December 9: Tantrums, sickness, lack of sleep X FOUR

Happy Friday! Today is a “stay-at-home” day with me and the Twins. It has been a bit of a rough day so far…

Highlights of the Morning and Early Afternoon:

  • I woke up a big hungover to three kids in my bed – Red, and the Twins. What was absolutely adorable was Red was reading to each of them.
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  • Big Bro put on a t-shirt and shorts. Mind you, it’s 37 degrees outside. I pleaded with him to think about the cold outside and think about pants. The problem is that it does actually warm up during the day, and he is very hot-blooded. So my pleading went ignored – but I left it up to him to make his own decision.
  • Everyone was a bit cranky this morning. The Twins both are sick. Sneezing and big red rashes all over the place. Roseola? Not sure. But they are cranky and clingy. Big Bro is whining about everything. Red starts her whining when it came to her socks. By the time we were on her jacket, she was in full-fledged tantrum. I think the Twins’ bad moods for being sick kindof rubbed off on the older two who maybe didn’t get enough sleep last night. Anyway, all four of them were not very enjoyable this morning. Or, maybe was it the wine I drank last night??!?!?!?
  • Big Bro scootered to school while I strollered the Twins. We were extremely late. By the time we got there he was the last one in but at least we caught up with the group. He then runs outside to me in tears because he forgot his library book. I said I would go back and get it. I looked into his eyes and he looked terrible. I’m putting these kids to bed early tonight.
  • On the stroller ride home with the Twins, I took it slow. We talked about things that we saw. I miss this with them. When Big Bro and later Red were small and we were living in the city, I would stroller them to daycare which was in my office building. So at that time, I had the opportunity to talk about so many things with them – it was city living so there was just a lot to look at and teach. Water fountains, big buildings, lights (and counting the lights), going into building lobbies and talking about the holiday decorations, pointing out the flags, etc. Now with the Twins, we commute primarily by mini-van. On days that I stroll with them, particularly on Thursday and Fridays when we are coming back home, I really want to take it slow with them. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do with these two. We talked about the crows and how they fly away and how big their wings are. We saw two dogs playing so we pulled over to watch them play and we talked about how funny it is to see dogs and how they play and wrestle and run around in circles. We talked about the holiday decorations that we saw. Twin Husky initiated conversation about the playground and the slides. Twin Husky is still pointing out all of the basketball nets. We talked about the busier road and how cars drive fast on that road. We talked about flowers and spent some time looking at them. I talked with them the whole way home and felt better that I am doing more now to teach them about the world around them.
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  • I started looking for Big Bro’s library book and found it. I threw 2 diapers and a small package of wipes in my handbag. Also two little cars to keep the kids entertained. I’m taking them out to breakfast! I went to drop off the book, and Big Bro’s class was not there – so I left a present for him….
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  • Then we headed out for breakfast. I parked and decided NOT to stroller them, but to walk the two blocks. The kids had a great time and Twin Crazy almost looked proud to be walking with me, holding my hand, and crossing the street like a big girl. While at breakfast, our table was close to all of these holiday decorations and the board underneath a HUGE penguin kept getting pushed in by Twin Husky, therefore leading the penguin to almost coming crashing down on us twice. He is such a boy. He needs to touch everything. The penguin incident happened TWO times so he didn’t even learn from the first time. We had a good breakfast nonetheless, and the twins had lots of fun things to look at in this greasy spoon of a diner.
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  • Once we got back I had to care for sick twins. Both were extremely cranky. I had snot to deal with, red skin to deal with, sore noses to deal with, and medicine to give. It took about 15 minutes for the caregiving to kick in and after that they were much more pleasant.
  • We headed upstairs and I read them books. I love how they get so excited over the books. They each run for a book for me to read. Sometimes I read to them, and sometimes they read picture books to me. They love it. They love turning the pages. They love making the sounds that animals make. They love talking with me about what they see on the page. Once I say that the books are done and its time for their nap, they don’t even fight it. They welcome it. I kiss them and they grab hold of their stuffed animals and blankets and begin to doze.
  • They’re down for a nap now and I am getting some things done around the house. I enjoy this quiet time where I can focus on things that I normally would not be able to. The sun is out and I’m feeling good. The twins are quiet so it seems like they are busy sleeping.
    • The Rest of the Day:

    • The twins both woke up in foul moods. Twin Crazy was having a hard time sleeping the entire time because of her stuffed up nose. They’re both sick and struggling. I packed them up, picked up Big Bro, and headed out to a friends house who had a HUGE hand-me-down dollhouse and lots of hand-me-down clothes for all of the kids.
    • The dollhouse was bigger than expected. I thought I’d be able to slip it in the back and cover it up quickly before Big Bro would see it, that way it could be from Santa. No such luck. This thing was HUGE. Four feet tall, at least. I think 4 floors. It wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the mini-van. I tried over and over to shove it in. Of course Big Bro saw it. So I tried to get one of the seats to fold under to give more room. It was stuck. Me and Big Bro were trying to figure it out. He noticed that his car seat was in the way. I eventually got it. Both of us were excited and proud. What a team!!! The thing took up a big part of the van on the way home. Too funny.
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    • Hubby picked up Red while I cooked dinner; Flat Meat with chicken and I did a marinade with mango jelly and basil. Big Bro was throwing tantrums left and right. He was really, really difficult to deal with tonight. The dinner was very good. The kids ate well but it took them awhile to get started — again, their crankiness was a bit too much to bear. I started to drink a Guinness..
    • After dinner we brought out the dollhouse and Big Bro, Red, and Twin Crazy had fun cleaning it. The three of them seem really excited about it. I would have loved it if I had it when I was a kid. Maybe Santa can get Red some proper dolls to play with it, and maybe some more furniture.
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    • There were huge tantrums tonight with the older kids about graham crackers, going to the potty, etc. I just think that both of them were way too tired.
    • So, today was great in that we have all of this new “loot” in the house – clothes, dollhouse, etc. But honestly ALL of the kids were so hard today. All the result of too little sleep and being sick. I really need for Big Bro to nap this weekend. And I hope the kids sleep in a bit tomorrow. Because I know I’ll be moving slowly…

      Have a great weekend everyone –
      Til next week –
      – Mama K

      July 26: On the road again…

      Today’s routine was a bit out of the ordinary since I had to drive to two different face-to-face meetings today for work. I had to leave the house by 7:45 AM and not only that, but I actually had to get myself ready and look presentable (e.g., hair and makeup). So, I literally had almost NO time with the kids –

      Highlights of the Morning:

      • Red woke up in the middle of the night because she “lost” her two plastic measuring spoons in bed. Why do we let them bring toys into bed? Hmmm. Sounds like a topic I should poll our group on.
      • they ate well because of Chocolate Tuesday
      • Twin Husky wanted out of the high chair. He wants to move and explore in the AM
      • Twin Crazy was in her high chair, COVERED with blueberry yogurt (self-feeding). Literally all over her hands, face, YUCK but so cute. I think she realized that I was very hesitant to be too close to her and she was in a very anxious mood towards me the rest of the AM.

      Twin Crazy goes crazy over blueberry yogurt

      • I was rushing – trying to help Hubby get things organized for his drop offs; I made a huge cup of coffee in the Tervis Tumbler
      • Said goodbye to everyone — they each came over for a hug and a kiss, even Big Bro (melted my heart…. he is still innocent and will go out of his way to get a hug from mommy). Twin Crazy was still very anxious. I feel like i did not hug her enough this AM so I’ll need to focus on that tonight.
      • I drove out to my meeting, got a big lost (thanks map quest) but realized it when I started driving by cows and the road dead-ended. I made the meeting in plenty of time.

      Highlights of My Working Day:

      • Business development meeting went extremely well. We are partnering to potentially bring a product to market and we had a very productive meeting. I was an active participant and feel good about my contributions. The Head of Marketing there is a woman and through small talk I found out that she is also a mother of twins. Instant connection. YES\!! And then the pictures came out (which I had in my bag for a separate meeting with another mother of four). I honestly have no problem “pimping out” my kids for business development/sales/client relationship building. I’m always talking about stories and using my situation as an icebreaker when appropriate.
      • Grabbed lunch at In and Out Burger. Double cheeseburger, with fries, soda, AND a chocolate milkshake. It was outrageous.
      • Drove to city to pick up a co-worker; drove to a different sub-rub for a different business development meeting. The client is also a mother of four. Her kids are older than mine and are spread farther apart, but still I need to pick her brain on how she manages and will obviously share the group. We organized the project, set up a plan, deliverable and timeline. We’ll be meeting with her again on Thursday. I need to craft an email to her that specifies the budget we have to work with and the deliverable promised to her. The budget is tight, but there are other projects like this in the pipeline so we want to invest in this one and position ourselves well for follow on work with her.
      • After the meeting we drove back to my place. We quickly read through all materials and crafted the storyline for the white paper that we will be drafting. It feels like a good outline. The consultant will start fleshing out the content tomorrow for my review so we are prepared for Thursdays’s meeting. I used my new iPad to craft the outline and easily emailed it to both of our work emails. I sent out some emails confirming our work for the whitepaper and the fee.
      • Tomorrow will be a big day because of the Executive Presentation for my last project. I need to go through that tonight and in the AM so that I’m well prepared. I will be doing the majority of the presenting.

      What to do for dinner? I’m sitting at home now so I should start to organize that. I’m thinking steak or pork. Let me check the freezer. I can’t wait to see my kids tonight. I owe them a lot of hugs and kisses.

      Dinner and Bedtime:

      • I picked up Big Bro and then met Hubby at the ferry terminal. Big Bro decided to go with Hubby to house to start dinner. I went solo to pick up Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky.
      • Kids run to me during pickup and I absolutely love it. “Mama mama mama mama”. And then they get side-tracked with a rock or leaf or something. How cute.
      • We played lots of tickling games tonight. Big Bro would sit on my ankles and tickle my feet. Same thing with Red.
      • All ate well
      • Twin Husky tumbled down four stairs — it was OK. He is pretty rough and the stairs have rugs. He was more scared than anything. He stopped crying after 20 sec.
      • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy started fighting over an indoor tricycle which caused a lot of problems tonight
      • Twin Husky was the first to start to meltdown so we started bedtime routine with the twins. Twin Crazy kept dumping her sippy cup milk on the rug — on purpose. She looked at me with an evil eye when I said “NO!!!! No milk for [Twin Crazy]!!!” She definitely got mad at me. She refused to listen to books and was stomping around. She has a temper.
      • Big Bro was giving us a hard time with going pee-pee. I didn’t feel like playing his games so I left him on the bathroom floor “to sleep”. Hopefully he is in his bed by now, AFTER going pee. Otherwise we will certainly be woken up in the middle of the night because of his accident.
      I feel like today was a bit out of balance for me; but I still don’t feel like I got much work done. Too much driving everywhere. I’ve found that commuting really sucks out a good chunk of the day (which is why I like using that time now to write). I’m going to have to catch up on a lot of things in the office tomorrow, after our presentation.
      I also feel like I didn’t get great quality time with my kids. They were either too cranky or I just didn’t have the time with them. I’ll hopefully get more hugs from them tomorrow.
      Till tomorrow –
      – Mama K

      July 25: Lost “lovey” predicament

      Another Monday. Mondays are always a bit rough for me. I don’t really feel the excitement of getting to work aft the weekend with the kids. Mondays really just keep me longing for more. And the evenings with the kids are usually pretty tough. The kids (as do I) have a hard time adjusting to the weekday after the full-court-press time over the weekend.

      Highlights of morning and commute:

      • Big Bro always takes the longest to wake up. He is always so snug and warm and he is the fourth of our kids to “bloom” each morning. Today I was hugging and teasing him: “oh you are sooooooo snit and warm and cuddly……. Oh how warrrrrrrrrm……… Oh your so comfortable and snuggly…..”. He replies “I’m so lucky”. I am thrilled that at least he can appreciate moments like that (at least when prompted)
      • We keep calling for Big Bro to come downstairs even Twin Crazy walks to the foot of the stairs “calling up” to big bro to come downstairs. She’s doing a lot of talking these days – full sentences with inflections and everything, but with words that no one understands, with the possible exception of Twin Husky
      • Twin Husky gives me an open mouth kiss when he first sees me — a big, wet one…. with pieces of bread crumbs stuck to his lips and now sticking to my face. I love it. Give me more of those wet kisses, baby!
      • Big Bro wanted to water the big tomato plants that we still have to plant in our small backyard. They are about two feet tall by now and still sitting on our windowsill
      • Because of this, Red wanted to water the tomato plant seedlings we have growing in out two pails. Again, another project that I did with the kids that will likely never see cultivation in our yard. I mean it’s almost the end of July! When was I supposed to start the seedlings? Too much pre-planning. I’ll hope for better planning and luck for next year.
      • I play and hug Red who is hanging on me like a monkey – things are going so great. Then I proceed to step on her toe which of course throws her into a fit because she has NO threshold for pain. She sits on my lap and we talk about it. I say how sorry I am and that it was an accident and how I know it must hurt. The twins come over curiously and watch her and her foot. I kiss Red’s toe. Twin Crazy by this point is “talking” about it and then also kisses her toe and offers her a Graham cracker. This melts my heart.
      • I cut Big Bro’s hair on Sunday during bathtime/showertime and honestly it is the worst haircut I have ever given him. I’m so embarrassed for him. But he seems to like it just fine. When we got him to pre-school in the AM, he asked if I could wet down his hair a bit since it was sticking up all over the place. I told him it’s actually the style for guys to wear their hair a little bit scruffy. He cautiously agreed….

      At work today I’ll likely be spending a lot of time on the litigation support case. We have a meeting this afternoon. I am dressed to impress again today – another short dress. Hopefully my colleague does not bring in her baby today otherwise I know I won’t be able to stop myself from crawling on the floor and accidentally exposing my ass to the office.

      Highlights of my Working Day:

      • I spent time preparing documents for a face-to-face meeting where we will hopefully be partnering with another company to offer a formalized, recurring product to the market. If this concepts works and is accepted by the market, it can be a big money maker for our company.
      • I also spent some time organizing for logistics for tomorrow – two face to face meetings across two different suburbs of the city. I’m all set.
      • I spent time reviewing our arguments for our legal case project. We met with the client (lawyers) today and I made several suggestions for wording changes and clarifications in our arguments that should protect us during deposition and any counter arguments. I felt good about my contributions to the meeting.

      In terms of dinner, I’m not sure what we’re going to have. The sun is out, I’m using my NEW wireless keyboard with my iPad, and feeling very good about the logistics of blogging from this point on. I’m sitting at the ferry dock now, typing away, with a handbag packed with presentation materials for my 9 AM meeting tomorrow, along with my high heels (I’m wearing flats now) that went great with my work outfit today.

      Dinner and Bedtime:

      Rough night. Right now both Red and Twin Crazy are crying. Twin Crazy has an excuse. We accidentally left her “lovey” at daycare. So we’re to blame for that one. I have no idea why Red is upset. We’ll let her cry for a bit and check in on her. Highlights of tonight:

      • New mother’s helper came, and did a great job for the first night
      • We had our rugs steam cleaned during the day, so the house looks great
      • I went to check the mail with Twin Crazy. Then Red and Twin Husky got upset. So I walked out a second time with them and came back quickly since dinner was on the table.
      • During dinner Big Bro asked for milk and then picked out one of Red’s “princess” cups. Red noticed this and said that princesses are for girls. Big Bro turned around and proclaimed “it’s JUST a cup.” OMG I was so proud of him. Did we turn a corner away from the possessiveness and downright demands of this age???? Please???? Tell me yes?@!!??!?!???
      • The kids ate an extreme amount for dinner – everyone except for Red. They ate like teenagers. Breaded fish, side of pasta, string beans, edamame. We ran out of food
      • Red keeps talking in Spanish with the Twins. “Aqui”, “Aqui”. How cute.
      • Twin Crazy is really good at Twinkle Twinkle with her hands. She now makes the diamond shape with her fingers. How cute. Must video.
      The day went reasonably well. Twin Crazy sounds like she’s finally asleep. Red is still upset. I’ll go check on her soon. Tomorrow I have two meetings face-to-face in different locations; so will need to leave here by 7:30 AM. Ugh. REALLY bad timing. It’s almost easier for me to leave before the kids wake up but I think I’ll grab that extra 1/2 hour of sleep.
      Till tomorrow –
      – Mama K
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