November 17: Too good to be true???


Today was a day home for me, off from work, but working as a Mom for my kids. I had a wonderful, fullfilling day, and am ending it with several glasses of wine with/after dinner. So I’m a bit loopy while writing this.

There was a lot happening today – tickles, clothes changes, stroller rides, water spills, throwing food/toys, playing with puzzles, spilled coffee, running around the house, reading books, and more books, and pointing at the things in the books, and talking about the books, napping, …… below are some of the special moments of the day:

  • I walked with the Twins along with Big Bro on his scooter to school. He was so excited. The weather was crisp but he still wanted to wear a short sleeve shirt and no jacket. It was beautiful. The trees are turning colors here and there are so many leaves on the ground. The Twins were talking about everything they saw…. dogs, leaves, cars, balls… they are so observant and they really enjoy the stroller rides in the morning. Big Bro was a whiz on his scooter. I kept looking at him scooting ahead of us and just kept thinking about how fast time goes by. I look at his face and I still see aspects of his features from when he was a baby. But here he is. On a scooter. Whizzing by. And swerving. And headed to school. I just can’t believe it. 5 years. So much has happened over these 5 years and now we’ve gone past this one serious baby with a ton of hair to a kid – a kid going to school – with 3 siblings. Twins no less. I just can’t believe it. How fast will the next five years go? Big Bro will be 10!!!! Red will be 8!!!! The Twins almost 7!!!! I honestly cannot even imagine what my life will be like then – it seems so far away and we are not rooted now so who knows where we will be….. so much to look forward to. But I knowt the time will go by quickly.
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    The biggest look of accomplishment was probably Big Bro rigging up his scooter to the fence with his bike lock and setting the lock so that his scooter would be safe. He was so happy. What a prize that must have been for him after that long ride and bout of exercise!

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  • The Twins and I then strolled home in the crisp air. I loved the walk on the leaves. I loved the stroll with both kids so alert and pointing and talking about things. They are so sweet and I feel like this really is a different experience for them compared to the daycare they receive during the other days of the week.
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  • When at home, we had snacks and played…. but then I saw something that really surprised me. I thought that the little ones were getting into places they shouldn’t…. but now I know the reason why. Twin Crazy has learned how to open doors!!!! She can swiftly open a door while Twin Husky waits, and then they both get themselves into trouble. Partners in crime…./li>

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  • We then went to the beach. We had so much fun there. The kids just explored and played and poured sand and walked around and found treasure and fed seagulls and ate bananas and felt the sun and looked at the water and laughed. There were definitely some special moments during our time there. Twin Crazy sharing her banana with Twin Husky. Both of them feeding the seagulls and almost engulfed in all of the flying wings (with NO poop accidents!!), and also finding a hole that was previously dug and sliding into it and laughing and giggling and then the other sliding into it. I’m not sure who found it first, but the pure joy and laughter and interaction between the two of them was just too amazing to put into words. Both were seriously laughing to the point of their throats getting sore, I’m sure. And there I was, probably 30 feet away and just observing, laughing as loud as they were. It was fantastic. I felt relaxed and breathed in deeply and felt the warm sun on my body and watched my beautiful twins interact in a way that I really don’t understand. I couldn’t have planned a better trip./li>

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  • We then went to lunch at Chipotle. They were both dancing to the music. I overheard people saying that I have “two of them”. They have no clue. We had a great time and the kids were perfectly behaved. Except that Twin Crazy kept trying to steal her brother’s food. I felt very in control at that moment. I was enjoying the kids and did not feel any stress at all. Couples with young kids and especially a child 21 months old can get very stressed especially in restaurant settings. I feel so at ease with these children. I treat them like people and not like babies. They respond so well to that. We had fun together. All of us bouncing our heads to the music. Twin Husky trying my burritto. Twin Crazy drinking her milk to the point of her cheeks getting so filled up like a hampster’s set of cheeks. Too cute. I had a great time with them. They were more than readyt for anap by the time we got home.
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  • After naps we headed back in our stroller to pick up Big Bro. We strolled/scootered back home and then got immediately in the mini-van to pick up Red. Red was in the playground and when she saw me she bounded across the playground and threw herself at me with such force that I almost was swept backwards. She hugged me and laughed with such conviction that I wanted to freeze the time and hold her longer, longer, longer. Her teacher said to her – “see Jessica, you’re mommy DID pick you up early today!!!”. I love being able to do this with both Red and Big Bro. It makes these days special for each of them. We played around in another playground at her school for awhile afterwards – just the four of them – our own private playground. They really enjoyed being reunited and I enjoyed watching them.
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  • I then made a fabulous dinner when all of them were playing in the house. I took breaks to play with them; I also had to take breaks to console them – nighttime can be rough for tired kids. Once Hubby arrived we ate and ate and ate and I drank too much red wine. I will need to drink a gallon of water to save myself tomorrow. I had to do many jumping jacks to get Big Bro and Red to try their pork/meat. Once they tried it they loved it and kept eating it, but I still did like 75 jumping jacks anyway – probably a feeling of needing to get in shape, but also the wine had something to do with it I suppose. Bedtime was great.
  • So now I’m sitting here on the couch, listening to U2 and feeling the buzz from the great wine I drank too much of. I really had a wonderful day. I need to figure out a way to spend more time with Big Bro and Red. I want to devote Wednesday’s for them, while the Twins are at daycare and after my 1/2 day of work. Maybe I can switch off between the two and do something special, one-on-one for each. It is becoming clear to me that the older ones need more of my time, and that the younger ones need more time with BOOKS. They can’t get enough of them.

    And I can’t get enough of days like this.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    October ????? not sure what day. I’m on vacation.


    I’m not sure what day it is. I’m not sure what time it is. It doesn’t matter. I’m on vacation. It is night-time though. I’m in bed and the kids are lined up on the floor each one sound asleep with their busy lungs and busy brains, hopefully dreaming about fun things and their time with Pop Pop and Emmy, my step-mom.

    Today was a very normal day. A kind of stay at home while on vacation day. We did normal things. Nothing special. Went to a park. Fed the ducks and egrets. Searched for acorns. Had lunch. Napped. Played with my step-sister’s dog. Lounged by the pool although it was too cold to swim. Yes, I guess it does get cold in Florida. Had happy hour. Had BBQ. Big Bro went with Pop pop and Emmy to Walmart to get some things to entertain the kids on the plane. Twin Crazy took a bath. I did Red’s nails, in red. It was just a very normal day.

    But it was a special normal day since the day to day activities were at my dad’s place – and we are getting the chance to experience each other on an extended basis. Something special happens on these kinds of trips. Once you hit a certain point, there is no need to entertain. No need to force conversation. People just are people with each other. So I am thankful that I have had this chance with my dad and his family and my children.

    Tomorrow I will gather them up and take them to my dad’s office; where I’m sure we will cause quite a scene. They will draw pictures for him and he will put them up on his wall, until they are replaced by new pictures from their next visit…

    I’ve attached a video that was actually not taken today – but several days ago when we were at my dad’s beach condo. At the time I thought I was taking pictures but the iPad was in video-mode so it’s a bit all over the place. This is how I feel this vacation is going. Going with the flow, things not happening as expected, but everyone taking things in stride and still having fun despite the situation.

    I’ll be back at work on Monday and will plan to write something then. I want to enjoy my last day tomorrow and will likely be very busy when I get back home.

    Till next week –
    – Mama K

    October 18: Seashells


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    We survived the wedding and the day after, we sat around by my dad’s pool while my aunt and uncle came to visit before they left for the airport. One funny thing to report: my aunt and my dad are twins. I should have known this could happen to us… but I digress….

    My father has a condo on a small island about 1 hour away from Tampa. It is a quiet, surrene setting along the gulf of mexico with a private beach of white, white sand and clear blue-green water. This is only my second time here. I wish I had the luxury of being closer to my family so I can soak in more of these moments that are so important to me. So this vacation is somewhat bitter-sweet. It took us so long to get here and the kids were such troopers, but honestly we cannot do too many of these kinds of trips. Plus there’s so many other places to see. I wish I could just accept the distance but I no longer can. I used to think before that I could. So my face smiles looking at my kids with their Pop-pop on the beach so busy digging sand and investigating how the water works with the sand – but my heart and soul are a bit battered down. I feel too tired to think too deeply about anything anymore. I just feel sad, so misunderstood, and not listened to. But again I digress.

    Today we took a long walk along the beach and all the kids were looking for shells. I love doing this and today was a treat with the four kids. We had two plastic bags and Twin Husky took to carrying one of them. Red also had a bag with her sandals and shells in it. We found so many. It was so wonderful to have the kids scattered and busy at work looking for shells, looking at the waves, talking about the birds – all on private beach so it was just us.

    When we got back to the condo we rinsed them off (just me and them) and put them in a towel to dry. We then noticed that the ground cover near the parking lot was also shells. I thought they would all be broken but there were some really beautiful ones in there – so we went hunting for more. Big Bro’s job was the colander, Twin Husky’s job was the hose, and Red and Twin Crazy were busy laying out the first round of shells.

    It is moments like these that I hope to never forget. How we all worked together. How everyone was busy and occupied. How everyone was grouped together yet each kind of doing their own thing. And how I just let them be kids. Jump in the hose water. Get wet. Search for treasure. And they let me be with them to experience it all.

    How can it be possible that I get so much pleasure out of this moment but yet I can’t help to see myself in these shells – none perfect, some scarred, but all empty. That is how I feel sometimes. Just very empty. And too tired to fight any longer to fill myself up with feelings I once had. I’m just too tired.

    I am typing this now as each is sleeping in the room on the floor. I hear their breathing, and imagine their tired bodies replenishing energy for another busy day tomorrow. And I bet anything that we will be searching to add to our existing bounty of seashells.

    Random Thought: Vacationing with Children


    I just returned from vacation with Hubby and a subset of my kids. This got me to thinking about vacations in general and the extent to which families choose to vacation alone and/or with their kids. Before Hubby and I got married and before the children arrived, we were avid travelers. We both share a drive to recapture and foster the same sense of adventure with ALL of our children in tow. We’ve already done camping trips as a family of six, day trips to the beach, slumber parties, and next month we will all be going to Florida. When we had only two kids, I made multiple trips to the East Coast solo with the kids and we also traveled to Mexico, Seattle, more trips to Florida. I honestly cannot wait for the day when Hubby and I are trailblazing with our backpacks and we have our gaggle of little explorers right behind us carrying their “gear” in their backpacks and writing in their travel journals. I feel like we have so much to look forward to, together.

    Which leads me to thinking about how your family approaches vacations –


    I think me and Hubby are more on the adventurous side but the Twins have slowed us down a bit, at least for the time being… I’m looking forward to reviewing your responses….

    Staying Sane: Getting Away


    As some of you may know, I was away on vacation for most of last week – and just returned tonight.    What a way to recharge and feel fresh – pulling yourself out of your day-to-day routine. Different place, different bed, different food, different activities – unfamiliar language, customs, and completely different ways of living. Whether alone, with your partner, or with your kids, the experience can vary but is still refreshing nonetheless.

    The gems of my most recent trip included:

    • Swimming in the Caribbean and loving the feeling of warm smooth water while looking down and clearly seeing my feet
    • Many island rum drinks; even starting before lunch
    • Meeting new special people and welcoming them into my life
    • Hearing my kids laugh and seeing them play with a new friend – even though they didn’t speak the same language
    • Late afternoon thunderstorms
    • All you can eat and drink food buffets
    • Beautiful people and gracious hospitality particularly with children
    • My kids laughing and finding EVERYTHING enjoyable
    My beauty and the beach

    My beauty and the beach

    • Taking afternoon naps with my kid(s)
    • The crabs and turtle that my kids always tried to spot
    • Building sandcastles
    Sandcastles

    Sandcastles

    • Feeling the warm sand on my feet
    • Seeing my daughter jump into the pool and look of surprise and pride on her face
    • Hubby encouraging my kids to have dessert and ice cream EVERY night
    • Giving gifts for BIG milestones
    • Just hanging and laughing with my family – my mom, dad, step-mom and brother — and seeing how they play with my kids
    • Seeing Hubby enjoy himself with my family madness and always smiling
    • Seeing my dad wasted before lunch and forcing him to eat pasta and rice to soak it up
    • Chasing the kids along the beach
    • Holding Hubby’s hand and laughing at the silly things that the kids said or did
    • Listening to the kids laugh and giggle as the were going to sleep, sharing a bed for the first time
    • Not looking at the clock except to make sure we weren’t missing a meal
    • Holding the kids on both sides of me as they slept on the plane
    • Playing fooseball
    • Warm air – even at night
    • Walking along the beach with Big Bro at night
    • Big Bro falling out of the bed and him laughing about it – and then all of us laughing about it
    • The little gecko that would appear on our back porch each morning

    I’m finding that these vacations are lifesavers for me these days. And it helps to know when the next trip, the next adventure, will occur. Next month in Florida we will have a family wedding and then extra time on the beach. I can’t wait. That trip will be extra special since it will be our first big excursion with the Twins and as a family of six.

    So remove yourself from YOUR day-to-day reality. Whether a short weekend in Vegas or a trek in the Himalayas or a cruise to nowhere or long weekend in the snow – make it happen and revel in those moments.

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