April 18: Wiped out


It is 11:30 PM on Wednesday night and I am 1/2 through this busy week.  I feel crushed.  I feel like I have nothing left in me.  We are beginning a new meeting tomorrow and I feel like crawling under a rock.  I’m winded.  I’ve hit the wall.   I’m juggling and the balls are coming down.

  • The end of our first event went well; we received great feedback.
  • Our second meeting went well due to attendance; but there is more work to do to see if it can be monitized.  I also am having difficulty working with the partner we are working with.  I don’t trust him.  He is too salesy.  I don’t feel like he is genuine.  So it’s hard for me to get excited about working with him to make this work.  
  • An old friend of mine was part of this second event.   I filled him in on the personal matters in my life.  He is stunned.  And worried for me.  He knew of my quest and need for change.   The look of disappointment was hard on his face.  And he was NOT disappointed in me.   He gave me a huge hug goodbye tonight.  

Seeing my old friend/co-worker just put me in a bad place.  A place like I felt last year.  A place where I am reliving old dreams and frustrations; and disappointments and missed expectations.   And feeling wiped out.  Emotionally, intellectually, and physically.   I feel like I’m at that place again.  Where I have nothing left and I don’t understand how I got here.   Where I’m running and running and running but not getting anywhere.   Where I feel alone.

I tried to call the kids tonight but did not make it passed the co-parent.  I was hung up on.

So now I’m feeling sorry for myself I guess, feeling like there’s still so much to do with this week and with my life, but feeling drained.   Feeling like I’ve taken on too much.   Feeling defeated.

I’m hoping to get some sleep tonight.  I will miss this featherbed and fluffy sheets but am aching to be in the arms of my kids.  Eight sticky hands to reach out to and four smiley faces to kiss.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

April 17: A barrette


The end of the first full day of meetings – all went well – some highlights:

  • I presented two presentations and actually received good feedback in terms of participation levels; one client told one of my Directors tonight at dinner that these were some of the best presentations he’s seen from us in years.  I’m psyched.  There’s still more that I wanted to do with them so they’ll see those improvements next meeting, six months from now.
  • facilitated the day, with 3 guest speakers and group discussion.
  • Came back to the room for the “break” before dinner and did preparation work for the next two big meetings; then I got ready for dinner and saw a barrette that the room cleaner found somewhere… it is Twin Crazy’s barrette and I couldn’t help but smile and think of her.

 

  • Fabulous dinner

 

  • During dinner I found out that my mortgage loan was approved!!!!   And the conditions are all super-reasonable and easy for me to execute!   So psyched.   I can’t believe that I’m almost a homeowner!   I’m able to get my kids to an amazing public school system!   I wired my additional good-faith down payment to escrow today.  Final closing is next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I had a chance to talk to the kids tonight before they went to bed.   Red was so cute, screaming into the phone.  They were asking when I was coming back.  I mentioned that today is chocolate Tuesday, so we have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then Saturday afternoon.  That this time would go by very fast since they have fun at school.  I would be back before you know it!
  • I tell them that I think of them because of my dog-tag necklace and my birthstone stacking rings.   I tell them that my hands are resting so that I can tickle them extra-strong when I get back.  I tell them to catch my kisses through the phone.   I miss them but it is bearable.   I am busy and they are doing well.  

I have so much work to do…. finishing up one meeting and then going straight into another “sell” meeting where I am leading it and pulling everything together…. wish me luck.   I wish I had some Advil.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

April 16: No kids and no make up


Today I leave for a work trip… a very big week for me where I will be leading 3 different forums – between all three, it will involve collaborating with over 70 clients and/or speakers and/or prospective clients.

Highlights of My Morning:

  • I woke up at 6 AM and showered; all of my bags were packed with the exception of my iPad, computer, and phone, which were all charging.
  • Car service arrived at my house at 6:30 AM. I left the house without seeing any of the children. But I have my dogtag necklace on, and I also have each of their birthstone rings on [gifts that I bought for myself to myself at the birth of each of the kids].
  • I checked email and responded to many work and personal mails. I chatted with a friend who was also traveling for work today. I closed my eyes briefly until the next “ping” on my phone was heard, indicating another email. I spoke with my Admin Assistant who is helping me big-time with the logistics of all of these events. She is a rock-star and I appreciate all that she does for me.
  • The airport was busy. I was comfortable and not wearing makeup. I was surprisingly awake.
  • I had a great breakfast, and sent out some more emails. I spoke to my AA again and gave her some instructions while I was in the air. We still have one speaker to confirm today [yikes] so she will hear before I do.
  • I talked briefly to my mom.
  • I saw a sign in the airport and I thought of my children. It was something that I would have pointed out to them if they were with me. From afar it looked like colorful balloons…. but up close they were round candies. Even better. Just what kids love and I’d take the sugar over helium any day of the week. And I think my kids would too. I’ll show this picture to them when I get home. Or maybe I’ll email it to co-parent and he can show it to the kids for me. It would be good for us to start to do things like that – even during separation once the separation actually occurs.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I reviewed the two presentations that I will be presenting on tomorrow. And I found some numerical errors. BIG ones. So I started my iPhone with a string of email messages to fix errors and also gather more data for me
  • I also organized some materials for the forum on Wed. The Agenda needs to go out today and also the list of Attendees so I need to confirm with my team that everyone is OK with my changes to timing on the Agenda. Again, I sent an email on my computer that is sitting in my Outbox.
  • I started my timesheet and documenting expenses – this will be important during the week since I’m looking at my personal cash flow as tightly as ever right now.
  • So, I essentially need to power up my phone AND computer when I land, immediately so that these emails go out. I also need to check email and call my AA to see where we stand on the outstanding speaker and if there are any other issues I need to be aware of.

    I also need to talk to my lawyer on various issues.

    It will be a busy week, starting now. This is the calm before the storm. My time on this airplane. It gives me time to think about the week, think about the potential issues that can arise, and also think about my life.

    What a difference one year makes. It was this time last year that I essentially was falling apart. So upset about the resistance of my husband and the inability for him to understand my feelings, my anxieties, my need to create a better life for our family. It was such a difficult time. And now. I feel stronger. I feel happier. I feel like my life is headed in a direction. I’m not sure if the direction is the RIGHT direction, but at least it is headed somewhere. I am not in limbo any longer. This is the only direction that I see possible given the current circumstances. I no longer have options in front of me/us. Now it is me, and the kids, and California. I know this now. I have few choices. So I work with what I have. I set a direction and now I am already happier.

    In a few weeks I will [hopefully] have a house and will start to build it into a home. I myself am happier. But I do mourn for my kids. Their lives will soon be turned upside down. I need to get through this crunch time at work. I need to get through these hiccups in the divorce process and secure this house for my family. Once I get through the next two weeks, I can focus on the divorce, and focus on the children. Focus on their emotions and being honest with what it is that they need and what I can do to optimize what I can give to them. Just get me through this week and next. Just get me through it…. I feel good, I feel strong. But this is Monday, on the plane ride over there. It will be a whirlwind as soon as I land…

    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I landed, made phone calls on the plane, sent emails from my phone. Exited the plane and took a pitstop to the restroom before booting up my computer in the airport. Made more phone calls. Tried to secure a speaker. Failed. Tried for Plan B. Timing won’t work. Went back to Plan A. Tried to call him. He was gone for the day. F! Talked to team-mate about errors in presentation. They will fix and send me an updated version. Whew.
  • Got to hotel late. Arrived at meeting time. Still had to check in. Quickly checked in. My hotel room is a suite! Out of control! Bigger than my new house! 🙂
  • Tried to get ready [quickly] for dinner. Realized I left my make up bag at home. F!!!! Got dressed quickly and applied lipstick. Took a pitstop to the Spa to see if they sell make up [failed]. Found mascara in my handbag [miracle.]. Went with the “natural” look.
  • Met my clients; had a great dinner; talked about the conference; talked about the other meeting I am planning; talked about fun stuff; I laughed out loud real hard many times. This is a fun group. I’m enjoying myself. The food was outrageous. I am still full.
  • Went to front desk to get a new room key (left mine in the room) and also to talk about make-up predicament. They went off to a drug store and bought me some supplies – eyeliner and face powder. Whew. That will make me at least feel a bit better tomorrow.
  • Called the kids to see how they are doing. They were excited and eating ice-cream. Twin Husky was crying in the background. It was a quick call. I let them get back to their ice-cream and told them that I missed them and was thinking of them.
  • Downloaded new presentations, sent them out to the group.
  • Got feedback on Agenda for other meeting; looks good so sent that out to the attendees, along with attendee list.
  • Reviewed my presentations one last time.
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    I’ve got to get some sleep. This is the beginning of a non-stop trip for me. It will involve client interaction non-stop and I will need to be “on” in terms of personality and presentation and meeting facilitation.

    I should have taken some vitamins last week. 🙂
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Enjoy nature


    Sometimes getting back to basics is just what the doctor ordered. Being outside. Breathing in fresh air. Listening to the birds sing. Hearing a wave against a rocky shoreline. Even if the kids are acting up you can still steal a moment to yourself to close your eyes, breathe in the air, and feel the sun on your face.

    Some ideas –

  • go on a picnic.
  • teach your child about flowers, how they grow, how they live. See how many colors you can find in the flowers around you.
  • go for a walk/hike/bike/scooter ride.
  • Investigate bugs in your backyard.
  • start a garden.
  • take a few minutes and don’t think about skin damage and lay on the lawn towards the sun. Feel the sun on your face and on your body.
  • go to a farm and u-pick the fruit/veggie featured
  • take a walk along a babbling brook
  • take a hike and look at the tall trees
  • sidewalk chalk/waterpaint/kick balls outside in your yard with your kids. Take a break and sit down to watch their play.
  • go outside in the rain and jump in the puddles. Look up to the sky and feel the rain on your face.
  • What else can you add to the list??!?!??! What small moments of outside activity bring peace/relaxation to break up your busy week?

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    Have a great week everyone –
    – Mama K

    April 13: Feeling surprisingly relaxed


    A busy day; the last day of work before I leave for a work trip all next week. So I went into the office to work today since there is still so much to do.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy went potty! I said we would get her changed to pick out her underwear. She was very excited to do this. She ran to her drawer and instead, pulled out stockings by mistake. But she wanted to wear them too. So Red and I went to her closet and picked out some dresses for her to decide on. She said that one was too tight but was VERY excited about a red one. I took pictures of her looking demure. She refused to smile. Red was smiling though, proud of her little sister and she agreed that she looked so cute.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating a bagel. Big bites along the whole bagel. He kept saying that it was a circle. He also loved the cream cheese.
  • Twin Crazy put on her rain boots by herself. She loves those things. They probably fit even better on her with stockings – versus her PJs which make the boots way to tight for her.
  • Red wanted me to help her with her clothes. She set them out in the order she wanted to get changed into… her top, her underwear, her pants, her socks. Very particular. There is an order to everything.
  • All the kids noticed holes in my socks and started laughing and teasing me and poking my feet, saying they were going to try to pick my toes. I acted silly with them and they loved it. I had all kids all around me looking at my feet and trying to get to my toes. We were all laughing. It was too funny.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were both taking care of their babies. Twin Crazy was feeding her baby a vitamin, and Twin Husky was feeding his Tiger a bagel.
  • Big Bro went riding with the Motley Crew. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and then Red. I had to run back to the car to get her purse with her nail polishes. But this made her smile from ear to ear. I was running late for the ferry but was glad I made that second trip to the van for her.
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    On the ferry to work I felt incredibly relaxed. I have a lot of work to do today… some presentations to finish (that I will deliver next week) and also some speakers to still confirm!!!! Plus several meetings related to the client project. How am I working on client projects now too????!?!??!?!?!?

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got some paperwork off related to my house purchase!!!!
  • I started to review and work on presentations; also had a meetings to review two different presentations that I had no part of data collections or report preparation. So I have to understand the data and understand the implications of the data. And think through how I will present it to make it interesting. That is the hard part because the data itself is kind of boring.
  • I had two market interviews for the client project.
  • I went to lunch with the office for Dim Sum. It was excellent and VERY fast.
  • I helped a colleague get in touch with one of my friends related to a project he is working on. She is going to help find the right person within her organization for him to have a market interview (THANK YOU MAMA J!!!! I KNOW YOU READ THIS!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!)
  • I worked with our admin on various logistics for the forums. Things that she was used to doing in the past I asked her not to do since I thought not a good use of time. I’m trying to make things easier and more streamlined.
  • I secured a Plan B speaker in case the our speaker for the one forum falls through. I almost hope they do, since I think the PLan B option is much more interesting for the group and I really like the guy.
  • I’m on the ferry now and looking forward to being with the children. I will be on my own tonight which always makes me happier. It is more relaxing. I can focus on the kids without the frustrations of the failed relationship getting in the way. The plans for the weekend are forming and I’m feeling good about getting away next week. I think we’re relatively prepared for the meetings but I know I’ll be working after the events and getting ready for the next day. Next week I will get little sleep and will need to be “on” the entire time.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the house and am getting more and more excited. I will turn 42 this summer and I will be a first-time home buyer. The thought of having my own space, to put my own things, and root and grow with my family has been so important to me in the past. I’ve been craving it. I can’t believe it’s almost here and I was able to find a location zoned to 10/10 schools. I feel like I’ve done everything I could do to set myself and the kids up to be the best that we can be. I’m looking forward to getting in, settling in, and making the house a home.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and we talked about dinner. We talked about ordering a pizza. I pulled over and ordered, then we picked up the Twins. Twin Crazy’s stockings were trashed. She was still talking about them. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s car seat. Red helped him into the van by lifting his butt in the air and pushing him in the van. Twin Crazy wanted to sit in between Twin Husky and Red in the back seat and Red and her were holding on to each other laughing before I pulled Twin Crazy away and tucked her into her own carseat. Sisters.
  • Big Bro’s pick up was good but it took a really long time for him to get his bike. I think he’s really taking advantage of the freedom… exploring the school yards, going in circles… I’m not sure but it takes him a long time and his face is always full of smiles when he shows up. Everyone in the car was singing and laughing while waiting for him. He took the lagoon route and wanted our car to go REALLY slow so he could beat us. I tried hard, but couldn’t go slowly enough so he was mad when he reached our van at the end of the lagoon trail.
  • By the time we got home, the pizza man was also arriving at our house.
  • After dinner, we noticed some motorcycles outside so we went out there to check them out.
  • We then decided to watch some “Olivia” on TV and got popcorn. All kids were excited for this.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty so I gave her 2 chocolate chips. That was a mistake. The twins were going nuts during bedtime. Twin Husky threw a book and toys into the toilet. I told them I was feeling mad. That resonated with Twin Crazy. We sat and read books. I tucked them in.
  • Big Bro meanwhile was cleaning all the things that were thrown in the toilet. After I grabbed them and threw them in the sink, he had a process all set up for soaping up the stuff, cleaning, and drying them. He was a pleasure tonight. When someone else is acting up, Big Bro becomes an angel.
  • Twin Crazy was REALLY crying in her crib. It wasn’t a normal sounding cry. I went to her. I held her in my lap and Twin Husky wanted to come too. I asked her if she felt sad and she said YEAH. I asked her if it was because mommy felt mad and she said YEAH. I told her that sometimes people get mad, just like she does and just like Twin Husky, and Big Bro, and Red…. and that Mommy feels mad sometimes too and that’s OK. I told her that I still love her and will always love her and kissed her and asked her if she understood. She said YEAH. And Twin Husky did the same. I held them tighter and asked them if it was OK now for them to go to sleep. YEAH. Kisses. hugs. Back in their cribs. I covered Twin Crazy and Red covered Twin Husky. I wiped the hair away from her face and whispered my normal “I…….. love……. you” and again. She joined me in the routine. And she was OK. I went to Twin Husky and he was already rolling around smiling. “I…… love….. you. Sweet dreams.”.
  • I read to Big Bro. Again the story about the princess that dies. He now asks what happens after someone becomes dead. I talk about how no-one really knows for sure, but that a lot of people believe that your spirit, the thing that makes you FEEL and LAUGH and THINK and BE is inside of the body and that its called a spirit and that your spirit lives on even after your physical body is dead. He questions me on this each night and he picks out this book on purpose each night. His questions are very frank and I love that about him. He has always been curious about the world around him.
  • Red had a problem going to sleep. They were laughing with each other and I went in to scratch their backs… then went into the hallway to type this up… and then they crying. I think it happens as soon as Big Bro falls asleep. I think she feels the lonliness. She was laughing one minute and then upset the next. I keep trying to figure out is she scared, sad, lonely… maybe all? I try to talk to her about it but she is just silent. She is in there now quiet, and I think not yet asleep.
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    We had a great night. Easy. Real. No your turn my turn. No passing the kids off. It was just us. And we ate and played and the evening flowed. And when someone had an issue there was a child who was there to help. And even though it was only me with the four of them, I feel like I had really good one-on-one time with EACH of them. Talking to them. Encouraging them. Teaching them. I feel tired but happy.

    I think I’ll give myself a break tonight and only work on one presentation to send to a Director. Will do the rest at some point over the weekend.

    Great weekend to all –
    – Mama K

    April 12: The never-ending day


    Long day, but nice day with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Even though the week before my big meetings…. I couldn’t get their daycare provider today but it was a good thing; it gave me time to play with them since I will be away all of next week.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • I had some cuddle time with Twin Husky
    • Red showed me one of her drawings and we put it on the clip-wall hanging in my room. She was excited to see her art displayed and enjoyed looking at the other pieces of art and pictures that were clipped up there.
    • Big Bro rode his bike to school and I took the Twins in the stroller. Twin Crazy was wearing her rainboots. Twin Husky wanted to bring sidewalk chalk.
    • At home, Twin Crazy had a poop accident so we had to change her clothes. She enjoyed walking around the house in just her underwear. So Twin Husky decided to strip down too and was walking around in only his diaper.
    • We did laundry together. Putting a load in, watching the water fill, watching it turn and do its work. Taking the clean clothes out, putting them in the dryer together. And then starting a new load. Me handing them a pile of clothes, and them putting the pieces into the washer. They really enjoy that. I found a flashlight in the washer – glad I looked before I put any soap in. Twin Husky wanted to fold the clothes too which was cute. Him rolling up the clothing in a ball and putting it on top of a pile and patting it down. So cute.
    • We ate, played, tickled.
    • While they played I tried to get some work done. Mostly emails to keep things moving. There was one or two conference calls that were comical since I had two boisterous toddlers on my hands.
    • Twins were fighting over sitting on a tin canister. Twin Crazy is very aggressive. I have to watch what they do because she bullies him.
    • They had fun playing with water when eating their lunch. They’re having issues with water-play during food time that I do not like.
    • When they napped, I worked: finishing touches on Agendas, reaching out to confirm and get more info from speakers, looking at presentations, confirming attendee lists. I also had to get an analyst set up to populate a presentation for me… I will need to look and work on that tonight.
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    The Rest of the Day:

    • Twins woke up and ate oatmeal for a snack.
    • We went to pick up Red – Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s carseat, and Twin Crazy was in Red’s. They were having so much fun. Red’s pickup was fast. Big Bro rode his bike home, along the lagoon. He took the other way around our our house and I drove slowly so he could beat us there.
    • We went food shopping for Red’s Green Smoothie ingredients. They were having a great time picking out other food items and helping me put things into plastic bags. Big Bro tried to sneak in a big package of cup-cakes. They were all well behaved.
    • At home I had a roast cooking; so it was play-time. Tickle-time. The kids decided to give each other manicures and pedicures.
    • After dinner we had smoothies. They all helped to put in the ingredients and liked the treat with their straws.
    • We sat down to some TV, cuddled, and Twin Husky pumped on sugar wanted to push the rocking chair that we were sitting on.
    • I had bedtime with Big Bro and Red. I read a book where there was reference to a princess that had died. Big Bro said that it made him feel sad. I was surprised that he was talking that way since his teachers have told us that he doesn’t share his feelings. I’m happy that he’s talking like that with me. We’ve been working together on “feelings” and it’s making me feel better that we can start to talk like this.
    • There was thunder and lightening. They were asking a lot of questions. Big Bro passed out without a problem. Red was trickier, but I said it was OK to feel scared and that she was doing great and almost 1/2 asleep already. I’m downstairs typing on the desktop since I locked myself out of my room – co-parent is upstairs in the hallway and she is quiet.
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    My locksmith just left; I am now able to get back into my room and get to my computer. Now the third shift starts. I need to get some presentations finished.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    Recipe: Jerk Marinade


    As a follow up to my posting on Marinades, I thought I would share the below marinade recipe sourced from Bon Appetite. I also included the “formula to a good marinade” below.

    Enjoy!

    ****

    Jerk Marinade

    Makes about 1 cup, enough to marinate 2 lb. of chicken (skin-on thighs, legs, or wings) or pork (chops, loin, or boneless shoulder)

    Ingredients:

    • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
    • 4 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded, coarsely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 Tbsp. (packed) dark brown sugar
    • 2 tsp. allspice berries
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt puls more
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
    Ingredient information: Habaneros and Scotch bonnets – extremely hot chiles – are available at better supermarkets and at Latin markets.
    Directions:
    • Puree 4 Tbsp. oil and the next 10 ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
    • Transfer 1/4 cup marinade to a small bowl and make sauce…
    • Whisk in vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and season to taste with salt.
    • Refrigerate sauce.
    • Put meat in a glass, stainless-steel, or ceramic dish. Toss with remaining marinade.
    • Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
    • Remove meat from marinade, pat dry, and grill.
    The finish:
    Spoon reserved sauce over grilled meat.

    source: Bon Appetite, July 2011

    *****

    “Marinade Math”

    + Acid (citrus juice, vinegar, or wine tenderizes and focuses the flavors)

    + Salt (Kosher salt – or soy or fish sauce – allows seasonings to penetrate)

    + Alliums (garlic, shallots, or onions are a must for a muscular marinade)

    + Sugars and & Syrups (Used judiciously, sweetness balances all the flavors)

    + Chiles (where there’s smoke there should be fire)

    + Herbs (fresh, summery herbs – like cilantro, oregano, and basil – work better than dried)

    source: Bon Appetite, July 2011

    April 11: Sweet reunions


    What a day. I’ve been going non-stop. I have more left to do. So this will be short.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy was clingy. I held her and rocked her for a bit.
  • Twin Crazy wanted her rainboots. We put them on and she seemed much happier.
  • Big Bro went riding again with the Motley Crew. He was excited to be doing that again.
  • We dropped off the Twins, and then Red. One of her teachers was back from vacation and Red and her friend ran to the teacher with open arms. It was so sweet. How they loved to see her return and how pure their excitement was. I was thinking that the teacher has a VERY difficult job dealing with 3-4 year olds…. but the emotions — both bad and good — must make her job very fulfilling; to receive those hugs so freely and with such intensity. She was missed.
  • I dropped of co-parent at the ferry and then drove home just in time for the beginning of my working day…
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • …. I had a conference call at 8:30 AM to introduce panel members to one another and also organize some “seed” questions just in case the forum is not engaged at first. It was a good call and I’m looking forward to their session next week.
  • I spent the rest of the day modifying agendas, confirming speakers, looking at presentations, modifying our own presentations, sending out pre-conference surveys, trying to find Plan B speakers, getting biographies and phone numbers for speakers, etc. etc. There is still a lot more to do.
  • I also spent time on our client project, reaching out to market leaders for us to interview. This process takes up so much time. I’ve been using LinkedIn with great success. It’s amazing how helpful that channel is to me and my work.
  • In between the above, I straightened up the kitchen, barely ate breakfast/lunch, did some laundry….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called it a day later than I wanted to. I picked up Red first. Then the Twins – they were sitting on chairs waiting for me like two little bookends. So cute. And then Big Bro so he could ride his bike back home. He took the lagoon route home, and I met him at the end. Our house is on a street that is a circle, and he decided to go the other way around the circle and meet us at the house. He’s doing so well with being brave, being by himself, testing the waters, growing his independence, conquering his fear. He’s making me proud – and I like encouraging him to do more because I know he can do it.
  • I made dinner – I had Big Bro set the table. Red was busy cutting. Twins were busy going potty and playing.
  • After dinner we made banana-strawberry smoothies. The kids were all excited. I need to go out and buy more fruit for smoothies since this is becoming a ritual.
  • I was with the twins tonight for bedtime. It was fast and easy. They love reading books and I love asking them questions about what they see. We count the things together. They’re getting much better at counting.
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    Red is crying right now. Co-parent just says its time to go night-night. He doesn’t even try to understand what could be wrong, or talk to her about it. He just wants to push the problem away and pretend its not there. But meanwhile she is still up there now crying.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 10: Rain, rain, go away


    It was a great morning with the kids – but then we wound up running late and that’s when the shit hit the fan.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy went potty!
  • Chocolate Tuesday! There was an issue with Red licking a knife and then Twin Crazy giving her the knife, but apparently the knife touched Red’s pants and they got all fithy with chocolate. I entered the kitchen with Red on the floor in a fit. It took awhile for me to learn the facts. Big Bro was a good translator of the story. So Red was upset that Twin Crazy put the chocolate on her, but Twin Crazy was just trying to help and give her the knife. I asked Twin Crazy to apologize to Red (she did) and then I changed Red into her clean clothes for today. Then she was happy. I applauded Twin Crazy for apologizing to Red and also to Big Bro for helping me to understand the story.
  • Twin Crazy was feeding her doll some chocolate on bread.
  • Twin Husky was busy dancing while eating his chocolate. Big Bro was dancing too.
  • I dished out 2nd rounds of chocolate with rolled tortillas. Twin Crazy rejected hers because she didn’t want it rolled. So I fixed her a new one and ate her old one. All kids thought that was funny that I was eating chocolate tuesday too so of course I made it more funny and exaggerated. It was fun.
  • I forced Big Bro to change out of his stinky jeans that he was wearing all weekend. He needs privacy now when he changes and prefers to do everything himself upstairs in his room. So I followed him upstairs, sat outside his room, and the threw each dirty article of clothing outside to me. We made a game of it. I was catching one sock, the other sock, his jeans, his underwear (“YUCK!!!”), his shirt. I thanked him and then he came downstairs in clean clothes.
  • I started laundry and Twin Husky wanted to see the washing machine.
  • Then we were running late. We were having problems with Twin Crazy’s boots, Twin Husky’s golf ball, Red’s socks, Big Bro’s shoes (he wants them TIGHT). Everyone needed mommy. I tried to load everybody up but it was obvious that we were going to need to take two cars. Big Bro and Red were both throwing a fit over who was going to go with Mommy. I decided that Red was more needy and more upset so I took her to school. She was quiet the whole way over there but drop off was easy – I just gave her a big hug and asked her to have fun today with her friends. I hope the drop off with Big Bro was OK. He was really upset.
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    I’m now on the ferry. It is raining hard. I am thinking about my new house and what I need to give to the mortgage broker to complete my file. And also the results of the inspection report (none of which were dealbreakers for the transaction) and how to handle that. I don’t have a realtor so am not well versed at negotiating these kinds of things. Plus I have no bargaining power because they know I love the house and was in tears when I hugged the sellers. So there goes my bargaining position out the window. Unless they fix things for me out of kindness.

    I will be busy at work today. There is a lot of logistics to finalize today. I have one speaker outstanding for one of the forums so I need to figure out how to adjust timing to eliminate his session or reach out to a Plan B at the last minute. I have a presentation that I will deliver at the meeting that needs some work. I have two other presentations to deliver and I have not even seen that content yet. I have meetings related to a client project that need attention today too [I should NOT have taken on this project!!!] and also closing items on another client project to get off my plate. It will be really busy. I will likely work tonight again after the kids go to bed.

    I am thinking of the house right now and am just so happy. My first house. It took me 42 years to get to this point but I finally [almost] own a home. The more I think about it the more I love it. I can’t wait to plant trees in the backyard and get some benches and make the yards spectacular places to spend time. To watch the kids play, laugh, explore. And laugh and play with the chickens from next door.

    Highlights of my Working Day:
    I was running non-stop today

  • I had a status update for a meeting we/I am leading in mid-May. I secured 3 new potential clients to come to the meeting so am psyched about that. We have 1 month to go for the event so this is on my lower priority.
  • I had a debrief related to a client project where we had a disconnect with the client; we brainstormed scenarios as part of their project and I updated the discussion document as a result; sent it off to the client and then started my next meeting…
  • …. a review with a Director for a presentation we will give next week as part of our forums. There is some work to do but I think it’s in good shape.
  • Grabbed a quick lunch and had our client conference call. The project is back on track. Whew. We planted the seed to push back our final deliverable since we will not have adequate time to put against the project next week. They agreed to this change so I am pumped!
  • Emails, emails, emails, …. so much to do….
  • I really should NOT be on client projects right now. I should be devoted to the forum planning. My list of things is sooooooooooo long right now and it is seriously impossible for me to get to everything. I just don’t have enough hours in the day, even if I were working full-time. I cannot do client projects any longer. I simply cannot.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red, then Big Bro, then Twins. It was still raining. Twin Crazy was excited about her rainboots. I talked about the rain and how great it is and to look up to the sky and feel the rain on your face. The girls were reaching up to feel the rain and Twin Crazy was enjoying herself.
  • I cleaned up from this AM, ran the dishwasher, started dinner, and threw in some laundry. Twin Husky helped me with laundry.
  • We ate well.
  • I played a game with Big Bro where he was making patterns with his Toy Story figurines (tallest to smallest, ones he likes best to least, arranged left right left right, etc.)
  • I made banana strawberry smoothies with some old frozen bananas and some strawberries that were starting to look shriveled.
  • I cleaned up from dinner, did more laundry, played with the kids. Tickled the girls a lot. Put their hair into ponytails – this is the first time I saw Twin Crazy’s hair like this. It was cute to see them together like that. That is my signature look – tassled pony-tail (even in my wedding) so it was cute to see them like that too.
  • Tonight was my night with Big Bro and Red. Red picked out and got dressed into the clothes she will wear tomorrow. I read them books. Red had a HUGE poop and Big Bro wanted to see it. I asked him to ask her, and she said “Yes, come over here and see this big poop…. it’s disgusting”.
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    So cute. I’m listening for cries through the monitor but I do not hear any. I think they do better on nights when I give them the attention they need. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that I don’t hear a cry…. I have work to do tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    p.s., now she’s upset. I’m going to bring my laptop upstairs and work in the hallway…. 😦

    April 9: Greeted by a chicken


    What a day! My work and personal lives just blended together today. As such, as soon as I post this, I will need to get some work done….

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy made it to the potty in the AM
  • I asked each kid where they wanted me to kiss them. Twin Crazy/Twin Husky pointed to specific parts of their heads so I kissed them gently “Good morning” where they asked me to.
  • Twin Crazy wanted a hard boiled egg for breakfast. So Twin Husky wanted one too. They both eventually rejected them saying they didn’t like them.
  • I had to cut up some remaining vitamins since there were only 2 left. Red observed how the inside of the vitamin looks a lot different than the outside of the vitamin – “slippery” is I think what she called it
  • Twin Crazy was playing with a flashlight
  • All kids were ready fast (note: Big Bro and Red pick out their clothes and then get changed into their clothes the night before so that they are ready in the AM faster). I finished getting ready and all kids were in my room, playing with my beads and decorations. They were good when I asked them to put them away.
  • Since we were way ahead of schedule, we all went in the same van. We dropped of twins first, then big bro, then co-parent, then Red.
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    AND THEN MY ADVENTURE BEGAN…

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a property inspection scheduled for 9 AM. So I cranked up the music and headed out east. Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock-n-Roll” came on and I couldn’t help but smile. I felt on top of the world.
  • While I was at the house so many things happened for me to write about. I met more contractors. They knew who I was and knew my story. That mine was the lowest offer but it was the one accepted by the sellers because they wanted a family there who would appreciate the house. They knew I would be a single mother of four and that I loved the work they did. My inspector came and we walked the property. We were greeted by a chicken from next door. I did some work while the inspector was doing his thing. I heard voices and thought it was a neighbor but it was one of the sellers…. I looked at him, and he at me, and I just reached out and hugged him and thanked him. I told him how happy I was and how excited I was for the house and for my family. I found out that the general contractor is the seller’s father. So this has been a family project. I found out that the GC made the fireplace mantel, piece by piece. They had another prospective client come over to look at the work and he was so impressed… and he shook my hand and said congratulations and that the work and the house was beautiful. And then the second investor/seller arrived. I again hugged him and thanked him. We talked about the open house day and how I just walked in off the street, not expecting to see that house at all (the house I was going to was across the street). They were all there, and I breezed in and out in about 10 minutes…. thinking whoa this place is small but as I kept walking through it, I kept thinking… and as I walked around the grounds, I thought some more. And as I climbed the backyard stairs to the sitting area looking down, I thought some more. And went through the house. And decided that it was perfect. It took 10 minutes for me to decide that this totally renovated house zoned to the top-rated schools in the area in my pricepoint with the chickens next door and the sitting area on top of the hill was it. And now I’m almost there. Meeting the sellers, they are glad that I’m happy and I am thrilled that the inspector did not find anything that would be a deal-breaker!
  • I worked on a presentation
  • I had a conference call.
  • I bid farewell to my “sellers” and house and drove into the city.
  • I addressed many emails
  • I had a planning conference call
  • I had a team meeting for the client project
  • I spent time gathering and sending more documents to my loan officer for my mortgage.
  • I gathered an office desk and boxes and loaded up my van… headed home with the loot which will be my office when I move into my new house….
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro, then Twins. Twin Husky immediately got into the front seat and started to push all of the buttons. He pretended to drive. I gave him my keys and he wanted to start the car. We laughed and then picked up Red.
  • We made a fast dinner.
  • Red had some issues tonight with Big Bro. I had to sit them down and have them talk about what happened and Big Bro always leaves out crucial information to the story. I eventually get all of the facts but it is a challenge for me to get there.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty and she received 2 M&M’s because of it.
  • I did a lot of hugging and kissing Twin Husky tonight. He looked so cute in his little blue shirt. I also had a lot of consoling time with Red tonight. Big Bro was being mean to her.
  • We watched a movie and had popcorn.
  • I had the Twins tonight and they were fun. Laughing and kissing and taking off their clothes and whispering “I….. love….. you…… Sweet dreams…..” So cute.
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    So now I’m downstairs, with my computer on my side and a list of things that I MUST get done tonight. This is such a busy week – Two big conferences next week, one other meeting that I am responsible for, and then a client final presentation the following week. Oh, and a divorce to go through and a House closing to manage. BRING IT ON!!!!

    I am so happy right now. I’m thinking of the things that I would like to do with the house and it’s the very first time that I’m thinking to myself that there is no rush. I will have all the time in the world. There is no rush to get things done. Because it is mine. And I will have the time to enjoy it. Savor it. Root myself. And call it Home. And create a Home for my family. Even though I’m so busy at work right now, I know it’s all going to be OK because I feel like I have my priorities in-line. And I understand myself. And there is no-one to battle anymore. I can take a deep breath and breathe.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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