October 30: Short day


I usually work from home the first 1/2 of the day and then pick up the kids from co-parents. Today was unusual in that I was asked to come into the office – I still took a 1/2 day and was back by 1 PM to become a full-time mom again…

Highlights of the Commute:

  • Woke up early, showered the night before. Cleaned up and dressed quickly. Wore comfortable clothes. It was a leggings type of day.
  • Everyone was fed and dressed by the time the nanny got to my place. She helped finish Big Bro’s lunch packing. I finished getting ready while quizzing him with his spelling words. Red was brushing her hair non-stop but still waited for me to brush her hair. I love that time with her in the AM. Her gorgeous red hair. She wants it straight and is trying to brush it out daily.
  • Twin Husky dumped over the Halloween bin. He was then wearing Buzz Lightyear wings and a masquerade mask.
  • We made it outside to see the kids off at the bus-stop (end of my driveway) and pet the dogs. I love this neighborhood.
  • Drop offs were fast and fine. Nanny dropped me off at the train station. Twin Husky wanted to know again when we would all take the train again. I’m thinking about a train trip into the city during Christmastime to see the lights. And Santa.
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    Highlights of the Working Day:

  • Had three meetings. One conference call where I am trying to negotiate prices down for meeting space. Updated some documents. Need to send some presentations to clients. Will do that later tonight.
  • I left by 12 noon, worked on the train, and arrived at home by 1 PM to release the nanny.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I had help taking the garbage bins up. Me and Twin Husky like to do this together on Wednesday afternoons.
  • Penny the chicken came back! Twin Crazy was very worried about her and is much happier.
  • We picked up Big Bro from school together. His spelling quiz was post-poned until tomorrow.
  • Big Bro did his math page in 7 minutes flat. They need to be able to know standard addition and subtraction facts within 10 minutes. He was fast and accurate. He actually can deliver when he puts his mind to it. He is too lazy too often though which really drives me nuts.
  • Big Bro disappeared to see his friends.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky napped.
  • Red snacked. Red played with Cocoa the guinea pig. Red napped on top of me while I napped on the couch.
  • All awoke (including me) at dinnertime. We had pasta and stringbeans from our garden.
  • After dinner Big Bro wanted to play with the iPad. I said no. He whined. I suggested vaccuuming instead. He got so excited and proceeded to vaccuum the entire (small) house). It was too funny.
  • While Big Bro vaccuumed I was horseplaying with the kids. I had one girl on each ankle and was walking around with them, tickling them, and dragging them around. Then I was on the floor with kids at my ankles and Twin Husky on my belly. Big Bro was still vaccuuming.
  • We locked up the chickens. Penny was loose again but will hopefully return again tomorrow.
  • We had dessert while watching a new Wild Kratts cartoon – this one about skunks. I pulled up images of skunks on my iPhone and Twin Crazy needed to hold the iPhone, look through the pictures, and kiss them.
  • Bedtime was great with all of them. We were doing lots of talking. I talked too much with them and it was really late by the time they settled down. We talked about teasing, about moths, about growing old, about big brothers, about how little brothers may someday grow taller and stronger than their big brothers, about the passage of time, how in 10 years Twin Husky will be 13 and Big Bro will be 17… how this will happen faster than we realize… … … … I had a great night with them.
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    I loved today. Simply put. I had a few hours at work in the office, was productive, but was back home before I knew it. Then I had the kids. I’m tired from working and doing this at the same time. I don’t know how I did it for so long and at such intensity before. I cringe thinking about it. It was so hard for me. So much has happened since then. The passage of time has been good for me, I think. I still am unsure in many ways. I feel good knowing that I am at least headed in some sort of direction. And that I’ve right-sized my life. I’m not totally there yet, and am still very much work in progress. Today was a good day. And this week has been amazing for me.

    But there is still so much happening in other parts of my head; issues with my family, feeling like a decade of my life is being burried, fighting for strength for my kids, struggling but being happier with less.

    I will be a bunny tomorrow since Red asked me; I’m looking forward to the simplicity and wearing comfortable bunny slippers, all day. This is how I pamper myself these days.

    I’ll try to write tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    April 30: Gifts


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

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

    Highlights of the Morning and the Commute:

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

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    Highlights of My Working Day:

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

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    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

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

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

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

    Thanks for listening –

    – Mama K

    March 20: Down time


    This morning was another gift with my kids.  Co-parent is on a work-trip and I had them with me.   I normally work ½ day at home and then pick them up in the afternoon, but today since I have them in the AM, we needed to get up and out – and I am working now at a Starbucks while my kids are at school/daycare.

    Highlights of the Morning:

    • I woke up after only one “snooze” on the alarm.  I didn’t bother to shower since I was going to be at Starbucks.  I’m not trying to impress anyone.
    • Twin Husky was up first and in an amazing mood.  For some reason the others were still sleeping soundly so it was just Twin Husky and I alone.  I let the others sleep.   I rarely have alone time with Twin Husky so I gladly took it with him this AM.  We ate breakfast together.  I made coffee and packed Big Bro’s lunch.   Twin Husky was in a goofy mood and trying to make me laugh.  He was pretending to dance and then also making goofy faces.   Lifting his leg up in the air for no reason.  It was working.  I was cracking up.   We talked about school and his friends.  He said his only friend is Twin Crazy (I will need to ask his daycare about this).   He talked about his bagels and the circle I made on his plate with the pieces of bagels.  He talked about how he likes cream cheese and he saw one of the next-door chickens that escaped and was at our back door.  He finished his breakfast fast so we got him dressed.  I wanted him to dress himself.   I spent time with him talking him through getting undressed.  He is great with his shirt.  He needed to be talked through the rest, especially his socks.  I loved the time with him.  I loved talking him through putting his clothes on.   I was patient with him.   It was just the two of us.  He did everything himself with me just talking him through it and saying “shimmy shimmy shimmy” with his legs going through his pants and his feet going into his socks.  He was grinning and happy and looked proud at his accomplishment.   I am happy that I had the alone time with him this morning to do this with him.
    • Twin Crazy was up and ate breakfast fast.   She changed fast.  Red was slower.  She changed into her new clothes but did not want to eat – she whispered in my ear that she wanted a breakfast bar in the car.  She saw that I did this with Big Bro yesterday so she wanted the same treatment this morning.  I whispered back “OK” and gave her a big hug.  Again, this is time that has been given to me and my hugs felt stronger to me and more meaningful.
    • Big Bro got up slowly again, but was very easy and we were all out the door without any problems.   Shoes were set up, jackets set up, and kids in the car when they were each ready.
    • During the drive we talked about the new goats at the neighbor’s across the street, how their family is having a divorce and how we don’t know what schedule they have for their family, the rain drops on the cars, the traffic, the accident on the side of the road, how kids get “owies” and that is just part of their job being kids.   I was joking about “PLAY PLAY PLAY BANG OWWWWIE!!!!” and the kids were cracking up.
    • Drop offs went fine.  After Big Bro’s drop off we went to see the Ferry pull away.  I like not having a strict time schedule over my shoulder.  I like relaxing with the kids and taking in these moments.  We sat in the van and watched the ferry head into the city until we couldn’t see it any longer.
    • Red was less clingy – but Twin Crazy was extremely clingy – did not want to let go of me and kept grabbing my clothes.  Poor thing.  I will see them all soon.

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    I’m at Starbucks right now and feeling really good.  I am close to the kids.  They are all nearby.  I am at work at a Starbucks in a comfy chair with internet access and power outlets.  I have work to do today that is very relevant for remote work…. Emails, etc.   It will be a good day and I will see the kids at 1:50 PM today.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I made some progress on the Agendas for the two meetings coming up and confirmed details with certain speakers.  I reached out to others as prospective members and invited them as guests.
    • I did some background research on LinkedIn for business development and other potential targets.

    I was feeling like shit.   I’ve been coming down with a cold from the kids.  Bad, bad cough.  One that keeps you up at night.  And a headache.  I wasn’t sure if I was hungry or needed to throw up.  I felt week.  I grabbed some lunch and headed out for the kids.

    But I was early.  One hour too early to be exact.  So Red, Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and me hung out in the mini-van in front of Big Bro’s school until he came out.   Red was busy doing math equations.  She frightens me a bit.  She loves to learn.  You see it in her face as she figures out a math problem.  She is thirsty for more equations, more equations.  “Mommy, these are easy for me.”   WTF?!??!?!?

    Twin Crazy was getting bossy and yelling at me and I told her I don’t like that.  That made her feel worse.   My head was pounding.

    Big Bro ran to the car when he saw us sitting there.

    The ride home was really, really hard for me.  I couldn’t wait to get home with everyone.

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    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

    • I informed the kids that I was feeling really lousy and that I needed their cooperation for the rest of the day.  I suggested it would be a lounge on the couch movie kind of afternoon.  It was raining and the kids eagerly agreed.
    • I think I dosed with all of my kiddos around me.   Twin Husky even dozed on me a bit.  I loved it.
    • Big Bro and Red were playing “Math Bingo”.  Then Twin Crazy started playing it by them telling her what numbers to press.  It was cute seeing them play this game together.
    • I felt better and went out to water my garden and check on the growth.  It is amazing what is going on in there.  I’m not sure when to “harvest” but I will figure it out.
    • Dinner was home-made mac-n-cheese, spinach, broccoli.  I started doing an “eating broccoli” dance as each kid ate their broccoli.   The boys totally got into it.  I don’t think I’ve seen Big Bro dance that much but he was going crazy dancing tonight.   The kids were cracking up and we were holding hands in a circle jumping up and down to “eating broccoli”.
    • We had fruit for dessert; watched a movie.  
    • Kids were tired and I got Twin Husky down in about 30 seconds.  Twin Crazy was a bit longer.  She gets scared these days.  I allowed her to sit at the edge of the living room during my “alone time” with Red and Big Bro.  I’ve been doing “alone time” with them since they feel a bit jealous about the home time I get with the younger ones on Thursdays and Fridays.  So we hang out a bit, read, and talk.
    • The topic of conversation tonight was evolution.  I think it was because we watched the movie “Ice Age” earlier.   So I showed the kids the theory of evolution in pictures; that got us talking about tailbones.  Then Red found some funny pictures and the kids were laughing so hard they were almost gagging.

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    I told Red how I love that she loves to learn.  And how you can still stay like that even when you are not a kid anymore.  You are never too old to learn new things.  I told her that I see her face light up when she is learning and that she is special because of this.

    I told Big Bro how much fun I had with them today.  How I loved hanging out with them and spending time with them.   And I thanked him for cooperating today especially when I felt sick.

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    I’m in bed now.  Showered.  Tired.  Happy.

    –        Mama K

    November 15: NO HIGHWAYS!!!!


    Co-parent and I are splitting the parenting responsibility into kid “pairs” to accomodate a trip I am taking to the East Coast next week. So, I was alone all day today with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, AND HAD NO TRIPS ON THE HIGHWAY to shuttle Big Bro and Red back and forth. Woah. What a difference. I didn’t realize the strain the driving has taken on me (and the kids) until today.

    • We woke up at a luxurious 8 AM and didn’t get out of bed until 9 AM. The kids were with me “working” in their notebooks in bed which was really, really, cute.
    • Chocolate Thursday! Nutella tortillas for three.
    • We dressed and headed outside. Kids were riding bikes and also helping me with some work for the winter garden. We fed the chickens some weeds. Twin Crazy was very busy taking care of her baby doll. Everyone (including me) was in an excellent mood.
    • We then headed out to a museum where they take in injured wild-life. We got there early so headed to the outside playground for a bit. Twin Crazy was going crazy on the swing. She was flying so high and loving it. She reminds me so much of me it is scary. Inside the museum, the kids had a great time looking at owls, foxes, rabbits…. looking under micro-scopes and they even have a “flight simulator” where you lay down and spread your arms like a bird – they loved that, as did I.
    • We had a good lunch; they were very well behaved and ready for a nap.
    • WE ALL SLEPT FOR THREE HOURS
    • We got up and Twin Husky reminded me that we needed to go food shopping for food for Cocoa and he wanted to ride the “car cart”. I can’t believe the memories these kids have. So off we went, food shopping for the guinea pig. The kids were great and had fun.
    • I cooked a quick dinner – fresh fish and lots of veggies that was a hit. We all ate everything. I guess sleeping makes you hungry.
    • Afterwards the kids continued to do art in their notebooks, and I hung up some of the art.
    • Twin Husky bonded with Cocoa. He wanted to hold her in his lap and feed her. He did really well with her. Twin Crazy was a bit freaked out by Cocoa’s nails so didn’t do as well.
    • I played a dancing game of “pee pee, brush your teeth, and book” where I would toss them up in the air after each task was completed. They enjoyed that and I think I’ll have to continue it since they got ready so fast. They decided to sleep in the girls room tonight. So sweet.

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    After they went to bed, I cleaned up a bit and then did some work. I had a number of business development things to attend to; I don’t think I have anything tomorrow except getting extra keys made, getting a neighbor set up to watch Cocoa, and getting packed for my trip. We leave tomorrow night on the red-eye.

    I had such a great day today. There was no rushing, no driving. Just being. The day unfolded and we had the opportunity to actually go out and DO something since we didn’t have all of the driving to compete with during the day. Being outside with the kids was great; play time at the playground was great; talking and learning about the animals was great. The kids talked about how they miss Red and Big Bro (and I do as well) but we talked to them tonight on the phone. I am really going to miss these kids next week – leaving them for a whole week when they are not even three is sad for me. They are really blossoming as people and I love each day with them. Twin Crazy can now spell her name as well as her Twin Brother’s. I just can’t believe it. They are so big now.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    November 14: Twinkles and only two of them


    Wednesday AM, the morning after an AMAZING girls night at my home. I finally found it. A community where I feel like I belong. These are all hard working, strong women. Women who are real. Women who are fun. Women who choose to live in this neighborhood for the relaxed lifestyle it offers and the great schools for their kids. We went through quite a bit of wine last night. There were lots of laughs, and also lots of tears. We talked of loss, of grief. We talked about what each of us could do for the other. I have some ideas for my own situation that were offered by these women. I will take them up on their offers. Seeing how these women came so freely to my home and stayed so long (1 AM!!!) and were so natural – I feel very lucky.

    I woke up just in time to start my working day.  I forgot to put out the trash the night before so ran out with the cans just in time (again). As I got my coffee ready, I saw the most beautiful reflections on my ceiling… the sun was hitting a candle holder in a certain way that cast so many colorful specks all over my ceiling. It was beautiful. This just made me happier — feeling somehow even more secure in my new surroundings. This sounds so naive but I really do think that I am being watched from up above and being directed/guided along the way; seeing these reflections and the wonder it brought to my eyes really made me feel like I am heading on a good path.

     

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    I actually got a lot of work done. I lead an internal conference call at 8 AM.  I received one contact from an ex-colleague for consulting work he needs help with and got a team together to create a proposal for him. I received an unsolicited inquiry about the forums that I lead which now lead to the idea of yet another forum that I will try to launch (so now that is 3 getting started, and 2 currently under management/growth). I felt good today on the work front – despite my headache and generally feeling like ass.

    I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. This is an unusual division of the children, since I left Big Bro and Red for co-parent tonight. I will be traveling back east all of next week with the older two, so we are straddling our time with the “left behind” pair on the front end and back end so that we each can have enough time with both sets of kids. I am used to spending alone time with the Twins, but not at night. So tonight was special with them.

    • We talked about scary witches and pumpkins on the drive home. Also birds and trucks.
    • We got home and played outside until the sun went down with our next door neighbors; they were running and laughing and kicking balls.  I noticed that Twin Crazy kicks the ball with her left foot.
    • Twin Crazy was “hopping like a froggie” and Twin Husky was running down the driveway. They were both so good keeping their feet within my driveway and not stepping into the street.
    • Twin Husky did some “work” in his notebook as I was cooking dinner.   Twin Crazy wanted to wear her pink “princess” dress that she wore for Halloween.
    • We ate a fast dinner and they devoured everything. I think it was the exercise they got from all of the running and jumping.
    • After dinner we ate dessert (pudding), did some puzzles (Twin Crazy is actually doing them herself now), read books.
    • We tried to call co-parent on FaceTime so the kids could say goodnight to each other but it didn’t work out.
    • The kids were asleep before 8 PM.

     

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    It is amazing how quiet it is with 2 kids versus 4. It was actually relaxing. I miss Big Bro and Red. I have not seen them since Sunday night. I hope they are doing OK and managing their feelings OK.  I am looking forward to my “alone time” with them all of next week.

    I’m extremely tired and will likely pass out early tonight; before doing so I will do some work on personal things and then hopefully get some extra hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. A day with the Twins, no driving back and forth… this means we get to do things together again; like how it used to be together. We already made out our list and I’m looking forward to sharing the day with them.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    November 8: Back to my new normal


    Thursday is my day with the Twins and early pickups with Big Bro and Red.
    Things I loved about today:

    • Waking up to Twin Crazy and his “Zebra” and having me kiss he Zebra on demand to his feet, ears, nose, etc. etc. etc.
    • Chocolate Thursday for breakfast, the kids happy, Cocoa sitting on the ottoman, and the fireplace on.  Two huge cups of coffee and feeling really good for the drive to Big Bro’s school
    • The soft rain outside, the smell of the trees, and the smell of someone’s fireplace. I feel like I am in a ski town now
    • How Big Bro and Twin Husky were doing great together today sharing balls; Big Bro was amazing with him today
    • Finding Red snuggled on the couch with Cocoa when I thought she was still sleeping in the van from the drive home
    • Dealing with Twin Husky after he found his rainboots; then Twin Crazy found hers. They were wearing them ALL DAY LONG and loving it
    • Having a little potty in my van; Twin Crazy needed it on our drive back to our house
    • Tickling Twin Husky and hearing his laugh
    • Pulling weeds and feeding the chickens with the Twins; feeling how soft the ground is and how easy the weeds come out with the root; the smell of the ground and the chill in the air and the clovers and green grass growing everywhere
    • Receiving unsolicited kisses from Twin Husky and then Twin Crazy when I tucked them in for their naps
    • Seeing Big Bro after school looking REALLY well rested; I had him sleep in as long as I could (7:30) so he got close to 12 hours of sleep last night. I could tell that it did him good today – he was so well behaved, fun, and so good with his brother/sisters
    • Doing homework with Big Bro after we got home
    • Playing kickball with a huge blue ball with the kids after getting home; Big Bro laughing and then gagging and then throwing up after the laughter. “I’m glad there were no other kids here”.
    • Having some neighborhood kids come over and kick the ball around, and then play Legos with the kids; watching Big Bro with his new best friend laughing on the top bunk of his bed as I took pictures of them
    • Seeing Twin Crazy and Twin Husky dancing non-stop when I turned the radio on in the van
    • How Big Bro is taking showers now in my room and is completely independent for this type of care
    • Seeing Red wash Twin Crazy’s hair; she is a wonderful big sister
    • Seeing Red’s beautiful ringlets of curls spiral around her face after her bath
    • Hearing Big Bro read the “book” that he created called “The Five Little Pumpkins”. How he created the book after dinner, and then offered to read it to everyone during bedtime routine
    • Flipping the girls each into bed and hearing their squeals
    • Having the kids go to sleep peacefully as soon as I tucked them in

     

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    The kids were WONDERFUL today; I am HAPPY and relaxed. I’m looking forward to the Fall in this new home with them.

    – Mama K

    October 19: A good friday


    Today was unusual. Big Bro did not have school. So we all had a “home” day at my home and LOVED it.

    Highlights:

    • Woke up to Twin Husky (as usual) and cuddled in bed. Red came in with Cocoa (guinea pig).
    • Breakfast included the fireplace, oatmeal, home-made pancakes, and bread and butter (their new favorite).
    • Bikes outside; kids were in a great mood. Halloween costumes were on again. I showered while they had fun.
    • We went to Target to return some lightbulbs and get the right size. They loved the escalator ride. I loved that they know about the “list” and that they didn’t even waver towards any toys or ANYTHING else since it was not on our “list”. We were in and out in 5 minutes. On the escalator down, Twin Crazy had a spill and hurt her knee which fouled things up. Red was left up top, scared, but I asked her to hold tight and I’ll come back for her. Big Bro stayed with Twin Husky at the bottom and I carried Twin Crazy up the escalator again and we rescued Red. The girls were now laughing.
    • We went to the library afterwards. The kids picked out books almost immediately and 2 DVDs too; Big Bro checked out the books by himself with the bar-code reader. Red decided she wanted to be “old school” and go to the librarian to check out her books.
    • We went to the playground afterwards and the kids had fun climbing on trains, swinging, going down slides, and scaling structures.
    • We had a great lunch;
    • Twins were great taking their naps. Big Bro watched a Tinkerbell DVD while Red and I colored.
    • We had a delivery from Amazon – a guinea-pig play pen. I think she likes it. The kids do at least.
    • There was another delivery – the Buzz Lightyear t-shirt for Twin Husky to go with his blow-up wings. He was psyched.
    • Big Bro went over to a neighbor’s house to play Legos.
    • The rest of us were at home riding bikes, sweeping leaves, and decorating the house for Halloween.
    • Before you knew it, it was time for me to take them to co-parent’s. It turned dark and foggy on the way. As did my mood. So typical.

    I spent other times during the day on email and on the phone with my office. A big meeting is next week that I will be leading; the heavy lifting all has been done. Now it’s just getting there, being smart, connecting with my clients, trying to “sell” membership to two different guest organizations, and facilitating 1 1/2 days of meetings and speakers. I am not concerned at all for this – I’m actually looking forward to it.

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    After dropping off the kids I needed to sit in the ferry parking lot with the car (and heat) on and cry. There are so many things about all of this that are so unfair. After I let it out I got back on the road. I felt much better as soon as I got on the highway and got closer to my house. I pulled up to the house and saw the decorations hanging from our trees and I couldn’t help but smile. I love it here. I felt so much better as soon as I pulled up the driveway. I came inside with a fresh perspective. I made a great dinner of sauteed brussell sprouts, baby kale, leftover rice, and some Guinness poured in. It was amazing. And drank the rest of the Guinness. Yes, feeling much better now. So much better in my own space, with my own things, and with memories of each of my kids with so much joy here.

    I can not wait until this divorce is finalized. Being entwined with him is damaging. I know that there will be better days for me ahead. This is a bump in the road but hopefully this bump will not last for long.

    Have a great weekend everyone –

    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Offload a child!


    It’s the end of a busy weekend with the neighborhood kids.  On Saturday night, we had our normal crew of 10 kiddos in the street with their bikes, and then we had the fun of welcoming a new family to the street – so make that 12!   The kids had a blast.  I had cones with flags in the street and everyone was cruising along looking out for cars.   Then, Big Bro decided to bring out various paddles and balls and then all kids were in my front yard trying to see how many times they could hit their own ball up in the air.  I absolutely loved it.  I’ve always been an entertainer… I love having people around and intermingling.  And I think it is so cute to see Big Bro following quietly in these footsteps… bringing out pitchers of water and cups for the kids, paddles, a wheel-barrel of balls… too cute.

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    Then Sunday.  The kids know to wait until 10 AM until they knock on any doors.  But Big Bro was anxious.  He took a tricycle in the front lawn and stood on top of it announcing, “Do any kids want to come out and play?!?!?!??!?”.  Way too cute.

    It was going to be hot out today.  So I decided it would be a slip-n-slide and blow up pool day.   I asked Big Bro and Red to go to each of the neighbors’ houses and invite them over for 11 AM if they wanted to play.   Everyone were takers except for the new kids on the street…. their family was way too busy unpacking.   But somehow I lost Big Bro in the mix.   He absolutely hit it off with the new kid – almost his age.

    The new kid had Ninjago Legos.   Something that Big Bro does not.  So any new toy is a fantastic toy to a six year old.   When I went over there with the Twins to fetch Red and Big Bro, he did not want to leave.  And surprisingly, the new family did not want him to leave either.   He was quiet entertainment for their eldest.  Their quiet play gave their child something to do while each of the parents got productive at unpacking and sorting out their lives.   I exchanged phone numbers and we texted throughout the day.  Big Bro wound up staying there a whooping 5 hours and even having lunch there.    They assured me he was no problem and actually was great for their son.

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    Meanwhile, I had the rest of the neighborhood kids along with some parents to enjoy the warm weather and laugh like kids.

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    I am happy there is another family in town, another two kids to join our community, and a connection formed between my sometimes-shy son and other kid who seems to be wonderful, at least at this point.

    Have a great week everybody –

    – Mama K

    September 27: Decompressing


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

    Highlights of the Day:

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

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

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Take it in and celebrate the Now


    How many times have you heard, “Enjoy it, it goes by so fast.”.   And at the time, it is usually when one of the kids is acting up, or maybe if you’re lucky, the kids are acting like angels and you have a quick chance to catch your breath.    With four kids over 6+ years, I’ve heard this more than I would like to admit.   And yes, I get it.   Of course the years go by fast.   I can see it in my skin, my body, my hands.   The way I get tired so easily.    The way I’m starting to forget simple, insignificant things like the names of bands or actresses/actors.  Yes, the years are going by quickly.   We can see it in ourselves and the way we, ourselves, are changing as people.

    And it is even more extreme with children.  Yes, we know time is going by fast.  These little people are pushing that fact in our faces every single day.

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    How is this supposed to make you feel better you ask?  How is this supposed to make you feel more at ease?  Doesn’t this kind of create an anxiety?

    Not if you choose to look at it from another angle.   Time does not have to go by so quickly.   Instead of grasping at the past and the now, you can choose to let it unfold and celebrate the people your children are becoming.   Time will come and go, but enjoying the Now and celebrating the Now with them, at least for me, has become an amazing way to feel connected to them and proud and excited for what may lie ahead.

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    My little girl was born over four years ago and she was a bald baby but had enough hair for me to know that she would be a red-head.   She was my first girl.  Her squeaks as a baby were different than those of her older brother.  She was softer.  She smelled sweeter.  She would point to her crib when I would sing to her at night to let me know that she was ready to go to sleep.   She started laughing early… and most of the time it was while looking up at her big brother, who was trying desperately to interact and play with this little baby.

    She grew into her red hair quickly.   ..scaling fire escapes before she could even walk…  throwing her body over the bathtub wall fully clothed so she could jump in with her brother.   Growing into her laugh.  Growing into her excitement and her personality and her body.   Feeling thrilled by standing by herself.    And taking those first steps.

    And now my little girl is over four years old.   And she still looks up to her big brother.  He teaches her to push herself, and her red hair, feisty personality fuels this desire.   She is so fragile yet so strong, at the same time.  She is caring, intuitive, empathetic, silly, and so so energetic.   She is an artist.   She feels deeply.   And she laughs loudly.   And she takes risks.   And now she rides a bike by herself…. years before her brother did.  This does not surprise me.   The glow in her eyes and the smile across her face is too good to be true.   She is my Red.

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    So yes, time does go by quickly.   We hear it from everyone and of course this is something we already know.   We do not need to be told this simple truth.  We see it daily through our children.

    I choose to spend the Now with the kids and celebrate with them.  Laugh with them.   And of course cry with them.  With the new skills our children learn come the scraped knees, the fear of the dark, the frustration of learning something different.   But it is FEELING this with them that is so, so good.   Such passion.  And how they grow, and how they learn, and how wonderful it is to be a part of it and to see it unfolding right before your eyes.

    I choose to not fear that time will go by fast.  I choose not to let the craziness of four kids and work get the best of me, and what I believe are the best years of my life.   I choose to stop and feel the Now with the kids and appreciate the time that I have with them and make as much time as I can with them.   Knowing that I’m doing this makes me happier and excited for what is left to come.

    Have a great week everyone –

    – Mama K

     

     

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