May 29: Getting ready to move on


It is 11:15PM right now and I want to recap of the day’s events –

– Chocolate Tuesday

– Twin Husky starting a “band” this morning with instrumentsImage

 

– Busy day at work dealing with forums and also client work; I wrote a client proposal and also a sales document for a forum we are launching as follow ups to the webinar we hosted 2 weeks back.   I essentially had my “sales” hat on today.

– Picked up kids; cooked dinner while packing up my mini-van with a load of stuff for my move

– Ate dinner; Twin Crazy was funny with upside-down sunglasses

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– finished packing up van and 3 of the kids wanted to come with me.  I said they need to help and also take baths before leaving my house to come back home to go to sleep.  They agreed.  Big Bro and Twin Crazy held hands on the way.   We drove up to the house to find deer in our backyard.  The kids helped me unload the van – I gave them stuff and told them which room to put it in.  Big Bro helped to water the lawn.  I carried down garbage bins.   Girls took their baths first; Twin Crazy squealed when she went into her room with the decorations; Big Bro took his bath and then we were off.   Kids were asleep when I got back.

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– I finished cleaning up from dinner; and then finished up some work.

So, yes it’s late.  Yes I ran non-stop today.  But it felt GREAT to be at the house and add things to the home like rugs and decorations.  The kids are doing so well.  They are listening so well and really respecting my “new” rules.   They are helping and seem excited.  Big Bro requested a calendar so that he and the rest could see which days are with Mommy and which days are with Daddy.   I love him so much it hurts.  

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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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 10: A new day.


    I was REALLY having a rough time this morning waking up. I went to bed late last night and the past couple of nights have given me spotty sleep. It’s catching up to me now. I had a really sweet morning though with the kids – some really magical moments that still have me thinking that I have the most wonderful kids in the world.

    Highlights of My Morning and Commute:

  • I showered quickly and threw on jeans. It will be a jeans day in the office today (self-proclaimed). Red, Twin Husky, Twin Crazy were already at the counter eating cereal. I gave each my morning kiss on their head, and we talked about the shape of the cereal. Are these triangles? NO. Are these squares? NO. Are these circles? Yes these are circles. Good. Circles. The kids are very funny when they really exaggerate the “NO’s” to this routine – shaking their heads back and forth. Then for some reason Twin Crazy started talking about monkeys – “Oooo oooo aaahhhh ahhhh”. I asked her where the monkeys were? Outside? She pointed to Twin Husky. Is Twin Husky a monkey? NOOOOOOOOOOOO says Twin Husky shaking his head back and forth. So cute.
  • I go up to wake up Big Bro and gather the clothes for the day. Big Bro jumps up from his bed, and then proceeds to jump on the bed, straight up and down. He only did it for 10 seconds or so – I asked him if this is his normal wake up routine and he said Yeah, laughing. I laughed too. It was kindof like he was shaking the sleep out of his little body. And then he was ready for the day. Smiling. Awesome.
  • Big Bro remembered that it was Chocolate Tuesday – so Hubby had a second series of breakfast to get ready. Next I looked all kids were devouring chocolate bagels, chocolate tortillas.
  • Twin Crazy coming into my room to show me her tortilla with her chocolate on it. She scrapes off the chocolate and asks for “more chocolate please”
  • I didn’t have my coffee yet but I was trying to help the kids – it looked like they needed some water with all of the bread they were eating so I offered it to them. One of the plastic cups “jumped” out of my hands and there was flying water all over the place. I asked the kids if they saw that and what was that cup doing flying out of my hands? The kids were laughing. I said it was an accident and I didn’t do it on purpose – that it was no problem because I’ll just clean up the mess. I asked if anyone took a “shower” from my spill as a joke and all of the kids said No, seriously. (cute)
  • Kids still laughing about “Fish Ranch Road” and how we didn’t see any fish on the road from the weekend
  • Red asking if I can take her to school today since I took Big Bro and Twins yesterday. Then Big Bro gets upset since he had to share his ride with the Twins. These kids are aching for more one-on-one Mommy time. And they are doing great about talking about their feelings (I am really focusing on that now with them)
  • Red had a breakdown over her clothes; she wanted to wear her butterfly shirt again (it is now her favorite). I was REALLY trying with her but she was being her red-haired fiesty self. One of my tricks was asking if I could take a picture of the butterfly shirt (knowing that I was going to write about this). But then Big Bro came up with something genious. He surprised me. He suggested that maybe she would take off her butterfly shirt if SHE took the picture (IT WORKED). Fist pumps to Big Bro!! I am still smiling at how empathetic he is, and how well we can act as a team – I continuously talk to them about how we have to help each other out – that is what family means; we all need help from time to time and it is our job as family members to help out when we can. These kids get it.
  • As soon as the rest left and it was just me and Red, her mood lifted considerably. We were talking about my coffee, my keys, jacket…. as I was getting things together she was my cute little side-kick. All smiles. Laughing. It’s amazing how quickly those moods can change. From tears to laughs.
  • On the ride to her pre-school, Red asked about the “clocks” on the front of the car. I talked to her about them – that they are not clocks, but each of the dials do measure certain things. A clock measures the time. These dials measure how fast the car goes, how hard the engine is working, how much gas we have in the tank, and how hot or cold the engine is. I love these simple conversations with the kids. But even better, I love the questions that they ask. They are VERY inquisitive and I encourage that. I say that is a great way to learn – to ask questions. That is how they learn about the world around them.
  • Wow. I wrote a lot. I think its because I didn’t get much time with the kids last night. So I always seem to take more in on these mornings… I think I am more apt to pick up on smaller things that I would otherwise overlook.

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    I am on the ferry now – I will have a busy day. I need to get the proposal off to the client today. I really need to get the conference meeting notes done (from 3 months ago, damn it). I have to follow up with some billing issues. I have loose ends hanging over my shoulder that I need to just bang-out.

    And I have a mountain of preparation to do on a personal front. Forensic kind of stuff. Documentation of assets leading up to the birth and ultimate death of a marriage. I’m not looking forward to this at all. Hopefully we treat each other fairly so we can still be good partners for our children in the future.

    I remember walking off the ferry and walking to work. The sun was shining and it felt wonderful on my face. I held my head high, closed my eyes, and looked up towards the sun while walking. I was taking it in. The air, the sun, the walk, the motion. The breeze through my hair. I am ready for the day, and feel much stronger than yesterday. Could it really be the result of the dose of the children?

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    I’m going to keep this part very brief.

  • I worked on the client proposal and it finally went out!! Yeah!! It would be great to win this for my sales efforts, but the delivery of work scares me. I feel like I have a lot going on and a big client project may complicate things a bit. But I need to win it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
  • I had a conversation with a peer about the meeting minutes… He’s not doing them either!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!! Everyone has agreed that they are too detailed, no-one asks for them, and no-one ever has questions with them after they receive them. So why bother??? Yeeeehoooooo!!!!
  • And alas, I hate to say it, but I was sidetracked a lot today on personal stuff. I got the ball rolling with requests of information I need to obtain; but it needs to be well thought out and complete. I only get one chance at this. I need to make sure I capture the right information and its complete. I have a meeting with my lawyers this week and I want to be extremely efficient at this next meeting. I want to have everything organized for them so that they don’t waste time and therefore keep their charges reasonable.
  • I almost missed the ferry. I looked down at the clock and it was going to leave in 10 minutes. I have never tried to make the ferry this late before. I freaked. I shut everything down and hauled ass out of the office. On the elevator I took my shoes off, positioned my bag, shoes, and jacket, and then proceeded to RUN full steam ahead to the ferry. I made it just in time! Whew!

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    I’m on the ferry, and the sun is still shining. My heart is pounding from the run. I sit and catch up with a neighbor. I’m thinking of the kids and also dinner. Chicken?

  • Pick up from Red was terrific – she ran into my arms and actually jumped up onto my body – all smiles, huge hugs. I LOVE THIS.
  • We quickly got Big Bro. He looked terrible. He is sniffling all over the place, and his face was all blotchy and red. His poor nose. And his eye was all red and sore from rubbing it. OMG please tell me no it’s not pink-eye. The daycare provider said that he was not himself all day long. 😦
  • Pick ups for Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were fine. Me and Twin Husky were talking about the beautiful sky. [He repeats, “beautiful sky”]
  • I run in and get the kids unpacked, shoes and jackets off, and set Big Bro on the couch to watch some TV. We don’t do this often but he needed it the poor guy. Twin Crazy and Red were interested in watching some with him. Twin Husky was interested in exploring, turning off the lights, and helping me cook. Then Twin Crazy and Red started to help me cook. So cute. They were smelling spices and stirring and Red was fully responsible for the vegetables, putting them in the bowl and closing up the bag. We made Tandoori Chicken tonight, which again was a HUGE hit. Big Bro had three platefuls. I was amazed. Big Bro and Red were fighting over who could sit on my lap. They are both lobbying hard for more one-on-one time with me; and getting more aggressive about it.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were using children’s knives for the first time. They were soooooooooooooo excited!!!
  • After dinner we rough-housed and I swung them in circles and we were all falling on the floor laughing. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy playing with the kitchen and “eating” ice-cream.
  • Chocolate milk!!!
  • Pink eye medicine! Ugggh. Poor guy.
  • We opened up a package today and it was the kids’ new lunchboxes. Red was thrilled but Big Bro got upset that he didn’t get his backpack yet. Why can’t he ever be satisfied with what we do with/for him? Ugggh. I know he’s sick but this is ridiculous.
  • Kids went to bed quickly because they were tired and not feeling well. Big Bro found a piece of his work that was thrown out by Hubby in the trash can and he started to flip out. I asked him to talk about it with Hubby when he returned from putting the Twins down. Big Bro asked me to help him. So I did. And Big Bro did great at telling the pieces and I commended him for talking about it with hubby, telling hubby how it made him feel, and then coming up with a solution for the future [Hubby ask Big Bro going forward if its OK to throw away certain items.]

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    I had a great day. I am feeling much more on my feet. I am tired, but I somehow feel like things will be OK for us. The hardest thing that I will have to go through is helping my children navigate through this now and in the future. It will not end. I will need to make sure these kids are getting what they need and that they are getting the healthiest environment possible given the situation. I will fight for them. And right now I feel ready.

    Signing off for now to get some sleep –
    Until tomorrow –
    – Mama K

  • November 9: Busy as a bee


    Today we woke up very early, probably due to DST. Twin Husky was singing and woke us up.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • Twin Husky was singing, along with Twin Crazy, but it was Red who came into our room first. She was talking about the wallet that I helped her make and the pretend money. She was explaining to Hubby that we made a wallet and money together and that Big Bro gave his home-made wallet to Red too, because I had my old wallet up for grabs. So Big Bro is pumped about my old wallet, and Red is thrilled that she has two wallets, one of which is a hand-me-down from Big Bro.
    • I grabbed the Twins from their room. They were busy playing in the cribs, doing dives and jumping and laughing. I changed Twin Crazy since she was soaked through with pee. I need to change the way we do her diapers since now she’s a 100% stomach-sleeper. We’re going through lots of PJs and bedsheets these days.
    • I take a quick shower and then help downstairs with breakfast. Oatmeal is such a hit at hour house that I need to think through a more economical way to do it. We’re going through 4-5 packets of instant per day, between 3 kids. On the weekends I make the homemade stuff which still is fast — the 1 minute cook stuff. And I add brown sugar and butter to make it delicious. I can buy that stuff in bulk at Costco. I want to start doing that during the week too so we can save money and not go through the food so fast.
    • I helped to change Big Bro and Red. Red picked out her clothes the night before which helped. The “carrot” of the childrens’ vitamins after the dressing also helps a bit to get them moving.
    • We were so early today that we all took our drop-offs together. First Red, then Twins, then Big Bro.

    I’m on the ferry now and this will be my last working day of the week. I will be off Thursday and Friday and am looking forward to the time I will be able to spend with the kids. But, today will be VERY busy for me at work. I think it will take some time to get used to this arrangement — for me, my kids, and my colleagues. I am willing to tweak here and there to make it work for everyone.

    I am particularly excited about spending more time with the Twins. Time that I never really had with Big Bro and Red. I want to do arts-and-crafts with them. I want to take them to museums. To “sing-a-longs” at the library. To the park. I mostly just want to sit and talk with them.

    Today at work I will need to work on several proposals — 3 in total. Plus find time to work on my project. Plus find time to close out some loose ends with the meetings that just wrapped up. Plus find time to refine our selling materials for our other service offering that we are developing. I will be working back-to-back all day today and hopefully my time will be efficient so I can feel good about taking off the rest of the week. I can’t drop any balls or else this arrangement will likely have to change…. Through my career I’ve learned to use my Outlook calendar religiously. There are blocks of times for meetings, but I also block out time for myself dedicated to specific work that I need to do. And I’m true to those “bookings” of time. If I need to re-arrange, I do – but I never cancel. If someone needs to schedule a meeting, then based on priority I will have them schedule around my calendar, and schedule something on the next day if needed. This system seems to work well for me.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    OMG more discussions and I am officially a part-time employee! My day today was VERY compressed and efficient – I essentially was back to back with meetings; I think this will work well for my company, essentially they will get more out of me for each hour I spend…. here are the highlights

    • I read materials for my client project to get a better understanding of the proposed partnership opportunity we will be evaluating; reached out to subject-matter-experts and secured one interview, and am in process of securing at least 2 others. Primary interviews is research where you actually TALK to the market. You typically can learn SO MUCH MORE than you ever could just surfing the web. You need to be prepared for these discussions though…. you need to have your must-have questions fully organized but still be flexible enough to let the conversations flow – this is where you learn and pick up on other aspects of the business that you may not have otherwise. So I’m excited that we are in process of getting these set up. This was client “billable” time for me.
    • I lead a discussion with another relationship that I cultivated and we proposed for strategy consulting work. It was a great conversation and there are some MINOR modifications to the language of our proposal. They really liked what they saw. The only major thing I have left to do is price the effort – which can be tricky. We bid on fixed price projects but sometimes it is difficult to really estimate the level of effort for the project. I will need to focus on that so we can give him the revised proposal with the price estimate on Monday. This is the first of the proposals that resulted from the meetings I lead earlier last month.
    • Had more discussions with my Directors on my reduced work week. All are in support and we worked on a communication plan so that everyone is aware of my availability, reachability. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. They gave me hugs afterwards. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive firm to work for.
    • I had another business development meeting for a separate proposal we will prepare. I consolidated our list of questions and the Director submitted; the potential client will answer these questions and from here we will be able to craft a compelling proposal.
    • I refined/repositioned marketing materials for one of the initiatives I am leading. I will need to restart outreach to solicit potential members next week with these materials.
    • I met with a consultant who drafted a proposal for a lead that I brought in from another meeting from early last month. This is the 2nd proposal resulting from the meetings I lead earlier last month.
    • I worked with our technology team to get my iPhone set up to receive/send work email. Although I will not be working, if I see anything client-related that is urgent I will respond or forward to a colleague as appropriate.

    I AM SO EXCITED! I’m on the ferry now, thinking about what I will do with the Twins tomorrow. I’m planning on taking all four to the museum on Friday since it is Veteran’s Day and school/daycare is closed. My stress level is washing away from my shoulders and I am looking forward to being a mom to my kids.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I picked up Red, then Big Bro, then the Twins.  All were in reasonably good moods.  Whew!
    • As I made dinner, the kids were all drawing.   I like giving them projects so that they are entertained as I am busy.
    • Dinner was pasta with sauce on the side.   Kids were helping me with the other kids.   For example, Red got Big Bro a bowl for his sauce, Big Bro was serving sauce in the bowls, and Red was helping with the Twins.  They really do look out for each other which warms my heart so much.
    • After dinner, there was a mad rush of activity around believe it or not, an Amazon box.   Out of ALL the toys we have in this house, ALL four kids decided that it was the best fun to play inside of this box.  They took turns individually, then as subsets of kids, then even all four of them at the same time.  It was hysterical.
    Four kids and an Amazon box

    Four kids and an Amazon box

    • Then they moved on to the parade:
    • I then got some chocolate milk for everyone to get them to calm down for the evening.  I had a “mommy chocolate milk” (AKA Guinness).  I got Big Bro started on his homework and Red started on a picture while I took the Twins upstairs.    They are so easy.
    • Then we did Big Bro homework and I helped Red color in some pictures.  She is so funny.  She draws squares, and then indicates with a dot within each square the ones that she wants me to color.   She is so decisive and delegates so easily – tells me exactly what I’m supposed to do.  So cute.
    Everyone is upstairs, I am happy with a Guinness already down, and also looking forward to my day tomorrow with the kids.  I’m definitely going to have the Twins – I’m not sure what I feel like doing with Red.   I may have her join the fun as well.
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

     

     

     

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