December 1: A day of adventures – climbing and sailing


I’m off today! Last night we had crazy wind (60 mph) – it was so bad that a neighbor’s fence came down. Poor Red was scared silly. So I caved in (again) and this is what I woke up to this morning:

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Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro was excited that I was staying home today since he knew he could scooter to school. He was cooperative but slept later than I would have liked.
  • Red was excited about wearing her new sneakers to school.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating everything. We somehow gave him a cereal box to hold and of course he was busy playing a scientist and testing the laws of gravity. This is what I turned around to see:
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  • We were running a bit late (8:10!!!) but we still packed Twins in the stroller and got Big Bro suited up for his scooter ride to school. Unbelievably, we met up with the “Motley Crew” from the houses behind ours and all rode bikes/scootered/strolled together. They were the unfortunate neighbors with their fence blown down. I knew they were looking at all the other fences (upright) and knew they were getting more disappointed since they didn’t see any other damage…. they are fun people and I’m glad I’m getting to know them better.
  • We arrived a bit late but in time for Big Bro to make it to his class with his other classmates. I told him not to worry and that I’d lock up his scooter and helmet on my way home. On the way to the building there were HUGE piles of leaves; and leaves in smaller piles on the grounds. He couldn’t help himself but to walk through a small pile and kick his foot through the pile, leaves fluttering everywhere. I had to laugh. He is such a boy. It is such a strange feeling for me to have my first born as a full-fledged BOY, and my littlest set turning so big; Twin Crazy on the potty just kills me. I think the upcoming days are going to get just better, and better, and better.
  • I walked with the neighbors back home. We had to maneuver around the twigs and tree branches. They are really funny and I enjoy their company. It is good for me to have a dose of “real people” time on my full days off. The weather was beautiful – it felt like the wind just cleared up the air and the sun was shining and the Twins were busy pointing out dogs and staring and pointing at the playground in awe. I was looking forward with my day with them.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • At home, I ate everyone’s left over breakfast and made a second cup of coffee. A conference call that I had scheduled wound up being canceled so that freed me up to take the Twins out on an adventure. I decided on a place that has lots of different creative rooms good for kids under 10; there are a few toddler rooms and I figured let me take them now while the bigger ones are at school. We packed up and got ready to go. Dressed, shoes on…. they are so cute that I walked into the garage and there they both were just sitting there in their strollers – looking like they were all ready to go. I had to laugh. I pulled them into the van and then they knew it was going to be a real adventure.
  • Once there we played on waterbed lilly-pads, scrambled on structures, played with stuffed animals, looked at bubbly water, and heard the sounds of creatures being piped in all over the place. It feels so relaxing there. Like you are in a rain-forest. There were lots of kids there. And lots of nannies there too, ignoring the kids and texting on their phones. I hate it when I see that.I guess since there’s so much to do there for little ones, it’s time for them to take a break. But I just jump right in with the kids. I play on the lilly-pads too. And I tickle them. And I get them to jump and play and investigate and touch and run after the stuffed animals and say hi to the other kids and ask them if they’re having fun. I can’t imagine not engaging with them even when I’m in a place like this. They received a lot of attention from other parents/adults who asked if they were Twins. I love being a mother of Twins. Absolutely love it. One interesting thing is that when I do sit back and watch them – watch them wander, watch them out on their own – they never stray far from the other. In fact, most of the time I was there they were within 5 feet of the other. Even with the other kids around. They don’t have the opportunity of interacting with a lot of other kids (besides their siblings) so I was curious how they would do; it was interesting for me to see them still side by side. When one started to play “night-night”, the other walked over right next to him/her and did the same. When one started to climb a pillow structure and balance on the top, the other waited and tried to do the same. What a special bond they share. And it is largely unspoken. Again, I think things are going to get better, and better, and better with them as well.
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  • We spent only an hour there but then it was time for lunch. How come Denny’s never fails to make the BEST hash browns and pancakes???!?!?!?
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  • We headed home for naps and I straightened up a bit, did laundry, played with iPad/blog; once Twin Husky woke up at 3:30 I decided to quickly grab everyone up again for our next adventure. I think we had just enough time to do it….. so we got in the car again, I packed up snacks for all kids, picked up Big Bro and scooter, picked up Red… and headed to the parking lot of the commuter ferry!!!! I do this from time to time… take the kids and take the ferry to the city but just stay on it and come back. While waiting for the ferry, they had a great time playing on gates, looking at the water, looking for the boat, looking at the flag, pointing to dogs, and playing with the free newspapers (advertising). They were all well behaved and stuck together; when the ferry arrived the busy workers headed FAST to their cars and we were leisurely waiting for our turn to enter the boat. The crew knows us. They welcome us. And they continuously tell us that we have beautiful children (I agree).
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  • The ferry ride was great; the sun was going down, the kids were excited about the motion and being on the water. They almost pounced on me when I mentioned “snacks” and they downed 4 applesauces, 3 tangerines, and fist-fulls of raisins. It must have been the sea air. I had a relaxing ride. There weren’t many people on the ferry going into the city so we had a lot of room to ourselves and room to spread out. Plus the ride was essentially flat so I felt they were safe. The sun was setting. The kids were happy. Big Bro commented that when you look out of the front of the boat it doesn’t seem like we’re going fast but looking from the sides, where you were right near the water, it seemed really fast. He wasn’t sure if we were really going that fast and wanted to confirm that with me. I love that. His wonderment. His observations. His questions. And how he’s learning. And how the little ones are learning too, just by hearing the interaction between us. Red, as usual, was a little “mommy” making sure the Twins were properly seated and making sure they each had proper turns with the water bottle. I am so lucky.
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    Dinner was quick and all kids ate like champs. There were literally NO leftovers (I guess it was the sea air??!?). Afterwards was a blur but I decided to get them down earlier tonight. On days that I have enough time with them I feel better getting them to bed earlier – I think they need more sleep – particularly Big Bro. On days I work however, it feels better to stretch it to 8:00 but I know that’s probably too late for them.

    I had a wonderful day; the kids had a great reunion and I was able to manage something special for all of them. I’m looking forward to the same for tomorrow.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    August 25: Special day working at home with my son


    Big Bro’s pre-school is closed today and tomorrow – so I am working from home today and will take tomorrow off. Big Bro and I are right now sitting together on the couch to talk about the highlights of the morning.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • All kids woke up at the same time. Red wanted her hair wet but with no pony-tail. Twins were a bit cranky. I think it’s because they maybe didn’t eat enough last night? Maybe they are both very hungry. Big Bro went into a tantrum because he wanted me to find the toy scoop of “chocolate ice cream”…. NOW. I said I first needed to take a shower, but Big Bro didn’t like that answer. He decided to go back to bed.
    • During my shower Red was putting her hand against the shower glass door and I played the game with her where I meet her had with my own on the other side.   When I got out and got ready, Red wanted to help me with my face lotions.
    • Red and I check on Big Bro. He’s still in bed sulking.
    • While Red and I walk downstairs, we see Twin Crazy moving her body and swaying to the music in the kitchen. She loves music. And she loves to dance. Ever since she was a little baby. When she sees us, she gets embarrassed and runs over to the stairs to greet us with a HUGE hug and kisses.
    • Twin Husky is walking around with a red balloon.
    • I gather clothes, eventually Big Bro comes downstairs. Red requests pink shirt, pink pants, pink underwear, and orange (Halloween) socks.
    • Twin Husky proceeds to throw all the little tiny cereals from the small kid table all over the kitchen floor. We pick them up.
    • TIME TO GO – we drop off Red and Twins. No problems.  Big Bro and I drop off Hubby at the ferry station.
    • Big Bro and I decide to go to the “new school” to look around and see what it’s all about. We peek into the kindergarten classes but they are all locked up. We might go back later today or tomorrow in the afternoon to see if we can walk inside the rooms and get him more comfortable.
    • Now we’re sitting on the couch while I’m typing away on my iPad, and Big Bro is anxious to play puzzles and games. “When is it going to be my turn???”. I’m thinking about what to do today for work, and also what to make for dinner tonight, and also where we can go to lunch together.
    Big Bro "working"

    Big Bro "working"

    I’m looking forward to working at home today with my eldest child, Big Bro.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • I set up my working space in the living room alongside of Big Bro. I got Big Bro set up with my iPad to play games. I started to work on go-to-market efforts for the partnering opportunity. This did not last long because…
    • He played games for about 45 minutes and then got extremely bored and frustrated and cranky. I decided it was time to put the games away and suggested a movie instead. He whined, I reminded him about him trying harder not to whine, then he whined a little more, then I pulled his toes to make him laugh. I offered a snack. That worked.
    • Big Bro then started to watch “Chicken Little” which is a cute movie with actually some reasonably good music. I was busy with go-to-market stuff so I was having a great time.
    • We went to lunch at 12:30 — right on a golf course. He polished off a huge adult plate of french toast. He can put it away. During lunch we made a list of things he needed to get for kindergarten (lunch bag, haircut) and also a list for Red (lunchbox, hair clips) for her first day at pre-school.
    • On the way home we stopped at the food store to pick up dinner for tonight – a roast, since I have the time.
    • Back at home I asked him to “rest quietly” for 30 minutes. He was doing great, following directions, being quiet, AND THEN HE FELL ASLEEP FOR THREE HOURS.  🙂
    • During this time I got more work done and also started dinner.
    • He’s up now, finishing the movie, while our dinner finishes cooking. We’re going to pick up Red and Twins and then go to the ferry station to pick up Hubby.

    It was a great working day. I loved spending time with Big Bro.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I threw the cauliflower on top of the potatoes, on top of the roast and then Big Bro and I jumped in the mini-van to get the rest of the kids.
    • Pick up with Red and Twins went well. Twin Husky was still scrambling into the front seat to drive but I caught him this time. He grabbed my keys, started playing with the buttons, and then the alarm went off. 🙂
    • Off to ferry station to watch the boat come in and get hubby. We looked at flags, saw dogs, and talked about the boat coming in and the people coming off the boat. There’s daddy!!!
    • At home we quickly have dinner thrown on the table. Twins are very hungry. All actually ate tonight, even Red. “Listen to your body. If you are still hungry, then keep eating.” Hubby and I split one beer.
    • Red gets changed by herself into PJs because she is hot.
    • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy both want to spoon the meat juice on our plates. So cute.
    • After dinner Big Bro continued his Chicken Little movie.
    • Twins and Red were playing kitchen with me and Hubby.
    • Then we all move to living room to watch movie. All of us were on the couch together which was really cute.
    • Red requested peaches and all kids went nuts. They ate peaches like there was no tomorrow.
    • Twin Crazy and Red then started acting silly. Downward dog positions, downward dog with leg in air, then Twin Husky started it too.
    My silly "downward dogs"

    My silly "downward dogs"

    • Then lots of running around – this is what sugar does to my kids.
    • Diaper changes – Twin Crazy was fun, kissed her toes and feet and got her in PJs. Twin Husky was atrocious. It was a very, very, bad diaper. So bad I had to get him naked and throw the diaper OUTSIDE in the garbage bin. I got him in the laundry room and washed him down. He didn’t even cry – he had to know that it was terrible.
    • MILK! TIME TO GO UPSTAIRS!!
    • All kids are up – Twin Husky and Twin Crazy “brush” their teeth on stools. We read, sing songs, kiss. Good night!!
    Our big little kids brushing by themselves

    Our big little kids brushing by themselves

    • Big Bro and Red decide they want their nails trimmed. “Oh my goodness they are so long they’re almost singing!!! Look at THIS guy!!!” I always make a big deal about their nails. I have to make a game out of it. Then I start a new game by saying how they have “stinky toes”. Both were giggling uncontrollably with that.

    Everyone is in bed and I had an amazing day. TRULY AMAZING. Working from home really makes a difference – and the injection of kid time today was unusual but I needed it. I think Big Bro did too – he’s anxious about Kindergarten. My dad is coming in for the weekend and he’ll be here tomorrow in the late AM. Big Bro is excited and Red is thrilled. I’m looking forward to his short visit.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    August 12: Taking my crew on the ferry


    I decided to work from home today since I went out-of-town yesterday, and I have my work computer with me.   This changed things up a bit:

    Morning and Commute:

    • Red remembered about my promise of going to Big Bro’s school on a day when I work from home.    When she found out I was working from home today, she started to get excited and slowly started to communicate the change in routine.   I was patient with her and let her finish her thoughts…..”Mommy… you work from home today?   So [Twin Husky], [Twin Crazy] and me go to [Big Bro] school?    And we look at Daddy go on Ferry?”    “Yes sweetie.  We can do that if you want.”   She was excited.
    • Big Bro was still sleeping hard because there was a pee-pee accident last night.   He downed 3 glasses of milk before bed — poor kid.   Accidents happen.   Because of this we let him sleep a bit longer – we also had more time since we didn’t need to make the drop offs before the ferry left.
    • I got four sets of clothes ready for the day; changed everyone, got on shoes, everyone’s excited.
    • We get the kids in the car and drive to the ferry station.  The kids go wild when they see the boat.  I get reprimanded by a “rent a cop” that I’m blocking the way where I am parked.   “Come on man, I got four kids that are excited to see their daddy get on the Ferry.”   No luck.  I loop around and find another spot, less conspicuous.   The ferry sounds its horn and begins to back up.  Smoke fills the sky.  Twin Crazy says “hot”.   Twins are pointing to the boat.   We all wave bye-bye to daddy.
    • We all drop off Big Bro.   All kids go onto sidewalk and hold hands.    Big Bro wants to get dropped off in privacy so I set up the other kids in the “community play room” and drop of Big Bro solo.  He appreciates this.
    • I play with the Twins and Red at the daycare center for about 45 min.  They loved it – legos, baby dolls, doll house — we received a lot of attention.   We want to send Red here in September although it will be much more expensive for us.
    • OK time to go!   On the way out I see some legos in little hands so we go back and put everything back.  Twin Husky was not a fan of this but he soon got over it.
    • Drop off at daycare went fine.   They all looked a little tired and maybe needed a snack.
    • I’m back at home and will start my day – I will need to finish the proposal and send out to the client by end of business tonight; I would also like to start on the “best practices” deck as the hand-out to those people we interviewed during the last project as a “thank you”.  It should be easy to do.   I already know how I’m going to set it up.
    Highlights of my Working Day:
    • Ate a yogurt; set up for the day in my home-office.  This included my iPad, my work computer, and the Apple home computer.  I also had my cell phone nearby and my home phone.   It looks like I’m a day-trader.
    • Wrote commentary on my morning, since I did not have a commute trip this morning
    • Discussed status of proposal with two Directors.  Made some last changes and I sent out to the client.   I at least know that he read my email because I received a “read receipt”.  Hopefully we’ll hear something back soon.
    • 1:30 PM:  Went out to lunch by myself and brought my iPad.   Wrote a piece that I will post on Sunday night.
    • Started and finished the Best Practices document that we can send to interviewees from our last project.   I think it’s ready to go but I sent it to a Director for comments/feedback.
    • I plan to wrap up early today….   get the kids, head to the ferry, and meet Hubby in the city for dinner.   If we leave early enough we’ll all be able to make the 7:30 Ferry from the city back home.   Kids are free on the ferry on Fridays.   They absolutely love it.
    • OK, gotta run and get myself ready and also pack a bag for the kids!    Some PJs, diapers, 4 small cars for entertainment at the table.
    Dinner and Bedtime:
    • I picked up Big Bro and told him that we were going on a ferry and we both started running to the van
    • I picked up the rest and told them the same thing — -“Daddy… daddy…. boat….”   How cute.
    • Got to ferry parking lot in plenty of time — they looked so cute and anxious waiting for the boat.    They went nuts when it arrived.

    My crew waiting for the ferry to grab dinner with Daddy

    • They were great on the ferry — standing up on the cushion seats looking out onto the water.   We were in the front of the boat so they had a great view of the city.   They were great.   Red gave the ticket to the ferry guy.
    • We met hubby and headed out for Mexican food — rice, beans, chicken, enchiladas, quesadillas, and BEERS.   All kids ate well.   Twin Husky sat in a booster seat while Twin Crazy was in a high chair.   We had a great time.   The kids were so well-behaved.
    • We walked a bit — Big Bro and Red pushing the stroller.   Twin Husky was mellow and Twin Crazy was going nuts jumping back and forth in her seat and laughing and cackling.
    • We shared two cookies from Subway since all the ice-cream stores were closed.   Big Bro took control of the water cup and all kids shared their water.   So cute.
    • Ferry ride back was fun; all kids tired.
    • As soon as we made it back the toddlers went upstairs.   I got milk for all; quick routine for Twins and they were out.   Quick routine for the big guys and I think they’re sleeping.
    IT WAS AN EXCELLENT DAY….   felt productive at work and I had A LOT of quality time with the kids.   I absolutely LOVED today.
    Going to watch a movie now with hubby –
    Till Monday –
    – Mama K
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