April 10: Rain, rain, go away

It was a great morning with the kids – but then we wound up running late and that’s when the shit hit the fan.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy went potty!
  • Chocolate Tuesday! There was an issue with Red licking a knife and then Twin Crazy giving her the knife, but apparently the knife touched Red’s pants and they got all fithy with chocolate. I entered the kitchen with Red on the floor in a fit. It took awhile for me to learn the facts. Big Bro was a good translator of the story. So Red was upset that Twin Crazy put the chocolate on her, but Twin Crazy was just trying to help and give her the knife. I asked Twin Crazy to apologize to Red (she did) and then I changed Red into her clean clothes for today. Then she was happy. I applauded Twin Crazy for apologizing to Red and also to Big Bro for helping me to understand the story.
  • Twin Crazy was feeding her doll some chocolate on bread.
  • Twin Husky was busy dancing while eating his chocolate. Big Bro was dancing too.
  • I dished out 2nd rounds of chocolate with rolled tortillas. Twin Crazy rejected hers because she didn’t want it rolled. So I fixed her a new one and ate her old one. All kids thought that was funny that I was eating chocolate tuesday too so of course I made it more funny and exaggerated. It was fun.
  • I forced Big Bro to change out of his stinky jeans that he was wearing all weekend. He needs privacy now when he changes and prefers to do everything himself upstairs in his room. So I followed him upstairs, sat outside his room, and the threw each dirty article of clothing outside to me. We made a game of it. I was catching one sock, the other sock, his jeans, his underwear (“YUCK!!!”), his shirt. I thanked him and then he came downstairs in clean clothes.
  • I started laundry and Twin Husky wanted to see the washing machine.
  • Then we were running late. We were having problems with Twin Crazy’s boots, Twin Husky’s golf ball, Red’s socks, Big Bro’s shoes (he wants them TIGHT). Everyone needed mommy. I tried to load everybody up but it was obvious that we were going to need to take two cars. Big Bro and Red were both throwing a fit over who was going to go with Mommy. I decided that Red was more needy and more upset so I took her to school. She was quiet the whole way over there but drop off was easy – I just gave her a big hug and asked her to have fun today with her friends. I hope the drop off with Big Bro was OK. He was really upset.
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    I’m now on the ferry. It is raining hard. I am thinking about my new house and what I need to give to the mortgage broker to complete my file. And also the results of the inspection report (none of which were dealbreakers for the transaction) and how to handle that. I don’t have a realtor so am not well versed at negotiating these kinds of things. Plus I have no bargaining power because they know I love the house and was in tears when I hugged the sellers. So there goes my bargaining position out the window. Unless they fix things for me out of kindness.

    I will be busy at work today. There is a lot of logistics to finalize today. I have one speaker outstanding for one of the forums so I need to figure out how to adjust timing to eliminate his session or reach out to a Plan B at the last minute. I have a presentation that I will deliver at the meeting that needs some work. I have two other presentations to deliver and I have not even seen that content yet. I have meetings related to a client project that need attention today too [I should NOT have taken on this project!!!] and also closing items on another client project to get off my plate. It will be really busy. I will likely work tonight again after the kids go to bed.

    I am thinking of the house right now and am just so happy. My first house. It took me 42 years to get to this point but I finally [almost] own a home. The more I think about it the more I love it. I can’t wait to plant trees in the backyard and get some benches and make the yards spectacular places to spend time. To watch the kids play, laugh, explore. And laugh and play with the chickens from next door.

    Highlights of my Working Day:
    I was running non-stop today

  • I had a status update for a meeting we/I am leading in mid-May. I secured 3 new potential clients to come to the meeting so am psyched about that. We have 1 month to go for the event so this is on my lower priority.
  • I had a debrief related to a client project where we had a disconnect with the client; we brainstormed scenarios as part of their project and I updated the discussion document as a result; sent it off to the client and then started my next meeting…
  • …. a review with a Director for a presentation we will give next week as part of our forums. There is some work to do but I think it’s in good shape.
  • Grabbed a quick lunch and had our client conference call. The project is back on track. Whew. We planted the seed to push back our final deliverable since we will not have adequate time to put against the project next week. They agreed to this change so I am pumped!
  • Emails, emails, emails, …. so much to do….
  • I really should NOT be on client projects right now. I should be devoted to the forum planning. My list of things is sooooooooooo long right now and it is seriously impossible for me to get to everything. I just don’t have enough hours in the day, even if I were working full-time. I cannot do client projects any longer. I simply cannot.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red, then Big Bro, then Twins. It was still raining. Twin Crazy was excited about her rainboots. I talked about the rain and how great it is and to look up to the sky and feel the rain on your face. The girls were reaching up to feel the rain and Twin Crazy was enjoying herself.
  • I cleaned up from this AM, ran the dishwasher, started dinner, and threw in some laundry. Twin Husky helped me with laundry.
  • We ate well.
  • I played a game with Big Bro where he was making patterns with his Toy Story figurines (tallest to smallest, ones he likes best to least, arranged left right left right, etc.)
  • I made banana strawberry smoothies with some old frozen bananas and some strawberries that were starting to look shriveled.
  • I cleaned up from dinner, did more laundry, played with the kids. Tickled the girls a lot. Put their hair into ponytails – this is the first time I saw Twin Crazy’s hair like this. It was cute to see them together like that. That is my signature look – tassled pony-tail (even in my wedding) so it was cute to see them like that too.
  • Tonight was my night with Big Bro and Red. Red picked out and got dressed into the clothes she will wear tomorrow. I read them books. Red had a HUGE poop and Big Bro wanted to see it. I asked him to ask her, and she said “Yes, come over here and see this big poop…. it’s disgusting”.
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    So cute. I’m listening for cries through the monitor but I do not hear any. I think they do better on nights when I give them the attention they need. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that I don’t hear a cry…. I have work to do tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    p.s., now she’s upset. I’m going to bring my laptop upstairs and work in the hallway…. 😦

    April 2: Feeling full, but in a very good way

    Welcome Monday. I accept you since it is relatively nice outside and since I do have a lot to do at work today.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy happily used the potty. She was great all weekend with dry diapers and few accidents.
  • Kids were playing with balloons after eating. Throwing them up in the air and watching them fall. Both twins can actually catch the falling balloon which surprised me.
  • Twin Husky was calling for Twin Crazy to “follow him” and run around the house chasing each other. I’ve really noticed the closeness between these two lately. They seek each other out, especially at bedtime. They talk to me about the other if they hear the other crying. It is really sweet to see and experience… the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle relationship between the twins.
  • Big Bro is going to Red’s school all week for “spring break”. So they were both excited to be packing up together and driving in together.
  • Big Bro was wearing his “new pants” with the patches freshly sewed last night. I wonder how long the patches will last….
  • I dropped off Big Bro and Red, and they were silly and having fun the drive over. They started singing “Kick the morning….” not sure what song that it, one of them made it up and now all four sing it and giggle.
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    I’m on the ferry now. It just pulled away. I have a lot on my mind. I’m thinking ahead to big meetings later this week related to the divorce, and also the THREE big forums that I am leading for work in two weeks time. PLUS two client projects that are also ending right now. There is just too much going on right now. I am totally over-booked with deliverables. The thing that makes it easier for me to manage is lists. I need to get through these days with lists. What I need to do for each “Project” and just spend focused time on each task… otherwise it’s all just over-whelming and I become paralyzed. I need to prioritize from these lists — which tasks are dependent upon other people? WHich ones am I the bottleneck? Which ones need to be done during the day (e.g., coordination with others) vs. which ones can be done after-hours once my kids go to sleep (e.g., confirmations, follow up with logistics, etc.). I need to prioritize and I focus on those first. Keep things moving and off my plate — I can’t be the bottleneck in any of these areas or else the project will be at risk.

    So, I’m thinking of today –

  • I will have two planning meetings for two of the forums; one of which I need to put some thought against and share with the others so that we have something to concrete to talk about. I will need to focus on that first when I get in.
  • I need to confirm logistics with presenters and ask for their presentations by a deadline date so I and others can review.
  • I need to communicate with one client for a project since I need input from a Director who is not in the office; will ask director for his input via email and show some electronic files to get the discussions moving.
  • I need to reach out to other speakers for open speaker spots for one of the forums …. it is getting to crunch time so this is important right now.
  • I need to think about what we are going to present for our client meeting tomorrow. This is also an important item; and also get the team moving and on track for final report delivery in 3 weeks. They need to know what they are working towards – need some direction – I need to provide that today/tomorrow latest.
  • I have to start looking through the presentations/analysis conducted by our firm related to the Forums – this will take focused time which I fear I have scarcity.

    I need more coffee and some breakfast. 🙂

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I got set up in my NEW office! The furniture arrived! I have a desk! There is still stuff all over the place, but I have my own space now!!!! Very exciting.
  • I printed out copies of our presentations for our forums for me to review tonight at home, and then forgot them on the printer. F!!
  • I sent out confirmations for speakers for one of the forums — one is still outstanding which is making me nervous.
  • I had a conference call with a potential speaker/member for another forum and the CALL WENT EXCELLENT. Whew! We have them as guests at a minimum, as speakers for TWO sessions if worse comes to worse…
  • I sent out my conclusions and follow ups for a client project but need some input from a Director before reaching out to the client
  • I had a planning meeting for one of the meetings and prepared an outline in literally 15 minutes for the entire day. The planning call went great, and I also decided to use Zoomerang to poll the group to gather more information about their insights prior to the meeting. I’m glad I came up with this idea and think that the information will be very useful for us in the planning of the event.
  • I had a team meeting for our client project and got the team focused on what we are going to talk about with the client tomorrow. THey are running analyses that we will review tomorrow AM for 2 hours. I then sent out some primary interview outreach emails and am hoping we can secure more discussions with the market in advance of our final presentation.
  • Had a brief, brief team meeting with our office over lunch to see how everyone is doing.
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    I can’t believe it but I accomplished [almost] everything above. I was seriously efficient.

    I will need to work on personal items tonight so I’m glad that I don’t need to do too much for real work tonight. This is a big week for me and my family. I am ready.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and Red from Red’s school; both were happy. We then picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Husky was not wearing shoes and Twin Crazy was wearing a summer shirt since co-parent forgot to bring the bag of clothes/shoes that were packed by the back door.
  • When we got home, we were surprised to see a duck in our front lawn. The kids carefully gathered around the duck. Twin Crazy helped Twin Husky take off his jacket. The duck quacked a bit. I was waiting for someone to charge the duck and eventually someone did. It was Red. Then there were all the kids, chasing after the duck, with the duck quacking and flapping all over the place. Finally the duck tried to fly away and landed in the street and quickly waddled away. I was laughing too hard.
  • Kids were playing with balloons, going to the potty (Twin Crazy, non-stop, for chocolate chips), and running around laughing. I think there was also some jumping on the beds. Twin Husky got upset over something and I saw Twin Crazy hugging him to comfort him. Red went to his side too.
  • After dinner the kids took baths. I bought Kiss/Motley Crue tickets!!!!
  • Twin Crazy came downstairs saying that she needed her nails cut. She went potty again. We went upstairs and cut her nails. Then she found the kid nail polish. I proceeded to give manicures to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.
  • I did bedtime routine with Red and Big Bro tonight. They both wanted to lay out their clothes for the next day. Then they talked about wearing their clothes so that they would get ready faster the next morning. I told them they were both ridiculous. They should wear what makes them feel comfortable. We have time in the morning. The last I heard, both Red and Big Bro changed out of their PJs and changed into their clothes for the next day (including their underwear which they wore literally for 20 minutes, post-bath). Now they are whispering to each other back and forth in the kid monitor.
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    Note: Big Bro just left my room. He had a hangnail that I fixed. He was wearing his Lightening McQueen shirt, and pair of jeans. Too funny.

    I’m in a great mood. I had a great day at work, very productive, and the kids tonight were just too, too funny. Honestly, each of them has such funny personalities and they really crack each other up. They have so much fun together. They tease each other but also take care of each other. They comfort each other. They encourage each other.

    I’m very lucky.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    October 25: Too many emotions….

    Hmmmm. What did we do today? I’m right now in bed, feeling completely wiped out and trying to think through to this morning, which feels like months ago.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I know there was an early morning waking from Twin Husky. The East Coast time difference has been the hardest on him. He eventually went back to sleep after some reassurance, but then Red crawled into our bed 10 minutes later. She rested while playing with her fingers.
    • The morning was our usual… except that we were still struggling with lack of food. We managed to do Chocolate Tuesday tortillas and raisin bread, and pasta for lunch. The Twins ate an enormous amount of oatmeal. I think Twin Crazy had 2 1/2 packages just on her own.
    • I got the kids dressed in their Halloween t-shirts and tried to get a picture of all of them together, but Red was not cooperating.



    • The 3 drop offs with Hubby drop off went fine. I was working from home today.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • Pot of coffee. No shower. Fistfulls of Cheerios shoved in my mouth.
    • Conference call for 1.5 hours to review analysis that we will present at the forum next week. I provided my thoughts for improvements and how to pull out the “drivers” of what we were seeing in the numbers.
    • I took a break to get to Big Bro’s school since I was volunteering for his lunch hour. He held it together a little bit, but completely lost it. He gets so upset and anxious when his worlds collide. And it breaks my heart. Especially since now the kids are old enough to notice and ask why he is crying. I don’t know what to do in these instances. Come to his rescue, which only exacerbates the problem — or, throw him to the world and force him to deal with the situation? I am at a loss now since I’ve also signed up for other volunteer spots through this week and I just can’t bear to see him in the anguish and it takes such a toll on me too…
    • I go to lunch afterwards and force down some Pad Thai. My head is killing me. My body is aching and my head is spinning. I feel like crawling in a fetal position under the table at the restaurant.
    • As soon as I get back home, I learn that one of our speakers has dropped out of the Agenda for next week’s meeting. OMFG. Now what am I going to do? How will I even manage to secure a speaker in one week’s time?
    • I then start a conference call with a prospective client who attended the forums we recently conducted — he reached out to me personally and our company is going to propose on a business strategy related to our area of expertise – this could potentially be a VERY large project, and we are very well positioned to win it. And it was MY relationship and MY lead!!! I will likely develop the proposal and serve as an advisor to the project but am hesitant to take on too much of the heavy-lifting if we win it.
    • I then grabbed Big Bro early from after-care and took him jacket shopping. I like doing these kinds of things one on one with him; especially after the emotional day he had at school.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Mac-n-cheese and broccoli! Thank goodness Safeway arrived with our delivery! We now have food in the house! Yeah!!!

    I can’t write much more tonight; I’ve had a pretty emotional evening and overall day – filled with ups and downs, mostly downs I think. I’m mentally drained and can’t believe I’m at the keyboard now.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 23: The end of an era

    This will probably be the last day where I have to work from home, while caring for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.   It is a bittersweet moment.   We have all gotten used to each other, a new routine, and I’ve figured out how to manage work while having them around.  
    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:
    • I don’t remember much different happening this morning, with the exception of Hubby springing on me (at the last minute) that he had to drive to Sacramento for work.  That meant that I had to take all kids to all drop offs, which normally wouldn’t be a problem except that the Twins didn’t HAVE  a drop off.   So this meant that I had to gather all of the kids together and drop of Big Bro at Kindergarten with EVERYONE.    That also meant that I actually had to dress the Twins in clothes.   It would be a little to much to walk around with kids in PJs.   So, we were running late.   We miraculously made it to his line-up before the last bell, and I can’t even begin to tell you all of the looks that we were getting from people.  “Are they ALL siblings??!??!?!??!”  “Yes, they are….”.     Big Bro and Red were AMAZING big siblings.   They were so proud.  Big Bro was actually excited to have everyone in line with him — and he was the leader with our gaggle.   We were all following him.   He was so proud.
    Four kids
    Four kids
    • Then we dropped of Red.   Daycare was giving us alot of attention becuase the Twins were dressed in “real” clothes.   When I said it was time to go to the Twins, Twin Husky promptly left the room and wandered into the lobby of the daycare center.   They are well known there so folks knew where to bring him back.
    • We then headed back for my day at “work”

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • In terms of work, I arranged and re-arranged several meetings, followed up to secure some presentations, and then was wounded when a Director said that several of our forums were “light” on speakers.   How do I secure speakers for a meeting that will happen in less than 2 weeks?    Ugggh!!!!    So we talked a bit and brainstormed some options.  I quickly had to jump on this to set ourselves up for Plan B, C, D to fill out our Agendas.
    • In terms of kids, we had fun.  We had snacks, played with cars, played with musical instruments, walked outside and talked about the flowers, the birds singing, and also picked some apples.   We had lots of apples for snacks, and bananas.  Kids took a long nap in the late morning which gave me time to work.   Lunch was cute.  Hot dogs, broccoli, and tortillas.  Then I took out some peaches and the kids went nuts.   I gave Twin Husky a haircut (he was so good…. he just sat there eating a graham cracker…. no problem at all).   They played with scooters, I read them books, we colored (finally I have some art to save for them).   Twin Crazy hurt her foot a couple of times and I kissed it to make it feel better.   I tried a pony-tail with her and it drove her mad.   Twin Husky climbed on top of the coffee table and stood up and laughed.   We sat on the rocking chair together and rested.   I loved this time with them.
    • Hubby arrived from Sacramento and he offered to pick up Big Bro and Red – and also pick up food.   🙂

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Dinner was outrageously good — BBQ.  Everyone ate well.  Everyone wanted more mac-n-cheese but they needed to eat meat first.   All kids understood including the Twins.  Hubby and I drank wine.
    • Big Bro kept mentioning a puppet show.   He said it was happening tonight.  I called “after care” and they were closed.  I said I would check the website.  “Yeah mommy, check the website.” (weird how these kids know that kindof stuff).   Low and behold, there was a puppet show happening at the elementary school at 6:45.    But it was 7:00!!!!    QUICK GET YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS ON LET’S GO TO THE PUPPET SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I ran with Big Bro and Red, while Hubby stayed back with the Twins.  We caught the last 10 minutes of the show but at least we got to see the puppeteer and her demonstration on how the puppets work.  That was an interesting and out-of-the-ordinary event for us.   Just to be cool, Big Bro said that the show was “boring”.   Does he have to become such a tough-guy so soon??!??!?!
    • All kids went to sleep easily.   Big Bro is so tired these days because of no nap.  Red gives me a HUGE hug and grabs my arms so tight.

    Today was a great day, and this week was a great week.   I do hope though that our daycare provider is OK and that her husband is doing OK.   I feel bad for feeling so happy for being with the kids because of the circumstances.  This was a great week for us.   And next week will be a BEAR of a week — the last week that things need to be pulled together since the following week will be a trip to the East Coast for two big meetings.   Ones that I will be responsible for and need to facilitate, present, and make sure that everyone is happy.    Oh, and also try to scout out consulting opportunities too.   The reason why I took on this role was that it seemed like less stress, but also provided me the opportunity to be client facing and sell work.   So I need to make that happen or else this will make me bored after awhile.

    Have a great weekend everyone; Till next week –

    – Mama K

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