September 5: Playdough, pizza, and puzzles


Amazing day.  I worked remotely, half day, and had the morning with the kids and the long afternoon and evening with the kids.   We played and worked in the afternoon, ate early, went to bed early.  The kids need their sleep and we needed the time together.  So, so happy.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got up early and got things ready; Big Bro’s lunch, all shoes/jackets, vitamin piles, toast for breakfast.  
  • One by one they got up.  Twin Crazy was in a bad mood and clingy.  She wanted oatmeal.  I gave in since she was the first up.  Then Twin Husky came out, wanting me to hold him.  He also asked for oatmeal.  OK.  So it goes.  Then out came Red.  Again, oatmeal.  So there I was making breakfast at home anyway.   That’s OK.  We still have time…
  • Big Bro was moving slowly.  He wanted to make sure that Cocoa had fresh salad for breakfast.   Seems reasonable.
  • All were dressed and then we were out; I packed Big Bro toast and butter for breakfast (for the car), along with a banana, and all kids then wanted toast.   NOTE TO SELF:   NEVER make a take-away breakfast for one kid.  ALWAYS make enough of the take-away breakfast for several kids.   Big Bro proceeded to “tease” the rest of the kids with “mmmm.    toast and butter.”    Me:  “stop that [Big Bro], you’re teasing.   Him:  “but what do you want me to do mommy, lie?”   Ugggh.
  • Traffic was not bad at all – it kept moving.  Despite our late start we had enough time to drop off Red/Twin Crazy/Twin Husky first, and then me with a solo drop off for Big Bro.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were excited about “school”.  There was playdough set out and Twin Crazy started jumping up and down – she almost knocked me over to get to the table with the playdough.  Both kids sat in their own seats for playdough play.  Twin Husky even had a blue tray, his favorite color.
  • Drop off for Red was sooooooooooooooooooooo easy.   Having her friends there makes it easier for her.
  • I parked the car in a nearby neighborhood and me and Big Bro walked to his school.  We laughed about how Twin Crazy and Twin Husky love their new school and the playdough.   We talked about how I enjoy walking him “solo” to his classroom.  We talked about his homework and how proud I was of him and how fast he can count and also how he writes sentences.   He talked about how he likes stepping on the crackly leaves.   I watched him as he walked along the leaves.   I gave his homework to his teacher and seemed more proud of it than he.   He told me to go once he got settled in the group of his class.
  • I walked to the car feeling really good.   I was ready to go the 5 minutes to Starbucks to work.   Close to the kids; and only for a couple of hours.

 

 

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Starbucks.   Another big coffee.  Setting up my computer and phone.   Ready to go.
  • It was a slow start to be honest.  I was cold.
  • I had some conference calls; confirmed attendance for the more recent forum; followed up on invoice payments, arranged conference calls for selling new memberships.
  • I packed up around 1 PM and headed to the school.  
  • I took another conference call from the car at 1:30 but finished it up in time to get Big Bro.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I smiled and clapped my hands when I saw Big Bro.  He smiled back.  I feel like I will never forget that expression on his face.  He looks like he’s having fun.  He let me hug him and kiss him and hold his hand to the car.
  • On the way over to pick up the rest of the kids he told me how he has physical ed now that he’s in first grade. 
  • He was excited about picking up the siblings.  He gets a kick out of all of them being there.  He gets a kick out of Red being in his old classroom – how he knows the routine.  He wanted to get there in time to still see the kids sleeping… he wanted to see where Red’s mat was.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first since their classroom light was on.  Twin Husky came out first and ran into my arms and onto my lap, hugging me.  The other kids then started to cry for their mommies.   Twin Crazy was still going potty so she came out several minutes later.  Both running in my arms.  Both in my lap.  Slow hugs to both since they were still groggy.  Both sucking their thumbs.  One blanked, one borrowed stuffed animal.  Then we said goodbye to their new friends and said we would see them next week.   I will have them on Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Pick up for Red was fine; she was groggy and her hair all over the place. 
  • Kids had a good time at the water fountain.  The boys were happy to be reunited.
  • The ride home was fine; not much traffic.  I took a conference call with a Director to catch up on a number of things and then also had a call with my Admin (who is wonderful).   I will need to do some tidy-up work tonight… things that cannot linger to next week.
  • At home, we colored, took in the trash bins (Red was so proud), had a snack, and then got ready for dinner.  I also called for a dentist appointment for Big Bro since his first adult tooth is coming in behind his baby tooth.  A botched tooth fairy moment!!!   We never even got a wiggle!
  • Red was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO helpful… she started with the trash bins but then she went to caring for Cocoa (getting food, re-filling water), helping with Twin Crazy/Twin Husky, cleaning up her room, etc.  She couldn’t stop.  I had to hug her.  I missed her so much.
  • We had home-made pizza tonight; Red had peaches.
  • After dinner Big Bro relaxed; he is still not feeling well.   I need to make another doctor appointment for him.  He’s had this stomach thing now for a week.  Not normal.   The rest of us did puzzles.  I am fairly certain that this was the first time Twin Husky did a puzzle.  I had fun teaching him but he has little patience.  Twin Crazy was much more persistent.  Both were extremely proud of their progress.
  • Twin Husky was on a roll and then decided to go pee-pee in the potty about 5 times non-stop.   He is still talking non-stop about which family members have vaginas vs. penises (or peni?).  I broke out the chocolate chips for the kids.
  • PJs.  Then books for the boys.  Books for the girls.   Big Bro’s belly ache.  Twin Husky loves books about balls.   He told me that there is a basketball net at school and he played basketball.  He threw it into the net and the ball went down.   He showed me over and over again about the ball and the net.   He is such a guy.
  • Nightime was a bit long since the kids went down much earlier than normal – plus the chocolate chips did not help.  There was a lot of back scratching, belly aching, and talking about vaginas (the girls are already doing girl talk).   I just had to laugh and go to my room.

 

I just took a shower, and finished up some work.   The house is so quiet, with the exception of the crickets chirping outside.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow.  Chocolate Thursday.  I will have to take Big Bro and Red to school/daycare, but will have Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with me all day.  I will also have some conference calls that I scheduled during highway travel time, when the kids are quieter.  That seems to be working well.   It also helps me take advantage of the commute time and grab some extra hours that I need.

It was a great day of multi-tasking – having the kids all together, yet also having some one-on-one time with Big Bro and each of the other kids.   It was a full day and I feel like I used my time wisely.   I had fun with the children and honestly I am not worn out from today.  The 1/2 days actually make a big difference for me.   I was able to have a leisurely afternoon and evening with them.  Nothing rushed.   Time to “exist” with them versus running around like an idiot.   It makes a huge difference.  I feel it myself and I think the kids can see the difference.  Comparing last night to tonight is like two different families… we had time tonight to play, laugh, and be.    It was a great day.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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April 13: Feeling surprisingly relaxed


A busy day; the last day of work before I leave for a work trip all next week. So I went into the office to work today since there is still so much to do.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy went potty! I said we would get her changed to pick out her underwear. She was very excited to do this. She ran to her drawer and instead, pulled out stockings by mistake. But she wanted to wear them too. So Red and I went to her closet and picked out some dresses for her to decide on. She said that one was too tight but was VERY excited about a red one. I took pictures of her looking demure. She refused to smile. Red was smiling though, proud of her little sister and she agreed that she looked so cute.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating a bagel. Big bites along the whole bagel. He kept saying that it was a circle. He also loved the cream cheese.
  • Twin Crazy put on her rain boots by herself. She loves those things. They probably fit even better on her with stockings – versus her PJs which make the boots way to tight for her.
  • Red wanted me to help her with her clothes. She set them out in the order she wanted to get changed into… her top, her underwear, her pants, her socks. Very particular. There is an order to everything.
  • All the kids noticed holes in my socks and started laughing and teasing me and poking my feet, saying they were going to try to pick my toes. I acted silly with them and they loved it. I had all kids all around me looking at my feet and trying to get to my toes. We were all laughing. It was too funny.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were both taking care of their babies. Twin Crazy was feeding her baby a vitamin, and Twin Husky was feeding his Tiger a bagel.
  • Big Bro went riding with the Motley Crew. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and then Red. I had to run back to the car to get her purse with her nail polishes. But this made her smile from ear to ear. I was running late for the ferry but was glad I made that second trip to the van for her.
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    On the ferry to work I felt incredibly relaxed. I have a lot of work to do today… some presentations to finish (that I will deliver next week) and also some speakers to still confirm!!!! Plus several meetings related to the client project. How am I working on client projects now too????!?!??!?!?!?

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got some paperwork off related to my house purchase!!!!
  • I started to review and work on presentations; also had a meetings to review two different presentations that I had no part of data collections or report preparation. So I have to understand the data and understand the implications of the data. And think through how I will present it to make it interesting. That is the hard part because the data itself is kind of boring.
  • I had two market interviews for the client project.
  • I went to lunch with the office for Dim Sum. It was excellent and VERY fast.
  • I helped a colleague get in touch with one of my friends related to a project he is working on. She is going to help find the right person within her organization for him to have a market interview (THANK YOU MAMA J!!!! I KNOW YOU READ THIS!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!)
  • I worked with our admin on various logistics for the forums. Things that she was used to doing in the past I asked her not to do since I thought not a good use of time. I’m trying to make things easier and more streamlined.
  • I secured a Plan B speaker in case the our speaker for the one forum falls through. I almost hope they do, since I think the PLan B option is much more interesting for the group and I really like the guy.
  • I’m on the ferry now and looking forward to being with the children. I will be on my own tonight which always makes me happier. It is more relaxing. I can focus on the kids without the frustrations of the failed relationship getting in the way. The plans for the weekend are forming and I’m feeling good about getting away next week. I think we’re relatively prepared for the meetings but I know I’ll be working after the events and getting ready for the next day. Next week I will get little sleep and will need to be “on” the entire time.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the house and am getting more and more excited. I will turn 42 this summer and I will be a first-time home buyer. The thought of having my own space, to put my own things, and root and grow with my family has been so important to me in the past. I’ve been craving it. I can’t believe it’s almost here and I was able to find a location zoned to 10/10 schools. I feel like I’ve done everything I could do to set myself and the kids up to be the best that we can be. I’m looking forward to getting in, settling in, and making the house a home.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and we talked about dinner. We talked about ordering a pizza. I pulled over and ordered, then we picked up the Twins. Twin Crazy’s stockings were trashed. She was still talking about them. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s car seat. Red helped him into the van by lifting his butt in the air and pushing him in the van. Twin Crazy wanted to sit in between Twin Husky and Red in the back seat and Red and her were holding on to each other laughing before I pulled Twin Crazy away and tucked her into her own carseat. Sisters.
  • Big Bro’s pick up was good but it took a really long time for him to get his bike. I think he’s really taking advantage of the freedom… exploring the school yards, going in circles… I’m not sure but it takes him a long time and his face is always full of smiles when he shows up. Everyone in the car was singing and laughing while waiting for him. He took the lagoon route and wanted our car to go REALLY slow so he could beat us. I tried hard, but couldn’t go slowly enough so he was mad when he reached our van at the end of the lagoon trail.
  • By the time we got home, the pizza man was also arriving at our house.
  • After dinner, we noticed some motorcycles outside so we went out there to check them out.
  • We then decided to watch some “Olivia” on TV and got popcorn. All kids were excited for this.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty so I gave her 2 chocolate chips. That was a mistake. The twins were going nuts during bedtime. Twin Husky threw a book and toys into the toilet. I told them I was feeling mad. That resonated with Twin Crazy. We sat and read books. I tucked them in.
  • Big Bro meanwhile was cleaning all the things that were thrown in the toilet. After I grabbed them and threw them in the sink, he had a process all set up for soaping up the stuff, cleaning, and drying them. He was a pleasure tonight. When someone else is acting up, Big Bro becomes an angel.
  • Twin Crazy was REALLY crying in her crib. It wasn’t a normal sounding cry. I went to her. I held her in my lap and Twin Husky wanted to come too. I asked her if she felt sad and she said YEAH. I asked her if it was because mommy felt mad and she said YEAH. I told her that sometimes people get mad, just like she does and just like Twin Husky, and Big Bro, and Red…. and that Mommy feels mad sometimes too and that’s OK. I told her that I still love her and will always love her and kissed her and asked her if she understood. She said YEAH. And Twin Husky did the same. I held them tighter and asked them if it was OK now for them to go to sleep. YEAH. Kisses. hugs. Back in their cribs. I covered Twin Crazy and Red covered Twin Husky. I wiped the hair away from her face and whispered my normal “I…….. love……. you” and again. She joined me in the routine. And she was OK. I went to Twin Husky and he was already rolling around smiling. “I…… love….. you. Sweet dreams.”.
  • I read to Big Bro. Again the story about the princess that dies. He now asks what happens after someone becomes dead. I talk about how no-one really knows for sure, but that a lot of people believe that your spirit, the thing that makes you FEEL and LAUGH and THINK and BE is inside of the body and that its called a spirit and that your spirit lives on even after your physical body is dead. He questions me on this each night and he picks out this book on purpose each night. His questions are very frank and I love that about him. He has always been curious about the world around him.
  • Red had a problem going to sleep. They were laughing with each other and I went in to scratch their backs… then went into the hallway to type this up… and then they crying. I think it happens as soon as Big Bro falls asleep. I think she feels the lonliness. She was laughing one minute and then upset the next. I keep trying to figure out is she scared, sad, lonely… maybe all? I try to talk to her about it but she is just silent. She is in there now quiet, and I think not yet asleep.
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    We had a great night. Easy. Real. No your turn my turn. No passing the kids off. It was just us. And we ate and played and the evening flowed. And when someone had an issue there was a child who was there to help. And even though it was only me with the four of them, I feel like I had really good one-on-one time with EACH of them. Talking to them. Encouraging them. Teaching them. I feel tired but happy.

    I think I’ll give myself a break tonight and only work on one presentation to send to a Director. Will do the rest at some point over the weekend.

    Great weekend to all –
    – Mama K

    March 30: Pizza, Pasta, and Ice-cream


    It’s Friday night past 10 PM and I finished up a fantastic night with the kids, solo. I enjoy these times so much better with co-parent not around. Things are easier. More relaxed. The evening just unfolds.

    Highlights of the Day:

    • Red helped Twin Crazy pick out her underwear for the day.
    • Both girls were wearing princess pajama dresses and I made a fuss about them looking like twins. Red wore hers for bed last night, but then Twin Crazy saw the matching purple dress and wanted to wear it over her pajamas. I wound up picking her up today from daycare wearing the same princess dress so I guess she refused to get changed out of it. They looked adorable together.
    • Twin Husky wanted to get his diaper changed on our big reclining chair. He loves that chair. It was ridiculous for me to change him on it but he was loving the attention and the siblings were thinking it was too funny. Big Bro took a lot of pictures of the diaper change with Twin Husky all reclined and relaxed.
    • I took some time to cuddle with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky; I was going to take them to daycare today since I had personal work to do, so was going to miss my time with them. It was nice to sit there and feel them on my lap, and see their heads slowly drift towards each other. They were head to head, sitting on my lap, each sucking their thumbs. My twins.
    • Big Bro helped them get into their strollers this AM. I love how the bigger kids help the little guys. It actually goes all the way around. They all help each other – I love catching these moments.

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    I spent the day working. I was exhausted afterwards. I picked up the kids a bit early.

    • Twins first, then Big Bro. Big Bro rode to Red’s pre-school and then rode back home to drop off the bike.
    • I took them all out to dinner. To a local pizza and pasta place that is VERY good with kids. We had to briefly wait for a table but the kids were all mesmerized by the man making pizza and the fire oven. They all colored and were very well behaved. Red drew a smiley face. Big Bro drew a helicopter. Both Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy drawing their “art”. I also call Twin Husky doing his “work” (he acts intense when he draws). Twin Crazy had a small accident so we all went to the bathroom to clean up. I brought an extra change of clothes just in case. By the time we all made it back the food was there and everyone ate like champs.
    • Afterwards we went for ice-cream. The kids were having a great time sitting next to a plastic dog and cat. They were blowing kisses and also pretending to give them drinks of their water. Twin Husky ate his cone in about 1 1/2 minutes. Red loves mint chocolate chip. Big Bro loves cookies and cream. I get the Twins “baby” cones of vanilla with raspberry swirl. I got a HUGE chocolate fantasy. YUM. I love going out with these four. I can’t begin to tell you the looks I get and people actually coming up to me asking me if they are all mine. YES. And YES there are a set of twins. YES I’m keeping myself busy and YES I AM LOVING IT. LOVING EVERY MINUTE WITH THESE CHILDREN. These people look at me and shake their heads in exhaustion but they don’t know half the story….
    • At home the kids were great; everyone went upstairs, and I got the Twins dressed. We did our kisses and they were asleep in no time.
    • I spent some time with Big Bro and Red downstairs – just the big kids. We wrote down the activities to do over the weekend and they drank lots of milk. I hope there are no accidents tonight since I could use the sleep.

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    I had a wonderful day today and feel lucky to have had this alone time with them. I know I’m headed in the right direction, but just hope that these kids make it through to the other side OK too.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

     

    p.s.  THERE WAS NO CRYING TONIGHT FROM RED.  She just asked me to put her in her covers (through the kid monitor) and I did.  She rested her body and SHE WENT TO SLEEP WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS.    This is the way it should be.   Soooooo much better this way.

    Recipe: Zucchini pizzas


    This recipe was submitted by Mama J from San Mateo, CA.   Very creative Mama J!   I should send you some pictures of things that I’ve seen and have you replicate it!   Sounds yummy!

    “Saw a picture of these online but no recipe so I made it up”.

    Zucchini pizzas

    Serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 larger diameter zucchini (not the little skinny ones)
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 tsp fresh chopped basil
    • shredded mozzerella
    • olive oil
    • salt

    Directions:

    • Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, use a small spoon to carve out the seeds in each half.
    • Put zucchini shells in 400 oven while you prep the sauce.
    • Chop up tomatoes and 1/2 the insides of the zucchinis.
    • Heat 1 T of olive oil and then lightly sauté the tomatoes, zucchini insides, garlic and basil (I used the frozen cubes of garlic and basil you can buy at TJ’s), until it becomes a pizza-like sauce consistency. Salt to taste.
    • Remove zucchini shells and scoop sauce into them, then top with a little shredded mozzerella cheese.
    • Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and browns a little at the edges.
    Preparation time:  10 min
    Cook time:  20 min

    March 7: Just a day.


    Wednesday – a day at home. I’m writing this at the end of the day so I’m trying to remember what exactly happened… it’s all a blur. I’m also working off of very little sleep. Red woke up at 11 PM last night, and then again at 4 AM, 4:30 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM. Poor thing. Poor me.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy has been walking around with a princess “fannie-pack”. It is the cutest, yet almost disturbing, thing ever…. she walks around like she has important business to attend to with her little fannie pack on. She buckles and unbuckles it, and strings the strap around to put it on again. She asks for help when she needs it, which is good.
  • Big Bro constructed a space shuttle out of Legos this AM, for R2-D2. R2-D2 was short lived — apparently he traded him with a kid at school for some other Lego figure.
  • Twin Husky was busy carrying all of his things in a paper bag but then the bag broke. He got so pissed off. So we put his stuff into a new bag. His stuff included: yellow soccer ball, random kid forks, spoons, and knives, his Tigers, pretend cleaning supplies, a dress, a green ball.
  • I drove all the kids in since Big Bro lost his bike privileges the night before. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first. Then Red and I walked with Big Bro to drop him off. I then dropped off Red.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got home, straightened up the house, ate some breakfast, poured another cup of coffee, and set up my computer. I’m ready.
  • I had a meeting with one of the speakers for our forum in April to give direction on content.
  • I coordinated a call with another speaker to give guidance on content.
  • I did marketing outreach to one of the forums
  • I re-crafted go-to-market outreach for a forum we are trying to launch
  • I did more selling outreach to solicit participation in a meeting in April
  • I had to address various emails from all of the above relating to two forums, two meetings/forums we are trying to launch, and a client project.
  • I received some positive responses to the various invitations and also received to offers to speak — AWESOME! Great way to round out the Agenda!!!
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called the quits and ran some errands.
  • I picked up Big Bro first, then Red. There was a fire-truck there and we got there just in time to see the show… it was cute, all of the little kids coming outside to see the truck and the firemen. So cute.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next, and caught them in the middle of a walk around the courtyard with their daycare provider. The kids were all going wild. Big Bro and Red hanging out of the window, and me driving VERY slowly behind the Twins so they could get back to their daycare house… .it was like I was following Big Bro. We were all cheering from the van to the Twins and were all having a good time.
  • We got back and had an Oreo snack. I played with the kids. The boys were playing together and acting like boys, throwing balls and sling-shotting rubber snakes. Twin Husky was cracking up. Twin Crazy was playing in her kitchen set. Red was wrestling with me and playing “airplane”.
  • I made dinner – homemade pizza with dough from Trader Joe’s. Boys were still acting like boys, cracking up and playing with each other.
  • After dinner somehow they all started on ice-cream. Then we watched T.V.
  • Twins got cranky and I had them for bedtime so it was very easy to read to the them and put them to bed. “I…… love…… you…. Sweet Dreams….” So cute.
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    Now it’s the end of the day and I’m in my space and I have off tomorrow but still have work on my mind. I also have personal things to take care of. Financial stuff. I can’t wait to get this over. I’m looking forward to the weekend when I can decompress. Today was just a day. Nothing magical. It just came and went. Or maybe I just feel that way since I need to catch up on sleep.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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