”
Tristan-”He bought me a WOODEN LLAMA and I only have 23 coins left!”
Me-”I’m really sorry”
Tristan-”But I was saving for a Tropical Squid!”

At this point I couldn’t hold back the laughter. My 4yr old is savvy enough to get on his brother’s account and figure out how to buy “pets” and the thought of a wooden llama vs. the desired, tropical squid sent me into giggles.

I guess I’ll just have to let Tristan play a little extra so he can earn his coins back and finally get his squid.

Just one more dance step in Doing the Dance of the Children

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How Not to Spend the Evening

May 13, 2010

Yesterday evening I decided to take the 4 youngest kiddos to the rec center park by our house. They got their bikes, scooters,skate boards and helmets and were raring to go. I just needed to grab something out of the car before we went over. So, I opened the back, grabbed what I needed and shut door. The second I shut it I knew I was in trouble. I immediately tried to reopen it, but the “click” of the lock had already been heard. And with that, my keys were inside. Wait, not only the keys to the VW, but to the van as well. Great!

I decided to still walk the kids over to use the rest of the daylight to play and I could call for the car to be unlocked after I was home.

Playtime over, kids in bath and the phone call for the car made…

When the tow truck guy got to the house he assured me that not only does this happen all the time, but that it’s quick and easy to get it open. After-all, in all of his time of doing this, there’s only been 1 car that he hasn’t been able to open and that was because it had a special kind of lock.

40 minutes later he called for back up.

So now, I had 2 tow truck guys (one who looked like he had SURELY opened every car imaginable) working to get my car open. They tried 3 doors, with various tools and still my keys laid their taunting us. After an hour and much frustration the car finally gave in and let them in.

I’m just thankful that this happened in my driveway and not in a parking lot somewhere! And yes, another set of keys is in order.

Have a great day~

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Huh?!

May 10, 2010

I was very proud of one of my kiddos this evening because I caught them getting ahead of the game, by putting all their clothes together for tomorrow.

Me-”good job!”
Kiddo-”yeah, I’m putting it all together before I even have to.”
Me-”I think it’s great that you’re getting organized.”
Kiddo-”I’m going to wear clean underwear tomorrow.”
Me-”huh?!”
Kiddo-”I don’t change it EVERY day.”
Me-”uh…you HAVE to wear clean underwear EVERY day. EVERY day!”
Kiddo-”Oh. Well sometimes I can’t find a clean pair when I’m putting my stuff together for the next day.”
Me-”Then that’s when you drag your laundry basket to the laundry room and say,’Mom, I need clean underwear for tomorrow.’”
Kiddo-”Oh. Ok. Sorry.”

Just another day of Doing the Dance of the Children~

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A Good Monday

May 10, 2010

Normally Mondays don’t hold a good feeling. It’s the beginning of the week and we have to leave the weekend behind. But THIS Monday is a good one! It’s the beginning of a week that brings one of my sisters moving to San Diego AND Kateri coming for the summer. Whoo Hoo!

I hope you can each find something good about this Monday too! For me it’s one step closer to Doing the Dance of the Children with all of my kiddos back in San Diego~

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Mothers Day by Max

May 9, 2010

Mothers Day from Max

This morning Max brought me his Mothers Day gift that he’d made in school. It was wrapped in tissue paper and had his name on the front. This is what was inside. It made me smile so big to read through all his thoughts on what I’d be if I was a flower or music or a food, etc.

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I can see where a chair is a good choice for me as a piece of furniture. After all, my lap is well used. I’m not a fan of cats or bacon, so we’ll have to talk about turning me into those things. But I love that if I was music that I’d be rock. Ha! I’m surprised he didn’t say “kid songs”! And I especially like that of all the women in history, he’s got me pegged as Mary, only twice as nice, fun, attractive and beloved. Whoa! That’s a tall order!
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It’s been a day full of Motherhood, for sure! I’d also like to mention the beautiful cookies that Maddi made and decorated and the time that she’s demanded that I take for myself (without which, this blog would not be getting written).

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I hope each of you Mamas are enjoying all the handcrafted pieces of artwork and hand written notes that you’ve undoubtably been given today, along with the pampering and love.

Happy Mothers Day~

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A Busy and Beautiful Week in May

May 8, 2010

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Wow! What a week! There’s been the preschooler’s Mothers Day Tea, National Mom’s Nite Out SD, May Crowning and today…Prom! It’s been filled with all things beautiful and floral! It’s also a week full of moments that become memories. This is my third chance at the Mothers Day Tea and my lil preschoolers will never be quite so little again. I always get choked up at kid’s performances because I realize I’m watching a little moment in time that I want to save in my brain because those kids who are singing their hearts out will never be that same size again. Even at May Crowning, I couldn’t help but look at all the little 2nd graders who were dressed in their First Communion finery and then at all the 8th graders who were in shirts and ties or floral dresses and heels and remember when those very same kiddos were the ones in 2nd grade. Time-we can’t hold it!

And today-today is all things prom. You can bet I’ll take a gazillion pictures of Mariah getting ready and of the final, beautiful product.

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In the mix of all these kid events was the 2nd Annual Mom’s Nite Out. I was able to attend last year and met some great women that I’ve stayed in touch with and followed their work. This year was just a great, with great women, yummy food, fabulous door prizes and a raffle for charity at which I was the lucky winner of a 1 1/2 hour long massage. I CAN’T WAIT to use that certificate!

What a great week!

Happy Saturday. I’ll be Doing the Dance w/ a lil spring in my step today~

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Mommy of Many Morning Short-The Whole Hair Thing

May 6, 2010

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This morning Gabi took a bath to get ready for her performance at the Mothers Day Tea in preschool. She came out of the bath, wrapped in a towel but her hair was dry. I pointed out that part of the importance of taking a bath or shower is to wash your hair. Her response-

“I made sure to wash my body, but I didn’t know about the whole hair thing”

This brings me to a point I’ve made before-Kids need as much detail as possible when giving them instructions!

Have a great day~

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Happy Cinco De Mayo

May 5, 2010

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Cinco De Mayo…

Today we helped the kiddos in preschool learn about Cinco De Mayo and shared a snack of taquitos, salsa and chips with them. As the teacher read a story about why we celebrate this day all I could think was that I never really knew the significance behind today. I knew there was a battle, but never  paid attention to the details. Now I’m beginning to wonder if I ever learned them at all. Is my brain fuzzy or did we learn about Cinco De Mayo when we were kids?

I’m not sure, but I think I’ll ponder it over a margarita!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

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