April 3: Big Brother and his sisters’ tears

Chocolate Tuesday!

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red woke up at 5 AM; I went to check on her. There was no heat on. It was 66 degrees. I put the heat on and decided to bring her down with me since it was almost morning anyway.
  • All kids were going crazy with chocolate tuesday. Red was a bit finicky and having problems communicating what she wanted for breakfast. I asked her what bread she wanted. Regular bread or tortilla? She wanted a tortilla and her face lit up with a smile.
  • The kids were “testing” the chocolate Nutella to see if it was OK. [A hypothesis of the reason why Red was rejecting her breakfast was that the chocolate was not good. So we did an experiment and checked the Nutella chocolate to make sure it tasted OK. It did.]
  • Kids were acting silly with head motions so I asked them if they were stretching and exercising. That really got them going with more movement.
  • Red and Big Bro were already dressed from the night before. They wanted to get ready fast this morning so when they set out their clothes last night, they decided to get changed into them and sleep in them to save them time this morning. I told them last night that they were ridiculous, laughed, told them to wear what is comfortable, and left their room. They were ready very quickly this AM!
  • Everyone was ready so early that there was plenty of time to play. Big Bro started to read Twin Crazy a picture book.
  • We did drop offs all together this AM. We were ready quickly so all got in the van and dropped off Twins first, and then Red/Big Bro at Red’s school [he is on spring break so we are paying extra for “camp” for him this week]. They enjoyed all being together in the van. I felt a pang of sorrow for them and their excitement.
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    I am now on the ferry with a lot on my mind. I will be busy at work but I think everything is under control, at this point. I also have things to think about related to personal items…. some things I need to check on to prepare for big meetings at the end of the week.

    Today at work I have one team working session scheduled to go over the team’s analysis and one client touchpoint meeting. This gives me a lot of time to focus on other work and actually get work accomplished. Some sell meetings to schedule, some follow up with speakers, confirmations of speaker times, etc. I also have to think through revamping the entire work product that our company presents at the forums. It is extremely manual to update for each meeting and also the story/takeways are not compelling. Visually it is hard to digest. The files are at graphics now and I need to think through the work product and make changes to format, insight, structure, etc. to make the presentation more concise, compelling, and visually easier to digest. That will take some time but I think I can get to it today. I would like to have a final re-vamp done by end of week for Director review. I think it will be a good day. I’m not stressed at all about where we are in terms of meetings and deliverables.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I spent time with the project team on our client work and also client update.
  • I spent time reaching out to potential speakers and guests to our forums
  • I remembered to grab printouts of our work product for the forums but did not have a chance to review
  • I spent quite a bit of time on personal things – necessary personal things
  • I’m on the ferry home and am feeling angry. I really want to see the kids. They put a smile on my face and make me relax. They can sooooo effectively use humor with me and they know what to do to get a laugh out of me. It’s easy for them to do. And we enjoy these times. So, I’m looking forward to seeing my kids and laughing with them tonight.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and Big Bro, and then we went to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. We found them taking a walk along the sidewalk with their daycare provider as we pulled into the courtyard with the van. Red and Big Bro went nuts. I pulled over to the side and drove up very slowly…. Red and Big Bro both unbuckled their seatbelts and flew to the windows demanding for the windows to be pulled down. There we were, in the van and cheering outside of the window, to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky who were both very excited for the warm welcome.
  • At home I started cooking fish and rice. It was baked, so I had some time with the kids before it was ready. We played for a bit, went potty A LOT (Twin Crazy getting used to the chocolate chip rewards), went for a walk to the mailbox to get the mail, ran around a bit…. Twin Crazy then had a poop accident. While I was upstairs getting her new clothes, somebody (still not sure who) climbed up something (still don’t know what) and grabbed the huge bag of chocolate chips from Costco… there were chips ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR. I threatened to put locks on all of the cabinets since the kids have proven to me that they cannot be trusted. Everyone was silent.
  • We had some problems with Red during dinner. She was saying that she wanted carrots but not talking clearly. So she eventually threw herself on the floor after we were not able to understand her. Eventually I asked her to either speak clearer, or go into the other room with a book because I did not want to hear it anymore. I eventually had to pick her up with a book, and take her into the other room. At that point she clearly told me that she wanted carrots. I gave carrots to her. She was smiling.
  • After dinner I played “tickle monster”, cleaned up from dinner, and then became the “tickle monster” again. The kids were playing well with each other – Big Bro putting everyone’s stuffed animals to “night night”, giving them wagon rides…. helping Twin Crazy get her new underwear on…. they really were getting along very well.
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  • I was on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky duty tonight. They went down OK, Twin Crazy a bit tough. Red was having a very difficult time. She wanted to stay with me as I read to the Twins. I let her. The cutest thing was the big, big hugs that the Twins gave each other tonight. They embraced, held each other tight, pulled away looking at each other and laughing, and then embracing yet again. IT WAS SOOOOO SWEET I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t seen this affection in this way, with this intensity, so far. It was too cute.
  • I went downstairs and heard so much commotion upstairs. I had to go up. I knew Red was having a really rough time so wanted to go to her. I found Twin Crazy and Twin Husky up in Big Bro/Red’s room reading a book with co-parent!! What?!??!?!? What is this routine? I already put them to bed. “They were crying so I’m reading them a book.” Are you kidding me??@!?!??! Not the kind of routine that I want to start. I brought them both back into their room. Twin Crazy was VERY upset. I sat with her and hugged her and calmed her down. She told me she didn’t want to go night-night. I told her that it was time for everyone to go night-night, that she wasn’t missing out on anything. Eventually I saw that the bathroom door was closed. She is now scared of the dark. I asked her if she was scared because the door was closed and she said YES. I asked her if we need to open the door and she said YES. I asked her if that was the reason why she was so upset and she said YES. I consoled her and told her that yes, the dark CAN be scary and that she must have been very scared with the door closed. I rocked her. I asked her if she was OK now and she said Yeah. I asked if it was better that the bathroom door was open for her and she said Yeah. I asked her if she could go to sleep now and she said Yeah. I put her back into her crib, her little face looking up at me, and told her that it was OK, that it was OK to feel scared, but the bathroom door was open and it wasn’t so dark in her room anymore. I left the room, kept her bedroom door open a bit, asked if that was OK and if she was OK and I heard her say Yeah.
  • Then it was working on Red. I sat with her in the hallway and hugged her in silence. I walked her back into her room. She did not want me to leave, but I did. I went downstairs and she followed me down in a fit. I dried off her face and carried her upstairs. I sat down with her and read her a book. I held her some more. I put her to bed. I put on her special blanket. I brought up my iPad and am now typing in the hallway outside of her room, which I promised to do for her. She hears me typing. She knows I’m closeby. I hear her sighing from time to time and know that she is relaxing and going to sleep.
  • I am so tired. I am so scared for these kids. It will just get worse for them. As it gets better for me, it will get worse for them… so in the end it gets worse for me too. These kids are going to be put to the test. And I know them. I know what gets them upset. I can understand them – and when I cannot, I take the time to figure it out. I let them know, and I prove to them, that it is important to me to understand them and connect with them. I try to understand their fears, their needs, their emotions…. even when they themselves cannot. I am taking the time because it comes natural for me. And also because I know that I cannot be there for them all the time – so I’m trying to do my best with the time that I have to give. To reassure them and help them when I see that they need the help.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    February 21: The Little Blue Engine that could?!?!?!?

    Tuesday – after a long weekend – so this will be a super-short week for me. I don’t know if that is good or bad, since I am busy at work these days. It was a great morning until “the blow-out”….

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I walked into the Twins room and they were just waking up; Twin Husky was sitting up sucking his thumb with his Tigers, and Twin Crazy was hidden in her crib underneath a pile of blankets (the house was freezing this AM). They were quietly talking and mumbling and being sweet. I went to Twin Husky first since he seemed more awake. He was talking about the pile of books and the choo-choo train. Then Twin Crazy started talking about the train that was “broken” and how the other trains needed to “help”. I’ve been reading “The Little Engine that Could” to them in an abbreviated format, talking about how the one train is broken, and how THIS train doesn’t help, and THAT train doesn’t help, and THAT train doesn’t help (he’s too tired), but the happy little blue train helps. Well, Twin Crazy while in her crib suddenly becomes so fixated on retelling that story to me and she was so concerned about the train that was broken and I re-assured her that eventually the little blue happy train helped. We spent the next 15 minutes talking about this, all through their diaper changes, and getting ready to go downstairs. It was so cute. So cute how they feed off of each other and so cute how focused she can be so early in the morning.
  • Chocolate Tuesday! Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ran into Big Bro and Red’s room, talking about Chocolate Tuesday and about the train that was broken.
  • Big Bro and Red both wanted me to carry down their piles of clothes for them. They were excited about chocolate.
  • All kids downstairs were thrilled for chocolate tuesday. Fingers in the chocolate, chocolate all over faces. (I’m talking about Nutella for those that do not know – don’t worry, I don’t feed Hershey’s to the kids in the morning).
  • All bags were already packed and ready – jackets ready to go. We just had to get kids fed and Big Bro/ Red dressed. It all seemed easy.
  • I instant messaged our neighbor to confirm that Big Bro could ride his bike with them this AM. He got mad at me because he wanted the message to read “today and everyday”. So I had to resend a message since he went on strike and would not eat his breakfast otherwise. He was mad at me but then got over it. He got dressed very easily.
  • Red was next. She was doing great until we got to her shirt. She picked out a short sleeved shirt the night before, but the house was freezing this AM so when she put the shirt on she rejected it. I picked out 3 different long-sleeved shirts but she wanted a shirt that was in the laundry. So she rejected the 3 long sleeved shirts. At this point, we only had TWO drop offs (since Big Bro was outsourced to the neighbors) but believe it or not we were running late. So we decided to divide the drop-offs. Red still refused to put on a shirt. I threatened for her to just wear her jacket. Then her shoes were not in the designated place so I had to run around and try to find her shoes. That is something that just shouldn’t happen. All of the shoes should be in their place. With eight feet to get ready, we can’t afford the time in the morning to look for ONE pair of shoes. She knew I was mad so cooperated the rest of the time. She got on a shirt, got on her jacket, got into the car without a problem. Her drop off was fine, but she was clingy.
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    I am so frustrated today. Frustrated that I had a partner that just accepted this kind of routine. Frustrated that I did not have the support from him. Frustrated that we couldn’t turn to each other when things with the kids were hard. Frustrated that as a couple we could not get to a better place because of inertia and fear. I can’t wait to get through the next few months in this house.

    I’m on the ferry right now and am still typing fast and hard at all of this. It is foggy. I don’t like that I have to rush for this ferry. I don’t like that I have to commute to the city away from the kids. I don’t like this situation right now. I need to get out of this “temporary” abyss that I am in. I need to re-start my life.

    Work will be busy today. We have a client touchpoint today on the project we just started so I’ll need to connect with the team and figure out what we can share with them. I also need to get out a planning survey for one of our forums so I can start to plan out the Agenda and secure speakers. I also need to reach out to secure primary interviews for another project I am assisting on. I also need to see survey results from the other forum I am planning to see what topics I should focus on. Finally, I need to pack up my office – our office is moving over the weekend and today will be the only day I can physically pack up my stuff. Looks like I need to re-calibrate my “to-do” list above. It will be difficult to execute against all of it today.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    OMG I was so busy today. I almost did not stop for lunch, but this was the last day in the office for me so my “last lunch” was a bit of a momentus occasion – I got a huge turkey sandwich with REAL roasted turkey. YUM.

  • I was able to work with the research house we used before to get the old survey tools used for previous survey work we did in 2009 and 2010; we want to do the same customer surveys this year and feature the results during our meeting in April. So, I will need to work with these materials and modify to get the survey ready for this year.
  • I met with a team member to talk about the progress and initial results of his work related to our client project. I separately met with another team mate to understand available secondary research to help with the consumer preferences part of our work. I packed both sets of materials and sent to the client; we met with them in the afternoon to discuss progress and they seem really happy to-date. After the call, I talked with each of the team members about my expectations for the next Tuesday’s client call – what I wanted us to provide to them and if it was doable. They both have their marching orders so hopefully we will stay on track. I’ll check up on them on Friday and again on Monday to get the materials ready for the Tuesday client meeting.
  • I had a quick update meeting for the other initiative we are meeting for in April; I sent out some more invitations and also set up some conference calls to go over the purpose of the meeting and gauge interest.
  • I sent out the Zoomerang survey to help plan for one of the forums in April. This will help to identify which topics are of interest and how I can structure the Agenda into “tracks” so that we are presenting on topics that are of interest to the group(s).
  • I then spent several hours going through 8 years of files and packing. It was difficult for me. A part was extremely cathartic – getting rid and purging old work that I know I will no longer need. But there were many memories that flooded me — pictures that the kids drew over time, pictures of the kids as babies, spare diapers, old clothes, personal paperwork that brought me back in time. Maternity leave paperwork, health reimbursement paperwork, research of cities and their affordability and strength of public schools, copies of my marriage certificate, pictures of colleagues who passed away entirely too young. 8 years were compressed into 4 moving boxes. And these included “junk” of mine too…. rubber chickens, a favorite lamp for soft lighting, and lots and lots of photographs. I’m looking forward to a new office building. New faces. A new neighborhood. New lunch spots, new watering holes. A new breath. A new start.
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    So now I’m on the ferry with my normal shoulder bag but also with a roller bag of other personal paperwork. The sun is out. It’s beams are reflecting off of the waves and are flickering on my table. It is pretty, and relaxing. Maybe this is a sign that things will be better for me going forward. I’m hoping so.

    I have a pot-roast and chicken defrosting in the refrigerator. I think we’ll do the potroast tonight since it will be faster – with some pasta and veggies. I want to talk to Red tonight about this morning and how I felt mad but that we still love each other. Family members sometimes get mad at each other but it is OK to feel mad. It’s what we say, what we do, and how we communicate that is important – and that we all understand that we still love each other.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and he was encircled by several girls, each writing the names of different boys on their notepads and putting “stars” next to each of the boys’ names. They said Big Bro has the most starts because he is such a good boy. A quiet boy. A nice boy. One of them even went over to him and hugged him. she was cute with long hair. He blushed.
  • He walked the long walk to get his bike and he rode it back to the van. I watched him as he walked and then ran away from me. He stopped once to look back to see if I was still there. I couldn’t help but feel a bit lonely then, but also proud of the person he is becoming.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next. They were both going on a walk and were very concerned that I was going to pick them up without their second sets of lovely blanket and Tiger. I assured them we would go back and pick everything up.
  • We all went to pick up Red next. Red had some issues on the way out. She refused to walk. So all of us were standing there and she wanted me to pick her up but I just wouldn’t do it. I can’t do it. I’m too old for this. We eventually made it out with her walking on her knees and crying the whole way out.
  • I made dinner – a Trader Joe’s pot-roast, shredded cheddar cheese, warmed tortillas, broccoli/string beans, and a can of black beans — while the kids played. They played with plastic balls and Legos and pots and pans.
  • Dinner was really good and really easy. The kids ate well. Afterwards there was an issue with Big Bro and Red – he pushed her so I sent him up to his room. He kept coming down so I told him firmly that he needed to stay in his room and play quietly with something – Legos, books, anything. He kept it up and eventually I sat with him upstairs and he read to me – his homework for the night. He was fine from then on out. He read me his book, and then we were greeted by Twin Husky. He played with some magnets and then also with Big Bro’s Legos. Then they both played Legos and were really cute together.
  • I called down to Red to have her come up. I was on for their bedtime tonight. She came up without a problem and bedtime routine with both of them was really very easy. We picked out the clothes they want to wear for tomorrow. However… Big Bro has refused to sleep in his bed and is now on my bedroom floor. And now, as I type, I hear Red crying through the monitor for “mommy”. I can’t take this. It’s too hard to see this right in front of me. Let me go and check in on her.
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    I sat with her and rocked her for 15 minutes. I tried to put her in bed. She rejected it. Demanded her pillow and her doll. We came downstairs and I attempted to set her up next to Big Bro on my bedroom floor. She rejected that. She is pissed. And rightfully so. She wants her own bed but she wants Big Bro there too. She doesn’t understand. I don’t know what to do for her, for our kids in this situation.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    January 31: A very rough start of the day

    Chocolate Tuesday! What a morning. Hated it. Absolutely hated it. I am so frustrated now as I type.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • 3 breakfast kids (Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, Red) are busy eating their breakfast and enjoying chocolate Tuesday (Nutella with bread, tortilla, bagels, etc.).
  • Big Bro on the other hand, has trouble waking up, is whining from the first 30 seconds up, whining for his clothes, whining that he’s tired, wining that there’s no stool for him (I’ll give him that, we only have 3 stools), on and on and on….
  • We all broke into laughs (even Big Bro) when Twin Husky was waving around a HUGE banana. We were all cracking up. I want to post a picture but it could be interpreted as adult-rated…. you get the idea. Awh, here it goes:
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  • Clothes changes went well, but we were running late.
  • I threw in a load of laundry.
  • Finding Big Bro’s jacket held us back a bit.
  • I dropped off Twins and Big Bro; I HAULED ASS to the ferry. The parking lot was full. I had 2 minutes. I circled the lot, over and over, in hopes that a spot would miraculously appear. The last time I did this I parked in handicapped parking at got a $335 ticket. So, the boat pulled away. Doesn’t the driver realize that we have four children to get ready, 3 drop offs, and we simply do not have time to get here an extra 10 minutes early to ensure we get on the boat???!??!?!?!??!?!
  • So now we are driving into the city. This ferry is the most unpredictable and unreliable source of transportation. Cancelations are frequent. And now this. Filling up. If you miss your boat, you wait 1 hour, unless its the 8:30 boat (which we take), and then you’re shit out of luck. That’s the last boat for the morning. SUCKS!!!

    Anyway, I’m at least glad that I ate some breakfast this morning. I asked Big Bro and Red to remind me to eat this morning. They asked me last night why I don’t eat breakfast and wait until I get to work. I said, you know you’re right. I shouldn’t ask YOU to eat breakfast in the morning when I’M not doing it too…. that’s not right. I need to eat breakfast TOO. Remind me tomorrow, OK?” So they did. So I ate. So is that what it comes to? When I take the time in the morning for myself we wind up missing the ferry???? Ugggh.

    Today at work should be good. I’m going to focus on planning for the 3 events I have going in April. I like this part. This is the looking forward, seeing what the day could be like, seeing what is possible, and beginning to pull the pieces together. And the office will be filled with people again. So I’m looking forward to that.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a reasonably good day. I hooked up my replacement computer, which gave me the opportunity to clean off my desk of all of the dust-bunnies all over my desk. It feels good to be clean and free of dust. I also found some old pictures of Big Bro (2 at the time) and Red when she was a baby. So cute.
  • I had a sell conversation for a client prospect for one of the forums we are trying to launch. It was only me on the call – and he is interested!!! He needs to socialize the concept internally and I will follow up with him in ~2 weeks to see if they would be interested in coming to a first meeting.
  • I also worked on marketing/communication materials to solicit interest to a forum we are thinking on launching. We’ve settled on target audience and now we just need to go to market and see what kind of response we get. I’m glad to have started that and sent off a first draft to our team/partners.
  • I also followed up with a set of stakeholders to see if they wanted to play a larger role in the initiative above – hopefully they agree.
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    Now I’m on the ferry, headed back to a car that is parked a long way away from the parking lot. I can’t wait to see the kids. I didn’t have enough time with them last night. I have chicken defrosting in the refrigerator so they will have a good dinner. I’m looking forward to tonight.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick ups for all kids went fine. We were home, shoes off, jackets off, etc. by 5:30. Even Twin Crazy can now take her jacket off by herself and put it in the closet. She was so proud of herself tonight. She is so independent and can do so much by herself already.
  • I made tandoori chicken with yogurt tonight – this time with boneless chicken breasts which I highly recommend. I had all kids by myself. NO MOTHER’S HELPER (we need to find a replacement). For some reason, all kids were crying at some point during the dinner preparation. Twin Husky over train tracks, Big Bro about not getting his Lego set in the mail, Red under the table crying for I don’t know what reason, and Twin Crazy because of a bite incident from Twin Husky over the train tracks. It was nuts.
  • Everyone started to settle down after dinner started hitting their bellies.
  • After dinner, I did a quick cleanup, ran the dishwasher, and got the kids to clean up all of their toys before sitting down to watch some Spongebob together.
  • Twin Husky preferred to play by himself and build with Legos.
  • I played with Twin Husky as he pushed his kid stroller with his Tigers towards me, and then I pushed it back to him. We kept doing this over and over and this little guy was having so much fun. We were both laughing.
  • Twin Crazy had fun “eating” my nose and also Red’s nose. So cute.
  • We had a grape snack and then off to bed.
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    It was a good day with the exception of the ferry and the dinner prep. I’m feeling good today. Work was good and productive which gave me some balance. I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I’ll get to spend time with Big Bro and Red. They’re already looking forward to it. I hear them now on the monitor and they’re not talking… they’re trying to go to sleep. So sweet.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 20: You are Loved

    Chocolate Tuesday! I woke up and showered and went out of the room to find all kids in Big Bro and Red’s room. It was nice to have them all together so early in the morning and me to give each child a good morning kiss on their head – I missed them last night.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Big Bro and Red wanted me to help picking out their clothes but they were eager to put them on themselves, downstairs and after breakfast.
  • I walked downstairs with Red. I turned off a light before our trip down and it was too dark so I kidded with her… “What was I doing? That was way too dark.”…. and then she continued joking with me in her sing song, sarcastic humor that I think I taught her too well….. “Yeah mommy…. what were you doing? Turning off the light….. forgeting my lunch yesterday…..” and she was shaking her head back and forth and raising her hand upwards to the sky – so sarcastic, so dramatic. So sweet. My little girl with the drama and the humor and I almost cringe when I think of the influence that we have as parents over these little people. This little “sarcasm routine” I started a couple of years ago to basically laugh off my mistakes and joke with the kids like if I make a spill or put something in the wrong place. Red has grasped this humor and has taken it to a whole different level. With her inflection, her drama, her face and look in her eyes….. it is wonderful to see my little girl use my humor on me.
  • All kids were ready for breakfast. I was joking with each of them. Chocolate Tuesdays are great days. And look who asked for some chocolate and has been converted into the group — I know he will be addicted to this routine so now we have 3 kids that will go wild for Chocolate Tuesday going forward.
  • I was joking and talking with the kids. I asked, “raise your hand if you are a twin.” Almost immediately Twin Husky raised his one hand, and then his other hand. He had both hands raised. Then evenutally Twin Crazy raised her hand too. I tried so hard to get a picture of both of them together raising their hands but it was difficult to do. It would have been a great picture.
  • Twin Crazy went crazy over cereal and after she was done she still wanted to be with the group – so she tried to fit in by grabbing a small chair and standing on it. So cute. All together.
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  • Twin Husky was actually quite funny this morning. Making faces with his chocolate face; nodding his head up and down “yes” in a goofy way. Getting my attention by doing something funny and me praising him for making me laugh. He really is becoming much more “fun” and goofy.
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    We had only two drop offs today since Big Bro's public school is off for two weeks. Twin drop off was great – except that we couldn't find Twin Husky's tiger. So he may be difficult at nap time today. Big Bro and Red drop off was a bit stressful. Red was clingy and needed help with her teacher as we were leaving. Big Bro is in "camp" with some others and some old friends, but there is one child who has a VERY difficult time during drop off. I asked Big Bro if he wanted to introduce himself and ask the boy if he wanted to play. He quietly said "No." Inside, I couldn't believe what I saw. A poor child in a severe tantrum begging not to stay, saying that he didn't want to go, and his mother essentially tossed him on a couch while putting his jacket away. I know she must have been frustrated. I was stressed just hearing it. But I felt sad for the kid. A kid in an already tense situation feeling tossed aside by Mommy. I'm having trouble with this so I'll just stop here. I try not to judge but sometimes its hard.

    I'm on the ferry now. I will be late for a 9 AM conference call. I then have two other meetings after that. And I REALLY need to do real work today. I MUST get the client deliverable in good shape and REALLY need to make sure these meeting minutes are complete by year end. Or else we'll look really foolish.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    Wow. What a busy day.

  • I ran off the ferry and made it to the office just after 9 AM. I was a bit late to a conference call but they knew I would be late. It was an internal call. We talked about potential membership into an organization that would provide to us an opportunity to present, network, and potentially generate sales leads. I was also thinking of the objective of partnering with them to create another forum similar to the ones we already provide. It makes a ton of sense for us as a company to join forces with this organization. It could potentially open up an entire part of the market that has traditionally been hard to sell into with limited follow-on opportunities. If we are able to partner then we could potentially create another sales channel to create more leads with shorter sales cycles. I’m excited and glad to be involved. It will likely be a global effort.
  • I then had 20 minutes to review a proposal than an analyst drafted for our feedback. We then met with her to make the suggested changes. The proposal is going to need more work but we have time for that. I’m not worried about it (for now).
  • I then took a break, got some coffee, some water, fig newtons, and put on my make up in the bathroom. I looked like SHIT the whole morning.
  • I then had to prepare for a standing call with one of our partners for a forum we are creating. Our traction has stalled, seriously. We talked about go-to-market efforts and what we can do in the new year. We will need to evaluate in the new year whether we should continue with this effort or not. It is taking a lot of time so may not be worth it to continue. I sent out updated materials and templates and also sent out some emails after the call to prospective clients.
  • I grabbed a quick lunch at a shitty grilled cheese place right across from our office. I feel greasy now and it was a fancy grilled cheese – not like the ones I am used to in the Northeast (think orange american cheese on wonderbread where the cheese sticks to the fries in a New Jersey diner – no, this was NOT one of those an it cost me $10!!).
  • I then actually put my head down and started to WORK on the client deliverable that I know my client is waiting for. It is tedious. I’m not having a lot of fun finishing it up. But it’s important to him. So I do it. There is more to do, and he wants to talk tomorrow AM, so I will most likely work tonight after the kids get to bed to make sure he has it in his hands first thing in the AM. Like I don’t have anything else to do??!?!?!?!???!!? Uggggh. I HATE those nights where I have to work after the kids go to bed. I will try to be patient. Hopefully they will be cooperative. I’m looking forward to playing with them since I have not had good “play time” for several days now.
  • I am now on a ferry back. A later ferry since Big Bro is not in after-care so we are not crunched on time. The problem is that I’m used to picking them up 1 hour earlier and starting dinner. So, they may be VERY tired and hungry and cranky tonight for pickup. Maybe it will be a pasta night.


    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We picked Big Bro and Red up at pre-school/day camp and their entire conversation on the way home was centered around the menorah that she made out of frosting, marshmallows, and pretzels. Big Bro was curious about the pretzel entering the marshmallow, and if she used any frosting on the pretzel to keep it secure in the marshmallow. It was so cute. Them talking back and forth about the frosting, marshmallow, and pretzel (and no, the pretzel held tightly without any need for frosting “glue”).
  • Pick up for twins went fine; it was dark. All looked at the lights on houses.
  • Made a dinner of pasta, spinach, meat/parsley, and broccoli. Kids ate well. Both Big Bro and Red wanted to sit near me, so I sat at the head of the table with both at my side. Then Twin Crazy and Twin Husky came to me. They wanted to sit on my lap. So the three of us sat together eating off of one plate, with Big Bro to our left, and Red to our right. I finally felt like we were together.
  • We opened up a gift from my aunt (my Dad’s twin) – all the kids went nuts. There were for books with the theme “You are Loved”. They were excited about reading them tonight.
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  • We ate marshmallow menorah and gingerbread house after dinner. The kids shared which was great to see. The Twins loved marshmallows. We played. Princess dominos and trains.
  • We headed off to bed without a problem. Big Bro and Red helped clean the toys up. They brushed without a problem and got ready for bed. I said I would read all four books to them. Red sat on my lap. Big Bro grabbed his blanket off the bed and we all snuggled under it as I read. “You are loved.”
  • It’s been a good day. A busy day. A full day. We started with giggles, I ran ragged at work, relaxed with kids at the end, and now after this I need to open up my laptop and finish some client work. And after that I have to work on a Christmas present. I have not started to think about a calendar or holiday card this year. One thing at a time.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    September 7: “Happy Wednesday Mommy!”

    This morning was rough. I don’t usually say that, but it was. We were still coordinating the fact that there is no parking at the ferry station, and we’re still getting used to three separate drop offs for the kids. Here it goes:

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Red wakes up first and I wake up to her wanting me to help her with her pony-tail. She wanted a green band today. She then gets dressed by herself (I love you I love you I love you thank you thank you thank you!!!)
    • We forgot that yesterday was Tuesday because of the holiday weekend so we forgot about the Chocolate Tuesday nutella breakfast. We make it up to them this morning and both Red and Big Bro are quietly eating their Nutella breakfasts when I come down.
    • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are busy sitting at the dinning room table eating cereal and spilling milk. It now also looks like Hubby is trying the cereal with yogurt on top to reduce the mess. This seems to be working well.
    • We figure out that I will take Red and then go to the ferry. Hubby will take Big Bro and Twins and he will not take the ferry since he has a meeting that he must drive to. Sounds good.
    • I diaper Twin Husky and kiss his feet and his toes. He really likes this. He keeps motioning with his feet for me to do it again and again and again. So of course I give in.
    • Twin Crazy is cranky this AM. She is in a stage where she likes being held to see what’s going on. I don’t like that stage very much since we have four children. I try to give her some “up” time and talk about the things around us, but then I quickly tell her that I need to put her down, OK?
    • I run upstairs to get Big Bro’s clothes (he’s very particular and we are running out of clean stuff). While doing this the Twins have figured out how to break through the stair “gate” (essentially a board we put across the bottom of the stairs). This is the second “gate” they’ve figured out. So now both are running around upstairs getting themselves into trouble and laughing. Twin Husky in Red’s bed (Red HATES this), Twin Crazy in the bathroom on the stool playing with cups of water and straws. I need to bring each down individually which throws both of them into tantrums.
    • We all look at Big Bro’s booster seat that we got for the 2nd car for when we have to divide and conquer. He loves it. Red also loves her pink booster – this will be her 2nd day driving with it.
    • OK time to go!!! I kiss all the kids in the van goodbye. I tell them to have fun and learn a lot.
    • I drop off Red and she is the first one there. Her teacher is setting up 3 different activities (pegs, number pegs, rubber band boards). I am so happy that she is in this environment now. It was an easy goodbye. Red is also happy that I’ve picked out a green pony-tail holder for myself. We both match.
    • I have time to drop the car off at the house to make it easier for Hubby. I walk to the ferry and get there in plenty of time. I enjoy the walk since it is sunny out and not windy.

    So, on the ferry by myself. No make up, no breakfast. Thinking about today and what I will do. Probably get myself started on the new role with all the forums. We have a busy few weeks of conferences that I will need to continue to organize and facilitate. I guess I better get started and ready for that.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    I had a reasonably good day today. I left the office feeling valued and not too stressed. WE are having a Strategy planning session tomorrow and I will be speaking on two agenda items (that I just found out today) so that should be fun.

    • I started the day getting ready with make up etc. in ladies room. I picked up a HUGE Starbucks coffee and a cheese danish. I hope this does not become a habit or else I won’t be able to fit into all the new clothes I just bought.
    • I fixed a billing issue with accounting and prepared an invoice for a project we completed
    • I did some outreach to confirm attendance at a key meeting we are having in October
    • At lunchtime I stopped at the Farmers Market and bought freshly picked apples, prunes, and grapes.
    • I crafted two presentations for our planning session for tomorrow; one is a featured case study from a recent project I lead, the other is our thinking about the forums our firm conducts and the go-forward strategy — this would be my new proposed role going forward
    • I talked to a friend/colleague about the new role and she thinks it is a great opportunity for me; she also thinks the firm would agree to a reduced workweek
    • We had a planning meeting for the meeting in October – key participants, speakers, and next steps

    I am on the ferry now; I just realized I forgot all the fruit I just bought; it is actually hot outside. I can’t believe it. Hubby is home picking up the kids so I didn’t need to take the earlier ferry. I am really looking forward to seeing the kids tonight. Particularly the Twins. They are becoming little people so quickly that I just can’t wait to see how they play tonight, how they interact, and what new words I can pick up from their “conversations”. With a first child, you are so in tune with each new word they say…. I have a feeling with the Twins that they’ve probably been saying so many words for so long but we’ve just been too busy to focus on each child and their development. Pity. But I see how they are developing into strong, independent people and it makes me smile.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I arrive home and Hubby already has all kids sitting down eating. Mommy!!!! Even the Twins are now able to say Mommy. I love it. What a warm welcome.
    • After dinner Big Bro helps Hubby wash the car, while Red and the Twins help me wash the clothes. I show them the water, how it fills up in the basin, and how the machine goes around and around to clean the clothes. Twin Husky is curious. Twin Crazy is scared. Red helps to explain it to them too. From here on I love being a mom to these kids. I love teaching them new things. I love stopping what I’m doing to sit down and explain how things work and why we use them the way we do. It is just so sweet.

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    • We run outside for a little bit; the kids are good and not going into the street; they are generally following directions which is encouraging.
    • I try to get them inside which works, sort of. Twin Husky was having too much fun and he tried to bite me. That didn’t go over very well.
    • OK! Time to go up! We work together to clean up the train tracks that are everywhere. We read to Twins; Big Bro and Twin Crazy are playing though which is so cute how they are interacting but so frustrating at the same time. Big Bro can’t stop himself and Twin Crazy is just acting crazy and not settling down. Twin Husky is pointing to pages of books and saying words. This is so surprising to me, I just assumed Twin Crazy would be talking first – she might be but she mumbles everything. He says things in one word…. but his words are very well-formed already. “Sun”. “Tree.” “Shoes” “Circle”. It is amazing. I love this age.
    • Red and Big Bro get banished from the Twins’ room but they brush teeth, do PJs, and pee all by themselves without ANY direction from us. We read books to them (I’ve read “Pinkalicious” now about 100 times) and commend them for being so independent and making it so much easier on us.
    • Kisses goodnight — I play the game:  Did I tell you how much I love you??? Red asks what day it is. I say Wednesday. She says “Happy Wednesday Mommy!” and I want to melt into her arms.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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