April 2: Feeling full, but in a very good way


Welcome Monday. I accept you since it is relatively nice outside and since I do have a lot to do at work today.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy happily used the potty. She was great all weekend with dry diapers and few accidents.
  • Kids were playing with balloons after eating. Throwing them up in the air and watching them fall. Both twins can actually catch the falling balloon which surprised me.
  • Twin Husky was calling for Twin Crazy to “follow him” and run around the house chasing each other. I’ve really noticed the closeness between these two lately. They seek each other out, especially at bedtime. They talk to me about the other if they hear the other crying. It is really sweet to see and experience… the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle relationship between the twins.
  • Big Bro is going to Red’s school all week for “spring break”. So they were both excited to be packing up together and driving in together.
  • Big Bro was wearing his “new pants” with the patches freshly sewed last night. I wonder how long the patches will last….
  • I dropped off Big Bro and Red, and they were silly and having fun the drive over. They started singing “Kick the morning….” not sure what song that it, one of them made it up and now all four sing it and giggle.
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    I’m on the ferry now. It just pulled away. I have a lot on my mind. I’m thinking ahead to big meetings later this week related to the divorce, and also the THREE big forums that I am leading for work in two weeks time. PLUS two client projects that are also ending right now. There is just too much going on right now. I am totally over-booked with deliverables. The thing that makes it easier for me to manage is lists. I need to get through these days with lists. What I need to do for each “Project” and just spend focused time on each task… otherwise it’s all just over-whelming and I become paralyzed. I need to prioritize from these lists — which tasks are dependent upon other people? WHich ones am I the bottleneck? Which ones need to be done during the day (e.g., coordination with others) vs. which ones can be done after-hours once my kids go to sleep (e.g., confirmations, follow up with logistics, etc.). I need to prioritize and I focus on those first. Keep things moving and off my plate — I can’t be the bottleneck in any of these areas or else the project will be at risk.

    So, I’m thinking of today –

  • I will have two planning meetings for two of the forums; one of which I need to put some thought against and share with the others so that we have something to concrete to talk about. I will need to focus on that first when I get in.
  • I need to confirm logistics with presenters and ask for their presentations by a deadline date so I and others can review.
  • I need to communicate with one client for a project since I need input from a Director who is not in the office; will ask director for his input via email and show some electronic files to get the discussions moving.
  • I need to reach out to other speakers for open speaker spots for one of the forums …. it is getting to crunch time so this is important right now.
  • I need to think about what we are going to present for our client meeting tomorrow. This is also an important item; and also get the team moving and on track for final report delivery in 3 weeks. They need to know what they are working towards – need some direction – I need to provide that today/tomorrow latest.
  • I have to start looking through the presentations/analysis conducted by our firm related to the Forums – this will take focused time which I fear I have scarcity.
  • AND HONESTLY ALOT MORE….. WAY TOO MUCH….. WAY TOO MUCH…..

    I need more coffee and some breakfast. 🙂

    Highlights of my Working Day:
    BUSY BUSY

  • I got set up in my NEW office! The furniture arrived! I have a desk! There is still stuff all over the place, but I have my own space now!!!! Very exciting.
  • I printed out copies of our presentations for our forums for me to review tonight at home, and then forgot them on the printer. F!!
  • I sent out confirmations for speakers for one of the forums — one is still outstanding which is making me nervous.
  • I had a conference call with a potential speaker/member for another forum and the CALL WENT EXCELLENT. Whew! We have them as guests at a minimum, as speakers for TWO sessions if worse comes to worse…
  • I sent out my conclusions and follow ups for a client project but need some input from a Director before reaching out to the client
  • I had a planning meeting for one of the meetings and prepared an outline in literally 15 minutes for the entire day. The planning call went great, and I also decided to use Zoomerang to poll the group to gather more information about their insights prior to the meeting. I’m glad I came up with this idea and think that the information will be very useful for us in the planning of the event.
  • I had a team meeting for our client project and got the team focused on what we are going to talk about with the client tomorrow. THey are running analyses that we will review tomorrow AM for 2 hours. I then sent out some primary interview outreach emails and am hoping we can secure more discussions with the market in advance of our final presentation.
  • Had a brief, brief team meeting with our office over lunch to see how everyone is doing.
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    I can’t believe it but I accomplished [almost] everything above. I was seriously efficient.

    I will need to work on personal items tonight so I’m glad that I don’t need to do too much for real work tonight. This is a big week for me and my family. I am ready.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and Red from Red’s school; both were happy. We then picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Husky was not wearing shoes and Twin Crazy was wearing a summer shirt since co-parent forgot to bring the bag of clothes/shoes that were packed by the back door.
  • When we got home, we were surprised to see a duck in our front lawn. The kids carefully gathered around the duck. Twin Crazy helped Twin Husky take off his jacket. The duck quacked a bit. I was waiting for someone to charge the duck and eventually someone did. It was Red. Then there were all the kids, chasing after the duck, with the duck quacking and flapping all over the place. Finally the duck tried to fly away and landed in the street and quickly waddled away. I was laughing too hard.
  • Kids were playing with balloons, going to the potty (Twin Crazy, non-stop, for chocolate chips), and running around laughing. I think there was also some jumping on the beds. Twin Husky got upset over something and I saw Twin Crazy hugging him to comfort him. Red went to his side too.
  • After dinner the kids took baths. I bought Kiss/Motley Crue tickets!!!!
  • Twin Crazy came downstairs saying that she needed her nails cut. She went potty again. We went upstairs and cut her nails. Then she found the kid nail polish. I proceeded to give manicures to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • I did bedtime routine with Red and Big Bro tonight. They both wanted to lay out their clothes for the next day. Then they talked about wearing their clothes so that they would get ready faster the next morning. I told them they were both ridiculous. They should wear what makes them feel comfortable. We have time in the morning. The last I heard, both Red and Big Bro changed out of their PJs and changed into their clothes for the next day (including their underwear which they wore literally for 20 minutes, post-bath). Now they are whispering to each other back and forth in the kid monitor.
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    Note: Big Bro just left my room. He had a hangnail that I fixed. He was wearing his Lightening McQueen shirt, and pair of jeans. Too funny.

    I’m in a great mood. I had a great day at work, very productive, and the kids tonight were just too, too funny. Honestly, each of them has such funny personalities and they really crack each other up. They have so much fun together. They tease each other but also take care of each other. They comfort each other. They encourage each other.

    I’m very lucky.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    November 30: Stealing Red


    Half of a work day! From home! YES!!!!

    Highlights of My Morning and “Commute”:

    • Red woke me up proud that she was already dressed for the morning. However, she only changed her top. So she did great, 1/2 of the way.
    • The Twins came bounding into the room – lots of hugs and jumping. I love that part of the day when the kids are excited to see us. By the time they reach Big Bro’s age, I guess they lull in bed and you have to tear them out and ask if it’s OK to give them a morning hug and kiss. 🙂
    • Downstairs, all kids were at the kitchen counter on stools. It was so cute. They were all lined up and sharing space and eating. As Hubby made lunches, Twin Husky hurled himself on the counter to reach for sliced apples. So they really had a diverse breakfast this morning.

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    • The older kids knew that I was working from home today, and a 1/2 day. So Big Bro knew that I was going to walk the Twins to daycare and also have him scooter his way to school. He was thrilled, but Red was upset about this. But then Red also knew that I was going to “steal” her from pre-school today early, and spend some 1:1 time with her (since Big Bro had time with me 1:1 last week). She was thrilled, but Big Bro was upset about this. So there they were fighting about the time they were going to spend with me. Big Bro wants Wednesday afternoons to be “Big Bro and Red” time together with me, versus 1:1 time. I asked him if we could talk about it later since Red would also have to agree. For now, she is excited about potentially going on a choo-choo train ride, and at that point Big Bro threw himself on the floor in a tantrum.
    • The walk to school/daycare was great. We by chance met up with our neighbors who also walk/bike to the school. I call all the kids together the “Motley Crew” — I laugh about that, and of course the kids have no clue what I’m alluding to. So together we all walked/strolled/scootered/biked to school. Big Bro had a great time and felt grown up as he locked up his scooter to the chain-linked fence.
    • I then strolled the Twins to daycare and brought along a potty for Twin Crazy, just in case she feels brave enough to try the potty at daycare. The Twins love the stroller rides in the morning. I have a feeling they do not get the chance to be “really” outside during the day at daycare. We talked about the falling leaves, the leaves on the ground, the sound of barking dogs….
    • My walk back was great. It felt good to get out, walk the trail back home, see the leaves on the ground, know that the kids were all close-by. So that stroll back by myself was my “commute” home and to work for the day. I LOVE THIS NEW WORKING ARRANGEMENT….

    Highlights of my 1/2 Working Day:

    I had a great day at home working and I think that working 1/2 days at home are so much better than full days. On full days, I tended to get sluggish from the absence of people. But 4 hours at home is a breeze. It gives me just enough time to be productive and not waste time. It occurs to me that I have so many pictures posted of my kids but nothing related to my work. So here it goes — below is my working set up while at home. Comfy couch, wired computer, plenty of coffee and water. And my phones close by.

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    • I had to troubleshoot some reporting problems we have with one of the forums I am managing. There are data issues and report distribution issues that I was not aware of. I think the problem is being addressed, but it does not make our firm look good to our clients. I need to make sure this type of thing does not happen again in the future…
    • I am happy to report that I received the work in progress work for my client project from the consultant who is helping me, and it looked like a REALLY good first start. I therefore was happily and aggressively working on the deliverable – it is so much easier for me to pull something together when I have good, strong, smart people working with me and creating materials that I can simply review versus re-do. So I had a very productive morning and sent off a first draft of the deliverable to my Directors for their first review. I will need to focus on content early next week and we will meet with the client at the end of next week. I think we are in good shape so I feel great about that.
    • I then submitted my timesheet and signed off for the day. 🙂

    The Rest of the Day:

    • I went to lunch at 1:15 and ate at a great sushi place while typing on my iPad. I called Red’s pre-school to see when they wake up from nap. 2:30. Great. That gave me time to go food shopping before I stole her for our 1:1 time….
    • Red was so excited to see me. She was smiling and jumping up and down. She was literally speechless.

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    • I asked her what she wanted to do and she wanted to go shopping for new underwear for Twin Crazy. So cute. I suggested feeding the ducks first. We had a great time. She sat on my lap. There were four different kinds of ducks there all with different looks and different quacks. Some were meek and some were aggressive. We talked about the different kinds of ducks and tried to throw the bread to the meeker ducks.

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    • We then went shopping. On our way we made a list. I never walk into a store until I make a verbal list with the kids. This prevents melt-downs when I say we cannot buy random stuff at the store that they happen to fall in love with. So on our list was 1) underwear for Twin Crazy, and 2) sneakers for Red. When we walked in there I was sidetracked by blankets and Red quickly remarked “No Mommy. That’s not on our list.” I couldn’t believe it. “Thank you [Red] for keeping me on track.” So cute. Then she got sidetracked with the Christmas ornaments but she did not break down in a tantrum when we moved on because they were not on the list. We shopped for sneakers. She needed a pair with lights. We went shopping for small underwear for Twin Crazy. She picked out a package that she thought Twin Crazy would like. We stopped at a drug store for pull-ups for Twin Crazy. I found the right size and gender, and Red picked out a package that she wanted us to buy. She is so sweet. Shopping for Twin Crazy was the first thing she wanted to do with her alone time with me. I am so lucky that these kids are so empathetic with each other.

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    • We then picked up Big Bro and the Twins; I cooked a quick dinner; we tried more potty time with Twin Crazy without luck – but she loved the pull-ups (so much so that she had on about 4 or 5 pairs all over her legs). I felt like I didn’t have enough time with Twin Husky but I’ll make it up to him tomorrow.

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    I had a great day. I felt like I contributed to our family finances and then had the opportunity to steal my child for 1:1 time. Dinner and after dinner was a blur with kids and a flurry of activity but I enjoyed it; and am enjoying my couch now even more than earlier today! Wait a minute…. I hear some stifled laughing at the steps…. I better go now and be a tough-ass so these kids respect me and go to bed.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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