April 25: Shopping, working, and playing together

I’m jotting this down at the end of the day – I am feeling tired but VERY happy. There were lots of funny things happening today with the kids which looking back make me laugh…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I went upstairs and folks were up; Twin Crazy on the potty; I carried down lots of clothes, backpacks, and gear for everyone.
  • The ladybugs are still living
  • Twin Crazy was dressed and excited about the shirt she was wearing since it had a bird on it. She was having fun rolling around with a fuzzy giraffe pillow.
  • Twin Husky was busy reading and counting circles when I gave him a diaper change this morning. I told him how great it was that he is counting and how he is using his brain. I got him dressed in clothes since we were going to take a stroller ride today.
  • Red was stuffing her backpack silly. I mean it was totally packed and she needed help zipping everything up.
  • Red and Big Bro needed help with socks and shoes. It’s their little routine with me.
  • Big Bro was ready; as were Twins. They jumped into the stroller and Big Bro was set on his scooter. Red was fine going in with co-parent.
  • I strolled the Twins while Big Bro scootered with the Motley Crew. It was a nice walk. It felt good to be back in this routine. I’m still decompressing from last week. I talked with my neighbor about how the twins are showing their personalities and needs/desires much more forcefully now. How Twin Husky got upset when I took out “Other Tiger” from behind the stroller since he wanted it back there to go “night night”. Opinions. Tantrums. They are two. And NOW I know I have four children….
  • Big Bro drop off was fine.
  • As I started to take twins to their daycare, they realized where we were going and Twin Husky threw a tantrum. He didn’t want to go there. He wanted to go home. How sweet. It broke my heart though. He was better by the time we got there. I realized that I lost “Other Tiger” along the way and told him I would try to find him.
  • I started to RUN back home since I had 15 minutes to make it back before a conference call. I backtracked my way through the elementary school but no “Other Tiger”. I passed by my neighbor with her little girl playing on the swingset [so jealous of that woman…]. I continued to run. And then I saw “Other Tiger”!!!! I ran home just in time….
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a conference call with two directors to talk about our strategy with regards to legal representation at our forums. We talked cost and the need to negotiate down and also look for other firms. It is my role to make these forums more profitable so I pushed hard for finding other options.
  • I interviewed (via phone) a potential hire. I did not like him as much as the woman I met yesterday. He just fell flat. I know phone interviews are more difficult but I think he could have shown more initiative in describing why he wants a career change to consulting and why our firm specifically. These questions are so obvious and its amazing to me that candidates do not “nail” those obvious questions.
  • I did some follow up with one of the forums.
  • I did some planning for a forum we are trying to launch.
  • It was my 1/2 day and I wanted to take full advantage of it since last week was such a struggle. I picked up Red and then we picked up Big Bro. We sat down and talked about the plan for the rest of the day. I needed to go food shopping for some breakfast items for the kids. So I asked them if we should bring Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. They both suggested “No” so we went just the three of us which was fun.

    Highlights of Shopping:

  • We talked about our “list” on the way there to keep everyone in line once we got there.
  • Big Bro and Red helped with picking out fruit. Big Bro wanted to do the bags. He was hysterical. I caught him shopping for organic apples when I wasn’t looking. Too funny.
  • We agreed to buy some breakfast fruit bars. He went shopping for them while I went shopping with Red for cereal. He came back with choices of bars drizzled in chocolate. I laughed and vetoed his selection. He went back without a fuss and picked out two boxes of VERY appropriate cereal bars. One box of strawberry, one box of blueberry. He also came back with a box of organic gummy fruit chew snacks and I gave in since it was a sort of healthy snack.
  • Red picked out salami and she said she likes it so I bought a package. This liking of hers is completely new to me. We’ll see if she really eats any of it….
  • We needed frozen vegetables and passed all this crap along the way… Big Bro was drooling saying we needed all this stuff but I said it wasn’t on the list. He laughed. We got to the vegetable section and he was sooooooooooooooooooooo excited about the crinkle-cut carrots. Go figure.
  • We were waiting in line and the kids as jokes kept putting candy and crap into the cart. I jokingly said “THAT’S NOT ON THE LIST” and then asked loudly “where is the place where you return kids? I need my money back” and we were all laughing. Red pointed to a magazine with Rob Lowe on it and she said “we need that” and I said [probably too loudly] “Yes we DO need that… I need some of that.”…… at least I laughed.
  • After food shopping we went to the drug-store to pick up some meds and the kids were just magnetized to blow up balls and it is crazy how the kids just automatically find the toys and the crap in the store so quickly. Again, they knew “the list” and they knew that balls, sponge-bob toys, princess flashlights, and other crap from China were not on the list. They were laughing and it was too funny. They were even trying to get me to get eyeglasses as a joke. Too funny.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:
    Co-parent came home later so I had the bulk of time with the kids alone. I loved it.

  • Big Bro, Red and I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • Got home and had some snacks of oranges. Ladybugs were still alive.
  • I was making dinner and kids were suddenly quiet. Big Bro had his spray-bottle out and was spraying everyone.
  • Then there were cries. The twins. Twin Crazy had soap in her hair/eyes and Twin Husky apparently got his hand smashed from the toilet seat top. I washed out Twin Crazy’s face while Twin Husky was on my lap crying. Both were fine; I carried both downstairs.
  • I later caught Big Bro with a towel with water wiping out Twin Crazy’s face and eye. How sweet.
  • I later caught Big Bro working with all of his younger siblings with tattoos. How sweet.
  • Twin Husky wanted to be held a bit so I gave in. I made games about biting and eating his ear and asked him if I could. He said NO and laughed.
  • We ate and they ate well. Big Bro ate an enormous amount of carrots.
  • Together we cleaned up. I cleaned up the dishes, Big Bro cleaned up the table with his spray-bottle, and Red cleaned up the diaper bags that were thrown all over the room. I commended them on helping and told them that since we were all working together we would get done so much faster and would have lots more time to play.
  • We took a quick walk to get the mail and move the stroller and we started to feel rain on our faces
  • I played “wall ball” with Big Bro and we got up to “eight” without stopping. We set a goal of “ten” for tomorrow. Twin Husky wanted to play too so we gave him a few turns. Big Bro was very patient and didn’t cause a fuss.
  • I sat with the girls on the step and I made a joke about “girl talk”. Red wanted to make a list of topics for girl talk and they include: dresses, princesses, and dora.
  • Twin Crazy announced the need to go potty but then we realized she had a tiny accident. I took off her underwear and pants and she was walking around in the buff. Which was OK until she had a poop accident. I feel like I have a dog in the house. All kids were walking around looking for overlooked poops.
  • Twin Husky went upstairs since it was almost time for bed and he apparently tried to turn on the lamp. I heard a huge crash and ran upstairs to find the lamp turned on but on the floor and Twin Husky bawling. The lamp apparently fell on his head but he was more scared than anything. I took him downstairs and held him on my lap until he calmed down.
  • I said it was time for bed and had Big Bro and Red tonight. I started to count to five and each started climbing the stairs immediately. They kept trying to trick me with toothbrushing but I eventually just left the room until they brushed their teeth properly. We read lots of books.
  • I told them the recap of the things they did today that made me so proud. Helping with shopping, helping with the younger siblings, helping clean up together, and playing. It was so great. I love talking with the kids like this. I love that they are at an age where I can have real conversations with them.
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    I am sitting in bed now so happy. I am so close to such a big transition. And I am so proud and happy with the kids and the people that they are. They listen to me. They respond to me. We have an ebb and flow and things are so much more relaxed. There was little to no negotiation tonight. They asked/pushed but I pushed back where needed and there were no breakdowns. I can’t wait to be on my own with these kids. I think things will be smoother after separation but from an emotional standpoint I worry for the kids. I’m not looking forward to sitting down and telling them what will be happening… so I’ll sit and relax and enjoy the rest of this feeling as-is, for now.

    Red had no problems going to sleep. Not a peep.

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow since I will have the Twins home with me. I can’t wait.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    January 24: Chocolate Tuesday and shopping for the kids

    lt was a fun monring. It was Chocolate Tuesday!

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Last night Twin Crazy had a hard time going to sleep becuase she wanted to keep going to the potty. She was REALLY angry. So I promised her that first thing in teh nomoring, I would pick her up out of the crib and bring her to the potty. First thing. IU promoise. So, I woke up early, got myself ready, and immediately went upstairs to the twins’ room. They were both starting to get up. Twin Crazy woke up saying “potty”. I grabbed her and we went in, talking about it the whole time, and then she went!!! The look on her face was priceless. SHe was trying to hold back a smile. We all made a big deal about it. Twin Husky looked down at her body, and then in the potty, and seemed curious. We put her in underwear (and Red picked out some pairs for her to choose) and I got her dressed. I made a big deal about how good it must feel to wear underwear and not a diaper. She was so excited. I packed up some extra pants and extra underwear and an extra potty for her daycare – but I know it will be a disaster over there. She is not really ready for full fledged underwear. I’ll bring over some pull-ups to daycare tomorrow.
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  • Chocolate Tuesday was fun. Twin Crazy was picking the chocolate off of the bread. The kids were talking about the shapes of the bread and how they were squares.
  • Red was excited about her clothes and her new socks. She picked out Christmas underwear for today. She was a sheer joy to watch get changed this morning. Absolutely no issues. WE LOVE STRIDE RITE SOCKS!!!!!!!!!!
  • Twin Husky was busy being a “parrot” again. Always repeating words and me encouraging his words. He wanted to get his diaper change in the toy room so I went with it.
  • All kids got their shoes on and jackets on without a problem. All loaded in the car without a problem. Drop offs were pulled off without a problem. And then we got to the ferry and the steering broke down. So now we’re in our car, headed to the city. The morning with the kids went without a hitch, and then the commute was botched. This ferry can be very unpredictable. Annoying.

    I will be busy at work today. I have two planning meetings for the two different forums I manage. I will also need to rework the proposal from last week, including a reduction in scope and price.

    Highlights of the Working Day:

    Busy day!

  • I led one planning meeting with 5 clients and the meeting went well; we have direction as to what they want to see at the next meeting so I can now structure a plan to develop a meaningful conference for the group.
  • I immediately went into another phone call for a different planning meeting for the other forum I manage. Again, I have a good idea on what I need to do to get the meeting organized.
  • I spent some time reworking our proposal based upon our meeting with the client last week; I found a way to come down in price but I need to refine my thinking a bit. I will work more on it tonight.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • After arriving from the ferry, I walked to my house for the van, did some food shopping at Trader Joe’s, picked up all kids from all 3 locations, and then started dinner.
  • The kids were great as I prepared dinner. In fact, each “helped” me cook; pick up tomatoes, decide on the number of raviolis to make, pour sauce into a pan, put cut cucumber into a bowl, open up packets of mozzarella cheese, etc. They were so cute.
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  • I saw Twin Crazy “share” with Twin Husky tonight!!! Twin Crazy was playing with a toolset toy, and Twin Husky said that he wanted to “touch” it too. I confirmed that he wanted to touch the toy, he said yes, and I asked Twin Crazy if it was OK if she let him touch the toy — she immediately handed over some of the tools and I was so proud of her sharing. For 2 years old I thought it really big of her.
  • After eating, we played a bit and picked up our toys. It was late so there wasn’t a lot of time to play.
  • I helped Twin Crazy and Twin Husky get to bed. I sat with Twin Crazy for awhile as she sat on the potty (no luck). The twins were great. They each picked out a book and then we sang. I put Vaseline on Twin Crazy’s nose (part of our routine as she’s been sick) and I promised her that we would go on the potty the first thing in the morning. The kids went down without any troubles.
  • I couldn’t believe it but apparently Big Bro and Red each had about 3 tangerines right before coming up to bed??!?!?!??! How is this supposed to help them calm down and go to sleep????? Ugggh.
  • Red had me cracking up talking about her underwear, and how she makes the shapes bigger by pulling the material apart.
  • The older kids are going to sleep now; I have a monitor in their room so I can hear them from where I am downstairs – I was listening to them as I typed this up and was chuckling at their conversation; Red then point-blank started talking to me in the monitor which I thought was so cute. Now Big Bro is crying and can’t get to sleep because of the sugar. And now calling for me.
  • I had a busy day but am really, really, drained. Gotta go!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    August 5: Extra time with my pumpkins but still so depressed

    Today I was lucky to have some extra time with Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy – their daycare provider had a doctor appointment so I had to bring them in later.   Because of this I took the liberty to work from home.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I got up a big slowly (drank too many beers the night before) but made it to the shower and downstairs in time to organize a few things before the kids were up
    • I took it slow.   There really was no rush since I did not have to take the ferry.   I enjoyed the kids.
    • I had four piles of clothes today, versus the normal two.   This is because daycare usually changes Twin Husky and Twin Crazy into day clothes for us – it makes our morning routine easier that way.  But today, we had four piles which was fun.
    • The kids cooperated with breakfast.   I made a full pot of coffee for my day at home.
    • When it was time to go, I had all kids get ready with shoes etc.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy both came to me, one by one, to get their shoes on.
    • We dropped of Big Bro at school – he knew we were all coming in but he specifically requested that not everyone come into his classroom.   I agreed to this.  So the plan was to get the siblings set up in the “common room” at pre-school with toys and then privately drop of Tyler.  He was happy with this plan.
    • When I got them out of the van they were all well-behaved and stayed on the sidewalk holding hands.   The group knows to do this, especially if we are in a parking lot or crossing a street.
    • We got inside and the siblings were excited about the toys which were new to them.   Big Bro was happy that he had me to himself for drop off, and that his friends didn’t have to look at a huge group of kids (his kids) as they welcomed him into the room.
    • Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy had a blast at pre-school.  We stayed there for an hour, playing with dolls, legos, plastic animals — playing make-believe in a kitchen area — climbing/sitting/getting down from chairs and doing it again, and again, and again.   They really had fun.
    Kids playing with "new" toys at Big Bro's pre-school
    • When it was time to leave they were great.   Again, they stayed on the sidewalk until I shuffled them in the van.
    • We cruised by the library but it wasn’t open yet, so we went home.   Had a blueberry snack, watched our landlord mow our lawn, colored with markers, played with a keyboard, and did a puzzle.    There was only one problem (a BIG one)…. Twin Husky bit Twin Crazy’s finger.   I couldn’t believe it.   We’ve never had a biter.   I reprimanded him with a very harsh tone and he looked down but did not cry.   He took it like a man.   Then about a minute later Red came screaming over to me saying that Twin Husky tried to bite her.   Oh shit.   I can’t deal with this.  Daycare then called at 11:30 so I happily dropped them off.
    • After their drop off I headed to the food store – bought a chicken for dinner and a lot of other stuff.  Picked up a burritos for me for lunch.
    I love experiences like this.  It gives me a glimpse of what it is like to be a stay at home mom.   I really had fun.  The kids had fun.  They were so well-behaved, with the exception of the bite incident.   But I was ready to give them to daycare.   I was ready to head home and get some work done.   So I know that I do want to continue to work, but I guess just a bit more time with my kids is all I need to feel more balanced, more happy.
    Highlights of my Working Day:
    • I essentially sat on my couch with my feet up and worked on the go-to-market materials for the start-up initiative; we need those materials complete for a progress call next week AND for a client meeting next week.
    • I threw in a load of laundry.  I ran the dishwasher.
    • I booked a flight for a client presentation for next week – we were asked to go and present our findings and recommendations to a much larger audience… essentially all the people who were involved in the internal interview process and they are the ones whose jobs will be impacted as a result of the work.   This meeting by far will be the most stressful of any we’ve had to-date.   I will need to refresh the presentation deck to make sure the tone is proper so as not to offend anyone in the room on that day.
    • I threw the chicken in the oven at 4 PM.   I started to cook some beets.     I set the table.  I got the pajamas ready for the kids.   I confirmed that our Mother’s Helper was planning to show up tonight.   YEAH (there’s a whole pile of clothes to do, and a whole sink of hand-washables for her to attack).
    Dinner and Bedtime:
    • I was on my own tonight since Hubby was at a baseball game.    This was fine since dinner was done and I was ready for them.
    • All ate well.   Twins liked the beets.   Big Bro and Red at least tried them.   The chicken was a hit.
    • Afterwards Big Bro and Red watched a movie and ate popcorn (we like to do this on Friday nights).  Twin Husky was having fun rocking back and forth and talking on our rocker.   Twin Crazy had a great time on the slide structure.
    • Pajamas were fun; the Twins were ready.   I got them milk and they took the milk and their blankets over to the stairs.  They were so ready.  Up they went – books, sing a song, kisses, and in their cribs — butts in the air, blankets in hand, thumbs in mouth.   Out.
    • Red and Big Bro were fine with teeth brushing, etc.   They both sat in my lap for two books.  Big Bro looked exhausted and was out within 5 min of getting into bed.
    • Red came out saying that her finger hurt – so I looked at it, found nothing, but offered her a band-aid.  She proceeded to put it on the wrong finger (wrong hand even) and I caught her in the act and mentioned it to her.   She looked at me, put her chin down and eyes up, and tried to hold back a smile.   She knew I was onto her.
    I had a great day, but for some reason I was still extremely depressed in the afternoon and even now.   Spending too much time in an empty, soul-less house is really disturbing for me.   We are renting our place and it was meant to be a temporary spot for us (for a year or so) until we figured out where we REALLY want to settle.   But Kindergarten is getting underway soon, our place is so empty (no pictures up, bookshelves empty) and it feels like my life is in a holding pattern with no time horizon for any decision to be made.  It is so disturbing to me.   I find it so hard to believe that despite my working from home and having time with my kids (and kind of feeling like a stay at home mom today), I am still so unhappy.   I feel so misplaced.   And I think my meeting my old high-school friend last night had a lot to do with it.   I miss my home.   I want a home for my children.  I want less stress and less pressure.   I want simplicity.    I want to enjoy my time and live my life with my family – and get on with establishing a home and rooting for the sake of them and myself.   I will need to write more on this at another time – but I’m just feeling so down right now.    So empty despite having so much.
    I think I’ll call it a night, check in on my sleeping kids, take my meds and go to sleep –
    Till next week –
    – Mama K
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