August 2: Haircuts and sibling solidarity

Today was a full, great day… we did A LOT and also had some mishaps along the way.   My daughter looks trendier than I (not really that hard to do) because of this awesome haircut that one of her siblings gave her… but she keeps changing her story to protect their identity.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Twin Crazy, and then Red, and then Twin Husky… he is so sweet.  He climbs in smiling and cuddling and quiet.
  • Red wanted to “do something with me”.  Your kidding me.  I haven’t even been out of bed and my bladder is ready to burst and my breath stinks.  Plus I’m half asleep.  I suggested drawing/coloring something together and that worked.  She wanted a princess, prince, and castle.   She helped me draw it and then colored some of it in.
  • The kids talked me into making Thursdays “chocolate day” at mommy’s house.   I suggested Sundays, but Big Bro was violently against that since he likes the pancake routine on Sundays.  I suggested Friday, and he said that movie night is Friday night and that Thursday has nothing special.  This little guy should be a lawyer when he grows up.  The art of negotiation.  He can argue anything with sound logic.  Very persuasive.  So I broke out the Nutella and the kids went nuts.
  • I was getting the kids ready and in between one of the children changes Twin Crazy decided to give herself a haircut.   No, this is NOT the haircut that I referred to in the title of this post… it was just a few strands but still.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I took the kid scissors out of the office since the little ones “do not know how to properly use them yet”
  • The ride to their daycare was fine.  We talked about some funny things but I can’t remember what.   We talked about a food shopping list, and also played a spelling game.
  • On the way in we drove by a field that used to have wild rabbits but now is infested with moles.  They are so cute (when they are not in YOUR yard).   We saw so many… standing up, running, scurrying, jumping into the ground.  I stopped for a bit, and also drove very slowly down the side street so we could look at them.
  • Big Bro did not want to be dropped off with the siblings around.  So I left them in the front office of the daycare center so Big Bro could have his privacy.
  • Red’s drop off was great.  She knew I was going to pick her up early and was all smiles.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky drank some water and Twin Crazy went to the potty.  And then we hit the road for our errands.
  • I had a work conference call so got to a playground just in time for me to take that call.  The kids were great – playing on the play structure, little tiny merry-go-round, playing in the sand.  I had a great call.
  • Afterwards we went food shopping.  They were in a “car cart” and they had a blast.  We did our shopping quickly.
  • We picked up the older siblings, got gas, and then headed home.  I had another conference call while on the road – this was a big “sell” meeting for a new member to the “established” forum that I manage.  This was a BIG win for me.   It was awesome.  I felt great.    Here I have four kids in a car (the majority of them sleeping) and am able to also land a deal.   On my day off.   And headed home to play with the kids.   It was great.



The Rest of the Day:

  •  Big Bro, Red and I went “hunting” for several spiders in the house.  I have to remember to close the screen door and front door in this place.   We have lots of cobwebs in here and I’m not a fan of bugs in general.  The kids examined the spider in the “bug vacuum” which was cute.
  • It was hot outside.  WATER PLAY!
  • That is when I noticed that there was a lock of red hair floating in the pool.  And it had a curl in it.   So I asked about this hair.  And I looked at Red’s head.  And couldn’t believe what I saw.  The back of her head is cut really short, but the sides are long and curly.  It almost looks cute, like it’s supposed to be like that…. but still… how did it get this way????   She kept changing her story.  Big Bro…. Twin Crazy… .then everything always gets blamed on Twin Husky.   I have no idea what to believe but I do not believe her.  And she is protecting her sibling.  Most likely an OLDER sibling.   Most likely the sibling who could get to scissors on his own since everything was taken away earlier in the day.  I asked where the missing hair was.  She said in the backyard.  Yes, she was right.  Various locks of red curls.   In my dead grass.  I was pissed, to say the least.
  • This put a damper on my mood.   I kept the older kids inside and let the younger ones play outside.   The older kids said they wished they were at daddy’s.  I wished they were too at that very moment.
  • We ate an amazing dinner and they all ate like champs.   I love how they know to expect vegetables and tonight we had sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and fresh broccoli.  Along with chicken and rice.    Lots of fruit for dessert.  My belly is still full.
  • After dinner I boycotted Big Bro’s request for a movie.  We went outside, I picked some weeds while talking to my mom, there were several kid breakdowns over shoes.
  • Big Bro and Red broke out the sidewalk chalk and that gave them all something to do while I cleaned up from dinner and also swept the outside.   It felt sooooooooo good to be doing that.  Sweeping in the evening after dinner while the kids were right there with me playing on their own, together.   I loved it.   I fed my compost bin and commented on the chalk “dust” that they were busy making.
  • Bedtime was fine.
  • After the kids went to bed I had some more work to do, following up and sending information to the folks I had on the calls today.

My day was really busy and extremely diverse.   Hunting for moles and spiders — two different haircuts — playground — shopping — driving and working and making money for the company — being tricked by the kids and witnessing fierce protection between them — and enjoying a suburban summer evening with the kids and the crickets.

I’m feeling really good now.   I loved today.   And the crickets are singing loud right now and I feel so happy to hear their song.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

May 10: The start…

Thursday is normally a day off, but I had meetings scheduled in the morning and also my Tuesday this week was all messed up so I took the kids into daycare today.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro made an awesome plane and car out of new Legos and he is totally improvising and creating new things out of the materials. I love that creativity in him.
  • I mentioned to Twin Husky that I needed to change his diaper and put on some socks, which I had ready in my hand. But he took off, ran upstairs, and picked out socks. That was the good part. The bad part is that he started to throw the socks over the balcony/banister of the house and thought that was a lot of fun. So he went back for more. And then Twin Crazy came over when she heard his laughter and started doing the same.
  • Twin Crazy wanted to wear stockings but had trouble putting them on over her pajamas pants.
  • Big Bro left on his bike and the other three were running around a bush in our front yard.
  • During the Twin drop off they were interested in seeing a flag so I spent some time with them outside, looking at it.
  • I forgot Twin Husky’s shoes so had to swing back to the house to pick up a pair for him. They go on a walk at 10 AM so she needed them by then.
  • Red’s drop off was great except we forgot her purse. I was running late at this point so I asked her to be strong.
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    Highlights of My Working Morning:

  • I had an internal team call about the follow up we need to do for the client presentation and work we just completed. There is some more work but not much.
  • We then had a call with our partners on an effort we are trying to sell to 7 potential clients on Tuesday. We needed this meeting to get on the same page as to what we were offering and what each party is bringing to the table. This effort has started so long ago that the people around the table now (including me) are uncertain what the overlay and committed effort is for our partner. This is a problem but hopefully something we can figure out after talking with the clients on Tuesday.
  • We immediately went into a debrief call with the client regarding the meeting we just had. We received some feedback that will require serious re-working of the document and I simply do not have time. We promised them a revised Executive Summary for Monday but I cannot do it; I offered up commentary on two pieces which I will need to work on over the weekend and then send off to them.
  • I then sent out a survey for our sales call on Tuesday to get more background and expectations from the participants.
  • I then called it a day….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I picked up my keys to my house at 1:30 PM this afternoon. The sales agents gave me big hugs. It is hot out there and the grass is already turning brown so we notched up the sprinkler system. I opened the door and the place actually seemed much bigger to me. We talked for awhile but I was anxious for them to leave. When they did, I peed in my toilet (it works) and walked around. I called my mom. I took pictures. I don’t know how exactly I feel. I think a bit scared. I want so badly for this to be home and I guess I’m fearing that I’m pushing myself too hard. I walked out back and climbed the stairs and walked the grounds. I walked over to my neighbor’s fence and counted 9 chickens. Two came over and squawked to me. I looked around at the weeds. I’m not sure what to do with this backyard. I have some ideas but all are a bit unorganized…. moonlights, pulling weeds, citrus trees, blackberry bushes… I went back inside the house and took measurements of the walls of all rooms (except for mine) since I will need to get furniture. The refrigerator space. The washer dryer space. I can buy these things now. And bar stools. I’d like for there to be bar stools at the counter for when the kids come to visit next weekend. Everything else will be unfurnished but that’s OK. I somehow thought I would be happier…. liberated…. but I didn’t really feel that way. It will be a home, I know, but I feel cheated that I can’t share this feeling with anyone. I should have brought a friend or something. I emptied out the mailbox which was STUFFED with mail. Some of it for me. The mailbox is metal and kindof gross. I looked around at the other mailboxes. I need to add “mailbox” to my list. I knocked on 3 houses and introduced myself to one of the neighbors – who also recently bought and is officially moving in tomorrow. The house next door to me has “children playing” signs outside so that was very encouraging. When I went to the door I saw a pair of girls shoes probably Big Bro’s age or slightly older. I found that I was paying so much attention to how the houses were set up on the outside to make them feel inviting. Again I have some ideas with my front space too but I’m not exactly sure how to pull it together. I felt strange not having cried or anything. I thought I would. Why didn’t I? I wish I was experiencing this feeling, this “first time homebuyer” feeling with someone. I feel cheated for having to do this by myself. Now it feels like just another set of activities that I need to get done and squared away. I’m hoping that as things settle, as I feel like I’m stretching into my new space, that it will feel like home and I will get that sense of elation that I am hoping for. Please?!??!?!? I backed out of the steep sloping driveway without ANY incidents…. that must be a good sign. I headed to my next destination.
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  • The elementary school is zoned to a town in the area known for its excellent schools. I called in advance so they knew I was coming. I brought the Closing Statement and my license so Big Bro is registered there for the Fall. Our child custody mediator suggested to register the kids in both locations since we don’t know where they will be going. I asked her about pre-schools and got a list. That will be one of my projects over the summer. Scoping them out, inquiring over price, and seeing if there is a way to get Red and the Twins in the same pre-school. The Twins deserve that kind of environment and having one drop off for the three of them would be ideal. I have time to work on that. But again, I felt a bit lonely on the winding streets in this new area. I had much higher hopes for this next phase in my life and I feel disappointed that things went the way they did. But I cannot change people and I tried my hardest to be understood. I feel excited and sad at the same time. At peace but thinking about the things to do. Excited for the opportunity for the children but crushed about the impact on their feelings and sense of security. We are going to talk to them on Saturday morning about this and come clean with them. There is a part of me that want very much for this to happen since it’s hard for me to keep this secret from them. I feel so close to them but feel like a liar most of the time. So it will be good to “come clean” but I am going to see their faces when their worlds fall apart. I can see Big Bro’s expression and Red’s expression. I can see Twin Crazy and Twin Husky not really getting it, but then looking at the older siblings and then getting upset too. I need to keep it together for them. I remember when my mom told me about my parent’s divorce and I remember it very clearly. I was nine at the time, so older, but I have a feeling that these kids will somehow remember their feelings from this upcoming Saturday morning for many years to come. Even if they don’t remember the words, they will remember how they make them feel. I’m dreading that part.
  • I picked up take out BBQ and went through the mail while I was waiting for the food. It felt really strange to see other people’s names on the address. I feel like there’s so much that I don’t know about that house but it is mine and it will be my home. It’s been there for 70 years. Who’s lived there? Who else has called this place home? Was it a happy home? Was it filled with laughter?
  • I picked up the kids and Red had to go pee. We went at Big Bro’s school and had fun running across the stage acting silly. It was a good time and completely out of our normal routine which was fun.
  • We played with Batman and fed him a carrot. Big Bro wants to give him a choice of an apple, carrot, and orange and see which food he goes to first. Sounds like a fun experiment. Twin Husky almost flooded the kitchen again but I was listening for him and got to him before he started to play with the refrigerator water spout.
  • We played upstairs together; it was hot so I dressed the Twins in short PJs which was fun. I read to all four of them at the same time which I love to do. The Twins both in my lap cuddling up to me and Red on one side and Big Bro on the other. The best is when it’s time for the kids to kiss each other which they all do. Even the boys.
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    So I’m in the hallway listening to them sleep. There’s a part of me that will miss this house even though it represents the failure of my marriage. I will miss watching over the kids and yes, I will mourn the feeling of hopefulness I felt when I first moved in. That was 2 years ago and it seems like yesterday yet also a lifetime ago. There is also the packing process that I have not written about – it’s very emotional. Things and “stuff” that you sift through and keep and then the stuff that you decide to toss. I’ve been doing a lot of tossing. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse. Like the 100 or so “tea lights” from our wedding ceremony. And all of the RSVP cards that I saved. And the wedding cards that I saved. All tossed. At one time it all meant so much to me and I guess they still do – but I needed to rid myself of it all and not bring it forward into this next step. The only part of that that I want to keep and cherish and celebrate are the kids. Someone the other day replied to me when I told them I was with him for 10 years and they said “what a waste” and I was so offended. How could it be a waste when I have these four amazing kids? And I am stronger now. And I know more now. And I trust myself more now. I’ve learned what I can do and what I desire. And I know what to fight for. And there is more that will come and I need to experience it in its fullest. Even though it may very well be the ugliest that I have been through. But I know that I will come through and hopefully be a stronger, better, wiser person because of it.

    And that’s probably the most I’ve dwelled on me in a long time. I have to save up energy and strength for this Saturday morning.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 25: Shopping, working, and playing together

    I’m jotting this down at the end of the day – I am feeling tired but VERY happy. There were lots of funny things happening today with the kids which looking back make me laugh…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I went upstairs and folks were up; Twin Crazy on the potty; I carried down lots of clothes, backpacks, and gear for everyone.
  • The ladybugs are still living
  • Twin Crazy was dressed and excited about the shirt she was wearing since it had a bird on it. She was having fun rolling around with a fuzzy giraffe pillow.
  • Twin Husky was busy reading and counting circles when I gave him a diaper change this morning. I told him how great it was that he is counting and how he is using his brain. I got him dressed in clothes since we were going to take a stroller ride today.
  • Red was stuffing her backpack silly. I mean it was totally packed and she needed help zipping everything up.
  • Red and Big Bro needed help with socks and shoes. It’s their little routine with me.
  • Big Bro was ready; as were Twins. They jumped into the stroller and Big Bro was set on his scooter. Red was fine going in with co-parent.
  • I strolled the Twins while Big Bro scootered with the Motley Crew. It was a nice walk. It felt good to be back in this routine. I’m still decompressing from last week. I talked with my neighbor about how the twins are showing their personalities and needs/desires much more forcefully now. How Twin Husky got upset when I took out “Other Tiger” from behind the stroller since he wanted it back there to go “night night”. Opinions. Tantrums. They are two. And NOW I know I have four children….
  • Big Bro drop off was fine.
  • As I started to take twins to their daycare, they realized where we were going and Twin Husky threw a tantrum. He didn’t want to go there. He wanted to go home. How sweet. It broke my heart though. He was better by the time we got there. I realized that I lost “Other Tiger” along the way and told him I would try to find him.
  • I started to RUN back home since I had 15 minutes to make it back before a conference call. I backtracked my way through the elementary school but no “Other Tiger”. I passed by my neighbor with her little girl playing on the swingset [so jealous of that woman…]. I continued to run. And then I saw “Other Tiger”!!!! I ran home just in time….
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a conference call with two directors to talk about our strategy with regards to legal representation at our forums. We talked cost and the need to negotiate down and also look for other firms. It is my role to make these forums more profitable so I pushed hard for finding other options.
  • I interviewed (via phone) a potential hire. I did not like him as much as the woman I met yesterday. He just fell flat. I know phone interviews are more difficult but I think he could have shown more initiative in describing why he wants a career change to consulting and why our firm specifically. These questions are so obvious and its amazing to me that candidates do not “nail” those obvious questions.
  • I did some follow up with one of the forums.
  • I did some planning for a forum we are trying to launch.
  • It was my 1/2 day and I wanted to take full advantage of it since last week was such a struggle. I picked up Red and then we picked up Big Bro. We sat down and talked about the plan for the rest of the day. I needed to go food shopping for some breakfast items for the kids. So I asked them if we should bring Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. They both suggested “No” so we went just the three of us which was fun.

    Highlights of Shopping:

  • We talked about our “list” on the way there to keep everyone in line once we got there.
  • Big Bro and Red helped with picking out fruit. Big Bro wanted to do the bags. He was hysterical. I caught him shopping for organic apples when I wasn’t looking. Too funny.
  • We agreed to buy some breakfast fruit bars. He went shopping for them while I went shopping with Red for cereal. He came back with choices of bars drizzled in chocolate. I laughed and vetoed his selection. He went back without a fuss and picked out two boxes of VERY appropriate cereal bars. One box of strawberry, one box of blueberry. He also came back with a box of organic gummy fruit chew snacks and I gave in since it was a sort of healthy snack.
  • Red picked out salami and she said she likes it so I bought a package. This liking of hers is completely new to me. We’ll see if she really eats any of it….
  • We needed frozen vegetables and passed all this crap along the way… Big Bro was drooling saying we needed all this stuff but I said it wasn’t on the list. He laughed. We got to the vegetable section and he was sooooooooooooooooooooo excited about the crinkle-cut carrots. Go figure.
  • We were waiting in line and the kids as jokes kept putting candy and crap into the cart. I jokingly said “THAT’S NOT ON THE LIST” and then asked loudly “where is the place where you return kids? I need my money back” and we were all laughing. Red pointed to a magazine with Rob Lowe on it and she said “we need that” and I said [probably too loudly] “Yes we DO need that… I need some of that.”…… at least I laughed.
  • After food shopping we went to the drug-store to pick up some meds and the kids were just magnetized to blow up balls and it is crazy how the kids just automatically find the toys and the crap in the store so quickly. Again, they knew “the list” and they knew that balls, sponge-bob toys, princess flashlights, and other crap from China were not on the list. They were laughing and it was too funny. They were even trying to get me to get eyeglasses as a joke. Too funny.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:
    Co-parent came home later so I had the bulk of time with the kids alone. I loved it.

  • Big Bro, Red and I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • Got home and had some snacks of oranges. Ladybugs were still alive.
  • I was making dinner and kids were suddenly quiet. Big Bro had his spray-bottle out and was spraying everyone.
  • Then there were cries. The twins. Twin Crazy had soap in her hair/eyes and Twin Husky apparently got his hand smashed from the toilet seat top. I washed out Twin Crazy’s face while Twin Husky was on my lap crying. Both were fine; I carried both downstairs.
  • I later caught Big Bro with a towel with water wiping out Twin Crazy’s face and eye. How sweet.
  • I later caught Big Bro working with all of his younger siblings with tattoos. How sweet.
  • Twin Husky wanted to be held a bit so I gave in. I made games about biting and eating his ear and asked him if I could. He said NO and laughed.
  • We ate and they ate well. Big Bro ate an enormous amount of carrots.
  • Together we cleaned up. I cleaned up the dishes, Big Bro cleaned up the table with his spray-bottle, and Red cleaned up the diaper bags that were thrown all over the room. I commended them on helping and told them that since we were all working together we would get done so much faster and would have lots more time to play.
  • We took a quick walk to get the mail and move the stroller and we started to feel rain on our faces
  • I played “wall ball” with Big Bro and we got up to “eight” without stopping. We set a goal of “ten” for tomorrow. Twin Husky wanted to play too so we gave him a few turns. Big Bro was very patient and didn’t cause a fuss.
  • I sat with the girls on the step and I made a joke about “girl talk”. Red wanted to make a list of topics for girl talk and they include: dresses, princesses, and dora.
  • Twin Crazy announced the need to go potty but then we realized she had a tiny accident. I took off her underwear and pants and she was walking around in the buff. Which was OK until she had a poop accident. I feel like I have a dog in the house. All kids were walking around looking for overlooked poops.
  • Twin Husky went upstairs since it was almost time for bed and he apparently tried to turn on the lamp. I heard a huge crash and ran upstairs to find the lamp turned on but on the floor and Twin Husky bawling. The lamp apparently fell on his head but he was more scared than anything. I took him downstairs and held him on my lap until he calmed down.
  • I said it was time for bed and had Big Bro and Red tonight. I started to count to five and each started climbing the stairs immediately. They kept trying to trick me with toothbrushing but I eventually just left the room until they brushed their teeth properly. We read lots of books.
  • I told them the recap of the things they did today that made me so proud. Helping with shopping, helping with the younger siblings, helping clean up together, and playing. It was so great. I love talking with the kids like this. I love that they are at an age where I can have real conversations with them.
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    I am sitting in bed now so happy. I am so close to such a big transition. And I am so proud and happy with the kids and the people that they are. They listen to me. They respond to me. We have an ebb and flow and things are so much more relaxed. There was little to no negotiation tonight. They asked/pushed but I pushed back where needed and there were no breakdowns. I can’t wait to be on my own with these kids. I think things will be smoother after separation but from an emotional standpoint I worry for the kids. I’m not looking forward to sitting down and telling them what will be happening… so I’ll sit and relax and enjoy the rest of this feeling as-is, for now.

    Red had no problems going to sleep. Not a peep.

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow since I will have the Twins home with me. I can’t wait.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 2: Feeling full, but in a very good way

    Welcome Monday. I accept you since it is relatively nice outside and since I do have a lot to do at work today.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy happily used the potty. She was great all weekend with dry diapers and few accidents.
  • Kids were playing with balloons after eating. Throwing them up in the air and watching them fall. Both twins can actually catch the falling balloon which surprised me.
  • Twin Husky was calling for Twin Crazy to “follow him” and run around the house chasing each other. I’ve really noticed the closeness between these two lately. They seek each other out, especially at bedtime. They talk to me about the other if they hear the other crying. It is really sweet to see and experience… the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle relationship between the twins.
  • Big Bro is going to Red’s school all week for “spring break”. So they were both excited to be packing up together and driving in together.
  • Big Bro was wearing his “new pants” with the patches freshly sewed last night. I wonder how long the patches will last….
  • I dropped off Big Bro and Red, and they were silly and having fun the drive over. They started singing “Kick the morning….” not sure what song that it, one of them made it up and now all four sing it and giggle.
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    I’m on the ferry now. It just pulled away. I have a lot on my mind. I’m thinking ahead to big meetings later this week related to the divorce, and also the THREE big forums that I am leading for work in two weeks time. PLUS two client projects that are also ending right now. There is just too much going on right now. I am totally over-booked with deliverables. The thing that makes it easier for me to manage is lists. I need to get through these days with lists. What I need to do for each “Project” and just spend focused time on each task… otherwise it’s all just over-whelming and I become paralyzed. I need to prioritize from these lists — which tasks are dependent upon other people? WHich ones am I the bottleneck? Which ones need to be done during the day (e.g., coordination with others) vs. which ones can be done after-hours once my kids go to sleep (e.g., confirmations, follow up with logistics, etc.). I need to prioritize and I focus on those first. Keep things moving and off my plate — I can’t be the bottleneck in any of these areas or else the project will be at risk.

    So, I’m thinking of today –

  • I will have two planning meetings for two of the forums; one of which I need to put some thought against and share with the others so that we have something to concrete to talk about. I will need to focus on that first when I get in.
  • I need to confirm logistics with presenters and ask for their presentations by a deadline date so I and others can review.
  • I need to communicate with one client for a project since I need input from a Director who is not in the office; will ask director for his input via email and show some electronic files to get the discussions moving.
  • I need to reach out to other speakers for open speaker spots for one of the forums …. it is getting to crunch time so this is important right now.
  • I need to think about what we are going to present for our client meeting tomorrow. This is also an important item; and also get the team moving and on track for final report delivery in 3 weeks. They need to know what they are working towards – need some direction – I need to provide that today/tomorrow latest.
  • I have to start looking through the presentations/analysis conducted by our firm related to the Forums – this will take focused time which I fear I have scarcity.

    I need more coffee and some breakfast. 🙂

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I got set up in my NEW office! The furniture arrived! I have a desk! There is still stuff all over the place, but I have my own space now!!!! Very exciting.
  • I printed out copies of our presentations for our forums for me to review tonight at home, and then forgot them on the printer. F!!
  • I sent out confirmations for speakers for one of the forums — one is still outstanding which is making me nervous.
  • I had a conference call with a potential speaker/member for another forum and the CALL WENT EXCELLENT. Whew! We have them as guests at a minimum, as speakers for TWO sessions if worse comes to worse…
  • I sent out my conclusions and follow ups for a client project but need some input from a Director before reaching out to the client
  • I had a planning meeting for one of the meetings and prepared an outline in literally 15 minutes for the entire day. The planning call went great, and I also decided to use Zoomerang to poll the group to gather more information about their insights prior to the meeting. I’m glad I came up with this idea and think that the information will be very useful for us in the planning of the event.
  • I had a team meeting for our client project and got the team focused on what we are going to talk about with the client tomorrow. THey are running analyses that we will review tomorrow AM for 2 hours. I then sent out some primary interview outreach emails and am hoping we can secure more discussions with the market in advance of our final presentation.
  • Had a brief, brief team meeting with our office over lunch to see how everyone is doing.
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    I can’t believe it but I accomplished [almost] everything above. I was seriously efficient.

    I will need to work on personal items tonight so I’m glad that I don’t need to do too much for real work tonight. This is a big week for me and my family. I am ready.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and Red from Red’s school; both were happy. We then picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Husky was not wearing shoes and Twin Crazy was wearing a summer shirt since co-parent forgot to bring the bag of clothes/shoes that were packed by the back door.
  • When we got home, we were surprised to see a duck in our front lawn. The kids carefully gathered around the duck. Twin Crazy helped Twin Husky take off his jacket. The duck quacked a bit. I was waiting for someone to charge the duck and eventually someone did. It was Red. Then there were all the kids, chasing after the duck, with the duck quacking and flapping all over the place. Finally the duck tried to fly away and landed in the street and quickly waddled away. I was laughing too hard.
  • Kids were playing with balloons, going to the potty (Twin Crazy, non-stop, for chocolate chips), and running around laughing. I think there was also some jumping on the beds. Twin Husky got upset over something and I saw Twin Crazy hugging him to comfort him. Red went to his side too.
  • After dinner the kids took baths. I bought Kiss/Motley Crue tickets!!!!
  • Twin Crazy came downstairs saying that she needed her nails cut. She went potty again. We went upstairs and cut her nails. Then she found the kid nail polish. I proceeded to give manicures to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • I did bedtime routine with Red and Big Bro tonight. They both wanted to lay out their clothes for the next day. Then they talked about wearing their clothes so that they would get ready faster the next morning. I told them they were both ridiculous. They should wear what makes them feel comfortable. We have time in the morning. The last I heard, both Red and Big Bro changed out of their PJs and changed into their clothes for the next day (including their underwear which they wore literally for 20 minutes, post-bath). Now they are whispering to each other back and forth in the kid monitor.
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    Note: Big Bro just left my room. He had a hangnail that I fixed. He was wearing his Lightening McQueen shirt, and pair of jeans. Too funny.

    I’m in a great mood. I had a great day at work, very productive, and the kids tonight were just too, too funny. Honestly, each of them has such funny personalities and they really crack each other up. They have so much fun together. They tease each other but also take care of each other. They comfort each other. They encourage each other.

    I’m very lucky.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    February 29: Airplane rides

    Whew! Made the ferry! It was close. I’m headed into the city today to work 1/2 day and run an errand — my iPhone broke!!! I never realized how much I rely on it until it got “taken away” from me!

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red woke up, got herself changed, and was a complete chatterbox this morning. I couldn’t believe it. She was talking, talking, talking, talking non-stop. About everything. About Twin Husky’s toy snake, about her outfit, about how she slept in her bed by herself all night, etc. etc.
  • All kids were eating out of new BPA-free bowls I purchased for them. They were excited since they are a bit bigger. I am excited since they are dishwasher-safe.
  • We investigated Big Bro’s owie this morning. The kids were looking closely at it. It looks big (and deep in some areas) but it looks clean. Big Bro was milking it a bit this AM but was finally able to walk around and said he would be OK to ride his bike today. He was back on track, and I gave him a spare big band-aid in case he needed it during the day. I REALLY need to sew patches on his jeans. It is downright embarrassing.
  • We gathered our things to go, twins got their shoes on by themselves and were easy. Red was also easy, once she learned that I was also going to drop her off today. Big Bro had some issues when he was told “no bike” by daddy since it looked like rain. Big Bro threw a fit. Daddy said the Motley Crew wouldn’t be riding today. Big Bro refuted with “but you don’t KNOW that…. you don’t KNOW what they’re doing…..”. I was at a loss without my iPhone but I got the iPad out (thank you iCloud!!!) where I was able to text one of the mothers. They were not driving, not biking, but walking instead. We gave Big Bro the option to walk with them and he decided just to drive in with us.
  • Due to back up in traffic we were running behind. Twin drop off was fast, Big Bro drop off was fast, but we were stuck in school drop off traffic. Red drop off was fast. We made it to the ferry parking lot in enough time.
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    I’m on the ferry now feeling pretty relaxed and thinking about personal things and also what I need to do for work today. I NEED to get to the Apple store to get my phone fixed. For work, we have our first primary interview for our project, and I have to complete my review of the questionnaire for one of our forums. I need to spend time with outreach to the one forum, which I’ve been neglecting….

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    Man was I jammed!

  • I had a sales call for a potential participant for our meeting in April. He believes in the concept and is forwarding our invitation to Marketing STrategy who is more senior and a decision-maker. It was great news for us.
  • I then led our first primary interview for our client project. These kinds of meetings are always good since you really get a sense of the market — it’s not just reading an article or doing web research…. you’re actually talking with someone live who knows about the business and you LEARN so much in such a short amount of time. It was a great first call.
  • I then worked on the survey for one of our forums. There’s a lot more that needs to be done. I will be delegating this to someone who is coming back from maternity leave on Monday – so am thankful that I am getting this off my plate.
  • I also organized my thoughts around topics and agenda layout for each of the forums I will be leading in April. I’ve narrowed the focus and now have a sense on who to reach out to for speakers.
  • I debriefed my Partner on all of the above…. made great progress with him; he vetted the analytical approach we are using for our client project, and also gave feedback on direction for speakers and specific people. He is wonderful to work with.
  • I also stepped out at lunch to go to the Apple store to fix my phone. It was like turning on the “on” button. It needed a “hard reboot” which means hold down the circle button and the on/off button together, at the same time, for 10 seconds…. a FULL 10 seconds. That was it. Easy schmeasy. Saved me money today!
  • I’m on the ferry now, feeling a bit overwhelmed but happy to be headed home. I have some chicken defrosting in the refrigerator and am excited about seeing the kids. I heard from my mom today and she booked a flight out here for March 14 for several days and I’m REALLY looking forward to her visit.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first. She was busy with her teacher counting legos. She stopped counting when she saw me because she got shy. We then went to pick up Big Bro together. I wanted to know about his owie and how he did today. Then we picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. We talked in the car about owies, dinner, and balls.
  • I went right to work as soon as we got in, defrosting chicken and thinking about what I was going to do with it. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky had socks on their hands (I couldn’t believe it but Big Bro used to do this all the time and so did Red…. what about you guys??? Did your kids do this too???). Kids were busy sharing a couple pieces of bread. Then it hit me. Homemade breadcrumbs! Chicken cutlets! OMG it was so good – very easy. I’ll use the recipe for tomorrow to share.
  • After dinner, I played airplane ride with the kids and Big Bro was laying down beside me with my camera taking videos and pictures of the kids while they were in mid-air. I love the fact that he did that for me – I wanted to capture the look on their faces as they look down at me as they’re flying. And Big Bro felt special, my little Director. He’s actually very good at capturing the moment and video-taping. We then went through the photos together and talked about which ones to delete and why (fuzzy, can’t see the face, etc.). It feels great to have my iPhone back in working order!
  • It was my turn with the Twins tonight. Big Bro is tired of taking turns and he keeps saying it. I suggested that maybe we keep a log of whose turn it is and he be the keeper of the log-book, and tell us who is on who. He didn’t like that idea. He said that he would just say that he was with Mommy each night. This broke my heart.
  • Twins were very easy going to bed. Quick teeth brushing, each got a book, then hugs & kisses goodnight. I whisper “I……. love……. YOU” over and over and they return it. It is our little game. So after the “I….. love….. YOU” we also say “sweet dreams” and “night night” until I close the door – and then I open it quickly for a few more and then close it for good. That’s it!!
  • I cleaned up from dinner, put away clean dishes, and started to get loads of laundry together.
  • Red had a hard time tonight. Daddy left her on the top of the stairs screaming for Mommy. I couldn’t take it since he just walked away from her so I went upstairs, sat with her and hugged her for a few minutes, and then held her hand as she quickly drifted off to sleep.
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    I’m in my bed now, tired from the day and exhausted thinking about the next steps of the divorce. I just want this over. I want my own space. I want the kids to be happy. I want to feel like my life is on the right track.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    January 23: Multi-tasking….

    Today was a good morning. Things ran very smoothly and we were ahead of schedule. And there were some big developments along the way…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and got myself ready ahead of the crowd.
  • I stacked their jackets, and also bed linens for Red by the front door.
  • I had their lunches made when the parade of kids were coming downstairs. They ran to me with open arms. “Mommy…. Mommy!!” I gave them their morning kisses and had both girls on my lap… I joked with them if they were going to give each other “sister kisses” and they both turned their heads away from each other in laughter.
  • Breakfast was easy; the three ate while Big Bro snoozed.
  • I laid the kids clothes out the night before, which also included some new socks from Stride Rite (this was a recommendation from a fellow Mama – thank you!!!!). Red put them on, got this HUGE smile on her face…. and said that she was NOT going to take them off. SUCCESS! After purchasing about 30 new socks, we finally found a set that works for her! She is comfortable! She is running! She is getting dressed without a problem!!! She is happy!!! YEAH!!!!
  • Twin Crazy pulled out the potty from the bathroom and put a big pink stuffed bear on it. We all laughed.
  • Suddenly, Twin Husky came running into the kitchen, grabbed a small kitchen chair, and ran with it back to the toy room. I’m not sure what he was doing, but the look of determination on his face, and his speed at getting that chair was priceless. Big Bro was sitting on my lap at the time and both of us were cracking up with each other.
  • Big Bro was tired this morning, but some apple juice fixed that. He ate his breakfast and got dressed in 15 minutes – we were doing great on time.
  • I dropped off the Twins and also Big Bro. It rained a lot during the night so there were rivers of water everywhere that we talked about. We also had the opportunity to see various worms enjoying the wetness. We talked about the worms and how they like the rain and how they like to squirm around on the sidewalk when it is wet. We looked at each one since we were not running late on time. I think we counted about 8 of them.
  • So, there were literally NO breakdowns. I was prepared in advance for the kids. They were CHARMING this morning and ate well, and listened. It was wonderful.




    So now I’m on the ferry – it is raining with rough waters. I will have a lot to do today. I should have worked a bit over the weekend but my family was in town so I did not do anything in advance.

  • I have one “sell” meeting for a potential partner for an initiative we are trying to launch. I need to look at the discussion document to make sure it will work for this meeting. I am amazed sometimes at the lack of writing skills in terms of presentation – the story line needs to be there, be logical, and address the key points to get the potential partner on board. I will need to review what is in my inbox and make changes to the document in advance of our “sell” call this afternoon.
  • I also have to make revisions to a proposal as a result of our sales meeting with our potential client last week. We need to come down in price, which means removing some scope without cutting too deep that we are not able to address the objectives.
  • I have a planning meeting scheduled tomorrow that I will be leading. I need to meet with the Director today to go over the approach to the meeting so we will be prepared and use people’s time effectively. I have some work to do on that front too – and must have it done before meeting with the Director today at 10 AM.
  • So, that will be a ridiculously busy day. If I can stay on track and stay focused on the above, it should not be a problem. But things always come up during the day – the unexpected. Maybe I should close my door and turn off my email….

    Highlights of the Working Day:

    I got into my office knowing that it was going to be a crazy busy day. I ran to the restroom to put on my make-up, then grabbed some tea and water, and set myself up at my desk.

  • When I logged into my computer and calendar, I almost shit my pants. Not only did I have one Planning Meeting scheduled for tomorrow that I had to prepare for, but I had a SECOND meeting for the SECOND forum I manage which got scheduled for tomorrow as well, and at 10 AM!!! Oh shit. I have TWO of these to prepare for…..
  • I received some feedback from the proposal from our potential client and she indicated that Wed/Thurs would be fine for a revision – so that bought me some time today and I reshuffled some work around.
  • I jammed on the Agenda for the one meeting, met with the Director, made the changes, and sent it out.
  • I then switched gears and started working on a “Concept Document” to lead a potential partner through the concept of another initiative we want to launch. The presentation was essentially OK, but I had to add some pages and re-structure some stuff around. I had to lead an internal team meeting and did this while multi-tasking on the presentation. My meeting was at 1 PM and our internal meeting was at 12 noon. I hated to multi-task like that but honestly the deck needed work.
  • I led the call for the concept initiative and it went well. We need to gauge their interest in playing a larger role – I didn’t want to put them on the spot, so I suggested I touch base with them next week to see what they think.
  • Immediately afterwards, I started working on the Agenda and content for the SECOND planning meeting, the SURPRISE planning meeting. It is off now for some comments – I will need to sent it out tonight to the conference call participants before I go to bed.
  • So now I’m on the train headed to my appointment – I miss the kids, but I had a lot of time with them the past 5 days. So I’m OK. I was so busy today that I’m looking forward to talking to an adult. To decompressing. To leveraging this channel so I can speak my mind. I will see the older kids tonight I’m sure – and will give them big hugs and then get back to work.

    Tomorrow should not be as busy, but it will be stressful, since I will have to lead TWO planning meeting conference calls with lots of people – and then get my act in gear to make these meetings a success in April.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 20: Working from home with TWO energetic toddlers???!?!?!? What???????

    Today was odd.   Very odd.   I decided to work from home again today since the boys were still both on the sick side – thankfully I made this choice, since the Twins’ daycare provider called me as I was headed home since her husband had a heart attack.  I quickly had to pick up the kids and give her a hug as she gathered her things for the hospital, where her husband was already taken.  So, I had to work from home but with two toddlers in tow.   So as you can imagine, today was just odd.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • The girls are generally cooperative and in good moods however the boys are struggling.  I give them medicine at 7:30,  hoping they snap out of it.  They do, thank goodness.
    • The morning routine is really quite ordinary – kids eat, bags are packed, kids get buckeled in, and are excited for school.   One funny thing that happened was that the Twins must have eaten at least 5 mini-muffins each and while in the van Twin Husky accidently stepped on Twin Crazy’s muffin that dropped on the floor.  He says “Uhhhh ohhhhhh”.  Twin Crazy still eats the decrepid muffin after I smash it back together.
    • 1st drop off:   Twins.   Twin Husky goes inside without a problem even though he is subdued.  He is still excited to go inside and play.
    • 2nd drop off:  Big Bro.  Hubby walks him in while me and Red wait in the van.
    • 3rd drop off:  Hubby at the Ferry station
    • 4th drop off:  Red.  So cute.  I play with her a bit and then leave.  Today there are no tears from her.
    • 1st pick up:   Twins.   I can’t believe it.  I feel so bad for our daycare provider.    And I also feel bad for me.  How am I going to work today?   Thank goodness I decided to work from home!

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • By the time we returned, the Twins were cranky and it was getting to be time for a snack.   Peaches!   What a treat.
    • I started with emails, going through and addressing what needed to be answered, and also trying to set up conference calls for guest speakers at some of the conferences.   I also had to look through some menu choices that our administrative assistant was working – which was fun but also rushed since I had two toddlers running around and getting themselves in trouble.
    • In between work emails, I had to work with the Twins.   This consisted of:   looking at a cat crawling through our yard and chasing it and pulling Twin Husky out of some rose bushes while doing so, seeing the kids covered in blue marker and also seeing that Twin Husky had a BITEMARK from Twin Crazy over said blue marker, making train tracks, playing with felt and saying the colors and putting them on our heads as hats, and doing just normal trouble shooting that is required with two 18 month old twins (which is A LOT).
    Blue marker wins, Twin Husky loses

    Blue marker wins, Twin Husky loses

    • 11:30!   Time for lunch!   They ate a tremendous amount of food.  I pulled back Twin Crazy’s hair in a hairclip and then Twin Husky started playing with HIS hair so I put a hairclip in for him as well.
    Toddlers in bows over lunch

    Toddlers in bows over lunch

    • I mentioned that after lunch we were going to have milk and then get ready for nap.  I gave them milk and then I lost them!!!    They had actually pushed back the gate on the stairs and were already headed upstairs for their naps.   I thought this was unbelievable.  I thought they would at least play first for a bit.
    • I sat down to get prepared for a conference call I had to lead at 1 PM.  While doing this I heard the window blinds upstairs banging and laughing children – Twin Crazy was standing up in her crib playing with the blinds and both her and Twin Husky were laughing hysterically.   I proceed to push back the chest of drawers and push her crib in a spot where she can’t reach the blinds.  I make sure she can’t reach out to anything on top of the chest of drawers in its new location.   She gives me a sly look as I leave the room.  She is trying to hold back a giggle.
    • I send out materials for my 1 PM call and we are finished it by 1:20.   I make some updates and send out to the team so we are all aware of next steps.   The call went very well.
    • I again attacked emails for as long as I could.  Setting up meetings, going over menus, trying to solicit guest speakers, etc.
    • Then the Twins woke up from their 2 hour naps.   I got them ready, had a cracker snack, and then we picked up Big Bro and then Red.  Everyone at Red’s pre-school (Big Bro’s old pre-school) went nuts over the Twins.   It was so cute seeing them all walk together holding hands.  I love seeing them do this.  Twin Husky always reaches out for Big Bro.  Male bonding is so sweet with your kids.
    • Twin Crazy said “I did it” a lot today.   She is wonderful.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • We head home and kids are either on the  couch resting or outside, or playing with trains, or fighting, or chasing each other.
    • I think about dinner; we will do home-made pizza tonight.
    • The kids eat all the sliced olives even before I’m able to put them on a pizza.  I have about 5 slices of mangled olives for myself.  Big Bro and Red roll out their own doughs for their own pizzas.
    • Everyone eats well.  Hubby and I each have a beer.
    • After dinner, Twin Crazy is acting crazy.  She continuously holds her sippy cup over her head and her hair and clothes are soaked.  I chase her around.
    • Hubby plays with Big Bro with sticks.
    • Big Bro says he didn’t have a lot of “mommy time” today… not even in the morning.  My heart sinks.
    • We give the boys medicine and prepare everyone for bed.  Again, both Twins start their way up the stairs, unprompted.
    • Big Bro gets ready quickly since he feels tired and just wants to go to bed.  Red is being her sassy self.   We read a book and both of them are almost out by the time I leave their room.  So easy tonight.

    So now I may have to do something about back-up childcare — I wish I had a list of names already organized, but I don’t.   Why am I not prepared for this situation?   Or I’ll have to work again like this tomorrow (which was tremendously enjoyable for me, but still….).  Or I’ll need to take the day off.

    I had such a great day today.   I lead a good call to orchestrate sales efforts and I also had so much time with the Twins.   I am usually terrible at combining my worlds of work and home, but for some reason it just worked out fine today and I was not stressed about it.  I think it’s because my calls were few and my day was generally open.   Plus, the Twins had each other.  I could do emails while they entertained themselves (or fought).   This makes a huge difference – but still the day was not as productive on the work front as it should have been.   I also feel bad that Big Bro felt neglected today — I think he got spoiled from all of the one on one time during vacation and also yesterday.   But still…. 😦

    Tomorrow I have a client call that I’ll need to think about; maybe I can put them down for an early, short nap during that time??!??!?!     Uggh!

    I’m thinking of my daycare provider’s husband and their whole family and really feel for them; I also don’t know what implication this will have on her ability to care for the kids – especially if she is caring for a sick husband….

    Til tomorrow,

    – Mama K

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