May 2: Milkshakes and straws

It was a morning of lots of hugs and cuddles. A nice way to start the day. Since I worked from home on Monday, I am going into the office today – out of normal routine.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got to the Twins as they were waking up. Poor Twin Husky did not have his Tigers with him and he asked for them immediately. I asked if he had them last night and he said No. I suggested we look for them downstairs.
  • Twin Crazy was gradually getting up and I got her to the potty.
  • Big Bro and Red were slow getting up today.
  • Downstairs, Twin Crazy was VERY clingy and we all went into the garage to look for Twin Husky’s Tigers. They were in the van. Poor guy. He must have missed them last night. But he looked really happy to see them this morning.
  • Twin Crazy was so clingy…. Mommy, mommy, mommy…. So Twin Husky wanted to be held too. I got them both on the couch and on my lap and we looked into the camera and saw ourselves and I made sure to have the Tigers in there too. They were laughing at that.
  • Red was fine this morning
  • Big Bro was battling us with his clothes. I am still convinced that he did not change his underwear or his socks from yesterday. Checking the socks is difficult because he has 12 pairs that look exactly alike. I ask him point blank if he got changed and he says “yes”… not looking at me. So I go over to him and look at him in his eyes and ask him the same question and he laughs and says “yes”. This concerns me. This kid knows how to fib and I don’t want it to progress further. We have discussions about “trust” and how once you lose someone’s trust it is VERY hard to get it back. So it’s important to have people still have trust in you. I need to think of another trick to make sure he’s getting dressed. Any suggestions Mamas?
  • Drop offs were fine. I packed shoes for the Twins but they both wanted to wear sneakers with laces (big mistake… i need to throw them out) so I had each of them holding one of those shoes. I’m pretty sure this will cause some sort of fight between them today. I’ll throw them out tonight.
  • Red drop off was great; we asked another mom about coming to the birthday party on Saturday for a friend that Red forgot about (as did I). I need to send this woman the info.
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    I’m on the ferry now and feeling OK. I was so wiped out yesterday. I feel like today is a fresh start. I have some things related to the divorce that I need to attend to and then I MUST devote the bulk of today to my client project. I hate client projects at this point. I shouldn’t be doing them. I can’t succeed at them with four kids. My work knows this. I was only staffed on it because there were no available managers at the time it was started. I can’t wait to be done with it so I can focus on my real job.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    It was a busy day and I got a lot of work done.

  • I started the day with some personal items – sending out birthday emails, making photocopies, etc.
  • I then switched gears pretty significantly to client work. I set the team up in a conference room for us to work with each other all day. I reviewed a document, had a conference call with the client to review the document. It was a good call with good, reasonable suggestions by the client. We are on track.
  • Because of this, I took the team to lunch. It was wonderful.
  • We then went back to work — I spent time creating analysis for a section of the work. It was good to have the team together. We bounced ideas off of each other and got the work done quickly. The most efficient way to get client projects done, I believe, is having the team together face-to-face even if each team-member is working on their own section of work.
  • I will have more to do tonight, likely after the kids go to bed.
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    I am on the ferry now feeling reasonably good. I know that I have work to do tonight but I think it will be manageable. I also have tomorrow “off” and plan to keep the Twins for myself – and likely pick up Red early so that she can ride her bike back from her daycare. We will also need to make cupcakes for her tomorrow so she can bring them into class on Friday. I am looking forward to being with them tomorrow.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first and her teacher was proud of the strawberries that were starting to grow from their class project. So we went to find the strawberries and I told Red that she was a great farmer.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next. They are great. Twin Husky wanted to go into Big Bro’s car seat, and Twin Crazy wanted to drive. She was busy pressing buttons and then I had a hard time figuring out how to get the doors to automatically shut. I eventually found the buttons and Twin Crazy was anxious to see if I could fix the problem. Lucky for her!
  • We went to pick up Big Bro and there were two boys left for me to invite to the birthday party. But I didn’t have their parents email address – they are kids that he plays with at “aftercare” so I wrote their moms personal notes. Hopefully they can come – Big Bro is excited. He rode his bike home but stopped 1/2 way because it was too windy for him.
  • We got home and I started to make dinner; Big Bro helped me mix some spices that I use for Mama K’s Mac-n-Cheese.
  • THE KIDS ATE LIKE TEENAGERS. Mac-n-cheese, fish, leftover pizza, string beans. All kids ate all of their food… so I decided to forego the fruit dessert and head straight for a milkshake… the kids were so excited and downed their milkshakes, and then had fun with the paper straws.
  • I cleaned up from dinner, then played with the kids. I had Twin Crazy and Twin Husky tonight and they were wonderful. They read pictures to me and even made the sounds of the animals. I am amazed at how well Twin Crazy can say her words. She is so understandable. I wasn’t expecting that of twins. She speaks her words SO CLEARLY and enunciates the sounds so well. “Duck”, “pig”, “cat”, etc. are all pronounced with the full sounds – beginning to end. I love it. And Twin Husky loves to talk about parts of the stories. His favorite book now is the Busy Spider or something like that from Eric Carle. He loves the part where the spider is sleeping and he loves to count the stars. We do our routine… climb into the cribs, touch their faces, “I……. love…… you……” in a whisper. Goodnight. Sweet dreams. Bye bye. Blow kisses.
  • I went in and gave Red and Big Bro kisses on their heads.
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    I’m downstairs now after a shower and a good face cleaning (Clarisonic, love it). I’m looking forward to tomorrow on my day off from work – a chance for me to decompress with the kids. My goal with them tomorrow is to bake cupcakes for Red’s birthday party at school.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 23: Ladybugs

    My first day back at work after a week-long work trip for the conferences that I was planning for so long. Relief. And it was great to reconnect with the children over the weekend. I’m in a good place.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Husky pointed to the parts of his head where he wanted me to kiss him. Twin Crazy said “Nossssing [nothing]” when I asked her. We laughed that she didn’t want a kiss from me yet.
  • We investigated the ladybugs that we found on a walk from yesterday. They are in a habitat and we were careful to put in some grass and leaves and some water. The problem is that I think we put in too much water. One of the two ladybugs was upside down floating in the water with its little legs scrambling for dear life. I’m not sure how long he was there like that but we saved him…. only to have him roll around again and land back in the water. It will be a miracle if both ladybugs are still alive by the time we get home tonight.
  • Twin Husky was counting his fingers. I wish I caught it on video.
  • Red was great this morning. Came down dressed and ready to eat. But we ran out of cereal. I need to go shopping this week to replenish the necessities that we ran out of from last week.
  • Big Bro came down half dressed, but his hair done from a water spray bottle and a comb. He has a thick mound of hair. He looked great except for the hairstyle he gave himself. I suggested keeping in flat in the back, but brushing it and tassling it a bit up front to give him some spunk/style. But I said he looked great and very handsome and he welcomed my huge hug this morning.
  • Twin Husky wanted me to change his diaper this morning. He also wanted me to hold him and talk to him. I think this is his way of telling me that he missed me. He usually favors co-parent and I usually don’t get this much attention from him in the morning.
  • Twin Crazy pooped in the potty! We all ran into the bathroom to see it. We all cheered! So she received two chocolate chips and everyone else got one chocolate chip to celebrate. We are so proud of her.
  • I helped Big Bro with his socks and shoes (his “mommy time”) and Red with her shoes.
  • Big Bro went off with the Motley Crew and he decided to ride his scooter.
  • I said goodbye to the Twins and co-parent went to drop them off.
  • I took Red to school and they were happy to see me back. They said she did great but by around Wednesday she was showing signs of distress. A nightmare at nap, and Thursday and Friday she was quiet. But I am back now.
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    So I’m on the ferry thinking about some things I need to do at work. I am leading a debrief call for one of the three meetings we held last week. We are also interviewing a potential hire. I have to decompress from the other two big meetings and identify the take-aways/learnings/follow ups from each of them. And figure out a timeline to get the things done and can even start planning ahead – securing the date/location and also reaching out to known speakers to get them to Save The Date. I also have to catch up on the client project that I should NOT be involved with. We are wrapping up the project and I need to make sure that we end on a good note with the client.

    I also have work to do on a personal front. This is a big week for me. Signing loan documents for my very first house purchase and making sure that things are done on my end to make everything go smoothly. There are also other big meetings related to the divorce but I feel like I can focus on this now that the big conferences are behind me.

    I am excited about shopping for the house. I will not start to do this until I have keys in hand. I am excited about getting a fence and handrails to make the front and backyards safe for the kids. Lemon and organge trees to plant… along with blackberry bushes in the back of the property. A refrigerator. A washer and dryer. And eventually, over the next month, the furniture that we will use as a family. I want to have the kids involved in this and will seek advice from our child custody mediator the best way to introduce them to their new home. I am so excited and I want to share this excitement with the children. And hopefully the separation will be a bit easier for them if they feel comfortable and happy in their new home that they helped to create with me.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a debrief conference call relating to the one “sell” meeting from last week. I took it in a coffee shop since I couldn’t get to my desk in time. There is more work to do and I’m not sure of the liklihood of success for any of it; I need to figure out go-forward plan since I don’t fully trust one of the folks we are working with… to be continued….
  • I interviewed a candidate that we are considering hiring. I like her.
  • I started to compile my thoughts on to-dos post meetings from last week. Things are looking good and I have a sense of what needs to be done.
  • Went out to lunch with the interview candidate and others on our team. It was DELICIOUS
  • I had another debrief regarding one of the conferences from last week. There are some changes that we want to do next time around relating on revenue models and other logistics. I’m feeling good with this one.
  • I had a meeting with our project team related to the client project. We have set forth a good go-forward plan for the next two weeks and will put our thoughts to paper for our touchpoint with the client tomorrow. We will need to put time against this to make this project successful.
  • I also had personal things to attend to today — this is a big week with closing on the house!!!!
  • So now I’m on a train headed to my monthly appointment with my doctor. I have a lot on my mind and talking with him is always very helpful for me. He helps me put things in focus and gives me encouragement to stay the course. This is a very busy time in my life with lots of ups and downs, but I believe the trajectory is on the way up. And I like testing these thoughts with him to make sure I’m still thinking rationally and realistically.

    I will hopefully get home in time to say goodnight to the kids and give them their hugs and be part of their nighttime routine. And later tonight I will focus on the divorce and also the things I will need to buy for my NEW HOUSE!!!!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 5: Balloons, boots, and bicycles

    It’s a beautiful Monday morning and despite my post about being completely ready for this morning, we still had our issues… you never can really be completely prepared (as you know). Red woke up in the middle of the night last night so I’m dragging a bit.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up to a discussion through the “kid monitor” about Daddy night versus Mommy night (from Daddy) which really bothered me since we both agreed that the kids should not be put into the middle of such discussions.
  • I then walked out of my room to Twin Crazy crying since Red accidently hit her with a baby doll. Accidents happen. Daddy was consoling Twin Crazy and asked Red to apologize. Red did nothing and eventually Daddy just walked away. This “discipline” drives me crazy. I am very focused about the need to follow through with what I start since it teaches kids authority and to actually listen to what we say. So after greeting the kids for the morning, giving them kisses, I asked Red what happened and if she by accident hit Twin Crazy and made her hurt. I asked her to apologize to Twin Crazy as Daddy had asked. She sat there, motionless. I said she needs to apologize since she hurt Twin Crazy but didn’t mean it. Twin Crazy was on my lap at this point. So I suggested giving her a big hug as a way to apologize. This, she agreed with. So both girls were on my lap with Red hugging Twin Crazy and Twin Crazy’s tears a thing of the past.
  • Big Bro was having a problem upstairs. He lost his Star Wars “Storm Trooper” lego and was fighting coming downstairs because of this. He needs to get his own way and little things like this just throw him into a REALLY nasty mood. I tried to get him to come down and said he needed to get downstairs to eat his breakfast for energy so he could ride his bike. After several minutes, he was still not downstairs. We were running late at this point. I gave him until the count of 5 for him to come downstairs or else he was going to lose his bike privilege for the morning. He got up, was wailing, but made it downstairs by the count of 3.
  • Vitimans for the kids all around. Big Bro was getting happier.
  • Red got dressed without a problem. Big Bro was going slowly. Needing help (Mommy time). He didn’t like his jeans which threw him back several minutes. He was running late. The thought of missing the bike drove him past his issue with the jeans and I was feeding him toast and jelly as I was helping him with shoes and jacket and backpack and helmet. He finally made it out of the house to catch up with the Motley Crew.
  • Red wanted to ride with me to daycare. Daddy wanted to ride her in. She was hanging onto my sweater. Daddy had to pry her off. Daddy talked to her saying that he wanted to drive her in and that he wanted a turn to drive her in. She was still crying and throwing a fit and clinging on to my leg and my sweater. It turns my stomach to hear him beg for the children’s attention.
  • So that was my morning. I have 3 months left to stay in this house. This will be a hard 3 months. And it will get worse from here on out.

    I think I’ll have a good day at work today. A colleague is returning from maternity leave so I will be able to get her up to speed with one of the forums we are working on together and will be able to delegate some of the survey work to her. She was involved with the previous work so it will be more efficient for her to take this piece on. I will continue to focus on securing speakers and also selling additional guests/ memberships. I’ll do some more outreach for the other forum as well. Finally, I need to connect with my team for the client project I am leading and I want to see their progress in applying the market sizing methodology to several segments as a test. I want to see if it is working, believeable, and defensible. I’m hoping they come to the meeting with me prepared, since we need to put this work in front of the client tomorrow. If the work is seriously flawed, this will throw a wrench into my working day and I will not be able to accomplish everything that I want to.

    My goal over the next few months is to shelter the kids and be successful at work. I will need to go through the divorce process which will bring its ups and downs but I need to be resilient and strong. I can do this knowing that there will be better and brighter days awaiting me on the other side.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    So busy!!!

  • I met with a colleague who is back from maternity leave and got her up to speed with a conference we are having in April. I delegated the survey work to her – it needs some focused attention up front so this is perfect for her to get involved with.
  • I continued with speaker outreach for the two conferences. I secured one speaker and need to set up details to confirm story and content to be discussed.
  • I arranged for a conversation with one of the speakers to set expectations on content.
  • I spent a good 2 hours on sales outreach for one of the forums, now that I have the topics/agenda almost settled. The best way to sell new membership is to invite the organizations as guests and then they (hopefully) convert to members.
  • I led a team connect over lunch and we talked about the office move and also staffing needs.
  • I met with my team on the client project to review and vet the methodology they came up with for market sizing. I think it’s good. It’s creative. I made some suggestions to make it better and it is headed in the right direction. We will be ready for our client call tomorrow – we need just two PowerPoint pages…. one page on methodology and another page on how we tested the methodology with real data and the results. I will review with the team tomorrow AM before sending off to the client.
  • I did some personal things…. setting up some activities for myself for the weekend since ex-Hubby is taking all the kids away to his folks’ house for the weekend. My plans are falling into place and I am looking forward to the weekend.
  • So now I’m on the ferry. The sun is out. I’m feeling good. I need to think about dinner. I’m thinking cheese quesadillas with a mixed combo of side dishes of shrimp, black beans, sliced cucumber, olives. And anything else that I have leftover in the refrigerator.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first, then Twin Husky and Twin Crazy. They were talking about how Twin Husky lost his helium balloon during the day. How it went up in the sky. And how he said “bye bye balloon”. The kid didn’t even cry. He just waved goodbye to his balloon.
  • We picked up Big Bro last. I did this on purpose. I knew he would want to ride his bike home. So we all waited for him to get his bike. While waiting, Twin Crazy was looking at her balloon and Twin Husky requested to wear his boots (instead of his sneakers). Big Bro arrived with his bike and we talked about the route home. So again we followed him in the van with hazards on, in our slow neighborhood streets. When we got to the last 5 minutes of the ride, Big Bro asked me to go ahead without him. He said he was OK. So I did. I turned the hazards off, pulled into the street, and drove away at a normal pace….. looking at him in my rear-view mirror until he was a speck. As I got the kids out of the van and gathered the bags, Big Bro came riding on into the garage, with a smile ear-to-ear. He was cooperative the rest of the night.
  • I got dinner ready. Warm tortillas, grated cheese, shrimp, black beans, olives, cucumbers. corn. It was a make your own quesadilla/burrito kind of night. Very easy. And the kids like the variety.
  • Afterwards the girls were loud and rambunctious. The boys were quiet. A balloon was floating. I changed the Twins and made them jump. Red put up some pictures in my clip-frame in my room. I love this thing… the kids pick what art/pictures they want to hang/clip and it goes on my wall on display.
  • I had the Twins for bedtime tonight. They went down easily. Big Bro cried “why do we have to take turns?” and then settled in to the routine with Daddy.
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    I’m in bed now decompressing from the day. I will have a very busy day tomorrow with back to back meetings and I’d like to also get some more work done in between those meetings…. I’ll need to get a good night’s sleep tonight. Hopefully the kids stay asleep. I also need to get some personal things done and meetings set. It seems like everything is happening all at once… everything hitting from now until end April… and in the meantime living in this house and trying to keep my distance.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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