May 8: Sometimes you try so hard and it just doesn’t matter

It is the end of the day and I can’t even begin to explain the complexities of my day today. I was working, running, picking up messes, delivering client presentations, baking cupcakes, wiping butts, … …. …. and sometimes you work so hard and it just doesn’t matter.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Chocolate Tuesday. Kids ate great; the morning was uneventful with the exception of some good bonding time between Red and Batman. Twins were in great moods and probably supercharged from the sugar.
  • Big Bro and Red both got dressed quickly and we were all out the door without a problem. Big Bro woke up to a Spiderman helium balloon that I tied to his bed the night before. I do that for each of the kids on the mornings of their birthdays.
  • However…. the Twins’ daycare provider could not take them today because of a funeral. And I STILL did not have back-up care lined up with the exception of a neighbor and I hated to impose like that… so I dropped Red off and came back with the Twins, hoping I could find the solution
  • I immediately looked for their immunization records which was needed by Red’s daycare to have them come in on a drop-in basis. Great news…. I found them no problem. Bad news… I left a message for them in the AM but they didn’t get back to me until 10 AM and by that point the festivities (tragedies) of the day were already in full swing…
  • We played with Batman for a bit. Twin Crazy had fun holding him.
  • Twin Husky showed me his “work” from the other day – a card that he was drawing on. I overheard the twins talking about it with each other and Twin Husky asking Twin Crazy to sit with him. They were so cute. I got them set up with paper and markers for “their work” so that I could begin my working day too….
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had one conference call at 9 AM which I was able to muddle through most of the time on mute. But there were still some Twin talk in the background so I’m sure I didn’t get away scot-free.
  • It was the call at 9:30 that was the serious problem. I mean, a HORRENDOUS problem. It was a team meeting for a joint sales presentation we are delivering next week. Essentially I am organizing it and I’m a bit stressed at the lack of participation from our business partner and also their lack of understanding of what we are trying to do. I am very protective now of the business development efforts we do and am hesitant to bring in partners, for concern over their own motivations and using our client relationships…. anyway…. i digress. At one point in the conversation the Twins really started to get crazy. And I was leading this call. There was no way to go on mute. So I simply went outside in the yard to finish the conversation. It was literally only 10 – 15 minutes of outside talk time. Having twins does not simply double the trouble. No way. Because they team up with each other. They work together to elevate the trouble to an entirely different level. Within the 10 – 15 minutes, they (one of them) brought their little chair over to the refrigerator, and began to empty the entire ice dispenser out all over the kitchen floor. Then, they (someone) started with the water spout from the refrigerator. Then, twin Husky started filling up water cups and when I came in he was in the process of dumping the entire cup all over Twin Crazy’s head. So of course that erupted into wails. I quickly walked outside to finish the call, albeit in shock. In two minutes I was back inside, waddling through a sea of ice-water in the kitchen and dealing with two wailing Twins who were freezing cold. It was at this point that Red’s daycare called me back and said they had room. I asked when can I bring them over and they said “as soon as you can so they can transition”. THANK YOU GOD.
  • I gathered their things and told them what was happening. They know Red’s school well – I bring them there all the time to either pick her up or drop her off. So they were excited that THEY were going to school. To play with friends. To play outside. To color. To sing. To read books. To eat. To go night-night. We packed up their blankets, Twin Crazy’s lovey, Twin Husky’s Tiger. Changes of clothes. The class was in the yard when we got there. We got to see Red. The Twins fell right into the outside routine with all of the kids. I was impressed. Twin Crazy just went off and explored and started to play with a tricycle. Twin Husky was investigating a play structure. Twin Crazy was smiling ear to ear. And then squealing with Red, who was looking over the fence with her friends. Twin Husky was clingy when it was time for me to go. I asked Twin Crazy if she was OK and if it was OK if I go while she played at school, and she said “yeah” without a problem. No tears from that one. It got me a bit down seeing them in that environment. I really don’t think the daycare where they are now is good for them at this stage in their development. They need to be with other kids besides themselves.
  • I ran home and had enough time to bake 24 cupcakes for Big Bro during his aftercare class. I was running short on time but I needed to do this for him since it was his birthday and he was expecting the cupcakes. I guess someone else would have been preparing for the client meeting – but I was focused on those cupcakes for my child. You only turn 6 once, and he is at an age where he remembers these things.
  • I got myself ready in record time – big client presentation for my client project
  • I dropped off the cupcakes but the aftercare door was locked. I went into the kitchen of the school and left them with someone with specific instructions about the aftercare building and Big Bro’s name. She said for me not to worry he would get them.
  • I hauled ass to my client meeting. Stopped at Trader Joe’s for a salad.
  • We had the meeting. It went well. I made the mistake of mentioning to my Director on the team that I might have to leave early. He rolled his eyes. After the meeting he mentioned that I seemed distracted. Hmmmm. Maybe a divorce underway? Home purchase? Children in a daycare center that is brand new to them? Me rushing all around this morning not even knowing if I was going to make it to the meeting? My kid’s birthday? Wondering if the cupcakes got to him OK? Thinking about the flood in my kitchen that happened not even 4 hours ago? Distracted? OF COURSE I’M DISTRACTED!!!!!!!!!!!! So it doesn’t matter that I bust ass to try to get this work done, even though I tell them that it is virtually impossible for me to do client projects….. I got there. I presented well. I was confident. I didn’t even look at the deck before presenting. These things just don’t bother me. I was there. I made it. But it didn’t matter. I was “distracted”.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I got home in enough time to change cars to the mini-van and also buy gas. Then went straight to daycare to pick up the Twins and Red. They were so cute sitting at the table having a snack. The teachers said they had a great time, no tears. They stayed close to each other most of the day. But they had fun. I loved seeing them there. They said goodbye to everyone on their way out.
  • We picked up Red and she was excited to see us.
  • We then picked up Big Bro. I asked him about the cupcakes. He said there weren’t any cupcakes. I asked the workers about the cupcakes. They said there weren’t any cupcakes. WHAT?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! You mean I bust my ass to get these here and there ARE NO CUPCAKES?????? It’s not even the wasted effort or the rushing that pissed me off… it was that I disappointed Big Bro. He was expecting cupcakes at aftercare. And we talked about it. And they didn’t get to him. I felt like a failure. I felt like I disappointed him. I was probably more disappointed than he was, but I still can’t believe it.
  • He rode his bike home. I asked him to think about what he wanted for dinner. He wanted mac-n-cheese (boxed kind) but with two additional pasta shapes added to it. I add real cheddar cheese to this. So he picked out the shapes.
  • As the water was starting to boil, we went in to cuddle with Batman. The kids are holding him and he is getting to know us. We were all there except for Twin Husky. Big Bro decided to go to the kitchen to start on the cheese mix and he ran back into the room saying “Mommy… something REALLY bad happened in the kitchen… you’re not going to like it……”. I was immediately worried about Twin Husky….
  • The floor was flooded AGAIN. Twin Husky was no-where to be found. Big Bro found him upstairs hiding in Big Bro’s bed.
  • Dinner went great; we all ate everything
  • 3 saved cupcakes split between 4 kids along with ice-cream went great. We all sang happy birthday.
  • Presents went great – we received boxes from my mom and dad for Big Bro to open; Big Bro got some clothes and FOUR lego sets having to do with superheros.
  • After dinner Big Bro worked on Legos. Red held Batman. Twins were acting crazy.
  • I started on Twins bedtime routine and did lots of kissing with them and talking about school. They were both tired.
  • Downstairs I worked with Big Bro on the Lego sets and picked out the pieces for him as he followed the directions.
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    They are both drifting to sleep now as I type this outside of their rooms. I had a very busy, hectic, crazy extreme day. Lots of kid-time, but lots of disasters. Flooded kitchens, crazy conference calls, last-minute back up child care, a child’s birthday, missing cupcakes, and a Director that doesn’t understand what it is like to be a mother consultant of four small kids that is going through a divorce AND buying a house and thinking about cupcakes and what to do tonight to make her son’s birthday special. He just doesn’t get it. I was THERE at the meeting and in the end it doesn’t matter. I will hear about how I was distracted.

    At least the kids were all happy today. At least Batman is beginning to trust our family. At least the closing on the house looks promising for tomorrow. And at least we are all breathing, and living, and with each other in this moment. And at least Big Bro had a great birthday, from what I can tell.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 4: Jelly beans and the potty

    Wednesday – a work from home day. I love these days.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up to Red walking into my room with a huge smile just a few minutes before I was to get up at 6:30 AM. She is the early riser. I love it when she comes downstairs to greet me like this. She climbed into my bed, very talkative as usual. Today she was talking about eye dirt and how it is hard and sometimes hurts your eye.
  • She found a key chain rubber chicken in my room. Long story. It basically is a gag gift from one of my colleagues who retired. He was collecting rubber chickens through the years and when he retired he donated them to me since I have all these kids. Red found the key chain and started asking what a chicken was doing on a keychain and in my room. Good question.
  • She put some princess tattoos on a table in my room. So sweet.
  • We went upstairs to get Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Crazy went potty and we were proud of her.
  • I walked out of my room with some old ice-cream bowls and she completely caught me in the act. “Hey… what is that???!??!?! Were you eating ICE-CREAM?!?!?!??!?!” I was completely snagged. She’s too fast for me. I can’t get anything by these kids.
  • Twin Crazy somehow saw the chicken and adopted it from Red. She loved the chicken. She kept talking about the chicken. She wanted to bring the chicken to daycare.
  • Everyone packed up their stuff and both Red and Big Bro had huge backpacks. Cute.
  • Big Bro and Red wanted me to drop them off… this was going to cause a problem…
  • We were all early so had enough time to all go into the van and make the two different drop offs all together. First the twins, then Red/Big Bro.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I made it home in time for a conference call with a potential speaker for our forum. We scored big. This woman and organization are amazing. They will have a lot of value to add to this meeting and hopefully for future meetings as well.
  • We had a second call with a different potential speaker and scored there as well! YEAH!
  • I had a conversation with my Director about a client project we are finishing and then later we had a call with the client. They are happy with the work and will likely complete it early next week.
  • I sent out some other logistics for the forum planning.
  • We tried to have a conference call with our other client but had some phone issues. So I missed the call. There is work we need to do with our thinking and will need to get cracking on that quickly to regain the traction we had with them.
  • I did some other personal things and made a lot of phone calls. I also had the chance to talk to my dad, who is in India, through ooVoo. Truly amazing… check it out.
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called the quits at 3:30 PM and picked up Red and Big Bro. I promised to pick them up early and go shopping for jelly-beans for Red’s Easter party this Friday. They were both excited to do that.
  • I found out that Red packed a huge stuffed animal duck in her backpack this morning. Ridiculous.
  • We went shopping for jelly-beans which was fun.
  • Then picked up the Twins – they were spinning around an ottoman. I continuously crack up at how entertained they are at the most basic of things. You honestly don’t need to buy a lot of toys when you have a 2 year old. Especially twins. They entertain each other with EVERYTHING.
  • We got home and I dished out 2 jelly beans per child. That’s when I saw that a bag was already opened. It was Big Bro. I had a conversation about “trust” and how important trust is. How it’s important to have people trust in you and that if you lose that trust, it is very, very, very difficult to get it back. So it’s really important that you do things to make people have trust in you – and not do things to damage that trust. I talked to all kids about that.
  • Later, I was cooking. Big Bro was helping. Red was helping set the table.
  • One weird thing happened… Red went to the bathroom but didn’t make it in time… she had a pee-pee accident all over herself and the floor. That’s just strange. I closed the door quickly with her and said that its OK, that accidents happen, and that I closed the door so no-one has to know about it. Big Bro did knock and I fibbed and told him that I was going to the potty and needed privacy. I cleaned Red up, and we ran upstairs to find new clothes. She was happy.
  • Later still, I heard all kids laughing. They were giving themselves pedicures with Red’s toy nail polish.
  • We took a walk to the mailbox to get the mail.
  • Red was holding Twin Crazy and having her sit on her lap. Big Bro apparently wanted to have time with Twin Crazy too. There was some sort of fight and Red wound up crying. I got both kids to tell me their sides of the story. Big Bro told me the truth, that Red fell when she was holding Twin Crazy, but that Big Bro did push Red afterwards. I probed and it was because he wanted a turn with Twin Crazy too. I said that it was great that I heard the truth from both of them, asked Big Bro to apologize to Red (he did), and then asked Twin Crazy if she could take a turn with Big Bro. This all seemed to work.
  • Big Bro was amazingly cooperative with me the rest of the night. No whining, no temper tantrums. I think our discussion about “trust” helped and also the fact that I was sitting and listening to his side of the story and also that I had a chance to pick them up early and spend some time with the older kids by themselves. He was just so good tonight.
  • The kids ate great; after dinner we had 3 more jelly-beans each (Big Bro helped Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with theirs – they picked the colors and he gave them to them), did Tickle Monster, went to the potty (like 5 times – each time Twin Crazy asking for a chocolate chip), and also played hide and seek. It was great being the tickle-monster, with all of the kids hanging on me and running in circles around me and everywhere I reached there was a child and a good tickle.
  • I had Big Bro and Red tonight. They were wonderful. Each picked out one book, and cuddled down with me to read.
  • Big Bro had some bad poops tonight and his butt hurt. I put A&D and now he is sleeping 1/2 naked with a towel between him and his sheets so he doesn’t get the medicine on his sheets. He can be very particular.
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    Now I’m typing in the hallway outside of Big Bro/Red’s door. Big Bro is already sleeping. Red is wide awake, drinking water, changing her pajamas, etc. But she is not crying. She knows that I am here, she hears me typing away. I feel good doing this. I am out of sight, she can rest her body and fall asleep, but she knows that I am nearby and not downstairs. There is just too much distance there. It causes problems that I think are un-necessary. So I will continue to do this for as long as I have to, for as long as I’m still in this house.

    I honestly cannot wait to get out of this house. I am looking forward to finally moving on. It will be so much better for me – and hopefully indirectly for the kids – after we move on to the next step in this process. I am already thinking of ways to bring “fun” into the process for them and make it easier for them – an adventure in so many ways – an adventure that I want them to share with me to the extent they are able.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    January 3: Hectic, hectic morning… still recovering…

    First day back to the normal routine – getting four kids ready, three drop offs, and a race to the ferry to commute to the city. It was tight. We literally dropped Red off at daycare with one sock on, and two shoes in her hands. That’s how tight it was. I’m on the ferry now, heart still pounding realizing I really need to get in shape. I know that’s what everyone is thinking right now with new year’s resolutions, so I’ll join you in that.

    Highlights of my Morning and Commute:

    • Still getting used to my “new normal”. Where is my comb? Where are my shoes? Toothbrush?
    • Grabbed instant coffee to get myself started. I had a terrible nights sleep due to allergy attack from cat dander from hand-me-down clothes from friend. I’m still sneezy.
    • Grabbed the piles of clothes from upstairs for Red and Big Bro. For some reason they just stepped over those piles without putting anything on. I still think it’s a great part of the routine to pick out the clothes the night before…. if they put them on by themselves, I guess that’s an added bonus.
    • Chocolate Tuesday – even with the Twins. There were four chocolate faces that I kissed this morning. Twin Crazy was very vocal asking for more bread and chocolate. And a banana that fell into her oatmeal. I rinsed it off and we all laughed and both twins continued to talk about the fallen banana.
    • Diaper changes. I love that time with the Twins. Twin Husky was looking at Twin Crazy’s bear so that threw her off into a tantrum. Full fledged now. The type where she throws her body on the floor. She is a fire-cracker. She was fine when it was her turn and Twin Husky gave her the bear back.
    • Twin Crazy was fixated on washing her hands in the bathroom sink, even though I already washed her hands with wipes. She is stubborn and if she has something in her mind she needs to follow through with it. There is no side-tracking her (unlike her brother).


    • Big Bro got dressed just fine. Red was a problem, as usual as of late. Issues with the shirt, issues with the socks, etc. I had to physically maneuver her arms and legs to get her dressed. I should not be doing this with her – and we were tense since we were running extremely late.
    • We grabbed the kids and headed to the van. It will be tight to do all three drop offs at this time: 8:10AM!!! We rushed the Twins in – Twin Crazy was asking for Sponge Bob. I know this daycare provider keeps the TV on all day long which I hate. And now these Twins can talk and tell us what they do during the day. Big Bro drop off went smooth. Red was a mess. She was half dressed but smiling.
    • We tore into the ferry parking lot and just made it onto the ferry. I have no make-up on, wet hair, and have no wallet.

    This was one of those days where the blood pressure was sky high. On the drive to the ferry parking lot, I looked back in time and asked myself how the hell did I do this 5 days in a row non-stop with four children and multiple drop offs from July 2010 to November 2011? It was crazy!!! A good, competent nanny would have made life a lot easier for us but would have cost more money and the thought of hiring one was daunting for us – even though we interviewed several.

    Anyway, I’m glad that I’m only doing this routine two times a week now, thank goodness.

    Work will be busy today. I not only have to finish off my documents that I wanted to have completed by year end (dropped the ball here) but there are some meetings scheduled that will take my time. I’m looking forward to getting to a fuller office with people. Talking with adults and hearing how their breaks were.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • Got more coffee and a danish on the way to work. Put make up on in the bathroom. OK now I’m ready.
    • Went through emails, got caught up. Wrote a to-do list
    • One conference call canceled; yeah
    • Started to prepare for another call that I would be leading, relating to sales efforts for a new forum. Shit. I haven’t done shit about outreach to prospective clients. So I reached out to everyone on my list and actually got great feedback from 3 prospective clients!!! YEAH!! Procrastination to the new year worked!!! 🙂
    • I attempted to do the meeting minutes from months ago but just can’t seem to crack that one. I need to offload this task to someone else the next time around. This is ridiculous.
    • I found out that a teacher of mine from High School passed away from cancer. I just sat there feeling the loss for several moments. I’ve felt so much loss over the year but this was a different kind of loss. And fear. He couldn’t have been more than 20 years older than us and was the closest teacher-friend I had in school. Hearing news like that just reinforced that our time here is limited and everyone should be doing the things that bring happiness. Despite the upheaval in my life right now, I am actually happier now than I’ve been all last year and possibly longer.

    It was good to be in the office today. I enjoyed catching up with my colleagues and talking about their breaks with family. I also needed to talk about mine as well. I feel good today but fear this is the calm before the storm. So I am going to soak in the happiness now while I can. And hug my kids and look into their eyes and talk to them – all of them – we have no babies in the house anymore.

    I’m on the ferry back and it is sunny out. I head back 1 hour earlier to get Big Bro and the rest, and also to get dinner started. It makes a difference. Dinner is usually done by 6 PM which curbs the crankiness and gives us lots of time to connect with the kids before they go to bed.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I picked up Red and she smiled, jumped from her chair, ran over and slammed into my legs with the biggest hug. Her teacher said that she was in a great mood all day since her best friend was back from vacation. We picked up Big Bro and the kids hid behind composting trash cans on the way out. I kept asking where the kids were and if my kids were carrot tops, old bread, potato peels… they were giggling. Big Bro made a calendar at school and circled this Thursday since that is the day his new sheets will arrive. Twin pick up was great. Twin Crazy needs to do her top buckle by herself. Twin Husky enjoys pointing to the moon and talking about the moon.
    • I cooked dinner – fish, curry cous-cous, frozen string beans. All kids devoured their meal. We actually ran out of food. It was kindof crazy as I was cooking. Twin Crazy was standing on a stool turning on and off the lights and saying “Its dark in her now.” Twin Husky was on top of the small table, and also pulling another small chair around to see at the different counters, put the TV on, and get himself into trouble. Twin Crazy needed a diaper change, BADLY. And then she demanded to wash her hands at the bathroom sink non-stop (actually for the rest of the evening). Big Bro was fine, playing Legos. Red was also fine, until she got into a fight with Big Bro and started a crying fit. I sat with Red, then Twin Crazy wanted to sit with us. Twin Crazy sat on my lap too and we talked about how Red was sad and how she was crying. Twin Crazy helped me console Red by patting her back, rubbing her back, and talking softly to her. I wish I could have taken a picture of it, but my camera was not with me and I did not want to disturb this sisterly moment.
    • I threw in some laundry before I sat down to dinner so our mothers helper could be busy. We literally have between 7-10 loads of laundry per week.
    • After dinner was play-time; I was busy running around and chasing the kids, tickling them, wrestling with them. I think I wore them out more than they wore me out.
    • We received 12 tubes of kid’s toothpaste from Amazon. They are excited to keep toothpaste upstairs for night-time and downstairs for after breakfast brushing.
    • Big Bro asked where his sheets were now. On a ship? I replied probably on a truck or a plane. I also said that we can track the shipment so I’ll do that with him tomorrow.
    • Bedtime was easy; their favorite book right now is The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. That book was one of my favorites when I was a kid and I love that they now love that book too. We talk about the pictures and the story and which parts scare them and they always seem to come up with a new question for me. So sweet.


    Today was a good day. Despite the mad rush in the morning, the rest of the day was low-key and the morning actually made me appreciate the days where I do not have that crazy commute.

    I’m going to take it easy now in my new set up and enjoy my surroundings. I think I’ll also learn how to stream movies/shows from Amazon since I’m an Amazon Prime customer. I should be able to do that for free but don’t know how…

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    p.s. Both Big Bro and Red just came into my room, smiling, climbing into my bed, laughing, climbing all over me, hugging me, laughing, laughing, smiling, hugging… saying to me that they each needed more “Mommy time”. My heart melts. I cannot resist. I hug my babies close to me and feel thankful for the love they give to me.


    December 14: A lllllloooooonnnnnnngggggg Day

    Wednesday. I usually work a 1/2 day from home. This was not one of those days. A meeting with a potential client could only be scheduled for today at 4 PM (we’ve been trying to schedule it unsuccessfully up til this point) so since I had to have the meeting at 4 PM, I decided to keep all kids in daycare/after-care and simply put my head down and get work done. But it started early, and it ended late – it’s 9:30 PM right now as I try to pull this post together.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Woke up extremely early since I had a 8 AM conference call scheduled with a client. I ran to the shower and tried to boogie to get myself together.
    • Red came into my room and was so cute how she was playing with her Christmas confetti from yesterday. She was treating each piece like it was gold. She spread all of the pieces out and then sorted them by color, then by shape, then made shapes out of the pieces…. all the while treating each piece carefully and not losing track of any of her treasure. It was so sweet how meticulous she was and how enraptured she became of the pieces and the games she was creating with the pieces. She’s getting savvy with me and my phone camera so refused to smile for a picture so I decided to capture her only her treasure in a photo, alone.
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    • I tried gently to get Big Bro up. He is not a morning person. The poor guy is always so tired in the morning; I’m convinced that this kid still needs an afternoon nap. In fact on weekends, he can nap for 4 hours without a problem (except getting him to fall asleep) on a Sat or Sun. The poor guy. I gathered clothes for Big Bro and Red, and then asked him to come downstairs with me and hold my hand. That seemed to work. I’m trying to be extra-sensitive to the “mommy-time” I give to each kid.
    • Once downstairs, the concept of a child’s “treasure” intrigued me. So I wanted to capture Twin Crazy’s treasure of thumb-sucking blankets and her bears that she needs for comfort, as well as Twin Husky’s “tiger” (he has two, one tiger and one white leopard). I was successful at capturing Twin Crazy, but she figured out her zippers so she is 1/2 clothed. As for Twin Husky, he started to unzip his PJs too but you can’t see it – the picture is awful because he was playing hard-to-get with me. But nonetheless, here are the Twins with their “treasures”.
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    • For Big Bro, I really didn’t capture any of his treasures but I can talk to them. He is very particular and an extremely opinionated and loyal child to his treasures. His Hess line of toy trucks, airplanes, race-car and digger are some of his favorites. He also treasures his scooter and the freedom it gives him to ride to school with him up ahead of me, but me close-by and following his lead. He likes to collect things and organize them. He also is into beads lately. He keeps his smaller treasures in an old diaper wipe container, the plastic kind with the push-top lid. He needs to sleep with a big pink teddy bear (that was given to us when Red was born) and Bullseye, the trusted horse in Toy Story (I call him “that horsie-guy). And now I know what images I can share with you:
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    • We were very rushed this morning. Running around like mad trying to get kids fed, dressed, and out of the door in a reasonable time so Hubby could do the three drop offs, I could make my 8 AM call, and he could get to the ferry by 8:30. Thankfully my phone was on and I noticed that my 8 AM call was pushed to 8:30; So I gathered Red, and Hubby gathered Big Bro and the Twins, and we were off. There was no way Hubby would have ever made it if my call was not pushed back. Tension was high particularly between Hubby and Big Bro — being rushed while tired is not a good combination for the little guy.
    • Red’s drop-off went great. Her performance at pre-school is tomorrow where they sing songs for the parents. I encouraged her to sing real loudly so that the back wall can hear her. I told her I was proud that she knows all of the words and am so excited for her – it will be a fun game for her and her friends to sing real loud and let the words just come out of their bodies. I hope she does OK….. this will be the first time for her in this sort of thing…..
    • I raced home and refilled my coffee, booted up my computer, and started to dial-in to the conference call that I was leading – hoping that my computer would get going already so I could access the key document that I need to have on hand….

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • 8:30 conference call with a client to get feedback from our meetings; again, he offered good, practical suggestions to provide more value to him and likely the group at large.
  • 9:00 conference call with a potential partner who we may be working with to develop a new forum which we are pretty excited about. If it succeeds, it can be a game-changer in the industry. This person called me so we could talk about what the day could look like and what story needs to be communicated to get these potential participants to agree to collaborate and work together — if so, we create another forum for our firm, one which could actually get a lot of visibility in the market…. I really want and need this to happen. So will work hard to make this first meeting (hopefully in the Spring, aligned with our other forums) a success.
  • 10:30 conference call with a Director about logistics, hotel deposits, and how much we are willing to “invest” in the above mentioned effort should our participation rate be lower than expected. Sounds like we have a good plan.
  • In between meetings I started pulling meeting minutes together from our last forums – these really should have been done much, much earlier but I got side-tracked on the one-on-one debrief sessions with our clients. I get much more charged out of speaking with clients and getting frank feedback to make things better, versus putting boring meeting minutes together. But they are important. And must be done. Soon. So I started on them.
  • Had breakfast/lunch. Soup and leftover cous-cous from the night before.
  • 1:30 conference call with a client; he wants more specifics and detail in the deliverable I sent to him, which will require more time – I thought about the extra time and decided to make him happy. I’d rather have a happy client versus one that is disgruntled, especially if it is only going to take me 4-6 extra hours of work. I can deal with that. I mobilized an Analyst to help me with some of the tactical things of converting PowerPoint content to Excel and then I started fleshing out one area of the deliverable to send to the client to see if the further detail was what he was expecting. Hopefully he won’t require much more. If he is OK with it then I will finish of the work with him next week.
  • 2:30 conference call with a Director and an Analyst to talk about a proposal we are completing. We got the Analyst to start pulling the proposal together based upon prior work that we did for the client 2 years ago. Essentially they want the same work but “refreshed” so she can leverage that first proposal as a starting point for us to review early next week.
  • 4:00 conference call with a prospective member of one of our forums. So it was a debrief session as well as a “sales” meeting. He cannot commit just yet, but needs more information from us; I invited him to come to our next meeting again as a guest to hopefully push him over the line. I need to convert these “guests” into real clients!!!
  • I was tired from the day. I didn’t eat much. I was tired and starving. I got the kitchen ready for cooking for when I came home with the kids. A pot of water was sitting on the stove, chicken nuggets were waiting in the toaster oven, the frozen veggies were sitting in a bowl in the microwave. All ready to go for when I arrived with four little ones…

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red. She was busy with her friends and they were “reading” books. She was holding a book like a teacher with the pages facing outward and “reading” to her friends. I heard her little, loud voice from across the room. I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to take a picture though… pity – it was too cute.
  • The ride with Red was beautiful since the sun was setting. We pulled over to enjoy the view.
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  • Pick ups for the rest of the kids went fine; we looked at the holiday lights on the houses. I gathered all the kids inside and powered up the stove, microwave, and toaster oven. I was solo tonight since Hubby was out after work and I wanted things to go smoothly. All kids ate an enormous amount of food – I couldn’t believe it. I had to tell them to listen to their bodies and stop eating when you feel full. They were just going nuts. They started eating off of my plate – Twin Crazy, Big Bro, and Red as a joke but they kept going. It was seriously out of control.
  • After dinner they played around a bit while I started clean up; I also started to put together a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda for chemical-free cleaning. The problem was that I didn’t know the correct measurement. So the bottle seriously started to expand and almost explode. The tension inside of the bottle was fierce. I loosened up the cap and it was a volcano. The stuff was exploding through every single crevice of the bottle. I thought a small piece like a nozzle or something was going to fly off. Me and Big Bro were mesmerized by it. He thought of the volcano experiments we did in the summertime and both of us started laughing. We had a few squirts left of the cleaning mixture when all was said and done, and we had a good time explaining the story to our mother’s helper when she (finally) arrived.
  • I played with the kids. We did horsie-back rides. The kids were waiting in line on a chair waiting for their turn. This is the only exercise I get. Running around the house with kids on my back. They were really cute though all screaming for horsie-back rides (even the Twins, saying all three words) and waiting their turn.
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  • We then cleaned up all of the toys – I put each kid on a “job”. Twin Crazy was on balls, Big Bro was on folding blanket, Red was on kitchen toys, and Twin Husky was just wandering and trying to help but taking things out instead. The “responsibility boards” are working REALLY well – “pick up toys” is one of the things that we are tracking so all kids were eager to do this activity, with my guidance and encouragement….
  • Bedtime was a breeze with everyone. I felt like I really spent good, quality of time with each of the kids which helps out a lot. I took my time with them, read stories and kept the routine on track. Twins were asleep in no time. Bigger kids were completely cooperating with me – no tantrums, no power-plays. Teeth brushed, PJs on, responsibility board discussed and magnets given out, and books being read when Hubby came in. I spent extra time with Big Bro’s book talking about the characters and situations and their feelings. I asked him to talk about situations when he had those same feelings. This is hard for him to do, as his teacher discussed in our parent/teacher conference. I need to pull more out of him through story-time so that he can practice more and build his self-confidence so he can better participate at school. I’m really working on this with him and am hoping that he’s not “on” to me too much; I don’t want to pressure him.
  • After the kids were all in bed I ran to a neighbors house and grabbed some clothes for Big Bro and Red (thanks Mama L!!!). By the time I was home it was 9 PM. And I started this at 9:30 PM. And now I’m off to sleep!

    So it was a very busy day, but I really enjoyed getting work done while at home, and also enjoyed my alone time with the kids tonight. They were great – ate like champs, listened, and we had minimal fights tonight. I think I’ll get a good night’s sleep, which I will need for tomorrow….. a big day. Red’s performance. Yikes!

    Until tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 8: All day keeping me on my toes…

    Today was a bit of a strange day. I am normally off from work on Thursdays. But when I started my “new” work arrangement with my company, one of their conditions was that I would/could be flexible if push came to shove, particularly supporting client projects. So of course I granted them that wish. After all, this is management consulting, and flexibility to meet your client need is an absolute minimum requirement for the job. So, I worked today since I had a client meeting scheduled for today.

    But, Hubby had a meeting at 7:45 AM, and I had a conference call at 8:30 AM, which complicated things a bit… I would be on my own for all drop offs and we also had to leave earlier so I could be back in time for my conference call….

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Older kids were up and excited to get dressed by themselves, since their piles were already out and they were looking for positive reinforcement. Big Bro was excited to wear a new spiderman shirt I got him yesterday.
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  • We were talking about the need for everyone to be ready to leave early, and for Big Bro to have his backpack ready (as an example). The next thing we knew, Twin Husky came walking into the kitchen dragging Big Bro’s backpack and using all of his body strength to lift it up and hand it over to Big Bro to help. That was just so cute I couldn’t stand it.
  • Honestly, the rest of the morning was a bit of a blur. I can’t think of anything else that stood out…there were the diaper changes, the lunches to pack, the shoes to put on, the jackets to put on, loading the kids in the car…..
  • I did all the drop offs; Red first, then Twins, then Big Bro. I made it back home with 10 minutes to spare to prepare for my conference call. I re-filled my coffee mug and booted up my computer.
  • Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had the conference call and got some good feedback from one of the participants of the forum that we are trying to sell a membership to. He liked the forum but their business may not be big enough to be relevant for the group. I would not take “no” for an answer so I invited him again as a guest for the next meeting in April in hopes that he wants to become a member.
  • I jumped in the van, and drove into the city. I was starved. I was contemplating a McDonald’s run, but feared I would be late. This was a good call, since there was traffic on the highway. So I blasted loud music and enjoyed my drive into the city, yes, with a minivan. uggh.
  • I made it to the office just in time to shove some graham crackers in my mouth and then start at 10 AM conference call with a Director and another new member to one of our forums. I lead the meeting and focused more on how this particular person could help us drive additional members. I’m in sales mode. He has contacts at great companies and he is really easy to collaborate with – I’m enjoying working with him to build this forum and grow it to something much bigger than it currently is….
  • I grabbed lunch. Grilled cheese. Comfort food. I’m starved and it is cold outside.
  • We then had our client meeting. We’ve done good work for them, but this is a kind of project where you just want to shake some sense into your client. Their business idea doesn’t make sense given the risk and reward and they are very naive about some obvious aspects of the business. So I’m hoping things go well with them, but we’ve raised the issues so we’ve done what we can do to provide our advice.
  • I did some admin items afterwards and then headed home. I picked up take out dinner (BBQ) and picked up the Twins.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Dinner was BBQ. It was delicious. Kids ate well. Twin Husky was eating ribs like they were going out of style and I was calling them “dinosaur bones”. He is such a boy. Almost reminds me of a pint-sized man.
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  • After dinner, Hubby took out a “Santa train” that essentially goes around the Christmas tree. All kids were going nuts. Twin Crazy wanted to dance with me to the Chrismas music. Big Bro was all over the tracks, the trains, and the controls. He was observing everything and figured out why the train wouldn’t work at any given time. He loved controlling the thing. Red was being such a big sister/mother to Twin Husky and to Twin Crazy. It was really too cute to witness. She was instructing them on where to sit (far away from the tracks) and how it works, and hugging them and holding their hands. It really was too much for me to watch. They are so sweet with each other it is almost crazy.
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  • Bedtime with the Twins was great. They grabbed their animals/blankets and walked upstairs, blew kisses to folks below, brushed teeth, read books, sang a song, and willingly went to bed in their cribs.
  • Bedtime for the older ones were a different story. Whining, crying, defiance, more crying, etc. etc. I finally had to leave. I said I would not read books if they did not cooperate. I gave them a chance to cooperate. They did not. So I left. I left Hubby up there dealing with two cranky crazy kids because I want to teach them to understand that I follow through with what I say. If they don’t follow instructions and are defiant even if I’m trying to understand the issue, I warn them what will happen and then I need to follow through. So I left. They’re quiet now so I guess they were just super-tired.
  • I had two glasses of wine tonight. I am not working tomorrow. I may take the Twins to the doctor if they have room in their schedule for us. If not, I want to take them to a museum. I’m sure I’ll figure something out over a big pot of coffee….

    And now Red is screaming upstairs so I guess I’d better go and see what’s wrong…

    Until tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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