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Archive for January – 2012 – Mommy of Many®
This was Gabi’s question this morning after I came into the bathroom to find her standing there in her pj’s, playing with things in the sink instead of taking the shower I’d told her to go take. First-of-all, I don’t think “yell” is the proper term for what I said to her, but if that’s her perception of the tone of my voice, I’ll just go with it. And this is was my answer;
“When you don’t follow the instructions I’ve given you and I find you wasting time, you take away my choice to say, ‘Good job, Gabi!’ Instead I’m left with only things like, ‘what are you doing?’ or ‘Gabi, I told you to go take a shower’ and then you feel like I’m yelling at you. I don’t like it when you take away my choice to tell you how great you’re doing and instead have to tell you AGAIN to do what you KNOW you’re supposed to be doing.”
She didn’t particularly like the answer, but it’s the truth. Kids take away the possibility for us to tell them what a great job they’re doing. I’m sure there are those that disagree. I suppose I could give such praise as, “Great job disobeying! You’ve got that DOWN!” Or “You are SO good at doing the opposite of what I’ve asked you!”. But that just seems like it would mess with their heads more than straight up, stern-voiced reminding.
Once a month, fabulous, local business owners and entrepreneurs meet up at a local business (venue changes monthly) to meet, share ideas and help to grow and support all the wonderful ventures happening in our area.
This month’s Tweetup (we all try to be connected through the convenience and ease of Twitter and/or Facebook) will be held at The Place, a locally owned and operated Italian Restaurant in Old Roseville (221 Vernon St).
A friend and I headed over there yesterday to have some lunch and get a feel for the vibe of the place. Our plan was to be able to bring you a little of the goodness that we’ve heard they offer. We were hungry and ready! There was just one problem-the door was locked tight! Had we done a little homework, we would’ve known that The Place is open for business Wed-Sun. Do like we did, show up on a Tues afternoon for lunch, and you’ll end up an Outsider. We were stuck drooling over the menu posted in the window.
Wanna be an Insider?! RSVP for the Placer Business Tweetup by clicking here and registering. Once that’s done, head on over to “like” The Place on their Facebook page. Then show up on Tuesday, February 21st at 6pm (they’re opening just for the event) and voila…Insider!
I can’t wait to finally try out some of the delish sounding items I read on their window-posted menu! See you there~
Max is smart! Max is determined! Max is incredibly stubborn!
At 9 years old, Max has spent the last 4 years or so letting me know that he “doesn’t ride bikes”. Instead he would scooter like a champ, or he would run. He liked the control of the scooter and that he could easily put his foot to the ground for stability. The thing is, he had great balance and was somewhat of a daredevil. Because of this, I knew, KNEW he could ride a bike. But he was having NONE of it. I do believe he’s owned no less than 4 bikes in these last years, but they all just sat, unridden.
Then something amazing happened. Lex learned to ride a bike. Lex is 5 and came to me a few months ago and announced that it was the day he would learn to ride his bike and asked me to pump up the tires, take off the training wheels and watch him go. So I did…and he did. Max stood on the sidewalk and watched and cheered him on. Lex has been perfecting his riding skills ever since and Max has continued to watch.
That is, until 2 weeks ago when Max came to me with a handwritten note (because I was on the phone) that said, “MOM! I just rode Gabi’s bike with NO help!” That was it! Max had simply made the decision that he DOES ride bikes, got onto his sister’s bike and off he rode. Done! He now has a bike of his own and has had NO trouble riding.
I understand that he just needed to make the decision and be ready and that his fears kept him from trying. I understand that he’s going to have these sorts of markers all along his life and I understand that the very best thing I can do for him is to continue to present him with opportunities to try new things but not push him too hard. There’s a delicate balance in play here. He is completely capable of doing EVERYTHING. Yes, his fine motor skills and his gross motor skills are challenged by his being identified with Aspergers. But even beyond that, it’s his super-brilliant, stubbornness that we’re really going to have to overcome.
I’m so proud of him for this new accomplishment and SO happy to see him SO happy! Now…let’s tackle shoe-tying. Perhaps if he sees Lex do it first~
I haven’t had a haircut since mid August. Why? Because that was the last time I was able to go to San Diego and after finding a stylist I loved and trusted and following her to 3 different salons over a period of 4 years, I just can’t bring myself to find a local stylist. But my hair is driving me crazy! There’s simply nothing that can be done with it other than grab it into a ponytail and move on.
This is what my hair is SUPPOSED to look like.
Even a little overgrown it’s not so bad.
But NOW?! After 5 months of growing, if I want to wear it down, THIS is what I must resort to.
So instead, this is what ends up happening each day.
Yes, it’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not what I want to have to do each day!
Someone tell me who the stylist is that you LOVE. I mean it! You must LOVE them to pass their info onto me. The fact is, I’m simply not going to make it to San Diego anytime soon and I’m over this look.
Recycle, reuse, repurpose! It goes for your leftovers too!
Leftovers get a bum wrap because they’re no fun when they’re simply reheated and reserved. But repurposed and reserved?! That’s a whole different game.
Tonight I took leftover Mr. Yoshida’s chicken from last night, saved some, too-wilty-too-be-eaten-fresh, tricolor peppers from being thrown in the trash, paired them with garlic and a whole, sliced, purple onion and made fajitas. They were served with the choice of refried beans, tortillas, cheese and salsa. Several of the kids ate the chicken/pepper/onion mixture without a tortilla and beans and others enjoyed them fajita style. No matter how the dish was enjoyed, the important part was the fact that leftovers got used and veggies got saved from the trash and everyone had a great dinner.
Use your leftovers! Make them into something completely new and help save your budget in the process.
This last week has brought a lot to my schedule. You never really know how much you can fit into your life until you start pushing things closer together to make room for more. This week I started working 3-4 mornings a week at a chiropractic office, picked up a weekly blogging gig AND joined the coolest team of people who are banning together to make new media work for small businesses in this area. It seems that juggling the kids’ schedules, running my website, building my Silpada Designs business and cleaning the house just weren’t enough to truly keep me busy. My hatrack is now full! I will not be taking on any new chapeaus for awhile. I’m super excited about all these new ventures! The chiropractic office offers me the chance to learn new skills (office work), the blogging feeds my love of writing and joining the team fills my love of being social. Yea! And not to mention that they all help me make that new car payment! Good Stuff!
Gabriella, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to think I’ve taken on enough. She spent an entire evening of keeping me in stitches while she told me why I need to get married and that it should be before Easter and then detailed exactly how I should go about finding this new husband. Did you know that looking at people’s faces in the grocery store is a sure-fire way to figuring out who a good life-mate would be?! Gabi thinks so! She walked through the grocery store with me making such exclamations as, “Look at him, he looks like Rod Stewart.” Or, “He already has a son, so he’ll know what to do.” Then she pointed out that the guy checking us out had a job and liked talking to me. Nice! I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard, in a long time. I also don’t think I’ll be taking her grocery shopping with me again anytime soon.
Doing the Dance of the Children and Enjoying my Hat Collection~
One of the fun things we did over the Christmas Break was to have an Xbox 360 party. Thanks to Redbox and the good people at Smiley360 I was provided with some complimentary rental codes, planned a good day to get together with friends, rented some games, put together some snacks and watched the kids (and dads) have a good time.
The girls enjoyed Sonic Generations
We had plenty of snacks on-hand so the gamers had plenty of energy to keep playing
The boys enjoyed Spider-Man: Edge of Time
Gathering around to watch and wait for their turns
Then the pizza arrived to make it a REAL party!
Pizza and gaming-a great combo!
This dad waited patiently for his turn and chose to play Sonic Generations
Little kids enjoying the fun of the game
Not only was I provided with rental codes for our party, but I was sent our own copy of Sonic Generations to keep and enjoy. The kids took it to their dad’s house for a weekend of gaming fun.
Lex (5) was intent on playing
Tristan (12) said he really liked it and was happy it was ours to keep because he wants to keep playing it.
All the Little Langs had fun exploring the game and watching each other play!
Redbox makes it inexpensive and easy to put together an afternoon of fun. To ensure the game (or movie) you’re looking for is in stock and ready for you, I suggest using their handy online “Find” feature. Go to their website, click on the game or movie of your choice, click “rent” and click “Find”. You’ll be sent to the exact location where your item is waiting for you. Easy! Redbox carries games for 3 gaming systems, PS3, wii and XBOX360. Chances are you can easily and inexpensively find what you’re looking for! Don’t forget to go to the Redbox Facebook Fan page and like them to keep up on all that’s new and enjoy special offers and promos!
We’ll be going back for more! Thanks to Redbox and Smiley360 for adding some extra fun to our vacation!
Doing the Dance of the Children and Patiently Awaiting My Turn at the Game~
You guys did GREAT! I received text messages, emails and Facebook messages to remind me not to forget the all-important phone call. Hooray!
Before Max went to sleep, he came over to tell me that he’d figured out how it all works;
“The real fairies are so small and hard for us to see that they kept getting squished. So they decided it was best for them to stay in their land and they just communicate the right things for the parents to do through the phone calls and sometimes in whispering or thinking. This is why when you wake up and see the parent putting the money under your pillow, that they’re doing it. It just isn’t safe for the real fairies anymore”.
I refuse to do anything but nod, smile and hug that boy over this explanation!
Doing the Dance of the Children and Cherishing Their Imaginations~
Max has been anxiously awaiting one of his wiggly “silver” teeth to finally make a clean break and leave him holding what he believes to be his ticket to the Dollar Store or the Dollar Spot at Target. Today was the day! He came home from school proudly holding a small, orange, plastic tooth holder with his trophy tooth inside.
Here’s where your help come in…
DO NOT let me forget to call the tooth fairy!!!! I am known for my horrid tooth fairy skills! I can’t let the build up on this tooth go uncelebrated.
Calling all Mamas-remind me!
Doing the Dance of the Children and the Tooth Fairy~
After weeks off from the “regular” routine, after weeks of visiting with family and friends, after weeks of kids sleeping as late as 10 am, after weeks of not tackling all the things I said I’d do “over break”, I’m faced with only hours before I’ll be awakened by the jarring sound of the alarm. It’ll be time to be on-task and in work mode.
It was a fabulous break! It was full of visitors, good food and lots of fun. All my kids were together for the first time since last December. Yes, this meant more work in some ways, but it also meant the wholeness that only comes when they are all here. Each of them holds a piece of the puzzle that makes the house full. Yes, I know that kids grow up and out, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a completeness to them all in the house together. It was good for the younger kids to reconnect with their older siblings who are away at school. It was good to hear their stories and to visit with them and good to have them lend a hand in all the things around the house.
This was our first Christmas since we’ve moved and since my divorce. The kids did as well as could be expected with going back and forth between houses. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we all gathered in my house and celebrated. Yes, there were moments that were strained and even uncomfortable, but this is new, all of it. We did well!
Now it’s back to mostly “regular” life. I make a late-night trip to the airport for Maddi tonight and Mariah is staying until the 22nd. But other than that, it’s back to the busyness of sports, school and alarm clocks. It’s time for me to refocus on my business and time to finish packing all the Christmas decor back into boxes in the garage.
I’m thankful for pictures that create an indelible image of moments in time. There were good moments to capture and I’ll be happy to revisit them when I miss my older kids!
The last few days were full of uncertainty and decision making. It was time to hand the gas-guzzling 15-passenger van over to be sold but that meant I would have only my VW Passat. There were 2 problems with that-It wasn’t running properly and it didn’t fit myself and the 6 kiddos that I have at home. I had NO money for a downpayment on anything and NO money to fix the VW even if it was what I was going to have to drive. On the first day of the uncertainty/decision making the decision I made was to curl up on my bed, cry and take a nap. Hey, at least I made a decision! Day 2 is when the work began. 2 of the most beautiful, loving, hardworking friends you could ever ask for started asking me questions. Real questions, like-what do you owe on each vehicle?, what is the VW worth?, can you get any $ for a dowpayment?, what are you looking to drive?. You know, the stuff that makes you actually start tackling a problem and finding out what you can and can not do. Once I started gathering information I realized that I had the title to the VW and (as long as I could drive it to wherever I needed to get it to) I could trade it in. Then out came computers and Iphones and the search began. After looking and talking and visiting dealers, I came away with a 2010 Town & Country that seats 7, with a warranty that will keep my mind free of worry. I had someone by my side who knew all the things I do not and who offered moral support when I needed it.
As I signed a zillion papers the tears started to flow. I just bought a car! Me! In MY name and with all the things I decided were important to have for my kids. I am now completely responsible for this vehicle. It scared me and made me proud at the same time. One more step to knowing I’m ok-to knowing I can do what needs to be done and that I have a loving support system to hold my hand and pat my back and help me heal and be whole. It still chokes me up! How did I get to be 40 yrs old, have 9 children and not know what I was capable of? I am thankful EVERY day for all the beautiful, strong, encouraging people who surround me each day and have helped me lay the stepping stones on this path I’m walking.
With faith, love and trust I will continue to find out that I am strong, whole and entirely capable of all that needs to be done to get my children successfully into adulthood and myself into living the life ahead of me, fully!
I woke up early this morning to see Kateri off to a visit with friends in Germany. It was the end of our Christmastime visit which, of course, makes me reflect on all that happened and changed in this last year. 2011 was so full of uncertainty, faith, new paths, heartache and good. I found out where much of my own strength lies and what I’m capable of. I found out who the people in my life are who I know I can count on. And I stepped out of my box in so many ways. Now that I’m fairly settled into a new home and a new community, I can make 2012 a time to focus more clearly on issues that need more time from me. There are things I need to do for Max to help him be a more successful student. I can work harder to further my own work, in writing more frequently and possibly even dusting off the microphone and recording some new Mommy of Many podcast episodes. I can grow my Silpada Designs business and meet fabulous new people to bring some Sterling Style to. I look forward to attending Kateri’s college graduation in May and watching from the sidelines as she moves onto Grad School. The list goes on and on. The new year holds all the potential for success and happiness because I choose to see what can be and to believe that with faith, trust and the belief in each new day that I can help my children be successful and that I too, will be successful.
Here’s to all the Good Stuff ahead of us all!
Doing the Dance of the Children into the New Year~