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

August 9: Too much laundry but we’ve been saved by another “New” Mother’s Helper!

Today was a bit rushed; we woke up later than normal – 7:20 AM and we need to leave by 8 AM with 4 kids! We posted for another ad in Craig’s List so hopefully we’ll find someone soon. OUr place is a wreck – we tried to keep up last summer when I went back to work but it was physically and emotionally depleting. I just couldn’t do it with four kids and work FT. Hopefully someone good answers our ad soon.

  • Twin Crazy was playing with a brush, and Red was also with her. Twin Crazy trapped Red in the closet – she is getting very good with her muscles and she loves to open and close sliding closets (to my fear)
  • Twin Husky then comes out and the four of us start playing with puzzles on the floor. That was really sweet.
  • Everyone heads down for Chocolate Tuesday!
  • I can’t find my brush so I head downstairs and there it is on the floor.
  • I take out dry stuff out of dryer and put on top of the growing mountain of clean clothes to be folded in the back bedroom
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are eating yogurt for breakfast so I clean them up and get them out of their chairs
  • Twin Crazy “helps” me put the wet clean clothes into the dryer. That was cute.
  • I put in another load of wash.
  • Red and Big Bro are REALLY busy with Chocolate Tuesday – they are eating their faces off.
  • I make Big Bro’s lunch and pack up the bag for daycare.
  • We change the Twins and then help Red and Big Bro change. They are old enough, and they can do it by themselves, I think they just want the attention from us so I can’t help but give in. Big Bro and I discuss the system we had where he picked out the clothes by himself and came downstairs already dressed, and how great that was. We’re going to try that tomorrow.
  • Twins are playing with the stereo components and wind up turning it on. Big Bro laughs at this — he is so sweet; he looks at what they do, but hangs back. Will only intervene if their safety is in question. Otherwise, he enjoys seeing them develop and do funny things, just as I do. I’m so proud of him as a big brother.
  • OK – 8 AM!! Time to go! Everyone get their shoes on!!! Twin Husky went to the garage and found his shoes so I could pack them in the bag. How cute.
  • Twin Husky was difficult getting into the car seat today. He kept wanting to turn around and laugh at Big Bro. You can really see the development between the two brothers recently. It is so sweet.

So now I’m on the ferry, no makeup, no breakfast, and no coffee. I feel like shit.   For work today, I will need to:

  • Work with one of the directors to map out one proposal. We need to complete it by today or tomorrow – So I’ll need to focus on that.
  • Think about high level approach for the big proposal we will submit in two weeks.
  • I will need to participate in a coordination/status meeting for the big meeting in October. THis will take 1 hour out of my day
  • I will also likely lead a different meeting for the firm initiative with our partner – I’ll need to walk through the go-to-market materials I sent out yesterday.

So, lots to do today. I think I’m going to treat myself to a big breakfast and HUGE coffee on the way to work today.   On the ferry the people around me are talking about t-ball, swimming, soccer, baseball, and birthday parties, and camps. The people around here are so Type-A and everything appears to be done to the extreme. Giant trampolines. Swim lessons since they’re 3. Hearing this makes me feel so guilty that we’re not able to do this with our kids – there just isn’t enough time and the last thing we want to do on weekends is run around with extra activities and/or formalized commitments.   I’ll probably post something on this topic at a later time.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I grabbed an excellent breakfast this morning on the way to work – breakfast tacos, a HUGE coffee, and I decided to splurge on orange juice.
  • Got myself together in the ladies room before going to office. Now I feel more like myself.
  • Rearranged some meetings today
  • Started to work on the presentation for Thursday’s huge meeting with the folks from the project that just wrapped up. I had no fear going in to present to the Senior EVP of the bank, but these types of meetings where you need to present to the workers… the doers… is very stressful for me. Everything in black and white is a critique on how they do their jobs – sometimes they react favorably to this type of work because maybe their fighting for investment budget for automation and to make their jobs easier — however sometimes it just looks like plain criticism — and in this case we were evaluating potential areas for outsourcing so some of these people will be fearful of their jobs (or their teams) as a result of this work. So, I’m not really looking forward to Thursday’s meeting. It will be tougher. It will be harder emotionally.
  • Ate fig newtons for lunch. Sent out a Random Thoughts post during lunch.
  • Sent follow-up to our Whitepaper partner to see if she is happy with the results; I’d like to get more work from her. The work is not complicated and it would give us a great way to supplement our existing work and keep our junior staff busy.
  • Started working on a “Best Practices” document to send to the institutions we interviewed for our last project.
  • Started fleshing out the objectives for one proposal – we are supposed to deliver it to the prospective client this week but I don’t know how that is going to happen… I have face-to-face business development meetings tomorrow and I am traveling on Thursday…..
  • Conducted the touchpoint status meeting for the initiative with our partners; there are some updates to the go-to-market materials which I incorporated and then re-sent everything out to the team so we can begin our sales efforts. I will need to start reaching out to companies before the next status meeting in 2 weeks.
  • Fired our undependable Mother’s Helper, and arranged for someone who answered our ad to come visit with us tonight. I’m going to put her to work with all of our laundry and all of our hand-washables. Our house is a disaster.

I had a good day today but am still feeling down – I am not recovering as quickly as I would like from my bout of depression from the weekend. I can’t shake this. The city where we live is too stressful and extremely expensive. I have no choice but to work the way I do. I feel like I have no choices at all anymore. I’m feeling alone again and need to snap out of this. OK I’m off to the Ferry. Will likely start to write-up another blog entry on the way home.

 Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Red came out of daycare today with her hair pulled back in a pony-tail (she has very, very little hair so I’m always amazed when people are able to do this for her – I certainly cannot).  I made such a big deal out of this.  We later kept giggling to each other that we both have pony-tails and we put them together and said how our pony-tails were mixed together.
  • Twin Husky absolutely loves Big Bro.  It is tough to get him in the car seat because he’d rather stand up and look at Big Bro.   We talk about what kinds of toys they can play with each other when we get home and Big Bro decides on “cars”.   Then Red proclaims that she wants to play “Princess” with Twin Crazy when we get home.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy have a blast on the slide structure.   They keep taking turns and running around — one slides while the other climbs up the structure… on and on and on and on…..  Too cute.  They were laughing their butts off.
  • Our potential new mother’s helper came over.  She is great with kids and works in summer camps and social work programs with kids for a living.  I think she’ll be great with our family.  Red took to her right away and we had fun showing her around the house.  We went outside (all the kids) to show her the apple tree.  I picked an apple for each kid and used that as leverage to get them to eat their food.
  • A conversation with Big Bro went like this tonight….     Big Bro:  “If you had a monster, what would you do with it?”  “Well, is it a good monster or bad monster?”   “It’s anything you want it to be.” “OK.  I’d like it to be a good monster.   But would you kids be scared of it?”   “I wouldn’t, but Red might, and Twin Husky and Twin Crazy would be too.”  “OK.  Well in that case, on a day when I work from home and you kids are at school and daycare, I would invite the monster over for lunch.   That’s what I’d do with the monster.”
  • And yet another conversation with Big Bro….  Big Bro:  “I’d like to have a dinosaur and have them in the house.   I’d like to ride them.”   He then starts to mention all of them by name and I don’t remember what they are but we did have a long conversation about the ones that fly and how we would love to fly on them if they were nice to us and kept us safe when we were in the air.
  • All ate well.   Big Bro ate so many carrots I thought he was going to turn orange. Big Bro and Red wound up on my lap after dinner eating apples.  I loved it.
  • Big Bro wanted to play a game with me where you connect “dots” to form squares and the person who forms the most squares wins.   I’m telling you, this kid was strategizing.   I actually had to pay attention to what I was doing.   Hubby thinks that I’ll be no match for this kid in 1-2 years.
  • Twin Crazy started to do something funny with her sippy cup tonight — shaking the milk out into a spoon and then drinking the milk from the spoon
  • MH puts the Twins down for bed – everything seemed to go well.
  • Big Bro had a tantrum about a blanket.   Red is still saying she’s scared.  I think she’s at the top of the stairs again now….
The older kids are just so funny at these ages.   I feel like Big Bro and Red are full-fledged people.   The way they banter, the way they joke around with me, the way they interact and the give and take to the conversations.   I love it.   I sometimes get side tracked and forget things for them when too much is going on, but I ask them to PLEASE remind me when that happens.   They are so good with that.   For example, Big Bro had to remind me that I didn’t answer his question about what I would do with a monster.    I love how he accepted that I got pulled away, was mature enough to wait, and then approached me when he knew he could get my full attention.   It is so easy with him and with Red sometimes but then just 10 minutes later they regress and throw tantrums about a blanket of all things.   So I guess I have some more time to wait but by then it will be a different issue so I just have to be happy for what I have now!!!    AND, I AM THRILLED AT THE POTENTIAL OF OUR NEW MOTHER’S HELPER!!!!    There is a mound of I think 5 loads of laundry that she will need to conquer…. I’m going to sit down now and maybe watch some True Blood.
All in all, a good day.
Till tomorrow –
– Mama K
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