Random Thoughts: How do you commute?


My commute has changed over time.

  • When I first started to work when I was single, I still lived with my dad and I drove to work each day.

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  • When I moved to the NYC metro area, my commute changed based upon the location of my job. When I worked downtown at the World Financial Center, I would mostly walk and then take the subway. On glorious spring and summer days, I would walk to the ferry station and take the ferry across the Hudson with a breathtaking view of the Trade Towers. I remember thinking to myself that my daily commute would never be as spectacular as that. I was right. When I changed jobs mid-town, I would either take the bus or the subway, depending on my mood at the time.
  • When I was working abroad in Frankfurt Germany, I walked exclusively.
  • When I was working abroad in Zurich Switzerland, I took a tram. It was lovely.
  • When back in NYC going to MBA school, I would take one subway and one bus.
  • When I moved to California, I first drove and then sometimes took a bus. Then I moved in with soon-to-be hubby and I walked. Then the kids came and I walked with a stroller, and then a double stroller. When we moved to burbs I was back on a ferry with a fast walk to/from the office.
  • Now I am in the burbs of the burbs. I drive to the train, take the train, and fast-walk to work.

To be honest, I like being on the train again. I like looking out the windows of the world passing by. I like the changes in the neighborhoods and the movement of the people… going places. I like that you have to be on your toes. Aware of your surroundings. It makes me feel alive again. I like the fact that when you get off of the train the fast-walking begins. I feel like a piece of me is back in NYC but at a much slower, nicer pace. It is funny the difference between west coast and east coast subway/train commuting. There is still a smell of urine, only sometimes is there music, but generally all of the time there is patience, and right of way. People line up at the train station which is really not the norm in NYC, unless things have changed over the past 10 years since I’ve been there (I think not).

Which has gotten me to thinking about commutes in general – humor me and participate in these polls:

 

Thanks for participating!
– Mama K

 

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Staying Sane: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA IN MOTION


OMG I can’t believe it.   I JUST realized right now that Mama in Motion is 1 year old today!!!    July 15…..

I can’t believe it.   I knew it was sometime this month but did not realize it was TODAY!!!

I’m going to have to do some celebrating.  Not sure how.   So much as happened this last year and I actually feel so grateful for having this as a channel for me to help express how I’m feeling but hopefully this has also helped other working mothers out there along the way….

This is actually a bit bittersweet since this past year (and months before that) have been so difficult for me.  It’s painful for me to read prior posts of when I was trying to keep my head above water and in the midst of depression.  And seeing the kids so little and not realizing at that time that we would now have split homes and their lives forever changed.

But on a happier note, I am so happy that I’ve kept this project going.  And I do get a thrill each time I receive a comment.  Especially from someone brand-new who is introducing themselves to the group.   We are a diverse and STRONG set of women.

 

I’m looking forward to celebrating this milestone and continuing this journey with all of you.

 

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Drink your water!!


“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine.” Slovakian proverb

source: http://www.Quotegarden.com

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The human body has some basic needs. Sleep, food, air, water. I wrote about the Hierarchy of Needs and the implications to working mothers last year. Some are basic and some are complex. To be the best you can be to yourself and your family you need to take care of yourself. I decided to focus on one of these basic needs now since it was hot today. The need for water.

The body consists of 65% – 70% water to perform some pretty critical functions. Transporting nutrients and removing toxins to name the most obvious. The Importance of Water and Your Health does a great job of outlining the importance of water to your body, and the impact of dehydration (problems with short term memory, fatigue, others).

If you are anything like me, when you were pregnant or breastfeeding you were accutely aware of the need for water and diligent about getting enough to keep yourself and your baby healthy. But maybe since then you’re not as diligent? But we should be! Since all of you working mamas have busy schedules, and little ones to look after, you need to be on your best game. And you should teach the importance of water to your kids so that they stay hydrated (especially in the summer as they are busy running and exercising their bodies in the warmer weather).

Here’s a tool that I thought was reasonably simple to use to figure out what your body needs: Water Calculator

The best sign that you are not getting enough is the color of your urine. Clear/light yellow is perfect. Dark yellow is not so good. Once my kids started using the potty this is one of the things that we would talk about. If he/she was doing a good job drinking enough water. I fist-pump and high-five when their pee-pee comes out clear. If not, we go and get some water for them to drink. “Be good to your body”, “treat your body with respect”, “you only get one body, make sure you take care of it” are common phrases that I use with the kids.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and keeping hydrated! Happy drinking all!

– Mama K

July 13: Great day because of a dead car??!!?!


It’s Friday.   My car is still dead.  Battery.   This was a sweet blessing.  I couldn’t drive Big Bro and Red to daycare.  So instead, we had  a day at my house.  I usually take them out on activities while I have them all, but today we were stranded.  So it was a bit unusual but still so sweet.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Twin Husky, Twin Crazy, and Red all at the same time.
  • I checked the car.  Yes, it was dead.  YES!
  • I decided it would be a long breakfast day.  Pancakes.  Shit.  I only had a tiny bit of the instant stuff.  The other stuff requires milk and egg.  I had no eggs.  SHIT.  Big Bro and Red offered to go next door to our neighbor’s house to sweet talk some fresh eggs.  It worked.  They said they must be for breakfast.  Big Bro and Red replied “Pancakes”.   They each came back with one egg.  One orange, one blue.   Fresh from the chickens.  I love this place.
  • The kids made a maze for Cocoa which included his house, his new toy tunnel, and a huge blanket.   There were some fights over who could go into the “girls room”.   For some reason Twin Husky is always the kid that is left out.  He is sometimes backed up by his twin Twin Crazy, but oftentimes not when in front of big sister and big brother.  I had to enter the room and bring Twin Husky with me, and remind him to be well behaved, not throw anything, and not put anything in his pockets.
  • Afterwards some of us fed weeds to the chickens and also rotated the compost bin while we were out there.  
  • I was checking and responding to emails.  I conference call that I had scheduled at 10 AM was cancelled.  Thank goodness since I took the call originally thinking I would be on the highway.  Now that I was home with all four a call with a client would not have been possible.  I’m glad it was cancelled on me.
  • The kids were enthralled by the sewer guys doing routine maintenance cleaning out the roots and debris from the underground sewer system.  The workers had to use the backyard to get to a sewer cover in the back.  They commented on the work that was done in the backyard, and that the other neighbors did not have the tiered patio the way that I do.  They complimented the look of the house and congratulated all of us.  The kids just wanted to know if there was too much poop that clogged up the sewer or not.
  • Big Bro saved pages in his Star Wars Lego encyclopedia for the different sets that he is interested in “building”.  He must have had 20 pages flagged.  I asked him to narrow it down to 1 or 2.  He seriously got so excited at the thought of a new set that he anxiously ran into the house to start culling the possibilities down.
  • I did some laundry and the kids loved it.
  • Then we just did some relaxing.  I was making lunch and turned around to see Red reading a book, the boys playing quietly with Cocoa, and Twin Crazy getting set up to read.   So sweet.  I love hanging out in the house with them, just being ourselves.
  • There were a lot of flies in the house so Big Bro went hunting for them with a fly swatter and then I carried the dead ones over to our venus flytrap.  I showed the kids how the flytrap works by putting flies into the leaves and they would quickly close.  How cool.   There’s no shortage of flies in this house so we’ll probably gather them faster than the plant can consume them.
  • The twins went down for their naps.

 

 

 

Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • Red and Big Bro were playing with chickens.  Red was picking them all day long.  She is really good at it.  The chickens just let her swoop them up.  There were a few times I caught Twin Husky chasing them with a rubber mallet and I’m glad the chickens are as fast as they are.
  • Big Bro and Red went shopping with me on my iPad for Lego sets.  I got one set for each kid.  Big Bro and Red helped me to pick out sets they thought that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky would like.  Big Bro was having a great time shopping.  He was great when I would sometimes say “too much money” and would not even cause a fuss.   Some of these Star Wars sets are outrageously expensive.
  • After naps, we snacked.  Twin Crazy then sat down and read some books out loud again.  I love this stage that she is in right now.
  • Kids went outside to run while I was waiting for roadside assistance for yet another jump-start.
  • It finally got there and the kids had a good time watching the car get “fixed”.

After dropping the kids off I went to the Toyota dealership to drop off the van.  They gave me a car to use in the meantime.  I Prius!    Half electric, half gas!  It gets 50 miles to the gallon!!  I love it!  I asked when they would come out with a minivan and the salesperson laughed.  They will be coming out with a station wagon and SUV so maybe a mini-van is not that far out of reach several years from now when the Toyota “dies” for good.

I had fun driving home and decided that I did not want to go home right away.  I went to a hot spot in my new town where they have AMAZING lamb-burgers (only 20% ground lamb… but SOOOOOO yummy).   A beer also hit the spot.  It felt good to be out.   In a normal environment.   I felt good.  I had a good day with the kids essentially doing nothing.   They were reasonably well-behaved except for the “my room” thing and teasing Twin Husky.  

It is chilly outside and I am typing in my living room under a cozy blanket with the fireplace on.  And a fly zooming around my head.  The crickets outside.   It was a good day.

Happy weekend all –

– Mama K

July 12: Children’s tears


It’s Thursday; my day off; but it was not a good one for the kids.

Highlights of the 1st half of the Day:

  • Kids got up early.  I think it was Twin Husky who was in my bed first.
  • One by one I hear them get up; and also hear them playing with Cocoa.   I get up at 7:45 AM.
  • Fast breakfast today guys…. cereal, yogurt, fruit…. NOT pancakes, which Big Bro requests.   It’s a fast breakfast because I have to get Big Bro driven to his field trip today for day camp.  They are going to a golf course.  I think he will love it.   Both Big Bro and Red question me on why they have to go to daycare.   I honestly do not know what to say to them.  I’m disgusted that I have to bring them there on my day off, and that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky have to sit through four different car rides of at least 35 min – 1 hour.  It’s just not right.  It’s my day off.  I should be able to choose to have them be with me versus having them go to daycare, if I am willing and able to do it.  This arrangement is depriving the kids of each other.   And of the activities that I would be able to do with them if they were here with me.
  • We get to the golf course and we are there early.  So I get the kids out of the car so we can all explore the golf driving range a bit.  The kids were great.  We felt the grass and the difference of the grass on the putting area.  They counted and played with golf balls.  They watched golfers as they worked on the driving range.   They watched the truck sweep the balls off of the driving range.   It was great.   Big Bro’s class arrived and when we left Big Bro was in tears.  I got the rest of the kids to the car quickly.
  • Drop off for Red was fine.  She was clingy and would not let go of my arm.  They were all playing outside in the yard.  One of her teachers was looking through a magazine, shopping for school supplies.  I asked Red if she wanted to go “shopping” with the teacher.  That worked.  She sat on her lap and received hugs as they went through the magazine together.  This place is great with us.
  • On the way out, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky couldn’t help but play in the kid-kitchen area.  They’re favorite spot.
  • I drove home with the Twins.  I gave them applesauce pouches as a snack.   The ride back was uneventful.
  • The kids played while I made them lunch.
  • After lunch we read some books and then it was time for naps.  They decide to hide on the couch in hopes of me not seeing them.   They went to sleep easily.

Highlights of the 2nd part of the Day:

  • Twins woke up but later than I had hoped… 3:30.   I quickly got them a snack and packed them up for the trip to pick up Big Bro and Red.  
  • Big Bro pick up was fine; Red’s pick up was fine.  She was playing outside on a swing with her friends.  Her teachers told me that she was upset and crying 1/2 hour after I left her this morning.   I can’t stand to hear things like this.  Especially when she could have been home with me.
  • While I was talking to the teachers, the kids started to amuse themselves in Red’s classroom.  They were all in the book area either reading books, resting on the little furniture, or looking at the lizard and fish.   I went over to them and decided to rest with them.  To watch them play together and enjoy this time with them.  Twin Crazy was pretending to read a book out loud to us and then got angry and told her siblings to stop talking and pay attention.  So, so, cute.  I even got a video of that one.   I got them up and out by reminding them to drink water and Red ran over to the class’ water fountain and she served everyone water.    So cute.
  • I wanted to get home early to have time with the kids, but the day was working against me.  I had them all buckled in and then the car wouldn’t start.  I don’t get it.  Lights were going on but the engine wouldn’t even attempt to turn over.  I bought this car only 5 weeks ago.   So I called Toyota and while we were waiting I grabbed all four of the kids and took them back inside the daycare center to play.   They had fun with each other.  I was playing games with Big Bro and Red.   Twin Husky was cleaning and collecting blue Lego pieces.  Twin Crazy was showing me how she can balance her body on a table and pretend she could fly.
  • The jump on the car worked fine and they assured me that a drive of at least 30 minutes should fully recharge the battery.  They were wrong.  When I got home the car would not start back up.  SHIT.
  • I quickly made dinner since it was so late; immediately after dinner it was time to get the kids ready for bed.

I’m tired of seeing the kids strapped up in their car seats.  I’m tired of the questions on why they need to go to daycare and that they do not want to go.   I’m tired of dealing with the twins as they cry when they are getting put into their car seats. 

Contrast that to last week, when I was able to keep the kids on July 5 and July 6.  I took them to the library to get library cards and books.  I took them to a museum where the learned about injured wildlife and how people work to help these animals get better.   And they played with each other like kids in the summertime.   And made lemonade and tried to sell it (four customers!)

This was a summer that I was looking forward to.   And the opportunities with the kids together were great – I’m taking this time off but this is not working, at all.  It has not been good on the family.   Changes need to be made.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

July 11: Riders and farmers


I worked a 1/2 day today from home and then picked up the kids after not seeing them since Sunday.   It is also so late right now that I hope to be brief…

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up later; showered; drank lots of coffee.   Straightened up my “office” at home and realized that I need to get this place organized so I can be more efficient.  It is the “holding” place for lots of boxes that I just have not had the energy to go through and unpack.  This room is the least put together of all the rooms in the house.
  • I had a internal call to straighten out some billing issues and then we discovered more billing issues going back several years.  Ugggh.  What did I inherit?
  • I talked with a friend from college for a bit; caught up with each other; we are both going through hard times now but support each other.  We think so much alike.  I don’t have to take those extra steps to explain things to her.   She just gets it and understands how must feel without me even talking about it.  She finishes my sentences for me.   It makes it easier to explain my story.  I miss her and will likely not see her again for a very long time.
  • I led a planning meeting with several clients for one of the forums that I need to organize this Fall and we came away from the call with lots of great ideas.  I now have my marching orders so will be busy the next several months.
  • I sent out some communications to potential replacement lawyers for the forums and also potential new clients.
  • I spoke to my friend from work who is leaving and both of us burst into tears on the phone.  She is leaving the firm and accepted a job in NYC so her husband could be better positioned to find a job in that market.  I am so proud of her.  I am continuously struck by the strength and power of women who do whatever it takes to provide the best for their families.  Is it part of our DNA?   Are working mothers a force to be reckoned with?   We are so strong!  

The Rest of the Day:

  • I was still teary on my way to pick up the kids.   It felt so good to see them.  To feel them in my arms.  Big Bro saw me first and he was busy washing his hands of finger paint.  He kept washing his hands and purposely did not run over to me — he’s at that age where his friends are important; I was OK with that though.  I knew what he was doing.   And I knew that at some point tonight he would specifically ask me for some one-on-one time.   That’s just the way he is.
  • Red was outside with her friends doing water play.  But she was sitting by herself.  I asked her teacher if she was OK and she said that she was playing but then suddenly got a little sad and wanted to sit by herself.   When she saw me she ran into my arms and I started pulling her up to do flips against my body.  It’s our “thing” together.   We looked at the classroom lizard on the way out.  I then saw her teacher again and asked her about the “baby talk” that I’m hearing from Red.  This is new.   And the teacher heard it too.  I want to understand if she does this during the day when I am not around or if this is something that she is doing now in front of me.  I don’t know what to make of it.
  • Twin pick up was great.  They wanted to show me how they ride their tricycles.  They are getting so good with those pedals and steering.
  • On the way back we got stuck in traffic.  We talked about trains, music (picking out the drums, guitars, etc.).   A Motley Crue song came on “Wild Nights” and Big Bro heard the DJ and commented on Motley Crue and how that is like HIS Motley Crew gang…. Yes!  Absolutely!   That’s why I nicknamed his riding crew the “motley crew” as a joke.   It is so great how we are engaging like this with each other.   I’m really enjoying this older age.
  • We got home and Big Bro and Red wanted to go next door and check on the neighbors.  I’m glad they miss their friends.   I threw dinner in the over and headed outside to work on strawberry bushes.    Putting stakes in the ground and tieing up the stems.  The bushes are getting big now and the leaves are getting heavy.  When they get watered the stems just limp down so I figured they needed some support.   The kids were interested in what I was doing and even started to help with watering them.
  • We ate quickly and had lots of veggies and fruit
  • We then went back outside and started to plant carrot seeds in a seedling kit I recently bought.   The kids all worked together to fill the little containers with soil, then put the seeds in, put more soil on top, water them, and then press the soil down.  I love these projects where they all work together.
  • I knew it was bedtime when Red and Twin Husky started fighting over a broom.
  • We read books to the Twins in the living room and then tucked them in.  Red stayed with Twin Crazy while I read a book one-on-one to Big Bro, per his request.   I then read one-on-one to Red.   I need to spend more time with them but I don’t know how else to do it.  I would like to start “routines” like this so that I know I can at least squeeze in some mommy-time for each of them, consistently.  But I need to do more.
  • The boys fell asleep right away; the girls were up for a bit.  Red was happy and very talkative.  Cocoa was also in their room this week.  I taught them the meaning of the word “roommate”.

I am so tired right now.   I had an emotional day with tears and that always wipes me out.  And then add to that seeing the kids again.  And feeling like they changed a bit and I missed out on it.  And hearing Red’s baby-talk.   And hearing in the car how the kids don’t like the car seats or sitting in traffic.   I wish co-parent would agree to come closer in proximity.  He doesn’t see how the drive and commute is affecting his kids.   It’s terrible.  And tomorrow the Twins and I will have to make four trips.   I’ll have to give them a treat of ice-cream or something.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Gig tips: Calendaring


I came across the below and I STRONGLY advocate this advice — keeping your work and family calendars in one place:

“Unfortunately, it’s often easier to cancel on your child than on a potential client. Scheduling business and family obligations on the same calendar will lessen your chances of forgetting a personal commitment when you’re planning work activities. It will also help you avoid over-scheduling and alert you if your commitments are unbalanced.”   Source:  CareerBuilder.com

Image source:  cincinnatisportsmed.com

Here are some things that have worked really well for me:  

  • I use Outlook at work.  I color code personal appointments as a separate “color” from other appointments such as internal meetings or client meetings.    That way when I’m at work, I can quickly scan the week/month and visually see how booked we are as a family.
  • If I’m at work using Outlook and a family event becomes scheduled, I send an invitation from my work Outlook account to my personal email account (I add a participant, “myself”, with my personal email address), which then gets sent to my iPhone.
  • Likewise, if I create an appointment from my iPhone (typically a personal or child-related appointment), I “invite” myself with my work email address so that my work Outlook is updated.
  • As an extra step to make sure everyone is on the same page, consider also adding your spouse to these invitations so their calendar has the same information.   I did this in the past and it worked to keep me and co-parent in-sync with what was happening with the kids.

Any other ideas?  What do you find works well to help manage your work and your “life” schedules?

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

Random Thoughts: Creativity that calms


At our core, people are driven to create.

Image source:  BrainyQuote.com

I’ve often said to myself and others that having children is the best thing I have ever “did” in my life; in terms of doing something.  Creating something.  Bringing something to be that once was not.   I still believe this to be true.  I bet many of you do as well.  Creating our children is probably the ultimate. 

And then there is our work.  We create things there too.   For me, I create ideas out of information –  it is very abstract but it does come along with a lot of paper, PowerPoint presentations, and reports.    Some of you may be like me, working in an office “creating” services or products that you really can’t touch or feel.  Others of you may create actual, physical things.  

And then there is our down-time.  We may not have much of it.   You may have found that your free-time comes back as your children age.  I find that the baby / toddler years are very demanding but as the kids get older you get some of your time back.  But I’m finding myself with more and more of it lately for other reasons.

I’ve been spending a great deal of this time organizing and re-assembling because of my move.  But I’ve also been spending time tearing out my yard and yearning to build a garden.   To create food from the earth.  To see something grow.   To see plants flourish.  To see fruit form.   I guess you would say that this is my new hobby – but one that I’ve been thinking about for years.   For me, a part of the hobby is the relief and the physical part of tearing the weeds from the earth.  Ridding my property of infestation of “yucky stinky weeds” as the kids call them.  Taking something away that should not be.   But then fixing the earth so that good can grow.  I now have 4 trees that are planted in huge pots waiting for the right spots in the yard.  I have strawberry plants that are drooping from their weight.  I have corn stalks given to me by my neighbor.  I have raspberry and blackberry vines thriving.  I now also have a home full of houseplants – and I’m loving it.   It’s a great release for me at this point in my life – a combination of physical and mental energy – a combination of taking away the bad to make room for the good.   To create.   To create good for the family.

Which leads me to thinking… do you also find a cathartic calm from creating?   What is your channel for this creativity?  Please share!

Thanks for listening and sharing –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Reuniting with friends


“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”   Albert Camus 

You can laugh with your friends in good times, and you can support each other in not-so-good times.   Sometimes you lose touch over the years and then they re-enter your life again without skipping a beat.   Reuniting with old friends is wonderful.  Knowing that your friends are there for you in tough times is priceless.   For working mothers, friendships with others helps to balance your life and you may be drawn into new friendships simply because you have so much in common with these working women.  It’s good to know that the person “gets it”.   It’s also good to reach out to friends when you need help.

Through the last year I’ve had different kinds of interactions with friends; this last year has been brutal for me.  I’ve gained new friends, reconnected with many old friends, and yes lost some friends along the way.   Now that I have more time on my hands I’ve wanted to open myself to my friends but so much is so difficult.  I’m reaching out but having discussions is tiring for me; reliving experiences sometimes too exhausing to explain.  So I have this time available to me, but I’ve also been retreating a bit.   Healing.   It’s kind of a dance with me.  I connect, then retreat.  Connect, then retreat.  But I know my friends are still there.

I reached out to some old college friends tonight after I dropped off the kids at co-parent’s, and caught up with their lives.  Everyone has their own issues.  I was reminded tonight that it is best to be happy with where you are at the moment; just take it in for all that its worth.   Thank you Lisa!   And this coming week, I have a lunch date with a friend who has honestly been my lifesaver this past year and more.

However I also retreated from some friends this weekend.   A birthday party for a friend’s son – the kids went with co-parent and I just couldn’t muster the energy to go.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to see couples who are starting families – it makes me think of myself at those stages – so hopeful.   Sorry Romina for missing this – I know it meant a lot to you.  Honestly the kids HAD A BLAST and I heard all about the pony and petting zoo.  The Dora pinata is proudly displayed in the “girls room”.

I also canceled on old friends from my NYC days – for good reason, I believe.   I was to meet them with all of the kids at her house but start early since I would have to leave early.  But my heart wasn’t in it.  The kids woke up with me this morning and they were having so much fun with each other and the chickens and just playing and being.   I was doing lots of laundry and the kids were keeping busy on their own.  And then it was 10 AM.  The time when I say that it’s appropriate to go to the next door neighbor’s house to see if they want to play.  The family next door was on vacation the past two weeks and the kids had not seen them during that time.  When the neighborhood kids came over, that is when the magic started.   Laughter.  Running.  Hugging.  Talking about “Cocoa”.  Playing ball.   Tickling.   And I just stayed back and watched it and laughed.   So, my heart just wasn’t into taking the kids away from their new friends and getting on yet another highway.  Big Bro is the worst now with the highways and he doesn’t want to go anywhere anymore.  I just wanted to stay at home with them and hear them laugh.  And see them run.   And see their happiness for each other since the neighbors are just as excited to see us as new neighbors now.

So I canceled on my friend.  So that the children could have fun and cultivate their own new friendships.  And it didn’t matter a bit to my friend.  I talked to her.  She completely grounded me.  “Of course don’t feel bad – you are doing exactly what you should be doing right now….”

So we stayed.  And the kids laughed.  And played.  And scared the guinea pig.  And ran.  And ate.  And fell down.  And kicked balls.  And hugged.  And giggled.   And made MORE lemonaide and tried to sell it to the neighborhood together (they each made $1.25 for their efforts today).

Two of my closest friends, friends who know EVERYTHING that has been going on in my life over the years, I made at work.   So there is the biggest benefit I suppose for being a working mother.   Being around other women who can relate to you like some people cannot.  They know the challenges, the struggles, the tensions.   And through this you can form the strongest of friendships.

So this is a big “thank you” to my friends.  Some closeby, some far away.   But still there.  And those that continuously reach out to me to check in and see how things are going.   And offer to help where they can.  And to listen if I have the energy to talk about things.  This means a lot to me.   

Hopefully you will agree that a big part of staying sane and staying grounded is keeping those friendships alive; supporting one another; and giving those big hugs to your friends whom you have not seen in a long time.

Have a great week everybody

– Mama K  

 

July 6: Lemondaide for sale! $0.25!!


Friday, and the last of the 2 days that Big Bro and Red were “allowed” to stay home with me, along with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  It was a great day.  No, it was an AMAZING day.

Highlights with the Kids:

  • I woke up at 7 AM to Twin Husky, pitter pattering in my room.  He climbed into my bed.   Then came Twin Crazy.  Then came Red.
  • It was cold when we all got up so I put on the fireplace as I made breakfast.  Twin Husky helped me stir the pancake mix;   Everyone was hanging out, lounging, including Cocoa our guinea pig.  It was wonderful to have everybody there.  No rushing.  No running.  Just being.
  • After breakfast I wanted to lounge around too.  I read books to some of the kids while others were playing with Cocoa.
  • I got the kids to get dressed quickly.  I wanted to explore my new neighborhood again.  But first Big Bro wanted to start some popsicles so they would be ready when we came home.  All I had was pomegranate juice.   Overall he does not like going on trips and would rather stay home.  He’s fine once we get there though.  I think he’s sick of the car.  I don’t blame him.
  • I found an amazing museum about 2 miles away from the house.  It is a wild-life preserve and rehabilitation site for sick and injured wild animals.  I told the kids how important this place was and how some animals are pets and if they get sick or hurt their owners take them to the vet… but where do wild animals go if someone finds them hurt????    I bought a yearly family membership as soon as I got in there.  Some of the animals are always there and cannot be released (e.g., birds with one wing).   But there is an entire section of the building for rehabilitation of many animals that is not open to the public.  The kids saw alot of birds, touched a snake, looked through magnifying glasses of feathers and snake skins, amused themselves with puzzles, and we even saw a demonstration of workers feeding 3 little baby birds.   I loved it there.  I want the kids to understand the importance of places like this and the responsiblity we have as people to care for animals in need where we are able.  
  • Once we got home we ate like crazy.   After lunch Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ran around outside naked while Big Bro played with them with the hose.   Then it was nap-time.
  • During the twin naps, Big Bro, Red and I made lemonaide.   We had a childrens book about making lemonaide that I must of read to them 1000 times; they were busy making it and it really tasted good!!     I went out back to weed with the weed-wacker, thinking they would come outside or play quiety inside… but they had other ideas.  They wanted to set up a lemonaide stand and asked me to write the sign.  They set up in the front of the house and were working so hard.   There were construction workers down a few houses and Big Bro kept yelling “Lemonaide for sale”.   He even wanted to go door-to-door.   There were four separate customers but other drive-bys with smiles on people’s faces.   They were so cute.  They were working so hard.  I taught them about “price” and how 4 quarters make up 1 dollar and before you knew it, it was time to get ready to leave.   I promised them I would buy more lemons on Saturday and that I would help them make more lemonaide on Sunday and have a proper stand – I think there will be more traffic then.

After the kids:

  • Drop off was fine.
  • I went to Costco to stock up for the kids.   At the cashier I learned that my in-laws stopped my Costco membership — don’t they realize that they are only spiting their own grandchildren by doing that?   I was still able to buy my stuff though so that was good.
  • I got back; unpacked my loot; and did some more weed-wacking.
  • I’m now showered and feeling full from raspberries, Life cereral, and a nectarine. 

I’m feeling great and happy here.  I’m listening to crickets as I type this.  I love this house.  I love seeing the children in this house.  I love waking up to pancakes and a fireplace with them.  And a guinea-pig.   I love seeing them sell lemonaide to the neighbors, and how the neighbors keep introducing themselves to us.  I love this day I had with them.  I only wish I could have more.  I wish the children could have more of these days too.  At home with mom during the week, with all of the kids together.

Have a great weekend –

– Mama K

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