Staying Sane: Friendship

Our lives can be so hectic between kids, work, and issues big and small all around us — pausing and connecting with friends has kept me sane this weekend. And also seeing the budding friendships between my kids.


I woke up to Big Bro and Red laughing. They decided to swap bodies from Star Wars’ R2-D2 and C-3P0 and were cracking up. Big Bro and Red went with me to the library and they were buddies picking out books together. Later that day, I took all four of them visit a friend who goes back several lifetimes ago in my life — I used to work with her during my 2nd job out of school, when in NYC. She is one of those kind of people you never forget. You don’t know quite what to make of her when you first meet her – if you can even understand her (she is Scottish) – but within minutes you realize what a special and genuine person she is. Smart, funny, quick on her feet. She is a keeper. Despite not seeing her for just under 20 years, when she moved out West last year we met up and it felt like time did not go by – except we brought all of these little humans into the world.

Well, the kids and I went to her home to visit with her family and for the first time I met her 12 year old daughter (towering over me) and reunited with her husband and son. We also met their dog, rabbit, and guinea pig. The kids had a great time and I had a great time for other reasons. I felt at home even having been at their place for the very first time. For being around people where I share a common past; being with people who are easy going and welcoming and where I know I can create future laughs with. This felt good to me. It felt right. And I felt good road-tripping with the four kiddos who were so well behaved and so enraptured by the animals.






In the morning I met Red and Big Bro resting quietly on the couch; then they erupted with feet fights and giggles. A great way to start my day. Big Bro got hurt when Red accidently stepped on his hair – and Twin Crazy sat with me and caressed his head to console him. Friendship. So sweet. They are empathetic at such a young age. I love it.

A shared the day with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, along with one of my closest friends here, whom I also work with. We shared our first day of work together, almost 8 years ago. Since then, we have laughed and participated in bachlorette parties, weddings, pregnancies, back to work blues… you name it. I confided in her and one other person 100% through all of 2011. She cried with me in my office through the year. She understands me and believes in me.

We spent the day with her picnicing, going to playgrounds, and feeding ducks. Twin Crazy fell in love with my friend’s son, or at least scored her first boyfriend. The connection between the twins was sweet and endearing – again we received lots of looks. At night I had a quiet evening with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Bathtime was quiet, and they enjoyed each other.










So thank you to all of my friends from the weekend and also everyone who have been reaching out to me. It means a lot. I am O.K. I am strong enough to rebuild. But I ache for my children – so put your thoughts there. And thank you to my friends near and far, and those that I have not seen in awhile, those whom I’ve had for a very long time and those whom I’ve met just recently.

And thank you to the children who show me every day what it means to be a friend – laughing, taking care of each other, sometimes being frustrated but in the end always being there.

So in staying sane don’t forget who your friends are in the midst of your busy lives. You may reach out to someone when they need you the most!

Have a good week everyone –
– Mama K

Staying Sane: *REPOST* Keeping Perspective and Staying Connected

I usually post a “Staying Sane” piece on Sunday nights, but this previous post (link below) seemed very fitting for me to re-submit this weekend, and tonight on the eve of 9/11.

I know my outlook on life has forever been changed because of this day.   However the impact on me seems so insignificant compared to the impact to the lives that were lost and their families.   My children are still young, but I am trying my best to teach them of the significance of this day and how to be good people – at least the showing of gratitude to fire-fighters who help to protect us and the worthiness of helping others in need.   I shudder to think of the day when they will be old enough to understand the true meaning behind this day.   My heart goes out to the families of those who were lost.

I also want to recognize a special remembrance of Chris Dincuff, who was a fellow student with me years past.  I will always remember him for his smile and positive outlook on life.  We miss you Chris.

Staying Sane: Keeping Perspective and Staying Connected.

Love to all — and thinking of my friends in NYC –

– Mama K

August 3: Glam night

We had a good night’s sleep, finally. Red did not wake up feverish, or scared, or at least if she did she did not interrupt us.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I was running around gathering our things – shoes, extra clothes, my shoes, and was in the garage doing this. Twin Husky made a run for it and ran straight for our “toddler slide structure” — he loves that thing. It’s a bit big for them and they have room to climb/scramble up the slide, there’s room up top for a “landing” and a steering wheel, and then a small slide. He loves it. It was a hand-me-down from REd who was absolutely wild about slides when she was his age. He did NOT like the fact that I had to take him off the slide. So much so that he threw himself on the ground crying like he was in pain. “I know sweetie, you wanted to play on that slide. Now! You wanted to PLAY! You’re MAD because you wanted to PLAY on the SLIDE!! I know, I understand.” Then he got up and hugged me and then started playing with my earrings. He moves on quickly.
  • Big Bro got some extra chocolate today. I couldn’t believe it. It was not announced to the rest of the group, but Hubby put chocolate on a plate and had Big Bro eat it along with some banana. He kept it REAL quiet.
  • Twin Husky was self feeding applesauce and had it everywhere. I asked him to show me how it works…. how does the spoon work, where does it go…. “In your EAR? No….. Up your nose??? NO……. In your Mouth?” Then he put the spoon in his mouth and was so cute. Smiling up at me all coy and feeling proud of himself.
  • Red was a bit cranky. She ate well but only got 1/2 changed. I packed the rest in the bag for daycare.
  • Drop of with Red and Twins was slow. Red did not want to go. I feel bad for her. She was crying when we left which broke my heart.
  • Drop off with Big Bro was great. He is happy there. We can’t wait to get Red there too, although it will be twice as much money for her to go there. We think at this point it is worth it so she can be in more of a learning environment.

The sky is gray. People in the ferry are quieter than normal. Today at work I will need to:

  • follow-up with our client on the white paper and see her reaction to the work
  • develop go to market materials for firm initiative
  • begin to write a proposal for the opporunity fielded last week

Tonight I’ve been invited to a “glam” party with some moms in the area. I only know one of them. So today at work I’m wearing a dress and sparkly necklace and silver shoes. I’m feeling good about myself. I think dressing up gives me extra confidence and a prowess boost of energy.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I ate an enormous breakfast — quesadilla with egg, potato, cheese, and ham.
  • I started to write the proposal for a potential client based upon the phone conversation yesterday
  • I coordinated a business development meeting with a client for a proposal we will likely write next week
  • I arranged team meetings for a firm initiative
  • I reached out to an industry leader for some questions related to a project underway
  • I prepared an invoice for a project that recently concluded
  •  We received word today that the client project we recently completed will not proceed to Phase 2 — not because of the work (they were very complimentary) but because they needed to save cost and jumped right to Phase 3 (which we were never meant to deliver). 😦
  • I ate some fig newtons for lunch. Pathetic.
  • I am still procrastinating on the go-to-market materials that I promised to deliver. I absolutely NEED to get that COMPLETE tomorrow otherwise I am dropping the ball.

The sun is out but it is very, very cold. I have tentative plans to meet some women in the neighborhood for “glam night” — I only know one person there. I dressed “glam like” for work today…silver shoes and sparkly necklace and earrings… about as glam as I could possibly go for the office. I am not terribly excited about going but suppose I need to push myself out there to meet new people. I’ve felt very isolated and down lately and I’m not sure if this will help or hurt (e.g., if they are all stay at home moms). Hmmmmmm. What to do?

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up for big bro went without a problem.   However pick up with other kids had some issues.   Red was extremely upset over something, and I still don’t know exactly why.   I think she was upset over a 2 day old bagel that she put in the back of the mini-van, but am not sure.
  • I brought in the slide play structure and all kids were having a good time with it…. until Twin Crazy and Twin Husky started fighting over standing space on the top of the structure, until Big Bro started sitting with an attitude at the bottom of the slide preventing the other kids from going down, and until Twin Husky grabbed Red with both hands around her pudgy waist to pull her out-of-the-way.   So essentially all kids wound up in foul moods because of the slide structure.
  • Hubby handled dinner while I played / controlled kids
  • Hubby handled bed time with the kids while I went out to “glam night”.   I met a bunch of great ladies.  I’m definitely glad that I went!!!   I actually met another mom with four kids (whew – makes me feel a bit normal) and lots of women that actually made me laugh.   I met a lot of stay-at-home moms and really connected with them – and some women who stay at home as entrepreneurs.   I wish I had their drive/sense of security…. I just feel like I don’t have an option or if I do have an option just walking away from the stable source of money/income REALLY frightens me….   this is my own issue that I really need to sort out….hopefully I come to some REAL decisions before the year is out.   I also drank a lot of wine wish was a nice way to spend a Wednesday night.
Anyway, this was a great day; I hope Red stays asleep tonight because I am already a bit tipsy and know I need the sleep.  Tomorrow will be a slow day regardless….
Till tomorrow,
– Mama K

Retrospectives: Library to Vegas (baby, Vegas!!!) back to Library…

I remember a time in business school (this is 10 years+ ago I hate to say).    I was intensely working with a group to complete an assignment/analysis on one of the cases that continuously throw at you.   But I was anxious about my upcoming flight to Vegas, baby, Vegas.   You see, my college girlfriends (we call each other “Schmucks”) are still very tight and at that time, the first of the Schmucks was about to turn 30.    Such a  big milestone.   Of course I was going to help in the celebration, despite the intensity that B-school brings.

So on that day, I showed up in the MBA school library wearing a trampy little outfit, and carrying just one little handbag with NO COMPUTER!!!   In that handbag were several things — my license, some credit cards/cash, lipstick, a toothbrush, among some other items – you know, just the essentials.   No extra clothes.  Maybe a change of shoes, I forget.  I was traveling “light” for the all-night party.

So after the group meeting at the MBA school library (I lived in NYC at the time and went to Columbia University), I quickly hit the NYC Subway to JFK (big, big mistake taking the subway – I should have taken a cab, but money was tight).   The subway took longer than I thought and I wound up MISSING my flight – but, I had some alternatives.   Next flight was several hours away but that would literally give me just 5 hours of party time in Vegas.   It seemed that 10+ hours of travel time for a 5 hour party seemed really excessive.     I said to myself “hell with it…I’m going – the first Schmuck turns 30 only once!”.

The short trip was a blast.   When I arrived I had to find everyone and catch up with the drinking.   The Schmucks always make me laugh from the depths of my belly and it was awesome to see them.   I remember drinking quite a bit, dancing in a club, eating some breakfast, and then brushing my teeth as the sun came up — hugged my friends and headed back to the airport, with my one bag, tired feet, sore throat from laughing/shrieking, and hangover creeping in.   The sun was coming up and I was psyched that I decided to still make the trip.  I’m sure I slept on the plane on the way back.

That was how I lived my life back then.   Grab the opportunities, go for the gusto, don’t worry about what to bring, and the 5 hour party in the middle of the night to celebrate with my friends was obviously worth the pain of the trip and the suffering I would endure in the MBA school library the following day.   Worry about sleep later.    Worry about the work later.   Live for the moment.   Grab every experience you can with no regrets.

THANK YOU SCHMUCKS!!!!    When is our next trip???????

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