March 20: Down time


This morning was another gift with my kids.  Co-parent is on a work-trip and I had them with me.   I normally work ½ day at home and then pick them up in the afternoon, but today since I have them in the AM, we needed to get up and out – and I am working now at a Starbucks while my kids are at school/daycare.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up after only one “snooze” on the alarm.  I didn’t bother to shower since I was going to be at Starbucks.  I’m not trying to impress anyone.
  • Twin Husky was up first and in an amazing mood.  For some reason the others were still sleeping soundly so it was just Twin Husky and I alone.  I let the others sleep.   I rarely have alone time with Twin Husky so I gladly took it with him this AM.  We ate breakfast together.  I made coffee and packed Big Bro’s lunch.   Twin Husky was in a goofy mood and trying to make me laugh.  He was pretending to dance and then also making goofy faces.   Lifting his leg up in the air for no reason.  It was working.  I was cracking up.   We talked about school and his friends.  He said his only friend is Twin Crazy (I will need to ask his daycare about this).   He talked about his bagels and the circle I made on his plate with the pieces of bagels.  He talked about how he likes cream cheese and he saw one of the next-door chickens that escaped and was at our back door.  He finished his breakfast fast so we got him dressed.  I wanted him to dress himself.   I spent time with him talking him through getting undressed.  He is great with his shirt.  He needed to be talked through the rest, especially his socks.  I loved the time with him.  I loved talking him through putting his clothes on.   I was patient with him.   It was just the two of us.  He did everything himself with me just talking him through it and saying “shimmy shimmy shimmy” with his legs going through his pants and his feet going into his socks.  He was grinning and happy and looked proud at his accomplishment.   I am happy that I had the alone time with him this morning to do this with him.
  • Twin Crazy was up and ate breakfast fast.   She changed fast.  Red was slower.  She changed into her new clothes but did not want to eat – she whispered in my ear that she wanted a breakfast bar in the car.  She saw that I did this with Big Bro yesterday so she wanted the same treatment this morning.  I whispered back “OK” and gave her a big hug.  Again, this is time that has been given to me and my hugs felt stronger to me and more meaningful.
  • Big Bro got up slowly again, but was very easy and we were all out the door without any problems.   Shoes were set up, jackets set up, and kids in the car when they were each ready.
  • During the drive we talked about the new goats at the neighbor’s across the street, how their family is having a divorce and how we don’t know what schedule they have for their family, the rain drops on the cars, the traffic, the accident on the side of the road, how kids get “owies” and that is just part of their job being kids.   I was joking about “PLAY PLAY PLAY BANG OWWWWIE!!!!” and the kids were cracking up.
  • Drop offs went fine.  After Big Bro’s drop off we went to see the Ferry pull away.  I like not having a strict time schedule over my shoulder.  I like relaxing with the kids and taking in these moments.  We sat in the van and watched the ferry head into the city until we couldn’t see it any longer.
  • Red was less clingy – but Twin Crazy was extremely clingy – did not want to let go of me and kept grabbing my clothes.  Poor thing.  I will see them all soon.

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I’m at Starbucks right now and feeling really good.  I am close to the kids.  They are all nearby.  I am at work at a Starbucks in a comfy chair with internet access and power outlets.  I have work to do today that is very relevant for remote work…. Emails, etc.   It will be a good day and I will see the kids at 1:50 PM today.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I made some progress on the Agendas for the two meetings coming up and confirmed details with certain speakers.  I reached out to others as prospective members and invited them as guests.
  • I did some background research on LinkedIn for business development and other potential targets.

I was feeling like shit.   I’ve been coming down with a cold from the kids.  Bad, bad cough.  One that keeps you up at night.  And a headache.  I wasn’t sure if I was hungry or needed to throw up.  I felt week.  I grabbed some lunch and headed out for the kids.

But I was early.  One hour too early to be exact.  So Red, Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and me hung out in the mini-van in front of Big Bro’s school until he came out.   Red was busy doing math equations.  She frightens me a bit.  She loves to learn.  You see it in her face as she figures out a math problem.  She is thirsty for more equations, more equations.  “Mommy, these are easy for me.”   WTF?!??!?!?

Twin Crazy was getting bossy and yelling at me and I told her I don’t like that.  That made her feel worse.   My head was pounding.

Big Bro ran to the car when he saw us sitting there.

The ride home was really, really hard for me.  I couldn’t wait to get home with everyone.

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I informed the kids that I was feeling really lousy and that I needed their cooperation for the rest of the day.  I suggested it would be a lounge on the couch movie kind of afternoon.  It was raining and the kids eagerly agreed.
  • I think I dosed with all of my kiddos around me.   Twin Husky even dozed on me a bit.  I loved it.
  • Big Bro and Red were playing “Math Bingo”.  Then Twin Crazy started playing it by them telling her what numbers to press.  It was cute seeing them play this game together.
  • I felt better and went out to water my garden and check on the growth.  It is amazing what is going on in there.  I’m not sure when to “harvest” but I will figure it out.
  • Dinner was home-made mac-n-cheese, spinach, broccoli.  I started doing an “eating broccoli” dance as each kid ate their broccoli.   The boys totally got into it.  I don’t think I’ve seen Big Bro dance that much but he was going crazy dancing tonight.   The kids were cracking up and we were holding hands in a circle jumping up and down to “eating broccoli”.
  • We had fruit for dessert; watched a movie.  
  • Kids were tired and I got Twin Husky down in about 30 seconds.  Twin Crazy was a bit longer.  She gets scared these days.  I allowed her to sit at the edge of the living room during my “alone time” with Red and Big Bro.  I’ve been doing “alone time” with them since they feel a bit jealous about the home time I get with the younger ones on Thursdays and Fridays.  So we hang out a bit, read, and talk.
  • The topic of conversation tonight was evolution.  I think it was because we watched the movie “Ice Age” earlier.   So I showed the kids the theory of evolution in pictures; that got us talking about tailbones.  Then Red found some funny pictures and the kids were laughing so hard they were almost gagging.

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I told Red how I love that she loves to learn.  And how you can still stay like that even when you are not a kid anymore.  You are never too old to learn new things.  I told her that I see her face light up when she is learning and that she is special because of this.

I told Big Bro how much fun I had with them today.  How I loved hanging out with them and spending time with them.   And I thanked him for cooperating today especially when I felt sick.

*****

I’m in bed now.  Showered.  Tired.  Happy.

–        Mama K

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Staying Sane: Not-so-Small Blessings


Let’s be honest. Holidays are stressful times. I’ve made it through this one – my first as a divorce, sharing my kids. What had started as an unbelievably frustrating experience with co-parent, wound up as a week+ of adventure, re-connections, and more focused time with the individual kids. I am ending an amazing Thanksgiving holiday, newly divorced, and feeling the fullest I have in years.

Some background: I had planned a trip back east to take part in my brother’s wedding celebration the weekend before Thanksgiving. As the time got closer, me and co-parent had to ask for the help of a child mediator to help us sort through the holidays (ridiculous, I know). I wound up with this first Thanksgiving. But at this point, it was too late for any of my family to fly out. Despite this, I was convinced that I could still make this a fun Thanksgiving for the kids so I agreed to this arrangement.

As time drew near, it hit me. Take Big Bro and Red with me, and keep Twin Crazy and Twin Husky behind with co-parent. We worked out a schedule where I stayed with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky (two on one) the time immediately before and immediately after our trip – And me, Big Bro, and Red had a full week away two-on-one. So each parent had two-on-one time with pairs of kids during the 10-day time span.

It was amazing.

*****

These are the things that I LOVED about this trip:

  • Big Bro’s defiance and self-assertion removing the jeans that I packed for him. He only likes wearing shorts now (West Coast, I know). He wound up a week in Philly with shorts on freezing his little ass off.
  • Big Bro and Red’s amazing enthusiasm for the trip, and helping every step of the way. I told them that travel days are difficult and that we have to help each other out when we need to. Big Bro was defiant in wanting to pull our one piece of luggage, and Red carried the toy roller bag that she and Big Bro packed together.
  • WE ALL SLEPT ON THE RED-EYE PLANE! We somehow arranged ourselves to all be horizontal and sleeping on each other and actually getting sleep. I loved cuddling with my little kiddos this way and feeling so close to them.
  • I know this is bad for me to say, but yes, I enjoyed sharing a bed with both of these kids for the ENTIRE week. Somehow traveling makes it sort of OK, but I know a hard habit to break.
  • Running at my Aunt’s house in her backyard with each of the kids. I wanted to get their bodies moving after our nap at her house. I wanted some exercise. We had a great time playing tag, chasing after each other, me running against Big Bro while having Red on my back… I loved it and they were giggling like you wouldn’t believe.
  • Seeing my brother and extended family and welcoming his wife and son officially into our family. I am so happy for them. It was also wonderful to see so many of my extended family in one setting – I so rarely am able to do this. So at least two of my kids got the opportunity to see my aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends of family. It is unbelievable to me that the Twins are almost 3 and have yet to meet so many of my family…
  • Dancing with Red and Big Bro at the wedding celebration.
  • Seeing Red and Big Bro interact so well with everyone at the wedding celebration.
  • Connecting with so many that are now so far away from me.
  • Cheesesteaks and pizza. The way they were meant to be.
  • Being able to do work and have productive days while at my mom’s house. She was able to entertain the kids and I was able to be productive and actually work remotely on those days. In fact, I talked to two prospective clients and they have decided to join our forums… so this was extra big for me this past week.
  • Playing “War” with Big Bro and Red.
  • Walking with Big Bro and Red and Nana and her dog and collecting leaves along the way. The leaves were gorgeous. Bright reds. Bright yellows.
  • Running with the kids up and down hills in my mom’s neighborhood.
  • Playing chase and hide and seek with the kids in my mom’s neighborhood.
  • Doing homework and daywork (he missed two days of school for this trip) with Big Bro. I love spending time with him and these activities. He really enjoys the work and learning. I love being there with him and encouraging him to learn.
  • Working with Red on her letters; she wants desperately to mimic her brother with his schoolwork. We wrote out the names of her classmates and used those letters to create words. We drew out a number line and Big Bro taught her how to use it for simple arithmetic. She was hooked. She kept craving more and more and more equations to work on and she did SOOOOOO amazingly well at them. I am so unbelievably proud of her.
  • My mom’s dog finally accepting these kids and letting them pet her gently and her kissing each of them and interacting with them; seeing Big Bro and Red every now and then simply reaching out to her when they were in the middle of doing something to pet her and acknowledge her existence and show their affection to her. I thank Cocoa for this and having them had some experience with a pet of their own.
  • Trying to see Santa but we were first too early and then too late. Big Bro’s response: “Great! Now we get to go home and have ice-cream!!”. He was not upset at all. We all laughed.
  • Big Bro’s response to my step-father’s pancreatic cancer: “He did not look as sick as I thought he would.” So I guess the little guy was preparing himself for the worst and thinking of my step-dad looking more sick (he is thinner, but does look great otherwise). Afterwards, we talked about cancer, what it is (cells that are growing too fast and they crowd out the good, healthy cells), and how you can’t really cure it. You can either take it out, or use medicine to help control the growth. Big Bro understood and said that Joe-Joe Pop was not going to get better, but the medicine he was taking would help to keep him feeling better longer. I wanted to reach out and squeeze this kid so badly then.
  • Red playing with her toy “pets” that Nana gave her and her sharing with Big Bro. Both of them caring for these “pets” during the trip and also drawing yards and even GARDENS for the pets to live in. I love the fact that the garden I am trying to build is making an impact on them. They drew the things in the garden that they wanted to grow that they thought would be good for the pets.
  • Spending Thanksgiving with family. It has always been my favorite holiday, before the kids arrived. It was such a better way to spend the day – with my mom, my uncle, my brother, his family, and Big Bro/Red. It felt right.
  • Seeing Big Bro and Red play so well with their cousin. The twins have yet to meet him.
  • During a conference call, I spent time cutting out hand-drawn “carrots” and “apples” for above mentioned pet gardens.
  • Ice-cream each night with Nana and the kids.
  • Big Bro taking a shower by himself.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and donuts.
  • Two plane rides back with absolutely no tears or breakdowns. These kids are seasoned travelers. Playing “war” with them while they enjoyed their drinks of apple and orange juice with two straws.

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I absolutely loved the time I had with these kids. I did miss the Twins, but it was so amazing to spend so much one-on-one time with these older kids. When one kid would ask me to do something with them, I was actually able to respond with “Yes, I’d love to do that with you“. I saw the impact in their eyes and still feel so lucky to have shared this time with them.

*****

When we returned, I dropped Red and Big Bro off with co-parent and picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky for the weekend.

These are the things that I LOVED about this weekend:

  • Twin Husky saying “Let’s go!!!” when I picked them up.
  • Twin Crazy saying “I’m glad that you came back” when we drove home. Twin Husky repeating and agreeing with her.
  • Walking into my first home after my first personal travel trip away. It smelled good; different; I felt completely at ease. The rest of the weekend I enjoyed doing house projects and cleaning. I love this home.
  • Waking up late with only two of the kids. Waking up to Twin Husky (as usual) and then Twin Crazy in my bed. Them understanding that we would get up at 8 AM.
  • Twin Crazy looking at me and just smiling ear to ear.
  • Playing loud music and dancing along with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky for most of the weekend. At one point, I was only holding Twin Husky’s hands and he was holding back smiles (embarrassed) as I told him that I loved dancing with my son. He is so sweet. They both sang and danced most of the weekend.
  • Taking them to Cold Stone Creamery after their naps on Saturday, before dinner. This was a BIG hit.
  • Then going to Trader Joe’s and having them actually remember what was on the list of things to get.
  • Them singing “baby beluga” and swimming like fish in the bath
  • Puzzle time – Twin Crazy actually doing the puzzles by herself and BEAMING with pride. Twin Husky getting frustrated with his puzzle, but I was able to spend time with him to work through it and the look on his face when he was actually getting the pieces together.
  • Bedtime books with two. It makes a difference.
  • Waking up to their warm bodies again in the morning
  • Picking weeds and Twin Husky saying that he wanted me to do that with him. Working in the garden with them and discovering worms together.
  • Twin Crazy dancing like you wouldn’t believe. Shaking her little shoulders and head. Knowing that it completely cracked me up.
  • Twin Husky pulling me by my hand “Mommy, come with me.“….
  • Each of them wanting to cuddle with me on the couch. Each of them soaking in mommy-time.

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*****

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Tonight I drove them home, and picked up Red and Big Bro for one hour of together-time before I dropped them all off for good at co-parent’s. I took them ALL out for ice-cream. There is just something about holidays/vacations and ice-cream with me. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t get enough ice-cream during vacations. So this was my last hour of vacation/holiday time with all four of my kids together. They had a great time re-uniting with each other. I actually heard squeals and saw some hugs. And I had a brief time with all of them together before ending this holiday break. I couldn’t be happier.

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So now I’m getting ready for the week, a normal week, and I’m not down that the holiday time is over. I’m OK with it. It feels good to be back home. I am glad that I was able to reconnect with my family on the east coast and also bring some kids with me. I’m glad that I was able to spend REAL time with the kids. I am glad that I was able to TALK to them and learn with them and celebrate their growth. And talk to them about missing people and how I know that it hurts and sometimes can be sad, but then you get a chance to see them again.

It breaks my heart when I leave them, but then I think of the next time I will see them and then it’s not that bad.

So it was the many, many, many small blessings that I had over the past 10 days that I am SOOOOOOOOOO grateful for. And I know that there are few people besides myself that can get this much of a charge out of each of these four little people. I know that these kids can light me up in such a special way that others simply cannot – and vice-versa. And this comforts me in some strange way when I am not with them.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

November 15: NO HIGHWAYS!!!!


Co-parent and I are splitting the parenting responsibility into kid “pairs” to accomodate a trip I am taking to the East Coast next week. So, I was alone all day today with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, AND HAD NO TRIPS ON THE HIGHWAY to shuttle Big Bro and Red back and forth. Woah. What a difference. I didn’t realize the strain the driving has taken on me (and the kids) until today.

  • We woke up at a luxurious 8 AM and didn’t get out of bed until 9 AM. The kids were with me “working” in their notebooks in bed which was really, really, cute.
  • Chocolate Thursday! Nutella tortillas for three.
  • We dressed and headed outside. Kids were riding bikes and also helping me with some work for the winter garden. We fed the chickens some weeds. Twin Crazy was very busy taking care of her baby doll. Everyone (including me) was in an excellent mood.
  • We then headed out to a museum where they take in injured wild-life. We got there early so headed to the outside playground for a bit. Twin Crazy was going crazy on the swing. She was flying so high and loving it. She reminds me so much of me it is scary. Inside the museum, the kids had a great time looking at owls, foxes, rabbits…. looking under micro-scopes and they even have a “flight simulator” where you lay down and spread your arms like a bird – they loved that, as did I.
  • We had a good lunch; they were very well behaved and ready for a nap.
  • WE ALL SLEPT FOR THREE HOURS
  • We got up and Twin Husky reminded me that we needed to go food shopping for food for Cocoa and he wanted to ride the “car cart”. I can’t believe the memories these kids have. So off we went, food shopping for the guinea pig. The kids were great and had fun.
  • I cooked a quick dinner – fresh fish and lots of veggies that was a hit. We all ate everything. I guess sleeping makes you hungry.
  • Afterwards the kids continued to do art in their notebooks, and I hung up some of the art.
  • Twin Husky bonded with Cocoa. He wanted to hold her in his lap and feed her. He did really well with her. Twin Crazy was a bit freaked out by Cocoa’s nails so didn’t do as well.
  • I played a dancing game of “pee pee, brush your teeth, and book” where I would toss them up in the air after each task was completed. They enjoyed that and I think I’ll have to continue it since they got ready so fast. They decided to sleep in the girls room tonight. So sweet.

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After they went to bed, I cleaned up a bit and then did some work. I had a number of business development things to attend to; I don’t think I have anything tomorrow except getting extra keys made, getting a neighbor set up to watch Cocoa, and getting packed for my trip. We leave tomorrow night on the red-eye.

I had such a great day today. There was no rushing, no driving. Just being. The day unfolded and we had the opportunity to actually go out and DO something since we didn’t have all of the driving to compete with during the day. Being outside with the kids was great; play time at the playground was great; talking and learning about the animals was great. The kids talked about how they miss Red and Big Bro (and I do as well) but we talked to them tonight on the phone. I am really going to miss these kids next week – leaving them for a whole week when they are not even three is sad for me. They are really blossoming as people and I love each day with them. Twin Crazy can now spell her name as well as her Twin Brother’s. I just can’t believe it. They are so big now.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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

October 17: Full day, except for the corn…


I love Wednesdays! This one was JAMMED PACKED. A very full day at work, and a very good day with the kids. Yeah!

Highlights of my working day:

  • Got cracking at 8 AM at home. Was well fed and had lots of coffee. Very comfortable on the couch.
  • Had amazing business development phone calls to convert members to the meeting we recently had. There is a lot of excitement with the new members! So far I think I have four of them and I need to get our membership agreements in order! YEAH!!!!!!!!!
  • I have another big meeting next week and have TWO presentations to develop and deliver. I worked on each in parallel today with consultants helping me with each. The day consisted of me checking in with each of them, getting drafts, reviewing/refining/revising, sending back, receiving back, sending to Directors for review. Getting comments, answering comments, and getting them out again. We need them out to the clients this week, and we are way ahead of schedule for that. Plus we are doing things in terms of analytics that we NEVER did before, which is making my boss HAPPY. YEAH!
  • I received a lead for a potential consulting project based upon relationships formed through the meetings I lead. This is positioning me well in terms of sales and cultivating relationships for the firm. I feel very secure in my job right now. I gathered the proposal team and we are talking with the potential client tomorrow to better understand what they need so we (not me) can develop a thoughtful and compelling proposal to get their work.
  • I spent the “non working” part of my day in the car on phone calls coordinating all of the above.
  • I started the “second shift” of my work day after the kids went to bed. Reviewed and edited the two presentations for the big meeting next week. I feel good about them.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I went food shopping with Big Bro before getting the rest of the kids. This is becomming our little routine together on Wednesdays. I enjoy the time with him alone, and I like how we work together to come up with our list and how he helps me pick out the stuff. He also asks questions about the food he sees (like eggplant… that was new to him today).
  • I had fun throwing Ritz Crackers to the kids on the way home for snacks
  • I FOUND MY WALLET! YEAH!!!
  • We picked some weeds and fed the chickens together.
  • I brought up the garbage bins with Twin Husky. That is becomming our routine together.
  • We opened up packages from Amazon and Big Bro received his Halloween mask and Star Wars gun. He immediately put on the rest of his costume. Twin Husky then put on his Buzz Lightyear wings. Red and Twin Crazy put “jewels” on their headbands for their “crowns”. They all looked so cute and were so excited.
  • We picked our corn!!!! It looked a bit ridiculous – some looked genetically-challenged. But the kids had fun picking it and seeing that it looked like the stuff they see in the store!
  • We ate outside. The corn sucked.
  • After dinner we cleaned out Cocoa’s new cage; I put in a rug and fleece in her “living area” and a towel and bedding in her “food and shit/pee” area. Right now she is running around and jumping in her cage. She loves it. A friend called it a “condo” which cracks me up.
  • I spent some time coloring with Red.
  • Books and bedime was FAST. I love having the kids back with me.

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I had such a full day – and actually put in almost a full day of work along with being reunited with the kids – and having FUN with them instead of being stressed about work. There is no stress at work now. We are so ahead of where we need to be for the meeting next week. There is just a lot of other stuff going on now too (like wrapping up our last meeting and selling memberships) that are important to me. But when the kids got here the calls stopped. I still checked and responded to emails where needed, but there were few.

I HAD AN AMAZING DAY EVEN THOUGH THE CORN SUCKED!!!!

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 10: The colors of Halloween


I love Wednesdays. For many reasons – first, I get to work from home in the AM and then in the early afternoon I get to see my kids. Today was an even bigger day. I have not seen them since Friday night – so it had been quite a long time since we’ve been together. It was a GREAT day.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up late, drank coffee, ate breakfast. I put the fireplace on since it was chilly. I set up my computer and work in my living room. I was so comfortable and so at ease that I was smiling from ear to ear. I got a lot of work done…
  • I’m trying to start up another forum and put an Agenda together for that.
  • I am thinking through the launch of yet another forum, and am getting consultants help me with background research on the companies to target.
  • I followed up with feedback from my last forum and we received more responses. Terrific feedback on the event and on me personally, which I am stoked about. I lead a session and at this point it is the highest rated out of all – plus lots of good commentary about the event, speakers, and how it was orchestrated. This is a direct reflection on my work and I am so pumped.
  • I continued to get ready for the next forum in two weeks time – following up on surveys, etc.
  • I packed up snacks for the kids, ate a cheese stick, and hit the road.

 

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I loved playing AC/DC “Dirty Deeds” on my way to the kids. I rolled down the window and turned the volume WAY up.
  • I got there a bit early – actually 1 hour early. My mistake. Got the timing wrong. So, I used the time to go Halloween shopping at a second-hand store and bought TONS of stuff; decorations for the house, costumes for me, costumes for the kids. I love Halloween.
  • I stopped at a car mechanic and made an appointment for tomorrow.
  • I had a conference call that got botched since the other parties were completely unorganized and missed the call. We will have to try again tomorrow, which I’m not thrilled about.
  • I picked up Big Bro and we got his bike. He remarked that Red will be upset if he has his bike but she does not have hers. So he said that “we should not ride bikes when we get home that way [Red] doesn’t get upset.” OMG I thought it was so cute how he was considering her feelings.
  • Big Bro and I went food shopping for guinea pig food, cream for home-made ice cream, chicken, fruit, and bread. I love the one on one time with him.
  • Pick up for Red was sweet. The teachers commend her writing skills. I’m proud of her. Pick up for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky went fine. They ran into my arms. The best feeling in the world…
  • On our way home we talked about how I made some changes at the house (renovated a closet into toy shelves) and also bought some new things for the guinea pig. We talked about Halloween and the different costumes. They were really excited to see the stuff that I got as well as the stuff that I have stored.
  • We got home and pulled out Halloween gear. Twin Husky is thrilled with the Buzz Lightyear blow-up wings. Big Bro is excited about a Star Wars costume I found for him. Red is excited about a Tinker Bell dress. Twin Crazy was just acting crazy and I’m not sure what she will be… but there are lots of choices for her.
  • Big Bro went over to his new friend’s house to play Legos. Twin Husky was busy showing off his Buzz Lightyear wings to the neighbors. He was getting embarrassed and sucking in his lips. So cute.
  • Red, Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me to pull the garbage bins up the driveway. Red did one on her own and she wants that to be “her job” for now on.
  • I cooked dinner as the kids set the table outside. They wanted to sit at the “kid table” (even me) which was fine. They set the entire table by themselves which was very helpful.
  • We ate – Twin Husky still had his Buzz Lightyear wings on.
  • We heard kids from the house in back of ours, so we went up our hill to meet them. Two girls ages 6 and 4. Apparently there is a courtyard where they live with lots of kids there. I’m thinking that the fence I get should have a gate on it so the kids can have access to that side of the neighborhood too. There are kids in all directions over here, all at young ages. I AM PUMPED. The family seemed really nice.
  • All kids helped with dinner clean up and dessert (pudding) preparation. At dusk the colors in the backyard were STUNNING so I quickly got the kids together for some photos. The cooperated because they knew their dessert was at risk.
  • Big Bro helped Red with a “calendar” project she wants to do.   Creating the numbers and squares and then setting up the calendar with the days of the week for the month.   He asked if he could help and she gladly accepted his help.  We read Halloween books tonight.   The girls were acting silly at bedtime.  Sisters.
  • I told each of the kids at bedtime the things they did during the day that made me so happy … listening, helping, thinking about each others’ feelings, the big hugs and kisses, etc. I want each of them to feel loved.

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I had an amazing day. The kids are getting to be so much fun. There was little crying or fighting tonight. Things fell into place with us. I’m looking forward to Halloween and the days leading up to it. It is a really special time of year for me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 3: Anyone want any of my kids?


I usually love Wednesdays since I get to be re-united with the kids.   The time with them started off GREAT and then for some reason all hell broke loose.  I’m so glad they are in bed right now.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up later than I would have liked; got set up in my kitchen and enjoyed lots of coffee and actually ate breakfast.  I watered my plants and stretched in the sun.  It was a beautiful, hot day.
  • I had some conference calls and tried to get some stuff done but could not get motivated – I honestly did a lot of nothing today.  So I will likely work after I get this post out since I feel a bit guilty and I do need to get some stuff done.
  • 12 noon hit and I was on the road to get the kids!   I really enjoyed the ride.   It was beautiful out, there was great music on the radio, and I was in an EXCELLENT mood.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I volunteered in Big Bro’s classroom today during “Science Time”.   We planted two different kinds of seeds (alfalpha and grass) in little cups and watered them with fertilizer water.    I worked with two kids at a time.   We were asked to ask them to investigate the seeds and talk about how they were the same and different.  I loved it.   I called all the kids “farmers” and gave them fist-pumps when they were done.   Big Bro was all smiles.    I couldn’t believe how many kinds of responses I got from the kids when asked about the differences in the seeds.   It went beyond shape and feel to even the different sounds that the seeds made when falling like rain; way to cute.
  • It was still a bit early so I took Big Bro with me to the store to get some food.  He kept drawing himself closer to snacks and candy and was joking putting sweets in the cart and then putting them back.   He cracked me up today.  I’m glad I had the time alone with him.
  • Pick up for Red was great; her face was beaming.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy painting.  Twin Crazy had two pig-tails in her hair and I never saw it like that before; she looked so cute; they were so proud of how they put their paintings in the drying rack, washed their hands, and gathered their things all by themselves.  They love it there – as do I.
  • On the ride home they all ate snacks and we called my brother and sung “Happy Wedding to You’ – he got married yesterday in city hall [a different story for a different time].   None of the kids wanted to sing with me.  Twin Crazy had her hands on her eyes.  But both twins were swaying and dancing to the song.  Again, I was cracking up.
  • When we got back we saw the school bus and two new kids that we have not met before – a set of twins aged 6.   We said we would visit them over the weekend.   As far as I know now, we have 16 kids on our block, all aged 8 and younger.   Big Bro wanted to play with the new kid across the street (Legos) so we dropped him off.
  • Twin Husky helped me with the garbage cans and picked out the color can he wanted to bring up next.
  • Red and Twin Crazy were bonding as sisters and were doing each other’ hair.   Then they all played house in a HUGE box from Amazon.  We looked at wedding pictures.  We sang again to my brother.   The girls did a felt project with cut out shapes of felt.   Twin Husky was busy watering the garden.   I drew a picture of Dora for Red on felt.
  • It was all great until Big Bro came back.  Then the trouble started.  Teasing, crying, bikes crashing into each other, more crying, fighting, pinching, throwing things, hitting heads with water bottles, hiding toys….   there must have been at least 50 times tonight where there was a kid crying or fighting.   I couldn’t take it.   I thought that dinner would help but it did not.
  • At least the highlight of dinner was eating outside with citronella candles so we had no bugs for the first time.   The kids ate well and they wanted to talk about Halloween.  They are excited about Halloween in this neighborhood with all of the kids.  So am I.
  • After dinner we made pudding but then Twin Husky threw a beer opener and it hit me in the chin, hard.   So he lost dessert tonight.  More crying.   I can’t win.
  • Twin Husky and I cuddled more tonight during booktime; I think he felt bad about throwing (hopefully he learned something).   The kids were still causing problems for me during bed…. fighting over space, asking for more water.  I told them I was at my breaking point and for everyone just to go to sleep.  I’ve had it.

How does a day start out so great with the kids and then suddenly fall to pieces with ALL FOUR of them??!!??!!??   This was crazy today.   I can’t figure it out.   I spent REALLY good one-on-one time with Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky.   But still Big Bro was such a pain in the ass!!!!!   They are at least quiet now so hopefully I can get some work done.   This was a day I’d like to remember and forget at the same time.   Hopefully it will be better tomorrow —

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

September 4: First days!


Today Twin Crazy and Twin Husky started “traditional” daycare, versus the “home” daycare that we’ve had them in since they were babies.   And it was Red’s first day in a new “classroom” at daycare – “Pre-K”.   I decided to drive down to co-parent’s neighborhood to see their first days in action…
Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and left the house at 7 AM, with my phone free of pictures and fully charged.
  • I got there way early – there was hardly any traffic.  So I went to co-parent’s at 7:45 AM.   Red was having problems with socks.   I offered to take her into school and meet the rest there.
  • Red and I waited for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and I took lots of pictures of her.  For some reason I missed her like crazy yesterday.    I just kept thinking about the times she says “what can I do with you” and I’m always too stretched to really spend any time with her.   All I wanted to do yesterday is sit down and color with her.   I missed her so much; so this morning I grabbed extra hugs and kisses and tried to make her feel extra special.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky came in, with their little backpacks.  Sooooooooo cute.  They were really excited.  They checked out their cubbies, the sofa, the potties, a crayon activity (and talked to each other about the colors), the play-kitchen, the doll house….   Twin Husky carried his Tiger non-stop and even took off his shoes when he sat on the little couch.   They had no problems with our leaving.  They looked like they were already having a blast.
  • Red’s drop off was fine.  She was shy at first, but then warmed up when she saw some friends.   Her face was glowing and she jumped right into activities with her friends.
  • I missed the ferry, so I decided to work from Starbucks.   The commute was literally 5 minutes.

 

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I set up at Starbucks, got another coffee.   I was actually very productive.   I had several conference calls and got closer to firming up the Agenda and attendees to the forum we are having later this month.
  • I followed up on old invoices
  • I started to confirm the Agenda for the other forum we will have in October.
  • I did some admin items such as timesheets

 

The Rest of the Day:

  • I called a quits at 4 PM and went clothes shopping at Kohl’s with $3o Kohl’s Cash.  I spent an incremental $2 on 2 dresses and a pair of “skorts”.  I’m psyched about the killer deal and will wear one of the dresses tomorrow.
  • I did some food shopping – again with coupons.  Safeway’s deals are great and they give you discounts on gas which I really appreciate these days.   But, I saw that they double charged me for bread and believe it or not but I actually spent the time to go back to get the $5 returned to me.   Again, watching every dollar.   Oh how my life has changed.
  • I had the kids tonight since co-parent is on a business trip.   So this Tuesday night with them was a gift.
  • Pick ups were EXCELLENT!   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky looked tired, but very very happy.  Again, Twin Husky was carrying around his Tiger.   They were eating snacks.  They seemed really happy – each with their own seat right across from each other.  I asked if they were set up next to each other for naps and the teachers confirmed yes.   There were no tears.  I am thrilled.  They had a great first day.
  • Red was excited at pick up too; she had a great day and I came back with lots of art.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was fine; he goes with a neighbor who is a life-saver to me.
  • On the way home we reconnected and caught up with each other.  We talked about the past few days and the birthday party they went to and Big Bro’s owie and the first days of school.  I talked about the guinea pig and how I bought her different greens and how big she’s getting.   It was a great ride home, but we hit traffic.   The kids were happy despite this.
  • I started dinner as soon as we got in; the kids were playing with Cocoa.  And drawing.  And cutting pictures out of magazines.
  • I did homework with Big Bro.  He read some words, counted to 100, and wrote a sentence about the drawing of his family.  His sentence was “I have a new pet.”  He spelled out all the words and the sentence by himself.  I can’t get over it.
  • We ate well except for Big Bro.  He still has stomach issues.   This has been going on way too long… almost one week.  I think I need to take him to a doctor.
  • After dinner Big Bro took it easy on the couch while the rest of us took out the garbage.  I usually don’t have them on these nights so this was fun with them.  They “helped” me carry the bins down to the street.
  • We all picked out the clothes for the next morning so we can get a jump on that without hesitation tomorrow.
  • Bedtime was great; they got changed without a problem.  Books were no problem.  Getting them to sleep was a minor problem – the girls wanted to talk.   They talked about what scares them.  Red is scared of alligators but I assured her that the zoo is very far away and there is absolutely NO WAY that the alligator is going to escape his tank and walk all the way over here.   Twin Crazy agreed that the alligator does have a big mouth and could eat us.   And bugs.   And that the bugs would be mad if the alligator ate the other bugs.   Big Bro was busy looking at Cocoa eating her new dandelion greens.  We sat there for awhile looking at her eat.  I asked him if he likes having a pet and not only did he say “Yes” right away, but he immediately said that he wants to have a dog too.   Twin Husky was excited about the day and kept saying that he is a big boy.

It was a great day; I was actually a working mom again which feels good but also extremely exhausting since I am out of practice.   We are going to have a VERY early morning tomorrow so I need to get some things done tonight.   I will work from Starbucks again tomorrow but for only 1/2 day; I’m looking forward to getting home with the kids at a more reasonable time tomorrow so we can eat earlier, spend more time together, and not be stuck in commuting traffic…  I want to talk to them more since their conversations either crack me up, surprise me from the intelligence, or both.

It was a GREAT day.  One that I will remember because of the “first days”.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Aug 9 and 10 recap: SAHM in the summer


It has been a busy two days for me so I collapsed into bed each night without a post.  I had the kids and wanted to take advantage of the summer time with them before school starts.   The school year for us will involve many highway trips in early morning rush-hour traffic so I wanted to enjoy this time with them on my days off before the school year begins.

Thursday, August 9:

  • We woke up to chickens.
  • Chocolate Thursday at Mommy’s house!   Red teased a chicken with her chocolate tortilla roll-up

  • We hit the road to get Big Bro’s backpack which we forgot a daycare the day prior.   I took the opportunity for us to introduce Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to their new daycare room when the “school year” starts.   Red showed Twin Crazy the potty (very small!  Very cute!) and they used it.   Red helped her wash her hands and showed her where the soap was and the paper towels and trash can.   Big Bro showed Twin Husky the kitchen set (Twin Husky loves playing kitchen) and they all experimented with the couches and the books.   They were having a great time.  We showed them the cubbies for their “stuff” as well as the hooks for their jackets.  Both indicated that they would like to come here for the day and play and learn.

  • From here, I was spontaneous and decided to take them on a train ride.  We talk about the trains all the time when we are commuting on the highway.  I talk about how I take that train to work and how it goes into the city to my office.   They have been asking about going on a train ride and going to my new office.  Big Bro and Red did not have the opportunity to see my new office and they wanted to see it.  So I called in advance and then we headed over.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!  The kids were great.  We all stayed together.   We parked and remembered the number of the parking space. We paid for parking together and then we went through the turnstile and up the escalator to wait for the train.  On the train we stood up and looked outside and also had some time underground.  They were very brave.  And the older kids looked after the little kids.   I told them how many stops and when to get ready for the next stop.  THey were excellent and followed directions so well.

  • Along the street we had a long 5 blocks to walk, but again, we stuck together, held hands, went slowly.   It was lunchtime and there were lots of people walking about but all were generally good / patient with us.  I got a lot of comments.  I love going places with all of these kids.   I love being able to do things with them in tow.    Especially when they are so good and are able to take in so much.   We talked about the city, the big buildings, how people move fast, how we used to live here, the streets where I used to move the stroller with Big Bro and Red.

  • In the office we were surprised to learn that there was a birthday that day.  So they brought lunch in, and better yet, cupcakes.  That was a huge hit with the kids.   They were extremely talkative with my co-workers and very lively and funny.  Big Bro was showing off his Lego plane.  Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy playing/talking/fighting like twins.   Red was quiet, but cute – we talked about her “sibling haircut”.   Twin Husky asked my boss “do you have a penis?”.    He is on the boy/girl thing and yes, they talk about penis and vagina body parts all the time.  My boss (who is kidless and in his 60’s, about to retire), indicated “Yes, I do have a penis.”.  OMG.

  • The kids made it back AOK on the 5 block walk to the train station and on the ride back.

  • When we got home it was dress up time.  I tried to get the Twins down for a nap but it was impossible.

  • We headed next door to see the neighbors and the kittens.  They invited us over to the pool.  We gladly accepted.
  • At the pool the kids were having an amazing time.  My other neighbor showed up at the pool with beers and pizza so we made a night of it.  We met more friends of neighbors and more kids that are Big Bro’s age.  Nice kids.  They hit it off.  I love it here.  I gave big hugs to all when I left.  The folks were great going into the big pool with Big Bro and Red while I kept my eyes on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  Big Bro wants me to get the phone number for the new kid he met so he can continue to play with him.  He had a great time with him tonight.

  • We saw deer as the kids were getting ready for bed.  A mother and her baby.  The baby has gotten much bigger since we’ve seen it last.

  • The kids slept well.   (As did I).  It was a full day.

Friday, August 10:

  • We again woke up to chickens.
  • The kids did art activities while I straightened up the house a bit.   I started a lot of laundry.

  • After snack I took the kids to the playground.  A part of the playground where there is sand and a structure with a water pump and spouts and pipes.  The kids had a great time.  Big Bro was in his Batman costume.  Twin Husky was completely immersed in his building, pounding, scraping, water activity.   He was in his own world.  Twin Crazy had fun playing a little more conservatively than her brother.  But she loved the sand and the water.   Red was very apprehensive about the sand at first.  She didn’t like the feeling on her hands.  But once she got into it she loved it.  She was making me sand meatballs.

  • We headed home for lunch and naps.  Again, the Twins refused to nap.
  • We played outside in the blow up pool since it was so hot outside.   They were enjoying it but Big Bro was having a hard time.  He dumped the pool upside down.   I don’t know what his problem was but I sent him inside.  I set up the kids again, and then I went in to get Big Bro.  We sat on the rocking chair together, with him on my lap.  He was cranky at first but we had a conversation.   How I thought his behavior was not that friendly and if there was something wrong.   He wouldn’t answer.   We then just talked.   Talked about school, about how much fun that will be, about math, and science… and he told me he didn’t want to go to aftercare since you can’t bring your toys out.  So I told him that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there would be no aftercare.  I would pick him up from school and did he like that?   His face smiled.   And on Monday and Tuesday, we were going to see if he could go home with the Motley Crew (friends behind co-parent’s house).   He seemed much better then.  He was ready to play with his siblings again.

  • We played in the pool.   Red asked me to sit in the pool.   The kids were all pouring water on me and I was carrying on enjoying myself with them.  They were laughing.

  • I took the opportunity while Red’s hair was wet to actually try to cut it to even out the sibling haircut.   I think it looks OK.   She doesn’t seem to care.

Before you knew it, it was time to head to co-parent’s.   On the way, we drove by the parking lot where I park for my commute, and also the train station where I go on Mondays and Tuesdays.  The kids wanted to see that.

The kids were in good moods.  They had very active days and I had a lot of time to spend with them collectively and individually.

I went food shopping and bought gas and then headed home – doing these activities helps me to avoid the rush-hour commute traffic on the way back.   I was tired when I got back.  I played with Cocoa a bit.   Did some gardening/watering.   Did some work on my computer with photos.   Then called it a night.

I had an amazing two days with the kids.   I was able to get things done and also spend a lot of time with them.   They are feeling more and more comfortable here and I love it.

June 27: Different kinds of Love


Wednesday!   I get to see the kids today!

1/2 day of work.   I banged out a lot of things – getting meetings organized, reaching out for “testimonials” to help bolster some sales materials, planning meetings for next week.   I worked from home so also got the wash done, got the trash bins organized, and did some general straightening up for my guests who flew in today – my dad and his wife – aka Pop-Pop and Emmy!

After work I hit the road and stopped at Home Depot to return some things.  $75 back in my pocket!  Yeah!   Also picked up some things at the old house and dropped off some borrowed things at a neighbor’s house.  Then picked up the kids!

Highlights:

  • Attended a “sea” puppet and dance show with Big Bro and Red.  Both were excited to see me.  Red sat on my lap.  Big Bro wanted to fill me in on all the funny things that I missed during the first half of the show.   They both were really enjoying themselves.  I was happy to be there with them and stayed with them until the show was over.  We were in no rush.
  • Picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next.  Twin Husky’s first words to me were “Me missed you Mommy”.  OMG my heart melted and I could not stop hugging them and making a HUGE fuss over seeing them.  They were excited to come with me and knew that Pop-Pop and Emmy were coming today.  We all talked about that on the way home.
  • New plates arrived for the kids – helping with portions of fruits/veggies, breads/grains, and meats.   They ate like crazy tonight and really got into their new plates.
  • There was bonding time with the still-nameless guinnea pig.
  • We picked weeds while waiting for Pop-Pop and Emmy.   We filled up a wheelbarrel and then fed the chickens.

 

  • The kids were pysched to great our visitors and show them their rooms.   Everyone was acting very silly and then it was time for  bed.   Kids were great.
  • Tonight Red asked me if I loved everyone in the family.  I said yes that I loved Nana, Pop-pop, Emmy, …..  She said “Noooooo” and seemed frustrated.  She meant co-parent.  I told her that was a difficult question and explained to her that there are different kinds of “love”.  How the love she has for her blanket is different than that for her friends at school than that for her guinnea pig and that for Mommy or Daddy.  I said it was the same for me.  I love chocolate ice-cream, but the way I love each of the kids is different.  It FEELS different to me.  Like her different kinds of love must feel different to her.  There are different kinds of love.  I did not answer her question head on since that would be un-nessessary.  But I did want to hear her.  I did want to answser her someway.    She is trying to understand and I am just grateful that she feels comfortable enough to ask me those kinds of questions.   I want to keep them talking.  Keep them questioning.  Keep them engaged.

I’m so glad that my family is here.  I’m so glad that this house is full.   Full in many different ways.   Just like there’s different kinds of love.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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