Staying Sane: Couch monster


This past week involved a lot of shifting around my little living room.   This was to make room for the Christmas tree.  I bought the cheapest, fake tree I could find.  So, it is actually quite long and skinny.  Which is AOK by me, since my little living room can’t really hold a lot of tree.   Anyway, dealing with the small space and trying to free up room by the windows to make room for a gorgeous, decorated, tall skinny tree was in order.  And guess what we found while moving the couch sectionals around the space…

  • 1 remote control
  • 1 piece of art from the kids – a picture of a hand-drawn fire truck that was beautifully drawn and colored
  • 5 bouncy balls, 1 golf ball, 1 other random ball
  • an assortment of Lego pieces
  • 1 pair of rabbit ears
  • the equivalent of a bowl full of popcorn and unpopped popcorn seeds
  • a hair clip
  • countless bits of crayons
  • some plastic toy bugs
  • about 5 marker caps
  • 1 empty bottle of children’s play nail-polish
  • some kids books
  • a few puzzle pieces
  • massive amounts of fuzz
  • likewise, lots of hardened coal-like guinea pig poop

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So, if you are driving yourself crazy trying to find that little “do-dad” that either you are missing, or worse yet, your child is missing (and thus throwing a tantrum and falling to pieces), there could be a possibility that the couch monster that was at my place is now at yours.   It might be worth a look under the couch to see what kind of gold could be lurking…

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

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Dec 5 – 7 Recap: Short school days


I’ve had a busy rest of the week with the kids.  Big Bro has had early dismissal all week because of parent-teacher conferences.  I reaped the rewards for this.

Wednesday:

  • Worked from home in the AM but I had to leave on the early side due to Big Bro’s pick up at 12:30 AM!   🙂
  • We went to lunch together.  I learned that he likes cranberry juice.
  • We then went food shopping together.  He helped me pick out the things on sale and I showed him the prices by the ounce for comparison.  Which is higher, lower, etc.
  • Then it was time for his conference!   He needs work with his writing and reading; but is great with comprehension; his math is good.  He’s on track.  He is “social”, and “chatty”.  He was caught passing a love note to a girl in class (teacher admits that she is a cute one and many boys also like her).  He was shy at first and took a month to open up – but in her opinion it was on the “normal” side and not out of the ordinary.  Whew!
  • Pick up for Red, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky was great.  I missed them so much.   Huge hugs.
  • We went home and the kids were having a great time wearing boots – Red’s came from Amazon and Big Bro was wearing mine.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky already have some.  They were going nuts with each other.
  • We finished the evening playing hide-and-seek in my little house.   Too funny.

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Thursday:

  • Drop of for Big Bro was fine; I decided to “steal” Red for the day since we would have to pick her up at 12:30 anyway.  We stayed local to avoid too much back and forth.
  • I took the kids to a science museum.  They had a great time learning about ghekos’ feet, tumbling, playing with balls and ramps, looking at dinosaur bones, playing with computers and pegs, and climbing on structures outside.  They were great.
  • We picked up Big Bro and when we got back we started to put the Christmas decorations up.  They worked together and were so cute.  Twin Husky kept saying that he “loved” certain things about the decorations – so sweet.
  • Afterwards they went crazy with blankets and sheets – tearing everything off and creating a mountain.  I was disgusted.  I reminded them that this was a lot of work to put back together and they were responsible for it.  Red and Big Bro worked as a “team” (in their own words) to put the sheets back on the bed.  They did both beds so I was amazed.  They agreed that it was very hard work.  They also agreed that it was “bad judgment”.

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Friday:

  • Another good drop off; another stolen day with Red.  We went to a “farm” where you can give the animals lettuce.  We fed cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, lots of goats, and a ram.   We all wore our boots.   Then we went to a playground on the grounds.
  • On the way back, I stopped at a nursery and bought lots of seedlings for the winter garden.  I hope I’m able to plant them soon before they die.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was great – I love these early days.  We headed home since there was still lots of time until drop off to co-parent.
  • We finished decorating the tree since I bought hooks today.   We put up the balls and only a few crashed.   They each settled on “jobs”.  Red took out the balls from the package, Big Bro put the hooks on, and Twin Crazy put them on the tree (kind-of).  Twin Husky participated when he wanted to.  He was more interested in playing with cars.
  • They played with Legos, cars, and magnet dress up dolls.  Big Bro then went to a neighbor’s house to play soccer and ride bikes.
  • Then it was time to go!!

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I got back home and cleaned up a bit; organized the tree and moved some of the decorations around since it was very bottom-heavy.   I put together some more of the planter boxes for the garden.   My goal tomorrow is to set up the boxes and then carry down some dirt.   I’d like to get the boxes filled between this weekend and next so I can plant next weekend.  Very excited.

Have a great weekend –

– Mama K

November 28: Getting back to the “normal” routine


Monday. After a 4-day holiday (home made play dough, visits to the beach, visit to a steam train, going out to lunch, putting up our tree…..). We were a bit rusty this morning.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up super early since I thought I had to take an earlier ferry into the city today for an early conference call. I showered, got dressed, and 5 minutes before I was about to leave I checked my email on iPhone. Good thing I checked because the meeting was cancelled! But I had to coordinate with my admin to push back a second meeting since I would be a bit late for that. So, this morning was already a juggling act for work.
  • Red woke up first, happy. I heard Twin Husky saying “Mommy… mommy….mommy!!!”. He was walking up the stairs trying to find me. I love this with him. We’ve recently gotten much closer and I love it.
  • Twin Crazy was busy with oatmeal all over her mouth and cheeks (so cute) and also busy bringing around the “new” Christmas stuffed animals from room to room. Twin Husky was transporting them too – using the toy shopping cart.
  • I was busy this AM finishing some laundry – getting bags packed for the kids and linens for sleep time.
  • The kids were in a great mood since the tree was up. Everyone wanted to get changed and ready in the toy room where the tree was. It’s amazing what some lights and little ornaments do for a small child. Wonderment. And the Twins this year are 22 months old so this is somewhat new to them… they didn’t really “get it” last year. This year, they were helping with the decorations, pulling the decorations off of the tree, eating the gel decorations off of the windows, etc. So cute.

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  • We divided drop offs this AM. I took Red. She was clingy. It was a rough drop off. We talked about the home-made play-dough we made over the weekend, the book that she brought to school, but she was still clinging on to me and reaching out to me as I left. I think many kids were having a rough time adjusting to “school” after a 4 day block of time at home with their families.

So now I’m on the “normal” ferry and headed through the fog to the city. Although my first meeting was canceled, I still have 3 other back-to-back meetings as soon as I get in. And one will be pushed back a bit because of me and my schedule. These are one-on-one feedback meetings, and I need to go “heads down” and focus on my client deliverable for the rest of the day.

There are many emotions going through me lately. I am really happy with my work arrangement, for the first time in years. I feel like I have the balance that I need and that my family needs. My older kids talk about my “home days” and I’m already thinking of the kinds of activities I want to do with the Twins. Things they can’t do at their current daycare. Puzzles, reading, excursions to museums, going to the library, or just rolling around and playing with Mommy. It’s all good. This was a move in the right direction for my life, my happiness, and the experiences for my kids.

Highlights of My Working Day:
It was a good, busy day.

  • I led 1:1 feedback calls with two members of the 2nd forum I am managing. This is with a separate Director and he found the calls to be extremely valuable, and he personally thanked me for initiating the process. This forum has been running for 20 years and I’m trying to take a different approach where it makes sense to do so and these 1:1s are important to me to make sure we’re providing the right value to the group and also for me to develop relationships with the leaders of the companies.
  • I [finally] started to devote real time to my client project and develop the thinking into the presentation we will provide to them. I enlisted help of more junior staff to help me fill in the pieces so I think this will go much quicker than I originally planned. Whew!!
  • I led a team “re-group” where we got together to talk about business proposals, client work, team availability, and learnings as they relate to sales or even the debrief learnings from my 1:1 sessions with our forum clients.
  • For the rest of the day, I spent more time on the client project, and also had to handle some administrative items, including getting ready for tomorrow – I have another day of back to back meetings; some debrief, some sales. I’m finding that with this new work routine I need to prepare the day before since my days are generally filled with meetings – squashed into 2.5 days.

I am now waiting for my appointment. I am feeling generally very good about things. I feel like my work is headed in the right direction. I’m thinking about the doctor appointments I need to schedule for the kids (and dentist). I feel like I’m getting my routine better coordinated and can go through these weeks with more confidence. I will miss my kids tonight though. I will probably have some time with Big Bro and Red, but not much time. So hugs and kisses and quick conversations about their day will have to suffice for now. My goal will be to connect with each of them and really listen to what they have to tell me – not just quickly say goodnight to them. Maybe I’ll ask each of them if it was good to see their friends today after the long weekend, and what did they specifically do with their friends that made them laugh. I like that.

Till tomorrow –
– Mama K

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