September 24: Getting ready


So I am in the hotel, a suite, the night before one of the conferences that I have been organizing. I am giddy from the great dinner and wine. I am ready for entertaining my “guests”. I am ready for listening to my many clients and navigating through the day. This is when I believe that having four kids benefits me. It makes me laugh in the face of obstacles, trudge through minutia, and keeps me on my feet.

Bring it on! I am ready for this!!!!

Til tomorrow,
– Mama k

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Gig Tips: Speak up at meetings


I’m feeling tired tonight so I want to write something short, sweet, and to-the-point.

Have you ever been invited to a meeting with a small group of people and witnessed one person who literally did not add ANYTHING to the meeting?   No comments, no thoughts, no feedback, no voice, no nothing.   Let me tell you, this makes me and others in my company CRINGE.   Why was that person there?   Why was that person taking up that seat?   That person should have been doing something else instead of being at that damn meeting.

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image source:  http://jenniferfrahmcollaborations.x.iabc.com/files/2011/06/meeting.jpg

When invited to a meeting with certain objectives, it is important to understand what your role is in that meeting.   Are you there to vet an idea?  Is the person leading the meeting trying to gain consensus for a decision to move forward in some way?  Is it to participate in a debate of an idea?  Brainstorm?  Be informed?  Contribute thought leadership that others can learn from?   WHY ARE YOU THERE???

Once you know this, it is critical that you follow through and do your part.  Fulfill your end of the bargain.   You are an employee there because they see value in you.  They want your opinion, or at least your participation.   When I am in a meeting and I see a non-participant, I get seriously irritated.   Are they not paying attention?  Do they not care?   Is there nothing in that brain to help the cause?   Whatever the reason, it does not reflect well on that individual.

So ladies, be confident.  Be concise.  Be thoughtful.  And come prepared.  And when it is you and a group of individuals coming together to share precious time during the working day, do your best to move that meeting forward.   Speak your mind.  Contribute.   Earn that paycheck.   Be objective, be accurate, and honest.  Sure, sometimes the meetings are boring.  Sometimes they suck.   But we are all strong and we know how to get through painful situations (right, remember 9 months of pregnancy??!?!?)

But whatever you do, don’t text, don’t doodle, don’t look down, and don’t stay silent.

Our time is too limited during the day to waste our own time or to waste other people’s time.

That’s all for now –

– Mama K

May 7: The Signing


Monday morning and I am solo with the kids, and Batman, our new guinea pig.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up prompty at 6:30 AM, no snooze, and rushed to the shower to get myself ready before the kids woke up.
  • Big Bro’s lunch was made in 1 min. I had the bowls out for cereal for 3 of the 4 kids. I folded laundry that co-parent didn’t get to so that Red and Big Bro had some favorites to wear. Ran upstairs with Red and Big Bro clothes and got to the Twins.
  • Red had some issues picking clothes and I had to wait with her so I was getting anxious.
  • Big Bro already disappeared downstairs to take care of Batman. He was in the middle of cleaning out its poops when he had to pee, so ran to the bathroom but LEFT BATMAN’S CAGE DOOR OPEN. I arrived to my room noticing this and was SCARED when I saw the door open but then RELIVED when I saw the cute little thing hopping around inside.
  • Big Bro was very good taking care of him. He already filled up the food bowl, gave him more hay, cleaned out the poop, and replensihed some bedding without me even asking. He was also proud that when he reached inside, Batman let him pet him. He looked up at me with big smile of pride and I told him he’s doing great with his new pet.
  • The rest of the kids came scrambling in, loud, but then calmed down when I asked them to. We can’t scare Batman. We need to speak softly. And let him get used to our smells and our voices. He needs time to learn to trust us and that we are being good to him and will not hurt him. Red took a turn with some poops and that was great.
  • Kids ate well. Dressed quickly. Big Bro was off on Motley Crew bike trip. Monday he is the leader.
  • Red had some issues with socks. Twin Husky got into her bag of nail polish. Twin Crazy briefly lost her pink blanket lovey but all was fixed in the end.
  • I had plenty of time to drop off the Twins and also Red. She was excited about bringing in her new baby doll from her birthday party and also telling her class about Batman.
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    I’m on the ferry now and will have a very busy day. One client project that we are ending tomorrow so will need to pull that together. Plus another big meeting next week that I need to pull materials together for. Plus lots going on the with divorce. And with the house – will be signing documents today or tomorrow. So, I feel like there is just too much going on. But strangely I feel relaxed without co-parent being in the house with me. He is out of town for a week. Will be missing Big Bro’s birthday, which is tomorrow.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Gathered my team and set up in the conference room to work together. Received feedback of workproduct from Director; had a conversation with him and then sent the work to the client.
  • I started to assemble the presentation for the client presentation for tomorrow, including executive summary and storyline.
  • I also started working on presentation and meeting materials for our initiative conference call scheduled for May 15.
  • Took the team out to lunch – it was take-away for back at the conference room, but efforts like that shows the team the appreciation for the hard work and is so simple and cost-effective in the long run. A bit of thanks goes a long way.
  • I am on the ferry now and am thinking about all there is to do, still yet today. I need to find a replacement babysitter for tomorrow, buy a helium balloon for Big Bro, possibly bake cupcakes for his aftercare for tomorrow, work on initiative materials for a planning call for tomorrow, and also review the client presentation that will be sent to the client tonight so they get it first thing in the AM.

    Plus, there is a lot of stuff I need to do on the divorce front. Everything is hitting at once and I am so pissed off at what transpired last week.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the kids and strangely enough, seeing Batman.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • After getting off the ferry I ran straight to the store to get a helium balloon for Big Bro; I ran home, hid it in my closet, and also checked on Batman. He was fine. Looked like he ate during the day, and there were lots of poops for the kids to attend to when they got home.
  • I picked up Red, then the Twins. Their daycare provider has a funeral to go to tomorrow so I am stuck. The person was a 38 year-old mother of three…. she died after a 2 year battle with cancer, brain cancer. It kindof just stopped me in my tracks.
  • We went to pick up Big Bro and he wanted to ride his bike back. He went the lagoon route and we stopped along the way and waited so that he would beat us there.
  • At home the kids were busy tending to Batman. They took turns picking up poop. I think Big Bro replenished the bedding, hay, and food. Batman lets Big Bro reach in and pet him. And he also lets Red. They are so cute with him.
  • There were a lot of mis-haps during dinner prep. I don’t understand it. Twin Crazy decided to squat in my room and start a poop. I’m glad I got to her early because it turned into quite a messy one after we got her to the potty. She peed on the corner of my computer bag. Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were upstairs playing with water all over the bathroom. Red was crying, naked, on the floor, saying that Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were laughing at her.
  • I finally got everyone down to dinner and it essentially was a failure.
  • Afterwards I set Big Bro up to watch some Olivia T.V. and I gave the Twins and Red baths.
  • I was racing to get everyone to sleep by 8 PM since I had my loan signing – but Twin Husky for some reason did not want me to go. I was saying I had to work and I think he thought I was going away for work. He was screaming his head off and clinging to me and telling me not to go…. poor thing. So I brought him down with me. So of course Big Bro and Red were at the top of the stairs slowly coming down. Then Twin Crazy knew that her brother wasn’t there and heard that Big Bro and Red were coming down so then she started to scream to come down too. So I got her. Twins on my lap, Big Bro and Red beside me. I asked the guy NOT to use the word “house” since the kids do not know yet. He was excellent. So it appeared to the kids that I was just working on papers and signing things that meant nothing to them. I asked Big Bro to take pictures and even the notary too. When I saw the Deed of Trust I almost started to cry. I told him this was my first time and I am 42. He said, you’re very first??!?!?!?! I said yes…. pitifully. And that I was doing it for “them”.
  • Afterwards we did our bedtime routine. We read to the Twins, and both Big Bro and Red asked for short books because they were tired.
  • I went downstairs and cleaned up a bit, and also held Batman. He is so cute. I want him to feel at home and not feel scared. It will take time.
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    So now I’m in the hallway finishing this up while Big Bro and Red go to sleep. I am looking forward to being in the smaller house where we will all be together. I hope that they feel safe and secure in that house. I’m looking forward to making it a home for them.

    I have a lot to do tonight…. I have to review a client presentation, I have to organize materials for a conference call tomorrow, and also have a number of divorce-related documents to finish up. I also have to remember to tie Big Bro’s balloon to his bed for his big day tomorrow. He will be six.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 24: Hiding


    Chocolate Tuesday! It was a great morning.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy was busy going potty when I made it upstairs. She got changed in regular clothes so of course her Twin Husky wanted to get changed into clothes too. So I held his hand and went to his room to have him pick out some clothes. He liked the Owl shirt with a big moon and he picked it because of the moon circle.
  • There was an issue with Red while she was laying in bed. She was cranky. She woke up at 4 AM last night and was a bit out of it this morning. I couldn’t figure out why she was upset. At first I thought it was because Twin Husky was putting lego wheels in a blue cup and she wanted the wheels. So we talked about it and Twin Husky went over to her and put the wheels by her head. Whew!!! Twin Husky has some empathy!!! This was a big relief/milestone for ME this morning. That wasn’t the issue. Red swooped the lego wheels all over the floor in a fit. I went down with Twin Crazy and told Red I would be back.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy looking at the (alive) ladybugs while their breakfast was getting prepared.
  • I went back up to Red. She was on the floor. She was upset about something. I’m not sure what. I tried to talk with her. She pursed her lips shut. I asked her if she was mad, if she was sad, if something happened to get her upset. I asked her if she was mad at me or if there was something I did. She eventually asked me to carry her blanket down, and her drinking cup. Then the smile came. And her shoes. And her jacket. And Big Bro’s shoes. And Big Bro’s jacket. We were laughing now. Since I had all this stuff to carry down I demanded that I AT LEAST also hold her hand. She became playful. I held her hand, then she rejected my hand, so I wanted a finger, or at least an elbow. She was finally in a good mood.
  • We arrived in the kitchen to see that Big Bro was sitting in her seat. She ran to the couch upset again and said that she had nowhere to sit. I don’t understand how co-parent runs into the SAME issues day after day. There are some things that can be done to stop the issues from happening. I don’t know if he is trying tough love or if he honestly does not get how these kids are wired. So then I had to do musical chairs, asking Big Bro to scoot around and asking Twin Crazy to give up her stool for a chair. We then had an available stool at the spot where Red usually sits. She then smiled again and ran to her breakfast.
  • Chocolate was everywhere. The kids were happy. The ladybugs were still alive.
  • Vitamins!
  • Twin Husky wanted me to hold him. I like this part of his personality now. I like walking him around and talking to him and teaching him things.
  • I helped the kids with their shoes, socks.
  • Big Bro is presenting his homework today – a poster that talks about himself. I will be thinking of my shy son today.
  • Big Bro went off on his scooter. Twin drop off was cute. Red drop off was clingy.
  • I forgot my mobile phone at home but had time to swing by and pick it up.
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    I’m on the ferry and thinking about work. I have client work to do today and also a planning meeting from the last session that I think I will postpone until I have a chance to talk to our director. I don’t want to spend too much time on this effort if we don’t think there is a chance that it will go somewhere. I also have some follow up with the other sessions to complete; and a debrief from one of the meetings.

    I’m in good spirits this morning. This is a big week for me. I feel like it is the right action to take. There are big meetings this week related to the house purchase and also the divorce. I think both will be emotionally draining but I am hopeful that coming out the other side will make me happier. I can’t wait to have a set of keys in my hand. I can’t wait to build a home for the kids. I need to be there for them to make it easier for them so that will be my next area of focus. Making sure I am doing everything I can do to protect these kids during the separation, and to make it as easy as possible for them and letting them know that I am a rock and will be there for them no matter what. That I am their biggest fan and will love them everyday and hold them close to my heart everyday, no matter what.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Spent time at the bank making sure my checks were clearing OK for the funding of my downpayment for the mortgage. The person helping me was wonderful. I showed him pictures of my kids and that seemed to really help.
  • I had a debrief relating to one of the conferences and I want to focus on sales efforts sooner rather than later due to long sales cycle time.
  • I sent out materials from the other conference
  • I cancelled a meeting with the other meeting since I need to connect with my own Director first before I spend too much time on it
  • I had a client meeting to confirm our approach. We have two weeks left for the project and I’m looking forward to its end.
  • I also spent time related to divorce stuff; good, I think.
  • I’m on the boat now and it is sunny. I will be working 1/2 day tomorrow and the rest of the day will be devoted to signing loan documents. I am so close. I feel good. But I still have a raging headache…. I think my body and my mind is STILL decompressing from last week’s work events and lack of sleep. I’m looking forward to this Thursday. My day freed up totally so I’m looking forward to doing something with the kids. I still miss them. I feel like I haven’t connected fully with them yet and am looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to tonight and cooking for them. And being with them. And not being pulled into a different direction – they are my priority and I want them to feel like they are.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and she ran to me with the biggest smile on her face. Over the last few weeks they were doing “planting” projects and their work was on display at school. My little gardener.
  • I picked up Twins next. Twin Husky was cracking me up with his stance as he was staring down a yappety dog.
  • I picked up Big Bro last, assuming he would want to scooter back home. He did.
  • As I cooked the kids were playing and checking out the ladybugs. Twin Crazy went poop and pee-pee on the potty so everyone got to enjoy some chocolate chips.
  • After dinner Big Bro and I played “wall ball”. I cleaned up from dinner and started some laundry. Twin Husky helped me put the dirty clothes in the washer.
  • Upstairs the kids were having some issues. Particularly Big Bro. He didn’t want Daddy. His words. He stayed with me as I read to the Twins. We talked about the book. We sang songs. Twin Husky loves to sing. We did our kiss routine and they climbed into their cribs.
  • I gave Red a huge hug and asked her if she FELT loved. She gave me another huge hug.
  • Big Bro is downstairs with me hiding on the floor. He doesn’t want to leave me. I feel so bad for these kids. He’s asleep right now next to me – it took him 30 seconds to fall asleep.
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    I have such a headache. I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep and tomorrow. 1/2 day work, big meetings behind me, and a stack of paperwork to sign for the HOUSE. 🙂

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 23: Ladybugs


    My first day back at work after a week-long work trip for the conferences that I was planning for so long. Relief. And it was great to reconnect with the children over the weekend. I’m in a good place.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Husky pointed to the parts of his head where he wanted me to kiss him. Twin Crazy said “Nossssing [nothing]” when I asked her. We laughed that she didn’t want a kiss from me yet.
  • We investigated the ladybugs that we found on a walk from yesterday. They are in a habitat and we were careful to put in some grass and leaves and some water. The problem is that I think we put in too much water. One of the two ladybugs was upside down floating in the water with its little legs scrambling for dear life. I’m not sure how long he was there like that but we saved him…. only to have him roll around again and land back in the water. It will be a miracle if both ladybugs are still alive by the time we get home tonight.
  • Twin Husky was counting his fingers. I wish I caught it on video.
  • Red was great this morning. Came down dressed and ready to eat. But we ran out of cereal. I need to go shopping this week to replenish the necessities that we ran out of from last week.
  • Big Bro came down half dressed, but his hair done from a water spray bottle and a comb. He has a thick mound of hair. He looked great except for the hairstyle he gave himself. I suggested keeping in flat in the back, but brushing it and tassling it a bit up front to give him some spunk/style. But I said he looked great and very handsome and he welcomed my huge hug this morning.
  • Twin Husky wanted me to change his diaper this morning. He also wanted me to hold him and talk to him. I think this is his way of telling me that he missed me. He usually favors co-parent and I usually don’t get this much attention from him in the morning.
  • Twin Crazy pooped in the potty! We all ran into the bathroom to see it. We all cheered! So she received two chocolate chips and everyone else got one chocolate chip to celebrate. We are so proud of her.
  • I helped Big Bro with his socks and shoes (his “mommy time”) and Red with her shoes.
  • Big Bro went off with the Motley Crew and he decided to ride his scooter.
  • I said goodbye to the Twins and co-parent went to drop them off.
  • I took Red to school and they were happy to see me back. They said she did great but by around Wednesday she was showing signs of distress. A nightmare at nap, and Thursday and Friday she was quiet. But I am back now.
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    So I’m on the ferry thinking about some things I need to do at work. I am leading a debrief call for one of the three meetings we held last week. We are also interviewing a potential hire. I have to decompress from the other two big meetings and identify the take-aways/learnings/follow ups from each of them. And figure out a timeline to get the things done and can even start planning ahead – securing the date/location and also reaching out to known speakers to get them to Save The Date. I also have to catch up on the client project that I should NOT be involved with. We are wrapping up the project and I need to make sure that we end on a good note with the client.

    I also have work to do on a personal front. This is a big week for me. Signing loan documents for my very first house purchase and making sure that things are done on my end to make everything go smoothly. There are also other big meetings related to the divorce but I feel like I can focus on this now that the big conferences are behind me.

    I am excited about shopping for the house. I will not start to do this until I have keys in hand. I am excited about getting a fence and handrails to make the front and backyards safe for the kids. Lemon and organge trees to plant… along with blackberry bushes in the back of the property. A refrigerator. A washer and dryer. And eventually, over the next month, the furniture that we will use as a family. I want to have the kids involved in this and will seek advice from our child custody mediator the best way to introduce them to their new home. I am so excited and I want to share this excitement with the children. And hopefully the separation will be a bit easier for them if they feel comfortable and happy in their new home that they helped to create with me.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a debrief conference call relating to the one “sell” meeting from last week. I took it in a coffee shop since I couldn’t get to my desk in time. There is more work to do and I’m not sure of the liklihood of success for any of it; I need to figure out go-forward plan since I don’t fully trust one of the folks we are working with… to be continued….
  • I interviewed a candidate that we are considering hiring. I like her.
  • I started to compile my thoughts on to-dos post meetings from last week. Things are looking good and I have a sense of what needs to be done.
  • Went out to lunch with the interview candidate and others on our team. It was DELICIOUS
  • I had another debrief regarding one of the conferences from last week. There are some changes that we want to do next time around relating on revenue models and other logistics. I’m feeling good with this one.
  • I had a meeting with our project team related to the client project. We have set forth a good go-forward plan for the next two weeks and will put our thoughts to paper for our touchpoint with the client tomorrow. We will need to put time against this to make this project successful.
  • I also had personal things to attend to today — this is a big week with closing on the house!!!!
  • So now I’m on a train headed to my monthly appointment with my doctor. I have a lot on my mind and talking with him is always very helpful for me. He helps me put things in focus and gives me encouragement to stay the course. This is a very busy time in my life with lots of ups and downs, but I believe the trajectory is on the way up. And I like testing these thoughts with him to make sure I’m still thinking rationally and realistically.

    I will hopefully get home in time to say goodnight to the kids and give them their hugs and be part of their nighttime routine. And later tonight I will focus on the divorce and also the things I will need to buy for my NEW HOUSE!!!!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 19: almost there


    The end of the third full day. Very tired and full from a fabulous dinner. Appraisal came in today and house was valued over offer price!!!! I am one BIG step closer to being a homeowner!!!!! Meetings went well. I’m not even going to try to call home tonight.

    Going to sleep now
    Mama K

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    April 18: Wiped out


    It is 11:30 PM on Wednesday night and I am 1/2 through this busy week.  I feel crushed.  I feel like I have nothing left in me.  We are beginning a new meeting tomorrow and I feel like crawling under a rock.  I’m winded.  I’ve hit the wall.   I’m juggling and the balls are coming down.

    • The end of our first event went well; we received great feedback.
    • Our second meeting went well due to attendance; but there is more work to do to see if it can be monitized.  I also am having difficulty working with the partner we are working with.  I don’t trust him.  He is too salesy.  I don’t feel like he is genuine.  So it’s hard for me to get excited about working with him to make this work.  
    • An old friend of mine was part of this second event.   I filled him in on the personal matters in my life.  He is stunned.  And worried for me.  He knew of my quest and need for change.   The look of disappointment was hard on his face.  And he was NOT disappointed in me.   He gave me a huge hug goodbye tonight.  

    Seeing my old friend/co-worker just put me in a bad place.  A place like I felt last year.  A place where I am reliving old dreams and frustrations; and disappointments and missed expectations.   And feeling wiped out.  Emotionally, intellectually, and physically.   I feel like I’m at that place again.  Where I have nothing left and I don’t understand how I got here.   Where I’m running and running and running but not getting anywhere.   Where I feel alone.

    I tried to call the kids tonight but did not make it passed the co-parent.  I was hung up on.

    So now I’m feeling sorry for myself I guess, feeling like there’s still so much to do with this week and with my life, but feeling drained.   Feeling like I’ve taken on too much.   Feeling defeated.

    I’m hoping to get some sleep tonight.  I will miss this featherbed and fluffy sheets but am aching to be in the arms of my kids.  Eight sticky hands to reach out to and four smiley faces to kiss.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    April 17: A barrette


    The end of the first full day of meetings – all went well – some highlights:

    • I presented two presentations and actually received good feedback in terms of participation levels; one client told one of my Directors tonight at dinner that these were some of the best presentations he’s seen from us in years.  I’m psyched.  There’s still more that I wanted to do with them so they’ll see those improvements next meeting, six months from now.
    • facilitated the day, with 3 guest speakers and group discussion.
    • Came back to the room for the “break” before dinner and did preparation work for the next two big meetings; then I got ready for dinner and saw a barrette that the room cleaner found somewhere… it is Twin Crazy’s barrette and I couldn’t help but smile and think of her.

     

    • Fabulous dinner

     

    • During dinner I found out that my mortgage loan was approved!!!!   And the conditions are all super-reasonable and easy for me to execute!   So psyched.   I can’t believe that I’m almost a homeowner!   I’m able to get my kids to an amazing public school system!   I wired my additional good-faith down payment to escrow today.  Final closing is next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • I had a chance to talk to the kids tonight before they went to bed.   Red was so cute, screaming into the phone.  They were asking when I was coming back.  I mentioned that today is chocolate Tuesday, so we have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then Saturday afternoon.  That this time would go by very fast since they have fun at school.  I would be back before you know it!
    • I tell them that I think of them because of my dog-tag necklace and my birthstone stacking rings.   I tell them that my hands are resting so that I can tickle them extra-strong when I get back.  I tell them to catch my kisses through the phone.   I miss them but it is bearable.   I am busy and they are doing well.  

    I have so much work to do…. finishing up one meeting and then going straight into another “sell” meeting where I am leading it and pulling everything together…. wish me luck.   I wish I had some Advil.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    April 9: Greeted by a chicken


    What a day! My work and personal lives just blended together today. As such, as soon as I post this, I will need to get some work done….

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy made it to the potty in the AM
  • I asked each kid where they wanted me to kiss them. Twin Crazy/Twin Husky pointed to specific parts of their heads so I kissed them gently “Good morning” where they asked me to.
  • Twin Crazy wanted a hard boiled egg for breakfast. So Twin Husky wanted one too. They both eventually rejected them saying they didn’t like them.
  • I had to cut up some remaining vitamins since there were only 2 left. Red observed how the inside of the vitamin looks a lot different than the outside of the vitamin – “slippery” is I think what she called it
  • Twin Crazy was playing with a flashlight
  • All kids were ready fast (note: Big Bro and Red pick out their clothes and then get changed into their clothes the night before so that they are ready in the AM faster). I finished getting ready and all kids were in my room, playing with my beads and decorations. They were good when I asked them to put them away.
  • Since we were way ahead of schedule, we all went in the same van. We dropped of twins first, then big bro, then co-parent, then Red.
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    AND THEN MY ADVENTURE BEGAN…

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a property inspection scheduled for 9 AM. So I cranked up the music and headed out east. Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock-n-Roll” came on and I couldn’t help but smile. I felt on top of the world.
  • While I was at the house so many things happened for me to write about. I met more contractors. They knew who I was and knew my story. That mine was the lowest offer but it was the one accepted by the sellers because they wanted a family there who would appreciate the house. They knew I would be a single mother of four and that I loved the work they did. My inspector came and we walked the property. We were greeted by a chicken from next door. I did some work while the inspector was doing his thing. I heard voices and thought it was a neighbor but it was one of the sellers…. I looked at him, and he at me, and I just reached out and hugged him and thanked him. I told him how happy I was and how excited I was for the house and for my family. I found out that the general contractor is the seller’s father. So this has been a family project. I found out that the GC made the fireplace mantel, piece by piece. They had another prospective client come over to look at the work and he was so impressed… and he shook my hand and said congratulations and that the work and the house was beautiful. And then the second investor/seller arrived. I again hugged him and thanked him. We talked about the open house day and how I just walked in off the street, not expecting to see that house at all (the house I was going to was across the street). They were all there, and I breezed in and out in about 10 minutes…. thinking whoa this place is small but as I kept walking through it, I kept thinking… and as I walked around the grounds, I thought some more. And as I climbed the backyard stairs to the sitting area looking down, I thought some more. And went through the house. And decided that it was perfect. It took 10 minutes for me to decide that this totally renovated house zoned to the top-rated schools in the area in my pricepoint with the chickens next door and the sitting area on top of the hill was it. And now I’m almost there. Meeting the sellers, they are glad that I’m happy and I am thrilled that the inspector did not find anything that would be a deal-breaker!
  • I worked on a presentation
  • I had a conference call.
  • I bid farewell to my “sellers” and house and drove into the city.
  • I addressed many emails
  • I had a planning conference call
  • I had a team meeting for the client project
  • I spent time gathering and sending more documents to my loan officer for my mortgage.
  • I gathered an office desk and boxes and loaded up my van… headed home with the loot which will be my office when I move into my new house….
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro, then Twins. Twin Husky immediately got into the front seat and started to push all of the buttons. He pretended to drive. I gave him my keys and he wanted to start the car. We laughed and then picked up Red.
  • We made a fast dinner.
  • Red had some issues tonight with Big Bro. I had to sit them down and have them talk about what happened and Big Bro always leaves out crucial information to the story. I eventually get all of the facts but it is a challenge for me to get there.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty and she received 2 M&M’s because of it.
  • I did a lot of hugging and kissing Twin Husky tonight. He looked so cute in his little blue shirt. I also had a lot of consoling time with Red tonight. Big Bro was being mean to her.
  • We watched a movie and had popcorn.
  • I had the Twins tonight and they were fun. Laughing and kissing and taking off their clothes and whispering “I….. love….. you…… Sweet dreams…..” So cute.
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    So now I’m downstairs, with my computer on my side and a list of things that I MUST get done tonight. This is such a busy week – Two big conferences next week, one other meeting that I am responsible for, and then a client final presentation the following week. Oh, and a divorce to go through and a House closing to manage. BRING IT ON!!!!

    I am so happy right now. I’m thinking of the things that I would like to do with the house and it’s the very first time that I’m thinking to myself that there is no rush. I will have all the time in the world. There is no rush to get things done. Because it is mine. And I will have the time to enjoy it. Savor it. Root myself. And call it Home. And create a Home for my family. Even though I’m so busy at work right now, I know it’s all going to be OK because I feel like I have my priorities in-line. And I understand myself. And there is no-one to battle anymore. I can take a deep breath and breathe.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 27: Lots of rain but no heat.


    Rain! Rain! Rain! I’m moving slowly this AM. A bit from the rainy gray day, and also lack of sleep. Red was up crying last night at 1 AM and co-Parent was barely getting out of bed. She went right back to sleep but the heat was not on!!! [How much money does it really save to keep the heat off during the night?] It was 62 degrees in the house! So we were moving kindof slow today, and now ALL FOUR KIDS are sick. Sneezes, runny noses.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Chocolate Tuesday!! Twins were happy eating, even though they were sneezing intermittently.
  • Red and Big Bro were still upstairs, slumbering. It was hard to get Red up. She was moody. I had trouble with her picking out her clothes [this should be done the night before]. She had issues with the shirt, the pants. I sat with her and talked with her. I told her I felt tired. And a little bit sick. And that sometimes its hard to get moving in the morning when you feel that way. But I said I was going to eat breakfast to give me some energy (I usually don’t eat at home – lack of time). I asked her if she could help me pick out my breakfast (cream of wheat packets) and that I would eat if she would too. That seemed to work. She embraced me and we went downstairs together with her pile of clothes.
  • Red picked out my breakfast and she got ready for Chocolate Tuesday.
  • I took Twin Crazy to the potty for positive reinforcement. I told her how proud of her I am. Her face squishes up in a big smile whenever I say that. She is doing soooooooo good with potty training. Hopefully she does well today.
  • I next went to work on Big Bro. He was upstairs still in bed. I mentioned Chocolate Tuesday. He still wasn’t moving quickly. I talked about last night and how he went to sleep late and that’s why he must feel a bit tired this morning (and I do too). Then we started talking about the funny things from last night… how Red was asking in the monitor “[Big Bro], where are you?”…. and “Mommy….. I’m scared.” And we talked about how I hear them at night when they are talking to each other as they go to sleep and how I laugh when I hear them laugh and say funny things. We both were laughing at that. I put a pile of clothes together for him (favorite pair of jeans) and gave him privacy to get changed upstairs by himself.
  • I ate breakfast!!!
  • Got Big Bro’s breakfast
  • Dished out the vitamins for all of the sick kids
  • Helped Big Bro with his sneakers (our little together time)
  • Helped Red get changed; she had her backpack ready.
  • Found out that the Motley Crew was still going to RIDE today so we got Big Bro’s helmet on and off he went. I text with the other mommy which makes things really easy in the morning.
  • I packed up the Twin bag and Co-parent dropped off Twins.
  • I dropped off Red and we made a quick pit-stop to the bathroom to wipe off the chocolate off of her face. I like this one-one time with her. I took my time wiping off her face and was gentle with her. We talked about how Twin Crazy likes to wipe our faces and laughed about that. We walked into her classroom and again she was proud of her HUGE backpack. Once we got there, I realized that she showed up to school with FOUR jackets…. two spring jackets, one fleece, and one raincoat. All but one shoved in her backpack. Too cute.
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    I arrived in the Ferry parking lot a bit early, was able to get a parking spot without a problem. Then the rain started. I sat there for a bit since I was early. I checked my email. I wondered how Big Bro’s ride was going and that hopefully they reached the school in time.

    Now I’m on the ferry and it is bumpy. It’s supposed to rain the rest of the week. I will be busy again today. I have seven meetings today and am overbooked for two of them — 3 related to forum planning, 2 related to client project, one performance review (mine), one firm-wide staff meeting/conference call. PLUS I need to still get work complete for a different client project. It will likely be quite impossible. I’ll have to lug that binder back home and focus on that tomorrow, I betcha.

    Highlights of the Working Day:
    Another busy day —

  • 2 planning meetings for forums;
  • 1 interview with a potential speaker – we are going to bring her in for the Fall, but not for the Spring since her data will be more relevant then
  • 1 primary interview for the client project
  • 1 status meeting with the client to preview initial insights from interviews and our refined thinking of the quantitative analysis
  • my annual review. It was OK. 2011 sucked and my review reflected that. But my new role with the forums is working and they will continue to focus me in that area, while allowing me the time to cultivate client relationships/project sales, but also reducing my direct involvement with project delivery. I have to keep myself focused on work and on the kids. I need for both of these aspects to stay on track – I will worry about myself later. Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the discussion.
  • So now I’m on the ferry and it is a completely rough ride. We are tossing and turning all over the place and its actually quite fun. We’re hitting big swells and I’m getting that negative g-force feeling in my stomach. Fun.

    I’m looking forward to an evening with the kids. Not sure about dinner – I have not planned that far in advance. Maybe fish since that cooks up quickly in the oven, even frozen.

    Dinner and Bedtime:
    Rain, rain, rain…

  • I picked up Red in a downpour. She wore her cute little cat raincoat.
  • We picked up Twins next. And then Big Bro. Big Bro and I ran through the rain to get his bike. We were both soaked by the time I loaded it into the trunk. Looks like we’ll be dropping him off tomorrow – we’re expecting rain the rest of the week.
  • I got everyone home and started dinner. Red was having multiple breakdowns. Crying and not talking. Not communicating the issue. She gets that way sometimes. I think the lack of sleep and feeling sick are impacting her today.
  • We found two different spiders and the kids went nuts looking at them each. I was brave and got some paper and collected the scared creatures and returned them outside. I probably drowned the poor things – they were probably escaping the rain; we rarely see spiders at all inside the house.
  • Kids ate reasonably well. Red had one or two tantrums.
  • Twin Husky has been crying on and off all night too.
  • Big Bro has been teasing a bit.
  • Co-parent is playing with the kids on the floor. He’s actually awake. No… wait… he just put his head down and is now snoozing with the kids around him. Typical. He’s just laying on the floor with his eyes closed with all of these kids surrounding him. It makes me ill.
  • Twin Crazy just came over to me for a visit. I’m going to play with her now.
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    I’m sitting down, feeling like crap. I can barely swallow. My head is pounding. My throat hurts and my nose is running. I’m achy. I want to curl up and make this go away. I can’t stand the sound of his voice.

  • I had bedtime with Big Bro and Red. It was really fast. Twin Crazy paid us a visit and sat on Big Bro’s lap for a bit during booktime. Big Bro was trying to get me to read a second book and I wouldn’t give in. Red was acting playful despite the lack of sleep. Big Bro looked exhausted. I tucked them both in, gave them their kisses, and headed out the door.
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    So I’m downstairs now, feeling like poop. I just ate a huge bowl of ice-cream with Rice Krispies mixed in (my favorite). This is not a very healthy living environment. I feel like this is my bear den and my cubs are upstairs too far away from me. I want to fast forward. Red is crying. Let me go to her.

    After talking, reassuring, laughing, more hugging, and I love yous, it is now 9 PM and this child has started to cry again. Wish me luck tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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