May 16: The chair


I worked a 1/2 day and from home today. I then spent an hour or so at my NEW home and made it back in enough time to pick all of the kids up early. I was solo tonight and looking forward to spending this time with them.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • The Twins were ready to stroller to Big Bro’s school. We talked about grass-seed and new grass growing as we were waiting for the other kids to get ready. Big Bro was in the pack and enjoying his new bike. I went in to talk to his teacher and tell her about our discussion from last weekend about “Two Homes”. She looked upset/concerned. She was glad that I told her. I said there were no tears but lots of questions so he really doesn’t “get it” yet. I let her know that we were going to take the kids to see the house this weekend and that it might start to sink in more then. She said she would be on the lookout for any issues. She said that he mentioned two houses this week so I know it is on his mind.
  • I dropped the Twins off at their daycare and both looked good. Even Twin Crazy. They both have a routine where they take off their shoes in a certain spot. I helped Twin Husky unzipper his jacket [sortof] by himself. I walked back home with the empty stroller feeling a bit empty myself.
  • As soon as I got home I loaded up the van with as many boxes as I could fit. I need to get to the house today since I have a TON of stuff arriving and don’t want the things sitting outside for too many days.
  • My doorbell rang and it was my neighbor with an AWESOME wooden rocking chair that she wanted to get rid of. I was completely looking for something like this — I’ve always loved front porches — the kinds in the south that are sweeping around the houses… well, my front porch is REALLY small but I do have flat yard that runs along the front. And in the afternoon, the shade kind of hits the house in a way that it feels like there is a front porch. So I put the rocking chair right out front in the mulch. It may look silly to some, but I love it. It is completely overlooking the view of the front yard – and I imagine myself sitting there while the kids are playing in the front. I hope we spend time out there – it makes the house inviting to the neighbors and helps me to transform the house into a home.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a conference call with a previous client to “really” close out the work this time.
  • I started to re-work the discussion document from our big meeting yesterday — adding in some content and highlighting things that were discussed on the call.
  • I had an internal call related to the forums that I help to manage. We have a lot of sales efforts going on through these forums that I feel good about. We have some work to do but all is manageable. I took the call on the road and also had some of the call as I was unpacking the shipping boxes from Amazon.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I pulled up to the house and OMG there are WEEDS EVERYWHERE. The multiple terraces of mulch are now over-run by weeds. OMG. How long is it going to take me to pull these suckers? And how fast will they grow back? Will it be like plucking those pesky hairs from my chin, face, and eyebrows? A never-ending project? Will I need to go to Amazon now and find a wide brimmed hat, super heavy-duty gloves, and a wheelbarrel????????
  • I unpacked lots of shipping boxes: one bunkbed (in parts), 4 mattresses, 4 barstools, a Blue-Ray DVR plus sound system, a landline telephone system. I’m excited. I filled up my NEW recycling bin. Pickup days are Wednesdays so I just missed it!!!
  • I unpacked some moving boxes with some pictures – I put them up but unfortunately they are only of Big Bro and Red… and they are old. They were all packed up from when we moved to our “temporary” house two years ago. So I feel the need to get some pictures up of Twin Husky and Twin Crazy so that they can see themselves too when they first visit the house.
  • I disassembled the bunk bed box in my driveway and brought the bed inside in parts. Otherwise I never would have been able to drag the whole box inside. I thought of Big Bro as I was carrying in the pieces labeled “A”, “M”, etc. I thought it’s just like a Lego set. I wonder if he would be interested in helping me put the beds together….
  • I decided to start on a bar-stool project. I opened up a box to discover that you don’t need any “real” tools…. its the hand tool/wrench thing that it comes with so I had what I needed to get started. Assembling these will be easy. It’s important for me to have SOMETHING ready and set up for the kids when they see the house for the first time. I figured the four bar stools would be a good thing for them to see… to relate to. I made it through 1/2 way of my first stool when I received a phone call…
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  • Twin Crazy still had a fever and was upset. She needed me. I quickly locked up the house and headed straight for daycare. I held her for a bit and she calmed down immediately. She said she was sick in a meek voice. Twin Husky looked fine. I took them to the drug store to buy more Ibuprophen and Tylenol. I asked them if they wanted to go right home or get the rest of the kids. They wanted their siblings. So we picked up Red and Big Bro too.
  • It was like a chinese fire-drill with everyone in different seats. It was cute. I looked back and Twin Crazy was holding hands across the van with Big Bro. I love seeing things like this. Big Bro and Red used to do this several years ago when Red was a baby/toddler. I’ve always thought it amazingly cute. Big Bro is such a proud Big brother and although he does have his occasions of being mean, he really is good to them the majority of the time.
  • At home we played a bit. I was waiting to cook dinner for co-parent. Then the kids told me that he was leaving for the airport straight from work. So I started the dinner. There was a request for mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, and carrots. I obliged since Twin Crazy seemed interested in that. Big Bro and Red helped me make dinner. They all ate EXTREMELY well – even Twin Crazy, considering.
  • After dinner I played “wall ball” with Big Bro while the 3 others were upstairs playing quietly. Suddenly, they came downstairs and apparently they were playing “dress up” — the twins were in matching frilly dresses (pink and blue) and Red came down laughing her ass off. They were all loving the attention and Twin Husky was SERIOUSLY liking the dress. It did feel great. Not crinkly/itchy at all. It felt soft and frilly. He loved it.
  • Then the little ones played some games together while I sat with Big Bro watching a movie.
  • I started bed routine with the Twins. They love the book “The Hairy Toe”. Each knows the words. They were both reciting the book to me as I read it. I make it scary which they love. I tried to get them down but they did not want to go to bed earlier than Big Bro/Red. So we had some ups and downs and at one point I had two twins in my lap, Big Bro laying across my feet, and Red taking care of Twin Crazy as I was singing “Twinkle Twinkle”. The Twins wanted “more” singing and the bigger kids wanted me to STOP singing (I don’t blame them). Red put her hand over my mouth and I was over-garbling the words on purpose and they were all cracking up. Then I had 4 kids with hands on my mouth and they were all smiles. They eventually went to their beds. They are now all sleeping and there is no crying from upstairs at all.
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    I had a good night. I’m looking forward to my own space but am concerned about the kids and am hoping this weekend goes well. I’m hoping they will grow to be comfortable there even though it is new to them. I’m going to try my best to make it their space too and help them integrate into the neighborhood.

    We were talking tonight about Red joining us on our bike-ride to school tomorrow. I asked Big Bro first if he thought it was OK and if he would want her to join. He said yes. So I asked her about it and she’s excited. I’m looking forward to the morning with them.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    May 10: The start…


    Thursday is normally a day off, but I had meetings scheduled in the morning and also my Tuesday this week was all messed up so I took the kids into daycare today.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro made an awesome plane and car out of new Legos and he is totally improvising and creating new things out of the materials. I love that creativity in him.
  • I mentioned to Twin Husky that I needed to change his diaper and put on some socks, which I had ready in my hand. But he took off, ran upstairs, and picked out socks. That was the good part. The bad part is that he started to throw the socks over the balcony/banister of the house and thought that was a lot of fun. So he went back for more. And then Twin Crazy came over when she heard his laughter and started doing the same.
  • Twin Crazy wanted to wear stockings but had trouble putting them on over her pajamas pants.
  • Big Bro left on his bike and the other three were running around a bush in our front yard.
  • During the Twin drop off they were interested in seeing a flag so I spent some time with them outside, looking at it.
  • I forgot Twin Husky’s shoes so had to swing back to the house to pick up a pair for him. They go on a walk at 10 AM so she needed them by then.
  • Red’s drop off was great except we forgot her purse. I was running late at this point so I asked her to be strong.
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    Highlights of My Working Morning:

  • I had an internal team call about the follow up we need to do for the client presentation and work we just completed. There is some more work but not much.
  • We then had a call with our partners on an effort we are trying to sell to 7 potential clients on Tuesday. We needed this meeting to get on the same page as to what we were offering and what each party is bringing to the table. This effort has started so long ago that the people around the table now (including me) are uncertain what the overlay and committed effort is for our partner. This is a problem but hopefully something we can figure out after talking with the clients on Tuesday.
  • We immediately went into a debrief call with the client regarding the meeting we just had. We received some feedback that will require serious re-working of the document and I simply do not have time. We promised them a revised Executive Summary for Monday but I cannot do it; I offered up commentary on two pieces which I will need to work on over the weekend and then send off to them.
  • I then sent out a survey for our sales call on Tuesday to get more background and expectations from the participants.
  • I then called it a day….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I picked up my keys to my house at 1:30 PM this afternoon. The sales agents gave me big hugs. It is hot out there and the grass is already turning brown so we notched up the sprinkler system. I opened the door and the place actually seemed much bigger to me. We talked for awhile but I was anxious for them to leave. When they did, I peed in my toilet (it works) and walked around. I called my mom. I took pictures. I don’t know how exactly I feel. I think a bit scared. I want so badly for this to be home and I guess I’m fearing that I’m pushing myself too hard. I walked out back and climbed the stairs and walked the grounds. I walked over to my neighbor’s fence and counted 9 chickens. Two came over and squawked to me. I looked around at the weeds. I’m not sure what to do with this backyard. I have some ideas but all are a bit unorganized…. moonlights, pulling weeds, citrus trees, blackberry bushes… I went back inside the house and took measurements of the walls of all rooms (except for mine) since I will need to get furniture. The refrigerator space. The washer dryer space. I can buy these things now. And bar stools. I’d like for there to be bar stools at the counter for when the kids come to visit next weekend. Everything else will be unfurnished but that’s OK. I somehow thought I would be happier…. liberated…. but I didn’t really feel that way. It will be a home, I know, but I feel cheated that I can’t share this feeling with anyone. I should have brought a friend or something. I emptied out the mailbox which was STUFFED with mail. Some of it for me. The mailbox is metal and kindof gross. I looked around at the other mailboxes. I need to add “mailbox” to my list. I knocked on 3 houses and introduced myself to one of the neighbors – who also recently bought and is officially moving in tomorrow. The house next door to me has “children playing” signs outside so that was very encouraging. When I went to the door I saw a pair of girls shoes probably Big Bro’s age or slightly older. I found that I was paying so much attention to how the houses were set up on the outside to make them feel inviting. Again I have some ideas with my front space too but I’m not exactly sure how to pull it together. I felt strange not having cried or anything. I thought I would. Why didn’t I? I wish I was experiencing this feeling, this “first time homebuyer” feeling with someone. I feel cheated for having to do this by myself. Now it feels like just another set of activities that I need to get done and squared away. I’m hoping that as things settle, as I feel like I’m stretching into my new space, that it will feel like home and I will get that sense of elation that I am hoping for. Please?!??!?!? I backed out of the steep sloping driveway without ANY incidents…. that must be a good sign. I headed to my next destination.
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  • The elementary school is zoned to a town in the area known for its excellent schools. I called in advance so they knew I was coming. I brought the Closing Statement and my license so Big Bro is registered there for the Fall. Our child custody mediator suggested to register the kids in both locations since we don’t know where they will be going. I asked her about pre-schools and got a list. That will be one of my projects over the summer. Scoping them out, inquiring over price, and seeing if there is a way to get Red and the Twins in the same pre-school. The Twins deserve that kind of environment and having one drop off for the three of them would be ideal. I have time to work on that. But again, I felt a bit lonely on the winding streets in this new area. I had much higher hopes for this next phase in my life and I feel disappointed that things went the way they did. But I cannot change people and I tried my hardest to be understood. I feel excited and sad at the same time. At peace but thinking about the things to do. Excited for the opportunity for the children but crushed about the impact on their feelings and sense of security. We are going to talk to them on Saturday morning about this and come clean with them. There is a part of me that want very much for this to happen since it’s hard for me to keep this secret from them. I feel so close to them but feel like a liar most of the time. So it will be good to “come clean” but I am going to see their faces when their worlds fall apart. I can see Big Bro’s expression and Red’s expression. I can see Twin Crazy and Twin Husky not really getting it, but then looking at the older siblings and then getting upset too. I need to keep it together for them. I remember when my mom told me about my parent’s divorce and I remember it very clearly. I was nine at the time, so older, but I have a feeling that these kids will somehow remember their feelings from this upcoming Saturday morning for many years to come. Even if they don’t remember the words, they will remember how they make them feel. I’m dreading that part.
  • I picked up take out BBQ and went through the mail while I was waiting for the food. It felt really strange to see other people’s names on the address. I feel like there’s so much that I don’t know about that house but it is mine and it will be my home. It’s been there for 70 years. Who’s lived there? Who else has called this place home? Was it a happy home? Was it filled with laughter?
  • I picked up the kids and Red had to go pee. We went at Big Bro’s school and had fun running across the stage acting silly. It was a good time and completely out of our normal routine which was fun.
  • We played with Batman and fed him a carrot. Big Bro wants to give him a choice of an apple, carrot, and orange and see which food he goes to first. Sounds like a fun experiment. Twin Husky almost flooded the kitchen again but I was listening for him and got to him before he started to play with the refrigerator water spout.
  • We played upstairs together; it was hot so I dressed the Twins in short PJs which was fun. I read to all four of them at the same time which I love to do. The Twins both in my lap cuddling up to me and Red on one side and Big Bro on the other. The best is when it’s time for the kids to kiss each other which they all do. Even the boys.
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    So I’m in the hallway listening to them sleep. There’s a part of me that will miss this house even though it represents the failure of my marriage. I will miss watching over the kids and yes, I will mourn the feeling of hopefulness I felt when I first moved in. That was 2 years ago and it seems like yesterday yet also a lifetime ago. There is also the packing process that I have not written about – it’s very emotional. Things and “stuff” that you sift through and keep and then the stuff that you decide to toss. I’ve been doing a lot of tossing. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse. Like the 100 or so “tea lights” from our wedding ceremony. And all of the RSVP cards that I saved. And the wedding cards that I saved. All tossed. At one time it all meant so much to me and I guess they still do – but I needed to rid myself of it all and not bring it forward into this next step. The only part of that that I want to keep and cherish and celebrate are the kids. Someone the other day replied to me when I told them I was with him for 10 years and they said “what a waste” and I was so offended. How could it be a waste when I have these four amazing kids? And I am stronger now. And I know more now. And I trust myself more now. I’ve learned what I can do and what I desire. And I know what to fight for. And there is more that will come and I need to experience it in its fullest. Even though it may very well be the ugliest that I have been through. But I know that I will come through and hopefully be a stronger, better, wiser person because of it.

    And that’s probably the most I’ve dwelled on me in a long time. I have to save up energy and strength for this Saturday morning.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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