Staying Sane: Offload a child!


It’s the end of a busy weekend with the neighborhood kids.  On Saturday night, we had our normal crew of 10 kiddos in the street with their bikes, and then we had the fun of welcoming a new family to the street – so make that 12!   The kids had a blast.  I had cones with flags in the street and everyone was cruising along looking out for cars.   Then, Big Bro decided to bring out various paddles and balls and then all kids were in my front yard trying to see how many times they could hit their own ball up in the air.  I absolutely loved it.  I’ve always been an entertainer… I love having people around and intermingling.  And I think it is so cute to see Big Bro following quietly in these footsteps… bringing out pitchers of water and cups for the kids, paddles, a wheel-barrel of balls… too cute.

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Then Sunday.  The kids know to wait until 10 AM until they knock on any doors.  But Big Bro was anxious.  He took a tricycle in the front lawn and stood on top of it announcing, “Do any kids want to come out and play?!?!?!??!?”.  Way too cute.

It was going to be hot out today.  So I decided it would be a slip-n-slide and blow up pool day.   I asked Big Bro and Red to go to each of the neighbors’ houses and invite them over for 11 AM if they wanted to play.   Everyone were takers except for the new kids on the street…. their family was way too busy unpacking.   But somehow I lost Big Bro in the mix.   He absolutely hit it off with the new kid – almost his age.

The new kid had Ninjago Legos.   Something that Big Bro does not.  So any new toy is a fantastic toy to a six year old.   When I went over there with the Twins to fetch Red and Big Bro, he did not want to leave.  And surprisingly, the new family did not want him to leave either.   He was quiet entertainment for their eldest.  Their quiet play gave their child something to do while each of the parents got productive at unpacking and sorting out their lives.   I exchanged phone numbers and we texted throughout the day.  Big Bro wound up staying there a whooping 5 hours and even having lunch there.    They assured me he was no problem and actually was great for their son.

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Meanwhile, I had the rest of the neighborhood kids along with some parents to enjoy the warm weather and laugh like kids.

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I am happy there is another family in town, another two kids to join our community, and a connection formed between my sometimes-shy son and other kid who seems to be wonderful, at least at this point.

Have a great week everybody –

– Mama K

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September 28: Tired.


Friday!   It was a long one.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Woke up to Red and Cocoa.  Then Twin Husky.  Then Twin Crazy.  All were in my bed.  I love the morning hugs from these kids.
  • We ate fast; Big Bro again helped with making bread and butter, and also with vitamins.  They all changed quickly and got their shoes on and packed without a problem.  I sent them outside to the car as I finished gathering some things together.  They are doing remarkably well with these morning drives.  I keep the radio off and we talk about things.   Today, it was extremely foggy after we got through the hillside and I talked about the fog and how the big hill holds back the fog from where we live.  How the sun burns off the fog in several hours.  We wondered if we would see Twin Crazy’s “castle” buildings, and we did.  They had special lights on today and we all said we should check on a sunny day to see if those same lights are on.
  • Drop offs were great; Big Bro headed off to his classroom with no problems, even ran a bit.  How cute.  Red laughed with one of her diva friends at school and it was so cute to see them together laughing.   On the way out, we bought more toys – this time wooden blocks.  Twin Husky carried them out, looking all muscular.  He looks like a complete disaster.  Banged up knees, elbows, and huge fat lip from falling yesterday.  The poor kid though has a huge threshold for pain.  Nothing bothers him.
  • Back at home, Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and I did our normal routine together… watered the plants outside, did some weeding, fed the chickens, gathered some old leaves for our compost tumbler.
  • Inside, Twin Husky wanted to rest a bit.  Twin Crazy took out a blank notebook and said she wanted to read a story.  So together we made one up.  It was about a dog named Pete who went to the park to play with balls.   I love how she uses her imagination and I love how she played this game with me.   We went back and forth making up the story together.  She turned the blank pages of the notebook along as we “read”.
  • I called the doctor about Twin Crazy’s pink eye and Twin Husky’s rash that looks like ringworm (thanks to the old guinea pig, Batman).   She called in a prescription.
  • Early lunch, early nap.   Even I fell asleep for a bit.
  • We woke up, picked up meds, and hauled ass to school to pick up Big Bro and Red.
  • I took them to an airplane museum.  The funny thing is that the part they loved the most were the planes on the outside of the museum where they could climb in – this part was absolutely free.  So next time I know not to bother to pay for admission.   They had a blast.  Pretending to fly, and Big Bro going to “air traffic control” to direct traffic.  So cute.
  • I then took them to a playground.  The girls were coloring while the boys were busy making a mess in the sand.  I was completing a page in a coloring book with Red that we started the night before.  That was my project with her today.  She shared a page with Twin Crazy.  She wanted to share a page with Big Bro but he was too particular and then he started to break Red’s crayons.  I got so mad that I packed them up and left.  Why is the eldest the absolute hardest to deal with, always?!??!?!?!?!?

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I’m at home now and before I left I talked with Big Bro and told him that I didn’t want to leave being angry with him, and if he understood why I felt the way I did… that Red was being very generous trying to share her book and that I felt that he was being difficult only wanting the one page that Red and I were already working on.  He still feels his own way.  He is very much like me.  Stubborn.  But at least I talked with him about it and told him that I love him anyway even if he made me mad.

I’m tired.  This week caught up with me.  My house looks like a disaster.  I just want to lay down and sleep.  Which I think I will.  Waking up early and attacking the house will give me something to do – it’s supposed to be gorgeous out this weekend and I’m looking forward to hanging out with the kids outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids.

Have a great weekend everybody –

– Mama K

September 27: Decompressing


Thursday is my day off and I needed it after this week – one big meeting down, one and possibly two more to go.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Chocolate Thursday.  Big Bro helped me make the breakfast for the kids while I packed his lunch.
  • We got out in time, Big Bro and Red drop offs were fine.
  • At home, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky helped me with the garden, played with water and rocks, played with a toy umbrella, and rode bikes.   We also put away the garbage bins that were left on the street.   We had a snack and then I took them food shopping.  I scooped up a lot of things on sale.  They helped me remember things on the list.
  • We had a fast lunch and then 1 hour nap.   I scooped them up from their beds into their car seats to pick up Big Bro and Red.  This is really the only way to do it… gypsy living with them on the road with their naps just does not work for us.   And putting them down too early is not good.  I don’t want to be late anymore with Big Bro pick ups; so for now on I’ll just start their naps and then finish them off on the drive down for the bigger kids.
  • At home, we got the mail, rode bikes in the back yard.  I put a chicken in the oven.   We delivered chocolate chip cookies to the new neighbors across the street.  Big Bro is happy that the 5 year old boy likes Ninjago legos.
  • The kids then decided to decorate their room with more wall stickers.   Everyone worked together.  Big Bro worked on the top bunk to put the stickers on the wall up high, and also pulled off the big stickers and dropped them down like raindrops to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky below.  Red was busy with her own roll of paper of stickers.  It was amazing to see them working together.  I did not even initiate any of it.
  • I pulled some weeds and fed the chickens with the kids.   There was more bike riding.
  • We ate dinner outside and it was great.
  • Poor Twin Husky tripped and fell, and bit his lip.  There was a lot of blood but he is fine.  His lip is huge.  Which is actually funny since he has huge lips to begin with.
  • We watched a movie and I colored with Red – Hello Kitty.

I had a great day with the kids.   It was beautiful weather outside and I enjoyed the sun.   I sent a few work emails but did not really have a care in the world today.   It was wonderful.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

September 25: One down


The first big conference is done. I was given tremendous feedback. I had so much fun and feel like I struck gold with this job.

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And now back with the kids. Tonight was hard for me since I was so wiped out. But I had a great time reconnecting with all the kids and received lots of hugs and attention from them

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I feel like my life is turning around in amazing ways. Lots to write about but there is a time and place for everything and I don’t feel ready to let everything out.

I’m just extremely happy these days. In all directions.

September 24: Getting ready


So I am in the hotel, a suite, the night before one of the conferences that I have been organizing. I am giddy from the great dinner and wine. I am ready for entertaining my “guests”. I am ready for listening to my many clients and navigating through the day. This is when I believe that having four kids benefits me. It makes me laugh in the face of obstacles, trudge through minutia, and keeps me on my feet.

Bring it on! I am ready for this!!!!

Til tomorrow,
– Mama k

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Staying Sane: Take it in and celebrate the Now


How many times have you heard, “Enjoy it, it goes by so fast.”.   And at the time, it is usually when one of the kids is acting up, or maybe if you’re lucky, the kids are acting like angels and you have a quick chance to catch your breath.    With four kids over 6+ years, I’ve heard this more than I would like to admit.   And yes, I get it.   Of course the years go by fast.   I can see it in my skin, my body, my hands.   The way I get tired so easily.    The way I’m starting to forget simple, insignificant things like the names of bands or actresses/actors.  Yes, the years are going by quickly.   We can see it in ourselves and the way we, ourselves, are changing as people.

And it is even more extreme with children.  Yes, we know time is going by fast.  These little people are pushing that fact in our faces every single day.

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How is this supposed to make you feel better you ask?  How is this supposed to make you feel more at ease?  Doesn’t this kind of create an anxiety?

Not if you choose to look at it from another angle.   Time does not have to go by so quickly.   Instead of grasping at the past and the now, you can choose to let it unfold and celebrate the people your children are becoming.   Time will come and go, but enjoying the Now and celebrating the Now with them, at least for me, has become an amazing way to feel connected to them and proud and excited for what may lie ahead.

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My little girl was born over four years ago and she was a bald baby but had enough hair for me to know that she would be a red-head.   She was my first girl.  Her squeaks as a baby were different than those of her older brother.  She was softer.  She smelled sweeter.  She would point to her crib when I would sing to her at night to let me know that she was ready to go to sleep.   She started laughing early… and most of the time it was while looking up at her big brother, who was trying desperately to interact and play with this little baby.

She grew into her red hair quickly.   ..scaling fire escapes before she could even walk…  throwing her body over the bathtub wall fully clothed so she could jump in with her brother.   Growing into her laugh.  Growing into her excitement and her personality and her body.   Feeling thrilled by standing by herself.    And taking those first steps.

And now my little girl is over four years old.   And she still looks up to her big brother.  He teaches her to push herself, and her red hair, feisty personality fuels this desire.   She is so fragile yet so strong, at the same time.  She is caring, intuitive, empathetic, silly, and so so energetic.   She is an artist.   She feels deeply.   And she laughs loudly.   And she takes risks.   And now she rides a bike by herself…. years before her brother did.  This does not surprise me.   The glow in her eyes and the smile across her face is too good to be true.   She is my Red.

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So yes, time does go by quickly.   We hear it from everyone and of course this is something we already know.   We do not need to be told this simple truth.  We see it daily through our children.

I choose to spend the Now with the kids and celebrate with them.  Laugh with them.   And of course cry with them.  With the new skills our children learn come the scraped knees, the fear of the dark, the frustration of learning something different.   But it is FEELING this with them that is so, so good.   Such passion.  And how they grow, and how they learn, and how wonderful it is to be a part of it and to see it unfolding right before your eyes.

I choose to not fear that time will go by fast.  I choose not to let the craziness of four kids and work get the best of me, and what I believe are the best years of my life.   I choose to stop and feel the Now with the kids and appreciate the time that I have with them and make as much time as I can with them.   Knowing that I’m doing this makes me happier and excited for what is left to come.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

 

 

September 21: Feeling free


Happy end of the week!   I was a stay-at-home mom today, well, sortof.   Despite my flex-time work schedule, I actually worked quite a bit – last preparations before the first conference next week…
Highlights of the Day:

  • The kids helped to get each other ready this AM.  Big Bro also helped pack up the breakfast, and got the vitamins ready for all kids.  It was ridiculous, and I will NEVER do this again, but I left all of me until the end and I wound up brewing my coffee in the french-press in the car on the drive.  Stupid.  Silly.  Ridiculous.  The coffee pot thing was rolling all over the place and I have coffee everywhere.  Oh well.  It can get cleaned up.
  • The ride was fine; we talked about Twin Crazy’s buildings in the city that look like castles, Twin Husky was busy singing into a traffic cone (I recently purchased for the kids bike riding in the street)… that’s all that I can remember.  Big Bro got there on time.
  • Drop off for Red was fine.   I took a phone call with a Consultant who is helping me with the conference.  I need changes made to a survey that we are sending out.   I need him to make the changes so I can send everything off this afternoon.
  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to Petco to buy Cocoa some hay.  I took advantage of the time there and we went to see ALL of the available animals there were to see.  Hamsters, rats, turtles, snakes, tarantulas, lizards, fish…  it was really fun.
  • We went back home since yesterday’s gypsy-living was too exhausting.   I picked up a chair to complete the outdoor patio set.  I am so psyched.
  • We watered the garden, played “castle” with the couch cushions, had some pee-pee accidents, cleaned up the floor appropriately, etc.  I made a quick lunch and we ate outside (loved it).  I again had to take some work phone calls.
  • I tried to get Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to take naps.   They were having too much fun.  I separated them but still they would not give in to sleep.  I worked, sent out emails, had phone calls.  More changes to the survey.  Then off everything went to all conference participants.   We had to boogie to get packed up and get Big Bro on time.
  • Big Bro pick up was fine; Red pick up was fine.  She pulled me to see her old teachers who are much more nurturing than her current teachers.  I think it makes a difference to the teachers to get so much love from these kids.
  • I took the kids to a playground until the transition with co-parent.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were scaling rock-climbing walls.  All were having fun.  Big Bro was watching an older kid on the swing, twisting the swing and spinning around and he tried to do the same.  I can’t believe my little boy is a bigger boy than I would like to admit.   Red was a total monkey, climbing all over the place.
  • We went to get gas and I cleaned down the windows at the gas station.  The kids love that.
  • We waited at co-parent’s driveway until transition.  Once he got there the kids got their bikes.  Red wanted to show me how she could ride her bike without the training wheels.  I am so proud of her.  She is so determined.  She just keeps on trying and trying.  And she went far.  The look on her face was stunning.   I wish I could bottle it up.  She made me so happy today.
  • I gave the kids kisses and went on my way.  I will see them tomorrow night.

At home, I immediately started some physical work in my backyard.  I attacked the dead pile of blackberry vines with a hedge-clipper.  I did this until it was dark.  In between I was able to catch a beautiful pink in the sky above.  It was gorgeous – a flaming sky behind the decay of blackberry vines.   I felt hopeful.

I just now finished up cleaning up inside the house while blasting music.   I ate red chard and green chard – I never had this before.  A new taste; different.  I’m not sure I love it but it is different.   I think I will do a bit more work tonight so I can feel free over the weekend.  I don’t want to spend the weekend thinking about this conference.   There is no need to since we are prepared for it and I know it will be just fine; and even if there is a glitch, it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Have a great weekend all –

– Mama K

September 20: Gypsy living


It’s been one week since last I wrote a post!   Sorry.  Things have been a bit hectic around here.  I’ve been doing a lot of the same over the past week, but also recalibrating my own life and I needed to take a break from the blog.   But I’m back.

Today is a Thursday where I have Twin Crazy and Twin Husky home with me, while Big Bro and Red go to school/daycare.   We take a drive along 2 highways to get to co-parent’s neighborhood.  Usually the Twins and I go back and forth 4 times on this day.  I decided to try something different today.  I’m not sure if it worked.

Gypsy living.   They travel in groups and have things – they just choose to roam and not settle in any location for a long period of time.   Well, we were gypsies today.   For this experience I had to pack a small bag of extra clothes, snacks for the day, a potty, two pillows, two sleeping bags, two kid blankets, some diapers, wipes, water, a suck blanket/ lovey and one Tiger.

  • Drop offs were fine.
  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and I first went to Lowe’s to return some things from a laundry-room project we just completed.   Twin Husky liked carrying some of the gear.   They both liked playing on the big cart in the parking lot and acting like monkeys.
  • I drove by Smart-n-Final and decided to go in since my Costco days have been cut short thanks to my in-laws.  I still can’t believe they stopped my membership when I have to feed 4 of their grandchildren.   Yet I still am paying for their son’s health-care insurance.  I just don’t get it.   Anyway, the deals were great and I’m happy to know that I don’t need Costco anyway, thank you very much.
  • We went to the bank.
  • We went to Kohl’s so I could buy some more kitchen gear that needed to be replaced post move-out.   Saved 20% and also used Kohl’s cash so it was quite a bargain.  The kids at this point were very crazy so I made them each sit down and stay seated while I shopped.  They listened well, thank goodness.
  • I then drove around the complex to a Starbucks.  My intent was to work while they slept.   NOT.    I set them up to sleep – pulled out the other seats and pulled down the mini-van seats into beds.   Spread out the sleeping bags as cover and set up the pillows and blankets.   They each were having way too much fun.  We snacked on grapes and bread and they tried to fall asleep.   Twin Crazy said “this is going to be a fun fun ride”.  She is so cute.   They weren’t doing much sleeping so I went between them to stop their playing.  Bad move.  I wound up falling asleep myself.  I was supposed to be working (big conference next week).   I woke up to Twin Crazy crying because she peed herself.   I’m actually glad she did since we were running late to pick up Big Bro.
  • Pick ups were fine, uneventful.  Ride home was fine, uneventful.
  • We got home, relaxed, I made a pasta dinner, and we had leftover home-made ice-cream from the night before.  We settled in to watch a movie together.  Bedtime was fast.

I’m finishing up my day but I actually have a lot of work to do.   I’m sooooo tired.   Today was too much.  Too many errands.  These poor twins were carted all around and didn’t sleep well.   Next time I try this it will include maybe one errand and a trip to the park where they can play and I can relax.

I also realized that although I love the freedom that gypsy living brings, I think I most cherish the familiarity and comfort of home, of roots, of belonging.

I’m gearing up for the big conference next week which has kept me very busy.   I think it will go fine and I’m actually looking forward to it.

Gotta go and do some work –

– Mama K

September 13: 10 days to go


It’s the end of a Thursday, a day where I have the “day off”, but I just finished 3 hours of work after the kids went to bed.   My first big meeting is 10 days away and I am getting down to the wire.

HIghlights of the Morning:

  • Chocolate Thursday – kids ate great
  • Twin Husky was pretending to fix a broken handle on one of the kitchen drawers.  And then Big Bro tried to play and fix it too, causing friction between the two.   Ugggh.  Big Bro is in a foul mood this morning.
  • Everyone got dressed quickly.  Red helped Twin Crazy get dressed into a cute little dance / ballerina outfit.  I had no idea what they were doing.   Twin Crazy looked so adorable and was trying so hard to hold back the smiles when I saw her.   Red is an amazing big sister.
  • It was Big Bro’s picture day.   He sprayed his hair down and I put in some gel.  He picked out a Star Wars shirt to wear.
  • On the ride to school, we talked about colors, fog, factories, and saw a car with a little tiny ball on its antenna that looked like a sun wearing sunglasses.  That made us all crack up.
  • Big Bro had a hard time leaving the van to get to his class.  There were tears.  It was hard for me.
  • Red’s drop off was great.  I set her up with her diva friends and she barely looked back at me.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were happy to be headed home with me.
  • We went food shopping which was a hit.  They both loved the “car cart” and were very helpful to me for the entire trip.
  • Afterwards we played outside, I cleaned up a bit, and I heard them laughing a bit too hard.  Their “devious” laugh.  They had filled up the bathroom sink with hand soap and water.  Uggh.
  • Lunch.   Books.  Bed.

The Afternoon:

  • I had to lift Twin Crazy and Twin Husky as they were sleeping and put them in the car to pick up Big Bro and Red.
  • Pick ups were fine; ride home was fine.  I had some conference calls related to the forum coming up – coordinating with one of the speakers.
  • At home we saw a new delivery that happened while we were out…  our new patio dining set!!!!   IT LOOKS GREAT  and can seat 10 people.   I am pumped.  The kids were excited about eating outside from now on.
  • We played ball a bit, picked some weeds and fed the chickens.   Red played with Cocoa.  We had a snack at the patio set.   Big Bro and Red built a fort in the living room.   Twin Husky kept going pee pee and even went into the potty by himself when he had to poop.   No one knew he was in there until later – Red found him first and called out to me that he was going poop all by himself.   I had fun relaxing at the patio table reading a magazine while the kids played.
  • Dinner was great.  
  • I cleaned up the kitchen as the kids played.   Fired up some smoothie and the kids watched the rest of “A Bug’s Life”.
  • Got ready for bed; read books; kids were good.   Red was a bit sad at bedtime and needed some help.  

After the kids went to bed, I worked on conference stuff for a good 3+ hours.   This is stuff that cannot wait.   I am under the wire now and will likely be working on and off the entire weekend.   This upcoming week is my last week before the big meeting.   I’m feeling good though.  We have a killer Agenda, and a lot of Guests coming to the meeting that will likely become members.  I am hoping to convert 5 – 8 organizations as new clients which will make me look like a star.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

September 12: Back in the saddle again


This is a bit late; sorry.   It’s been quite busy here and I’m running on all cylinders –

Wednesday was a 1/2 work day for me. 

My Working Day:

  • Got up, made coffee, essentially worked from my bathrobe in my house for the 1/2 day.
  • Had a sales call with a potential member for a forum – it went excellent!  They will be coming to our meeting and have already agreed to sign on as members.   Awesome!
  • I did a lot of outreach for the forum coming up in less than two weeks.  It is stress-time now.
  • I called a quits at 1 PM and washed my face, put on clothes.  Headed to the car to get the kids.

The Rest of the Day:

  • I picked up Big Bro and got there in plenty of time.   I wanted some 1:1 time with him so stole him with me to run some errands, solo.
  • We headed out and bought a KitchenAid mixer and got an AMAZING DEAL at Kohl’s.   Sale, rebate, and Kohl’s cash back.   There is no way I would have ever been able to buy this machine at such a price ANYWHERE else.   I was psyched.
  • Big Bro and I went to get him a haircut.  His hair has been out of control and picture day was the next day.   Before the haircut, we grabbed a snack.  He got a chocolate covered mini-rice krispie treat, and I a chocolate covered strawberry.   I loved the time with him.    His haircut turned out OK.
  • Pick ups for the rest of the kids was fine.   Teachers were saying that Twin Husky was doing great with potty training.   I talked with the teacher in Red’s new class (who was also the teacher for Big Bro) and she commented that I looked great and happy.   We talked a bit about personal matters and about how Red is handling it.    Red ran to her old classroom and the teachers there gave her such huge hugs.  Again, I got the “you look great, happy, BEAMING” comment.  It is so true.   I feel like my life is so different and so much better than it was one year ago this time.
  • On the ride home Twin Husky told me that he cries sometimes at school because he misses mommy and daddy.  I am so glad he is at least saying his words and telling me how he feels…. I’m encouraging that with all of the kids.
  • We had an early dinner, ate pudding.   Twin Husky wanted a “huge” spoon.
  • Cocoa got a lot of attention from everybody.  Red was reading her a book.   Cocoa was snuggling into Red’s neck and kissing/ licking her neck.  So sweet.
  • We watched some of the movie “A Bugs Life” because Big Bro wanted me to see some of it and point out the really funny parts.
  • Book time was great and I had all the kids around me.

 

 

It was a FANTASTIC day – very productive at work and so happy to be back with the kids!

– Mama K

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