Meet other Mamas In Motion!!!


I first began this project thinking that the focus of Mama in Motion would be about the balancing act of managing work and motherhood.   However in talking to many of you there are many different flavors of this…. stay at home moms who are trying to stay “connected” through volunteer work or other activities, stay at home moms who are about to re-enter the workforce (either after 1 year or 15 years!!), etc.   So really ANY mother doing a balancing act is a Mama In Motion.

I’d like to hear from you and introduce yourself to the community.    This may not be the best page structure to do this, but let’s see how it goes.    I can rebuild something better if we need to.   For now, please click on the “Leave a Comment” box above to tell us:

  • who you are (your real name or even “MamaX”)
  • how many kids you have
  • your situation… the type of balancing act you face as a Mama In Motion
  • any other pertinent information you think the group could benefit from

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING

– Mama K

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Random Thoughts: Your first child losing his/her first tooth


Big Bro is at that age where he may start to lose his baby teeth.   His dentist mentioned that a child could be expected to lose his/her first tooth between the ages of 5 1/2 to 7 1/2.   In fact, I was shocked the other day when we had a friend over with her family and her daughter (who is 3 months older than Big Bro) had already lost a tooth.    Wasn’t she just a baby?   Wait a minute… wasn’t Big Bro just a baby??!?!?!?!?

I remember the entire experience as not being very pleasant when I was a child.   Feeling that wiggle, feeling the soreness of the gum, the actual removal of the tooth, feeling the gaping bumpy hole in your mouth, and the taste of blood…. ugh.   For years as an adult I actually dreamt of loosing my teeth – it was almost a recurring nightmare over the course of many, many, years [side note:  some might claim that it represents the fear of growing up.   That could be true in my case….].

Anyway, I got to thinking.   My first-born may be about to embark on this milestone and I feel the need to prepare.   I thought I’d poll the group on two things –

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!!!!

– Mama K

July 21: The day of pajamas


The morning with the kids was wonderful –

The morning and commute:

  • While in the shower, Twin Crazy and I were playing a game where she put her hand to the glass on the outside, and I found her hand on the inside, over and over again. I enjoyed the game and also the luxury of a longer, hot shower.
  • Great news!!!! Red did NOT wear a pull up at night and she didn’t have an accident!!! But when I started to help her get changed, I was surprised to see that she was wearing: pajama bottoms, her own panties, also panties she found in Twin Crazy’s drawer, and a pull up. So, despite she did not have an accident, she decided to overload her clothes this AM. I think it’s too funny that she decides she needs a pull up AFTER she goes pee in the morning, and that she borrowed Twin Crazy’s panties, and that she’s wearing FOUR layers of clothes waist-down. She is smiling a devilish smile to me and just have to squeeze her.
  • The special day for Big Bro’s pre-school is pajama day. I look at what he’s wearing and it’s a pair of winter, fleece, spiderman. Again, this is summer. I try to offer a nice, lighter pair of batman pajamas and he rejects that idea. I respect his decision, but I still pack up the batman pajamas as a back-up. He’s OK with that idea.
  • Twin Crazy found a fuzzy dog Halloween costume in the bin we brought out for yesterday’s costume day. She loves fuzzy things. She shoves her face in them and squeals with excitement. Twin Husky became interested and then they both started to fight over the costume. The rule in my house is that if any two children are fighting over a toy/thing, I take the toy/thing away. I believe this was the first time this rule was put into action with the Twins. They cried for a bit but then quickly moved on to other activities.
  • I went to the laundry room to gather some clean clothes and had each of the kids shuffle out with their stack. It was so cute.
Helping with laundry
  • 8 AM and we’re packed up and out the door. Me and hubby do both drop offs. First drop off with Red and Twins went very well. Second drop off with Big Bro was great. He requested me to help him put down his big hair. This guy has such a thick head of hair it is amazing. He’s got the hair that hair bands of the 80’s would be proud of. We head to the bathroom and wet down his head. He is going to be a gorgeous kid and heartbreaker when he gets older.

The ferry is very nice today. But, we are driving away from the sun and into some overcast weather. Shit, I didn’t bring a jacket today. I’m feeling really good now – I had a lot of play time with the kids and they all made me laugh in their own way.

Today at work I will need to focus on:

  • Sending to the client the Phase 2 thinking for the follow on project, if we get it.
  • Reading the remainder of the legal documents (probably 200+ pages)
  • Preparing for the meeting with the legal team this afternoon; going over our approach for this project. So today I am dressed up a bit – high heels and a dress. Looking very professional. They would have no idea that I have four kids. That discussion is always a great ice-breaker when I’m meeting new clients, giving a speech, etc.
  • That’s it for now – I’m going to enjoy the rest of the ferry ride and my Tervis Tumbler of coffee. 🙂

Highlights of my Working Day:

OMG i’m writing this on my NEW iPad while on the ferry ride home!!!!! How cool!!!! But I’m not used to getting around it yet, and I don’t yet have a proper keyboard for it, so I’m typing this with two fingers. Not that efficient but still fun.

Work was pretty good today.

  • Sent out our our Phase 2 thinking for our recent project and it is well thought out.
  • Spoke with the client about the executive presentation for next week and they were very happy with the presentation and did not request ANY changes in format, positioning, or tone. EXCELLENT!!!
  • Read some more legal documents and the overall structure of our argument to prepare for our client meeting with the legal team today. Met with them in their GORGEOUS offices and had a great working meeting. They will be great to work with – very collaborative, smart, and easy-going personalities. We have some work to do with a quick turnaround…. So I will likely work in the office tomorrow instead of working from home like usual. One thing that’s great about face-to-face client meetings… you have to look good, professional. I think this just automatically gives me a boost. I was wearing a new VERY comfy and flattering SHORT dress with fancy black patent leather sling back heels. Dressing like that sometimes just makes you feel like you have a purpose. It’s all psychological, I know, but it was still a great confidence booster.

The sun is bright, I’m getting used to two-finger typing, and looking forward to seeing the kids and working with our potential mother’s helper tonight. But what to do for dinner?????? Hubby is taking a later ferry so I need to do this solo tonight. It will just have to be pasta. With some frozen spinach thrown in as a “spice”. I hope there’s good 80’s music for me to blast on the way home with the kids….

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Sang the Bee Gees on the way home with the kids. I’m not sure they liked it.
  • The mother’s helper thing is not looking too good. She emailed me 45 min before she had to show up, saying that something came up. I’m bummed. It’s not good no matter which way you look at it. Either she’s not interested, or she’s just a undependable young lady. Ugggh.
  • We had pasta with spinich. All kids ate well.
  • Big Bro wasn’t feeling good (he’s been in a funk the past few days) so he asked if he could watch a movie and I caved. Shrek is REALLY funny.
  • Red and Twins walked with me to get the mail
  • Twin Husky climbed on Red’s chair when she wasn’t looking and started to eat her food (she always takes the longest). She then proceeded to knock him off the chair (reminder to self: don’t EVER touch her food if she is still eating it….. she sounds like me)
  • Twin Crazy dumped all of her milk on the kitchen floor and then proceeded to slip in it and get soaked
  • Twin Crazy is really doing the signs to “Twinkle Twinkle”. I have to get a movie of it. They also like “itsy bitsy spider” but not nearly enough as Twinkle Twinkle.
  • Red was upset that Big Bro got a book read to him but she did not (it was REALLY late). So I made up a story about a little girl Julie who found a cat stuck in a tree who then tried to climb the tree but couldn’t so she went to get mommy & daddy and then they called 911 and a firetruck came and saved the cat. She decided that the cat should be orange.

This was a pretty good day. I felt like I got plenty of hugs and kisses in, and also felt productive at work. Now I’m going to relax with Hubby.

Till tomorrow,

– Mama K.

July 20: Moving too slowly…


It’s Hump Day! During my morning commute Hubby and I were collaborating on some ideas for Mama In Motion so I did not write up the details of the morning. I’m actually writing this after work so it will all be a bit abbreviated:

Highlights of the morning and commute:

  • I got to bed WAY late last night due to work. So I woke up at 7:15 feeling completely out of it.
  • Red again this morning was proud of her hair curly spray – I told her that she looked beautiful.
  • Great news!!!! Red did NOT wear a pull up last night and she didn’t have an accident!!!
  • I hear Twin Husky making noise from his room. Red runs into the room to greet him (she knows not to go in there until they are awake). We hear her excitement proclaiming at the top of her lungs: “[Twin Husky] AND [Twin Crazy] are awake!!!!!!! Then we start to hear her voice talking to them like a little mommy.
  • Hubby gets all breakfast ready for all kids; I gather the kid clothes for the day – Big Bro, Red – before heading downstairs. I put a cup of water in microwave for instant coffee immediately – I’m feeling a bit slow today.
  • I spend a lot of time with Big Bro today. Today is costume day at pre-school. He wants to be a skeleton, but honestly the costume we have is home-made out of sweatshirt material. It is summertime!!! I keep trying to sell him on the cute pirate costume (it has shorts, lightweight material, etc.) but he is very stubborn and seems happy with the decision of being a skeleton. I respect his decision, but I still pack up the pirate costume as a back-up. He’s OK with that idea.
  • No fights today which was great
  • Twin Husky is walking up and down the stairs with a toy broom. Probably not the safest thing he should be doing. He just learned how to walk down the stairs for goodness sake and now he’s holding a toy broom that is as tall as he is…..
  • OK, it’s AFTER 8 AM!!! We’re late!!!! Time to go!!! We shuffle out, and with the normal shoes, jackets, favorite toys. Today I’m also carrying the extra costume for Big Bro along with his sound machine for crickets at naptime at pre-school.
  • Me and hubby do the drop offs. First drop off: Red and Twins. Went smoothly. Twin Husky was sweeping with his broom and didn’t even notice us leaving.
  • Second drop off: Big Bro; he seemed really excited for the day. His “teacher” was curious about the sound machine. It will be interesting to hear how it went today.

This was a slllllooooooowwwwww morning. Ferry ride was great – sunny. Working on some ideas for Mama In Motion. Not thinking that much at all about my day job at the moment.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • The normal routine…. In the ladies room I transform into career woman – makeup, pull wet hair back in clip. In office, I grab tea, water, and a cup of trail mix. Boot up computer and check website stats. Read emails to see what I need to accomplish quickly. Check the news. Now I’m ready to begin.
  • Worked on Business development, Phase 2 thinking for last project. It would be great to win that one.
  • A good portion of my day was spent plowing through legal documents to prepare for our meeting tomorrow with the legal team, our client. I’ve been on litigation support projects before and am used to the style of the legal language and documents. So I’m able to get through a big stack of documents relatively quickly. This project may actually be interesting.
  • I also spent some time setting up meetings with two potential mother’s helpers for tonight. Hopefully we don’t get stood up like we did last night. We need to find someone! I don’t want to be without a mother’s helper starting next week!!!!

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Red was having a pretty bad night. First, she peed her pants. It looked like she was trying to get there but just didn’t make it in time. Then, she was playing in backyard and got splinters all in her feet
  • All ate corn on the cob and loved it

Big BroRed

Twins
  • Both twins were very clingy tonight – both wanted to be held
  • Big Bro was extremely tired and fell to pieces at the end of the night.
  • During bedtime, Twins participated in “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. I’m teaching them “Itsy Bitsy Spider” next.

So, it was a good day but not so good evening. We are much closer to hiring our mother’s helper replacement which makes me feel more at ease. We met someone tonight who sounds too good to be true…. loves to clean, likes to cook, was great with the kids, followed directions…. Things are looking good!!!

I’m looking forward to playing with my brand new iPad (it was delivered today) so maybe I’ll be creating my journal tomorrow on that! How fun!!!

Till tomorrow,

  • Mama K.

July 19: My son, the father of twelve bird hatchlings


This is my second daily journal posting. Hopefully these are the kinds of things you are interested in reading so I’ll keep this up until folks say it’s no longer interesting. But with four little kids in the house in the AM while both parents are getting out to work (and getting the four out to daycare/pre-school), there is almost always good content to write about. So, here I am on the ferry during my commute to work. Hair still wet, no make up on. Recapping from this morning:

Highlights of the morning and commute:

  • I wake up at 7 AM to Red, who asks if I can help her put her “curly spray” on her hair. She is really beginning to become a diva. In my eyes she is stunningly beautiful with her red curly hair and deep brown eyes. What a wonderful way for me to wake up.
  • While getting ready, Red plays quietly in our room. She decides to play with “bath letters” (the spongy things that stick on the sides of the tub during play time). She says she’s matching colors and building towers of letters based upon color. Red: “Mommy, there’s only one yellow.” Me: “Awh sweetie, he must be lonely”. Red: “And there’s only one red.” Me: “Well, maybe they can be friends.”.
  • I gather the kid clothes for the day – Big Bro, Red – before heading downstairs. I put a cup of water in microwave for instant coffee immediately – I’m feeling a bit slow today.
  • It’s CHOCOLATE TUESDAY!!!! A couple months ago I was struggling trying to figure out how to get more protein into these kids who are very picky/predictable in the morning. I stumbled on Nutella which because a HUGE hit. So much so that I really think the kids became addicted to the “chocolate”. They demanded it daily. Hubby put a stop to it and declared that only one day of the week should be “chocolate day”. We asked Big Bro which day he thought it should be and he proclaimed “Tuesday”. Of course on that day we had the conversation it was a Tuesday so I thought that was pretty clever of him
  • I come downstairs and Big Bro and Red have chocolate all over their faces. Think handlebar mustaches of Nutella chocolate. They are so quiet though. I love Tuesday mornings because of this. They tend to cooperate more with us since the Nutella puts them in a good mood.
  • Twin Husky is busy with bread crusts and eating Hubby’s cereal. Twin Crazy is walking around with a banana, very proud that she holds it like a big girl. We then start on applesauce with the Twins which quickly turns into a disaster since they really want to self feed. There is apple sauce all over themselves and the floor. I’ll worry about that clean up after they’re done.
  • Some issues / fights between Big Bro and Red, but they are mild.
  • Big Bro has a ‘silly shoe day” at school and I know this will be a problem. He is very sensitive to tactile things (e.g., like tags on his shirt, bunched up socks, etc.) and I suspect that wearing two different shoes will be a problem. We talk about it and come up with four different pairs of shoes that could be similar enough to feel OK. He rejects all, so I suggest bringing his favorite sneakers and another pair of shoes as back-up, in case he feels pressure once getting to school. For some reason as well he is asking to bring his Toy Story play tent. He claims they are doing “camping” at school. I question this but pack it up anyway.
  • Twin Husky and I wind up playing a game where he takes a step backward, I kiss his head, he laughs. He takes a step backward, I kiss his head, he laughs. We did this all the way into the living room where we started doing diaper changes.
  • Diaper changes for both Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were uneventful. However during Twin Crazy’s diaper change, Twin Husky kept “head butting” my body for me to give him kisses. It was so cute. Even Twin Crazy was laughing at this. He manipulated lots of kisses from me this morning.
  • OK, it’s 8 AM!!! Time to go!!! WE shuffle out, and with the normal shoes, jackets, favorite toys, I also have a Toy Story tent, sleeping bag, and extra pair of shoes.
  • I am doing drop-offs solo this morning since Hubby has to drive in for a meeting.
  • First drop off: Red and Twins. Went smoothly.
  • Second drop off: Big Bro; lots of kids with crazy shoes. Different pairs, but some have decorated one pair of shoes with strings, stickers, etc. This will work. I ask the pre-school teacher if he could work with Big Bro to get his sneakers “crazy”.

This was another great morning. There were only a couple of mild fights but they were really tame. Now on the ferry but it is very grey. Oh shit! I forgot to bring a jacket for myself. This happens frequently. One morning I left the house wearing my slippers. Not good. For work today I will need to focus on:

  • Continuing the selling efforts of Phase 2 of our last project.
  • Starting to refine the Executive presentation for our meeting next week
  • Getting those legal files downloaded and start to review – to prepare for internal meeting tomorrow.
  • Attend status meeting for big event we are hosting later this year – communicate the traction I’ve made in securing client participation and membership. I’ve secured ~5 additional participants and am excited to report on this.

That’s it for now. Hoping the day goes well and that I get in good spirits. I might need extra caffeine today.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • The normal routine…. In the ladies room I transform into career woman – makeup, pull wet hair back in clip. In office, I grab tea, water, and a cup of trail mix. Boot up computer and check website stats. Read emails to see what I need to accomplish quickly. Check the news. Now I’m ready to begin.
  • I had a good time today working with a team building a “business” inside our company – the big meeting in October. I felt good about the progress made with selling potential clients on the idea and getting them to agree to come to the meeting. We still have more work to do, but I’m having fun with it and like the group I’m working with.
  • Finished up the thinking for potential Phase 2 project for our last client; just need to tweak and then we’ll send it to the client tomorrow. I worked on the Executive Presentation but did not finish. So unfortunately I will need to work on this tonight after the kids go to bed. That is the problem with this profession…. Client work means working after hours and traveling. That’s just what is required to be successful at this job.
  • Got some flack from a director for not being able to download files from the secure server for our other client project just starting. She will blame this on me (she already has). I’ll have to deal with her tomorrow.
  • Also did some business development to secure a small project as a subcontractor to another consultancy. I like the relationship-building aspect of this job.

I’m on the ferry now and it is still sunny out – another beautiful day. Still not excited about the work I need to do tonight. Wish I could spend more time with my children. Have not thought about dinner yet. Why do I continuously do that??!??!?!?!?!? I should know better by now, right??!??!?!?!

We are meeting two potential mother helpers tonight; looking forward to meeting them. OK, signing off for now and getting my keys ready for pick up!!

Dinner and Bedtime:

Pick ups were uneventful, except there was great music on. I took advantage of the good weather and my reasonably good mood and rolled the windows way down while singing “Jesse’s Girl”. The kids were laughing. Hubby was already making pizza when we arrived which was excellent – because of this the dinner was done quickly and we had lots of time to play with the kids. Here are some highlights:

  • Twin Crazy was particularly playful tonight. She kept wanting me to flip her upside down. I love when she does this. Her laugh is contagious. Plus I get to kiss her pudgy neck when she’s flipped over. so cute
  • At one point things were quiet upstairs and I checked the older kid’s room…. there was Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy all sitting there in Red’s bed. I’m not sure how the twins made it in there. I think Red is carrying them around now.
  • Twin Husky constantly picks up balls now and says “ball” in his deep, throaty voice
  • We had a great dinner. Hubby made pizza, and we also served leftover mac-n-cheese, broccoli, and sliced cucumbers. The Twins were eating like crazy with their forks. Then Red started feeding them. Then the Twins started feeding Red. It was too cute.
  • Big Bro is having “spirit week” at pre-school and they’re doing fun things each day but also doing a camping theme all week. So after dinner he gets his sleeping bag and puts the sound machine on “crickets”. I’m laughing out loud just thinking back on this.
  • Big Bro then decides to be a “bird” in a “nest” that he constructed around himself from the sleeping bag. He proclaims that he has 12 eggs. I gasp and say “12 kids???!??!? Oh my goodness how will you ever be able to care for 12 kids? Will you get a job?” He says “No, birds don’t do that.” Me: “But how are you going to care for them?” Big Bro: “I’m going to build a bigger nest. With a roof. And a hole so they can go in and out.” Me: “Well what else are you going to do to care for them?” Big Bro: “I’m going to keep them safe. I’m going to fly around to get them food.” I say, “Oh my goodness are you strong enough to do all that flying for all of that food for 12 kids??!?!?!??!?! What else are you going to do for them? How are you going to make them feel loved?” Big Bro: “I’m going to hug them all. And I’m going to ‘tweet’ when they fly away when they’re bigger so they can come back.” OMG I almost crumbled with this exchange. He is so sweet. He then proceeded to name them (largely based upon the kids in his class): Ryan, Scanlan, Robert, Lindsay, Jin Woo, Eva, Ruby, Dinosaur (our favorite), Elena, Gabriella, Jessica, and Hana.
  • Twin Crazy and big sister Red were playing make believe in the play kitchen.
  • Twin Crazy then started carrying shoes around, and also shoving her face into fluffy stuffed animals
  • Twin Husky was walking up and down the stairs
  • Red had velcro play food items stuck all over her socks
  • Hubby was falling asleep on the floor – he claimed it was the sound of the crickets. Red ran over the sound machine to get rid of the crickets so hubby would no longer fall asleep
  • I started a tickle fit with Big Bro. His trick to get me to stop tickling him is the comment “You’re GREAT mommy!!!!”
  • I took a short walk to the mailbox with Big Bro and Red. Twin Husky was hysterical when we returned so I went on a second walk to the empty mailbox just with him to calm him down.
  • Hubby brings out peaches and then it’s like “Dawn of the Dead” with all of these kids reaching out to him for peaches
  • bedtime! Hubby and mother’s helper work on the Twins – story and singing
  • I work with Big Bro and Red. Teeth, no problem. Red decides to go poop. This took awhile. During this time she happens to remember a time when she tried to dump the little potty of poop into the toilet but somehow missed and the poop landed on the floor. “Daddy had to get it“. I started laughing thinking of his expression of doing this task. I guess I wasn’t around that night.
  • I say to Red, “Come on man, let’s get these PJs on man”. She responds “I’m a lady. Not a man. Call me Lady.” Isn’t she too young for this?
  • We read a Dora book and I start to use funny accents with the characters. Except they wind up in some mangled French accent instead of Spanish. Red laughs at this but Big Bro doesn’t like it. I try to slip them in there but he still protests.

I am in such a great, energized mood because of the time I was able to spend with the kids this evening. Believe me, the cost of a mother’s helper is worth their weight in gold. We don’t have to worry about dinner clean up, laundry, etc. We can just focus on being with our kids.

Speaking of which, the two mothers helper candidates I had lined up for tonight didn’t show up. I need to figure out if we were stood up or if I messed up an appointment. Chances are 50/50 that I messed up at least one of them. I’ll need to work on that tomorrow!!!!

OK, now I have to switch gears and work on that presentation — It needs to be sent to the Director tonight; hopefully it does not take me more than 1 hour. I also have a stack of legal docs to read but I don’t think I’ll crack that tonight.

Thanks for reading –

– Mama K

Recipes: Mama K’s FAST Macaroni and cheese


Mama K’s FAST Macaroni and Cheese

Now I know what you’re thinking.   “Open the box, cook the pasta, squirt the cheese from the package, serve.”   Believe me, I DO use the boxed sets frequently but when I feel like I have enough cheddar cheese in the fridge, I like to do this version because it’s just as easy and makes me feel good.   I’ve tried the baked kinds where you make a milky sauce and layer with cheese and bake but for goodness sakes you really don’t have time to be Martha when you come home from work.   Try this fast version and let me know what you think.  I am terrible at measurements and do it by “eye” but will try to guess.

Ingredients:

  • pasta (one pound)
  • grated cheddar cheese (alot.   maybe 2 cups?   or more???)
  • butter (alot.   maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a stick
  • milk (a splash)
  • pinch of dry mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt
Directions:
Boil pasta.   Drain.   Mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir over medium heat until mixed well.   Serve!
Prep time:    5 min
Cook time:   15 – 20 min
 

July 18: Twin Husky’s hairstyle botched by ice-water accident


Ok, so this post is largely a test… this will be my first posting discussing the highlights of the morning with the kids, my working day, and the “witching hour(s)” with the cranky tired kids.   I’m anxious to see how much time the effort takes – but excited too since there was a lot of good content going on in our house today.

Highlights of the morning and commute:

  • I wake up at 7 AM to get ready.   “Getting ready” is quite abbreviated these days…. I take a quick shower and quickly throw on the clothes that I set out the night before.   I simply comb my wet, straight hair — it is long and I will either sweep back with a ponytail or a clip.  I save make up for later – at work.
  • While getting ready, Twin Husky decides to walk up the stairs by himself and greet me.   “Hi Sweetie!!!”   Hugs and kisses.   He is so lovable.   He watches me brush my hair so I then sit with him on the floor brushing his hair and telling him how handsome he is.   He wanders about while I finish getting ready.
  • I hear some crying downstairs… a breakdown.  I think it is Red.
  • Big Bro comes up for a visit, with his sound machine (he has always had trouble going to sleep and this was one of our tools that we tried several years back… it appears that he found it again).   “Mommy can you plug this in?”  “Yes, of course sweetie.”  “Mommy, I wish I were grown up so I could use plugs and be tall like Daddy.”  “Yes, and Daddy sure is tall…”
  • I gather the kid clothes for the day – Big Bro, Red, and also a weeks worth of clothes for Twin Husky, requested by daycare.   Big Bro wants his OLD shorts, not his new shorts which he rejected after we purchased 4 pairs.
  • Downstairs, Red is having an issue, on the floor. It likely has something to do with breakfast.  I think our kitchen cabinet is out of oatmeal.  I sit on the floor with her and ask her if she wants to go “shopping” with me.   Just me and her.   We hold hands and run into the garage (I keep extra non-perishable food in the garage on shelves, I guess its the Italian in me that always craves an overabundance of food).   I explain that the 3 boxes of oatmeal are there for her, and only her.   Our back-and-forth conversation goes like this:  Does Daddy eat it?  No.  Does Big Bro?  No.  Does Twin Crazy?   No.  Does Twin Husky?   No.   Well then, WHO eats it???????.    ME!!!!!   with a big smile on her face and an unsolicited hug from this little sweetie.    I feel on top of the world whenever I fix the issue.   However, this feeling does not last for long.   Literally 20 seconds later while leaving the garage I accidently step on her toe and she is thrown into another crying fit.   Shit!!
  • Twin Crazy is walking around “talking” eating bananas.   Twin Husky is eating bread and raisins.   Big Bro is finishing up a bagel.  Thanks hubby for getting them all set up.   Red proceeds to eat 2 ½ packages of oatmeal (she boycotted dinner the night before).
  • Big Bro requests his sound machine.   Now imagine the sounds of fog-horns filling up our kitchen and living room.
  • I put a cup of water in microwave for instant coffee.  This is the only luxury I give myself in the morning.
  • Big Bro spreads out his clothes on the floor as lillypads and proceeds to act like a frog hopping on them.
  • Twin Crazy is sneezing non stop and hubby and I are running for tissues non-stop.   This is a doozy I hope does not spread to the rest.
  • Big Bro fills up a cup by himself with ice-water.  He is proud that he has filled his drink to the top “like mommy does”.   He proceeds to accidently dump the entire (full) tall cup of ice-water on Twin Husky’s head while I’m giving the poor guy a diaper change (he was already cold to begin with, all exposed and all, and then imagine getting doused with ice-water on top of that).   So much for all that hair brushing earlier in the morning.  He cries a bit since he scared, but then we all start laughing.   “That must have been scary for you sweetie”.   Big Bro admits that he was scared too.
  • Diaper change for Twin Crazy is thankfully uneventful.
  • Then both twins decide to climb up and down the stairs, playing.   Breaking the rule of “no playing on the stairs”.  I shuffle them down.  Oh, forgot to mention that days prior they both worked together to dismantle the gate/board at the foot of the stairs.   So now they have free reign of the stairs walking up, walking down, walking up, walking down, etc. etc. etc.
  • I run upstairs and take my anxiety pill with my coffee.
  • OK, 8 AM!!!  Time to go!!!    Everyone begins to shuffle out.  Finding shoes, finding jackets, finding the toys they want to bring.   Big Bro says that for this week he wants to bring only Toy Story toys to pre-school because he likes Toy Story, and also Batman because he likes superheros.
  • Red is proud that she buckled herself in by herself.   Big Bro has been doing this for awhile now, thank goodness.  Makes things much easier.
  • I drag the big “Smart and Final” bag of all the kids clothes, shoes, and jackets for daycare.
  • Hubby and I make the first drop off:   Red and Twins.   We let the provider know that Twin Husky is teething with two big molars on each side.   I give each of my sweeties a kiss on the top of the head.
  • Hubby and I make second drop off:   Big Bro; it is crazy hair day!   Wait a minute, the ONE day that he does NOT have crazy hair!!!   We promptly fix that with water and gel.  He now looks like a rock star.
  • Hubby and I head to the ferry with plenty of time to spare.

All in all, the morning went well.   There were only 2 breakdowns, which really isn’t bad.   We are on the ferry now.  The day is beautiful.   Water is flat.   Approaching the city now.   For work today I will need to focus on:

  • Helping with RFP response, developing question list for further clarification
  • Selling phase two for project we are wrapping up; need to outline what Phase 2 could look like
  • Beginning Executive presentation format for next socialization meeting with client senior executives
  • ON a personal front:   need to set appointments for mothers helpers to visit our home.   Our current helper found full time employment and her last day will be this Friday.

That’s it for now.   I’m in a good mood because of this Mama in Motion project and also since the sun is out.  I am thankful for that!

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • OK so I get to the office and begin my transformation into career woman – in the ladies room I put on my makeup and pull my wet hair back in a clip.   I go inside the office and head directly to kitchen to grab tea and water.  I also throw some trail mix in a cup for breakfast (terrible, I know).   I boot up the computer and read emails to see what I need to accomplish quickly.   I take some time to look at CNN.com for what is happening in the world.   Now I’m ready to begin.
  • Worked on some business development activities; started the response process to a “Request for Proposal” which basically involved reviewing the document and thinking about what our approach could be if we won the work.   Ultimately there are clarifying questions that we need to pose so worked with the team to get these drafted.   I packaged the questions and sent off to the potential client – “another great example of good teamwork” [Director comment].   Now we’ll need to put a proposal together to win the business…
  • At lunch I responded to a number of potential “mother’s helpers” and set up meetings with several over the next few nights.  We need to hire someone by this Friday.
  • Started to think about follow on work we could do for the project we recently completed.   Thought about the strategic questions the project could address based upon our understanding of the client issues – and also drafted the objectives of the work and thoughts on the analysis so we can help to sell the work and its value.
  • Tried to download files from a secure server for a litigation support case we are starting.   All to no avail.   Will have to work with the technology contact tomorrow to get the files.

I’m on the ferry now and it is still sunny out – beautiful day.   But I’ve lost the spunk I had this morning.   I am tired, and my heart feels very, very heavy – more for reasons to be discussed later I suppose.   The ferry ride should be enjoyable, right?    I’m headed home to see my kids, right?   Why do I feel this way?   I look around at the crowd here and I feel like I can’t relate to any of these people.  Hubby is not here so I assume he is taking a later ferry.   I’ll pick up kids on my own which is actually fun (think loud music and singing which I can’t really do with hubby) but I’m just not the person I used to be, want to be, or should be.   I feel tired, isolated and alone.   I’m not sure what we’ll have for dinner tonight.  I’ll likely do a quick homemade mac-n-cheese and some sort of veggie.   I hope their little faces pull me out of my awful mood.   Plus we have a potential mother’s helper coming tonight at 6:30.  I must snap out of this.

Dinner and Bedtime:

The evening was relatively good; homemade macaroni and cheese, along with carrots and broccoli cooked in a double steamer.   We had our current Mother’s Helper show an interviewee around as a potential replacement.   She seems nice.   We are meeting two others tomorrow evening.

The kids ate well.    The twins ate like teenagers.

The only sad thing tonight was that there was not much time to play with them.   Dinner ended too late.  The big outing was going to get the mail with Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky.   They like that little routine.  Our mother’s helper and Hubby whisked the Twins off for storytime.   I was in charge of Big Bro and Red.  No major issues.   I taught them how to arm wrestle which was really, really cute.   My guess is that in 2 years Big Bro will probably beat me.   We read books and I kissed both sweeties goodnight.   I’ll go back later at my own bedtime to kiss all four sweeties and make sure they’re covered.   It’s always cold here.

Overall the day was fine; but my heart still feels heavy right now.   I will likely get into those reasons at a later time but for now I am thankful that my kids ate well and they are tucked in bed, hopefully dreaming right now.

Signing off until tomorrow,

Mama K.

p.s., comments appreciated.    Do people want to hear this stuff???!?!?!?

Recipes: Cheesy Quesadillas


Cheesy Quesadillas

This is one of my family’s staples for either lunch or dinner.   These can be made VERY quickly and also “made to order” for the tastes of your little ones.   I like to keep some canned ingredients on-hand in case I do not have many fresh ingredients — but these are a hit and can save the night if the kids are cranky.   Let me know what you think!    Also — send some of your best ideas my way and I will post and credit you!

Needed:

  • tortillas
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • Fillings – pick from:   canned olives, canned corn, black beans, leftover chicken/steak/pork, shrimp, cilantro (Trader Joe’s has frozen cubes that are really easy to use and you always have them on-hand), quartered cherry tomatoes, etc. etc. etc.
  • Toppings – pick from:  sour cream, guacamole, etc.
Cooking:
Put one tortilla on a flat heated frying pan on medium heat.   Layer on cheese and ingredients of choice.   Top with another tortilla.  Cover and cook about 1-2 minutes.   Take care when flipping (I’ve tried flipping with two spatulas, lifting one side while tucking/flipping under the other side, or even putting an upside down plate on the top to flip).   Cook another 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted.   I’ve also microwaved some ingredients just to warm them so the cooking time is quicker and the temperature of the food is consistent.
Prep time:    10 min
Cook time:   10 min
 

Retrospectives: Library to Vegas (baby, Vegas!!!) back to Library…


I remember a time in business school (this is 10 years+ ago I hate to say).    I was intensely working with a group to complete an assignment/analysis on one of the cases that continuously throw at you.   But I was anxious about my upcoming flight to Vegas, baby, Vegas.   You see, my college girlfriends (we call each other “Schmucks”) are still very tight and at that time, the first of the Schmucks was about to turn 30.    Such a  big milestone.   Of course I was going to help in the celebration, despite the intensity that B-school brings.

So on that day, I showed up in the MBA school library wearing a trampy little outfit, and carrying just one little handbag with NO COMPUTER!!!   In that handbag were several things — my license, some credit cards/cash, lipstick, a toothbrush, among some other items – you know, just the essentials.   No extra clothes.  Maybe a change of shoes, I forget.  I was traveling “light” for the all-night party.

So after the group meeting at the MBA school library (I lived in NYC at the time and went to Columbia University), I quickly hit the NYC Subway to JFK (big, big mistake taking the subway – I should have taken a cab, but money was tight).   The subway took longer than I thought and I wound up MISSING my flight – but, I had some alternatives.   Next flight was several hours away but that would literally give me just 5 hours of party time in Vegas.   It seemed that 10+ hours of travel time for a 5 hour party seemed really excessive.     I said to myself “hell with it…I’m going – the first Schmuck turns 30 only once!”.

The short trip was a blast.   When I arrived I had to find everyone and catch up with the drinking.   The Schmucks always make me laugh from the depths of my belly and it was awesome to see them.   I remember drinking quite a bit, dancing in a club, eating some breakfast, and then brushing my teeth as the sun came up — hugged my friends and headed back to the airport, with my one bag, tired feet, sore throat from laughing/shrieking, and hangover creeping in.   The sun was coming up and I was psyched that I decided to still make the trip.  I’m sure I slept on the plane on the way back.

That was how I lived my life back then.   Grab the opportunities, go for the gusto, don’t worry about what to bring, and the 5 hour party in the middle of the night to celebrate with my friends was obviously worth the pain of the trip and the suffering I would endure in the MBA school library the following day.   Worry about sleep later.    Worry about the work later.   Live for the moment.   Grab every experience you can with no regrets.

THANK YOU SCHMUCKS!!!!    When is our next trip???????

My first entry — week in Review


I had a rather hectic week on both a work and personal front.  Returned from a long-weekend vacation in Florida (I only took “Twin Crazy”) on Monday — I had to rush her to daycare; unfortunately I could not witness her reunion with “Twin Husky”.  It was the first time they were separated.   Daycare provider later told me there was LOTS of hugging and kissing.   Ran home for conference call with client, made changes to executive presentation.   Played with kids ALOT on Monday evening to catch up with their lives.

Tuesday woke up early, as did hubby.   Both had to leave early.   Got all kids fed and dressed and all were out of the house by 7 Am.   I head to airport — client presentation later that day.   Went very well.    It is the culmination of the strategy  project however we will need to go back for an executive presentation in 2 weeks time.   Caught earlier flight home; able to play with kids before bedtime.    Sing “twinkle twinkle little star” with sign language to Twins; I’d love for them to learn to participate.

Wednesday did some business development.  Relatively uneventful.  Dinner was great with kids.   “Big Bro” ate at least 5 servings of carrots (YEAH!!!).   Twins had great time using forks.  They were very proud of themselves.   Received bad news from our “mothers helper” that she found full time employment and next Friday will be her last day.   UGGGGGGGGGGGH.  She is wonderful.   We will all miss her.   She is our sanity life saver.   I will need to post something on Craigslist.    Went on date night and formalized thinking on website name and branding for this project.  Drank beer.  Ate sushi.

Thursday did more business development.  Secured client commitments for big meeting later this year.    YEAH!   Pack up my bag with my laptop and also some organic fruits/veggies for the kids.   I’m worried that each kid is not getting their required two servings of veggies per day!   Headed out for Girls Night for my belated birthday celebration.   I can’t believe I’m 41 (but I act like I’m 20 something).   Great time!   Thank you girlfriends!!!!

Early morning conference call so am working home today.   Another business development / proposal to prepare.   Need to also work on Executive Presentation from last project.   I was thinking about roasting a chicken tonight for dinner but it’s still in the freezer.   What are the chances it will thaw within 3 hours??????    Now what?????

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