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.

*****

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

–        Mama K

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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.

*****

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.

*****

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

 

 

December 1: A day of adventures – climbing and sailing


I’m off today! Last night we had crazy wind (60 mph) – it was so bad that a neighbor’s fence came down. Poor Red was scared silly. So I caved in (again) and this is what I woke up to this morning:

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Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro was excited that I was staying home today since he knew he could scooter to school. He was cooperative but slept later than I would have liked.
  • Red was excited about wearing her new sneakers to school.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating everything. We somehow gave him a cereal box to hold and of course he was busy playing a scientist and testing the laws of gravity. This is what I turned around to see:
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  • We were running a bit late (8:10!!!) but we still packed Twins in the stroller and got Big Bro suited up for his scooter ride to school. Unbelievably, we met up with the “Motley Crew” from the houses behind ours and all rode bikes/scootered/strolled together. They were the unfortunate neighbors with their fence blown down. I knew they were looking at all the other fences (upright) and knew they were getting more disappointed since they didn’t see any other damage…. they are fun people and I’m glad I’m getting to know them better.
  • We arrived a bit late but in time for Big Bro to make it to his class with his other classmates. I told him not to worry and that I’d lock up his scooter and helmet on my way home. On the way to the building there were HUGE piles of leaves; and leaves in smaller piles on the grounds. He couldn’t help himself but to walk through a small pile and kick his foot through the pile, leaves fluttering everywhere. I had to laugh. He is such a boy. It is such a strange feeling for me to have my first born as a full-fledged BOY, and my littlest set turning so big; Twin Crazy on the potty just kills me. I think the upcoming days are going to get just better, and better, and better.
  • I walked with the neighbors back home. We had to maneuver around the twigs and tree branches. They are really funny and I enjoy their company. It is good for me to have a dose of “real people” time on my full days off. The weather was beautiful – it felt like the wind just cleared up the air and the sun was shining and the Twins were busy pointing out dogs and staring and pointing at the playground in awe. I was looking forward with my day with them.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • At home, I ate everyone’s left over breakfast and made a second cup of coffee. A conference call that I had scheduled wound up being canceled so that freed me up to take the Twins out on an adventure. I decided on a place that has lots of different creative rooms good for kids under 10; there are a few toddler rooms and I figured let me take them now while the bigger ones are at school. We packed up and got ready to go. Dressed, shoes on…. they are so cute that I walked into the garage and there they both were just sitting there in their strollers – looking like they were all ready to go. I had to laugh. I pulled them into the van and then they knew it was going to be a real adventure.
  • Once there we played on waterbed lilly-pads, scrambled on structures, played with stuffed animals, looked at bubbly water, and heard the sounds of creatures being piped in all over the place. It feels so relaxing there. Like you are in a rain-forest. There were lots of kids there. And lots of nannies there too, ignoring the kids and texting on their phones. I hate it when I see that.I guess since there’s so much to do there for little ones, it’s time for them to take a break. But I just jump right in with the kids. I play on the lilly-pads too. And I tickle them. And I get them to jump and play and investigate and touch and run after the stuffed animals and say hi to the other kids and ask them if they’re having fun. I can’t imagine not engaging with them even when I’m in a place like this. They received a lot of attention from other parents/adults who asked if they were Twins. I love being a mother of Twins. Absolutely love it. One interesting thing is that when I do sit back and watch them – watch them wander, watch them out on their own – they never stray far from the other. In fact, most of the time I was there they were within 5 feet of the other. Even with the other kids around. They don’t have the opportunity of interacting with a lot of other kids (besides their siblings) so I was curious how they would do; it was interesting for me to see them still side by side. When one started to play “night-night”, the other walked over right next to him/her and did the same. When one started to climb a pillow structure and balance on the top, the other waited and tried to do the same. What a special bond they share. And it is largely unspoken. Again, I think things are going to get better, and better, and better with them as well.
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  • We spent only an hour there but then it was time for lunch. How come Denny’s never fails to make the BEST hash browns and pancakes???!?!?!?
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  • We headed home for naps and I straightened up a bit, did laundry, played with iPad/blog; once Twin Husky woke up at 3:30 I decided to quickly grab everyone up again for our next adventure. I think we had just enough time to do it….. so we got in the car again, I packed up snacks for all kids, picked up Big Bro and scooter, picked up Red… and headed to the parking lot of the commuter ferry!!!! I do this from time to time… take the kids and take the ferry to the city but just stay on it and come back. While waiting for the ferry, they had a great time playing on gates, looking at the water, looking for the boat, looking at the flag, pointing to dogs, and playing with the free newspapers (advertising). They were all well behaved and stuck together; when the ferry arrived the busy workers headed FAST to their cars and we were leisurely waiting for our turn to enter the boat. The crew knows us. They welcome us. And they continuously tell us that we have beautiful children (I agree).
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  • The ferry ride was great; the sun was going down, the kids were excited about the motion and being on the water. They almost pounced on me when I mentioned “snacks” and they downed 4 applesauces, 3 tangerines, and fist-fulls of raisins. It must have been the sea air. I had a relaxing ride. There weren’t many people on the ferry going into the city so we had a lot of room to ourselves and room to spread out. Plus the ride was essentially flat so I felt they were safe. The sun was setting. The kids were happy. Big Bro commented that when you look out of the front of the boat it doesn’t seem like we’re going fast but looking from the sides, where you were right near the water, it seemed really fast. He wasn’t sure if we were really going that fast and wanted to confirm that with me. I love that. His wonderment. His observations. His questions. And how he’s learning. And how the little ones are learning too, just by hearing the interaction between us. Red, as usual, was a little “mommy” making sure the Twins were properly seated and making sure they each had proper turns with the water bottle. I am so lucky.
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    Dinner was quick and all kids ate like champs. There were literally NO leftovers (I guess it was the sea air??!?). Afterwards was a blur but I decided to get them down earlier tonight. On days that I have enough time with them I feel better getting them to bed earlier – I think they need more sleep – particularly Big Bro. On days I work however, it feels better to stretch it to 8:00 but I know that’s probably too late for them.

    I had a wonderful day; the kids had a great reunion and I was able to manage something special for all of them. I’m looking forward to the same for tomorrow.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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