Random Thought: Adding animals to the mix – should we get a pet?


After writing my post about my “Need To Nurture”, I’m wondering how other families approach the topic of pets. We are juggling so much right now with four little kids ages 5 and under, but I would imagine that we may not be “pet free” indefinitely.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association 2007, pets are found in almost 68% of households with children under the age of six, and more than 74% of households with children over the age of six.  I believe the value that pets can bring to a family and the sense of responsibility they can offer to children — but I shudder at the thought of ANOTHER mouth to feed and being to care for.

So I have some questions for the group:

There are obviously many benefits that pets give children – and I’ve always been a big believer in pets and had a series of them growing up.   But the thought now with four kids 5 and under with a pet just scares me; it’s just not right.   I think any big animal (dog) would need to be cared for by kids maybe 10 years or older…. younger kids may fare better with a hamster.  I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences!

Thanks for participating –

– Mama K

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

Retrospectives: Pets and my need to nurture


Yes, I have four kids now. Did I EVER think I was going to have so many kids? No. Was I particularly good with kids growing up or even as an adult? Absolutely not. I never was good as a babysitter. And I never really ever wanted to hold my friends’ babies when they became mothers. I just wasn’t into the “baby” thing. I guess I thought I would break them.

But that doesn’t mean that I was uncaring – in fact, just the opposite.   From a very early age as a child, I have always had an undeniable urge to care for things. So don’t think babies… think animals.  Just to give you a GLIMPSE of how insane I was (am) about dogs and puppies, I was a complete sucker for ANY puppy walking down the street – even when I was living in NYC. Yes, I would get on the sidewalk and play with strangers’ puppies on the urinated streets of NYC. In fact, one night at about 1 AM I was waiting for a bus on the upper West Side with my boyfriend. Along came a stranger with a cute little lab puppy. I was immediately on the sidewalk playing with the puppy, rubbing his belly, scuffing his ears, wrestling with it, and talking to its owner — “what’s his name? How old? oh my goodness how cute this puppy is!!!” Over and over and over I was rolling around on the sidewalk with this puppy and loving life. Then the bus came, and I heard my boyfriend say, “Thank you very much….” to the man. When we got on the bus I asked him why he acted like that and he said, “Do you know who the f&%* that was? That was Conan f*^%*&%ing O’Brien!!!!” So there I was talking with Conan O’Brien for about at least 2-5 minutes playing with his puppy and I never even looked up at him or even noticed who he was. Maybe that’s why he stayed so long because I honestly did not give Conan the time of day…. just his puppy. So, that’s how crazy I am about animals.

My childhood was filled with little hairballs and fecal matter –some were official pets, some were orphaned wildlife. Some were saved because of my care, and some were lost because of my carelessness. But they were special to me and it’s because of my experiences with them that helped to build the kind of mother that I now am.

  • My first pet was a sorry excuse for a dog — a “peek-a-poo”. I didn’t like him. He was ugly and smelled bad. We “gave” him to my grandmother and she claimed he ran away. To this day I don’t know the truth behind that story.
  • We looked after guinea pig from school for a summer when I was about 8. He was missing a foot. He was cute and cuddly.   But I had to give him back to the school when summer was over.
  • We then progressed to a series of hamsters. “Rocky Balboa” was our first (I grew up in Philly) and lasted for 3 years which is actually a long time in hamster years. There were many times when I would forget to latch his cage but he always managed to come back… except once…. the poor thing made it to the basement but I guess drowned in the sump pump.
  • We also tried fish — Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. I think they died pretty quickly.
  • I adopted a baby wild rabbit from our backyard.  What a terrible idea. We had no idea what to feed it. After several days being trapped in a shoebox, the poor fuzzy guy died. I remember we had a funeral for it in our backyard. What a shame. I’m not proud of that story.
  • I once saved a nest of baby robin birds – there was a huge summer storm and their nest had collapsed outside of our door. I grabbed s shoe box and swept them up. We had to feed them a concoction of soft dog food, wheat germ (i think) and some other stuff by toothpick every several hours. I did this even throughout the night — I set my alarm and everything. It was such a strange feeling to lift that shoe box top up and to have these baby birds opening up their beaks real wide and chirping for me and my toothpick. I really felt like their mommy bird. After 3 days the birds flew away – I was so proud, but a bit empty inside.
  • When I was about 10 years old, I’ll never forget the day when my dad came through the door with this LITTLE puppy cocker spaniel, SOOOOOOO cute, with her little face and droopy ears hanging. She started running and jumping all over the place and then quickly pooped on our living room (white) carpet. We named her Lady (Lady and the Tramp) but then her nickname quickly turned to Aldo for no clear reason. She was beautiful.  We loved her. We teased her. She became a solid member of our family. She wasn’t that bright. We over-fed her and she became heavy. She lived to be about 15 years old (I think she started to small bad too towards the end). I heard of her death when I was at work — and was surprised by my reaction – I was sad, but I did not cry. I don’t think I ever cried over her because she lead a very long life and we were good to her. She was loved. I didn’t see her too much towards the end since I was living on my own in NYC so I hope she didn’t feel too lonely. I do feel bad about that.

 

Aldo, a cocker spaniel who was part of our family

Aldo, a cocker spaniel who was part of our family

 

  • We had a rabbit once that overlapped with Aldo. It was a lopped eared bunny and was beige, with hanging hears, so the rabbit actually looked like Aldo’s twin. This rabbit was great. He actually would hop over to me for attention and love. I would give him a bath which was totally unneccessary but again, I had a need to nurture. This rabbit did not last long – about 6 months — he was put outside one summer day and we thought he would enjoy it and had lots of water – but I guess the sun was too strong for him and he had a heat stroke or something. His name was Cupid.  I’m not thrilled about that story either.

    Cupid, a mini-lop rabbit who loved to give and get affection

    Cupid, a mini-lop rabbit who loved to give and get affection

 

  • I went back to fish when I went to college; it was very pretty and very colorful with hanging, flowing fins and a tail. I took him/her home on Thanksgiving break and was planning on giving him extra fish flakes for the holiday but he didn’t seem right after the car ride to mom’s house. I think he got tossed around too much with my driving. He wound up down the toilet before the turkey even came out of the oven.
  • When I moved to the West coast by myself I got lonely and decided to get TWO mini-lop rabbits — Lenny Kravitz and Sarah McLachlan.  I got two so they could bond while I was away traveling for work. I had them “fixed” so that the pair would not propagate. My experience with them was terrible. Instead of bonding with me, they bonded with each other and rejected me. So I had to deal with rabbits that hated me but still clean up after their hair, their poop, and they smelled terrible. When I started to date Hubby and then moved in with him, the rabbits made their exit. I interviewed several people until I found the right home for them.

Despite not being all that great with kids while I was growing up, having experiences with pets groomed an inner need to nurture – to care for another being, to be responsible for that being, and to say goodbye.  I guess some could say that these experiences got me started on a much bigger (and longer) road to the challenge and joys of REAL children.   But honestly nothing could prepare me for the real thing, let alone four of them!!!

When I was younger and thought about what my life would be like with kids, I always assumed that a dog would be part of that story…. but what a change of heart I’ve had. It is so much easier for me to say, “No more dogs!  I have enough mouths to feed!!”  Imagine my reaction when Big Bro innocently said just the other day, “Mommy, when are we going to get a dog for a pet?”   Of course I’m at some point going to give in to HIS “need to nurture”…. Uggggh.    But maybe we can start with a goldfish or something.

So, I guess the moral of the story is 1) listen and cultivate to that need to nurture; and 2) people’s attitudes change!   Any advice from moms who have been there with their kids??!?!??!

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

August 19: Getting ready to camp – first time as a family of SIX


I had a glass of wine last night with dinner and in my middle-age I am feeling it this morning.  We have some extra time to get folks together this morning since I will be working from home.  We are getting ready for our camping weekend with other families of multiples — this should be a crazy but fun weekend seeing all the twins and triplets.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got out of the shower hearing Red crying.  She was upset that her band-aids on her owie were off.  She wanted new ones.  The Hello Kitty ones.    I was not dressed so I needed her to wait until I got some clothes on.  She also requested that I wear the socks that match hers… the white ones with the grey toes.   OK sweetie.
  • I head downstairs to get the band aids and my socks that she requested.   I meet her upstairs and she has already picked out her clothes for the day and is dressed.   I just help her fold up her sleeves, and also fold up her pants… HIGH.   She is particular this morning so she may need some extra attention.
  • I get dressed quickly and check in on Big Bro.  Red climbs on me like a monkey.   Big Bro wants to wear shorts but he has rejected all the newer shorts I bought for him at the beginning of the year.  So I suggest he wear pants and he can wear his old shorts from yesterday over the weekend on the camping trip.  He thinks this is a good idea.
  • We all head downstairs.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are busy eating blueberries and cereal.   They are excited to see us
  • Twin Husky likes closing doors now.  Garage doors, refrigerator doors, bedroom doors, etc.  I meet him closing the garage door and almost on Twin Crazy.
  • One of Twin Crazy “lovey” blankets is clean so now she is walking around with two of them completely happy.
  • Twin Husky is playing with a stuffed animal rabbit pointing to eyes, ears, mouth, etc. and then both Twins are pointing to their own.  So sweet.
  • Diaper changes with both of them were really easy this morning since I had the 2 blankets and the rabbit as props.
  • Twin Crazy found a red marker and proceeded to write all over her hands, face, and white rug.
  • I threw some laundry into the washing machine.
  • Twin Crazy pointed to her ear which is what we do when we say that we hear something.  I listen and the dishwasher is on.   So we all go into the kitchen and look at the dishwasher.  We feel the dishwasher vibrate.  We talk about how the dishes are getting cleaned and there’s lots of water and the machine is what we hear and feel.   Twin Husky loved it.  They were so cute.  I love doing things like this with them.  Stopping what I’m doing to teach them something new.   To listen to them and react to what they’re trying to communicate and/or ask.   I really try to stop when I can for them so show them that I respect who they are and what they need.

Can you hear what I hear? Kids listening and feeling the dishwasher

  • Then the blueberries went flying and smashed in the white rug.  We just had the rug professionally cleaned so we’re not too happy about that.
  • Red was having difficulty with her cuffs – she kept getting upset about the size of the cuffs on her arms and pants; they had to be even and just right.
  • Eventually got Big Bro dressed in pants
  • Got them vitamins
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!   I was doing the drop offs solo since Hubby will come back early and therefore couldn’t take the ferry due to scheduling.  We are hoping to leave for our camping trip a bit early.    the bag with extra clothes for daycare was already packed so I threw that along with the shoes in the car.
  • Drop offs went fine — Red was still a bit particular about the cuffs.

On the drive home I’m thinking about work.   It will be a busy day getting the proposal together and sent off.  I am hoping that I will be able to leave for camping by 3ish so I do not want to be the last one holding the Master of this thing until 5 PM.  I need to get everything packed and kids picked up early so DO NOT want to be stuck with this proposal.    I’m hoping it goes smoothly today.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • At home a make a huge pot of coffee.  Eat a bagel.   Eat the leftover blueberries and cereal that the Twins did not destroy.
  • Wrote out this post.  Now I need to switch gears and get on work email to see how the proposal stands.  I have a meeting in 20 minutes to prepare for.  I’m hoping the day goes smoothly.  I’m looking forward to the weekend with the kids in a brand new environment with all activities provided to us.
  • Had a call with the team about the proposal.   There is more to do but we’re in good shape.   Some empty areas to fill but we got those areas assigned.   I now own the Master document.
  • I took the proposal as far as I could go and then sent it to our Admin for formatting – and also to merge the last remaining pieces from people.   All open items are clearly laid out so she knows what is missing.
  • I eat some lunch at 1:15.
  • We have a call at 2 PM to discuss pricing.
  • It is now 1:30 PM and I need to:  pack for all kids for camping trip (clothes, books, cards, games, sleep stuff); pack for me (clothes, beer, pills), and pack food.   I need to do this in 30 minutes (less than that actually since I’m typing right now) before the 2 PM call.
So, I’m going to sign off now.  Hopefully I’ll get the packing done and be ready for the 2 PM call.  Hopefully the call won’t go beyond 3 PM and hopefully I will not have to do anything after that.   I want to be packed, kids picked up, and on the road somewhere between 3 and 4 PM.
I’m really looking forward to our camping trip.   This will be the first time with our family of six.   My camera battery is all charged – I’m sure there will be lots to capture.   I just hope that we don’t lose Twin Husky, our outdoor man of adventure.
Everyone have a great weekend!
Til Monday,
-Mama K

August 18: Ready, get set, GO!!!


This morning was extremely rushed – for some reason hubby and I both slept through the alarm and woke up to Twin Husky talking at 7:15.   We had to hustle.   But we promised both older kids that they could take showers this morning (badly needed) – we both jumped out of bed and started RUNNING.

  • I woke up Big Bro and Red.   I got their clothes ready in piles and got them ready for their showers.  Big Bro would go in next after Hubby.
  • I grabbed Twin Husky and Twin Crazy next.  They were happy that it was morning and it was a new day.
  • I corralled all kids into our bathroom (it is actually really big so we weren’t cramped at all).
  • Big Bro jumped in shower.   He does good in the shower by himself but needs some help with the “important parts”.
  • I diapered the Twins.  They were busy playing with brushes and pointing at things and saying “That!”
  • Big Bro is out!   Get dry and dressed!   Mommy and Red are in!!!!   The shower was like a revolving door this morning.   The water never shut off.   Hubby in and out, Big Bro in and out, Red/Mommy in and out.   It was seriously crazy.
  • Mommy and Red are in!!!  Quick showers.   She is so sweet.  I had to be careful with her owie.
  • We all got dressed quickly and then ran downstairs.  Twins were already down with Hubby.  Big Bro ate a bagel quickly.  We packed an envelope of oatmeal for Red.   Hubby packed me a bagel (THANK YOU)
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Drop offs were very quick.  Hubby and I are on the ferry now still decompressing.   We had literally 45 minutes to get all four kids out today – and we were set behind because of two out-of-the-ordinary showers.   I don’t know how we did it.

Today at work I will be focusing on the proposal.   All day.   I’m not looking forward to it that much but it will get done.

The sky is foggy, grey.   Not that cold though which is nice.  A lot of people are playing with their phones and iPads.  I got some new gear for my iPad that I’m excited about and also BUSINESS CARDS for Mama In Motion.   I’m going to start giving them out soon once I become brave enough.    I will work on the recipe submission for today as well.   I’ve received a lot of recipes from folks so thank you to all.  Keep them coming.  I have a backlog now so it may take a while for you to see your submission.

I’m going to get a coffee now!

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Answered some questions to potential members of a new forum we are creating
  • Talked to the whitepaper client and she liked our work.  She will arrange to come in our office in the next two weeks to talk about other work.
  • Set up a meeting with a potential client for Monday afternoon.   We gave him a proposal yesterday and he will visit us on-site on MOnday.
  • Picked up some lunch to eat at my desk; while picking it up I stopped in my kids’ old day-care center.   We miss it there so much.  It was great to know that the kids were right downstairs in my office building — that I was close to them in case I needed to be.   We loved that center and the people there.  I even had an opportunity to hold a baby…. a TWIN that the Center Director had; she is 8 months old – I held her and I saw her brother sleeping.   How sweet.   I just can’t imagine working in a place where my kids were literally a few rooms away.   I held that baby and something just clicked in me; that mothering sway and holding her and smelling her head.   I just love it.   How amazing.   Thank you Mama J for the diversion today!!!
  • Spent most of the day working on a HUGE proposal.  It was actually a stressful day; I still had more that I would have liked to do but I had to run to the ferry.    I can’t get back on-line until 8:30 PM tonight after the kids go to bed, so I handed off what I’ve done to two other team members, who will take it further.   I’ll check email at 8:30 to see if there is something more I can do.   We will then send the draft to the East Coast so our other Partner can pick it up and work on it further since he will be 3 hours ahead.   We will likely have a team meeting in the AM to divide, conquer, and send out the final proposal.
  • Made changes to the proposal during our end of day meeting and literally emailed it to the others as I was packing up – I have a ferry to catch!

So now I’m on the ferry.   I tried to give out some business cards while folks were waiting in line but I got about 6 rejections in a row so I got discouraged and ran back to Hubby in line.   I need to think about a better pitch than “Are you a working mom?”.   Sooo lame.

I also have some flowers with me that a friend sent to me yesterday – they are absolutely stunning.   Soooooo beautiful.  Thank you so much Ted!   You are a wonderful friend and so thoughtful!

It is still cold outside, but it’s a bit sunny.   We are going camping this weekend on a trip organized by a parents of multiples club – so just imagine about 20 families going camping with all of these twins and triplets everywhere.   We’re going to start packing tonight and we will hopefully leave a bit early tomorrow afternoon.   I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Where are all the working mothers on this ferry??!??!?!??!

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up for Big Bro was  a bit sad; he was just sitting on the couch looking out of it.  He claimed his stomach hurt but one of the teachers said there were some older kids playing a DS (??? what is that?) and she asked them to share with Big Bro but they ignored her.   So he may just be sad/depressed and not really sick
  • Pick up for Red/Twins was cute.  They were going for a walk again.  They all seemed happy.
  • In the garage things got crazy.  Twin Husky kept pushing the van button to open, close, open, close the van door.   Then I went around to the other side and he was running away from me.  He is such a boy.
  • Inside things got progressively crazier.   I set up Big Bro on the couch with a movie.
  • Red requested socks.  Don’t ask me why she took off her old socks with her shoes and why she needed a new pair.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a rubber band which frightened me a bit.
  • Twin Husky got lost.  I heard him, but could not find him.   I eventually found him in his room with the door closed.   “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyy”.   I had to go over to him and tickle and kiss him on the floor he was so cute.
  • We’re doing an old standby for dinner – boxed mac n cheese and chicken nuggets.  Hubby and I are going to order Indian Food for us.
  • We talked about camping.   Red asked if we will bring “SACKS” there.   I said, “Socks, of course we can bring socks there.” “No mommy, not sacks, SACKS.   Like graham crackers.”   Ohhhhhhhhhh.   Snacks.   “Do I have lions in my ears again?”   I applauded her for going out of her way to explain to me what she meant, instead of breaking down in tears like she usually does.  She’s getting so much better at her conversations.
  • For some reason we kept walking up and down the stairs – I don’t remember why.   Red pointed out that we were both wearing white socks with grey toes.   She has a thing for socks lately.
  • Mother’s Helper was busy doing laundry and rearranging the closets.
  • Daycare asked for more clothes for the twins so I packed stuff up for them for tomorrow and next week.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a book.  Someone (Hubby) eventually read it to her.
  • All kids ate well at dinner, including Big Bro.
  • Hubby started packing for the camping trip – all of our gear.  We may need to get some flashlights because I have a feeling the little ones will be fighting over them.  It would be good for each of us to have our own flashlight.
  • Twins went down for bed
  • Notary public came to the house for us to sign loan docs
  • We rushed Red and Big Bro to bed
  • Signed loan docs
  • Ate Indian food
  • Hubby is now continuing to pack; I wrote a list of clothes and food to pack tomorrow (I will work from home).
This was a crazy day – running non-stop essentially the entire day.  After I post this I will need to check work email to see if I need to do anything with the proposal tonight.   I swear the tension in my neck and shoulders is so bad…. this whole day was running.    But I got some good tickles and kisses in there and Red was really cute today with lots of interaction and talking and mothering her little brother and sister.
All in all a good day, but hectic day.
Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

Recipe: Tender Pork Tenderloin


This recipe was submitted by Mama N from Austin TX.   I really love this idea since you use one pan — you sear on the stove top and then shove the pan in the oven for final cooking.    I think I’m going to buy some this weekend and try it out next week!   Mama N says “As pork is bred very lean these days, searing the meat holds in the juices. It is therefore a very important step.” 

The recipe below is for 2 servings (1 pound pork tenderloin) so my guess is  that you will need to double or triple for larger families.  Enjoy!

TENDER PORK TENDERLOIN

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound for 2 servings)
1 clove of garlic, cut into slivers
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine

 

Instructions:

 

1.Preheat the oven to 400°F.

 

2. With the tip of a sharp knife, make deep little slits all over the tenderloin and insert the garlic slivers. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin.

 

3. Place the oil in an oven-proof skillet and sear the tenderloin well on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, turning the meat over as it browns.

 

4. Add the chicken broth and white wine to the pan and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove it and let it rest for 10 to 12 minutes, before carving. It will continue to cook as it sits. Slice and serve immediately.

prep time:  5 min

Cook time:  20 min, rest time 10 min

 

Makes 2 servings.
 
Per serving: 345 calories, 2g carbohydrates, 36g protein, 20g fat, 115mg cholesterol.
Nutritional Breakdown: New Wellness, Richmond, Va. 
Simply Delicious® by Sheila Lukins
PARADE®
October 2001
 
PARADE® and Simply Delicious® are used by CondéNet Inc. under license.


Epicurious Food © 2003 CondéNet Inc. All rights reserved.

August 17: Kids in all directions and a GREAT breakfast


This morning was great; I had a lot of personal time with the kids and was full of energy.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I was getting ready when I heard Twin Husky in his room — I guess they slept in a bit this morning!  This was great because Hubby usually takes them downstairs the first thing.   So I had the pleasure of opening their door room and looking at their faces as they smiled and lit up.   Sometimes they go so far as jumping up and down and squealing but they were moving slowly this AM.  I took their smiles happily.   Picking them each up out of their crib and holding them, hugging them, smelling their hair, is such a joy.    First was Twin Husky.   “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyy”.   Then to Twin Crazy.    They are so cute together – both standing in their room and exploring and talking to each other.
  • On the way out of their room we were greeted by Red.   She was doing her sheepish smile, and I was poking her belly.   She showed me the band-aid on her arm — and I joked with her that Daddy must have given that to her last night because I did not want to give in when she came out of her room last night saying that her arm “hurt”.   I joked with her saying that she was a lucky, lucky, girl that daddy gave her that band-aid and was poking her belly to make her laugh.   She was trying to hold her laugh in but it was almost impossible.
  • The three of them came back into my room as I got dressed.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky immediately went to the hair brushes and started to brush their hair.   Red asked for a pony-tail and I said i would give her one but as I sit here on the ferry I realize that I forgot…. must remember to make this up to her tomorrow.
  • Twin Crazy goes the closet and says “shoes” — begins to pick up hubby’s HUGE work shoe and start to carry it around.   Hubby appears upstairs to get the kids and Twin Crazy anxiously goes to the closet and shoes hubby his shoes.   She gets two of them (different pairs) and we both thank her so much and tell her how helpful she is.
  • Downstairs I was swinging Twin Crazy between my legs and she kept asking for more.
  •  We lose Twin Crazy for a minute.  I find her in the office playing with the computer mouse so now the computer is on.  I think she is concerned about this as I whisk her away.  I tell her “don’t worry, I’ll turn off the computer for you.”
  • Upstairs I hear a door slam – I go upstairs and there is Twin Husky – he made it back up there by himself.  I opened the door to my bedroom and immediately he pokes his head around the door and says “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyy” with a huge smile.   We were both cracking up.   This was another opportunity for me to pick him up, hold him tight, and smell him.
  • Downstairs, Twin Crazy is busy carrying around two milks.  She is trying to find Twin Husky to give him one of the milks.   She is really helpful these days and will go out of her way to find things and give things to people.
  • Diaper change for Twin Husky was a challenge.   He kept reaching for something he saw in the kitchen so kept squirming everywhere.  I got to kiss his belly and his feet.   He calmed down a bit.  After the change he ran into the kitchen but I think he forgot about what he wanted.
  • Twin Crazy diaper change was cute – she was playing with a milk sippy cup so got milk all over herself.   Twin Husky came over and started pointing to all the milk drips on her… from her belly to her face.   I love seeing the interaction between those two.
  • Hubby made me breakfast – bagel and strawberries.   THANK YOU HUBBY  🙂
  • I help Big Bro get changed (that is his time with me) and we joke about the piece of toilet paper we found still in his butt.   Red wants to get changed at daycare so I pack up her clothes in the to-go bag.
  • Time to go!!!!   Strap in Twin Husky; we lose Twin Crazy down the driveway and she was running towards the street.   She is very bad with that and we cannot seem to teach her to stay away from the street…. she just keeps testing us and thinking its a game – a dangerous one.
  • Both drop offs went great.    Kids were saying bye-bye.   Big Bro brought in a foam baseball and bat that he wants to share with his friends and school.

So, this morning was WONDERFUL.  I think having coffee and breakfast really helped.   As you can see I’ve captured a lot of this morning because I had the energy to do so.   The day is grey.  It looks like rain.   For work today I will likely be focusing on the one big proposal due at end of this week.   I’ll also follow-up with the white paper client from two weeks ago to see what other work she may have for us.

Tonight I have my doctor appointment so will not have much time with the kids.   I’m thankful that I was able to spend a good morning with them today.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • did some sales outreach for our partnering initiative
  • participated on conference call for our big proposal due end of week.   I now own the Master document and need to coordinate with the rest of the team to pull the rest together.  There are still a lot of questions about the approach that I need to figure out, and will need to focus on that for tomorrow.
  • Talked to the client about the Whitepaper we wrote for her and she liked the work and will get back to me middle of next week to talk about more.   Whew!   I really want to build a good relationship with this woman.

Commute and Bedtime:

I had an appointment tonight so Hubby is at home with kids.   So now I’m waiting for the ferry having a mineral water am in a much better state of mind.  I should have enough time when I get home to see my older kids off to bed.  Hopefully they were good for Hubby tonight.   It is dark, cold, and grey.   A winter of a summer.   I am so over it.   I would love to have my feet in some hot sand before the summer is over but not sure how possible that is…

8 AM:   Made it home and yes I was able to spend some time with the older kids!!

  • Red was upset about a new “owie” — and it does look bad.  A big scrape on her elbow.  I put Neosporin and two band aids on it.  She felt better.  She asked me to help her get on/off the toilet and also help her get dressed because of the owie on her elbow.  How sweet.
  • Big Bro told a “story” with story cards we recently received from a friend
  • Red took out and lined up some story cards, but she was silent.   I guess she had a story in her head.  Big Bro kept trying to steal her story so I had fun trying to cover up his mouth
  • Tonight was the first time I heard Big Bro refer to his sisters as “the girls”.   “I was playing with the girls….”.    [Oh my god I have four kids.]
  • I heard Twin Husky talking as he was going to sleep.   “Uhhhhhh ohhhhhhhh.   Uhhhhhhhhh ohhhhhhh.”   Cute.   I can’t wait to squeeze them tomorrow.
  • We talked about Big Bro taking a shower in the AM.  He’s excited about this.
  • Then Red said she wanted to take a bath.  I said there wouldn’t be enough time but offered her a shower with me.  She’s excited about this now too.
They are both upstairs now and I don’t hear a peep out of anyone.  I guess they’re looking forward to tomorrow and taking their showers.   How simple!
Till tomorrow,
– Mama K

August 16: Powder fight!


First of all THANK YOU for everyone who reached out to me today; this means a lot.  My story is much more complicated than you know but nonetheless I really appreciate all the good vibes people are sending.  Thank you.   These are my notes from my morning commute and rest of the day….

 

I feel completely out of it this morning.   Woke up in the middle of the night crying – so as well as feeling down, I’m very sleepy.   My eyes are swollen this morning so with no make up I must look like a sight.   Anyway,

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I missed most of the morning with the kids.   Red came in to greet me all dressed and EXTREMELY proud of herself.  “I got dressed all by myself!!”.    She asked me to help her roll up her sleeves — the sleeves honestly did not need to be rolled up but I did it anyway and made a real big fuss about how great she did and how proud of her I was.  I think the rolling of the sleeves was her way of holding on to me… maybe knowing I was still there for her.   How sweet.
  • Big Bro was already downstairs — it is Chocolate Tuesday after all.
  • Twin Husky was busy saying “Hiiiiiiiiiiyyyyy” when I saw him.
  • Twin Crazy was acting anxious — I was not sure if she wanted some bread with Nutella too so I offered it but she looked at it like it was dirt and walked away.   Later she came up to me with bread crusts and I’m not sure if she wanted me to try again with Nutella or if she was just giving me garbage.   I did not have the energy to figure it out.
  • I made some coffee this AM
  • Got the kids their vitamins.
  • Hubby already loaded everyone in the car; I grabbed the bag and found the random shoes.
  • first drop off went very, very well.   I again made a big deal about Red picking out her clothes and putting them on all by herself.   She seemed happy and smug.   Daycare told us that ALL day yesterday Twin Crazy was singing to herself and moving her hands.    I’m wondering if she was singing Twinkle Twinkle or maybe Itsy Bitsy Spider???!??!?    How cute.   Twin Husky smiles when I bring him out of the car seat and says “Byyyyyyyyyyyye” to Big Bro.    He snuggles in for one last hug before I hand him over to Daycare.   They all seem happy there.
  • Drop off with Big Bro went well.   The teacher noticed that he did not bring in a game today – I wonder if the kids were too rough with his Uno cards yesterday.   He gets particular like that over his things.

Ferry ride is quiet; the water is still.  It is gray and foggy.   I just want to break down and cry some more but am holding it in.    Today at work I’ll likely work on a proposal and continue to do sales outreach for the meeting in October.   After departing the ferry me and hubby walk together and I finally let it loose; I am so unhappy – and he knows it.    We go our separate ways and I fall to pieces.   I grab some breakfast, coffee, and OJ and the stranger behind the counter pleads with me that she knows there is something terribly wrong but sometimes just putting on a smile gets you through the day…. little does she know that I’ve run out of smiles a long time ago and can’t find my smile unless I’m with my children.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I spent most of the day working on the finishing touches of a proposal.   We shipped it off at the end of the day and it is very likely that we will start the work on Monday.   We do not think the client is going to any other consulting firm – I’ve been the day-to-day contact with him so this is my first true “lead” sale.   (he got to us through a random phone call from the website, but I answered the call…. lucky me!)
  • I also assisted with a big proposal that is due to the potential client by end of week.   Coordinated the “references” so we can begin to reach out to our previous clients to see if they would feel comfortable serving as references for our work.
  • I did some sales outreach for the meeting in October.   Sent materials to a client I sold into the membership – so again, I am the point person for a new client relationship here.

 

I had a pretty bad day.   I was crying a lot at work and it was very visible that I was distressed; “No, there’s nothing you can do, but thank you” was always my response.   I’m hoping things can change – my family is depending on it.

 

Dinner and Bedtime:

I had an EXCELLENT time with the kids tonight.   I missed them from last night and this morning so really they were such a joy to be around tonight.

  • We pick up Red and Twins and it was so cute, they were going for a walk along the cul-de-sac.   They are so sweet.  No more babies!   They are so big now!
  • At home, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are extremely interested in Red going pee-pee on the little potty.    They both wave goodbye to it as I flush it down the toilet.   I clean out the potty and Twin Crazy sits on it (clothed) as does Twin Husky.   Then Twin Crazy flushes the toilet again.  So cute.
  • I don’t know all the details, but I do know that Twin Husky took a bite out of Red’s thigh somewhere near the bookshelf.  So maybe they were fighting over a book.   This is REALLY a first for us.  I promptly reprimanded him and put him in his first “time out” for about 1 1/2 minutes – he was screaming, then sulking, but he knew that what he did was wrong.    Poor Red has teeth mark bruises on her leg now.  She was brave putting ice on her leg.
  • Twin Crazy’s foot got caught in a tissue box
  • Twin Crazy opened the refrigerator and took out a juice… then all the rest of the kids requested juice, even Twin Husky “juice”.   We usually only give milk or water before bedtime so this was a real treat for them to have juice at dinner.   I guess this is a rule we abide to for now on?   All for one and one for all?    Hmmmm.   I don’t know about this.    I think I’m going to have to back down on this one.
  • After dinner, Twin Husky was still crawling around on the floor picking up left-overs.  We don’t even need a dog in this house because of him.  Red thought that this was EXTREMELY funny.
  • Big Bro said he could count to 100, to 1,000, to 10,000, 100,000.   I mentioned 900,000 and then he mentioned 1 million.  I asked him if he had ever seen anyone write out 900,000 and he said no, so I grabbed my notebook to show him.   He’s really interested in numbers and science and reading – I am so psyched about it.  He goes to Kindergarten in less than two weeks and I know that it will be a lot for ME.   I think I need to take him shopping for a new lunchbox or something.
  • I changed Twin Husky and put some powder on him.   We all proceeded to feel the powder, me put powder on their bellies, powder in their hands, and suddenly all five of us were covered in powder.   My shirt still is grey and stinks of it (at least it’s a good stink).
  • Off to bed!    Books and kisses.   I love all of them so much!
I had such a great time tonight – what a roller coaster of a day.   My eyes are still swollen and burning – hopefully tomorrow will be more consistent.
Till tomorrow,
– Mama K

 

 

Random Thought: Martha or McDonald’s?


Our family tends to take the path to least resistance when it comes to meals with our kids.   Since we have four little ones, I usually want to keep things simple and offer only one meal that I hope all will like – instead of being a short-order cook for each one of them.   That leaves me with a few options of good old stand-bys — the “tried and true” meals that I know will (somewhat) work for all.   Or, maybe I’m just not trying hard enough to diversify?   Which brings me to this week’s random thought about the meals we give to our kids.   I’d like to ask the group the following 3 questions:

Time is so limited but I would expect to see variation in answers; and I’d love to hear comments on tricks/tips that you use to keep your meal ideas new and varied…. this is something our household could really benefit from!

As always, thanks for participating!

– Mama K

August 15: Sooooo sad


We just came off from a wonderful weekend. We went to the park and all kids had a great time with slides, and hubby was playing bat and ball with Big Bro. He had a blast. We also went to a surprise birthday party for a friend where there were lots of kids and kids toys – so we felt free to let our kids roam and explore. Then on Sunday I reconnected with two friends/coworkers from YEARS past – I have not seen one in over 12 years and she recently moved out to our city. So it was great to reconnect with everyone and meet everyone’s children. It was also interesting to see how things just don’t skip a beat. So many changes yet we’re still very much the same people.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Big Bro and Red were busy in their rooms playing the games brought to them as gifts from the day before. Big Bro is excited about bringing “Uno” to school. So much so that he was already dressed, was excited about eating breakfast, and kept asking us if it was time to leave yet.
  • Red picked out her clothes too. She was having fun playing with the tiles from another game.
  • I was having trouble finding something comfortable to wear that looked good. I kept seeing panty-lines everywhere and something that was supposed to be loose fitting and concealing made me feel like a plump sausage. I think I changed 3 times this morning until I found something that worked. I must be getting my period soon.
  • I made a big deal about Big Bro and Red picking out their clothes – so Twin Crazy started pulling at her diaper and then disappeared upstairs to look in her closet for clothes too. I couldn’t believe it. SHe also went into the bathroom to find her toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • I helped Red get dressed. She protested the underwear I picked and demanded the new Dora ones – thankfully I knew where they were – in the drying machine. Whew. And there were 20 to pick from so one was easy to find.
  • Twin Husky kept walking around saying “Hiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaa” all morning. Turning the corners, walking into new rooms, with this huge smile on his face and having a great time seeing everyone. He is such an easy child.
  • We were rushed leaving. I think it was because of all of my changing episodes.
  • We greeted our housecleaner who comes on an as-needed basis. I think we see her about once every two months but it feels like we should bring her in more. We started to use her when I was put on bed rest with the Twins so she has seen me from enormous to the two little 6 pounders, to them as 17 month olds walking and talking. She is amazed at how fast everybody is growing – even Big Bro who now looks like a teenager to her.
  • Drop off with REd and Twins went great; we didn’t have time to change Twin Husky’s diaper so he was very soppy.
  • Drop off with Big Bro was EASY since he was so excited about playing UNO with his teacher.

It is beautiful out today – which is unusual for the crappy weather we’ve been having. The sun is out and the city is not covered in fog. It actually feels like summer but of course the air is still cold.

Today at work I will be spending most of my time on a proposal due later this week. I have a meeting at 9 AM which I will be late to; I’ll be running to the office with no breakfast, no coffee, and no makeup. Great.

NOTE to self: I need to start a routine where I bring my breakfast into work. I can’t get by on trail mix.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Was late to the 9 AM meeting to discuss our approach for a proposal that is due at the end of the week
  • A different prospective client called me with some clarification questions; revised our proposal based upon his change in direction
  • Did some sales outreach efforts for the firm meeting in October

I had a reasonably bad day today; felt unenergized and down. I met a friend for drinks after work and completely lost it. Sorry Mama J!

Commute home:

I’m on a later ferry because of my plans with Mama J…. I cried way too much with her… Again, sorry Mama J!!! I’m on the ferry now with my eyes all red, and I’m still sniffling and crying. I need to make a decision: 1) pull myself together and pretend to my kids that I’m sick, or 2) go for a walk until they are in bed so they do not witness my despair. I want to see my kids but I’m scared that I’ll cry in front of them…

Someone please help me I’m begging for help but cannot seem to get anywhere. I’m so unhappy…

Made it home and was able to see them and hold it together.   Played cards with Big Bro, read books to Red, tickled Twins.   They all made me smile.

I’m going to sleep now…

Till tomorrow –

– Mama K

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