August 29: Graduation

I love Wednesdays. I get to wake up later than usual, eliminate the commute, enjoy my home while working, take breaks in the sunshine, and wrap up early and see them in the early afternoon. Since Big Bro is in first grade now, and since his class didn’t let out until 1:50, around the same time the Twins would be napping, I took the opportunity to get more hours in at work. It was a great, full day.

Highlights of the Morning and Work:

  • Woke up, took a shower, made coffee, had a yogurt/granola/fruit breakfast, watered my garden, and set up for the day.
  • I worked on finalizing the Agenda for one of the forums for end of September and confirmed speaking spots with all speakers.
  • Had a “sales” meeting for a prospect. He was on the fence. I suggested him speaking directly to one of the members. I found a perfect client for him to speak to, they connected, and the prospect will be coming to the meeting! Yeah!
  • I coordinated with a consultant who is organizing a piece of the Agenda for me; she is new and is doing a great job. I enjoy working with her.
  • I set up some communication materials for another person helping me on this effort – I am delegating a lot of tasks to others so I can focus on client interaction, speaker interaction, and sales. I’m enjoying my work these days.
  • I packed up some snacks and water bottles for the kids and left the house at 1 PM. There was little/no traffic going to get them.
  • Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • Big Bro was smiling and shy when I saw him at the door to his classroom. He mentioned that his bike broke this morning so we went over to check it out. It was the front break handle. It snapped. It didn’t seem to be a big deal, but it did need to be fixed. It put him in an “off” mood.
  • We went to pick up Red. It was her last day in her “class” at pre-school/daycare. She will be moving up and graduation to Pre-K starting Monday. I love her teachers. I hugged the one that was there and thanked her for everything that she has done for Red and our family. They have gone out of their way for us this year.
  • The three of us went to the bike store to see if they could fix Big Bro’s bike. At first they said they were booked until TUESDAY. But poor Big Bro rides his bike to school when he is at co-parent’s. The look on our faces must have said it all. They stopped what they were doing and said they would fix it for him on the spot. We were elated. This gave us time to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while the bike was being fixed.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky just seem to be bigger and bigger each Wednesday I see them. Or, maybe it was that there was a new child at their daycare, a baby about 5 months old. I couldn’t help but pick up this child and talk to him and hug him and smile with him. The Twins were very protective of the child. Both were going up to him, being gentle, and kissing him. There was no jealousy that I could see when I was playing with him. It was the last day for them as well at their daycare. She was just…. OK. She fed them and kept them warm and they napped, but there was always T.V. on and these kids really needed to be with other kids their age besides themselves. They will start daycare at Red’s daycare center on Monday. So this was their last day with this particular provider. I hugged her and thanked her for everything.
  • All of us went to pick up Big Bro’s bike. We thanked them for going out of their way for us. Big Bro was thrilled. Twin Husky started crying for a small, blue bike.
  • There was an issue between Red and Big Bro over a container of green playdough when we got in the car. I suggested that Red give back the green playdough to Big Bro, and that we would go to my house and see if the playdough there was good and clean and colors not mixed up. If not, I promised to take them to buy more, that way she could have purple, Twin Crazy could have pink, and Twin Husky could have blue. That seemed like a good deal. She gave the playdough up to Big Bro.
  • The boys slept on the way home.
  • Kids saw the new table and loved it.
  • Red reunited with Cocoa and Cocoa was purring for her.
  • Kids checked the playdough and yes it was disgusting and colors all mixed up.
  • I threw a chicken into the oven.
  • We hit the road to Target, for playdough. That was the only thing on our list. I kept mentioning that to the kids. They understood. Twin Husky got scared on the escalator and I had to have the people behind us pick him up since I was halfway up myself. Kids were great at Target. Running, laughing, and picked out a perfect $6 playdough set. All were good when they got distracted with other toys but I reminded them that it was only “playdough” that was on our list.
  • Big Bro started his homework, kids played with playdough.
  • We ate a fabulous dinner. The first meal at the new kitchen table.
  • Big Bro was making phone calls to family members and actually having good conversations.
  • Dessert time was smoothies with some old and new fruit. We had them on the top deck outside in our yard. It was awesome.
  • Twins and Red “helped” me take up the trash bins up the driveway. They were using their muscles and being very helpful.
  • I put on the water sprinkler for the front yard plants and everything is so screwed up. The pressure is completely out of whack and the hoses are spewing all over the place. Of course the kids had fun with the hoses and I was biting my tongue not to laugh with them too hard.
  • The boys though started to play with sand/mud along the driveway so I sent everyone inside for baths. The baths were quick but at least all four got clean.
  • Bedtime. I pleaded with them to go to sleep since we have a very early morning tomorrow.
  • The boys are sleeping in their “fort” again. Sheets hung up along the bunk bed so that they are sleeping inside the dark fort.
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    I finished the evening solo with laundry, a shower, and sending some emails for work. Tomorrow I will have Red and the Twins with me all day – I should be packing/getting ready for tomorrow but I don’t have it in me. Breakfast will be Chocolate Thursday but I’ll have to pack up food for the afternoon – I’d like to take the kids out somewhere while Big Bro is at school. I’m tired just thinking about it.

    It was a great, full day. I felt completely productive at work and also had lots of good time with the kids. We did a lot together today. I’m going to sleep well tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    July 12: Children’s tears

    It’s Thursday; my day off; but it was not a good one for the kids.

    Highlights of the 1st half of the Day:

    • Kids got up early.  I think it was Twin Husky who was in my bed first.
    • One by one I hear them get up; and also hear them playing with Cocoa.   I get up at 7:45 AM.
    • Fast breakfast today guys…. cereal, yogurt, fruit…. NOT pancakes, which Big Bro requests.   It’s a fast breakfast because I have to get Big Bro driven to his field trip today for day camp.  They are going to a golf course.  I think he will love it.   Both Big Bro and Red question me on why they have to go to daycare.   I honestly do not know what to say to them.  I’m disgusted that I have to bring them there on my day off, and that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky have to sit through four different car rides of at least 35 min – 1 hour.  It’s just not right.  It’s my day off.  I should be able to choose to have them be with me versus having them go to daycare, if I am willing and able to do it.  This arrangement is depriving the kids of each other.   And of the activities that I would be able to do with them if they were here with me.
    • We get to the golf course and we are there early.  So I get the kids out of the car so we can all explore the golf driving range a bit.  The kids were great.  We felt the grass and the difference of the grass on the putting area.  They counted and played with golf balls.  They watched golfers as they worked on the driving range.   They watched the truck sweep the balls off of the driving range.   It was great.   Big Bro’s class arrived and when we left Big Bro was in tears.  I got the rest of the kids to the car quickly.
    • Drop off for Red was fine.  She was clingy and would not let go of my arm.  They were all playing outside in the yard.  One of her teachers was looking through a magazine, shopping for school supplies.  I asked Red if she wanted to go “shopping” with the teacher.  That worked.  She sat on her lap and received hugs as they went through the magazine together.  This place is great with us.
    • On the way out, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky couldn’t help but play in the kid-kitchen area.  They’re favorite spot.
    • I drove home with the Twins.  I gave them applesauce pouches as a snack.   The ride back was uneventful.
    • The kids played while I made them lunch.
    • After lunch we read some books and then it was time for naps.  They decide to hide on the couch in hopes of me not seeing them.   They went to sleep easily.

    Highlights of the 2nd part of the Day:

    • Twins woke up but later than I had hoped… 3:30.   I quickly got them a snack and packed them up for the trip to pick up Big Bro and Red.  
    • Big Bro pick up was fine; Red’s pick up was fine.  She was playing outside on a swing with her friends.  Her teachers told me that she was upset and crying 1/2 hour after I left her this morning.   I can’t stand to hear things like this.  Especially when she could have been home with me.
    • While I was talking to the teachers, the kids started to amuse themselves in Red’s classroom.  They were all in the book area either reading books, resting on the little furniture, or looking at the lizard and fish.   I went over to them and decided to rest with them.  To watch them play together and enjoy this time with them.  Twin Crazy was pretending to read a book out loud to us and then got angry and told her siblings to stop talking and pay attention.  So, so, cute.  I even got a video of that one.   I got them up and out by reminding them to drink water and Red ran over to the class’ water fountain and she served everyone water.    So cute.
    • I wanted to get home early to have time with the kids, but the day was working against me.  I had them all buckled in and then the car wouldn’t start.  I don’t get it.  Lights were going on but the engine wouldn’t even attempt to turn over.  I bought this car only 5 weeks ago.   So I called Toyota and while we were waiting I grabbed all four of the kids and took them back inside the daycare center to play.   They had fun with each other.  I was playing games with Big Bro and Red.   Twin Husky was cleaning and collecting blue Lego pieces.  Twin Crazy was showing me how she can balance her body on a table and pretend she could fly.
    • The jump on the car worked fine and they assured me that a drive of at least 30 minutes should fully recharge the battery.  They were wrong.  When I got home the car would not start back up.  SHIT.
    • I quickly made dinner since it was so late; immediately after dinner it was time to get the kids ready for bed.

    I’m tired of seeing the kids strapped up in their car seats.  I’m tired of the questions on why they need to go to daycare and that they do not want to go.   I’m tired of dealing with the twins as they cry when they are getting put into their car seats. 

    Contrast that to last week, when I was able to keep the kids on July 5 and July 6.  I took them to the library to get library cards and books.  I took them to a museum where the learned about injured wildlife and how people work to help these animals get better.   And they played with each other like kids in the summertime.   And made lemonade and tried to sell it (four customers!)

    This was a summer that I was looking forward to.   And the opportunities with the kids together were great – I’m taking this time off but this is not working, at all.  It has not been good on the family.   Changes need to be made.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    June 18 (late): A botched routine

    I am writing this actually on Tuesday – last night I sat down after the day was over and wound up passing out on my couch – woke up at midnight and went to bed – so here I am, on public transportation, recapping from yesterday –

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Woke up early; I had the kids with me today; this would be my first commute into the city from my new house and ALSO having to drop off the kids. So I wanted to start the day early.
  • I put on the shower but there was no hot water… no hot water… still no hot water. Hmmm. I investigated the hot water heater outside and the machine was foreign to me. I started to read the directions but most were covered up from the restraining bars to keep it in place. I figured out how to see if the pilotlight was lit. The problem was that the window was at a strange angle. So I used an eyeshadow compact and placed the compact strategically to see the window. Yes, the pilot light was out. OK. I can do this. I followed directions to light the pilot light. Again, and again, and again. Hmmm. This is a problem. I’m not sure if my new washingmachine from yesterday blew out my hot water heater. OK. Let’s move on. I just won’t shower today and will worry about this later.
  • I got ready for work sans shower. Red greeted me in my room with a HUGE smile on her face. Then in walked Twin Crazy, with her hair all over the place and a HUGE hidden smile on her face. I suggested we sit on the couch together, under the fuzzy blanket. We sat there cuddled up. And then Twin Husky walked slowly into the living room, long hair sticking up, smiling as he put his thumb in his mouth with this Tiger. He came up on the couch with us. I had 3 of the kids cuddled up on the couch with me just sitting there holding and cuddling each other. And me with no shower. So much for starting early and getting out early.
  • We said “good morning” to the Chicken who greeted us at our back sliding door.
  • I fed the 3 kids and got them dressed. Big Bro appeared fully dressed by himself and I got him some breakfast. I instructed all to get their shoes on and they were so good getting to the door and getting ready. Also getting all of their stuff together (backpacks, important toys). Red was wearing Twin Husky’s sneakers since co-parent forgot her shoes during drop-off. She was OK with that.
  • We got into the van, I had my coffee, and I also brought some breakfast bars and dry cereal for the kids for the long ride just in case. They were great. We talked about the cars. We saw an Egret and talked about that.
  • I dropped off Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with no problems. I said I would see them on Wednesday. They left AOK and I was AOK too.
  • I then dropped off Big Bro and Red at daycare. It is Big Bro’s first day at “camp” at Red’s daycare. He saw a friend so I am thankful that he at least knows someone. He wanted to drop off Red first. We dropped her off, hung up her bag. Her daycare teachers are so great and know the situation. I said that Daddy would pick her up today and Tuesday, and that I would see her on Wednesday. She had pursed lips like she was holding in a smile or other emotion. Her teacher was great. We also talked about if she ever needs to talk to me there are phones and the teacher said there are phones at school so if she wants to talk to me they can just give me a call. I left and her face was still squinched up but there were no tears.
  • I dropped of Big Bro with his friend, and they were playing dinosaur legos. I gave him a fist-pump (no hugs) and asked him to have fun and that I would see him on Wednesday. He seemed fine.
  • I got into the van, drove to the public transportation. Took the train into work. I was a bit late but that was OK.
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    Highlights of my working day:

  • I changed the date for one of the forums
  • I organized sales tracking info for one of the forums
  • I reviewed output from a recent client project as a takeaway for the primary interviews and potential business development
  • I talked for a long time with a colleague that is leaving the firm. She is such a good friend to me and I will miss her.
  • I left at 4:45 PM to get to a doctor’s appointment. It was a hard session for me. There are things happening with this divorce that seem so out of line. And there is nothing that I can do but just sit back and accept it, and go through the process, which is difficult for me to do.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I got home and tried to tinker with the pilot light of my water heater. I eventually gave up and went across the street to a neighbor who is a general contractor. He was not there but his wife was. I thanked her again for the birthday party they had for their daughter. We were there all day yesterday and it was great to feel so welcomed and at ease with them and their friends. He was at work but stopped by my house later.
  • We looked at the hot water heater and believe it or not, that little window was burning bright orange! My attempts to light the pilot light actually worked!!! I laughed and he was fine with the inconvenience. I think he is great.
  • I ate some cookies for dinner and drank water. I folded some clothes. I sat on the couch and PASSED OUT. I woke up at midnight and that was the end of my day.
  • So now I’m commuting on Tuesday AM and am actually enjoying myself. This is a nice ride. Very different from a subway in New York City. I had no problem with parking this morning ($1) and I have my frequent-transit card so am feeling like a real commuter. I will be at work earlier than normal today so am feeling good so far.

    Have a great day everyone –
    – Mama K

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

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

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

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

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

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

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

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 22: A gift with my Twins while working from home

    So another day without a daycare provider for the Twins…. another day working from home while multi-tasking with two toddlers.   At least I don’t have any client conference calls scheduled…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Red needs mommy time this AM.  She sees what I’m wearing (blue leggings, white shirt) and she wants to match me.  She heads downstairs for breakfast.
    • I grab clothes for Big Bro and Red.  I try to match her outfit as best I can but it doesn’t match perfectly.  Big Bro is still in bed so I climb in there with him since I know he needs mommy time too.   We talk about the cut on his finger and if it feels better.  It does.  He wants a band-aid for it now.   We spend time together putting a band-aid on his finger.  He seems happy.   I gather his clothes but he is not happy with the shorts selection (they are too long).  We’ll see if there are shorts somewhere downstairs.  I ask for his hand and say that I am doing a “special delivery” of Big Bro to downstairs.  This makes him laugh.  We walk slowly down the stairs together, holding hands, so I can stretch out this time with him.
    • Twins are covered in milk and cereal.   There is milk all over the place.  They are soaked.   They then move on to applesauce.  What a mess.  These kids need to take some serious baths. 
    • Red and Big Bro eat a little.   We have some problems getting changed this AM.  Big Bro REALLY does not like his shorts, and Red completely rejects her outfit I picked out.   So I try another.   She rejects that one too.   She cries for Daddy.
    • Big Bro is on the hunt for a different pair of shorts.  I find one in the living room on top of a stack of clean (I think) clothes.    He rejects those.  Big Bro miraculously finds shorts.   I ask them where he found them and he smiled.   So on the floor of the laundry room, dirty????   “Yeah Mom”.   I just let this one go.   There are some battles that are just not worth fighting for.  He has a smile on his face so that’s good with me.
    • As Hubby is packing lunches he is using applesauce.   Twins see this and start squealing for applesauce.  Twin Crazy eats about 4 bowls of it and Twin Husky doesn’t do too bad either.    Everyone is covered in applesauce.
    • I change Twins’ diapers.   I put on different PJ bottoms for Twin Husky since he is soaked.  I change Twin Crazy’s shirt since she is soaked. 
    • Hubby helps Red.   She is pissed off at me.  
    • 1st drop off:   Big Bro.
    • 2nd drop off:   Hubby at Ferry.
    • 3rd drop off:  Red, with Twins in tow.   Of course they get lots of attention.  The teachers showed me a picture that Red drew of a smiley face.  It was pretty impressive.   The other kids made a lot of scribbles but hers actually looked like a smiley face with a colorful border.  The teachers were proud of her.  I made a big stink about it too.   I asked her if it was OK for me to put in on our refrigerator – and if it was OK for me to leave soon so I could do that for her.   She was grinning from ear to ear.   Melts my heart.

      Red's "Smiley Face"  -- 3 years old

      Red's "Smiley Face" -- 3 years old (notice the orange hair)

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Pot of coffee, I eat everyone’s leftover breakfast.
    • I play a bit with the Twins.   I then give them a snack as I boot up my computer.   I send some quick emails and organize some meetings.
    • Twins look very tired, especially Twin Husky.   I ask them if its time for an “early nap” and they both run to the stairs.  I thought it was going to be a short one, but they slept for 2 hours!
    • During this time I attended a Webinar, organized some more meetings, and sent out some follow-up emails related to the forums that are coming up.  There are some empty guest speaker spots and I’m hoping to fill them with internal folks which shouldn’t be a problem.
    • Twins wake up at lunchtime.  I make them ground beef, peas, and cheese.   Beef, peas, and cheese.   It rhymes!    So I walk around saying Beef, Peas, and Cheese over and over again until its ready.  They eat well (so do I).   Twin Husky has some problems with forks/spoons but eventually shoves the food in his face.
    • We then play for quite a bit.   It is amazing but I feel like I’m getting to know them better.  How weird.  I am their mother.   For example, all Twin Husky needs to calm down is to be picked up and held softly for 1 minute.  Then he’s fine.   Twin Crazy is definitely the aggressor of the two.  She is spiteful.  She is a trouble-maker.  She will run up to Twin Husky and steal his toys and run away leaving him in the dust, crying.    When I ask her to come back and give him his toy, she listens, but she is definitely the more dominant one of the two, at least for now.   She also likes to invade his space, just for spite.   Just to see him cry.   But then there’s a soft side to her too.   They like to laugh together.  She likes to bring him crackers, his milk.   She is also a caretaker as well.   She is able to drink from a cup (no sippy!).  I didn’t know that about her.  How interesting that I’m seeing these personalities so much clearer now, just because I have more focused time with them.   I’m happy about this yet sad at the same time.

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup - this is something I learned today

    • I have a conversation with a Director about immediate issues with the forums, and also hold Twin Husky as I send out more emails.   He says “ball” when looking at my Google Chrome icon on my computer.  So cute.
    • Now they are on a second nap, hopefully a short one.   I threw in some laundry.   I have to start thinking about dinner.   I get Red’s picture up on our refrigerator.
    • Twins wake up; I get them ready to go…

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • 1st pick up:  Big Bro.  2nd Pickup:  Red, with all kids in tow.   Red is in a different playground and it took us awhile to find her class.  3rd pick up:  Hubby at the ferry station.  We saw the boat come in.  Twin Husky:  “Boat.”   Red was hot with her long sleeve shirt so she decided to go topless.
    • We head home, I cook a quick dinner.  We are finished eating by 6:30.  Hubby and I drink beers.
    • Big Bro wants to do a project and I set up a race car painting project for him.   Then Red sees the project so I find a “paint by number” project for her.
    • Twins are having fun running back and forth and jumping on Hubby.
    • I’m having fun playing with all the kids; kissing all the kids; laughing with them.
    • They start to look tired early, so we bring them upstairs.   Twins look at books and point to pictures after we ask them where things are….. all are drinking milk.  All four are winding down.  Kisses to Twins and they are OUT.
    • Big Bro and Red are sweet.  Red keeps jumping on me; Big Bro is tired and already in bed, talking about numbers and letters and his painted racecar.

    Now we’re downstairs – another wonderful day; although not very efficient on the work front.   I feel somewhat guilty that another person’s anguish (our daycare provider’s ill husband) has allowed me a special gift and glimpse into the lives of my youngest children.  After spending so much time with Big Bro and Red while on vacation, I feel so lucky to have this time now with the Twins.   I feel like I know them so much better now; I feel guilty that I’m not in tune with them as much as I was with the first two; but they still seem SO HAPPY and so well adjusted – they are loved and I know that they feel loved.  

    I also know that I want more of this.  More time with all of them.  More time in the mornings to do the drop offs and in the afternoon with pickups from pre-school/school.   I don’t like feeling rushed with them.  It is not fair to them.   I want more time with my Twins.   I am fine working, but after tasting this kind of life I know I need more.   I need to make this happen on my terms at work; after the forums are complete in mid-October, and after I have proven myself to be an indispensible asset, I will lay out a plan with my superiors that discusses how I want to work.   On a reduced work week where most of my work time is spent from home.   I think this will bring much more balance and happiness to my life – despite costing our family in terms of income.

    Till tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    September 2: Starting the holiday early with Big Bro

    Today is a holiday for me company – the entire firm has off today and we get a special 4 day labor day weekend. So I’ll keep this note brief.

    Hubby mentioned that the highlights while I was away on my trip included:

    • multiple breakdowns from Big Bro – is extremely tired at night
    • Twin Husky biting Red on her hand
    • Twin Crazy playing with toilet water with a cup and then drinking it

    He asked me never to do that to him again. 🙂

    For today, I want to figure out who I want to spend the day with my kids…. I think about keeping the Twins and Red, but dropping Big Bro off at Kindergarten with all of them would have been too tough. Hubby also says that he prefers that Red go to school since its long weekend and he wants to make sure she further acclimates into her new school. So, I decide to pick up Big Bro after kindergarten – at 12 PM and spend the rest of the day with him, instead of him going to “after-care”.  We can then pick up the rest of the kids when we want to.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • Red wakes up early and smiles ear to ear when she sees me in bed.
    • She wants to fix her hair with water and she wants to pick out her clothes for school today. She picks out a dress.
    • Hubby and I go to get the Twins. They both seem not to notice me. They both want Hubby. Then I think Twin Crazy figures out who I am and comes to me. She wants ALL of her blankets/loveys. Twin Husky doesn’t seem to notice me at a all.
    • We head downstairs and Red eats two bowls of oatmeal. Twins eat bananas and cereal. Twin Crazy eats some yogurt and keeps it under control.
    • Both Twins are acting a bit strange today – lots of whining/crying. This just might be the new tantrum stage we’re in.
    • I diaper Twin Husky and kiss his belly and he laughs and talks.
    • I try to diaper Twin Crazy but she is upset about something.
    • Big Bro gets up and has banana yogurt with bananas. He moves VERY slow in the AM.
    • I pack both lunches. Big Bro’s real lunchbox is at school (forgot last night) so we have this big old mongo lunchbox that he is not excited about.
    • OK time to go!!!! Vitamins in car.
    • I drop off twins first.
    • Red and I drop off Big Bro. He asks (whispers) while we are in line if I can swap out his lunch into his “real” lunchbox. I say OK. Peer pressure, already. His teacher brings over a folder to me since we missed “back to school night”. I feel guilty about that but I tell her I was on a business trip. I let Big Bro know that I will pick him up after lunch – he requests that I come with his scooter because he wants to scooter home. How cute.
    • Big Bro goes into his classroom without a problem.
    • Red and I fetch his old lunchbox in his after-care facility. We sit down together and swap out the contents between the lunches. She carries his “real” lunchbox (Transformers) outside of his class and we quickly drop it off for him.
    • Red and I hold hands and swing them on the way to the mini-van. We take turns counting to 10. We swing our arms and hands and giggle.
    • I drop off Red and the teachers say that she is opening up to them. The “real” Red is coming out of her shy self. They are seeing more of the playful, lovable, giggling girl that we adore so much.
    • By the time I get back it is 9 AM. A very leisurely morning with the kids.

    After that, I do 3 loads of laundry (all waiting now for the mothers helper to fold tonight), catch up on some emails, have a long phone conversation, and then before you knew it, it is time to get Big Bro.

    I scooter over to his after care program. He was reading a book with a group. He runs over to me and all of these kids said “bye [Big Bro]” – how cute. He has new friends already. We scooter back home, sit on a dock and talk about the water, and make a pit stop at a playground.

    Big Bro scootering back from Kindergarten

    Mama K and Big Bro "sitting on a dock of a bay"

    My monkey

    We try to rest our bodies for a bit, and then play a dinosaur bingo game and memory game. We are now outside and he is playing with water. I am thinking about getting the rest of the kids. We may take a road trip to a beach this long weekend. I found availability at a place and now Big Bro is excited about our potential road-trip. I had a great day. And there is still more to come. I know I want to have more of these days. Big Bro liked his 1:1 time with me and I felt good. It felt right.

    I”m going to sign off now since this is a holiday for us right now. My weekend has officially started.

    Have a great long weekend everybody –

    Til Tuesday,
    – Mama K

    August 30: Taking a short trip away for work

    Today is the 2nd day of the new Kindergarten and pre-school; and it is also a day when I will be leaving for a business trip. So again, this is a bit of an unusual day for us – we are out of our normal routine and I think it will take a week or so to adjust to the timing, new drop off routine (three drop-offs!!!!) and have the kids settled into their new worlds.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Red winds up in our room at 6:30 AM crying about something but we can’t figure out what the issue was. I ask her if she wants to come in bed with us for 10 minutes or so but she refuses. She then holds my hand, hugs my arm, and eventually lays down on the floor next to our bed with my finger in her hand.
    • Hubby jumps in shower at 6:40 AM. I get up about 10 minutes later. I did not have a good night sleep so I feel a bit wobbly.
    • The twins are up (actually they were up since 6:30 AM, busy “talking” with each other). I decide to go and get them. They are so amazingly wonderful right now – I mean the intensity of who they are is at maximum right now. We are at full fledged “toddlerdom” with both of them. They are like little people now with their wants and desires, but they just can’t communicate it just yet. So EVERYTHING we say they understand – the choices we give them, the discipline, the teachings, EVERYTHING. It is such a wonderful yet strange stage. I remember thinking when I was pregnant with twin that THIS was the stage that frightened me most. I could not imagine going through the toddler years and associated tantrums with TWO individuals. Well, we are in it now. And it is wonderful yet nerve-wracking at the same time.
    • The twins come hopping into our room along with Red, and I diaper both of them. I love this time with them. Hugging them in the morning, telling them that I missed them and that I love them, tickling their bellies, etc.
    • Big Bro walks in next so the whole family is in our (big) bathroom. The kids start to play the game of blowing “fart” sounds into the Twins bellies. Everyone is laughing. And the toddlers are also trying to do those same sounds but without the bellies against their lips. It is so cute and entertaining.
    • Hubby starts to show Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Red pictures of them that he recently put up in our room. One is a picture of them in the bathtub. Then both Twins decide they want to take a bath NOW!!! They run over to the bathtub and demanded “in”. Then they start to cry, in unison. I hear Hubby telling them that it isn’t time for a bath yet. (refer to Toddler comment, above).
    • We head downstairs and it is chocolate Tuesday. So Red and Big Bro are at the counter loving life. Twins are walking around eating bananas and cereal. Twin Crazy is even saying “nana” over and over again. They are both getting so good with their words. We all encourage them with this.
    • Big Bro is so excited about his Kindergarten that he is completely dressed, finished eating, has his shoes on, and is trying to get in the van at 7:30 (about 30 minutes too early). What a difference a day makes. I am so happy that he is so excited and anxious about getting to his new school.
    • Red is excited about the extra clothes we need to pack for her. She picks out shirts and pants that she likes, and also A LOT of underwear since she had a minor accident yesterday. We also have to bring a blanket (the first one we picked up smelled like urine thanks to Twin Crazy so we had to put that one in the hamper) for her naptime and some sunscreen that is NOT spray. So Red and I gather all of these things along with her lunch and pack them in a bag. She is excited.
    • I make some instant coffee. I am still unshowered.
    • OK! Time to go! All kids are in the car; I bring a bag with diapers and twin shoes. And also gather all the lunchboxes and extra bags for everyone.
    • 1st drop off: Twins. They are dropped off quickly but I linger a bit since I will be flying today and away from them for several days. I give them lots of hugs and kisses. The daycare provider is used to these kinds of trips from me and used to my reactions to the kids when I am about to leave. She is patient with us as a family.
    • 2nd drop off: Big bro at Kindergarten. The only problem here is that we cannot drop him off before 8:10 AM. So I think we will need to adjust our routine once Hubby and I are BOTH commuting to the city. We park the mini-van and the four of us drop Big Bro off. In the mornings the kids play in the playground until 8:10 and then the classroom lines form. Big Bro gets in his line and seems a little anxious but he holds it together (I think). The teacher also says that he was wonderful yesterday. He was just upset the first part of the morning but once she gave him the clipboard as her “helper” he was fine. Whew!
    • I track down the after-care people and wrote an authorization for an alternative pick up person for Big-Bro. They close at 6 PM and it will be impossible for Hubby to make that time. We arranged for the mother of one of Big Bro’s friends (also in the same after care) to also take Big Bro with her at pick up. Hubby will pick up Big Bro at their house at the end of the working day.
    • Red and I drop off Hubby at the Ferry station. Hubby gives me a huge hug goodbye. I need that from him. I later tell him that from the plane before I take off.   Red wants to wait in the parking lot until she sees Hubby get on the ferry.
    • 3rd kid drop off: Red. We go in together and set her stuff up in her room. She talks about her clothes. We forgot her jacket from yesterday so now she has two there. We laugh about that together. I help her put her lunch on the lunch shelf. We see that they have set up “potatoe heads” and also these strange peg pieces. She gravitates to the peg pieces. She starts collecting all of the orange ones and starts to connect them. The teacher says that yesterday she was very organized about her colors and she was the only kid that started to separate the pieces into their different colors – the teacher thought that was interesting. I think it’s very aligned with her need to be “particular” about things. Her blankets need to be laid out perfectly for her to sleep, her animals/dolls need to be in the right position at the foot of her bed, her jackets need to be stacked the right way on her bedpost. She is our little perfectionist but yet so simple, so spunky, so playful, and so “off the cuff” in so many other ways. She is a very interesting child.
    • I head home, park the minivan in the parking lot for Hubby. I walk home from there. Feeling happy that the kids are happy but yet wishing that we were experiencing these “new things” in a different place. I different city. I less expensive city. I am so disappointed about this. I know in my heart that we can give more to ourselves and our family elsewhere. It is so hard to feel like you are stuck. At least the kids are happy I think to myself.
    • At home I call for a cab pickup. I drink coffee and eat breakfast. I check email. I run upstairs to shower. I pack. I do all of this in 30 minutes. I hope I didn’t forget anything.
    • I leave my house for the taxi which will take me to the airport, to a city on the east coast so I can work with colleagues there. I will be gone until Thursday night. I miss my children already.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I check email before leaving the house
    • I talk to our east coast office in-transit to the airport. There is something waiting for me that I need to address before I get on the flight
    • I go to the gate and check email. I send off materials that were requested of me.
    • I am now on the plane after having some food and a glass of wine. I’m looking forward to some time away, but also need to feel and smell my kids. I feel so different without them. I don’t know if I am a better or worse person without them. I feel more like a “normal” person, but yet I also feel so empty. I feel like I’m missing something. It’s a constant feeling like I’m missing one of my shoes, or that I forgot to pack something important. But I know that’s not the case. I want to smell Twin Husky’s hair and listen to his growl tonight. I want to see Twin Crazy’s smile and hear her cackle and reprimand her for spitting her milk down her face. I want to hear of Red’s day at school, and hear about her choices and how she explains her thought process now and says “maybe” a lot as she is thinking out loud. I want to give a high-five to Big Bro for another successful day at Kindergarten. I want to tell him how brave he is and how proud I am of him. And how I’m so happy to be his mom.
    • So this is what I’m thinking of at the moment. I’m getting farther and farther away from them with each passing minute on this airplane. And it is so wonderful to know that they are happy. That they have their own little lives and are so different from each other. I am so amazed at how we created this family. And I am so happy that I received that huge hug from Hubby before he left for his ferry.    Although I will miss the kids a break will be good.  I can sit and eat a dinner and focus on myself.  I can sleep.  I can shower and throw the towels all over the place.  I’m looking forward to that.

    That’s all for today. I’ll post this once I get settled at the hotel. And then either go out to dinner or hit a hot-tub (or both).

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    August 24: Happy kids, unsure Mommy

    I had a great day with the kids; work is still in flux which is causing my head to spin a bit…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Kids were waking up and in good moods; I did not hear any tantrums.
    • While getting ready, I hear a little voice “Mommy, can you help me with this?” It was Red, and she wanted to wear her new halter dress again. She needed help with the halter part and the button. “Of course sweetie. This part is hard. There’s a button all the way in the back and that would be really hard for you to do.”
    • She requested a pony-tail so I tried the best I could with what I had to work with. Hubby calls it her “Steven Segal” look.
    • She helped me fetch my lotions and creams – I used to do make up at home but now I wait for that at work. She likes to help me get the items out of the drawer and give to me.
    • I’m picking out my clothes and looking for leggings. Red asks me to wear a dress that way both of us could “match”. I honor her request and then have to “dry-shave” my legs since I was not preparing to wear a dress today.
    • I check in Big Bro’s room and it does not look like he’s in bed, but he is. He’s all curled up in a ball. I ask him if he wants to get dressed upstairs, or downstairs. Downstairs it is. OK bud, time to wake up. Let’s go downstairs now. I bring his pile of clothes down, along with Red.
    • Twins are running around having fun eating berries and cereal, and playing. Big kids get set up at the counter for breakfast.
    • I keep helping Twin Crazy with her banana during the morning. She needs help with the peel.
    • Diaper change with Twin Husky was so cute. He’s really talking now and loving the feet and toe games I play with him. And the tickling the belly and all the kisses.
    • Twin Crazy did not want me for her diaper change – she kept requesting Hubby so he honored that request. I still went over there to kiss her face and her nose and do a quick tickle. Now she’s laughing at me again. I’m not sure why she was mad at me earlier.
    • Vitamins and kisses. I like this routine.
    • OK! Time to go!!! Big kids get their shoes on. I pack up shoes for the Twins. All are in car and ready to go. I’m still scurrying around getting instant coffee, taking my vitamins, finding my shoes, finding my keys.
    • First drop off with Red and Twins was great. Red loves her dress. We told her daycare that this will be her last week. She will start pre-school on Monday.
    • 2nd drop off: Big Bro’s last day of pre-school. There are older kids in there with “DS” games. I ask them if they have kick-ball games on the DS. Or hide and seek. Or kick the can. Or climb a dirt pile. No. They have Sponge Bob goo or doom or something and lots with Star Wars. I ask Big Bro if his friends have DS toys and he says some. I say, “Hmmmmm. If we get you a DS you’ll have 15 minutes on the DS and then you have to go outside and run for 45 min. OK?” He laughed.

    Now we’re on the ferry, and I’m still thinking about the new job opportunity; Hubby is giving advice on staging of my communications with the Firm, first telling them I’m interested but saying I need to think through how I want it to be structured. Over the weekend thinking about it and then next week talking about my needs to work from home more often, etc. I think this is a good plan and makes sense. Improves my negotiating power.

    It is sunny but a bit chilly. I did not bring a jacket and now I’m wearing a skirt because of Red. I hope I don’t freeze my ass of today. I’m going to be working today a bit differently since I will have a “new lens” on. I will probably need to think about a trip to our office on the East Coast to work with the person who is leaving. I’ll need to get a serious brain dump from her… she’s been doing this for 11 years and has a lot of institutional knowledge that will be difficult to transfer to me.

    I’m hopeful again today. Hubby and I are working together on thinking through this new opportunity and he’s also reading books I’ve bought on financial planning for the family. I feel like we starting to head on the right track together.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Had a conference call to discuss go to market sales tool for the partnering initiative
    • Went immediately into another conference call to discuss our sales pipeline for consulting services for our offices in the U.S. I suggested adding three “unqualified” opportunities for big relationships in our city; I would like to own the sales go-to-market efforts and coordinate with our team to drive sales within these companies.
    • Talked off-the-cuff with one of the Directors about my potential change in role and the different path this would take me at the firm. He believes that this path would be an easier way to promotion to Director compared to the alternative…. long hours, unpredictable travel, multiple projects, individual project sales, etc. that is typically required to make Director. I trust his opinion and feel better about my prospects at the company; I can actually get excited about this new role since I would be given leeway to do things differently – this would be the part that would excite me. But I am confusing myself – just last week I was about to demand reduced work week by hour and also a day off; so this is really a whip-lash decision for me.
    • Went to a great lunch; I’m trying to splurge every now and then – it was outrageous. The sit-down fancy cloth napkin kind of lunch.
    • Worked on the Best Practices document as a wrap up for our last project
    • Organized a trip to our East Coast office for next week — will need to be there physically to best transfer knowledge and learn for preparation of my new role.

    Now I’m on the ferry – I will be solo tonight with the Mother’s Helper; I’m thinking about a VERY kid-friendly dinner tonight since I am still stuffed. Pasta! I’m looking forward to picking up the kids. It is Big Bro’s last day of pre-school so we’re entering a monumental milestone for him. I hope he transitions smoothly. I think he’ll do great (maybe me not so much so).

    Dinner and Bedtime:


    • Picked up Big Bro and took pictures of him near his favorite sections of his classroom. They had face-painting today; he had a spider on his face
    Big Bro's last day at pre-school

    Big Bro's last day at pre-school

    • Picked up Red and Twins; Twin Husky climbed up by himself into the van and then crawled into the front of the van, behind the wheel, pretending to drive and pushing all the buttons. It was hard to get him out of the front seat.
    • At home we played with balloons. Each kid had one and some extra; all started popping. Big Bro was upset that he didn’t get the color he wanted; Red caved in and gave him her balloon and asked for a different color. He later admitted that he’s trying harder not to have these breakdowns. And he knows that Red gives in to his tantrums because she doesn’t want to hear him cry.
    • Big Bro was in the bathroom doing his business; then Red had to go so she went on her little potty; Twins were extremely interested in all of this so everyone was in the bathroom looking at poop and pee. There was a lot of saying and waving “bye bye” and Twin Crazy was insistent on flushing the toilet multiple times. I think she’s ready to start potty training.
    • Made mac-n-cheese; Big Bro and Red helped stir the powder cheese and milk; all kids ate well
    • I started PJs and milk early so there was time to play; the four of them played with kitchen food and they were serving each other food and me too; it was really cute. We all cleaned up and then headed upstairs.
    • Big Bro took the Spider off of his face as the other kids explored my make up drawers.
    • All kids then wanted to brush teeth together. Twin Crazy really goes nuts over brushing teeth. She shared a stool with Red. Then Twin Husky shared a stool with Red.
    • Books, sing songs with Twins. Kisses goodnight.
    • Big Bro and Red played with the story cards – went to bed very quickly.
    • Big Bro admits that he’s scared about Kindergarten. I may try to take him to the school either tomorrow or Friday so that he can look around and feel more comfortable before his first day.

    I had a reasonably good day; the kids were great; work was still unclear and I’m not sure if this will be adding to my stress or containing it… I guess there’s only one way to find out….

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    August 23: Big steps. For Twin Husky and a new job opportunity for me

    The sun is out and it is Chocolate Tuesday!

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • I head downstairs to find some clothes and I heard the twins running around and talking – for some reason I thought Red and Big Bro were still in bed, but when I entered the kitchen I saw the both of them on their stools at the counter looking and acting like perfect, angelic children, waiting patiently for their Nutella chocolate breakfasts. It was too funny. They were so cute and quiet just sitting there on their best behavior.
    • While I was getting ready upstairs, I was visited by Twin Husky. He was pointing a lot, helped me close the closet door, pointed to his diaper and then pointed to the toilet. So I asked him if he wanted to try the potty. I got him naked and we sat there for a while but nothing happened. It was a good try though and I am so proud of their interest in this topic especially at 18 months old. It will be a HUGE milestone for our family when we are rid of diapers for good.
    • I gathered clothes for Big Bro and Red. By this time Twin Crazy was upstairs too investigating what we were doing.
    • As we head downstairs Twin Husky is very adamant about going downstairs by himself. He holds onto the banister and his latest thing is lifting his right leg up REAL high and saying “down” with each step. It is so cute. I took a video.
    • Twin Crazy still is too scared to go down by herself, so I carried her.
    • Diaper change with Twin Crazy included me kissing her feet and pretending to eat her toes. She loves that.
    • Red wanted to do gymnastics flips on me. This is her new thing lately. I hold her hands, she scrambles up my legs, and then I flip her over upside down “like a monkey”. She’ll do it over and over if I let her. Then Twin Crazy wanted to do it. She grabbed my hands, did not walk up, but did put her head backwards so I knew she wanted to flip. I picked her up and manually flipped her a few times too. My two little gymnastics girls. So cute.
    • Big Bro gathered his toys for school today. Tomorrow will be his last day at pre-school and he is excited about spending time with his friend Ryan. He’s bringing in toys that Ryan has not seen before.
    • Vitamins — both Red and Big Bro followed the new “rule” of giving mommy kisses for each vitamin. I love it. And they giggle.
    • Red was having an issue with her hair. She wanted it wet but couldn’t decide if she wanted a pony-tail or not. I suggested putting her hair band in her jacket pocket if she wants a pony-tail later.
    • OK time to go!!!! Toddlers in car seats. I packed the bag with shoes. Big Bro grabbed his shoes as did Red. We are off.
    • Drop off #1 went well. Kisses to all.
    • Drop off #2 also went well. I helped Big Bro put his hair down – again mentioning how his hair has “personality” and we just need the back down and it looks cool to have the front scruffy. His old teacher was back after the summer and she mentioned how tall Big Bro looks even after only 3 months. He looks so mature for his age and I think he will be very tall.

    So now we’re on the ferry. It is sunny and beautiful. People are on the ferry with their blackberries. I’m a bit down today – last night we saw the movie called “Inside Job” about the recklessness resulting in the financial crisis and the complete lack of oversight and compensation structures that lead the country (and the ripple effect to the world) to where we are now. It also depicted the strong ties of the financial leaders to government – and claims how leaders under Obama’s administration are actually the same folks who played a part in the demise of the markets. It really was very disturbing – There obviously is another side to the story but it really makes you feel helpless; people’s lives are affected by all of this mess and you don’t know who to trust.

    It is sunny. And I am hopeful that we will be able to make change for the benefit of our family.

    Today at work I will work on sales effort for the partnering opportunity; and likely sales efforts for our meeting in October. I don’t think it will be a busy day for me.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • Found out of a key loss within our company (a great colleague took a job elsewhere) which presents an opportunity for me professionally. I need to think through things a bit since this would not be the “step back” strategy I originally was hoping for. But it might allow me more flexibility to work from home most of the time. I need to mull it over and talk to Hubby. I’m emotionally exhausted from thinking about this and the implications to my job, my work/life balance, time with the kids, etc. It will need travel in the Fall and Spring, but this travel would only be 1 week at a time and extremely predictable. I spoke to Hubby… he thinks it will be an amazing role for me especially if I can negotiate working from home most of the time (which I think I can). Plus it will get me to the next level (Director) quicker since I’ll be able to meet my sales targets more consistently, if all goes well. If I am able to strike a deal where I can work from home, theoretically this job can be done anywhere in the country… which is very appealing to me since I strongly believe our family needs a change to a more affordable city.
    • I read a lot about the earthquake on the East Coast – what a surprise! Earthquakes are something I fear daily out here on the West Coast; I guess the issue with today’s earthquake is that it was shallow so it was widely felt along the coast. I think it scared a lot of people.
    • Organized a go-to-market meeting with our partner for a big firm initiative. I think this project is going to be fun.
    • We celebrated summer birthdays and I ate three cupcakes.

    The ferry ride home is wonderful today; it is hot and sunny. We are thinking about pizza for dinner tonight.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Pick up with Big Bro went great; tomorrow is his last day of pre-school. 😦
    • We order a pizza on the way to Pick up #2
    • Pick up with Red was a surprise… daycare provider bought her a cute halter dress and had her hair in a pony-tail. She looks so grown up
    • Not much to do except play today until the pizza comes!
    • Twin Crazy pulls out books off of shelf and then we put them back together
    • Red wants to do flips non-stop where she walks up your legs and flips backwards
    • Big Bro and I play horse, following Twin Crazy and saying how we’re going to tickle her
    • Big Bro and I play peek-a-boo scare with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. The twins are outside in the yard playing with strollers and toy shopping carts and Big Bro and I are “roaring” at them like lions to scare them. They are giggling.
    • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy keep falling down everywhere. I’m wondering if they’re pants are fitting OK or if they are just very rambunctious now running back and forth
    • Pizza was great; all ate well
    • Afterwards I was playing physical with all kids; acting like a lion, pretending to eat their legs, tickling them, and Big Bro and Red balancing on my body and flipping over. They were so tired, winded, and wound up when they went upstairs.
    • Twins were easy to put to bed; Big Bro and Red told “stories” with their new story cards. Red wanted to change her PJs and that’s when I lost my patience and left the room. “We already did PJs…. I’m done with that…. if you want to change them, please get changed by yourself. I’m done… goodnight sweeties….”

    Today was a draining day – more decisions to make – life is still in motion I just never expected this opportunity to present itself today.

    Until tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    August 15: Sooooo sad

    We just came off from a wonderful weekend. We went to the park and all kids had a great time with slides, and hubby was playing bat and ball with Big Bro. He had a blast. We also went to a surprise birthday party for a friend where there were lots of kids and kids toys – so we felt free to let our kids roam and explore. Then on Sunday I reconnected with two friends/coworkers from YEARS past – I have not seen one in over 12 years and she recently moved out to our city. So it was great to reconnect with everyone and meet everyone’s children. It was also interesting to see how things just don’t skip a beat. So many changes yet we’re still very much the same people.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Big Bro and Red were busy in their rooms playing the games brought to them as gifts from the day before. Big Bro is excited about bringing “Uno” to school. So much so that he was already dressed, was excited about eating breakfast, and kept asking us if it was time to leave yet.
    • Red picked out her clothes too. She was having fun playing with the tiles from another game.
    • I was having trouble finding something comfortable to wear that looked good. I kept seeing panty-lines everywhere and something that was supposed to be loose fitting and concealing made me feel like a plump sausage. I think I changed 3 times this morning until I found something that worked. I must be getting my period soon.
    • I made a big deal about Big Bro and Red picking out their clothes – so Twin Crazy started pulling at her diaper and then disappeared upstairs to look in her closet for clothes too. I couldn’t believe it. SHe also went into the bathroom to find her toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • I helped Red get dressed. She protested the underwear I picked and demanded the new Dora ones – thankfully I knew where they were – in the drying machine. Whew. And there were 20 to pick from so one was easy to find.
    • Twin Husky kept walking around saying “Hiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaa” all morning. Turning the corners, walking into new rooms, with this huge smile on his face and having a great time seeing everyone. He is such an easy child.
    • We were rushed leaving. I think it was because of all of my changing episodes.
    • We greeted our housecleaner who comes on an as-needed basis. I think we see her about once every two months but it feels like we should bring her in more. We started to use her when I was put on bed rest with the Twins so she has seen me from enormous to the two little 6 pounders, to them as 17 month olds walking and talking. She is amazed at how fast everybody is growing – even Big Bro who now looks like a teenager to her.
    • Drop off with REd and Twins went great; we didn’t have time to change Twin Husky’s diaper so he was very soppy.
    • Drop off with Big Bro was EASY since he was so excited about playing UNO with his teacher.

    It is beautiful out today – which is unusual for the crappy weather we’ve been having. The sun is out and the city is not covered in fog. It actually feels like summer but of course the air is still cold.

    Today at work I will be spending most of my time on a proposal due later this week. I have a meeting at 9 AM which I will be late to; I’ll be running to the office with no breakfast, no coffee, and no makeup. Great.

    NOTE to self: I need to start a routine where I bring my breakfast into work. I can’t get by on trail mix.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Was late to the 9 AM meeting to discuss our approach for a proposal that is due at the end of the week
    • A different prospective client called me with some clarification questions; revised our proposal based upon his change in direction
    • Did some sales outreach efforts for the firm meeting in October

    I had a reasonably bad day today; felt unenergized and down. I met a friend for drinks after work and completely lost it. Sorry Mama J!

    Commute home:

    I’m on a later ferry because of my plans with Mama J…. I cried way too much with her… Again, sorry Mama J!!! I’m on the ferry now with my eyes all red, and I’m still sniffling and crying. I need to make a decision: 1) pull myself together and pretend to my kids that I’m sick, or 2) go for a walk until they are in bed so they do not witness my despair. I want to see my kids but I’m scared that I’ll cry in front of them…

    Someone please help me I’m begging for help but cannot seem to get anywhere. I’m so unhappy…

    Made it home and was able to see them and hold it together.   Played cards with Big Bro, read books to Red, tickled Twins.   They all made me smile.

    I’m going to sleep now…

    Till tomorrow –

    – Mama K

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