July 25: Reuniting with the artists

Wednesday is the only day of the week that I am truly a “working mother”, where I actually have chunks of my day devoted to both roles.   Let me tell you.  It started out good, really good.  Then sucked.  Really sucked.   Then OK.  And then I got the kids and my day turned completely around.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up and immediately started organizing and taking out the trash bins.   I got home late last night, in the dark, so couldn’t get to this last night.  So there I was in my PJs walking my grounds grabbing gardening clippings and old sprinkler hoses and looking at the morning sun and breathing the crisp air while dodging the chickens.   I also packed down boxes from the IKEA office that is being assembled.
  • I got through a LOT of emails since I worked late last night to organize these upcoming meetings in Fall.  I received a speaker confirmation from a big industry player so am thrilled – and had a great conversation with him on the phone.  I love the fact that these people call me.  They call me back!   And I can sell the opportunity on-the-fly and convince this industry leader that it makes sense for him to come to MY meeting!   I love it.  I was pumped.
  • And then I had to leave for a mediation appointment.   I just can’t go there.   I completely do not trust this man.   And now our agreement on an improved daycare situation for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky is in jeopardy because of cost.  No kidding it’s expensive to live out here with daycare with four kids.  NOW HE GETS IT???!?!?!?!??!?!?    I sat there and all of the arguments that I was trying to convince him of about the unaffordability of this place were thrown back at me during this meeting.  By him AND our mediator.   Our mediator was shocked at the amount of money we spend in daycare.  No kidding.    It’s again like throwing salt in the wounds that are trying to heal.  I know this already.  I was pleading for years.   And here we are.   No resolutions so we may be in court next week.
  • Afterwards, I drove to the kids neighborhood but I worked in a local Starbucks.  I love that place.  I got a TON of stuff done.  Lots of coordination and follow up that I needed to attack and I really was so productive.   I then went to pick up the kids.

The Rest of the Day:

  • I showed up at Big Bro and Red’s daycare and was a bit shocked at their art fair.  I didn’t know it was happening.  But the classes each created art for auction to raise money for the school.  Big Bro’s class did photography.  He took a picture of ducks swimming.   Red’s class did pasta painting.  She created a colorful flower out of colored pasta.  They were more interested in eating the food (grapes and goldfish) but they also were proud of their art.  So was I.
  • Pick up with the Twins was hysterical.  Both were screaming Mommy Mommy Mommy!!!!!!   Twin Husky was so excited that he kept throwing his Tiger up in the air.  He kept doing it over and over again and his little body was catapaulting the stuffed Tigers all over the place.  So cute.  Twin Crazy was also excited and giving lots of hugs and kisses.  Twin Husky is using more of his words and he said “Mommy come over here” and he wanted to show me a bug.  It was a rolly-polly.  I told them that if they touch it, it will turn into a ball.  So I did and we were all laughing.  And then Twin Husky, clueless as usual, tried it as well but wound up smashing it all over the sidewalk.  Poor thing.
  • On the ride home we did not have any music but all talked.  Twin Crazy is amazingly verbal.  She was having full blown conversations about the guinea pig and the animals at the house and how we lock the doors to stay safe and how foxes eat chickens and on and on and on….   We talked about the motorcycles and how they weave along lanes of cars in traffic and how that can be dangerous.  We talked about the commuter train.  We talked about motorcyclists who were driving more safe than others.  We talked about how I saw deer on the road the other day.  We talked about the fog.  We talked a lot but I think Twin Crazy honestly did most of the talking.
  • At home I started on dinner and the kids went with me to get the mail.   We met neighbors walking their dog Rocco – a huge friendly dog that scared Twin Husky but thrilled Twin Crazy.   Red kept wanting to “do something” with me; we settled on Legos and I was going back and forth with Big Bro and Red while the Twins were outside talking and raking chicken poop.
  • Kids ate well.   We had smoothies for dessert.
  • Afterwards we did more Legos, and also drew.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were very proud of their art.  We hung everything on an “art wall” that I have in the kitchen and they were excited.  Red was coloring and I handed her the colors for her work.
  • Bedtime went really well.  They all listened with brushing teeth.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky can now “spit” so I guess I can start them on real toothpaste tomorrow night.   All kids were good with books and all kids settled into bed reasonably fast.   It was a good night.

One thing that I’m really struck by is the difference in the Twins each Wednesday when I see them.  Only 3 days have gone by, but they are different.  Honestly.  I can’t believe how talkative Twin Crazy was tonight.  

I got soooooo much attention from all the kids.  I love Wednesdays.   I felt super productive at work – even though it was only a 1/2 day for me – and was reunited with the kids.   I can go to sleep happy tonight despite the mediation morning, which sucked royally.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Celebrate the keepsakes of who you are

Sometimes with work the years go by and you don’t realize how many have passed. The same thing with being a mom… so busy, so little time, giving so much and feeling “selfless” you lose yourself. At least I know I did.

I think it’s important to think back of the experiences you’ve had prior to being a mother. It’s all of these experiences that have brought you to who you are today. I’m a visual person. I am like this with work, with home… I think that’s why I love lists. Anyway, I digress….

Being a visual person has also lead to a small collection of items from my travels over the years. I don’t mean rooms of stuff. I mean certain pieces of things that make memories flood back and make me feel like me. Like a photograph (which I also take a lot of, as you know), just looking at these things bring me back in time – and having the chance to pick them up and hold them and display them for all to see – what liberation.

I’m in the process of divorce and recently moved into my own space. So, the memories are flooding back as I unpack my life that has been boxed up for so many years (different story, for another time… let’s just say that I’ve boxed up pieces of my life in storage and in a garage for the past 8+ years). It feels good to have these things in my hands again. It feels good to have these things on display again. It feels good to look around and see ME. It feels good to have parts of me out in the open again – not closed away, not shoved aside, out for all to see.

  • A mask from South Africa
  • A carving of a sun from Mexico
  • A steel bottle opener from Prague
  • A pottery vase from Portugal
  • A rug from Morocco which is now being used in my living room for the very first time! It is amazing! The colors all blend with what I have and it is PERFECT for this room!!!!
  • A small, small oil painting (2 inch by 3 inch) that I’ve had since a child – probably one of my oldest artifacts from my life
  • A teapot from London
  • A little toy from Switzerland that sounds like a cow’s moo when you turn it upside-down
  • Lots of prints/reproductions that I have yet to get back – I’m looking forward to their return
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    I’m feeling more myself. It is a terrible feeling to feel like your life has been swept away. I believe many working moms probably feel swept away many times. Like you’ve lost yourself. So maybe it’s the simple things you can do to remind yourself of who you are and what you’ve done to bring you to this point today. Hopefully you have small mementos from your past out in the open… not stuffed away in boxes somewhere. Celebrate who you are!!!

    What kinds of things represent parts of your life, parts of your past? Are they visible for you to see and enjoy?

    Have a great week everyone –
    – Mama K

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