January 23: Multi-tasking….

Today was a good morning. Things ran very smoothly and we were ahead of schedule. And there were some big developments along the way…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and got myself ready ahead of the crowd.
  • I stacked their jackets, and also bed linens for Red by the front door.
  • I had their lunches made when the parade of kids were coming downstairs. They ran to me with open arms. “Mommy…. Mommy!!” I gave them their morning kisses and had both girls on my lap… I joked with them if they were going to give each other “sister kisses” and they both turned their heads away from each other in laughter.
  • Breakfast was easy; the three ate while Big Bro snoozed.
  • I laid the kids clothes out the night before, which also included some new socks from Stride Rite (this was a recommendation from a fellow Mama – thank you!!!!). Red put them on, got this HUGE smile on her face…. and said that she was NOT going to take them off. SUCCESS! After purchasing about 30 new socks, we finally found a set that works for her! She is comfortable! She is running! She is getting dressed without a problem!!! She is happy!!! YEAH!!!!
  • Twin Crazy pulled out the potty from the bathroom and put a big pink stuffed bear on it. We all laughed.
  • Suddenly, Twin Husky came running into the kitchen, grabbed a small kitchen chair, and ran with it back to the toy room. I’m not sure what he was doing, but the look of determination on his face, and his speed at getting that chair was priceless. Big Bro was sitting on my lap at the time and both of us were cracking up with each other.
  • Big Bro was tired this morning, but some apple juice fixed that. He ate his breakfast and got dressed in 15 minutes – we were doing great on time.
  • I dropped off the Twins and also Big Bro. It rained a lot during the night so there were rivers of water everywhere that we talked about. We also had the opportunity to see various worms enjoying the wetness. We talked about the worms and how they like the rain and how they like to squirm around on the sidewalk when it is wet. We looked at each one since we were not running late on time. I think we counted about 8 of them.
  • So, there were literally NO breakdowns. I was prepared in advance for the kids. They were CHARMING this morning and ate well, and listened. It was wonderful.




    So now I’m on the ferry – it is raining with rough waters. I will have a lot to do today. I should have worked a bit over the weekend but my family was in town so I did not do anything in advance.

  • I have one “sell” meeting for a potential partner for an initiative we are trying to launch. I need to look at the discussion document to make sure it will work for this meeting. I am amazed sometimes at the lack of writing skills in terms of presentation – the story line needs to be there, be logical, and address the key points to get the potential partner on board. I will need to review what is in my inbox and make changes to the document in advance of our “sell” call this afternoon.
  • I also have to make revisions to a proposal as a result of our sales meeting with our potential client last week. We need to come down in price, which means removing some scope without cutting too deep that we are not able to address the objectives.
  • I have a planning meeting scheduled tomorrow that I will be leading. I need to meet with the Director today to go over the approach to the meeting so we will be prepared and use people’s time effectively. I have some work to do on that front too – and must have it done before meeting with the Director today at 10 AM.
  • So, that will be a ridiculously busy day. If I can stay on track and stay focused on the above, it should not be a problem. But things always come up during the day – the unexpected. Maybe I should close my door and turn off my email….

    Highlights of the Working Day:

    I got into my office knowing that it was going to be a crazy busy day. I ran to the restroom to put on my make-up, then grabbed some tea and water, and set myself up at my desk.

  • When I logged into my computer and calendar, I almost shit my pants. Not only did I have one Planning Meeting scheduled for tomorrow that I had to prepare for, but I had a SECOND meeting for the SECOND forum I manage which got scheduled for tomorrow as well, and at 10 AM!!! Oh shit. I have TWO of these to prepare for…..
  • I received some feedback from the proposal from our potential client and she indicated that Wed/Thurs would be fine for a revision – so that bought me some time today and I reshuffled some work around.
  • I jammed on the Agenda for the one meeting, met with the Director, made the changes, and sent it out.
  • I then switched gears and started working on a “Concept Document” to lead a potential partner through the concept of another initiative we want to launch. The presentation was essentially OK, but I had to add some pages and re-structure some stuff around. I had to lead an internal team meeting and did this while multi-tasking on the presentation. My meeting was at 1 PM and our internal meeting was at 12 noon. I hated to multi-task like that but honestly the deck needed work.
  • I led the call for the concept initiative and it went well. We need to gauge their interest in playing a larger role – I didn’t want to put them on the spot, so I suggested I touch base with them next week to see what they think.
  • Immediately afterwards, I started working on the Agenda and content for the SECOND planning meeting, the SURPRISE planning meeting. It is off now for some comments – I will need to sent it out tonight to the conference call participants before I go to bed.
  • So now I’m on the train headed to my appointment – I miss the kids, but I had a lot of time with them the past 5 days. So I’m OK. I was so busy today that I’m looking forward to talking to an adult. To decompressing. To leveraging this channel so I can speak my mind. I will see the older kids tonight I’m sure – and will give them big hugs and then get back to work.

    Tomorrow should not be as busy, but it will be stressful, since I will have to lead TWO planning meeting conference calls with lots of people – and then get my act in gear to make these meetings a success in April.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 22: A gift with my Twins while working from home

    So another day without a daycare provider for the Twins…. another day working from home while multi-tasking with two toddlers.   At least I don’t have any client conference calls scheduled…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Red needs mommy time this AM.  She sees what I’m wearing (blue leggings, white shirt) and she wants to match me.  She heads downstairs for breakfast.
    • I grab clothes for Big Bro and Red.  I try to match her outfit as best I can but it doesn’t match perfectly.  Big Bro is still in bed so I climb in there with him since I know he needs mommy time too.   We talk about the cut on his finger and if it feels better.  It does.  He wants a band-aid for it now.   We spend time together putting a band-aid on his finger.  He seems happy.   I gather his clothes but he is not happy with the shorts selection (they are too long).  We’ll see if there are shorts somewhere downstairs.  I ask for his hand and say that I am doing a “special delivery” of Big Bro to downstairs.  This makes him laugh.  We walk slowly down the stairs together, holding hands, so I can stretch out this time with him.
    • Twins are covered in milk and cereal.   There is milk all over the place.  They are soaked.   They then move on to applesauce.  What a mess.  These kids need to take some serious baths. 
    • Red and Big Bro eat a little.   We have some problems getting changed this AM.  Big Bro REALLY does not like his shorts, and Red completely rejects her outfit I picked out.   So I try another.   She rejects that one too.   She cries for Daddy.
    • Big Bro is on the hunt for a different pair of shorts.  I find one in the living room on top of a stack of clean (I think) clothes.    He rejects those.  Big Bro miraculously finds shorts.   I ask them where he found them and he smiled.   So on the floor of the laundry room, dirty????   “Yeah Mom”.   I just let this one go.   There are some battles that are just not worth fighting for.  He has a smile on his face so that’s good with me.
    • As Hubby is packing lunches he is using applesauce.   Twins see this and start squealing for applesauce.  Twin Crazy eats about 4 bowls of it and Twin Husky doesn’t do too bad either.    Everyone is covered in applesauce.
    • I change Twins’ diapers.   I put on different PJ bottoms for Twin Husky since he is soaked.  I change Twin Crazy’s shirt since she is soaked. 
    • Hubby helps Red.   She is pissed off at me.  
    • 1st drop off:   Big Bro.
    • 2nd drop off:   Hubby at Ferry.
    • 3rd drop off:  Red, with Twins in tow.   Of course they get lots of attention.  The teachers showed me a picture that Red drew of a smiley face.  It was pretty impressive.   The other kids made a lot of scribbles but hers actually looked like a smiley face with a colorful border.  The teachers were proud of her.  I made a big stink about it too.   I asked her if it was OK for me to put in on our refrigerator – and if it was OK for me to leave soon so I could do that for her.   She was grinning from ear to ear.   Melts my heart.

      Red's "Smiley Face"  -- 3 years old

      Red's "Smiley Face" -- 3 years old (notice the orange hair)

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Pot of coffee, I eat everyone’s leftover breakfast.
    • I play a bit with the Twins.   I then give them a snack as I boot up my computer.   I send some quick emails and organize some meetings.
    • Twins look very tired, especially Twin Husky.   I ask them if its time for an “early nap” and they both run to the stairs.  I thought it was going to be a short one, but they slept for 2 hours!
    • During this time I attended a Webinar, organized some more meetings, and sent out some follow-up emails related to the forums that are coming up.  There are some empty guest speaker spots and I’m hoping to fill them with internal folks which shouldn’t be a problem.
    • Twins wake up at lunchtime.  I make them ground beef, peas, and cheese.   Beef, peas, and cheese.   It rhymes!    So I walk around saying Beef, Peas, and Cheese over and over again until its ready.  They eat well (so do I).   Twin Husky has some problems with forks/spoons but eventually shoves the food in his face.
    • We then play for quite a bit.   It is amazing but I feel like I’m getting to know them better.  How weird.  I am their mother.   For example, all Twin Husky needs to calm down is to be picked up and held softly for 1 minute.  Then he’s fine.   Twin Crazy is definitely the aggressor of the two.  She is spiteful.  She is a trouble-maker.  She will run up to Twin Husky and steal his toys and run away leaving him in the dust, crying.    When I ask her to come back and give him his toy, she listens, but she is definitely the more dominant one of the two, at least for now.   She also likes to invade his space, just for spite.   Just to see him cry.   But then there’s a soft side to her too.   They like to laugh together.  She likes to bring him crackers, his milk.   She is also a caretaker as well.   She is able to drink from a cup (no sippy!).  I didn’t know that about her.  How interesting that I’m seeing these personalities so much clearer now, just because I have more focused time with them.   I’m happy about this yet sad at the same time.

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup - this is something I learned today

    • I have a conversation with a Director about immediate issues with the forums, and also hold Twin Husky as I send out more emails.   He says “ball” when looking at my Google Chrome icon on my computer.  So cute.
    • Now they are on a second nap, hopefully a short one.   I threw in some laundry.   I have to start thinking about dinner.   I get Red’s picture up on our refrigerator.
    • Twins wake up; I get them ready to go…

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • 1st pick up:  Big Bro.  2nd Pickup:  Red, with all kids in tow.   Red is in a different playground and it took us awhile to find her class.  3rd pick up:  Hubby at the ferry station.  We saw the boat come in.  Twin Husky:  “Boat.”   Red was hot with her long sleeve shirt so she decided to go topless.
    • We head home, I cook a quick dinner.  We are finished eating by 6:30.  Hubby and I drink beers.
    • Big Bro wants to do a project and I set up a race car painting project for him.   Then Red sees the project so I find a “paint by number” project for her.
    • Twins are having fun running back and forth and jumping on Hubby.
    • I’m having fun playing with all the kids; kissing all the kids; laughing with them.
    • They start to look tired early, so we bring them upstairs.   Twins look at books and point to pictures after we ask them where things are….. all are drinking milk.  All four are winding down.  Kisses to Twins and they are OUT.
    • Big Bro and Red are sweet.  Red keeps jumping on me; Big Bro is tired and already in bed, talking about numbers and letters and his painted racecar.

    Now we’re downstairs – another wonderful day; although not very efficient on the work front.   I feel somewhat guilty that another person’s anguish (our daycare provider’s ill husband) has allowed me a special gift and glimpse into the lives of my youngest children.  After spending so much time with Big Bro and Red while on vacation, I feel so lucky to have this time now with the Twins.   I feel like I know them so much better now; I feel guilty that I’m not in tune with them as much as I was with the first two; but they still seem SO HAPPY and so well adjusted – they are loved and I know that they feel loved.  

    I also know that I want more of this.  More time with all of them.  More time in the mornings to do the drop offs and in the afternoon with pickups from pre-school/school.   I don’t like feeling rushed with them.  It is not fair to them.   I want more time with my Twins.   I am fine working, but after tasting this kind of life I know I need more.   I need to make this happen on my terms at work; after the forums are complete in mid-October, and after I have proven myself to be an indispensible asset, I will lay out a plan with my superiors that discusses how I want to work.   On a reduced work week where most of my work time is spent from home.   I think this will bring much more balance and happiness to my life – despite costing our family in terms of income.

    Till tomorrow –

    – Mama K

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