September 5: Playdough, pizza, and puzzles

Amazing day.  I worked remotely, half day, and had the morning with the kids and the long afternoon and evening with the kids.   We played and worked in the afternoon, ate early, went to bed early.  The kids need their sleep and we needed the time together.  So, so happy.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got up early and got things ready; Big Bro’s lunch, all shoes/jackets, vitamin piles, toast for breakfast.  
  • One by one they got up.  Twin Crazy was in a bad mood and clingy.  She wanted oatmeal.  I gave in since she was the first up.  Then Twin Husky came out, wanting me to hold him.  He also asked for oatmeal.  OK.  So it goes.  Then out came Red.  Again, oatmeal.  So there I was making breakfast at home anyway.   That’s OK.  We still have time…
  • Big Bro was moving slowly.  He wanted to make sure that Cocoa had fresh salad for breakfast.   Seems reasonable.
  • All were dressed and then we were out; I packed Big Bro toast and butter for breakfast (for the car), along with a banana, and all kids then wanted toast.   NOTE TO SELF:   NEVER make a take-away breakfast for one kid.  ALWAYS make enough of the take-away breakfast for several kids.   Big Bro proceeded to “tease” the rest of the kids with “mmmm.    toast and butter.”    Me:  “stop that [Big Bro], you’re teasing.   Him:  “but what do you want me to do mommy, lie?”   Ugggh.
  • Traffic was not bad at all – it kept moving.  Despite our late start we had enough time to drop off Red/Twin Crazy/Twin Husky first, and then me with a solo drop off for Big Bro.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were excited about “school”.  There was playdough set out and Twin Crazy started jumping up and down – she almost knocked me over to get to the table with the playdough.  Both kids sat in their own seats for playdough play.  Twin Husky even had a blue tray, his favorite color.
  • Drop off for Red was sooooooooooooooooooooo easy.   Having her friends there makes it easier for her.
  • I parked the car in a nearby neighborhood and me and Big Bro walked to his school.  We laughed about how Twin Crazy and Twin Husky love their new school and the playdough.   We talked about how I enjoy walking him “solo” to his classroom.  We talked about his homework and how proud I was of him and how fast he can count and also how he writes sentences.   He talked about how he likes stepping on the crackly leaves.   I watched him as he walked along the leaves.   I gave his homework to his teacher and seemed more proud of it than he.   He told me to go once he got settled in the group of his class.
  • I walked to the car feeling really good.   I was ready to go the 5 minutes to Starbucks to work.   Close to the kids; and only for a couple of hours.



Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Starbucks.   Another big coffee.  Setting up my computer and phone.   Ready to go.
  • It was a slow start to be honest.  I was cold.
  • I had some conference calls; confirmed attendance for the more recent forum; followed up on invoice payments, arranged conference calls for selling new memberships.
  • I packed up around 1 PM and headed to the school.  
  • I took another conference call from the car at 1:30 but finished it up in time to get Big Bro.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I smiled and clapped my hands when I saw Big Bro.  He smiled back.  I feel like I will never forget that expression on his face.  He looks like he’s having fun.  He let me hug him and kiss him and hold his hand to the car.
  • On the way over to pick up the rest of the kids he told me how he has physical ed now that he’s in first grade. 
  • He was excited about picking up the siblings.  He gets a kick out of all of them being there.  He gets a kick out of Red being in his old classroom – how he knows the routine.  He wanted to get there in time to still see the kids sleeping… he wanted to see where Red’s mat was.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first since their classroom light was on.  Twin Husky came out first and ran into my arms and onto my lap, hugging me.  The other kids then started to cry for their mommies.   Twin Crazy was still going potty so she came out several minutes later.  Both running in my arms.  Both in my lap.  Slow hugs to both since they were still groggy.  Both sucking their thumbs.  One blanked, one borrowed stuffed animal.  Then we said goodbye to their new friends and said we would see them next week.   I will have them on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Pick up for Red was fine; she was groggy and her hair all over the place. 
  • Kids had a good time at the water fountain.  The boys were happy to be reunited.
  • The ride home was fine; not much traffic.  I took a conference call with a Director to catch up on a number of things and then also had a call with my Admin (who is wonderful).   I will need to do some tidy-up work tonight… things that cannot linger to next week.
  • At home, we colored, took in the trash bins (Red was so proud), had a snack, and then got ready for dinner.  I also called for a dentist appointment for Big Bro since his first adult tooth is coming in behind his baby tooth.  A botched tooth fairy moment!!!   We never even got a wiggle!
  • Red was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO helpful… she started with the trash bins but then she went to caring for Cocoa (getting food, re-filling water), helping with Twin Crazy/Twin Husky, cleaning up her room, etc.  She couldn’t stop.  I had to hug her.  I missed her so much.
  • We had home-made pizza tonight; Red had peaches.
  • After dinner Big Bro relaxed; he is still not feeling well.   I need to make another doctor appointment for him.  He’s had this stomach thing now for a week.  Not normal.   The rest of us did puzzles.  I am fairly certain that this was the first time Twin Husky did a puzzle.  I had fun teaching him but he has little patience.  Twin Crazy was much more persistent.  Both were extremely proud of their progress.
  • Twin Husky was on a roll and then decided to go pee-pee in the potty about 5 times non-stop.   He is still talking non-stop about which family members have vaginas vs. penises (or peni?).  I broke out the chocolate chips for the kids.
  • PJs.  Then books for the boys.  Books for the girls.   Big Bro’s belly ache.  Twin Husky loves books about balls.   He told me that there is a basketball net at school and he played basketball.  He threw it into the net and the ball went down.   He showed me over and over again about the ball and the net.   He is such a guy.
  • Nightime was a bit long since the kids went down much earlier than normal – plus the chocolate chips did not help.  There was a lot of back scratching, belly aching, and talking about vaginas (the girls are already doing girl talk).   I just had to laugh and go to my room.


I just took a shower, and finished up some work.   The house is so quiet, with the exception of the crickets chirping outside.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow.  Chocolate Thursday.  I will have to take Big Bro and Red to school/daycare, but will have Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me all day.  I will also have some conference calls that I scheduled during highway travel time, when the kids are quieter.  That seems to be working well.   It also helps me take advantage of the commute time and grab some extra hours that I need.

It was a great day of multi-tasking – having the kids all together, yet also having some one-on-one time with Big Bro and each of the other kids.   It was a full day and I feel like I used my time wisely.   I had fun with the children and honestly I am not worn out from today.  The 1/2 days actually make a big difference for me.   I was able to have a leisurely afternoon and evening with them.  Nothing rushed.   Time to “exist” with them versus running around like an idiot.   It makes a huge difference.  I feel it myself and I think the kids can see the difference.  Comparing last night to tonight is like two different families… we had time tonight to play, laugh, and be.    It was a great day.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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

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