Archive for the siblings Category

Lex Left Out

October 12, 2013

youngest kiddo of 9 kids gets left out of picking his own toys but makes due

I’ve been saying this sentence to Lex for as long as I can remember; “Go pull out the toys and play.”

This morning I looked at our bins of toys; puzzles, trains and tracks, kitchen and grocery store items, wooden blocks, a set of plastic cowboys and indians, a marble racer, various moving dinosaurs and robots…and I realized that NONE of those things were specifically purchased for Lex. These are all things that have been around his entire life and got put in bins and stacked up and became Our Toys. I also realized that he nearly NEVER goes and takes any of those things out.

So I called him over, “Hey Lex, what toys do you like?”
He was confused by the question-”Huh?”
“Lex, what toys do YOU like? If I were going to go by YOU a toy, what would you want?” Poor kid really had to think about that.
“I like those really big balls, like are in your office.”
“Oh, excercise balls!”
“And I like Rainbow Loom”.

What I discovered this morning is that Lex, as the youngest of 9 kiddos, has never, truly been asked what HE likes and has just gone along, making due with what’s around. Now, there’s really nothing wrong with him doing that. But I AM glad I realized that it’s time to take Lex and his Ninja-Loving, Soccer-Loving self and let him pick something out that is all HIS!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Missing a Step~

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He’s Breathing Too Loud!

March 5, 2013

Here’s the scenario;

One kid is doing something harmless, but that another kid finds annoying. So the annoyed kid tells the first kid to “stop___”. Kid one wasn’t doing anything wrong, but now does whatever the action was (and sometimes, it’s simply breathing “too loud”) extra, EXTRA annoyingly.

I am then caught between the kid who was needlessly annoyed and the kid who is now purposely being annoying. And let me tell you, it’s AMAZING how loudly a kid can breathe when they know it will further annoy a sibling.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Max, the Mad Genius~

November 18, 2012

This morning I listened to an exchange between Gabi and Max that kept me giggling. Either Max just learned new nuances of sarcasm or he’s been faking us all out with this whole Aspergers bit.

Gabi was on the computer and Max was DYING to have his turn. Gabi was playing a “girl” game where you decorate a doll; pick out ribbons, hair, clothes, shoes, skin color, etc. Max had been watching her time and bugging her about finishing the game and giving him his turn. This is the usual banter I hear when one kid is on the computer and another wants to use it. I reminded Max that he would get his turn when her game was over.

All of a sudden, everything changed! Max leaned over Gabi’s shoulder and started saying things like, “Oh, long hair! Yes, that’s my favorite!”. Then Gabi would change the hair to short (to spite him) and he’d say, “Or short. Yes, I like short hair too”. Then came the ribbons-Max got right into it, “Pink! Yes, yes! I love pink.” And of course Gabi would change it and he’d play right along.

Gabi started yelling for me to help her. My simple response-”Just love him”. She said she didn’t know what to do with a brother that loved ribbons. I smiled even bigger. Max was brilliant!

She quickly finished her game, handed the laptop to Max and ran from the room.

Max is a mad genius! I love it!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Lex’s V.I.G. Week-Good Stuff!

October 7, 2012

Lex is in 1st Grade. The school he goes to assigns an animal to each classroom. The kids then get t-shirts with that animal on it that they wear on Fridays and on field trips. Since Lex’s class is the Gorilla Class, they call the student of the week, the V.I.G. Lex was V.I.G. last week. I filled out the poster that was sent home, put together a few pictures and off he went to be in front of the line and be in charge of whatever classroom tasks the teacher assigns to the V.I.G. Then came Friday. That’s the day that we chose to send in a special treat and visit the classroom to read a story and answer questions about our family. Lex asked me to make Halloween “melts”-candy molds on pretzel sticks and to bring in a particular book.

On Thursday evening I got to work on the candy molds

These would soon turn into tasty rats, pumpkins, bats, skeletons and spiders


The Treats were then wrapped and ready for morning delivery


Delivering my V.I.G. to the classroom. What he didn’t know was that I wasn’t going to read a story. Instead, I had Clayton get ready to…


Juggle! WAY more exciting than mom reading a book! He juggled clubs and tennis balls and then brought Lex up and together they taught the class a song.


It was such Good Stuff! This is a day that Lex will always remember with pride and joy. It was really cool to see him have his big brother there to do something special for him. He definitely felt proud.


Then it was time to pass out the treats and finish up a little moment in time that will always be remembered.

Doing the Dance of the Children with Joy and Pride in my Kiddos~

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I Miss Strollers!

August 2, 2012

Two things recently happened that made me flash back to the M.O.M. who was constantly on the look out for the next great thing, the next good, better, BEST and most functional/fashionable way to transport my brood of toddlers and babies. ~sigh~ Oh how I LOVED strollers! And let me tell you, in the 17 years that I spent as a stroller purchaser, I owned more than my fair-share of them!

I’ve owned umbrella strollers, single strollers, double strollers that were side-by-side and double strollers that were front-to-back, sit-and-stand strollers, jogging strollers, jogging strollers that converted to bike trailers and even a triple stroller or two. I was always in a state of envy over the fancy carts that day care facilities owned. At different times in my Mommy career, I also cared for a few extra kiddos and how I wished, WISHED for one of those 6-seaters! Yes!

But the Crown Jewel of my collection was my final stroller. I truly feel like I ended on a high note, going out with what was a FANTASTIC and unique stroller (for 6 years ago). When I delivered Luke-Xavier, those close to me, gathered together and bought me the Phil and Ted’s Explorer, with the jumpseat. I went on to purchase a few extras, to get it exctly the way I wanted it and I never looked back! Happy M.O.M!

But now they have all the fancy, cool-looking and surely, easy-to-handle strollers, who’s names I don’t even know! Someday when I become a Grandma, I’m going to buy a super-fancy pram AND a state-of-the-art, does-everything-for-you and makes-you-look-cooler-than-all-the-rest strollers to wheel my lil Grandkiddo around in. I CAN’T WAIT!

All you parents out there who are strolling your lil ones around and looking super awesome…I’m watching you, with a twinge of jealousy.

Doing the Dance of the Children…sans a stroller~

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Good Thinking!

February 20, 2012

Lex came into my room looking like this and saying he was ready to go out and play. When I asked him why he was wearing “16″ shirts, he said;

“Max said there are bullies out there. So, I kept putting on shirts and punching myself until I couldn’t feel it anymore. Now I’m ready to go out.”

Way to be prepared!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Boys!

September 4, 2011

All of a sudden my house has gone from girl-dominated to boy-dominated. Yes, I have 3 of each in the house right now, but my older 2 girls pretty much have their stuff down and I’m not “managing” them as much as I’m “managing” the 4 younger kids. And 3 of those 4 younger ones are boys. I am the oldest of 9 children. I have 7, yes 7, sisters and 1 brother. He’s the youngest. He was only 5 years old when I left the house with my oldest child. Then I had JJ, who was surrounded by 4 sisters. Now, I’m scratching my head and trying to figure out what’s the “norm” for a houseful of boys who are fairly close in age.

For the last few weeks I’ve found myself in constant “STOP IT” mode. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s me that needs to stop it and just let them battle it out, annoy each other, argue, wrestle and fight. I really just don’t know. I feel like they’re constantly throwing things, banging on things, battling each other and competing. Normal boy stuff? I sure hope so because I’m feeling worn out and my throat hurts from repeating the same instructions and directions a ZILLION times each day. How much is just what boys do? Even with an age difference do they still have to establish a pecking order? When do I intervene?

Help!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Wishing it Was More Like Dead Poet’s Society than Lord of the Flies~

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Hey Buddy, Let Him Dream!

September 2, 2011

I just had this conversation with Tristan;

Tristan-MOM! Lex says he’s going to be a pirate when he grows up. A pirate! He’ll get arrested, hung and die!

Me-Hey Lex, you wanna be a pirate, huh? Tristan, it’s gonna be ok! Chances of him ACTUALLY becoming a pirate are pretty slim. If it happens, we can have a different conversation with him. But for right now, let’s just let him dream. Remember when you used to tell me you were going to go to the Island of Metra Nui and be an explorer? You said you’d really miss us all, but that it was just what you were gonna have to do.

Tristan-Yes (a little slumped over).

Me-I never told you that you couldn’t go, did I? I just let you dream about it. I bet you’re not still thinking it’s something you’re gonna do, right?

Tristan-Right (again with the slumpiness)

Me-So let’s just let him dream.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Keep Their Dreams Alive!

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These Kiddos of Mine

September 2, 2011

Since yesterday afternoon there’s been a whole lotta parenting going on! What is it about getting home from school that brings out the beast in these kids? After listening to and being drug into the bickering for a couple of hours, I put on my M.O.M. thinking cap, told them to get their shoes on and sent them to do laps on the bike trail. Only Max (8) and Gabi (6) were awarded the consequence. After fighting and annoying each other, they became running buddies and kept pace with each other for each of the laps. When Gabi earned an additional lap, Max piped in that he would be doing it with her. Afterward they came in, used teamwork to unload and sort the shoe basket and then made up a fun game that kept them happy and busy. Someone pointed out that exercise releases endorphins, which in turn makes people (kiddos included) happier. Perhaps I should make everyone come home, drop their back packs and give me 5 laps on a daily basis. Hmmmm…

After all that was over I suggested they do puzzles. Good one M.O.M! Check out his ambitious mess!

He proudly completed one! Guess what I’ll be doing today.

As the little ones were playing I found Maddi in the freezer, for the zillionth time, to get Otter Pops. When I told her she’d had quite enough she responded with, “Mom, there are never enough Otter Pops, just like there’s never enough sangria. Are you gonna blog that?” Uh…She makes me laugh!

So this morning I woke with a full-blown, mouth-breathing, runny-nosed cold. Tristan has the same and is home from school. We’ll do puzzles, drink lots of fluids and fill the house with our Darth Vader-sounding breathing. Nice! I’m glad we’re facing a long weekend so we can get some rest…maybe.

Something I didn’t miss showed up here this morning-Angry/mouthy teenager. Seriously?! Go back to your lair! There was anger because the washing machine wasn’t working the way it should and I was gonna be the one to pay. Guess who isn’t going anywhere on this holiday weekend. I’m so done with getting yelled at, having doors slammed at me and being called a lovely variety of names!

Anyway, Doing the Dance sometimes means more parenting than others. I guess I’m getting a healthy dose in.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Game Night~

March 3, 2011

Last night I was able to get a few rounds of Uno in with my younger kiddos. They sure cracked me up!

My first 3 games were played with Gabi. She brought the deck to me and asked if we could play. When I said “yes” she said, “Great! But I warn you-I’m VERY good!” And dang if she wasn’t! She won 2 of the 3 games we played!

Then the boys wanted to get in on the fun. Max and Lex came over and I had a game with the 2 of them. I was really surprised at how well Lex (4yrs) played. He was holding one of the cards where you lay it down and then pick the color for the next player to lay down. Max was to go after him. So he turns to Max and says, “What color to you want, Max?” Max answered, “Blue”. Lex lays down the card and says, “yellow!”. I was so impressed with his ability to understand the strategy of the game. Max and I both started laughing and Max says (in true Max form), “Clever!”.

Game night-Good Stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Having a Little Fun~

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Passing It On

March 1, 2011

Sometimes my kids really surprise me!

I have an older child that has been refusing to learn how to do laundry for the last few years. About a month ago that child came to me and asked me to please show them how to do the laundry. I uttered a prayer of thanks and proceeded to show them how. Ever since then, they’ve been knocking it out! But that’s not all!…

A few days ago that same kiddos told their 11 yr old sibling that it was time they learned to do the dishes and that they should come to the kitchen for a tutorial. The 11 yr old looked at me in disbelief and I let them know that it was INDEED time for this lesson and that it’s a vital life skill because they aren’t always going to live at home where Mom picks up the slack and dishes get pretty stinky after a few days. So the older sibling led the younger one in their 1st round of dish-doing.

How great is that?! There are so many times that I look around the house and wonder if anyone sees anything or if they just take for granted when things are picked up, put together and organized. It’s a great thing to get a little affirmation that these skills are, indeed, being learned. And it’s a really great thing when those skills and lessons get passed on unexpectedly from one sibling to another.

Good Stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Feeling Proud of My Kiddos~

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Saturday’s Story

February 13, 2011

As usual, it was a full day over here.

There was a little housework, a haircut, 2 visits to the bank, 2 visits to Big O tires, cleaning the boy’s room, a visit to the day spa where Mariah and Gabi were getting their nails done-Mariah decided to treat Gabi to some little Sister Time and have her tag along and get her nails done while Mariah had her own done for Formal tonight (I love it when the bigger kids think about ways to make the little ones feel special!), 2 trips to the mall to drop off and then pick up Maddi and Anna who met up with friends for a movie, filling out of Valentines for Tristan, Max, Gabi and Lex and, of course, there was the regular, everyday stuff-like laundry, dishes, cooking and disciplining. Somehow I managed to get 2 boxes packed. 2…I know, doesn’t sound like much, but it’s what I could manage.

Mariah looked beautiful (as always) for her Formal tonight. I hope she has fun! I’ll be reading and keeping an eye on the clock and the door until she gets back.

At the end of this full day I tucked Max into bed. He looked up at me and said-”Mom, no matter how fast or slow you go, you always manage to get the job done”.

Well, there you have it-my gold star for the day!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Oh Yeah! Taking a Little Time Out With My Sister!

January 7, 2011

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My sister and I decided that for our Christmas presents to each other we would spend an afternoon at a local day spa. Yippee! So today’s the day. In a couple hours we’ll head over for a little time to be pampered and to chit chat. And I don’t even have to come home and cook! We have plenty of leftovers from the last 3 nights’ meals (normally my brother takes care of our leftovers, but he’s out of town-lucky for me!).

I’ll spend the next couple hours doing some housework and guiding Max through his zillion pages of make-up work (he’s been out of school 3 days this week with a sore throat and fever, but tested negative for strep).

Doing the Dance of the Children and Starting the Weekend off With Some Good Stuff~

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Today’s M.O.M. Moments

October 29, 2010

What a full day!

The kids woke up early and were anxious to get on their costumes and get to school for the carnival. I ended up with 4 Sailor Scouts, Superman, a Mad Scientist and Mark Surge-A Lego Hero Factory Character and I was Minnie Mouse.

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Everyone had a great and tiring time at the carnival and I want to say THANK YOU to our good friend, Maria for making the girls’ costumes! Over the years, she’s made so many costumes and dresses for my kids that she deserves a public round of applause!

My high schoolers collaborated with friends and they dressed the part of the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask, from Sailor Moon.

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Everyone was so cute!

When I left the preschool carnival and took Luke-Xavier over to the big carnival at the main school, I started to look around for Gabi. I wondered if she’d be ok, wandering around and checking out all the booths. All the kindergartners were over there, but I was just nervous that she may not find what she wanted to do, or know to go get her drink and snack, etc. After I stood in line with Luke-Xavier for a few games, I finally saw Gabi. She was with Tristan (my 5th grader) and a couple of his friends. Tristan was holding her gloves and goodie bag for her and they were all making sure she had gotten her snack and that she was having fun at all the games. I was so impressed and proud! These 11 yr old boys were kindly helping a 6 yr old girl and when they saw me, they didn’t run over and ask me to please take her, because they’d been taking her and could they please just go around together now and not have her tagging along! It was one of those parenting moments where you know your kids are going to be ok. That somehow all the times you’ve gotten after them for being mean to each other or not helping each other have actually made an impression on how they think. Not once did Gabi come looking for me or did the boys walk away from her! Everyone had a great time.
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After we got back from the carnival and picking up the high schoolers, I asked if I could, please lie down for 1/2 an hour. About 10 minutes into my rest came *knock, knock, knock*. It was Gabi. Very calmly, she said, “Lex is playing with fire”. When I opened the bedroom door, I could smell that something was burning (or had been burnt). Sure enough, there was paper on the floor that was completely blackened and there was a scorch mark on the floor! I told Gabi that this was EXACTLY the right time to tattle!

I had a talk with Lex and this was his 4 year old thinking-”I caught the paper on fire and I tried to blow it out, but it kept coming. So I thought I needed water, but I couldn’t reach it and I knew I needed to yell out for an adult, but I thought I’d get in trouble”. I pointed out that he ended up in trouble anyway and that whenever there’s trouble or something scary that he needs to “yell out” for someone.

Scary!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Feeling Proud of Gabi and Tristan’s Decisions~

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More Good Stuff for M.O.M. and the Lils

July 30, 2010

I thought about putting up more pics from the last couple of days, but do you REALLY need to see the kids swimming in another pool?

It’s been beautiful this whole trip. I’m glad I placed my order for some San Diego weather early enough to have it filled! We’ve been outside in the water and sun everyday. The kiddos are getting properly tanned and we’re visiting many a pool or body of water. I know that when I get home I’d like to keep up the momentum of going, going, going, but I’m sure there’s plenty of undone housework and plenty of “real life” to keep me from loading everyone up and forgetting all that needs to be done, to sit at the pool or the beach. But you can bet I’m sure gonna try!

Over the last few days, I’ve come to remember how much driving it takes to be up here. Everything is so far apart. It’s nothing to drive 15 or 20 miles to get to a Costco or a friend’s house. I’ve been spoiled by the ease of proximity that we tend to enjoy in the San Diego area. Yesterday alone I put 123 miles on my car! It was well worth it though. I got to drive through beautiful places and remember some of my youth. I truly forgot how much a part of me these places are. It’s been so good to have this long of a visit to reexplore and revisit.

But I AM feeling ready to head home. I’m missing my older kids. I’ll only be home for a few hours before JJ leaves for the airport for a trip to France, where he will be working for a family to introduce English to their children and then onto Portugal, where he’ll visit with my sister and do a little sightseeing. ~sigh~ I’ll barely see him at all, but I’m thrilled at his opportunity to take this trip! The kids are all missing each other too. There’s something to be said for sibling dynamics-the good, the bad and the familiar.

I’m getting a little time to myself to sit in a book store, enjoy the quiet, do a little writing and know that the lil kiddos are getting some rare time with their grandparents. I’m gonna soak up this quiet time and try to store it away for when I need it on the drive home. I’m a firm believer in grabbing moments and storing them away to draw from when you need a good or peaceful memory.

Here’s to a great vacation. Here’s to family and friends. Here’s to home~

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