March 21: Big milestones!!!


Red is screaming for me right now as I type this. Ugggh.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy was excited to wear her new shirt from Nana. Red picked it out for her and Twin Crazy was acting silly and waving her arms wearing it.
  • Big Bro was trying to scare her along the way.
  • Kids got dressed and ready without any problems.
  • Big Bro rode his bike with the Motley Crew, I dropped of Twin Crazy/Twin Husky, and then Red.
  • I drove back home to work for the 1/2 day.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:
    [note: Red is still screaming for me….]

  • I made a pot of coffee, ate breakfast, loaded the dishwasher, and got my computer and phones out.
  • I had a conference call regarding a survey that we need to do for one of the meetings in April. I suggested ways to improve efficiencies and then lined up a resource to load the questions into Zoomerang. I need to look at the output PowerPoint pages since there seems to be a lot of manual, tedious work there that doesn’t need to be done…. I need to focus on presentation in the next week. But for now, the questionnaire will be executed through Zoomerang.
  • I secured a speaker and potential new member for one of the forums!!! YES!!! I’m psyched.
  • I had to answer numerous emails related to client work and forums. This trouble-shooting occurred throughout the day.
  • [Red is still screaming…. Mommy, mommy, mommy….. my Co-parent assumes the crying will just stop]

  • I had some appointments the rest of the day.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red, Twins, and Big Bro. While waiting for Big Bro to get his bike, Twin Husky pointed to the part of his head where it was OK for me to give him a kiss. I ask the kids if it is OK for me to kiss them.
  • Big Bro had a HUGE milestone tonight. Instead of taking the sidewalk the whole way home (with me tailing him in the van with hazard lights on], he decided for the FIRST time to take the “lagoon trail” by himself. It’s about 1/4 mile and I met him with the van on the other side. I was so proud of him. And the rest of the kids were also anxiously awaiting him to come into eyesight. So cute. He’s getting bigger, braver. I love that. Independence. Conquering fear, the unknown.
  • Kids ate really well. Twin Husky wanted to serve himself and cut his own meatballs. All kids wanted to put their own grated cheese on their dinners. Kids were getting their drinks of water. So independent. I love it. You have to be patient at this age (2 yrs old) but you need to let them do these things for themselves.
  • Afterwards, Red and the Twins were crawling around under the table and I was making jokes about them being “doggies”. Red was my Irish Setter, Twin Crazy was my Jack Russell Terrier, and Twin Husky was my Bassett Hound. They were all laughing and going in circles and shrieking and acting like doggies. So cute.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were pretending to cook.
  • Red was on my lap using a spoon to drink water and kept spilling it on me. I joked with her… “is THIS the thanks I get for making you dinner? Thanks for making me dinner mommy, now here is some water for your lap…” She was cracking up. We had a great time.
  • Hide and seek!
  • Bedtime – I had the Twins. Twin Crazy went pee-pee in the potty; I told her to hold it in when she wakes up and in the AM I would get her and bring her to the potty right away. I was so proud of her. We read books, kissed goodnight (especially the twins to each other) and then night-night. She said she was scared of the dark and I said that it is OK to be scared and also suggested clapping her hands real loud to make the scary things go away.
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    [Red is still crying for Mommy….]

    [I just went up to her. Got her into bed. Calmed her down. Asked her to relax her neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, legs, etc. Told her it was OK. Let her know that its easier to go to sleep when your mind and your body is relaxed. I asked her to relax and I promised to check in on her in 2 minutes. She agreed. I will go up to her soon, as promised.].

    I had a good day. I am really busy at work. And things are going so crazy at home. This is not a good situation for any of us. I wish it were May and not March. There is too much for our family to endure during this time. And I’m busy at work and wanting to do the best for the kids. I feel like I’m being pulled in all directions – but need to stay focused on making my work successful and protecting my children the best way I can. And that means letting go a bit, I know.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    March 20: Feeling too old for horsie-back rides


    I’m tired this morning and I know that I have PLENTY to do at work – a good thing, I suppose.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red had a really hard time going to sleep last night. But despite this, she is still the first one to wake up in the AM. She woke up at 6:20 AM calling for me, and I went to get her and brought her downstairs since it was soon time to get up anyway. She sat in my room and we talked. She saw the empty bowl of ice-cream sitting on my bedstand from last night and she totally caught me. “Hey, what’s that bowl of ice-cream doing over there?!???!?!”. She giggled when I told her that not only did I have ONE bowl of ice-cream last night, but I had TWO bowls….. we were both laughing together at that.
  • I showered while she hung out in my room.
  • Chocolate Tuesday! Kids were loving it. Chocolate Nutella was everywhere. Twin Crazy and Red were sharing a butter knife and picking the chocolate goodness off of the knife together.
  • Big Bro was still sleeping, but when I told him it was Chocolate Tuesday he smiled and said he forgot about that. And, he was able to ride his bike today. So, he had lots of good reasons to get up this morning. He agreed and rolled out of bed.
  • I gathered the extra socks that daycare requested. I also made myself instant coffee. I styled my hair and put on make up.
  • I diapered the twins and kissed their faces. I consoled Twin Crazy for something that upset her. I helped Red get dressed. Big Bro was anxious about riding and I kept a careful eye on my watch to let him know when it was OK to get ready.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky had fun in the front seat of the van while we were getting our things together. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s car seat to feel like a big kid so I let him.
  • All drop offs were fine. We were ahead of schedule.
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    So now I’m on the ferry and still a bit tired, and extremely hungry. I’m looking forward to a real big coffee and maybe a chocolate croissant. I love my new office. There are so many things nearby – banks, drug stores, lunch spots, people. Activity. Movement.

    I will have a lot of work to do today but honestly I have 4 hours of back-to-back meetings. How do you get work done when your time is spent like this? And I know that there are to-do’s that will come out of these meetings so that just adds on the work load. Our forums our exactly one month away so this is crunch time. I have 5 presentations to personally prepare for and deliver during these forums, speakers to still secure, speakers to coordinate logistics, presentations to review, and communications to make sure occur between the participants and the presenters. In addition to this, I also have a client project to manage, and the end of the project will occur AT THE SAME TIME. Seems like too much, right? I agree.

    I am feeling good, I think that putting on nice clothes and having hair and make up done help. I feel like a person. I’m looking over at the ex on the ferry and his eyes are closed. Typical. I’m not missing anything from that relationship. So much about him was so hard to reach. So unknown. So much unsaid. I’m sure he feels but does not express and avoids any kind of conflict. He’d rather just close his eyes and dream it away.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    Busy! Back in the office which was great!

  • I got in and responded to some emails
  • Conference call for a potential business opportunity
  • Internal meeting regarding our sales pipeline and initiatives; I gave all updates on what I’m pursuing and the team seemed energized on the opportunities
  • Meeting to sync with conference planning on one of the forums
  • Team meeting regarding to client project and other data to gather; billing and invoicing
  • I spent time with outreach to speakers and potential members. Will likely have to do some work this evening.
  • I’m tired, but looking forward to the kids. I hope tonight’s bedtime routine is not as bad as last nights.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first, then Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s seat. Twin Crazy was crying for her baby, whom she was missing all day today. We then went to pick up Big Bro, and then followed him (5 mph, with hazard lights on) along the slow streets to our house.
  • I cooked dinner and the kids were playing really hard together. Lots of laughing and no crying! No-one being mean!!! They were just having a really good time with each other!
  • Together we all took a short walk to the mailbox to get the mail.
  • After dinner I did some horsie-back rides with all of the kids; also some airplane rides and flips.
  • I was with Big Bro and Red tonight; we picked out clothes, read our books, and they were in bed by 8 PM. So far Red is not crying. So far so good.
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    I am so tired today. I feel crushed, physically and mentally. I feel like I need to relax but it is almost impossible to do so. Between big work meetings coming up, and things with the divorce, it is extremely hard for me to just decompress and unwind.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 19: Power Day! No, roller coaster day….


    This was an AWESOME day. It just all sortof came together – very busy, but very smoothe. Update: no, it ended on a really sour note. Blech.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy was excited about bringing her bouncy, laughing, jumping doll to daycare. She was also excited about bringing her new backpack (thank you Nana!).
  • All kids ate quickly, and got dressed AOK. No problems. No issues. No crying over socks. No crying over shirts. Their clothes were out, their favorites were clean.
  • Even though Big Bro lost his bike riding privelege this AM, he did not put up a fuss. He knew that he wasn’t able to ride and just dealt with it. There was no whining about it, which I was grateful for.
  • We all got ready so quickly that we all took the same van together for drop offs. We dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first, then Big Bro, then daddy off at the ferry station, and then I dropped off Red, solo. We looked at the rainbow that her class painted and I had to take turns with her to get a picture of her with it.
  • I got back home and started my working day – ate breakfast, cleaned up a bit, and got my computer and phones out. I was ready to begin.
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    Highlights of the Working Day:

  • I reviewed a client presentation that we gave today. There were a few changes that needed to be made before we could present it to the client.
  • I must have reached out to 20+ people to confirm partipation, speaking spots, etc. I confirmed topic and focus areas with the clients of one forum.
  • There were lots of emails to trouble-shoot today.
  • I started to get ready for my client presentation. Hair dry, make up, suit. I got my lunch ready – 2 cheesesticks and a Pepsi. I got my car phone charger and also my ear bud microphone. I listened to Metallica on the car ride until I had to turn it off to get ready for a conference call.
  • I had a conference call on my drive to the client as a status check for one meeting in April we are spear-heading. I finished the call in the parking lot of the client office building.
  • We had our interim review with the client and they seriously love us. I presented the work and it was very much “work together” – bringing the boss up to speed on the analysis, discussing highlights from interviews, and working with them to think through initial scenarios to run with our market sizing model. We mapped out what we will be able to deliver by next Tuesday’s status meeting and I believe that we continue to impress them with the analysis, thinking, and teaming along the way.
  • I drove back home and blasted heavy metal. Scorpions. Tesla. I felt alive.
  • I got home right at 5 PM and had time to switch to the mini-van. I went to pick up all the kids and start my 2nd shift.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • All pick ups were great; I gave them a snack while I cooked dinner. Dinner was ready shortly after 6 PM and they ate really well. I made a trip with them to the mailbox while dinner was finishing up. Red ate 6 pieces of broccoli.
  • Afterwards the kids played, I folded laundry, got the Twins changed.
  • Twin Husky now points to the part of his head where he wants me to kiss him. So cute.
  • Twin Crazy started wearing my shoes around; Twin Husky started wearing Red’s summer flip flops.
  • I talked with Big Bro about numbers and infinity and how there is no last number. I can’t believe I’m getting into these discussions with him already. He’s not even 6 years old.
  • Big Bro also wanted to talk about dolphins. How he knew why they jump in the air… to play, and to breathe. He’s right. I asked him where he learned that. He said he just was thinking about it.
  • He also wrote a note to a leprachaun telling him to come in for some gold and a surprise. He said that he was going to catch him and laughed.
  • Red wanted airplane rides but wanted my pajama bottoms to be pulled to my ankles since I didn’t shave my legs. They all hate the stubble on my legs when I rough-house with them.
  • I did bedtime routine with Twins – Twin Crazy has gotten into a routine of wanting to kiss her brother. I first would dangle her over his crib, and then put her inside his crib where they lay together and laugh and blow kisses. So cute. When I put her in her own crib she was really upset, calling for her brother. So sweet.
  • Big Bro was hiding in the Twin’s room, not wanting to start bedtime routine.
  • Red had a hard time with bedtime routine tonight. It’s almost 9 PM and its still not over….
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    [Note; 8:30 PM: OMG Red is screaming right now and daddy is on night-time routine. He just lets her scream and come downstairs to me. He just ignores her and reads to Big Bro and lets her come down here to me… what happens when I am not here? Are these kids going to be screaming and ignored? She keeps running down here. OMG it is now 9:08 and she is screaming for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I went up at 9:10 and talked to her and settled her in bed. I talked to her about her breathing and how I sometimes have a hard time going to sleep. I talked to her about relaxing her arms, shoulders, fingers, elbows, legs, etc. I said I would come back in 2 minutes to check back on her and I did. Now I’m in the middle of a “4” minute check in and writing this. I’m listening to her sighing in the monitor – knowing that he will never have the patience for this and that these kids will need me now more than ever.]

    So this is the roller coaster I live. Seriously. I spent 95% of the daytime feeling on top of the world. Kids were cooperative, playful, intelligent, ebbing and flowing with me. Work was great. I was jamming on things that needed to get done, multi-tasking, getting revved up for a client presentation, and knocking their socks off. I felt alive on the drive home and happy. I ran to get my kids to embrace the balance that I need. They were happy, jumping, playing with me and playing with each other. They were engaging and I felt proud of them….

    … and then bedtime. And Red. And screaming. And prying her off of me.

    I can’t wait to get out of this house – I can’t stand to hear it anymore. I need to know that we are doing the right thing by these kids given this situation and this does not feel right to me. This is sink or swim. And I can’t stand to see my kids sinking, and flailing, and standing by without doing anything. This is the worst possible situation to be in. Force the separation for what you think is best in the long run, but I don’t believe in that long run scenario. And she was happy today but in pieces tonight. And I was pumped all day today, and feel defeated tonight.

    The end of the school year cannot come fast enough for me. We just have a lot of ground to cover between now and then. I am ready for it and ready to be there for my kids and fight for them along the way.

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Read


    “We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.” – Henry Miller

    I remember several years ago when Big Bro ALWAYS had problems going to sleep at night. He would either fight with us or play or talk or sing himself to sleep. That issue seemed to fix itself when he stopped taking afternoon naps and now, falls into bed exhausted. He often is snoring as Red is still awake. I remember my mother talking to him about it and saying that she sometimes reads books to help her relax to go to sleep. He replied back to her that “I guess I’m just going to have to sing until I am able to learn how to read.” I thought that response was so cute. And now we’re on the cusp of him having to be able to do this… he’s reading beginner books from school and is also busy learning how to write. I’m excited that we have books to rely on if he becomes difficult at bedtime. And maybe I’ll get him a booklight for his birthday in May.

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    Well, now Red has been our “problem child” in terms of transitions and sleep. I’ve been writing about this for several days/weeks now, since it’s hard to ignore when you feel like you’re dealing with a newborn again – one who refuses to sleep at night and also wakes up in the middle of the night. It’s difficult trying to manage this while co-parenting since we likely have different approaches. She got used to holding a hand (which did not come from me, but was still something that I’ve had to deal with). Over time Red and I have started with a consoling “rock” to sleep and have migrated to a quick “rock” and then me watching her, and then leaving her to come back and check on her, to last night….. I suggested that she look through a book to help her relax. She decided on a “princess” book and she obliged my request. She lay in her bed, quiet and still, while holding and leafing through a book looking at pictures and likely re-telling the story to herself inside her head. She drifted off to sleep by herself. She is having a problem with nap time now and I again suggested a book. So sweet. She is flipping through the pages, relaxing her body, and is close to sleep. [Update: She is now snoring. Books by her side.]

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    And I’m sure many if not all of us have instituted a nighttime ritual with our children of reading a short story or book before their bedtimes. It winds them down. It signals a break from their day. It is quiet and engaging and peaceful.

    *****

    So for working mothers: When is the last time YOU’VE actually read a book? I mean from beginning to end? And not an article about baby food or pediatrician advice or anything baby related, child related, or pregnancy related? Or even Blogs. I mean a good old fashioned hardcover, softcover, or maybe iPad or Kindle version of words into sentences into stories…..???!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I know that our time during the day is an issue. I recognize that. But for those that are not imbibing in the written word maybe there’s a way to make the time at the end of the day? Or maybe sneak in some time during a commute to work? Maybe the trick is to find books with short chapters, or short sub-chapters, or simple easy to digest books? Or are downloadable books really the way to go?

    Over the last two years I’ve read lots on kids, babies, even some People mags…. but there have been a few books that have made my list as well:

    – The Twilight Series. All four books. A very easy read and I personally love vampires. The only thing about this was that it was extremely difficult to relate to the high-school characters. I had a hard time dealing with the petty drama that came along with the characters but overall, it was entertaining.
    – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson. I highly recommend these. Short chapters. Interesting story. Interesting, likeable characters. You can squeeze in 10 minutes at the end of each day and make progress through the books since the writing is easy to follow and the sub-chapters are short and manageable.

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    – Ann Rice Vampire books – these were heavier in terms of writing style but extremely enjoyable reads. Again, my vampire facination is coming out a bit so you’re seeing a part of me that is new.

    I’m thinking about looking into the True Blood novels next.

    So anyway, I’m finding through my kids and through myself that reading does relax. It obviously transports you into a different world which can be a godsend when times seem too difficult to navigate. Escaping in a good book, or at least an easy book, might be the cheapest medicine (and therapy) one can buy.

    What are you Mamas out there reading? Any suggestions for other Mamas on books that you think are easy to get through and worth a try to keep you calm and centered?

    Thanks for listening –
    – Mama K

    March 16: Fish


    Friday! Home with ALL kids (Big Bro’s school was closed today) AND my mom! It was a great day.

    Highlights:

  • All kids were excited for a “home day” — all of them together. We kept the same wake up routine and got everyone dressed and ready to go. I decided to take everyone to a science museum and acquarium today. It was awesome. We went through a rainforest, looked at macaws, frolicked with butterflies, looked at trees, went up a circular ramp, and stuck together/watched out for each other. We also went to check out a HUGE acquarium, were dazzled by the jellyfish, and had snacks by the huge tank looking at all of the fish. We had fun interacting with a penguin and also running around and chasing each other. The kids were so great, everyone basically stuck together and looked out for each other. Twin Husky was wandering a couple of times but did not seem scared or upset – Big Bro and Red were both excellent big siblings. Big Bro also had fun being in charge of the umbrella since it was still raining non-stop today.
  • We went to lunch afterwards and the kids ate well. All were well behaved and enjoying themselves.
  • At home the younger ones took a LONG nap while Big Bro sat with me and lounged in front of TV, talking about moose, polar bears, etc. He got a bit cranky with me and I asked him to go away for some quiet time. He lashed out at me by throwing toys around. He lost his bike privilege for Monday and I helped him put the toys back in their bins.
  • We had a feast for dinner. Salmon, to keep with the “fish” theme. Twin Husky was shoving food in his face, Twin Crazy was eating well with a spoon, Red kept getting more helpings… only Big Bro was “off” tonight….
  • Afterwards the kids had fun playing lillipads with pillows, and running around with each other.
  • On our way upstairs, I heard Red screaming. I get into their room and she is naked and Big Bro is puking rice onto the floor. Now I get why he didn’t want to eat and was a bit cranky this afternoon. I made sure he was OK, then addressed Red. Poor naked Red. I washed her down and she calmed down. I cleaned up the mess in the room. I’m actually amazed at how quickly everything went back to normal. Big Bro was not even that upset about anything and just took it easy. I still read to them and talked with them and Red just said that Big Bro was sick. She was not upset or anything. I was pleasantly surprised.
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    Tomorrow is Saturday and I would normally be pumped about it, with my Mom here and everything, but the ex is here too, which makes things very weird. Hopefully he will find a way to entertain himself solo tomorrow so me and Mom can enjoy our last full day together with the kids.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 15: Siblings playing


    Today was nice in that I had the kids and my mom here, but overall it kindof sucked since a morning meeting related to the divorce put a damper on the day.

    Highlights of the Day:

  • I came back home to my mom with Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Red working on laundry after playing with play-dough the majority of the morning. I gave them a snack and then worked on lunch.
  • After lunch they colored. Red wrote her name, after us telling her what letter comes next. Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were both very busy with their coloring. My mom took all of the pieces of art to take home with her as keepsakes.
  • Naptime. This did not go over well at all. Twins were jumping up and down in their cribs, laughing and cackling with each other. Later Twin Husky, who normally loves to nap, decided he wanted to be downstairs instead. He was furiously crying. I went to pick up Big Bro while my mom stayed behind, and even when we came back he was still crying. So, I grabbed him. He wanted to go downstairs. So Twin Crazy wanted to get up. And Red never went to sleep – she was just resting, looking at a book. So all kids were up, and not very rested. I sat with Twin Husky on our rocking chair and he snoozed a bit which was good for him (and for me).
  • We had snacks and then gathered our wheels (scooters, bicycles, balance bike) and headed over to the courtyard. Then all the other kids came out. It was cute seeing all the kids playing together. And seeing Twin Crazy and Twin Husky playing like the big kids. They would line up along a garage door and wheel down the driveway together. They bounced balls with each other. It started to sprinkle and they shared umbrellas with each other. It was all very sweet.
  • Back at home I made dinner with the help of Red and Twin Husky. Chicken cutlet with home-made breadcrumbs. So easy, and it makes the chicken so damn good.
  • Afterwards the kids were playing with each other. They were pretending that the trundle bed (normally under Big Bro’s bed) was a boat and all the kids were playing on and off the boat. Big Bro was the director, directing everyone’s play. Then they were playing with blankets and hiding underneath. Big Bro was also hugging them and swinging them around in circles. So cute.
  • We headed downstairs for some quiet time; I then put Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to bed without a problem. Twin Crazy was cute in that she REALLY wanted to kiss her twin brother good night. But he wouldn’t let her. So I taught her how to “blow kisses”. Twin Husky was blowing kisses back to her. I eventually put her in his crib so she could give him a proper kiss and they were both cracking up at this. Red and Big Bro were a bit harder. Red’s crying is a problem. I am here now typing this in their room; where she knows I am but still at a distance.
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    So the day still had its special moments even though my overall frame of mind has been down. I will be glad when I am in my own place, wherever that might be.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Recipe: Zucchini pizzas


    This recipe was submitted by Mama J from San Mateo, CA.   Very creative Mama J!   I should send you some pictures of things that I’ve seen and have you replicate it!   Sounds yummy!

    “Saw a picture of these online but no recipe so I made it up”.

    Zucchini pizzas

    Serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 larger diameter zucchini (not the little skinny ones)
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 tsp fresh chopped basil
    • shredded mozzerella
    • olive oil
    • salt

    Directions:

    • Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, use a small spoon to carve out the seeds in each half.
    • Put zucchini shells in 400 oven while you prep the sauce.
    • Chop up tomatoes and 1/2 the insides of the zucchinis.
    • Heat 1 T of olive oil and then lightly sauté the tomatoes, zucchini insides, garlic and basil (I used the frozen cubes of garlic and basil you can buy at TJ’s), until it becomes a pizza-like sauce consistency. Salt to taste.
    • Remove zucchini shells and scoop sauce into them, then top with a little shredded mozzerella cheese.
    • Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and browns a little at the edges.
    Preparation time:  10 min
    Cook time:  20 min

    March 14: Puddles, worms, and Nana


    It’s Wednesday night at 9:45 PM so I am writing this from memory… it will be brief…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • It was POURING outside; kids were watching the rain and also commenting on the worms. We stood there for awhile looking at the rain and worms together. I talked about how the worms like the water and how when it rains you can usually find some worms on the sidewalk. Twin Husky couldn’t find the worm we were talking about so Big Bro helped him to find it by pointing and talking about where it was.
    • We talked about how Nana was coming in an airplane to visit and how she would be with me when I picked them all up from school. I asked if that was OK and they said YES!
    • When I dropped Big Bro off, he was brave and walked from the car by himself up the driveway to school. The rest of us stayed in the van and watched him go. He said he was going to count the worms he saw on his way into school. The other kids were fast-walking because of the rain but he was slowly walking, taking his time, probably counting the worms he saw.
    • Twin drop off and Red drop off were fine; I carried Red’s blanket and baby doll inside of my own raincoat to keep them dry. Red appreciated that.

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    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I went home and got myself set up. I cleaned up from breakfast, loaded the dishwasher, put some laundry into the dryer. I ate some breakfast, refilled my coffee, and got my computer set up and phones nearby. I was ready.
    • I addressed some emails related to the forums we are planning for April. Also did some miscellaneous sleuthing for a contact name on behalf of one of our directors. I also had to load my old email files into my new computer in order to find these contact names… so it was an inefficient morning.
    • I spent time formalizing the Agendas and timing for 2 of our big meetings in April. It helps to see things concretely and to see where there gaps, if any, in the timing.
    • I did some speaker outreach for both of the forums… confirming spots and also following up with requested information. We are really down to the wire now, the speakers should really be set at this point so I feel a bit under the gun.
    • We had a client conference call to review some analysis. Our team stayed on after the call so we could get ready for our client meeting on Monday. We need to build another analytical model to evaluate the opportunities for the client based upon different dimensions and different scenarios. I tried to get the team on track to 1) refine what we have done so far; and 2) build a working tool for our meeting on Monday; 3) plan for the scenarios and understand which “levers” to pull in the model for which scenario and why; and 4) talk about the discussion document to have to guide this working session with the client on Monday. I’m a bit worried since I won’t be working much from now until then – especially since my mom is here.

    I gathered up my things, picked up the kids, and we were all talking about Nana on our way to the airport. Big Bro also told us a story that he said was “bad”. How there was lots of water and how there was a group of worms that were smashed by someone’s feet. And both Big Bro and Red were telling stories about how much it was raining today and how there were piles and puddles of water everywhere. I handed out graham crackers, we picked up my mom, and ordered a pizza before heading home in the rain in great spirits.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • It was a fun reunion with Nana. The kids were really running around and full of energy.
    • We cleaned up the toys a bit to make the place seem less of a disaster; Red used the dust-buster, Big Bro started wiping up spots off of the rug, I tried to get the twins to work on the puzzles but they just wanted to play with water and dump water everywhere.
    • Pizza came; the kids were going nuts. “Hello Pizza man!!!”
    • Twin Husky really wanted to play with Red’s baby doll and blanket. He kept putting the baby on a pillow and covering it with the blanket. He even fed it with a bottle a couple of times. So cute.
    • The kids were very physical after dinner. Lots of tumbling, tickling, horsie rides, and airplane rides.
    • I did bedtime routine with the boys – this was different. Twin Husky went down without a problem. He loves to sleep. Big Bro was easier during the routine since it was just me and him. He was very cooperative and we read together and then he was quietly doing his Legos before jumping into bed.

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    I’m now finishing this write-up and its 10 PM. Red was having problems going to sleep so I had to go upstairs to soothe her. I don’t like holding her hand or rubbing her back to get her to go to sleep… instead I like to hold her, calm her down, talk to her, ask her if there is anything specific that she wants to talk about, ask her about her feelings (is she scared? sad? isn’t sure?). I feel so bad for her, especially when I’m sitting next to her in her bed and prying my arm away from her grip. Especially when I’m looking into her eyes and they seem so sad to me.

    I’m glad my mom’s here.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 13: Feeling worn out.


    Last night was rough. There were multiple times during the night that Red was up in the middle of the night crying. I went up several times to soothe her. Rock her. Hold her. And tell her it was OK. She would drift back to sleep, and then it would happen again a few hours later. Early in the AM (5:45 ish) Daddy indicated that she can’t keep doing this anymore. Still crying. I go up and soothe her. It’s almost 6 AM. I tell her its time to wake up soon and give her the option of resting in her bed or coming downstairs with her stuff to get ready for the day. She comes downstairs happily.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red in my room, laughing and joking. Joking about her toes.
  • I shower and quickly get ready. Red asks why I wear tights (it is raining today) and that my skirt is too long. I look at my face and I have old mascara all down my face. I asked REd why she didn’t tell me that I looked like this? This is ridiculous! I look like a Panda bear (her pre-school class is the Panda Bears). We talked about this for awhile and I explained the eye-maker remover and how it takes off the junk without hurting my eyes.
  • We head upstairs and get Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Crazy and Red are fighting over the tea party set but it is Twin Crazy’s present. They divided the stuff and seemed happy.
  • Big Bro was busy sleeping. I have a feeling he worked on his Lego project too long last night.
  • CHOCOLATE TUESDAY!!! All kids excited. Chocolate all over the place.
  • Big Bro and Red received the items that they painted at a birthday party the other day. Red painted a frog all black, with colored spots. It was so cute. Twin Crazy even said that it was “cute”. Red looked at it and then said that she wanted to give it to me. I love it. My little black froggie.
  • Afterwards Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were walking around with their helmets and their scooters. The stuff was not put into the garage last night but left in the kitchen instead (BIG MISTAKE). So now these kids were scootering all over the kitchen – we’re trying to get out in the morning and we don’t need to fight over helmets and scooters. Note to self: make sure everything is put in garage the night before.
  • We made it out by 8 AM so did the 3 drop offs all together. Twins first. Big Bro next. Red last. I dropped off the envelopes and “mail” that I made for her last night. I made the deadline so am glad for that.
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    I am on the ferry now, and it is so rainy. The morning was OK, but I’m still working off of very little sleep. I have major deliverables for 4 different initiatives/ projects I am leading in April. Plus another meeting I am trying to organize in May. Plus a divorce. There are so many things that I need to address today. It will be busy! I will have 1 planning meeting, 1 selling meeting, 1 meeting with my lawyer, 1 client meeting, and 1 interview for a potential new hire. AND I have to get work done in between. I will need to buy breakfast this AM to get me ready.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    OMG very busy!!!!

  • Started by leading a team call with our partner for our refined go-to-market activities for a forum we are trying to launch. I then took these materials and reached out to all prospects on my list. Hopefully we’ll get some bites. We’ve repositioned this as a “meeting” versus a firm decision to commit. So a softer sell. I hope this change in direction works, especially since it was my idea.
  • I then lead a call with a potential participant for our other forum…. a really big potential client… COO of a MAJOR player that we have not worked with in the past. The meeting went great. I got connected with her from an ex-co worker of mine from over 20 years ago. It is amazing how strong your network becomes over the years. Not only is she interested in the one initiative that we were talking with her about, but she is also interested in the OTHER initiative I am leading too!! OMG!!! I want to set up a lunch to thank my friend and also invite her, since I think there could be amazing business development opportunities that come from this…. My Director gave me a fist-pump after the call.
  • I unfortunately also had a lot of personal calls today; regarding events with the divorce…
  • I had some calls to help secure speakers at our forums
  • I answered/addressed a ton of emails related to all of the above
  • I had to work on our client deliverable for today and sent it to them; we had our status call today and shared some preliminary insights with them. I also thought about our face-to-face working meeting for next week and what we need to have done to be ready for that meeting…. we have a lot to do…
  • I interviewed a potential hire for our office. I liked him.
  • Now I’m on the ferry, and I know I have a lot of work to do on a personal front and for work…. we are in crunch time now since our forums are one month away. A lot has to be done, to be orchestrated…. I am getting nervous…. particularly since the divorce is coming to a head all at the same time…

    I’m on the ferry new and it is rainy. The boat is rocky. I’m not sure what I’m going to have for dinner tonight but I am starved. I think pasta. And spinach. And shrimp. I am tired from my night with Red last night. Hopefully she is in a good mood tonight despite her lack of sleep….

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • It was raining when I picked the kids up. I was starving. I picked up Red first, then Twin Crazy/Twin Husky, and then Big Bro. Red was trying to tell me about a “streamer-on-a-stick” thing that she made but I was having a hard time understanding what she was talking about. She was getting mad at me. Eventually I figured it out but it took a good 15 minutes. I wish she just would have told me to look in her folder!!!
  • We decided on pasta, shrimp, and spinach. I gave them a small snack as we walked in since they seemed cranky/hungry.
  • After dinner we worked on Big Bro’s “catch a leprechaun” project where he puts “gold coins” in a cup with a ramp so that the leprechaun falls into the cup as he’s getting the gold. Big Bro wanted to write out the directions in list-form first before starting on the project. He is like me in that way – I live by lists.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with chap-stick.
  • I started some laundry and cleaned up from dinner.
  • Red was the only kid who ate a lot of dinner, so I snuck her into the garage and gave her some animal crackers as a treat.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were freaking out at bedtime tonight. Laughing, running in circles, and being hysterical as they were giving each other kisses tonight.
  • Right now Big Bro and Red are talking to me through the “kid” monitor. So cute. They’re telling me stories and singing.
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    It was a good day; another busy day. I feel like I scored a big win at work, but feel like I’m under the gun at home. I’m looking forward to my mother’s arrival tomorrow – she will be here until Sunday.

    Wait a minute…. now Red is crying. Big Bro is whispering into the “kid” monitor for me to come up there since Red’s crying. But it’s not my night. It’s up to Daddy to be on duty for them tonight. I hate this. It makes it seem like he’s calling for me but I’m not responding to him/her.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 12: Not a bad Monday


    Monday, after a long weekend, with little sleep. And I will be busy today. Not good. Last night’s sweet reunion with the kids was at 8 PM – Twin Crazy was acting silly and saying “Hiya”. Big Bro was tired, as was Red and Big Bro. I had all four kids on the floor with me as they came back into the house. Twin Crazy and Red on my lap, Twin Husky half on my lap and the floor, and Big Bro in a fetal position laying next to me on the floor. It was a late night for them. By the time Big Bro went to sleep, it was past 10:15 PM.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red screaming between 5 – 6 AM. I went up several times to soothe her.
  • Big Bro was excited about leading the pack of the Motley Crew today. His day is Mondays.
  • Red was fine after she got dressed into her favorite Dora shirt.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy eating breakfast, and talking alot. Talking about how their bowls were circles and how tangerines are balls. Twin Crazy brought Red her hot pink phone, and brought Twin Husky his bear stuffed animal. She is so sweet.
  • Twin Husky was acting goofy and sticking pieces of bread crusts out of his mouth like two teeth.
  • All kids were having fun this AM. Interacting with each other and taking care of each other. Twin Husky needs to have his pile of things with him (basketball, tigers, rubber snake, bear) and the kids were helping him organize his stuff next to him.
  • Getting out of the house was easy today. Big Bro was eager to leave on his bike. I found Twin Crazy and Twin Husky playing with their scooters outside in the driveway, laughing. Twin Crazy is REALLY good at the scooter. She glides and everything.
  • We drop off Twins first; then Red. It is picture day for Red and we forgot. Her hair looks like Einstein and I ask the teacher to please comb it before the pictures.
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    Now I’m on the ferry and I have so much to do today – I have a 9 AM conference call that I have to lead and I need to figure out where I’m going to go for quiet space to have this conversation – the ferry gets in just close to 9 AM so I need to figure that out. I have 4 [update; no make that 5] other meetings/conferences calls after that. I need to figure out what work I need to do between those and need to get organized when I get into the office.

    I’m attending to emails already while on the ferry and getting myself ready for the day.

    I am in reasonably good spirits today. I am looking forward to my mother’s visit this week. I’m also looking forward to getting this divorce process done. I want to get out of this house. There is no soul/charm/personality and I really am looking forward to moving on.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    OMG busy! Again!

  • Worked on client deliverable
  • 5 meetings! 1 project team meeting, 1 staff meeting, 2 speaker planning meetings, 1 internal planning/agenda meeting. Whew!
  • I will need to get real work done tomorrow.

    I’m on the ferry now, riding home. Tired. But it is sunny outside. I’m looking forward to picking up the kids. Looking forward to catching up with them since I did not see them this weekend. The Twins were very talkative this morning… its amazing how quickly they change. I can see the difference in them from only being away for 2 1/2 days! So I’m looking forward to learning about them tonight. And hearing about Big Bro’s Monday as Leader of the Motley Crew. And hoping that Red had a good day despite her lack of sleep last night.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first, then the Twins. We picked up Big Bro last so he could ride his bike from school to home. I suggested that he take an alternate route… a path that winds around a man-made lagoon which is really pretty. We’ve gone on it many times before. When he got to that part of the journey, he wasn’t sure where it would lead and he decided to come back up on the sidewalk and me follow him home in the van. So cute. He was brave, then backed down to the safety of what he knows. That’s OK. I had fun following him and the kids had fun cheering him on along the way.
  • At home I cooked; Big Bro helped with parts of the dinner. He also helped clean up some spilled water (Twin Crazy). Red helped set the table.
  • Kids ate well, except for Twin Crazy. She got cranky later so I brought out milk for everyone.
  • We played outside since it was light out from the time change. Big Bro and I played “kick back” which is just kicking a ball back and forth. Twin Husky was busy throwing a basketball in the air. Twin Crazy was frustrated with her pretend stroller, and Red was trying on shoes.
  • Twin Crazy was playing with her milk and I eventually took it away from her. She gets so upset when you are mad at her. I asked her if she needed some mommy-time and she said “Yeah…. Mommy time…..”. So I sat with her in the hallway, talked with her about how I felt mad at her. And why I felt mad at her. That she was playing with her milk and not listening. But that it’s OK, that people get mad. It’s OK to feel mad. And even though I was mad at her, I still love her. And then Red added in: “yeah mommy, and you love her so so so so so so much”. So cute. I guess Red remembers similar conversations with her.
  • Bedtime – I had Big Bro and Red. They got ready really quickly. Red asked me to pull something out of her jacket that she forgot downstairs so I did and almost shit my pants when I saw and felt a squishy fake bug. So of course I made a big deal out of it upstairs with them. Then Big Bro started picking his toes and I had Red cracking up about how gross that was. Yuck. They were both reasonably ready for bed, Big Bro with a Lego project so I asked him to get into bed when he was ready. Goodnight guys. I love you so much.
  • Kisses for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. “I……. love…… you” whispers. “Sweet dreams”.
  • Afterwards, I made some “mail” for Red for her pre-school class. I printed a picture of Dora, Princesses, and Mini-mouse. Then made little notes and made envelopes to her. One from mommy, one from daddy, and one from Big Bro, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
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    I’m now sitting in bed, listening to quiet kids in the monitor. I think Red finally quit the “hold my hand until I fall asleep” routine. That one was tough. I think we did it. I can’t believe how good Big Bro and Red were tonight. They were both so helpful. It’s good to have them around again. I don’t know if they were so good because I was away this weekend, or maybe Big Bro felt like he was happy from his bike ride…. I’m not sure but I need to figure it out. They were all wonderful tonight.

    I had a great Monday.
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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