Staying Sane: More new friends


Saturday is a day that I get to wake up late and enjoy a day getting things done while I wait for the kids. They are with co-parent until I see them at 4 PM.  This Saturday AM I spent my time cleaning up my front yard and planting about 50 bulbs for the Spring – but that is a story for another time.

During this planting, I had the opportunity to meet some kids who were walking their dog Hershey. They usually don’t walk this way in front of my house, but they were on this day because their dog is new to their family. Rescued from a dog pound 2 days before he was about to be put to “rest”.

I learned that they were the neighbors at the end of the street whom I did not yet meet. Two boys, ages 11, 7, and a girl, age 6. I had fun with Hershey and talking with them. I guess I don’t mind talking to kids when I am solo since it is in my nature now to talk to kids since I have so many. Anyway, they asked about my kids and they asked why they weren’t around until 4 PM. I explained that they were with their Dad and that they have “two houses” and that they spend time with me, and they spend time with their dad. How they have two rooms, two sets of books, two sets of toys, etc. (my normal explanation about the separation).   Usually this story works out well since I end with “two sets of toys”. But this was the first time I was talking with a sort-of older kid – and that’s when the 11-year old told his siblings “yeah she’s talking about Divorce. When things don’t work out.”…..

Anyway, I told them that the kids would be at my house at 4 PM and ready to ride bikes. So for them to come back. They walked off with their dog and I continued with my yard.

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At 4:02, the new kids came back, with their bikes. They were waiting to meet my kids. The van pulled up. My kids came out and met the “new kids” (it’s so ironic since the “new kids” have actually lived on that block all of their lives, and WE are the family of the “new kids”). Big Bro got out immediately and started riding. Red was a little bit apprehensive, since these were older kids, who ride fast. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were anxious to get their bikes and get going!  Twin Husky helped me put out the traffic cones in the street. The kids next door were calling out through the window that they were coming out too. The kids across the street were getting their bikes out and helmets on. The boys up the hill were coming down with their bikes with their mom who had a margarita in a cup. And then the 6-year old twins from way up the hill were seen to be coming down with their bikes and their shark and fish helmets. The fun began…

Kids on bikes. Kids running from house to house. Kids on the tree swing next door in the front yard.  Big Bro coming out with some balls to kick in the street. Big Bro wanting a snack so I went in and got Ritz Crackers and asked him to bring out the entire box for everyone to share. I asked him to ask everyone if they wanted any… and he did – such a good host and such a “giver”. The neighbors congregated on my stoop. Some had never met since there are new folks here. I met the parents from the corner house. Some disappeared and came back with bottles of wine. Boys were running from house to house. Red just wanted to be an acrobat on me. Twins were riding bikes. Big Bro hit it off with the “new kid” who is 7.   Everyone looking out for cars and having the kids pull over when one would drive by, very slowly, just looking at all of the people/kids in the street and maneuvering through the “kids at play” signs and my traffic cones with flags.

As far as we know, we have 21 children ages 11 and under on this block.  And we had 19 of them out this past Saturday night with their parents congregated on the stoop of my house.  The only ones that I have not yet met are a family with 2-year old twins (more twins!!) who are hosting a Halloween party for everyone on Halloween night.

All kids were going non-stop – and then the sun started to go down and families started to separate. I wound up with some stragglers at my place as I cooked dinner. I didn’t mind.

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*****

The next day, Sunday, Big Bro went over to “the new kids'” house to play wall-ball. And then after lunch I had 4 extra neighborhood kids in my house along with the dog, Hershey. In the late afternoon, I took my kids back to co-parent’s house. And then when I was alone, there was a knock on the door and it was the “new” kids again, boy aged 7 and girl aged 6, and Hershey. Again it was hard for them I guess to understand that even though I was there, my kids were not. They are only at this house some of the time. But now at least they know that we live in this house and that the four kids are here every Saturday starting at 4 PM.

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I love how Big Bro just hit it off with these new kids – especially how in the past he was so shy. I love how welcoming in general children are. I love how they see fun in each other and how quickly the activities can change when so many kids are getting together. I remember nights like this as a kid. I am happy that I can give these experiences with my kids now and that we, together, get a chance to explore these new beginnings together.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

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October 3: Anyone want any of my kids?


I usually love Wednesdays since I get to be re-united with the kids.   The time with them started off GREAT and then for some reason all hell broke loose.  I’m so glad they are in bed right now.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up later than I would have liked; got set up in my kitchen and enjoyed lots of coffee and actually ate breakfast.  I watered my plants and stretched in the sun.  It was a beautiful, hot day.
  • I had some conference calls and tried to get some stuff done but could not get motivated – I honestly did a lot of nothing today.  So I will likely work after I get this post out since I feel a bit guilty and I do need to get some stuff done.
  • 12 noon hit and I was on the road to get the kids!   I really enjoyed the ride.   It was beautiful out, there was great music on the radio, and I was in an EXCELLENT mood.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I volunteered in Big Bro’s classroom today during “Science Time”.   We planted two different kinds of seeds (alfalpha and grass) in little cups and watered them with fertilizer water.    I worked with two kids at a time.   We were asked to ask them to investigate the seeds and talk about how they were the same and different.  I loved it.   I called all the kids “farmers” and gave them fist-pumps when they were done.   Big Bro was all smiles.    I couldn’t believe how many kinds of responses I got from the kids when asked about the differences in the seeds.   It went beyond shape and feel to even the different sounds that the seeds made when falling like rain; way to cute.
  • It was still a bit early so I took Big Bro with me to the store to get some food.  He kept drawing himself closer to snacks and candy and was joking putting sweets in the cart and then putting them back.   He cracked me up today.  I’m glad I had the time alone with him.
  • Pick up for Red was great; her face was beaming.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy painting.  Twin Crazy had two pig-tails in her hair and I never saw it like that before; she looked so cute; they were so proud of how they put their paintings in the drying rack, washed their hands, and gathered their things all by themselves.  They love it there – as do I.
  • On the ride home they all ate snacks and we called my brother and sung “Happy Wedding to You’ – he got married yesterday in city hall [a different story for a different time].   None of the kids wanted to sing with me.  Twin Crazy had her hands on her eyes.  But both twins were swaying and dancing to the song.  Again, I was cracking up.
  • When we got back we saw the school bus and two new kids that we have not met before – a set of twins aged 6.   We said we would visit them over the weekend.   As far as I know now, we have 16 kids on our block, all aged 8 and younger.   Big Bro wanted to play with the new kid across the street (Legos) so we dropped him off.
  • Twin Husky helped me with the garbage cans and picked out the color can he wanted to bring up next.
  • Red and Twin Crazy were bonding as sisters and were doing each other’ hair.   Then they all played house in a HUGE box from Amazon.  We looked at wedding pictures.  We sang again to my brother.   The girls did a felt project with cut out shapes of felt.   Twin Husky was busy watering the garden.   I drew a picture of Dora for Red on felt.
  • It was all great until Big Bro came back.  Then the trouble started.  Teasing, crying, bikes crashing into each other, more crying, fighting, pinching, throwing things, hitting heads with water bottles, hiding toys….   there must have been at least 50 times tonight where there was a kid crying or fighting.   I couldn’t take it.   I thought that dinner would help but it did not.
  • At least the highlight of dinner was eating outside with citronella candles so we had no bugs for the first time.   The kids ate well and they wanted to talk about Halloween.  They are excited about Halloween in this neighborhood with all of the kids.  So am I.
  • After dinner we made pudding but then Twin Husky threw a beer opener and it hit me in the chin, hard.   So he lost dessert tonight.  More crying.   I can’t win.
  • Twin Husky and I cuddled more tonight during booktime; I think he felt bad about throwing (hopefully he learned something).   The kids were still causing problems for me during bed…. fighting over space, asking for more water.  I told them I was at my breaking point and for everyone just to go to sleep.  I’ve had it.

How does a day start out so great with the kids and then suddenly fall to pieces with ALL FOUR of them??!!??!!??   This was crazy today.   I can’t figure it out.   I spent REALLY good one-on-one time with Big Bro, Red, and Twin Husky.   But still Big Bro was such a pain in the ass!!!!!   They are at least quiet now so hopefully I can get some work done.   This was a day I’d like to remember and forget at the same time.   Hopefully it will be better tomorrow —

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

Staying Sane: Offload a child!


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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week everybody –

– Mama K

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