November 14: Twinkles and only two of them


Wednesday AM, the morning after an AMAZING girls night at my home. I finally found it. A community where I feel like I belong. These are all hard working, strong women. Women who are real. Women who are fun. Women who choose to live in this neighborhood for the relaxed lifestyle it offers and the great schools for their kids. We went through quite a bit of wine last night. There were lots of laughs, and also lots of tears. We talked of loss, of grief. We talked about what each of us could do for the other. I have some ideas for my own situation that were offered by these women. I will take them up on their offers. Seeing how these women came so freely to my home and stayed so long (1 AM!!!) and were so natural – I feel very lucky.

I woke up just in time to start my working day.  I forgot to put out the trash the night before so ran out with the cans just in time (again). As I got my coffee ready, I saw the most beautiful reflections on my ceiling… the sun was hitting a candle holder in a certain way that cast so many colorful specks all over my ceiling. It was beautiful. This just made me happier — feeling somehow even more secure in my new surroundings. This sounds so naive but I really do think that I am being watched from up above and being directed/guided along the way; seeing these reflections and the wonder it brought to my eyes really made me feel like I am heading on a good path.

 

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I actually got a lot of work done. I lead an internal conference call at 8 AM.  I received one contact from an ex-colleague for consulting work he needs help with and got a team together to create a proposal for him. I received an unsolicited inquiry about the forums that I lead which now lead to the idea of yet another forum that I will try to launch (so now that is 3 getting started, and 2 currently under management/growth). I felt good today on the work front – despite my headache and generally feeling like ass.

I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. This is an unusual division of the children, since I left Big Bro and Red for co-parent tonight. I will be traveling back east all of next week with the older two, so we are straddling our time with the “left behind” pair on the front end and back end so that we each can have enough time with both sets of kids. I am used to spending alone time with the Twins, but not at night. So tonight was special with them.

  • We talked about scary witches and pumpkins on the drive home. Also birds and trucks.
  • We got home and played outside until the sun went down with our next door neighbors; they were running and laughing and kicking balls.  I noticed that Twin Crazy kicks the ball with her left foot.
  • Twin Crazy was “hopping like a froggie” and Twin Husky was running down the driveway. They were both so good keeping their feet within my driveway and not stepping into the street.
  • Twin Husky did some “work” in his notebook as I was cooking dinner.   Twin Crazy wanted to wear her pink “princess” dress that she wore for Halloween.
  • We ate a fast dinner and they devoured everything. I think it was the exercise they got from all of the running and jumping.
  • After dinner we ate dessert (pudding), did some puzzles (Twin Crazy is actually doing them herself now), read books.
  • We tried to call co-parent on FaceTime so the kids could say goodnight to each other but it didn’t work out.
  • The kids were asleep before 8 PM.

 

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It is amazing how quiet it is with 2 kids versus 4. It was actually relaxing. I miss Big Bro and Red. I have not seen them since Sunday night. I hope they are doing OK and managing their feelings OK.  I am looking forward to my “alone time” with them all of next week.

I’m extremely tired and will likely pass out early tonight; before doing so I will do some work on personal things and then hopefully get some extra hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. A day with the Twins, no driving back and forth… this means we get to do things together again; like how it used to be together. We already made out our list and I’m looking forward to sharing the day with them.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Give it a second chance


If you’ve been reading this regularly you know that I have thrown myself into a new hobby:  gardening.  This is understandable for many reasons.  I’ve been craving a home of my own, a place where I can establish myself and my family in a community, tearing out the old decay from a massive yard and the planning to rebuild and cultivate and grow.   This is also something completely within my control.  If I see a weed, I pick it from the root and it is gone.  If I want to design or plan or hatchet dead branches, I do it and I only have myself to answer to.    So, this new hobby is not too surprising to me – I am enjoying myself despite by pathetic summer crop.

Yes, I tried strawberries, blackberries, blueberries.   All eaten by varmin in the area.  Once I got smart enough to solve the problem with bamboo stakes and deer netting, the season had passed.    My neighbors came over with corn-stalk seedlings.   And these actually grew.  And grew BIG.  Each with several ears of corn.

I would water this corn religiously.   The kids also took part in this duty.   We picked the corn together.   It looked a little suspect, but I was still hopeful.

At dinner, we all bit into our bounty.   And…. it sucked.  Royally.  Even my 2 1/2 year old son who eats dirt, hated this corn.  I didn’t blame the kids.  It was pasty.  It tasted like nothing.   It looked like “Three-Mile-Island corn”.  I cursed at the price of corn in the supermarket (dirt cheap) and the fact that I spent so much time and hope on such a poor crop of anything.

But after dinner, instead of tossing into my compost pile, I decided to cut the corn from the cob and give it a second chance on my own.

Afterwards – I had 3 amazing meals:

  • a corn, black bean and cheese burrito for lunch (delicious)
  • a rice, black bean, and corn combo (used above) over a kale salad
  • brussel sprouts, corn, and kale sautéed with white wine

ALL OF THESE DISHES WERE AMAZING!   Could I have been imagining it?  Yes.  Could my hope been masking the pastiness of the corn?  Yes.  Is it the fact that I buried the corn in other more flavorful foods?   Possibly.   BUT:   Take note.  I ate the corn, and I honestly enjoyed it.

So is there a point to this story?

Give things a second chance.  Take a break and walk away for another day when you have a fresher perspective.  Be persistent but lenient when needed.  Be hopeful.   Or maybe, just drink a lot of white wine.

I hope you all have a terrific week –

– Mama K

Retreating again


It’s been all week since I’ve posted anything.   My mind is occupied with divorce proceedings.  I need to get this done quickly and fiercely.   I am so strained financially.   I was the one that left the house, I still have possessions inside of that old house, I caved and bought a different car, and my ex essentially is fighting me saying that certain investments of ours were his separate property before marriage – so I feel like I have no assets or safety net from which to protect me or my kids in the future.

I pay for their haircuts.  I pay for their new clothes for school.  My ex does not even respond to my requests for 50% reimbursement.   This is bad foreshadowing for what will come over the next 15+ years financially with him.

I feel very, very low right now.

I am retreating again.

Hopefully this will be over quickly so I can breathe fresh air again.

October 26: VERY busy and happy with the kids


It’s Friday and now I am home alone after dropping off the kids at co-parent’s house.  Looking back, I cannot believe how much we did today.  I loved it.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy was sick the night before with a high fever so I brought her into my room.   However, when I woke up this morning, not only did I have her in my bed, but I also had her twin laying across me as a pillow.   He usually wakes up earlier than the rest, but for some reason I think he came over in the middle of the night.  Strange.  I woke up to Red asking me to get Cocoa.   Climbing back in my bed I was saying to everyone that I will need to go out and get a bigger bed.  How am I going to fit me, 4 kids (older and bigger over time), a guinea pig and possibly a dog in my Full bed??!?!?!?   No way.    We were all laughing.
  • Breakfast was touch and go today.   Red requested pancakes (I made home-made pancakes last Friday) but I tricked her and pulled some out from the freezer.  She tried to eat them but noticed the difference immediately and was completely pissed off at me.   She sulked for most of the breakfast, until the end, when she caved out of hunger and ate what was given to her.  Then she was all smiles.
  • It was a nice ride dropping off Big Bro and Red.   The sun was shining.  I was feeling great.    Drop offs were uneventful.  Except that Red was happy (I brought Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me).  I think bringing in the twins makes a difference for her during drop offs.
  • On the way home the Twins were talking about having grapes.  There was traffic.  They fell asleep.
  • Once we got back we had our grapes and then our activity.  I loved it.   We worked together in the back yard.  We were raking leaves, transporting leaves, picking “good” leaves from the weeds/sticks and putting them in our tumbler composter, then gathering more leaves around the back yard.  Twin Husky was TOTALLY into it.   He loves the outdoors.  I think this will be “our thing” together.   He is very much a wanderer; a seeker; he wandered off to see the chickens and he loves working in the yard.   I couldn’t tear him away from his little wheel barrel.  I think this garden that I want to build will be special for me and him alike.   Twin Crazy on the other hand had trouble walking up the hill, trouble raking leaves, and wanted to ride her tricycle down on the patio.  To each her own.  It’s just not her thing.  I’m OK with that.
  • After that hard work we had lunch and then naps.  I even took a nap as well.

 

 

Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • My phone alarm rang at 1:50 PM.  I jumped out of bed and gathered extra clothes, 4 water bottles, 3 fans (see Halloween gifts from Nana from  yesterday), and snacks to last 4 kids and one tired Mommy for 3 hours.  I scooped up the kids and told them to go back to sleep on the ride.   They did.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was great.  I got a chance to see their gardening project, with above-ground planting beds made out of wood.  I was totally  impressed.   I asked them how they made it and if they have plans.  The teacher said that boy-scouts made it for her.  A parent from Big Bro’s class asked me if I even have ROOM for a planter like that…. I said yes, we are divorced now… I live in [XXX] and have 1/2 acre of property and am starting a garden.  She grew up in that town.  She knows that I can grow things in the summer and in the winter.  She said she was jealous.  She does not have space for such a planter at her house.  I was beaming.
  • We picked up Red.  She is adorable.  Her smile lights up the room and my heart.   She put away her things and ran to me.   She held my hand tight as we ran to the van together.
  • Once we were all together I took out the snacks and drove to our first destination:  the airplane museum.  There is a part of the museum where you do not have to pay anything to enjoy.  So we stayed outside for free, and the kids had fun climbing into the airplanes and pretending that they were air traffic control.   Big Bro stole my phone camera and took some pictures of things that were important to him, like his hurt finger with a band-aide on it.  I read about the planes and gave the kids their snacks.  The owner came out and I explained my story, about living paycheck to paycheck and being divorced with four kids.   He gave me his card and told me to call in advance if I ever wanted to bring the kids inside.  He was very sweet.   We used the restroom and there was a water cooler outside with cone-paper cups.  The kids went crazy over this and I just couldn’t believe the joy and wonder that can be brought to a child without paying for anything.  It really is the simple things in life.
  • After the airplane museum we went to buy Red her shoes.  Her old sneakers were embarrassing.  She even mentioned that people in her class have been telling her to get new shoes.  I was appalled.  We went to Payless and even Big Bro was picking out some choices for her from sizes 11 and 11 1/2.   He was great.  They all knew that the only thing on the list was Red’s shoes.  So all in all they were very well behaved.  Except for Twin Husky.  He found a pair of blue rain boots that he fell in love with and was totally upset when I told him that they weren’t on the list.  We paid for Red’s sneakers and off we went.
  • Our next stop was a cove where you can see tide-pools, lots of birds, and huge rocks with sea-weed.  The kids had a great time.  Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky kept scrambling up rocks, Big Bro and Red adventured out towards the bay and collected treasure (shells), Twin Crazy collected her treasure of rocks, and Twin Husky was so adventurous.  At one point he decided to take off his socks and shoes and start wading in some of the tide pools.  I was not thrilled with this but I loved his sense of adventure and he was safe.   I didn’t care if his pants got wet.   The kids were great when I said it was time to go.   I love giving them these kinds of experiences.  And it didn’t cost me a thing.
  • Drop off was fine.  I will see them tomorrow at 4 PM.

After dropping them off I went food shopping to prepare for next week.  I will have more time with them since co-parent will be traveling for work.   I only buy things that are fresh veggies / fruits, and other things on sale.  I do not buy anything (besides fresh fruits / veggies) if it is full price.  I just can’t these days.  There was a snag at the register that shorted me $2 and I am not proud to say that I waited for another transaction to get my $2 back.  That will pay for 2 days of parking next week at my train station.  I am living paycheck to paycheck these days, but still probably the happiest that I’ve ever been nonetheless.  I am making it on my own.  As a single mother of four kids, working part-time, in a god-awful expensive part of the country.  I have my own, beautiful (small) home with lots of land for me and these kids.   And I am making it.

Tonight I will need to do some work related to the divorce.  I cannot wait for this to be finalized and have this leech off of my back.  I was carrying him for too long in the past and he is still sucking whatever he can out of me and I need to rid myself of him legally and financially.   That is my priority now that my big meetings for work have passed.

Have a great weekend everyone –

– Mama K

October 24: A recap of the last few days


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

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

 

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Getting the Kids:

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

 

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

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: More new friends


Saturday is a day that I get to wake up late and enjoy a day getting things done while I wait for the kids. They are with co-parent until I see them at 4 PM.  This Saturday AM I spent my time cleaning up my front yard and planting about 50 bulbs for the Spring – but that is a story for another time.

During this planting, I had the opportunity to meet some kids who were walking their dog Hershey. They usually don’t walk this way in front of my house, but they were on this day because their dog is new to their family. Rescued from a dog pound 2 days before he was about to be put to “rest”.

I learned that they were the neighbors at the end of the street whom I did not yet meet. Two boys, ages 11, 7, and a girl, age 6. I had fun with Hershey and talking with them. I guess I don’t mind talking to kids when I am solo since it is in my nature now to talk to kids since I have so many. Anyway, they asked about my kids and they asked why they weren’t around until 4 PM. I explained that they were with their Dad and that they have “two houses” and that they spend time with me, and they spend time with their dad. How they have two rooms, two sets of books, two sets of toys, etc. (my normal explanation about the separation).   Usually this story works out well since I end with “two sets of toys”. But this was the first time I was talking with a sort-of older kid – and that’s when the 11-year old told his siblings “yeah she’s talking about Divorce. When things don’t work out.”…..

Anyway, I told them that the kids would be at my house at 4 PM and ready to ride bikes. So for them to come back. They walked off with their dog and I continued with my yard.

*****

At 4:02, the new kids came back, with their bikes. They were waiting to meet my kids. The van pulled up. My kids came out and met the “new kids” (it’s so ironic since the “new kids” have actually lived on that block all of their lives, and WE are the family of the “new kids”). Big Bro got out immediately and started riding. Red was a little bit apprehensive, since these were older kids, who ride fast. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were anxious to get their bikes and get going!  Twin Husky helped me put out the traffic cones in the street. The kids next door were calling out through the window that they were coming out too. The kids across the street were getting their bikes out and helmets on. The boys up the hill were coming down with their bikes with their mom who had a margarita in a cup. And then the 6-year old twins from way up the hill were seen to be coming down with their bikes and their shark and fish helmets. The fun began…

Kids on bikes. Kids running from house to house. Kids on the tree swing next door in the front yard.  Big Bro coming out with some balls to kick in the street. Big Bro wanting a snack so I went in and got Ritz Crackers and asked him to bring out the entire box for everyone to share. I asked him to ask everyone if they wanted any… and he did – such a good host and such a “giver”. The neighbors congregated on my stoop. Some had never met since there are new folks here. I met the parents from the corner house. Some disappeared and came back with bottles of wine. Boys were running from house to house. Red just wanted to be an acrobat on me. Twins were riding bikes. Big Bro hit it off with the “new kid” who is 7.   Everyone looking out for cars and having the kids pull over when one would drive by, very slowly, just looking at all of the people/kids in the street and maneuvering through the “kids at play” signs and my traffic cones with flags.

As far as we know, we have 21 children ages 11 and under on this block.  And we had 19 of them out this past Saturday night with their parents congregated on the stoop of my house.  The only ones that I have not yet met are a family with 2-year old twins (more twins!!) who are hosting a Halloween party for everyone on Halloween night.

All kids were going non-stop – and then the sun started to go down and families started to separate. I wound up with some stragglers at my place as I cooked dinner. I didn’t mind.

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*****

The next day, Sunday, Big Bro went over to “the new kids'” house to play wall-ball. And then after lunch I had 4 extra neighborhood kids in my house along with the dog, Hershey. In the late afternoon, I took my kids back to co-parent’s house. And then when I was alone, there was a knock on the door and it was the “new” kids again, boy aged 7 and girl aged 6, and Hershey. Again it was hard for them I guess to understand that even though I was there, my kids were not. They are only at this house some of the time. But now at least they know that we live in this house and that the four kids are here every Saturday starting at 4 PM.

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****

I love how Big Bro just hit it off with these new kids – especially how in the past he was so shy. I love how welcoming in general children are. I love how they see fun in each other and how quickly the activities can change when so many kids are getting together. I remember nights like this as a kid. I am happy that I can give these experiences with my kids now and that we, together, get a chance to explore these new beginnings together.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

October 19: A good friday


Today was unusual. Big Bro did not have school. So we all had a “home” day at my home and LOVED it.

Highlights:

  • Woke up to Twin Husky (as usual) and cuddled in bed. Red came in with Cocoa (guinea pig).
  • Breakfast included the fireplace, oatmeal, home-made pancakes, and bread and butter (their new favorite).
  • Bikes outside; kids were in a great mood. Halloween costumes were on again. I showered while they had fun.
  • We went to Target to return some lightbulbs and get the right size. They loved the escalator ride. I loved that they know about the “list” and that they didn’t even waver towards any toys or ANYTHING else since it was not on our “list”. We were in and out in 5 minutes. On the escalator down, Twin Crazy had a spill and hurt her knee which fouled things up. Red was left up top, scared, but I asked her to hold tight and I’ll come back for her. Big Bro stayed with Twin Husky at the bottom and I carried Twin Crazy up the escalator again and we rescued Red. The girls were now laughing.
  • We went to the library afterwards. The kids picked out books almost immediately and 2 DVDs too; Big Bro checked out the books by himself with the bar-code reader. Red decided she wanted to be “old school” and go to the librarian to check out her books.
  • We went to the playground afterwards and the kids had fun climbing on trains, swinging, going down slides, and scaling structures.
  • We had a great lunch;
  • Twins were great taking their naps. Big Bro watched a Tinkerbell DVD while Red and I colored.
  • We had a delivery from Amazon – a guinea-pig play pen. I think she likes it. The kids do at least.
  • There was another delivery – the Buzz Lightyear t-shirt for Twin Husky to go with his blow-up wings. He was psyched.
  • Big Bro went over to a neighbor’s house to play Legos.
  • The rest of us were at home riding bikes, sweeping leaves, and decorating the house for Halloween.
  • Before you knew it, it was time for me to take them to co-parent’s. It turned dark and foggy on the way. As did my mood. So typical.

I spent other times during the day on email and on the phone with my office. A big meeting is next week that I will be leading; the heavy lifting all has been done. Now it’s just getting there, being smart, connecting with my clients, trying to “sell” membership to two different guest organizations, and facilitating 1 1/2 days of meetings and speakers. I am not concerned at all for this – I’m actually looking forward to it.

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After dropping off the kids I needed to sit in the ferry parking lot with the car (and heat) on and cry. There are so many things about all of this that are so unfair. After I let it out I got back on the road. I felt much better as soon as I got on the highway and got closer to my house. I pulled up to the house and saw the decorations hanging from our trees and I couldn’t help but smile. I love it here. I felt so much better as soon as I pulled up the driveway. I came inside with a fresh perspective. I made a great dinner of sauteed brussell sprouts, baby kale, leftover rice, and some Guinness poured in. It was amazing. And drank the rest of the Guinness. Yes, feeling much better now. So much better in my own space, with my own things, and with memories of each of my kids with so much joy here.

I can not wait until this divorce is finalized. Being entwined with him is damaging. I know that there will be better days for me ahead. This is a bump in the road but hopefully this bump will not last for long.

Have a great weekend everyone –

– Mama K

October 18: Are you kidding me??!?!?


It was a reasonably good Thursday because of the kids; but the day sucked due to the divorce. I need to be done with this already – I am soooo over it.

Highlights of the Day:

  • I of course woke up to Twin Husky climbing into my bed. He is like a living alarm-clock. His routine is so predictable.
  • Chocolate Thursday! Kids were helping themselves and spreading their own Nutella on their tortillas. We were running a bit late.
  • Out of the driveway I ran over my side lawn and got stuck. One neighbor and one stranger walking down the street helped to push me out. It was pretty funny when my bumper almost got pulled off of my car. It’s just a piece of metal.
  • Drop off for Big Bro was fine; Drop off for Red was TERRIBLE. Lots of hugs, clinging to legs, tears. This happens every Thursday now. I hate it.
  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to a science museum in a closeby neighborhood. They had a great time playing with balls/air, floating things/air, tumbling, riding bikes with square wheels, doing puppet shows, etc. etc. etc. They really had a great time as did I.

It was an early pick up day for Big Bro from school. So at 12:30 we picked him up, and then Red. We headed back to my place and had a great time.

  • We painted fingernails.
  • Got the mail, watered the plants front and back
  • Dressed in Halloween costumes
  • Had a smoothie snack outside on the steps
  • Twins took a bath, I gave Twin Husky a haircut (he looks very handsome)
  • Had some neighborhood kids over to play
  • Played with Cocoa
  • Ate a fast dinner outside with our new patio furniture
  • Cleaned up, read books, scratched backs, tickled and hugged and said lots of “I love you”s.

In between all of this were emails and phone calls/ conference calls for work. Both related to the big meeting next week, and a new client project that we will likely bid on. It was great from a work perspective even though it was my day off.

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In between all of this also were emails and phone calls from co-parent related to the divorce. He wants to be reimbursed for his out of pocket healthcare expenses – is still on my health plan. Are you kidding me?????? I need to be rid of this. I want to move forward but he keeps holding me back. I can not wait to be free of this. I have never met such a cheap man before in my life. He would fight you for a roasting pan, believe me, he is fighting me for ours and the majority of our wedding gifts.

Ok, now that’s off my chest, I breathe deep and let it pass. I am in my own home now. And my children are sleeping happily in their rooms. They ate well tonight. They had two different houses of neighborhood friends come over. They are clean. They were playing with each other and the girls were laughing and playing tonight like best friends.  I received a TON of hugs from them and lots of good conversation with each of them tonight.  I look at them in their eyes when they talk to me and they are able to finish their sentences and thoughts with me and get a reaction from me.   I drank good, cheap wine tonight.  I have a guinea-pig who is running around her cage right now and who kisses Red non-stop and obviously loves Red the best.  The crickets are chirping. And work is going well. So I really can’t complain. I’m moving forward and am ready for what is ahead and I am hopeful that it will be wonderful and worth the journey.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 12: 132 miles


Friday! This day of the week is always a bit difficult for me and winds up in fights with Big Bro with me leaving angry at him, yet trying to resolve things before I leave. This Friday was no exception…
Highlights of the Morning:

  • Kids were up early and Red of course wanted to start the day with Cocoa the guinea-pig. So I had 3 kids and a guinea-pig in my bed as I woke up, which was perfectly fine with me.
  • Breakfast was smooth sailing, except for the fact that Red requested pancakes. I’ve stopped buying the instant stuff so there I was making home-made pancakes on Friday morning (a school day) with Big Bro making butter and bread and Twin Crazy wanting to be close to me since her “nose was sick”. As you could imagine with four kids and trying to get out the door, there were several batches of pancakes that were forgotten on the stove and burnt to a crisp. Red thought this was particularly funny.
  • I sent out some work emails as I was getting stuff ready for the morning.
  • It was a normal routine with the kids and getting out the door – kids were great. Got dressed, got shoes on, out the door and to the car quickly. We were actually VERY early today.
  • It looked like rain. In fact there was a little bit of rain when we went outside. The kids were excited by this. They wanted to show me the drops and also how the ground looked wet. It was cold. I got all the kids in the car and bundled them up with blankets and jackets as blankets. They were ready and eager to go.
  • We talked about the rain, the fog, the tunnel. We got to the intersection with all of the pigeons and there were tons on the electrical lines again. Big Bro said that it looked like they were having a “meeting”. That just cracked me up.
  • Red was talking about bridges and we actually drive over two small bridges on our way to their school/pre-school. So we started talking about the kinds of bridges there are and how the one bridge we were going on sometimes goes up to let big boats and sailboats by.
  • Twin Crazy was busy “reading” and making up stories with her notebook.
  • Drop offs were great.

 

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and I made it back and it was cold. I turned the fireplace on. The kids were hungry again so I made them oatmeal.
  • They were busy playing and coloring as I was cleaning up a bit. Twin Crazy wanted to wear her Halloween costume which essentially is an Asian-looking dress that is pink and shiny. She looked gorgeous in it.
  • We then went to Target to get toilet paper in bulk (I still can’t believe my Costco card got cancelled by my in-laws while I’m still paying for their son’s health insurance) and some other needed items. I got some stuff in bulk on sale like vitamins, cold medicine, band-aids. The kids were great and then started to get cranky so I fled. They loved the escalator and were squealing on their way up and on their way down.
  • At home we ate a good lunch – left overs from last night. I microwaved a frozen fish fillet and after 2 minutes the thing started exploding all over my microwave. The lunch was good but I spent way too much time cleaning up the microwave for fear of fish stench.
  • We received a new guinea-pig cage that I ordered through Amazon. I was excited to give Cocoa some more space in a new cage.
  • Naptime!
  • Woke up and hauled ass to pick up Red and Big Bro. Got Red quickly, got Big Bro, and then DROVE BACK TO MY HOUSE instead of staying local before dropping the kids off at co-parents. The past few Fridays have just been tough for us. I pack like we are pack of gypsies and we sometimes have fun things to do but most times the kids just wind up fighting and I wind up mad at one/more of them. And it was rainy/cold today so I grabbed all of them and headed back to my place for an extra 2 hours before dropping them off.
  • We put together the guinea-pig cage and watched her explore her new surroundings. It is big. I have no idea where we are going to put it. But I think she is happy. I think.
  • I read to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while Big Bro and Red disappeared playing Legos.   Twin Husky wanted to hold the book like a “teacher” with the book facing me and Twin Crazy while I was reading.   I read several books this way.  One was a counting book and he seriously knows all of his numbers, the way they look, how to count…. it is amazing how they are twins and he is so skilled at numbers and she is so skilled at communication/reading/storytelling.   Twins are amazing.
  • We had pudding as an afternoon snack.
  • Big Bro and Red then went to play at a neighbor’s house… when I went to go get them they were not there and at a DIFFERENT neighbors house. I like the fact that they have lots of friends and everything, but MAN they were in TROUBLE when I got them. I was so angry with them. At least tell me where you are! Have the mommy/daddy send me a message! I need to know where you kids are!!! Ugggh.
  • The drive home was very quiet as a result. Except for me talking about it from time to time and letting them know that they should come and tell me where they are going to be if their plans change, or tell the parents to send me a message. Red understood. Big Bro was making excuses.
  • As we were waiting for co-parent to come home, I wanted Red and Big Bro to be sure they knew that I still loved them even though I was mad at them. Red thought that this whole concept was “funny”. How can you love and be mad at the same time? But she took my hugs with smiles. Big Bro was a bit embarrassed by all of it. Why can’t I have a Friday where I leave the kids without frustration?
  • I drove back home in silence and did not even put the radio on. I felt in a funk.

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So today I did SIX trips between my house and co-parent’s house. That’s 132 miles. But there was lots of conversation on the way, and I did not have to pack up like a gypsy and try to occupy the kids with activities. We had a day that was generally relaxing but also stressful. The tension of independence and trying to teach the kids good judgment was put to the test today. And the emotions of having to leave the kids on a down note was saddening to me.

I arrived to a package of bulbs from a neighbor for flowering plants. That is how this neighborhood is. The folks here are incredibly giving. This will be my activity for tomorrow.

I slept for 2 hours on the couch, in front of the fireplace and watching Cocoa’s huge cage. I woke up to a dinner of a bagel, oven-crisped kale, fist-fulls of Life cereal, a cheese stick, and 1/2 bottle of white $2 Chuck. Now I’m feeling much better.

Have a great weekend everyone

– Mama K

August 7: The tears that wouldn’t fall


I usually try to post a “Gig Tip” on Tuesdays but I just don’t have it in me today.

I’ve had a hard day.   It started with a headache this morning and missing the kids.   And also thinking about some of the challenges that they are facing which makes me sad.

Then I had lunch with an ex-colleague from over 12 years ago.   It was wonderful to see her.   It was wonderful to TALK with her.  She has gone through a divorce and there is so much in what she was saying that was EXACTLY like how I have been feeling.  It was sooooooooooo good to talk to her.  To actually TALK and have a conversation and FEEL and feel sympathetic and understand.   She is wonderful.  Her outlook is wonderful.  How she expresses herself is wonderful.  And how she captured how I am feeling was eye-opening.  I am not used to talking to people who understand me.   I’m really not.  I was so pleasantly surprised today at lunch – even through the sadness – the connection I felt so strongly with someone whom I have not seen in over 12 years – I am not sure just how much we actually have in common.   There is probably close to a decade of years between us… she has no kids…. she is early in her career… yet we shared a connection and a conversation that resonated so strongly in me that I was almost swept off of the booth I was sitting in.

So it was a good lunch, but also a difficult one that opened me up leaving me exposed.

I tried to do some work – I actually had a really productive day.

Tuesday is trash day at home.  So my normal routine is to go through the yard and fill up that Green bin as much as I can.  There is so much in my place in terms of weeds and yard work that honestly I need more bins.  So I went around with my wheel barrel and started to pick up the piles of old branches and dead leaves from my hedge-clipping frenzy from several weeks ago.   I was sad picking up the dead decaying branches and getting them ready for trash.  Clearing out my space, my yard, getting rid of the branches that do not fit in this yard anymore.

I felt like crying.  I wanted to cry.  I even tried to force the tears.  My eyes would well up but the tears would not fall.  I need to get this out….

On my way to the bin I stopped at my compost tumbler and added the decaying leaves.   I then decided to take some of the leaves and crumble them on top of some of my garden – my garden that has yet to bear ANY fruit for me.   Am I watering for nothing?  Am I trying too hard with this new distraction/hobby?   Can ANY of these plants PLEASE create a freaking berry or something that I can eat?!?!??!?!   And then on my way crumbling up those leaves, I stopped when I got to my corn.  The 3-inch seedlings that my neighbor gave to me are now more like 3-4 feet high.  And I looked down and couldn’t believe it but there is this little corn-cob thingy starting to grow out of the biggest of the stalks.   I am amazed.   I then become hopeful, a little.

I feel like so much of what has happened in my life is such a waste.   I feel like those dead branches and I feel like those crumbling leaves being tossed aside but still I guess useful in some way for other things living.   I don’t know how I got here.   I don’t know how the essence of who I am got so misguided and depleted.    How can this happen to me?  When I try so hard?   How?   How did I let it happen?

And now the tears are finally falling.  So I’m glad I did not try to force a Gig Tip tonight.  I’m glad that I’ve had this chance to get this out.   I’m so happy that I had a chance to connect with my friend today at lunch.  I am so thrilled that she was speaking sentences that I could have said myself.  I am so happy that I found someone who understands.

I am thankful that I made a real connection today with someone.   But I am alone here now.   I am trying to see the potential for something new and something positive – like those damn corn stalk thingies.  But it is so hard.  So hard when you feel so alone and misunderstood by so many.

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