April 30: Gifts


It has been awhile since I’ve written anything on this blog. I guess it is because I’m feeling a bit lost as to my own relevance with the role of being a “working mother”.   This is because of the divorce and shared physical custody.  The first half of my week I am a “worker” without kids, and the second half of my week I am a stay-at-home mom. So, I really am not faced with the day to day challenges that “real” working mothers experience.

Until this week. Co-parent is on a work trip and I have the kids all week. It feels like a gift to me. I’ve been smiling most of today and I feel so much stronger now that my kiddos are with me. So, I feel the need to write.

Highlights of the Morning and the Commute:

  • I woke up earlier than usual to get the routine going while the kids still slept. I showered the night before so getting myself ready was a snap. I took the opportunity to start my coffee, change a load of laundry, and start to pack Big Bro’s lunch.
  • Twin Crazy woke up first. We had a fight the night before because of her not wanting to go to bed. She lost dessert tonight. So we talked about that and I told her that I still loved her even though I was mad at her. She hugged me hard. It was just me and her for a long time this morning. Chocolate Tuesday. And her stuffed animal duck which she was caring for, kissing, and making sit up to look at her. She kept me company as I continued to pack Big Bro’s lunch.
  • Twin Husky was up next. He was confused about the day of the week. He didn’t realize it was a school day and went over to the couch to lay down and cuddle with his Tiger. I held him in my lap (I LOVED that part!) and explained Chocolate Tuesday but he wanted a breakfast bar “on the road” just like his big brother does. So I worked with him to get dressed instead. He is really liking pants/shorts with pockets so I had them ready. We counted the pockets and he had fun putting his stuff in his pockets.
  • Red was up next and sleepy (due to Twin Crazy keeping her up last night). I sat with her on the couch, again her on my lap (I LOVED this part!) and held her until she woke up more. She was smiling for Chocolate Tuesday.
  • Red and I were laughing at how much chocolate she was putting on her tortilla
  • Twin Crazy went off to get changed by herself and she picked out a skirt because she “wants to look pretty”. Lately she is picking out multiple shirts, multiple underwear, multiple shorts, multiple socks. She often looks silly but I encourage her creativity and love of clothes. Today she surprised me with a headband and tap-dance shoes. Her hair was all over the place with the headband and she actually looked like a muffin-head.  She looked ridiculous but also adorable.
  • Twin Crazy had a screaming incident due to too many shirts on. I ran in to get one shirt off. At the same time, Red started screaming about a spider. I then ran with Twin Crazy’s shirt and smashed the spider. I was out of breath and exaggerating the whole scene as I shook the spider from the shirt at the back porch. The kids were giggling.
  • Twin Husky was excited to be holding a breakfast bar for the ride like his big brother.
  • Kids were great getting dressed and shoes on.
  • Big Bro woke up quickly and got out quickly, breakfast bar in hand.
  • As I walked outside another spider was caught onto me from its web. So I was busy dancing and swatting outside of my house while all the kids were in the car waiting. Again, they were giggling at me. I had so much fun.
  • I watered parts of my garden before leaving. Some of my sprinkers need to be adjusted.
  • On the way we talked about the funny morning, the breakfast bars, the night before and how the girls did not want to go to sleep, Twin Husky’s pockets, garbage trucks, how the hills are starting to turn brown because of the sun, and how I was likely going to be late for the ferry and therefore have to work at Starbucks. Big Bro quickly requested hot chocolate for the pick up, with whipped cream. Unbelievable.
  • Big Bro was on time.
  • Drop offs for Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky were great. Twin Husky was clingy, but got through it.
  • I drove to Starbucks with a HUGE smile on my face. I love being their mother. I love these kids and how we make each other laugh. I love how they will be waiting for me to pick them up. And yes, I will get hot chocolate for them to divide and share on the long commute home.

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Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Got set up at Starbucks with a plug for my computer AND a plug for my phone.
  • Figured out billing/invoicing for one of the big meetings that just passed.
  • Called speakers to personally thank them for attending and speaking at the meetings that just passed.
  • Left messages and sent invitations for membership for several organizations that attended the meetings. Hopefully I can convert some of these relationships into members…
  • Did other administrative things that needed to get done.
  • I decided to pack up and get the kids a bit early. I grabbed a large hot chocolate divided into 4 little cups with some whipped cream on the side. I knew the kids would be psyched.
  • It was a great, productive work day.

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • Pick ups were easy – they were excited about hot chocolate. Red was busy at school today. She had tons of art ready as well as a beaded necklace that she made. She asked me to wear it. I happily put it on. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky also had tons of art
  • There was lots of discussion about hot chocolate on the way home. There was some discussion on who was saving theirs, drinking theirs the longest, not drinking at all and saving for dessert since the girls were not getting dessert tonight from me (bad behavior from the night before), how we could make hot chocolate at home, etc.
  • Twin Crazy was singing particularly loud on the way home.
  • I saw Big Bro swat Twin Husky from the rear-view mirror so he got a 7 minute “rest time” in his room when we got back. Then Twin Crazy was showing some attitude so she got 3 minutes. I even think Twin Husky was banished for 3 minutes for something.
  • Afterwards, Big Bro sat with me in the kitchen while I cooked dinner. We listened to music. He does not like U2’s “zoo station”.
  • I went to the garden to pick stuff for dinner. Kale, sweet peas, herbs. I picked a broccoli leaf for Cocoa. I had to chase a chicken from next door out of my garden yard. It kept running into the deer netting that I put up which made me laugh.
  • The rest of the kids were playing with forts, and also hand-me-down “Lincoln logs” that we got from a friend. They were all busy building and using their imaginations. There were little fights but it was manageable. Big Bro joined the fun with side walk chalk.  Twin Husky wanted to water the garden but I got him to water my newly planted bushes in the front yard instead.  He looked so happy.  He came in when he was done and even said that he turned the water off by himself (he did, succesfully). 
  • We ate dinner outside and loved it. They all ate well.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky decided to go and pick “flowers” (weeds).
  • After dinner I sat with Big Bro so he could finish his homework. The rest of the kids were playing Lincoln logs.
  • Time for bed happened on-time tonight; little ones went down relatively easily; Twin Crazy was a bit scared about alligators but stayed in her room. Twin Husky kept coming out for water. It was hot and he asked for a wet paper towel for his back (I do that instead of air conditioning). He then asked for two more for his two Tigers.
  • Talk time with Red and Big Bro was fun. We also received a “latch hook” set from our neighbors and I showed them two sets that I did as a kid. Believe it or not, my mom sent them to me when I turned 40. The kids were interested in my projects as a kid. Big Bro said that he would show these to his kids someday and then started to pretend that he had kids, showing them my latch hook projects and then telling them to go to bed, laughing. He cracks me up.
  • We talked about birthdays and the unopened Amazon box in my room. That kid knew it was the Lego sets that I bought for him for his birthday and he was jumping up and down.
  • We talked about mosquitoes for a bit.
  • I gave the older ones piggy-back-rides to their beds; Red tried to ask me who was my “favorite” out of all the kids but I kept skirting her question.

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They are all asleep now, I am showered to get a jump start on tomorrow, and am feeling great. I loved today. The entire day was a gift to me. I don’t usually have this much time with them. I survived getting four kids in / out and working and going through long commutes on two highways. I feel lucky that I have a job that can offer me so much flexibility and the ability to work out of office at the last minute. I feel lucky that I have families that support us and think of us – we appreciate all that they give. I feel lucky to have this home where we can eat outside, eat the food that the garden provides to us, and gives the kids a chance to explore the yard and pick flowers. I feel lucky that I have reminders from my past that the kids are interested in them – they are getting to know me in new and different ways.

But most of all I feel lucky to have four little pumpkins/monkeys/sweeties in my life.  I can’t get enough of them!!!

Thanks for listening –

– Mama K

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January 6: Long overdue recap


Hi Mamas.    I’ve  been silent for about two weeks.   I guess the “winter break” for the kids was also my break from this blog and other facets of my life.  I’ve really enjoyed myself and feel incredibly well rested, full, and happy.   Some of the highlights from the past two weeks:

  • Seeing Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky in their holiday performance.  All stood up on “stage” with their “classrooms” and participated.  I was so proud of them.   Big Bro was a big supporter.
  • Putting up Christmas decorations with the kids.  Likewise, taking them back down two weeks later.
  • Christmas morning with the kids squealing at the four bikes that Santa left for them.   The fact that co-parent stayed over my place the night before to participate in Christmas Eve tradition and also the next morning festivities.  He made homemade waffles and I homemade whipped cream.   It was really great for the kids.
  • Making pumpkin muffins with our pumpkins from Halloween, and then distributing them to the neighbors up and down our street.
  • This year’s photo shoot with the kids all dressed up and including Cocoa the guinea pig.
  • NOT getting holiday cards sent out this year, for the 2nd year in a row.
  • Spending New Year’s Eve over a neighbor’s house with two kids Big Bro and Red’s ages.   Us kicking back, the kids playing, and all of us celebrating East Coast and Mountain New Years eve with champagne and sparkling blueberry juice for the kids.   Getting to know them better and feeling at home in their home.
  • Random dinner invitations with other neighbors and getting to know their kids and friends so well.   Big Bro and Red becoming better friends with the kids (also twins, six years old) and Red actually saying that her new friend is her favorite friend in this neighborhood.  Seeing Red’s face light up and smile, well GLOW actually, while playing with these new friends.
  • Dancing with Twin Husky and feeling his body move and head move to the music.  He loves Shania Twain’s “Forever and For Always” and he kept asking for us to dance to it again.  It is now “our song” and he is happy with that.
  • Playing “I love you” games with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • Finishing the winter garden – everything is planted including onions, yams, mint, garlic chives, brussell sprouts, kale, carrots, sweet snap peas, fava beans, oregano, string beans, garlic, shallot, and beets.
  • Learning that Cocoa the guinea pig can eat the dandelion weeds on my property.  She loves them.  And I love that they are free and gives me a reason to weed briefly on a daily basis.
  • Red riding her bike with Big Bro over to her new best friend’s house.  She got a bit scared and I had to run over to her, but it was a HUGE milestone for her in my opinion.
  • Going to Target to buy balloons so Big Bro could show us how he can blow them up by himself.
  • NO DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAYS TO GET THE KIDS BACK AND FORTH TO SCHOOL/DAYCARE!!!!
  • Watching the girls play with their dolls together and do tea parties and care for the dolls.  Watching Twin Crazy care for her Baby Alive.   Seeing their friendship with each other grow before my very eyes.
  • Big Bro receiving a HUGE Lego set from my dad and step-mom and then him staying up (way past me) to complete the ENTIRE set.   When we all woke up the entire thing was finished and he was smiling not sure if I would be upset with him or not.
  • Going to a few outside activities (museums, farm/petting zoo) but mostly just staying near home, playing with friends, enjoying cooking and our fireplace.
  • Cooking with herbs from my garden.
  • Waking up to frost on the grass and even the winter garden.  The plants are doing fine.
  • On my off-night from the kids, watching my FIRST movie from my DVR.  Underworld.  I love vampires.  I can’t believe it took me 6 months living here to actually watch T.V.
  • Going to a yoga class yesterday morning and LOVING IT.
  • Signing myself up for an oil/acrylics art class and also a class for Big Bro…. soccer.  Going shopping for his shin-guards and also my paint-brushes, paints, and other supplies.
  • Working just a little bit.  Doing what I had to do, taking some vacation time and also some “sick” time since Twin Crazy had a fever and could not go to daycare.


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To be honest, I feel a bit “out of balance” in a good way.  I am totally vacated.  I’ve really enjoyed the time with the kids and also with myself.  I’m looking forward to 2013.  It’s already shaping up to be a good one.

– Mama K

Random Thoughts: Organizing, and Donating to Extended Family non-profit


Hi there.   Quick note to let ya’ll know that I am still here.  It has been a long time since I’ve posted anything.

Maybe it’s because there’s just a lot going on.   Maybe because I’m finding other outlets to feel good about myself.  Maybe because I’m emotionally drained thinking about the past few weeks of tragedy – that in CT as well as one that touched my daughter too closely (remember my post about her 4-year old “classmate” in her daycare center that fell ill and died).   She talks about this still, asks questions, and yes, she breaks down and sobs about death and loss.  She has felt loss this year in other ways as well.

So, I just have not been writing as much.

But I’ve been having fun with the kids.   I’ve given and received more hugs and kisses to/from them than I ever thought possible.   I’ve been excavating my backyard and building my winter garden.  I’ve been getting ready for Christmas and am looking forward to making it special for the kids this year.   I’ve been cooking.   I’ve been organizing and shedding.   Going through closets and purging.  It feels good.  Feels good to get organized and make room.

An organized closet

During this process I collected quite a bit of usable, good clothing that others could get use out of.  I wanted to find homes for old suits that have been hanging around in my closet for longer than I care to admit.  I started a search to find a non-profit that directly benefits working mothers – and I found exactly what I was looking for.

Check out Extended Family.   Essentially they are a non-profit that assists single, working parents who are in need.   Unlike many other non-profits, 100% of all donations go to the single working parents and families in need – the organization does not fund its overhead with your donation – it is operated by volunteers and lead by Mark Carmer who backs the organization with his own money.   Look at their site, they do a much better job at describing themselves than I can.

According to Mark Carmer, Founder and President of Extended Family,

“We assist single parents who are truly alone and have no assistance from the other parent. These single parents are employed and working hard for their families, but find it’s still not enough.

We have found that single parents who are employed, in an effort to improve the lives of their children, often fail to qualify for government or charitable assistance… because they are earning an income.  Extended Family believes these are the people who should be supported the most.  We believe in helping those who are working hard to help their family, but are alone in doing so… and need a little help from Extended Family.”

Quite impressive, huh??!?!?!??!?    I quickly packaged up my piles of suits and shipped them off to Mark at Extended Family.   I am confident that they will find good homes for them.

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So, now I feel much better that I’ve written something.  And something that hopefully you can act on – if you are in search of a great non-profit to make a donation to before year-end, please consider Extended Family.

I may write another post before the end of the year, but I don’t want to promise anything.   In which case, be merry with your loved ones and gear up for 2013!!

Best to all –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Waiting is a bitch – be patient


I love my neighborhood.   It has a bunch of hard-working families with young kids like mine.  We tend to look out for each other.  We do care-packages for each other – for example, the family across the street received Twin Crazy’s hand-me down clothes.   And I receive hand-me-downs from a family down the street.   I’ve offloaded a flat-screen TV wall mount to a new family across the street – it didn’t work on my wall and I could not return it.   My next door neighbor gives us food from her garden and even gave us the corn seedlings that grew into the corn (that sucked).   This is just how it is here.

Last weekend, I received a care-package of bulbs for flowers that needed to be planted this month.  I was told how deep they were to go, and I picked out the flowers that I liked.  I’m really not a flower kind of person, but I thought they would actually look pretty good along the front hill of my property.  Plus, that would be a great spot for the neighbor who gave them to me to enjoy them herself.

So, I spent at LEAST 2 hours busy on Saturday morning figuring out where to plant them, pulling the mulch back, planting, sweating, planting, sweating, planting, sweating, roasting in the sun, planting, watering.    I must say that I felt pretty accomplished afterwards.

Later that day, the kids came over and the neighbors got together and all the kids playing in the street, riding bikes, kicking balls, etc.   I got to talking to the husband of the woman who gave me the bulbs.  I thanked him and told him I spent all day planting them, very proud of myself.

I asked him “so how long will it take for them to grow?”.  I was looking forward to seeing sprouts of green from my labor.   I was looking forward to having a front hill that looked GORGEOUS.   His reply shocked me.  Stunned me.  I think I almost shed a tear.  “Spring“.    Are you F*^(*&^ing kidding me??!??!??!?!?!?  SPRING?????!   HOW AM I GOING TO EVER BE ABLE TO WAIT THAT LONG FOR SPRING?   WHO PLANTS THINGS SO FAR IN ADVANCE ANYWAY?   DON’T YOU FORGET THAT THE STUFF IS THERE????????!

I really was not anticipating this answer.  I thought maybe 3 – 6 weeks.   Certainly not 6 months.   OMG.    UGGGGH!

I couldn’t help but see the parallels in being a working mother:

  • set expectations accordingly with your kids/coworkers.  This might stop a tantrum/conflict before it happens
  • don’t expect so much
  • don’t assume that your own expectations are the same as the other person’s (I need to see quick results, and cannot understand how anyone can enjoy bulbs that sprout six months later…)
  • have patience.   breathe in, breathe out.   Repeat.  breathe in, breathe out
  • Laugh it off; see the humor; laugh at yourself
  • still be thankful for what you receive
  • growing and nurturing take time; the seeds that you plant now (lessons with your children) may take time to manifest in their personalities.  Keep nurturing, teaching, believing even if it takes time to see the impact on the kids

Have any of you had experiences similar to this?  What other learnings can be observed from this or other situations you have encountered?

Thanks for listening; have a great week everyone

– Mama K

October 26: VERY busy and happy with the kids


It’s Friday and now I am home alone after dropping off the kids at co-parent’s house.  Looking back, I cannot believe how much we did today.  I loved it.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy was sick the night before with a high fever so I brought her into my room.   However, when I woke up this morning, not only did I have her in my bed, but I also had her twin laying across me as a pillow.   He usually wakes up earlier than the rest, but for some reason I think he came over in the middle of the night.  Strange.  I woke up to Red asking me to get Cocoa.   Climbing back in my bed I was saying to everyone that I will need to go out and get a bigger bed.  How am I going to fit me, 4 kids (older and bigger over time), a guinea pig and possibly a dog in my Full bed??!?!?!?   No way.    We were all laughing.
  • Breakfast was touch and go today.   Red requested pancakes (I made home-made pancakes last Friday) but I tricked her and pulled some out from the freezer.  She tried to eat them but noticed the difference immediately and was completely pissed off at me.   She sulked for most of the breakfast, until the end, when she caved out of hunger and ate what was given to her.  Then she was all smiles.
  • It was a nice ride dropping off Big Bro and Red.   The sun was shining.  I was feeling great.    Drop offs were uneventful.  Except that Red was happy (I brought Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me).  I think bringing in the twins makes a difference for her during drop offs.
  • On the way home the Twins were talking about having grapes.  There was traffic.  They fell asleep.
  • Once we got back we had our grapes and then our activity.  I loved it.   We worked together in the back yard.  We were raking leaves, transporting leaves, picking “good” leaves from the weeds/sticks and putting them in our tumbler composter, then gathering more leaves around the back yard.  Twin Husky was TOTALLY into it.   He loves the outdoors.  I think this will be “our thing” together.   He is very much a wanderer; a seeker; he wandered off to see the chickens and he loves working in the yard.   I couldn’t tear him away from his little wheel barrel.  I think this garden that I want to build will be special for me and him alike.   Twin Crazy on the other hand had trouble walking up the hill, trouble raking leaves, and wanted to ride her tricycle down on the patio.  To each her own.  It’s just not her thing.  I’m OK with that.
  • After that hard work we had lunch and then naps.  I even took a nap as well.

 

 

Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • My phone alarm rang at 1:50 PM.  I jumped out of bed and gathered extra clothes, 4 water bottles, 3 fans (see Halloween gifts from Nana from  yesterday), and snacks to last 4 kids and one tired Mommy for 3 hours.  I scooped up the kids and told them to go back to sleep on the ride.   They did.
  • Pick up for Big Bro was great.  I got a chance to see their gardening project, with above-ground planting beds made out of wood.  I was totally  impressed.   I asked them how they made it and if they have plans.  The teacher said that boy-scouts made it for her.  A parent from Big Bro’s class asked me if I even have ROOM for a planter like that…. I said yes, we are divorced now… I live in [XXX] and have 1/2 acre of property and am starting a garden.  She grew up in that town.  She knows that I can grow things in the summer and in the winter.  She said she was jealous.  She does not have space for such a planter at her house.  I was beaming.
  • We picked up Red.  She is adorable.  Her smile lights up the room and my heart.   She put away her things and ran to me.   She held my hand tight as we ran to the van together.
  • Once we were all together I took out the snacks and drove to our first destination:  the airplane museum.  There is a part of the museum where you do not have to pay anything to enjoy.  So we stayed outside for free, and the kids had fun climbing into the airplanes and pretending that they were air traffic control.   Big Bro stole my phone camera and took some pictures of things that were important to him, like his hurt finger with a band-aide on it.  I read about the planes and gave the kids their snacks.  The owner came out and I explained my story, about living paycheck to paycheck and being divorced with four kids.   He gave me his card and told me to call in advance if I ever wanted to bring the kids inside.  He was very sweet.   We used the restroom and there was a water cooler outside with cone-paper cups.  The kids went crazy over this and I just couldn’t believe the joy and wonder that can be brought to a child without paying for anything.  It really is the simple things in life.
  • After the airplane museum we went to buy Red her shoes.  Her old sneakers were embarrassing.  She even mentioned that people in her class have been telling her to get new shoes.  I was appalled.  We went to Payless and even Big Bro was picking out some choices for her from sizes 11 and 11 1/2.   He was great.  They all knew that the only thing on the list was Red’s shoes.  So all in all they were very well behaved.  Except for Twin Husky.  He found a pair of blue rain boots that he fell in love with and was totally upset when I told him that they weren’t on the list.  We paid for Red’s sneakers and off we went.
  • Our next stop was a cove where you can see tide-pools, lots of birds, and huge rocks with sea-weed.  The kids had a great time.  Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky kept scrambling up rocks, Big Bro and Red adventured out towards the bay and collected treasure (shells), Twin Crazy collected her treasure of rocks, and Twin Husky was so adventurous.  At one point he decided to take off his socks and shoes and start wading in some of the tide pools.  I was not thrilled with this but I loved his sense of adventure and he was safe.   I didn’t care if his pants got wet.   The kids were great when I said it was time to go.   I love giving them these kinds of experiences.  And it didn’t cost me a thing.
  • Drop off was fine.  I will see them tomorrow at 4 PM.

After dropping them off I went food shopping to prepare for next week.  I will have more time with them since co-parent will be traveling for work.   I only buy things that are fresh veggies / fruits, and other things on sale.  I do not buy anything (besides fresh fruits / veggies) if it is full price.  I just can’t these days.  There was a snag at the register that shorted me $2 and I am not proud to say that I waited for another transaction to get my $2 back.  That will pay for 2 days of parking next week at my train station.  I am living paycheck to paycheck these days, but still probably the happiest that I’ve ever been nonetheless.  I am making it on my own.  As a single mother of four kids, working part-time, in a god-awful expensive part of the country.  I have my own, beautiful (small) home with lots of land for me and these kids.   And I am making it.

Tonight I will need to do some work related to the divorce.  I cannot wait for this to be finalized and have this leech off of my back.  I was carrying him for too long in the past and he is still sucking whatever he can out of me and I need to rid myself of him legally and financially.   That is my priority now that my big meetings for work have passed.

Have a great weekend everyone –

– 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

September 28: Tired.


Friday!   It was a long one.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Woke up to Red and Cocoa.  Then Twin Husky.  Then Twin Crazy.  All were in my bed.  I love the morning hugs from these kids.
  • We ate fast; Big Bro again helped with making bread and butter, and also with vitamins.  They all changed quickly and got their shoes on and packed without a problem.  I sent them outside to the car as I finished gathering some things together.  They are doing remarkably well with these morning drives.  I keep the radio off and we talk about things.   Today, it was extremely foggy after we got through the hillside and I talked about the fog and how the big hill holds back the fog from where we live.  How the sun burns off the fog in several hours.  We wondered if we would see Twin Crazy’s “castle” buildings, and we did.  They had special lights on today and we all said we should check on a sunny day to see if those same lights are on.
  • Drop offs were great; Big Bro headed off to his classroom with no problems, even ran a bit.  How cute.  Red laughed with one of her diva friends at school and it was so cute to see them together laughing.   On the way out, we bought more toys – this time wooden blocks.  Twin Husky carried them out, looking all muscular.  He looks like a complete disaster.  Banged up knees, elbows, and huge fat lip from falling yesterday.  The poor kid though has a huge threshold for pain.  Nothing bothers him.
  • Back at home, Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and I did our normal routine together… watered the plants outside, did some weeding, fed the chickens, gathered some old leaves for our compost tumbler.
  • Inside, Twin Husky wanted to rest a bit.  Twin Crazy took out a blank notebook and said she wanted to read a story.  So together we made one up.  It was about a dog named Pete who went to the park to play with balls.   I love how she uses her imagination and I love how she played this game with me.   We went back and forth making up the story together.  She turned the blank pages of the notebook along as we “read”.
  • I called the doctor about Twin Crazy’s pink eye and Twin Husky’s rash that looks like ringworm (thanks to the old guinea pig, Batman).   She called in a prescription.
  • Early lunch, early nap.   Even I fell asleep for a bit.
  • We woke up, picked up meds, and hauled ass to school to pick up Big Bro and Red.
  • I took them to an airplane museum.  The funny thing is that the part they loved the most were the planes on the outside of the museum where they could climb in – this part was absolutely free.  So next time I know not to bother to pay for admission.   They had a blast.  Pretending to fly, and Big Bro going to “air traffic control” to direct traffic.  So cute.
  • I then took them to a playground.  The girls were coloring while the boys were busy making a mess in the sand.  I was completing a page in a coloring book with Red that we started the night before.  That was my project with her today.  She shared a page with Twin Crazy.  She wanted to share a page with Big Bro but he was too particular and then he started to break Red’s crayons.  I got so mad that I packed them up and left.  Why is the eldest the absolute hardest to deal with, always?!??!?!?!?!?

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I’m at home now and before I left I talked with Big Bro and told him that I didn’t want to leave being angry with him, and if he understood why I felt the way I did… that Red was being very generous trying to share her book and that I felt that he was being difficult only wanting the one page that Red and I were already working on.  He still feels his own way.  He is very much like me.  Stubborn.  But at least I talked with him about it and told him that I love him anyway even if he made me mad.

I’m tired.  This week caught up with me.  My house looks like a disaster.  I just want to lay down and sleep.  Which I think I will.  Waking up early and attacking the house will give me something to do – it’s supposed to be gorgeous out this weekend and I’m looking forward to hanging out with the kids outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids.

Have a great weekend everybody –

– Mama K

September 27: Decompressing


Thursday is my day off and I needed it after this week – one big meeting down, one and possibly two more to go.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Chocolate Thursday.  Big Bro helped me make the breakfast for the kids while I packed his lunch.
  • We got out in time, Big Bro and Red drop offs were fine.
  • At home, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky helped me with the garden, played with water and rocks, played with a toy umbrella, and rode bikes.   We also put away the garbage bins that were left on the street.   We had a snack and then I took them food shopping.  I scooped up a lot of things on sale.  They helped me remember things on the list.
  • We had a fast lunch and then 1 hour nap.   I scooped them up from their beds into their car seats to pick up Big Bro and Red.  This is really the only way to do it… gypsy living with them on the road with their naps just does not work for us.   And putting them down too early is not good.  I don’t want to be late anymore with Big Bro pick ups; so for now on I’ll just start their naps and then finish them off on the drive down for the bigger kids.
  • At home, we got the mail, rode bikes in the back yard.  I put a chicken in the oven.   We delivered chocolate chip cookies to the new neighbors across the street.  Big Bro is happy that the 5 year old boy likes Ninjago legos.
  • The kids then decided to decorate their room with more wall stickers.   Everyone worked together.  Big Bro worked on the top bunk to put the stickers on the wall up high, and also pulled off the big stickers and dropped them down like raindrops to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky below.  Red was busy with her own roll of paper of stickers.  It was amazing to see them working together.  I did not even initiate any of it.
  • I pulled some weeds and fed the chickens with the kids.   There was more bike riding.
  • We ate dinner outside and it was great.
  • Poor Twin Husky tripped and fell, and bit his lip.  There was a lot of blood but he is fine.  His lip is huge.  Which is actually funny since he has huge lips to begin with.
  • We watched a movie and I colored with Red – Hello Kitty.

I had a great day with the kids.   It was beautiful weather outside and I enjoyed the sun.   I sent a few work emails but did not really have a care in the world today.   It was wonderful.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

August 1: Getting a boost from the kids


Let me tell you I woke up with a terrible hangover this morning.   I did not have the kids last night and met up with a long-time friend and laughed and cried the night away.   Anyway, I was not in good shape this morning but thankfully became energized in the afternoon as I picked up the kids.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Woke up late to the sound of a garbage truck.  Shit!   I did’t have the cans out.  I ran outside and down the driveway in my pajamas lugging garbage bins.
  • Took Advil.  Drank lots of water.  Went back to bed.
  • Woke up again 15 minutes before a conference call.   I had several calls this morning with potential speakers for the meeting I am planning in September.  All three calls went well.  The agenda is almost completely set.
  • I set up some meetings for next week.
  • I took a break between calls to go outside in the sun and water my garden.   And drink water myself.   I forced myself to eat something and felt a bit better.
  • I took a short nap.

The Rest of the Day:

  • I jumped out of bed at 2 PM and felt invigorated.   I did the dishes.  I did some laundry.  I packed up some snacks.  I went to pick up the kids!
  • I picked up Big Bro and Red at daycare and it felt so good to talk to them and also look into their eyes and talk to them.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and the daycare provider handed out balloons to them.  I started to blow them up and as I blew them up I bonked each kid in the nose with the balloon.  They were cracking up and totally anticipating the next balloon, the next bonk in the nose.  This took awhile with four balloons.
  • We then looked at the workers outside with the blue wheel barrel.  Twin Husky said we have one at my house that is red and I agreed.   He is so talkative now.  I love it.
  • Twin Crazy apparently bit Twin Husky on the face today.  I’m not sure exactly what happened.   They are totally bored there and they fight like a married couple.  I can’t wait to see them in Red’s daycare program.
  • On the ride home I told everyone that I missed them.  Twin Husky replies “I miss du too Mommy.”  My heart melts and I reached back to grab his foot.  He smiles at me.
  • At home the neighbors came over – really nice kids.  We all went over to their house since they have two new kittens.  So the kids were having a great time watching the kittens pounce and were very gentle with them.
  • I cooked some dinner and Big Bro immediately asked what kind of vegetable were we having.  The new regimen of “lots of fruits and vegetables” is going over very well with these kids.   We ate our entire dinner and then had papaya for dessert.
  • We went outside to play.  I started to plant some remaining plants outside.  Twin Husky was helping me with the mulch.  The kids were playing with balls.  And scissors.   I went to water a new plant that I planted several nights ago and found that it was given a good “cut” by Twin Crazy.   I was not that happy about that.  So the kids know now NOT to cut the plants, only the grass or the weeds.
  • Big Bro asked me to chase them and tickle them.  So I did.  Big Bro asked me not to tickle him so hard that he farts.  I agreed.  Red was laughing so hard during a tickle that she almost threw up.  That got her smiling and running for me – glad she can bounce back so quickly.
  • The boys were playing with drip hoses gone awry.  I need to figure out how to get the spouts on the end to stay on.  Maybe some special tape.
  • I picked weeds and then we fed the chickens.
  • Twin Husky helped me gather the balls when it was time to go in, and also helped me bring up the garbage cans from the street.  I thanked him and told him he had strong muscles.  He commented that the garbage bins were very heavy.  I agreed.
  • We quickly got ready for bed.  I read 3 books I think.   They took awhile to go to sleep and were wired up and playing with each other.

 

 

I’m happy that they are here with me.  I feel so tired now and looking back am actually surprised at how much we did after dinner.   I feel reasonably good with what I did for work today.  We are way ahead of the game in terms of scheduling and setting up speakers.   I may actually need to slow down a bit at work or else I will run out of things to do.   🙂

Feeling good, feeling much better than this morning, and ready to go to bed.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

July 11: Riders and farmers


I worked a 1/2 day today from home and then picked up the kids after not seeing them since Sunday.   It is also so late right now that I hope to be brief…

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up later; showered; drank lots of coffee.   Straightened up my “office” at home and realized that I need to get this place organized so I can be more efficient.  It is the “holding” place for lots of boxes that I just have not had the energy to go through and unpack.  This room is the least put together of all the rooms in the house.
  • I had a internal call to straighten out some billing issues and then we discovered more billing issues going back several years.  Ugggh.  What did I inherit?
  • I talked with a friend from college for a bit; caught up with each other; we are both going through hard times now but support each other.  We think so much alike.  I don’t have to take those extra steps to explain things to her.   She just gets it and understands how must feel without me even talking about it.  She finishes my sentences for me.   It makes it easier to explain my story.  I miss her and will likely not see her again for a very long time.
  • I led a planning meeting with several clients for one of the forums that I need to organize this Fall and we came away from the call with lots of great ideas.  I now have my marching orders so will be busy the next several months.
  • I sent out some communications to potential replacement lawyers for the forums and also potential new clients.
  • I spoke to my friend from work who is leaving and both of us burst into tears on the phone.  She is leaving the firm and accepted a job in NYC so her husband could be better positioned to find a job in that market.  I am so proud of her.  I am continuously struck by the strength and power of women who do whatever it takes to provide the best for their families.  Is it part of our DNA?   Are working mothers a force to be reckoned with?   We are so strong!  

The Rest of the Day:

  • I was still teary on my way to pick up the kids.   It felt so good to see them.  To feel them in my arms.  Big Bro saw me first and he was busy washing his hands of finger paint.  He kept washing his hands and purposely did not run over to me — he’s at that age where his friends are important; I was OK with that though.  I knew what he was doing.   And I knew that at some point tonight he would specifically ask me for some one-on-one time.   That’s just the way he is.
  • Red was outside with her friends doing water play.  But she was sitting by herself.  I asked her teacher if she was OK and she said that she was playing but then suddenly got a little sad and wanted to sit by herself.   When she saw me she ran into my arms and I started pulling her up to do flips against my body.  It’s our “thing” together.   We looked at the classroom lizard on the way out.  I then saw her teacher again and asked her about the “baby talk” that I’m hearing from Red.  This is new.   And the teacher heard it too.  I want to understand if she does this during the day when I am not around or if this is something that she is doing now in front of me.  I don’t know what to make of it.
  • Twin pick up was great.  They wanted to show me how they ride their tricycles.  They are getting so good with those pedals and steering.
  • On the way back we got stuck in traffic.  We talked about trains, music (picking out the drums, guitars, etc.).   A Motley Crue song came on “Wild Nights” and Big Bro heard the DJ and commented on Motley Crue and how that is like HIS Motley Crew gang…. Yes!  Absolutely!   That’s why I nicknamed his riding crew the “motley crew” as a joke.   It is so great how we are engaging like this with each other.   I’m really enjoying this older age.
  • We got home and Big Bro and Red wanted to go next door and check on the neighbors.  I’m glad they miss their friends.   I threw dinner in the over and headed outside to work on strawberry bushes.    Putting stakes in the ground and tieing up the stems.  The bushes are getting big now and the leaves are getting heavy.  When they get watered the stems just limp down so I figured they needed some support.   The kids were interested in what I was doing and even started to help with watering them.
  • We ate quickly and had lots of veggies and fruit
  • We then went back outside and started to plant carrot seeds in a seedling kit I recently bought.   The kids all worked together to fill the little containers with soil, then put the seeds in, put more soil on top, water them, and then press the soil down.  I love these projects where they all work together.
  • I knew it was bedtime when Red and Twin Husky started fighting over a broom.
  • We read books to the Twins in the living room and then tucked them in.  Red stayed with Twin Crazy while I read a book one-on-one to Big Bro, per his request.   I then read one-on-one to Red.   I need to spend more time with them but I don’t know how else to do it.  I would like to start “routines” like this so that I know I can at least squeeze in some mommy-time for each of them, consistently.  But I need to do more.
  • The boys fell asleep right away; the girls were up for a bit.  Red was happy and very talkative.  Cocoa was also in their room this week.  I taught them the meaning of the word “roommate”.

I am so tired right now.   I had an emotional day with tears and that always wipes me out.  And then add to that seeing the kids again.  And feeling like they changed a bit and I missed out on it.  And hearing Red’s baby-talk.   And hearing in the car how the kids don’t like the car seats or sitting in traffic.   I wish co-parent would agree to come closer in proximity.  He doesn’t see how the drive and commute is affecting his kids.   It’s terrible.  And tomorrow the Twins and I will have to make four trips.   I’ll have to give them a treat of ice-cream or something.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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