October 18: Are you kidding me??!?!?


It was a reasonably good Thursday because of the kids; but the day sucked due to the divorce. I need to be done with this already – I am soooo over it.

Highlights of the Day:

  • I of course woke up to Twin Husky climbing into my bed. He is like a living alarm-clock. His routine is so predictable.
  • Chocolate Thursday! Kids were helping themselves and spreading their own Nutella on their tortillas. We were running a bit late.
  • Out of the driveway I ran over my side lawn and got stuck. One neighbor and one stranger walking down the street helped to push me out. It was pretty funny when my bumper almost got pulled off of my car. It’s just a piece of metal.
  • Drop off for Big Bro was fine; Drop off for Red was TERRIBLE. Lots of hugs, clinging to legs, tears. This happens every Thursday now. I hate it.
  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to a science museum in a closeby neighborhood. They had a great time playing with balls/air, floating things/air, tumbling, riding bikes with square wheels, doing puppet shows, etc. etc. etc. They really had a great time as did I.

It was an early pick up day for Big Bro from school. So at 12:30 we picked him up, and then Red. We headed back to my place and had a great time.

  • We painted fingernails.
  • Got the mail, watered the plants front and back
  • Dressed in Halloween costumes
  • Had a smoothie snack outside on the steps
  • Twins took a bath, I gave Twin Husky a haircut (he looks very handsome)
  • Had some neighborhood kids over to play
  • Played with Cocoa
  • Ate a fast dinner outside with our new patio furniture
  • Cleaned up, read books, scratched backs, tickled and hugged and said lots of “I love you”s.

In between all of this were emails and phone calls/ conference calls for work. Both related to the big meeting next week, and a new client project that we will likely bid on. It was great from a work perspective even though it was my day off.

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In between all of this also were emails and phone calls from co-parent related to the divorce. He wants to be reimbursed for his out of pocket healthcare expenses – is still on my health plan. Are you kidding me?????? I need to be rid of this. I want to move forward but he keeps holding me back. I can not wait to be free of this. I have never met such a cheap man before in my life. He would fight you for a roasting pan, believe me, he is fighting me for ours and the majority of our wedding gifts.

Ok, now that’s off my chest, I breathe deep and let it pass. I am in my own home now. And my children are sleeping happily in their rooms. They ate well tonight. They had two different houses of neighborhood friends come over. They are clean. They were playing with each other and the girls were laughing and playing tonight like best friends.  I received a TON of hugs from them and lots of good conversation with each of them tonight.  I look at them in their eyes when they talk to me and they are able to finish their sentences and thoughts with me and get a reaction from me.   I drank good, cheap wine tonight.  I have a guinea-pig who is running around her cage right now and who kisses Red non-stop and obviously loves Red the best.  The crickets are chirping. And work is going well. So I really can’t complain. I’m moving forward and am ready for what is ahead and I am hopeful that it will be wonderful and worth the journey.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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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

October 10: The colors of Halloween


I love Wednesdays. For many reasons – first, I get to work from home in the AM and then in the early afternoon I get to see my kids. Today was an even bigger day. I have not seen them since Friday night – so it had been quite a long time since we’ve been together. It was a GREAT day.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up late, drank coffee, ate breakfast. I put the fireplace on since it was chilly. I set up my computer and work in my living room. I was so comfortable and so at ease that I was smiling from ear to ear. I got a lot of work done…
  • I’m trying to start up another forum and put an Agenda together for that.
  • I am thinking through the launch of yet another forum, and am getting consultants help me with background research on the companies to target.
  • I followed up with feedback from my last forum and we received more responses. Terrific feedback on the event and on me personally, which I am stoked about. I lead a session and at this point it is the highest rated out of all – plus lots of good commentary about the event, speakers, and how it was orchestrated. This is a direct reflection on my work and I am so pumped.
  • I continued to get ready for the next forum in two weeks time – following up on surveys, etc.
  • I packed up snacks for the kids, ate a cheese stick, and hit the road.

 

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I loved playing AC/DC “Dirty Deeds” on my way to the kids. I rolled down the window and turned the volume WAY up.
  • I got there a bit early – actually 1 hour early. My mistake. Got the timing wrong. So, I used the time to go Halloween shopping at a second-hand store and bought TONS of stuff; decorations for the house, costumes for me, costumes for the kids. I love Halloween.
  • I stopped at a car mechanic and made an appointment for tomorrow.
  • I had a conference call that got botched since the other parties were completely unorganized and missed the call. We will have to try again tomorrow, which I’m not thrilled about.
  • I picked up Big Bro and we got his bike. He remarked that Red will be upset if he has his bike but she does not have hers. So he said that “we should not ride bikes when we get home that way [Red] doesn’t get upset.” OMG I thought it was so cute how he was considering her feelings.
  • Big Bro and I went food shopping for guinea pig food, cream for home-made ice cream, chicken, fruit, and bread. I love the one on one time with him.
  • Pick up for Red was sweet. The teachers commend her writing skills. I’m proud of her. Pick up for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky went fine. They ran into my arms. The best feeling in the world…
  • On our way home we talked about how I made some changes at the house (renovated a closet into toy shelves) and also bought some new things for the guinea pig. We talked about Halloween and the different costumes. They were really excited to see the stuff that I got as well as the stuff that I have stored.
  • We got home and pulled out Halloween gear. Twin Husky is thrilled with the Buzz Lightyear blow-up wings. Big Bro is excited about a Star Wars costume I found for him. Red is excited about a Tinker Bell dress. Twin Crazy was just acting crazy and I’m not sure what she will be… but there are lots of choices for her.
  • Big Bro went over to his new friend’s house to play Legos. Twin Husky was busy showing off his Buzz Lightyear wings to the neighbors. He was getting embarrassed and sucking in his lips. So cute.
  • Red, Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me to pull the garbage bins up the driveway. Red did one on her own and she wants that to be “her job” for now on.
  • I cooked dinner as the kids set the table outside. They wanted to sit at the “kid table” (even me) which was fine. They set the entire table by themselves which was very helpful.
  • We ate – Twin Husky still had his Buzz Lightyear wings on.
  • We heard kids from the house in back of ours, so we went up our hill to meet them. Two girls ages 6 and 4. Apparently there is a courtyard where they live with lots of kids there. I’m thinking that the fence I get should have a gate on it so the kids can have access to that side of the neighborhood too. There are kids in all directions over here, all at young ages. I AM PUMPED. The family seemed really nice.
  • All kids helped with dinner clean up and dessert (pudding) preparation. At dusk the colors in the backyard were STUNNING so I quickly got the kids together for some photos. The cooperated because they knew their dessert was at risk.
  • Big Bro helped Red with a “calendar” project she wants to do.   Creating the numbers and squares and then setting up the calendar with the days of the week for the month.   He asked if he could help and she gladly accepted his help.  We read Halloween books tonight.   The girls were acting silly at bedtime.  Sisters.
  • I told each of the kids at bedtime the things they did during the day that made me so happy … listening, helping, thinking about each others’ feelings, the big hugs and kisses, etc. I want each of them to feel loved.

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I had an amazing day. The kids are getting to be so much fun. There was little crying or fighting tonight. Things fell into place with us. I’m looking forward to Halloween and the days leading up to it. It is a really special time of year for me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

October 31: I never knew there could be days like this for me


This is obviously a unique day because of Halloween – but it is also unique to me because I managed to steal time from a work-day to do activities with each of the kids and actually feel like a Mom.

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Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Big Bro woke up and was in our room first.  This is because I mentioned to him the night before that if he was able to get ready quickly this morning, we would RIDE HIS BIKE to school today.    Apparently there is a crowd of kids his age that get to school this way each day and I learned of this from my neighbor over the weekend.   I was going to work from home anyway today because of Halloween so I figured we would try out the bike ride thing.  Big Bro was soooooooooooo excited that he was up first.
  • The morning was typical – breakfast for four and getting everyone ready and out of the house.   I had Halloween shirts out for everyone.   I love Halloween.
  • Then the out-of-the-ordinary began.  I got the Twins dressed and ready and in the stroller.  Big Bro got his helmet on.    The three of us were ready to go!   Red went with Hubby today.
  • We met the gang of kids and literally there were 10 kids in total, including the Twins.    Everyone was on big bikes.  Big Bro was the only one in training wheels but these kids are 1-2 years older than him.  I could sense that he was a bit shy about going but still excited.  Off we went.   The kids were really well-trained.   They zoomed ahead but all knew the spots where to stop and wait for the adults (me and my neighbor).   I was so proud and yes a bit anxious for Big Bro.   He was new to this scene and he was trying real hard to keep up with them.   I was so proud of my little kindergartener.   And I couldn’t believe that I was strolling him (and the Twins) to school — with a coffee in hand.   There was a few times that he lagged behind the group – but there were also a few times when he had a good start off the blocks and swerved around a kid or two to get in a good position.    They all beat us to the school and parked their bikes.   Big Bro came running up to me through the playground and I could not believe the look of joy on his face.  I couldn’t snap a picture fast enough but I’ll remember that face for a lifetime (I hope).    We headed to the yard line up and I gave him a HUGE hug and we made plans for me to be there later that day and also for me to pick him up with his bike.
  • I then strolled the Twins to their daycare.   They enjoyed the drop off and were proud of their Halloween shirts.    I then walked home to work.   I enjoyed the walk.  The quiet.  The dew on the grass.  The look of the leaves on the trees.   Knowing that today was Halloween.   And feeling privileged to have had the opportunity to drop the kids off the way I did this morning.    I always saw all the kids on bikes/scooters, etc.   It’s like a parade around here each morning.   I just never dreamed that I would ever actually take part in any of it.  I just always assumed that I was doomed to the mini-van drop off and the ferry commute to work.    I consciously took a lot of deep breadths on the walk home this morning – taking it all in.   I saw many lone parents walking back to their homes too.   I felt like a mom.
Highlights of My Working Day:
  • I essentially worked a 1/2 day today and will take the other 1/2 off as personal time.
  • I got home at 9 AM and got another coffee and set up.   I immediately started working on a proposal that we need to submit by Thursday.   This is the proposal for the lead I cultivated so I feel a sense of ownership for this one.
  • After an hour I took a break since I wanted to participate in Big Bro’s Halloween festivities at school.   They spent an hour decorating cupcakes and doing other arts and crafts in the class.   Once again, I felt like a Mom.  There were other parents there too, volunteering.   I was on cupcake duty.   I had so much fun with the kids helping them ice and decorate their cupcakes.   Tyler was doing great too – he did not seem anxious at all.  They sent 4-5 kids at a time to the cupcake table and I saw him about halfway through.   He seemed to be doing great with the other activities and did not seem upset or anxious that I was there.   I loved having him at the table during cupcake time.   I loved having the kids laugh with me.   I loved hearing them call me “[Big Bro]’s mommy”.   It was interesting to see the very different personalities of all the kids.   One child came to the table in tears because she was scared we were going to run out of cupcakes…. I spent some extra time with her and towards the end she was laughing.   Towards the end of the hour she was even following me around and taking my hand – I connected with her.   And Big Bro was still busy with all the different crafts.    I loved being there.   The other moms couldn’t believe I was actually going back to work afterwards….
  • I then walked over to the Twins daycare since I left my car keys in the stroller!     I had the GREAT opportunity to see them in action during the day.   Playing with the daycare toys.   We went for a quick walk to the corner where I said goodbye to them.    I just can’t take it they are so cute.   As they were walking they were busy saying words and looking around.   And then I had my second walk home today.    Again the breathing.   Again taking it all in.   Again feeling good that I am a mom and so closeby to all of my kids today.   Knowing that I was able to have special time with each of them today.    Knowing that there is a life outside of the haggard 3-drop off race to the ferry race to the office race back home routine.    I never knew I could have a day like this.
  • Back at home, I finished what I had to do for proposal #1, and then started to re-work a separate proposal.    What happens if we win all of this work?    I cannot deliver against it….. I have fun selling it but I want to pass it off to others to deliver……   we’ll see what happens….
  • I also did admin-related items like set up some meetings and also get my timesheet together.
  • Then it was time for Red.   She is having a Halloween parade today.    I picked up Big Bro and he was so excited to show me his bag of arts and crafts – and his favorite prize was his Halloween pencil.   I was actually taken a bit back by how thrilled he was over a pencil.  Then together we gathered his bike into the van (his request was that he wanted to do that with me).   We head over to Red’s pre-school to see her parade and hand out candy.
  • Red was a little princess dressed as Snow White and proudly holding her teacher’s hand as she made her way around the parade and getting candy from the parent volunteers.   I had Big Bro hand out our candy.    The sun was shining and my kids were happy.

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Dinner and Bedtime:
  • I picked up some rotissarie chicken at the grocery store with my Batman and Snow White.   We picked up the Twins.   We ate quickly and dressed quickly.
  • We made it out without too much trouble.   Twin Crazy was a little princess/fairy and Twin Husky was a skeleton.   Kids were great trick or treating – Red kept holding Twin Crazy’s hand; Big Bro would run ahead but wait for the rest of us at each house; Twin Crazy would keep taking candy until the bowl was pulled back from her; Twin Husky wanted NO PART of candy, however he couldn’t stop touching the decorations, pulling at the lanterns, or picking up and throwing pumpkins.   He really was too much.   The kid was seriously running from house to house destroying the decorations and busting pumpkins.   I drank beer.  It was great.   At home the kids again had more fun giving candy to the trick-or-treaters.   All ate lots of candy tonight and the Twins had their first lollipops.
Everyone had so much fun today; I feel elated since I was able to steal away special time with each child during the day.   This was a day that I didn’t want to end – there were too many special moments.   I’m glad I’m able to capture this here but honestly this really only describes a small sense of how I’m feeling.   There is nothing like seeing your child’s face as he runs up to you to see if you are proud of him, nothing like consoling a child who is scared at the plastic monster with smoke coming out of its mouth, laughing at your toddler as he runs through the neighbors’ yards throwing pumpkins, or seeing your child smile as she sees that you made the trip to see her in her parade.   This was the Twins’ first REAL Halloween where they were able to experience the fun – and the four of them were amazing at staying together and looking out for each other.
Although I don’t want this day to end, my body is aching and I am exhausted; I’m looking forward to winding down and getting ready for tomorrow.
Til tomorrow –
Mama K

October 24: Giggles at 5:30 AM


Today is the first day back from a 10 day vacation and a day at home yesterday with my kids, solo. We decided to go shopping for Halloween crafts and spent the day building haunted houses and decorating plastic pumpkins with stickers. So cute. They generally worked together, except for Twin Husky who was just wanting to get into things and throw things around. Big Bro was so excited about his costume (Batman) that he wore it all day yesterday and slept in it last night. Last year, he did this for the entire month of October in his Spiderman costume.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • We are still on East Coast time. Twin Husky was the first to get up at 5:30. Then Red came into our room at 6:15. They were quiet at first, but then they started interacting with each other and playing that I could hardly contain my laughter. Red was trying to get Twin Husky to say different words…. and he would try to repeat everything that she said. And she used inflection in her voice like a little teacher. After that, she began singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” while he held on to her feet — “Hold on to my feets, my two feets”…. and then she was singing Ring around the Rosie”. Twin Husky knew the tunes and I think some of the words and he tried to sing along too. They were both cracking up within minutes. I was smiling in the dark and trying my best not to giggle, or even chime in with their tunes. This was a great way to start my morning.
  • Our routine was standard; dressed for work while on the floor changing poopy diapers, negotiating with kids to get their clothes on, packing clothes bags for the week for the Twins, etc. etc. etc. Big Bro was excited about bringing in his haunted house to school so he was the first one dressed, fed, and ready to go. Then Red wanted to bring something to school too. So we packaged up a ziplock bag of pumpkin stickers. She was now excited too and ready to head to the van.
  • We had our normal 3 different drop offs for the kids; I feel like a shuttle bus. I also dropped Hubby off at the ferry. I am working from home now since I’m waiting for an important package to arrive; but I will later drive to the office and hopefully get there by 11 AM.
Highlights of my Working Day:
  • At home, a start a pot of coffee, dry my hair, and pop in a Trader Joe’s egg quiche (these things are awesome, in moderation. I like to have several of these in the freezer on days when I work from home. They cook in 2.5 minutes and then you are full and ready to get things done. Much better than having to cook for yourself in the morning.
  • I then go to Safeway.com and order food for the house. We literally have no food in here. I think we have two lemons, some jelly, and canned goods. I have no idea what Hubby was able to manage for their packed lunches today.
  • I check work email and start to respond to what I can, easily. I get rid of all the junk and flag the mails for follow up. This took some time since I was away for 10 days (I go OFF THE GRID when I am on vacation and on weekends…. folks at work know this about me).
  • Then the moment arrives. Just as expected, and right on time. THE UPS MAN ARRIVED WITH MY NEW IPHONE!!!!!! I was literally jumping up and down and up and down saying “it’s here! It’s here! Yeah!!! I stayed at home for this! It’s here!”. Think back to the movie “The Jerk” with Steve Martin when he got all crazy about the new phone book. Well, that was me when I signed for the iPhone from UPS.
  • After setting up the iPhone, I drove in to work. This is unusual for me but the iPhone kindof put a wrinkle in my normal routine. I LOVED blasting my music on the way in and probably driving a little too fast.
  • I spent the rest of the afternoon reaching out to conference participants, sending out materials and presentations, and getting ready for the next meeting to be held next week. I also followed up with 4 different business development opportunities, one of which was a potential client from one of the last big meetings — instead of joining the membership of the forum, he specifically reached out to me for consulting work related to our area of expertise. This was a goal of mine…. sign new members to the forums AS WELL AS generate proposals from the meetings. I AM PSYCHED. I need to schedule a call with him and after I post this I’ll need to get on to work email to get that set up.
  • I ran out of work at 4:15 to drive back and pick up Big Bro; I essentially worked a 1/2 day today. I need to figure out my reduced workweek schedule and get that put in place. I’m excited about the prospect of doing so – I’ve been at the company for over 8 years and they are willing to work with me to arrange something more manageable for a burnt-out consultant with four small kids.
  • I take the opportunity to go shopping for halloween shirts for the kids. This is something I completely forgot about this year. Last year I was so on top of things… shirts were ordered for all kids and they were excited about them. This year everything is just springing up by surprise. Old Navy did the trick. I stopped in “The Spirit Halloween” store and THANK GOODNESS I did not take the kids there over the weekend like I intended. The place was so spooky it even scared the crap out of me with the “Friday the 13th” music and all of the moving dead people. Creepy. I love it.
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  • I picked up Big Bro and grabbed the van. He made a quick change into his Batman costume and then we picked up Hubby at Ferry Station, then Red, then Twins. I guess we’ll be seeing Batman all this week and possibly even after Halloween.
Dinner and Bedtime:
  • We had NOTHING in our refrigerator to eat. Safeway food was not arriving until tomorrow. I broke out frozen bagels and leftover chicken and that’s what we had. The kids enjoyed themselves. Now we just have to get through breakfast (cereal, all OK) and lunch….
  • Our mother’s helper arrived and she almost fainted at the amount of clothes that needed to be folded and organized from our trip.
  • The rest of the night just disappeared. Twin Husky was doing alot of climbing. Climbing on the toy refrigerator set, climbing on the kiddie table, coffee table, etc. The kid is getting very squirmy and wirey and moves around non-stop.
  • Bedtime was uneventful, thank goodness. All kids are now enjoying brushing their teeth, now even the Twins. They both showed me how they brush their teeth and then let me help them finish up their work. I had them both giggling with pride.

So now I’m exhausted in bed, still on East Coast time myself, thinking about the day. It was 1/2 work 1/2 my time, but I am still very tired. But I’m not feeling stressed or tense. I’m thinking it still has to do with the time change adjustment. I do have to check on some work, but it won’t be much. And then I can have the rest of the evening to play with my new toy iPhone and figure out how to Tweet….

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K