Archive for August, 2010

Maybe I’m Lazy

August 31, 2010

Stop shaking your head and uttering, “Oh brother”.

Sometimes I have to wonder.

I wake up every morning with the very best of intentions and a list a mile long. Some days I tackle it head-on. But other days I let excuses creep in. I don’t mean reasons. Reasons are one thing and they come up around here ALL THE TIME. I’m talking excuses. You know, “hmmm…I really should do those dishes before I go to bed so I wake to a clean kitchen. Ack! I’m tired. I’ll do them in the morn.” or “Ok, I’m going to pack the kiddos up, go to the Y, work out for an hour and then take them to the park across the street. But look at all those dishes that need to be washed!” How ’bout-”HELLO mountain of unpaired socks! Come on with me to bed. We’ll put a movie on and I’ll get you all cozied up in pairs. Oh…bed feels so good! Forget the socks! The kids can forge for pairs on their own. I’m sure it creates some sort of good hand-eye coordination or vital foraging skills”.

See!

If I don’t have everything regimented out and stick to the plan it just doesn’t happen. Sometimes I wonder what I’d be like without the constant demand of keeping on task or organized. What if I didn’t have a houseful of kiddos? I’m thinking I’d let the Ol’ Gypsy Wind blow through my hair a little too much and get nothing done or be like Ferdinand the Bull and just sit and smeeeelllll the flowers!

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I believe this brood o’ kiddos was sent to me to keep me from being a lazy bum. ‘Cause Lord knows thats where my heart and tendencies lie.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Being Forced to Ignore my Draw Toward Laziness~

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Let’s Play “Where in the World is Clayton (JJ) Lang”

August 28, 2010

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And that’s exactly what we did between 1 and 8am this morning.

JJ’s been in France since the beginning of August and was supposed to get to Portugal for a visit with my sister. But after she had been at the airport for a couple of hours and couldn’t find him and had no way of contacting him, she called here. Oh the ideas we came up with! There were literally hours of coming up with ideas for trying to get in touch with him or finding out if he got on his flight. Finally, at 8 am he showed up on Facebook! Yep! Thank goodness for social networking!

I don’t have the entire story, but he showed up (unknowingly) to the airport a day late for his flight and somehow made his way to an elderly couple who are familiar with boys from Saint Gregory’s Academy, spent an evening with them and then, somehow ended up with a classmate who lives in Paris. Small world?! He was finally able to get onto his computer (again, not sure of the details and timelines) and my sister had left him messages on Facebook and he IM’d her there.

He is safe, has had a remarkably wonderful trip and will be heading to Portugal tomorrow.

Way to follow that ol’ Gypsy Wind!

Honestly, I was more worried about my sister and her nerves than for JJ’s safety. He has a tendency to wander, miss deadlines/flights/buses and, somehow always ends up landing on his feet, quite comfortably.

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My lil World Wanderer is enjoying his trip and, hopefully, won’t disappear off the radar again!

Doing the Dance of the Children from a world away~

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A Birthday and A Budget

August 27, 2010

“No candles? But don’t those cost, like, 2 bucks?” Yeah, well so does a loaf of bread. Guess where my last $2 went.

Ah, the budget. Forever in the forefront of my mind. Always being reworked, borrowed from, stretched and sometimes broken.

Back to school and Christmas are the hardest times on the ol’ budget and I’m neck-deep in back to school prep right now. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still very real things that need to be celebrated and done, like birthdays. 2 days ago, we had just such an event. When the budget for the 15th was written, I requested an extra $100 for the upcoming bday. My request was fulfilled. However, I had NOT accounted for some uniform items that the girls starting their Frosh year needed. So, the bday $ went to buy 2 new, white, button-down shirts and 2 pair of black flats for Dress Day Uniform requirements. *Think, think, think* What was I gonna do about the bday? I kept being asked for a Birthday Party. My blanket answer was, “well, that’ll be a tough one, but let’s talk about it”.  And talk we did. He asked if he could, “please, please, please have friends down to the beach for a beach day”. Hmmm…the beach is free. I can do that! But what to do about the food and favors? *think, think, think*. Well, we’ll forget “favors” altogether. If they really need something to take home, they can roam the beach for shells, right? Which by-the-way, 10 & 11 yr old boys really don’t care about. Now food-*think, think, think*. Well, I earned $27 from a book I sold on Amazon.com. So, $20 for a cake at Costco and $7 for a 40-pack of CapriSun juice pouches. I’m GOLDEN! I knew I had a huge bag of carrots, and plenty of celery and peppers to cut up and ranch dressing in the fridge (had to attempt to add something healthy to the mix) and there was plenty of PB&J and bread. Another mom donated bags of popcorn and pudding cups.

And we had ourselves a party!

Now, the agreement was that if I did give him a party, that would be his present. Since I got off so inexpensively I told him I’d take him to ToysRUs to spend a gift card he received and if he needs a little help with whatever item he chooses, I’ll pitch in…but not until after payday.

I’m proud of our $27 party!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Staying on this Tightrope of a Budget~

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The Pathway to the Museum is Paved w/ Good Distractions

August 25, 2010

Yesterday I loaded up the kiddos and headed over to Balboa Park to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the Free Tuesdays. I actually found parking quiet easily (talk about a surprise!) and we started across the grass toward the Air and Space Museum, which was our destination.

But surely a lil stop at this fun park, first, wouldn’t hurt!

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Max tried this fun spinner…a lot!

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Tristan mastered this, great, piece of equipment.

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Lex couldn’t wait to try the fun spinner, like Max.

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Tristan dug his way under the turtle.

Ok! Enough park fun! Let’s start walking toward the museum. We headed over a bridge and into…

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The Butterfly Garden. Surely a few minutes of enjoying the flowers and the butterflies wouldn’t hurt! Look! Pretty! Ohhhhhhh!

Ok, ok, everyone was getting hungry, so we walked toward the Big Pond, found a shady spot and enjoyed our lunch, while watching kids from a day camp play games. Time to head toward the museum. We really only had about an hour and a half left before we needed to leave.

But on the way, we might as well walk through the Botanical Garden. Heck, it was RIGHT THERE!. We made our way through and I reminded them NOT TO TOUCH. Then it was out of the garden and, really, who can resist a stop at the Big Pond, to look for koi and turtles?

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Not us! Lex enjoyed getting REALLY close to the edge of the pond and making me believe I was going to have to fish him out. Who can blame him?! Look how pretty it is!

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The kiddos gathered together to watch this big one. See him?

Ok guys, seriously, if we’re gonna make it to the museum, we have to get going. So we kept walking across the park, past the Japanese Friendship Garden, past the Organ Pavilion and into the International cottages, where a few were open for looking through. Well, we might as well take a minute to see what the cottage from China has to offer.

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Mmmm…tea and a fortune cookie!

Hey! Look! The cottage from Iran is open too. Wonder what’s in there.

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Oh! And England too. Look, it’s pictures of Princess Diana. Yep, she really was a REAL princess.

Hey guys, we really, really better start moving along.

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Wait, you know what? We better start making our way back to the car. There really isn’t time to even enjoy anything at the museum. But, didn’t we enjoy a ton of other things?! Come on, let’s go.

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There was enough time to try climbing this bamboo, walk all the way back to the car and get to the school to pick the girls up on time.

What a great afternoon, museum or not!

We’ll have to try again. Maybe next Tuesday~

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~SIGH~ Why?! Why are These Types of Things Necessary For Lil Ones to Do?

August 24, 2010

The only mistake I made was turning my back. I thought I’d covered my bases and set everyone up to be occupied while I tried to pack us up to enjoy an outting. How could I have been so silly?

Lex used his unsupervised time to “draw the way  the AppleTV so that everyone could watch Bugs Bunny”. Thanks for the clearly marked pathway. Geesh!

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Many, many walls in several houses have been decorated by these 9 children of mine. Yet, I still wonder why they do it. Have I not provided enough drawing paper? Color books? Writing pads? The walls? Really?! Do they think I won’t notice? That they won’t get in trouble?

~sigh~

The mind of a child can be a mystery, no matter how many times you’ve walked the path.

Well, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and I have been good friends for a long time. I guess it’s time for a date. But guess who’s not going to find convenient parking at Balboa Park today.

Doing the Dance of the Children, with Plenty of Elbow Grease~

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A Really Mixed Day Over Here

August 24, 2010

Yesterday marked the beginning of Arianna and Maddi’s High School careers and the first day of Mariah’s Senior year. I liked listening to them get ready and offer each other make-up, hair and uniform tips.

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Everyone was dressed and loaded into the van to get them to school. It meant starting the day earlier than what the little kids have gotten used to over their summer break, but it’s good to get the schedule broken into. We have 2 more weeks of summer vacation for the 4 youngest kiddos and before I go back to work. So once we were back from the school, we got to decide what to do with our day.

We chose the beach!

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So, onto Day 2 of the school routine. It’s 5:30 am, the lunches are packed, 2 of the 3 morning showers have been taken, the coffee is being enjoyed, bagels are waiting to be handed to the lil kiddos when they get into the van, and it’s time for M.O.M. to get put together for this day.

I think the lil kiddos and I will check out what’s happening at Balboa Park today. Do all you locals know about Free Tuesday’s at Balboa Park? Each Tuesday a different grouping of museums offers free admission. Maybe we’ll see you there.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Keep up with the Rhythm~

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The Last Day of Summer for My High School Girls

August 23, 2010

Summer…over! Where’d it go?

Between summer school, trips and guests, it flew by! I still want it! I’m not really ready for the whole school routine. Guess I better GET ready, because when I wake up it’ll be staring me in the face-wake up at 4, pack lunches, listen to 3 girls bicker over the 2 showers, fight for my own shower time, make sure everyone eats something-even if it can’t be considered breakfast, load everyone into the van, fight the morning traffic, drive 15 miles and fight the traffic back. Yea!

I can’t say it hasn’t been a good summer. It’s been different from what I’m used to, but it’s been good. We’re all a lot tanner and there’s a light dusting of sand on the bathroom and laundry room floors, so we obviously enjoyed the beach and parks. Can’t complain there!

Ok summer, I’ll say good bye. But only because I know that in a blink of an eye, you’ll be back~

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Mommy of Many™ Goes to Boot Camp-Session 2/Week 4/Day 5-My Last Day

August 20, 2010

Here it is, the last day of Kraze Boot Camps class for M.O.M. This is the last day of the session, then it’s a week off and when the new camp starts up, I’ll be knee-deep in back to school schedules. This means no more 6 am classes for me.

I feel mixed emotions! I’m SO excited and proud that I did it! I DID it! I stopped making excuses and left some old, bad habits behind. I gained so much from these 8 weeks of classes. Seriously, I’m totally surprised! I gained confidence, better eating knowledge, lost weight/inches and showed my kiddos that it’s important to take care of our bodies. But I’m also feeling scared that I’ll lose my motivation! It’s now up to me to keep going. I have to go find a time that’s going to fit into my back to school/work schedule and commit myself to a daily workout that’s challenging and keep myself at it. I knew that going to Kraze Boot Camps was a good fit for me because of the daily motivation of a group. I feel like a baby bird that’s being pushed from the nest. I have to decide to fly!

I want to say thank you to Aaron Escobedo, for putting together such a great program with awesome people! Your dedication to your people is great and we all feel it! You let us know that we are part of something that you care about and not just a nameless body showing up to your classes. You keep the classes moving quickly and you mix it up EVERY day! I was NEVER bored with the routine, was ALWAYS challenged and learned to let go of not knowing what was coming. In the end I have to say that it was better to not know because I couldn’t dread, I could just move to the next thing. Thanks to your insistence that we could all do it, I have gained more stamina and a greater confidence for what my body can do. I no longer feel like the number of children I’ve given birth to has anything at all to do with where my fitness ability should or can be. Thank you!

So, to sum it up, in 8 weeks I’ve lost about 8 lbs, 2 1/2 inches from my chest/back, 3 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips. Not bad! I can run…well it really doesn’t matter how far I can run, the fact is that I can ACTUALLY run. This in and of itself is a feat! I can tackle a great number of stairs, remembered that I know how to jump rope, can do lunges and squats in a great variety of ways, found out that there are still muscles in my abs and core and no longer have to tie a sweatshirt around my waist if doing jumping jacks (this took a little knowledge of when and how much to drink and a quick trip to the bathroom before each morning’s workout ;-) ). Yea!

I may not be able join the next session, but YOU CAN! New locations are being opened up and you can take advantage of some great discounts. Message Aaron, let him know you want to get out there to give a class a try and tell him I sent you! All you have to lose is your fear, bad habits and extra weight!

A big thank you to everyone who followed along through this journey and encouraged me in so many ways! Don’t leave! I’m gonna need your encouragement through my next journey!

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Counting My Blessings & Turning My Face to the Sun

August 20, 2010

Somedays I feel so overwhelmed that I can’t move past the mountainous list of To-Do’s. Now that sports have started and the 3 girls are gearing up for school, there’s a constant flow to my inbox and I simply can’t keep up with the little kiddos, who are still enjoying summer vacation and the bigger kiddos whose heads are in school mode and keep handing me papers to sign and lists of needs/wants/must-haves. I end up feeling like I’m in a dark tunnel with nothing to look at or think about except the next “must do” task. AND I’m trying to do it all on a teeny-tiny-super tight budget. ~breathe~

To keep sane and somewhat on-budget today, I loaded up the 4 lil kiddos when I had to take Arianna to her tennis practice at the school, which is 15 miles away. I decided that to save gas, we would stay by the school and explore the parks available to us there. So I packed snacks and off we went. We had a little more than 2 hours to kill and ended up visiting 2 parks. One without a bathroom and one with (note to all city park planners-BUILD BATHROOMS in ALL parks!).

I also used my free drink that I’d earned at Chauo Chocolatier, that just happens to be in that area. I don’t know about you, but I try to keep *free* coupons and earned items on hand for when the budget has been emptied out. This way I always have little perks to look forward to, even when I’m out of cash. Do you guys do that too? Come on, we all belong to groups and clubs that keep us earning free items. Do you save them up for the lean times?

So there I was, sipping my spicy, mayan mocha, in a beautiful park, watching my kids run around, play games and enjoy the summer day and I realized I needed to count the good things that were going on instead of mope around about my overwhelming schedule, looming to-do list and dwindling budget. Come on! I live in a fabulous place, my kids are in great schools, I had a free drink in my hand and the gorgeous park was open to my kiddos. ~sigh~ All good! I closed my eyes, said a silent, “thank you” and soaked up a little sun.

Yep, I’m back at home, where the ever-present work is waiting, but it’s ok. I can’t change the demands of this life, but I CAN try to change the focus.

Boy do I ever do a lot of self-talk. Gets me through though. Share your tips and tricks for remembering to count your blessings and face the sun.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mommy of Many™ Goes to Boot Camp-Session 2/Week 4/Day 4

August 19, 2010

Today’s Kraze Boot Camps class was abs/Core/Cardio-my favorite day!

Seriously! I think it’s because I get to lay on my mat to do a lot of the exercises. Not that there isn’t plenty of running happening, but I DO like the more stationary exercises (lazy me!). Plus you can really feel your abs working and I like that!

Only 1 more day in this session! I’m really looking forward to being measured tomorrow to see my results! No matter what they are, I feel GREAT and that definitely counts as a success.

Tomorrow-Total body workout.

This session may be ending, but that just means there’s another starting in about a week. Become a part of the fastest growing outdoor fitness program in San Diego! Message Aaron to find out about great deals, dates and times and become part of the Kraze!

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Doing the Dance of the Children-Back to School Style

August 19, 2010

Here we go!

Today is Freshman orientation. The girls had to show up to school in their “Dress Day” uniforms at 8 am for yearbook pics & spending the day on campus to get acclimated to the campus and their schedules. It jogged my memory of what the school year schedule is like. Starting next Monday, the 3 girls will be back in school and we will be leaving the house at 7 each morning to fight the morning traffic, drive the 15 miles to the HS and then get back home to get the day going for everyone else. But that’s just the beginning-once the other kids start (Sept. 7th) I’m going to have to have 8 lunches packed, 7 kiddos dressed, homework in hand, dinner in the crock pot, myself dressed & ready and EVERYONE out the door by 7. I’ll get off at 12:15, take Lex with me to the gym, get a workout in (I’m pushing for this!), pick the kiddos up from school & begin the afternoon/evening of sports, homework, dinner, writing and the bedtime routine.

Yep-I’m trying to savor the last fleeting days of my semi-hectic summer before it gets turned up to full speed. Yikes!

So, I better get to the shower, clean this house, keep the kiddos entertained, work on the paperwork and try to remember that these are the easy times :-)

Doing the Dance of the Children and easing back into the routine~

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Mommy of Many™ Goes to Boot Camp-Session 2/Week 4/Day 3

August 19, 2010

Today’s lesson-
Sometimes life gets in the way of your best intentions and well-laid plans.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make this morning’s 6am Kraze Boot Camps class, so I had let Aaron know I’d be trying out the evening class. By 1pm, everything had changed. Mariah got called into work and Arianna needed a ride home from tryouts. So, M.O.M. had to put my plans on hold and make sure that everyone got to and from where they needed.

But the lesson in it is to not get discouraged and to start right back into it again tomorrow. Starting this program meant breaking old habits and starting new/healthier ones and in the past, if I got out of a routine, it was always hard for me to jump back into it. I’d feel like I might as well expect for things to come up and just not plan time for myself. So, in keeping with my better/healthier attitude, I need to wake up tomorrow morning and jump right back in.

Tomorrow, I do believe it’s abs/core & cardio. Gettin’ ready!

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Mommy of Many™ Goes to Boot Camp-Session 2/Week 4/Day 2

August 18, 2010

The focus of today’s Kraze Boot Camp class was upper body.

Kristi guided today’s class, while Aaron walked amongst us, checking form and encouraging us through the exercises. Her style is definitely different than his, but it kept it interesting and new, which seems to keep us going. I felt like we ran more than usual, but I could be wrong. What I know for sure is that I was beginning to feel stubborn and was gearing up for some foot-stomping if I had to run one more lap! My inner child likes to let me know when it’s feeling challenged.

My arms aren’t feeling sore, which I’m grateful for. We’ll see how they feel in the morn. Though, my body’s surprising me in little ways over these last few weeks. After last week’s leg work out, I didn’t feel any soreness! I was happy about it, but then wondered if I’d worked hard enough. Hmmm…

So, this was day 2 of drinking the after work out shake. I can’t say that I can FEEL anything different, but maybe it’s not about a feeling as much as what it’s doing for my body. So I’ll continue to drink it and trust that it’s doing it’s job.

I’m still looking forward to being remeasured at the end of this week. I’m being diligent about writing down my foods and even the shorts I bought 3 weeks ago are feeling looser in the waist. Now THAT is a good FEELING!

I’ll take it!

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Mommy of Many™ Goes to Boot Camp-Session 2/Week 4/Day 1

August 17, 2010

It’s the last week of this session and the thing I was most looking forward to today was FINALLY trying out my post workout shake! I went to the Kraze Boot Camps/GNC Happy Hour event on Friday and finally found out exactly what I needed AND got a great discount on it! If you missed out on this great event, there’s another Happy Hour tomorrow evening.

Today was a total body work out, complete with running zig zags up and down the Convention Center back stairs, jumping rope (hey Dawn-I counted my jumps, but I really didn’t get very far before having to start over again. I can’t jump like I could when I was 8!), an obstacle course, lunges, push-ups, burpies, inch worms (Yea for me, I can actually do these now!) and several other exercises that I either don’t remember or have blocked out :-)

I’m actually really excited for this week to be over because I want to be remeasured. Yep! I WANT to be remeasured! Can’t wait! But even with my enthusiasm to see what my results are, I had a tough time getting out the door this morn. I sure had a million excuses for why I couldn’t possibly go. I bickered with myself over each excuse and found a solution for each “reason”. I hope I don’t have to fight with myself tomorrow!

Whoo hoo! Session 2 is almost done. I’m feeling proud!

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Here’s a Question-

August 16, 2010

Remember last week, when I asked about anyone who had a child with a friend that blames your child for the bad behavior that the other child is actually responsible for? Well THIS week I ask you to share your experiences of YOUR child allowing their friend to take the blame for the bad behavior that your child is actually responsible for. And how was it handled when you found out?

Doing the Dance of the Children, one day at a time~

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