October 24: A recap of the last few days


I came home tonight after leading and facilitating a series of meetings for one of the forums that I manage for my company – I left on Monday AM and returned at 7 PM Wednesday night – picking up the kids from co-parent’s on the way from the airport and to my house. They are in bed now and I missed them so much;
Highlights of the past few days:

  • Eating a big breakfast at the airport; sleeping on the plane the entire way cross-country.
  • Seeing the GORGEOUS leaves turning colors during my drive from the airport. Lots of yellows and bright reds. I attempted to take a picture from the taxi but the pictures does the scene absolutely no justice whatsoever.
  • Getting assigned to a room that did not exist and getting lost on the floor (not) finding it.  Getting set up in my real room – a suite. Lots of chairs and rooms and space for me to lose my things.
  • FABULOUS dinner and drinks with clients on Monday night. I joked with my clients about my “garden” and the “corn” that we grew which was terrible; they were laughing with (at) me.
  • First day of meetings was amazing. I presented data and analyses to the group and it went very well. The group overall was very engaged the entire day and there was a lot of interaction and discussion – that is how I know that the meeting is going well.
  • ANOTHER FABULOUS DINNER WHERE I DRANK TOO MUCH WINE – THE FOOD WAS AMAZING AND I HUGGED THE CHEF. Afterwards, I took out prospective members to some Irish bars and we had way too much fun.
  • Next day of meetings went great. I lead the day solo and facilitated the end of the meeting getting their ideas on subject matter and topics for the next meeting in six months. We’ll be heading to Miami in the Spring!
  • Took a town car to the airport.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.   Too good to be true.  I miss that.
  • I had plenty of time – had some lunch/wine, and worked on sales for the other forum I manage. I sold three new memberships today and will work on others through the rest of the week where I can.
  • Plane ride back was fine; I slept and also listened to a lot of music.

 

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Getting the Kids:

  • AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME
  • They ran to me. Red jumped in my lap. Twin Husky was jumping up and down saying “Mommy Mommy Mommy”. Twin Crazy came out laughing and hugging and smiling. Big Bro came out and was gathering his things. I guess he’s past the hugging stage of his life. 😦
  • Twin Husky had on new sneakers and he was showing me how they work and light up when he slams his foot down. They are Buzz Lightyear sneakers. Twin Crazy then started saying how she can do that too and had to show me. Then Red too. So I had 3 kids around me stomping their feet and making their shoes light up. It was like fireworks.
  • I learned that Twin Crazy has been sick the past 3 days – up at night with high fevers and puking. Great.
  • On the ride back, Big Bro and Red were playing games with their LeapPads together; laughing. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were singing together and laughing. I was quiet and just let them entertain themselves. I wanted to hear them in their natural states without forcing conversation. I loved the ride home.
  • We quickly did bedtime routine and read books, scratched backs. Twin Crazy complained a bit that she was cold (slight fever) so I gave her medicine. I hope she sleeps through the night. I need the sleep and am exhausted from the day and also time difference.

 

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I had an amazing 3 days. Work is going so well for me and I’m really enjoying what I do. I have fun with it during the meetings and afterwards. I like bringing on new clients/members. I like the entertaining aspect and making sure that everyone is happy. It is fun and easy work for me. Coming home to the kids was also amazing. Their hugs, their excitement, their laughter. All of us sitting together on the couch with the fireplace on reading books together and laughing and talking about the books. It was a great moment for me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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April 13: Feeling surprisingly relaxed


A busy day; the last day of work before I leave for a work trip all next week. So I went into the office to work today since there is still so much to do.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy went potty! I said we would get her changed to pick out her underwear. She was very excited to do this. She ran to her drawer and instead, pulled out stockings by mistake. But she wanted to wear them too. So Red and I went to her closet and picked out some dresses for her to decide on. She said that one was too tight but was VERY excited about a red one. I took pictures of her looking demure. She refused to smile. Red was smiling though, proud of her little sister and she agreed that she looked so cute.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating a bagel. Big bites along the whole bagel. He kept saying that it was a circle. He also loved the cream cheese.
  • Twin Crazy put on her rain boots by herself. She loves those things. They probably fit even better on her with stockings – versus her PJs which make the boots way to tight for her.
  • Red wanted me to help her with her clothes. She set them out in the order she wanted to get changed into… her top, her underwear, her pants, her socks. Very particular. There is an order to everything.
  • All the kids noticed holes in my socks and started laughing and teasing me and poking my feet, saying they were going to try to pick my toes. I acted silly with them and they loved it. I had all kids all around me looking at my feet and trying to get to my toes. We were all laughing. It was too funny.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were both taking care of their babies. Twin Crazy was feeding her baby a vitamin, and Twin Husky was feeding his Tiger a bagel.
  • Big Bro went riding with the Motley Crew. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and then Red. I had to run back to the car to get her purse with her nail polishes. But this made her smile from ear to ear. I was running late for the ferry but was glad I made that second trip to the van for her.
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    On the ferry to work I felt incredibly relaxed. I have a lot of work to do today… some presentations to finish (that I will deliver next week) and also some speakers to still confirm!!!! Plus several meetings related to the client project. How am I working on client projects now too????!?!??!?!?!?

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got some paperwork off related to my house purchase!!!!
  • I started to review and work on presentations; also had a meetings to review two different presentations that I had no part of data collections or report preparation. So I have to understand the data and understand the implications of the data. And think through how I will present it to make it interesting. That is the hard part because the data itself is kind of boring.
  • I had two market interviews for the client project.
  • I went to lunch with the office for Dim Sum. It was excellent and VERY fast.
  • I helped a colleague get in touch with one of my friends related to a project he is working on. She is going to help find the right person within her organization for him to have a market interview (THANK YOU MAMA J!!!! I KNOW YOU READ THIS!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!)
  • I worked with our admin on various logistics for the forums. Things that she was used to doing in the past I asked her not to do since I thought not a good use of time. I’m trying to make things easier and more streamlined.
  • I secured a Plan B speaker in case the our speaker for the one forum falls through. I almost hope they do, since I think the PLan B option is much more interesting for the group and I really like the guy.
  • I’m on the ferry now and looking forward to being with the children. I will be on my own tonight which always makes me happier. It is more relaxing. I can focus on the kids without the frustrations of the failed relationship getting in the way. The plans for the weekend are forming and I’m feeling good about getting away next week. I think we’re relatively prepared for the meetings but I know I’ll be working after the events and getting ready for the next day. Next week I will get little sleep and will need to be “on” the entire time.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the house and am getting more and more excited. I will turn 42 this summer and I will be a first-time home buyer. The thought of having my own space, to put my own things, and root and grow with my family has been so important to me in the past. I’ve been craving it. I can’t believe it’s almost here and I was able to find a location zoned to 10/10 schools. I feel like I’ve done everything I could do to set myself and the kids up to be the best that we can be. I’m looking forward to getting in, settling in, and making the house a home.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and we talked about dinner. We talked about ordering a pizza. I pulled over and ordered, then we picked up the Twins. Twin Crazy’s stockings were trashed. She was still talking about them. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s car seat. Red helped him into the van by lifting his butt in the air and pushing him in the van. Twin Crazy wanted to sit in between Twin Husky and Red in the back seat and Red and her were holding on to each other laughing before I pulled Twin Crazy away and tucked her into her own carseat. Sisters.
  • Big Bro’s pick up was good but it took a really long time for him to get his bike. I think he’s really taking advantage of the freedom… exploring the school yards, going in circles… I’m not sure but it takes him a long time and his face is always full of smiles when he shows up. Everyone in the car was singing and laughing while waiting for him. He took the lagoon route and wanted our car to go REALLY slow so he could beat us. I tried hard, but couldn’t go slowly enough so he was mad when he reached our van at the end of the lagoon trail.
  • By the time we got home, the pizza man was also arriving at our house.
  • After dinner, we noticed some motorcycles outside so we went out there to check them out.
  • We then decided to watch some “Olivia” on TV and got popcorn. All kids were excited for this.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty so I gave her 2 chocolate chips. That was a mistake. The twins were going nuts during bedtime. Twin Husky threw a book and toys into the toilet. I told them I was feeling mad. That resonated with Twin Crazy. We sat and read books. I tucked them in.
  • Big Bro meanwhile was cleaning all the things that were thrown in the toilet. After I grabbed them and threw them in the sink, he had a process all set up for soaping up the stuff, cleaning, and drying them. He was a pleasure tonight. When someone else is acting up, Big Bro becomes an angel.
  • Twin Crazy was REALLY crying in her crib. It wasn’t a normal sounding cry. I went to her. I held her in my lap and Twin Husky wanted to come too. I asked her if she felt sad and she said YEAH. I asked her if it was because mommy felt mad and she said YEAH. I told her that sometimes people get mad, just like she does and just like Twin Husky, and Big Bro, and Red…. and that Mommy feels mad sometimes too and that’s OK. I told her that I still love her and will always love her and kissed her and asked her if she understood. She said YEAH. And Twin Husky did the same. I held them tighter and asked them if it was OK now for them to go to sleep. YEAH. Kisses. hugs. Back in their cribs. I covered Twin Crazy and Red covered Twin Husky. I wiped the hair away from her face and whispered my normal “I…….. love……. you” and again. She joined me in the routine. And she was OK. I went to Twin Husky and he was already rolling around smiling. “I…… love….. you. Sweet dreams.”.
  • I read to Big Bro. Again the story about the princess that dies. He now asks what happens after someone becomes dead. I talk about how no-one really knows for sure, but that a lot of people believe that your spirit, the thing that makes you FEEL and LAUGH and THINK and BE is inside of the body and that its called a spirit and that your spirit lives on even after your physical body is dead. He questions me on this each night and he picks out this book on purpose each night. His questions are very frank and I love that about him. He has always been curious about the world around him.
  • Red had a problem going to sleep. They were laughing with each other and I went in to scratch their backs… then went into the hallway to type this up… and then they crying. I think it happens as soon as Big Bro falls asleep. I think she feels the lonliness. She was laughing one minute and then upset the next. I keep trying to figure out is she scared, sad, lonely… maybe all? I try to talk to her about it but she is just silent. She is in there now quiet, and I think not yet asleep.
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    We had a great night. Easy. Real. No your turn my turn. No passing the kids off. It was just us. And we ate and played and the evening flowed. And when someone had an issue there was a child who was there to help. And even though it was only me with the four of them, I feel like I had really good one-on-one time with EACH of them. Talking to them. Encouraging them. Teaching them. I feel tired but happy.

    I think I’ll give myself a break tonight and only work on one presentation to send to a Director. Will do the rest at some point over the weekend.

    Great weekend to all –
    – Mama K

    March 26: Stealing time


    Back to work after a rainy/overcast weekend. I had a great time with the kids. We spent the time together at the house and didn’t really do any destination excursions. Us playing play-dough, playing kickball in the neighborhood, watching the Discovery channel, potty-training Twin Crazy. Now headed into work and I feel good about the time I spent with each child. I really feel like I connected strongly with each, giving them undivided time and attention.

    I’m on the ferry now, feeling pretty good.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red in my room at 6:40 AM. I was snoozing and found it hard to get up. It was easier for me seeing her smiling face and telling me “time to get up!!!”.
  • I ask the kids now if it is OK for me to kiss them good-morning – mostly for Twin Husky’s sake. He is cuddly but not kissey. I love how he picks a specific spot on the side of his head above his ear for me to kiss him. “Here”. “Here?” I ask. “No. Here.” as he moves his finger a little bit over his head. I kiss him. And he smiles.
  • Twin Crazy went to the potty, I changed her in underwear and packed underwear (and lots of extra pants) for her at daycare today. I’m hoping the daycare provider keeps up the routine with her. She was doing great this weekend. She looks up at me with those huge eyes looking for expressions of approval and I tell her how happy I am and how proud I am of her. How well she is doing (there were of course some accidents but nothing monstumental).
  • I packed up the other bags of clothes and needed items. Red was excited about packing up her backpack for school. She says that there are other kids that are bringing in backpacks to school so she wanted to do that too. So she spent the night before getting everything ready (her baby doll, her Jessie doll, her blanket, her jacket, her raincoat) and setting it out by the back door with all of our other things.
  • Big Bro was excited about wearing sweatpants to school. We tried them out over the weekend and he loves them. I love them because they don’t have any holes in the knees. He wanted to wear the matching soccer ball sweatshirt top that goes with the pants so I made sure it would be cleaned by this AM so that he would be ready to go. He woke up later than normal (did not nap at all over the weekend) but got ready by himself and was so excited when he came downstairs wearing his outfit. Today is Monday and his day to be “leader”, the first in line with the Motley Crew in bikes. It makes Mondays easier for us.
  • Big Bro headed out on his bike, Twins went with co-parent, and I took Red in upon her request. She was very excited with her backpack. I could tell she wanted the attention of her classmates and teacher.
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    Now I’m on the ferry and will be very busy at work today. I have back to back meetings for much of the day, I remember. I don’t remember what they are though. I need to get back on track with where I am with work today. After looking at my calendar, I have 7 meetings scheduled, 2 are in conflict with one another. THere are meetings related to the client project, recruiting feedback, and planning for the forums in one months time. PLUS I have work to do. How is it possible? Every 15 minutes of uninterrupted time makes a difference. I’ve learned to use that time to my advantage. Attacking the time and the task and getting it OFF of my plate as soon as I can so I can move on to the next thing. I checked my emails this morning and there is nothing urgent that will distract me (yet).

    I have my meeting with my therapist tonight so will miss the kids this evening. Hopefully Big Bro and Red will still be awake (likely) so I can catch up with them and their days.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    Busy busy busy….

  • I walked from the ferry, grabbed a coffee and a chocolate croissant.
  • Made it to the office and went directly into a conference room to catch up with the project team for a meeting that I knew I would be late to (the ferry gets in just before 9 AM and it takes me 15 min to walk to the office). We talked about the analysis and refined our thinking – I think the work is in a better place.
  • Immediately after this meeting we had a conference call to debrief on the interview candidates from last week. I suggested we bring one back for one of the Directors to interview, versus tossing him out of the picture completely. There was something about him that folks liked.
  • We had a primary interview/conference call with a market player related to our one project. We learned some new perspectives we have not heard of before which is the beauty and value of having these kinds of discussions.
  • We had our Monday office lunch and I had to leave a bit early to prepare for another conference call.
  • I was surprised by a call from my dad in India through Ooovooo. It was 1 AM his time. I spent 1 month in India over 10 years ago and loved the experience although the first week was very difficult because there’s no way to prepare yourself for the poverty, how children are used, and how loud/dirty/smelly everything is. He is loving his time there so far (thank goodness). It was fun to talk to him and see him through my PC.
  • I had a planning conference call related to one of the forums I am leading.
  • I reached out to several CEOs for guest speakers and potential members.
  • We had a separate meeting relating to the Agenda and guests for a separate forum; also sat in on a call with a potential participant/speaker.
  • I followed up with some emails and outreach; addressed some random items in my Inbox.
  • It was a mind-blowing busy day with meetings – but I feel like I did not get much work done! There is still client work to prepare for tomorrow, and a whole binder of client-related materials for me to plow through. Plus finalizing speakers and Agenda and details details details.

    I’m glad work is busy. It is a diversion for me.

    I am on the ferry home now, and I am hoping that I get home in time to see the little ones. I have a feeling at least some will be up since it is only Co-parent at home with them, alone. So I’m fairly certain that the older ones will be up, and hopefully the littler ones too. I hope Twin Crazy was still encouraged to use the potty today. I worked really hard with her over the weekend and want for it to continue. I hope Big Bro had a good time on his bike – it will likely rain the rest of the week. I hope Red is happy. I hope Twin Husky has both of his Tigers with him.

    I’m hoping my children are going through this the best they can, and that I am doing all that I should be doing to protect them and get them through this. My focus is on them and being there for them and being happy for them.

    *****
    [8:30 PM]
    OMG I had a great time with the kids just now. Twin Crazy was finishing going to the potty (she only had ONE accident today!) and I told her how proud of her I was. Twin Crazy was running around laughing and then jumping on Big Bro’s bed. Red was excited to see me and clung to my leg like a monkey. Big Bro was busy with Legos.

    Then all kids were going nuts and running around and I was trying to separate the Twins for their bedtime routine but the big kids kept wanting the little kids in their room and then the big kids would come into the little kids room and they were all hugging and hiding in the closet and being kids. Being siblings. Laughing and hugging. And I was there to see it!

    The twins and I whispered “I…… love…. you” and also blew kisses. Red came downstairs to me to talk about a milkshake recipe ingredients. I wrote them down as a shopping list. Big Bro came down to talk about his sweatpants. How kids thought they were pajamas but his response was that “pajamas don’t have pockets”. He wants to wear them again tomorrow, but he also wants to wear them to sleep. He’s addicted. OK, I have to go deal with this now…

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    [9 PM]
    OMG now they are both down here, Red with her head burried in my blanket like an ostrich.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 26: Pretty in Pink


    I’m coming from a bad weekend. On a scale of 1-10, it was a 2. Today I’m groggy, hungry, have no coffee, and am feeling down.  I’m on the ferry now with all the kids at daycare/preschool/Kindergarten. Back to reality.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • All kids sleep late this morning. We have to peel them out of their beds.
    • Today is a cheerio cereal morning for 75% of the kids. The Twins are doing well with spoons but we had several occurences of spilled bowls and Cheerios/milk all over the place and all over them. Plus, Twin Crazy has a habit of taking her bowl and walking around the entire first floor when we are not looking. So there were also trails of cereal and wet milk all over the rugs.
    • Red is initially upset and yelling when I bring down her clothes. This is because she already picked out her underwear and socks. She is extremely mad at me for this. “No problem! I’ll just put this stuff away and we’ll pick out a pair of shorts together. No problem.” She is a breeze after that. She has 3 bowls of cereal.
    • Big Bro is a handful this morning. He does not want to come downstairs without holding my hand (he needs “mommy time”). But I am in the middle of diapering the Twins and also getting Red dressed (and hugging her for mommy time), so he has to wait. It wasn’t until 8 AM until we walked down together. We dress him quickly (mommy time) and I grab some things that he could eat in the car for breakfast.
    • Hubby and I split the drop offs since we are running late. He takes Red, I take the Twins and Big Bro. The daycare provider seems honestly happy and thrilled to see the Twins again. Lots of kisses.
    • I drive Big Bro to Kindergarten and we quickly force some applesauce down this throat in the van before leaving for the line-up. When we enter his class, he turns to me and gives me a huge hug — even though we are in front of his friends.  How sweet.
    • I just make it to the Ferry in time. They were closing the gate as I ran up. This was a close call.
    • So, it is obvious to me that my kids feel like they need more of me today. I feel bad about that. I’ll need to make it up to them in the evenings this week. Make sure I spend some 1-on-1 time with each of them.

    Today at work will be the first day of a very busy week. I have guest speakers to still book, presentations to review, and final logistics to take care of. We have our two forums next week and this will be my first time doing this. I need to rock this so that I can position myself for a lighter work-week going forward.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • I arrive in the office and have 10 minutes to look at email (some were quite important, dealing with potential presenters at upcoming forums)
    • I then have  a 1.5 hour presentation review; consultants presented to me findings of the data compilation of one of our forums; I give suggestions and probe for the “drivers” and why the data is trending the way it is. If we don’t have the answers, that’s OK.  These are the types of questions that will be PERFECT to the forum to get conversation going.
    • I attend another meeting related to a separate project. I’m not sure exactly why I was there. I didn’t add much to the conversation and I really had a lot of other stuff to do.
    • I arranged/secured two presenters for conferences; I received some presentation from guest speakers and will need to start to review them.

    So, work is busy, but not extremely scary. Next week will be a BIG trip. I will be facilitating and presenting and winging it for TWO forums; I don’t mind getting in front of a crowd; I am looking forward to the networking and getting to know people. I get to get dressed up and maybe I’ll even wear some flashy shoes. 🙂

    So now I’m on the ferry home, missing my kids. I’m also extremely tired today. Emotionally drained.
    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I pick up Big Bro and delay the time with him so he feels good “mommy time”.  Together we go to Red’s pre-school.   I decide to ask him to pick out a book and we lay down on one of the couches and I read to him, and only him.   That is his dose of “mommy time”.  I hope he remembers and appreciates it.   Question to readership:    What kinds of activities do you do 1:1 with your kids that are “quick” and can be done in the daily course of your day??
    • We then find Red.  She is so sweet.
    • Lastly, the Twins. They are back at daycare.  They seem to be happy.   They are eating apple fruit bars.
    • Once at home, I clean up a bit.   I set up all the kids with markers and paper so they can draw and do art.  I think its so much fun now to have the Twins “closer” in capability to the older siblings.   So now they can do art now too when their older siblings are.   This is getting to be fun.
    • As they are creating, I try to decide what to create for dinner.  I decide to cop-out and make pancakes.   And I slice some canned peaches.  Sounds good to me, and the kids think this is funny.  Question to readership:    Have you EVER served breakfast at dinner?   If  so, how often can you get away with it???
    • As I set the kids at the table, I realize that Twin Husky has gotten into Red’s pretend make up.   He is busy applying it all over his face.
    Twin Husky - Pretty in Pink

    Twin Husky - Pretty in Pink

    • Hubby gets home after kids have eaten.  I’m changing ATTROCIOUS diapers.
    • I throw out the diapers outside — that’s how bad they are — and then walk into the sliding door on my way in.  Great.
    • Twins seem a bit cranky so we start bedtime routine early; Twin Crazy is barely holding on.
    • Red and Big Bro decide to do dance routines and acrobatics in their room before going to bed.  They crack me up.
    So now it is the end of my first day back at work after a week of vacation, and after a week of working from home.   It was a tough, tough morning but work itself was OK.  It felt good to be back.   I think I can manage this conference stuff without too much stress (I think — get back to me after NEXT week…..).
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K
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