August 22: Re-energized and hopeful post-camping!!!


Happy Monday.

I first have to write a quick update from our weekend. It was the first time that we went camping as a family of six and let me tell you we had an amazing time. The kids had so much fun – it wasn’t the “outward bound” kind of camping (Hubby used to do solo camping hikes through Alaska with only himself and a compass) – this was a KOA camping outfit with a petting zoo, jumpy trampoline, pool, face paining, playground….. and we went with a group of parents of multiples so there were kids EVERYWHERE. We were the only family with four kids and I think we were the family with the least amount of stuff. The twins had a great time climbing and falling down hills, exploring, jumping in mud puddles, and looking at REAL animals. Big Bro and Red are experienced campers so they liked the headlamps and the tent. Big Bro organized the tent for the 2nd night sleeping and he set out his spot and stole Hubby’s sleeping back. Smart kid. It was a great time!!!

Four kids camping

OK – back to reality.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got out of the shower to hear Red screaming about something and also to hear a huge commotion from the Twins downstairs. I had no idea what was happening down there with breakfast, but I ran to Red. She was upset that her band-aid came off her owie. I inspected the owie and it looked pretty healed to me. But we made an agreement for me to put some lotion on it and instead of 2 band-aids which she had before, I put on one band-aid. That seemed to work but she was still sulking and clingy.
  • Big Bro came in and I was already dressed so the 3 of us made our way downstairs holding hands. Red picked out her outfit the night before – pink shirt, pink pants, pink underwear, and Halloween (orange) socks.

My pink pumpkin

  • Downstairs, the Twins were completely covered in yogurt. We had baths yesterday and you should have seen the amount of yogurt on top of their heads. Even Red and Big Bro were laughing. I couldn’t believe it. It looked like they put more yogurt on their bodies compared to what went into their mouths.
  • Red was still sulking and a bit difficult but she finally said she wanted oatmeal for breakfast. I was on it.
  • Big Bro was in a great mood; I grabbed him shorts and he was looking forward to bringing the movie “The Jungle Book” into school today and also telling his friends about his camping trip.
  • I gave Twin Crazy a diaper change and kissed her belly, kissed her feet, and even started to “eat” her toe which through her into a laughing fit. We had a great time.
  • I only was able to give Twin Husky morning kisses – he was too busy with a shopping cart and a walker moving things all around the house.
  • vitamins – new rule: to get your vitamin, you have to give mommy a kiss. We have two sets of vitamins for Red and Big Bro so I got 4 extra kisses in this morning which was great.
  • Red proclaims: “Mommy…. I am wearing all pink and a YOU are wearing all black!!!” (I am dressed for a client meeting later today). She is so cute and really is doing a lot of comparisons between her and me lately.
  • OK…. ready to go!  I pack up jackets, diapers, wipes.
  • I find the Twins in the office, Twin Husky on top of the chair leaning on the desk with the computer mouse, and Twin Crazy by his side looking up at the computer. They are partners in crime…
  • I scarf down a bagel (thanks Hubby) and pack up some instant coffee for the drive during drop offs.
  • Drop off #1 was fine – there was a trash truck that all the kids were excited about.
  • Drop off #2 was fine – Big Bro’s hair was sticking up all over the place since he went to bed last night with wet hair. I said that his hair has “personality”. He laughed at this. We stopped in the bathroom at school so I could wet his hair down a bit… but told him that it is really handsome to have some scruffy hair and that he is a very handsome kid. I kissed his nose. He was excited to tell his teacher about camping and also show him the movie. The teacher also commented on his nice hair.

So, back on the ferry for another week. It is extremely gray and almost looks like rain. Today at work I’ll need to do some outreach sales efforts on two initiatives but also get ready for a “kickoff” with a client whose project I believe we are starting today. I feel like I’m at a point where selling the work is more fun than doing the work – but I do like the aspect of client interaction, and this project is quite contained, so I think it will work out well.

I’ve struggled lately with the changes that I need to make with my job – I created a new job description for myself back in February but that has not taken hold since we are really short-staffed. I’m trying to think through reduction in work hours and what that could look like but am terrified to do this…. some days are really good at work but some days are not – and overall I don’t feel like I have the balance I need but the cost of living where we are is so outrageous. I wish we could just take a step back and find a different part of the country that would work better for our family. This has been the hardest struggle for me – and one that I’ve grappled with ever since Big Bro was born. I feel like I’m just going through the motions on most days and my life is just going by – but too fast and not the way I choose to live. More on this later. But I think there are big changes on the horizon. Big Bro starts Kindergarten next week which will mean THREE drop offs and THREE pickups and I really can’t imagine doing that…..we shouldn’t be doing this as a family.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Got to the office and went to the ladies room to “get ready” (makeup). Oooops! Shit!!! I don’t have my make up bag with me. Damnit.  I look like shit but all dressed up.
  • Check my emails; The big proposal was sent off without a problem on Friday. Folks were congratulating each other on the great “team effort”. I’ve heard and seen this before and it really does not motivate me. I will feel good if we get the project – yet I will also be scared to shit. It will be a big one and I think quite stressful to execute.
  • I didn’t have a meeting until 1 PM so I ran to a drug store and bought some make-up to keep at work as a back-up. NOTE TO WORKING MAMAS: get a small bag together of back-up make up if you don’t have time to get yourself together in the morning and ALSO forget your day-to-day make up bag!!!
  • I checked on our budget for the white paper project and we went way over, as I expected. But it was a win-win since we developed a stronger relationship with another consultancy and that can serve as another channel for work.  Both directors involved agreed and they are encouraging me to continue to cultivate the relationship and position us for more.
  • I gave some verbal feedback to the consultant who worked with me on the Whitepaper project. She did a great job and I let her know that. As a company we are really bad about performance reviews over all, and we give NO feedback on a per-project basis, but I thought it was important for me to spend the time with her since she really did the heavy-lifting even though it was a small project. I think it’s important to recognize these efforts and communicate them to the people and upwards. So I spent time today doing that – I enjoy this aspect of the job since this is something I do differently than others. People just don’t expect the feedback so they are appreciative when they get it from me.
  • We had a meeting with a prospective client at 1 PM; we will likely start his project on Thursday of this week. He seems REALLY good to work for (smart, but easy-going – the CEO of a smaller bank) and the work does not seem complicated so I hope we win this one.
  • I spent the rest of the day on admin-related items

The ferry is really nice now – the sun is out. I feel like there are changes that are imminent in my future but I’m not certain what they are just yet. I am hopeful. If work gets to be too much over the next several months I will be forced into a change but we’ll see what happens.

I’m looking forward to reuniting with the kids; although Monday’s in general are a bit rough and I think we’re all still recovering from our camping trip. I think we’re going to make burritos tonight – even though we had them for lunch yesterday. Lowering the bar about things like this makes it much easier for us to get through each day.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick ups were great; 2nd pick up Twin Crazy ran into the street and around our van. She has been testing us with the street lately (NOT good). We also lost Twin Husky. We found him along the side of the house looking at flowers.
  • At home Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were outside running around while I was getting the mail. It was rough corralling them into the garage. Twin Husky then wanted to ride on the toy jeep. I literally had to pry him off of the driving wheel. He has gotten to be unbelievably strong.
  • Kids were grumpy; I got all kids upstairs with me while I got changed, and while Hubby started dinner.
  • Twin Husky got a diaper change and then I took them outside in the back yard. They were looking for apples at the floor of our tree.
  • Red and I went outside and took in the empty garbage cans. She wanted to do the little grey one by herself — and she did it! It was so cute. She led the way with one and I carried the other two behind her. She was so helpful.
  • Dinner was great; except Big Bro ate at the counter while Hubby was cooking and therefore didn’t want to come to the table with the rest of us; our rule is that we all eat together at the table so it was rough getting Big Bro over but he eventually did it
  • Mother’s Helper was busy folding about 5 loads of laundry and cleaning up from dinner.  🙂
  • Big Bro and Red were doing magnetic drawing boards together – tracing each others’ hands which was cute
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me clean up the toys – putting blocks in the “block bin” and play food in the play kitchen area. It was great.
  • Changed twins into PJs; kissed feet and pretended to eat toes. I loved it.
  • Time to go up!!! Twins went upstairs; we got milk for all; we read to Twins, sang songs, all kissed. They were down. So easy.
  • Big Bro was going potty and brushing his teeth at the same time (gross). I asked him if he needed help – and then I clarified with his teeth, not his poop. I laughed and said – “I can’t help you with your Poop!” but he replied “Yes you can mommy. You can reach in and grab it and pull it out. Ewh. Gross!” We were both laughing at that.
  • I did not read to Red tonight because she pushed Twin Husky earlier and did not apologize. So she did not get a story. Hubby read a quick book to Big Bro.
  • Each wanted their backs scratched; I count their scratches to 10 and then give them extra if they were good. They both got extra tonight.
  • Red got cold, then got hot so there were some changes to PJs. “You are so lucky that I love you so much… do you want to know why?? Because you drive me CRAZY.” This is a standard quote that I have with the kids that makes me laugh and them giggle.

All are upstairs now in bed; it is quiet and 8:30 PM. We had a great night together. I really enjoyed each of them tonight. The toddlers are doing so great with their words and also listening. And the bigger guys were so good with just one breakdown.

All in all a great day; a hopeful day. Not bad for a Monday!

Till tomorrow –

– Mama K

August 19: Getting ready to camp – first time as a family of SIX


I had a glass of wine last night with dinner and in my middle-age I am feeling it this morning.  We have some extra time to get folks together this morning since I will be working from home.  We are getting ready for our camping weekend with other families of multiples — this should be a crazy but fun weekend seeing all the twins and triplets.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got out of the shower hearing Red crying.  She was upset that her band-aids on her owie were off.  She wanted new ones.  The Hello Kitty ones.    I was not dressed so I needed her to wait until I got some clothes on.  She also requested that I wear the socks that match hers… the white ones with the grey toes.   OK sweetie.
  • I head downstairs to get the band aids and my socks that she requested.   I meet her upstairs and she has already picked out her clothes for the day and is dressed.   I just help her fold up her sleeves, and also fold up her pants… HIGH.   She is particular this morning so she may need some extra attention.
  • I get dressed quickly and check in on Big Bro.  Red climbs on me like a monkey.   Big Bro wants to wear shorts but he has rejected all the newer shorts I bought for him at the beginning of the year.  So I suggest he wear pants and he can wear his old shorts from yesterday over the weekend on the camping trip.  He thinks this is a good idea.
  • We all head downstairs.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are busy eating blueberries and cereal.   They are excited to see us
  • Twin Husky likes closing doors now.  Garage doors, refrigerator doors, bedroom doors, etc.  I meet him closing the garage door and almost on Twin Crazy.
  • One of Twin Crazy “lovey” blankets is clean so now she is walking around with two of them completely happy.
  • Twin Husky is playing with a stuffed animal rabbit pointing to eyes, ears, mouth, etc. and then both Twins are pointing to their own.  So sweet.
  • Diaper changes with both of them were really easy this morning since I had the 2 blankets and the rabbit as props.
  • Twin Crazy found a red marker and proceeded to write all over her hands, face, and white rug.
  • I threw some laundry into the washing machine.
  • Twin Crazy pointed to her ear which is what we do when we say that we hear something.  I listen and the dishwasher is on.   So we all go into the kitchen and look at the dishwasher.  We feel the dishwasher vibrate.  We talk about how the dishes are getting cleaned and there’s lots of water and the machine is what we hear and feel.   Twin Husky loved it.  They were so cute.  I love doing things like this with them.  Stopping what I’m doing to teach them something new.   To listen to them and react to what they’re trying to communicate and/or ask.   I really try to stop when I can for them so show them that I respect who they are and what they need.

Can you hear what I hear? Kids listening and feeling the dishwasher

  • Then the blueberries went flying and smashed in the white rug.  We just had the rug professionally cleaned so we’re not too happy about that.
  • Red was having difficulty with her cuffs – she kept getting upset about the size of the cuffs on her arms and pants; they had to be even and just right.
  • Eventually got Big Bro dressed in pants
  • Got them vitamins
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!   I was doing the drop offs solo since Hubby will come back early and therefore couldn’t take the ferry due to scheduling.  We are hoping to leave for our camping trip a bit early.    the bag with extra clothes for daycare was already packed so I threw that along with the shoes in the car.
  • Drop offs went fine — Red was still a bit particular about the cuffs.

On the drive home I’m thinking about work.   It will be a busy day getting the proposal together and sent off.  I am hoping that I will be able to leave for camping by 3ish so I do not want to be the last one holding the Master of this thing until 5 PM.  I need to get everything packed and kids picked up early so DO NOT want to be stuck with this proposal.    I’m hoping it goes smoothly today.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • At home a make a huge pot of coffee.  Eat a bagel.   Eat the leftover blueberries and cereal that the Twins did not destroy.
  • Wrote out this post.  Now I need to switch gears and get on work email to see how the proposal stands.  I have a meeting in 20 minutes to prepare for.  I’m hoping the day goes smoothly.  I’m looking forward to the weekend with the kids in a brand new environment with all activities provided to us.
  • Had a call with the team about the proposal.   There is more to do but we’re in good shape.   Some empty areas to fill but we got those areas assigned.   I now own the Master document.
  • I took the proposal as far as I could go and then sent it to our Admin for formatting – and also to merge the last remaining pieces from people.   All open items are clearly laid out so she knows what is missing.
  • I eat some lunch at 1:15.
  • We have a call at 2 PM to discuss pricing.
  • It is now 1:30 PM and I need to:  pack for all kids for camping trip (clothes, books, cards, games, sleep stuff); pack for me (clothes, beer, pills), and pack food.   I need to do this in 30 minutes (less than that actually since I’m typing right now) before the 2 PM call.
So, I’m going to sign off now.  Hopefully I’ll get the packing done and be ready for the 2 PM call.  Hopefully the call won’t go beyond 3 PM and hopefully I will not have to do anything after that.   I want to be packed, kids picked up, and on the road somewhere between 3 and 4 PM.
I’m really looking forward to our camping trip.   This will be the first time with our family of six.   My camera battery is all charged – I’m sure there will be lots to capture.   I just hope that we don’t lose Twin Husky, our outdoor man of adventure.
Everyone have a great weekend!
Til Monday,
-Mama K

August 18: Ready, get set, GO!!!


This morning was extremely rushed – for some reason hubby and I both slept through the alarm and woke up to Twin Husky talking at 7:15.   We had to hustle.   But we promised both older kids that they could take showers this morning (badly needed) – we both jumped out of bed and started RUNNING.

  • I woke up Big Bro and Red.   I got their clothes ready in piles and got them ready for their showers.  Big Bro would go in next after Hubby.
  • I grabbed Twin Husky and Twin Crazy next.  They were happy that it was morning and it was a new day.
  • I corralled all kids into our bathroom (it is actually really big so we weren’t cramped at all).
  • Big Bro jumped in shower.   He does good in the shower by himself but needs some help with the “important parts”.
  • I diapered the Twins.  They were busy playing with brushes and pointing at things and saying “That!”
  • Big Bro is out!   Get dry and dressed!   Mommy and Red are in!!!!   The shower was like a revolving door this morning.   The water never shut off.   Hubby in and out, Big Bro in and out, Red/Mommy in and out.   It was seriously crazy.
  • Mommy and Red are in!!!  Quick showers.   She is so sweet.  I had to be careful with her owie.
  • We all got dressed quickly and then ran downstairs.  Twins were already down with Hubby.  Big Bro ate a bagel quickly.  We packed an envelope of oatmeal for Red.   Hubby packed me a bagel (THANK YOU)
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Drop offs were very quick.  Hubby and I are on the ferry now still decompressing.   We had literally 45 minutes to get all four kids out today – and we were set behind because of two out-of-the-ordinary showers.   I don’t know how we did it.

Today at work I will be focusing on the proposal.   All day.   I’m not looking forward to it that much but it will get done.

The sky is foggy, grey.   Not that cold though which is nice.  A lot of people are playing with their phones and iPads.  I got some new gear for my iPad that I’m excited about and also BUSINESS CARDS for Mama In Motion.   I’m going to start giving them out soon once I become brave enough.    I will work on the recipe submission for today as well.   I’ve received a lot of recipes from folks so thank you to all.  Keep them coming.  I have a backlog now so it may take a while for you to see your submission.

I’m going to get a coffee now!

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Answered some questions to potential members of a new forum we are creating
  • Talked to the whitepaper client and she liked our work.  She will arrange to come in our office in the next two weeks to talk about other work.
  • Set up a meeting with a potential client for Monday afternoon.   We gave him a proposal yesterday and he will visit us on-site on MOnday.
  • Picked up some lunch to eat at my desk; while picking it up I stopped in my kids’ old day-care center.   We miss it there so much.  It was great to know that the kids were right downstairs in my office building — that I was close to them in case I needed to be.   We loved that center and the people there.  I even had an opportunity to hold a baby…. a TWIN that the Center Director had; she is 8 months old – I held her and I saw her brother sleeping.   How sweet.   I just can’t imagine working in a place where my kids were literally a few rooms away.   I held that baby and something just clicked in me; that mothering sway and holding her and smelling her head.   I just love it.   How amazing.   Thank you Mama J for the diversion today!!!
  • Spent most of the day working on a HUGE proposal.  It was actually a stressful day; I still had more that I would have liked to do but I had to run to the ferry.    I can’t get back on-line until 8:30 PM tonight after the kids go to bed, so I handed off what I’ve done to two other team members, who will take it further.   I’ll check email at 8:30 to see if there is something more I can do.   We will then send the draft to the East Coast so our other Partner can pick it up and work on it further since he will be 3 hours ahead.   We will likely have a team meeting in the AM to divide, conquer, and send out the final proposal.
  • Made changes to the proposal during our end of day meeting and literally emailed it to the others as I was packing up – I have a ferry to catch!

So now I’m on the ferry.   I tried to give out some business cards while folks were waiting in line but I got about 6 rejections in a row so I got discouraged and ran back to Hubby in line.   I need to think about a better pitch than “Are you a working mom?”.   Sooo lame.

I also have some flowers with me that a friend sent to me yesterday – they are absolutely stunning.   Soooooo beautiful.  Thank you so much Ted!   You are a wonderful friend and so thoughtful!

It is still cold outside, but it’s a bit sunny.   We are going camping this weekend on a trip organized by a parents of multiples club – so just imagine about 20 families going camping with all of these twins and triplets everywhere.   We’re going to start packing tonight and we will hopefully leave a bit early tomorrow afternoon.   I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Where are all the working mothers on this ferry??!??!?!??!

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up for Big Bro was  a bit sad; he was just sitting on the couch looking out of it.  He claimed his stomach hurt but one of the teachers said there were some older kids playing a DS (??? what is that?) and she asked them to share with Big Bro but they ignored her.   So he may just be sad/depressed and not really sick
  • Pick up for Red/Twins was cute.  They were going for a walk again.  They all seemed happy.
  • In the garage things got crazy.  Twin Husky kept pushing the van button to open, close, open, close the van door.   Then I went around to the other side and he was running away from me.  He is such a boy.
  • Inside things got progressively crazier.   I set up Big Bro on the couch with a movie.
  • Red requested socks.  Don’t ask me why she took off her old socks with her shoes and why she needed a new pair.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a rubber band which frightened me a bit.
  • Twin Husky got lost.  I heard him, but could not find him.   I eventually found him in his room with the door closed.   “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyy”.   I had to go over to him and tickle and kiss him on the floor he was so cute.
  • We’re doing an old standby for dinner – boxed mac n cheese and chicken nuggets.  Hubby and I are going to order Indian Food for us.
  • We talked about camping.   Red asked if we will bring “SACKS” there.   I said, “Socks, of course we can bring socks there.” “No mommy, not sacks, SACKS.   Like graham crackers.”   Ohhhhhhhhhh.   Snacks.   “Do I have lions in my ears again?”   I applauded her for going out of her way to explain to me what she meant, instead of breaking down in tears like she usually does.  She’s getting so much better at her conversations.
  • For some reason we kept walking up and down the stairs – I don’t remember why.   Red pointed out that we were both wearing white socks with grey toes.   She has a thing for socks lately.
  • Mother’s Helper was busy doing laundry and rearranging the closets.
  • Daycare asked for more clothes for the twins so I packed stuff up for them for tomorrow and next week.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a book.  Someone (Hubby) eventually read it to her.
  • All kids ate well at dinner, including Big Bro.
  • Hubby started packing for the camping trip – all of our gear.  We may need to get some flashlights because I have a feeling the little ones will be fighting over them.  It would be good for each of us to have our own flashlight.
  • Twins went down for bed
  • Notary public came to the house for us to sign loan docs
  • We rushed Red and Big Bro to bed
  • Signed loan docs
  • Ate Indian food
  • Hubby is now continuing to pack; I wrote a list of clothes and food to pack tomorrow (I will work from home).
This was a crazy day – running non-stop essentially the entire day.  After I post this I will need to check work email to see if I need to do anything with the proposal tonight.   I swear the tension in my neck and shoulders is so bad…. this whole day was running.    But I got some good tickles and kisses in there and Red was really cute today with lots of interaction and talking and mothering her little brother and sister.
All in all a good day, but hectic day.
Til tomorrow –
– Mama K
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