September 21: Feeling free


Happy end of the week!   I was a stay-at-home mom today, well, sortof.   Despite my flex-time work schedule, I actually worked quite a bit – last preparations before the first conference next week…
Highlights of the Day:

  • The kids helped to get each other ready this AM.  Big Bro also helped pack up the breakfast, and got the vitamins ready for all kids.  It was ridiculous, and I will NEVER do this again, but I left all of me until the end and I wound up brewing my coffee in the french-press in the car on the drive.  Stupid.  Silly.  Ridiculous.  The coffee pot thing was rolling all over the place and I have coffee everywhere.  Oh well.  It can get cleaned up.
  • The ride was fine; we talked about Twin Crazy’s buildings in the city that look like castles, Twin Husky was busy singing into a traffic cone (I recently purchased for the kids bike riding in the street)… that’s all that I can remember.  Big Bro got there on time.
  • Drop off for Red was fine.   I took a phone call with a Consultant who is helping me with the conference.  I need changes made to a survey that we are sending out.   I need him to make the changes so I can send everything off this afternoon.
  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to Petco to buy Cocoa some hay.  I took advantage of the time there and we went to see ALL of the available animals there were to see.  Hamsters, rats, turtles, snakes, tarantulas, lizards, fish…  it was really fun.
  • We went back home since yesterday’s gypsy-living was too exhausting.   I picked up a chair to complete the outdoor patio set.  I am so psyched.
  • We watered the garden, played “castle” with the couch cushions, had some pee-pee accidents, cleaned up the floor appropriately, etc.  I made a quick lunch and we ate outside (loved it).  I again had to take some work phone calls.
  • I tried to get Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to take naps.   They were having too much fun.  I separated them but still they would not give in to sleep.  I worked, sent out emails, had phone calls.  More changes to the survey.  Then off everything went to all conference participants.   We had to boogie to get packed up and get Big Bro on time.
  • Big Bro pick up was fine; Red pick up was fine.  She pulled me to see her old teachers who are much more nurturing than her current teachers.  I think it makes a difference to the teachers to get so much love from these kids.
  • I took the kids to a playground until the transition with co-parent.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were scaling rock-climbing walls.  All were having fun.  Big Bro was watching an older kid on the swing, twisting the swing and spinning around and he tried to do the same.  I can’t believe my little boy is a bigger boy than I would like to admit.   Red was a total monkey, climbing all over the place.
  • We went to get gas and I cleaned down the windows at the gas station.  The kids love that.
  • We waited at co-parent’s driveway until transition.  Once he got there the kids got their bikes.  Red wanted to show me how she could ride her bike without the training wheels.  I am so proud of her.  She is so determined.  She just keeps on trying and trying.  And she went far.  The look on her face was stunning.   I wish I could bottle it up.  She made me so happy today.
  • I gave the kids kisses and went on my way.  I will see them tomorrow night.

At home, I immediately started some physical work in my backyard.  I attacked the dead pile of blackberry vines with a hedge-clipper.  I did this until it was dark.  In between I was able to catch a beautiful pink in the sky above.  It was gorgeous – a flaming sky behind the decay of blackberry vines.   I felt hopeful.

I just now finished up cleaning up inside the house while blasting music.   I ate red chard and green chard – I never had this before.  A new taste; different.  I’m not sure I love it but it is different.   I think I will do a bit more work tonight so I can feel free over the weekend.  I don’t want to spend the weekend thinking about this conference.   There is no need to since we are prepared for it and I know it will be just fine; and even if there is a glitch, it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Have a great weekend all –

– Mama K

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May 18: Home improvement!


Friday! Another day off from work but me and the Twins did other kind of “work” at the new house.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I was solo so woke up early to shower and pack lunch.
  • Twins seemed OK. Twin Crazy still had a slight fever. Both were very clingy. Twin Crazy was in a BAD mood.
  • Downstairs I fixed oatmeal breakfasts. Twins were still extremely clingy/moody so we decided to sit on the couch together. First Twin Crazy, then Red came over as a joke. Twin Husky was jealous of his twin sister for sitting near me and she got completely pissed off if he even touched her foot with his belly. Eventually I was sitting there with both twins, just relaxing, and directing the big kids to get dressed.
  • Bigger kids were excited that their favorite clothes were in the dryer. During our routine in the morning I asked each of them to “go fishing” in the dryer for their clothes for the day. Each came out smiling, and willing to change their clothes. EVEN their dirty underwear.
  • We all went with Big Bro again today for the ride to school. Red was riding her bike and the Twins were strolling. I brought towels and wipes just in case we had a puke accident but we were all fine. Red was doing great going up and down the sidewalk to cross the street and keeping up the pace so that she made it uphill on the other side without needing help. “Keep those legs moving. Feet! Legs! Feet! Legs!” She was doing great and having a great time. She was even doing the “stand up” pedaling which is new to her. She was driving through the puddles which is exactly what I would do.
  • At home we had a pudding snack and then we headed to Red’s school. We had a problem though this morning. Missing backpack and purse. REAL problem. They just disappeared….
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • We arrived at the new house and the Twins found a huge bag of plastic Easter eggs. This kept them occupied for quite some time while I was busy unloading the van and putting things away.
  • I found my disc player from many eons ago and put in a “Toddlers Favorites” CD. THEY LOVED IT. I’m glad I held on to that crap for so long just to see Twin Crazy’s smile. They were both really enjoying that music.
  • We then decided to go outside and watch the sprinklers. They had their boots on which was too cute. We decided to pull the rocking chair onto the sidewalk under a tree and we sat there and rocked together. It was so nice. I loved it. Rocking on that chair with my two little munchkins. Looking over our [brownish] lawn and enjoying the breeze. We then got up for lunch.
  • I made them mac-n-cheese for lunch and we had a picnic.
  • I had them play for another 15 minutes before naps. They were “playing house” with Twin Crazy in charge of the front door and Twin Husky telling her that he’s “going to be right back”. It was so cute. They are like a little married couple. They were having a great time. Then it was time to go to sleep. They said they wanted to see the chickens but I told them that they were napping too. So then they were talking about the sleeping chickens.
  • While they napped I started on a sweeping project outside so that the house was a bit more presentable to Big Bro and Red for tomorrow. I was spending so much time to make things nice for them. First impressions are important and I want them to feel comfortable here.
  • I then also started a bunk-bed project. It was easy, sortof. Until you got a few steps along and then realized that the piece was the other way around because the holes are not in the right direction. Note to self for other projects going forward: read the directions a few steps ahead. I had to back track a couple of times but I think the first bunk-bed is about 65% complete. I think. I hope.
  • Twins woke up and we went outside to see the chickens. I counted 11of them. They are very friendly chickens and many came right up to us. Twin Crazy squealed and Twin Husky was laughing. We sat outside on our bench for a couple of minutes and then went back inside.
  • The other bed was delivered this AM so I opened the box outside and started to take in the pieces. The Twins were playing with Easter eggs again and listening to Toddler music.
  • We then packed up and drove back.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We picked up Red. The teacher told me how Red was talking about the bike ride. I’m so glad I was able to take her the past two days.
  • We picked up Big Bro and he was excited about the Book Fair at his school. I said it was a great idea and that we could all buy books to keep at the new house. But when we got there it was closed. It will be open all next week and Thursday will be their late night – we’ll just have to be patient.
  • We got back and all started eating snacks and hanging out.
  • I made some dinner and Twin Crazy was still very clingy.
  • Afterwards all went outside with co-parent and I sat with Twin Crazy on the rocker. We both dozed a bit. I brought her upstairs at bedtime and got her changed. I then changed Twin Husky. Big Bro and Red came upstairs and Big Bro opened the bathroom cabinet to show us where he his Red’s backpack and purse. He was laughing and I was a little more than annoyed. Poor Red. She just stood there, not knowing what to say.
  • After the twins were in their room I decided to go shopping. I kissed Big Bro and Red but they were pissed that I was leaving. The thing is they would have LOVED to come with me where I was going… HOME DEPOT!!!
  • I’ve been to Home Depot many times in the past. But never for my own home where I was living and certainly never by myself. There were several things that were MUST-GETS. I walked out of there spending a lot of money but actually less than what I thought I was, and glad to have these things purchased. Wire fencing to keep the kids away from the ledges in the front and back yards, uplights/moonlights that operate on solar power, a lawnmower, a weed-wacker, shovels and gardening gear, rakes and brooms for the kids, a shed, raspberry and strawberry bushes, a plant, some brooms, a hose and nozzle, wild-flower seeds, … …
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    I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing their reactions; hopefully they will be good ones. I want Big Bro to bring a ball for “wall ball”. There is a perfect part of the house for that. I think I might want to mow the lawn. Maybe I can stay there with Big Bro and Red and work in the yard later that day. We’ll see. Tomorrow is a big day for them in their lives. And I want them to investigate, explore, and imagine. I want them to take it in at their own pace. Most importantly, I just want to be there with them.

    Have a great weekend everyone –
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Ride like the wind


    This weekend was a big weekend for Big Bro and Red. They are turning 6 and 4 soon, and co-parent decided to go out this weekend and get them suited up for their birthday presents…. new bicycles! So we grabbed the last bike that was big enough for Big Bro – a stretch actually – with gears and front/back handle breaks and all. We also suited up little Red in a fancy pink REAL bike with training wheels – and tassels to boot.

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    Because of these purchases, we were hanging out quite a bit in the cul-de-sac courtyard behind our house this weekend. It is safer there and there are two houses of young kids. At first I was just camping out with the rest watching the kites, balls, bicycles, scooters, and running of the kids. And then Big Bro asked about his gears. And I started to teach him about them. But he had some problems turning the gears. So I got on his bike to learn how to do it myself. I spun around the courtyard and felt the wind in my face and then realized I needed to focus on learning the gears or else Big Bro would be disappointed. So I got that down, but then continued to ride. Around the cul-de-sac again and going faster and riding riskier and pedaling faster. My heart beating and hearing the wind now.

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    This has been the most exercise I’ve gotten in too long of a time.

    So I had to give the bike up. But then thought to myself – I’m going to grab MY bike — funny though. It is a mountain bike. And I have not rode on it in literally 7 or 8 years. So when I went to check it out, both tires were flat beyond repair and the cobwebs likely choked up the chains. So I grabbed co-parent’s bike.

    I came blasting around the bend into the courtyard at warp speed (or at least I felt that way). My leg muscles felt good to be awake. My heart was pounding, my hair was shoved into my helmet but still flying around, the sun was on my skin and I was having FUN. I grabbed Big Bro and we took two loops around our neighborhood. I was talking to him as we went about the gears and the uphills and the downhills; he took to it so quickly and I had so much fun riding around with him.

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    So now I have another thing to add to my “to-do” list: Get my own bike tuned up and fixed.

    The exercise felt good. Being outside in the fresh air felt good. The sun felt good. Being with my son and the kids felt good. But the speed and the freedom and yes the tiny bit of recklessness was AMAZING. I’m looking forward to more of it and maybe shedding some pounds.

    What do you Mamas do for exercise? What activities do you find liberating?

    Have a great week to all –
    – Mama K

    March 29: Sitting in the Hallway


    The end of a Thursday. I took some time off to take care of personal things but had a leisurely drop off with the kids and an early pick up with them too. So I feel like I had some good time with each of them. I’m looking forward to calling it a night. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the weekend.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • The SECOND morning that Twin Crazy woke up with a dry diaper!!!! We all were excited for her and we all looked into the potty after she was done.
    • I had some cuddling time with Twin Husky after the kids ate breakfast and before they got dressed. It was nice to sit with him and talk with him.
    • I asked Big Bro to take a picture of me and Twin Husky and he had fun taking pictures of himself. We all started cracking up at the picture of him, particularly when we were reviewing the pictures and got to the one of him looking goofy into the camera.
    • Red wanted to take a picture too – I have a bunch of photographers on my hands. I wonder where they get that from….
    • I got the Twins in their jackets and they wanted to each wear their rainboots. They were in their stroller in no time and together with Big Bro we went out to meet the Motley Crew.
    • We dropped of Big Bro, and then I dropped of the Twins. I walked home with an empty stroller thinking about the things I needed to get done today. I was ready to get started.

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    Once I got home I cleaned up from breakfast, loaded the dishwasher, straightened up a bit, and took a shower. I took all of my paperwork out, booted up my computer, and made sure I had my phone plugged in to recharge. I got started and was efficient. I actually got done the two major things I needed to complete today (my own self-goal) and also caught up with some friends on Facebook chat. I actually laughed out loud several times today. It was sunny. I felt good.

    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

    • At 3 PM I called the quits. I wanted to see the kids.
    • I picked up the twins first. They were busy eating pretzels at daycare.
    • I then picked up Big Bro from the playground. He went to get his bike and he met me by the van. He rode his bike and I followed along with hazards on to Red’s school.
    • We got to Red’s school and Twin Crazy went potty, washed her hands.
    • We rode back to the house – this is great exercise for Big Bro. He winds up falling right to sleep at bedtime because of the physical activity. He did a dance when we got back to the garage. He’s acting sillier and sillier, which I love.
    • At home, we played outside in the backyard for a bit. We kicked balls and ate snacks. Unfortunately I offered red grapes but they had seeds in them. So all kids (including me) rejected them and I wound up picking up chewed up grapes all over the place.
    • I started to make some dinner – flat meat chicken fried up with homemade breadcrumbs. YUM.
    • Big Bro read one of his “easy reader” books to his siblings. As the dinner was cooking, I sat down with Big Bro and then he read to me. I loved it.
    • After dinner, I quickly cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher.
    • We played hide and seek for quite awhile. Red was my partner. Twin Crazy was with Big Bro. Twin Husky was with co-parent. It was a lot of fun. Twin Crazy is REALLY adventurous and independent. Not scared. She played really well with Big Bro.
    • We then rough-housed a bit. Tickled. Did horsie-rides. I also got some exercise in with a new move I do with the kids… they straddle and cling to the bottom part of my leg while I am lying down and I do leg-lifts with the child on my leg. I can even do this now with Big Bro and he is at least 55 pounds. I feel like I’m getting back into shape. I now have to come up with some ideas for upper body toning…. maybe push ups with a child on my butt or something…

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    I had Big Bro and Red tonight for bed. They did great. The Twins each came in their room to get a kiss goodnight. Twin Husky pointed to the part on his head where I could kiss him. Twin Crazy just gave me a full fledged kiss right on my face. So cute.

    I talked with Big Bro and Red about their owies and put A&D oinment on his elbow and on her scratched face. We talked about Big Bro’s owie and how it already looks so much better. They both said their owies would get even better overnight as the medicine works and as their bodies heal. I tell them that it is amazing what their bodies can do. How it can heal and how you need to take care of your body. Big Bro said he knows how the owies go away. He said the new skin comes in and the old skin with the owie falls off. I think he’s right. I taught him about scabs. So yes, I think that’s part of it. I also told him that in addition to that, broken skin knows to come back together and heal. So that’s probably something that is also happening as an owie heals.

    I love having these kinds of conversations with the kids. They hang on every word. They remember everything. And I can tell that inside of their heads they are making connections with other experiences they’ve had in their past. I love being a teacher to these kids.

    *****

    I’m sitting outside of Big Bro/Red’s room now, in the hallway. I think me being at least close to her helps. There is no crying. No fussing. She just relaxes and goes to sleep. It’s as if I’m in my own room next to theirs…. the room I used to sleep in. Just knowing that there is a parent close-by who will come to them if needed I think really helps. I know it would make a difference to me if I was a 3-4 year old. So I will continue to do this, even if it is not on my nights. And I will gradually go downstairs back into the depths of my den until her crying at night is no longer an issue. At least it is not physical contact. She does not see me. But she knows I am there. And that makes me feel better as a worried mom, particularly for my child who I know has been described as “emotionally needy.”

    So, I’m feeling good overall. I’m headed downstairs after I make sure the heat is turned on.
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 28: Lots of A&D


    It is close to 10 PM now so I’m a bit rusty on what happened today. I worked a 1/2 day and from home; I feel like it was a good day, but am getting more and more itchy to get out of this house away from co-parent. It just is not healthy for any of us. Plus everyone is sick in the house with runny noses, snot, and crumpled tissues everywhere.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up this AM and I brought her right into the bathroom to use the potty. HER DIAPER WAS DRY!!!! She was so excited and I was so proud.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were sitting together reading a book.
  • Red was AOK trying on different socks — for some reason I cannot find ANY of the 12 pairs of seamless socks that I recently bought. Somehow they mysteriously disappeared.
  • The Motley Crew were chancing it again today with the weather and were going to ride their bikes. Big Bro was excited as was I. He got ready, and I got Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ready in the stroller. I kissed Red goodbye and strolled along with the Motley Crew to Big Bro’s school. It has been awhile since I did this. It was good to be out again. Good to be strolling the twins in the AM. Good to see Big Bro on that bike with the kids. Then one of the kids came back to us and said that Big Bro fell. It was a small fall, but still, his bike and he was on the ground, a bit shaken up. All was OK. We got to school OK with no broken skin.
  • I then strolled Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to daycare. They seemed happy and started playing with balls right away. I told her how Twin Crazy’s diaper was dry this AM and both of us made a big deal out of it.
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    I walked home and was thinking about a lot of things. Thinking about how my life has changed so much over the past year, for the better. Thinking about how stuck I was last year, with a partner who proved over and over that I was not a priority and he chose not to listen. Unfortunately my children will suffer for this but I will come out stronger, happier. I know this.

    I passed my neighbor on the way back, swinging her daughter on a swing. Her daughter is the youngest of four kids – so very similar to our household. I know how important it is to grab those special times one-on-one and I made a big deal out of her “mommy time” and how lucky she is. And I also wanted to, but didn’t, say to my neighbor how lucky she was to have this time with her kids and to have a husband that supports and is aligned with the needs of the family. But I walk on, thinking about work…

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I get home, make another coffee, eat some breakfast, straighten up, load the dishwasher and run it, start some laundry, jump in the shower.
  • As I get out of the shower my phone is ringing. It is a potential prospect for one of our forums – a potential speaker and member. And here I am naked, trying to have a sales discussion with this person. Taking notes. Getting other contact names. Thinking on my (naked) feet on what I need to say to get this guy to want to come to this meeting. I should have told him I was naked.
  • I had a discussion with a Director about my goals for the future and the roles that I want to focus on going forward. I was frank and told him that project delivery with four children as a single mother will be difficult if not impossible. I want to focus on sales and conference planning/execution/data and delivery going forward. He agrees and we promise to think about the structure and metrics over the next several weeks as we get our collective thinking further defined.
  • I meet with my project team and go over quantitative analysis for 2 hours over the phone. It was rough. These kinds of working sessions remote are really tough.
  • I cleared out some email and addressed several things;
  • I reached out to other potential speakers for one of the forums
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I packed up at 3 PM and called it a day. I put everything away that was not kid-friendly such as computer, breakable cups, etc.
  • I picked up the twins first. I took my time with them. The weather was beautiful and they were riding tricycles.
  • We then picked up Big Bro and his bike. He rode his bike with us trailing with hazards on over to Red’s school.
  • While at Red’s school, Twin Crazy went to the potty on one of the small potties.
  • We then followed Big Bro back home. He loved riding the bike in the sunshine.
  • While at home I folded laundry and Big Bro helped. Twin Husky had fun throwing the folded piles in the air.
  • Red drew some pictures and then wanted to send them to Nana (along with some princess tattoos). So I helped her put them in an envelop, address the envelop, put on stamps, and then we went to the mailbox together to mail the letter. She was super excited.
  • Dinner was great; salmon.
  • Afterwards I did some exercising with Red and hung out with the kids. Both girls went to the potty together… Twin Crazy on the little potty and Red on the toilet. It was weird but very cute nonetheless. I accidentally scraped Red on her face with my fingernail and apologized. Poor thing. Another crying fit for her. I cleaned up from dinner a bit. Twin Husky started fussing so I grabbed the twins and headed upstairs.
  • Twins were both very tired – and sick. Both have really bad noses and I put A&D ointment on their faces. Both were extremely cranky. I read a book to them and we were searching for the color “yellow” on each page. Then Big Bro and also Red joined in the fun. I had all four kids around me, no longer cranky, trying to quickly find the color yellow with each page. It was awesome. Both Twin Husky and Twin Crazy wanted to touch and play with a “Hess” car before going to sleep.
  • Big Bro asked me if I was going to pick him up early again tomorrow. I said of course I could. I put A&D on his scraped arm from his bike accident this AM and then kissed his forehead.
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    I went downstairs and Big Bro asked me why I don’t go in to him and Red after I’m done with the twins? Good question Big Bro. I can’t stand it either.

    I was cleaning up and Red was having a tough time, crying and calling for me. I tried not to listen. But she kept crying. I cleaned up the table. She was crying. I loaded up the dishwasher. She was crying. I tried not to listen but couldn’t take it. Co-parent was just reading a book to Big Bro and ignoring the cries from Red. I went up to her and he came out when he saw I was coming up. I gave him a chance to handle it and finished cleaning up downstairs.

    Red came out screaming again so I went up to her. I held her. I hugged her. I said it was OK. I helped her brush her teeth. I put more A&D on her scraped face. I put her into bed. I asked her to relax. I told her she was doing great since I saw that her fingers were curled and therefore her hand was relaxed. I said for her to keep it up. I told her I was going to sit outside for a few minutes and come back to her. I did. I left again and then sat in her room for a while away from her bed, doing work on my iPhone. I said I would be outside of her room. I went outside and sat there, working on my iPhone for several minutes. I heard her heavy breathing. I went in and she was asleep. I kissed her forehead, turned off her light, and headed downstairs after verifying that the heat was turned on.

    So now I’m here, downstairs, hearing my kids through a child monitor. I have a lot on my mind. Things to do for work and things to do for the divorce. I’m also thinking of what I need to do to jump-start my life post-divorce. I am looking forward to a fresh start.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 2: Pajamas and dresses


    Hi Mamas! Happy Friday – it was a good day for me – I feel like I got good time in with each of the kids which was good; more meetings relating to the divorce so I’m kind of wiped out – this will be brief –

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro had “pajama day” at school to celebrate Dr. Seuss; I think the kids had a great time – the Motley Crew was all in their PJs and looked so comfy. I think he had a great time today.
  • I normally have the Twins today but I had a meeting in the afternoon; so I set up daycare for them – however she had a doctor appt. in the AM so I dropped them off at 10 AM so we had some time to play! I decided to keep Red home too during that time. We cleaned up books, drew pictures, played with a lace-up toy set, did stacking puzzles, ate snacks, ran around the house, got tickled, and got dressed.
  • We had a visitor (our neighbor with four kids! Motley Crew) with a bag of clothes (thank you Christine!). It was funny how Twin Husky gravitated toward this purple frilly soft flowy dress. He wanted to wear it so I helped him put it on. It went great with his bug boots that he is now addicted to.
  • Twin Crazy was so cute with Red this morning. I made a big deal out of how they can both wear/share shirts now…. pants won’t work for both of them, but shirts will. So Twin Crazy agreed that she wanted to pick out her own clothes and Red wanted to help her. Red showed her the shirt drawer in her room and then helped Twin Crazy pick out pants in the other room – they even picked out socks together. Then Red proceeded to help Twin Crazy get dressed. It was so sweet. I couldn’t get enough of it – especially how Twin Crazy looked at Red and how Red kept saying “i will help you…”
  • The three of them had a tea party and then I got a call from daycare – I dropped them off, she had a laugh with Twin Husky’s dress, and then I dropped Red off (after fixing her worn down sneaker in the lobby).
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    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I had a meeting today that was very difficult — again I’m putting faith into the process but feel the need to come clean with what’s on my mind. Understanding one person is hard enough, let alone an entire family, let alone in only an office environment through discussion. I really feel like there needs to be more input into this recommendation and am offering more sources of information if desired. This is really, really difficult.
  • After the meeting I went to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. They were both showing me how they were jumping. Twin Husky still had on his boots and dress.
  • I picked up Big Bro next and we made a plan for him to ride from his elementary school over to Red’s daycare. I went over the route with him, and told him I would do the same as yesterday…. follow slowly behind him while he was on the sidewalk. Again our neighborhood is very, very quiet and we take mostly back roads that are not heavily driven. He did great and the look of independence on his face was priceless. The minivan from one of his friends drove by in the opposite direction and they totally saw him. We both commented that it was Ryan’s van and they were totally cheering him on! He loved it.
  • We got to Red’s daycare and were completely surprised with a bake “giveaway” from her class. I love this place! The kids were so cute handing out cupcakes and cookies. Our family kept them busy since we had five mouths and one of them just rode his bike so was hungry.
  • The ride back was nice; Big Bro did great on the bike. He experimented with a new way back home that was less windy.
  • I got laundry going and the kids were interested, as usual.
  • Pizza arrived and Big Bro and Red ate the most I’ve seen in a very long time.
  • Afterwards was movie night – Big Bro and Red sat on my lap in a rocking chair once I was able to actually sit down with everyone.
  • I had the Twins tonight for bedtime routine. Again Big Bro wanted to know why we were doing this. He says we don’t have to do this. I completely agree….
  • Twins went down without a hitch… PJs, teeth, books, song, kisses, night-night. “Sweet dreams. I…… love…… you.”
  • Big Bro and Red refused to stay in their room. Big Bro said he misses me since I didn’t spend bedtime with them tonight. They kept coming downstairs. Daddy left for a massage so I went upstairs with them to spend some time, hug them, and see them drift off to sleep.
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    I’m tired and thinking about tomorrow. I will have Twin Crazy and Twin Husky in the AM. I’d like to take them somewhere new and different.

    Have a great weekend everyone –
    – Mama K

    March 1: Beginning to let go


    It was a memorable day. It was a day of milestones. It’s a day like this when I’m glad I’m keeping this blog. A record of the children and who they are and how they’re changing and who they are becoming. I was home from work today. It’s 10:30 PM right now so this will be brief but heartfelt.

    Highlights of the First Half of the Day:

  • The kids were playing with each other during breakfast. Big Bro and Twin Husky were playing ball.
  • Red and Twin Crazy decided to wear matching shirts. Red wore a pink bunny shirt, and Twin Crazy wore an identical shirt, but in gray. I was calling them “the twins”.
  • I dropped all kids off since it was my home day with them. My day to be a mom. It was raining so Big Bro rode with us in the van and did not go with the Motley Crew. I think he gets embarrassed of the entire clan of kids so for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER, I pulled into the circular driveway at school and DROPPED HIM OFF BY HIMSELF. Oh my goodness I asked him what he wanted to do and let him know that he had a choice. And he choose independence. He looked back a couple of times but I was so proud of him. And it hurt inside when I couldn’t see his blue fleece hood any longer when he turned a corner. I slowly drove away.
  • We dropped off Red next. I wanted to take a picture of the girls in their bunny shirts. They were so cute. Twin Husky was acting so silly and acting like a surfer for some reason. My laugh was bellowing through the school. In fact, some teachers came outside to see the commotion since I was laughing so loud. I love how his personality is busting through and how goofy he is becoming. He makes me smile so much.
  • Inside her classroom, Red gave Twin Husky and Twin Crazy hugs goodbye.
  • I decided to take Twin Crazy and Twin Husky out for breakfast for some bagels. They had fun looking out the window and squealing at dogs, and we talked about trucks and umbrellas and commented on other kids’ rainboots. Twin Husky was wearing a pair that were way too big for him but for some reason he loved them while also putting his hands in his pockets.
  • The day kindof went by…. Twin Husky was cleaning. They both got into Red’s kid nail polish. at 12:45 we picked up Big Bro and headed home for lunch and naps for the Twins. Me and Big Bro hung out and did nothing special or in particular.
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    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • The biggest event was picking up Red after Twin Husky and Twin Crazy woke up from their nap. We quickly gave them a snack and then Big Bro put on his helmet and got on his bike. I drove along side of him, 3 mph, with my hazards on. Our neighborhood is VERY secluded so there was no real traffic, and he had a sidewalk almost the entire way there, but there was one part of the journey where we were separated by a field. He was so thrilled to be riding on his own with us trailing him. I saw the joy in his face. I could almost feel the excitement in his body. I could almost feel his hands gripping the handlebars. And feel the wind on his face. And feel the sense of independence but also of security when looking over to see us in the van along side of him. He did
    great. We parked his bike and he did the same thing back at home. I said we should do this more often and I have a feeling we will. It was amazing. He is my boy.
  • Dinner was great; I had a steak going in the crockpot. The kids set the table by themselves. I heard them working together to get it done. They ate well. Big Bro ate like a champ. I taught them how it is good to eat meat after working your body and how the protein is good to help your sore muscles. So Big Bro ate a bit more.
  • We ended the night with chocolate milk.
  • It was my night with Big Bro and Red. Both are very clingy. Big Bro needed to sit in my lap. He was convinced that he did not have enough “Mommy time” today even though he had been
    with me since 1 PM and much of that was alone. I feel so bad for these kids. They are suffering already. I sat with them – scratched his back – held her hand, until they were both breathing deeply and lost to sleep.
  • And now as I’m going through my pictures for this post, I see that Big Bro had my iPhone when I wasn’t looking and decided to be a photographer himself and capture pictures of his treasured toys. So cute.
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    I am tired; it is late. I don’t want these days to end. I don’t want it to get worse for them. There are so many glimpses of pure magic during the day with these kids. The boots. The smiles. The goofiness. The hugs. The wanting to help. The look of accomplishment. The drive to do things by themselves. I never want it to end.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    February 14: Valentine kisses


    Double fun! Chocolate Tuesday AND Valentines Day! Our morning was fun.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I left out Valentines Day stickers for each of the kids along their breakfast area.
  • Big Bro woke up early and got all ready – dressed, ate, packed…. to be ready in time for his bike ride to school with the Motley Crew. He gets ready now so quickly and has time leftover to spare.
  • Twin Husky was whining about a lot of things this morning – his balloons, his tigers, his bagel, etc. He started to smile when he was finally given some toast with chocolate Nutella.
  • Twin Crazy was loving her toast and Nutella. So much so that it flipped out of her hands and landed on top of her balloon and stuck there. Everyone was cracking up. It really was a funny sight to see.
  • Vitamins were a hit. All kids excited about the round of vitamins for all siblings now that the twins are two years old.
  • I dressed Twin Crazy in a cute red dress for Valentines day. I asked her if she wanted to get changed into clothes or back in her PJs and she definitely wanted to get dressed – and is doing a lot of it herself.
  • Big Bro was off to ride with the Motley Crew and I dropped of the Twins and then Red. She was clingy, as usual, but was excited about her bag of Valentines.
  • I parked the van in a ridiculous spot at the ferry parking lot. It fills up otherwise and I would have missed the ferry. I inched the mini-van VERY carefully into a “compact” spot. But the funny thing is that there were two other SUV/Mini-vans that did the same exact thing… the picture was just too funny not to take…
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    While on the ferry, I talked with a neighbor and joked about the parking situation and also the Valentines delivery that Big Bro and I did last night. His kids got the valentines just fine and they were so polite thanking me for their lollipops this morning. I did not think about work too much – but did think about what I needed to do on my walk to the office.

    Highlights of the working day:
    I was really, really busy and a bit under the gun. I feel like I’m working on too many things and am concerned that I’m going to drop the ball on our big meetings in April. I think a little bit of anxiety is good in these kinds of situations. It keeps you moving and it gets you to focus and get things done –

  • I sent out a poll for topics for one of the forums; and drafted the second poll for the second forum.
  • I had a debrief meeting for go-to-market activities for another forum
  • I set up my new project team with deliverables for them to work on this week (e.g., draft interview guide, list of available secondary research, status of analysis to-date); this will help to prepare us for the first client touchpoint meeting next Tuesday
  • I had a meeting with a different client to get up to speed with final stage of the project and expected timing
  • I sent out an invoice for above project
  • I was very busy today – both at work and on personal items. Things are moving fast. I like getting things done and moving closer to the end of the line. There are many target dates coming up in March and April so I’ll be very busy from here on out…

    Dinner and Bedtime:
    I was solo tonight but it was fun, easy, relaxed.

  • I picked up Big Bro first and he had a great time riding his bike from the school yard to the van.
  • Twin pickup was no problem, as was Red’s pick up.
  • At home, the kids were busy looking at and investigating Valentines. They promised not to eat any of the candy until after dinner.
  • I found Twin Crazy on multiple occasions “washing her hands” which really means that she breaks into the bathroom, turns on the water, and plays in the sink. At one point she had the sink completely filled up and there would have been water all over the place if it hadn’t been for that little drain hole in the top of the sink. She was soaked and complaining that she was wet. I let her feel the wetness and be cold for a little while so she could understand the consequences; but then quickly changed her since I feel bad, she’s only two.
  • I cooked the tandoori chicken with yogurt sauce tonight. Dinner was so fast. Clean up was so easy.
  • After dinner kids played, did tea parties, did tattoos, ate some candy, and were really, really, really well behaved. Twin Husky had a hard time when he wanted to put a tattoo on his stuffed animal tiger. He also had a hard time when I saw he was drawing on the wall – but he helped me clean it off so he was sweet too.
  • Bedtime was fine with the kids; Big Bro is having a slumber party on my bedroom floor – Red decided to go back upstairs to her own bed. I hear Big Bro sleeping – he was out in 5 minutes. I think it’s all the bike riding. He’s been great lately.
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    I’m feeling reasonably good tonight. I feel like things are going at a good pace at work and also at home. I am moving towards closure which has its ups and downs but overall I know that I am moving toward a finish line and feel good about the possibilities for my future – I am hoping to buy a home, settle down, root, and provide more stability for me and the kids. Start to live life and build a life – not the kind of life I dreamed of this time a year ago, but I can be happy with what life brings me in 2012.

    So my Valentine’s Day was filled with kisses and hugs from my kids, and they gave me candy that they collected from school. Not a bad day, all things considering.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    February 13: My son is in the Motley Crew


    It was a very busy Monday. Both at home with the kids and at work. I’m tired now and can’t wait to get to sleep.

    Hightlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • All the kids woke up playing with helium balloons.
  • Big Bro asked if he could ride with the kids on bikes with our neighbor, and without me. I texted her and she said to send him on over at 8 AM. Big Bro was thrilled and jumped out of bed and got dressed. He was honestly ready to go – backpack ready, helmet on, good breakfast – by 7:40 AM. And was just waiting around to go. When I set him off he was so excited. He is growing up before my eyes. So many changes so quickly.
  • All the kids were excited about vitamins. Now that the Twins are 2, we are giving them children’s vitamins. It was a right of passage with Red, so I kept up the routine and these kids are so proud that they are now eating vitamins too. Twin Crazy kept talking about it in the AM and also at night.
  • I dropped off Red and she was happy, but clingy.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got in and sent out meeting minutes for two planning meetings.
  • I also made some changes to a Kick off meeting presentation for a client project we are starting today. I had a meeting with the client and our team from 3 – 5 PM today. It went really well. They like us and I think the project will go well.
  • I spent some time staffing the project, and also getting one of the Consultants started on several pieces of work to get the project going.
  • I led an office touch-point meeting that we do on Mondays. Everyone is very busy.
  • I reviewed the go-to-market materials for the meeting we will have in April and will likely start that outreach tomorrow.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked the kids up later than usual since I had a meeting until 5 PM. So by the time I had everyone home it was 6:15. Dinner was at 6:45 and kids were tired/hungry.
  • After dinner we worked on a Valentines card project – essentially putting lollipops through little cards that the kids signed over the weekend. It was cute. The Twins were confused and really just wanted to steal/eat the lollipops.
  • Then off to bed. But first I stole Big Bro and we both delivered valentines that the kids did for the neighbors behind our house – the “Motley Crew” kids that Big Bro rides to school with. I had so much fun with Big Bro doing this. It was my idea to sneak out of the house, just him and me. And run to the neighbor’s house in our socks and leave the bag of valentines cards just outside of their house. It was Big Bro’s idea to leave the bag by the garage door, where they all leave in the AM — they don’t use the front door since they have their bikes…. so then we decided to find some rocks to hold the bag down so it wouldn’t blow away. As we were running back and forth I said “this is fun” and Big Bro said “Yeah, this is fun”. I loved it. I loved stealing him for 2 minutes and stealing this time with him.
  • I reminded Big Bro again that he is officially part of the “Motley Crew” and gave him a fist pump. He is happy. I told him how proud of him I am as he walked up the stairs for bed.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were counting to 10 during bedtime books.
  • Bedtime with the older ones was rough tonight. They were both crying for me. I hate being downstairs while they are upstairs. I found out last week that Red has been sleeping with her dad in the middle of the night so I caved in and let them both come down to me. So right now they are both snoring next to me. I might relocate to the couch.
  • I sent an email message to Big Bro’s teacher – he is stuttering recently and I don’t know if it’s something that he’s just picked up from the kids at school or if there really is a problem that we should be worried about. I might be over-reacting, and he might be doing this for attention, but it still concerns me especially since things are so strange at home.
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    I made the mistake of checking work email – one email was great; the client kickoff meeting went REALLY well and they are super engaged with working with us. Now I just need to make sure we deliver! But then I saw another email. I completely F%*&^5ed up an outreach that I did for a potential speaker and did not use proper protocol, but by mistake. I sent out an apology tonight and will follow up tomorrow when I arrive in the morning and am fresh. Ugggh. I’m ready for bed.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    February 9: A hard day’s work


    I was not working today as a management consultant. Today I was working as a mom. So, the day just evolved and the hours blended into one another. It was a great, but tiring day. Some highlights:

  • I strolled Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while Big Bro rode his bike to school. We were a bit on the late side but he made it there just in time. He was out of breath when we got there.
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  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to the park with sand. They climbed on the structure and slid down the slide. They got dirty. They got wet. They ate graham crackers. They looked at dogs. Twin Husky scaled a part of the structure I never thought he would. Twin Crazy held back a smile as she walked across the bridge.
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  • We went back home and had a bath since they were wet and covered in sand.
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  • Afterwards I did some laundry (they helped) and we decided to also clean Twin Husky’s Tigers. The problem was that they are battery-operated and I couldn’t rip out the mechanical parts so we decided to scrub-brush them clean. We had a great time doing that and of course the kids got soaking wet again so that just meant another change of clothes. We put the Tigers in the dryer and Big Bro was fine with that. They came out all fluffy and clean and we were talking about them for the rest of the day.
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  • We had a quick snack, and then decided to pick up Big Bro early – right after his Kindergarten – no aftercare. So we gathered ourselves back into the stroller with our clean Tigers and strolled to his school. We spied on him a bit in the playground and I chatted with some moms. They asked me how I’m loving my work schedule and they mentioned how they are seeing the difference in my kids. Some have also taken steps back to spend more time with their kids and the changes and impact on the children is noticeable almost immediately. We often talk about why we didn’t do this sooner.
  • Recess was over and the kids were lining up so I hid with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky elsewhere – Big Bro gets too anxious when he sees us and we were on the early side. So we ran around in a field while we were waiting for his classroom to let out. We had a great time – I was chasing the kids and they were loving running around in the grass at their brother’s school. I’m glad we got there too early so we could have this special running time in the field together.
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  • Big Bro was surprised to see us so early. He was excited to ride his bike home. Our back door neighbor was also there so they rode home together. It was really cute watching Big Bro with his friend. Just the two of them. He does much better in smaller settings. It takes him awhile to get comfortable with someone and this child is so sweet and easy going. It was great seeing them ride and talking and laughing with each other.
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  • At home, we had lunch. Big Bro had lunch with us too so that was his 2nd lunch. Then Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were happily ready for their naps.
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  • They nap for 2 hours so I grabbed the monitor and Big Bro and I went behind the house to the cul-de-sac where the other kids live. They rode bikes and ran through their houses for at least 2 hours. I kept checking on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and they eventually were ready to get up.
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  • I went with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to pick up Red. The kids were playing in the playground when I got there. The kids love the Twins and the Twins loved their playground. It was so cute seeing how all of the kids were caring for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky…. showing them around, helping them up their structure, holding their hands. Red was a proud big sister.
  • When we got back I started to make dinner and the neighbors sent Big Bro over at 5 PM. I made some flat meat pork with a marinade and dinner was on the table really quickly. That is when the problems started. Big Bro just did not want to stop riding his bike. He rejected the backyard while I was making dinner and kept defying me when I told him not to go out front. He refused to sit at dinner, and also took out the toy bins and started dumping the toys on the ground. I’m not used to this kind of defiance so I just told him to leave the room. That we didn’t want him in the room anymore. We went back and forth and he spent some time in his room but he eventually just sat on the floor while we ate dinner. He ate nothing in defiance. I held my ground.
  • Afterwards he whined that he was hungry for close to 2 hours afterwards and I would not give in. He decided to boycott dinner so I wanted him to feel the consequences. I only offer the kids milk when they decide not to eat dinner (when I know they do like something that has been offered to them). So I offered him milk, he refused, and he went to bed hungry.
  • He was reasonably good at bedtime. He brushed his teeth, read his books, and cuddled up to me when I read some other books. The poor guy was just exhausted. I think he was riding his bike for close to 4 hours so his body must have really been tired.
  • So I’m sitting in bed, very tired, but it’s a happy tired. I feel good that I was able to spend the day with the littlest ones the way I did. And I had a lot of time with Big Bro (some great, some not so great) and was thrilled to surprise Big Bro the way that I did. It was interesting to see him interact in a way with his friends that I have not seen previously. Whizzing by on bikes, circling each other, sharing food, saying “that’s cool”. How did he grow up so quickly? I know he’s not even six and there’s so much more to come but my god it just hits you so fast and all of the sudden he’s talking and using reason and laughing at complex situations and just being such a person. I almost can’t wait for a house full of “real” people and the kind of interactions we will have… but yet I am ready and happy to wait… the time will come fast enough and I want this time while they are little and still want me close.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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