Staying Sane: Boob tube is back!

I don’t usually watch a lot of T.V. There’s just too much going on. But there have been some shows that I will admit I’ve been addicted to. True Blood. The Vampire Diaries. American Idol. HGTV. Hells Kitchen.

It’s an out. It goes on after the kids go to bed. Its a source of distraction.

And I’ve been without it for so long!!!

But over the weekend I had The Geek Squad out here to put my TV up and connect all my gear; it is about 75% there (some issues with the remote which they will come back and do) and it is WONDERFUL to be back.

I’ve been watching CNN and feel like a person again.


What are you watching these days that is worth watching? Fill me in!!!

Have a great week everyone!
– Mama K

June 20: Loss of my Virgin Mouth

I like Wednesdays. I get to work from home for 1/2 day:

Highlights of My Morning:

  • I woke up early and started my day at 8 AM. I started with an instant coffee while booting up my computer.
  • I have a brand new printer/fax/scanner/copier. I love it. It is soooooooooooo fast. And small. I faxed out Big Bro’s report card to co-parent and felt productive already. Then I had issues with the fax – the report said it didn’t send. It took me awhile to figure out I had to actually switch the phone line to the fax machine to get it to work. DUH.
  • I had a second instant coffee and checked email. Nothing major to respond to.
  • I followed up with some invoices.
  • I updated our sales pipeline for one of our forums.
  • I took a break and decided to walk to the back of my property. There are some trees back there that are turning orange. I am a bit concerned about them and I wanted to see where they were on the property lines. Then the fun started. I have a fence in the back that is completely pulled down – and a well-established trail, I believe from the deer (that ate the leaves off of my new fruit trees). The strange thing is that there is about 6 feet of “no man’s land” between my torn down fence and the fence from my back neighbor… and these trees are actually part of this no-man’s land. It is kindof cool back there…. it reminded me of the trails I used to walk and explore as a kid. But it scared me to think of my kids back here. There were big holes – not sure what from or what kinds of critters. And strange forts. Plus lots of debris. I have a lot of work to do. First, I need to figure out if these trees are mine – where does my property line end? Then I must do something about these trees – depending on if they are mine or not – regardless, their limbs have to come down and out of my space. Lastly, I will need to get a proper fence put up. It won’t take long to contain Twin Husky or Big Bro from this mess. I just see more $$$ coming out and I don’t know where it will come from. I decided to go back to work to earn some money.
  • I don’t really remember what else I did – I talked to my mom for a bit and I had a conference call to discuss a pricing strategy for one of our forums. We need to rethink pricing to get more members in – non-profits, start-ups, and smaller organizations. It is valuable to have them part of the forum but the price tag is a barrier to get them in. So we’re experimenting a bit to see if we can get some over the line. I have a number of sales calls coming up so am glad we came to conclusions on this.
  • I ate lunch. Got dressed. Headed out the door.

    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I headed into the city for a dentist appointment. You may not believe this, but I have all of my teeth – all wisdom teeth – and have NEVER had a cavity…. until NOW. I couldn’t believe it. I thought there was something funky going on in there. For years Dentists raved about my “virgin” mouth… all teeth in, and absolutely no work done on any of them. I prided myself in my cavity-free mouth. BUT ALAS NO MORE!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE IT!!!! A cavity. My mouth is no longer a virgin.
  • I headed in to pick up the kids. On my way I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some things. I shopped frugally and focused on sales. I got 3 containers of raspberries, buy 1 get 2 free. YEAH!
  • I picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Daycare said that they kept talking about the big couch and big TV at Mommy’s house. Too funny. My couch is so small and the TV is tiny compared to our other one. It’s funny to me what they choose to talk about.
  • We picked up Red and Big Bro at Red’s school. It was great to see her. I asked how she was doing (fine…, whew). She ran in my arms and I couldn’t get enough of her. She seemed older to me. Very much a little girl. She had a pony-tail in from her teacher and I think that is what made her look different to me.
  • I was careful with Big Bro when I saw him. Fist pump. I caught him playing with Twin Husky. They are so cute together now.
  • We headed to PetCo to get a new guinea pig. Our other one officially had ringworm (poor thing) so we picked out another. This one is chocolate-brown and a female. She is so sweet. She is actually quite social and does not immediately hide. Maybe the other one did because he felt sick. Poor guy. I hope I don’t get too many questions about where he is now. Twin Crazy was concerned that a Chicken would hurt the guinea pig when we got home. I assured her that this would not happen since it would be safe in a cage.
  • We drove back and I had fun throwing Vanilla wafers back to Red and Big Bro during the ride back. I would hear little “got it”s the whole way back. It was fun; we talked about the commuter train and the radio and I even caught Twin Crazy dancing a bit in her car seat.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We got back home and disinfected the guinea pig cage. We all worked together; the kids were so cute doing this. Big Bro was holding the guinea pig as he was cleaning the cage. Such a little man.
  • We played ball and also a wheelbarrel of water.
  • We ate dinner. And lots of fruit afterwards. Strawberries, pears, blueberries, and one of the packages of raspberries.
  • We played with more water. I weeded.
  • I knew when it was time to come in – Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were pooped. I read to each of them and put Twin Husky down first. He had no problem laying in his bed with his Tigers. He asked me to rub his back. Then our whispers “I….. love….. you”.
  • I worked with Twin Crazy next, while Big Bro and Red were playing with the guinnea pig.
  • I thought everyone was brushed and down for the count when the girls just started acting silly. Pee pee, water, itchy vaginas. Everything that Red would say, Twin Crazy would say too. It is so sweet how they are sisters and so close in age. Also a bit frightening. Twin Crazy tried not to smile to me as she was repeating everything from Red. Too cute.
  • I showered which gave the girls time to actually go to sleep.
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    I’m sitting here now on my “big” couch listening to the crickets and enjoying a cool breeze. It’s fun to have the kids here again. And also a new little creature that really is so cute. Red wants to name her Isabelle – but that is the name of the birthday-girl neighbor from across the street so I don’t think that would be a proper name. We’ll have to work on that.

    I’m feeling reasonably good. Tired. Thinking about the yard. It would have been good to get out there a bit before it was dark but the girls were just to amped up. Maybe I’ll have some ice-cream instead. Screw it. I already have a cavity – my mouth is no longer a virgin so I guess just bring those cavities on!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    June 18 (late): A botched routine

    I am writing this actually on Tuesday – last night I sat down after the day was over and wound up passing out on my couch – woke up at midnight and went to bed – so here I am, on public transportation, recapping from yesterday –

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Woke up early; I had the kids with me today; this would be my first commute into the city from my new house and ALSO having to drop off the kids. So I wanted to start the day early.
  • I put on the shower but there was no hot water… no hot water… still no hot water. Hmmm. I investigated the hot water heater outside and the machine was foreign to me. I started to read the directions but most were covered up from the restraining bars to keep it in place. I figured out how to see if the pilotlight was lit. The problem was that the window was at a strange angle. So I used an eyeshadow compact and placed the compact strategically to see the window. Yes, the pilot light was out. OK. I can do this. I followed directions to light the pilot light. Again, and again, and again. Hmmm. This is a problem. I’m not sure if my new washingmachine from yesterday blew out my hot water heater. OK. Let’s move on. I just won’t shower today and will worry about this later.
  • I got ready for work sans shower. Red greeted me in my room with a HUGE smile on her face. Then in walked Twin Crazy, with her hair all over the place and a HUGE hidden smile on her face. I suggested we sit on the couch together, under the fuzzy blanket. We sat there cuddled up. And then Twin Husky walked slowly into the living room, long hair sticking up, smiling as he put his thumb in his mouth with this Tiger. He came up on the couch with us. I had 3 of the kids cuddled up on the couch with me just sitting there holding and cuddling each other. And me with no shower. So much for starting early and getting out early.
  • We said “good morning” to the Chicken who greeted us at our back sliding door.
  • I fed the 3 kids and got them dressed. Big Bro appeared fully dressed by himself and I got him some breakfast. I instructed all to get their shoes on and they were so good getting to the door and getting ready. Also getting all of their stuff together (backpacks, important toys). Red was wearing Twin Husky’s sneakers since co-parent forgot her shoes during drop-off. She was OK with that.
  • We got into the van, I had my coffee, and I also brought some breakfast bars and dry cereal for the kids for the long ride just in case. They were great. We talked about the cars. We saw an Egret and talked about that.
  • I dropped off Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with no problems. I said I would see them on Wednesday. They left AOK and I was AOK too.
  • I then dropped off Big Bro and Red at daycare. It is Big Bro’s first day at “camp” at Red’s daycare. He saw a friend so I am thankful that he at least knows someone. He wanted to drop off Red first. We dropped her off, hung up her bag. Her daycare teachers are so great and know the situation. I said that Daddy would pick her up today and Tuesday, and that I would see her on Wednesday. She had pursed lips like she was holding in a smile or other emotion. Her teacher was great. We also talked about if she ever needs to talk to me there are phones and the teacher said there are phones at school so if she wants to talk to me they can just give me a call. I left and her face was still squinched up but there were no tears.
  • I dropped of Big Bro with his friend, and they were playing dinosaur legos. I gave him a fist-pump (no hugs) and asked him to have fun and that I would see him on Wednesday. He seemed fine.
  • I got into the van, drove to the public transportation. Took the train into work. I was a bit late but that was OK.
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    Highlights of my working day:

  • I changed the date for one of the forums
  • I organized sales tracking info for one of the forums
  • I reviewed output from a recent client project as a takeaway for the primary interviews and potential business development
  • I talked for a long time with a colleague that is leaving the firm. She is such a good friend to me and I will miss her.
  • I left at 4:45 PM to get to a doctor’s appointment. It was a hard session for me. There are things happening with this divorce that seem so out of line. And there is nothing that I can do but just sit back and accept it, and go through the process, which is difficult for me to do.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I got home and tried to tinker with the pilot light of my water heater. I eventually gave up and went across the street to a neighbor who is a general contractor. He was not there but his wife was. I thanked her again for the birthday party they had for their daughter. We were there all day yesterday and it was great to feel so welcomed and at ease with them and their friends. He was at work but stopped by my house later.
  • We looked at the hot water heater and believe it or not, that little window was burning bright orange! My attempts to light the pilot light actually worked!!! I laughed and he was fine with the inconvenience. I think he is great.
  • I ate some cookies for dinner and drank water. I folded some clothes. I sat on the couch and PASSED OUT. I woke up at midnight and that was the end of my day.
  • So now I’m commuting on Tuesday AM and am actually enjoying myself. This is a nice ride. Very different from a subway in New York City. I had no problem with parking this morning ($1) and I have my frequent-transit card so am feeling like a real commuter. I will be at work earlier than normal today so am feeling good so far.

    Have a great day everyone –
    – Mama K

    June 12: My last night

    Chocolate Tuesday.  My last one at this house.  After this week, I will officially be living in my new home.   And my kids will need to deal with this divorce in a different way than they have experienced in the past.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I woke up on the couch, again.  I woke up and showered quickly.  I was going to be working from home today due to divorce-related meetings so there was no need to get dressed in work attire. 
    • Twin Crazy was excited about wearing tights.  So I helped her in them and helped her pick a dress.  She picked a halter-top number with butterflies and she looked ADORABLE.
    • The rest of the kids were in great moods as well because of Chocolate Tuesday.  My last……
    • Big Bro had to wear a white shirt for school today for special outside events so I found a “shark” shirt.  Twin Crazy was at first extremely scared of it (and we talked about those feelings) but then she had a change of heart and decided that she loved the shark and wanted to give it kisses.   She proceeded to get chocolate Nutella all over Big Bro’s shark shirt.
    • Drop offs were fine; I dropped off Red and she was in a reasonably good mood, but very clingy.





    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I got in the car and loaded up more things and headed out to my house.  I needed to be there for a furniture delivery.   So I was busy cleaning up the floors and also getting my trash ready for trash night.  
    • In the meantime, I hooked up my modem so that I could get Internet access and be wireless.  No problems so far!
    • Macy’s came and gave me the red carpet treatment.  Then one of the chickens came by and the delivery guys (and me) were laughing.  I guess the Chicken does not see red carpets too often and was curious as to what was going on.
    • The living room furniture looks great; after the delivery I just sat there for a few moments and relaxed.  I mean REALLY relaxed.  I strangely felt at peace, despite how my life was being torn and the events that I needed to get ready for this week.   The house is coming together.  And it feels comfortable.  It feels good.   I feel good in it.
    • I quickly had to get ready to leave for an appointment related to the beginning of our Child Custody evaluation.  I can’t believe we are going through this – but we couldn’t agree with anything while we were married, why would I think that we would be able to agree to anything now.   It is terrible that 3rd parties are deciding on what is best for our family.   How can me and co-parent think so differently??!?!?!?!
    • On my way to my appointment I called the office and told them I’m just going to take the day off.  I got NOTHING done but a few emails – I can’t claim that I did any real work today.   The same will go for tomorrow.
    • The meeting was emotionally exhausting.  The same rehashing of events and feelings of lost dreams and disappointment.  
    • I got back to pick up the Twins; co-parent picked up Big Bro and Red.



    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I cleaned up the last of my room while co-parent cooked dinner.  I had a lot of time with Twin Crazy, who was helping me sort through stuff to keep vs. stuff to throw away.  She seemed very needy tonight.  It must have been hard for her to see me packing up in this way.
    • I vacuumed up the room and the kids helped.
    • We ate pizza outside.  We ate cherries.  Twin Crazy sat on my lap the entire time.
    • Red sat on my lap next.   Both of my girls are needy tonight.
    • I played “wall ball” with Big Bro.  He had me cracking up with all of the lingo and terminology to this game.  I really had a good time and I’m glad he kept asking me to play with him.
    • We went inside and co-parent was watching TV with Big Bro and the Twins as I was packing up some things with Red.    Then there was an issue with the remote control and Twin Crazy accidently turned off the show that Big Bro was watching.  Big Bro of course had a tantrum and threw himself on the floor.  This scared Twin Crazy who came running over to me.
    • I drew some firetrucks with Red and Big Bro.
    • Upstairs, it was my night with Red and Big Bro.  Big Bro read us a book.  I talked with them about it being my last night here.  Big Bro cheered, saying that for now on we will get to spend more time at my house.   Red looked at me and said that she likes my house but does not like that it is far away.  My heart sank.  I can’t take too much more emotion right now.  She asked why did I pick that house even though its far away?   I picked it because of the schools.   To give my kids the opportunity to go to the best public schools in this area (and because of affordability, but I didn’t get into that with her).    I told her that her brain and the rest of the kids’ brains deserve the very best schools and they will be able to get them with that house.   Big Bro was an optimist and said that it just feels like the house is farther away than it really is because you have to get on a highway.  But the cars go fast so it really isn’t that long of a trip.   Ugggh.  My heart breaks again.




    So I kissed them goodnight and told them that I really enjoyed my last night with them in this house.  I then went to see Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and whispered my normal “I….. love….. you.     Sweet dreams.  Bye-bye.”  

    I went downstairs and headed to a neighbor’s house to close out the evening.  We talked about kids in general (they also have four) and laughed.   I enjoyed myself and will miss them.   But I already know they will be visiting and I have so many ideas of things to do with the eight kids… most of them involving weeds.   J

    I’ll be honest – I am so disappointed at how things have turned out for me and my family.  We moved into this house temporarily and I had such high hopes – I really felt like we were moving in the right direction as a family.   I was so hopeful.  And excited for our future.    I spent my marriage putting my family first above my own needs – and did this for so long that I eventually broke.  I have found much better balance now and am happier in a much different way; but this happiness has come with many trade-offs.   A significantly reduced standard of living.  The loss of a marriage and partnership.  The strain on the children, now and in the future.   And a future that is unknown.    But, all futures are unknown.   I am trying to do my best with the cards that have been dealt to me.   And I am hoping that things will work out for my family and that the children will be taken care of and given what they need. 

    I have another big day tomorrow and a bigger day on Thursday.   I’m going to hunker down now on the couch and finish this last day.   I’m feeling down and terribly disappointed; I’m hoping that tomorrow I will feel stronger.

    Til tomorrow –

    –          Mama K

    Staying Sane: Just make a list and bang it out

    For those that are following this blog, you know that I have more on my plate now than 1) working; and 2) being a mother.   I’ve also got 3) a move; 4) a divorce; and 5) child custody efforts.   I separate # 5 from #4 because dealing with the kids, their emotions, and the thought of these descisions into the future are soooooooooooooooo critical; money and things can be replaced (e.g., divorce); but the relationships and the safety net you provide to your children are just too important to overlook.  So I need to give that the special focus it deserves.

    Anyway, the topic of this post.   How to manage all of the things going on right now…. how to keep it together without falling to pieces or feeling like a deer in headlights.  Well, I do feel like that sometimes.  But then my Type A personality kicks in and I just hunker down, focus, make my lists, and bang them out.   You can probably tell that I am a big “list maker” just by the way that I write.  Most of the time, I do this work at night.  After the kids go to sleep.   And online.   I cut corners and probably sacrifice cost to save me time.  I do not have time to bargain-shop when I have so much to get finished.

    For example, in the last say 2 weeks, I’ve had to:

    • buy a minivan
    • sell a car
    • start my move
    • buy two bedroom sets for two rooms for the four children (and put together said furniture….)
    • buy a refrigerator
    • buy a washer / dryer
    • buy a kitchen set
    • buy a livingroom set
    • buy a shed
    • organize a fence/handrail installation
    • deal with court deadlines and paperwork deadlines
    • deal with a summer custody schedule that is ambiguous in some of its language
    • deal with back and forth between lawyers on said ambuiguity
    • fight with lawyer/ terminate relationship with said lawyer on dealings with said ambuiguity
    • lead a selling webinar for a forum at work that we are trying to launch
    • finish a client project and complete a Final Deliverable for our client
    • weed, weed, weed, weed, weed the grounds of the new house; I mowed a lawn for the very first time ever
    • buy things I never imagined I would ever own (e.g., electric drill) at Home Depot – make multiple trips to home depot
    • Start to think about financial mediation and then put that on backburner

    I am not saying that I am super human.  I am not.  And I am floundering in many of the above.   But what I am trying to do is compartmentalize the aspects of my life that require ACTION.  And also figure out which of the items NEED to get done IMMEDIATELY versus which can wait a bit.  Which involve 3rd parties?  Which have deadlines?  Which do I need to work together with someone else versus what can I do on my own?  What can be accomplished at night, on-line, and executed through on-line shopping and delivery to my house?    Are there people who can help me (and YES there are and YES I take the help when offered, with MUCH appreciation).

    And all along all of this is focusing also on my kids.  This must be hard for them.  This must be confusing for them.  But they are troopers and handling it very well – better than I expected.  I guess having four children is great in that they help each other… they look out for each other… they are a bit stronger I suppose than children of smaller families.

    And in the list there is the recurring theme of getting the house ready.  Inside and out.   And I find great pleasure in the outside work.  Mowing the lawn.  Weeding.  I joke about all of the weeds but I think it therapeutic for me to actually do it.   I find that attacking that earth in the early morning before it gets too hot is the best time.  It is quiet.  And I fill up those wheelbarrels and I have time to think about my to-do’s… or not.   And many times I have helpers and workers (AKA the kids) and also friends and neighbors.   THANK YOU EVERYONE.

    So… the things left to do…

    • hire someone for fence/railings [NEED TO DO SOON]
    • put shed together [OUTSOURCE… FIND SOMEONE TO DO IT]
    • hire another lawyer [backburner for now….]
    • complete the move
    • get internet set up [installation set….]
    • get washer/dryer, furniture delivered in one piece [delivery dates set… ]
    • organize kitchen [Mom to help]
    • focus on getting some work done at the day job

    Have a great week!

    – Mama K

    May 22: Day from HELL

    But the day started off so great….

    Chocolate Tuesday! Kids woke up fast, got dressed fast, and as a result had plenty of time to play before we dropped them off at daycare.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I walked into Twin Husky and Twin Crazy’s room – Twin Husky was already standing and smiling and pointing to me, making faces, and acting silly. Twin Crazy was still getting up but happy because of chocolate tuesday. She kept squealing “Chocolate Tuesday! Chocolate Tuesday!” and was anxious to get downstairs. I changed her into clothes since her PJs were a bit damp from pee. She was so cute, rejecting the options I was giving to her and she requested a dress. One was too small but we tried another that she loved. I can’t believe the difference between our two girls. Red is such a tom-boy and Twin Crazy loves dresses and tights. So cute.
  • Red woke up in a great mood and was quick to pick out her clothes. She wanted to get dressed upstairs by herself but she wanted me to wait by the stairs for her.
  • Big Bro was already dressed and headed downstairs. He offered to take Twin Crazy down with him since she was anxious to go downstairs and did not want to wait for Red to get ready. He is such an amazing big brother.
  • I got downstairs with Red and Big Bro was in her seat. I immediately saw this so asked if we could scoot him around so that Red could sit in her spot. He was agreeable to this.
  • Twin Husky was investigating the new cereals that I bought last night. I think they passed his taste-test.
  • I made Big Bro’s lunch and am trying to diversify what he gets. He always gets the same thing which I don’t agree with. We need to offer him more choices so he can become more flexible.
  • Red sat on my lap so I could help her with her socks and then Twin Crazy sat on HER lap. I was laughing about the “girl sandwich” and the kids were having fun too.
  • All kids were dressed, cleaned up, vitamins done, and ready to go QUICKLY. Big Bro was playing with Legos, playing games with their faces and their helmets, and doing experiments to see if his fingers were the same size as the Lego figurines. Twin Crazy was playing with a toy computer and she said she was doing her “work”.
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    I have a lot on my mind today. Things at work: getting sales efforts underway for a new initiative that went well, and also firming up dates and getting planning started for two of our established forums – meetings will occur in October and I want to start the planning up front as well as solicit/ sell to new members. If I bring in sales it increases my value at the company and makes this “hybrid” position more secure/stable. I need to focus on sales to keep myself valuable.

    I also have a lot on my mind with this divorce. I am striving on making positive changes for the family however co-parent is hiding behind excuses to slow down the decisioning process – this will not be good for the kids or us. There are also things happening on the financial front that are appalling and that I just won’t get into. True colors come out during divorce I suppose and I feel like my moving on and away from him is becoming easier and easier as each day goes by.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I started right away. I had a conference call to debrief our potential partner on the outcomes of our initial sales call for a potential forum we are trying to launch. Working with them is painful – they are adding NO value and I want to protect our firm’s potential revenues from this initiative. As of yet, we can go at this on our own – we intend to follow up with the potential clients one-on-one and organize a face-to-face meeting in the Fall. If our partners do not contribute to this, I want to proceed without them.
  • I put some work on the back-burner for another forum we are trying to launch. I think it is a longer sales cycle and am not happy nor do I trust the partner we are working with.
  • I sent out a “final” letter to close out a project we recently completed. Yeah!
  • I spent time on admin, and also working through files and information related to the divorce.
  • This divorce process is so unbelievably frustrating. Working with mediators are supposed to CLARIFY things so that there are no areas for potential dispute. I feel like we are going in circles and we are re-hashing significant details around our temporary summer custody schedule… which is to begin in 3 weeks. Why are we spending this money????? I’ve been trying to get clarity on a number of items and there still is no clarity. So am I to get lawyers involved at double the cost? Are you kidding me??!??!?!?!

    I am on the ferry now headed home. I’m looking forward to seeing the kids and talking about their days. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, working from home, where I can walk with Big Bro to school – and maybe also take Red and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Then drop the rest off via car. This kind of time with them is limited for me now so I want to take advantage of these days while I can.

    I also want to drive to my house tonight. To take the trash to the curb and also get some things done. I know it sounds silly. I can just text my neighbor to pull my cans out. But I feel the need to be there. I can take the time to take over some more of my things – clothes, my desk, office chair. Check my mail. Maybe I’ll take the older kids. They would love that.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • As I picked up the kids I received an extremely disturbing email message from our child custody mediator, who essentially is putting stability of daycare over and above time with me over the summer. I can’t believe this is happening. If a mother is willing and able to care for her children over the summer for some days during the week, isn’t that the better option than putting them in daycare? How can consistency of friends in daycare trump time spent with Mom in the midst of divorce? I just don’t understand. I just don’t understand. Help me to understand.
  • Needless to say, I was pre-occupied this evening. I played with the kids before our dinner arrived. I ate pizza and then I drove out to my house to water my lawn (yes, it is already brown), pick up my mail, take the trash to the curb, and lug in BIG dresser boxes and a new TV. Big Bro and Red were with me and they helped with the lawn and the plants.
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    It’s almost 1 AM and I’m typing, after going through mountains of papers for this god-awful divorce. This is the worst experience ever. I cannot believe the amount of money we are pissing away and I cannot believe the outcomes that I have seen thus far. I am walking away from this marriage with virtually NO assets, except for the house that I scraped up to purchase, which will probably have a lien on it from my lawyer. That is what is going to wind up happening. This is the most irrational thing that has ever happened to me in my life. There are too many parties involved and no-one who has a full picture of the situation. It is crazy – absolutely crazy. Time and energy that I could be spending to help my children cope with this mess is being drained by papers and irrational conclusions. And in the end it will be the kids that will suffer. I need to shield them from this and put on a happy face tomorrow. I can’t wait to get out of this house.

    On that note I will call it a night – I know tomorrow will be just as bad if not worse. I better take some Advil tonight to prepare.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    May 17: Chunks and chickens

    Today is one of my days off from work – I have the Twins but made extra time for Big Bro and Red too. I am solo again tonight.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and I brought her down with me so I could monitor her. In the AM, Red came in the room and got into my bed fully dressed and ready to go for the day. She is ready to ride her bike with the Motley Crew today! I asked her if she wanted to stay with Twin Crazy while I took a shower. She did. I gave her some toys to keep her occupied.
  • Twin Crazy still wasn’t ready to eat a real breakfast. It took her awhile to warm up to some cereal. I’m glad she ate a bit.
  • Big Bro was playing his dirty underwear game again. Why doesn’t he just change them? I held my ground and started walking out the garage and then he got changed. As soon as he was changed he was an angel, helping all the siblings get ready for their Motely Crew ride.
  • This was the first time for Red. Including her, we had 10 kids. Red was in the back of the line but she kept up with everyone just fine. She was more confident and having more fun (I think) on the way home.
  • We packed up the van and headed to her school. We dropped her off a bit later than usual but she was happy to be there with her friends.
  • On the way back I called the doctor and made an appointment for Twin Crazy since this is her 4th day with a fever. It is viral. Nothing in her ears or chest. She has a blister in her mouth. The doctor said this should be on the way out for her. Whew!
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    Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • I continued East and went to the house. I had things to do there and also wanted to check on the lawn. The Twins were with me and they loved the yard, the sprinklers, and the CHICKENS!!! They were both squealing over them. The neighbor is very nice and gave each of them a fresh egg. The sun was out, the birds were singing, and the chickens were squawking. My kids were thrilled and I was happy.
  • We had some lunch – pasta and bananas – my first meal at the house. They each broke their real eggs so both were very cranky. Twin Crazy peed on the floor. Then they took a nap. They are so easy when it comes to sleep. I opened up one of the new mattresses and spread out a fuzzy blanket. I asked for each of them to share the mattress and then covered them with their own favorite blankets from their cribs. They were out in 5 minutes.
  • While they slept I put together 4 bar stools and brought in some other boxes of stuff. I also mopped up the floor from smell of fresh eggs and urine.
  • They woke up, we looked at chickens. I looked at weeds. We did more sprinklers, I met a neighbor with small kids.
  • As I packed the kids up, suddenly Twin Husky puked all over himself. I wasn’t sure if he was sick though, because he seemed fine afterwards. We picked up Red earlier than ususal, and on the way to get Big Bro he barfed again. OK. It’s official. It’s a virus and now the other twin has it.
  • Big Bro didn’t want to ride his bike back so he came with us. I ordered a pizza.
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    HIghlights of the Evening:

  • All kids ate well, surprisingly. I kept my eye on Twin Husky and he looked fine. Twin Crazy on the other hand was very clingy and sitting on my lap.
  • After dinner, Twin Husky found some of my expensive face cream and spread it all over the living room window.
  • I decided to give him a bath since he puked all over himself twice today. While upstairs and right before getting into the bath, he puked pizza and spaghetti all over the bathroom rug. OK, this kid is really sick. I dunked him in the bath real quickly to clean him up. I wrapped him in a towel and held him. I got him changed and gave him medicine.
  • I read to the Twins, wanting to call it an early night for them. They are both sick and I just want them to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Red and Big Bro were fine; She was dressed like a princess and so damn cute. I read to them and let them play quietly since it was still early and the sun was still shining.
  • I packed up some things and was in the garage when Big Bro and Red came down saying that Twin Crazy wanted them to sleep in her room. So I said sure, bring in your pillows and camp out in their room.
  • I went to check in on them and Twin Crazy was in Big Bro’s bed, and Red was walking around talking. I couldn’t believe that Twin Crazy was in there! She was just laying next to Big Bro and they were comforting her since she was still sick. She was smiling at me. I asked her if she felt loved and she said “Yes”. I put her in her own crib and she said “goodnight” to Big Bro and Red on her way out.
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    I am now downstairs and tired. It was a good day but dealing with two sick children is hard. I felt so bad for both of them today. Poor Twin Husky. He seemed fine all day. I loved being at the house and it is coming together nicely. I have a lot more work to do there though, obviously. I can’t believe the amount of weeds. The grass is brown but the weeds are growing all over the place just fine.

    I can make this a home for them. I know I can. And I knew I made the right decision on this house in hearing my kids laughter at those chickens and seeing them playing in the sprinklers with each other on the front lawn.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 26: Lotion heads

    Tired. Throbbing headache. Big Bro is throwing a fit upstairs right now with co-parent. I’m downstairs in my room, like an outsider.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red coming into my room at around 6:30. She wanted to talk to me and play with my red beads.
  • All kids got dressed, fed, vitamins.
  • I strolled with the Twins as Big Bro scootered with the Motley Crew. The Twins looked ridiculous with the hair all over the place from the hand-soap incident the night before. Their hair was sticking up all over the place.
  • I strolled back with the Twins and we came back to a warm house.
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • We played with puzzles, ate snacks, cuddled on the couch, read books. Twin Husky had fun with the spray bottle.
  • There was lots of fighting and arguing and even hitting today between the Twins. I think they are getting bored with each other. It would be nice to have them interact more with other kids besides themselves and the older siblings. They were like an old married couple with each other today.
  • Throughout the day I answered emails where I had to and even had a quick conference call.
  • I made lunch and then we went for a drive. I asked them to nap in the car and it was so cute how hard they tried to close their eyes and go to sleep. It eventually worked and soon both were snoozing.
  • I had a meeting with my realtor to sign some docs; Twins were sort of behaved but not so much. Twin Husky dumped an entire container of Cheerios all over the floor. Twin Crazy had a pee-pee accident all over the floor. Twin Husky’s diaper came loose and when he let he pee-pee loose, it went all over his pants. Basically an embarrassing mess.
  • We got back and tried to rest a bit in my bed. It was cute but lasted only 10 minutes.
  • We picked up Red, then picked up Big Bro. Big Bro scootered all the way home.
  • As I made dinner the kids got into some hand lotion and wound up greasing themselves up all over the place. Thankfully I got to them before there was any lotion in anyone’s eyes.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Kids ate well except for Red. She ate nothing. I offered her milk but she refused. So she will be hungry tomorrow.
  • I cleaned up while co-parent gave Twins a bath.
  • Twins went to bed very easily.
  • Red and Big Bro were having their troubles; Big Bro came down to me looking for a shirt to wear for bed. I dried his eyes, handed him a pile of clean clothes, and told him that things would be alright. He’s upstairs now and it is finally quiet.
  • I’m really tired. I have a lot on my mind and feel drained. I don’t think I really had time to decompress from last week. Yesterday was so great for some reason…. today was good with the Twins but I honestly had no good quality time with either Big Bro or Red. I feel like I hardly saw them today. I need to make it up to them over the weekend.

    Looking forward to going to bed.
    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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    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

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