October 30: Short day


I usually work from home the first 1/2 of the day and then pick up the kids from co-parents. Today was unusual in that I was asked to come into the office – I still took a 1/2 day and was back by 1 PM to become a full-time mom again…

Highlights of the Commute:

  • Woke up early, showered the night before. Cleaned up and dressed quickly. Wore comfortable clothes. It was a leggings type of day.
  • Everyone was fed and dressed by the time the nanny got to my place. She helped finish Big Bro’s lunch packing. I finished getting ready while quizzing him with his spelling words. Red was brushing her hair non-stop but still waited for me to brush her hair. I love that time with her in the AM. Her gorgeous red hair. She wants it straight and is trying to brush it out daily.
  • Twin Husky dumped over the Halloween bin. He was then wearing Buzz Lightyear wings and a masquerade mask.
  • We made it outside to see the kids off at the bus-stop (end of my driveway) and pet the dogs. I love this neighborhood.
  • Drop offs were fast and fine. Nanny dropped me off at the train station. Twin Husky wanted to know again when we would all take the train again. I’m thinking about a train trip into the city during Christmastime to see the lights. And Santa.
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    Highlights of the Working Day:

  • Had three meetings. One conference call where I am trying to negotiate prices down for meeting space. Updated some documents. Need to send some presentations to clients. Will do that later tonight.
  • I left by 12 noon, worked on the train, and arrived at home by 1 PM to release the nanny.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I had help taking the garbage bins up. Me and Twin Husky like to do this together on Wednesday afternoons.
  • Penny the chicken came back! Twin Crazy was very worried about her and is much happier.
  • We picked up Big Bro from school together. His spelling quiz was post-poned until tomorrow.
  • Big Bro did his math page in 7 minutes flat. They need to be able to know standard addition and subtraction facts within 10 minutes. He was fast and accurate. He actually can deliver when he puts his mind to it. He is too lazy too often though which really drives me nuts.
  • Big Bro disappeared to see his friends.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky napped.
  • Red snacked. Red played with Cocoa the guinea pig. Red napped on top of me while I napped on the couch.
  • All awoke (including me) at dinnertime. We had pasta and stringbeans from our garden.
  • After dinner Big Bro wanted to play with the iPad. I said no. He whined. I suggested vaccuuming instead. He got so excited and proceeded to vaccuum the entire (small) house). It was too funny.
  • While Big Bro vaccuumed I was horseplaying with the kids. I had one girl on each ankle and was walking around with them, tickling them, and dragging them around. Then I was on the floor with kids at my ankles and Twin Husky on my belly. Big Bro was still vaccuuming.
  • We locked up the chickens. Penny was loose again but will hopefully return again tomorrow.
  • We had dessert while watching a new Wild Kratts cartoon – this one about skunks. I pulled up images of skunks on my iPhone and Twin Crazy needed to hold the iPhone, look through the pictures, and kiss them.
  • Bedtime was great with all of them. We were doing lots of talking. I talked too much with them and it was really late by the time they settled down. We talked about teasing, about moths, about growing old, about big brothers, about how little brothers may someday grow taller and stronger than their big brothers, about the passage of time, how in 10 years Twin Husky will be 13 and Big Bro will be 17… how this will happen faster than we realize… … … … I had a great night with them.
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    I loved today. Simply put. I had a few hours at work in the office, was productive, but was back home before I knew it. Then I had the kids. I’m tired from working and doing this at the same time. I don’t know how I did it for so long and at such intensity before. I cringe thinking about it. It was so hard for me. So much has happened since then. The passage of time has been good for me, I think. I still am unsure in many ways. I feel good knowing that I am at least headed in some sort of direction. And that I’ve right-sized my life. I’m not totally there yet, and am still very much work in progress. Today was a good day. And this week has been amazing for me.

    But there is still so much happening in other parts of my head; issues with my family, feeling like a decade of my life is being burried, fighting for strength for my kids, struggling but being happier with less.

    I will be a bunny tomorrow since Red asked me; I’m looking forward to the simplicity and wearing comfortable bunny slippers, all day. This is how I pamper myself these days.

    I’ll try to write tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    Staying Sane: Learn something new


    As working mothers I think we can all say that we’ve been guilty of diving too deeply into the roles of worker and / or mother and have lost ourselves at some point. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize and when a pattern is established, it’s hard to pull yourself out. It’s the same thing, day after day after day. But it doesn’t have to be. Just look at our children. Their days can be routine as well – in fact as we know, they typically thrive on routine. But what is it that fills their days (besides eating and pooping). Play. Learning. Exploring. Developing an understanding of the world around them. Over time it’s easy to forget the excitement in learning something new. Some people reject the concept altogether. But I love looking at wonder in a child’s eyes as you teach them something – it can be something simple. How does the clothes washing machine work? Where does food come from? What makes cars? Oh my goodness I can crawl… walk… run… jump… ride a bike… read…..

    There has been a lot of learning in our household recently –

  • Big Bro’s fascination with MLK and Abe Lincoln, their assassinations, the size of the bullets…./li>
  • Big Bro learning how to ride a bike, learning how to read
  • Red’s activities at preschool – clean mud, taking care of her babies, her younger brother and sister
  • Twin Crazy’s efforts at the potty, dressing and undressing herself
  • Twins efforts at buckling by themselves
  • Taking trips to museums and zoos and learning about fish, dinosaur bones, moon rocks, alligators, painting, coloring, using scissors, seeing frogs jump, brushing goats, singing happy birthday, balancing on balance beams….

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    I think I have stayed in my profession as long as I have because it is something new — with every project and every year. Traveling to far away places to see different ways of living and experiencing new worlds has always been a thrill for me. I have always loved and admired people in much older generations that still embrace learning – embrace the internet, find a purpose for each new day, and continue to seek out new experiences. As people we need this. What comes so naturally for children becomes more difficult and maybe we have to try harder to push ourselves into the new and different – but how else do you grow? Or maybe some people don’t need this? It is OK to stay the same? Be content with where you are and what you know? Seek comfort in the safety for not striving for something more?

    Where do fall along this continuum?

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently since I will have some new found time freeing up in my life in the near future due to divorce. The time away from my children saddens me, but I am slowly starting to anticipate this time as a time for me. And part of that time I will invest in learning something new. I thought about music classes, cooking classes, …. but have settled on art. I think I’m going to take a water color painting class — we’ll see how these thoughts progress over time.



    What about you?
    What do you do to live more like your children and learn, explore, and discover the world around you? Does this make you happier and more balanced?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts –
    Thanks for listening –
    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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