October 26: VERY busy and happy with the kids


It’s Friday and now I am home alone after dropping off the kids at co-parent’s house.  Looking back, I cannot believe how much we did today.  I loved it.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy was sick the night before with a high fever so I brought her into my room.   However, when I woke up this morning, not only did I have her in my bed, but I also had her twin laying across me as a pillow.   He usually wakes up earlier than the rest, but for some reason I think he came over in the middle of the night.  Strange.  I woke up to Red asking me to get Cocoa.   Climbing back in my bed I was saying to everyone that I will need to go out and get a bigger bed.  How am I going to fit me, 4 kids (older and bigger over time), a guinea pig and possibly a dog in my Full bed??!?!?!?   No way.    We were all laughing.
  • Breakfast was touch and go today.   Red requested pancakes (I made home-made pancakes last Friday) but I tricked her and pulled some out from the freezer.  She tried to eat them but noticed the difference immediately and was completely pissed off at me.   She sulked for most of the breakfast, until the end, when she caved out of hunger and ate what was given to her.  Then she was all smiles.
  • It was a nice ride dropping off Big Bro and Red.   The sun was shining.  I was feeling great.    Drop offs were uneventful.  Except that Red was happy (I brought Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me).  I think bringing in the twins makes a difference for her during drop offs.
  • On the way home the Twins were talking about having grapes.  There was traffic.  They fell asleep.
  • Once we got back we had our grapes and then our activity.  I loved it.   We worked together in the back yard.  We were raking leaves, transporting leaves, picking “good” leaves from the weeds/sticks and putting them in our tumbler composter, then gathering more leaves around the back yard.  Twin Husky was TOTALLY into it.   He loves the outdoors.  I think this will be “our thing” together.   He is very much a wanderer; a seeker; he wandered off to see the chickens and he loves working in the yard.   I couldn’t tear him away from his little wheel barrel.  I think this garden that I want to build will be special for me and him alike.   Twin Crazy on the other hand had trouble walking up the hill, trouble raking leaves, and wanted to ride her tricycle down on the patio.  To each her own.  It’s just not her thing.  I’m OK with that.
  • After that hard work we had lunch and then naps.  I even took a nap as well.

 

 

Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • My phone alarm rang at 1:50 PM.  I jumped out of bed and gathered extra clothes, 4 water bottles, 3 fans (see Halloween gifts from Nana from  yesterday), and snacks to last 4 kids and one tired Mommy for 3 hours.  I scooped up the kids and told them to go back to sleep on the ride.   They did.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was great.  I got a chance to see their gardening project, with above-ground planting beds made out of wood.  I was totally  impressed.   I asked them how they made it and if they have plans.  The teacher said that boy-scouts made it for her.  A parent from Big Bro’s class asked me if I even have ROOM for a planter like that…. I said yes, we are divorced now… I live in [XXX] and have 1/2 acre of property and am starting a garden.  She grew up in that town.  She knows that I can grow things in the summer and in the winter.  She said she was jealous.  She does not have space for such a planter at her house.  I was beaming.
  • We picked up Red.  She is adorable.  Her smile lights up the room and my heart.   She put away her things and ran to me.   She held my hand tight as we ran to the van together.
  • Once we were all together I took out the snacks and drove to our first destination:  the airplane museum.  There is a part of the museum where you do not have to pay anything to enjoy.  So we stayed outside for free, and the kids had fun climbing into the airplanes and pretending that they were air traffic control.   Big Bro stole my phone camera and took some pictures of things that were important to him, like his hurt finger with a band-aide on it.  I read about the planes and gave the kids their snacks.  The owner came out and I explained my story, about living paycheck to paycheck and being divorced with four kids.   He gave me his card and told me to call in advance if I ever wanted to bring the kids inside.  He was very sweet.   We used the restroom and there was a water cooler outside with cone-paper cups.  The kids went crazy over this and I just couldn’t believe the joy and wonder that can be brought to a child without paying for anything.  It really is the simple things in life.
  • After the airplane museum we went to buy Red her shoes.  Her old sneakers were embarrassing.  She even mentioned that people in her class have been telling her to get new shoes.  I was appalled.  We went to Payless and even Big Bro was picking out some choices for her from sizes 11 and 11 1/2.   He was great.  They all knew that the only thing on the list was Red’s shoes.  So all in all they were very well behaved.  Except for Twin Husky.  He found a pair of blue rain boots that he fell in love with and was totally upset when I told him that they weren’t on the list.  We paid for Red’s sneakers and off we went.
  • Our next stop was a cove where you can see tide-pools, lots of birds, and huge rocks with sea-weed.  The kids had a great time.  Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky kept scrambling up rocks, Big Bro and Red adventured out towards the bay and collected treasure (shells), Twin Crazy collected her treasure of rocks, and Twin Husky was so adventurous.  At one point he decided to take off his socks and shoes and start wading in some of the tide pools.  I was not thrilled with this but I loved his sense of adventure and he was safe.   I didn’t care if his pants got wet.   The kids were great when I said it was time to go.   I love giving them these kinds of experiences.  And it didn’t cost me a thing.
  • Drop off was fine.  I will see them tomorrow at 4 PM.

After dropping them off I went food shopping to prepare for next week.  I will have more time with them since co-parent will be traveling for work.   I only buy things that are fresh veggies / fruits, and other things on sale.  I do not buy anything (besides fresh fruits / veggies) if it is full price.  I just can’t these days.  There was a snag at the register that shorted me $2 and I am not proud to say that I waited for another transaction to get my $2 back.  That will pay for 2 days of parking next week at my train station.  I am living paycheck to paycheck these days, but still probably the happiest that I’ve ever been nonetheless.  I am making it on my own.  As a single mother of four kids, working part-time, in a god-awful expensive part of the country.  I have my own, beautiful (small) home with lots of land for me and these kids.   And I am making it.

Tonight I will need to do some work related to the divorce.  I cannot wait for this to be finalized and have this leech off of my back.  I was carrying him for too long in the past and he is still sucking whatever he can out of me and I need to rid myself of him legally and financially.   That is my priority now that my big meetings for work have passed.

Have a great weekend everyone –

– Mama K

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December 22: All Four at Home


Thursday, a day off with my flex-work arrangment.  I usually have only the Twins but I decided to keep Big Bro and Red home with me too.  Big Bro confessed that he was looking forward to going bowling with his “camp” class – but he didn’t tell me until the end of the day as I was putting him to sleep.  He seemed happy the entire day so hopefully he was not thinking about bowling too much.

  • I made a pancake, fruit, and yogurt breakfast
  • Got the kids dressed; headed out to the Discovery Museum.  Kids played with magnets, foam blocks, a pretend ship, and choo-choo trains.  It’s amazing how there are tons of kids, but they tend to stick together.  One or two times Twin Husky got “misplaced” (wonderer) and the three others were so cute going to look for him.   As we were leaving, the wonderer, Twin Husky, was busy exploring and I told him we were leaving and started to walk on.  Big Bro got anxious and ran back to grab his hand.  So sweet.
  • We headed out to lunch.   I received so many compliments on how well-behaved the kids are and how cute they all are together

I cooked while the kids played.  I made a chicken.  Big Bro was also pretending to cook with all of the pots and pans out.  We arranged the choo-choo train around the tree, as it should be set up.  The kids were cutting magazines with scissors.  Twin Crazy went upstairs and grabbed a pair of my flashy high-high-heels are brought them downstairs and walked around in them.   Red painted her nails with kid nail-polish and then did Twin Crazy’s and even Twin Husky’s.

 

It was a great day.   I feel really good.  A bit melencholy and dissapointed though.  Wishing that I pushed this arrangement sooner.   But I’ll be thankful for what I have now, knowing that I am lucky to be able to do have the best of both worlds.

Til Tomorrow –

– Mama K

December 1: A day of adventures – climbing and sailing


I’m off today! Last night we had crazy wind (60 mph) – it was so bad that a neighbor’s fence came down. Poor Red was scared silly. So I caved in (again) and this is what I woke up to this morning:

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Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro was excited that I was staying home today since he knew he could scooter to school. He was cooperative but slept later than I would have liked.
  • Red was excited about wearing her new sneakers to school.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating everything. We somehow gave him a cereal box to hold and of course he was busy playing a scientist and testing the laws of gravity. This is what I turned around to see:
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  • We were running a bit late (8:10!!!) but we still packed Twins in the stroller and got Big Bro suited up for his scooter ride to school. Unbelievably, we met up with the “Motley Crew” from the houses behind ours and all rode bikes/scootered/strolled together. They were the unfortunate neighbors with their fence blown down. I knew they were looking at all the other fences (upright) and knew they were getting more disappointed since they didn’t see any other damage…. they are fun people and I’m glad I’m getting to know them better.
  • We arrived a bit late but in time for Big Bro to make it to his class with his other classmates. I told him not to worry and that I’d lock up his scooter and helmet on my way home. On the way to the building there were HUGE piles of leaves; and leaves in smaller piles on the grounds. He couldn’t help himself but to walk through a small pile and kick his foot through the pile, leaves fluttering everywhere. I had to laugh. He is such a boy. It is such a strange feeling for me to have my first born as a full-fledged BOY, and my littlest set turning so big; Twin Crazy on the potty just kills me. I think the upcoming days are going to get just better, and better, and better.
  • I walked with the neighbors back home. We had to maneuver around the twigs and tree branches. They are really funny and I enjoy their company. It is good for me to have a dose of “real people” time on my full days off. The weather was beautiful – it felt like the wind just cleared up the air and the sun was shining and the Twins were busy pointing out dogs and staring and pointing at the playground in awe. I was looking forward with my day with them.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • At home, I ate everyone’s left over breakfast and made a second cup of coffee. A conference call that I had scheduled wound up being canceled so that freed me up to take the Twins out on an adventure. I decided on a place that has lots of different creative rooms good for kids under 10; there are a few toddler rooms and I figured let me take them now while the bigger ones are at school. We packed up and got ready to go. Dressed, shoes on…. they are so cute that I walked into the garage and there they both were just sitting there in their strollers – looking like they were all ready to go. I had to laugh. I pulled them into the van and then they knew it was going to be a real adventure.
  • Once there we played on waterbed lilly-pads, scrambled on structures, played with stuffed animals, looked at bubbly water, and heard the sounds of creatures being piped in all over the place. It feels so relaxing there. Like you are in a rain-forest. There were lots of kids there. And lots of nannies there too, ignoring the kids and texting on their phones. I hate it when I see that.I guess since there’s so much to do there for little ones, it’s time for them to take a break. But I just jump right in with the kids. I play on the lilly-pads too. And I tickle them. And I get them to jump and play and investigate and touch and run after the stuffed animals and say hi to the other kids and ask them if they’re having fun. I can’t imagine not engaging with them even when I’m in a place like this. They received a lot of attention from other parents/adults who asked if they were Twins. I love being a mother of Twins. Absolutely love it. One interesting thing is that when I do sit back and watch them – watch them wander, watch them out on their own – they never stray far from the other. In fact, most of the time I was there they were within 5 feet of the other. Even with the other kids around. They don’t have the opportunity of interacting with a lot of other kids (besides their siblings) so I was curious how they would do; it was interesting for me to see them still side by side. When one started to play “night-night”, the other walked over right next to him/her and did the same. When one started to climb a pillow structure and balance on the top, the other waited and tried to do the same. What a special bond they share. And it is largely unspoken. Again, I think things are going to get better, and better, and better with them as well.
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  • We spent only an hour there but then it was time for lunch. How come Denny’s never fails to make the BEST hash browns and pancakes???!?!?!?
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  • We headed home for naps and I straightened up a bit, did laundry, played with iPad/blog; once Twin Husky woke up at 3:30 I decided to quickly grab everyone up again for our next adventure. I think we had just enough time to do it….. so we got in the car again, I packed up snacks for all kids, picked up Big Bro and scooter, picked up Red… and headed to the parking lot of the commuter ferry!!!! I do this from time to time… take the kids and take the ferry to the city but just stay on it and come back. While waiting for the ferry, they had a great time playing on gates, looking at the water, looking for the boat, looking at the flag, pointing to dogs, and playing with the free newspapers (advertising). They were all well behaved and stuck together; when the ferry arrived the busy workers headed FAST to their cars and we were leisurely waiting for our turn to enter the boat. The crew knows us. They welcome us. And they continuously tell us that we have beautiful children (I agree).
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  • The ferry ride was great; the sun was going down, the kids were excited about the motion and being on the water. They almost pounced on me when I mentioned “snacks” and they downed 4 applesauces, 3 tangerines, and fist-fulls of raisins. It must have been the sea air. I had a relaxing ride. There weren’t many people on the ferry going into the city so we had a lot of room to ourselves and room to spread out. Plus the ride was essentially flat so I felt they were safe. The sun was setting. The kids were happy. Big Bro commented that when you look out of the front of the boat it doesn’t seem like we’re going fast but looking from the sides, where you were right near the water, it seemed really fast. He wasn’t sure if we were really going that fast and wanted to confirm that with me. I love that. His wonderment. His observations. His questions. And how he’s learning. And how the little ones are learning too, just by hearing the interaction between us. Red, as usual, was a little “mommy” making sure the Twins were properly seated and making sure they each had proper turns with the water bottle. I am so lucky.
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    Dinner was quick and all kids ate like champs. There were literally NO leftovers (I guess it was the sea air??!?). Afterwards was a blur but I decided to get them down earlier tonight. On days that I have enough time with them I feel better getting them to bed earlier – I think they need more sleep – particularly Big Bro. On days I work however, it feels better to stretch it to 8:00 but I know that’s probably too late for them.

    I had a wonderful day; the kids had a great reunion and I was able to manage something special for all of them. I’m looking forward to the same for tomorrow.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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