February 21: The Little Blue Engine that could?!?!?!?

Tuesday – after a long weekend – so this will be a super-short week for me. I don’t know if that is good or bad, since I am busy at work these days. It was a great morning until “the blow-out”….

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I walked into the Twins room and they were just waking up; Twin Husky was sitting up sucking his thumb with his Tigers, and Twin Crazy was hidden in her crib underneath a pile of blankets (the house was freezing this AM). They were quietly talking and mumbling and being sweet. I went to Twin Husky first since he seemed more awake. He was talking about the pile of books and the choo-choo train. Then Twin Crazy started talking about the train that was “broken” and how the other trains needed to “help”. I’ve been reading “The Little Engine that Could” to them in an abbreviated format, talking about how the one train is broken, and how THIS train doesn’t help, and THAT train doesn’t help, and THAT train doesn’t help (he’s too tired), but the happy little blue train helps. Well, Twin Crazy while in her crib suddenly becomes so fixated on retelling that story to me and she was so concerned about the train that was broken and I re-assured her that eventually the little blue happy train helped. We spent the next 15 minutes talking about this, all through their diaper changes, and getting ready to go downstairs. It was so cute. So cute how they feed off of each other and so cute how focused she can be so early in the morning.
  • Chocolate Tuesday! Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ran into Big Bro and Red’s room, talking about Chocolate Tuesday and about the train that was broken.
  • Big Bro and Red both wanted me to carry down their piles of clothes for them. They were excited about chocolate.
  • All kids downstairs were thrilled for chocolate tuesday. Fingers in the chocolate, chocolate all over faces. (I’m talking about Nutella for those that do not know – don’t worry, I don’t feed Hershey’s to the kids in the morning).
  • All bags were already packed and ready – jackets ready to go. We just had to get kids fed and Big Bro/ Red dressed. It all seemed easy.
  • I instant messaged our neighbor to confirm that Big Bro could ride his bike with them this AM. He got mad at me because he wanted the message to read “today and everyday”. So I had to resend a message since he went on strike and would not eat his breakfast otherwise. He was mad at me but then got over it. He got dressed very easily.
  • Red was next. She was doing great until we got to her shirt. She picked out a short sleeved shirt the night before, but the house was freezing this AM so when she put the shirt on she rejected it. I picked out 3 different long-sleeved shirts but she wanted a shirt that was in the laundry. So she rejected the 3 long sleeved shirts. At this point, we only had TWO drop offs (since Big Bro was outsourced to the neighbors) but believe it or not we were running late. So we decided to divide the drop-offs. Red still refused to put on a shirt. I threatened for her to just wear her jacket. Then her shoes were not in the designated place so I had to run around and try to find her shoes. That is something that just shouldn’t happen. All of the shoes should be in their place. With eight feet to get ready, we can’t afford the time in the morning to look for ONE pair of shoes. She knew I was mad so cooperated the rest of the time. She got on a shirt, got on her jacket, got into the car without a problem. Her drop off was fine, but she was clingy.
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    I am so frustrated today. Frustrated that I had a partner that just accepted this kind of routine. Frustrated that I did not have the support from him. Frustrated that we couldn’t turn to each other when things with the kids were hard. Frustrated that as a couple we could not get to a better place because of inertia and fear. I can’t wait to get through the next few months in this house.

    I’m on the ferry right now and am still typing fast and hard at all of this. It is foggy. I don’t like that I have to rush for this ferry. I don’t like that I have to commute to the city away from the kids. I don’t like this situation right now. I need to get out of this “temporary” abyss that I am in. I need to re-start my life.

    Work will be busy today. We have a client touchpoint today on the project we just started so I’ll need to connect with the team and figure out what we can share with them. I also need to get out a planning survey for one of our forums so I can start to plan out the Agenda and secure speakers. I also need to reach out to secure primary interviews for another project I am assisting on. I also need to see survey results from the other forum I am planning to see what topics I should focus on. Finally, I need to pack up my office – our office is moving over the weekend and today will be the only day I can physically pack up my stuff. Looks like I need to re-calibrate my “to-do” list above. It will be difficult to execute against all of it today.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    OMG I was so busy today. I almost did not stop for lunch, but this was the last day in the office for me so my “last lunch” was a bit of a momentus occasion – I got a huge turkey sandwich with REAL roasted turkey. YUM.

  • I was able to work with the research house we used before to get the old survey tools used for previous survey work we did in 2009 and 2010; we want to do the same customer surveys this year and feature the results during our meeting in April. So, I will need to work with these materials and modify to get the survey ready for this year.
  • I met with a team member to talk about the progress and initial results of his work related to our client project. I separately met with another team mate to understand available secondary research to help with the consumer preferences part of our work. I packed both sets of materials and sent to the client; we met with them in the afternoon to discuss progress and they seem really happy to-date. After the call, I talked with each of the team members about my expectations for the next Tuesday’s client call – what I wanted us to provide to them and if it was doable. They both have their marching orders so hopefully we will stay on track. I’ll check up on them on Friday and again on Monday to get the materials ready for the Tuesday client meeting.
  • I had a quick update meeting for the other initiative we are meeting for in April; I sent out some more invitations and also set up some conference calls to go over the purpose of the meeting and gauge interest.
  • I sent out the Zoomerang survey to help plan for one of the forums in April. This will help to identify which topics are of interest and how I can structure the Agenda into “tracks” so that we are presenting on topics that are of interest to the group(s).
  • I then spent several hours going through 8 years of files and packing. It was difficult for me. A part was extremely cathartic – getting rid and purging old work that I know I will no longer need. But there were many memories that flooded me — pictures that the kids drew over time, pictures of the kids as babies, spare diapers, old clothes, personal paperwork that brought me back in time. Maternity leave paperwork, health reimbursement paperwork, research of cities and their affordability and strength of public schools, copies of my marriage certificate, pictures of colleagues who passed away entirely too young. 8 years were compressed into 4 moving boxes. And these included “junk” of mine too…. rubber chickens, a favorite lamp for soft lighting, and lots and lots of photographs. I’m looking forward to a new office building. New faces. A new neighborhood. New lunch spots, new watering holes. A new breath. A new start.
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    So now I’m on the ferry with my normal shoulder bag but also with a roller bag of other personal paperwork. The sun is out. It’s beams are reflecting off of the waves and are flickering on my table. It is pretty, and relaxing. Maybe this is a sign that things will be better for me going forward. I’m hoping so.

    I have a pot-roast and chicken defrosting in the refrigerator. I think we’ll do the potroast tonight since it will be faster – with some pasta and veggies. I want to talk to Red tonight about this morning and how I felt mad but that we still love each other. Family members sometimes get mad at each other but it is OK to feel mad. It’s what we say, what we do, and how we communicate that is important – and that we all understand that we still love each other.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and he was encircled by several girls, each writing the names of different boys on their notepads and putting “stars” next to each of the boys’ names. They said Big Bro has the most starts because he is such a good boy. A quiet boy. A nice boy. One of them even went over to him and hugged him. she was cute with long hair. He blushed.
  • He walked the long walk to get his bike and he rode it back to the van. I watched him as he walked and then ran away from me. He stopped once to look back to see if I was still there. I couldn’t help but feel a bit lonely then, but also proud of the person he is becoming.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next. They were both going on a walk and were very concerned that I was going to pick them up without their second sets of lovely blanket and Tiger. I assured them we would go back and pick everything up.
  • We all went to pick up Red next. Red had some issues on the way out. She refused to walk. So all of us were standing there and she wanted me to pick her up but I just wouldn’t do it. I can’t do it. I’m too old for this. We eventually made it out with her walking on her knees and crying the whole way out.
  • I made dinner – a Trader Joe’s pot-roast, shredded cheddar cheese, warmed tortillas, broccoli/string beans, and a can of black beans — while the kids played. They played with plastic balls and Legos and pots and pans.
  • Dinner was really good and really easy. The kids ate well. Afterwards there was an issue with Big Bro and Red – he pushed her so I sent him up to his room. He kept coming down so I told him firmly that he needed to stay in his room and play quietly with something – Legos, books, anything. He kept it up and eventually I sat with him upstairs and he read to me – his homework for the night. He was fine from then on out. He read me his book, and then we were greeted by Twin Husky. He played with some magnets and then also with Big Bro’s Legos. Then they both played Legos and were really cute together.
  • I called down to Red to have her come up. I was on for their bedtime tonight. She came up without a problem and bedtime routine with both of them was really very easy. We picked out the clothes they want to wear for tomorrow. However… Big Bro has refused to sleep in his bed and is now on my bedroom floor. And now, as I type, I hear Red crying through the monitor for “mommy”. I can’t take this. It’s too hard to see this right in front of me. Let me go and check in on her.
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    I sat with her and rocked her for 15 minutes. I tried to put her in bed. She rejected it. Demanded her pillow and her doll. We came downstairs and I attempted to set her up next to Big Bro on my bedroom floor. She rejected that. She is pissed. And rightfully so. She wants her own bed but she wants Big Bro there too. She doesn’t understand. I don’t know what to do for her, for our kids in this situation.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K


    1. is your office moving? That sandwich looked great!

    2. I’ve found that sometimes when my children feel they have no control over something big in their lives (like the divorce you’re going through), they feel the need to control the little things in their life. Red fussing about clothes or just generally being more difficult/needy all makes sense. Her little world is up in the air right now. She doesn’t know how to explain what she’s going through so she’ll try to control what she can, even though that can be very frustarting for you. Much love xoxo

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