October 12: 132 miles


Friday! This day of the week is always a bit difficult for me and winds up in fights with Big Bro with me leaving angry at him, yet trying to resolve things before I leave. This Friday was no exception…
Highlights of the Morning:

  • Kids were up early and Red of course wanted to start the day with Cocoa the guinea-pig. So I had 3 kids and a guinea-pig in my bed as I woke up, which was perfectly fine with me.
  • Breakfast was smooth sailing, except for the fact that Red requested pancakes. I’ve stopped buying the instant stuff so there I was making home-made pancakes on Friday morning (a school day) with Big Bro making butter and bread and Twin Crazy wanting to be close to me since her “nose was sick”. As you could imagine with four kids and trying to get out the door, there were several batches of pancakes that were forgotten on the stove and burnt to a crisp. Red thought this was particularly funny.
  • I sent out some work emails as I was getting stuff ready for the morning.
  • It was a normal routine with the kids and getting out the door – kids were great. Got dressed, got shoes on, out the door and to the car quickly. We were actually VERY early today.
  • It looked like rain. In fact there was a little bit of rain when we went outside. The kids were excited by this. They wanted to show me the drops and also how the ground looked wet. It was cold. I got all the kids in the car and bundled them up with blankets and jackets as blankets. They were ready and eager to go.
  • We talked about the rain, the fog, the tunnel. We got to the intersection with all of the pigeons and there were tons on the electrical lines again. Big Bro said that it looked like they were having a “meeting”. That just cracked me up.
  • Red was talking about bridges and we actually drive over two small bridges on our way to their school/pre-school. So we started talking about the kinds of bridges there are and how the one bridge we were going on sometimes goes up to let big boats and sailboats by.
  • Twin Crazy was busy “reading” and making up stories with her notebook.
  • Drop offs were great.

 

20121012-221953.jpg

20121012-222000.jpg

20121012-222012.jpg

 

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and I made it back and it was cold. I turned the fireplace on. The kids were hungry again so I made them oatmeal.
  • They were busy playing and coloring as I was cleaning up a bit. Twin Crazy wanted to wear her Halloween costume which essentially is an Asian-looking dress that is pink and shiny. She looked gorgeous in it.
  • We then went to Target to get toilet paper in bulk (I still can’t believe my Costco card got cancelled by my in-laws while I’m still paying for their son’s health insurance) and some other needed items. I got some stuff in bulk on sale like vitamins, cold medicine, band-aids. The kids were great and then started to get cranky so I fled. They loved the escalator and were squealing on their way up and on their way down.
  • At home we ate a good lunch – left overs from last night. I microwaved a frozen fish fillet and after 2 minutes the thing started exploding all over my microwave. The lunch was good but I spent way too much time cleaning up the microwave for fear of fish stench.
  • We received a new guinea-pig cage that I ordered through Amazon. I was excited to give Cocoa some more space in a new cage.
  • Naptime!
  • Woke up and hauled ass to pick up Red and Big Bro. Got Red quickly, got Big Bro, and then DROVE BACK TO MY HOUSE instead of staying local before dropping the kids off at co-parents. The past few Fridays have just been tough for us. I pack like we are pack of gypsies and we sometimes have fun things to do but most times the kids just wind up fighting and I wind up mad at one/more of them. And it was rainy/cold today so I grabbed all of them and headed back to my place for an extra 2 hours before dropping them off.
  • We put together the guinea-pig cage and watched her explore her new surroundings. It is big. I have no idea where we are going to put it. But I think she is happy. I think.
  • I read to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while Big Bro and Red disappeared playing Legos.   Twin Husky wanted to hold the book like a “teacher” with the book facing me and Twin Crazy while I was reading.   I read several books this way.  One was a counting book and he seriously knows all of his numbers, the way they look, how to count…. it is amazing how they are twins and he is so skilled at numbers and she is so skilled at communication/reading/storytelling.   Twins are amazing.
  • We had pudding as an afternoon snack.
  • Big Bro and Red then went to play at a neighbor’s house… when I went to go get them they were not there and at a DIFFERENT neighbors house. I like the fact that they have lots of friends and everything, but MAN they were in TROUBLE when I got them. I was so angry with them. At least tell me where you are! Have the mommy/daddy send me a message! I need to know where you kids are!!! Ugggh.
  • The drive home was very quiet as a result. Except for me talking about it from time to time and letting them know that they should come and tell me where they are going to be if their plans change, or tell the parents to send me a message. Red understood. Big Bro was making excuses.
  • As we were waiting for co-parent to come home, I wanted Red and Big Bro to be sure they knew that I still loved them even though I was mad at them. Red thought that this whole concept was “funny”. How can you love and be mad at the same time? But she took my hugs with smiles. Big Bro was a bit embarrassed by all of it. Why can’t I have a Friday where I leave the kids without frustration?
  • I drove back home in silence and did not even put the radio on. I felt in a funk.

20121012-222023.jpg

20121012-222037.jpg

20121012-222048.jpg

20121012-222058.jpg

So today I did SIX trips between my house and co-parent’s house. That’s 132 miles. But there was lots of conversation on the way, and I did not have to pack up like a gypsy and try to occupy the kids with activities. We had a day that was generally relaxing but also stressful. The tension of independence and trying to teach the kids good judgment was put to the test today. And the emotions of having to leave the kids on a down note was saddening to me.

I arrived to a package of bulbs from a neighbor for flowering plants. That is how this neighborhood is. The folks here are incredibly giving. This will be my activity for tomorrow.

I slept for 2 hours on the couch, in front of the fireplace and watching Cocoa’s huge cage. I woke up to a dinner of a bagel, oven-crisped kale, fist-fulls of Life cereal, a cheese stick, and 1/2 bottle of white $2 Chuck. Now I’m feeling much better.

Have a great weekend everyone

– Mama K

Advertisements

October 11: Fog and fire


On this Thursday morning I woke up to two Twins in my bed since both of them made their way in their in the middle of night because of their being sick. So the bed seemed smaller, yet fuller.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Waking up with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky’s bodies fighting for space in the bed; Red coming in and asking me to get Cocoa
  • Chocolate Thursday, with Big Bro helping to get breakfast ready for everyone
  • Everything already packed to go… I did lunches and snacks for the day the night before… so there was not much for me to do except make/drink my coffee and direct the kids
  • On the ride we talked about birds sitting on electrical lines and also the fog. We couldn’t believe how foggy it was… even in our neighborhood, past the hill that normally keeps the fog back. It looked like it was going to be a dreary day….
  • Drop of for Big Bro was great; drop of for Red was really, really difficult. She actually had big tears. I had not seen her for quite awhile and all of the kids were acting a bit clingy, but Red is always the most difficult. It broke my heart. She was clinging to my leg and she had these big, wet tears rolling down her face. I told her that I promised I would pick her up early today. Her friends were laughing and shaking their heads and I was laughing how when they smile their hair flies in the air… so then I did the same and lifted up hair with Twin Husky to be funny and also Twin Crazy and then Red… this made Red laugh but she still had those tears… uggggh.
  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and I went to the dealership where I bought my car to get a copy of the sales contract; I still can’t believe I am waiting for co-parent to settle up our agreement on the mini-van after over four months.
  • We then went to the auto mechanic to get a check for the same minivan. We were there awhile but the kids had so much fun; we were talking about the cars, how the mechanics fix the cars, how the cars go up in the air so the mechanic can see and work underneath, how the tires were getting moved around… and how they didn’t want to get to close so they would not get “cut” and “hurt”. So cute. It was freezing outside from the fog. We set up camp in the driveway with sleeping bags and we played, talked, looked at cars, danced, jumped like frogs, snacked…. for close to 1 1/2 hours. The kids were great despite the cold.
  • We then went to pick up Red before her nap, as promised. She was settling in to her nap so I scooped her up.
  • We went over to Big Bro’s school, I parked the car, and set up camp. This involved me getting car seats out, moving the seats back, setting up blankets and pillows, and then setting all of us up in the back bed of the car to take a nap. Just call us gypsies.

20121011-204127.jpg

20121011-204139.jpg

20121011-204148.jpg

20121011-204206.jpg

20121011-204214.jpg

 

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • The kids were sleeping and I worked for a bit. I had one conference call with our law firm, and then another staff call that lasted one hour. During the staff call I sent out lots of emails related to the forum that I am leading two weeks from now. I also answered a bunch of emails. So it felt good to get some stuff done during nap time and also multi-task during a staff call.
  • Pick up from Big Bro was fine; he was laughing at us and the sight of the van when he came over to greet us. He fell asleep on the way home – the poor kid I think is sick… coughing.
  • It was really cold by the time we got home. I put on the fireplace and the kids had a snack. I did laundry and Red of course played with Cocoa. The kids were making forts on the living room couch. Lots of forts. All of the kids getting involved.  I also did a “calendar” project with Red where we made an October calendar together.  She is really into the days of the week and the calendar lately, due to her pre-school.
  • We had a great dinner and a great pudding dessert. We watched 1/2 a movie while I colored with Red.
  • Bedtime was fine; we read Halloween books and all went to sleep easily tonight.

20121011-204224.jpg

20121011-204232.jpg

20121011-204241.jpg

 

I had a reasonably good day but let me tell you being gone all day long and being a gypsy is exhausting for me. I’m not sure if the kids got the sleep that they needed; I felt cold all day today. Even though I packed tons of food I was not prepared for the cold. The fireplace at the house tonight felt extra special because of this.

I’m looking forward to Friday and being with the kids again. I didn’t realize how much I missed them. I kissed them longer tonight, held them more during the day, and spent extra time with each of them during bedtime. I feel really good inside.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 10: The colors of Halloween


I love Wednesdays. For many reasons – first, I get to work from home in the AM and then in the early afternoon I get to see my kids. Today was an even bigger day. I have not seen them since Friday night – so it had been quite a long time since we’ve been together. It was a GREAT day.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up late, drank coffee, ate breakfast. I put the fireplace on since it was chilly. I set up my computer and work in my living room. I was so comfortable and so at ease that I was smiling from ear to ear. I got a lot of work done…
  • I’m trying to start up another forum and put an Agenda together for that.
  • I am thinking through the launch of yet another forum, and am getting consultants help me with background research on the companies to target.
  • I followed up with feedback from my last forum and we received more responses. Terrific feedback on the event and on me personally, which I am stoked about. I lead a session and at this point it is the highest rated out of all – plus lots of good commentary about the event, speakers, and how it was orchestrated. This is a direct reflection on my work and I am so pumped.
  • I continued to get ready for the next forum in two weeks time – following up on surveys, etc.
  • I packed up snacks for the kids, ate a cheese stick, and hit the road.

 

20121010-215512.jpg

 

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I loved playing AC/DC “Dirty Deeds” on my way to the kids. I rolled down the window and turned the volume WAY up.
  • I got there a bit early – actually 1 hour early. My mistake. Got the timing wrong. So, I used the time to go Halloween shopping at a second-hand store and bought TONS of stuff; decorations for the house, costumes for me, costumes for the kids. I love Halloween.
  • I stopped at a car mechanic and made an appointment for tomorrow.
  • I had a conference call that got botched since the other parties were completely unorganized and missed the call. We will have to try again tomorrow, which I’m not thrilled about.
  • I picked up Big Bro and we got his bike. He remarked that Red will be upset if he has his bike but she does not have hers. So he said that “we should not ride bikes when we get home that way [Red] doesn’t get upset.” OMG I thought it was so cute how he was considering her feelings.
  • Big Bro and I went food shopping for guinea pig food, cream for home-made ice cream, chicken, fruit, and bread. I love the one on one time with him.
  • Pick up for Red was sweet. The teachers commend her writing skills. I’m proud of her. Pick up for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky went fine. They ran into my arms. The best feeling in the world…
  • On our way home we talked about how I made some changes at the house (renovated a closet into toy shelves) and also bought some new things for the guinea pig. We talked about Halloween and the different costumes. They were really excited to see the stuff that I got as well as the stuff that I have stored.
  • We got home and pulled out Halloween gear. Twin Husky is thrilled with the Buzz Lightyear blow-up wings. Big Bro is excited about a Star Wars costume I found for him. Red is excited about a Tinker Bell dress. Twin Crazy was just acting crazy and I’m not sure what she will be… but there are lots of choices for her.
  • Big Bro went over to his new friend’s house to play Legos. Twin Husky was busy showing off his Buzz Lightyear wings to the neighbors. He was getting embarrassed and sucking in his lips. So cute.
  • Red, Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me to pull the garbage bins up the driveway. Red did one on her own and she wants that to be “her job” for now on.
  • I cooked dinner as the kids set the table outside. They wanted to sit at the “kid table” (even me) which was fine. They set the entire table by themselves which was very helpful.
  • We ate – Twin Husky still had his Buzz Lightyear wings on.
  • We heard kids from the house in back of ours, so we went up our hill to meet them. Two girls ages 6 and 4. Apparently there is a courtyard where they live with lots of kids there. I’m thinking that the fence I get should have a gate on it so the kids can have access to that side of the neighborhood too. There are kids in all directions over here, all at young ages. I AM PUMPED. The family seemed really nice.
  • All kids helped with dinner clean up and dessert (pudding) preparation. At dusk the colors in the backyard were STUNNING so I quickly got the kids together for some photos. The cooperated because they knew their dessert was at risk.
  • Big Bro helped Red with a “calendar” project she wants to do.   Creating the numbers and squares and then setting up the calendar with the days of the week for the month.   He asked if he could help and she gladly accepted his help.  We read Halloween books tonight.   The girls were acting silly at bedtime.  Sisters.
  • I told each of the kids at bedtime the things they did during the day that made me so happy … listening, helping, thinking about each others’ feelings, the big hugs and kisses, etc. I want each of them to feel loved.

20121010-215529.jpg

20121010-215553.jpg

20121010-215612.jpg

20121010-215621.jpg

20121010-215630.jpg

20121010-215704.jpg

20121010-215716.jpg

20121010-215810.jpg

 

I had an amazing day. The kids are getting to be so much fun. There was little crying or fighting tonight. Things fell into place with us. I’m looking forward to Halloween and the days leading up to it. It is a really special time of year for me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Random Thoughts: Remembering the first kiss


You may know that it is going to come your way.   You may have anticipated it; fantasized about it.  There is an excitement.  An air of anticipation.   The experience is yet an unknown.   How will he feel?  How will he smell?  Taste?   How will this go?   Awkward?  Or natural?   Out of the blue?   How soft will he be?   What will it feel like to have his lips on yours?

And then each of you draw near.   The questions cease.  Your wonder comes to an end.  The mystery is over.  The fantasy has been realized, or maybe the experience has left you sadly disappointed?

Increased heart rate, the smell of his neck, the feel of his body, the closeness of the touch, the feel of his hair, the feel of his embrace.  Leaving wanting more.

Are you like me and do you remember that first kiss?

Photo source:  kidzworld.com

*****

Working mothers are also women.   Sometimes strong, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes utterly romantic, and sometimes sadly oblivious.

Perhaps one way to get through the juggling of work and kids is to take a step back and think of your partner and remember that first kiss.  Remember how he made you feel.  Remember the reactions in your body, remember the thoughts in your head, or just the bliss of thoughtless “non-thinking” and just “doing”.

Yes, the partnership may lose its luster over time and also with added stress and the physical demands of raising children.  But maybe there is a way to get that spark back by thinking back on that first moment.  That first physical connection.   The first physical connection which obviously lead to much more… a life together, a family together.  Your children.

In my opinion we should work hard to remember that first kiss.  So much leading up to it, so much coming after it….

Are you like me and is that first kiss etched in your memory??

Take these polls and share your thoughts!

THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!!

– Mama K

October 5: Home with three


It’s Friday and the end of the week.  Today is my day to be home with the kids.  Co-parent is taking the kids for a full weekend, so I will not see them again until Wednesday afternoon. What to do between now and then? Relax and get some “me” time in, I suppose.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are sick. So I wound up to both of them in my bed this morning. They all got ready so quickly and helped with their own breakfasts. I love this. The mornings are getting very easy with them. They love the independence and doing things for themselves. The fact that the Twins are potty trained with few accidents helps as well. They like doing the same routine as the “big kids” and I love directing all four them of them now as equals.
  • Twin Crazy picked out her clothes and she wanted to wear a long sleeve black shirt with light jeans. She looked soooooooooooooo New York City to me. Upper East side. I was calling her my “city girl” all day today.
  • Big Bro decided to put some finishing touches on his “house” made from an Amazon box. He wanted to draw more things to make it more like a house. He drew a garden with corn, broccoli, strawberries, and apple trees. I love the fact that he connects the garden with the concept of home. That’s meaningful for me, too.
  • The ride was fine; we talked about fog, made a game where we had to catch up to certain cars on the highway, I sang to AC/DC for a bit, we saw Twin Crazy’s “castles” in the city and they had their lights on for the fog.
  • I decided to “steal” Red from daycare today since it would be awhile since I saw her. She is the most emotionally needy of the four, I think. She had a great time with us. During the day she asked me if this is what we always do together while she is at daycare – if we go anywhere. I told her honestly that no, we really just hang around the house and play while I also do things around the house. She had a great time today with her siblings and me.
  • The kids were very creative today. There was lots of cutting with scissors, coloring, and doing “paperwork”. I read to the Twins several books. Snack time was the “yogurt bar” with three different kinds of yogurt and fruit that is quickly going bad. Red got lots of time in with Cocoa.
  • I wanted to start my “renovation” of the office to organize the kids bins of toys and redo the entire closet. While I attempted to do this they played kitchen and Red also did “work” at her desk. I played music from my Apple and danced with Twin Husky and then Twin Crazy. They love this. Or maybe I love it more.
  • I caught Twin Crazy “reading” a stack of books outloud by herself in the backyard. She said that now since she read her books she was ready for a nap. The kids played with tricycles and scooters as I got lunch ready. They were playing follow the leader and singing songs together. Twin Husky was on a two wheeled scooter and was really good at balancing.
  • While the Twins took naps Red was very anxious to do something “just with” me. We made a calendar together. She drew the boxes and the numbers in the boxes, cut the boxes out, and then I taped them back together in calendar format. It was a project that took awhile which was nice. It looked and felt like rain outside so we did this together in the living room with the fireplace on. I loved it.
  • Red got more quality time with Cocoa so I think she’s feeling sufficiently loved. Hopefully enough from me and Cocoa to last her for the next several days.
  • Co-parent picked up Big Bro from school and swung by my house to pick up the rest on their way to their weekend getaway. I was grateful for two drives back and forth that I did not have to do. I am in relaxation mode now.

20121005-195116.jpg

20121005-195126.jpg

20121005-195138.jpg

20121005-195151.jpg

20121005-195158.jpg

20121005-195204.jpg

20121005-195212.jpg

After they left I slept for 2 hours. I did not sleep well the past few nights because of sick kids. This weekend will be a lot of time alone for me. I’m struggling with what to do. Maybe I’ll go to the movies along with house stuff – I need to venture out of this house and throw myself out there. I’m ready for that.

Have a great weekend everyone –

– Mama K

October 4: My pumpkins


I can’t believe it but I wrote my whole post and then lost it – uggh. It was a good day.

abbreviated highlights:

  • chocolate thursday, all kids ate well. kids got to school on time, we enjoyed the ride and talked about fog.
  • Red’s drop off was cute because her, her best friend, and Twin Crazy were singing and dancing with each other. even twin husky was laughing at them.
  • Twin crazy was adorable today with her little ballerina outfit and hat
  • lots of pretend play at home. Shopping, cooking, plates, playing house in a big Amazon cardboard box. Watered plants. Cut with scissors, drew in notebooks.
  • Napped. I took the napping kids in the car at 2 PM to pick up the rest of the kids
  • pick ups were fine; Red’s pick up was right at the time of the Ladybug reading event. Everyone sat and heard a book be read. Each class then did a performance. I am proud that Red sang and did not cry.
  • On the way home we stopped at Trader Joes for pumpkins. THe kids went nuts and drew a lot of attention to us.
  • At home the kids drew, wrote their names on their pumpkins, and continued to build and draw and create a better house out of the Amazon cardboard box.
  • Fast dinner. Fast books. Fast bedtime. I’m tired.

 

20121004-205600.jpg

20121004-205612.jpg

20121004-205622.jpg

20121004-205632.jpg

20121004-205638.jpg

20121004-205647.jpg

20121004-205655.jpg

20121004-205702.jpg

I’m really tired and have a lot on my mind these days. I did a little bit of work throughout the day but not much. There is a lot to do to prepare for my next big meeting in 2 weeks time. I also think all of the driving is catching up with me. I hope to go to sleep early tonight and catch up on sleep over the weekend –

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Recipes: Tiffany Chicken


This recipe was submitted by Mama Tiffany from the Mama In Motion Facebook page! Thank you Tiffany! Send others our way too!!!

TIFFANY CHICKEN

Tiffany says: “Easiest ever. The entire meal depending on serving size is 300-500 cal, LOADED in protein and fiber, low in simple carbs. It is *REALLY HARD* TO SCREW IT UP LOL.”

Ingredients:

  • Alexia Saute Sweets Chipotle red
  • 1 bag of the Seapointe farms single-serve edamame
  • 1/2 – 1c black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 – 1c frozen corn
  • Chicken breast cut into 1″ cubes or mango chorizo (other sweet/spicy mexican-ey flavor organic lowfat chicken sausage).
  • Avocado or 100 cal packs of Wholly Guacamole (optional)
  • spices: 1 T mango or peach salsa (if using sausage); cumin, chipotle, garlic, adobo, other mexican spices (if using chicken)

Photo credit: www.alexiafoods.com


Directions:

  1. Follow the instructions on the Alexia (heat the oil, throw in the ingredients in the bag).
  2. Meanwhile, if cooking the chicken sausage you don’t really need oil; just brown it in a pan. Once it’s browned, add 1T mango or peach salsa to it to coat, and let it entirely cook in/bubble away and it will season instead of make a sauce. If chicken breast, heat about 1T olive oil in a separate pan, add cumin, chipotle, garlic, adobo etc (mexican spices) to the oil and warm on low/med so you see the oil “season” (turn color a bit from the spices). Add the chicken, stir to coat, and cook thoroughly.
  3. This should be about 6 min in. You’ll see the onions and peppers are thawed and cooked but the sweet potatoes are probably firm.
  4. Add the black beans, corn, and edamame. Stir to coat in the spices. THIS CAN COOK FOR 12 MIN TO 20 ON MED-LOW WITHOUT BEING RUINED, AS LONG AS YOU STIR EVERY FEW MIN.
  5. Once the chicken (either format is cooked through), check the biggest sweet potato – if it is soft, you’re ready to combine the chicken (or you can serve on top).
  6. Either add the chicken and stir (better when not the sausage) or put the mix in a bowl, add the chicken and sliced avocado or 1/2 pack guac on top.

Time: Start to finish is 15 min if chicken sausage, about 20 if chicken breast.

 

THANK YOU TIFFANY!!!!!

October 3: Anyone want any of my kids?


I usually love Wednesdays since I get to be re-united with the kids.   The time with them started off GREAT and then for some reason all hell broke loose.  I’m so glad they are in bed right now.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up later than I would have liked; got set up in my kitchen and enjoyed lots of coffee and actually ate breakfast.  I watered my plants and stretched in the sun.  It was a beautiful, hot day.
  • I had some conference calls and tried to get some stuff done but could not get motivated – I honestly did a lot of nothing today.  So I will likely work after I get this post out since I feel a bit guilty and I do need to get some stuff done.
  • 12 noon hit and I was on the road to get the kids!   I really enjoyed the ride.   It was beautiful out, there was great music on the radio, and I was in an EXCELLENT mood.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I volunteered in Big Bro’s classroom today during “Science Time”.   We planted two different kinds of seeds (alfalpha and grass) in little cups and watered them with fertilizer water.    I worked with two kids at a time.   We were asked to ask them to investigate the seeds and talk about how they were the same and different.  I loved it.   I called all the kids “farmers” and gave them fist-pumps when they were done.   Big Bro was all smiles.    I couldn’t believe how many kinds of responses I got from the kids when asked about the differences in the seeds.   It went beyond shape and feel to even the different sounds that the seeds made when falling like rain; way to cute.
  • It was still a bit early so I took Big Bro with me to the store to get some food.  He kept drawing himself closer to snacks and candy and was joking putting sweets in the cart and then putting them back.   He cracked me up today.  I’m glad I had the time alone with him.
  • Pick up for Red was great; her face was beaming.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy painting.  Twin Crazy had two pig-tails in her hair and I never saw it like that before; she looked so cute; they were so proud of how they put their paintings in the drying rack, washed their hands, and gathered their things all by themselves.  They love it there – as do I.
  • On the ride home they all ate snacks and we called my brother and sung “Happy Wedding to You’ – he got married yesterday in city hall [a different story for a different time].   None of the kids wanted to sing with me.  Twin Crazy had her hands on her eyes.  But both twins were swaying and dancing to the song.  Again, I was cracking up.
  • When we got back we saw the school bus and two new kids that we have not met before – a set of twins aged 6.   We said we would visit them over the weekend.   As far as I know now, we have 16 kids on our block, all aged 8 and younger.   Big Bro wanted to play with the new kid across the street (Legos) so we dropped him off.
  • Twin Husky helped me with the garbage cans and picked out the color can he wanted to bring up next.
  • Red and Twin Crazy were bonding as sisters and were doing each other’ hair.   Then they all played house in a HUGE box from Amazon.  We looked at wedding pictures.  We sang again to my brother.   The girls did a felt project with cut out shapes of felt.   Twin Husky was busy watering the garden.   I drew a picture of Dora for Red on felt.
  • It was all great until Big Bro came back.  Then the trouble started.  Teasing, crying, bikes crashing into each other, more crying, fighting, pinching, throwing things, hitting heads with water bottles, hiding toys….   there must have been at least 50 times tonight where there was a kid crying or fighting.   I couldn’t take it.   I thought that dinner would help but it did not.
  • At least the highlight of dinner was eating outside with citronella candles so we had no bugs for the first time.   The kids ate well and they wanted to talk about Halloween.  They are excited about Halloween in this neighborhood with all of the kids.  So am I.
  • After dinner we made pudding but then Twin Husky threw a beer opener and it hit me in the chin, hard.   So he lost dessert tonight.  More crying.   I can’t win.
  • Twin Husky and I cuddled more tonight during booktime; I think he felt bad about throwing (hopefully he learned something).   The kids were still causing problems for me during bed…. fighting over space, asking for more water.  I told them I was at my breaking point and for everyone just to go to sleep.  I’ve had it.

How does a day start out so great with the kids and then suddenly fall to pieces with ALL FOUR of them??!!??!!??   This was crazy today.   I can’t figure it out.   I spent REALLY good one-on-one time with Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky.   But still Big Bro was such a pain in the ass!!!!!   They are at least quiet now so hopefully I can get some work done.   This was a day I’d like to remember and forget at the same time.   Hopefully it will be better tomorrow —

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Random Thoughts: Parent Volunteering


During my day at work today I received a lot of emails.  Many were boring.  Many made me react like “Ugggh.”.   Some were mildly amusing, several made me laugh out loud (note:  I am getting my laugh back…. YEAH!!).   But I received one message today that really, honestly got me so excited and happy yet anxious and fearful all at the same time….. a request by Big Bro’s teacher to come to his classroom and volunteer my time during “Science Time”.

Of course I responded positively almost as soon as I received this email.   This is what I’ve been dreaming about.  Having the flexibility with work that would allow me to not only care for my youngest kids, but also get a glimpse into the lives of my older children while at their schools.   I find it strange transitioning from a mother who knows EVERYTHING about her kid (e.g., when last fed, burped, pooped) to a mother with an older child in school, where they are embarking on their own lives.  So much is unknown to us, to me.   And this is a good thing.   My son is his own person.   Why should I know everything that he has going on in a day?

Photo source:   artsedge.kennedy-center.org

Anyway, I have the opportunity tomorrow (Wednesday) to get a glimpse – 1 hour – of classroom time with him in 1st grade.   I’m so lucky!   And scared, I think.   The Type A personality in me would like to know what the subject matter is so I can prepare in advance.   (kidding.)

This has got me wondering about all of you… what kinds of reactions you have with volunteering and if you have the opportunity (or desire) to volunteer at your kids’ schools —

Have some fun and take the polls please!

What other thoughts can you share ladies?   What advice can you give me on “Science” in the 1st grade??!?!?!??!!??!   🙂

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

Gig Tip: Have your clothes WORK for YOU


It may just be my style, or lack thereof, but I’ve decided to follow some simple rules when it comes to clothes for the workplace:

Must Have’s:

  1. It must not itch.  ANYWHERE.  Not at the seams, not at the frills, not in the collar, not under the armpits, ANYWHERE.
  2. Similar to the above, it needs to be COMFORTABLE.   You need to feel like you can run from your house (with clingy kids) to the minivan to the train station to the office and sit/stand/present/walk around and then back again back home without the clothes getting in the way.   You have enough things to worry about let alone having your focus misdirected to your damn, uncomfortable clothes.
  3. It must be FLATTERING for you.  It must work with your body and make you feel sexy.  I know you are a mother, but you are also a woman.  You need to feel like one.  You need to feel like the clothes are enhancing you – looking good on you.  DO NOT BUY SOMETHING THAT ONLY LOOKS OK BUT HAS A GREAT PRICE-TAG.     Absolutely do not do that.   You will wind up filling up your clothes with mediocrity, wasting your money, and not feeling good about yourself.
  4. The simpler, the better.   Anything too trendy does not pass the test of time, and my closet (and bank account) is limited — I simply cannot have several closets of clothes and cycle through them through the years when things come back in style.  So call me a frump.   I have thick skin.
  5. It must not break the bank.  I don’t like paying full price on clothes.   Suggested retail price is a fabrication of imagination.   I don’t mind paying more for simple, muted classics though (e.g., black blazer, black pants, etc.).

(not me, but a dress by Three Dots)

Nice to have’s:

  1. I absolutely love it when I buy something that I feel can take me to the office yet also be worn on the weekends, or with the kids, or out to a casual dinner.  You get it.   Time is too limited for changes.   Space is too constrained for multiple sets of clothes in bulk.   Streamline your life.
  2. I love it when it is made of a fabric where I can launder it myself.  I despise the cost of dry cleaning and also the piles of clothes and the extra trip/errand that needs to be done.   It is so much easier for me to collect the stuff that I can launder with gentle soap on a gentle cycle and then hang dry.  I don’t mind it at all, especially when I know it is saving me money and giving me versitility with what I am wearing.

My favorite in terms of brand is three dots.   Very comfy clothes that work well and play well.   My favorite stores right now are Amazon.com (of course — they make it so easy to find things, sort, filter, and find great deals) and believe it or not, Kohl’s (especially at the end of the season – you can find DIRT CHEAP clothes that feel and look great – again, the simpler the better – so great for layering or even waiting until the next season).

When it comes to shoes, I still have a lot to learn.  I keep some heels in my office drawer but have not yet perfected the shoe thing in terms of comfort, style or durability.   I’ll think about that going forward.  I have some favorites, but nothing I can fully endorse.

In short, have your clothes work for you, versus you working for your clothes.    ‘Nuf said.

What other ideas do you ladies have???   Please share!!

Hope everyone is having a good start to the week

– Mama K

%d bloggers like this: