August 22: Re-energized and hopeful post-camping!!!


Happy Monday.

I first have to write a quick update from our weekend. It was the first time that we went camping as a family of six and let me tell you we had an amazing time. The kids had so much fun – it wasn’t the “outward bound” kind of camping (Hubby used to do solo camping hikes through Alaska with only himself and a compass) – this was a KOA camping outfit with a petting zoo, jumpy trampoline, pool, face paining, playground….. and we went with a group of parents of multiples so there were kids EVERYWHERE. We were the only family with four kids and I think we were the family with the least amount of stuff. The twins had a great time climbing and falling down hills, exploring, jumping in mud puddles, and looking at REAL animals. Big Bro and Red are experienced campers so they liked the headlamps and the tent. Big Bro organized the tent for the 2nd night sleeping and he set out his spot and stole Hubby’s sleeping back. Smart kid. It was a great time!!!

Four kids camping

OK – back to reality.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got out of the shower to hear Red screaming about something and also to hear a huge commotion from the Twins downstairs. I had no idea what was happening down there with breakfast, but I ran to Red. She was upset that her band-aid came off her owie. I inspected the owie and it looked pretty healed to me. But we made an agreement for me to put some lotion on it and instead of 2 band-aids which she had before, I put on one band-aid. That seemed to work but she was still sulking and clingy.
  • Big Bro came in and I was already dressed so the 3 of us made our way downstairs holding hands. Red picked out her outfit the night before – pink shirt, pink pants, pink underwear, and Halloween (orange) socks.

My pink pumpkin

  • Downstairs, the Twins were completely covered in yogurt. We had baths yesterday and you should have seen the amount of yogurt on top of their heads. Even Red and Big Bro were laughing. I couldn’t believe it. It looked like they put more yogurt on their bodies compared to what went into their mouths.
  • Red was still sulking and a bit difficult but she finally said she wanted oatmeal for breakfast. I was on it.
  • Big Bro was in a great mood; I grabbed him shorts and he was looking forward to bringing the movie “The Jungle Book” into school today and also telling his friends about his camping trip.
  • I gave Twin Crazy a diaper change and kissed her belly, kissed her feet, and even started to “eat” her toe which through her into a laughing fit. We had a great time.
  • I only was able to give Twin Husky morning kisses – he was too busy with a shopping cart and a walker moving things all around the house.
  • vitamins – new rule: to get your vitamin, you have to give mommy a kiss. We have two sets of vitamins for Red and Big Bro so I got 4 extra kisses in this morning which was great.
  • Red proclaims: “Mommy…. I am wearing all pink and a YOU are wearing all black!!!” (I am dressed for a client meeting later today). She is so cute and really is doing a lot of comparisons between her and me lately.
  • OK…. ready to go!  I pack up jackets, diapers, wipes.
  • I find the Twins in the office, Twin Husky on top of the chair leaning on the desk with the computer mouse, and Twin Crazy by his side looking up at the computer. They are partners in crime…
  • I scarf down a bagel (thanks Hubby) and pack up some instant coffee for the drive during drop offs.
  • Drop off #1 was fine – there was a trash truck that all the kids were excited about.
  • Drop off #2 was fine – Big Bro’s hair was sticking up all over the place since he went to bed last night with wet hair. I said that his hair has “personality”. He laughed at this. We stopped in the bathroom at school so I could wet his hair down a bit… but told him that it is really handsome to have some scruffy hair and that he is a very handsome kid. I kissed his nose. He was excited to tell his teacher about camping and also show him the movie. The teacher also commented on his nice hair.

So, back on the ferry for another week. It is extremely gray and almost looks like rain. Today at work I’ll need to do some outreach sales efforts on two initiatives but also get ready for a “kickoff” with a client whose project I believe we are starting today. I feel like I’m at a point where selling the work is more fun than doing the work – but I do like the aspect of client interaction, and this project is quite contained, so I think it will work out well.

I’ve struggled lately with the changes that I need to make with my job – I created a new job description for myself back in February but that has not taken hold since we are really short-staffed. I’m trying to think through reduction in work hours and what that could look like but am terrified to do this…. some days are really good at work but some days are not – and overall I don’t feel like I have the balance I need but the cost of living where we are is so outrageous. I wish we could just take a step back and find a different part of the country that would work better for our family. This has been the hardest struggle for me – and one that I’ve grappled with ever since Big Bro was born. I feel like I’m just going through the motions on most days and my life is just going by – but too fast and not the way I choose to live. More on this later. But I think there are big changes on the horizon. Big Bro starts Kindergarten next week which will mean THREE drop offs and THREE pickups and I really can’t imagine doing that…..we shouldn’t be doing this as a family.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Got to the office and went to the ladies room to “get ready” (makeup). Oooops! Shit!!! I don’t have my make up bag with me. Damnit.  I look like shit but all dressed up.
  • Check my emails; The big proposal was sent off without a problem on Friday. Folks were congratulating each other on the great “team effort”. I’ve heard and seen this before and it really does not motivate me. I will feel good if we get the project – yet I will also be scared to shit. It will be a big one and I think quite stressful to execute.
  • I didn’t have a meeting until 1 PM so I ran to a drug store and bought some make-up to keep at work as a back-up. NOTE TO WORKING MAMAS: get a small bag together of back-up make up if you don’t have time to get yourself together in the morning and ALSO forget your day-to-day make up bag!!!
  • I checked on our budget for the white paper project and we went way over, as I expected. But it was a win-win since we developed a stronger relationship with another consultancy and that can serve as another channel for work.  Both directors involved agreed and they are encouraging me to continue to cultivate the relationship and position us for more.
  • I gave some verbal feedback to the consultant who worked with me on the Whitepaper project. She did a great job and I let her know that. As a company we are really bad about performance reviews over all, and we give NO feedback on a per-project basis, but I thought it was important for me to spend the time with her since she really did the heavy-lifting even though it was a small project. I think it’s important to recognize these efforts and communicate them to the people and upwards. So I spent time today doing that – I enjoy this aspect of the job since this is something I do differently than others. People just don’t expect the feedback so they are appreciative when they get it from me.
  • We had a meeting with a prospective client at 1 PM; we will likely start his project on Thursday of this week. He seems REALLY good to work for (smart, but easy-going – the CEO of a smaller bank) and the work does not seem complicated so I hope we win this one.
  • I spent the rest of the day on admin-related items

The ferry is really nice now – the sun is out. I feel like there are changes that are imminent in my future but I’m not certain what they are just yet. I am hopeful. If work gets to be too much over the next several months I will be forced into a change but we’ll see what happens.

I’m looking forward to reuniting with the kids; although Monday’s in general are a bit rough and I think we’re all still recovering from our camping trip. I think we’re going to make burritos tonight – even though we had them for lunch yesterday. Lowering the bar about things like this makes it much easier for us to get through each day.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick ups were great; 2nd pick up Twin Crazy ran into the street and around our van. She has been testing us with the street lately (NOT good). We also lost Twin Husky. We found him along the side of the house looking at flowers.
  • At home Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were outside running around while I was getting the mail. It was rough corralling them into the garage. Twin Husky then wanted to ride on the toy jeep. I literally had to pry him off of the driving wheel. He has gotten to be unbelievably strong.
  • Kids were grumpy; I got all kids upstairs with me while I got changed, and while Hubby started dinner.
  • Twin Husky got a diaper change and then I took them outside in the back yard. They were looking for apples at the floor of our tree.
  • Red and I went outside and took in the empty garbage cans. She wanted to do the little grey one by herself — and she did it! It was so cute. She led the way with one and I carried the other two behind her. She was so helpful.
  • Dinner was great; except Big Bro ate at the counter while Hubby was cooking and therefore didn’t want to come to the table with the rest of us; our rule is that we all eat together at the table so it was rough getting Big Bro over but he eventually did it
  • Mother’s Helper was busy folding about 5 loads of laundry and cleaning up from dinner.  🙂
  • Big Bro and Red were doing magnetic drawing boards together – tracing each others’ hands which was cute
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me clean up the toys – putting blocks in the “block bin” and play food in the play kitchen area. It was great.
  • Changed twins into PJs; kissed feet and pretended to eat toes. I loved it.
  • Time to go up!!! Twins went upstairs; we got milk for all; we read to Twins, sang songs, all kissed. They were down. So easy.
  • Big Bro was going potty and brushing his teeth at the same time (gross). I asked him if he needed help – and then I clarified with his teeth, not his poop. I laughed and said – “I can’t help you with your Poop!” but he replied “Yes you can mommy. You can reach in and grab it and pull it out. Ewh. Gross!” We were both laughing at that.
  • I did not read to Red tonight because she pushed Twin Husky earlier and did not apologize. So she did not get a story. Hubby read a quick book to Big Bro.
  • Each wanted their backs scratched; I count their scratches to 10 and then give them extra if they were good. They both got extra tonight.
  • Red got cold, then got hot so there were some changes to PJs. “You are so lucky that I love you so much… do you want to know why?? Because you drive me CRAZY.” This is a standard quote that I have with the kids that makes me laugh and them giggle.

All are upstairs now in bed; it is quiet and 8:30 PM. We had a great night together. I really enjoyed each of them tonight. The toddlers are doing so great with their words and also listening. And the bigger guys were so good with just one breakdown.

All in all a great day; a hopeful day. Not bad for a Monday!

Till tomorrow –

– Mama K

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