Mornings With Max

By mommy of many™ | Filed in children, family life, kids

Max is an early riser too, so it’s often me and Max first thing in the morn. This morning, he asked me to make him a breakfast sandwich and while I was cooking, he said something about the tooth he had lost yesterday, which he left in the back room and made no attempt at putting under his pillow.

Max-”Mom, you owe me a dollar”
Me-”Why would I owe you a dollar?”
Max-”For my tooth”
Me-”No, you need to put it under your pillow and I’ll call the tooth fairy
Max-”Mom, I know you’re the tooth fairy. I caught you with your hand under my pillow, one time”
Me-”I often check my kids in the middle of the night”
Max-”R-I-G-H-T! Mom…you sure are good at picking your words carefully. I’m trying to trap you and you’re not falling for it”
Me-”I know”

Guess where his tooth will be tonight?

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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My Shoes are FINE!

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Aspergers, children, family life, frustrating, kids, mom

These are Max’s old shoes. He was wearing them until 3 days ago, when I got a good, solid look at the bottoms. I drug him into the store to try on new ones while he boldly and loudly protested that his shoes were FINE.

“FINE…My SHOES ARE FINE! I like them like that. It’s not even raining so it doesn’t even matter! They are comfortable. I don’t NEED new shoes!”

We picked out the 2 pair that would be possibilities for him and chose one of the pair. But the next morning, he was back on the kick that the new ones weren’t right, the old one’s were perfect and I needed to just pleaese, PLEASE, P-L-E-A-S-E let him wear the old ones. I didn’t give in. He’s successfully worn the new pair for the last 2 days. However, if you see one of my kids wearing shoes with nothing left to them, keep in mind it’s not because I’m denying them proper footwear.

Kids!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Tell Me What You’re Grateful for Today

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Good Stuff

Name one thing (or more if you’d like) you’re grateful for today.

Today, I’m grateful for a network of people, working together to make Good Stuff happen for a beautiful life AND I’m grateful that I have a sister who’s a certified massage therapist, who is willing to come take care of rubbing all this life out of my right shoulder.

There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

Doing the Dance of the Children and of Life!

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On January 6th, I finally came up with my New Year’s Resolution. Of course, I’d thought of all the “usual” things-weight loss, excercise, eating better, becoming a millionaire…
But when it came right down to it, what I needed to strive for and give to those around me was something much bigger, much more challenging because it means thinking about each of my actions, slowing down and stopping to pray and think before I react. I haven’t been completely successful, but I HAVE made great strides!

Here’s what I wrote on January 6th-

I’ve finally made my resolution. Yes, I could use a little weight loss. Yes, I could eat better. Yes, I could wake up and go for a run or a walk.

But my resolution is kindness. I resolve to act and speak more kindly, to try hard to make my first response a response that is loving and kind instead of sarcastic or heavy. I need this, my children need this, those around me need this. And to be honest, I think it would be easier to shed 30lbs than to think my words and actions through. So here I go…

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Hey! I’m Kinda Feelin’ Jipped!

By mommy of many™ | Filed in baby, children, family life, kids, mom, parenting

I’ve recently “liked” a couple of pregnancy and birth pages and they’re fantastic! I love all the amazing pics of women giving birth in the way and environment of their choice. They have photographers capturing all the wonder of the event and husbands/partners/co-parenting significant others (making terms up for things I don’t know the label for) are joining in, being super supportive and experiencing as much of the baby’s birth as possible. Then there are the breastfeeding pics and posts. All beautiful. There are many strong, amazing women out there that are making the decision to be fully present in the experience of becoming a mother, no matter the # baby it is.

Only one problem…

All this amazingness is making me feel like I never experienced giving birth or breastfeeding. There were no photographers, no uber supportive/rubbing my back/getting into a tub of water with me, husband-no tub of water for that matter. No home birth and heck, for my last birth, my biggest supporter was my 12 yr old daughter, who was great, but did her best to make sure she stayed near my head the entire time.

I breastfed while toddlers climbed on me, while I pushed a stroller with 2 or more other children in it, while I grocery shopped, while I made dinner, while I did mundane and needed household chores, while I was 1/2 or entirely asleep and there was no one documenting it and putting a lovely lens to the whole thing to show how beautifully natural, loving, life-giving and super fantastic it was.

I never had a belly cast made. Never took belly pics in my bathroom or bedroom mirrors (there were no “smart phones” with cameras) and never, once, had professional pics taken with the glowing and gushing father of all these kiddos. What the heck?!

How is it that I had 9 kiddos and am now feeling like all the new moms out there are sticking it to all of us Old Geezers who finished having babies too soon to be truly amazing? I don’t like it!

I’ll go thumb through the endless baby books, photo albums and scrapbooks that I put together on paper filled with lignin that’s slowly eating away at the only precious images I have that prove that in my day, we were as amazing as we felt we could be and it was pretty ok.

Seriously though-Here’s to you, Moms of the Next Era! You’re making me wish I could do it one more time.

Sincerely,
Mommy of Many

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Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream, As Interpreted By Lex

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Good Stuff

This kiddo keeps me smiling!

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, according to Lex is that “boys and girls would drink together.”

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Good Stuff to Share

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Good Stuff

YOU are in charge of your thoughts. Breathe deeply and choose wisely~

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Good Stuff to Share

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Good Stuff

Strong, Worthy, Beautiful!

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I’m back and so is my creative side. So here’s what the 2nd half of my kiddos were doing in 2012;

Maddi-She finished up the school year, here, and then headed to San Diego to spend the summer with friends. She and a close friend of hers’ took a trip to the Dominican Republic to be a part of a mission project. After they returned, she participated in her last year of Junior Lifeguards. She was then invited to stay in San Diego and to go back to Cathedral Catholic H.S., where she (and her siblings before her) had attended. It’s been a really fantastic opportunity for her and we’re grateful for her hosting family!

Tristan-He started middle school, as a 7th grader, this Fall. So far, he’s been doing well and enjoying school, as much as school can be enjoyed. He dusted off his flute and joined the band class. They had a Holiday performance and I was super impressed with the program!

Max-This year he’s in 4th grade and is doing well. His teacher works really well with him and it’s been nice for all of us to work from a place of understanding what Max’s strengths and weaknesses are. He went on a school trip to Coloma for 4 days which he REALLY enjoyed. I was so happy that he made the (last minute) decision to go! He also tried out for a play that was put on by a production company that came to the school. He got a part and did a fantastic job! I love seeing him step out of his comfort zone and into new things!

Gabi-She continues to do very well in school and is a fantastic reader. She started gymnastics in November and is LOVING it! In the summer she borrowed our neighbors’ rip stick and took off like there was nothing to it. Santa brought her one of her own this Christmas. She was had a couple of school performances and was, most recently, cast as Little Red Riding Hood. There’s always something creative or exciting happening when activities are left up to Gabi.

Lex-It’s hard to sum up his year in a few lines. He’s constantly giving everyone around him, something to chuckle at. He’s a bright and loving little comedian! We had to learn the hard way, that he is allergic to dairy and I’m impressed with his dedication to making sure he keeps it out of his diet. He loves soccer and running and has joined the running club at school. He’s in 1st grade and is a super-strong reader. We all agree that Lex keeps us smiling!

It was a full year and it couldn’t have ended on a better note, with all of my kiddos together for Christmas!

Here’s to 2013 and all that’s ahead!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Happy New Year!

I know we’ve all been hearing the crickets over here. There was so much to do with having all my kids home for Christmas that I just wanted to be present in it and not worry about sitting down to write about it. Unfortunately that carried over a little longer than I had planned.

I’m going to do this update in 2 parts or else it will never get done. So…here’s part one of what the Lang Kiddos and M.O.M. were up to in 2012;

2012-What a year! We got a little more settled into our new life. There were plenty of struggles but there was also some really Good Stuff.

Jen-I began working in marketing. Marketing! It all fell together very quickly and I began writing for various clients and events. I’m now one year into it all and I really enjoy it! I’m hoping that 2013 brings me more work!

Me, with other ladies of Social Media at a concert we helped to promote.

Kateri-In May, Kateri graduated from the Franciscan University of Steubenville with degrees in Theology and Humanities. She then went on to become the personal assistant to one of the college’s professors, Dr. Scott Hahn. She also became the University’s assistant diving coach. As of yesterday, she began Grad School. She was able to come out for Christmas and brought her newest love, her puppy, Layla.

Clayton-After 5 years of him being away for school and travel, he came home for a few months to work and then move onto the next phase of life. It was such a joy to have him here! He did a fantastic job of helping with the little kids, keeping them active and showing them new ways to use their imaginations. He did a juggling demonstration for Lex’s class during Lex’s special week at school. He found work on a rice farm and came home tired and muddy after each day’s work. He has since moved on to Ohio and is back in school.

Mariah-She is in her Sophomore year at Bryant University. She has an internship with a company in Sacramento during her summer and Christmas breaks. She’s learning all the different aspects of the company and is doing a fantastic job! She has also been helpful in writing a business model for a coffee shop that a friend of mine wants to open. She is her sororities philanthropist chairperson and put on a fantastic event supporting our troops. Mariah has a bright future ahead and is on the path to making it all happen!

Arianna-She spent the year focusing on sports. She’s in her Junior year of high school and has played tennis, soccer and softball. She’s well-rounded in the world of sports! She’s my “big” kid at home, these days and she would LOVE to get her license in the near future. Earlier this year, she and Gabi did an Adventure Run together as a team and had a great time!

Ok, the news of Maddi through Lex will be on it’s way SOON!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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And For You…Goldfish!

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Christmas, children, family life

This afternoon I came home from getting Tristan from his school and running an errand to find a plate of Holiday Chex Mix and a bag of oranges on our kitchen counter. Next to it was a Christmas card from neighbor children that wished the kids a Happy Christmas and included an apology for any mean exchanges that had taken place between them and my kids. Very sweet.

When I said something about it, Lex came to me and let me know that while I was gone, he had decided to write a note back to them that said that he was also sorry for being mean and that he had poured a big plate of Goldfish crackers and left it at their doorstep.

I’m totally giggling right now! I love that he wanted to jump right on board with an apology and an offering. I just wish he would have waited for me so we could have AT LEAST put them in a baggie…or something. At least Goldfish crackers are smiling.

Hopefully they will see the sweetness in the gesture.

I love that boy!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Yesterday there was a lot of Christmas Magic happening at the house of M.O.M.

As you know, the kids have been asking about Elf on the Shelf and wondering if and when we would get our own Elf. I was still on the fence and since Christmas is only a week away, I thought we might just skip it this year and ask for our own Elf next year. But then Max was putting on his shoes before school and he was sitting in front of the Christmas ornament box and what did he see?


A little Elf staring at him! He said, “Hey! That looks just like an Elf on the Shelf! I hurried him along and got him and the other kiddos off to school. When I got home I went over and opened the box and guess what happened?! That little green Elf that Max saw had come to visit us and bring along OUR Elf! And he didn’t bring just ANY Elf. He brought the VERY SAME Elf that used to watch over my grandmother’s house when she had HER kids at home. It seems that my sister’s Elf, Buddy, had been wondering about the rest of the family and had visited us and heard the kids wanting an Elf and when he visited Santa, he told him! And Santa, being the saint that he is, knew EXACTLY which Elf to send us! So Pixie, after many, many, many years of being back at the North Pole, has, once again, come to watch over and report back on another generation! This is VERY exciting!


Meet Pixie. We’re so happy that he’s here and so happy to have a little piece of history in our home!

A friend of mine loaned me her Elf on the Shelf book so that I could read the story to the kids. Since our Elf is very old, he didn’t come with a book. All the kids sat down and listened as I told them the story of our special Elf and then read the book.

After the story, Max, Gabi and Lex each went to check him out and Gabi had something to whisper to him.

We’ll see where Pixie shows up this morning. I’m confident he’s a very well-behaved Elf and will cause no mischief.

Here’s to keeping the magic of Christmas alive and to the wonder of childhood!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Oh no! They want an Elf!

By mommy of many™ | Filed in Christmas, children, family life, kids, mom

Elf on the Shelf- we’ve all heard of them and are probably seeing daily pics of our friends’ elves’ naughty, nighttime activities. All this fun and time-consuming effort is in the name of keeping the Spirit of Christmas alive for our children.

I hadn’t even considered getting an elf, until last night. I was talking to the kids and my sister about various Elf activities I’ve been seeing pics of and my kids were really intrigued. Then I pulled up Google pics of different Elf-doings and Max and Lex were both amused and shocked; “That Elf wrote on that baby’s HEAD!”, “HAAAAAA! The Lego guys tied him up!”. They went to bed in agreement that Elf on the Shelf was best kept in other people’s houses. As Max put it, “That is one creepy little thing!”. I was relieved that I was off the hook.

Then this morning, Max got out of bed and immediatley started talking about what the Pro’s of having an Elf might be; “The kids would behave better”, “He might make us cookies while we’re sleeping”…Uh oh! I explained that an Elf loses his special magic if a child touches him and that once you adopt an Elf, you’re pretty much stuck. At first Max talked about how to keep our would-be Elf in-line, then he simply said, “If we get a naughty Elf, I’ll rip him to shreds and we’ll be done with him”. I told him that probably wouldn’t be necessary, and suggested that if we WERE to get an Elf and if he WERE to be naughty, then I could just let the kids touch him and he’d lose his magic. Lex pointed out what a bad idea that was because then he might not be magical anymore, but he’d still be stuck in our house and would surely cause even MORE trouble then. Quick thinking kiddo! I guess we’ll have to look into what the actual powers of an Elf on the Shelf really are. Are his powers simple to get to Santa or without his powers does he completely stop coming alive. This is a lot of head work and we haven’t even gotten one yet!

So now I’m at a crossroads-jump on the Shelf or back away from the ledge?

Who’s Elfing? Is your Elf mischevious or simply a quiet messenger between your home and Santa?

Max had these final words of wisdom for me to ponder; “If we get an Elf, I’m going to want you to attach a camera to him so we can see where he flies to. But if you do that, we might find out you were just lying about the whole thing. Or, we might find out you were just trying to keep our imaginations alive”.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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How to Get More out of Your Candles

By mommy of many™ | Filed in ideas, sharing

I love having candles in the house. I always have! But I get frustrated at how many times I end up with a candle that has 1/2 it’s wax stuck to the sides and can’t be burned.

This morning I had a GREAT idea! Why not place my candles (They have to be in a container!) in my holiday warmer, let the wax melt down, let them reharden and be able to use all of the wax?!

Voila!

I’m going to do this with ALL my candles! And the bonus is that the house smells great while I’m doing it!

If you have a small crock pot that can be set to warm or if you have a candy melting pot, you could do the same thing (depending on the size of the candles and the pots).

Now go make the house smell great and get more out of your candles!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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“You Should Tell Your Story”

By mommy of many™ | Filed in sharing

I’ve heard this and felt this, many times. There have been several times that I thought I was ready to jot it all down and get it out. After-all, it’s a pretty good story; teen pregnancy/deciding to keep a baby I was encouraged to give up for adoption/being a working single-mom, going to school and solely supporting myself and my daughter/bad decision making/life-changing decision making/getting married to a man I hardly knew and spent almost no time with/moving away from a small town and my family and becoming a working mother of 2 and military spouse/becoming a stay-at-home mom/having 3 babies in 2 1/2 years/making several moves to different states while having babies/being SO dang poor/settling in San Diego/fighting for better for my kids/finding my voice/realizing I was fighting a losing battle in my marriage/deciding to leave my marriage/finding out that one of my kiddos (and probably at least one other before him) has Aspergers/leaving my beloved Pacific Beach as a homeless and unemployed single parent/finding a home/fighting for my kids/finding a home/relying on my support system/accepting love/finding my worth/finding work…

There are so many things in each of those topics that I’m not ready to talk about…may never be ready to talk about. Yet, there’s so much that I would like to share. There are so many lessons I’ve learned about overcoming fear and believing that there’s a plan larger than ourselves and that if we take each day for what it brings, we will make it into our successful futures. I’ve learned never to give up on what my gut, heart and mind tell me are right. I would like to be able to share some things with young mothers, but that can be done on it’s own.

I was encouraged to enter “My Story” for a magazine contest with a prize of $5000 attached to the winning story. I thought about it for a few hours, but ultimately decided that not only am I not yet ready, but I also don’t want my story to belong to someone else. When and if it’s time, it needs to be done in my own way and my own time. Though $5000 would be nice :-)

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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