May 31: One red raspberry and three big sticks


Thursday, a day at “home” with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  We had a VERY busy day…

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were excited about their pockets in their shorts
  • Big Bro reminded us that he lost his bike privilege for the morning (not listening the night before).  How mature of him!
  • I dropped off Red with the Twins – no problems.
  • We made it back and I started to load up the van.  The big milestone today was the dresser, which I loaded all on my own.  I’m feeling unstoppable.  I’m doing this whole move myself – will likely not need any movers!
  • We stopped and had a yogurt snack, and then hit the road…

 

Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • We got there and went to water our trees and plants, as usual – what a surprise…. the apple tree, peach tree, and newly bought cherry tree were all devoured since last night!!!!   Almost every leaf gone!!!   I was on the phone with my mom when I discovered the violation of our trees – I was laughing.   Me and the Twins were talking about it.   We watered the “sticks” anyway and then later I moved them indoors just in case any new leaves would sprout and be left at risk.
  • The GREAT news is that I saw our FIRST raspberry.  IT WAS DAMN DELICIOUS
  • Twin Husky was busy at work with the mulch in a net.  Twin Crazy was busy with bubbles.
  • They napped and I started to organize my room – getting stuff out of the closet to make room for REAL closet items like clothes.  Moving boxes to the office, to the storage closet.   Then I moved the dresser to the house and into the room…. the clothes were reunited with the dresser and decorations put on top.   My room is starting to come together, or at least look less like a storage unit.
  • I rested on the rocking chair for a bit.
  • I started to weed and then they woke up.  Snack time.
  • I weeded some more and packed up the van with weeds for the trash bin at the other house.
  • I was totally tired on the way home.

 

 

 

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up BBQ on the way home.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were both hugging figurines of pigs.  Twinkle lights were on in the windows and Twin Husky was saying “Santa, Santa”.
  • We picked up Red, Big Bro.
  • We ate quickly and ran outside to play.   I didn’t realize it but Big Bro went around the corner to knock on our neighbor’s house.. .he didn’t tell me since he knew I would say it was an inappropriate time – he initiated the party that started at our driveway.  Me, the four kids, my neighbor, her four kids, and a random dog from down the street.  Me and my neighbor were drinking Guinness together and it was wonderful for me to have a moment of “real” time with a “real” person for this short moment.  It was the best fun I’ve had in awhile.
  • Afterwards I played puzzles with Red and Big Bro.   Bedtime routine was with both of them and I think we are all exhausted.

 

 

I had an amazing day.  I am so excited about the house.  Is it wrong for me to be so happy when the kids will be made to suffer?   Call me crazy, but I enjoy pulling out big weeds.  And I enjoy looking out over the yard and thinking of the possibilities.  I enjoyed the feeling of getting the boxes under control.   And I loved when Big Bro immediately asked me if we would be driving there tonight to pick up the mail or do some work.  I love that the kids are excited about the place too.  That is important to me.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, finally looking forward to them again!  I plan on being at my house the whole time and splitting the kids in duos.  I need to talk to co-parent about that.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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May 30: Wagons of Weeds


Wednesday!   My day to work from home and work 1/2 a day.  I love these days.  I actually get A LOT done!  Some highlights, that I remember:

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I read a book to Twin Husky, Twin Crazy, and Big Bro.  I started with Twin Husky since he needed some cuddle time and then came Twin Crazy, and then Big Bro…  Red was having a problem so she did not join us.
  • Co-parent left Red sulking so I went over to see what the problem was.  She wanted a containter of cereal to take to school with her.  While I was at it, she said she wanted a bowl of cereal to eat now.   Then before I knew it I had the others back at the breakfast bar eating a second breakfast with me.  Their bellies were good and full.
  • I kissed Big Bro before he left on his bike and did the drop offs – no problems.  Red was a bit clingy.

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Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I finished up a discussion / sales document for a forum we are launching and also crafted the email communication.
  • I confirmed with members from the other forums that the potential dates for October will work with them and that there are no conflicts.
  • I did some administrative items and then called it a day at 12:45pm

The Rest of the Day:

  • I packed up the minivan with more stuff from my room.   The room is looking VERY bare – no decorations… hardly any clothes… just my bed, my dresser, Batman’s cage, and piles of books and papers.
  • I headed to Home Depot and bought a drill, a cherry tree (Yeah!  It was on our list!), some tools, grass seed, weeding tools, some houseplants, and other stuff.  I feel like I’m on a learning curve and the drill intimidates me a bit.  But I think I need one.
  • I got to the house and unloaded, organized a bit inside, organized more trash/trimmings, and WEEDED more…. yes more…. unbelievable.  But it is getting respectable again.  It actually feels good since I feel like I accomplished alot of weeding in a relatively short amount of time… I concentrated on the EASY to pull weeds (now I know the difference and can spot the easy ones very quickly).  Ha!  I loaded up my dumpster and also a huge box, which I packed back in the minivan to throw away at the “old” house. 
  • I picked up the kids; Red was happy.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy wanted to show me how they ride their tricycles.  Twin Husky can actually use the peddles.  He was so determined… his face was so serious as he was “driving” his tricycle.  He also had all three of his animals in his hand (“Tiger”, “Other Tiger”, and “Zebra”) which was hysterical.  Twin Crazy is using her feet on the ground to get around but she’s quick.  She was also very proud of herself and I encouraged her along with her brother.
  • I had Twins for bedtime; bedtime was rough tonight.  Red was crying non-stop; co-parent let her cry it out.  Eventually he went to her.  Her knee was hurting.  She came to my room.  She just wanted a bandaid.   She became happy as soon as I got them for her.  How is he going to do this on his own?   How long are the children going to cry with him not listening to them?????!?!?!?
  • I finished the evening with more work.  I sent out the “sales” document to the potential clients over a series of emails.  I also reviewed our Final deliverable for our client and I’m hoping it will get sent out tomorrow.

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I’m looking forward to tomorrow with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  I am going to focus on getting my room organized since there are boxes everywhere.  If I can bring over my dresser by myself, I’ll be able to cover a lot of ground. 

Til tomorrow,

– Mama K

May 29: Getting ready to move on


It is 11:15PM right now and I want to recap of the day’s events –

– Chocolate Tuesday

– Twin Husky starting a “band” this morning with instrumentsImage

 

– Busy day at work dealing with forums and also client work; I wrote a client proposal and also a sales document for a forum we are launching as follow ups to the webinar we hosted 2 weeks back.   I essentially had my “sales” hat on today.

– Picked up kids; cooked dinner while packing up my mini-van with a load of stuff for my move

– Ate dinner; Twin Crazy was funny with upside-down sunglasses

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– finished packing up van and 3 of the kids wanted to come with me.  I said they need to help and also take baths before leaving my house to come back home to go to sleep.  They agreed.  Big Bro and Twin Crazy held hands on the way.   We drove up to the house to find deer in our backyard.  The kids helped me unload the van – I gave them stuff and told them which room to put it in.  Big Bro helped to water the lawn.  I carried down garbage bins.   Girls took their baths first; Twin Crazy squealed when she went into her room with the decorations; Big Bro took his bath and then we were off.   Kids were asleep when I got back.

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– I finished cleaning up from dinner; and then finished up some work.

So, yes it’s late.  Yes I ran non-stop today.  But it felt GREAT to be at the house and add things to the home like rugs and decorations.  The kids are doing so well.  They are listening so well and really respecting my “new” rules.   They are helping and seem excited.  Big Bro requested a calendar so that he and the rest could see which days are with Mommy and which days are with Daddy.   I love him so much it hurts.  

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: SLEEP!


I had some really good ideas of subjects to write about for this week’s Staying Sane. And many will still be very relevant in the weeks to come. But what I need to write about now, or at least NOT write about, is the need to listen to your body and give in to the abyss of sleep when you need it.

I need it now.

Moving. Divorce. Bought a car yesterday. Picked weeds beyond belief. Entertained neighbors impromptu. Put together two bedroom sets with the help of amazing friends. Lifting. Sneezing (weeds). Pulling, dragging. More sneezing.

I need to rest. I need to sleep.

I WILL get to those other topics at some point. But for now, I’m going to call it a night and SLEEP.

Have a great week everyone

– Mama K

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May 25: Getting back


I know it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written anything. I’ve been doing this since July 2011 and this past Wednesday and Thursday were the first times that I skipped writing a daily journal.

I just didn’t have anything left in me.

On those evenings I either was up until past midnight writing divorce-related correspondence, or just so physically and emotionally exhausted that I passed out immediately after putting the kids to bed. So, nothing was written. But I will remember these past several days well, unfortunately.

I cannot begin to tell you the feeling of a 3rd party telling you that you must take your older children to daycare for two days during the week during the summer, even when you have those days off from work, even when you have two younger kids to look after. This denies my children of ME when I am available for them (particularly during divorce, when they need me the most) and denies the children of EACH OTHER. I am infuriated yet also feeling defeated. It just does not matter how hard I try. I can’t get through. Just looking at facts and the implications of such decisions and using PLAIN COMMON SENSE does not seem to work. I am drained. Simply drained. Shouldn’t these kids be allowed to be with their mother and their siblings during these TWO days? How does daycare trump this time with me and their siblings? I just don’t understand. And I can’t talk to co-parent about it. He doesn’t see it. He doesn’t see the implications.

Anyway, today was a great day. All of us strollered/rode bikes with Big Bro to school. I then spent the rest of the day at the new house putting more things together. I worked on the second bunk bed which is going much, much faster than the first since I know how to put the pieces so there is less dismantling and re-starting. The Twins slept like champs. I took a client conference call to wrap up our project (YEAH) and also to t-up more work. I have a proposal to write so I’ll need to have that ready for Tuesday / Wednesday. I pulled some weeds. We looked at chickens. We saw chickens strutting by our back door. We then saw a big pile of chicken poop at the front door and started laughing at it. I said “now that’s ridiculous” and the Twins were repeating me. Things are coming together. It’s feeling so comfortable there. I love how I have an office. It has a great view to the back yard.

I think we are going to be so happy here.

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There is more to write… …so much more. This is really a roller-coaster part of my life. When I feel like things can’t get much worse, it does. Sometimes I feel like no matter where I turn I’m getting punched, and punched hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m kicking so hard trying to stay above water but no matter how hard I try I’m still gulping down water and fighting for breath. And the people who should be protecting me are failing me. And people who were my friends are keeping their distance. And I have no where else to turn. And nothing is my choice. I am shoved through a system where there is one way of doing things and no one listens.

But then, briefly, a ray of light. The strawberry plants are growing. The chickens are friendly. The weeds are not that difficult to pull and are coming out of the earth by with their roots. I do have friends reaching out to me and who are worried about not hearing from me. And that matters [thank you!]. I just need to take a deep breath and regain some strength and confidence. And no matter what anyone says, or what anyone dictates, I still have four beautiful children and they all call me “mommy”. I am still their mom and will still try my best to do what is right for them. And no third party will ever be able to change that.

Have a great long weekend everybody
– Mama K

May 22: Day from HELL


But the day started off so great….

Chocolate Tuesday! Kids woke up fast, got dressed fast, and as a result had plenty of time to play before we dropped them off at daycare.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I walked into Twin Husky and Twin Crazy’s room – Twin Husky was already standing and smiling and pointing to me, making faces, and acting silly. Twin Crazy was still getting up but happy because of chocolate tuesday. She kept squealing “Chocolate Tuesday! Chocolate Tuesday!” and was anxious to get downstairs. I changed her into clothes since her PJs were a bit damp from pee. She was so cute, rejecting the options I was giving to her and she requested a dress. One was too small but we tried another that she loved. I can’t believe the difference between our two girls. Red is such a tom-boy and Twin Crazy loves dresses and tights. So cute.
  • Red woke up in a great mood and was quick to pick out her clothes. She wanted to get dressed upstairs by herself but she wanted me to wait by the stairs for her.
  • Big Bro was already dressed and headed downstairs. He offered to take Twin Crazy down with him since she was anxious to go downstairs and did not want to wait for Red to get ready. He is such an amazing big brother.
  • I got downstairs with Red and Big Bro was in her seat. I immediately saw this so asked if we could scoot him around so that Red could sit in her spot. He was agreeable to this.
  • Twin Husky was investigating the new cereals that I bought last night. I think they passed his taste-test.
  • I made Big Bro’s lunch and am trying to diversify what he gets. He always gets the same thing which I don’t agree with. We need to offer him more choices so he can become more flexible.
  • Red sat on my lap so I could help her with her socks and then Twin Crazy sat on HER lap. I was laughing about the “girl sandwich” and the kids were having fun too.
  • All kids were dressed, cleaned up, vitamins done, and ready to go QUICKLY. Big Bro was playing with Legos, playing games with their faces and their helmets, and doing experiments to see if his fingers were the same size as the Lego figurines. Twin Crazy was playing with a toy computer and she said she was doing her “work”.
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    I have a lot on my mind today. Things at work: getting sales efforts underway for a new initiative that went well, and also firming up dates and getting planning started for two of our established forums – meetings will occur in October and I want to start the planning up front as well as solicit/ sell to new members. If I bring in sales it increases my value at the company and makes this “hybrid” position more secure/stable. I need to focus on sales to keep myself valuable.

    I also have a lot on my mind with this divorce. I am striving on making positive changes for the family however co-parent is hiding behind excuses to slow down the decisioning process – this will not be good for the kids or us. There are also things happening on the financial front that are appalling and that I just won’t get into. True colors come out during divorce I suppose and I feel like my moving on and away from him is becoming easier and easier as each day goes by.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I started right away. I had a conference call to debrief our potential partner on the outcomes of our initial sales call for a potential forum we are trying to launch. Working with them is painful – they are adding NO value and I want to protect our firm’s potential revenues from this initiative. As of yet, we can go at this on our own – we intend to follow up with the potential clients one-on-one and organize a face-to-face meeting in the Fall. If our partners do not contribute to this, I want to proceed without them.
  • I put some work on the back-burner for another forum we are trying to launch. I think it is a longer sales cycle and am not happy nor do I trust the partner we are working with.
  • I sent out a “final” letter to close out a project we recently completed. Yeah!
  • I spent time on admin, and also working through files and information related to the divorce.
  • This divorce process is so unbelievably frustrating. Working with mediators are supposed to CLARIFY things so that there are no areas for potential dispute. I feel like we are going in circles and we are re-hashing significant details around our temporary summer custody schedule… which is to begin in 3 weeks. Why are we spending this money????? I’ve been trying to get clarity on a number of items and there still is no clarity. So am I to get lawyers involved at double the cost? Are you kidding me??!??!?!?!

    I am on the ferry now headed home. I’m looking forward to seeing the kids and talking about their days. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, working from home, where I can walk with Big Bro to school – and maybe also take Red and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Then drop the rest off via car. This kind of time with them is limited for me now so I want to take advantage of these days while I can.

    I also want to drive to my house tonight. To take the trash to the curb and also get some things done. I know it sounds silly. I can just text my neighbor to pull my cans out. But I feel the need to be there. I can take the time to take over some more of my things – clothes, my desk, office chair. Check my mail. Maybe I’ll take the older kids. They would love that.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • As I picked up the kids I received an extremely disturbing email message from our child custody mediator, who essentially is putting stability of daycare over and above time with me over the summer. I can’t believe this is happening. If a mother is willing and able to care for her children over the summer for some days during the week, isn’t that the better option than putting them in daycare? How can consistency of friends in daycare trump time spent with Mom in the midst of divorce? I just don’t understand. I just don’t understand. Help me to understand.
  • Needless to say, I was pre-occupied this evening. I played with the kids before our dinner arrived. I ate pizza and then I drove out to my house to water my lawn (yes, it is already brown), pick up my mail, take the trash to the curb, and lug in BIG dresser boxes and a new TV. Big Bro and Red were with me and they helped with the lawn and the plants.
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    It’s almost 1 AM and I’m typing, after going through mountains of papers for this god-awful divorce. This is the worst experience ever. I cannot believe the amount of money we are pissing away and I cannot believe the outcomes that I have seen thus far. I am walking away from this marriage with virtually NO assets, except for the house that I scraped up to purchase, which will probably have a lien on it from my lawyer. That is what is going to wind up happening. This is the most irrational thing that has ever happened to me in my life. There are too many parties involved and no-one who has a full picture of the situation. It is crazy – absolutely crazy. Time and energy that I could be spending to help my children cope with this mess is being drained by papers and irrational conclusions. And in the end it will be the kids that will suffer. I need to shield them from this and put on a happy face tomorrow. I can’t wait to get out of this house.

    On that note I will call it a night – I know tomorrow will be just as bad if not worse. I better take some Advil tonight to prepare.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    May 21: What a difference 7 years makes


    Monday… a first day of the work-week after an AMAZING weekend with the kids at my new house. And May 21. The anniversary of my marriage that is currently being dissolved…

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy went nuts when she saw me. Hugs and slaps on the back. “Mommy!!! Mommy!!! Mommy!!!!”. She kept slapping away and dancing and jumping in my arms. How sweet.
  • Twin Husky pointed on his head for me to kiss him. I remember him pointing and touching Red’s chair with his foot – like he was teasing her but not really. When I asked him to do it some more so I could take a picture, he gave me a dirty look. Too cute. Then he started making faces at me – puckering up his lips and acting silly. We were all laughing.
  • Red woke up cranky – likely due to two days with no naps. We are short on her favorite breakfast foods so that was also a problem today. I need to go food shopping.
  • The kids tried Rice Krispies (my favorite cereal – I love it on top of ice-cream) and they were interested in the snap crackle pop but not that interested in the actual cereal.
  • Big Bro was EXCELLENT. He got changed, ate breakfast, and was ready to ride with the Motley Crew.
  • Twin Crazy became very cranky since she was never changed out of her diaper this morning… it was all wet and I took it off and then she ran away from me with her pajamas and underwear down by her knees… walking around naked and laughing.
  • I helped Big Bro with his shoes, and Red with her clothes.
  • I dropped off Red and let them know that she missed her naps this weekend so might be tired. I also let them know that she saw Mommy’s house and the CHICKENS so they could have something to talk about.
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    I sat on the ferry and talked with a neighbor the whole way. Talked about the weekend, his BBQ, his kids, my house, the kids’ reactions to the house. The fact that I would love to see him and his family come out for a visit. They are my only real connection in my current neighborhood and I will miss them. They’ve really done a lot for me over the past year and I appreciate them so much.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • As soon as I walked in, I was hit with a client deliverable that needed to be reviewed first thing in the AM for delivery to the client ASAP. I spent about 2 hours on it and we sent it off by noon.
  • I grabbed an amazing won-ton and noodle soup. It was freezing today.
  • I crafted a letter to close out a separate project. I’ll be glad when both of these client projects are over.
  • I did a lot of administrative items – also mapping out what I need to do with my “real” job now that my client work is finally [almost] over.
  • I had to leave a bit early to catch my doctor appointment tonight. Time went by so fast… I was talking about so much. There is a lot for me to talk about and I really don’t have anyone out here to talk to – it’s amazing how my mutual friends have just gone silent – they are keeping their distance. I have few friends out here from my past and they are supportive. I talk to my family daily but they get so frustrated at the situation and they are a bit behind the acceptance curve that I am on. I have already accepted so much and they are not quite there with me yet. This whole process is so unbelievably frustrating and such a waste of time/money. And it does NO good for the families or the children involved. I hate the way this divorce is going and I would have done things so differently if possible.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:
    My ferry is coming in now, it is 8 PM. I am going to go straight to Trader Joe’s to pick up food for the kids. I will likely miss the kids tonight since the older ones are REALLY wiped out. I have a lot of work to do tonight related to the divorce. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! HA. What a joke.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    p.s., I bought bags of breakfast stuff at Trader Joes. That will likely be my last trip at Trader Joes for food at this house. Co-parent will have to do it from here on out while they are his house.

    The older kids were still awake when I got home. I got lots of hugs and Red sat on my lap. Both wanted me to spend time with them and scratch their backs. Big Bro told me that I smelled bad. Was it the fish tacos with onions? I asked him if it was my breath or my body. He didn’t know. I asked if I should brush my teeth or take a shower. He said “both”. Great.

    The twins were also talking in their rooms so I said hello to them. Twin Husky was lifting his arms to hug me. Twin Crazy was standing up swinging her head from side to side. I asked them if they wanted me to sing and they of course said Yes. I got them out of their cribs and they each sat in my lap, one head to each of my shoulders. I said I would sing “Twinkle Twinkle” three times and then it was back to their cribs. I rocked and sang with them and enjoyed my brief time with them. They are so good. They went off to their cribs with smiles. “I…… love….. you…..” in whispers. Sweet dreams my babies.

    Staying Sane: Get them to pitch in and help


    As you all know the work never really ends for busy working moms. If you are like me, you may have a tough time just sitting down to relax since there is always something to do. This post is not focused on the relaxing that we owe ourselves – rather, it is enabling, allowing, and encouraging our children to take a part and an active role in the duties that they can handle to help out with the workload to run the house.

    The kids are now 6, 4, and 2. The 2 year olds think they are helping but of course they add to the work… however Red, who is 4, can actually be very helpful – particularly with her younger brother and sister. She is also extremely willing and eager to help – and is very consistent with her eagerness. Big Bro, now 6 years old, is willing to help but in bursts. The trick with him is to embrace those times when he is hit with one of those bursts and let him ride with it. They all love to “help” cook. They [sometimes] set the table. They work together to clean up toys [most of the time]. I am excited about their growing into older stages and ages to take on more responsibility. To pitch it and be part of a family that all works together in the upkeep of the house and home.

    Over the weekend I introduced Big Bro and Red to the new house. There are a lot of things that I want to write about this weekend. It was wonderful. However I want to focus my thoughts on the topic of this post – having the kids help out. Since it was the weekend I met many of the neighbors. Our next door neighbors have two children – an 8-year old girl and a 6-year old boy (only 3 weeks older than Big Bro!!). I really like them, and more importantly, their mother whom is also from the East Coast (Rochester NY). Both she and her daughter described how she starts the laundry, does the folding, cleans up from dinner, etc. etc….. I sat there in awe. Yes, I love these ages where the kids are so young like little rosebuds with their personalities developing and opening — where you learn more about them as each day passes. However, there is something incredible about the thought of these kids actually DOING more and taking [a bit of] the workload off of me. I also love the idea of teaching the children that families work together and the sense of responsibility and pride it can instill in children.

    I had the great fortune of introducing the children to our new home this weekend. I wanted them to love it as much as I do… but I didn’t want to rush them. I needed them to wander, explore, and take it in. I wanted them to grow to feel comfortable there. Most importantly, I wanted them to be feel like it was their space too. Through the divorce we are teaching the kids about “two homes” and that they will have daddy’s house to spend time with daddy, and mommy’s house to spend time with mommy. And this was their first time all together to experience this new home. I am teaching them that this is OUR house. Not just Mommy’s house. This house belongs to ALL of us… and that we will work together to make this house a HOME. I’m teaching them that I bought this house for them and for us and our family. And we need to work together as a family to take care of this house. The kids were excited. And they really exceeded any and all of my expectations. They laughed, met the neighbors, made new friends, explored, and yes… they even helped out in their own way:

  • Big Bro unpacking the weedwacker
  • Big Bro and Red coming with me to Home Depot to pick out citrus trees, fruit bushes, and other random things
  • Twin Husky raking up the mulch onto the sidewalk [OK, this was added work for me, but he looked so determined to rake and to “help”]
  • Red handling the strawberry plants and then also picking out the spots where to plant them
  • Big Bro working the wheel-barrel and helping clear the weeds for some planting
  • Big Bro and Red helping to rake a path from our back top deck to the other neighbor’s house with the chickens
  • Twin Husky watering the planted strawberry bushes
  • Twin Crazy watering the patio
  • Big Bro sweeping, sweeping, sweeping and using the dustpan to clean off the entire back porch and driveway
  • All kids picking up their toys without hesitation when asked
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    I am so happy with how this weekend turned out. It could have been hard and stressful, but it really was an amazing experience. The kids took everything in stride and went above and beyond where I thought they would go.

    This sense of pride in the house and home is something that I will continue to communicate to the children. And also the need to work together as a family. Big Bro was not with me in the afternoon today and he asked me NOT to do any sweeping. So, I’ve got my first “duty” lined up for him on an ongoing basis. I will see what Red would like to “own” as her area of responsibility over time. And of course I will give in to whatever Twin Crazy and Twin Husky gravitate towards in terms of “work”. Our time together in this house will unfold and we will get into our groove that will change and evolve over time. But I am happy to have this home for them and I have worked so hard to get it. It will be natural for me to show the children the importance of this home and teach them to appreciate this house and encourage them each to do their part to help out.

    How do you Mamas get your kids involved with household and family responsibilities??? What has worked well to get them engaged and consistent?

    Have a great week everybody –
    – Mama K

    May 18: Home improvement!


    Friday! Another day off from work but me and the Twins did other kind of “work” at the new house.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I was solo so woke up early to shower and pack lunch.
  • Twins seemed OK. Twin Crazy still had a slight fever. Both were very clingy. Twin Crazy was in a BAD mood.
  • Downstairs I fixed oatmeal breakfasts. Twins were still extremely clingy/moody so we decided to sit on the couch together. First Twin Crazy, then Red came over as a joke. Twin Husky was jealous of his twin sister for sitting near me and she got completely pissed off if he even touched her foot with his belly. Eventually I was sitting there with both twins, just relaxing, and directing the big kids to get dressed.
  • Bigger kids were excited that their favorite clothes were in the dryer. During our routine in the morning I asked each of them to “go fishing” in the dryer for their clothes for the day. Each came out smiling, and willing to change their clothes. EVEN their dirty underwear.
  • We all went with Big Bro again today for the ride to school. Red was riding her bike and the Twins were strolling. I brought towels and wipes just in case we had a puke accident but we were all fine. Red was doing great going up and down the sidewalk to cross the street and keeping up the pace so that she made it uphill on the other side without needing help. “Keep those legs moving. Feet! Legs! Feet! Legs!” She was doing great and having a great time. She was even doing the “stand up” pedaling which is new to her. She was driving through the puddles which is exactly what I would do.
  • At home we had a pudding snack and then we headed to Red’s school. We had a problem though this morning. Missing backpack and purse. REAL problem. They just disappeared….
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • We arrived at the new house and the Twins found a huge bag of plastic Easter eggs. This kept them occupied for quite some time while I was busy unloading the van and putting things away.
  • I found my disc player from many eons ago and put in a “Toddlers Favorites” CD. THEY LOVED IT. I’m glad I held on to that crap for so long just to see Twin Crazy’s smile. They were both really enjoying that music.
  • We then decided to go outside and watch the sprinklers. They had their boots on which was too cute. We decided to pull the rocking chair onto the sidewalk under a tree and we sat there and rocked together. It was so nice. I loved it. Rocking on that chair with my two little munchkins. Looking over our [brownish] lawn and enjoying the breeze. We then got up for lunch.
  • I made them mac-n-cheese for lunch and we had a picnic.
  • I had them play for another 15 minutes before naps. They were “playing house” with Twin Crazy in charge of the front door and Twin Husky telling her that he’s “going to be right back”. It was so cute. They are like a little married couple. They were having a great time. Then it was time to go to sleep. They said they wanted to see the chickens but I told them that they were napping too. So then they were talking about the sleeping chickens.
  • While they napped I started on a sweeping project outside so that the house was a bit more presentable to Big Bro and Red for tomorrow. I was spending so much time to make things nice for them. First impressions are important and I want them to feel comfortable here.
  • I then also started a bunk-bed project. It was easy, sortof. Until you got a few steps along and then realized that the piece was the other way around because the holes are not in the right direction. Note to self for other projects going forward: read the directions a few steps ahead. I had to back track a couple of times but I think the first bunk-bed is about 65% complete. I think. I hope.
  • Twins woke up and we went outside to see the chickens. I counted 11of them. They are very friendly chickens and many came right up to us. Twin Crazy squealed and Twin Husky was laughing. We sat outside on our bench for a couple of minutes and then went back inside.
  • The other bed was delivered this AM so I opened the box outside and started to take in the pieces. The Twins were playing with Easter eggs again and listening to Toddler music.
  • We then packed up and drove back.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We picked up Red. The teacher told me how Red was talking about the bike ride. I’m so glad I was able to take her the past two days.
  • We picked up Big Bro and he was excited about the Book Fair at his school. I said it was a great idea and that we could all buy books to keep at the new house. But when we got there it was closed. It will be open all next week and Thursday will be their late night – we’ll just have to be patient.
  • We got back and all started eating snacks and hanging out.
  • I made some dinner and Twin Crazy was still very clingy.
  • Afterwards all went outside with co-parent and I sat with Twin Crazy on the rocker. We both dozed a bit. I brought her upstairs at bedtime and got her changed. I then changed Twin Husky. Big Bro and Red came upstairs and Big Bro opened the bathroom cabinet to show us where he his Red’s backpack and purse. He was laughing and I was a little more than annoyed. Poor Red. She just stood there, not knowing what to say.
  • After the twins were in their room I decided to go shopping. I kissed Big Bro and Red but they were pissed that I was leaving. The thing is they would have LOVED to come with me where I was going… HOME DEPOT!!!
  • I’ve been to Home Depot many times in the past. But never for my own home where I was living and certainly never by myself. There were several things that were MUST-GETS. I walked out of there spending a lot of money but actually less than what I thought I was, and glad to have these things purchased. Wire fencing to keep the kids away from the ledges in the front and back yards, uplights/moonlights that operate on solar power, a lawnmower, a weed-wacker, shovels and gardening gear, rakes and brooms for the kids, a shed, raspberry and strawberry bushes, a plant, some brooms, a hose and nozzle, wild-flower seeds, … …
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    I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing their reactions; hopefully they will be good ones. I want Big Bro to bring a ball for “wall ball”. There is a perfect part of the house for that. I think I might want to mow the lawn. Maybe I can stay there with Big Bro and Red and work in the yard later that day. We’ll see. Tomorrow is a big day for them in their lives. And I want them to investigate, explore, and imagine. I want them to take it in at their own pace. Most importantly, I just want to be there with them.

    Have a great weekend everyone –
    – Mama K

    May 17: Chunks and chickens


    Today is one of my days off from work – I have the Twins but made extra time for Big Bro and Red too. I am solo again tonight.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and I brought her down with me so I could monitor her. In the AM, Red came in the room and got into my bed fully dressed and ready to go for the day. She is ready to ride her bike with the Motley Crew today! I asked her if she wanted to stay with Twin Crazy while I took a shower. She did. I gave her some toys to keep her occupied.
  • Twin Crazy still wasn’t ready to eat a real breakfast. It took her awhile to warm up to some cereal. I’m glad she ate a bit.
  • Big Bro was playing his dirty underwear game again. Why doesn’t he just change them? I held my ground and started walking out the garage and then he got changed. As soon as he was changed he was an angel, helping all the siblings get ready for their Motely Crew ride.
  • This was the first time for Red. Including her, we had 10 kids. Red was in the back of the line but she kept up with everyone just fine. She was more confident and having more fun (I think) on the way home.
  • We packed up the van and headed to her school. We dropped her off a bit later than usual but she was happy to be there with her friends.
  • On the way back I called the doctor and made an appointment for Twin Crazy since this is her 4th day with a fever. It is viral. Nothing in her ears or chest. She has a blister in her mouth. The doctor said this should be on the way out for her. Whew!
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    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I continued East and went to the house. I had things to do there and also wanted to check on the lawn. The Twins were with me and they loved the yard, the sprinklers, and the CHICKENS!!! They were both squealing over them. The neighbor is very nice and gave each of them a fresh egg. The sun was out, the birds were singing, and the chickens were squawking. My kids were thrilled and I was happy.
  • We had some lunch – pasta and bananas – my first meal at the house. They each broke their real eggs so both were very cranky. Twin Crazy peed on the floor. Then they took a nap. They are so easy when it comes to sleep. I opened up one of the new mattresses and spread out a fuzzy blanket. I asked for each of them to share the mattress and then covered them with their own favorite blankets from their cribs. They were out in 5 minutes.
  • While they slept I put together 4 bar stools and brought in some other boxes of stuff. I also mopped up the floor from smell of fresh eggs and urine.
  • They woke up, we looked at chickens. I looked at weeds. We did more sprinklers, I met a neighbor with small kids.
  • As I packed the kids up, suddenly Twin Husky puked all over himself. I wasn’t sure if he was sick though, because he seemed fine afterwards. We picked up Red earlier than ususal, and on the way to get Big Bro he barfed again. OK. It’s official. It’s a virus and now the other twin has it.
  • Big Bro didn’t want to ride his bike back so he came with us. I ordered a pizza.
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    HIghlights of the Evening:

  • All kids ate well, surprisingly. I kept my eye on Twin Husky and he looked fine. Twin Crazy on the other hand was very clingy and sitting on my lap.
  • After dinner, Twin Husky found some of my expensive face cream and spread it all over the living room window.
  • I decided to give him a bath since he puked all over himself twice today. While upstairs and right before getting into the bath, he puked pizza and spaghetti all over the bathroom rug. OK, this kid is really sick. I dunked him in the bath real quickly to clean him up. I wrapped him in a towel and held him. I got him changed and gave him medicine.
  • I read to the Twins, wanting to call it an early night for them. They are both sick and I just want them to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Red and Big Bro were fine; She was dressed like a princess and so damn cute. I read to them and let them play quietly since it was still early and the sun was still shining.
  • I packed up some things and was in the garage when Big Bro and Red came down saying that Twin Crazy wanted them to sleep in her room. So I said sure, bring in your pillows and camp out in their room.
  • I went to check in on them and Twin Crazy was in Big Bro’s bed, and Red was walking around talking. I couldn’t believe that Twin Crazy was in there! She was just laying next to Big Bro and they were comforting her since she was still sick. She was smiling at me. I asked her if she felt loved and she said “Yes”. I put her in her own crib and she said “goodnight” to Big Bro and Red on her way out.
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    I am now downstairs and tired. It was a good day but dealing with two sick children is hard. I felt so bad for both of them today. Poor Twin Husky. He seemed fine all day. I loved being at the house and it is coming together nicely. I have a lot more work to do there though, obviously. I can’t believe the amount of weeds. The grass is brown but the weeds are growing all over the place just fine.

    I can make this a home for them. I know I can. And I knew I made the right decision on this house in hearing my kids laughter at those chickens and seeing them playing in the sprinklers with each other on the front lawn.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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