August 21: A working mother again!

I spent the day in the office but bar-belled in the AM and in the PM with kid-related stuff – so for the first time in a very long time, I actually felt like a juggling, working mom today.

Highlights of My Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up later than usual for some reason.  I’m usually leaving my house at 7:15 but this is when I was just getting up.  Oh well.  I have a conference call at 8 AM so I’ll just have to take it from home or on the way to the train.
  • At around 7:45, I heard kids.  This is unusual.  I usually don’t hear kids this early.   Wait a minute, it is the first day of school for the kids in my neighborhood.  Wait a minute, their bus-stop is right at the foot of my driveway!   I ran outside, dressed but without make up, and took pictures of my neighbors and their kids waiting for the bus on their first day of school.  It was “Q”‘s first day of 1st grade.  Big Bro’s friend.  And “L” is going into 3rd grade, I think.   They were so proud of their brand-new clothes – sneakers, pants, shirt, jacket, backpack…. haircuts….. so much fun.  I remember the first days of school.  How much excitement it brings and also the jitters.
  • THEN THE BUS CAME!!!!   Right at my driveway!   I can’t believe it.  I was excited for my neighbor’s family, but inside I ached for my kids.  I wish they were able to experience this.  Hopefully they will, someday.  Their school year starts next week in co-parent’s neighborhood.
  • I ran inside in enough time to take my conference call (on mute) while finishing getting ready.   I drove to the train and sat in the car in the parking lot until the call was over.   When it finished up, I headed up to my commute.
  • I listened to music on the way in on the train.  Another first for me.

Highlights of the Working Day:

  • I continued to sell participation as Guests to many prospective members for the first forum coming up.
  • I had a conference call with a different prospective client for a different forum that I am trying to set up.  It was a great call.
  • I then got a text from co-parent saying that they were 2 hours away and on their way to my house.  Wait a minute!!!!   I did not know they were going to be that early.   I still have work to do!  I have some meetings I need to re-arrange!   I’m not quite ready to leave just yet!   Just another reminder to me at how bad the communication is between us.
  • I printed out materials quickly, packed up, and hauled ass out of the office — delegating some tasks on my way out, and connecting briefly with a Director on some points that we needed to talk about face-to-face.

The Rest of the Day:

  • It was so good to see the kids.   They were all so happy and in great moods.  They were coming back from a vacation with co-parent, and starting a vacation with me.
  • They brought in extra food and a huge watermelon which I proceeded to quickly scoop into balls for their snack.   What a hit.  The kids were having a blast.
  • While they were eating the snack, co-parent helped me to put up the rack to my set of vertical blinds in the kitchen.   This was extremely helpful.  There was no way I would have been able to do this on my own.   The rack would have been too difficult for me to maneuver on my own while installing it.  So, thanks to co-parent.  We have our ups and downs.
  • The kids had a great time riding bikes, checking out the chickens, investigating in the shed, pulling out (big) tennis rackets, hitting balls all over the place, and then EXERCISING.   Big Bro cracks me up.  He is a leader with the kids all the time.  He instructed them with a whistle that “Now its time to run”.  And they ran around the house.  “Now its time to drink”.  And they drank water.  “Now its time to play tennis”.  And they hit balls with their rackets.  Over and over again there was this drill-sargant leading the pack of kids to activity to activity.   They were laughing so hard, having a ball.
  • They ate like champs.  All food was gone, and I made A LOT.
  • Afterwards they played outside some more.  I was getting ready for trash night.  This is the first time I’m doing this with the kids, I thought to myself.  I broke down card-board boxes and they were busy stamping on the bubble wrap.  I bought more step-stools for them, a light-weight vacuum cleaner, and other items; great timing!
  • I cleaned up from dinner as the kids brushed teeth with their new stools.   Twin Crazy was very clingy and she chose to be with me while the kids were playing.
  • We had more fruit for dessert and then the kids were cranky for bed.
  • They got changed without a problem, we read without a problem, I scratched their backs without a problem, and I talked to Twin Crazy about the foxes and the animals outside and she told me that they are outside and not coming inside.  I said that I was going to be in the kitchen and she would be able to hear me so for her not to feel like she was alone.   This worked.
  • I cut up the rest of the watermelon, fed my compost tumbler with the rinds, cleaned up the floor of sticky watermelon juice, used the new vacuum  on the dust, and hung up the blinds.   The place is coming together.  Each week it looks more and more like a home.  I will have the kitchen table delivered next week which I am PUMPED about.

Now I’m at my home office desk, with the kids sound asleep.  I feel like I have work to do, but it is late.  I don’t know how I’m going to work my 4 hours tomorrow with 4 kids in the house.  We already lined up things to do.  See the neighbors off on the bus, feed the guinea pig lettuce, have the kids take turns using the vacuum, go food shopping, pick up Nana…..   whoa.  I might need to take the day off.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull off four hours of real work, unless I get a jump on it tonight.  Or, not.

Til tomorrow,

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Back to School Supplies

I am a BIG proponent of organization in general.   You should see our house.  We have bins for everything.   Toys, clothes by size and gender, art supplies, mementos, etc.  This particular topic on school supplies doesn’t really apply to us just yet since our eldest, Big Bro, is only starting Kindergarten in the Fall.   But I just received some great insight on how to deal with back to school supplies from Mama J from San Diego.   I love this concept since it aligns with my general approach to bins and organization, and also gives me a head-start on planning for the future of school years.   Oh the tears are starting to form so let’s just get right to her advice:

“[Big Bro]’s school probably can’t require you to bring in school supplies, but you’ll want to pick up supplies for home while everything’s on sale:  pencils, erasers, new crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, etc.  We bought each boy a 6 qt storage box with lid for storage and makes homework nice with everything they need in one place.  You’ll also need a storage box to hold school work you can’t bear to toss.  Makes it easy to have one place to keep it all.  Not to big, but wide enough to hold the larger art projects. At the end of the school year, go thru again to keep samples of work and things you can’t part with. It gets overwhelming really fast because it’s hard to throw anything away, but don’t worry, after about 5 years you get the hang of it and know what to keep!”

– Mama J, San Diego

Thank you Mama J!!!!   I’ll start keeping my eyes peeled for the sales!   Great ideas!  Anything else to add from anyone else???

– Mama K

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