October 12: 132 miles


Friday! This day of the week is always a bit difficult for me and winds up in fights with Big Bro with me leaving angry at him, yet trying to resolve things before I leave. This Friday was no exception…
Highlights of the Morning:

  • Kids were up early and Red of course wanted to start the day with Cocoa the guinea-pig. So I had 3 kids and a guinea-pig in my bed as I woke up, which was perfectly fine with me.
  • Breakfast was smooth sailing, except for the fact that Red requested pancakes. I’ve stopped buying the instant stuff so there I was making home-made pancakes on Friday morning (a school day) with Big Bro making butter and bread and Twin Crazy wanting to be close to me since her “nose was sick”. As you could imagine with four kids and trying to get out the door, there were several batches of pancakes that were forgotten on the stove and burnt to a crisp. Red thought this was particularly funny.
  • I sent out some work emails as I was getting stuff ready for the morning.
  • It was a normal routine with the kids and getting out the door – kids were great. Got dressed, got shoes on, out the door and to the car quickly. We were actually VERY early today.
  • It looked like rain. In fact there was a little bit of rain when we went outside. The kids were excited by this. They wanted to show me the drops and also how the ground looked wet. It was cold. I got all the kids in the car and bundled them up with blankets and jackets as blankets. They were ready and eager to go.
  • We talked about the rain, the fog, the tunnel. We got to the intersection with all of the pigeons and there were tons on the electrical lines again. Big Bro said that it looked like they were having a “meeting”. That just cracked me up.
  • Red was talking about bridges and we actually drive over two small bridges on our way to their school/pre-school. So we started talking about the kinds of bridges there are and how the one bridge we were going on sometimes goes up to let big boats and sailboats by.
  • Twin Crazy was busy “reading” and making up stories with her notebook.
  • Drop offs were great.

 

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and I made it back and it was cold. I turned the fireplace on. The kids were hungry again so I made them oatmeal.
  • They were busy playing and coloring as I was cleaning up a bit. Twin Crazy wanted to wear her Halloween costume which essentially is an Asian-looking dress that is pink and shiny. She looked gorgeous in it.
  • We then went to Target to get toilet paper in bulk (I still can’t believe my Costco card got cancelled by my in-laws while I’m still paying for their son’s health insurance) and some other needed items. I got some stuff in bulk on sale like vitamins, cold medicine, band-aids. The kids were great and then started to get cranky so I fled. They loved the escalator and were squealing on their way up and on their way down.
  • At home we ate a good lunch – left overs from last night. I microwaved a frozen fish fillet and after 2 minutes the thing started exploding all over my microwave. The lunch was good but I spent way too much time cleaning up the microwave for fear of fish stench.
  • We received a new guinea-pig cage that I ordered through Amazon. I was excited to give Cocoa some more space in a new cage.
  • Naptime!
  • Woke up and hauled ass to pick up Red and Big Bro. Got Red quickly, got Big Bro, and then DROVE BACK TO MY HOUSE instead of staying local before dropping the kids off at co-parents. The past few Fridays have just been tough for us. I pack like we are pack of gypsies and we sometimes have fun things to do but most times the kids just wind up fighting and I wind up mad at one/more of them. And it was rainy/cold today so I grabbed all of them and headed back to my place for an extra 2 hours before dropping them off.
  • We put together the guinea-pig cage and watched her explore her new surroundings. It is big. I have no idea where we are going to put it. But I think she is happy. I think.
  • I read to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while Big Bro and Red disappeared playing Legos.   Twin Husky wanted to hold the book like a “teacher” with the book facing me and Twin Crazy while I was reading.   I read several books this way.  One was a counting book and he seriously knows all of his numbers, the way they look, how to count…. it is amazing how they are twins and he is so skilled at numbers and she is so skilled at communication/reading/storytelling.   Twins are amazing.
  • We had pudding as an afternoon snack.
  • Big Bro and Red then went to play at a neighbor’s house… when I went to go get them they were not there and at a DIFFERENT neighbors house. I like the fact that they have lots of friends and everything, but MAN they were in TROUBLE when I got them. I was so angry with them. At least tell me where you are! Have the mommy/daddy send me a message! I need to know where you kids are!!! Ugggh.
  • The drive home was very quiet as a result. Except for me talking about it from time to time and letting them know that they should come and tell me where they are going to be if their plans change, or tell the parents to send me a message. Red understood. Big Bro was making excuses.
  • As we were waiting for co-parent to come home, I wanted Red and Big Bro to be sure they knew that I still loved them even though I was mad at them. Red thought that this whole concept was “funny”. How can you love and be mad at the same time? But she took my hugs with smiles. Big Bro was a bit embarrassed by all of it. Why can’t I have a Friday where I leave the kids without frustration?
  • I drove back home in silence and did not even put the radio on. I felt in a funk.

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So today I did SIX trips between my house and co-parent’s house. That’s 132 miles. But there was lots of conversation on the way, and I did not have to pack up like a gypsy and try to occupy the kids with activities. We had a day that was generally relaxing but also stressful. The tension of independence and trying to teach the kids good judgment was put to the test today. And the emotions of having to leave the kids on a down note was saddening to me.

I arrived to a package of bulbs from a neighbor for flowering plants. That is how this neighborhood is. The folks here are incredibly giving. This will be my activity for tomorrow.

I slept for 2 hours on the couch, in front of the fireplace and watching Cocoa’s huge cage. I woke up to a dinner of a bagel, oven-crisped kale, fist-fulls of Life cereal, a cheese stick, and 1/2 bottle of white $2 Chuck. Now I’m feeling much better.

Have a great weekend everyone

– Mama K

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September 6: Goodbye to TWO teeth – and no tears!


This was a busy Thursday; I was off yet “working”, very tired from a poor night’s sleep with Twin Crazy, feeling like a stomach bug was coming on, and getting Big Bro to the dentist… I had no idea what was in store for the day when I woke up this morning…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • We were kind of “off” this AM.  I did not sleep well last night since Twin Crazy was sick with a bad head cold.
  • Chocolate Thursday – that made things easier.
  • Cocoa was enjoying her salad breakfast with us.  Twin Husky got a kick out of her this AM.
  • We left a bit late, but the traffic was not bad.  We talked about the colors of the cars – how some were unusual for cars (e.g., bright green, bright blue PG&E trucks, etc.).   We also played games about who can see the cars or not… it passed the time and we arrived in no time.
  • I made it in time to drop Big Bro off at school in the driveway drop off area.  He would walk to his class from there.  A friend of his walked by and told me “You’re not married anymore”.  Thanks for reminding me kid…. He said this in front of Big Bro, who laughed a bit… I now realize that this laugh of his could be a nervous laugh reaction; I’ve been upset at him in the past for laughing at me when I discipline him.  This may just be how he handles situations like that?
  • Drop off for Red was a bit tough; she was clingy and complaining about her shoes.  As soon as I got her set up with her friends she was fine.  They were playing with tiny “whiteboards” where I wrote out the 3 things that they each need to do today at school (my normal mantra to the kids):  1)  Laugh; 2) Learn; and 3) Exercise your body.   That seemed to work with everyone and Red was much happier as we left.
  • The school will be renovating and is therefore selling a lot of stuff at rock bottom prices.  I picked up 3 sets of educational games, one felt board, and one pretend vacuum cleaner (that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky have both loved through the years of drop offs/pick ups), all for $11.   I was pumped.  There will be more to come as they continue with the room renovations.

Highlights of the Day:

  • On the drive back home I had a conference call which ended with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky crying.   Wonderful.
  • We snacked, which made things better.
  • I cleaned up the kitchen while the kids played with the vacuum cleaner and new toys from daycare.
  • Then it was random playtime:   pretend play with horse stables and castles, coloring, watering the garden, getting picked up and tickled, trying to use the potty (for chocolate chips), watering the front yard plants and fixing the pressure of the drip system while the kids helped to water the plants, finding and chasing a baby lizard…
  • The drive back was uneventful as the kids were napping.
  • I arrived at Big Bro’s school 1 hour early – the end times are staggered at the beginning of the year and I messed up.  At least I was early and not too late.
  • We picked up Red.  Looked at more stuff on sale and picked up a wooden puzzle and a 2 gallon drink thermos.
  • Big Bro was happy to see me during pick up.   I told him we were off to the dentist – his first adult tooth is growing in BEHIND his baby tooth…

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • The dentist was fine for 3 of the kids, who got to go to a play room while me and Big Bro remained in the exam room while he had two baby teeth extracted.   OMG I needed the laughing gas more than he did.  He was so brave.  2 baby teeth pulled from his mouth, and not one tear shed.  He handled it like such a man.  He did not flinch, did not whine, did not complain.  He laid there – as still as a rock – listening and following instructions the whole time.  I was / AM so proud of the little big guy.   He is sleeping right now with his teeth in a container under his pillow.  I MUST not forget to be the tooth fairy tonight.  This will be my first time in this role.
  • By the time we got back to the house I was exhausted and Big Bro was also wiped out.   I gave him Motrin.  We all rested a bit and played with the new stuff from daycare.
  • I cooked pasta and pudding for dinner.  Soft stuff that Big Bro’s mouth can tolerate.
  • Red was sooooooooooo helpful again tonight.  Caring for Cocoa, helping set the table, asking me “what else can I help you with?”.  OMG how cute.  She is so sweet how she wants to get involved.  I love her more and more each day.  I don’t know how this is possible but it is.
  • Cocoa was very tolerant of us tonight.  She was out of her cage for most of the evening – ate a lot of salad, got handled a lot by Red, went on a stroller ride….  so cute
  • Kids were playing with daycare toys.  Love it.   I loved it when they were all there playing side by side.  No teasing, no crying, no hitting, little talking even.   I think that was my highlight of the day.
  • Twin Husky is still trying to go potty every 5 seconds – he does this for chocolate chips.
  • Book/bedtime was rougher since Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were over-tired; plus poor Big Bro was out of it; he was still in an amazing mood and there was still no whining coming from him.  He was a dream child tonight.

I’m tired but happy.  I’m hoping I can get some sleep tonight.  Sleep makes a big difference when you are caring for four kids.   I can’t handle their yelling at each other with little sleep.  And they know that of me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K (aka “first time tooth fairy”)

July 8: Back in the saddle again


I’m feeling much better today.  Thank you to those that reached out.   Today was a great day.   The kids are here and the crickets are chirping outside and I’m sitting in my home office with new desks and computer and I’m feeling at ease.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up early and got ready for my “work at home” day.  Showered, made coffee, grabbed a box of cereal, and booted up in the office.   Did you ever notice how Safeway brands call their products?   The Safeway line of cereal modeled after “Life” is called “Live it Up”.   Isn’t this hysterical?    I have to check out other products.   I’m buying very frugally these days, can’t you tell??!?!?
  • I got a lot of work done today.   Started organizing our focus-group for our meeting in September, sent out planning status to our membership, did some admin items like billing.
  • I would step outside in the sunshine and stretch for a break.  Water the garden.  Look at the bluebirds flying.
  • I started working on a sales document for another forum I am building.  We have lunch meetings next week that this needs to be ready for and I also have a list of REAL contacts at potential members so I need this to get that part started.

The Afternoon:

  • I grabbed Cocoa and headed to the van.   I stopped at the pet store and they did nothing for me.   The last guinea pig had ringworm, with the symptoms of a dry ear.   And they took the animal back and brought it to their vet.   Cocoa, 2nd guinea pig, has a dry ear.  One person told me to bring her in.  I did.  Then the manager said they wouldn’t do anything since it was past 15 days.  But it was past 15 days with Batman, the first guinea pig.  There was nothing they would do.   I absolutely detest big chain animal stores.   I am officially anti-PetCo.   From here on out.   I have a sweet guinea pig that may have ringworm suffering from an itchy ear.   Ugh.
  • I headed to a gyno appointment in the city, with Cocoa in tow.  She sat in a cool, indoor parking garage while I was violated upstairs at the gyno.   Note the plastic model vaginas on the windowsill.

  • We headed to get the kids!
  • I decided to bring Cocoa into the daycare.  Red was excited to see me with Cocoa.  Her friends were excited and so were her “teachers”.   It was so sweet to see Red so nurturing.   She is wonderful with that little piggy.
  • Big Bro was also excited to see Cocoa but he wanted to hold her and pay attention to her away from his friends.  He had no interest in showing the piggy to his friends.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky; they were busy riding tricycles.
  • We headed home and hit some traffic along the way.  Big Bro fell asleep first.  And then Red.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were wide awake.  We were talking about the sunshine, flags, trains, counting, smelling their feet.  They were both very talkative.
  • When we got back the box with Cocoa fell off of Big Bro’s sleeping lap.   Cocoa tumbled out along with her food and hay everywhere.  She hid under his seat but he was able to pry her out.

 

The Rest of the Night:

  • Big Bro threw a fit that we forgot his backpack at daycare.   I think Cocoa threw our routine off.
  • The rest of us went outside to clean Cocoa’s cage.  Big Bro came out when I asked him if he wanted to use the hose to hose down the bottom of the cage.
  • I started cooking dinner.  I decided that pasta stars were in order since Big Bro was upset, and rightfully so.
  • The rest of the kids were outside looking at the chickens.
  • The doorbell rang and it was the grandchildren of our chicken/farmer neighbors.  They had a huge bowl of cherry tomatoes for us.  I was thrilled.  The kids were adorable.   I walked them back to the front of the house so they could walk along the street to their grandmother, my neighbor.  I love this place.  3/4 of the kids were loving the tomatoes.
  • I asked Big Bro if he wanted to go get the mail for me.   He’s such a big guy.  He went without hesitation.
  • All kids ate like champs.   I couldn’t believe it.  All food was finished.  Even vegetables and fish.
  • Dessert was cherries and mango smoothie.
  • Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky knocked next door to see if the kids would come out.  They were getting ready for bed.
  • The kids did some manicures with each other while I was cleaning up.
  • Then it was PJ, teeth, and book-time.   I’m getting each kid to pick out a book and meet me in the living room and I read to them all of the books all at once.  The great thing is the kids are all fast at picking out their books since the first one back gets to sit on my lap and read with me first.
  • Bedtime was AOK.  Twin Crazy was scared again of the dark, the kitty-cats, the foxes, the doggies.   I reassured her that the house was safe and she was safe.  She walked with me as I locked the doors and put on the house alarm.  She fell asleep soon thereafter.

 

 

It feels good to have them back over again.  Tantrums, tears, and everything else in between.   They are teasing each other a lot more now, but they are also playing together so well.  They look out for each other so well.  And the older ones, for the most part, are really good role models for the younger ones.

I’m feeling like myself again.  Thank goodness.   I’m ready to hit the sack.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

 

June 22: Beer and a bagel


Looking at the date I just realized that my grandmother would have turned 92 on this day if she were still alive. Sorry mom for not calling. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Friday and my day off –

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red and Twin Crazy and then also Twin Husky jumping in my bed. They wanted to play with the guinea pig so I got her and we were all in my bed. Then Big Bro came in too and I had all kids plus a guinea pig in my bed. That’s the most action its gotten in quite some time.
  • We watered house-plants since it was too cold to go outside and water plants. Big Bro likes having that “job”.
  • The kids then continued with guinea pig time and I actually had to use the timer function on my phone to have equal rotations. That worked well to avoid conflict.
  • We all got dressed and headed out to drop off Big Bro and Red. Once we got there Big Bro realized he had a splinter in his foot so we were all in the lobby as I was working on his foot. It was a hard one to pull out because it broke and there was just a tiny, tiny piece to grab onto. Eventually I got it. Whew.
  • The ride home was uneventful. Not much traffic. We talked about trucks. I also had a conference call for work that I took with my earbuds in.
  • I did some laundry and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were enthralled with the new machine that you can see through.
  • They wanted to visit the chickens
  • Afterwards I made some lunch and they took naps – I did some work and then also weeded. I attacked the green dandelions that are beginning to flower….
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    The Rest of the Day:

  • After they woke up we all gathered our things and headed to the car. On the way out I stopped to get my mail and the VENUS FLYTRAP that I ordered from Amazon arrived. COOL! I was excited to show Big Bro and Red.
  • Not much traffic, whew.
  • They thought the plant was cool. Big Bro knew exactly what it was as I was opening it. He guessed it. I said it was something that we were just talking about the other day and he guessed it in one shot – VENUS FLYTRAPPER. How cute.
  • I dropped them off at co-parent’s and he started a fight with me in front of them.
  • The ride home was fine; maybe I’m just getting used to it.
  • I attacked some weeds in the backyard. I have a part of the yard that is downward sloping and I thought it would be fun to make it a garden… with traverse walking stones – the space is really un-usable since there is such as slope so I figured a garden would be the best thing. I first pulled out all of the green weeds for the chickens, and then hatcheted the all of the nasty brown tall flowing weeds. In the end it looked like I butchered a part of the yard. It looks terrible. I have to do something about that.
  • I came in, showered, and had a bagel and a beer. I watered the lawn and I’m now going to put together my composting bin. Again, I am a person of extremes. Prior to this I could barely keep a houseplant alive and now I’m sowing the earth and wanting to compost for fertilizer.
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    I’m going to sleep well tonight.

    The kids will be back with me tomorrow at 4 PM. I’m looking forward to getting some things done in the AM and then seeing them later that day.

    Have a great weekend all –
    – Mama K (farmer)

    June 20: Loss of my Virgin Mouth


    I like Wednesdays. I get to work from home for 1/2 day:

    Highlights of My Morning:

  • I woke up early and started my day at 8 AM. I started with an instant coffee while booting up my computer.
  • I have a brand new printer/fax/scanner/copier. I love it. It is soooooooooooo fast. And small. I faxed out Big Bro’s report card to co-parent and felt productive already. Then I had issues with the fax – the report said it didn’t send. It took me awhile to figure out I had to actually switch the phone line to the fax machine to get it to work. DUH.
  • I had a second instant coffee and checked email. Nothing major to respond to.
  • I followed up with some invoices.
  • I updated our sales pipeline for one of our forums.
  • I took a break and decided to walk to the back of my property. There are some trees back there that are turning orange. I am a bit concerned about them and I wanted to see where they were on the property lines. Then the fun started. I have a fence in the back that is completely pulled down – and a well-established trail, I believe from the deer (that ate the leaves off of my new fruit trees). The strange thing is that there is about 6 feet of “no man’s land” between my torn down fence and the fence from my back neighbor… and these trees are actually part of this no-man’s land. It is kindof cool back there…. it reminded me of the trails I used to walk and explore as a kid. But it scared me to think of my kids back here. There were big holes – not sure what from or what kinds of critters. And strange forts. Plus lots of debris. I have a lot of work to do. First, I need to figure out if these trees are mine – where does my property line end? Then I must do something about these trees – depending on if they are mine or not – regardless, their limbs have to come down and out of my space. Lastly, I will need to get a proper fence put up. It won’t take long to contain Twin Husky or Big Bro from this mess. I just see more $$$ coming out and I don’t know where it will come from. I decided to go back to work to earn some money.
  • I don’t really remember what else I did – I talked to my mom for a bit and I had a conference call to discuss a pricing strategy for one of our forums. We need to rethink pricing to get more members in – non-profits, start-ups, and smaller organizations. It is valuable to have them part of the forum but the price tag is a barrier to get them in. So we’re experimenting a bit to see if we can get some over the line. I have a number of sales calls coming up so am glad we came to conclusions on this.
  • I ate lunch. Got dressed. Headed out the door.

    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I headed into the city for a dentist appointment. You may not believe this, but I have all of my teeth – all wisdom teeth – and have NEVER had a cavity…. until NOW. I couldn’t believe it. I thought there was something funky going on in there. For years Dentists raved about my “virgin” mouth… all teeth in, and absolutely no work done on any of them. I prided myself in my cavity-free mouth. BUT ALAS NO MORE!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!! A cavity. My mouth is no longer a virgin.
  • I headed in to pick up the kids. On my way I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some things. I shopped frugally and focused on sales. I got 3 containers of raspberries, buy 1 get 2 free. YEAH!
  • I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Daycare said that they kept talking about the big couch and big TV at Mommy’s house. Too funny. My couch is so small and the TV is tiny compared to our other one. It’s funny to me what they choose to talk about.
  • We picked up Red and Big Bro at Red’s school. It was great to see her. I asked how she was doing (fine…, whew). She ran in my arms and I couldn’t get enough of her. She seemed older to me. Very much a little girl. She had a pony-tail in from her teacher and I think that is what made her look different to me.
  • I was careful with Big Bro when I saw him. Fist pump. I caught him playing with Twin Husky. They are so cute together now.
  • We headed to PetCo to get a new guinea pig. Our other one officially had ringworm (poor thing) so we picked out another. This one is chocolate-brown and a female. She is so sweet. She is actually quite social and does not immediately hide. Maybe the other one did because he felt sick. Poor guy. I hope I don’t get too many questions about where he is now. Twin Crazy was concerned that a Chicken would hurt the guinea pig when we got home. I assured her that this would not happen since it would be safe in a cage.
  • We drove back and I had fun throwing Vanilla wafers back to Red and Big Bro during the ride back. I would hear little “got it”s the whole way back. It was fun; we talked about the commuter train and the radio and I even caught Twin Crazy dancing a bit in her car seat.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We got back home and disinfected the guinea pig cage. We all worked together; the kids were so cute doing this. Big Bro was holding the guinea pig as he was cleaning the cage. Such a little man.
  • We played ball and also a wheelbarrel of water.
  • We ate dinner. And lots of fruit afterwards. Strawberries, pears, blueberries, and one of the packages of raspberries.
  • We played with more water. I weeded.
  • I knew when it was time to come in – Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were pooped. I read to each of them and put Twin Husky down first. He had no problem laying in his bed with his Tigers. He asked me to rub his back. Then our whispers “I….. love….. you”.
  • I worked with Twin Crazy next, while Big Bro and Red were playing with the guinnea pig.
  • I thought everyone was brushed and down for the count when the girls just started acting silly. Pee pee, water, itchy vaginas. Everything that Red would say, Twin Crazy would say too. It is so sweet how they are sisters and so close in age. Also a bit frightening. Twin Crazy tried not to smile to me as she was repeating everything from Red. Too cute.
  • I showered which gave the girls time to actually go to sleep.
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    I’m sitting here now on my “big” couch listening to the crickets and enjoying a cool breeze. It’s fun to have the kids here again. And also a new little creature that really is so cute. Red wants to name her Isabelle – but that is the name of the birthday-girl neighbor from across the street so I don’t think that would be a proper name. We’ll have to work on that.

    I’m feeling reasonably good. Tired. Thinking about the yard. It would have been good to get out there a bit before it was dark but the girls were just to amped up. Maybe I’ll have some ice-cream instead. Screw it. I already have a cavity – my mouth is no longer a virgin so I guess just bring those cavities on!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    May 9: The birth of a homeowner…


    Fast morning! Since my day yesterday was so funky in terms of work, I am working from the office today so I had a normal routine with the kids and all of the drop-offs.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up and got ready, packed up Big Bro’s lunch before anyone else got up.
  • I went to get Twin Husky and Twin Crazy. “Mommy!!!!!!!” So cute. Twin Husky is so cuddly. He always wakes up so happy. I held him for a bit while sitting next to Twin Crazy’s crib – she takes a bit longer to wake up. She was then ready and we grabbed up all of her “stuff” (blankets, babies, stuffed animals). She had a dry diaper!!!! I’m so proud of her.
  • Red was awake and happy. But she rejected her clothes and requested that we see what was downstairs in the laundry room. I did a load of wash yesterday so there was plenty there for her to choose from.
  • Big Bro picked out a new short set outfit he received from Nana for his birthday. He looks awesome in it and he loves it. He looks like a full-fledged boy and I just can’t believe that he is 6 years old. So much has happened in my life and my relationships over these past 6 years.
  • Downstairs the Twins and Red all wanted cereal. They all ate well with no issues. I got Big Bro’s toast ready while dishing out vitamins to everyone.
  • Everyone was ready so quickly. We were doing great on time. There were no breakdowns with one exception – Red was asking for more “sunscreen” for school but I had a hard time understanding her. So that got her upset for a bit (but no tears). She did great and she tried again a few moments later, really trying hard and slow to say the word “sunscreen”. I understood her. She smiled. I said I would buy some today on my phone and it would get here tomorrow (thank you Amazon!!!)
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    I am now on the ferry thinking about what I need to do today. I have to debrief from the client meeting from yesterday and there will be more to do but not much. I also have to get our materials organized for our forum sales meeting next week. That will be top priority today. So I think today will actually be quite smooth. I feel much more relaxed, less under-the-gun. I may work on some personal items as well which need some focused thinking. I am closing on the house today but will likely not be able to pick up the keys until tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting that set of keys in my hand!

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I worked on survey materials to sent to participants of our sell meeting on 5/15 and worked with a consultant to get it loaded in our survey tool
  • I reviewed my notes from our client meeting yesterday and wrote up what our team needed to do, changes to make to the Final Deliverable, and areas of follow on work for the company.
  • I scheduled some prep meetings over the next several days
  • I worked on personal items today as well – I’ll likely book this as 1/2 day work.
  • I CLOSED AND RECORDED ON THE HOUSE TODAY!!!! I will go there tomorrow and pick up my keys, measure the rooms, and start to line up appliance purchases, a shed, and I also want to get a fence and handrails put in. Oh… .and furniture. For the kids, kitchen, and living room. And maybe a rocking bench for the front yard. Lots to buy. I’m excited.
  • So now I’m on the ferry and feeling giddy. I’m looking forward to being with the kids tonight and also seeing them with Batman. I feel better when co-parent is not around. I enjoy these times alone with the children. I can’t wait until I’m in my own space and I’m able to make it comfortable so that the kids feel like it is their space too. I want them to be part of this even though they will likely be crushed when we tell them what is happening. We are going to talk with them this Saturday morning about the divorce. And we will go on a road-trip to see the house the following weekend. This is the calm before the storm, but to be honest its been feeling pretty stormy already. But today is a ray of sunshine. I am happy. I am a homeowner. And I am working towards a better life for me and I’m hoping for the children as well.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I went to pick up Red first. I told the teachers and directors there about my home purchase and the fact that we are going to tell the children this Saturday. So to be there for Red if she is having a tough time next week. The Director broke out in tears. She doesn’t understand how anyone cannot put their children first. I can’t either.
  • I picked up the Twins next. They were both excited; Twin Husky sitting in Big Bro’s seat and Twin Crazy running over to a tricycle to show me how she can ride it.
  • I picked up Big Bro next. Everyone else wanted to come inside too. They found the cupcakes and had the birthday celebration today. The pan was put on top of the refrigerator – I still don’t understand how they got lost. oh well. I’ve been talking to Big Bro about it and how I’m sorry about it and how he must have been disappointed since he was expecting them. He doesn’t say much. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t really care or if he just doesn’t like talking about it.
  • I ordered a pizza and then we headed home.
  • We played with Batman for a bit and even fed him a carrot. He LOVED it. Twin Husky held him and he was so cute looking down at Batman. So sweet. Twin Crazy was busy trying on my shoes. Each of the kids took a turn at holding him. The novelty of picking out the poops has already worn off for them.
  • I can’t believe it but Twin Husky had yet ANOTHER kitchen flooding incident. This was not as bad as the first two, but still….. I need to figure out how to disable the ice/water dispenser.
  • I was cleaning up downstairs a bit, waiting for the pizza to come when I realized that all of the kids were upstairs and it was WAY to quiet up there. So I went up, but they were all being good! They were all in Big Bro and Red’s room together. Big Bro was doing Legos, Twin Husky was laying on Big Bro’s bed, and Red and Twin Crazy were playing together. They were all so quiet. They were all so good! And they were all together! I loved it. So I sat with them for a bit and then heard the doorbell ring. Pizza was here.
  • All ate well. I asked “raise your hand if you want desert tonight” and the kids were all raising their hands. Twin Husky was raising both of his hands REAL high and shaking them back and forth which made me laugh.
  • We then had baths and a round of cupcakes.
  • I started Twins bedtime routine; they love the book “The Hairy Toe” and I read it so that it’s scary and then funny at the end. They love it. They went right to sleep, no problems.
  • I then sat with Big Bro and Red for a bit. Big Bro wanted me to help him find the Lego pieces as he was putting the set together. Red sat on my lap and we found the pieces for him. It was our quiet time together.
  • I showed Red the sunscreen that I ordered for her from Amazon. We then ordered bandaids for the kids since we are out. Again, I love Amazon.
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    I am now outside of their room finishing this up; I feel like I have so much on my mind. I’m worried about money. My cash flow situation is so scary these days. And there’s a lot going on with the divorce. I’m feeling strong again. I’m OK when he is not around – I get angry and strong. I’m looking forward to the house but also concerned for the children. I just want things to go as easy as they can for them. They are so happy now and it crushes me to know that it will end in just a few days. I’ve had a great week with them so far – they respond to me (except for Twin Husky and the water). Big Bro is a breeze. No whining or tantrums. It is just easier.

    Tomorrow I will get my keys. Tomorrow I will walk the house and measure the rooms. And start to go online and shop for a refrigerator (probably with no water/ice dispenser) and washer / dryer. Then furniture — I think bar stools first since I can probably get away without the rest for the time being…. I also need to buy a mini-van. Again, cash flow is scary now. Somehow I’ll make it work out. I know I will.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    May 7: The Signing


    Monday morning and I am solo with the kids, and Batman, our new guinea pig.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up prompty at 6:30 AM, no snooze, and rushed to the shower to get myself ready before the kids woke up.
  • Big Bro’s lunch was made in 1 min. I had the bowls out for cereal for 3 of the 4 kids. I folded laundry that co-parent didn’t get to so that Red and Big Bro had some favorites to wear. Ran upstairs with Red and Big Bro clothes and got to the Twins.
  • Red had some issues picking clothes and I had to wait with her so I was getting anxious.
  • Big Bro already disappeared downstairs to take care of Batman. He was in the middle of cleaning out its poops when he had to pee, so ran to the bathroom but LEFT BATMAN’S CAGE DOOR OPEN. I arrived to my room noticing this and was SCARED when I saw the door open but then RELIVED when I saw the cute little thing hopping around inside.
  • Big Bro was very good taking care of him. He already filled up the food bowl, gave him more hay, cleaned out the poop, and replensihed some bedding without me even asking. He was also proud that when he reached inside, Batman let him pet him. He looked up at me with big smile of pride and I told him he’s doing great with his new pet.
  • The rest of the kids came scrambling in, loud, but then calmed down when I asked them to. We can’t scare Batman. We need to speak softly. And let him get used to our smells and our voices. He needs time to learn to trust us and that we are being good to him and will not hurt him. Red took a turn with some poops and that was great.
  • Kids ate well. Dressed quickly. Big Bro was off on Motley Crew bike trip. Monday he is the leader.
  • Red had some issues with socks. Twin Husky got into her bag of nail polish. Twin Crazy briefly lost her pink blanket lovey but all was fixed in the end.
  • I had plenty of time to drop off the Twins and also Red. She was excited about bringing in her new baby doll from her birthday party and also telling her class about Batman.
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    I’m on the ferry now and will have a very busy day. One client project that we are ending tomorrow so will need to pull that together. Plus another big meeting next week that I need to pull materials together for. Plus lots going on the with divorce. And with the house – will be signing documents today or tomorrow. So, I feel like there is just too much going on. But strangely I feel relaxed without co-parent being in the house with me. He is out of town for a week. Will be missing Big Bro’s birthday, which is tomorrow.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Gathered my team and set up in the conference room to work together. Received feedback of workproduct from Director; had a conversation with him and then sent the work to the client.
  • I started to assemble the presentation for the client presentation for tomorrow, including executive summary and storyline.
  • I also started working on presentation and meeting materials for our initiative conference call scheduled for May 15.
  • Took the team out to lunch – it was take-away for back at the conference room, but efforts like that shows the team the appreciation for the hard work and is so simple and cost-effective in the long run. A bit of thanks goes a long way.
  • I am on the ferry now and am thinking about all there is to do, still yet today. I need to find a replacement babysitter for tomorrow, buy a helium balloon for Big Bro, possibly bake cupcakes for his aftercare for tomorrow, work on initiative materials for a planning call for tomorrow, and also review the client presentation that will be sent to the client tonight so they get it first thing in the AM.

    Plus, there is a lot of stuff I need to do on the divorce front. Everything is hitting at once and I am so pissed off at what transpired last week.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the kids and strangely enough, seeing Batman.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • After getting off the ferry I ran straight to the store to get a helium balloon for Big Bro; I ran home, hid it in my closet, and also checked on Batman. He was fine. Looked like he ate during the day, and there were lots of poops for the kids to attend to when they got home.
  • I picked up Red, then the Twins. Their daycare provider has a funeral to go to tomorrow so I am stuck. The person was a 38 year-old mother of three…. she died after a 2 year battle with cancer, brain cancer. It kindof just stopped me in my tracks.
  • We went to pick up Big Bro and he wanted to ride his bike back. He went the lagoon route and we stopped along the way and waited so that he would beat us there.
  • At home the kids were busy tending to Batman. They took turns picking up poop. I think Big Bro replenished the bedding, hay, and food. Batman lets Big Bro reach in and pet him. And he also lets Red. They are so cute with him.
  • There were a lot of mis-haps during dinner prep. I don’t understand it. Twin Crazy decided to squat in my room and start a poop. I’m glad I got to her early because it turned into quite a messy one after we got her to the potty. She peed on the corner of my computer bag. Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were upstairs playing with water all over the bathroom. Red was crying, naked, on the floor, saying that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were laughing at her.
  • I finally got everyone down to dinner and it essentially was a failure.
  • Afterwards I set Big Bro up to watch some Olivia T.V. and I gave the Twins and Red baths.
  • I was racing to get everyone to sleep by 8 PM since I had my loan signing – but Twin Husky for some reason did not want me to go. I was saying I had to work and I think he thought I was going away for work. He was screaming his head off and clinging to me and telling me not to go…. poor thing. So I brought him down with me. So of course Big Bro and Red were at the top of the stairs slowly coming down. Then Twin Crazy knew that her brother wasn’t there and heard that Big Bro and Red were coming down so then she started to scream to come down too. So I got her. Twins on my lap, Big Bro and Red beside me. I asked the guy NOT to use the word “house” since the kids do not know yet. He was excellent. So it appeared to the kids that I was just working on papers and signing things that meant nothing to them. I asked Big Bro to take pictures and even the notary too. When I saw the Deed of Trust I almost started to cry. I told him this was my first time and I am 42. He said, you’re very first??!?!?!?! I said yes…. pitifully. And that I was doing it for “them”.
  • Afterwards we did our bedtime routine. We read to the Twins, and both Big Bro and Red asked for short books because they were tired.
  • I went downstairs and cleaned up a bit, and also held Batman. He is so cute. I want him to feel at home and not feel scared. It will take time.
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    So now I’m in the hallway finishing this up while Big Bro and Red go to sleep. I am looking forward to being in the smaller house where we will all be together. I hope that they feel safe and secure in that house. I’m looking forward to making it a home for them.

    I have a lot to do tonight…. I have to review a client presentation, I have to organize materials for a conference call tomorrow, and also have a number of divorce-related documents to finish up. I also have to remember to tie Big Bro’s balloon to his bed for his big day tomorrow. He will be six.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Celebrate!


    It was Red’s birthday over the weekend and Big Bro has one coming up this week; so we had a joint-birthday celebration for the two of them over the weekend.

    I’ve always been excited about birthdays. It really is a momentous time, and not just about a cake and a gift. Its the celebration of someone’s life. It’s about showing that you care about that person – that you see that person – and that they are special to you and they mean something to you. And that hopefully you are a better person because their life is intermingled with your own.

    So I make my kids’ birthdays special. I try to make them FEEL special during their day. Waking up with a helium balloon tied to their bed, walking downstairs with a string of balloons on the railing, the cake, the special dinner, the extra hugs and kisses.

    This year my kids celebrated with their friends, scooters, cake (of course), going out to breakfast, going to a museum, going out to dinner, getting ice-cream, and getting THEIR FIRST PET. Yes, I caved and we went to PetCo and bought a pet. The animal that appeared to be best for our young kids was a guinea pig and we sat there with one and each of the kids held it and pet it. They all wanted him. He is black. We named him Batman.

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    So I’m typing this after a very full weekend, and with Batman in my room. It’s been only half a day and his cage already stinks. Or, maybe I’m just not used to the smell yet. Maybe it will get better. But the kids love him so far, and they are excited about caring for him and cleaning up his poops. Let’s see how long that lasts.

    Staying sane? I know. I’m questioning that too.

    Have a great week all –
    – Mama K

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