Aug 9 and 10 recap: SAHM in the summer

It has been a busy two days for me so I collapsed into bed each night without a post.  I had the kids and wanted to take advantage of the summer time with them before school starts.   The school year for us will involve many highway trips in early morning rush-hour traffic so I wanted to enjoy this time with them on my days off before the school year begins.

Thursday, August 9:

  • We woke up to chickens.
  • Chocolate Thursday at Mommy’s house!   Red teased a chicken with her chocolate tortilla roll-up

  • We hit the road to get Big Bro’s backpack which we forgot a daycare the day prior.   I took the opportunity for us to introduce Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to their new daycare room when the “school year” starts.   Red showed Twin Crazy the potty (very small!  Very cute!) and they used it.   Red helped her wash her hands and showed her where the soap was and the paper towels and trash can.   Big Bro showed Twin Husky the kitchen set (Twin Husky loves playing kitchen) and they all experimented with the couches and the books.   They were having a great time.  We showed them the cubbies for their “stuff” as well as the hooks for their jackets.  Both indicated that they would like to come here for the day and play and learn.

  • From here, I was spontaneous and decided to take them on a train ride.  We talk about the trains all the time when we are commuting on the highway.  I talk about how I take that train to work and how it goes into the city to my office.   They have been asking about going on a train ride and going to my new office.  Big Bro and Red did not have the opportunity to see my new office and they wanted to see it.  So I called in advance and then we headed over.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!  The kids were great.  We all stayed together.   We parked and remembered the number of the parking space. We paid for parking together and then we went through the turnstile and up the escalator to wait for the train.  On the train we stood up and looked outside and also had some time underground.  They were very brave.  And the older kids looked after the little kids.   I told them how many stops and when to get ready for the next stop.  THey were excellent and followed directions so well.

  • Along the street we had a long 5 blocks to walk, but again, we stuck together, held hands, went slowly.   It was lunchtime and there were lots of people walking about but all were generally good / patient with us.  I got a lot of comments.  I love going places with all of these kids.   I love being able to do things with them in tow.    Especially when they are so good and are able to take in so much.   We talked about the city, the big buildings, how people move fast, how we used to live here, the streets where I used to move the stroller with Big Bro and Red.

  • In the office we were surprised to learn that there was a birthday that day.  So they brought lunch in, and better yet, cupcakes.  That was a huge hit with the kids.   They were extremely talkative with my co-workers and very lively and funny.  Big Bro was showing off his Lego plane.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy playing/talking/fighting like twins.   Red was quiet, but cute – we talked about her “sibling haircut”.   Twin Husky asked my boss “do you have a penis?”.    He is on the boy/girl thing and yes, they talk about penis and vagina body parts all the time.  My boss (who is kidless and in his 60’s, about to retire), indicated “Yes, I do have a penis.”.  OMG.

  • The kids made it back AOK on the 5 block walk to the train station and on the ride back.

  • When we got home it was dress up time.  I tried to get the Twins down for a nap but it was impossible.

  • We headed next door to see the neighbors and the kittens.  They invited us over to the pool.  We gladly accepted.
  • At the pool the kids were having an amazing time.  My other neighbor showed up at the pool with beers and pizza so we made a night of it.  We met more friends of neighbors and more kids that are Big Bro’s age.  Nice kids.  They hit it off.  I love it here.  I gave big hugs to all when I left.  The folks were great going into the big pool with Big Bro and Red while I kept my eyes on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  Big Bro wants me to get the phone number for the new kid he met so he can continue to play with him.  He had a great time with him tonight.

  • We saw deer as the kids were getting ready for bed.  A mother and her baby.  The baby has gotten much bigger since we’ve seen it last.

  • The kids slept well.   (As did I).  It was a full day.

Friday, August 10:

  • We again woke up to chickens.
  • The kids did art activities while I straightened up the house a bit.   I started a lot of laundry.

  • After snack I took the kids to the playground.  A part of the playground where there is sand and a structure with a water pump and spouts and pipes.  The kids had a great time.  Big Bro was in his Batman costume.  Twin Husky was completely immersed in his building, pounding, scraping, water activity.   He was in his own world.  Twin Crazy had fun playing a little more conservatively than her brother.  But she loved the sand and the water.   Red was very apprehensive about the sand at first.  She didn’t like the feeling on her hands.  But once she got into it she loved it.  She was making me sand meatballs.

  • We headed home for lunch and naps.  Again, the Twins refused to nap.
  • We played outside in the blow up pool since it was so hot outside.   They were enjoying it but Big Bro was having a hard time.  He dumped the pool upside down.   I don’t know what his problem was but I sent him inside.  I set up the kids again, and then I went in to get Big Bro.  We sat on the rocking chair together, with him on my lap.  He was cranky at first but we had a conversation.   How I thought his behavior was not that friendly and if there was something wrong.   He wouldn’t answer.   We then just talked.   Talked about school, about how much fun that will be, about math, and science… and he told me he didn’t want to go to aftercare since you can’t bring your toys out.  So I told him that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there would be no aftercare.  I would pick him up from school and did he like that?   His face smiled.   And on Monday and Tuesday, we were going to see if he could go home with the Motley Crew (friends behind co-parent’s house).   He seemed much better then.  He was ready to play with his siblings again.

  • We played in the pool.   Red asked me to sit in the pool.   The kids were all pouring water on me and I was carrying on enjoying myself with them.  They were laughing.

  • I took the opportunity while Red’s hair was wet to actually try to cut it to even out the sibling haircut.   I think it looks OK.   She doesn’t seem to care.

Before you knew it, it was time to head to co-parent’s.   On the way, we drove by the parking lot where I park for my commute, and also the train station where I go on Mondays and Tuesdays.  The kids wanted to see that.

The kids were in good moods.  They had very active days and I had a lot of time to spend with them collectively and individually.

I went food shopping and bought gas and then headed home – doing these activities helps me to avoid the rush-hour commute traffic on the way back.   I was tired when I got back.  I played with Cocoa a bit.   Did some gardening/watering.   Did some work on my computer with photos.   Then called it a night.

I had an amazing two days with the kids.   I was able to get things done and also spend a lot of time with them.   They are feeling more and more comfortable here and I love it.

July 13: Great day because of a dead car??!!?!

It’s Friday.   My car is still dead.  Battery.   This was a sweet blessing.  I couldn’t drive Big Bro and Red to daycare.  So instead, we had  a day at my house.  I usually take them out on activities while I have them all, but today we were stranded.  So it was a bit unusual but still so sweet.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Twin Husky, Twin Crazy, and Red all at the same time.
  • I checked the car.  Yes, it was dead.  YES!
  • I decided it would be a long breakfast day.  Pancakes.  Shit.  I only had a tiny bit of the instant stuff.  The other stuff requires milk and egg.  I had no eggs.  SHIT.  Big Bro and Red offered to go next door to our neighbor’s house to sweet talk some fresh eggs.  It worked.  They said they must be for breakfast.  Big Bro and Red replied “Pancakes”.   They each came back with one egg.  One orange, one blue.   Fresh from the chickens.  I love this place.
  • The kids made a maze for Cocoa which included his house, his new toy tunnel, and a huge blanket.   There were some fights over who could go into the “girls room”.   For some reason Twin Husky is always the kid that is left out.  He is sometimes backed up by his twin Twin Crazy, but oftentimes not when in front of big sister and big brother.  I had to enter the room and bring Twin Husky with me, and remind him to be well behaved, not throw anything, and not put anything in his pockets.
  • Afterwards some of us fed weeds to the chickens and also rotated the compost bin while we were out there.  
  • I was checking and responding to emails.  I conference call that I had scheduled at 10 AM was cancelled.  Thank goodness since I took the call originally thinking I would be on the highway.  Now that I was home with all four a call with a client would not have been possible.  I’m glad it was cancelled on me.
  • The kids were enthralled by the sewer guys doing routine maintenance cleaning out the roots and debris from the underground sewer system.  The workers had to use the backyard to get to a sewer cover in the back.  They commented on the work that was done in the backyard, and that the other neighbors did not have the tiered patio the way that I do.  They complimented the look of the house and congratulated all of us.  The kids just wanted to know if there was too much poop that clogged up the sewer or not.
  • Big Bro saved pages in his Star Wars Lego encyclopedia for the different sets that he is interested in “building”.  He must have had 20 pages flagged.  I asked him to narrow it down to 1 or 2.  He seriously got so excited at the thought of a new set that he anxiously ran into the house to start culling the possibilities down.
  • I did some laundry and the kids loved it.
  • Then we just did some relaxing.  I was making lunch and turned around to see Red reading a book, the boys playing quietly with Cocoa, and Twin Crazy getting set up to read.   So sweet.  I love hanging out in the house with them, just being ourselves.
  • There were a lot of flies in the house so Big Bro went hunting for them with a fly swatter and then I carried the dead ones over to our venus flytrap.  I showed the kids how the flytrap works by putting flies into the leaves and they would quickly close.  How cool.   There’s no shortage of flies in this house so we’ll probably gather them faster than the plant can consume them.
  • The twins went down for their naps.




Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • Red and Big Bro were playing with chickens.  Red was picking them all day long.  She is really good at it.  The chickens just let her swoop them up.  There were a few times I caught Twin Husky chasing them with a rubber mallet and I’m glad the chickens are as fast as they are.
  • Big Bro and Red went shopping with me on my iPad for Lego sets.  I got one set for each kid.  Big Bro and Red helped me to pick out sets they thought that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky would like.  Big Bro was having a great time shopping.  He was great when I would sometimes say “too much money” and would not even cause a fuss.   Some of these Star Wars sets are outrageously expensive.
  • After naps, we snacked.  Twin Crazy then sat down and read some books out loud again.  I love this stage that she is in right now.
  • Kids went outside to run while I was waiting for roadside assistance for yet another jump-start.
  • It finally got there and the kids had a good time watching the car get “fixed”.

After dropping the kids off I went to the Toyota dealership to drop off the van.  They gave me a car to use in the meantime.  I Prius!    Half electric, half gas!  It gets 50 miles to the gallon!!  I love it!  I asked when they would come out with a minivan and the salesperson laughed.  They will be coming out with a station wagon and SUV so maybe a mini-van is not that far out of reach several years from now when the Toyota “dies” for good.

I had fun driving home and decided that I did not want to go home right away.  I went to a hot spot in my new town where they have AMAZING lamb-burgers (only 20% ground lamb… but SOOOOOO yummy).   A beer also hit the spot.  It felt good to be out.   In a normal environment.   I felt good.  I had a good day with the kids essentially doing nothing.   They were reasonably well-behaved except for the “my room” thing and teasing Twin Husky.  

It is chilly outside and I am typing in my living room under a cozy blanket with the fireplace on.  And a fly zooming around my head.  The crickets outside.   It was a good day.

Happy weekend all –

– Mama K

July 5: Responsibilities and work

Thursday is here and I’m pretty psyched. Today I usually do not work and have responsibility for the kids. However, I’ve been instructed that Big Bro and Red need to be taken to daycare on my days off, even though I keep Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me, even though it is just daycare, even though I do not work on these days and WANT to be with them, and even though Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are now forced to ride on the highway FOUR times to do the drop offs and picks up with me.

I’m psyched today because co-parent “allowed” me to keep everyone home today and tomorrow since he had a vacation with them on Monday and Tuesday of this week. So I had the day with the kids, ALL of the kids, and it was great.

Highlights of the Day:

  • The kids woke up at 8 AM. They hopped in my bed and I loved it. Red brought in “Cocoa” they guinnea pig and I hoped she would not poop in my bed.
  • We had a fast breakfast and all got changed. I picked some weeds and feed the chickens as the kids got changed.
  • We hit the library in my new town to check it out and get the kids library cards. IT IS HUGE!!!!! Big Bro knew how to get a library card. I did this with him at our old house. Thie kid needs to know how to write their names by themselves. So that was easy for him. The big news is that Red is now writing her name too!!! So she got to sign up for a library card too. I told them the responsibility that comes with having a library card. How they are responsible for taking care of the card and for taking care of the books we borrow. They were pumped. We all headed to the books and passed a huge section of DVDs that I got excited over. We picked out books first, one for each child, and then went and picked out 2 DVDs. They were all excited.
  • We snacked outside of the library and made it to the car in one piece. We had some lunch and then the Twins took their naps. I read their new books to them.
  • During naps we played with Cocoa, watched some TV, and did work in the yard. Me and Red worked together to dig holes, water the earth, and plant corn stalk sprouts that were given to us by our neighbors. She was great with the hose. She also found time to chase chickens and she picked up two on different occasions. I’m calling her my “chicken whisperer”. She’s really good at getting them and they seem to like her. Her face looks so proud when she holds them – she tries to hold back a smile which is so cute. Big Bro helped me to repot a raspberry bush to a bigger outdoor pot. They both really enjoy the one-on-one time and working together with me.
  • After naps, the kids played on scooters, and I continued to work in the yard. I used some shears to cut back some trees in the driveway. Big Bro swept.
  • The five of us took a walk to the mailbox for a break – someone was crying beforehand and I needed a diversion.
  • I then got adventurous and started to “weed wack” the mass of dead weeds in the backyard. WHY DID I WAIT UNTIL NOW TO START USING IT? THE THING IS AMAZING!!!! The weeds come down within seconds and seriously the yard looks so much better. Big Bro and Red were turning my Tumbler of compost, and then also got rakes to clean up the dead weeds. They were both working so hard. So cute. Twin Crazy was scared of the weed-wacker.
  • I started dinner. All kids ate like teenagers from all of the hard work. Big Bro said I guess we are good gardeners. And I have a green thumb!
  • I cleaned up and the kids played. Afterwards we sat and relaxed and started to watch a DVD about baby animals. Twin Crazy squealed. I made air-popped popcorn and the kids went nuts. They love that thing. Then it was time for bed.
  • Big Bro did not want Cocoa in my room any longer. He asked if she could be kept in the kids rooms. Sharing weeks. One week in the Boy room, one week in the Girl room. Red and Twin Crazy were fine with that idea. I told them that having Cocoa in their room comes with responsibility. Whomever’s room she is in, needs to make sure she has enough food each day and also needs to pick out her poops from the cage. They all agreed to this plan.
  • We brushed teeth and read books in the living room. Someone noticed deer ourside in our backyard (probably puzzled by the new look of the yard and the lack of flowing weeds). All kids went nuts. Twin Crazy was later scared about the deer and Big Bro admited that he was scared a bit too. I reassured them about the doors and the house and the alarm. That seemed to work.
  • Everyone went to sleep immediately. It was a full day.
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    I am now sitting in bed and feeling great; but also thinking about the list of things that I need to do for the custody evaluation, financial mediation, and also getting my new lawyer up to speed on my case. I really need to get a lot accomplished and its just too difficult to get motivated. I just want to sit in this house and enjoy myself with the kids.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    June 21: On the road, again

    Thursday not working! Unfortunately I spent most of the day driving.

    Highlights of the morning:

  • The girls woke up first and we sat together in the living room reading books, and then sitting with the guinea pig, still nameless. Red was holding her as Twin Crazy tried to feed her.
  • The girls wanted an activity and wanted to color. I let them know the file cabinet drawer where all of their paper and crayons are. Red found a bag of small colored squares that looked interesting and pulled them out…. she started sorting them by color and Twin Crazy started to help her.
  • They then went on with their coloring activity.
  • Out came Twin Husky with his hair sticking up. He immediately went over to the guinea pig’s cage to say good morning.
  • The three ate cereal like champs. Out came Big Bro half dressed. He wanted to spend time with the guinea pig too.
  • We headed out the door – I’ve been instructed to take Big Bro and Red to daycare even on my days off (don’t get me started….). So off we go…. slowly…. in traffic. By the time we got there it was 10:10 AM and I didn’t know that Big Bro had a field trip (Karate) starting at 10:00 AM. I wish I knew that so that I would have been there earlier. Red’s drop off was fine.
  • Me and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky headed back to my place. We got stuck in traffic again on the way back. Twin Crazy was crying and wanted out of her car seat. We started to sing Old McDonald’s Farm which seemed to work for a bit.
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    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • The kids found beads and sunglasses and we had fun dressing up. We read books. We cuddled on the couch. I couldn’t believe it was time for lunch. I made burrito ingredients and had fun watching the kids build their own burritos. They ate really well.
  • We all napped.
  • As soon as we got up I shoved some cookies in their faces and we headed to the car. I saw that a flower was blooming off of one of my shrubs that I thought was dead.
  • Our first half of the trip was smoothe sailing but I shuddered looking at the other side, backed up with traffic ALL THE WAY towards the city. On our second highway we got stuck in traffic. This did NOT make Twin Crazy happy. We talked about the diggers, the graffiti, the trucks…. and sang some more.
  • It was great to see Red and Big Bro. Apparently Big Bro hit a homerun this afternoon. I love hearing that about my big little man.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I decided to pull over and get some food for the way back, knowing that we would be stuck in traffic. I grabbed grapes and mango juice, and some more tortillas. The snack of grapes and juice disappeared in less than 10 minutes. These kids can EAT. The ride back was much better since all four of them were there and there was much more conversation. We talked about the trains, how I take that train to work, the motorcycles, the clouds, … … …
  • We played with the guinea pig as soon as we got back.
  • I then started to make dinner. As I was cooking I overheard Big Bro teaching Red addition and subtraction. He asked her to do it with her fingers. She was answering his questions correctly. I applauded them for learning together and working together. I love hearing the kids teach each other things. We all have things to learn from each other.
  • We ate dinner and afterwards I went outside to weed. I asked the kids to come outside to play. Big Bro did his “job” of watering the strawberry plants and the trees. Twin Husky wanted to “help” me weed so he had his weeding tool and pushed around the weeds that I gathered. We then collected the green weeds and brought them over to the chickens. That was a BIG hit. The kids loved bringing over the weeds and feeding the chickens. I had kids going back and forth and giving them green icky weeds and they loved it. Big Bro then got into weeding himself, and said that he wanted to do more of this on Sunday. He is way too funny.
  • Twin Crazy pooped her pants so that was a good segue for coming inside.
  • I got the kids ready and read to the girls first on the couch. They were VERY serious about not letting the boys in their room. So of course the boys joined forces and acted silly with each other running in and out of their room. It is really sweet to see them interact with each other now – They are 4 years apart but really starting to interact.
  • I read to the boys next; and then the girls again in their own room. Twin Crazy repeats EVERYTHING that Red says. If Red is too hot, Twin Crazy is too hot. If Red wants water, Twin Crazy wants water. If Red has an itch, Twin Crazy has an itch. Again, so sweet. My little parrot.
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    All kids are asleep now and I hear guinea pig rustling around every now and then. I’m not sure what to do about tomorrow. I have to drop them off at co-parent’s at 6 PM but will have little time with them. I’d like to spend time with them in the AM, drop off Red and Big Bro, and then maybe stay in that area and go to a library or beach or something. Someplace where we can grab a snooze. Then pick up Big Bro and Red and do something. Maybe a museum or the zoo. I just don’t want to spend the whole day driving on the highway and also missing out on my kids. Anything to avoid having to take these toddlers on four trips on two separate highways, in traffic each way. I’ll figure something out tomorrow and will likely pack up the car with extra clothes, food, etc. It will be an adventure.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    June 6 & 7: Thank goodness Nana is here

    I missed yesterday’s daily journal posting.  Sorry.  Really.  I’ve just been a bit crazed lately.  Moving.  The arrival of my mom (YEAH!!).  So I fell asleep just before typing it out.  Sorry again.  So I’ll recap the last two days.

    Wednesday was a 1/2 work day for me.  I remember being busy.  Sending out lots of emails and sales outreach for a forum we are trying to launch.  Getting conference calls set up.  I was very productive.   I was also excited about the day ahead.   My mom was flying in for a couple of days.  I was excited to see her and show her the new house.  I need some reinforcement in my life (and help with the move) so was glad for her visit.

    After work I picked up Big Bro.  We went to Toyota to get some floor mats installed.  Now the car REALLY looks good.   Big Bro was excited about the free bottles of water and the granola bar snacks.  I was excited about the Starbucks coffee.   After that, we went to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.   We then went to Red’s daycare.  I had a short conference with her “teacher” which went well.  She is right on track.  While I was doing the conference the 3 other kids played.   Afterwards we picked up Red and then headed to the airport.  My mom arrived just as we did – great timing!   We headed out to the new house and the kids were all talking and telling Nana about it.  About the chickens, their new rooms, the planting, and their new friends.  They were all excited.

    As soon as we got there the kids wanted to show Nana their rooms.  So cute.   Then of course we took the trek up to see the chickens.  Red was following one around that was cruising in our back yard.   We did some lawn watering, talked with the neighbors, and got my mom settled.  Before you knew it I had to get the kids back — I had co-parent order a pizza; poor Big Bro fell asleep in the car and didn’t wake up for dinner. 



    I woke up and started to dismantle my bed.  The kids were enthralled.   The rest of the morning was uneventful, I think.  I played with the kids and felt good.

    Big Bro went to school on his bike.  I took the rest of the kids to my house.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  The place looked incredible.  My mom was up until 1:30 AM the prior night (4:30 AM east coast time after flying all day!!!) cleaning and organizing my kitchen.   The place was really straightened up everywhere else.  Boxes were stacked and there were clear paths to walk.  Whew.  Thank goodness my mom is here.

    We spent the day eating, organizing clothes, finishing the kitchen, clearing a path to the chickens, picking up Big Bro, accepting package deliveries from Amazon/UPS and FedEx, receiving my shed, almost receiving my washer/dryer (I need to reorder — GAS dryer…. damn it), getting AT&T to install a phone jack, getting ADT to install a security system….. more playing, more eating, …. we went out to dinner and all kids ate like champs.  Then they started acting crazy so we fled.

    I left my mom at the house to enjoy peace and quiet.   She looked exhausted.   She was thinking about more work with kids clothes but I really hope she hit the sack instead.

    Once we got home the kids went to bed and I went to Home Depot.   It is amazing the $$$ you can spend there.  I have to cut myself off soon.  I think I should be good to stay clear away from there for awhile (I hope).

    I got home and showered.  It was badly needed.  I smelled like ass.  I mean, I actually smelled myself so you know it was bad.  I hadn’t showered in 2 days and essentially was wearing the same clothes so it was really, really, bad.  I’m now typing this freshly showered, body very sore, with wet hair.  I love the smell of my skin right now.   I’m really happy.   Things are coming together and I love my house.  I love the space.  I love the yards.  I love the neighborhood.  I love how it looks, how it smells, and how it is mine.   And how my mom approves of it (at least she says).   Yes it is small but it is all that we need.   And it is beautiful.  And we are making it a home.   And I can’t wait to get there tomorrow to start another day there.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    May 25: Getting back

    I know it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written anything. I’ve been doing this since July 2011 and this past Wednesday and Thursday were the first times that I skipped writing a daily journal.

    I just didn’t have anything left in me.

    On those evenings I either was up until past midnight writing divorce-related correspondence, or just so physically and emotionally exhausted that I passed out immediately after putting the kids to bed. So, nothing was written. But I will remember these past several days well, unfortunately.

    I cannot begin to tell you the feeling of a 3rd party telling you that you must take your older children to daycare for two days during the week during the summer, even when you have those days off from work, even when you have two younger kids to look after. This denies my children of ME when I am available for them (particularly during divorce, when they need me the most) and denies the children of EACH OTHER. I am infuriated yet also feeling defeated. It just does not matter how hard I try. I can’t get through. Just looking at facts and the implications of such decisions and using PLAIN COMMON SENSE does not seem to work. I am drained. Simply drained. Shouldn’t these kids be allowed to be with their mother and their siblings during these TWO days? How does daycare trump this time with me and their siblings? I just don’t understand. And I can’t talk to co-parent about it. He doesn’t see it. He doesn’t see the implications.

    Anyway, today was a great day. All of us strollered/rode bikes with Big Bro to school. I then spent the rest of the day at the new house putting more things together. I worked on the second bunk bed which is going much, much faster than the first since I know how to put the pieces so there is less dismantling and re-starting. The Twins slept like champs. I took a client conference call to wrap up our project (YEAH) and also to t-up more work. I have a proposal to write so I’ll need to have that ready for Tuesday / Wednesday. I pulled some weeds. We looked at chickens. We saw chickens strutting by our back door. We then saw a big pile of chicken poop at the front door and started laughing at it. I said “now that’s ridiculous” and the Twins were repeating me. Things are coming together. It’s feeling so comfortable there. I love how I have an office. It has a great view to the back yard.

    I think we are going to be so happy here.





    There is more to write… …so much more. This is really a roller-coaster part of my life. When I feel like things can’t get much worse, it does. Sometimes I feel like no matter where I turn I’m getting punched, and punched hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m kicking so hard trying to stay above water but no matter how hard I try I’m still gulping down water and fighting for breath. And the people who should be protecting me are failing me. And people who were my friends are keeping their distance. And I have no where else to turn. And nothing is my choice. I am shoved through a system where there is one way of doing things and no one listens.

    But then, briefly, a ray of light. The strawberry plants are growing. The chickens are friendly. The weeds are not that difficult to pull and are coming out of the earth by with their roots. I do have friends reaching out to me and who are worried about not hearing from me. And that matters [thank you!]. I just need to take a deep breath and regain some strength and confidence. And no matter what anyone says, or what anyone dictates, I still have four beautiful children and they all call me “mommy”. I am still their mom and will still try my best to do what is right for them. And no third party will ever be able to change that.

    Have a great long weekend everybody
    – Mama K

    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

    May 17: Chunks and chickens

    Today is one of my days off from work – I have the Twins but made extra time for Big Bro and Red too. I am solo again tonight.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and I brought her down with me so I could monitor her. In the AM, Red came in the room and got into my bed fully dressed and ready to go for the day. She is ready to ride her bike with the Motley Crew today! I asked her if she wanted to stay with Twin Crazy while I took a shower. She did. I gave her some toys to keep her occupied.
  • Twin Crazy still wasn’t ready to eat a real breakfast. It took her awhile to warm up to some cereal. I’m glad she ate a bit.
  • Big Bro was playing his dirty underwear game again. Why doesn’t he just change them? I held my ground and started walking out the garage and then he got changed. As soon as he was changed he was an angel, helping all the siblings get ready for their Motely Crew ride.
  • This was the first time for Red. Including her, we had 10 kids. Red was in the back of the line but she kept up with everyone just fine. She was more confident and having more fun (I think) on the way home.
  • We packed up the van and headed to her school. We dropped her off a bit later than usual but she was happy to be there with her friends.
  • On the way back I called the doctor and made an appointment for Twin Crazy since this is her 4th day with a fever. It is viral. Nothing in her ears or chest. She has a blister in her mouth. The doctor said this should be on the way out for her. Whew!
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    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I continued East and went to the house. I had things to do there and also wanted to check on the lawn. The Twins were with me and they loved the yard, the sprinklers, and the CHICKENS!!! They were both squealing over them. The neighbor is very nice and gave each of them a fresh egg. The sun was out, the birds were singing, and the chickens were squawking. My kids were thrilled and I was happy.
  • We had some lunch – pasta and bananas – my first meal at the house. They each broke their real eggs so both were very cranky. Twin Crazy peed on the floor. Then they took a nap. They are so easy when it comes to sleep. I opened up one of the new mattresses and spread out a fuzzy blanket. I asked for each of them to share the mattress and then covered them with their own favorite blankets from their cribs. They were out in 5 minutes.
  • While they slept I put together 4 bar stools and brought in some other boxes of stuff. I also mopped up the floor from smell of fresh eggs and urine.
  • They woke up, we looked at chickens. I looked at weeds. We did more sprinklers, I met a neighbor with small kids.
  • As I packed the kids up, suddenly Twin Husky puked all over himself. I wasn’t sure if he was sick though, because he seemed fine afterwards. We picked up Red earlier than ususal, and on the way to get Big Bro he barfed again. OK. It’s official. It’s a virus and now the other twin has it.
  • Big Bro didn’t want to ride his bike back so he came with us. I ordered a pizza.
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    HIghlights of the Evening:

  • All kids ate well, surprisingly. I kept my eye on Twin Husky and he looked fine. Twin Crazy on the other hand was very clingy and sitting on my lap.
  • After dinner, Twin Husky found some of my expensive face cream and spread it all over the living room window.
  • I decided to give him a bath since he puked all over himself twice today. While upstairs and right before getting into the bath, he puked pizza and spaghetti all over the bathroom rug. OK, this kid is really sick. I dunked him in the bath real quickly to clean him up. I wrapped him in a towel and held him. I got him changed and gave him medicine.
  • I read to the Twins, wanting to call it an early night for them. They are both sick and I just want them to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Red and Big Bro were fine; She was dressed like a princess and so damn cute. I read to them and let them play quietly since it was still early and the sun was still shining.
  • I packed up some things and was in the garage when Big Bro and Red came down saying that Twin Crazy wanted them to sleep in her room. So I said sure, bring in your pillows and camp out in their room.
  • I went to check in on them and Twin Crazy was in Big Bro’s bed, and Red was walking around talking. I couldn’t believe that Twin Crazy was in there! She was just laying next to Big Bro and they were comforting her since she was still sick. She was smiling at me. I asked her if she felt loved and she said “Yes”. I put her in her own crib and she said “goodnight” to Big Bro and Red on her way out.
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    I am now downstairs and tired. It was a good day but dealing with two sick children is hard. I felt so bad for both of them today. Poor Twin Husky. He seemed fine all day. I loved being at the house and it is coming together nicely. I have a lot more work to do there though, obviously. I can’t believe the amount of weeds. The grass is brown but the weeds are growing all over the place just fine.

    I can make this a home for them. I know I can. And I knew I made the right decision on this house in hearing my kids laughter at those chickens and seeing them playing in the sprinklers with each other on the front lawn.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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