May 3: Birthday cupcakes


Today was my day off from work. I had the Twins as usual, but today I also wanted to steal Red from her daycare. Her birthday is coming up over the weekend and I wanted her to have cupcakes to bring into the class. So I wanted her to spend time with me shopping and preparing for baking event.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I went up to the twins at 7 AM and both were just waking up. I wanted Red to sleep a bit longer since we didn’t have to rush. I also wanted Big Bro to rest in a bit since he gets ready so fast now once he’s up. Twin Crazy wanted to wear stockings so we put them on, underneath a comfy pair of pants. She is so cute.
  • Twin Crazy was cuddly and very clingy today. I spent most of the morning walking around with her. She wasn’t interested that much in breakfast, but was VERY interested in Red’s butterfly tattoos that she spotted on the counter. I said she could hold them but that they were Red’s.
  • We went upstairs to Red and Big Bro. Red noticed the tattoos right away. I told Red that I already explained to Twin Crazy that they were hers [conflict avoiding]. So they sat there together looking at the butterflies and talking about the different colors that they saw on each one.
  • Eventually Twin Husky came up to see us too. “Mommy….mommy….” I love it. My littlest guy. The youngest of the four by 1 minute. So I had all kids upstairs with me and I needed to get them back down! I helped to lay out the clothes that Big Bro picked out and told him to make sure he changed his underwear and socks. [Yuck]
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • Red and I finished breakfast and talked while Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were busy playing with each other and talking. They both were strolling around with toy strollers and then feeding the Tigers water which turned into a big mess.
  • We got ready to go shopping for the cupcake supplies. We talked on the way over there about other food we needed too. They were great to shop with. They all followed me around, didn’t grab too many things, and we even ran into a neighbor. “OK guys, now what do we need?…… let’s go over here…. come on guys….”. Then a child says “How about this?!?!???” – even the twins are doing it now. They had a great time in the cake aisle. I do get a lot of looks from people when I go shopping like this. I DO hear them as they whisper behind me “How does she do it?”. Little do they know that I have ANOTHER one at school at the moment so yes it is FOUR. I love it.
  • After shopping we had a snack, played peek-a-boo, and did our nails. Red was in charge since it was her polish.
  • We then made home-made play dough and that kept them busy for awhile.
  • Lunch was a disaster. I made beans, cheese, and salami and was busy in the kitchen doing something and when I came back to the dining room, all of the food was thrown all over the place. I couldn’t believe it. These kids are normally so good. And Red should know better!!! So I had all the kids on the floor picking up the food and saying that I felt mad and that this was bad behavior. So they all went up for their naps immediately afterwards with empty stomachs. No one put up a fuss though about going to sleep. I think they were too scared to.
  • I did some work while they were napping. I threw a whole chicken into a crock-pot with lots of spices for dinner.
  • Once they got up, we went to pick up Big Bro. He rode his bike back home and we followed him.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • We started on the cupcake project which was a lot of fun.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were helping me with carrots for the dinner.
  • They ate well. Afterwards, we decorated 4 cupcakes and they each had one. Twin Crazy’s was the littlest (barely there even) but she didn’t notice. She was enthralled by the colored candy sprinkles and frosting.
  • I did 4 batches of cupcakes and ran out of paper cups. I sent Big Bro to our neighbor’s house to pick up some more. And then I asked for more and she went to the fence to drop them off – but I didn’t see that text – but Red saw her hands coming through the fence…. “Mommy… mommy!!! I see a hand! I see a hand!!” I had no idea what she was talking about. I was looking all over the kitchen for a shadow of a hand or something and then I looked out the window and my poor neighbor was waving these cupcake cups in the air. Too funny. I was hysterical and the kids were too.
  • Kids were jumpy after all the sugar but they did such a great job working together to decorate the cupcakes.
  • I had Big Bro and Red for bedtime routine and got them to calm their bodies down so that they could be reasonable at storytime. They were great. Big Bro actually read the book that Red picked out and I could tell that he was proud, as was I.
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    So now I’m in bed and very drained. I loved the time with the kids but there is so much going on right now in terms of the divorce, me buying a house, and work/final deliverables…. I feel like I’m getting hit in all directions and there is no one on my side. But I refuse to give up. I’m from the East Coast and we’re made of stronger stuff out there. Must be the water.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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    Staying Sane: Playdough on a Rainy Day


    Yesterday it was raining. Hard. All day. What to do with four young kids on a rainy day? Something that EACH kid will enjoy? Something that could occupy them for a LONG time? Something they could play together or in parallel? PLAY DOUGH!!!

    Let me tell you I took out our play dough gear (pretend oven, rolling pins, cut out shapes) but then saw that we had only one container of play dough left. And then it got worse. We opened it up and it was old, crusty, and a mixture of probably 20 different remenants of other colors. So it was a pasty, brown/grey glob of depressing playdough.

    So I decided to search the internet to figure out how to make it. There are several recipes out there. Many require tarter and cooking. That was not for me. So, I tried the SIMPLEST recipe I could find:

    Ingredients:
    – 1/4 cup salt
    – 1/4 cup water
    – 1 cup flour
    – food coloring

    Add ons:
    – glitter
    – hard pasta (for poking)
    – markers

    Directions:
    Combine salt and flour, then add water and food coloring and combine until the right consistency (add more water if needed).

    We made several batches and the kids were entertained off and on through the day for at least 4 hours. Not lying. Not exaggerating. There were balls, snakes, lines of playdough, cutting, poking hard pasta in it, making pizza, making animals.

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    I loved it since all four of the kids were playing – sometimes together, most of the time in parellel. They were sharing colors, exchanging supplies, sometimes working together on making lines of dough balls, etc. Big Bro made an “ocean” scene with a wave and everything. I was impressed at his creation (it is drying today – he wants to keep it).

    And I had fun making it with them and also playing make believe about how delicious the pizza was, teaching the twins how to roll balls, and combining colors.

    We put it in zip lock bags afterwards and it seems OK today; probably won’t last too much longer though.

    So next time you need something quick to do with young kids – take out the dough! It honestly was so easy and the kids got a charge out of making it and then playing with it. Might even work well with older kids who want to create something and then set it out to dry.

    HAVE FUN

    – Mama K

    January 27: Good luck for the new year


    Today was a rushed morning – I have to go to work today for a client meeting relating to an initiative that we are trying to launch. So it was rushed this morning.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up early and got the Twins so I could be there for Twin Crazy for her to go potty. Again, no progress but I did say great job and we’ll try again tomorrow.
  • Big Bro came downstairs completely dressed all by himself. He was so proud. I gave him a long, strong hug.
  • Red had problems this morning. She seemed a bit out of it. I sat with her on the floor and hugged her and rocked with her for quite awhile. I love how she wraps her arms around me and plays with my hair. We rock in silence and this gives both of us a boost afterwards. But she still had difficulty getting dressed this morning – she didn’t like her shirt. I found her favorite butterfly shirt clean in the laundry and that worked for her.
  • Twin Husky was walking around with his pajamas half unzipped.
  • Twin Husky went into my room and turned on my radio. He came into the kitchen with a cute look on his face, knowing he was caught doing something wrong and playing with buttons. We went back into my room to turn off the music and said that it was no problem, the music is now off.
  • Drop offs went well. I’m looking forward to Red’s school’s Chinese New Year parade – families are welcome to see it. Red wants all of us to be there. I was at a minimum going to bring Big Bro, but she also wants Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to be there too.
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    Now I’m in a car traveling into the city for a work meeting with potential partners for a new initiative. Once we have this meeting we’ll be in a position to craft the language and solicit potential participation for the proposed meeting in April. So, this should be a good meeting and will give us a sense to move forward more quickly.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    I don’t usually work on Fridays but came in today for one face-to-face meeting which I needed to be there for…

  • I got into the office and put make up on, and also pulled my hair into a loose bun with decorative clips – much more professional than my usual pony-tail. I am dressed to impress.
  • We had a 3 hour meeting about our potential initiative. We have the support of an industry leader. However, our focus and ideas on audience keeps changing. I am now getting a bit concerned about the timing. Can we pull this together and get the right commitment from presenters and attendees in less than 3 months time??!?!??! This is something I need to talk about internally on Monday. I feel like we have more questions than answers but want this meeting to be successful – getting the right focus and the right people will be critical to make this successful….
  • After the meeting we headed back home to see Red in her Chinese New Year Parade. I even wore a red suit jacket to help support the festivities. We were running way late. We rushed to pick up Big Bro but did not have enough time to pick up Twin Crazy or Twin Husky. Pity. If I had drove myself into the city I would have made it back in time to have all of us there.

    The parade was so cute. I’ve been to these before. Each classroom comes out in their own set of decorations and theme – Red’s had music-maker tubes and paper plates that they were waving around. She looked a bit quiet but she did not cry. She held back her smiles when she saw me and Big Bro. So sweet. Afterwards they had a group of entertainers do a Dragon dance – they were good and I didn’t see many tears in the audience which was good. They threw to the audience tangerines and lettuce – for good luck. Big Bro was brave enough to be a scavenger and hunt for pieces of lettuce on the ground.

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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I stayed with Red and Big Bro at their request while daddy went to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Red and Big Bro wanted me to stay back with them and play with play-dough. They asked me again what I wanted to eat and then worked away and making the stuff for me. Once the twins arrived, they got excited about the play dough too so all four of them were “cooking” with the stuff. At dinner, Twin Crazy brought a play-dough chicken leg with her and pretended to eat it. So cute. She cracks me up.
  • After dinner we played. I wrestled with Big Bro. I rough-housed with Red. I held Twin Crazy (who asked for “Mommy time” for the first time today!!!). I listened to their parade music and drums and danced to their music. I helped Twin Husky with his Tigers. I gave the kids chocolate milk for a Friday night treat.
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    I’m in my room now and am in mixed moods. I don’t know how I feel about the weekends anymore. We are dividing up birthday parties since Big Bro has two this weekend. I don’t know how to divide the rest of the time but it is best that I focus on the kids and not spend too much time around their father.

    Have a great weekend all –
    – Mama K

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