July 29: Sleepless nights


Before I write about the morning, I need to recap from the evening last night. Twin Crazy began screaming at around 11:30 Pm. This is very unusual – it had to be something wrong for either Twin to wake up in the middle of the night. This was because she had PUKED…. probably due to the tube of toothpaste she ate earlier in the evening.

Then apparently at 3 am-ish, Red peed her bed. We’ve been testing the nights without pull-ups (these were never needed with Big Bro) – she makes most nights OK, but when there is an accident it sets her back a bit with her confidence. So I think going forward we’re going to do pull-ups for the next several months and try again later.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Husky and Red played in our room until I got ready. Big Bro got up and then went back to bed (he’s just like me….)
  • Twin Husky got mad at me for taking away a pen. So much so, that he didn’t want to hold my hand going down the steps. He eventually made it downstairs for breakfast. When I later checked on him, his face was smothered in yogurt and eating strawberries and bananas. He was loving life again.
  • Twin Crazy seems OK despite her puke incident last night. She’s hungry and eating fine.
  • I was running late so did not have time to get Red changed. I threw her clothes in the bag and daycare will have to change her.
  • Drove a bit fast to both drop offs – all goodbyes were a bit rushed.
  • I barely made it to the ferry in time…

Today at work I will need to focus on three things:

  • business development efforts for big meeting/initiative in October
  • business development efforts as a result of our partnering meeting earlier this week
  • Whitepaper review before sending to client by end of day

The sky is grey, but the water is smooth. I feel a bit slow from the two glasses of wine the night before. Despite my sleeping pill, I STILL woke up in the middle of the night because of the red wine. These days I can only do white wine, or better yet BEER. I’m looking forward to some brews tonight.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I attempt my normal routine but then I was shocked to find out that I forgot my make-up bag at home. So, not only was I hungover and under slept, but I also looked like absolute shit. Good thing there weren’t that many people in the office.
  • Since there were few people, and since I had ranks at the moment, I decided it was going to be Pizza Day and asked our admin to order pizza lunch from an outrageous pizza place in town. I stopped for 15 minutes to scarf down some food.
  • A prospective client randomly called into the office so I got the call since no other manager or director was in the office. Yes!!! I organized some next steps to qualify the opportunity including a conference call, references, and potential face-to-face visit when he is coming to town in late August. The sales cycle for consulting projects is long, so this timing is all normal.
  • I worked on some business development follow-up for one of the Firm’s initiatives and meeting in Oct.
  • I then started on the follow-up items and business development plan for the other partnering initiative as a result of our meeting earlier this week.
  • I looked at the white paper and provided revisions for the analyst to incorporate before sending to our client.

I am still extremely tired, but on the ferry now on a Friday and the sun is shining. However I am sitting at a table typing with a bunch of fathers who are talking about the summer camps, tennis camps, and soccer camps they have their kids going too. OK. I don’t need to feel like a delinquent parent right now. I’m hungover OK guys? And NO, I am not sending my kids to any kind of camp because I don’t have any f*^%ing time to think about those sorts of things let alone drive them back and forth to them. Uggggh I’m getting greener in the face, I’m sure.

I’m looking forward to hugging my children and keeping the twins out of the toothpaste tonight.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Hubby was at home making homemade pizza (thanks to the pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s!). Big Bro pickup was uneventful. He’s excited to have pizza tonight. Pick up for the rest was great. The daycare provider makes sure to hold the Twin’s hands otherwise they come running right towards the van as I drive up. Twin Crazy was squealing and jumping and laughing during pickup. I love it.
  • Joan Jett “I Love Rock n Roll” comes on and of course I need to blast it and roll the windows down
  • Hubby gets Big Bro started on pizza making. Big Bro rolls out his own little pizza and his goes in first
  • Red is clingy so I’m holding her but then I accidentally step on one of the Twin’s “peg puzzle pieces” and then I drop Red. So then we were both on the floor yelling “Ouch” – her yelling is accompanied with tears. She clinged onto me the rest of the night (you would have thought she would have rejected me but it was just the opposite). I sat on a rocking chair with her and we both calmed down.
Clingy Red
  • Twins were outside investigating in the garden and Twin Crazy came inside with dirt all over the place, including her lips and face.
  • Dinner went just fine; I had a cold beer which was wonderful
  • Twins made their way upstairs. It was quiet. We were nervous about toothpaste. Then Twin Crazy gets herself stuck in one of the rooms and has to keep banging on the door for someone to let her out. Red came to her rescue.
  • Friday is movie night so Big Bro is watching Shrek
  • Hubby, Red, and Twins are out on a quick walk before bedtime.
  • Twins were cute at bedtime. Twin Crazy is still scared of the goldfish in the one book. They both like the singing. It is so cute when you see your kids kiss each other goodnight. They love that routine.
  • Big Bro and Red went down just fine too. Red didn’t have sheets on her bed but we had her mattress cover on. She protested about the blue pillow cover and then I said that it was that pillow or no pillow and took the pillow off. She quickly said in a shrilly, dramatic voice: “Yes, I want THAT pillow!!!!!!” with all smiles. She is so dramatic and so manipulative I could just squeeze her…. and I did just that.
OK I’m going to watch True Blood now with hubby –
Everyone enjoy their weekends! Till Monday,
– Mama K
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Staying Sane: Keeping Perspective and Staying Connected


My life as a working mom is hectic, presents itself with various logistical challenges, causes great tension, confusion, and anxiety in my day to day life. I am absolutely amazed at how quickly and easily I can get completely immersed in my own world, with blinders on separating me from everything else going on around me.   Sometimes it takes days or weeks for me to call back a family member or friend.   Looking at things globally, of course I know we are at war but it is difficult for me to talk intelligently about the specific combat tensions that are currently going on or even worse, the number of lives that have been lost.   I am also like this with politics. I know that the Speaker of the House cries a lot, but I’m not really sure why exactly he is crying or if he is particularly effective at what he does.

I am also acutely aware that when I DO succesfully peel the blinders back, there is of course an impact but honestly it fades over time. Situations can be etched in my memory, but my day to day continues.   On a light note, I’ve certainly experienced this resulting from travels to far away places – for example, I was able to see, smell, and witness different ways of living in Cambodia, Laos, India, Africa…. children in streets, villages and huts, harvesting rice fields…. but then these memories fade several weeks if not days after my return back to Western civilization.  The impact of 9/11 has forever shaped my outlook on life but I no longer dwell on it day to day.  The deaths of my friends that I have already experienced, particularly young people who have died ENTIRELY too young, do haunt me from time to time but the pain and intensity of emotion have subsided — now I think back on them happily instead of with a heavy heart or demanding an answer the question “Why?!!?!?!?!?“.

 

World Trade Center, post 9/11

World Trade Center, post 9/11

"Mama L" and our friend, Chris Dincuff, who died on 9/11. He was 31.

"Mama L" and our friend, Chris Dincuff, who died on 9/11. He was 31.

I would like to change this. I believe that if I peek outside of my “normal”, and make a conscious effort to build this into my thinking, I will be able to better appreciate what I DO have despite my perceived craziness of my life.  The incident in Oslo, Norway is one example. The devestation, starvation, death and flight in Somalia is too intense for me to really wrap my head around. I just can’t believe that so many people can be living and dying in such conditions yet so many people in the world do not even know the true extent of the tragedy (including myself until a few days ago). This overall lack of awareness is sad – but I am part of it too.   Is it that people just cannot mentally process too much pain? Disbelief? Is it easier just to turn away?

I am happy to report that consciously peeling back my own blinders and opening up my own awareness has really helped me to recognize the good in my life. I’m able to better appreciate what I have in my life even though it is so crazy and crushing at times. I have four wonderful, beautiful, healthy children. I have a husband who loves me. I have a job where people look to me for my opinion. I have a house that keeps my children safe and warm. I have two refrigerators. I have lots of shoes in my closet. I think I look good for my age. I am finally beyond the baby stage. My kids make me laugh. I’m wearing something comfortable right now. There is cold beer waiting for me at home right now.

I’ve also decided to try to make a difference where I think I can.

For one, I am going to work at making more of a difference to those around me…. to be a better friend and family member, to connect and reach out when I see people in need. I’ve learned that everyone has their own “worlds and issues” and I may have a small way making a difference. Like how friends of mine reached out to me when I started having a difficult time several months ago (THANK YOU by the way!!!).  It makes me feel better when I let go of my blinders and connect with others on a deeper, personal level. The other day an acquaitence from the ferry reached out to me and I could see so clearly the pain in her own face… the rat race and juggling with kids – “You are not alone” is all I had to say to her, along with a hug, and we were both feeling better.

Second, I am going to try to stay abreast of world events even though most of what you hear these days is terribly disturbing. I’ve been absolutely haunted about Somalia. It did not take much… one photograph. I then I researched more, and saw more, and then got more and more upset about what was happening and why I have not opened myself up to become aware of how bad the situation is. No food, no water, people fleeing their homes. And suffering. There are many reputable organizations focusing on these issues and I want to do my part. If you would like to join me in this effort, please consider donating to Unicef or Doctors without Borders.

These are just some thoughts for now. I’ll let you know the progress. But also keep me honest!!!!!! I’d appreciate feedback and also reminders from time to time. And if you get a random email or phone call from me just to see how you’re doing, then you know that I’m trying to stay connected, keeping perspective, and am working to do it!

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

Recipe: Chicken Soft Tacos


This recipe was submitted by “Mama S” from Orinda, CA.   Sounds yummy and beats Taco Bell any day of the week!  I also like it since you can deviate and use whatever your kids like or what you have on hand in your fridge or pantry.    Thank you Mama S!!!!!!!!!   Keep the ideas coming!   🙂

Chicken Soft Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced up thinly (or ground beef or ground chicken)
  • tortillas, corn or flour
  • taco seasoning

Fillings:   any or all of the following

  • tomatoes, diced
  • lettuce, shredded
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • avocado, diced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream
  • pickled jalapeno peppers
  • black beans, refried beans

Cooking:

Cook the chicken for about 5 mins until most of it is cooked. Drain the fat if needed. To the pan, add about 3 TBSP of taco seasoning with 3 TBSP of water. Put back on heat and cook for another 5 mins.

If tortillas are very fresh, no need to heat them up. If not so fresh, microwave 20 sec for each tortilla. Add fillings as needed.

Prep time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 15 minutes

 

July 28: The whole gang visits pre-school and the frightening goldfish


Daily Journal: July 28

It was great to see the kids this morning since I didn’t get much time with them last night. This morning was a bit out of the ordinary since I was working from home today – so it felt more relaxed and I had extra time with the kids.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red was busy this morning styling her hair with curly control spray. She can only manage one part of her head though, and refused to let me help her with the rest. So, one part of her head looked cute with ringlets and the other part (the majority) looked like Einstein hair.
  • Red was a bit cranky/needy today. She had various melt-downs over breakfast, a toy broom (I think one of her first fights with Twin Husky), getting changed, …… ….. ….. I felt like I was being patient with her but lost it when she started screaming about her jacket and how she DIDN’T WANT THAT ONE… and she DIDN’T WANT THOSE SHOES…. and then SHE wanted to zip the jacket. I honestly couldn’t help it at that point and raised my voice with her. “You need to snap out of it!”
  • Twin Crazy was busy picking up pieces of rug to give to me as trash. She was also busy taking out thermoses to help us pack lunch (we didn’t really need them though). “Thank you sweetie!”
  • Twin Husky was busy walking up and down the stairs. This became problematic though when he started to do this with the toy broom (refer to fight with Red, mentioned above)
  • Big Bro asked for another bagel for the ride to pre-school. [Note: I forgot it and found it in the microwave to defrost hours later]
  • Hubby let’s me know that he diapered both Twins upstairs since they followed him up there.
  • I took them off to daycare/pre-school since I was working from home today. On the way to daycare, Red asked if we could all drop Big Bro off first. It took me awhile to figure this out though. Her communication is still a bit difficult to understand. “Do I need to take the lions out of my ears?” I ask. “yes“. Then I pretend I’m pulling a lion out of my ear and roaring. She asks me to do it with the other ear. I do. She repeats what she is trying to say. I then understand. So we deviate from our normal routine and we all go to drop off Big Bro. The drop off for Big Bro with all the kids was AWESOME.
    • We were all together trampling around in the pre-school, and Red had a chance to look at the “classroom” where she may go in September. I really think it will be a better environment for her compared to where she is now [topic for another post I suppose].
    • We looked around at the room and it was so cute with the creative materials, planting projects, and a fish tank. We talked about the fish a lot to the Twins and I made the motions with my hand of a fish swimming like I do at book-time; Twin Husky LOVED the fish, Twin Crazy was scared shitless of the little fish.
    • I received A LOT of stares at the pre-school walking around with this group – Twins still in pajamas, Twin Husky with thumb in mouth…. not that many families in this city have so many kids so our family is a bit of sight.
    • We successfully dropped of Big Bro but then I had some problems getting the kids in the mini-van fast enough. Twin Husky made a run for it and ran into the middle of the parking lot but I was 1/2 a second behind him. Man he’s fast.

All four at pre-school

  • The drop off for Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky went just fine. Twin Husky ran in there like he was on a mission. It smelled good in there and I was starved. How can I get this woman to feed me once in awhile?
I got back to the house and began to eat everyone’s leftover breakfast. Literally right off of the highchair trays and tables. Sliced peaches, yogurt, strawberries. I made a pot of coffee for the working day at home. Today I will focus on:
  • working with analyst on whitepaper; going to the client’s office to work with them on the draft
  • business development on two separate large-scale initiatives for our firm
Highlights of My Working Day:
  • I had my colleague meet me at my house so we could review / edit the draft deliverable for our client meeting later that AM.
  • We then had our client meeting face-to-face; there’s a bit of restructuring of the content but the major pieces are all there. We re-grouped afterwards and I think she is set to run with it
  • On the drive back to my house, I decide to stop at the food store to pick up stuff for dinner – a whole chicken, broccoli, baguette, and orzo. I also pick up some other stuff while I’m there. I get home and run the dishwasher since we have no utensils to eat the dinner I am planning.
  • Work on graphics for whitepaper, answer emails, set up business development discussion for a potential project we will be proposing on. Organized my day for tomorrow. I completely did not accomplish anything for the other initiatives, so I’ll just have to push that to tomorrow. I’ll likely go into the office tomorrow since my powercord for my new iPad is there and I’m expecting a package.
I’m here now with the smell of roasted chicken… you would think that I would be relaxed from this day, but I’m in fact a bit tense. I’m anxious about the deliverable and also the work that I didn’t get to today…. It’s so easy for me to get wound up over those things. That’s when I think I’m in the wrong profession since there is always pressure to be working/delivering on something. There really is no downtime.
I’m also hoping the new mother’s helper will show up tonight. There’s a load of wash in the washing machine that’s been there a few days and now it stinks. Maybe I’ll have a drink tonight with dinner. I think I need it.
Dinner and Bedtime:
  • Pick up Big Bro. The first thing he asks is “What’s for dinner?” I proudly reply “Chicken”. He immediately starts to whine and say how he doesn’t like chicken and how he wants pizza instead. F! He pretends to be mad at me so I slightly swerve the van back and forth to make him laugh. We keep doing this until we reach Red and the Twins.
  • Picking up Red and Twins is always awesome. They run to me laughing and squealing. I have three kids running to me and I love it.
  • On the ride home we blast disco – Twins have hair flowing in the air and the kids are all laughing at me dancing. “Good times… these are the good times….”
  • Now running around cutting broccoli and boiling water and rushing Red to the toilet.
  • Hubby and Red start a “cupcake” project with muffin mix from Trader Joe’s
  • Meanwhile, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were upstairs, by themselves, quiet……. apparently they were emptying toothpaste tubes (and eating some), playing in the toilet, and rolling out toilet paper….. laughing the whole time.
  • Everyone ate like champs. Hubby and I drank red wine like champs. 🙂 Because of everyone’s food performance we all had muffins. We ate up the pan.
  • Big Bro and Red were great big siblings tonight — feeding the twins with muffins and taking care of them; helping them
  • We talked about the pre-school room for Red; and the goldfish that Twin Crazy was scared of. Twin Crazy then became extremely anxious and we pulled out the book with the goldfish in it; we talked about the goldfish and how it was OK to be scared.
  • Big Bro played on the computer and came upstairs when his game was done
  • Red put on pajamas all by herself. Big Bro and Red brushed teeth and got ready for bed all by themselves
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky enjoyed singing Twinkle Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider — they are doing all the motions which is awesome
  • Bedtime with Big Bro and Red was spectacular; books were great; kids were great; no crying.
I am so unbelievably happy right now. Maybe I should drink red wine more often? I loved the fact that I had extra time with the kids and everything just seemed to flow; with the exception of one or two breakdowns – it all went well.
Hold on a minute… .Red is screaming now with an issue…. Gotta go!
Till tomorrow –
– Mama K

July 27: BIG meeting with Senior Executive VP at client


My morning and commute:

I had a great morning. I got ready for work – had to dress well for the Executive Presentation later today. I will do hair and make up while at work. Red and Twins were already downstairs with Hubby, who had breakfast under control

* Red and Twins were eating at the dining room table, Twins in their booster seats. This is because they were all eating yogurt. Twins self feeding with yogurt is a very scary sight. It was everywhere but they were doing great. They love the spoons. Yogurt was in their ears, hair, all over their faces and necks. Their arms were covered and their shirts soaked. Sooooooooooooooo cute.

Yogurt morning

* I ran upstairs to get extra clothes that were requested by daycare for Twin Crazy. Big Bro was still in bed. “Mommy…. can you help me?” “Help you with what?” “Getting up.” “OK.” So he needs some mommy-time. I went over and hugged and kissed him good morning. I felt the warmth of him cuddled in his blanket. I said “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh you’re so warm and cuddly…… do you feel lucky?” “Yes mommy!”. How cute.
* He had to pee but we decided for him to walk downstairs with me holding hands so we could spend more time together. He agreed. It was only one extra minute but I think both of us needed the extra time together.
* Red’s PJ tops got stuck on her head while getting changed. Her nose was in the way. So I took the opportunity to tweak her nose and get her laughing as we struggled to get the top off.
* It took several minutes to wipe down Twin Crazy and Twin Husky from their yogurt adventures. They loved it. “Is there yogurt HERE? Yes. Is there yogurt HERE? Yes.” We made a game of it and they had a good time getting clean.
* OK – Time to go! Twin Husky seemed to repeat this statement even with inflection. How cute. It’s harder for me to notice their level of speaking ability, compared to the first two children. I have less time to focus on what they are saying and learn what their sounds mean.
* We were running late. Had to run to the car without giving the twins diaper changes. So not only did we drop them off with hair sticky with yogurt, but they were also sopping wet with diapers sagging almost to the floor. Not only that, but she requested me to bring in more diapers and I forgot (I was too focused on the extra clothes for twin crazy). So I had to scour the mini-van and found 3 diapers. We really should have changed them ourselves this AM. I’m not sure how shes going to last with one remaining diaper for two kids for the rest of the day…..

Today at work I will need to focus on:
* preparing for the presentation this morning. It has been several days since I’ve seen the presentation draft and I need to refresh my memory of the content.
* working with our analyst who will be starting on Draft 1 of the white paper.
* if possible, closing the loop on the next steps from our partnering meeting yesterday.

Lots to do today! The sky is grey. We are approaching the city now. On the ferry I just met a developer for the iPad so am learning lots of crazy features that of course now I’m forgetting, but at least I know who to talk to if I have any questions on iPad, iPhone, etc. going forward. Gotta go!

Highlights of my working day:

* decided to buy quick breakfast (breakfast tacos and HUGE hazelnut coffee) since I need the food/energy for my meetings today
* make up and hair in ladies room
* worked with analyst to make sure she is on track for outline and drafting of white paper
* quickly prepared for Executive presentation; had admin print and bind. Reviewed content to refresh my memory of issues. Coordinated with director on how to deliver and present the material
* I throw my heels in my bag and put my walking shoes on… it is sunny outside and we enjoy the sun on the walk over. Outside of the office I do the “shoe switch” but at that same moment I notice that I have dried yogurt on both sleeves of my dress. Shit!!! I quickly pick these off.
* presentation went EXCELLENT. The person was actually a Senior EVP and very high up the chain — very funny and personable guy. We established rappore immediately over small talk re: iPad. During the presentation he was very quick, very on-point. He kept me on my toes. Afterwards, we received great feedback and thanks from all clients. Director comment: “That couldn’t have gone any better than that. Great job Kim”. YEAH!
* We quickly run for sandwich; while in food court there is a farmers market. I of course seize the opportunity to buy strawberries, peaches, and cucumbers while waiting for my take out lunch.
* we run to office for another conference call with another set of potential partners for a different business development opportunity which could be huge for us. I was actually supposed to be in Seattle today for this meeting – half of our team is there and we took the call from our office.
* Worked with the analyst on the whitepaper to see the progress; made suggestion on visuals and how to package the content. Quickly crafted some visuals in powerpoint for use in whitepaper; we will meet with the client tomorrow to talk about the first rough draft.
* There was no time for me to follow up with the business development go-to-market approach as I had originally planned. Oh well, I’ve learned that I can’t do everything all of the time. This can wait until tomorrow or Friday.

Busy day!

I had an appointment in the city after work so Hubby is solo with kids tonight. Then I get the news…. the new, undependable mothers helper has proved herself to be undependable again tonight. Hubby is solo with all four kids. I’ll need to take care of him tonight. 🙂

Hopefully the kids will be awake by the time I get home; at least enough for me to read a book and tuck them in.

Till tomorrow –

– Mama K.

Random Thought: When is it appropriate to talk to your child about death?


Our family recently received some very bad news.  My step-father, who has been in our lives for 20+ years, was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Realizing that this is a very aggressive cancer, as a family we are coming to grips with this and trying to help him get the care he needs.   We are confident he is in good hands with his doctors (there is a team of them working on his case) but his long-term chances of survival are not good.  We know his time is limited and we are focusing now on his treatments and medical care.

My kids love him.  They call him Joe-Joe Pop.   I don’t know how he does it but every single year he is able to pick out the one simple gift that winds up to be my kids’ favorites.   He is a big fan of “Hess” trucks, airplanes, cars, you name it and he’s quick to buy the year’s featured Hess toy at the beginning of the holiday season for Big Bro.   I do not know how he manages it for Red, but maybe Red just loves her toy from Joe-Joe Pop the best because Big Bro loves HIS toy from Joe-Joe Pop the best.  Anyway, he is loved by my older kids.   And they ask for him.

I remember my first discussion with my mother on the topic of death.   I was five.  Her brother (my favorite, crazy uncle) had died, unexpectantly (he was only 31).   I remember where we were at the time (at the top of the stairs at home) and I remember the words she used.   I think it is etched in my memory because she was upset.  I remember consoling her.   I do remember that notion did not sink in right away.   I remember that I asked for him on several occasions later and that just threw my mom into another crying spell.

I know that I am going to get these kids to see him and talk with him so they have the opportunity to remember him.   And I would like to do this quickly, before his condition deteriorates.  However,  the logistics of where I live complicates things.   I am on the West Coast and my family is on the East Coast (painful, painful, painful to me these days).    So there will be some planning involved.   I’m not sure when this trip should happen — obviously when its best for him — depending on how he feels and where he is with treatments.    But my question is, what do I tell these kids?   What do I say when we leave?   My 5-year-old knows that animals and plants can be “dead”, but we have not talked about loved ones.    When is it OK?   I think it may be OK with my 5-year-old, but with my own history I know that I did not fully “get it”.  So is even 5 too young?

Comments and thoughts appreciated –

– Mama K

July 26: On the road again…


Today’s routine was a bit out of the ordinary since I had to drive to two different face-to-face meetings today for work. I had to leave the house by 7:45 AM and not only that, but I actually had to get myself ready and look presentable (e.g., hair and makeup). So, I literally had almost NO time with the kids –

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Red woke up in the middle of the night because she “lost” her two plastic measuring spoons in bed. Why do we let them bring toys into bed? Hmmm. Sounds like a topic I should poll our group on.
  • they ate well because of Chocolate Tuesday
  • Twin Husky wanted out of the high chair. He wants to move and explore in the AM
  • Twin Crazy was in her high chair, COVERED with blueberry yogurt (self-feeding). Literally all over her hands, face, YUCK but so cute. I think she realized that I was very hesitant to be too close to her and she was in a very anxious mood towards me the rest of the AM.

Twin Crazy goes crazy over blueberry yogurt

  • I was rushing – trying to help Hubby get things organized for his drop offs; I made a huge cup of coffee in the Tervis Tumbler
  • Said goodbye to everyone — they each came over for a hug and a kiss, even Big Bro (melted my heart…. he is still innocent and will go out of his way to get a hug from mommy). Twin Crazy was still very anxious. I feel like i did not hug her enough this AM so I’ll need to focus on that tonight.
  • I drove out to my meeting, got a big lost (thanks map quest) but realized it when I started driving by cows and the road dead-ended. I made the meeting in plenty of time.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Business development meeting went extremely well. We are partnering to potentially bring a product to market and we had a very productive meeting. I was an active participant and feel good about my contributions. The Head of Marketing there is a woman and through small talk I found out that she is also a mother of twins. Instant connection. YES\!! And then the pictures came out (which I had in my bag for a separate meeting with another mother of four). I honestly have no problem “pimping out” my kids for business development/sales/client relationship building. I’m always talking about stories and using my situation as an icebreaker when appropriate.
  • Grabbed lunch at In and Out Burger. Double cheeseburger, with fries, soda, AND a chocolate milkshake. It was outrageous.
  • Drove to city to pick up a co-worker; drove to a different sub-rub for a different business development meeting. The client is also a mother of four. Her kids are older than mine and are spread farther apart, but still I need to pick her brain on how she manages and will obviously share the group. We organized the project, set up a plan, deliverable and timeline. We’ll be meeting with her again on Thursday. I need to craft an email to her that specifies the budget we have to work with and the deliverable promised to her. The budget is tight, but there are other projects like this in the pipeline so we want to invest in this one and position ourselves well for follow on work with her.
  • After the meeting we drove back to my place. We quickly read through all materials and crafted the storyline for the white paper that we will be drafting. It feels like a good outline. The consultant will start fleshing out the content tomorrow for my review so we are prepared for Thursdays’s meeting. I used my new iPad to craft the outline and easily emailed it to both of our work emails. I sent out some emails confirming our work for the whitepaper and the fee.
  • Tomorrow will be a big day because of the Executive Presentation for my last project. I need to go through that tonight and in the AM so that I’m well prepared. I will be doing the majority of the presenting.

What to do for dinner? I’m sitting at home now so I should start to organize that. I’m thinking steak or pork. Let me check the freezer. I can’t wait to see my kids tonight. I owe them a lot of hugs and kisses.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and then met Hubby at the ferry terminal. Big Bro decided to go with Hubby to house to start dinner. I went solo to pick up Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky.
  • Kids run to me during pickup and I absolutely love it. “Mama mama mama mama”. And then they get side-tracked with a rock or leaf or something. How cute.
  • We played lots of tickling games tonight. Big Bro would sit on my ankles and tickle my feet. Same thing with Red.
  • All ate well
  • Twin Husky tumbled down four stairs — it was OK. He is pretty rough and the stairs have rugs. He was more scared than anything. He stopped crying after 20 sec.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy started fighting over an indoor tricycle which caused a lot of problems tonight
  • Twin Husky was the first to start to meltdown so we started bedtime routine with the twins. Twin Crazy kept dumping her sippy cup milk on the rug — on purpose. She looked at me with an evil eye when I said “NO!!!! No milk for [Twin Crazy]!!!” She definitely got mad at me. She refused to listen to books and was stomping around. She has a temper.
  • Big Bro was giving us a hard time with going pee-pee. I didn’t feel like playing his games so I left him on the bathroom floor “to sleep”. Hopefully he is in his bed by now, AFTER going pee. Otherwise we will certainly be woken up in the middle of the night because of his accident.
I feel like today was a bit out of balance for me; but I still don’t feel like I got much work done. Too much driving everywhere. I’ve found that commuting really sucks out a good chunk of the day (which is why I like using that time now to write). I’m going to have to catch up on a lot of things in the office tomorrow, after our presentation.
I also feel like I didn’t get great quality time with my kids. They were either too cranky or I just didn’t have the time with them. I’ll hopefully get more hugs from them tomorrow.
Till tomorrow –
– Mama K

July 25: Lost “lovey” predicament


Another Monday. Mondays are always a bit rough for me. I don’t really feel the excitement of getting to work aft the weekend with the kids. Mondays really just keep me longing for more. And the evenings with the kids are usually pretty tough. The kids (as do I) have a hard time adjusting to the weekday after the full-court-press time over the weekend.

Highlights of morning and commute:

  • Big Bro always takes the longest to wake up. He is always so snug and warm and he is the fourth of our kids to “bloom” each morning. Today I was hugging and teasing him: “oh you are sooooooo snit and warm and cuddly……. Oh how warrrrrrrrrm……… Oh your so comfortable and snuggly…..”. He replies “I’m so lucky”. I am thrilled that at least he can appreciate moments like that (at least when prompted)
  • We keep calling for Big Bro to come downstairs even Twin Crazy walks to the foot of the stairs “calling up” to big bro to come downstairs. She’s doing a lot of talking these days – full sentences with inflections and everything, but with words that no one understands, with the possible exception of Twin Husky
  • Twin Husky gives me an open mouth kiss when he first sees me — a big, wet one…. with pieces of bread crumbs stuck to his lips and now sticking to my face. I love it. Give me more of those wet kisses, baby!
  • Big Bro wanted to water the big tomato plants that we still have to plant in our small backyard. They are about two feet tall by now and still sitting on our windowsill
  • Because of this, Red wanted to water the tomato plant seedlings we have growing in out two pails. Again, another project that I did with the kids that will likely never see cultivation in our yard. I mean it’s almost the end of July! When was I supposed to start the seedlings? Too much pre-planning. I’ll hope for better planning and luck for next year.
  • I play and hug Red who is hanging on me like a monkey – things are going so great. Then I proceed to step on her toe which of course throws her into a fit because she has NO threshold for pain. She sits on my lap and we talk about it. I say how sorry I am and that it was an accident and how I know it must hurt. The twins come over curiously and watch her and her foot. I kiss Red’s toe. Twin Crazy by this point is “talking” about it and then also kisses her toe and offers her a Graham cracker. This melts my heart.
  • I cut Big Bro’s hair on Sunday during bathtime/showertime and honestly it is the worst haircut I have ever given him. I’m so embarrassed for him. But he seems to like it just fine. When we got him to pre-school in the AM, he asked if I could wet down his hair a bit since it was sticking up all over the place. I told him it’s actually the style for guys to wear their hair a little bit scruffy. He cautiously agreed….

At work today I’ll likely be spending a lot of time on the litigation support case. We have a meeting this afternoon. I am dressed to impress again today – another short dress. Hopefully my colleague does not bring in her baby today otherwise I know I won’t be able to stop myself from crawling on the floor and accidentally exposing my ass to the office.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I spent time preparing documents for a face-to-face meeting where we will hopefully be partnering with another company to offer a formalized, recurring product to the market. If this concepts works and is accepted by the market, it can be a big money maker for our company.
  • I also spent some time organizing for logistics for tomorrow – two face to face meetings across two different suburbs of the city. I’m all set.
  • I spent time reviewing our arguments for our legal case project. We met with the client (lawyers) today and I made several suggestions for wording changes and clarifications in our arguments that should protect us during deposition and any counter arguments. I felt good about my contributions to the meeting.

In terms of dinner, I’m not sure what we’re going to have. The sun is out, I’m using my NEW wireless keyboard with my iPad, and feeling very good about the logistics of blogging from this point on. I’m sitting at the ferry dock now, typing away, with a handbag packed with presentation materials for my 9 AM meeting tomorrow, along with my high heels (I’m wearing flats now) that went great with my work outfit today.

Dinner and Bedtime:

Rough night. Right now both Red and Twin Crazy are crying. Twin Crazy has an excuse. We accidentally left her “lovey” at daycare. So we’re to blame for that one. I have no idea why Red is upset. We’ll let her cry for a bit and check in on her. Highlights of tonight:

  • New mother’s helper came, and did a great job for the first night
  • We had our rugs steam cleaned during the day, so the house looks great
  • I went to check the mail with Twin Crazy. Then Red and Twin Husky got upset. So I walked out a second time with them and came back quickly since dinner was on the table.
  • During dinner Big Bro asked for milk and then picked out one of Red’s “princess” cups. Red noticed this and said that princesses are for girls. Big Bro turned around and proclaimed “it’s JUST a cup.” OMG I was so proud of him. Did we turn a corner away from the possessiveness and downright demands of this age???? Please???? Tell me yes?@!!??!?!???
  • The kids ate an extreme amount for dinner – everyone except for Red. They ate like teenagers. Breaded fish, side of pasta, string beans, edamame. We ran out of food
  • Red keeps talking in Spanish with the Twins. “Aqui”, “Aqui”. How cute.
  • Twin Crazy is really good at Twinkle Twinkle with her hands. She now makes the diamond shape with her fingers. How cute. Must video.
The day went reasonably well. Twin Crazy sounds like she’s finally asleep. Red is still upset. I’ll go check on her soon. Tomorrow I have two meetings face-to-face in different locations; so will need to leave here by 7:30 AM. Ugh. REALLY bad timing. It’s almost easier for me to leave before the kids wake up but I think I’ll grab that extra 1/2 hour of sleep.
Till tomorrow –
– Mama K

Staying Sane: Back to School Supplies


I am a BIG proponent of organization in general.   You should see our house.  We have bins for everything.   Toys, clothes by size and gender, art supplies, mementos, etc.  This particular topic on school supplies doesn’t really apply to us just yet since our eldest, Big Bro, is only starting Kindergarten in the Fall.   But I just received some great insight on how to deal with back to school supplies from Mama J from San Diego.   I love this concept since it aligns with my general approach to bins and organization, and also gives me a head-start on planning for the future of school years.   Oh the tears are starting to form so let’s just get right to her advice:

“[Big Bro]’s school probably can’t require you to bring in school supplies, but you’ll want to pick up supplies for home while everything’s on sale:  pencils, erasers, new crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, etc.  We bought each boy a 6 qt storage box with lid for storage and makes homework nice with everything they need in one place.  You’ll also need a storage box to hold school work you can’t bear to toss.  Makes it easy to have one place to keep it all.  Not to big, but wide enough to hold the larger art projects. At the end of the school year, go thru again to keep samples of work and things you can’t part with. It gets overwhelming really fast because it’s hard to throw anything away, but don’t worry, after about 5 years you get the hang of it and know what to keep!”

– Mama J, San Diego

Thank you Mama J!!!!   I’ll start keeping my eyes peeled for the sales!   Great ideas!  Anything else to add from anyone else???

– Mama K

July 22: Morning routine without Hubby – I lose one of the children


The Morning and Commute:

OK so I’m on the ferry after a VERY hectic morning. Hubby had to leave very early for a business meeting so I was solo this AM with the kids. Some highlights:

  • Red had a pee-pee accident in the middle of the night. So I woke up with her in my bed this AM. “it’s OK sweetie…don’t worry about the sheets. You just worry about getting to the potty in time. The sheets are no big deal. We will clean them and then you will have fresh sheets again
  • Ran to the Twins room and closed the door to confine them to their room for their diaper changes
  • The four of us head downstairs. I am holding twin husky’s hand while Red is holding Twin Crazy’s hand. Twin Crazy looks at me anxiously so I wind holding both the twins hands, along with Red holding to twin Crazy, the four of us clustered together walking slowly down the stairs
  • At breakfast both Twins were interested in self feeding themselves cereal with milk, after seeing Red doing it. They were pretty good for awhile, but then Twin Crazy wound up dumping out the bowl on the floor

Twins eat cereal after watching big sister Red

  • I had to make Big Bro’s lunch today since Hubby is not here. I heat up leftover pizza and corn on the cob and put them in 2 wide thermos containers. He also gets “refreshed” shredded carrots an d a cup of applesauce. He will probably reject half of the lunch
  • Big Bro finally comes downstairs fully dressed. I love when he does that. It makes him so much more cooperative since he is proud of his independence and it’s simply less that we have to do
  • I lost Twin Husky this morning. I hope it does not scar him for life. I went running into the garage for a special flavor of yogurt for Big Bro but I did not realize that Twin Husky followed me in (he is a stealth explorer). It wasn’t until much later that I realized he was missing. I ran all over the house and then FINALLY checked the garage. The poor guy was sitting by the door in the dark holding onto his spoon. He seemed a little shaken up but did not seem devastated. He quickly got up, happy to rescued or at least remembered while I continued to tell him that I was sorry and that it must have been scary for him
  • All morning I basically heard “Mommy….”. “Mama…” non stop. I needed to stop and take a deep breath a couple of times
  • Ran to laundry room to pull the stuff in the washer into the dryer. I miss my mother’s helper!!!!

Today at work I will need to read through some legal documents, think through our arguments, and do some research to substantiate and strengthen our arguments. I will likely focus on this for the majority of the day.

The ferry ride is coming to a close and I want to get into the office to learn more about an explosion that happened in Norway. The woman next to me has been talking to her daughter about it and has been on her cell phone sporadically to check on family and friends.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Still disturbed by explosion in Norway.
  • Spent time doing web research as well as “primary research” to learn deeper into the topic related to our litigation support case. This will be interesting. We have another meeting on Monday afternoon that we need to be prepared for
  • Heard some very embarrassing news at work. Yesterday I was wearing a short blue dress, feeling great and professional. We also had a visitor yesterday….my co-worker’s one year old son who is adorable and very engaging I of course love children and i was having a great time with him playing kissing games and peek a boo, etc. At one point i was on the ground chasing this kid around and tickling him on the floor What i did Not realize was that my ENTIRE ASS was hanging out, and the nanny who brought the child in did not speak english so she was strategically keeping my ASS from clear view of our remaining, male workers. Just great. Really.

Now I’m on the ferry – I’m taking an earlier one because I have kid duty on my own tonight AND I have to pack up and drive them to Sacramento this weekend. I’m looking forward to a baby shower and also relaxing in the HEAT

Closing:

I’ll likely not write about the upcoming evening since it is likely to be intense…..

So, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND MAMAS!!!!!!!

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